Fred meyer evergreen way everett

Washington The Evergreen State

2008.07.10 04:01 Washington The Evergreen State

For all that is good in the Pacific Northwest. Washington is the absolute best.

2023.06.01 05:40 Guilty_Chemistry9337 Hide Behind the Cypress Tree, pt. 1

There are instincts that you develop when you’re a parent. If you don’t have any children it might be a little hard to understand. If you have a toddler, for example, and they’re in the other room and silent for more than a few seconds, there’s a good chance they’re up to no good. I take that back, most of the time they’re doing nothing, but you still have to check. You feel a compulsion to check. I don’t think it’s a learned skill, I think it’s an actual instinct.
Paleolithic parents who didn’t check on their toddlers every few minutes, just to double check that they weren’t being stalked by smilodons were unlikely to have grandchildren and pass on their genes. You just feel you need to check, like getting goosebumps, a compulsion. I suppose it’s the same reason little kids are always demanding you look at them and what they’re doing.
I think that instinct starts to atrophy as your kids grow. They start learning to do things for themselves, and before you know it, they’re after their own privacy, not your attention. I don’t think it ever goes away though. I expect, decades from now, my own grown kids will visit and bring my grandkids with them. And the second I hear a baby crying in the earliest morning hours, I’ll be alert and ready for anything, sure as any old soldier who hears his name whispered in the dark of night.
I felt that alarm just the other day. First time in years. My boy came home from riding bikes with a couple of his friends. I’m pretty sure they worked out a scam where they asked each of their parents for a different new console for Christmas, and now they spend their weekends traveling between the three houses so they can play on all of them.
We all live in a nice neighborhood. A newer development than the one I grew up in, same town though. It’s the kind of place where kids are always playing in the streets, and the cars all routinely do under 20. My wife and I make sure the kids have helmets and pads, and we’re fine with the boy going out biking with his friends, as long as they stay in the neighborhood.
You know, a lot of people in my generation take some weird sort of pride in how irresponsible we used to be when we were young. I never wore a helmet. Rode to places, without telling any adults, that we never should have ridden to. Me and my friends would make impromptu jumps off of makeshift ramps and try to do stupid tricks, based loosely on stunts we’d seen on TV. Other people my age seem to wax nostalgic for that stuff and pretend it makes them somehow better people. I don’t get it. Sometimes I look back and shudder. We were lucky we escaped with only occasional bruises and road burns. It could have gone so much worse.
My son and his buddies came bustling in the front door at about 2 PM on a Saturday. They did the usual thing of raiding the kitchen for juice and his mother’s brownies, and I took that as my cue to abandon the television in the living room for my office. I was hardly noticing the chaos, by this point, it was becoming a regular weekend occurrence. But as I was just leaving, I caught something in the chatter. My boy said something about, “... that guy who was following us.”
He hadn’t said it any louder or more clearly than anything else they’d been talking about, all that stuff I’d been filtering out. Yet some deeper core process in my brain stem heard it, interpreted it, then hit the red alert button. My blood ran cold and every hair on my skin stood at attention.
I turned around and asked “Somebody followed you? What are you talking about?” I wasn’t consciously aware of how strict and stern my voice came out, yet when the jovial smiles dropped off of their faces it was apparent that it had been so.
“Huh?” my son said, his voice high-pitched and talking fast, like when he thinks he’s in trouble and needs to explain. “We thought we saw somebody following us. There wasn’t though. We didn’t really see anybody and we’d just spooked ourselves.”
“What did he look like?” I asked.
“Nothing? We really didn’t see anybody! Honest! I just saw something out of the corner of my eye! But there wasn’t really nobody there!”
“Yeah!,” said one of his buds. “Peripheral! Peripheral vision! I thought maybe I saw something too, but when I looked I didn’t see anything. I don’t have my glasses with me, but when I really looked I got a good look and there was nothing.”
The three boys had that semi-smiling but still concerned look that this was only a bizarre misunderstanding, but they were still being very sincere. “Were they in a car?”
“No, Dad, you don’t get it,” my boy continued, “They were small. We thought it was a kid.”
“Yeah,” said the third boy. “We thought maybe it was Tony Taylor’s stupid kid sister shadowing us. Getting close to throwing water balloons. Just cause she did that before.”
“If you didn’t get a good look how did you know it was a kid?”
“Because it was small!” my kid explained, though that wasn’t helping much. “What I mean is, at first I thought it was behind a little bush. It was way too small a bush to hide a grown-up. That’s why we thought it was probably Tony’s sister.”
“But you didn’t actually see Tony’s sister?” I asked.
“Nah,” said one of his buds. “And now that I think about it, that bush was probably too small for his sister too. It would have been silly. Like when a cartoon character hides behind a tiny object.”
“That’s why we think it was just in our heads,” explained the other boy, “That and the pole.”
“Yeah,” my son said. “The park on 14th and Taylor?” That was just a little community park, a single city block. Had a playground, lawn, a few trees, and some benches. “Anyway, we were riding past that, took a right on Taylor. And we were talking about how weird it would be if somebody really were following us. That’s when Brian thought he saw something. Behind a telephone pole.”
“I didn’t get a good look at it either,” the friend, Brian, “explained. Just thought I did. Know how you get up late at night to use the bathroom or whatever and you look down the hallway and you see a jacket or an office chair or something and because your eyes haven’t adjusted you think you see a ghost or burglar or something? Anyway, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye, but when I turned there wasn’t anything there.”
“Yeah, it was just like sometimes that happens, except this time it happened twice on the same bike ride, is all,” the other friend explained.
“And you’re sure there was nothing there?”
“Sure we’re sure,” my boy said. “We know because that time we checked. We each rode our bikes around the pole and there was nothing. Honest!”
“Hmmm,” I said. The whole thing seemed reasonable and nothing to be concerned about, you’d think.. The boys seemed to relax at my supposed acceptance. “Alright, sounds good. Hey, just let me know before you leave the house again, alright?” They all rushed to seem agreeable as I left the room, then quickly resumed their snacking and preceded to play their games.
I kept my ear out, just in case. My boy, at least this time, dutifully told me his friends were about to leave. He wasn’t very happy with me when I said they wouldn’t be riding home on their bikes, I was going to drive them home. The other boys didn’t complain, but I suppose it wasn’t their place, so my boy did the advocating for them, which I promptly ignored. I hate doing that, ignoring my kid’s talkback. My dad was the same way. It didn’t help that I struggled to get both of their bikes in the trunk, and it was a pain to get them back out again. My boy sulked in the front seat on the short ride back home. Arms folded on chest, eyes staring straight ahead, that lip thing they do. He seemed embarrassed for having what he thought was an over-protective parent. I suppose he was angry at me as well for acting, as far as he knew, irrationally. Maybe he thought he was being punished for some infraction he didn’t understand.
Well, it only got worse when we got home. I told him he wasn’t allowed to go out alone on his bike anymore. I’d only had to do that once before, when he was grounded, and back then he’d known exactly what he’d done wrong and he had it coming. Now? Well, he was confused, furious, maybe betrayed, probably a little brokenhearted? I can’t blame him. He tramped upstairs to his room to await the return of his mother, who was certain to give a sympathetic ear. I can’t imagine how upset he’ll be if he checks the garage tomorrow and finds I’ve removed his tires, just in case.
I wish I could explain it to him. I don’t even know how.
Where should I even begin? The town?
When I was about my son’s age I had just seen that movie, The Goonies. It had just come out in theaters. I really liked that movie, felt a strong connection. A lot of people do, can’t blame them, sort of a timeless classic. Except I wasn’t really into pirate’s treasure or the Fratellis, what really made me connect was a simple single shot, still in the first act. It’s right after they cross the threshold, and leave the house on their adventure. It was a shot of the boys, from above, maybe a crane shot or a helicopter shot, as they’re riding their bikes down a narrow forested lane, great big evergreen trees densely growing on the side of the road, they’re all wearing raincoats and the road is still wet from recent rain.
That was my childhood. I’ve spent my whole life in the Pacific Northwest. People talk to outsiders about the rain, and they might picture a lot of rainfall, but it’s not the volume, it’s the duration. We don’t get so much rain, it just drizzles slowly, on and on, for maybe eight or nine months out of the year. It doesn’t matter where I am, inside a house, traveling far abroad, anywhere I am I can close my eyes and still smell the air on a chilly afternoon, playing outdoors with my friends.
It’s not petrichor, that sudden intense smell you get when it first starts to rain after a long dry spell. No, this was almost the opposite, a clean smell, almost the opposite of a scent, since the rain seemed to scrub the air clean. The strongest scent and I mean that in the loosest sense possible, must have been the evergreen needles. Not pine needles, those were too strong, and there weren’t that many pines anyway. Douglas fir and red cedar predominated, again the root ‘domination’ seems hyperbole. Yet those scents were there, ephemeral as it is. Also, there was a sort of pleasant dirtiness to the smell, at least when you rode bikes. It wasn’t dirt, or mud, or dust. Dust couldn’t have existed except perhaps for a few fleeting weeks in August. I think, looking back, it was the mud puddles. All the potholes in all the asphalt suburban roads would fill up after rain with water the color of chocolate milk. We’d swerve our BMX bikes, or the knock-off brands, all the way across the street just to splash through those puddles and test our “suspensions.,” meaning our ankles and knees. The smell was always stronger after that. It had an earthiness to it. Perhaps it was petrichor’s lesser-known watery cousin.
There were other sensations too, permanently seared into my brain like grill marks. A constant chilliness that was easy to ignore, until you started working up a good heart rate on your bike, then you noticed your lungs were so cold it felt like burning. The sound of your tires on the wet pavement, particularly when careening downhill at high speed. For some reason, people in the mid-80s used to like to decorate their front porches with cheap, polyester windsocks. They were often vividly colored, usually rainbow, like prototype pride flags. When an occasional wind stirred up enough to gust, the windsocks would flap, and owning to the water-soaked polyester, make a wet slapping sound. It was loud, it was distinct, but you learned to ignore it as part of the background, along with the cawing of crows and distant passing cars.
That was my perception of Farmingham as a kid. The town itself? Just a typical Pacific Northwest town. That might not mean much for younger people or modern visitors, but there was a time when such towns were all the same. They were logging towns. It was the greatest resource of the area from the late 19th century, right up until about the 80s, when the whole thing collapsed. Portland, Seattle, they had a few things going on beyond just the timber industry, but all the hundreds of little towns and small cities revolved around logging, and my town was no exception.
I remember going to the museum. It had free admission, and it was a popular field trip destination for the local school system. It used to be the City Hall, a weird Queen Anne-style construction. Imagine a big Victorian house, but blown up to absurd proportions, and with all sorts of superfluous decorations. Made out of local timber, of course. They had a hall for art, I can’t even remember why, now. Maybe they were local artists. I only remember paintings of sailboats and topless women, which was a rare sight for a kid at the time. There was a hall filled with 19th-century household artifacts. Chamber pots and weird children's toys.
Then there was the logging section, which was the bulk of the museum. It’s strange how different things seemed to be in the early days of the logging industry, despite being only about a hundred years old, from my perspective in the 1980s. If you look back a hundred years from today, in the 1920s, you had automobiles, airplanes, electrical appliances, jazz music, radio programs, flappers, it doesn’t feel that far removed, does it? No TV, no internet, but it wouldn’t be that strange. 1880s? Different world.
Imagine red cedars, so big you could have a full logging crew, arms stretched out, just barely manage to encircle one for a photographer. Felling a single tree was the work of days. Men could rest and eat their lunches in the shelter of a cut made into a trunk, and not worry for safety or room. They had to cut their own little platforms into the trees many feet off the ground, just so the trunk was a little bit thinner, and thus hours of labor saved. They used those long, flexible two-man saws. And double-bit axes. They worked in the gloom of the shade with old gas lanterns. Once cut down from massive logs thirty feet in diameter, they’d float the logs downhill in sluices, like primitive wooden make-shift water slides. Or they’d haul them down to the nearest river, the logs pulled by donkeys on corduroy roads. They’d lay large amounts of grease on the roads, so the logs would slide easily. You could still smell the grease on the old tools on display in the museum. The bigger towns had streets where the loggers would slide the logs down greased skids all the way down to the sea, where they’d float in big logjams until the mills were ready for processing. They’d call such roads “skid-rows.” Because of all the activity, they’d end up being the worst parts of town. Local citizens wouldn’t want to live there, due to all the stink and noise. They’d be on the other side of the brothels and the opium dens. It would be the sort of place where the destitute and the insane would find themselves when they’d finally lost anything. To this day, “skidrow” remains a euphemism for the part of a city where the homeless encamp.
That was the lore I’d learned as a child. That was my “ancestry” I was supposed to respect and admire, which I did, wholeheartedly. There were things they left out, though. Things that you might have suspected, from a naive perspective, would be perfect for kids, all the folklore that came with the logging industry. The ghost stories, and the tall tales. I would have eaten that up. They do talk about that kind of thing in places far removed from the Pacific Northwest. But I had never heard about any of it. Things like the Hidebehind. No, that I’d have to discover for myself.
There were four of us on those bike adventures. Myself. Ralph, my best friend. A tough guy, the bad boy, the most worldly of us, which is a strange thing to say about an eight-year-old kid. India, an archetypal ‘80s tomboy. She was the coolest person I knew at the time. Looking back, I wonder what her home life was like. I think I remember problematic warning signs that I couldn’t have recognized when I was so young, but now raise flags. Then there was Ben. A goofy kid, a wild mop of hair, coke bottle glasses, type 1 diabetic which seemed to make him both a bit pampered by his mother, who was in charge of all his insulin, diet, and schedule, and conversely a real risk taker when she wasn’t around.
When we first saw it…
No, wait. This was the problem with starting the story. Where does it all begin? I’ll need to talk about my Grandfather as well. I’ve had two different perspectives on my Grandfather, on the man that he was. The first was the healthy able-bodied grandparent I’d known as a young child. Then there was the man, as I learned about him after he had passed.
There was a middle period, from when I was 6 to when I was 16, when I hardly understood him at all, as he was hit with a double whammy of both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's. His decline into an invalid was both steep and long drawn out. That part didn’t reflect who he was as a person.
What did I know of him when I was little? Well I knew he and my grandmother had a nice big house and some farmland, out in the broad flat valley north of Farmingham. Dairy country. It had been settled by Dutch immigrants back in the homesteading days. His family had been among the first pioneers in the county too. It didn’t register to me then that his surname was Norwegian, not Dutch. I knew he had served in the Navy in World War II, which I was immensely proud of for reasons I didn’t know why. I knew he had a job as a butcher in a nearby rural supermarket. He was a bit of a farmer too, more as a hobby and a side gig. He had a few cattle, but mostly grew and harvested hay to sell to the local dairies. I knew he had turned his garage into a machine shop, and could fix damn near anything. From the flat tires on my bicycle to the old flat-bed truck he’d haul hay with, to an old 1950s riding lawnmower he somehow managed to keep in working order. I knew he could draw a really cool cartoon cowboy, I knew he loved to watch football, and I knew the whiskers on his chin were very pokey, and they’d tickle you when he kissed you on the cheek, and that when you tried to rub the sensation away he’d laugh and laugh and laugh.
Then there were the parts of his life that I’d learn much later. Mostly from odd passing comments from relatives, or things I’d find in the public records. Like how he’d been a better grandfather than a father. Or how his life as I knew it had been a second, better life. He’d been born among the Norwegian settler community, way up in the deep, dark, forest-shrouded hills that rimmed the valley. He’d been a logger in his youth. Technologically he was only a generation or two from the ones I’d learned about in the museum. They’d replaced donkeys with diesel engines and corduroy roads with narrow gauge rail. It was still the same job, though. Dirty, dangerous, dark. Way back into those woods, living in little logging camps, civilization was always a several-day hike out. It became a vulgar sort of profession, filled with violent men, reprobates, and thieves. When my grandfather’s father was murdered on his front porch by a lunatic claiming he’d been wronged somehow, my grandfather hiked out of there, got into town, and joined the Navy. He vowed never to go back. The things he’d seen out in those woods were no good. He’d kept that existence away from me. Anyways…
Tommy Barker was the first of us to go missing. I say ‘us’ as if I knew him personally. I didn’t. He went to Farmingham Middle School, other side of town, and several grades above us. From our perspective, he may as well have been an adult living overseas.
Yet it felt like we got to know him. His face was everywhere, on TV, all over telephone poles. Everybody was talking about him. After he didn’t return from a friend’s house, everybody just sort of assumed, or maybe hoped, that he’d just gotten lost, or was trapped somewhere. They searched all the parks. Backyards, junkyards, refrigerators, trunks. Old-fashioned refrigerators, back before suction seals, had a simple handle with a latch that opened when you pulled on it. It wasn’t a problem when the fridges were in use and filled with food. But by the 80s old broke-down refrigerators started filling up backyards and junkyards, and they became deathtraps for kids playing hide-and-seek. The only opened from the outside. I remember thinking Tommy Barker was a little old to have likely been playing hide-and-seek, but people checked everywhere anyway. They never found him.
That was about the first time we saw the Hidebehind. Ben said he thought he saw somebody following us, looked like, maybe, a kid. We’d just slowly huffed our way up a moderately steep hill, Farmingham is full of them, and when we paused for a breather at the top, Ben said he saw it down the hill, closer to the base. Yet when we turned to look there was nothing there. Ben said he’d just seen it duck behind a car. That wasn’t the sort of behavior of a random kid minding his own business. Yet the slope afforded us a view under the car’s carriage, and except for the four tires, there were no signs of any feet hiding behind the body. At first, we thought he was pulling our leg. When he insisted he wasn’t, we started to tease him a little. He must have been seeing things, on account of his poor vision and thick glasses. The fact that those glasses afforded him vision as good as or better than any of us wasn’t something we considered.
The next person to disappear was Amy Brooks. Fifth-grader. Next elementary school over. I remember it feeling like when you’re traveling down the freeway, and there’s a big thunderstorm way down the road, but it keeps getting closer, and closer. I don’t remember what she looked like. Her face wasn’t plastered everywhere like Tommy’s had been. She was mentioned on the regional news, out of Seattle, her and Tommy together. Two missing kids from the same town in a short amount of time. The implication was as obvious as it was depraved. They didn’t think the kids were getting lost anymore. They didn’t do very much searching of backyards. The narratives changed too. Teachers started talking a lot about stranger danger. Local TV channels started recycling old After School Specials and public service announcements about the subject.
I’m not sure who saw it next. I think it was Ben again. We took him seriously this time though. I think. The one I’m sure I remember was soon after, and that time it was India who first saw it. It’s still crystal clear in my memory, almost forty years later, because that was the time I first saw it too. We were riding through a four-way stop, an Idaho Stop before they called it that, when India slammed to a stop, locking up her coaster brakes and leaving a long black streak of rubber on a dry patch of pavement. We stopped quickly after and asked what the problem was. We could tell by her face she’d seen it. She was still looking at it.
“I see it,” she whispered, unnecessarily. We all followed her gaze. We were looking, I don’t know, ten seconds? Twenty? We believed everything she said, we just couldn’t see it.
“Where?” Ralph asked.
“Four blocks down,” she whispered. “On the left. See the red car? Kinda rusty?” There was indeed a big old Lincoln Continental, looking pretty ratty and worn. I focused on that, still seeing nothing. “Past that, just to its right. See the street light pole? It’s just behind that.”
We also saw the pole she was talking about. Metal. Aluminum, I’d have guessed. It had different color patches, like metallic flakeboard. Like it’d had been melted together out of scrap.
I could see that clearly even from that distance. I saw nothing behind it. I could see plenty of other things in the background, cars, houses, bushes, front lawns, beauty bark landscape.. There was no indication of anything behind that pole.
And then it moved. It had been right there where she said it had been, yet it had somehow perfectly blended into the landscape, a trick of perspective. We didn’t see it at all until it moved, and almost as fast it had disappeared behind that light pole. We only got a hint. Brown in color, about our height in size.
We screamed. Short little startled screams, the involuntary sort that just burst out of you. Then we turned and started to pedal like mad, thoroughly spooked. We made it to the intersection of the next block when it was Ralph who screeched to a halt and shouted, “Wait!”
We slowed down and stopped, perhaps not as eagerly as we’d done when India yelled. Ralph was looking back over his shoulder, looking at that metal pole. “Did anybody see it move again?’ he asked. We all shook our heads in the negative. Ralph didn’t notice, but of course, he didn’t really need an answer, of course we hadn’t been watching.
“If it didn’t move, then it’s still there!” Ralph explained the obvious. It took a second to sink in, despite the obvious. “C’mon!” he shouted, and to our surprise, before we could react, he turned and took off, straight down the road, straight to where that thing had been lurking.
We were incredulous, but something about his order made us all follow hot on his heels. He was a sort of natural leader. I thought it was total foolishness, but I wasn’t going to let him go alone. I think I got out, “Are you crazy?!”
The wind was blowing hard past our faces as we raced as fast as we could, it made it hard to hear. Ralph shouted his response. “If it’s hiding that means its afraid!” That seemed reasonable, if not totally accurate. Lions hide from their prey before they attack. Then again, they don’t wait around when the whole herd charges. Really, the pole was coming up so fast there wasn’t a whole lot of time to argue. “Just blast past and look!” Ralph added. “We’re too fast! It won’t catch us.”
Sure, I thought to myself. Except maybe Ben, who always lagged behind the rest of us in a race. The lion would get Ben if any of us.
We rushed past that pole and all turned our heads to look. “See!” Ralph shouted in triumph. There was simply nothing there. A metal streetlight pole and nothing more. We stopped pedaling yet still sped on. “Hang on,” Ralph said, and at the next intersection he took a fast looping curve that threatened to crash us all, but we managed and curved behind him. We all came to the pole again where we stopped to see up close that there was nothing there, despite what we had seen moments before.
“Maybe it bilocated,” Ben offered. We groaned. We were all thinking it, but I think we were dismissive because it wasn’t as cool a word as ‘teleport.”
“Maybe it just moved when we weren’t looking,” I offered. That hadn’t been long, but that didn’t mean anything if it moved fast. The four of us slowly looked up from the base of the pole to our immediate surroundings. There were bushes. A car in a carport covered by a tarpaulin. The carport itself. Garbage cans. Stumps. Of course the ever-present trees. Whatever it was it could have been hiding behind anything. Maybe it was. We looked. Maybe it would make itself seen. None of us wanted that. “OK, let’s get going,” Ralph said, and we did so.
I got home feeling pretty shaken that afternoon. I felt safe at home. Except for the front room, which had a big bay window looking out onto the street, and the people who lived across it. There were plenty of garbage cans and telephone poles and stumps that a small, fast thing might hide behind. No, I felt more comfortable in my bedroom. There was a window, but a great thick conical cypress tree grew right in front of it, reaching way up over the roof of the house. If anything, it offered ME a place to hide, and peer out onto the street to either side of the tree. It was protective, as good as any heavy blanket.
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2023.06.01 05:23 Exiled_From_Twitter Tiger did play in a fairly weak era of golf, but so did the other greats for the most part: Historical Masters Data as a Proxy

