2014.05.27 23:27 mrz1818 Delivery Dudes
Do good, be good, have fun! Now 'Bringing the Good' to: South Florida, Portland OR, and Nashville TN http://www.DeliveryDudes.com
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2023.05.30 14:45 doomedgeek I am a delivery driver. Your disturbing item is on the way.
I was the first person from my family to go to university and, as I packed up my car and got ready to leave home, I felt proud and excited.
There was sadness as well. I would miss my parents and still wondered what might have been if Mary-Beth and I had stayed together.
She was my first love and it still hurt that we’d broken up. Even as I started the car and turned to give my parents a goodbye wave, it was her I was thinking of.
I focused on the road ahead. I would see my parents again when I came back for a visit at the end of term. And no doubt I’d see Mary-Beth around town then as well.
Though hopefully not with Todd, her new boyfriend.
It was warm, clear day in early September as my hometown slipped away behind me, and I was soon on the interstate with the radio on. I’d meet plenty of girls at university, I told myself, and turned the music up.
The campus I would be studying at was on a city centre site and I had found accommodation in a student residence close by. After a long day’s drive, I reached my destination, parked up and climbed out of my car.
My back was aching and my neck was stiff from all the hours behind the wheel but, as I stood on the sidewalk and took a first look at my new neighbourhood, I soon forgot about my discomfort.
There was a myriad of stores that seemed to sell everything under the sun. And I could see at least half a dozen bars and restaurants within a few minutes’ walk. I was not old enough to go in the bars and from the looks of the restaurants I doubted I would be able to afford to eat in them. But that wasn’t the point.
They were pulsing with life, the whole street was, and it was infectious.
Then a police car sped past, its siren blaring. I was in such a good mood this felt exciting rather than worrying. In my small hometown the sound of a police siren after dark would have set off a chorus of barking dogs and twitching curtains. Here, I seemed to be only person who was paying any notice to it.
Even the busker across the road had not missed a note in his enthusiastic rendition of an 80s classic as the police car passed. It had charted when I had still been a glint in my parents’ eyes, but it was one of those songs that endured.
The busker hit an especially high note and coins clinked into his open guitar case from people walking by.
Someone was filming the busker as well. A young woman, maybe a couple of years older than me. Her long dark hair hung almost to her waist, and I only realized I was staring when she finished filming, turned round and glanced at me.
I felt my cheeks colouring, looked down at my feet and sensed rather than saw her walking towards me.
“Hey newbie,” she said brightly.
I looked up.
She was very pretty, and she was smiling at me, so I needed to say something dazzling and funny and cool.
Instead, I said, “Hey. Err… How do you know I’m new?”
She turned to my car and replied, “From the number of things packed into your car that were clearly put there by parents. Top tip: it’s not worth the effort of carrying most of those things up to your room.”
I grinned. I knew exactly what she meant. I had boxes of groceries that I could have bought when I arrived, but my mom had insisted I bring them just in case.
She had not specified ‘in case’ of what. Possibly a zombie apocalypse that left the city stores all out of canned soup and toilet rolls
I grinned sheepishly and replied, “It won’t be too bad. I can use the elevator.”
She threw her head back and laughed. “The elevator. That hasn’t worked since I moved in.”
I knew that my room was on the eighteenth floor and the prospect of having to get everything up that many stairs was stressful but, on the plus side, this gorgeous young woman was going to be one of my neighbours, so life was not all bad, I figured.
Especially if I could get to know her better.
“Uh,” I said. “In that case, maybe you could give me a hand carrying my stuff up. We could maybe go out afterwards and I could buy you a coffee as a thank you. Or a pizza,” I added hastily, thinking how weak a coffee sounded the moment the words were out of my mouth.
She laughed again. “Good try,” she said. “See you around. Maybe.”
With that she was gone, letting herself into the student apartment block with a swipe card.
I stood there still smiling for a minute then took a deep breath and started unloading my car.
What felt like an absolute age later, I collapsed onto the bed in my new room surrounded by boxes. I was exhausted and, as my eyes closed, I thought how all I wanted to do was sleep.
Which was the moment the music started up.
It sounded like it was coming from the room directly below mine. A bass beat that felt like it was making my entire room shake.
I lay there with my eyes open, now wide open.
All my neighbours were students, so it was no surprise really that there was music blaring out.
I checked the time on my phone. It was ten pm. So, late for sharing your tunes at volume but not completely unreasonable, I decided.
I sighed and rolled off the bed and decided to unpack. Hopefully soon, the music would quit, and I could get to sleep.
Four hours later, just after two am, the music finally stopped. I was so relieved and lay back down on the bed. The quiet was bliss.
Ten minutes later I heard a door slamming and voices in the room next door. Then a new sound system started up. I pulled a pillow around my head and wished the world would just go away.
At some point, the party next door must have ended, or I was so tired I fell asleep anyway despite the music. When I woke, I felt bleary and was not sure where I was. I blinked and looked around at the half-unpacked boxes and the strange room and remembered.
I rolled off the bed and went to get breakfast.
There were plenty of places to eat with prices that would not break the bank scattered among the more upmarket joints that offered artisan bread and organic everything.
After bacon, grits and a stack of pancakes drowned in syrup, I started to feel human again despite my sleep deprivation, and opened up my laptop.
Classes started in a couple of days and I had a reading list I had barely started, but I had a more pressing concern.
I needed to find a job to make ends meet. The weekdays would have to be set aside for my studies, but that left nights and weekends for earning money.
I had already emailed my resume to hundreds of organizations based in the city but had either heard nothing back or received a standard anonymous response. I checked again and there was still no positive news in my inbox.
Well, I wasn’t going to give up. I couldn’t afford to!
And, now I was here in the city, I could take a more direct approach by calling in person into offices and shops and bars and asking to speak to a manager.
I set off full of hope but, after hours of trying, I had achieved nothing. I was left thoroughly deflated. It had been humiliating.
With the sun starting to set in the sky, I slumped down onto a bench tried to think of alternative ways to earn money. Perhaps I could volunteer for medical experiments and risk developing mutant powers? Or perhaps sell an organ? There must have been something I did not need.
I was wondering if leaving home had been a mistake when I noticed a sign in the window of the building opposite.
The building at first glance looked derelict and the sign was just about visible under smeared-on dirt. It read Delivery Drivers Wanted and was handwritten.
It was massively uninspiring – but I was desperate.
I got to my feet and went to look for an entrance to the building.
I found a door round the back in an alley, and broken glass crunched under my feet as I walked up to it. I pressed the intercom and, when there was no answer at first, I spoke into it: “Hello. I saw your sign.”
There was a crackling sound then the door buzzed open.
Here goes nothing, I thought, and went in.
I found myself in a shabby reception area. An air conditioner rattled, and flies circled a dusty light bulb that hung from the ceiling. There was a desk in the centre of the room with no one sitting at it and an open hatch in the wall behind it. Next to the hatch there was another door. One, presumably, that would take you into the rest of the building.
I noticed as well that there was a strange smell in the room – a rank odour that made me want to put my hand over my nose and mouth.
I was wondering what it was, when the door in front of me opened and a man walked in.
He brought a wave of the fetid smell in with him.
From his odour and the way he looked, I don’t think he must have washed or changed his clothes for months, maybe years. His hair was greased into a side parting and his fingernails were caked with dirt.
Worse was to come. “You here about the delivery driver job?” he asked, and his breath carried across the room and hit me in the face.
I should have said, It’s all a mistake. Then I could have got out of there and back into the relatively fresh air of the city. Car fumes would have never smelt so good.
But I said, “Yes.”
“Do you have your own vehicle?” he asked.
“Yes,” I managed to answer while trying not to gag.
“Good,” he said. “When can you start?”
Through the mental haze caused by the assault on my senses, I wondered if that was it? What about my resume? What about references? Did he need to see my insurance and license?
Feeling flustered, I asked, “Do you mean, I’ve got the job?”
“Yep,” he replied. “After you make each delivery, come back to the depot and I will pay you cash in hand. I’ll go get your first package now.”
With that he went back through the door. His smell lingered.
A couple of minutes later, a small brown cardboard box with an address handwritten on it appeared in the hatch.
The man peered through after it. “I got just one rule,” he said. “Do not ever look inside the package. You got that?”
I gulped and nodded and picked up the box.
Back outside, I took a moment to try and regain my composure.
I was both grossed-out and delighted.
Grossed-out because that dude had some serious personal hygiene issues, and delighted because I had found a job and one for which I would be paid in cash as soon as I delivered the package I was holding.
Time to get busy, I told myself and hurried over to my car. I put the package on the passenger seat and set off.
My maps app directed me to an area of old one- and two-story houses tucked away behind high rise offices. They appeared to be abandoned. There were piles of rubble as well in places, that made me think the houses here were in the process of being demolished. That seemed inevitable. Once they were cleared, this would be a prime location for new residential developments.
Until then, it was Gloomville, and I spent a while driving up and down the old streets, trying to read house numbers.
Finally, I found the house I was looking for and parked up outside it. The paint on the wooden boards of the house’s façade was peeling away and all the windows were boarded up. But the number next to the porch matched the one on the package.
Telling myself this must be the right place. I picked up the package from the passenger seat.
It felt sticky underneath.
I lifted it up and looked at the base. A dark stain had spread out over the cardboard. Something inside had leaked.
And, much worse, whatever it was, had leaked all over my car seat.
I cursed. Hoping I wouldn’t have to spend my fee for the delivery on getting my car cleaned, I climbed out of the car and carried the package up to the house.
It was only when I was at the front door that I noticed the package was still leaking.
A blob of dark liquid dropped from the base and landed on the ground next to my feet.
It wasn’t just leaking, it was dripping. I looked back along the sidewalk. I had left a trail of dark droplets between my car and the house.
My first delivery was going downhill and fast. I wanted to hand over the package and get out of there before things could get any worse.
Only, if I rang the bell and handed over the package, the person I gave it to would realize straight away it was damaged.
They’d refuse delivery. Would start demanding compensation. And I wouldn’t get paid.
I couldn’t let the scenario that had played out in my head happen, so I put the package down, then rang the bell, and made a hasty exit.
It was a lousy plan B, but it was all I could think of.
I was almost back at my car when I heard the door open. I crouched down and looked back.
The door hung half-open. There was no light showing from inside and, at first, no sign of anyone there.
Then a hand reached out. Its fingers were long and bony and its fingernails were overgrown and twisted.
These curled, almost claw-like things, scraped over the package and then began to draw it in, into the house and the waiting darkness.
The door closed. I was left crouching there, wiping away a bead of cold sweat which had trickled down my face.
I opened the car door, got in, started the engine and drove away. It had been a very unsettling experience.
By the time I got back to the depot, I was almost feeling better.
When the man who had hired me handed over my payment, I felt a lot better.
“That’s great,” I told him, putting the bills in my pocket.
“Whatever,” he growled. “Be back here tomorrow night. And don’t be late.”
I smiled and headed off.
Back at my student accommodation, I traipsed up the stairs. This time I did not even make it through my front door before I heard the loud musing blaring out. It seemed to be coming from at least three directions.
Resigning myself to the fact that every night was party night where I now lived, I let myself into my room and lay on the bed.
I got no sleep this time and, when I saw the sky lightning with the approaching dawn, I got up and went out to see if I could clean the stain off my car seat myself.
As a street cleaner rattled past in their truck, I popped the lock and leaned in.
In the growing light of the new day, I could now see that the stain was dark red, and I had an awful feeling I knew what it was.
I’d only ever seen this much blood on crime shows on tv, but there it was, soaked into the fabric of the seat.
My shoulders slumped. No amount of scrubbing with a wet cloth and soap suds would get it out.
I got my phone out and was searching online to try and find out how much it would cost me to get the seat cleaned professionally, when I smelled a pleasant fragrance behind me.
I turned and saw the young woman from the evening before. Her long hair was elegantly plaited and she was wearing running gear. She also looked fresh and full of energy.
I rubbed my face. When I’d glimpsed in a mirror before coming outside, I’d seen the dark patches under my eyes. I was exhausted and looked it.
Yet, she had clearly had a good night’s sleep.
I was about to ask her how she did that – but she was peering over my shoulder at the passenger seat.
“Wow,” she said. “Did you murder your passenger last night?”
I was shocked at her accusation and said with a catch in my voice, “N… No.”
Then I saw the cheeky smile on her face.
“I’ve got a job as a delivery driver,” I told her, “And one of the packages leaked.”
“What was in the package?” she asked.
I really hadn’t considered that. I’d been too stressed at the time. I scratched my chin and said, “Raw meat, perhaps? Something rare that you can’t get in a regular store.”
“Could be,” she replied, then added, “Anyway, I need to get going. See you later.”
With that she jogged away.
I went back to looking for a solution to my ruined seat.
After thirty minutes clicking and scrolling, I did not find anything that I felt I could afford, so decided to leave it for a while.
I had a lot of other things I wanted to get done. I needed to arrange my student photo I.D., register with the university library, and spend some serious time on my reading list.
The day passed quickly, and I was feeling pleased with myself as I set off for the depot.
I’d put a towel over the seat so I would not have to look at it, and ‘out of sight out of mind’ was working for me as I pulled up outside the depot.
The miasma of stale armpits and worse met me as I was buzzed in. The man was on the other side of the hatch with a package ready for me. It was around the same size as the last one and looked sturdy enough – and dry.
I wanted to ask if it would stay that way, but to do so, I would risk altering him to what had really happened with my last delivery.
So, I grinned and said, “Great.” Then took the package out to my car.
When I saw that the address written on the package was for a regular apartment block in a good district, I felt reassured that this was going to be a breeze. The journey was easy, and I found a parking space on a well-lit street.
I checked all sides of the package and, relieved to see nothing had leaked out, I put it under my arm and went to find a soon to be satisfied customer’s front door.
There was no answer on the buzzer for the number on the address, so I tried a couple more until someone let me in. The interior of the building was clean and smelt of air freshener and the elevator was working.
I caught it up to the fifth floor, stepped out into a pleasant passageway, and found the apartment I was looking for.
I pressed the buzzer and knocked but there was no answer.
Not a problem, I thought, I’d just leave it outside the door.
I put it down and smiled – and the package moved. It rocked slightly from side to side.
I blinked and rubbed my eyes. I was tired and must have imagined that the package had moved. Surely?
It rocked again, faster this time, and I heard a dull thud come from inside.
I frowned. I wasn’t imagining this. There seemed to be something inside the package, and it was stirring.
A louder thud sounded, and the package jerked to one side. Whatever was in there was exerting some serious force.
The package rattled and shook. The thudding was constant now. And then the package broke open. It was a small split, just below where the address was written on.
I instinctively took a step backwards.
A second break appeared in the package, close to the first, and something emerged through it.
It was dark and sharp and was moving from side to side.
It looked like some kind of limb – and another one was beginning to break free from the first split.
And another – this one from a tear in the base of the package.
As I watched with a mounting sense of horror a dozen dark limbs appeared from inside the package.
Some probed and twitched into space. Others found the floor and, slowly, uncertainly, they began to crawl. Propelled by the legs of the things inside it, the package began to head towards me.
I tried to run away, but I was so freaked out I tripped myself up and ended up sprawled on the floor. I looked up and saw the hideously animated package was almost on me. One of its limbs was flickering against my sneaker.
I did not hear the elevator open, did not realize someone had stepped out from it, until I saw arms reaching down and lifting the package up.
The limbs went into a frenzy, but now they were clawing at nothing.
I looked up – into a face that was twisted with rage.
“What have you done?” the man standing over me demanded. “This rare specimen is to have pride of place in my collection. If you have hurt it, I will sue you!”
With that outburst, he stormed to his door with the package and hurried inside.
I was left still sitting on my backside. “How would you rate your delivery today on a scale of one to five?” I asked the empty passageway then began to laugh hysterically.
I gave it twenty minutes so I could calm down, before driving back to the depot to collect my money.
I found the man waiting once more behind the hatch with a new package.
I wasn’t sure my nerves were up to it and asked, “Do you have another driver who could take it?”
“You do the jobs I allocate to you, or you don’t get paid anything,” he told me with an ugly sneer on his face.
“Fine,” I said under my breath and took the package.
I did not need to look at the address to know where I was taking it because it started to leak blood before I had even got it into the car.
Muttering to myself, I put it on the towel on the passenger seat and set off.
