Sesame street cookie monster's best bites

Out of Cruel Space, Part 708

2023.06.09 22:48 KyleKKent Out of Cruel Space, Part 708

First
Capes and Conundrums
Pavel stretches in the stillness. The tapping of the keyboard and swearing under the breath makes Pavel consider his new partner a bit. Silicon Blake has an interesting background. Pavel made a point of looking into it. The man was... genetically human, currently. But he had been born of a brain scan of a Tret man. Sionis Blake. The man’s father. Legally.
Silicon had made the jump from a fully synthetic body to a human clone body with dataports about two weeks ago. Freshly after his training as an Undaunted. Legally he was considered to still be both a Tret and a synthetic. But for all practical purposes, he was a human cyborg.
One who wasn’t used to the sheer requirements of his body. Pavel suspected a good chunk of his bad attitude was the fact the man was only eating once a day and only small portions.
The morning shift started shortly after breakfast and went right to lunch. So when Pavel went for lunch, he went alone at first before doubling back.
“Hey, we’re supposed to be together. Like it or not you’re coming with me to the mess hall.” Pavel says and the man groans in frustration and closes his computer.
“Fine, but I’m taking my damn work with me.” Silicon states as he stands.
“Fair enough.” Pavel states and the walk goes in silence. There’s a small, out of the way table near the edge of things and Silicon starts working again, only to be interrupted when Pavel comes back with two trays. “You’re not eating enough.”
“What? The hell is going on?” Silicon demands as Pavel forces him to take the laptop off the table and puts a tray full of food down in front of him.
“I looked up your medical profile...”
“Why?”
“Because humans can eat what other beings consider biohazards, and if we were going to have forced contact I didn’t want to accidentally kill you with onion breath. Which is something that can make a Feli very sick and cause a standard Tret to vomit.” Pavel explains.
“Okay...”
“However, I noted that you volunteered for the Endurance Program. An initiative to give other races more staying power akin to humans.”
“Yes, and it’s worked very well. I’ve nearly doubled my productivity.” Silicon says and Pavel nods.
“It did, however, you’re not feeding yourself enough. Your breakfast is big enough, for a breakfast. You need Lunch and Dinner too.”
“What?” Silicon demands.
“To put it in mechanical terms, you’re operating on emergency power. This cripples many major systems. You need to fuel up more consistently.” Pavel states before pointing to the loaded plate. “What I grabbed you is called a ham and cheese sandwich. To it’s side is kettle chips with sea salt, opposite is a garden salad and the cup of brown substance is a dessert called chocolate pudding. It’s a small lunch, but a decent one. Consider this the minimal intake.”
He then pulls out a pair of large water bottles and places them on the table. “You also need to hydrate more. Water is converted into the lubricant of your physicality and without it the whole system will fail.”
As Pavel had been speaking Silicon had pulled out a bioscanner and gone over everything before pausing on the salad. “Why is there an acid here?”
“You’ve got stronger stuff in your stomach. Turn that scanner on yourself.” Pavel says dismissively as he grabs his larger and much more loaded sandwich off his own plate. Three types of meat, hot mustard, lettuce of some kind and tomato with swiss cheese. Good stuff.
“Look, if this is some kind of ill conceived peace offering...”
“Peace nothing, you’re hangry half the time. Humans get aggressive in times of desperation. Basic instinct. You have that instinct now so even if you aren’t consciously looking for a fight, you’re ready to haul off on someone because you need food.”
“Really?”
“Yes, really. Now eat for god’s sake.”
“I’ve had breakfast. Two of those pancakes, a fruit cup and a glass of water. That’s plenty.”
“Nowhere near enough for breakfast. Let alone breakfast for someone in a high stress job. Besides, breakfast in only one of three meals.” Pavel counters and Silicon glares at him. “Seriously eat, it will help.”
Silicon gives him an odd look before grabbing his sandwich and taking a bite out of it. Pavel concentrates on eating his own much larger meal and he finishes within ten minutes. The spice in the mustard forced him to slow a little and he sits back to watch as Silicon goes at the pudding cup. For what the man claimed of not needing the food he outright inhaled it.
“So?” Pavel asks as Silicon finishes up taking a swig of his water. “Feel better?”
“... yes.” Silicon admits with his eyes screwed shut in frustration. “... I just thought it was Apex aggression not...”
“Hunger and desperation? You need thousands of calories a day. Also, don’t forget to use the bathroom when you need it. Our digestive tracts are powerful but not perfect. You will need to let it out.”
“really? You’re telling me to excrete? How simple do you think I am?” Silicon asks tartly.
“I think that you’re used to living in a body that required only energy and only have memories of a body that needed very little in the form of physical nourishment. So I’m not making any assumptions and telling you everything.” Pavel says as he finishes off his own water. “Now, I’ve got something to do. Our lunch break ends in a half hour and I’ll see you back at the test chamber for the remainder of that shift. Then we’re moving onto mine. I hope you’re ready to play spotter.”
“Oh goody. Using chemically propelled murder tools to NOT actually kill.”
“You have a problem with your orders?” Pavel asks him and he sighs.
“No. I’ll see you in a half hour.” Silicon says and Pavel nods before taking his own tray, then grabbing Silicon’s depleted one and taking them both out. “... Damnit, I hadn’t thought that humans would require so much damn food. I’m pulling in Axiom to feed, so why aren’t I being sustained?”
•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•
And it was back to the programming. Silicon was working faster and actually humming to himself a bit so that seemed alright. But not ideal. Pavel was really starting to get bored though. After yesterday’s test of things the drones had not been reactivated as Silicon seemed to be of the belief that things were a purely programming issue. If they were great, the problem is that there was no way of telling if things were just a programming issue or something mechanical.
Pavel pulls out his communicator and brings up the specs of the drones. They were basic, off the shelf prosthetic bodies designed to be piloted by a person, but a program in it’s place instead. They had been reinforced and upgraded a few times, but none of it seemed too egregious.
Similar codes and programming had been used in travelling shows and other such bits of entertainment to serve in the role that a minimum wage worker would slowly have their soul worn away doing. The repetitive, thankless tasks that need to be done over and over and over again.
Providing a low level opponent to be beaten in a fistfight or outsmarted by someone sneaking around shouldn’t be too hard. A videogame AI could get the behaviours down and then it was controlling the body.
Which was where Silicon and several other people were stuck. There was something wrong with their sense of balance and often they struggled to stay standing at all. All of them. Despite the code.
“If it was a gun I’d be checking it for cracks.” Pavel mutters to himself.
“What was that?” Silicon asks looking up from his laptop.
“All the drones are failing in the same way. You think it’s coding but... if it was a gun I’d be checking for structural damage.”
“These aren’t guns.”
“But both are machines. I think the hardware should be tested a bit. The coding has a lot of eyes on it. But the hardware?’
“The hardware was bought from a reputable source and passed their safety inspections.”
“Safety means that my necklace breaks if someone tries to strangle me with it.” Pavel says and Silicon pauses and looks up at him. Opens his mouth to say something then reconsiders and giving the nearest drone a look.
“Grab a toolkit. We’re taking it apart.” He says as he closes the laptop.
It takes five minutes to carefully take apart the chest of the drone and start examining the internal components.
“Here. These little gyroscopes are all over the place in the drone to give it a kinesthetic location sense. If you’re mentally linked to it then you can feel the direction of down from both gravity and the internal scope.” Silicon explains and Pavel gives one a tap. It does not move. “You have got to be kidding me.”
“Is this jammed?” Pavel asks as he pokes it again before reaching in with his fingers and feels... “There are metal filings in here. A dirty production line?”
When he removes his finger from thy gyroscope it moves easily in response. He brushes out a few shavings and Silicon is muttering something foul under his breath as he tests the other gyroscopes. One in every five of them are jammed in someway and after they clear out the chest they put the plating back on and move to the other limbs.
The pattern holds. One stuck internal gyroscope in every batch of five. It takes a full hour to clean out them all and give the internals of the drone some extra cleaning. It’s sealed back up again and Pavel is tightening the last screw as Silicon is tapping away at his laptop again.
“Okay! Take a step back. Let’s see if that helped.”
“If nothing else it’ll fail faster with it knowing which way to fall.” Pavel notes as he steps away and the drone activates. It sits upright the same as it could before and then turns over and stands upright. There was markedly less wobble this time and Silicon sends a command. It snaps it’s arms out and begins to turn.”
“Hey! That did it... shit. We need to clean out all the drones.” Silicon curses.
“We report this in and get fifty other guys to help, this is not a two man mission.” Pavel says wryly. “Not to mention the quartermaster is going to be looking to kill someone for having shit product forced on us. They do not take this shit lying down.”
“The sale’s rep will either be looking for a new job or finding a new fetish by the time those monsters are done with her.” Silicon notes. “Hey, think you’re ready to test it for fighting ability?”
“Sure thing.” Pavel says closing up the toolbox and then sliding it away with a foot. “Send it.”
“Alright, let’s test it’s tracking and offence. I need to dodge the attacks and move around the drone. Get it to follow you.” Silicon says sending the command and the Drone suddenly snaps it’s head towards Pavel and then turns as one. “That was a little stiff, I’m going to have to iron things out a little...”
The drone opens with an attempted haymaker and Pavel hops to the side and keeps going until he’s standing behind the drone. It follows him the whole time and then tries a cross. He fades back and takes a few steps away and it keeps pace as best it can.
As the drone goes for a grab he uses Axiom to leap clean over it and land on the other side then weaves to the side to avoid the snap kick as the logic tree self updates and the drone gets a fraction better at fighting.
“There we go! Living code! Finally!” Silicon cheers! “Start deflecting it’s attacks. Block and parry, I need to see how it responds to that.”
“Sure thing.” Pavel says and he swats away the next attempted haymaker.
“Interesting, okay, it’s correlating with that code chunk...” Silicon says as Pavel blocks two jabs boxer style and prevents it from grabbing onto him. “Hey that’s weird! Can you hit it back? Don’t break it or nothing, but see how it responds...”
“This good?” Pavel asks as he palm thrusts it in the middle of the chest and Silicon lets out a confused sound. The drone stumbles back in response to the light blow and regains it balance.
“Well how the hell did that happen? Do it again!” Silicon says as he squints at his screen.
Pavel rushes the drone and then gives it another, slightly firmer, smack in the middle of the chest. Silicon swears under his breath.
“This is weird! Alright, I’m deactivating the drone. Can you drop it off in it’s charging port?”
“Easy enough.” Pavel says as he catches the suddenly powered off robot and hefts it over his shoulder. It slots into it’s place easily and he walks over to where Silicon is squinting at the screen. “So what’s it look like?”
“There was a weird bit of...” Silicon says before looking up at Pavel. “Right, okay, basically every step of the program is like a huge tree right? You start at the tip and by evaluating a situation you go down one of the branches. Basically it’s like a plan flowchart, is this happening? If yes, go this way, if no then go down to the next question. A computer’s processing speed lets it go through this fast so it can keep up with reality.”
“But only if you’ve got enough questions for all the things that happen.”
“Right, well that’s where the Virtual Intelligence comes in. Where it compares situations and while likely not understanding them, it does know how to mimic them. This is where you get things like chat-bots or a video game enemy that seems to learn. It’s almost learning, but it’s not. Not really. That’s what we’re trying to get to, and we have the start of it.”
“Did something go weird?”
“I’m not sure yet? I think... maybe yes? Maybe no?” Silicon says as he turns the laptop to let Pavel see the lines up on lines of code. “This is literally the drone’s brain here. The thing is about an evolving program is that it can cause itself to bloat. That was the issue I was having yesterday and still today. Although it’s not as big as it was yesterday now that we know there’s hardware problems too. We put a lot of code into making these things balance and now that we’ve solved the problem... how much of that can be taken out and how much has to be left in is going to be the work of weeks.”
“Ah got it.”
“You do?”
“I’m a sniper. I have to focus on not only aiming for the target, but I have to accommodate for the wind drag at different temperatures and humidity levels, particles in the air like ash or dust, the gravity of the world I’m on, the movement of the target and the things around them. To say nothing of the make of the weapon firing the bullet and the make of the bullet itself. It’s very much a science.” Pavel says pulling out his little book and handing it to Silicon.
The formally synthetic man looks through the small black book and sees rows upon rows of calculations without any answers written he lets out a little hum before closing it and handing it back.
“I think I understand. Still. There’s more to do... and not much more time to do it. This shift is about to end.”
“It is. Which means it’s time for you to see all that dread math in motion.”
“Oh no! Not the dread math!” Silicon’s sarcasm could peel paint.