Tiger did play in a fairly weak era of golf, but so did the other greats for the most part: Historical Masters Data as a Proxy
Recently someone posted the Major results comparison between Brooks and Tiger. It was an interesting comparison, even if not the absolute best way to do it. This was much to the dismay of Tiger stans and brought up some vitriol, exacerbated by my comments that Tiger's era was quite a bit weaker so even if you tried to compare peak to peak it's not quite accurate.
Comparing eras is almost impossible in golf, there are just so many variables to consider including equipment changes, course changes / setup, and the fact that two people can look at the exact same thing and come to two completely different conclusions - both with merit. For instance, you could look at Tiger's dominance as a sign that the era was just a bit weak which bolstered his overall results. I think it's a fair question, but how do you "prove" it?
Because historical data and results are not very accessible there's just not much out there. I used to have all the major results from circa 1970 through 2015 but it was lost unfortunately and the site I used to get it no longer exists. I could not find anything comparable and I don't know how to use python or other scraping tools unfortunately. However, one thing fairly easy to gather and is mostly clean is the Masters historical data, every single one played since 1934. So that is what I have now, it's clearly not comprehensive but it can be used as a decent proxy.
The method was simple - I looked at how many strokes vs. average by round a player was in every tournament and then totaled the rounds - for those who played less than 4 rounds their per round average was multiplied by the appropriate amount to compare to those who did play all 4. There are instances where someone who barely missed the cut ended up having a better total result (though still not good) than someone who made the cut. Some may not like that given that ppl think making the cut is an achievement in itself but if you make the cut then blow up over the weekend you deserve the worse score.
With each individual result in every Masters played I could then determine strength of field of each Masters tournament by looking at a moving average of how every player in that field had performed in Masters tournaments in the 5 years before and / or after. This gives a more accurate account of each player in the field at the time they were in the field, for instance if you used simple average then I would be giving too much credit to this years Tiger Woods when we know he's not what he was 15 years ago, and simultaneously discrediting Tiger Woods in the early 2000's where he was clearly better than now.
The field strength for each year is determined by the Top 30 golfers in the field (b/c you're not truly playing the entire field) using the moving average of each player's performance +/- 5 years from the year in question. This gives you an indication of how good each player is in that moment moreso than using their entire career (i.e. Arnie's Masters career is not great but that's b/c he played in something like 44 of them and was clearly way out of place in the last 25 or so).
With all that explained, here are the "difficulty" results of every Masters since 1960 (they didn't have a cut until like 1957 so a lot of that just doesn't look right):

Filled data points are Masters in which Tiger participated

When Tiger burst onto the scene the field was getting quite a bit better from the early to mid 90's. Based on the method he already counted towards the field strength b/c of the power of hindsight, but beyond him the field was quite good. In 1997, beyond just Tiger you also had Jose Maria Olazabal, Fred Couples, David Duval, and Phil Mickelson all had very good records at the Masters in the years before and after, all 8 strokes better than the field. In 2004 the field was the best it's been since the mid 60's, largely b/c of Tiger and Phil who were both 12 strokes better than average during that span. But Vijay was also 9 strokes better and the field was pretty deep. But by Tiger's peak, in his late 20's, the field was not great by Master's standards. In 2008 Tiger and Phil were still at the top but the 3rd best golfer in the field was Angel Cabrera, who was a very good 5.9 strokes better than average but that's very low for the 3rd best in the tourney.
You see it bounces around a bit thereafter but often the field was certainly worse from 2006 until 2020 when it finally drops into the truly awesome field that we have now. What is interesting is that the field this past April was not as top heavy but is very deep again. For instance, Rory was just the 28th ranked player in this field by this measure (his Masters history is not as good as his total, of course) but at a very respectable 2.8 strokes better than average (Tied for the best 28th place player in any field since 1960).
So Tiger's era is a bit everywhere, with it being pretty good in the first few years then falling off towards the backend. BUT there's more... the only problem with this is that the field is taking into account Tiger, but he doesn't play against himself so this is not completely representative of the field that Tiger played against himself. Obviously this is the same throughout - Jack didn't have to face himself, clearly, and thus if trying to determine the field Jack played against you would need to remove Jack from the equation. Of course it's going to be difficult for the best golfers in the world to face the toughest fields b/c the field is facing the best golfers...we can still compare of course. So then what do the fields look like for each golfer with themselves removed from the equation?

Filled data points are Masters in which Tiger participated
The best fields Tiger has ever played against in the Masters have been in the last two. In 2007 it was one of the worst ever, as the Tiger field was 2 strokes worse relative to average than in the last two years. This is what happens when Chris DiMarco is one of the best golfers in the field.....
But this still doesn't tell us how it relates to other golfers all-time. So looking at the best individual performers in Masters history, using their 10 best performances (min 6) vs. the rest of the field strength during those performances....

Is Palmer the Masters GOAT?
And as the caption states, Palmer truly stands out here. His best individual performances stack up against the best but the strength of the fields he played against are quite easily better than Nicklaus and Tiger (even though there was overlap). This is largely b/c Palmer faced off against the games stalwarts even before Nicklaus entered the mix, going against Snead, Hogan, and the unsung greats of Middlecoff and Mangrum as well. Then a few short years later he's competing against Nicklaus, Player, Venturi, and Casper Jr (with Snead still there in the early goings of the 60's as well).

Long story short - yes, Tiger did face fairly weak fields in his prime but he did also face some pretty good ones and they are comparable to most other great Masters players aside from the incomparable Arnold Palmer. And yes, the field today is very strong and could compete as the strongest of all-time in the near future.
submitted by Exiled_From_Twitter to golf [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 04:43 VoidOfOblivion Check your closests people

Check your closests people
Just remembered I put these away long long ago, the fact that the map still holds up for the new game gets me giddy all over again. The booklet took a beating but these boys look pristine 👌
submitted by VoidOfOblivion to tearsofthekingdom [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 04:42 Liberty_Lake Wade Boggs Beer Promo I couldn't help but take a picture of a very appropriate promotion at my local Fred Meyer.

Wade Boggs Beer Promo I couldn't help but take a picture of a very appropriate promotion at my local Fred Meyer. submitted by Liberty_Lake to mlb [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 04:27 M0dusPwnens Disintegrating studs

I've never run into this problem before. I have a row of modular buildings on my counter that I've put together over the last three years (my COVID hobby), and I just went to move the Assembly Square on the end to dust behind it today, and it felt strange. The base was flexing more than I remember even just gently lifting it, and a few pieces popped off.
When I looked at where the pieces had been, the studs were completely ripped off. I very gently pulled up another flat piece from the plate, and the studs came off with it. When I pulled the broken-off stud out of the flat piece, it completely disintegrated between my fingertips. The surface seems to have a slight oily film.
The only things I can think of that happened nearby are:
  1. A cheap spray bottle of Mrs. Meyer's basic multipurpose cleaner on the part of the counter I cook on, but I never spray or wipe particularly near the Lego
  2. I oiled a cutting board with coconut oil nearby a couple of weeks ago
  3. The buildings are under a counter light that is on most of the time, but none of the other buildings under it seem affected, so that seems unlikely
The disintegration and those oily patches seem to have worked their way under a bunch of the bricks on the first layer, but I certainly didn't spill anything across the whole surface or anything like that. Could it have somehow wicked the oil or cleaner up? I've googled a bit and already sent in a support request, but wondering if anyone has any insight. It sucks to lose such an expensive set, but I'm worried about damaging the rest too.
submitted by M0dusPwnens to lego [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 02:57 Phallus_Maximus69E Hitman: Codename 47 - The beginning of an Era