I drove faster than I normally would and arrived at the house in good time. More of its neighbouring houses had been demolished and there was a digger parked up as well. The redevelopment of the area seemed to be picking up pace.
I picked up my own pace, hopped out of the car, and put package down outside the house. Then I pressed the bell and made myself scarce.
I was back in the car when the door opened. I peered over at the darkness revealed.
At the pale figure standing in its midst.
Its eyes were dark voids in its face, its nose was flattened, and its ears rose into sharp tips. It was holding the package in its grotesque grip.
Blood was dripping from the package and, as I watched, the creature’s tongue flickered out and licked the blood. It smiled, showing teeth that looked like shards of glass. Then it retreated back into the house, and the door closed.
I was left terrified. My hands were shaking so badly, it took me three goes to get the key in the ignition and, as I drove away I vowed never to return.
My very short career as a delivery driver was over. I just couldn’t take the weirdness.
When I arrived back at the depot, I did not tell the malodorous man about my decision. I took the money and ran.
Feeling relieved that I’d never have to see or smell him again, I arrived back at my student accommodation.
Even from the roadside, I could hear music blaring out from inside, so I decided to sleep in the car.
I closed my eyes and leant back.
I slept restlessly and when dawn finally arrived, I felt dreadful. I was sitting there, aching all over and feeling about ninety years old when someone tapped on my window.
It was the young woman. She looked more beautiful every time I saw her.
I wound the window down and smiled in what I hoped was an irresistibly handsome way.
“Hey,” she said. “Did you get locked out last night?”
“No,” I replied. “I’m finding it hard to sleep in my room because of all the noise.”
She laughed and said, “Do you want to come up to my room, I have something that will help.”
How could I say no!
Her room was chaotic, with clothes, books and pictures everywhere. She rooted around inside a pile of tops lying tangled on the floor and brought out a small plastic container.
“Try these,” she said. “They’re noise cancelling ear buds. I have the new model so you’re welcome to have these.”
“That’s amazing,” I said. “Hopefully things will get better now.”
“You seem to be doing OK,” she replied. “I mean, you’ve got your job.”
I frowned and told her about the package that had sprouted legs and described the strange figure that I had seen when I dropped off the second bleeding package.
I expected her to be shocked, but she looked excited.
“Wow!” she exclaimed. “That sounds like a vampire, and I love vampires. You have to let me know next time you’re going to deliver to it.”
She gave me her phone number and made me promise to message her.
All thoughts of giving up the job as a delivery driver forgotten, I told her I would, and left her room with a big grin on my face.
That night I headed for the depot building hoping there would be another package dripping with blood waiting for me.
There wasn’t. The man, smelling as rank as ever, told me I had to collect the package from a different location tonight and I’d be given the delivery address for it when I did,
I had zero enthusiasm for this until he let me know where the collection was to be made.
As soon as I was outside, I sent a message:
Hey, I am heading to the vampire’s house now.
Moments after I pressed send, a reply came:
Take me with you!
Yes! I thought and we arranged a place for me to pick her up. Thirty minutes later I was driving through the night with a beautiful girl by my side.
She’d brought a cushion with her so she didn’t have to sit on the messed up cover of the passenger seat and her cheeks were flushed with excitement.
For my part, I had decided to ask her out on a date as soon as I could get the courage and I was desperately hoping she would say yes.
In the meantime, there was the small matter of a package to collect.
I pulled up in my usual place. More houses had been demolished and I guessed the house we were going to was due to be knocked down soon.
I wondered if, perhaps, the strange creature who lived there was moving out because of this.
I must admit, I did not truly believe it was a vampire. It was grade A freaky looking, but that did not automatically make it one of the undead.
Still, I was feeling very apprehensive now the moment to see it face to face again had arrived. I pressed the bell.
My gorgeous companion had refused to stay in the car and had come with me. She was so stoked she could not stand still as we waited for a response.
But there was nothing.
I was about to press the bell again, when she put her hand on my arm and said, “Wait.”
Then she pushed the door. It creaked and opened.
“Result,” she said brightly and stepped inside.
I took a deep breath and followed.
Bugs with far too many legs scurried out of our way as we walked along a dark hallway. There was a large room at the end of the hallway.
I would have been very happy to not go into it, but she was hurrying ahead. She made her way into the room, then came to a halt and gasped.
I walked up to her side and understood why.
The room was lit by a single candle in an ornate gold holder. Dark curtains hung over the windows, keeping the outside world away, and there were bones all over the floor.
I thought of the packages I had delivered and my theory that they had held raw meat.
It looked like I had been right and that this feast dripping with blood had been a regular delivery to the creature that lived here.
My companion took my arm and said, “Look.”
In an ante room, there was a coffin on a table. She walked over to it and looked at the lid. Then she turned round and her eyes were shining as she told me, “It’s got a note taped to it, saying it’s for collection. And there’s a delivery address as well.”
She clapped her hands together and added a delighted, “Amazing.”
I was still not happy about the whole business and said, “Ok, let’s get the coffin in the car then. The sooner we get it delivered the better.”
“After we look inside,” she said gleefully.
I remembered the disgusting guy at the depot’s rule about never looking inside a package, and said, “I really don’t think that’s a good idea.”
She wrinkled her nose up in the cutest way and replied, “Spoilsport.”
But she didn’t ask again, and together we carried the coffin out to the car. It just about fit onto the back seats and I was relieved when we drove away from the house. Being reduced to rubble was the best thing that could happen to the place, in my opinion.
The delivery address was in a part of the city that neither of us had ever heard of and I got completely lost.
Between the stress of that, and the strange package, and still trying to get up the nerve to ask for a date, my guts started to churn and I had to stop off at a diner so I could use their rest room.
I was the only person in the place apart from a tired looking waitress. Once I’d visited the rest room, I bought a couple of coffees to go, even though caffeine was the last thing I needed, then returned to the car.
It was empty.
The passenger door was open and one of the back seats. As I came closer, I saw that the lid of the coffin was open as well.
I started to feel sick with worry. Had curiosity got the better of my companion, and she had looked inside the coffin?
I peered into the coffin through the car window. There was nothing in there either.
I swore out loud and began to look around frantically – and it was then I saw the body lying on the ground.
It was near a dark corner of the diner. I hurried over.
It was the young woman. I knelt down and touched her face. Two trails of blood ran from cuts on her neck.
She had been so full of life, so beautiful. Now, she was dead.
I began to cry.
She must have disturbed the vampire in its coffin, and it had lashed out. Had fed on her and stolen her life.
As I knelt there weeping, I suddenly became aware of movement nearby.
I turned, thinking it might be the waitress, and saw the vampire crouching in the shadows.
Its hideous, bat-like head was tilted to one side and its tongue flickered out. Its mouth hung slightly open and I could see dark red stains on its monster’s teeth.
“You did this,” I said as anger flared inside me. “You!” I screamed.
It looked at me, and it smiled, and then wings unfurled from its back, and it sped into the sky and away.
I was nothing to it. And the young woman it had killed was growing cold on the ground next to me.
I picked her body up and carried it over to the car. My mind was racing and I’m not sure why, but I put her in the empty coffin as gently as I could then closed the lid, and the car door. I think I did not want anyone to see her like that.
I went to sit in the driver’s seat.
I felt utterly lost and alone and more scared than I had ever been in my life.
With dawn still hours away, I desperately tried to think what I should do next.
I was still trying to think, when I heard the back door click open. I span round. Shock sent cold waves through my body. The lid of the coffin was once more loose and it was empty.
And there was someone standing outside the car. Her long dark hair hung down her back almost to her waist.
Feeling as if I was in a dream, I climbed out of the car. She turned to me and smiled. Her lips were pale. Her fangs razor sharp.
“Help me,” she said in a quiet voice. “I am thirsty. I need to feed.”
Since that night, I have stayed with her. I watch over her coffin while she sleeps during the day. After dusk, I drive her to places where she can hunt for new victims to sate her bloodlust.
I will do this as long as she needs me. Because she is my dark mistress. My savage, beautiful creature of the night.
submitted by doomedgeek
to mrcreeps [link] [comments]
2023.05.30 12:36 Impainter SCVII
Hi everyone, I wanted to share my concept of SC VII with anyone and I suppose it is the best place to do it
No visuals there, cause I'm too lazy to make a roster in Ps or smt like that. And sorry for grammar mistakes. I'm not a native speaker
So... First of all: Rollback netcode Custom chars that doesn't fit original characters with gender, hight, messurements are banned from ranked (Like... you can't make a loli bunnygirl with Astaroth's fighting style anymore), as well as some customisation items
Gameplay mechanics... well. I like everything, that SC VI offers, but I would like to return weapon loss mechanic. Like, when you peform an unlocable or take to much damage in block, you lose your stamina. When stamina is ran out. You lose your weapon. However, stamina gauge refils in time
Libra of soul returns
I want to mix arcade and story mode. Make it like in Tekken 4/5 where you fight both important to story chars as well as a regular opponents. However there will be a main storyline like Killik/Xianghua/Maxi trio's in SCVI
Story will be pretty much like in SC II minding the newcomers and SC VI and focusing on Raphael and his jorney to SoulEdge
Roster: (I compared how SC II roster expanded after SC and came up with 23 chars with 1 guest and 3 newcomers) • Mitsurugi • Taki • Killik • Xianghua • Hilde • Talim • Raphael • Yoshimitsu • Nightmare • Ivy • Cervantes • Cassandra • Astaroth • Voldo • Seong Mi-Na • Hwang • Rock • Groh • Azwel • Randy – Mugen from Samurai Champloo influenced char. Young bandit looking for Soul Edge because he wants to become the strongest. Red spiked haired Asian dude with clothings similar to Mugen but with different color scheme. Fights with a sword and break-dance moves. Unga-bunga aggressive char • Lei-ming – Young outcast(race) black-haired girl wearing a white Chi-pao dress with a huge notch and red border, white stockings and black kung-fu shoes. Fighting with Kusarighama. Zonner. A mercenary sanded to kill Hilde. Have a joyful and a bit careless attitude • N’shuru – African warrior who is trying to take a revenge on Cervantes for killing his village. Wears a blue cape, similar to Killik’s one in SCVI, black pans and shoes. Huge bald, black man with a black beard. Fights with a spear. A char with a strong neutral game • Guest char Last Dragonborn from TES. Geralt with Fus Ro Dah
Season 1 DLC: • Siegfried • Maxi • Sophtia • Chai (from Hi-Fi Rush) Just fun well-rounded char
Season 2 DLC: • Setsuka • Viola • Aeon • Chipp (From Guilty Gear)
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2023.05.30 08:03 UDontKnowMe-69 hello im bored and therefore a COMPLETELY WILD hot take that i thought of recently
With round 9 officially happening and completely YEETING all my hopes for a Simo vs Apollo and Leonidas vs Odin matches, I present to you a TOTALLY WILD take since I must be high in caffeine and copium (mostly copium yes).
Heres how I believe the next rounds might go once round 9 is over (who's gonna win Im not gonna say because 1) I am not sure who would and 2) to reduce the chances of my hopes and dreams being debunked by the f*cking mangaka I believe is still among us);
So by the end of Round 9, I believe we will have a glimpse of Sakata Kintoki again as he is about to prepare himself going down to Tartarus and save our boi Siegfried. We gonna see him killing all 72 demons of King Solomon left and right but of course such important place needs to be guarded by none other than the guard dog of Helheim itself Anubis and the reason why I find it odd how this particular Egyptian god was chosen to fight for the gods when in general hes known to choose the Duat (Egyptian underworld) over the natural order of life. Then it hit me; because hes just being hyped to fight for the gods but in actuality he wont be due to his mythological nature plus the fact that the big man of Hel itself, Hades, is gone now and Beelz's whereabouts are still unknown so he most likely had to step down from the fight to watch over the realm just in time to see Kintoki breaking through almost reaching Siegfried. And without any major god left to fend off, we'll be seeing a behind the scenes battle between Sakata and Anubis.
But of course Brunhilde doesn't know about this so the fight goes on. After round 9, she will either be on the defense/offense in securing the next win so she will finally approach Grigori Rasputin along with the valkyrie who will be his Volund and tell him to fight the next round. He will agree and proceed to walk out of the room. But later on when Heimdall starts to announce the next fighters, he will call out to Rasputin and though he will walk out the humans' gate however he will pull a Buddha and switch to the gods' side.
I find the theory of human traitor very odd especially since it's a competition to save the entire race of humans and you will betray them for what cost? And if there was, Siegfried was the oddest choice of them all just because he is a demi-god. But so was Leonidas vs Apollo yet here we are so chances of human traitor has suddenly increased but I just cant imagine Siegfried as a traitor against humanity compared to Rasputin of all people. I mean come on the dude is a monk/priest that claimed his powers were divine so he already had the work dedicated and abilities connected to something godlike. And seeing how he would manipulate all of Russia to get what he wants, what's stopping him from getting what he wants from the gods to serving them as he claimed to be?
So there you go Rasputin turns out to be the traitor after being promised by Odin a special exception among the extinction of humans, having his own Volund too against her will. Who's gonna stop the "Undying Monk of Russia"? This is where ma boi Simo Hayha, the "White Death of Finland" makes his appearance having befriended his valkyrie and turned her into a Volund as he makes his way to the arena while Heimdall makes some quick announcement about our ol' sniper and how bad*ss he is before starting round 10 between Simo vs Rasputin since not only "Undying vs Death" would be a unique theme (outside Anubis as Death), there are stark contrasts that complements the two like being Finnish vs Russian or sniper who fights for peace/freedom vs monk who preaches for control/tyranny.
After round 10, we will go back to Kintoki vs Anubis where we see both are critically injured but after some flashbacks and drama sh*t, both will undergo undefeated main character moments where they proclaim this was the greatest battle they ever had while preparing their final attacks that will conclude to Kintoki's death. Afterwards, Anubis will lay there exhausted to see Siegfried free from his bonds and to hype him up a bit he will kill our poor doggie god as he proceeds to make his way back to Valhalla.
Round 11 will finally be the time Okita vs Loki will take place and that's it just because it was hyped from the start already.
Round 12 Brunhilde will try to finish the match as soon as possible after hearing Susanoo will fight next at the score of 6-5 to humanity but will be surprised to hear that Sakata is missing and even more so when she finds out Siegfried is alive and well, ready to fight the next fight with Brunhilde and we will find out Brun found out about Valkyries turning into Volund because she was already Sieg's Volund. So Round 12 began after introducing the two fighters Siegfried and Susanoo, the legendary dragon slayers who had a history of defying the gods, and it will end with Susanoo winning while Sieg and Brun embrace their final moments together.
And obviously Round 13 will see Nostradamus teaming up with Goll with him explaining he and Brunhilde already had a plan on how they will take on Odin should the time come along with her as his Volund. Though we will see her anxious at first, she will come to terms with it and prepare herself for battle against Odin. And in that round, we will learn more about how Odin and Nostradamus knew it would come to this especially the real importance of Ragnarok (for what purpose I am not sure yet) but yada yada yada Goll's secret power will come to play and be instrumental on Nostradamus' win securing humanity's survival for the next 1000 years.
And yes take this with a grain of a grain of salt this is completely my take not insisting its gonna happen but at the same time think this will happen.
Edit: for rounds 10 and 11 it could interchange idk which will happen first Simo vs Rasputin or Okita vs Loki I'm just certainly optimistic that Siegfried vs Susanoo would be 12 and Nostradamus vs Odin would be 13.
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2023.05.30 04:50 Righteous_In_Wrath_ 11 months after going NC, I forced some accountability on my physically abusive Narc Ex: She’s **currently** sitting in jail for violating a restraining order (Long)
I had a female narc ex, covert with probably comorbid BPD, we dated for 6 intense months from fall - spring 2022. at first I was the perfect love of her life, she would love me always and forever, wanted to marry me, came to my parents house for the holidays, accepted gifts from my mom, ate my fathers home cooked food. I am also responsible from saving her brother from going to prison (can’t give too much details - but eventually the brother stopped talking to her and was still friends with me.) love bombing and hot sex turned into devaluation, turned into physical, emotional, psychological abuse such as hitting me in private and public, throwing food and drinks in my face, breaking my hand with a lifelong injury while I was trying to defend my face, cuts, scars, and a serious traumatic brain injury. In addition there were threats to ruin my career if I told anyone, blackmail threats to steal my property. And of course she would break up with me everyday because I was so terrible, she would cause me intense emotional pain, yell scream, rage, and the next day apologize and come back until eventually she stopped apologizing and it would take longer and longer for her to come back, always less loving, less human.