First Last
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2023.06.09 22:04 Profecionallystupid Respect Jason Grace Thread [All] (Long)

Some time ago, I made two posts with some of Percy's best feats. The first one can viewed here. And the second: here.
Now I know that Jason isn't the most liked character in the fandom, but I like him. So I wanted to scale him.
Contents: Strength, speed, reaction speed, skill, durability, actual powers, Tl;dscaling, closing segment.

He was able to throw a club hard enough to knock down a Venti. Even causing it to curve so that it would hit Dylan when he tried to doge:
Jason threw the club. It seemed useless with the winds so strong, but the club flew right at Dylan, even curving when he tried to dodge, and smacked in the head so hard he fell to his knees
The Lost Hero
He was able to deflect a spear hit from a giant:
Jason raised his javelin to block the giant's next strike-a big mistake. Don't fight force with force, a voice chided him-the wolf Lupa, who told him that long ago. He managed to deflect the spear, but it grazed his shoulder, and his arm went numb.
The Lost Hero
The same giant was able to cause the entire mountain to shake just by slamming the butt of said spear into the ground:
Before they could get very far, Enceladus slammed his spear against the ground. The entire mountain shook.
The Lost Hero
Moving onto House of Hades, we see him casually shatter a metal with a kick, firmly putting him into the superhuman category of strength. Not only that, but he managed to stagger and knocked a giant to his knees:
One last time Jason flew at [Clytius], kicking him in the chest, and the giant's breastplate shattered. Clytius staggered backward..He fell to his knees, and the demigods encircled him
House of Hades
He was able to cut through a statue made of metal with help from Piper:
Piper and Jason went to work on Hygeia. They slashed through the statue's knees
Blood of Olympus
We are now done with Jason it the strength department. Obviously, he lacks many feats in this department, especially compared to Percy, but he is definitely stronger than an average human.
Speed:
He was able to stab a giant:
[Jason] rolled away from the giant's first spear thrust and jabbed Enceladus in the ankle. Jason's javelin managed to pierce the thick dragon hide, and golden ichor-the blood of immortals-trickled down the giant's clawed foot.
The Lost Hero
This might not seem that impressive, but Jason was being slowed down by Gaea. The Giant was being helped by Gaea. Finally, the giant was predicting Jason's attacks:
Enceladus' spear missed him by a millimeter. Jason kept dodging, but the ground stuck to his feet. Gaea was getting stronger, and the giant was getting faster. Enceladus might be slow, but he was not dumb. He began anticipating Jason's moves, and Jason's attacks were only annoying him
The Lost Hero
We see this here again:
Enceladus let him approach, grinning with anticipation. At the last second, Jason faked a strike and rolled between the giant's legs. He came up quickly, thrusting with all his might, ready to stab the giant in the small of his back, but Enceladus anticipated the trick. He stepped aside with too much speed and agility for a giant, as if the earth were helping him move.
The Lost Hero
Reaction/ combat speed. This is where Jason really shines. As he has several impressive feats:
He was able to keep up with Lit. The same guy who was so good, he earned the name Reaper of Men:
Lit charged.
The guy was fast. He slashed and sliced, and Jason could barely dodge the strikes, but his mind went into a different mode-analyzing patterns, learning Lit's style, which was all offense, no defense.
The Lost Hero
He can react to giants:
Jason raised his javelin to block the giant's next strike-a big mistake. Don't fight force with force, a voice chided him-the wolf Lupa, who told him that long ago. He managed to deflect the spear, but it grazed his shoulder, and his arm went numb.
The Lost Hero
He scales to Percy in reaction speed and was able to amaze Piper:
[Piper] rolled to the edge of the road and looked back, dazed and horrified, as [Percy and Jason] crossed swords, gold against bronze. Sparks flew. Their blades blurred-strike and parry-and the pavement trembled. The first exchange only took a second, but Piper couldn't believe the speed of their sword fighting.
Mark of Athena
The same guy who I scaled to have reaction speed as fast as 10 milliseconds. And the average human reacts at 250 milliseconds.
He can react to lightning:
Jason called down another lightning strike, but Ephialtes caught it on his spear and deflected the blast, melting a life-size plastic cow. He slammed a stone column out of his way like a stack of building blocks. Percy tried to keep the lake churning. He didn’t want Otis rising to join this fight, but as Ephialtes closed the last few feet, Percy had to switch focus. Jason and he met the giant’s charge. They lunged around Ephialtes, stabbing and slashing in a blur of gold and bronze, but the giant parried every strike. “I will not yield!” Ephialtes roared. “You may have ruined my spectacle, but Gaea will still destroy your world!” Percy lashed out, slicing the giant’s spear in half. Ephialtes wasn’t even fazed. The giant swept low with the blunt end and knocked Percy off his feet. Percy landed hard on his sword arm, and Riptide clattered out of his grip. Mark of Athena
While technically not reacting to lighting, Percy fought a giant who could, so Ephialtes' reaction speed=Percy's. What I'm getting at here is Ephialtes can react to lightning. Percy can keep up with Ephialtes. So Percy=Ephialtes' reaction speed. Jason=Percy reaction speed. Therefore, Jason=Ephialtes' reaction speed.
Too much for you to follow, here:
Jason swung at the first spirit. His blade passed through it and the creature's smoky form disintegrated. The second spirit let loose a bolt of lightning, but Jason's blade absorbed the charge. Jason stepped in-one quick thrust, and the second storm spirit dissolved into gold powder
The Lost Hero
There you go.
He reacts to arrows:
This time Jason's senses were on high alert. He felt the air ripple as an arrow materialized, racing towards Nico's chest.
Jason intercepted it with his sword and deflected it sideways.
House of Hades
Now, Romans use a type of composite bow called a Sagittarii. Composite bows can shoot arrows as a speed of 250 to 370 feet per second (76 to 113 m/s).
Also keep in mind that he is nearsighted. Giving him even less time to react than normal:
"Oh, of course!" Asclepius said. "You're a bit nearsighted! Simple fix."
He opened the drawer, whipped out a prescription pad and an eyeglasses case. He scribbled something on the pad, then handed the glasses and the scrip to Jason.
Blood of Olympus
So all in all, he has some fast reaction speed. Well above human.
Next up, skill.
He can keep up with Lit, a man so deadly, he was named the Reaper of Men:
Lit charged.
The guy was fast. He slashed and sliced, and Jason could barely dodge the strikes, but his mind went into a different mode-analyzing patterns, learning Lit's style, which was all offense, no defense.
The Lost Hero
He did all of this:
"I slew the Trojan sea monster," Jason continued. "I toppled the black throne of Kronos, and destroyed the Titan Krios with my own hands. And now I'm going to destroy you, Porphyrion, and feed you to your own wolves."
The Lost Hero
He killed the Trojan sea monster and killed a Titan without a weapon.
Durability:
He is immune to, or at least, resistant to electricity:
Dylan's form flickered. "That was enough lightning to kill twenty men!"
The Lost Hero
He survived this:
Enceladus let him approach, grinning with anticipation. At the last second, Jason faked a strike and rolled between the giant's legs. He came up quickly, thrusting with all his might, ready to stab the giant in the small of his back, but Enceladus anticipated the trick. He stepped aside with too much speed and agility for a giant, as if the earth were helping him move. He swept his spear sideways and met Jason's javelin-and with a snap like a shotgun blast, the golden weapon shattered.
The explosion was hotter than the giant's breath, blinding Jason with golden light. The force knocked him off his feet and squeezed the breath out of him.
The Lost Hero
While this is an already impressive feat, we have this to make this even more impressive:
The javlin's destruction had released so much energy, it had blasted a perfect cone-shaped pit thirty feet deep, fusing the dirt and rock into a slick, glassy substance.
The lost Hero
He was uncut by plastic shrapnel:
Together, the giants picked up a fake mountain as big as Percy's New York apartment and hurled it at the demigods. Percy and Jason bolted. They dove into the nearest trench and the mountain shattered above them, spraying them with plastic shrapnel.
Mark of Athena
He can tank a hit from a giant trident, although he was in a lot of pain:
Jason managed to avoid the prongs of the trident again, but the giant swung the other end around and smacked him in the chest.
Jason reeled back, stunned and in pain. Polybotes came in for the kill. Just before the trident would have perforated him, Jason's ventus acted on its own. It spiraled sideways, whisking Jason thirty feet across the courtyard.
Powers. This is another place he is impressive in. He has several abilities he can call on in a clutch:
He can correct aim of things he throws:
Jason threw the club. It seemed useless with the winds so strong, but the club flew right at Dylan, even curving when he tried to dodge, and smacked in the head so hard he fell to his knees
The Lost Hero
He can control air pressure:
[Jason] felt a tugging sensation in his gut, and the air pressure dropped so rapidly his ears popped.
The Lost Hero
He can summon Tempest, a horse made of wind and electricity:
Suddenly the air turned cold. Piper's ears popped. About fifty yards away, a miniature cyclone three stories tall tore across the tops of the sunflowers like a scene from The Wizard of Oz. It touched down on the road next to Jason and took the form of a horse-a misty steed with lightning flickering through its body