Hitman: Codename 47 is the game that started a whole franchise and presented one of games' most recognizable characters: Agent 47. This game has great ideas impaired by technical limitations, both from the technology of the time and the budget, but counters it by having fun gameplay and a flawless story.
It is amazing how intelligent games were back then, detailing storylines and interesting characters displayed with an easy-to-follow presentation. At the beginning of every mission you go to a briefing where you learn about your target and the details surrounding the hit you are going to perform. This is presented all in text and all you have to do is read it. One of the most interesting aspects of the game is the video of the target filmed by an ICA agent - which gives us an idea of how organized the Agency is.
After the briefing you have the mission map and the equipment list of what you want to bring with you in order to complete your mission. So read the briefing, study the map and pay attention to your surroundings - patrolling paths, NPCs you can talk to, different entry points etc. The game almost always gives you several different courses of action, but it is much more linear than its sequels. There is always one strategy that was clearly the one intended by the developers and level designers; if you are having a very hard time in a mission, or if you take much longer than 10 minutes, chances are you're on the wrong track. Missions take around 5-10 minutes to complete, provided you know what you have to do. You might be able to complete missions in a different way, but it will usually be a much, much harder way.
Hitman: Codename 47 is a stealth game and, therefore, discourages shootouts - but they do happen as part of some missions. This one is a feature I like, even if the moving and shooting mechanics are clanky, as killing a few guards shows how heavily protected your targets are. You have to do that in the Ochoa mission and the Rotterdam missions; and I dread how this feature was abondened in later games. Agent 47 was cloned through the DNA of his French Foreign Legion fathers not to be just an assassin, but to be the perfect soldier; so he knows how to handle himself in a firefight.
This game also has some great details, such as the greatest voice line ever uttered in a video game: "I need to use the BATHroom".
You have to chat with NPCs in order to gather intel, so pay attention. Some voice dialog are weird and somewhat funny, but Lei Ling's best voice is in this version. You will mostly hear “He’s packing!” and “This guys is loaded!” at first, but dialogue such as Ort-Meyer's provide needed context.
The most enduring feature of the Hitman series is the collective of creative kills and approaches, and many of those came from movies (as the game itself). The hit on the Chief of Police took the idea of planting the pistol in the bathroom from the God Father. Ochoa's character is taken from Al Pacino's Tony Montana (Scarface) but the mission looks really based in Sniper (1993) - the targets in both game and movie are called Ochoa - and the soldiers really look like a South American drug army.
One of the most creative missions is "Traditions of the Trade" (the best version), where you have to talk to NPCs and have many different ways of killing Fritz - plus an emblematic hit on Frantz.
Ochoa is the most wronged of the fathers in the series: Colombia has a more military feel, already opening with 47 looking like a jungle warrior king in the loading screen and then rappeling into the middle of the jungle by helicopter. Plus exotic natives, leaf physics and Ochoa's threats during the gunfight - that are hilarious. With all 5 fathers having served in Indochina, the jungle setting is a nice touch and should have been remade (albeit smaller and self-contained in one mission).
Cutscenes and loading screens are great: the cutscene of Tzun protecting Lee Hong from Agent 47 and the killing of Fritz Fuchs in the pool or the sauna.
Given this game was first conceived as a Chinese mobster action game, it is no surprise the Hong Kong missions are so memorable. The presentation screen of Lee Hong, the Lei Ling character arc, saving Agent Smith, and getting the jade figurine.
While people make some constructive complaints, some of them are not - like not having a command for dropping a body, even though all you need to do is hit the right mouse button, something I got right the first time I played (back in the day).
This game is not hard if you're well informed but it's punishing; its main flaw being the faulty AI, with an awereness problem and very thick skin. The guards' AI has only two modes - idle and combat - and sometimes they simply "know" 47 is bad news. Nowhere in this game is this more evident than in Ochoa's hit, with guards attacking you for no reason, and that's why so many people hate it.
Add to that the poor knife mechanic where you can easily slit someone's throat with it, but if he moves you go into a thrust mode. One or two strikes is something you can do before being shot, but needing 4-6 stabs to kill a target is simply too much.
Another complaint about the Colombian missions is the "bad design" of the enemy camp, where you need to run all over the other side of the fence to enter the camp; but this is misplaced, as the design both serves to show you the size of the camp with its many guard patrols, showing how well-guarded the drug lord is, and also because you sneaked from behind said camp.
The main strengths of this game are the story and the atmosphere. The soundtrack made by Jesper Kyd is simply amazing and conveys a perfect immersion to the different settings - action, suspense, fear. My favorites are the Hong Kong and Colombian settings, with their exotic themes. Maps are quite big and populated. The henchmen in each mission are also expertly done and genuine: they range from Chinese Triad members to Colombian drug soldiers, biker gangsters and masked gunrunners. The NPCs are also diverse, with bartenders, hotel staff and sex workers. The presentation is near flawless with unique signature kills and different approaches to make the perfect hit, giving Agent 47 a solid entry into the assassination business.
submitted by Phallus_Maximus69E to HiTMAN [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 01:55 computer-controller Produce question: kaffir limes?

I used to get these limes from a co-op called kaffir limes. They where wrinkled and aromatic in the skin. They tasted almost like an herb mixed with lime.
I haven't seen them at the co-ops I went by and of course not at the Fred Meyer or Winco.
Anyone got leads on how to source them for a little food project?
submitted by computer-controller to Eugene [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 23:16 AslandusTheLaster Wyn-OWLS admins say you should touch some grass

Original prompt: [WP] Humanity has advanced to the point they live entirely online. You disconnect offline into a physical body for a government expedition. Report everything you’ve discovered about the offline world. (link)
I was halfway through a dragon-slaying quest with my guild when the message arrived. Apparently I'd been selected to take part in an "expedition", and if I didn't log out of Wyn-Life's Open World Life Simulator (Wyn-Owls for short), then I'd be ejected by force. My guild was supportive, as always, but none of them hid the fact that they had no idea what it meant.
About a day later, I discovered I'd been added to a messaging group with the other expedition members. Looking around the existing messages, the feelings among the group seemed mixed. Some, who had grown up hearing family members' stories of The Time Before were excited to see the world outside. Others were skeptical, thinking of the physical world as being just like Wyn-Owls, except they couldn't hack the system to fly or turn the world pink.
Personally, I was among the skeptics. I'd seen the physical world, but only during the recommended physical exercise periods. What I'd seen wasn't anything special, a chamber with solid gray walls I couldn't punch through, a few glowing LEDs, a few pieces of furniture for dealing with bodily functions while outside our life-support modules... Spending a matter of weeks out there just seemed like a miserable chore. Still, Wyn-Life had given the order, and they controlled both Wyn-Owls and the life support modules, so we didn't have much choice in the matter.
My preparations for the expedition were... Well, nonexistent, frankly. They could force me out of the OWLS, but they couldn't make me leave the bunker, so I didn't plan to. After a few days, they'd have to let us back in, so I planned to just sit around eating microbe chips and waiting to be allowed back online.
When the day finally came, I had been in the middle of figuring out the alchemy system, attempting to create a potion that would allow me to breathe underwater. It was slightly jarring to go from carefully measuring out colorful chemicals to coughing up faux-amniotic fluid on the concrete floor of my bunker, but I quickly pulled myself together and settled in to wait it out.
Well, I tried to. After about ten minutes of stretching and milling around my bedroom (accompanied by the usual cacophony of my joints cracking and popping after days of disuse), the lights shut off and a small rectangle lit up. Some kind of handheld communication device had been created in my 3D printer while I was still in Wyn-Owls, and was now blinking in a desperate gambit to draw my attention. I took a look at it, and wasn't particularly impressed. It was far less convenient than the communication windows in the OWLS, but I would have to accept the inconvenience since the physical world apparently wasn't sophisticated enough to have communication windows.
The communicators defaulted to a group chat with the other expedition members, who seemed to be in a similar state. Even the ones who had been excited before were terrified. We didn't even have light switches, so the lights going out all at once seemed like a borderline apocalyptic scenario. As we were speculating about what they were going to ask us to do, the LEDs near the floor began blinking in sequence, directing me toward the door.
I considered sticking with my plan of sitting around, but decided against it. Doing so in the dark wasn't what I'd had in mind, and who knew what else Wyn-Life would pull to make us do their bidding? Instead, I quickly got dressed in the drab clothes of the physical world and stepped out of my room for the first time in over a year.
My parents' bedroom was active, with the lights visible behind the door, but locked as usual. Grandparents, same story. Siblings, surprise surprise, also locked. Honestly, I wasn't entirely sure all of them were still alive (or any of them for that matter), but they still answered my messages within a few days of them being sent, so I assumed they were. Sure, there were rumors that Wyn-Life could maintain a person's consciousness inside Wyn-Owls even if their physical body died, but I'd assumed they were wrong. After all, Wyn-Owls basically was the world these days, so why would they bother having us leave to do physicals and such if we didn't need our bodies? I quickly realized I had gotten distracted, and returned to my path.
The lights led me out of my family dormitory, and past the doors of our neighbors. I had met many of them in passing, but I was only 14. It wasn't expected that we'd get married until the Pairing Day of our 25th year, so I had plenty of time to decide which of the girls in the community I disliked the least.
As I continued to follow the lights, I passed the common room where community gatherings were held back in the Dark Times, before Wyn-Owls was properly set up. Nowadays it was basically obsolete, OWLS made gatherings easier and much more interesting, but the automated maintenance systems still kept the room in good condition just in case.
Finally, I reached what looked like a destination. It wasn't a gate to the outside, but one of the old armories. Not to say that it was just a stockpile of ancient weapons, though it did have a fair few of those, it also contained its own more sophisticated 3D printers with access to weapon schematics. As I entered, two items had just been finished, hot off the printers. One was a Holo-Rifle, identical to the standard guns used in Wyn-Owls for marksmanship and hunting. I had little doubt that was intentional, though I wasn't sure whether they'd modeled the guns in the simulation after the real thing, or built the real thing based off how their virtual guns worked. I had never been a big fan of them personally, they were pretty bulky and the light beams they fired didn't have as much impact as I would've preferred, but if Wyn-Life thought I might need it then I'd take it with me.
The other item was an Omnitool. The handle was easy to keep a grip on, which was good given that the liquid metal that formed the actual operative instrument was still shifting around like crazy. It formed a blade, a weighted hammer, a segmented whip, a crook and a surprisingly long baton before retreating into the handle. I was more familiar with this tool, it was a lot of fun to play around with, and you could pull off some crazy stunts in the tournament arena if you used it well, but for the expedition I had to assume they intended it to be a multitool and not a wacky weapon. I carefully stowed the tool in my pocket as the lights dimmed again, and the LEDs on the floor began guiding me to a new destination.
I passed the old cafeteria, where food used to be served regularly before the nutrient synthesizers were installed in our rooms. They still saw some use during events, and the hydroponically-grown food was always a nice treat compared to flavorless paste the synthesizers usually produced, but I did not miss the lines we had to wait in.
Finally, it seemed I'd reached a door I'd never seen the other side of. The Big Door, which led to parts unknown. I'd wondered when I was younger what was on the other side, but had since lost interest. Now, though, it opened, and behind it was... a stairway. There was also an elevator, but the lights weren't directing me to it and the buttons didn't respond when I pressed them, so I assumed it hadn't been maintained properly and began climbing the stairs.
The staircase was enormous, and as I climbed I passed other doors that I could only assume led to other Wyn-Life community bunkers. Door after door, I climbed what must have been dozens of flights worth of stairs until I reached an even bigger door. After a few seconds, a klaxon sounded while a spinning red light filled the room and the door began to open. Behind it was an airlock, and I stepped inside, the door to the bunker sealing behind me before the door on the other side opened. We'd all been taught about The War, so I'd almost expected a burnt-out hellscape to be waiting beyond the door, but as the outside came into view, it quickly became apparent that that wasn't the case.
The light was absolutely blinding. I had always wondered why the comfortable level of illumination was only 5% of what the settings allowed, but seeing how bright the outside was, it made a bit more sense. After all, the basic design for the bunker had almost certainly been made back when people were still living out here, so this must have been the standard for the original designers. The air also seemed strangely... rich? It was moist, and felt a bit thick, but also significantly more pleasant to breathe than the air from the corridors I'd just left. As strange as it may sound, it almost felt like it was the first time I'd gotten to properly use my lungs.
As my eyes adjusted, I noticed just how strange everything looked. Even the most exotic servers and alien worlds generally had a familiar feel, sort of like recolors or alterations of objects from other places in the Wyn-Owls. Even just looking at the plant life from the entryway of the bunker, it seemed... off.
The first thing I noticed were the trees. Evergreens so tall that they seemed to touch the clouds, with no low-hanging branches that would allow anyone to climb them. I was already missing the ability to fly, it would've made examining the treetops much easier. Closer to the ground there were ferns, vines covered in thorns, and... A plant with fur on its leaves? It seemed the outside was a bit too strange to rely on just a written report, I desperately needed to take some screenshots to accompany it. Nobody would believe me if I just told them about this stuff!
I almost immediately realized that the physical world didn't support screenshots, much to my chagrin. Since my communicator gave me access to the messaging system, I wondered if I could use it to get around this limitation as well.
After touching it in a few places and a few ways, I found a way to open a menu offering different functions. I flicked through the various options, and stopped on photography. The device was a bit finicky, so it took me a few tries to get a good shot, but I did manage to get some clear pictures. I quickly began drafting a report, as I took my first step onto the ground outside. The ground sank in a little under my foot, nearly causing me to fall over. The soft ground only added to the alien feel of the outside, as if I was walking on the skin of some giant animal instead of nice, solid tile flooring.
Still, it wasn't altogether unpleasant, and I bandied around the idea of taking off my shoes to feel the soft ground with my feet before noticing all the debris that would probably have impaled my feet if I did. As I submitted my first report, I was already considering what direction to explore first. No HUD icons, no quest markers, no actual objectives aside from "look around and report what you find", and no advice to be had apart from that of other idiots who were in the exact same situation. It was terrifying, and also somewhat exhilarating, but it seemed that I would need to carve my own path for the foreseeable future.
submitted by AslandusTheLaster to AslandusTheLaster [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 21:19 Forsaken-Talk5955 Meyers dish soap and pine sol mix

Okay I cleaned my floors today I always use ms meyers dish soap to mop my floors, but there was pine sol on the mop I used. I made sure to clean the bucket before I used it or anything. I’m currently living at my brothers house because of a certain living situation, I sm not gonna die because of the way I cleaned the floors right? There’s no bleach or any harmful chemicals in the dish soap I use so that means I should be safe right ?
submitted by Forsaken-Talk5955 to CleaningTips [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 20:46 RealOneTopG Series 5

Series 5
Found 2 stray series five in a Fred Meyer in Washington, first I've seen.
submitted by RealOneTopG to megaconstrux [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 20:42 RealOneTopG Series 5

Series 5
Found 2 stray series five in a Fred Meyer in Washington, first I've seen.
submitted by RealOneTopG to megaconstrux [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 19:13 RFCcybertech Passed Security+ in 21 Days

The heading for this post can be slightly misinterpreted or clickbait like, so be warned. My journey is simple, as I had the opportunity to take the Security+ when it was under the SY0-501 status. However, procrastination and fear of failure caused me to miss out on that opportunity. Around two years later it was time to take the SY0-601 as it is critical for the DOD-8570/8140 standard and covers the IAT Level I and II directives. So, now that I've gotten that out of the way I'm hoping to help some of you save some vital time!
Study Suggestions and Tools
1 - Don't do what I did (unless you are absolutely tired of procrastinating). I had previously reviewed the exam objectives and printed them out at least 10-20 times but never truly used them to study. I also began studying vigorously for the exam on May 3rd and scheduled my test for May 24th. This was only because I needed to light some serious fire under me to get going and actually devote hours of my day to study. In three weeks I studied for no less than 40 hours in that window. There were also actually days when I did not study at all, but I was actively rehearsing the acronyms and deployed the material into DAILY CONVERSATION. BE INTENTIONAL! Example - I wonder how long it will take before this breaks, oh yea like MTBF. OR. If things were to break do I know what I'd do, oh yea like an IRP. This absolutely assisted me in the process of study.
2. Jason Dion and Professor Messer Practice Exams - huge thanks for all nine of them as I took each of Dion's and two of Messers and some multiple times. My highest score was 93%, however, that was because I rocked on all things that particular exam covered. Average test score on both Messer and Dion's exams had to be no higher than a 75%. Drill the answers into your head but know why they were wrong and please READ! There were so many times I could've felt even more ready had I simply read the question right and not rushed through it.
3. Mike Meyers (Passport Book/online or paperback) - This book is essentially the exam cram study guide and I will tell you now I hate reading certain material. I love cyber and security information but I have all of the guides (Exam Cram, Get Certified Get Ahead, The Official Study Guide, and a few other options). I may have read 60-70 pages of those books combined. However, I flew through the online offering from Mike Meyers via Total Seminars as everything was condensed and not expounded upon. If you like/love to read and know you retain information that way definitely go for the GCGA by Darril Gibson if I read that book I'd be prepared for sure!
4. Professor Messer's SY0-601 videos (1.5 speed) - I listened to a ton of his free videos on this speed after I covered essentially every topic just to pick up on things I may have missed. If something was not familiar, I would either rewind or play that video at regular speed.
Lastly, I prayed a lot!! I sacrificed some personal fun time for a period and man does it feel good to have passed. You can do it, you will do it, and you will be thankful you put the time in because now once you pass you can focus on mastering tools like the FTK Toolkit, Autopsy, PowerShell, Linux, or whatever was on the exam and work towards being a SME versus just passing a certification. If you're in cybersecurity already and aren't just a Systems Admin like me you definitely should be able to pass as you most likely use a ton of the frameworks and tools daily.
I definitely was nervous before clicking that submit button as I had a ton of PBQs and felt like I was failing all the way through. Nonetheless seeing that 772 was miraculous!
submitted by RFCcybertech to CompTIA [link] [comments]


submitted by CapitalCourse to copypasta [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 18:04 NamelessNanashi [The Gods of Dragons: Beginning] Ch 11 - Road to Hamerfoss Part 1/2