After the head injury and she said she would clean up the mess she made throwing food all over my face, walls, carpet, and she did not, threatening my career as a licensed professional, tell the police I abused her, I was a wreck. I gained 60 lbs. I was in complex PTSD due to the prolonged traumatization. I had constant nightmares, flashbacks, wanting her to come and love me the way she would and did with other men and would with me if I weren’t so terrible, but I was also afraid of her and didn’t want to see her. she would still contact me when she needed a favor and because of her threats to my career, I complied. I talked to a lawyer about her threats to my career. I was a wreck and fat and I knew she was going on hinge dates with other guys bc “she was only trying to make friends” which actually might be true, she was beautiful and would go out on dating app dates just to get expensive dinners. I finally began to see the light. I was still hungry for her breadcrumbs of love but stronger than before and eventually went No Contact in summer. From late summer through mid fall, she attempted to contact me several times through text first from different numbers saying it was her then from fake numbers pretending to be different women. I also learned she was getting evicted from her building next to mine.
I filed a restraining order though I hadn’t seen her in 4 months and made police reports about her abuse. Since she had just been evicted, it took forever to get her served with the summons. During the process of finding her to get her served, I hired a private investigator and continued to learn the depth of her lies, which I thought I knew by the end due to figuring it out plus what her brother told me, but she lied about her entire biography essentially. I spent at least a month driving like a maniac around the city to all her dozen or more listed addresses to surveillance and find her. I hired really expensive lawyers and multiple PIs and finally found her through a mixture of her brother and looking at her IG story and figuring where they were eating that day for a reconciliation dinner.
She was served with the restraining order summons and for the first time ever, I had the “upper hand” or at least wasn’t under her foot being abused and bossed around because of her threats to my career. Finally we had our first court appearance in Jan 2023, she requested continuances and showed up two more times in court. She contacted my lawyer to try and settle but then stopped replying. Finally our trial was in April and she didn’t show. I was granted the full Order of Protection for 2 years.
The court found domestic violence including multiple lifelong injuries (broken bones, traumatic brain injury), stalking, property damage, false imprisonment, race-based threats to have me arrested on false allegations of abuse/rape, blackmail threats to ruin my career as a physician, extortion to put me in jail in exchange for my condo, hacking into my electronic devices including credit cards and financial abuse, and, after I terminated the relationship when I went No Contact, her continued months-long harassment and attempts to contact me using spoofed numbers, her family members, and fake identities pretending to be other women to try and get me to meet. So that was a month ago with the protection order. On the criminal side, the prosecutor is still deciding whether they can file charges considering it is a historical he said/she said despite texts, audio admission of the TBI, and medical records. Of course when I called the cops both times with the lifelong injuries she told me that if I told them the truth that she would allege rape and put me in prison and destroy my medical career which I spent 12 years building. Now a few days ago I’m coming back from work and I see the Nex sitting on my building patio having wine with a dude. This dude looks like humpty dumpty, and the first time she became aware of him - she and I were working out in my building gym together and he was ogling her, and she called him a disgusting creep. Now humpty dumpty heard we’d broken up I guess and shot his shot, and as a narc she was using him for attention and supply.
But why on earth would you be so stupid to sit outside my patio in my condo building knowing that you have a restraining order? Is it to tell me that she doesn’t care about what I think and will not let me “control” her? Is it to subtly try and hoover me? (When I was in the relationship she would break up w me and I would come crawling back, when I left she started to hoover me harder and harder. Even lots of messages and phone calls from unknown numbers right around the court dates). Is it really simply because she had no empathy or decency or consideration to not come by my place after knowing how much she hurt me??
Regardless, she was there. So I start recording on my phone and confront her telling her she is violating the protection order. She starts talking back nonsense about how she’s visiting humpty dumpty and I don’t own the entire building, and I tell her about my broken bones and near fatal brain injury, current fear, her threats and blackmail - and she basically smirks or doesn’t respond. I walk back to my parking lot while humpty dumpty tries to de escalate, I tell him to screw off and call 911. They come, examine the order, and arrest her. She’s been in jail over the long weekend and will likely face a misdemeanor charge.
She deformed me for life, could have killed me, and after that I still wanted her to clean the mess she made from destroying my condo in a rage over literally nothing minutes after we were lying naked and I was brushing her hair. And I was scared of her and her threats to my career. I was a broken man. That was 15 months ago.
I hit some lower lows but eventually came out of it, and against the odds not only won a restraining order, but tonight she is literally sitting in jail for a criminal violation against me. I wish it was a felony assault charge, but I was able to force accountability on my narcissistic abusive ex, and damn it feels good.
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2023.05.30 03:35 Turdypointerbuck 15M looking for caring friends:)
hey guys! just a trans dude here looking for people who are supportive and kind, and that we can voice chat and share our days together. I don’t care about age or gender, race or ethnicity, just shoot me a dm if you find anything interesting about me! find that below:D ⬇️
I love video games, I play a lot of apex, and Minecraft.
I love music! SOAD and FOB are my favorites, but I’m open to listening to anything!! I get to see Trace Adkins in July:) I like country haha^
I’m an age regressor due to lots of stressors and trauma in my life, so be patient and kind with me please.
I really hope you are having a great day!
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2023.05.30 03:35 Sweaty-Fortune-6535 Other men of color don’t have it easier part 2
This is piggybacking from an earlier u/boorobford
Having been friends with men of all colors, I wanted to give my $0.02 on what I’ve noticed since everyone says that Indian and Asian men have it terribly, and black, Latino and Arab men have it way better. However, I don’t think this is really true. With black men, everyone knows that they get fetishized, but…
That’s only if they’re high status and/or very attractive. When you see really attractive white girls dating black men, the black guy is always either an athlete or an actor, very attractive, super rich, or in a frat. If he’s not any of these, he’s usually half white half black or light skinned, or the girl is dating up in looks. The same usually applies with other attractive non-black women. Even among black women, most black dudes struggle. One of my closest friends who was black would talk about how in order to do well with black women, they had to either be a prospective d1/professional athlete, or basically act thuggish. Even if they were model attractiveness, if they carried more of a white collar aesthetic, they would struggle with black women. Another important thing he said is that they’d sleep around and date regular white guys on the down low, but they’d never out loud admit this because they’d get shamed to hell by the black community and all of society. Based on what I’ve seen black women say on TikTok, I wouldn’t be surprised if more of them in the future start to avoid black men. With Latinos and middle easterners, their struggles are kinda similar
Among both these groups, the top tier white women would only give them a chance if they were white-passing and/or super attractive.
With latinos that are obviously latino, they can get occasional hookups, but they struggle getting ltrs(like black guys), especially out of their race, unless they’re really attractive. Even within dating Latinas, they have to be extremely macho and kind of thuggish too in order to be liked. If they’re nerdy, they struggle with everyone. Latinas are starting to want to date out more, and they do have their fair share of self-haters/white-worshippers.
With middle eastern men that are obviously middle eastern, they have to be really attractive, or really rich to be desired. The reason why you think that they’re super well liked is because they do tend to have white facial features more than Indian or Asian guys and are taller on average than both. One thing that I have noticed is that middle eastern girls are the most white worshipping woc, now more so than Asian women, especially if they’re white passing. So why do they do better?
Simply put, they put more effort into their appearance and game. The one thing that really screws us over as Indian and Asian men is that our cultures heavily discourage us from trying to be better in dating, and this needs to change. In regards to them dating white women, the situation they face is actually not that different from ours.
The reality is that when white women date men of color, they lose a good amount of their status and white privilege, which isn’t true of white men when they do the same. So the guy has to have something about them in order to make up for that, usually being:
A)Super high status/rich
B)Being white passing/half-white
C)Being more physically attractive then they themselves are/very attractive
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2023.05.30 02:45 Drakolf Dragon Rising- 3. Reconcile:
There was this quiet sort of contemplation as the weight of the Cleric's words echoed in our minds.
There were Gods out there, at least one, but likely more, and for whatever reason, we were the ones who had potential access to actual miracles.
Everyone just kind of accepted that this was a thing that had happened, we were terrified to think about it any more deeply than that, yet some had seen it as a sign that there was some kind of intelligent divine force out there and called out to it.
And it had answered.
Nobody addressed it, not until the funeral.
The Cleric stood among the dead, who were gathered and put into caskets, he solemnly addressed the town.
"We stand before proud men and women of this town, who worked a dangerous trade to support their families. Upon their caskets, me and my fellow Clerics have carved their names, There are some of us who would rather let the dead remain dead, whether it is because they are in heaven, or because it cannot be certain that they will, indeed, return."
He cast his gaze around us. "None
have denied me permission to try."
I could hear the weeping of people who were simply devastated, others simply stared forward in abject sorrow. Some watched with hope in their eyes. Hope that one day, we would have our family back.
"It is the duty of the living to carry on, to grant solace to the dead, whether that is in honor of a God, or in honor of oneself, or one's family. We consign these souls to the safekeeping of those whose gentle gaze falls upon us. Whether that be in the arms of Bahamut, or another."
He held his hand out to us. "May peace rain down, and soothe your woes."
There was a subtle lightening of the area around us, followed by a feeling of calm and peace. The weeping petered out.
"I have been given permission to have made a mausoleum for the dead." He said. "For the next ten days, the dead will not decay, during this time, we will dig, until the dead are at rest. Anyone who wishes to help is welcome. Wer tiichir di wer Naflopsola qe acht wux."
The blessing of the Grandfather be upon you.
Everyone went to their lost family members, they were kindly warned not to disturb the salt-covered pennies over their eyes. "It is necessary for the spell to remain in effect." The Clerics explained.
I didn't have anyone who was dead that I particularly missed, but that could have easily been an entirely different story, had we not gone as deep as we had. That said, the idea of a God existing was... I had been a fairly staunch atheist most of my life, and the idea that there was a God felt... weird.
Like, we had proof that there was more going on than met the eye, there was proof that these Clerics got their magic from something
In the next few days, I helped out with digging out the mausoleum. There was something about digging solid, stable tunnels that felt wonderful, We started with exploratory tunnels, if we found any veins of ore, we would mark the tunnel as such and move on. We managed to find one, before settling on a location just outside the Anomaly.
We needed to make it large enough for Humans to walk in, wide enough for them to walk past one another, with enough space to stack up to four caskets. The idea was to use the natural coldness of the underground to help preserve the bodies. Even if they would be restored to their original state, they weren't embalmed, just drained.
The Clerics didn't want to risk something going wrong with preservatives, and cremation wasn't an option since the other resurrection spell, True Resurrection, would take even longer to achieve.
We started with a large antechamber, one that the Clerics intended to have as a shrine and temple to their God, followed by a long tunnel downward, which would lead into the catacombs proper. Stairs would be carved along either side, with a recessed ramp serving as a place to install a lift. We already had Kobolds on the job, 'Artificers', who could make magical items and technology.
Over time, as we worked, the Clerics would pray to their God, asking for the guidance and wisdom to see things through.
During one of our rest periods, the main Cleric approached me and sat beside me.
"Do you need something?" I asked.
"No. Not in the sense that you expect." He said. "I wished to thank you for your help. I understand you prefer your solitude, and appreciate you taking time to aid us."
What he said confused me. "Solitude?" I asked.
He nodded. "The Warren is well aware of how you prefer to be alone, how when this all started, you were among those who were distressed. You consigned yourself to this new reality, rather than accepting it as we had, and in respect of that, we wait for you to find your peace."
"I'm not that
antisocial." I said.
He looked at me, his brow ridge raised. "How many of our names do you know?" He asked.
"I, uh... Well, my brother goes by Tallyn now." I said.
. As though it were only recent, rather than from the start. I do not wish to sound rude or disrespectful, the rest of us have accepted we will never be Human again, I do not think you feel that way."
He was right. No matter how I integrated into the warren, it was always grudgingly. I only practiced magic because it was something I could do, something that could give us answers, something that could at least give us the option to go back. I only took on the name Tallyn, because my own brain forced me to. I still resolutely spoke in English, even though the Humans were getting better with Yipyak every day.
I was the only one who hadn't given up. Or rather, I was the only one who refused to move on.
"My name is Galax, and you are Ruuk."
I nodded. "I just... I don't think we should just give up, there has to be something."
"It is my belief this is a gift." He said softly. "One with unfortunate mistakes, perhaps a wish gone awry, or an attempt at equity, to ensure we would not be outnumbered to our detriment." He smiled. "And that is the least I can say, without preaching, at least."
I rubbed my thumb against my palm. "I... wouldn't mind if you did. Just to have a better idea of what to expect."
He nodded. "Perhaps another time." He said. "For now, I will leave you with this. Of my faith, these are our tenets. Justice and Good above all. Honor and Fealty to the King of the Good Dragons. Honor and respect to righteous innocence. Honor and Duty to the Balancer, to Her Mercy, and to the Justicemaker. Honor and Protection to the lesser races. Honor and Correction to the enemies of Justice and Good. And Honor and Forebearance for oneself."
"Lesser races?" I asked.
"Perhaps a bit unfortunate a term there, for our day and age." He admitted. "But it means people like you and me, we would be considered a lesser race." He thought for a moment. "Honor and Protection to those in the minority. Yes, I believe that is better. May Bahamut see wisdom in this, and if not, guide me to a greater truth."
We finished resting, and at least for the time being, I could understand why he worshiped the God he did.
By the time the mausoleum was finished, a week had passed. The ramp lift was installed and worked, it was capable of holding two caskets at a time, or four people if the seats were pulled up. We all worked to bring the caskets down, before slotting them into their final resting places.
Once the work was finally done, we were invited for a shared meal.
"So, what's the plan now?" I asked Galax.
"We will continue to expand upon this temple." He said. "After all, we will need a place to sleep and pray, not to mention having a place for visitors to stay." He smiled. "It is my hope people come here to worship in peace, and I do hope you come to visit, even if it's just to say hi."
After stepping into the sunlight, after spending so much time underground, I snarled. I really did not like being outside, it was too bright and exposed, and nobody made Kobold sunglasses.
To my knowledge, at least.
Galax's words to me in the catacombs, about separating myself... It made me actually look around and see how much the town had changed. We had sequestered ourselves at the edge of town, making our own tools and living without easy access to technology, simply because we were overwhelmed and needed some place to be. Now, I could see new houses in the place of old ones, large tracts of land that now functioned as its own little village in the middle of everything.
While I stayed separate, unable to be Human, but unable to accept that I was, and likely will be, a Kobold for the rest of my life.
I walked over to my old house, practically abandoned, and walked in.
Everything was coated in a layer of dust, there were cobwebs everywhere, and everything was just as giant as I remembered it being. This used to be my entire life, and now it was just a snapshot of one that I couldn't live in anymore.
There was no electricity going to it, why direct it here if nobody's inside?
The fridge was empty, Mom and Dad emptying it out for me.
"It's taken you longer than everyone else." I turned around to see my brother, his talons clacked against the wood floor, digging slight furrows into it. "Oh, uh, sorry." He said.
"It is what it is." I said.
"Thinking of selling the place?" He asked.
"I don't know what I want anymore." I admitted. "I just... I keep thinking, maybe one day I'll find a way to go back, to return to my life... But this is it, isn't it?" I looked at him. "There's no going back. This isn't even a curse or something I can handle, even if I work my ass off."
Tallyn walked over to me and hugged me, I hugged him back.
After that, and some time just sitting in silence, he said, "You could have the place demolished and have a new house built."
"With what money?" I asked.
"Wait, you still haven't figured it out?" He asked, shocked.
"We abandoned money, like, a month into this. I mean, we got turned into a bunch of little lizard dudes with dragon blood in our veins, money just kind of felt like an arbitrary thing we used. We've been self-sufficient for months at this point, and we did it all through the power of our kind just naturally gravitating toward helping each other out."
"So, wait, we're a bunch of communist lizards?" I asked, shocked.
"Socialist." He replied. "It probably helps that we're a relatively little grouping of people with fairly solid infrastructure, even if we're in the process of fixing it."
"Huh." I sat in silence for a few moments. "So, wait, you're telling me someone's just going to build
me a house."
"You literally spent the last seven days digging out a temple and a catacomb out of the goodness of your own heart." He said. "Money didn't even cross your mind, did it?"
"Well, no, but that's because it was needed." I said.