Mark of Athena
Jason and Percy working together can create a massive storm:
On the deck of the Argo II, Percy and Jason stood together, their swords crossed. Annabeth got a tingle down her spine as she realized the boys were working together as one, summoning the sky and the sea to do their bidding. Water and wind churned together. Waves heaved against the ramparts and lightning flashed. Giant eagles were knocked out of the sky. Wreckage of the flying chariot burned in the water, and Coach Hedge swung a mounted crossbow, taking potshots at the Roman birds as the flew overhead.
The Mark of Athena
Jason can fly and carry people with him:
Jason summoned the wind to carry him and Piper to shore
Mark of Athena
He can cause water to boil and temporarily blind Piper:
BOOM! Lightning stirred the water into a boiling cauldron, steaming and hissing with electricity. Piper blinked the yellow spots out her eyes as the god Achelous wailed and dissolved under beneath the surface
Mark of Athena
He can use wind offensively:
The demigods rolled to either side, and Jason summoned the wind, using the giant's own momentum to shove him into the water
Mark of Athena
He can get angry enough to generate electricity:
the air turned electric-literally, as Jason started throwing off sparks.
Mark of Athena
He can melt iron and cause gold to steam:
Just then, thunder boomed overhead. Lightning flashed, and the bars on the nearest window burst into sizzling, melted stubs of iron.
Jason flew in like Peter Pan, electricity sparking around him and his gold sword steaming.
House of Hades
Jason has the ability to track people who use winds as a method of transport so things like air spirits can't run from him:
Jason couldn't exactly see him, but he'd had enough experience controlling the wind that he could track the angel's path-a warm wisp of red and gold zipping across the street..
House of Hades
He can control the four winds and even construct this out of wind:
[Jason] thrust out his hand. A swirl of dust shot toward the nearest horse. A lasso-a rope of wind, more tightly wound than any tornado-wrapped around the horse's neck. ..In less than a minute he had tethered all four venti. He reined them in, still whining and bucking, but they couldn't break Jason's rope. It felt like flying four kites in a strong wind-hard, yes, but not impossible.
House of Hades
He uses wind defensively:
Jason summoned gusts of wind to last aside javelins and arrows. He deflected a vial of Greek fire right up the throat of a gryphon, which burst into flames and spiraled into the pit.
House of Hades
He can carry others without having to fly himself:
Three dead Romans rose into the air and flew across the chasm. Then three more joined them. Finally Jason flew himself across and his squad began cutting through some very surprised-looking telkhines
House of Hades
He can use a sword or a javelin:
Jason slashed his gladius in a wide arc, vaporizing the nearest suitors; then he vaulted onto the table and jumped over Antinous' head. In midair he willed his bade to extend into a javelin-a trick he'd never tried with this sword-but somehow he knew it would work.
Blood of Olympus
He once more demonstrates his ability to create objects from air and now he can encase himself in air armor:
[Jason] raised his arm and summoned a lasso of wind... He lashed out with his wind rope, searching for strongest, most ornery *ventus in the storm.
He lassoed a nasty patch of storm cloud and pulled it in. "You're serving me today."
Howling in protest, the ventus encircled him. The storm above the ship seemed to lessen just a bit, as if the other venti were thinking Oh, crud. That guy means business.
Jason levitated off the deck, encased in his own miniature tornado. Spinning like a corkscrew, he plunged into the water.
Jason is capable of summoning weird lightning stuff at the bottom of the ocean. Also worth noting it is still as deadly and didn't shock Percy who was also in the water next to him. On top of that, he can now separate the volts to attack multiple targets instead of just one:
But [Jason] couldn't think of a better option. He thrust up his sword. Immediately the blade glowed red-hot.
A diffuse cloud of yellow light billowed through the depths, like someone had poured liquid neon into the water. The light hit Jason's sword and splayed outward in ten separate tendrils, zapping the basiliks.
Blood of Olympus
He can carry a current throughout his body, holding it for latter:
With a deafening blast, a white-hot bolt arced from the sky, straight through Jason's body as he leaped, wreathed in lightning, at the giant king.
Jason fell on King Porphyrion with such force that the giant crumpled to his knees-blasted with lightning and stabbed in the neck with a golden gladius.
He can blast a 30 foot giant off a clif:
Porphyrion lashed out wildly with his spear, but Jason cut it in half with his gladius. He charged in, jabbing his sword through the giant's breastplate, then summoned the winds and blasted Porphyrion off the edge of the cliff.
Blood of Olympus
Tl;dr and scaling: So Jason is powerful. He is definitely superhuman in al physical states. I am going to say, city level durability. His power level is at mountain level.
Closing segment: Honestly I think he could have been more powerful if we'd seen him in more books. Also I didn't use a Trials of Apollo feats as there I didn't find any. If you see any feats I missed let me know so I can scale them. So what did you think? Did this make you see Jason as more or less powerful than you originally thought? Who else would you like me to scale?
Respect Jason Grace, son of the sky god, Zeus!
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2023.06.09 21:58 userfirstofhisname Fantasy Next Top Model, Cycle 6 - Week 10 - Elimination & COO

Fantasy Next Top Model, Cycle 6 - Week 10 - Elimination & COO
credit: u/low_viscosity_rayon
The Netherlands are stunning; cobbled, rolling streets that wind off into lanes that criss cross and intersect. Stunning structures of architecture that stand poised and proud against the backdrop of flowing canals. The air is fresher, tastier here; and somehow, the smell of pastry and savoury goodness has crept into the scene of the city. Not to mention the fashion: somehow chic and comfortable and cutting-edge all at the very same time. It will prove to be an interesting place to host the final days of the competition, that much is for certain.
"Hello ladies," Tyra tells them, her smiling and smizing smizeultaneously. "When one of you becomes the winner of this competition, you will receive from us, as a prize: an international contract with IMG Models, Wilhelmina Model Management and LA Models. A cover of Vogue US AND UK, plus a cover of and six-page spread in Fantasy magazine. And a global campaign, not to mention $100,000 contract with Dior Beauty and Fantasy Cosmetics - each!
This week, you had to recreate fashion versions of famous Vincent Van Gogh paintings.
Six of you stand before me, but I only have five photos in my hands. And these five photos represent the five of you that are still in the running towards becoming the Fantasy Next Top Model.
The first name that I'm going to call is the best photo of the week, and will be displayed up in your house, here in your huis in Amsterdam, as digital. art."
Tyra whips out the first picture.
"He. In this photo, you fused and transported to the inside of a painting - how did you do that? It's so damn near perfect it's almost as if you knew the brief was coming! Congratulations, you're still in the running towards becoming the Fantasy Next Top Model.
The next name?"
The second photo is revealed.
"Alyona. Now, this is something different; it feels caught and vulnerable, but also artistic in an exploratory way. It's high fashion, yes, but not in a way that bores us or makes us think we've seen it before from you. Congratulations."
The next photos are revealed one after the other.
"Lindsey. Phenomenal picture. We adore it, and you. It was just a very strong week, and that's why you're third. Maybe something to keep in mind!"
"Melanie. Great shot for you, lady. Well done."
Only two girls remain.
"Would>! Janet and Kinga ! They both do so, hand in hand.
"Two beautiful ladies stand before me," says Tyra seriously. "But, I only have one photo in my hands. And this photo represents the girl that will still be in the running towards becoming the Fantasy Next Top Model. I'll only call one name, and the name of the girl that I do not call must immediately return to their huis here in Amsterdam and pack your bags for home.
This week is difficult, because it is arguably the strongest final six performance of any given cycle of this competition. You both created devastatingly beautiful images that just so happened to drift to the bottom of the pack, through nothing but sheer nitpicking. We don't want to have to send anyone home, but that's how the cookie crumbles. And we had to make a decision."
Tyra reveals the final photo.
"Kinga, we think your photo is a little bit stronger. Congratulations - you're still in the running towards becoming the Fantasy Next Top Model.
A disappointed Janet goes to meet Tyra. "You should be proud of yourself. Such a strong, interesting, diverse portfolio. And from an up-and-coming, springy, cool model. I think you need to work in the mirror and figure out what looks different, what expressions can I use to switch things up, make it look not so same-y. But you have the right instincts and intentions and with your ambition, you can make it anywhere. I have high hopes for you."
And with that, the>! lithe Lagosian lover of luxury, Janet Jumbo,!< departs the Fantasy Next Top Model competition.
submitted by userfirstofhisname to ANTM [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 21:57 dlschindler [Murder Of Crows] S1E5 My Crow Speaks To The Sleepless