--- Table of Contents ---
Spring 4985, 18 Buromoth
The road to Hamerfoss was north out of Smilnda. By horse, the journey took only two days, one and a half if ridden hard. By foot, it generally took four days, but escorting a heavily loaded wagon would take the squires six.
On the first day out, Thom and Rerves released their excited energy through constant chatter. Talking about how happy they were to finally be on their way to real training. Occasionally Shon would join in.
On the second day, they spoke about how much easier it would be to concentrate without the girls around. Shon didn’t join much in this conversation.
On the third day, they confessed to missing Daisy and Ania. Suspecting they missed the conversation, Shon attempted to chime in more often.
The fourth and fifth days were plagued with spring rain, and the boys did little more than complain, particularly about their new leather armor chafing when wet. Shon couldn't help but grumble in affirmation. He'd hated the armor from the first day.
The sixth, and final, day saw a stop to the rain. The boys spent their walk beside the wagon carefully dodging puddles after Thom submerged his entire boot in one deeper than expected. There was very little talking between them now, all three too nervous and excited for their imminent arrival.
The road outside the city had been the only part with flat fields and open skies on either side. For the rest, they'd traveled through forest, with only the occasional clearing maintained explicitly for travelers to camp. Tall evergreens growing close together blocked the view of anything beyond the road at their feet, giving Shon and the others very little to look at as they marched.
Two sturdy horses pulled the wagon of supplies for the fortress. Barrels of food and crates of scrap metal as well as sacks of letters and the Squire's personal bags, weighed down the laden wagon, the wheels carving deep channels in the muddy road.
Shon had already sketched the wagon, the horses, the Paladin driving them, and his fellow Squires many times over. He even managed a few landscape drawings, for lack of better subjects. He had no idea how the other two managed to calm their excitement before sleep. Perhaps that was why they talked so much every night.
Walking ahead of him, Rerves readjusted the hilt of his short sword while Shon pulled at the neck of his armor for what seemed like the hundredth time each. They hadn’t been trained in the proper use of either, and Shon wondered again why the Paladins had insisted the Squires wear them. They'd been ordered to guard the wagon, but who would be stupid enough to waylay a Temple cart so close to a fortress full of knights? Of course, monsters such as the draken and drakwalves were always a threat, but what were three untrained boys supposed to do against something like that?
Shon sighed, letting his hand fall limply from the gorget. It was no use. No matter how many times he tried to shift it, it would just rub somewhere else until he grew uncomfortable enough to try again. He attempted to distract himself, letting his eyes unfocus and picturing himself going through his kata as he walked in a daze. Master Veon-Zih always said that mental practice was just as important as physical training, though in this case, Shon was just glad it gave him something to focus on besides his nerves and discomfort.
He was about to start the second kata when he nearly ran into Rerves. The taller boy had stopped walking, and Shon arched an eyebrow at him before realizing that the wagon had also stopped. There was no way they were there already…
Stepping to the side, Shon saw what had stalled them. A man in what looked like poorly kept half-plate stood in the middle of the path. A large war ax strapped to his back.
The stranger scratched at his short beard, scraggly and peppered like his hair, “Ho traveler, where you headed?” He called.
The three boys looked to the Paladin driving the wagon, watching as his eyes narrowed, “We are bound for Hamerfoss, good ser…”
“Ah, so the toll you’ll be payin' will be comin' out of them coffers then,” the stranger called, his face splitting into a grin as the boys looked back his way.
“There is no toll on this road, good ser.” their Paladin stated. As if their heads had been placed on a swivel, the Squires returned their gazes to him, but only for a moment as the stranger answered again.
“There is now.” the bandit lifted his hand, the Paladin stood, and the boys looked between the two with wide eyes, not sure what they were supposed to do. The bandit whistled, a sharp sound that sent birds flying from the trees as four hooded figures exited from the gloom to surround the wagon and its three terrified Squires.
The Paladin drew his longsword, ordering the boys, “Protect the wagon!” They turned frightened eyes on each other for only a moment before looking back at the bandits. Each now holding swords of their own.
The knight lept from the wagon and charged the leader, who'd reached for his ax. Thom and Rerves fumbled for their short swords, and Shon dropped into a low stance, his fists held at the ready and heart beating furiously.
“Shon, sword!” Rerves yelled, his voice somehow steady as the four hooded bandits stalked closer.
Shon actually felt himself blush despite the situation and pulled his sword from its scabbard like the rest. He felt off-balance, the weight of the weapon throwing off his well-rehearsed stance. He didn’t have time to adjust before the bandits charged. Two went for Rerves, leaving one each for Shon and Thom.
Shon tried to relax, to stay alert and ready to move, as he'd been taught. But his palm was sweating and he clinched the hilt tighter than intended. Focused on the bandit heading his way, the chaos around him blurred, becoming indistinct, like a drawing left in the rain. Shon held his ground and lifted the sword to one of the ready positions he'd seen the Paladins practice. His attacker was quite a bit taller than he was, and Shon lifted the sword above his head as the first swing came down hard from above.
The hilt shook in Shon's hand, and his attacker didn't hesitate to swing again, this time sweeping around and aiming for Shon's left leg. Clenching his teeth, Shon pivoted the sword down to block again but misjudged the length of his blade. The bandit's long sword passed below the point of Shon's block to strike just above the knee. He felt the impact, but could only imagine the damage, refusing to look and thanking Hengist the limb hadn't buckled. As the shock of the hit ran its course, the attacker flicked his sword up from inside Shon's failed guard, knocking the weapon from his hand.
The short sword flew free, but Shon had already begun his counter, aiming with his free right hand at his attacker’s extended wrist. The hit would have knocked the attacker's arm aside at the least, but with his now empty left hand, Shon struck the same arm from the outside at the elbow. In an instinctual effort to save the joint, the bandit twisted awkwardly, but predictably, bringing his head lower and closer.
Cartilage crunched beneath his knuckles and Shon's attacker reeled back, gripping his nose under his hood and cursing loudly enough for others to hear over the clang of metal and chaos.
One of Rerves' attackers disengaged from his two-on-one fight to aid his friend, who was now backing away from Shon as fast as he could. Shon hesitated a moment then dashed to his fallen sword.
Again Shon felt unbalanced with the weapon in hand. He tried to shift his weight to offset the difference but barely had enough time to bring the sword to bear as the second attacker swung his two-handed greatsword at Shon's right side.
Taking his own weapon in both hands, Shon managed to absorb some of the force of the blow, but he still wasn't strong enough to fully block the strike. His arms buckled, giving way for his opponent's longsword to hit his upper arm. This second hit hadn't fully registered in Shon's mind when the new attacker shoved his shoulder into Shon's chest, trying to push him over.
It worked. Shon fell to the ground with a splash and smack as he habitually swung his hands down to slap the ground, dropping his sword again, but breaking the energy of the fall. Just as Master Veon-Zih had taught him. Perhaps expecting Shon to be winded, the attacker didn't follow through with another attack on the prone boy; instead, turning to look at the companion Shon had punched.
Shon didn't hesitate. Still on his back, Shon twisted his hips, scissoring his legs to either side of the bandit's leg and kicking him behind the knee and inside the shin. The bigger man went down, and Shon swung his legs up, rolling onto his shoulder blades before jumping directly to a standing position. Or at least trying to. The leather armor was heavy and awkward, and he wobbled when he landed on his feet. As he attempted to regain his balance, another whistle rang out from the front of the wagon.
As one, the attackers disengaged from their respective defending Squires. The one Shon had knocked down rolled away and was helped up by his companion sporting a bloody nose. The Squires didn't pursue. Their hands shook with adrenaline, and their eyes tried to dart every way at once.
"Stand down, Squires," it was the Paladin. The knight had sheathed his sword and was moving back towards the wagon, but the boys could barely manage a glance at each other before focusing back on their attackers. Still very much on edge. It wasn't until the attackers in question also sheathed their weapons that the Squires began to slowly straighten, looking between the Paladin, the lead bandit, their attackers, and each other in quick succession.
"You all did very well," the knight said, reaching out to ensure the horses were still calm. They'd hardly moved, causing Shon to determine they must be warhorses, perhaps one was the knight's own partner.
"Not bad, not bad." the lead bandit started forward, slinging his ax back over his shoulder as he moved. Rather than being reassured by the gesture, the Squires dropped back into their fighting stance.
The Paladin snapped, "It was a test, boys. Relax and sheath your swords before you hurt yourselves." The lead 'bandit' laughed out loud at that. It was a booming sound like a bark straight from his belly as he threw his head back and planted his fists firmly on his hips.
"First time seeing battle, even a mock one, and you can't help but be on edge. It's the same every year," he said, the strange speech pattern he'd used before completely gone. He gestured, and his four underlings removed their hoods. The one with the bloody nose still had it pinched, his head tilted forward.
Mock battle… Shon's leg and arm throbbed painfully with every heartbeat, and his knuckles stung as he clenched and unclenched his fists to try and relax. But now that it was over, he realized that both hits had been with the flat of the blade.
The ringleader continued, "These fine Squires are going to be the newest Paladins of Hengist. After their vigil next month." the four attackers saluted and the younger Squires exchanged glances again before finally putting their swords away. "And I," the man slapped his chest, "am your new Weaponmaster. Master Daunas Mung. It will be my job to train you in combat at Hamerfoss."
Rerves was the first to recover. He smiled, but his voice held a hint of sarcasm, "I wish I could say it's nice to meet you, Master Daunas," he tried to laugh, "perhaps once my heart has stopped trying to beat its way out of my chest." That caused the Weaponmaster to bark his own laugh again. Thom smiled nervously at Shon, who was taking slow, measured breaths to calm his own heart.
The Paladin took a moment to examine their various bumps and bruises but only used his magic to heal the senor squire's broken nose. The much larger party continued together towards Hamerfoss, Master Daunas riding with the Paladin in the wagon while the older Squires chatted amongst each other. Thom and Rerves didn’t join in the chatter, both looking as anxious as Shon felt. He could hear the two uninjured seniors making fun of the two who had fought him and wasn’t sure if he should be embarrassed or proud. He'd hardly used his sword, -dropped it twice!- and the sword was the sacred weapon of Hengist. The symbol of the god himself.
Eventually, -finally- they left the woods and immediately saw the fortress situated in the middle of a vast field. Hamerfoss was one of the oldest structures still being utilized in Clearhelm. As such, it wasn't nearly as visually impressive as some of the newer Temples in the cities. Even so, as they approached the south gate, the three new Squires gaped at its great stone walls in awe.
The outer curtain wall was twenty stones high, -at least four of the boys stacked one on top of the other- with two layers of iron portcullises, their bars as thick as Shon's forearm. Walking through the first, the boys looked up and saw the faces of Paladins looking down at them through holes in the ceiling, built for dumping hot tar or oil on invaders trapped between the portcullises. They moved a little faster through the second.
Beyond the wall was one of two open courtyards, with training dummies, archery targets, and sparring rings separated by neat stone walkways. The smell of hay and horses wafted over the whole place from the stable against the south wall to their right, and the ringing "tink, tink" of a hammer on metal filled the cool air from the smithy built into the side of the fortress proper.
"Welcome to Hamerfoss!" Master Daunas gestured widely to all before them, and Shon fixed his eyes on the fortress itself, rising up like an indomitable mountain before him. It was about fifteen feet taller than the curtain wall, with one great tower in the center jutting up another fifteen feet above that. The roof was lined with battlements where archers could rain death on an invading army.
Turning his head, Shon could see three of the four bastions at the corners of the curtain wall and the armored figures that must be more Paladins standing guard. His left hand twitched as he longed to unpack his journal and draw every detail. The bare, dead-looking vines covering the face of the west wall, he was sure they would bloom in a few short weeks and cover the stone in green; the squat smithy coming out of his workshop to wipe the sweat from his brow in the cool air of early spring; and the slack-jawed expressions of awe on his companions' faces as they tilted their heads waaay back to try and see the top of the fortress's tower. But there would be plenty of time for that. After all, this would be his home for the next four years.
"Well. Don't just stand there gawkin'! Unload the wagon." Shon jumped in surprise and glimpsed Thom and Rerves doing the same. Master Daunas must have startled them out of their awe as well.
Shon was grateful as Rerves cleared his throat and took charge. His habit of speaking first and taking control had annoyed the girls back in Smilnda, but as Thom was used to it and Shon didn’t like giving orders, it worked out well for the boys. "Thom, you get the horses settled. Shon, you start handing me things out of the wagon." Without a word of argument, Thom nodded and went to the horses, murmuring gently as he began removing their harness and Shon climbed into the bed of the wagon to lift one crate at a time down to Rerves.
Master Daunas snorted, turning away from the new boys to give orders Shon couldn't hear to the older Squires. The young men saluted in unison, one moving to help Thom and two coming back to the wagon to help Shon and Rerves. The last jogged to the blacksmith, who waved him towards the smithy. He returned a moment later, carrying a small box and marching towards the smith, who was speaking quietly with Master Daunas.
"Shon, come on!" Rerves whispered, gesturing with both hands impatiently. Shon shook his head to clear it, handing Rerves another crate. He'd been paying a little too much attention to Daunas and the smith.
"Sorry," Shon murmured, but if Rerves heard him, he just took the box and set it with the others. It didn't take long for the four Squires to finish with the wagon. Shon hopped down with his own pack over his shoulder just as Thom came out of the stable with the senior Squire to meet them.
"Horses taken care of?" Rerves asked, and Shon blinked at him, thinking, Of course, they were; Thom wouldn't have come out otherwise…
"Yep, all settled and ready to go," Thom answered with a smile. Shon would've simply nodded. He was never one to waste words on things that didn't need to be said, and now more than ever, he found himself so focused on taking in everything around him that he could hardly think of words to say.
It seemed Master Daunas had been waiting for something to be said out loud, though, because he turned towards them at the sound, "Alright lads, this here is Nangran Flintchest. He's our resident Smith, and he'll be making all your equipment." The man was only as tall as Thom, but his shoulders and chest were broader even than Master Daunas, with hands the size of shovels and a beard that hung to the middle of his chest.
"Line up, smallest... largest…" As he spoke, Nangran pointed first to the right, then to the left of Shon, and didn't bother to see if they obeyed before turning away from them to open the box the older Squire had brought. Taking out a long measuring tape and a ratty-looking notebook, the smith tossed the young man the notebook without explanation and headed toward Thom with the measuring tape. Thom quickly positioned himself to the right of Shon with Rerves on Shon’s left.
Nangran motioned with his hand, grumbling only "Arms…" Without need for further explanation, Thom stepped forward and lifted his arms like a 't', visibly swallowing down his nerves. Shon watched closely as the smith took the smaller boy's measurements. Around his chest, his bicep, lower arm, from shoulder to elbow, elbow to wrist, neck to waist, and much more besides. Thom stood stiff, following the old man's clipped instructions with hesitant jerky movements. Shon thought it should be awkward to work around their armor, but Nangran didn't seem to notice.
"Sword?" Nangran asked, and Thom made a confused sound. But the smith waved a massive hand in his face, "Not you, boy. Daunas, what sword?"
Master Daunas had his arms crossed over his chest and was tilting his head back and forth from one side to the other, absently scratching his beard before he finally said. "Two hands." he then pointed at Shon, saying, "Bastard." Shon wrinkled his nose, but the offense was short-lived when Daunas pointed at Rerves, saying, "One hand."
Nangran sniffed, "One each..." he stepped over to Shon and motioned for him to raise his arms. Shon stiffened but obliged, keeping his eyes fixed forward as the old man ran his measuring tape all across Shon's body, fighting not to flinch each time the Smith brushed against him.
"Yep," Daunas answered. They were talking as if the boys weren't even there, and the older Squires just watched. Didn’t they have anything better to do? "And that one," Daunas continued, nodding towards Shon, "is a lefty." Nangran snorted without comment and continued measuring, while the Squire with the notebook scribbled a little something extra besides the numbers Nangran mumbled to him.
But then the smith ran his hand down Shon’s forearm, touching the skin of his wrist, and pulled away in surprise. Shon jerked his hand back but quickly returned it with a nervous swallow. The smith stared at him, his brow furrowed, "You're cold as ice boy. Nervous?"
Shon shook his head, but the smith continued to stare, so he added, "No sir. I'm always cold."
The smith hummed and went back to measuring around Shon's wrist and back up his arm, "They say cold hands make a warm heart," Nangran muttered.
Beside Shon, Rerves and Thom snickered. "Whoever says that has never met Shon," said Thom, who had relaxed noticeably once the smith had finished with him. Face forward, Shon glared sideways at him, but there was no real anger in it, and Thom snickered again.
Master Daunas let out another bark of a laugh, "I see you get along well! That's good; you'll want friends in training." Shon tried to relax, taking a deep breath through his nose and letting it out through pursed lips. He did get along with his fellow Squires. He felt his lips tilt up in an almost imperceptible smile. He would even go so far as to call them friends. Even if they did poke fun at each other. Or maybe it was because they did.
Smith Nangran moved on to Rerves, and Shon looked from the larger boy to the smaller and back again before focusing his gaze on Master Daunas. It seemed neither of them was going to ask the adults to clarify what they meant by the sword assignments, so he would have to. Feeling more at ease, he asked, "I thought we were going to be trained in all weapons…"
Daunas must've seen where Shon was going because he spoke at the pause provided, "Oh, you will, boy. But I was watching you fight back on the road. You didn't think we staged that little raid just for fun, did you?" Shon didn't answer. He had thought it was just for fun. Perhaps some kind of hazing ritual. When Shon didn't say anything, Daunas continued, "You boys haven't been trained, so your movements were on instinct, giving me an idea for what fighting style you may lean more towards." he pointed at Shon, who crossed his eyes to focus on the finger, "You, boy, are going to be a problem. You're the one old man V's been training."
Who? Shon refocused on the Weapon Master's face, arching an eyebrow in confusion. When Master Daunas didn’t respond to the look, Shon guessed, "Master Veon-Zih?"
Daunas continued, "He's got you jumping around with no mind to the armor you'll be wearing or the weapon in your hand. You'll have to work twice as hard to adjust some of those habits." Shon was taken aback, shocked, and a little afraid… He didn't want to lose what he'd already learned… but Master Daunas continued, "But with a hand-and-a-half sword, you'll be able to switch between one and two-handed maneuvers." he smiled softly, and Shon realized his emotions must have been showing on his face more than usual because the Weapon Master seemed to be comforting him. "You mark my words; you'll favor the bastard sword for sure."
Nangran finished with Rerves and began rolling up his measuring tape. He turned his back on the boys but spoke to them as he took his notebook back from the senior Squire, “Take that leather off and put it in the wagon. I’ll have better ready for you by first watch week.” The Squires exchanged looks, then began following the command, stripping off the leather armor and thick gambeson and trying in vain to straighten the sweaty wrinkled uniforms underneath.
“You four,” Daunas addressed the seniors, who moved from parade rest to attention in perfect unison, “show these three around and give them the rundown of how things work around here. You three,” he looked over his shoulder at Shon and the others, scratching his neck again, “this is your last day of freedom, enjoy it while you can.” all seven Squires saluted and Daunas sighed, giving a lazy salute in response before walking off, muttering to himself, “I need to shave…”
The older Squires approached the younger, two of them snickering after Daunas was far enough away not to hear. Shon arched an eyebrow at them and, seeing the expression, the tallest explained, “He’s normally clean-shaven. He let his beard grow out all week for the wagon raid.”
“You’ll be doing one too, in your last year.” another of the four added.
“Sorry about your arm,” the one who had fought Thom said, holding out his hand to the younger boy, “You really did do well, considering.” Thom shook the young man’s hand with a grateful smile at the compliment.
The two who had fought Shon exchanged looks with each other then looked at him, their expressions expectant. Shon arched his other eyebrow instead. Did they really expect him to apologize? They had attacked him. And he was four years younger than they were.
“So…” the one Shon had bloodied started, drawing the word out.
“Who taught you how to fight?” the second interjected.
“Master Veon-Zih.”
When Shon didn’t elaborate further, the two exchanged silent shrugs. Shon looked away from them, frustrated. They could communicate with each other fine in gestures and expressions, yet, he was expected to explain details they didn't need? Would they even know what a Monk was? Did it even matter? He was here to train as a Paladin now.
The only one who hadn’t spoken yet cleared his throat, and the other three turned his way immediately. Apparently, he was the unofficial leader of this group, just like Rerves was the unofficial leader of theirs. “We'll show you the barracks first. You should shower and change your uniforms before we walk around the rest of the fortress.”
“You have showers here too?” Rerves blurted in amazement, then snapped his mouth shut, blushing.
The two who were prone to laughing did so again, “Why wouldn’t we?”
“I bet we need it more than most of the official Temples.” the two laughed again.
Thom shuffled his feet nervously but said, “They told us things would be a lot rougher here.”
“They were probably just trying to scare you,”
“They were talking about the work,” the leader said sharply, then turned towards the fortress.
Shon and the others quickly grabbed their bags and rushed to follow. The leader continued to talk as they fell into step behind him, “Your day will start just before sunrise, at fifth bell. You will get dressed, make your bed as quickly as possible, then gather with the others in the courtyard,” he gestured with one hand at a wide-open spot on the training grounds, “From there we run. Around the fortress ten times in formation. After that are drills and then breakfast. After breakfast, we have prayer, followed by lectures, then heavy weapons and armor training, then lunch.” they made their way into the fortress and up a long flight of stairs to the third floor, “After lunch, there's more classwork, then light weapons and combat training. You’re then given an hour of free time to shower and rest before dinner. After dinner, there is mandated study or prayer time, then another hour of free time before lights out at ninth bell. Once every season, we take four weeks to stand watch, one week for each shift.”
He took them down a long hall lined with doors on one side. Shon tried to listen and count the doors at the same time and was glad he did when the leader stopped beside the ninth, “These three rooms are yours. Go ahead and get a new uniform and meet us back out here.”
One of the nicer boys stepped forward to open the first door, “This one is Rerves, followed by Shon and Thom.” Shon entered to find a small room barely six feet square. Directly across from the door was a bed that took up the entire wall and a small high-set window that looked out over the training field. Beside it was a small desk with a single wooden chair. Under the bed, Shon found a long shallow box full of neatly folded uniforms. His name was embroidered in the lining of each piece, and on top was a pinned note with instructions detailing the laundry procedure. Shon only skimmed it, it was the same as the fortress in Smilnda, and most likely the same the Provence over, perhaps even the kingdom.
He left his pack by the desk and returned to the hall with one of his uniforms to find it empty. Glancing down either side of the hall, he shrugged at Thom’s questioning look when he was joined by his two fellows. They waited at least ten minutes before the seniors returned, without their armor and holding their own spare uniforms. They looked nearly as disheveled as the juniors. The leader gestured for them to follow again and said, “Once you get your armor, you will keep it in your room. It's your responsibility to keep it oiled or polished as appropriate.” well, they would be good at that at least… Had they been left to wait while the seniors cared for their armor? Shon didn’t bother to ask, following the four deeper into the fortress.
They were taken to the showers, a single large room with spigots set into the walls and drains in the floor. The seniors started to strip down, placing their dirty uniforms in a basket by the door and setting their clean sets on the benches set along the same wall. Thom, Rerves, and Shon all exchanged looks before following their lead.
There were only ten showerheads, and Rerves finally asked, “How many Squires are there here?”
The seniors each moved to their own showerhead, and the room was quickly filled with hot steam, “Twentyone, including us, but we will be gone in a month, so that will leave seventeen.” one of them answered, stepping under the hot water with a grateful sigh, rinsing the sweat and dirt from the road off his surprisingly well-muscled body. Shon counted the shower spigots again as he moved towards his own. Almost twenty Squires and only ten showers at a time… it sounded like a nightmare. But at least they had hot running water.
Though he had above-average cold tolerance and preferred the winter chill far more than the summer sweat, Shon always enjoyed a truly hot shower. Master Veon-Zih liked to argue that baths were far superior, but in Shon's experience, baths always cooled off too quickly, which was why most ordinary citizens of Clearhelm used the public steam baths.
After they were washed and dressed, the real tour began. They were shown the hall with the officer's rooms, the infirmary, the mess hall, the library, and the classroom. “There’s only one?” Thom asked, peeking into the room with a blackboard across the far wall and long tables situated in front.
“Tomorrow is the last real day before the watch weeks start. You'll spend those four weeks catching up on foundational stuff. Kingdom-wide law, and your assigned sword dills, that sort of thing. After that, the lessons are given in a four-year rotation, so your first classes after the watch weeks will be new to both you and everyone else." the leader explained.
The nicest one elaborated, “You’ll have the same schedule we did, so comparative law, followed by history, then theology, then comparative cultural studies.” Shon wasn’t sure what he looked forward to least on that list. Though all would be better than fighting for a shower…
"There's also etiquette, monster studies, combat tactics and command, and war history and theory." his friend added, and Shon was relieved that at least most of those seemed more interesting.
Next, they were shown some of the less-used rooms. The war room, full of charts and maps and only used for large-scale tactics training, and an indoor sparring room that looked like it was never used.
“This is supposed to be for heavy weather.” one of the laughers said with a snicker.
“But Master Daunus says your enemies won’t let you move a fight inside, so why practice there,” added the other. Shon happened to agree, but also wasn’t looking forward to training in the rain after having walked in it for two days.
Lastly, they were shown the chapel, not as fine as the one in Smilnda but with the same sweet incense and warm comfort. The atmosphere seeped into Shon’s bones as they approached the head altar for a brief prayer and a blessing from the resident Cleric. He was a young man with pale brown hair and green eyes. He smiled warmly down at the new boys, saying, “Welcome to Hamerfoss, Squires of Hengist.” which in turn made each of them glow with enough pride to banish the nerves of their first day and daunting future.
--- Part 2/2 ---
--- Table of Contents ---
All comments and criticism is welcome.
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2023.05.31 16:08 _Anonymous_one Your favourite Past Corrie Character or Pet (2000s and 2010s)- Round 3 heat 6 (part 1- final heat of round 3!)