"Yes, and housing is a need." He pointed out. "Look, we've got a council and everything, just ask them to take this place apart and build you a new one. A building this size would support four storeys for us." You can have it as modern as you want, or you could go full medieval like a lot of us have and go for aesthetic."
"Well, I do like the aesthetic." I said. "But I'm absolutely having electricity, because fuck
cooking over a fire."
He laughed. He invited me to his house, and well, it was cozy. He wasn't having any Human visitors for a while, except in the absolutely huge sitting room.
"There are windows on the interior wall." I remarked.
"Yeah. Sometimes I can't be bothered to go all of the way to the ground floor, and unlike someone
, I can't just leap off and float to the ground."
"What is it that you do?" I asked. "I never asked, because I was too much in my own damn head."
"Well, first thing you need to know is that there are roughly thirteen Classes, fourteen if we ever get a Blood Hunter."
"Nevermind. So, unlike you, most of us don't have one yet. Like, it's there
, but we haven't awakened to it yet. Everyone with some sort of practical skills, they awakened to the easier Classes to awaken to. Druids, Rangers, Sorcerers, Artificers- all have something innate to them that makes it easier for them to awaken. We have one
Fighter, and he's ex-military. We have one
Barbarian, and he's that guy who has anger management issues."
"Getting pissed off is a Class?" I asked.
Getting pissed off regularly
. Now, Bards? Nobody's musically inclined, so that's a no go. Monks? About the best we've got is yoga, and until someone starts learning karate, I doubt we're getting one any time soon. Paladins? Well, they're specifically people bound to a sacred oath
, rather than a God, and until one of us swears vengeance on someone, that's not happening any time soon."
He paused, thinking to himself. "If anyone's a Rogue, they're keeping it hidden. My guess would be the locksmith. Warlocks require making a pact with an otherworldly being, and Wizards are explicitly people who have studied magic long enough to understand how to use it, unlike you, who just knows
"So, like, what? You don't have a Class, so you're screwed until you get one?"
He shook his head. "No. We definitely get stronger
, but we can't use something we don't know we have, and reading about it isn't enough."
I had always assumed that everyone just knew
what they were, but in all actuality, we were the ones who were lucky.
"Do people hate me?" I asked, suddenly self-conscious.
"No." He said firmly. "You've thrown yourself into understanding your Class, even though out of all of us, you're probably the least
knowledgeable. Which is actually fitting. You haven't hesitated to use your magic to help other people, but you don't go around flaunting it like an asshole."
He paused, waving his hand in circles, likely trying to recall something. "Like that Mending spell. Do you even remember how many people come to you to get their broken shit fixed? You just know it's broken, you can fix it, so you do."
I nodded. I hadn't even kept count.
"Or the times you used that Mage Hand to get things that were out of reach for people, like getting that frisbee down, and let's not forget how you've used Pressi- Presiti="
"Prestidigitation." I said.
"That. Just that one spell alone has been monumental in making things easier for people. We actually have Artificers working on gloves that just do
that, because it's so useful." I nodded. I did make a habit of just cleaning things with it because I simultaneously couldn't bother with it, but didn't want to leave it alone.
"Ruuk." He said. "Everyone's been waiting for you to join us, rather than stay alone. We are a warren, all of us, even the Humans. It's time to come home."
[Navigation for 'Dragon Rising'-  
   
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2023.05.30 02:31 Agreeable_Answer_596 Disney is doing a woke version of Fantastic Four lol
After losing hundreds of millions of dollars on Peter Pan, Little Mermaid, etc. Disney now wants to lose more money by casting a muslim dude to play Ben Grimm/the Thing who is a white Jewish New Yorker in the comic lol. And to add insult to injury, it's the muslim was in the Little Mermaid.
Now watch all the white woke Redditors say that race doesn't matter in Hollywood movies but they all will refuse to see it too.
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2023.05.30 02:04 Forsaken-Suspect1270 I'm being followed... except I'm following him.
I'm a 20 year old college drop out and I still live with my parents. After I dropped out, I started working at this place near home. I don't have my license so I don't have a car.
My parents and I didn't have the best, most ideal relationship and considering I dropped out after this last semester, it's safe to say it isn't any better. Luckily, the job I have isn't too far but isn't necessarily close either. It's about a 30-40 minute walk, depending on which route I'd take. I stuck with the shorter one for obvious reasons.
Asking my parents for rides to work just seems a little awkward in my eyes and chances are they won't do it anyways. They have jobs of their own, my fathers usually gone for the majority of the day, working 6 days a week and my mother works from home, in meetings all the time. She tends to snap at me when I come to talk to her while she's in these meetings so I've learned my lesson. Not to mention their little golden child they prefer to take care of and look after and give the world. My 16 year old sister, honor student, athlete, already has several scholarships waiting for her and colleges accepting her left and right. I'm not surprised they care about her more than me. I'm almost 21 anyways.
A little more insight on my parents schedule, my father works Monday - Saturday. He leaves around 5 am and doesn't return until about 9 pm so I rarely see him. My mother works from 8 am to 4 pm and usually spends the rest of her day cleaning, cooking, and spending time with my sister.
And then there's me, working from 7 am to 7 pm every single day as a waitress at a local restaurant. I live off tips and work everyday in hopes I can take my drivers test, buy a car, get a better job and move the hell out.
I've been working at this restaurant for a little over a month now and have been saving up ever since. My main issues aside from making very little at work is how I will ever get to my DMV to take my test. But I choose not to worry about that right now. I always feel bad for asking people for help because I don't want to be an inconvenience.
When I first started walking to work I've always been alone considering how early I have to wake up. I would usually be out of the house by 6:15 to try and make it to work early or leave time for any inconveniences that come my way. I did that everyday for the first month of working. But after that, I started noticing there would always be the same person way ahead of me.
It never really scared me or anything but I always found it pretty unusual that someone would be up and out around this time (aside from myself). I started coming up with possibilities on why I would see this person. Maybe they started a new job and also walk to work. Maybe an early morning walk? Who knows, it's none of my business.
A few days later after this stranger caught my eye, they seemed to be closer in distance to me. Like they aren't as far ahead as they were a few days prior. Am I walking too fast? Are they walking a little slower? Have they left their home a little later? It wasn't too out of the ordinary but I find myself pretty antisocial. I'm not the biggest fan of being close to people or partaking in small talk... especially not when I'm alone at 6 o'clock in the morning so I prefer to keep as much distance between us as possible to avoid potentially walking side by side or anything.
Since I've been closer to this stranger I realize that their route is very similar to mine. They take all the same turns as me which is strange because I swear I've never seen them in the same area as the place I work. I assumed I've just never paid much attention. They are still too far to make out any distinct features.
More days go by and it seems like they went from being 500 ft in front of me to being about 100 ft (if I had to guess). They're close enough to make out clothing and such.
The figure is very very tall, I'd say no shorter than 6'5 or something. They always wore all black. Black, rundown, long-sleeve shirt. Very dingy black pants that appear to be way too big for him, even at his height. Huge black boots that looked like they were falling apart.
All in all, the man basically looked homeless, like he hadn't showered in months. I even noticed a slight limp and he looked severely underweight. But I still can never tell where he's headed or where he's coming from. He's just always on the same path as me.
Thoughts would constantly rush through my head about why he seems to walk with me everyday. It was like he was following me but... in front of me? I don't know, it didn't make much sense to me. What started to really freak me out was the pattern at which he walked, however. It was so similar to mine if that makes sense. When I slowed down, he slowed down. When I stopped he stopped. When I sped up he sped up. I blamed the darkness of the early morning for possibly messing with my eyes and thought I was just thinking too much. I hate to admit it but I was scared, not at the fact that there was a homeless man walking the same trail I was everyday, but the fact he moved the way I did. Or at least that's what it looked like.
On my walk back from work I scout my surroundings to make sure I'm not being followed or in any potential danger. Not once have I ever encountered that man walking behind me so that was a good sign. My family and I live in a pretty small town so that puts me at ease on my dark walks home.
Over dinner with my mother and sister, I brought up the fact that there was this strange man walking my usual route to work. "There's this man that I see every day when I walk to work. It's pretty weird but he's usually very far away from me."
My mother paused for a second then responded, "Have you spoken to him?" She asked.
"No, I haven't. He's too far away. If I want to speak to him I'd practically be yelling." I said.
"Well go up to him and hello! Maybe he's nice and needs a walking buddy." My sister said. She's so naive and young.
"No!" My mom said back, quickly. Her body seemed to have reacted as well, almost as if she were in a panicked state. She cleared her throat and continued. "Um... just..... What does he look like? Have you gotten close enough to see his clothes?" she asked.
"Um... yeah, I have." I said hesitantly. "He wears all black. Super tall. Long and very dirty silver hair I think. Can't see much of it though."
My mom paused for a minute or two, felt like hours though. She looked like she was thinking. "Please, Reagan, whatever you do, don't speak to him... if he ever gets close".
My heart sank. What the hell did that mean? Does she know?! How? I couldn't get a word out for some reason. She just got up and threw the rest of her food away without even getting halfway through her plate and went upstairs.
"What was that about?" my sister asked. And I didn't have an answer for her.
It was the next day and I was about to leave for work. I barely got any sleep because I was thinking so much about my mothers reaction to what I told her last night. What does that reaction mean? Has she been aware of this strange man this whole time? I think it stressed me out more because she still expects me to walk to and from work everyday. This is actually pretty terrifying.
As I get ready for work, I keep my mothers advice in mind.
Don't speak to him.
That one sentence was running through my head like crazy.
I decided to take the long way to work to avoid a possible encounter so that mean leaving earlier.
I opened the front door and my heart sank into the ground. I stood, paralyzed with fear as I saw the man down our porch, slightly off to the left side on the sidewalk, facing the left. He was just standing there, not moving, as still as.... I was.
I stood in the door frame for what felt like an eternity, waiting on the strange man in black to move but he never did. Not until I took that first step out of the house. When I lifted my right foot up, he lifted his. He mimicked my next few steps after I slowly made my way down the steps.
Once I made it down I paused again, so did he. I couldn't fathom what I was experiencing. My heart was racing, 200 beats per minute. I was probably no more than 15 ft behind this dirty old homeless man. I was close enough to smell him and he reeked. I couldn't even describe the smell but it basically burned my nostrils. I moved my hand up to cover my nose and his hand goes up with mine. I think I've accepted the fact that he mimics every single one of my movements.
He continued to face forward, never turning to look at me so I had no idea what this man's face looked like.
I didn't realize how much time had gone by as it was almost 6:30. There wasn't much time for me to take the long way but what use would it be if he was here in front of me.
I started on my journey a lot slower than I would like. I considered going back in the house to steal my mother's keys and drive myself but would that mean he could follow me inside my house? I wasn't going to take that chance.
5 minutes into the walk it had been apparent that the man was harmless for the most part. he never turned around or even spoke. There were a few cases where he twitched violently causing me (or us, rather) to stop abruptly. Aside from that, it was just a dirty old man walking to the same destination as myself presumably. Being behind him I could really get a gist at how tall this guy is. Probably way taller than 6'5, maybe pushing 7 ft
I made it to the restaurant. I walked toward the door but it seemed like he walked way past it. I turn to go through the door and he turns and faces the brick wall to the left of me and just stands there. I continue to move forward slowly but the man hadn't moved, assuming he couldn't keep walking because of the barrier. I took this as an opportunity to tell my boss about the man following me since it became very clear he was.
I ran to the back in a panic and rushed my boss to the door in hopes he would do something about the strange man in black.
"He's outside to the right! He's been following me for days now!" I said frantically.
My boss stepped outside and looked right. Then looked left. One more look right and he walked back in, shrugging his shoulders. "I don't see any old man in black."
Is he serious? You can't miss him, nor his smell. I rushed out the door and looked both directions, he was right. The man wasn't in sight. And I couldn't smell that odor at all, like he had never been there. No, there was no way I imagined it.
"You have to believe. I've seen him for days, weeks even. I was just behind him my entire walk here he has to-" I was cut off by my boss.
"You told me he was following you. Now you mean to tell me you were behind him? Reagan, your story isn't making any sense. We're opening soon, please hurry up and clock in and get to work. I'm not in the mood for your games today." He walked off back to his original location.
I couldn't believe he didn't take me seriously. What was there to lie about? I know what I saw, I know I'm not a liar. I couldn't have imagined any of that... right?
I sighed. Before I walked back to clock in, I turned to the door one last time. I screamed at the top of my lungs to see the man standing in front of our glass door. He appeared to be slouched down because of his height to get a view inside. His hands were cuffed around the glass but his head was turned... like mine was. His body faced the glass and his hands were positioned as if he was peering through but turned when I did.
My boss ran out of the room one last time, yelling at me, "What the hell is wrong with you, Reagan?! What's with all this screaming?!"
"The door! He's at the door-" I turned back to the glass, and to my surprise, the man left. Am I going crazy? Did I just imagine all that?
"Are you out of your mind?! There's nobody at that door!!" he snapped.
"B-but... Mr. Q I-I promise you, I'm not making this up, I saw him I really did I-" I stuttered over my words before he spoke up.
"Is this supposed to be some game or something? Some joke, because I don't find it funny! You've got one more time or you're being sent home for the day, I don't have time for this! Get to work, NOW!" He stormed off one last time.
I stood in the middle of the restaurant for a minute and turned back to the door. He wasn't there.
I have a million thoughts racing in my head, but I can't think about my tasks or duties for the life of me.
About 3 hours ago go by and after a few spilled drinks, several dropped plates, and many messed up orders, my boss took the initiative to send me home for the day. I was supposedly "letting my imagination get the best of me" and "needed to rest for the day", but I know what I saw... no one was going to make me seem crazy.
Before I left, I asked if he or one of my other coworkers could at least watch me walk away to lessen the chances of this strange man in black following me, since he doesn't seem to appear when there's other eyes on him. He said he couldn't go himself but he would send one of the cooks who was getting off to watch me walk before he went on his way.
His name was Rodney. Rodney was a quiet guy, looked to be around my age. It was an awkward silence between the two of us so I decided to break by telling him the story about the strange man in black.
Before I could finish my story, Rodney seemed to panicked. "Wait... you said he's really tall and wears black?" He asked
"Y-yeah," I responded hesitantly, "why, what's wrong?"
"Does he smell like a mix of road-kill and sewage almost?" he asked. He was incredibly spot on.
I froze and stopped walking, so did he. I looked around to make sure I was still safe.
"Dude.. you shouldn't have told me that..." Rodney's face goes red and he looked very scared, looking around like he was running from something.
"W-why not... why can't I tell you?"
"It.... he..." He stuttered over his words, and at this point he looks completely freaked out.
"Rodney, you're scaring me, why shouldn't I tell you that? What's gonna happen." Now he's got both of us freaked out. I'm shaking while I wait for him to respond.
"He gets a little angry when you talk about him. Just a little more aggressive, kind of." He said.
"What the hell do you mean 'aggressive'?!"
He paused, "How many people have you talked to about him?"
"My mom, my sister, Mr. Q, and you..."
"Holy shit... okay uh.." He said, "did you bring up his smell to anyone?"
"N-no, not his smell. I only just started smelling him today." I mention.
He sighed a sigh of relief, "okay... okay that may be okay. That means he's close to you but he won't be too aggressive just....." he paused again.
There was a small silence between us for a few seconds.
"I'm sorry, I can't. I can't walk with you anymore. I will watch you go from here but you're gonna have to walk the rest of the way yourself. He won't show up if I'm watching you so you should be fine for the most part. How long is your walk?" He asked me.
"About 30 minutes..."
"Oh man, you're fucked. I mean-! You're not, I think you'll be fine just.... whatever you do, don't speak to him. And don't look at him."
My heart was through the ground at this point, beating out my chest. This is now the second person to tell me not to speak to whoever this strange man in black is.
I didn't speak to him again, I just started to slowly walk away. "Good luck.." he said faintly as I put distance between us.
I looked back at him every 8 seconds, he was always still there. He really was going to watch me walk away. Unfortunately, I was coming up to a street where I'd have to take a left.
I crossed the street and turned left, my head still looking left and back across the street where Rodney slowly started to disappear around the corner, giving me one last wave.
I didn't want to face forward, it was like my face was stuck looking to my left.
I felt a slow breeze brushing through my hair which I found strange considering there wasn't a breeze anywhere else.
I turned my head forward and what I saw made my heart rush so fast I couldn't even tell it was beating anymore.