"I hate zingers. I was told, growing up, that they are for the weak-minded. Like a 'Jedi mind trick', you know?" Detective Winters was doing something on his phone in our hotel room. His voice startled me as I lay half asleep on my own bed. He was sitting on his bed, half undressed, smoking under the fire alarm. I had no idea what he was talking about.
"Will you open a window? Cory has very small lungs." I requested.
"Cough." Cory said in perfect English. Then my talking crow imitated the hacking and coughing of Detective Winters in the middle of the night. It went on for about as long as a mummer's dance and then ended with the sound of a man spitting.
"Jesus would have sworn for a bird like that." Detective Winters applauded the performance and then used the lit cigarette in his mouth to light another and then he put the smoldering one in his mouth and used the lit one again to finish lighting the fresh tobacco. Then he accidentally scattered the rest of the brown stringy stuff all over the floor. He swept the remains of his new rolling kit off with the spill and shrugged, laid back, and puffed away.
"Goodness." Cory flitted down and inspected the stuff. He liked it too much and I told him to stay out of it.
A knock came upon the door. I already had a bad feeling. I'd read my horoscope and Detective Winters's too. We both had it coming our way. Nothing good could come from 'non-dairy starlight' and 'niche holes on the border'. Those phrases meant no sense, and yet our stars translated to those words, as they danced drunkenly across the keyboard of the starry skies.
"You get that." I stiffened.
"Uh, I always get it." Detective Winters smiled at me weirdly for being weird. He wasn't feeling the terror I felt. For a man who hated zingers: he sure took fear literally.
"One knock, my Lord. Very bad." Cory told me. I nodded, I already knew something was terribly amiss. Just because the armed and half naked policeman in my bedroom was blundering forward to grip the doorhandle without regard, didn't mean that we were safe. Only terror gripped my heart as my crow went to the bedpost and squawked in alarm, "Must go now!"
He opened the door and it was the same maid from before. She was wearing her regular street clothes instead of her uniform. She reminded Detective Winters that he was a policeman. He agreed and she asked him if, as a policeman, he could help her. He agreed to that too.
I didn't want to go, but I had no choice. Gagging and swaying stiffly like a terrified zombie I went with them; knowing this was going to be very bad, because I had read those weird horoscopes and believed them. Sweat shot out from my upper lip as I gibbered helplessly in dread:
"Where are we going?" I asked in apprehensive discernment, finally getting the words out of my sweaty lips.
"We are going to Sesame Street and Brooklyn Ave. You ever gone there before?" He accepted one of the woman's menthol cigarettes and fumbled with the book of matches from the hotel that was in the ashtray of his car. Then he put the cigarette to his lips and lit it while driving. He eventually cracked the window and let out most of the smoke.
"Why don't you open your window?" The woman asked. I was very afraid of the kind of trouble she was asking for. If I opened the window I might lose Cory in an awful way. Trembling I reached out and took the window's lever and opened the window a crack. Then I reached over and got the other one too. She smiled, like a golden devil, and cracked her window and then got her's down to about halfway. By then only the odor of the smoke remained.
"That's probably good." I gulped.
We got to her apartment and went inside to meet her husband and her son. The boy was tied to his bed and his eyes were terrifying and horrible. His face was monstrous and contorted and looked like a bad makeup special effect. Except that was his actual flesh. He struggled mightily and for a moment it was as though he would break free and rampage like an angry animal. His teeth glowed in the shade, sharp and ready to bite. He looked at us.
As his eyes met Detective Winters, the man froze. Then some of his hair started to wither and wilt. It became brittle and grey. He staggered backward and fell. I tried to avoid the gaze of whatever that was. It only wore her son, but something else was with us, watching us from within him. As Detective Winters made the communion of eye contact it had known him and known itself to him. Thus kin to its ways, he had fallen to the shock and horror of something unfathomably horrifying beyond words. The meaning of such a thing is simply instinctive, and to not know it is a blessing, and it cannot be known to someone until they have seen it, smelled the fruit-candy sweetness and the sulfur of its breath. Heard the voice of an angel, but not one from Heaven.
"Open the window." It commanded. The voice of this creature was not made by a human-will, yet it was from the lips of a child. Horrible and deep and grinding like a thousand souls on wheels of torture, all crying out this one phrase in unison, and then as one voice together and tormented and irresistible.
I quaked and fell back against the wall, refusing to look at it. I crept along the wall until I got to the shades. Then I drew them and let in the light. I gasped at the surreal horror I could see then:
The whole city was covered in flesh. Parts of people twitched and dripped and dangled everywhere. Skinless ones dragged their feet, leaving trails of themselves as they went. I heard a rumbling, or rather saw it, sensed it somehow. The clouds convulsed and began to drip and it was then raining. The rain was blood.
I screamed and fell back. Cory flapped around the room and the demonic thing with us was laughing. I clawed my way to the door, frantically. Detective Winters got up suddenly, and with a wild look in his eyes. His head was struck upon the shelf and a clacking monkey doll with chimes fell free onto my back as I crawled out the bedroom door.
The vision of ultimate horror burned the landscape into my memory. Once it is seen, it cannot be unseen. As I looked around I could still feel its presence on everything. I clawed at the floor, slick with the butcher's offal, but it was just the carpet. The fear was real, and as I held myself and cried in terror: I knew the carnage was still all around me, invisible. There were bodies hung from ropes, and chopped apart, and torn, and there were dead staked to the ceiling, and vivisectioned. Only I knew they were there, even if I couldn't see them. I had seen them and knew they still remained. My heartbeat slowed and I felt the clacking of the monkey on my back. I shook myself free of it and went and hid in a corner.
"My son, he is feeling better! You two have cured him! How do you do this? No exorcism? Nothing?" The father was in tears and holding up his son for us.
"Let's get out of here." Detective Winters helped me up. Cory rode on my outstretched left arm, nervously. I kept lowering my arm to which he would click his disapproval, each time. Detective Winters helped my shocked frame into the car and tossed the toy monkey onto the seat next to me. It had most likely followed us out of the apartment, or else he had carried it. Certainty is for the weak-minded, I concluded, as I stared at its malevolent glass eyes.
We got back to the hotel room and one of us put the monkey on top of the television.
"Time to get some sleep." Detective Winters stated. He laid down stiffly, like some kind of rigid corpse.
"Must go now." Cory hid behind my head on the pillow and softly called.
I watched sleeplessly as the horrible thing sat there atop the television. I could only speculate that it was the cause of the child's malady and that removing it had made everything better. I stared at the infinite evil in its dark glass eyes. Suddenly it started to chime its little chimes, clashing them loudly in the darkness.
"Oh, gawd! It's awake!" I yelled and sat up. Cory fluttered around on the bed, flapping frantically.
"What! What's happening?" Detective Winters woke to a start.
We laid back down and I started to fall asleep. As my eyes slowly started to close the absolute terror I had felt since the beginning was starting to subside just enough to catch my breath. Maybe I would not get left forgotten in the starry skies. Perhaps the wall of sleep had an unlocked door for me to get through safely to the other side. My eyes were fluttering shut when suddenly the monkey chimed again, evilly and terrifyingly in the dark.
"That thing!" I shrieked in gross terror as I woke suddenly.
In the darkness its shape sat there ready to pounce on the sleeper. It was watching our eyes close with its own eyes always wide open and staring, shining in the darkness. The toothy grin of the diabolical creature anticipated this third calamity upon our dying nerves.
My sleep brought the image of the mirrored eyes. I stared into a mirror, seeing its marble glass amid the tufted spiky hair. The monkey in the mirror wanted out; as I dreamed in a delirious fog. My dreams told me of its true nature in the true world. The one we shared alongside it.
The doll was merely where its existence met ours, like a kind of intact vortex. The space between the walls of the whirlpool, as it drains into the darkness, gurgling. I was staring too deeply into that darkness and there it was. I could see its true form there. It clambered up out of the darkness, held back only by the glass of the mirror.
Enraged, the monkey glared and snarled at me. It showed its sharp teeth and then it began hitting the glass. It threw itself against the glass over and over. As the glass fractured and broke, it began the crawl through, shrieking and snarling in terrifying rage. Its flesh was cut to the bone and it peeled off its own face coming through the broken glass like that. Then it came crawling across the floor to get to me, its hate-filled eyes glimmering over its vicious teeth.
Sleep was not a safe place to be. The chime blasted again, clanging loudly and diabolically. I jerked to my feet with a start, the image of the nightmare still clinging to what I thought I was seeing.
Except as I blinked away the nightmare I could see the dark liquid of its true form writhing back into the shape of the doll. Its shadows scattered across the wall like animated flames with no color. The foul smell of sweet and rotting things filled the air. I could hear its growl from the doll and from all around and from within my own mind, echoing from the memory of Dream.
Then without warning there was a loud detonation and blinding flash. The doll exploded into thousands of tiny sticks that were painted in red stripes. Detective Winters put his gun back into the holster.
"Perhaps now, we can get some sleep." He had a bent rolly in his mouth with bits of tobacco sticking out of it every which way. He managed to get it lit without setting it on fire and smoked it for a minute before he snuffed it out.
"I am too afraid to." I yawned.
submitted by dlschindler to redditserials [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 21:29 Purtle [PIL] #966 6/9/2023