Thank you for your votes! :)
Round 3 heat 5 results
1st- Blanche Hunt- 66 points
2nd- Hayley Cropper- 57 points
3rd- Jack Duckworth- 33 points
4th- Vera Duckworth- 26 points
5th- Aidan Connor- 17 points
6th- Pat Phelan- 17 points
7th- Norris Cole- 14 points
8th- Graeme Proctor- 10 points
After Blanche kicked off the heat top of the board, Hayley hotfooted her way up the ranks and soon was vying with Blanche to win her third consecutive heat. In the end Blanche hung on tight to top spot, becoming just the third contender after Liz and Eva, to win all 3 of her heats so far. Can anyone else match this? It was so close yet so far for Hayley, who put her first foot wrong in the game by dropping to runner up for the first time ever, after being outdone by Blanche, who kicked her into touch. The top 4 were actually pretty set from early on, as Blanche and Hayley battled hard to be cream of the crop, married couple the Duckworths were giving the rest of the pack a tough time too. Jack slotted into third almost immediately, and although he tried so hard to better her, it was impossible for Aidan to cross the bar set by Vera, who easily reached the final place ahead of him, filling the spot
Congratulations to Blanche, Hayley, Jack, and Vera, who become the penultimate 4 Semi finalists! They will fight it out with the contenders still to come for a place in the Final! Can any of them do it?
Sadly though this means we lose Aidan, Pat, Norris, and Graeme, they’ve all come so far, but are eliminated before the Semi finals!
Semi finalists:
Karen Phillips/McDonald, Jason Grimshaw, Schmeichel the Great Dane, Cerberus the Greyhound, Liz McDonald, Rosie Webster, Fred Elliott, Charlotte Brontë the Chicken, Eva Price, Martin Platt, Shelley Unwin, Julie Carp, Becky GrangeMcDonald, Lloyd Mullaney, Kelly Neelan, Janice Battersby, Blanche Hunt, Hayley Cropper, Jack Duckworth, Vera Duckworth….
Can you believe we’re already on the final heat of the round? Who will nab the final 4 places?
Link to part 2:
Voting ends on Friday at 3pm. Happy voting! :)
View Poll
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2023.05.31 15:47 Katwithnolife Oldest 2 kids won’t stop fighting. Is this normal?

So I’m a SAHM of 5 kids. My oldest 2, (m7) we’ll call him Fred, & (m5) we’ll call him Sam (fake names).
So for a little background, Fred has always been intellectually gifted. Like, skipped a grade, is in special school programs for advanced students type of gifted. And Sam is autistic and has a lot of trouble with learning. They used to be the best of friends just about 2 years ago before Fred started school. But now, they never stop fighting. Fred is always belittling and insulting Sam, calling him dumb & stupid, talking to him like he’s incapable of doing anything without help, and overall like Sam is just so far beneath him. I don’t know why this started as I have NEVER talked to my children this way, and always taught them to treat people with kindness. And Sam is exactly what you would expect out of a 5yo boy. He likes playing outside climbing trees, playing sports & having playful wrestling matches etc. but due to his autism, he has a pretty short fuse & is easily rattled. And when his short fuse is lit, he tends to get physical (smacking, pushing) and again, no idea where this comes from as no one in our family resolves issues with physical brute. Both behaviors are always corrected when they happen, and always reiterated why belittling and/or physical retaliation is wrong.
Over the past 2 years, it’s has increasingly gotten worse. To the point now where they don’t get along at all. They can barely be in the same room together. And I feel like I’ve tried everything to get them get along again. Countless lectures, making them hug & apologize, putting them in one of those big T-shirts together, making them do activities together that have something they will both enjoy, grounding them, taking away the things they are fighting over, all the way down to straight up corporeal punishments such as squatting against the wall and holding books over their head.
This morning bright & early at 7:30am I get woken up by them having a straight up brawl in our living room. This is the first time they’ve ever just fully gone straight to an actual fist fight, to the point I had to tear them away from each other. And it was all over the TV remote. I’m truly at my wits end & I’m questioning if my parenting is the problem. They don’t act like this with/towards the smaller 3 kids either, only each other. So, is this a normal close-in-age brother thing, or should I be seeking outside help?
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2023.05.31 15:16 HPbaseballandchess Why was Hermione acting so weird in the chapter "Excess of Phlegm"?