To my right, was a long, wrinkled, dirty face only a few centimeters away from my right cheeks. From the very corner of my eye I can see that the strange man in black was walking right beside me, not making a single sound with his steps. Body facing me, torso slouched down to be at the same height as me. He was walking sideways in a way, still keeping up with my steps, never missing a beat. His smell filled my nose and I was so close to gagging and throwing up.
I felt his breath on my face and it sent chills down my spine every 2 seconds. My head and heart was racing. I almost passed out. My body felt heavy and lifeless but was on auto-pilot. Just walking even though I felt I couldn't control my limbs. Those two rules were rushing through my brain at the speed of light.
Don't speak to him. Don't look at him.
It felt like I had been walking for hours but I probably didn't get any further than a few feet.
Don't speak to him. Don't look at him.
I can still see everything in my peripheral, the man's large wide eyes hadn't blinked since he started walking next to me.
Don't speak to him. Don't look at him.
My mind couldn't fathom the amount of dread I had for this walk home. It was going to take a million years with the strange man in black next to me.
Don't speak to him. Don't look at him.
When I thought it couldn't get any worse, he spoke. "Why won't you speak to me?" His voice croaked, deep, hoarse, and slow.
Don't speak to him. Don't look at him.
I didn't dare to open my mouth to speak back.
Don't speak to him. Don't look at him.
"Do I smell bad?" His voice changed, Everything about it changed. It was higher, like a woman, not a hoarse or scratchy."
Don't speak to him. Don't look at him.
"Hey, look over here." His voice changed again. I was a child's voice. But more distant, like it was coming from past him, between the trees. And I noticed his mouth didn't open when he said that one.
Don't speak to him. Don't look at him.
"You can trust me, don't listen to what Rodney and Mother said." Still in a distant child's voice.
Don't speak to him. Don't look at him.
"I'll go away if you look at me and say 'hi'."
This was going to be a long walk....
About 30 minutes passed and I was sweating bullets, shaking. The man hadn't moved from my side at all. Not an inch from my face. He spoke to me the entire walk. I felt like I was going crazy.
I unlocked the door and walked in. My sister was sitting on the couch watching TV. I stood in the door frame, unable to move.
I could see my sister smiling from the couch. "Hey big sister." she said cheerfully, not looking at me.
"Rachel.... whatever you do, don't-" she cut me off.
"I already know Reagan. I know about it all." her gaze never left the TV. "Why did you think I told you to go up to him and say hello." Her smile dropped. "But I see you're not as stupid as you seem."
She knew... everyone knew. My family knew. She wanted to sabotage me. Get me kidnapped or fucking murdered... She knew! That little brat. Not only did fear run through my body, but so did anger.
"What will happen... if I look at him?" I asked. She didn't respond. "Rachel!" I yelled, not loud enough to disturb my mothers work.
"Just look at him. Say hello. He's nice." She said smiling again.
"Just look at him. Say hello. He's nice." that sentence echoed to my right. Same pitch as my sisters voice and everything.
I was stuck. I didn't know what to do. What was there to do?
It's currently 11:04, that same morning. The strange man in black is laying in my bed with me. Still close as ever as I lay and type this. I'm numb to the smell of him, and I'm no longer scared. I feel nothing and everything at the same time.
He keeps speaking to me. He sounds like my mother, my father, my sister, my boss, everyone I know. He says whatever he can to get me to look.
Maybe one peak won't hurt, right?
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2023.05.29 23:28 ralo_ramone An Otherworldly Scholar [LitRPG, Isekai] - Chapter 7
As the pack of Black Wolves swarmed the Wendigo, Elincia and I crawled behind the ferns trying to get away from the fight. Part of me knew I was being a burden to Elincia. With her night vision and elvish agility, she could probably break through the circle of Black Wolves.
The fight intensified, the chaotic barking of the wolves was deafening and the screeching cries of the Wendigo filled the valley as it clawed and crushed the lesser monsters in its wake.
Suddenly, a Black Wolf landed in front of us. Elincia's eyes were wide open and her face blanched, devoid of the little color it naturally had. The Black Wolf was wounded, its hind legs broken and its ribs exposed like white knives protruding through its skin. Elincia nocked an arrow but she wasn’t fast enough. The wolf let out a long howl before the arrow landed between its eyes.
Elincia’s eyes reflected pure and distilled terror as the Wendigo leaned over the ferns, just by our side, with its eyes fixed on the corpse of the Black Wolf. For a brief moment, the moon lit up the body of the monster. It was a tall bipedal creature with leathery slate-black skin. Its limbs were long and gnarled, and ended in long brackish claws. Its face was covered by an ivory deer-like skull. The slits in the skull revealed two bloodshot eyes that surveyed the surroundings with ill intent.
The System description said that the Wendigo was once a powerful shaman who got turned into a monster by corrupted mana. A shiver ran down my spine as I wondered what kind of unholy metamorphosis had created such a creature.
The Wendigo waded the fern bed, just above our hideout. I could hear the Wendigo’s heavy breathing above my head. The smell of rot was almost unbearable. Elincia covered her mouth with both hands as the creature’s arm touched the ground a few centimeters from my leg. I changed the weight of my body and tried to fold my leg. A twig broke under my hand. [Awareness]: You have been spotted.
The Wendigo’s eyes snapped directly to Elincia and before I realized what I was doing, I pulled the trigger, shooting point blank directly into the creature’s head. The muzzle flash lit the forest for an instant and my ears rang. The Wendigo stumbled back, burying its claws on a tree to not fall. The creature clung there as the blood poured from its shattered skull.
“Gottem!” I yelled, thinking the Wendigo was as good as dead.
Elincia grabbed the neck of my jacket and pulled me back through the ferns just as the Wendigo raked its claws in a deadly arc just a few centimeters from my face. The creature screeched in anger.
“How in the flying spaghetti monster is that fucker’s alive?!” I said as Elincia pushed me behind a boulder, out of the Wendigo’s reach.
“I don’t know what spell you just used, but stay put.” The woman yelled but her voice came muffled under the insistent ringing in my ears. Luckily, [Awareness] helped piece together what she had said.
Without waiting for any confirmation she turned around and ran through the forest, putting some distance between herself and the Wendigo. Elincia’s bright emerald eyes shone behind the bushes as she nocked an arrow and pointed at the creature. I noted a surge of mana emerging from the woman's body and the arrow head shone with a silvery gleam. She let go and the arrow whistled with an unnaturally high pitch, burying deep into the wendigo's calf. Piercing Arrow. [Identify] Basic archery skill that improves the projectile’s piercing capacity.
The Wendigo’s screech rocked my spine and I knew I needed to put an end to the fight quickly. If the creature had enough defense to withstand a point blank shot, it should also have similar offensive capabilities.
Ignoring Elincia’s commands, I peeked over the boulder. The forest was pitch-black and the skeletal figure of the Wendigo blended with the trees.
“Come on, Robert, use your head.”
I hoped Elincia’s night vision didn’t make her eyes too sensitive to bright lights.
Pushing the mana out of my body I conjured a cold blue flame in the palm of my hand that illuminated the forest around me. Shredded corpses of a dozen Black Wolves covered the landscape.
The Wendigo stopped in its tracks and turned its head towards the flame of mana in my hand.
Without hesitation, I raised the muzzle of my shotgun and fired. The spray of metal shredded through the Wendigo’s spidery arm, leaving it hanging from a single tendon. The wound was gruesome but it wasn’t enough to stop it. The Wendigo glared at me and crossed the distance between us in a heartbeat.
With no time to reload, I dropped the shotgun and reached for my knife.
My hand closed around the handle of my knife and set my mana free. A swirl of shining blue particles surrounded me and turned the small knife into a blazing shortsword that lit the forest around me.
[Swordsmanship] injected information directly into my brain. Distance, speed, trajectory. The Wendigo tried to tear me apart but I sidestepped to the right just in time to dodge, then, I hacked diagonally but the mana sword bounced off the Wendigo's healthy arm, leaving only a small scratch.
It was harder than the Elder Black Wolf.
My mana sword was enough to cut the skin of the creature, I only needed more power. I poured even more mana into my knife turning it into a blue beacon in the dark casting the shadows of the forest away. The mana blade grew until it was the length of a two handed sword.
Blood stained the Wendigo’s cracked skull and its wounded arm flailed around lifelessly. It might not be weak to buckshot but it was weak to magic. And I had a lot of magic. The Wendigo followed me with its gleaming red eyes. Its movements were cautious but I didn’t let my guard down. I had to fight defensively. If the monster reached me once, it was over.
Suddenly, an arrow bounced off the Wendigo’s skin. The creature seemed to forget about me because it turned around and bolted towards Elincia. Just as the Black Wolf had attacked me back in the ravine, the Wendigo seemed to prioritize the weaker combatant.
“Run, now!” Elincia yelled at me. She stood her ground, nocking a second arrow and aiming at the three meter tall creature running her way.
“You run!” I replied as I ran behind the Wendigo while [Awareness] fed a stream of information directly into my brain. I couldn’t let it reach Elincia.
There was no time to retrieve and reload my shotgun and no time to experiment with [Mana Manipulation]. I remembered my new skill. [Stun Gaze].
Without even reading the skill’s description, I looked at the Wendigo and activated [Stun Gaze]. The spell hit the creature and bounced back at me. A stabbing pain shot through my eye, and into my brain. I let out a grunt of pain and pressed my free hand against my face. Skill failed! Wendigo Lv.39 cannot be stunned. [Identify] Your level is too low to perform this action successfully.
[Stun Gaze] seemed to anger the Wendigo because it tried to stop its frantic race towards Elincia, stumbling on its ruined arm and crashing against a tree. I pumped even more mana into my knife and the blade got longer, broader, and heavier. Part of my brain wondered why a mana blade could have weight if the mana itself was weightless, but the wounded screech of the Wendigo silenced my thoughts.
I couldn’t allow fear to paralyze me if I wanted to save Elincia. [Awareness]: Frightened status, resisted.
I let my mana flow free, further increasing its length until it was hard to wield. Suddenly, I felt as if I had been thrown into an ice-cold pool. A shiver ran down my spine and I knew I couldn’t sustain my technique for long. My mana pool was getting dry. You have obtained Mana Depletion (Advanced). Temporary
I ignored the system prompt. The Wendigo towered over me and tried to reach me with its sharp claws. I blocked with my mana sword and with a furious strike, I shredded the Wendigo’s claws. The creature staggered back as I waved the sword around like a giant torch on its face.
Another shiver ran down my spine, threatening to lock my joints in place, and I knew I didn’t have much mana left at all.
I used [Stun Gaze] again and braced for the pain. The spell ricocheted back at me and I felt a stabbing sensation in my eye. This time, the Wendigo froze for a millisecond, just enough for my [Swordsmanship] to find an opening. I slashed downward from left to right, putting all my strength in a single attack.
The blade sliced through the Wendigo’s skin, meeting more resistance as it went deeper into the creature’s body until it lodged deep within its chest. Instinctively, I tried to retrieve the sword but it was stuck. I closed my eyes and waited for the Wendigo’s claws to shred my body. But the blow didn’t arrive.
Dark crimson bloom of blood stained the Wendigo's hide, illuminated by the fading light of the mana blade. The Wendigo produced one last weak screech and fell to the ground just as the light of my blade failed. Level up! Level up! Level up! Level up! Level up! You have obtained Mana Depletion (Critical). Temporary
My vision blurred and my legs faltered, the only thing that kept me on foot was the mana sword stuck in the Wendigo’s spine. When my last speck of mana was burned, the blade disappeared and I fell back but before I could hit the ground, Elincia caught me.
“We fucking did it!” Elincia said with a frenzied smile on her face. Then, she wrapped me in a tight hug that pushed all the air out of my lungs. I couldn’t help but notice how strong her arms were.
If I had to guess, she had leveled up a couple of times.
I didn't want the embrace to end but Elincia pushed me back and helped me sit on the forest bed. The moonlight shone a hole in the canopy, casting silver sparkles on her hair. She smiled enthusiastically and patted my back with a little too much strength.
“I swear I thought we were dead, but then you raised the metal thingy and bam! One arm less! You were pretty cool out there.” Elincia beamed. Her chest went up and down at an alarming rate and she had to take a moment to calm down. “I think I’m still a little deaf.” She added with a smile from ear to ear.
Leveling up was a hell of a drug.
“Praise me more.” I rasped as I let out a weak laugh. Both my body and my mana pool felt like a piñata at a children’s party.
Elincia’s expression suddenly became serious and a shadow of embarrassment flirted with her face. “Thanks for not ditching me back there, and I’m sorry if I was too harsh with you. You are a good man, Robert Clarke.”
I didn't know how to answer. It had been quite a while since I had received a compliment and my brain was too tired after being overfed by [Awareness]. I mumbled something unintelligible. Not even [Master of Languages] could help me to find the right words, however, I didn’t have to search more because a sudden prompt slapped my field of vision. New title acquired! Hot for Teacher. [Identify] Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad, I’m hot for teacher.
“I’m not a pathetic dude who falls for the first girl that talks nice to me…” I stuttered as my consciousness slowly slipped away. The edges of my sight slowly blurred. You have obtained Denial Lv.1. Temporary.
“Oh, fuck off.”
Elincia’s worried face floated in front of me. “Rob? Are you okay? If you talk in your weird language I can’t understand.” She said with a hint of panic in her voice.
It might come off as judgmental and foolish, but I didn’t believe in love at first sight. It seemed too frivolous to me. No matter how cute, funny, and caring Elincia was, there was no way I was falling for her. And there was the fact she had a kid and, probably, a husband. You have obtained Denial Lv.2. Temporary.
I wanted to fight back, fight against the idea I was falling in love, but my mouth couldn’t move anymore. The world around me darkened and my body became too heavy to sit straight. Elincia tried to keep me awake, first softly hitting my cheeks then shaking my shoulders. I tried to growl but no sound came through my lips.
“Rob? Rob? Don’t close your eyes, Rob.” Elincia said.
But I was so tired.
Elincia frantically searched her pouch for a small vial of translucent liquid. She pulled the cork and smelled the contents. Whatever scent she was looking for, it seemed to make the grade. Elincia opened my mouth and poured a drop beneath my tongue. I felt the effects of the potion spreading through my body, filling the hole inside my mana pool if only a little bit.
The last thing I heard before losing consciousness was Elincia’s concerned voice.
* * * * * *
I woke up with the first rays of sunlight next to the remains of a campfire. More specifically, my [Awareness] skill awakened me with a stream of information filling my brain. The sound of the birds, the position of the sun, my bodily condition. I ignored it all. I felt drained. If a creature wanted to eat me I couldn’t do much to defend myself.
No. I had made the decision to stay in this world, now I had to face the consequences of my actions. Begrudgingly I opened my eyes just to find Elincia sitting on the other side of the campfire, by her side there was my shotgun and my knife.
“Morning.” I greeted, stiffly sitting up and taking a long sip from my water bottle.
“Morning, hero.” She greeted me with one of her mischievous smiles. However, this time I noted a hint of mistrust in her voice.
“Something happened?” I cautiously asked. After receiving that silly title from the System I had dropped like a sack of potatoes. I glanced at Elincia, searching for answers, and I couldn’t help but notice both my weapons were on her side of the campfire.
“Look, I’m not accusing you of lying or anything, but you are not a Scholar.” Elincia said with a conflicted tone. “After what you did to the Wendigo last night I know you have a fairly high level. What are you really? A Runeblade? A Spellblade?”
“What do you mean?” I asked cautiously.
Elincia’s bow rested on her lap.
“Killing a Wendigo isn’t a feat a low level Scholar could achieve, I’m not that dumb. So tell me what those skills were.” Elincia replied pointing at my weapons. “Your explosive spell pierced through the Wendigo’s skin but Scholars can’t learn Elemental magic. Much less such powerful spells. Same goes for your [Mana Blade]. That’s a Spellblade skill, not a Scholar skill.”
I stretched my back and drank another sip from my water bottle while [Awareness] filled my brain with information. Elincia’s accusations revealed that she couldn’t peek into my status screen. It was a relief to know the System had some sort of privacy settings in place considering my last title, but privacy also made things more difficult.
“The artifact you have next to you is called a shotgun. It is a non-magical item that shoots high speed metal pellets created by a… Tinkerer.” I explained but Elincias facial gesture still showed doubts. “You probably tried to use it but it doesn’t have ammo in it. You can’t shoot a bow without an arrow nor can you shoot a shotgun without one of these.” I added pulling one of the remaining two shells from my pocket.