Purtle's Internet Lineup for June 9th, 2023 3:30pm
Pics:
Clips:
Videos
Articles/News/Other
submitted by Purtle to Purtle [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 21:23 dogglesnake ChocoPro 315 🍫 Chie’s Road to Super Asia, Shin Suzuki & Choun Shiryu VS Sayaka Obihiro & Baliyan Akki. Tonight at 11 pm EDT, Live & Free on YouTube

ChocoPro 315: New Champs This weekend is a chaotic but important one for ChocoPro! In the first of two episodes, tonight we’ll see the stories of the championships igniting. Chie seeks to prove her championship worth against goblin & powerhouse, Sayaka desires revenge on Masa, and the new champs Choun & Shin take on Obi & Akki! Let’s Go, ChocoPro!
🍫 CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK! ChocoPro 315 🍫 Miya Yotsuba VS Chie Koishikawa VS Mei Suruga, Masa Takanashi VS Sayaka, Shin Suzuki & Choun Shiryu VS Sayaka Obihiro & Baliyan Akki. It airs TONIGHT at 11 pm EDT / 8 pm PDT (Tomorrow at 4 am BST, 12 pm JST). Live and Free on YouTube!
This link will be updated with a direct one when available

Don't forget to Adjust Your Volume, Wrestling is Loud!

Change the stage, escape the normal! ChocoPro is built different. Find out why wrestlers like it so much: Find a new home on the bleeding edge. (This is not your regular wrestling show.) Join us for this episode, or check out the back catalog of 17 wonderful Seasons on the Gatoh Move ChocoPro YouTube channel...260+ episodes with stories and pro-wrestling like you've never seen. New to the promotion? It features a roster of skilled veterans, rising stars, and wonderful guests fighting in the ChocoPro Arena: Ichigaya Chocolate Square. Subscribe for more content than just the live matches! (AEW Watch Alongs, Discussions, Interviews, Food Challenges, etc) Even if you can't catch it live, don't sweat it! It will still be available on the channel.

Three Way Match: Miya Yotsuba 🍀 VS Chie Koishikawa 🏵️ VS Mei Suruga 🍎

Energy Overload

Ichigaya’s Lucky Charm, Miya Yotsuba, is looking for a fight! The fan favorite student of the goblin is known for her mint-green gear and her overwhelming spirit. Miya brings a strength focused style that is surprisingly flashy (especially that Miya Hammer)! Our new powerhouse impressed at every task set before her, growing in skill and showing more raw talent with each outing. While she will need to deal with the goblin tactics of her teacher, she’ll also need to watch out for Challenger Chie’s fury! Good luck, Miya.
“Say Hello”, because Chie Koishikawa has arrived to dish out some of her signature speed chops! The Frantic Fencer is known for having "Too Much Energy" and an intense move set that compliments her boundless charisma. This time the standard bearer of the Fourth Generation is preparing for her Super Asia title match in the next episode! Will she be ready to prove to Hagane she is more than just “the protected”? ChocoPro’s orange geared knight will be giving her all to this last difficult quest before she takes on the Icy champ she knows all too well...
Mei Suruga is a vast sea of charisma. The Red Fairy of Ichigaya tends to convert new viewers into her “dummies” quite quickly, even the coldest heart finding it hard to resist her charm and explosive wrestling ability...despite her being such a Goblin most of the time! She will enjoy punishing her frequent tag partner and her student just as much as anyone else. Though she prefers tags and singles, triple threats are a rare tasty treat for her: Mei loves to get into dangerous situations to test herself, as is tradition for the Big Apple Girl!

Masa Takanashi 🍶

VS

Sayaka 👗

Drunken Violence

Drunken Monkey Masa Takanashi is ready for anything! The president of Gatoh Move is known for racking up wins as much as he does bar tabs, with a swagger and slick technique that will have you questioning just how tipsy he is! The Counter Fighter of ChocoPro baits his opponents into reversals and trickery that will have them staring at the lights or tapping out in quick fashion. He’s got a lot of tricks up his sleeve, but will he be able to handle overwhelming power once more? Takanashi had better keep up that fancy footwork or he’ll find himself hammered into oblivion!
“I'm gonna kill you! Yayyyyy!” While she has become infamous for her unsettling cheerfulness and grim quotes, “Smiling Violence” Sayaka is known more for her ungodly brutal striking power. Those explosion like forearms stagger even the toughest opponents in Ichigaya! Add in Sayaka’s pin point dropkicking ability and her growing talent in pins and submissions, and Masa might find that the rising Twitch star is just too much to handle. Don't forget, Sayaka hangs out around Minoru Suzuki and survives to tell the tale! After all, she’s “happy to beat someone”!

Shin Suzuki 🍙 & Choun Shiryu 🐉

VS

Sayaka Obihiro 💙 & Baliyan Akki ♠️

New Champs

An unfortunate twist of fate may have brought the “Utility Players” the belts, but Choun Shiryu & Shin Suzuki are the Asia Dream Tag Champs all the same! These two mesh well with just about any pairing, it makes sense that they sync together with machine precision. The Dragon of ChocoPro is a Wuxia hero (having done some of the most spectacular acts in Ichigaya) with his own fantastic flair! He is one of the most legitimate forces in the promotion. This Kung Fu master boasts a truly unique fighting style, pulling off action movie stunts you’ll not find elsewhere. His technically talented partner Shin is no slouch either! His warm personality and intense athleticism fit well with the general vibe of Ichigaya...and honestly, his knack for dealing with kids (as a proud father) comes in handy in this den of goblins and monsters! Shin’s strong grasp of fundamentals and Choun’s unorthodox approach combine to form an incredible pair of champions.
Another twist in this story: Sayaka Obihiro & Baliyan Akki are back on the same team! Any time we get more “Obi magic” on the screen, it is a good day. Her boundless charisma and eye catching maneuvers are some of the best in Ichigaya, it is always a pleasure to have her in a match. Between her heavy chops, throat thrusts, and her pin specialization, Obi is an all around danger in the ring (and the square). She'll be working with the Ace of the promotion, Baliyan Akki! Akki is a sight to see in Best Bros, but his energy is much more aggressive without Mei as his partner. The “Zephyr of Ichigaya” will need all of his arsenal (smooth transitions, combo striking, high flying, and even flash pins of his own) for this one, as these are two of his fated rivals from the past...who now hold the very belts he once proudly did! Fear not, because Akki defines quality in ChocoPro! The Ace will be looking for weakness in the new champs to exploit, because it won’t be too long until he holds a belt again...
Welcome to ChocoPro!
Come and see the wild creativity that produced Two of the Seven AEW Women's World Champions! (Both of which have appeared on ChocoPro!) You'll be wondering if you're seeing future champs, as well. ChocoPro is the Frontier of Pro Wrestling! Match after match of hard hitting, chaotic, fun bouts with a friendly online audience. We're quickly growing, and you're welcome to come along!
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:

“What is this?”

ChocoPro is a free online promotion run by AEW's Emi Sakura, that takes place in the legendary Ichigaya Chocolate Square! It features a steady pace of live Episode releases, fan interaction, season long story arcs, and much more! A place where the turnbuckles are replaced with 14th floor windows, the ropes are often replaced with fans, unforgiving walls provide creative avenues for skills otherwise unthinkable, and you can take solace in knowing that the referees usually do nothing. While it might be a shocking change at first, the intensity and storytelling will leave you wanting more.

“Why are they fighting in ____?”

Short answer is that it is a cost effective, unique venue with a better availability schedule and allows the roster access for training. Emi Sakura has been using this place for a long time, and you might be surprised at some of the names that have used it (even outside of ChocoPro!). There are a few in-ring Episodes and Gatoh Move has in ring shows with crowds on the YouTube channel. Think of it like the Hart Dungeon but as a promotion, if that helps!

”What are the rules?”

While special match stipulations will usually be explained before the respective matches, the general rules of ChocoPro are simple. Pins only count on the Chocolate Mat and are not broken by the edge or Wall. Submissions usually only count on the Chocolate Mat, and ARE broken by reaching the edge or wall (sometimes ceiling...). Double pins and Double submissions are legal (and encouraged) in ChocoPro Tag matches, meaning cohesive teams will always have the advantage! Count Outs only exist if specified, since many matches stray from the comfort of the Chocolate Square into the streets (and the rest of the building itself!) There is a Time Limit for each bout (based on card placement and importance) and the Referee has discretion (even if they tend to do nothing most of the time!). Every Ref is different, some have different levels of bias and speed.