Her behavior is rather strange in this chapter when she's around Harry. Is it purely Sirius related or is there something else going on?
‘Were the Muggles all right? Did they treat you OK?’
‘Same as usual,’ said Harry, as Hermione perched herself on the edge of his bed. ‘They didn’t talk to me much, but I like it better that way. How’re you, Hermione?’
‘Oh, I’m fine,’ said Hermione, who was scrutinising Harry as though he was sickening for something.
He thought he knew what was behind this and, as he had no wish to discuss Sirius’s death or any other miserable subject at the moment, he said, ‘What’s the time? Have I missed breakfast?’
‘Yeah … yeah, now Umbridge has left, obviously we need a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, don’t we? So, er, what’s he like?’
‘He looks a bit like a walrus and he used to be Head of Slytherin,’ said Harry. ‘Something wrong, Hermione?’
She was watching him as though expecting strange symptoms to manifest themselves at any moment. She rearranged her features hastily in an unconvincing smile.
‘No, of course not! So, um, did Slughorn seem like he’ll be a good teacher?’
‘Dunno,’ said Harry. ‘He can’t be worse than Umbridge, can he?’
And finally
‘You lot had better come down quickly too,’ [Mrs. Weasley] said as she left.
Harry took advantage of the temporary silence to eat more breakfast. Hermione was peering into Fred and George’s boxes, though every now and then she cast sideways looks at Harry. Ron, who was now helping himself to Harry’s toast, was still gazing dreamily at the door.
‘What’s this?’ Hermione asked eventually, holding up what looked like a small telescope.
I have a theory about the last one, but the first two are rather baffling.
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2023.05.31 15:08 Dismal-Jellyfish Why we should expect a rate hike in June: A review of what Fed officials have said and what incoming data is saying.

Why we should expect a rate hike in June: A review of what Fed officials have said and what incoming data is saying.
Good morning Superstonk! Jellyfish back with you to review what folks from the Fed have been saying and to pair it with data to show that we are likely to see a rate hike in June.

Let's get to it!

First, this all 'starts' back with the last announcement 5/3.
5/3/23 Federal Reserve issues FOMC decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 5 to 5-1/4 percent:
Economic activity expanded at a modest pace in the first quarter. Job gains have been robust in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Inflation remains elevated.
The U.S. banking system is sound and resilient. Tighter credit conditions for households and businesses are likely to weigh on economic activity, hiring, and inflation. The extent of these effects remains uncertain. The Committee remains highly attentive to inflation risks.
The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. In support of these goals, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 5 to 5-1/4 percent. The Committee will closely monitor incoming information and assess the implications for monetary policy. In determining the extent to which additional policy firming may be appropriate to return inflation to 2 percent over time, the Committee will take into account the cumulative tightening of monetary policy, the lags with which monetary policy affects economic activity and inflation, and economic and financial developments. In addition, the Committee will continue reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities, as described in its previously announced plans. The Committee is strongly committed to returning inflation to its 2 percent objective.
In assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, the Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook. The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee's goals. The Committee's assessments will take into account a wide range of information, including readings on labor market conditions, inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and financial and international developments.
Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michael S. Barr; Michelle W. Bowman; Lisa D. Cook; Austan D. Goolsbee; Patrick Harker; Philip N. Jefferson; Neel Kashkari; Lorie K. Logan; and Christopher J. Waller.
Since the announcement, Fed Governors have gone on to say:

5/8/23: Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee:
"I am certainly getting vibes… that a credit crunch or credit squeeze is beginning’.

"I think you have to say recession is a possibility"
"That has to be on everyone's mind"
"The total hours worked by everyone in the economy, not just the number of jobs, and you have seen that the total hours worked has not been as robustly growing as the job numbers would suggest."
The job market and the credit conditions those are the two main things we want to be looking at besides of course the prices themselves.

5/9/2023: NY Fed President John C. Williams:
  • "The Federal Reserve is committed to bringing inflation down. As the Mandalorian would say, "Price stability."
    • ""This is the way.""
  • "The FOMC is mandated by Congress to promote maximum employment and price stability. The goals of our dual mandate are intrinsically linked."
    • "Specifically, price stability is essential for the economy to reach its full potential and to sustain maximum employment over the long term."
  • "Last June, inflation spiked to a 40-year high of 7 percent, as measured by the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index. Since then, inflation has moderated to 4.2 percent, in large part due to a decline in energy prices. That's much better than 7 percent, but still more than double our longer-run goal of 2 percent."
  • "But the most persistent area of inflation is in core services excluding housing, which has been running around 4-1/2 percent since last August . This is driven by a continued imbalance in overall supply and demand, and it will take the longest to bring down."
  • "I expect inflation to decline to around 3-1/4 percent this year, before returning to our longer-run goal of 2 percent over the next two years."
  • "As tighter monetary policy continues to take effect, I expect real GDP to grow modestly this year, with growth then picking up somewhat next year."
  • "And I anticipate slow growth will continue to cool the labor market, with unemployment gradually rising to about 4 to 4-1/2 percent over the next year."

5/12/2023 Michelle Bowman:
  • "In my view, our policy stance is now restrictive, but whether it is sufficiently restrictive to bring inflation down remains uncertain."
  • "In my view, the most recent CPI and employment reports have not provided consistent evidence that inflation is on a downward path, and I will continue to closely monitor the incoming data as I consider the appropriate stance of monetary policy going into our June meeting."
  • "In response to the recent bank failures, it is tempting to engage in a wholesale revision of the bank regulatory framework. Before changing rules, we need to take a critical look at actual weaknesses, and acknowledge the strengths that should be preserved."
  • "Accountability is critical for both the bank and for supervisors. Where regulators have failed in supervision, we must hold ourselves accountable."
  • "Calls for radical reform of the bank regulatory framework—as opposed to targeted changes to address identified root causes of banking system stress—are incompatible with the fundamental strength of the banking system."

5/12/2023 Fed Governor Philip N. Jefferson:
  • "Current inflation is still high."
    • "Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation, the black line, stands at 4.2 percent, and core PCE inflation, the red line, stands at 4.6 percent for year-end March 2023."

  • "Overall, news on inflation so far this year has been mixed."
    • "The good news is that food and energy prices both fell in March, and total PCE inflation slowed to 4.2 percent from 5 percent in February."
    • "Since peaking last June, inflation has declined about 2.75 percentage points—with nearly all the step-down explained by falling energy prices and slowing food prices."
    • "The bad news is that there has been little progress on core inflation."

  • "Core goods inflation, the red line in the image above has come down since its peak of 7.6 percent in February 2022, but the most recent news has been discouraging."
  • "Outside of used motor vehicle prices, which fell unexpectedly in March, disinflation in core goods prices is occurring at a slower pace than expected."
  • "Supply and demand imbalances in the goods sector seem to be resolving less quickly than expected."
  • "Core housing services inflation, the black line in the image above, surged over the past couple of years as demand in the housing sector underwent a major shift during the pandemic."
  • "The latest monthly readings have started to slow, though that is not yet evident in the 12-month changes shown in the image above."
  • "The recent slowing was presaged by a flattening out of rents on new leases to new tenants since the middle of last year."
    • "In contrast, core services excluding housing inflation, the blue dashed line in the image above, has not shown much sign of slowing."

5/16/2023 Cleveland Fed governor Loretta J Mester:

5/16/2023 Richmond Fed Governor Thomas Barkin:

“I do want to learn more about what’s happening with all these lagged effects. But I also want to reduce inflation,” “And if more increases are what’s necessary to do that I’m comfortable doing that.”

5/18/2023 Fed Governor Philip N. Jefferson:

I am guided by the dual mandate assigned to the Federal Reserve by the U.S. Congress: price stability and maximum employment.
On the one hand, inflation is too high, and we have not yet made sufficient progress on reducing it.
On the other hand, GDP has slowed considerably this year, and even though the effect has been muted in the labor market so far, demand clearly has begun to feel the effects of interest rates that are 5 percentage points higher than they were a little over a year ago.
History shows that monetary policy works with long and variable lags, and that a year is not a long enough period for demand to feel the full effect of higher interest rates.

5/22/23 St. Louis Fed’s James Bullard:

  • backs two more hikes.
  • Bullard would have central bank push interest rates up to 5.5%-5.75% range

5/24/2023 Christopher J Waller:

"Inflation Is Stubbornly High" "Almost no progress." "The news on core inflation was similar." "I do not support stopping rate hikes unless we get clear evidence that inflation is moving down towards our 2 percent objective."

What the Data is saying? Inflation is Re-accelerating!!!:

On rent (remember, rent prices account for the largest proportion of CPI and PCE), the median asking rent was $1,734, up by $4 from last month and down by $43 from the peak but still $348 (25.1%) higher than the same time in 2019 (pre-pandemic):
So much for rents flattening, right Jefferson?
Zillow data backs this up. Zillow's observable rent index (asking rents advertised by landlords)
Asking rents climbed by $12, or 0.6%, from March to April, according to the latest edition of the Zillow Observed Rent Index (ZORI). That brings the index to $2,018, for a cumulative 1.3% increase since its recent low point in January, at $1,991. The 0.6% monthly increase is slightly smaller than the typical April increase of 0.7%, averaged over data from 2016 to 2019, suggesting that today’s growth is still driven mainly by seasonal factors, and that overall leasing conditions are still somewhat cool for this time of year. Typical asking rents at the national level now stand at $2,018, which is 5.3% higher than one year ago, and 0.5% higher than the peak of $2,008 observed in September 2022. That annual growth rate is now down almost 12 percentage points from the peak growth rate of 16.9%, the record-high pace reached in February 2022.
  • 'Typical rent' is the highest ever at $2018 per month
  • April is the biggest month-to-month increase since August and still appears to be growing
  • Annualized, April's rate of increase would be 7.4%

For the Fed governor's above 'looking to see the data', the biggest component of CPI and PCE inflation is still raging from inflation.

The core PCE price index (excludes food and energy and is the Fed's favorite inflation index and the one they base policy after) re-accelerated in April as well.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, on a year-over-year basis, the core PCE price index jumped by 4.7%, same as in July 2022, and up from a 4.6% increase in March
Please note, the (shittly drawn) RED line below is the Fed's stated 2% goal for inflation:
For almost a year now it has been stuck around 5%! On a month-to-month basis it is not slowing down either:
Again, services are where nearly 2/3 of consumer spending goes and it is still growing, 8.4% on a year-to-year basis:
Again, jumping month-to-month:
Another view of it all from the NY Fed:
Okay, so it is pretty darn clear that inflation is not tamed and rates need to go higher. Does the labor market and broader economy (as measured vid GDP) data 'support'? (I use this term VERY loosely, more to show that these areas can take on the pain of additional rate hikes)

The Labor Market:
Employment is still strong and wages are 'elevated' higher than Jefferson is comfortable with as indicated above (can't have raises above 2% now, can we?)...

On the GDP front, first-quarter GDP was revised up to 1.3% from 1.1%:

The revised GDP is another reason for Jefferson called out above to agree to a rate hike
I have to imagine it was powered by this RECORD spending by consumers!
It looks like a LOT of this spending has gone on credit cards for consumers:
From 1st quarter 2022 to 1st quarter 2023, total household debt has increased $1,205 billion to $17.05 trillion (+7.57%)--Mortgage balances ($864 billion), HELOC ($22 billion), Student loans ($14 billion), Auto loans ($93 billion), Credit Card debt ($145 billion), Other ($67 billion).

When will inflation end?

In my opinion, it will not be unless and until the Fed get the Federal Funds rate at and ABOVE Core CPI and as we can see, they still have work to do:
Once the Fed can get this 'narrower ban' of goods and services in control, the rest of core PCE should follow.


  • Fed Governors say they will consider more rate hikes based on data
  • Review of data shows the job is not done
  • Expect a June rate hike
  • How does this relate to GameStop?
    • The broader economy is seeing regional banks blow up at these rates, what sort of stress will higher rates cause in the banking system with those trying to maintain their short positions for another day?
submitted by Dismal-Jellyfish to Superstonk [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 14:37 nonoyo_91 [Thank You] Got so much love!

Hi cutie pies,

This time i wanted to thank: u/PinkPengin u/sebisrude u/todayisfab u/KeenEvergreen for the lovely postcard yall sent from the meet up <3 I hope yall had fun <3
also a huget hanks to u/wabisabi_sf x5 for all the love sent my way <3 you are an absolute angel <3

As always, dont forget to smile daily <3
submitted by nonoyo_91 to RandomActsofCards [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 13:10 Black_Hazard_YABEI Tentative Plot Preview of my Amourshipping fic (Pokemon A/S) Version 1.6

Because of 40000 character limit, the Story settings is moved here:

--------------------------------------Season 1--------------------------------------
--------------------Arc 1: The dream begins and reunion (ep 1-6)--------------------
Type: Storytelling, Action, Romance, Amour
Featured Characters: Ash, Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, Miette, May, Dawn
Ash recieved the invite that will makes him reunite with his girlfriend, but he must deal with the plant from giant rock which will eventually not only makes him reunite with his girlfriend, but also reassamble the entire XY cast and makes the story looks like XY sequel (lol!)
Episode 1: Story begins with Ash saw the nightmare where the world being destroyed and even Arceus unable to do anything about it. Then Ash wake up and he just realized that he was invited to see the Pokemon Contest final (Serena Vs Aria) in Kalos, but when Ash went to Kalos, he saw his Greninja being unconscious because of being overworked for cutting wood so many years non stop without taking any break (Lol!)
Episode 2: It's only 1 hours before Pokemon Contest final starts, Ash had sent his Greninja into Pokemon center. Meanwhile Bonnie and Clemont calls Ash that the plant from Giant Rock had nearing the Luminse City. Ash and Lucario attempt to sense where's the source of those plant are but unable to. Meanwhile at this time, Greninja had been fully recovered and returns to Ash!
Episode 3: Greninja had been recovered! With Greninja's help, Ash was finally able to find the source of the Giant Rock- on underground. Clemont used the newly devloped drill to make the tunnel so that Ash (with Pikachu, Lucario and Greninja), Clemont (with Luxray) and Bonnie (With squishy) will able to reach the underground and saw the core of those plants. With the combined effort of Pikachu, Lucario, Greninja, Luxray and Squishy, they was able to destroy the core and stopping the Giant Rock plant once and for all.
Episode 4: After the Giant Rock Plant Core had been Destroyed, Ash had found that the Pokemon Contest final had already begin. Ash was tried to reach Pokemon Contest as soon as possible. At first, Aria's excellent Contest skills makes Serena begin to self-doubt if she could made it, but Ash was eventally managed to arrives and cheers Serena, allowing Serena to unlock Bond Transformation on Her Delphox to become Serena-Delphox and become Kalos Queen (Yes, I made her Kalos Queen that early because I have struggle to write Pokemon Contest chapters)
First Appearance of Dawn
Episode 5: At last, Ash and Serena had finally reunion! To celebrating Serena become Kalos Queen, Ash was going to buy the new clothes for Serena as suprise gift so that Serena can put her Blue Ribbon back on her chest, but Ash have struggle to do so because Ash know nothing about clothing style, but thanks to Diantha's help, Ash was eventally able to find the clothes that fits Serena and fits her Blue Ribbon.
Episode 6: Ash and Serena say goodbye to Miette, Diantha and May as they moved to Pallet town. But at the next day, they found themselves had been trapped inside the crowd as both are now become the celebrity and all of the billboard had their own face! Diantha will teach Ash and Serena must find the way to move around in public
--------------------Clemont single chapter (ep 7)--------------------
Featured Characters: Clemont, Bonnie, Meyer
Featured Antagionist: Xerosic
Type: Storytelling, Action, Humor
I made this chapter so that I can give Clemont bond transformation form
Clemont's Chespin evolved into Chesnaught, first appearance of Clemont-Chesnaught and they have to move to Ash's house because Prism Tower had been damaged
Episode 7: Clemont was devloping the devloution device which allows the Pokemon to devolve if they accidentally evolved against their will. However, like most of Clemont's device, his devlution device went malfunction and begin to explode and accidentally fully evolved his Chespin into Chesnaught as well! Everyone was managed to escape, but the explosion was so huge that it blows half of the Prism Tower, leaving them homeless and have to temporary move to Pallet town to live with Ash until the Prism Tower had been fully restored. Meanwhile, Xerosic managed escaped from jail and separated Clemont from Bonnie and Meyer. Xerosic's power protector easily overpowers all of his pokemon and his chesnaught! Xerosic was teasing that Clemont's science is terrible, but Clemont determination that the science was supposed to be used for justice allows his chesnaught to unlock the bond transformation to become Clemont-chesnaught, allowing Clemont to defeat Xerosic and sent Xerosic back to jail. Unfortunately, Xerosic was managed to damage the Prism Tower which forcing Clemont, Bonnie and Meyer to living in Ash's house temporarily until the Prism Tower had been rebuilt.
-------------------Ash pidgeot single chapter (ep 8)--------------------
Type: Action
First appearance of Mega Pidgeot
Featured Characters: Ash, Misty, Serena
Featured Antagionist: Tons of Fearows
Despite Ash's pidgeot had officially returned to Ash, it's another questions of how long can his pidgeot live with his trainer.....
Episode 8: Tons of Fearow had invaded and caused the huge chaos in Pallet town and steals Serena's blue ribbon! Ash's Pidgeot had found that those Fearow are came from Viridian Forest. Ever since Pidgeot had reunited with Ash, those Fearow had rapidly reproduce, quickly take over the Viridian Forest and begin to spread out of nowhere! Those Fearow demands Ash's Pidgeot in exchange for those Pidgey and Pidgeotto's life and the Blue Ribbon. Ash and Pidgeot arrived Viridian Forest but those Pidgey and Pidgeotto told them not to leave his Pidgeot here because they thinks that the Pidgeot was belong to Ash and Ash refuse to leave his Pidgeot here. Those Fearow now attempt to hurt those Pidgey and Pidgeotto and ate the Blue Ribbon! Ash Mega Evolved his Pidgeot to fight against those Fearow but being slowly outnumbered by those Fearow. On the verge of Ash's Pidgeot's defeat, those Pidgey and Pidgetto had evolved into Pidgeot and helps Ash's Pidgeot to defeat those Fearow and give Ash back the Blue Ribbon, ending those Fearow's threat once and for all! Ash and his Pidgeot was bid farewell to those Pidgeot and give the Blue Ribbon back to Serena, now Ash's Pidgeot can live with Ash forever!
--------------------Ash single chapter (ep 9)--------------------
Type: Adventure
Featured Characters: Ash, Misty, Serena
Ash will caught Dunsparce in this episode
Epsiode 9: After 27 years of failure, Ash had finally caught his most longed wanted Dunsparce ! (which will later evolve into the rare 3 segment dundunsparce by TM him Hyper Drill)
--------------------The Muted Princess of Hoenn Arc (ep 10-12)--------------------
Type: Adventure, Humor
May, the Princess of Hoenn had been diagnosed spasmodic dysphonia and become inability to speak like Red) did! Meanwhile, Ash and Serena being sent to Hoenn in very funny way and reunited with May and Max! This epsiode also features
Featured Characters: Ash, May, Max, Serena, Molly
Featured Antagonist: Team Rocket Trio (Epsiode 10 only)
Epsiode 10: Team Rocket trio caught Ash's Pikachu once again! Ash jump to the Team Rocket ballon to save Pikachu while having Serena caught his feet, but Ash had end up makes the Team Rocket ballon explodes and sent Ash, Pikachu and Serena to Hoenn! (lol!). May and Max meet Ash and Serena once again and was surprised why Ash would hugging Serena so tight and lying on the ground (lol)! Ash and Serena attempt greets May and Max but May didn't speak and respond with sign language! Max then told Ash and Serena's sad news about May become inability to speak because of the spasmodic dysphonia! Knowing that Jirachi will took 980 years to become useable again, Max decided to find which pokemon can cure May.
Serena will get Absol in this epsiode
Epsiode 11: While May and Max was staying at their home to find if there's any pokemon to makes May can speak again, Ash and Serena went outside and saw the Absol laying down outside and end up seriously injured. (Pancham will recieves Everstone to prevent it evolve to Pangoro due to Pangoro's rough appearance will affect her Kalos Queen career)
Epsiode 12: After Serena caught Absol, Max had found that the only way to makes May can speak again is to find the Unown, and Molly is the only person who can use Unown to make May speaks again. Ash, Serena, May and Max went to greenfield and found Molly to use unown to spell "May Speak" so that May can speak again
------------------Arc 3: Team Rocket invasion (ep 13-21)--------------------
Featured Characters: Ash, Misty, Brock, Gary Oak, Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, Professor Oak, Korrina, Alain, Diantha, Mewtwo, Lugia, Butch and Cassidy (Flashback)
Featured Antagonist: Giovanni, Domino , Dr. Namba (With Artifical Shadow Lugia), team rocket trio (Redeemed in ending), various of unnamed Team Rocket Grunts and Artifical Pokemons
XY/XYZ cast had finally reassambled! But let's not forget about that they must deal with the very first and longest lasting villain organization-Team Rocket!
Epsiode 13: Gary had reunited with Ash, where former had become the Pokemon Professor. Gary brings Ash and Serena to visit the extension of Professor Oak's laboratory (Clemont and Bonnie was here too!). Meanwhile, Giovanni had arrived the laboratory and defeated Professor Oak. Gary came out and fight against Giovanni once again and.....lose once again. Meanwhile, the Team Rocket Grunts kidnapped Professor Oak while they're battling and Giovanni had left the laboratory!
Epsiode 14: Giovanni kidnapped Professor Oak to Team Rocket base to make Professor Oak works for him. Ash and Gary was thinking about how to save Giovanni. Meanwhile, the Team Rocket trio appears once again and attempt to steal his Pikachu, but Misty and Brock arrives and saves Ash's Pikachu. Ash respond with a heavy heart as Ash aware that this might be their last time to prepare for trouble as Ash had decided to destroy Team Rocket once and for all (Yes, he feels sympathy for those Team Rocket Trio because he aware that Team Rocket Trio have heart) and Ash's pikachu sent Team Rocket Trio flying once again like usual!
Epsiode 15: Thanks to Clemont's science, Ash, Misty, Brock and Gary was able to track down the location of Team Rocket base. Clemont gives Ash the device which allows Ash to freely switch his Pokemon party anywhere and anytime. Ash, Misty, Brock and Gary went to Team Rocket base while leaving Serena, Clemont and Bonnie at Ash's house. Ash, Misty, Brock and Gary charging towards Team Rocket Base and begin the final battle against Team Rocket!
Epsiode 16: Ash, Misty, Brock and Gary fight against thousands of Team Rocket Grunts who "Welcomed" them. They managed to clean the way and proceed, but Domino appears and blocked their way! Misty and Brock decided to stay here to fight against Domino to let Ash and Gary reaching Team Rocket Base! Meanwhile, Professor Oak had been tied into the chair which extract his knowledge about the pokemon.
Epsiode 17: Ash and Gary was finally managed to find Giovanni and Professor Oak. Giovanni transfer his consciousness into the Armored Mewtwo (this Mewtwo is different from the first movie one and it's nothing more than Giovanni's new body) while Gary was going to save Professor Oak. Serena, Clemont and Bonnie saw the news about Ash is fighting Armored Mewtwo and decided to head to Team Rocket base together with the help of met Korrina, Alain and Diantha. Meanwhile, Ash had been defeated by Giovanni and being tied outside the Team Rocket base!
Epsiode 18: Clemont, Bonnie and Serena met Korrina, Alain and Diantha to rescue Ash, but being interrupted by the artifical pokemon army and Dr. Namba. Korrina, Alain and Diantha decided to fight against Dr. Namba while Clemont, Bonnie an Serena stay to fight against those artifical pokemon to clean their way to save ash. Meanwhile Giovanni was about to end Ash's life, but being stopped by Gary. Inside Ash's mental world, Aaron was teaching Ash to master Aura power. After Ash mastered the Aura power, Ash breaks free with his newly mastered Aura power and team up with Gary to fight against Giovanni.
Epsiode 19: Thanks to Ash and Gary's excellent teamwork, in addition of Ash's mastered Aura power, Giovanni had been easily defeated and Giovanni's mewtwo armor had been teared apart. At the same time, Misty, Brock had finally defeated Domino while Korrina, Alain and Diantha managed to defeat Dr. Namba and the artifical Lugia thanks to the Real Lugia (the one from M02) , while Serena, Clemont and Bonnie had defeated all of those artifical pokemon army. They all reunited with Ash and Gary. Meanwhile, Giovanni still refused to give up, he used the knowledge that being extracted from Professor Oak to create the gigantic ultimate pokemon called Chimera. Giovanni insert his consciousness into Chimera and razed half of Pallet Town into ground!
Epsiode 20: Despite the combined effort of Ash, Gary, Misty, Brock, Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, Korrina, Alain , Diantha, Chimera was proven too much for those heroes to handle! Chimera then begin to cover the entire sky with the black smoke which will slowly turns all pokemon all over the world into shadow pokemon! Seems there's nothing to stop him, the real mewtwo appears and team up with Lugia to helps those hero to fight against Chimera. Meanwhile, Ash's Greninja was managed to use his extrasensory to emulate almost all of Pokemon moveset while his Lucario's aura power had been enchanced which allows his Lucario to create the spirit bomb sized aura sphere. Ash, his pikachu, Greninja and Lucario eventally able to blown Chimera to pieces and sent Giovanni's consciousness back to his human body. Ash came in front of Giovanni and about to kills him with Aura sphere, but Serena, and later the newly arrived Team Rocket Trio pleding Ash not to. Following Giovanni, Team Rocket Trio and rest of Team Rocket member being arrested, Team Rocket had finally being taken down for good. Korrina, Alain and Diantha say goodbye to Ash, Gary, Misty, Brock, Serena, Clemont and Bonnie as Korrina, Alain and Diantha head back to Kalos. Ash and Team Rocket Trio made the promise that they'll be travel together once the Team Rocket Trio served their sentence
Epsiode 21: Few days after Team Rocket being taken down, Ash, Gary, Misty, Brock, Serena, Clemont and Bonnie made the celebration for that.
--------------------------------------Season 2--------------------------------------
--------------------Arc 4: Ash being dense shell (ep 22-24)--------------------
Type: Storytelling, Action, character building, emotion
The world had back to it's peace following the shut down of Team Rocket. However, Ash's dense shell kick in ane he'll will learn the the hard way about what will happen for being dense shell
Epsiode 22: Ever since Ash become much stronger since the Team Rocket fight, he begin to become arrogant and addicted in Pokemon Battle! (Yes, typical dense shell Ash for ya) He begin to refuse other people's help and even end up having Quarrel with Serena! Ash ragequit his house and being attacked by Damian, who is looking for revenge of his charamder's betrayal. Despite Ash become lot stronger since they last met, Damian's newly obtained Psychic power and his Charizards army (Mega charizard X and Y, Gigantmaxed Charizard and Shadow Charizard that Damian created with his Psychic power) was proven even more ahead of Ash, but Ash's bond between pokemon quickly turns the table! While Ash was about to defeat Damian, his Pikachu suddenly unleashed the large amount of power and went berserk!
Epsiode 23: Having his pikachu went berserk, Ash had slowly realized that he's only care about Pokemon and become megalomaniac had corrupted his bond with pikachu! He begin to feels sorry about how he treat his friends especially Serena. Ash was later apogoized to Serena and his friends and slowly reconcile with each other and discuss how to bring his pikachu back to control. With the combined effort of Serena and his friends, Ash was eventually able to bring his pikachu back to sense.
Episode 24: Those evil Malamar had finally returned to present and attempt to brainwash Ash and Serena once again, but Clemont used his device to prevent the brainwash from happening! **Ash and Serena was quickly blows those evil Malamar into ashes but the energy crystals absorbs those evil Malamar's body and activated and quickly defeated all of their pokemon except Pikachu. That energy crystals attempt to shoot laser on ground and Ash have only pikachu left to stop that energy crystal! Ash's feelings resonance with pikachu which allows pikachu utilized that power once again to **create the deadly new move for pikachu: Ragnerok!
--------------------Single Pokeshipping chapter (ep 25)--------------------
Type: Story telling, Action
Misty must find the balance between traveling with Ash and her gym.
Episode 25: Misty had been tired of her having to do all three jobs from her 3 Irresponsible sisters, which making her leave her gym behind and went to Ash's house. Ash was suprised how Misty would willing to give up her gym for that Meanwhile, Damian hijacked Misty's gym and kidnapped Daisy, Lily, and Violet, to demands Misty in exchange her gym and her sisters. Ash and Misty worked together to defeat Damian and saved all 3. Misty's 3 sisters apogoized for over-reliance the gym operation to Misty alone and promised Misty that they'll become more responsible for their gyms. Misty give her gym back to her sisters and says goodbye to them.
--------------------------------------Alola Arc (Epsiode 26-37) -------------------------------------
Type: Story telling, adventure, action (ep 29-30, 33-35)
Ash,Serena, Misty, Clemont, Bonnie and Brock will go to Alola and meet Ash's classmates.
This might be the Only Story Arc where Ash's Alola classmates will have major appearance for a while
Lillie will merge with the Shiny Nihiliego with same name#Lillie) in this Arc
Ash's Dunsparce will learn Hyper Drill and evolve into 3 segment dundunsparce in this Arc.
Episode 26: Ash,Serena, Misty, Clemont, Bonnie and Brock went to Alola for vacation and reunited with Ash's classmates. Ash and Serena will share their experience in those years
Epsiode 27: In order to prepare the Lomi-lomi salmon. recipe for Mallow, Misty and Lana went to fishing the large sized Hawaiian Salmons. They met Cilan who was also fishing for the Hawaiian Salmons for his new recipes. Lana eventally managed to obtain the large sized Hawaiian Salmons and give it to Mallow.
Epsiode 28: Ash, Serena ,Brock and Misty went to visit Aether Paradise with Lusamine, Gladion and Lillie, Serena was so excited about the equalvent inside. Brock met Lusamine for first time and become horny and being instantly poison jabbed by his Croagunk and dragged away by Misty like usual (lol!) Meanwhile, the parallel version of Lusamine (from Pokemon Sun and Moon game) had went to this universe using the Ultra Wormholes and kidnapped the Shiny Lillie#Lillie) (nihilego) for parallel Lusamine's evil deed!
Epsiode 29: The Shiny nihilego had been kidnapped! Ash and his Alola classmate must find the way to recuse the Shiny nihilego! Clemont attempt to create something that can sent them to another universe but failed. Meanwhile, Ash's Naganadel and Solgaleo appears from the Ultra Wormhole. Ash was confused why Naganadel would finds him while he's living with his friends on his own world, Naganadel said that his own world had appears thousands of Ultra Wormhole and being invaded by vile Ultra Beasts. Ash, Serena, Gladion and Ash's classmate become Ultra Guardians. With the help of Solgaleo to create the Ultra Wormhole, the Ultra Guardians begin to went to the alternative universe and save Shiny Nihiliego!
Epsiode 30: Inside the Aether Paradise of Alternative universe, the Ultra Guardians defeats all who stops them and was managed to find the Shiny nihilego which is trapped into the tube. The Alternative Lusamine was just seen to kicked the Alternative Lillie out of her room and told the Ultra Guardians that she'll rules Ash's world. Serena, Lillie, Lana and Mallow went to fight against Alternative Lusamine while Ash, Kiawe and Gladion attempt to use their Z move to break that tube but failed. Serena, Lillie, Lana and Mallow was slowly being overwhelmed by Alternative Lusamine until Kiawe and Gladion aids them. Ash attempts to use his Aura to brute force that tube but seeing that the Shiny nihilego was taking damage as well! With Ash running low on options, Ash call out his Dunsparce and pray for his Dunsparce for helping him. His Dunsparce agrees and evolves into the rare 3 segment Dudunsparce. Ash's Dudunsparce use Hyper Drill to destroy that tube and sucressfully recuse the Shiny nihilego. At the same time, the Ultra Guardians had defeated the Alternative Lusamine. Ash's Solgaleo created the Ultra Wormhole to brings the Ultra Guardians back to their own universe!
Epsiode 31: Ultra Guardians and the Shiny nihilego had returned to this universe! Now the 1st anniversity party of Ash become Champion had finally begins!
Epsiode 32: Ash, Serena, Misty, Brock, Clemont, Bonnie, Gladion and Ash's teammate went to Pokémon Paradise Resort and have a relaxing bath before settling down in bed. Everyone falls asleep. Meanwhile, the sky have tons of Ultra Wormhole appears.
Epsiode 33: Ash's gang woke up and was horrified about how the sky are being filled with Ultra Wormhole, Ash, Lillie and Gladion went to Aether Paradise while the rest are stay in Alola to sent those Ultra Beast back to their own place. Ash, Lillie, Gladion and Lusamine was horrified to see that the Alternative Lusamine (merged with Nihiliego) had appears to follow them into this universe.
Epsiode 34: Ash, Lillie, Gladion and Lusamine fought against the Alternative Lusamine and seemsly to defeated the Alternative Lusamine, but Alternative Lusamine suddenly wake up and about to directly attack Lillie! However, The Shiny Nihiliego (Lillie) merges with Lillie (Artist: yu☀︎) and emerage unharmed. The 2 Nihiliego-Human fusion fight each other, but Ash's Solgaleo appears once again and push (with the combined effort of Lillie, Gladion and Lusamine) ,the Alternative Lusamine back to it's universe via the Ultra Wormhole!
Epsiode 35: Despite they finally get rid of Alternative Lusamine, the Ultra Guardians had been outnumbered by the Ultra Beast even with the combined effort of Guardian deities! Professor Kukui had found that the only way to sent all those Ultra Beast back is to combine the power of all 7 Z rings to shut down the Ultra Wormhole. Ash, Gladion and Ash's classmate had used the Z rings to create the giant rainbow laser to the sky to power up the Guardian deities's grand cross shaped beam to suck those Ultra Beast back to Ultra Wormhole and closing those Ultra Wormhole, ending the Ultra Beast crisis once and for all.
Epsiode 36: Ash, Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, Misty, Brock and Ash's classmate went to Treasure Island for fun.
Clemont and Bonnie will not appears for a while until Twitter Arc.
Epsiode 37: Ash had saw the news about May and Dawn will appears in the final of Grand Festival in Galar; Ash then realized that he made the promise that he'll cheer up either May or Dawn in person should they managed to reach to the finale. At the same time, Misty had recieved the phone call that the 3 sisters will need Misty's help for Gym's Refurbishment while Brock was being recall by Nurse Joy for the increased covid-19 case of Pokemons. Ash, Serena, Clemont, Bonnie, Misty and Brock says goodbye to Ash's classmate as Misty heading back to her Gym, Brock heading back to the Pokemon Centre and the rest heading to Galar.
--------------------------------------May and Dawn Single Chapter--------------------------------------
Epsiode 38: In Galar, May and Dawn will begin the rematch with very same) Pokemon) they used Last time. However, May's more superior skills had finally defeats Dawn and become second Top Coordinator. Ash and Brock comfort Dawn, with Serena become curious about Top Coordinator thingy and shared their experienced with Dawn.
--------------------------------------Oizys Arc (Epsiode 39-48, adopted from this one shot): --------------------------------------
Type: Action, Deconstruction Fic, drama, passion, Original Story, Fantasy, Meta
In this Arc, Goh will learn the very harsh lesson of how Pokemon supposed to be treated. Although many chinese Amourshipping Fic have Goh as Villain or being brutally murdered, this Fanfic will instead makes Goh learns fear.
Epsiode 39: On the night, Ash and Serena was sleeping on the same bed. While Serena had went deep sleep, Ash received the message from Professor Cerise where Cerise Laboratory had been mysteriously filled with thousands of Pokemon. Ash then went to the Lab by himself midnight. On the next day, Serena had found that Ash had gone, and she saw the message form Ash about he'll have to go out for a while while May and Dawn cames in.
Epsiode 40: Inside Cerise Laboratory, Ash had suprised about how there's suddenly fills with thousands with Pokemon. Professor Cerise, Chloe and Gary meet Ash and explains that it's all Goh's doing. Meanwhile, Goh appears and greet Ash as Goh flexing his Entei and Raikou that he caught during this years.
Epsiode 41: Ash was amused about how Goh managed to caught 2 legandaries, Goh said that he just happened for him to see those 2 while he's in Johto. Chloe was being to suspect that is that really fine for letting Goh having that much legendries, Ash was about to said it's fine until he saw thousands of Pokemon that Goh caught, which making Ash wonder if Goh can able to take care that much Pokemon at once.
Starting in Epsiode 42, the Story tone become Darker and Edgier
Epsiode 42: Ash asked Goh how he managed to take care of such many Pokemon, Goh responds that he's just simply filling the dex, nothing else. Ash and Chloe then teachs Goh about how Pokemon are supposed to be teached but Goh was confused. Goh then requested Ash to battle his Pikachu to prove Ash is wrong. Goh used Golurk and Flygon VS Ash's Pikachu. Despite Goh's Golurk and Flygon have type adventure and fully evolved, their obedience and Ash's bond with his Pikachu easily defeats Glourk and Flygon. Goh begin to ponder what does Ash "befriend with Pokemon", but Goh was too confused at what Ash means. Astonishingly, Goh's stubborn of catching all pokemon begin to corrupt his soul, took over Goh's body and turning him into some wicked being, naming itself "Oizys".
Epsiode 43: Oizys emerages and brainwash Goh's Grookey, Suicune ,Regieleki and Cinderace while doing sadistic smiles towards Ash. Oizys , Ash had never felt such fear before as what in front of his eyes is neither Pokemon nor human nor Ultra Beast, but the entity that created by the very darkness itself! Oizys claims that he'll not only will caught all Pokemon in every single means, but also ruin Ash's life, dream and hope bit by bit! Finished Speaking, Oizys flies to somewhere else and Chloe went to chase him. Meanwhile, Goh's cinderace was managed to break free from control and chasing his owner.
Epsiode 44: Oizys was heading to the Hotel where Serena lives. Meanwhile in Jail, Team Rocket Trio had been freed by Jessie's Ditto who pretend as prison guard and told Team Rocket Trio that some wicked entity had begin to destroy Galar. Team Rocket Trio quickly arrives and encounter against Oizys to stop Oizys from rampage, but was easily being defeated by Oizys and having all of their Pokemon except Mewoth being stolen. Team Rocket Trio then phone call Ash about where Oizys is before they become unconsciousness. Chloe had founds Oizys and attempt to free Goh's control via pleadings, but Oizys had caught Chloe into his pokeball but Chloe's eevee had flees!
Epsiode 45: Thanks to Team Rocket Trio, Ash was able to track the location of Oizys! Oizys was about to get in but was being challanged by May and Dawn. Despite Oizys gains the upper hands, Goh's cinderace and Chloe's eevee arrives just in time and helps May and Dawn to defeats Oizys. Oizys is furious and throws the Pokeball to capture May, Dawn, May's Blaziken, Dawn's Piplup, Goh's Cinderace and Chloe's eevee to become his slave!
Epsiode 46: Oizys had finally went inside the Hotel but was found that Serena is not here! Serena had already flees but was eventally being found by Oizys! Serena fight against Oizys but being easily defeated! Oizys stole all Serena's pokemon and about to throw a pokeball to Serena to enslave her! But Ash arrives and saved Serena. Ash prepare to fight against Oizys. Ash was managed to defeats all of Oizys's first team, but Oizys steal all of Ash's ace (such as his Greninja) and was almost able to steal his Pikachu! But his pikachu used the Ranghok to free all of the Pokemon, May, Dawn and Chloe from Oizys pokeball. Oizys posessed all Goh's Pokemon to fight against Ash, Serena, May and Dawn. The 5 people managed to defeat Oizys, freeing all Goh's Pokemon and get Oizys out of Goh's body, but Dawn, May and Chloe begin to unconscious due to the effect of Oizys pokeball! Meanwhile, Oizys begin to posess Ash's body in front of Serena's eyes! Ash took Dawn's pokeball and told Dawn's togekiss and his Charizard to bring all 4 as far as possible before Ash being taken over by darkness! Seeing her most beloved one was succumbed into darkness and become the ultimate doomsday device to destroy earth, Serena went mental breakdown!
Epsiode 47: Serena is deeply traumatized by the fact that The Pokemon Master that she loves the most had now become the most terrifying existence in this world! Meanwhile, Oizys had appears out of nowhere and begin to destroy the entire world! With the power of Ash's body, defeated Wallace, Oizys steals Bonnie's Squishy and Max's Deoxy, and all 7 Pokemon Master's Ace! Oizys encountered by Gary Oak who trying to free Ash from Oizys's control!
Epsiode 48: Despite being deeply traumatized, Serena was eventally able to overcome it and decided to save Ash herself! At the same time, Gary Oak managed to defeat Oizys but Ash was still posessed by Oizys and summoned all 7 Pokemon Master's ace at once! Dawn, May and Chloe was still unconscious while Lisia, Mittie, Drew and Zoey attempt to convience Serena not to risk herself for such reckless attempt to save Ash, but Serena doesn't listen and went to find Ash. At the same time, Oizys had defeated Gary Oak and about to end his life but Serena arrives and trying to free Ash from Oizys's control, but was unaffected by her pleadings and brutally beating down Serena! While Oizys about to finish Serena, she pull out the Blue Ribbon in front of Ash's eyes which allows Ash to free himself and drive Oizys out his body. Oizys was so angry that Serena had ruined his plan and attempt to kill those 2, but Ash and Serena obtained the new power and easily defeats Oizys and blows him into ashes! Ash and Serena kiss each other but Serena is seriously injured and went unconscious! Meanwhile, Goh had finally woke up and Apoigize to Ash, promising that he'll learn how to take care of Pokemon.
Part 2:
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2023.05.31 13:04 Black_Hazard_YABEI Tentative Plot Preview of my Amourshipping fic (Pokemon A/S) Version 1.6 (Story Settings)