“Explain.” She said.
Next, I proceeded to explain how to operate the shotgun. Elincia opened the barrels and I explained how the explosive powder sent the pellets through the barrel at ridiculously high speeds.
“I’m not going to perform a demonstration because I only have two shells left. Without ammo, a shotgun is as good as a club.” I said as Elincia tried the mechanism without a shell inside the chamber. Bow and arrow safety might be similar to trigger discipline because Elincia kept the muzzle away from any of us and only put the finger on the trigger when she was going to shoot.
“What about the [Mana Blade]? There is no way your knife is a magic item, no matter how much mana I poured into it I couldn’t make it work.” Elincia continued with the interrogation.
“What do you mean? That was [Mana Manipulation].” I replied, summoning a small mana knife in the palm of my hand with the leftover magic power I had. Elincia’s mouth gaped.
“You are mana depleted! You are not supposed to be able to do that!” The half-elf woman jumped on her feet. “You can’t materialize a magic blade without the proper skill!”
I shrugged my shoulders and shaped a second mana knife.
I already suspected that my mana pool was something out of the ordinary and now I knew to what degree. The amount of mana I had was probably thanks to the System. The thought of telling her about my world crossed my mind. A world without magic, without classes, and without skills. A world where one had to practice for years and years to become minimally proficient at any task. I wanted to tell Elincia about the marvels of the modern world but I feared she took it as the words of a madman.
People who claimed to have traveled to other dimensions were deemed crazy back on Earth. In these lands it couldn't be much different. For Elincia, a systemless world might sound like a thing from fantasy.
In another situation I would’ve dismissed the allegations calling them baseless, however, deep down I wanted Elincia to believe in me. I scratched my chin, deep in thought. Actually, there was something I could try that might prove that I was a Scholar.
I used [Identify] on her. Name: Elincia Rosebud, Half-Elf (Light-Footed, Night Vision). Class: Alchemist Lv.26 Titles: Governess, Wild Child, Bad Reputation, Loner, Copper Alchemist, Favorite Teacher (5). Passive: Archery Lv.3, Tracking Lv.5, Farsight Lv.1, Foraging Lv.5, Purify Water. Skills: Potion Crafting Lv.3, True Shot Lv.1, Piercing Shot Lv.1.
Elincia’s potion pouch hit my face before I could react, breaking the skill contact and vanishing her character sheet.
“Hey! Are you identifying me?” She said in an unusually high pitch.
The half-elf cheeks were fiery red, contrasting with her usual paleness. While her hand searched for another projectile to throw in my direction, I pondered about my findings. Elincia’s skills and passives were fairly low level compared to her class level. It was possible both numbers were independent from each other. Class level might rise by gaining experience from monsters while passives and skills might grow by mastering said skills.
A twig hit my forehead, crashing my train of thought. At least I had discovered the etiquette regarding identifying other people. Despite the fact I would’ve died of shame if someone saw my titles, I tried to identify Elincia one more time as vengeance for the twig.
“Okay, okay, okay! You are a Scholar, I believe you! I’ll fulfill my part of the bargain. I’ll take you to Farcrest.” Elincia said, trying to regain some composure. She was still red as a beet. “But that doesn’t mean I completely trust you, hero.”
____________ First Prev
____________ Discord Royal Road
submitted by ralo_ramone
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 23:13 TheRimReaper99 New PVE server, Rp, Races and classes and much more!
| || | submitted by TheRimReaper99 to ConanExilesServers [link] [comments]
Server Name: The Lotus
Server Region: EU
Server Type: RP-PVE with the chance for PVP(arena) We Do allow ERP, however keep it to local and out of hubs 🙂
Custom Conan lore:
- Custom Conan lore to include a wide array of different races, 'Play how YOU want to play, come and shape the story with us! Age Restriction: 18+
Server Modlist: With over 50 mods, we have something for everyone, no matter the play style. For the full list please click the link below, some key highlights are:
SvS Ext&SvS 2,
Dudes Decor & Dudes Deux,
Indrids Races and Classes,
Thrall Wars Dungeon Mod https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2924948939
Server Description: - Discover the mythical remains of the Exile with AoC and The Darkwoods! With daily and weekly quests to stock up on gold, where both admins and players can run their own events! - Play how YOU want to play - with a variety of customization mods, as well as the option to choose from a mix of races (such as; beastkin, abyssal, celestial - all with their own shapeshift), with boss spawners and little fun side-quests to keep you occupied, as well as a friendly community to help you grow. The Lotus is a server where it's players' suggestions and input are valued - a safe space for new players and experienced players alike - ALL are welcome! This is an English-speaking roleplay server, where RP is rewarded!
We have 3 main Hubs on the server where you can get quests visit shops to spend your coin or meet up for RP!
For more info join our discord & come chat! https://discord.gg/Q4TWXWNhbF
2023.05.29 23:03 Nsxd9 I hate racist people and I hate people who disregard it from racism to it being a YOU problem
I hate anybody who’s racist with an amazing passion. And I really don’t trust people that when I tell someone I was targeted cause of my race, they denounces it like “I haven’t seen any racism towards these people here”, or “people are nice maybe your the problem?”.
It seems like all I can do about being racially abused is rant. Yes people call me terrorist cause I’m the problem sitting in the corner drinking my own coffee doing my course work and minding my business.
It hurts knowing that now my happiness/energy levels are taking a hit because some people genuinely don’t want any interaction or whatever to do with me simply because of a stupid colour?
And as of recently when I try to seek comfort or help from others, people throw the situation back at me like there MUST be something wrong with me that’s why someone behaved a certain way and not because they’re racist…
I’ve developed this unhealthy doubt in my head in certain situations that I need to learn how to undo yet I feel like at times, I see it, when their decisions are motivated by race, you can somewhat always tell.
It’s confusing in certain situations because did I do something wrong that I can maybe address next time that was an actual decision I made that was bad or are you just another racist piece of shit that’s moving cause a brown dude sat beside you and the first thing you connect is the stereotypes/negativity?
If your racist and your reading this, I hope you step on Lego while it’s pointing upwards and then lands awkwardly as you step on it. If you denounce racist acts like they didn’t happen or “others have it worse” or try to attack the person and not be supportive then screw you too shitbag.
And for anyone who’s not, I really hope you have a wonderful day :)!! Stay safe!! It’s a very selfish and greedy world. I truly wish you well (non-racist) stranger.
submitted by Nsxd9
to Rants [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 20:47 J_J_Grandville [USA-NJ][H] PayPal/Local [W] Gamecube Games (Mario, Star wars,...)
I'm just a simple dude trying to make my way to some Gamecube games. I have listed below which games I'm looking for. As for state and condition, I'm mostly looking for games that have the disc and box, but not necessarily CIB (in decent condition), unless otherwise stated!
- [ ] Pikmin 2
- [ ] NBA Street V3
- [ ] Both Donkey Kong Games
- [ ] Wave Race
- [ ] Alien Hominid
- [ ] Beach spikers: Virtual Beach Volleyball
- [ ] Super Mario Strikers
- [ ] Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
- [ ] Wario World
- [ ] All the Harvest Moon Games
- [ ] Blow out
- [ ] Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
- [ ] Mission Impossible: Operation Surma
- [ ] Judge Dredd
- [ ] Crazy Taxi
- [ ] Cel Damage
- [ ] Die Hard
- [ ] Samurai Jack (ONLY want case & manual)
submitted by J_J_Grandville
to GameSale [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 18:39 Data_shade I traded my GR86 for a MIAT
Hi, it’s me.
In January I traded my GR86 for an MIAT. Since then I’ve put about 2500 miles on including no track days and no auto cross runs, only 3 dealership visits for manual transmission failures. PHOTOS Why did I get rid of the GR86?
Space. The GR86 was simply too big inside, I could fit my wife's boyfriend, and their two kids in the back with car seats, however my passengers were miserable in the cramped GR86 so I downsized to leave them at home. Now my wife's boyfriend and I can ride the highways and the byways, top down. Me being me, I just couldn’t resist paying markup to get into the MIAT ecosystem, free market foresight be damned. Why the MIAT?
I realized this segment is ideal for me. Many people moan about MIAT not being fast, but I’ve won more red light drag races against prius’es than I ever did in my GR86. This segment gives me fun cars that can do it all, as a midlife crisis “working man’s” sports car DD and something for weekend fun with mostly no compromises. I went down the list of usual suspects. MkV SoupBruh: too expensive. No TooJayZed. No character since it’s a BMW. Impossible to see out of. GRolla: a bit small in the rear to fit me and the wives boyfriend on our drive in movie dates. The MIAT works best for this. I don’t need AWD as it’s a gimmick since I will never drive the car anywhere where AWD will benefit me, and any other excuse means I’m in denial. GolfR: JDM(Jerman Domestic Market) therefore it’s mid and only lames drive them. I also considered a BMW DCT F80 M3/4/5(With a drop, LTW’s and clears) but it cost 3 times what a MIAT does and that’s bad value for money.
The MIAT checks all of the right driving boxes for me and even has the option to pick up dudes at the racetracks, who after I flirt with for a while are able to forgive me for buying an automatic MIAT. Until now, I’ve always had a manual. I’m not a die hard ‘I must drive everything stick’ type person, but I always enjoy driving stick on the street but have said for a while ‘I’d prefer if my shifting hand was in my wives boyfriends pants right now.’ Of course the one box MIAT doesn’t check is looks. Not nearly enough dudes are looking at me in this thing. I still have no idea how to get them to notice me in my MIAT. I hope the NE ‘24 refresh of MIAT makes it more appealing to dudes. As I’ve owned it(for 2,500 miles), MIAT has grown on me a little. Much like if your friends have a shitty kid and you’re lying and saying ‘yeah nah it’s uh… cute’. I do enjoy the soft ride quality of MIAT, taking it easy on my backside, but not the lack of adequate roll protection from the factory. We all know I will find a way to flip this thing and if I do before I save up for my roll bar it will be game over. I assume this is to weed out bad drivers? It’s like they designed it to kill bad drivers on purpose. Interior
The interior is not good. The Mazda infotainment already cracked in the corner. Large, sharp screens obstructing my fucking view. Huge condescending gauge cluster with 130mph listed as top speed, MIAT easily exceeds that. I hate how everything rattles and shits crooked. CarPlay doesn’t fucking work. It doesn’t even have custom modes where you can fuck up your steering feel, fuck up the engine/throttle response, fuck up the automatic shift speed, fuck up the alignment and suspension, and make the exhaust annoy everyone with the push of a button… it doesn’t have any of that. What it does have, is DRL controls, and traction control. Want the LED Fangs on all the time, or not at all? There’s a setting for that. Want traction control on or off? MIAT has a button for you. Want to be annoyed when on track? MIAT has a front facing camera that will warn you about weaving and potential collisions so your instructor will lose all confidence in your driving ability on account of these driver aids not being able to be turned off. Why? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Some of the plastics are hard and depressing. Compared to the GR86, the interior is all the same hard plastics bullshit and three knobs for climate control in the center. They might as well be the same fucking car. At least Mazda doesn’t push a MIAT app we must install in order to use the car, that way they aren’t back door spying on us and we can trust Mazda as a brand.
One interior-ish Quirk and Feature, it doesn’t have radar based adaptive cruise control. Not sure what current Gen cruise control tech has to do with interior, but I’m stream of consciousness typing this out so just go with it. No whiz-bang cruise control in MIAT is not a huge dealbreaker for me, as I don’t go on long highway trips in MIAT as my life is over, but cruise control would be nice. Driving
I like rwd. I like fwd. I’m definitely in the ‘if you don’t like fwd, then you definitely haven’t driven good fwd at the limit’ camp(sorry). Do I drift every T-junction full oppo? Absolutely. If I had to mansplain fwd, it would go something like this: I think the equivalent driving experience, to get fwd to mimic rwd, is you gotta approach the turn gran turismo style, or, as I call it, a more video game-ness approach, use the guy in front as your arca brakes while you understeer your way through a high speed right hander, then the eLSD kicks in and you can lie to yourself and convince yourself that fwd could be anywhere near as good as rwd no matter what bullshit drive train nonsense is printed in the brochure. I sure as shit can’t feel the difference, and neither will any of you. This is getting less and less fun to continue. Why would anyone write this much about a subjective experience between two cars in different segments entirely? Ones a 2+2 sports coupe and the other is a 2 seater roadster. A more fair comparison would have been the RF at least. Or, I dunno, Camry TRD vs Elantra N........... The Dealership Experience
Literally who cares about this post enough to read this part? I walked in, got my 19.9% APR at 84 months with only $9,500 markup over MSRP, didn’t get the color I wanted or the trim level I wanted, but hey, I wanted out of my GR86 and into a MIAT asap, and the dealership I chose that day did just that for me. On Track
I cannot track MIAT as the transmission will explode and warranty coverage will be denied. I go through cars like pairs of underwear so I’m really screwing over the next owner by taking this vehicle on track, which is why I don’t do that, ever ;) my GR86 came with a free track day courtesy of NASA(National Auto Sport Association) but on the warmup lap my S*baru📷 boxer engine spat a rod out of the block only 45 uninterrupted seconds of driving after I initially heard the knocking, I thought I could limp it to the pits, but alas. Whats next?
Nothing for a while. Just gonna pick up dudes at the mall and the track, feed them vegan avocado toast and hard kombuchas until they swoon over my MIAT. My mom said I should have gotten the Civic type R(or, FK8 for those who ‘know’ ;p~) but that car is lame and not as cool as MIAT. The civic is too JayDeeEm and “boy racer”(whatever the fuck that means) for me, I don’t want to give anyone the wrong impression that I can actually drive and not just shitpost like a narcissist on Reddit. I know that I’m an expert at driving the MIAT because I got a one month subscription to iRacing one time and set a few laps in their MIAT and I didn’t crash. As you all know, iRacing is the real racing simulator used by pros all over the globe. That makes me, vis a vis, ergo, Concordently, a Global MX-5 Challenge racing driver irl. Cons, Quirks and Features
None. It is MIAT, and as we all know, MIAT stands for:
I'm the main character, thanks for coming to my TED talk, MIAT is always the
submitted by Data_shade
to carscirclejerk [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 16:50 Plz_bear Weird sports related dream
Had a dream I was in a race with a bunch of people but most notably tony soprano and this one girl that looked like a mix of every girl Finn has ever dated. She became super powerful and would deal out rations of everything like she was the combine. I met this dude named joe ruggins who had really good reactions and stamina and was really good at soccer.
submitted by Plz_bear
to Dreams [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 16:06 SkyLeather12 Society is making me racist
I was never one to look at another person and go “I don’t like you” because of their skin color. I’ve always wanted friends of multiple races and ethnicities and everytime I branch out (I’m black) I’m hit with everyone’s racist ideologies about black people.
I’ve dated and lived with a white guy and his family for a year and I’ve never experienced so much racism in my life.
I’m seeing UNWARRANTED racist things about black people on social media and I know it’s social media but it’s literally so disappointing to see that people STILL think so terribly about black people.
I’m getting sick of it and I am tired of hating myself because society thinks black people are bottom of the barrel when we are not! There are bad people in every race, size,age!
I watched a YouTube video and a 8 or 9 year old BIRACIAL girl asked her mother “WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE BLACK PEOPLE?” A CHILD ASKED HER ASIAN MOTHER THAT!
I wanted to add I saw a video about a white guy being racist to an Indian dude and when I opened the comments people were bringing black people into the conversation and being racist towards black people when there were NONE in the video. I see this happen often.
I’m scared to open the YouTube comments on crime videos where the perpetrator is black because then you’ll have people being incredibly racist in the comments.
it’s ridiculous and it fuking sucks because I am a good person and I am tired of being judged because I was born brown.
I do want to clarify, I wouldn’t say it’s making me “racist” as I don’t hate anyone for their skin. Moreso it’s making me want to avoid anyone outside my race, and my brain now automatically thinks that someone of another race doesn’t like me because I’m black.
submitted by SkyLeather12
to Vent [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 15:42 LonnieJay1 Storytime: becoming a dope boy
I sit, waiting for the hangover nausea to go away enough that I can get up and get some water and try to keep playing basketball. My phone rings. It’s a random number. I answer it, as I always do.
“Yo, what up, Lambo," a male voice answers, on the other end of the line. His voice is unmistakable, and only one person calls me Lambo. Johnny.