“How can I support them?”

Watch the show! Even if you can't see it live, the views matter! Like & Subscribe! You can join the Channel's membership for different tiers of perks...but also, you can buy single episode Sponsorship, Digital autographed photos, and more on their shop site as well as purchase shirts from PWTees (which features some great options!) If you'd like to donate or purchase a main wall sponsorship, you can via Paypal or Patreon...and don't forget to cheer for your favorites! (especially if you want to do a superchat!)

”How come there aren’t a lot of comments on the threads?”

ChocoPro is a YouTube show, meaning the discourse happens live...in the chat! Those that comment in the threads on here tend to do so in order to help new viewers that might be intimidated by the fast moving chat. Don’t be afraid to just dive in though, the community is friendly.

“Why are you posting this here? / Are you paid for this?”

This is a wrestling forum, and I'm trying to broaden the horizons of others! There is a lot of good wrestling out there...Plus growing the fan base means more people for me to joke around with! I honestly do believe this is what a lot of fans are looking for, even if it is too different for some! But different tastes are good. Variety is the spice of life. This is a labor of love (it really doesn't take that long) considering how much work they do to put on so many shows...for free!
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me on here or on Twitter, where I’m probably still sick! ChocoPro is for everyone!
Season Tracker: We're 15/18 into Season 18! (Each Season is usually around 18 episodes)
submitted by dogglesnake to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 21:00 Trash_Tia There’s been a secret ongoing war between the Starbucks stores in my city where employees are bloodthirsty for coffee— and they will do anything to get it.