--------------------Continuity and Placement-----------------
After 1 years of MPM Epsiode 11
For Liko and Roy: Somewhere After Pokemon Horizon Epsiode 6-8 and it's subject to change
--------------------Character settings--------------------
Protagionist: Ash and Serena (Of course)
Main Cast: Clemont, Bonnie, Misty, Brock, Gary Oak
Everyone will receive the Mega Evolution
Gary Oak become Professor before the fic starts.
Dawn become Top Coordinator before the fic starts while May will become Top Coordinator by defeating May on screen.
May and Dawn will become Serena's rival.
Chloe is May, Dawn and Serena's apprentice
Pokemon Master scaling from best to worst: Ash >>>> Leon > all 6 Masters
Pokemon Coordinator scaling from best to worst : May >= Dawn > Serena > Chloe > Miette > Drew = Zoey
Pokemon Performer scaling from best to worst :Serena > May > Dawn > Aria > Chloe > Miette> Jessie
--------------------Change from Anime in this fanfic--------------------
-While Bond Transformation is exclusive to Greninja in anime ,in this fanfic bond transformation can also be accessed if the Trainer have unusual high relationship with their Kalos Starter (might subject to change in future) such as Serena-Delphox and Clemont-Chesnaut
-Clemont's Chespin will evolve to Chesnaught because of some Lab accident which also blow up the Prism Tower(lol!)
-Up to 6 on hand Pokemon Limit still applys here, but can use some device to replace members in their party as they wish before entering battle, and it can be bypassed by simply befriend with other pokemon rather than caught them in pokeball
-Introduce various of team finisher move which will not be considered as one of the "4 moves"
-4 moves limit are still applies here, but trainers can bypass it by create their very own charge move on their pokemon
-Trainers can use all 6 pokemon at the same time
-Features tons of OC enemy, pokemon or the antagionist that are neither Pokemon nor Humans.
-Bonnie will become part of the team instead of Tagalong Kid and use squishy to help saves the day more often.
-Clemont will become more successful Scientist because he now got the more competent assistant (Clembot MKIII and his Chesnaught)
-Clembot will be upgraded to Clembot MKIII in this fic
-Arceus become way more loyal to Ash into the point that will makes Arceus angry enough to personally
Everyone will have their official age +1, except Ash who is still stucking at 10 years old (There'll be the story arc which explains why Ash was still 10 years old)
Team rocket trio will be sent to jail at ending of Team Rocket Arc because I feels like they're superfluous in the fanfic. But they might return if I can make use of them and appears as reformed person because they're not entirely bad person I think
Liko and Roy will appear as side characters
Greninja will be actively used, but there'll be few chapter where Ash didn't bring his greninja in his party
Almost everyone will get Mega evolution
Serena will move to Pallet Town and live with Ash, while Clemont, Bonnie and Meyer will temporary living with Ash as well
Calem will appears in this fanfic as cameo alongside with Serena's Game counterpart) , who will appears with Anime Serena at the same time
I might consider to make the Pearlshipping Side Story which will take place before
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2023.05.31 12:19 Dishmastah Did any of the real life gangsters actually live to old age?

I was just thinking that there were a lot of characters from history that met their end in the series, and sometimes between seasons. Made me wonder how old they were, and who actually lived to see the end of Prohibition, and if any of them ever died of natural causes. Here's what I found:
"Big Jim" Colosimo was shot in 1920, aged 42.
Frank Capone (28) and Dean O'Banion (32) were shot dead in 1924, Hymie Weiss (28) in 1926.
I don't think Hymie Weiss was shown, but the rest of them were. S4 was 1924. Since there was a time jump between s4 and s5, the people in-between were obviously not shown:
Arnold Rothstein (46) and Frankie Yale (35) were gunned down in 1928.
And then in s5:
Joe Masseria (45) and Salvatore Maranzano (45) were both killed in 1931.
So what happened after s5? After Prohibition ended in 1933?
Al Capone (48) died of the advanced stages of syphilis in 1947, while Benjamin Siegel (41) was gunned down later that year.
Kinda makes you wonder if any of them actually lived to old age and/or died of some kind of natural causes. And yes, some of them did manage to not only get to 50, but even 60 or 70:
"Lucky" Luciano, aged 64 in 1962 (heart attack) Waxey Gordon, aged 64 in 1952 (heart attack, he was imprisoned in Alcatraz at the time) Jake Guzik, aged 69 in 1956 (heart attack) George Remus, aged 73 in 1952 (had a stroke in 1950, had private nursing care since) Johnny Torrio, aged 75 in 1957 (heart attack)
But people making it all the way to 80?
Meyer Lansky, aged 80 in 1983 (lung cancer) Ralph Capone, aged 80 in 1974 (natural causes)
The one who outlived them all? Ironically, it was the real life Nucky - Enoch Johnson, died of natural causes aged 85 in 1968. But he wasn't actually in BwE ...
Out of all the real life people in BwE, the only one who's cause of death is simply "natural causes" (which I'm guessing in this context is "old age" as everyone else has a medical condition stated as cause of death) was Ralph "Bottles" Capone, in Hurley, Wisconsin.
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