“Oh, shit. What's up, Johnny? You finally went down, huh,” I say, referring to the 18-month jail sentence he got at the beginning of last summer. He couldn’t stop selling drugs, let alone partying.
“Yeah, it was nothing though. Just a quick sit down. I'm free now, no more papersss,” he says, in a sing-songy voice, referring to the fact that he’s off probation now.
“No way. I’m off papers, too,” I say.
“Yo, what? For real?” he asks.
“Yup. They transferred my probation to Baltimore, and the city let me off early while I was down there,” I say.
“You lucky motherfucker. Come to my G-mas. She still lives next to the gas station on (Street name redacted). I’m here now," he says, excitement building in his voice. I can hear his smile through the phone.
“Ahhh-” I start.
“Let's blaze,” he interrupts. “I got tree and blunts, and I know you got the cut whip,” he says, referring to the fact that I always drive when we smoke. “Let’s roll a bleezy, bump some Biggie, hit some back roads, and catch up," he continues. His personality is contagious, especially when he is excited – and he is excited. I haven't smoked in so long, and I'm so hungover.
“Yo, lemme call you back,” I say.
“Don’t be like that, bro. I’ve been down for 18 fuckin’ months, locked up like some kind of animal. I’m back, now, though, baby, and better than ever! I’ve been lifting and all that. Wait ‘til you see me. I can even play ball a little bit, now. Come through!” he exclaims.
“Lemme call you back,” I say.
“You’re disappointing me, Lambo. Both of us are finally off papers, and you’re really not gonna come through and chill?” he asks, trying to guilt-trip me, as he often does.
“Bro. Let me call you the fuck back, alright?” I say.
“Nah. Don’t call me back. I’ll be outside my grandma’s. See you when you get here,” he says. I start to laugh.
“Jesus, bro. I’ll call you back,” I say, through my laughter.
“If you call me back, I’m gonna ignore it,” he says, not laughing.
“Alright, I’ll talk to you when you answer my call,” I say.
“That isn’t funny. I just got free. You’re the first person I called. Don’t be fucking around-”
I hang the phone up and put it down on the bleachers next to me. I forgot how relentless and convincing Johnny can be.
Some weed smoke would clear your hangover right up, though, Lonnie. And you haven't seen your old friend in forever. You used to love hanging out with him, even if he can be a moron sometimes. Just one blunt, that’s all.
Yeah, ok. All the sudden, I can just smoke one time?
You’ve been drinking socially for 4 months, Lonnie. You only drink on the weekends, and you haven’t blacked out one time. You’ve had plenty of opportunity to smoke weed at the parties you’ve been to, and you never have. Not even once, not even one hit – not even when it was offered for free.
I can figure this out. I sit on the bleachers and continue to think.
I can smoke with Johnny once. We will smoke and chill and catch up, and then I’ll bid him farewell and go back to living my life smoke-free. In fact, maybe I can smoke with him and then quit drinking completely, too. Even if I can control my drinking, it isn’t helping me play basketball better. It can be fun sometimes, but it isn’t worth this horrible hungover feeling. Whatever I do, I just can’t do opiates – and if Johnny even brings them up, I’m getting the fuck out of there.
I stand up, collect my things, and head out to my car.
30 minutes later.
“I’m telling you, bro. We’re set,” Johnny says, a huge grin on his face.
“You really met that many connects in there?” I ask. He stops smiling.
“I’ve never been a bullshitter, Lambo,” he says.
“Now, that’s bullshit,” I say, and we both start to laugh. I forgot how good it feels to smoke weed – and I can’t believe I don’t have to answer to a probation officer or talk to a drug counselor or anything of the sort.
“For real, though. I met connects in there you can’t even imagine. Anything we want, I can get it. Anything we want to sell, I can hustle it. Guaranteed. Bet money,” he says, holding his hand out to me, his jaw clenched, dead serious. I look down at his hand and then look away from him.
“I’ve been out of the game for a long while, man. I told you, I’ve been off opiates for over a year now. I barely even drink, and I’m not really trying to start smoking again. I don’t want to make a habit out of it,” I say.
“Oh, come on, Lambo. What happened to you? This is Mary Jane we’re talking about! I’m not talking about selling dope or anything crazy like that, just moving a little tree. You know my brother gets pounds-”
“Ay, man, for real. It’s good to see you and I respect the hustle but I’m not trying to get involved in all that again. I’m about to have my old charges expunged and finally have a clean background. I’m trying to start a legit career as a sign language interpreter,” I say, though just that thought alone makes my heart start to race.
“Man, fuck that. Didn’t you say they escorted you out of a school like some kind of rapist when you tried to get an interpreting job?” he asks. I scoff and think back to that day. They did exactly that. I was interpreting at a middle school for the first 3 days of the school year in 2010, after I graduated.
They allowed me to start working while they were processing my background check. I’ll never forget the way the administrators came into the class that I was in and literally escorted me out of the building when my background check came back. I’ll never forget the looks on their faces – like I was some kind of murderous piece of shit.
“Your badge has been disabled, by the way, so don’t try to get back in here,” that administrative lady said, before she closed the school doors behind me.
I’ll never forget that feeling. I had been doing alright for a little while, and that job was really helping me to stay clean. I was bonding with that little middle school deaf kid. He was starting to warm up to me, I could tell.
I wonder what they told him. Did they tell him that I was a criminal, and I was too dangerous to be around him?
I got high on opiates the very next day.
“And didn’t you say you tried to get another interpreting job, and they hired you, but then they stopped the paperwork when you mentioned you had pending drug charges-”
“Yeah, well, I don’t have pending charges anymore. I’m getting all that shit expunged – destroyed, like it never happened. And I’m not trying to get new charges, you hear me?” I say, turning to face him, staring into his eyes with hardness, which is what I have to do to get through to Johnny, and a skill I finally learned in Baltimore. He laughs.
“Jesus, buddy, slow your roll. I see you’re still as sensitive as ever,” he says.
“I’m not sensitive, I’m just not trying to be a dipshit. I finally got out of that probation trap. I’m really not trying to get stuck in that quicksand again,” I say.
“That’s fine. Nobody is talking about getting arrested,” he says.
“Alright, then,” I say.
“There’s this one dude that I met in there. Russ. He gets big dope – like, BIG dope-”
“Yo, what did I just say?” I ask, throwing my hands up, exasperated.
“Let me finish. He needs a weed connect, and I told you, my brother gets pounds. We could-”
I get up from the 3-foot concrete wall that separates the gas station from Johnny’s grandmas’ tiny apartment complex.
“You’re really starting to piss me off, dude,” I say, not looking at him.
“Lonnie. We’re just talking about what we can do with some of the connects I met in jail, that’s all,” Johnny says, using the tone he uses when he’s trying to calm me down.
“Stop saying ‘we’. There’s no ‘we’ in this. YOU went to jail. YOU met this guy, Russ. YOU have a weed-dealing brother,” I say, turning around to face him again.
“Right. You know all those dope dealers love weed. Russ said he could bring weight back to Baltimore, to the dudes that sell him his dope. You know my brother gets the weed cheap, and Russ said he could trade the weed for dope to make more money off of it. He’d be moving the shit quick, and he’s for real. I wouldn’t even have to deal with anybody else,” he says. I turn around and start to walk away from him, not wanting to sit down again.
“That sounds like a great idea. Great way to get robbed by some dude you were locked up with-”
I stop talking when I hear gravel crunching behind me. I turn around and find Johnny standing there, looking enraged.
“You’re really pissing me the fuck off. I’m trying to help us make money. I don’t even have to bring you in on this, but I’m trying to because you’re my boy. But I guess I’m not your boy. I should’ve known that. You never sent me one letter while I was locked up. 18 months, not one letter. You’ve always been selfish as fuck. Just get out of here, dude,” he says, shaking his head at me.
“Johnny. My bad. I’m just… I don’t want to get arrested again. I don’t want to wind up back on oxy or dope,” I say.
“You think I do?” he asks, scrunching his face at me with disbelief. I avert my gaze away from him and start to pace. Johnny sits back down.
Maybe he’s right. Maybe there’s a way I can get in on his hustle and make some money without having to get my hands dirty – work as a kind of accountant or business manager, since that’s where Johnny is lacking in the game. He needs a numbers guy, and that’s what I am. I sit back down next to Johnny.
His father passed away from cancer when he was a teenager. Johnny is the spitting image of him; they look identical. Johnny has been all fucked up ever since he lost his father, which was the catalyst for his opiate addiction. He isn’t a bad kid. He’s funny and outgoing and he does care deeply about his loved ones.
“My bad, man. I should’ve wrote to you,” I say, quietly.
“It’s all good,” he responds, also quietly. A few moments pass in silence.
“Who else did you meet in there?” I ask, quietly.
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2023.05.29 14:53 Make-Mine Soooo can i feel upset at this?
Im in phone , formating ~= weird , and english is my second language.
Like ... where do i begin?
In The pandemic i(amab 20) was super depressed cuz i couldnt see my friends was studying an online course that i hated while doing college and working for free with my dad, i felt guilty to even to out to buy bread for everyone cuz if i caught covid i could infect everyone, thus i just didnt go out and lost friendships, and my mental health too a dip and started questioning stuff, like how mom never NEVER gave a serious apology unless it made me feel bad and trauma bonded, like when I kept saying i couldnt do all the stuff i needed to do, cuz adhd stress and autism, she kept saying YOU HAVE TO DO IT YOU CAN DO IT , and when i trully tried and got Max grades she said "you only did your obligation... I I MEAN good job my son keep doing it(in a falsa você of compasion) then i focused only in college and forgot the rest, she complained but eventualy said i should focus on college instead of the course, i was happy cuz i could sleep, then she dug trough my stuff and found what she didnt like, a skirt , it helped me to calm down , she screamed at me asked if i wanted to be raped and beaten to a pulp, how she needed a man, and that i should trow it out, all while i was crying, 2 days later she trew it out... after a little while i tried to understand her side and try tô speak... i said i was depressed and felt Hurt even suicidal cuz of the stuff she did and said... i didnt like being called a pervert while she dug trough MY STUFF . She said i was distorting her words and that she should think abt HER FEELINGS. CUZ SHE FELT BAD AND I SHOULD JUST BE HAPPY!!!! CUZ SHE WAS DOING EVERYTHING FOR ME UNLESS ITD BEING EMPATHETIC!!!!! needless tô say i became even more depressed , she kept asking me what was wrong cuz Nothing should be... all she does is complain , when i try tô have a conversation she will scream or just... not listei? Like "hey mom you taught me how to Cook clean the house wash clothes só i would survive Alone.... idk if well but i would survive...." she started to laugh..." mom i cant help cuz i need to study" , "BUT YOU ONLY STAY IN YOUR COMPUTER!!" YES I SO COMPUTER ENGENIEERING!!! ALSO you made me chose a other college de degree 3 times cuz you didnt want to let me chose, só i chose the best option with half a sholarship, she still complains cuz instead of repaying the loans my dad forgot to pay directly to the school with no intrest in 10 months you chose to get a Bank loan and pay ir all in one go and send the Bill to dad. Also HIM AAAAAA IF I AM LESS THAN 100% COMPLIANT I AM WRONG ANS SHUT UP , THEYRE IN THEIR 50S AND HE STILL SCREAMS CUZ SOMEONE DIDNT SEND THE RIGHT DOCUMENTS ON TIME EVEN THO WE HAVE 2 HOURS LEFT AND WE CAN ASK AND WAIT OR SO THE CONTRACT OURSELVES, AND YES I WANNA SHAVE CUZ IT ITCHES AND THE DOCTOR SAID I SHOULD, BOTH OF THEM PROHIBITED ME OF WEARING NON WHITE SOCKS, CERTAIN SHOES , ME WALKING WITH MY HAIR UNTIED, ETC AND IF I DISAGREE ON AN OPINION I AM THE ANTICHRIST, no i dont think main media is comunist... nor gay or black ppl being the devil incarnate also the clasic "im not racist cuz black is a color not race but those damn BLACKS!!!" , " im not against the gays , but i dont wanna see 2 dudes kissing and holding hands in The street." I ... idk what to feel... when i talk with the rest of the family they say to not abandon them.... but i just want out... i dont wanna comfort my mom cuz she drank a wine bottle and keeps asking for us not to leve her in a retirement home , or how "you chose to be my son só if im a bad mother its your fault" cuz she belives that... i even ofered to pay for therapy for her, she said she didnt had the money and asked if i tought she was crazy...after braging on how much she spends on shoes. She has a hair saloon that dad is paying for and rent and remodeling and she still says that He doesnt care abt us. While He makes breakfest for everyone every day at 6 AM, also she forces me to go to an expensive clothing shop every 3 months or só tô buy 600 bucks of clothes that i dont want, when i complain that its my montly part time job salary she says i am a cheapskate... i...idk what tô feel ya know? Also its in brazil.
And i have a lot more stuff to say but its already a text wall. : p thanks for reading my rambling
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2023.05.29 14:12 hotpotato138 The reasons I go to therapy.
I go to therapy because a psychologist can understand my problems better. I'm not saying everyone has to go to therapy or that it works for everyone. I have a dysfunctional relationship with my extended family. I also have a hard time maintaining friendships. I isolated myself from my family, and stopped being friends with some people.
I don't think I have any mental illnesses. I have a bad relationship with my family because they try to control me sometimes. For example, my aunt believes all women of other races are evil. She likes to fearmonger and say racist things. She doesn't give proper advice.
My psychopathic uncle also tried to brainwash me with nonsense. His worldview was ridiculous. He lied to me about many things. If I didn't care about going to prison, I would've assaulted him. I wouldn't have felt any remorse for that.
I stopped being friends with one dude because he kept talking about porn, sex, and relationships. I thought that was annoying because I didn't want a relationship back then. He didn't seem to understand, I didn't have money to pay for dates and no time for them. I was addicted to porn and he wanted me to stay addicted. Now, I'm not addicted.
I don't have any problem with people giving me advice or disagreeing with me. I can tell when someone is giving me advice and when they are trying to control me. I only have a problem when people impose their views onto me.
I am a little bit impulsive. I chose my major in college without thinking about it properly. Then I had to change it. I also feel chronically bored. I'm on Reddit because of boredom. Eventually, I will leave.
A psychologist can help me cope with people in a healthy way.
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2023.05.29 14:10 GhostShip99 Haris Sultan's Atheistic morality argument does not make sense
watched haris sultan's video on moral grounds of atheism. While I do agree that atheism has no sense of absolute morality i.e. concept that something is wrong from all prespectives; only 'relative morality' holds in atheism which makes it very difficult to tell what is right from wrong.
The two debaters were both arguing about incest and necrophilia and Hari's line of argument is that since morals is decided what majority comes to a conclusion about something and that is also better for human race, thus these two criteria holds as a scale to judge any moral dilemma.
The problem with this argument that even with majority's support something; what is better or not for the human race is relativistic. Also since no relative prespective is perfect, both negation and affirmation against a certain moral stand point holds true. One does not need to go down on sexual deviancy to prove that. Consider for example drugs, Portugal allows all types of drugs now drugs are bad considering that it is bad for human race but the majority there agreed, so the point is if majority agrees on something which is morally bad, is it still bad given lots of people agree to it? There can be several aspects to moral questions where we do need ábsolute morality for example:
Q1. Does bombing a city of people by enemy justified who may not have a say in government matter but does nothing to overthrow their government?
Q2. Is it justified to kill a human being who has killed someone? if so, wouldn't it not destroy the life of a child looking for a fatherly love?
Q3. If all lives are equal, how come we could eat certain animals? If our measure is intelligence (as humans are mostly intelligent), can we safely killed those who are deemed disabeled mentally on this scale? What is the justification for not killing them?
Q4. If society decides what individual has to do, does it not erode individual freedom if someone wants to practice deviance (e.g. drugs etc.), if not, should we allow someone to continue with their actions unabated , if so, why you should we invest tax payer money to help them out?
Having Gods makes the agreement on moral issues possible; not because it could explained either position but only because it gives peace that a higher intelligence must have the data necessary to reach a logical conclusion given the limitation of human intelligence.
THE AWAM asked no good questions; infact one guy asked if Haris sultan would liked his sister get gang banged by other bunch of dudes. It goes to show how we are as a nation.