Does anyone know how to get out of a Starbucks contract?
I just started my new job and I already want to quit. I REALLY want to quit. Because this shit isn’t normal. I mean, is it? Do you guys have experience with this type of shit, or is it a normal thing when moving to the city? I’m a small-town girl so I’m not used to this. We didn’t even have a Starbucks. Just a diner that had been broken into multiple times over the years.
Do you know the bad feeling you get when something bad is going to happen, but you ignore it for the sake of staying sane? .Yeah.
It was one of those situations.
But I needed cash. I needed a job. College in the city is expensive, especially in my mid-twenties. Uber Eats every night and various subscriptions, such as Netflix and Spotify—as well as basic living needs required cash. So, naturally, I looked for part-time jobs I could use to fill up my weekend and nights. When it came to job hunting, I was fairly lazy. So, the Starbucks job kinda came out of nowhere.
I wasn’t even looking for it. I was applying for a job in the local music store when it caught my eye. Someone to work late evenings and nights on weekdays and Saturdays. The job description didn’t say much, just basic pay details and a full paragraph dedicated to talking about “The Starbucks Family”. Skim reading it, I skipped to the APPLY NOW button and sent in my resume via email. Two hours.
It had taken two hours to get an email back offering a video interview the next day—and a guaranteed job if I didn’t screw it up. The video interview went well to my surprise. The woman who conducted it acted more like a friend, asking me what my favorite movies and TV shows were, and then going into detail about her own.
It didn’t even feel like an interview. More like a chat. Which was exactly what the email said it was going to be. The interviewer was my mom’s age, a total mom-like persona. She offered me iced tea before laughing and realizing we were on a video call. Her cat popped up halfway through her introducing several staff members by name. A large tabby whom she picked up and hugged to her chest. I wasn’t sure what to do except repeatedly say, “Aww.” and force an even bigger smile.
The woman who for some reason did not introduce herself finished the interview with a more formal and thorough talk-through of rules and regulations. Which went in one ear and out the other. I think I was too excited about the job as a whole. There’s something almost mythical about working at Starbucks. I’ve seen barista TikTok complaining about customer service and harping about in the back rooms. It looked fun. Plus, free drinks? I figured working at the famous coffee chain would at least have benefits and freebies.
The woman spoke to me for almost two hours about certain drinks, telling me I would be trained up, and then going on to explain the dos and don’ts in a working environment. It was kind of patronizing, but I figured she had to be to remain professional. I tuned out when she started talking about a certain “feud” they had with another store down the road. The woman didn’t go into detail, but her expression did darken significantly when she leaned closer to her screen and repeated the phrase, “Do you understand me?” I had to backtrack and try and go over what she had been saying, but I had found myself mesmerized by the gilded sword in the background. It hung from the back wall in all of its glory, and I was having a hard time trying to figure out why exactly a Starbucks manager had a sword hanging from her wall.
“Sim?” Inclining her head, the manager cleared her throat. “Did you hear me?”
I did. Sort of. Under no circumstances must I visit or go near 2nd Street Starbucks. If I did there would be dire consequences and I would face losing my job, or worse.
I wasn’t sure what “or worse” was, but from the way her expression twisted from funny-cat-lady to a potential employer, I didn’t want to ask.
Yikes.
“Uh, yeah,” I said. “I can’t go near the 2nd Street store.” I almost choked on a glass of water I had been slowly sipping throughout the interview. I had been sweating most of the day, dying in the intense June heat. It was a lot cooler in the evening in the city, but I was used to draining at least ten glasses a day. “Is that real?” I couldn’t help asking, pointing to the sword behind her.
I know you are supposed to maintain a certain professional persona and façade during professional work interviews with potential managers. However, I really wanted to know if that ancient thing was real, it was driving me crazy. Because questions were arising in my head: How did she get it? Was it hers? Was it for some kind of aesthetic and feng-shui, or was there more to it? From the look on the interviewer’s face, she seemed startled.
Whipping her head around, her strict grey ponytail hitting the screen, she nodded before turning back to me, her gaze flicking down to what I presumed was a script she was reading off—or maybe she was skimming through my printed-out resume. I wanted to ask her more about the elephant in the room, but she seemed satisfied with answering my question with a nod. She asked me more questions, mostly about my work ethic and if I enjoyed working in a team and independently, if I had any special requirements, and oddly—if I had ever held a firearm. Now, that caused alarm bells. Along with the gilded sword dangling from this forty-something-year-old’s lounge wall, I was definitely starting to question the exact nature of what I would be doing at this job. Serving coffee was an obvious one, though I was pretty sure Starbucks barista's didn’t require military-style training.
When I didn’t know what to say, she seemed to back-pedal. “Oh, it’s in case of a robbery.” She said. But her expression stayed stoic. Speaking in the tone of being joking, but not being joking. “It is rare. However, it is a precaution we must take.” Choosing her words carefully, the interviewer steepled her hands in front of her face, leaning her chin on her fingers. “Our employees are given basic fire-arm training in the instance that one day we may face a difficult situation. Now, I am not saying it is inevitable, but due to certain behavior throughout the years, it is, of course, better to be safe than sorry.”
“Oh.” I tried to smile. “No, I haven’t,” I paused, hoping my lack of ability to hold a gun wouldn’t screw up my chances. “But I can learn?”
I said it like a question because it was a question. I was questioning myself why exactly I would take up my time learning to shoot a gun I most likely never would need. To my surprise though, the woman’s smile brightened and she looked down at whatever she was writing.
“Of course,” she said. “Sim, I am very happy to hear that. We love employees who do their best to learn and thrive in our working environment,” she paused and typed something on her laptop before her gaze found mine. “I’ll put you down for lessons on Friday mornings. How does that sound?” Before I could answer her—because I was starting to seriously question why she was so obsessed with training me to use a goddamn gun—she was nodding to herself. “I will put Jude in charge of you. I think he is working on Friday, so your induction and welcome can be completed in the morning…”
She trailed off into her own murmured conversation to herself before clearing her throat. I jumped. I didn’t mean to jump, but her whole presence was putting me on edge. The lady had been nicer on the phone, and earlier on in the interview when she was grilling me on which Frozen character was my favorite.
“Okay!” The interviewer gathered up her paperwork, beaming at me through the camera. “Can you start tomorrow? Let’s say…” her eyebrows furrowed together. “5:30? I will not be there for the first hour due to certain obligations,” she traced her lip with the tip of her index. “However, I have four employees working the front desk, I’m sure they will give you a warm welcome.” I noticed something twitch on her lips. It was almost like she was trying to stop herself from laughing—which was childish from a standpoint where I was the younger one, while she was the senior. She was supposed to be setting some kind of standard, and yet for some reason was more inclined in teasing me about workplace friendships, and apparently how “close” my colleagues were. I wasn’t stupid, I knew what friendship was like in the workplace. It’s not “real” because you’re all there to do a job, not making lifelong friendships.
“I’m looking forward to meeting them,” I said when she snorted out a laugh that twisted up my gut.
"Absolutely," she responded. "The team is very close, so don't take it personally if they're initially cautious. I'm confident that you'll all become great friends! Kai is a kind-hearted sweetheart, while Ana may seem standoffish initially, but she'll warm up to you once you get to know her. Jude, on the other hand, will be your guide during the orientation, so it's best to stay close to him. In fact, it's recommended to shadow him during your first few hours since he's our top performer! Frankly, Sim, I can hardly wait for you to meet them! They're a great group!" This woman seemed to suddenly discover the use of expletives, or maybe she had noticed I visibly wanted to crawl into the ground. The way she was describing the other employees, I was expecting cartoon characters when I walked through the door.
“Right,” I said. I was starting to regret applying. “I’ll be there.”
She ended the call with a bright smile, and her stupid cat walking on the keyboard, causing her to squeak out in horror. I shut my laptop, my cheeks burning. Well, that went…? Well? Could I really say it went well when the manager had spent the last five minutes implying my work colleagues were going to hate me? Fuck.
I didn’t want to go. I trashed my application and deleted her number from my phone. But the morning after, however, I came to the quick realization through precious morning caffeine, that I needed cash. So, no matter how much I didn’t want to go—I had to. So, I headed to classes and tried not to think about it. It was 5:34 when I stepped into the familiar glow of the famous store—not before being stopped in the middle of a crowed by a girl wearing bright pink ray-bans and a scowl. “Do you work there?” she turned and pointed to the store.
I shrugged. “I guess.”
She scoffed, slipping off her ray-bans and fixing me with a bitchy smile. “Your funeral.”
Normally, in situations when strangers say odd things to me on the street, I just laugh it off. But this? This seemed personal.
“What?”
The girl didn’t say anything before turning and walking or rather running away.
Well, that was weird.
After that encounter, I was weighing the positives and negatives of taking up the job. The positives would be cash and something to occupy my mind away from classes, and the negatives were being stuck with insufferable colleagues and a manager who was the embodiment of unprofessional. The store was pretty empty when I stepped through automatic doors, reveling in the cooling fan blasting icy cold air in my face. A dark-haired college girl had her back to me, cleaning tables. But I noticed her stiffening up when I took a step forward. She straightened up like a cat going into territorial mode, before relaxing and holding a two-fingered hand up.
The store was empty so I had no idea who she was signaling to. It wasn’t a greeting to me—I had no idea what it was. I was halfway to the counter before a guy popped up out of nowhere, mid-way through drying a cup with a washrag. His hair was the first thing I noticed. Bright red.
In contrast to his pasty skin, this guy would definitely stand out in a crowd. He was my age or maybe a little older, mid twenties, with a wide smile and not much of anything else, kitted in a short-sleeved shirt, and a Starbucks apron over the top.
I expected quirky cartoon-like weirdos and I got an average Joe. I wasn’t complaining.
Initially, I thought this guy was just another jock-like college guy. But looking closer, the friendliness in his eyes wasn’t sincere, and his smile was strained. Keeping up a professional attitude, he regarded me with a smile, leaning across the counter. But his eyes kept flicking to the door in quick succession like he was waiting for a certain someone to come in. “You.” He pointed at me, trailing his finger to the door, swiping hair from his face with his hand. The guy was bouncing on the heels of his toes, I noticed. He couldn’t stand still, like a hyperactive child. “You’re Sim, The newbie I’m supposed to be training.”
I nodded, offering a nervous wave.
“Jude.” He introduced himself, though clearly distracted, his gaze flicking to and from the door. His facade was friendly enough, but very fake. It was the same smile I presumed he flashed at customers who complimented his looks. “Hey, Sim.”
Instead of holding out his hand for me to shake, he folded his arms across his chest. Jude cocked his head, drinking me in before his lips broke out into a beam.
"Shall we get started?"
Jude started the tour, showing me the store itself, then the back, the storage room, the staff room, and bizarrely, a wooden door which he referred to as, “The Drink”. I had no idea what that meant, but I made a mental note to steer away from it.
The backrooms of the store turned into a labyrinth. The place was covered in mold, peeling paint on the doors and old rugged floor tiles. Jude spoke way too fast like he was intentionally trying to confuse me. By the time I was struggling with my apron, he was turning on his heels with a brow raised. “Your hair is too long so you need to tie it up. You can shadow me this evening but don’t get in my way. We have two twenty-minute breaks and during them, we are contractually obligated to go down to the Second Street store and throw eggs at their windows—ooh, and the girl you just met who didn’t say a word? That’s Ana. You will get used to her.” His smile reached a level of fake I didn’t think was possible. “Why don’t you follow me?”
“What?” I managed to hiss out when Jude was leading me down a long, winding corridor that dipped into various rooms, out-of-order elevators, and the creepiest set of stairs I had ever seen leading into the pitch dark. I was still trying to register his words.
Jude twisted around with a frown. “What’s up?” He nodded at a passing blonde girl who shot me a smile, and hive-fived Jude before disappearing through a door.
“You throw eggs at the store down the road?”
The guy’s lip twitched into the start of a smile. He turned around, quickening his pace. “Did I say that? Obviously, I was joking.”
I stumbled after him, knocking into a dark-haired younger guy carrying a tray of cupcakes. He and Jude seemed to exchange words without speaking before Jude gestured to the stranger. Somehow, I figured out their telepathic conversation through eye movements and strained smiles, they weren’t talking about me. “That’s Kai,” Jude said, pushing through the doors back to the main storefront. He took a customer’s order, retaining that stupid smile. “If you need any help with making those annoying TikTok drinks that take a millennia to make and have probably broken several Geneva convention rules?” He playfully knocked into me while preparing a drink, his hands knowing where everything was, preparing and serving a latte in a matter of minutes, “Kai is your guy! He runs our social media page and is practically a connoisseur on the next big trend. He'll deal with zoomers."