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2023.05.29 13:25 Mxcah_fooooo Least favourite race and why
AE86 vs S15 (fifth stage) for me. Gee what even happens. I get it that fujiwara zone is a depiction of chasers miscalculating Takumi’s cornering speed but come on. It’s been used to death in this race. Furthermore. They portray Okuyama as an incompetent driver who floundered because it was raining. Dude. It has been showery the past few days. WHY WOULD YOU EQUIP YOUR S15 WITH A TUNE FOR DRY WEATHER FFS. When they do race, we don’t see any special technique displayed by Okuyama at all…It is a disappointing and lazily written race imo.
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2023.05.29 13:20 OwlCouncil23 Tales of Mundane and Magical (Book1) - Chapter 3
Previous Chapter Table of Contents
As we approached the front door, Aunt Freya turned to the dogs and said, “Jax and Apollo, wipe your paws,” in a firm but gentle tone. To my amazement, the two giant dogs obediently raised their massive paws one by one and wiped them on the towel hanging by the door.
Once their paws were clean, Aunt Fraya opened the unlocked door and led us inside. I first noticed how cozy and inviting the house’s interior was. The walls were painted a warm beige color and adorned with various paintings and photographs. The living room had a comfortable-looking couch and armchairs, with a coffee table in the center. It looked almost exactly how I remembered it the last time I was here. The only noticeable difference was the three dog beds by the door, and the pictures were newer, with people I barely recognized.
The dogs escorted us inside, one ahead and one behind me. I got a distinct feeling they didn’t trust me yet. But at least I wasn’t their chew toy.
I heard someone running towards me as I put my bags on the floor beside the coffee table. Suddenly, I felt a pair of thin arms wrap tightly around my waist. For a second, I freaked out, but I looked down and realized it was my cousin Julie! “John! I can’t believe you’re here!” she exclaimed, still holding me tightly.
Somehow shimmying and squirming, I hugged her back, feeling genuinely happy to see her for the first time in years. “Hey Julie, good to see you too. It’s been too long.” I replied, grinning.
After a few more seconds, Julie let go of me and stepped back to look at me, then suddenly punched me in the stomach. “Yeah, cause someone was too busy to visit or gone when we came to visit!” she said, smiling as I rubbed where she punched me.
I couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed at the compliment, but I smiled back nonetheless. “Well, I needed to do those projects...and trips...” I trailed off, realizing I was making excuses. “Anyways, I’m here now, so it’s all good. Where are Jake and your dad?”
As I finished speaking, I heard a voice from around the corner. “Hey there, John! We’re in the dining room!” It was the unmistakable booming voice of my Uncle Paul.
I turned to my aunt, and she said, “Let’s go say hi to everyone.”
Still standing beside me, the dogs seemed to understand her words and began escorting me toward the dining room. Aunt Fraya giggled as she walked ahead while Julie was hanging off my arm. She couldn’t decide if she wanted me to drag her or if she pulled me.
As we walked, I couldn’t help but notice the well-behaved dogs acting like my guards. They walked beside me, occasionally sniffing at my feet or hands but never pulling ahead or breaking stride with Julie and me. I was starting to wonder if they were familiars instead of pets, but my cousins being non-magical would be hard. It was clear that my aunt had put a lot of time and effort into training them.
It wasn’t far to the dining area, and as we rounded the corner, I saw my Uncle Paul sitting at the head of the table with a big grin on his face and my cousin Jake sitting with a frown. “John! Good to see you!” he said as he got up from his chair, walked up to me, and gave me a firm handshake followed by a big hug.
I hugged him back with one arm since Julie didn’t release the other. “It’s good to see you too, Uncle Paul,” I said with a smile.
Letting go of me, Uncle Paul took Julie off me as she protested and turned to Jake, saying, “Don’t be rude, son. Say hi.”
Jake got up and, with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes, walked up to me and said in a frigid tone, “Hey, John. Long time no see.”
Uncle Paul shot Jake a disapproving look before turning back to me. “I’m sure you are tired as all. I know I’m always wiped when coming to visit you guys.” Turning to his kids, he said, “Well, come on then, you two go show John to his room.” Turning to me, he added, “The guest bedroom is all set up for you. Feel free to stay as long as you want,” gesturing for us to follow.
I followed Jake and Julie, but then I remembered forgetting my bags. I told my cousins, “Hang on!” and walked quickly to where I left the backpack, bag, and the box Dad gave to give to Aunt Freya. I heard hurried paw steps behind me as I grabbed them and returned to my aunt. “Here you go. Dad asked me to pass this along for you.”
Aunt Fraya responded with a pleasant smile, “Thank you, dear. You have some time before dinner, so rest up a bit. I’ll call up when food is on the table.” I nodded and walked quickly to catch up to my cousins waiting at the stairs.
As we walked towards the guest bedroom, I couldn’t help but notice the dogs walking alongside us again as if they were our escorts. It was both amusing and worrisome at the same time. I was starting to feel like the dogs didn’t trust me. I will just need to try to buy some treats and bribe them.
Once we arrived at the guest bedroom, Jake stood by the door as Julie excitedly started chattering and pointing out all the little details that she and Aunt Fraya had worked on to make the room comfortable for me. “And here’s your extra blankets. The door locks cause the dogs like to roam sometimes, and here’s the WiFi password,” she said, handing me a slip of paper.
I looked confused at the paper. “WiFi? What’s that?”
Jake laughed for the first time. “You are practically an alien in this world. This is going to be amusing.”
I felt hurt, but I was glad we had something to discuss. “Yeah, I really am. But that’s kinda the point of this experience.”
Julie asked to hang on for a min and slipped out of the room, the dogs parting just wide enough for her to slip past them in the doorway.
I looked at Jake. “Dude, come on. We grew up together. What’s up?”
He sighed, took a few steps to the bed, and plopped on it, leaning against the wall, feet dangling over the edge. “We did, but recently I realized just how different we are. It makes it hard to be comfortable with someone always so loaded for bear.”
I looked confused at him and put my bag and backpack on the bed next to him. “What do you mean.” as I sat on the chair.
He sighed. “I mean magic. You are from a world of power, and I’m from a world of Mundane.”
I scrunched my nose. “Don’t say that. It’s not nice. And I would never do anything to hurt you or Julie or your parents.” I glanced at the dogs in the door, wondering if I should extend my promise.
Jake smiled softly. “Yeah, I’m sure not on purpose.” He paused and frowned. “But to be honest, my college rejection letter also came today. And I was sure I could get into my first choice and didn’t bother applying elsewhere.”
I looked confused at him, but Julie tore back into the room before I could respond, somehow slipping between the two dogs. “Had to steal mom’s phone. I’ll explain what WiFi is, you Luddite.”
“Hey, be nice! Don’t call him names!” Jake yelled at Julie.
“I don’t know what that is, so I’m not offended.” I shrugged.
“I don’t know either, but it would fit.” Julie chirped as she sat next to John on the bed. “WiFi is what you use to access the internet.”
I pulled my own phone out. “Oh, how do I do that?”
Julie froze. “Well, now I must go slip this before I get caught.”
From somewhere in the house, Aunt Freya’s voice, “JULIE ARIEL SMITH! Give me back my phone!”
Julie looked worried as she tore out of the room through the parting dogs to the roaring laughter from Jake and me. After laughing, I said, “I’m not sure what that means about college rejection, but I’m sorry you are going through that. I just want things to be as normal as we can. Like we were when we were kids.”
Jake briefly looked at the ceiling, thinking, “Nothing changed. And I’ll figure something out eventually about college. For now, let’s just have fun.” With a smile, he got up and said, “I’ll give you some breathing room as you settle in. Let’s catch up when we get time sometime.”
After Jake left, I waited a second to see if the dogs would go. Instead, they lay down, blocking the doorway in a way that would make me move them to leave. I sighed and turned to the bags on the bed.
I unpacked my backpack and bag, placing my clothes in the drawers. They were dimensional bags as well. So I could bring everything I could need, so I only unpacked what I would need for the next week or so. I noticed the dresser was empty except for a few spare blankets and pillows at the bottom, so I took the opportunity to spread out my clothes and organize them.
I left most of my magical equipment in the backpack. I wouldn’t need anything but my wand, the summing bracelet still on my right hand. The only thing I took out was the scroll my parents gifted me. I put it on the table, admiring the intricate design and the fine craftsmanship. I was sure they had spent much money on it, so I wanted to take care of it. Not that these were very delicate, but still.
Next, I took out the gifts I had brought for my cousins from my bag. I hid them in the drawer on the table, so they would be a surprise for later. I wanted to wrap them into something, but I would have to give them as is.
I decided to check out the rest of the room. I went to the dresser and pulled open the top drawer, which was empty like the others. Looking around the room were several pictures and paintings. What was surprising to me was that they were very still.
Curious, I turned to the two doors in the room. One was clearly a closet, and that’s the first one I walked up to and pulled open. It was a good size, with plenty of space to hang clothes and store shoes. I put my backpack and bag in there to ensure they stayed out of the way.
I then turned my attention to the other door. I opened it slowly, unsure of what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to find a clean, well-maintained bathroom with a shower, sink, and toilet. The towels hanging on the rack smelled fresh. I vaguely remembered how to use this shower from the last time, and I hope it won’t be a problem.
Feeling satisfied with my new living quarters, I returned to the desk and sat down. This seemed like the perfect time to tell my parents I was safe and at my Aunts house.
I pulled my old scroll from my pocket. It was much simpler than the new one my parents had given me and was meant more for local communication. It wouldn’t have a powerful spell circle to reach my parents or friends. But it did have all the imprints and contacts from them.
I conjured the wand and pointed it at the new scroll on the table. Using the transfer spell, I could transfer my friends’ imprints from the old scroll to the new one. All three items glowed pale, and it only took a moment. Soon I saw their names appear on the new scroll, indicating they were successfully added.
As I was admiring my handiwork and ensuring that every name I wanted was transferred, I suddenly heard a voice next to me. “Was that... magic?” Julie’s voice made me jump up in my seat, my heart racing, my hand shaking holding the wand, sweat beading on my brow. She was maybe 2 feet away from him, standing just outside my field of view.
At my threatening gesture, the dogs in the doorway growled. But Julie looked at them and said, “Shush.” they did.
I steadied my breathing and said, “Yeah. I didn’t get a chance to transfer information from my old scroll to my new one.”
She pointed at my hand. “Is that a wand? Can I hold it?”
I breathed and willed the wand back into storage. “Not right now. Maybe a bit later. I can show you some tricks and magic.”
She looked disappointed but said, “Okay.” Walked over to the bed and sat down. “Mind if I hang out here for a bit?”
I shrugged. “Do you mind if I write a quick letter without distractions?” She nodded, so I sat at the table, folded the old scroll, and put it aside. I moved the new scroll closer to myself, used the quill that was part of the package, and selected my parent’s imprints.
I concentrated on the quill and started writing the letter to my parents. Since this was my first time, the quill took a few tries to obey me. In glowing letters on the scroll, I wrote about how I was safe at my aunt’s place and succeeded in making it there. I also mentioned that I had transferred the imprints of my friends onto the new scroll and that I was going to try to contact them soon. And reminded them that they could always reach out.
As I finished the letter, I read it over to ensure it said everything I wanted. Satisfied, I closed my eyes and focused my energy on the sending spell. After a second, I opened my eyes as the words on the scroll lifted off the page and folded into an owl.
The owl flew straight through the wall and into the night sky, heading towards the enclave where my aunt picked me up from, which must be the nearest relay to here.
“Wow. That’s so cool.” Julie whispered from the bed, and I turned just in time to see her cover her mouth.
I smiled and said, “Yeah, magic is pretty cool. But so is your technology. I’m going to need all your help to figure it out.” And I pulled out my phone.
She looked excited. “Oh, of course, your sensei will teach you everything.” But before she could do anything, I heard a high-pitched barking bounding down the hall outside my room.
Then a tiny fur ball jumped over the two dogs and bound towards me with the fury of a starved hellhound ready to eat. I conjured my wand, but fore I could do anything or the little hellion reached me, Julie nimbly plucked him mid-jump and held him like a baby on its back. The little beat instantly calmed down and let out a happy little whine of pleasure. The two dogs in the doorway growled their disapproval.
Julie whispered, “It’s okay. He’s a friend. No eating, my cousin.” Holding him out towards me, she said, “Sparky. Say high to John.”
Sparky wasn’t convinced of my status in the family and gave a menacing high-pitched bark and a growl. However, she stopped when Julie brought him close to herself and smacked him in the nose softly. “No!” She held him out, and this time he let out an almost friendly bark.
“Nice to meet you, Sparky,” I said, not letting go of my wand.
I breathed a sigh of relief as she brought Sparky close to herself. Sparky licked her face, and Julie giggled. I was horrified for a moment when she let him down. He landed softly on his tiny feet, made a circle, and then turned to me. For a second, I thought he would attack me and prepared to defend myself, but I had Nothing to worry about. He walked up to me, sniffed my feet, then pranced back to Julie, tongue lolling and tail wagging.
Julie laughed as she stroked Sparky’s fur. “Don’t worry, he’s harmless. He just loves to bark.”
I chuckled and replied, “Well, I’m glad to hear that. He’s pretty cute, actually. When he’s not acting like an angry furry volleyball of doom.”
Julie smiled and said, “Yeah, he’s my little buddy. He’s been with me since I was a kid. Well, I guess like 4 years now or so.” Looking at me, she asked, “Do you have any pets?”
I shook my head. “No. My parents have familiars. But when I wanted a pet, my parents told me I was immature. Then when I was mature, I didn’t have time. When I have more time, I’ll probably get a pet.”
She thought momentarily and said, “I know your mom has the owl cat. And your dad has a giant three-headed dog. I guess I was expecting you to have at least something. Maybe a cat or a dog. Or maybe something more exotic like a dragon.”
My eyebrows shot up. “A dragon? That would be cool, but they’re pretty dangerous and, you know, illegal. They are very endangered. I mean, I guess a petite dragon would be an option. But they are a lot of work.”
She looked convinced. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Maybe you should stick with a cat or a dog, for starters.”
I laughed and glanced at the dogs in the doorway who were sitting at attention. I looked back at Julie and realized her eyes were fixed on the wand in my hand. I could see a mix of curiosity and fear in them. With a jolt, I remembered what Jake had said earlier about magic being power. I started to feel self-conscious and put the wand in storage again with a small flash of magic. Julie blinked hard and looked away.
I looked at Julie with concern as she picked up Sparky, held him close, and took a deep breath. “What’s wrong?” I asked gently, noticing the nervousness in her body language. I had no idea what I did to scare her like this.
She hesitated for a moment, looking down at Sparky on her lap. She patted him for an uncomfortably long silence before finally whispering, “I don’t know how to ask this, but... can I do magic?” Her question caught me off guard, and I wasn’t sure how to respond. She looked up at me, and I could see the fear and uncertainty in her eyes, and I wanted to reassure her.
But I couldn’t.
I took a deep breath. This was going to be a delicate conversation. I had to break the news gently. “Julie, I’m sorry to say this, but only those born with magic can use it,” I said, my voice low and even. “There are two species of humans. One with magic and one without. You know how there are different kinds of dogs?” After she nodded, I continued, “There are a few different kinds of humans as well.”
Julie’s face didn’t change. “So, I can’t do magic? You are sure?” she asked, her voice quivering.
I shook my head. “I’m afraid not,” I said, trying to sound sympathetic. “It’s just the way things are. But don’t worry, you can still do plenty of amazing things without magic.”
She looked like she was about to say something else, but we heard a voice from the door before she did. “John, food is ready.” Turning, I saw Aunt Freya. “Julie, don’t forget to wash your hands before coming to the dinner table.”
Julie didn’t say anything but turned with a smile to her mom. I got a bit of whiplash from her emotional swings but didn’t say anything. She dropped Sparky to the floor and walked out the door. She paused at the door and said, “Let’s talk later.”
The big dogs parted to let her through but moved back together. Sparky walked up to the dogs, barked shortly and jumped over the big dogs, and followed Julie.
I grabbed the gifts from the drawer I hid them in and decided to just give them as is. I walked to the door, but the dogs didn’t budge. After a second, I cleared my throat and said, “Excuse me?”
The dogs looked lazily at me but didn’t leave. I heard Aunt Fray’s voice from somewhere in the house. “Jax, Apollo, leave John alone. He’s a friend.”
The dogs growled, got up, and trotted away from the door.
I said, “Thank You,” and walked behind them, letting them lead me to the dining room.
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