I was slowly starting to ease my way into this job, and my colleagues seemed pretty cool. Jude actually helped me all the way through the evening, introducing his home life and how he grew up as he cleaned tables and conversed with the others—always throwing me into their chatting so I didn’t get left out. I ended up sorting through cookies and making price labels with Aurora, the perky blonde who high-fived Jude earlier. She spoke to me like we had been best friends for years, and that part of her charm made me instantly adore her. She was tiny for her age, but a menace when it came to her sharp tongue and language. I didn’t think a tiny thing like her could swear like a goddamn sailor, but it was cute. Jude and Aurora had a sibling-type thing going on, though every time I caught Kai’s eye, he was smirking. It seemed everyone knew they had a thing except them.
I was actually having fun with the others, bobbing my head to the radio while serving a group of kids, when Jude, who was next to me, seemed to go rigid all of a sudden. His laughing smile carved into something else. I had never seen an expression change so fast.
But he wasn’t the only one. Aurora, cleaning tables and giggling at Jude’s joke, straightened up, her eyes flashing to the door. Kai’s head snapped up from where he had been grinding coffee. Following their gaze, I found myself face-to-face with the manager who interviewed me. But unlike the night before, she was not smiling. The woman dropped her bag at the door before marching towards the counter. Jude leaned over; his expression apprehensive.
“Well?”
His eyes as well as his tone had darkened significantly. All of my colleagues had taken off these masks, these facades of joking smiles and bright eyes, and now I was seeing a glimmer of what they were hiding. What Jude had been looking for all evening, sneaking glances at the door. I watched his gaze follow the manager as she paced back and forth, chewing her nails. “Where is he?”
“I don’t know.” She finally said, lifting her head. Her lips were twisted. “But.” She said, spitting each word, as she rounded the counter, helping herself to coffee. “You’re going to pay a visit to them right now, and…and sort this out once and for all.” Her voice resembled that of a mother talking to her children. She was assertive to them, her eyes piercing. Do you understand me?” The woman nodded at Jude. “You can go.” Her eyes found mine. “Take the new girl, she needs to be inducted.” Finally, she turned to Ana, who was standing in the corner silently. “You are too. I need brains, and Jude is just brawn. Keep him on his toes, young lady."
With a hint of sarcasm in his tone, Jude uttered a brief "Thanks," and then proceeded to take a coffee cup and a Sharpie. Swiftly, he scrawled some words on the side of the cup, before placing it inside a bag and plonking it in front of me. As Jude reached for his coat at the back, he put it on over his green Starbucks apron, creating a striking contrast with his denim blue sherpa. With his mop of red curls, this guy was in no way going to be as incognito as he thought. "We'll manage the conversation,” he said hurriedly, visibly excited. Jude seemed to lead the others in their expressions, his confidence and wit causing them to brighten up, adapting wide smiles. He shoved his hands in his pockets, “All you gotta do is hand them this, okay?”
“Is that a good…” Kai drifted off on whatever he was about to say, ducking his head when Jude shot him a glare.
“I think it’s a perfect idea!” The manager beamed at me. “What a way to fully bring you into our family!”
I took the coffee cup (the empty coffee cup) hesitantly. “What is it?”
“It’s a gift!” Jude said, moving towards the door in long strides. It was all too noticeable that this guy was practically vibrating with an energy I had never known. It was almost manic. “I want to let them know we appreciate them! Y’know! Rival to rival.”
Kai stepped in front of him on the way out.
“Be careful,” he said in a low hum. Aurora joined him, but she wasn’t speaking, her left-hand tugging at the waistband of her jeans. “Keep your head down when you go in because they’ll be expecting you—and they’ll be expecting a retaliation.”
“Relaaaaax, it’s Cora! We used to date!” he cocked his head. "I think."
“I mean it. "
Jude’s gaze found mine for a moment before his smile grew. “Well, we have enough eggs don’t we?” He grabbed my arm, pulling me along. Ana was already gone. I could see her figure already slinking down the street, bleeding into the shadow.
When the two of us hit the cool night air and Jude quickened his pace into a power-walk, his eyes set forwards, jaw set, I figured I should ask what his deal was. If this guy was serious about vandalizing a rival Starbucks, and not just that, urged by his manager, then I had to say something.
The thought of ending up in jail being petty over a rival store made me feel nauseous.
“So, what is this about?” I asked, catapulting myself into a half-run to keep up with him. The guy had abnormally long legs, so he was halfway across the sidewalk while I was barely two steps in front. “Aren’t you taking this a little too seriously?”
Jude didn’t reply, instead remarking on the sky being filled with stars.
“Hey, Ana!” He shouted. “Wait up!”
Second Street Starbucks was like walking into a palace. I could tell why these guys were rivals. The place was a three-floored beast, a glass building made up of a Starbucks downstairs, a library, and a private apartment. I found myself mesmerized by the twinkling lights on the door, the mini water fountain through large windows showing an even bigger storefront with rich-looking wooden tables and reclining chairs. The store was closing. When we stepped in front of the door, there was a sign which clearly said CLOSED on the front.
Still, though, Ana pushed her way through it, followed by Jude, pulling me along with him. Two employees were working, a guy with short blondish hair mopping the floors, and a girl standing at the counter, going through the register. The moment we stepped inside, the guy cleaning up stopped mopping from side to side, his fingers visibly tightening around the mop handle. “Hey there!”
With one of his best fake smiles, Jude raised his arms in surrender. “We’re from the Starbucks down the road. We come in peace, don’t worry!” He gestured to me.
“Can we talk to your manager?”
He took a step, his lip twitching, eyes glinting, which caused a stir in the air. The girl at the counter stopped flicking through a wad of cash in her hand and delicately put it down, and the guy turned to face us with wary eyes.
As Jude took another stride forward, his movements resembled a dance, and I noticed he was having fun teasing them. His eyes sparkled with a childlike glee that was unexpected for a person in his twenties. "Would you like to try our latest coffee recipe? It's like sipping on liquid sunshine." He nonchalantly brushed his jeans, and I half-expected him to pull out an egg. “But…” Jude took another step, and Ana situated herself behind the blonde boy, her expression blank. “You’ve already tasted it, haven’t you?”
The girl behind the counter finally stopped counting cash, delicately placing a wad back inside the register before leaning forward, an amused smirk curving on her lips. “Jude.” Her voice was a low murmur. “I didn’t think I would see you here so soon.”
“Cora.” Jude’s lips quirked. “Trust me, I don’t want to be. But hey, it's the boss's orders.”
She inclined her head, her eyes drinking all of him in. The girl rested her fist on her chin. She was surveying him like a piece of meat. “And you obey her?”
His grin widened, and I saw his hand once again brush the front of his apron. “Like a dog.”
“You know her?” I hissed out, grasping hold of the coffee cup in my hand.
“Cora?” Jude turned to me. “Oh yeah, we used to be the Romeo and Juliet of coffee shop rivalry — back when we were both newbies, and our store kidnapped me as a last resort. To keep the peace, I stayed.” He shrugged. “That’s what I’m told, anyway.”
Starbucks lore was getting dark.
These guys had to be joking around.
I took a step back, eager to head towards the door and be as far away as possible from what I was pretty sure was going to be a lot of eggs, and several arrests. “You worked here?” I couldn’t believe my mouth was still moving and forming words as I took slow steps back. Before Jude caught my arm.
“Apparently.” He said, dragging me back by his side. “Why don’t you give ‘em’ their gift?”
Fuck.
Unwrapping the bag and pulling out the cup, I nodded and took slow strides toward the counter, placing it down in front of her.
Cora frowned, before picking it up, her gaze going to the side.
“Go fuck yourself 2nd street bloodsuckers.” She read out loud, her brow raising into her hairline.
Shit.
“I should probably go.” I managed to say, backing away. “I don’t think is the job for me—”
The latter half of my words exploded in my head when something slammed into my ears, a physical force sending me to my knees. Initially, I didn’t know what it was. It sounded like a nuclear bomb had gone off. When the ringing in my head subsided, I was aware I had my head buried in my knees, my hands clamped over my ears.
But when I tried to listen past the relentless shrill ringing in my skull, I heard them one after the other. Pop, pop, pop! Gunshots. The crack of each bullet ricocheted in my skull. It was a robbery, I thought dizzily. We were being robbed. No, Second Street was being robbed. When I lifted my head to try and find Jude and Ana to see if they were okay-- I expected them to be cowering like me, Jude, under the table, muffling yelling into his hand, and Ana, calmly pulling him to safety. But that wasn't what I saw. Instead, I must have been fucking imagining things. Jude had not moved from his spot-- and perfectly melded into his hand, was a gun. A gun he was holding like a pro, his hands wrapped around the butt, index teasing the trigger.
His trajectory was directly between Cora's eyes. Jude had not been the one who shot the gun. In fact, neither had Ana, who was still standing stiffly behind the blonde guy.
It was a girl behind the counter who had come out of nowhere wielding the type of gun I expected to see in movies. I noticed from his stance Jude had maybe stepped to the left and then the right to avoid being hit, but the way his demeanour was fully and completely relaxed sent shivers creeping down my spine. "The deal is off, Cora," he murmured. "You fuck with us, so we fuck with you." he lowered his gun slightly, his eyes darkening. "Where's Ren? He came here to sniff you out, so where is he?"
Cora seemed remarkably calm. She started to raise her hands, her lips forming the words, "I don't know what you're talking about" before she stopped, her body going limp. It took me a disorienting moment to realize Jude had taken the shot, followed by another, both landing right between her eyes. When Cora hit the ground, the whole world around me exploded.
I was dragged to the ground by Jude, as he dived across the floor, pressing himself into the back of a table, twisting around, and taking out the barista who almost shot me in the face. There were five of them, all of them good shooters. Too good. Ana easily took out a blonde and brunette with her own magnum, followed by a bald guy who crashed through the counter which collapsed under him.
Jude fell into a manic shoot-out with a guy who would not give up, and after several attempts, re-loading, and attempting to finish him from the ground, my colleague got tired and stood up, dropped his gun, and leaped across the counter. I didn't know what to watch. Ana, who was destroying their coffee machine, or Jude, who snapped the boy's neck with a single twist of his fingers, before ripping out his eyes. He hauled the dead guy over his knees, grazing his teeth across the pasty flesh of the boy's neck, his eyes flickering. I wouldn’t say they turned a different color, but there was something inhuman about them, a certain tint around his iris. "Urgh."
He shoved the corpse away, jumping up. "He reeks of it." Treading through broken glass and pooling red on the floor, my colleague grabbed a cup, downed it, and then spat it out. “That.” He sputtered. “Is the worst fucking thing I’ve ever tasted.”
Ana stepped in front of him, handing the boy his gun. “When one of any clan is murdered for with no reason, there is an imbalance, and the coffee is tainted. We must restore the balance before this gets out of hand,” she surprised me by speaking, with a tinge of an Aussie accent. The girl side-eyed me before shooting Jude a knowing look. “Don’t let her get in our way.”
“Aye, aye, captain.” He mocked a salute before nodding to me. “All right! Sim, you grab a sample. We’ll go find the altar.”
Something ice-cold slipped down my spine.
“What?”
“Cool it. It’s more fun than it sounds,” was all Jude responded with. “Grab the samples.”
I was running on adrenaline, doing exactly what he said. I grabbed two coffee cups. “What do we do now? We go home, right?”
He swiped at his lips with a sound of disgust. “Are you kidding? No, man. We get coffee which ain’t tainted.”
Ana took out two guards in the back before leading us both through a heavy metal door that led into tunnels, tunnels, illuminated by candlelight. “You just killed multiple people,” I finally managed to choke out, following the two of them deeper into the dark. “Over coffee.” I couldn’t resist a nervous laugh that spluttered into a cry. “You just murdered seven baristas over fucking coffee!” I found myself backing away at points, scanning for a way out, an exit away from this fucking nightmare.
Jude turned to me, the glitter in his eyes reflected in the candlelight. “Oh, please,” His voice echoed down the tunnel in a chuckle. “Do you really think this is just about coffee?”
I didn't understand what he meant until we came to the end of the tunnel, which dipped into an alcove leading us into a large cave-like room. Drawing his gun, Jude scanned the dark. "Anyone in here?" He said, and Ana hit him. Silence answered, and I found myself paralyzed to the spot. I didn't know what to stare at first. The ten-foot-tall Starbucks Siren looming over us, illuminated in flickering orange candlelight, or the old swimming pool filled to the brim. When I took a step forward, my foot sunk into something soft, and I made the mistake of looking down. Bodies.
I guessed that was "The Drink".
I felt myself fall back, but Ana's warm arms were guiding me away from decomposing flesh which decapitated heads poisoned in a way that I could almost call ritualistic. There were bodies everywhere, all of them curled up or had died in a position of prayer. Jude crouched in front of a guy still in his Starbucks apron. His eyes had been cleanly plucked from his skull. Jude's expression was beautifully sombre in the candlelight. "Fuck, dude," he whispered.
"Looks like they got you."
“Which explains how they got their hands on our recipe.” Ana pulled out her gun and clicked off the safety. The girl’s eyes were suddenly sad, her lip wobbling. I had a hard time believing a girl who had taken out three baristas at point-blank range was crying.
"Through him."
“What is this place?” I whispered. "What the fuck are you doing in here?”
Jude straightened up. Ana moved behind him, and I noticed her hands holding her gun were trembling. She raised her arm, pointing it at the back of his head. Jude didn't retaliate, only sending me a sickly smile. "It used to be ours," he said. "Until other stores started opening, and it became a fucking free-for-all." Jude sighed, rocking back and forth on his heel. Ana's trigger finger followed his movements. "We have a peace treaty..." Jude trailed off. "Sorry. HAD a peace treaty." He nodded to his colleague. "Second Street has always been obsessed with this particular blend we have that other stores don't." His lips curved. "They're greedy, and thought they could fuck with us. First, they took our last manager. He was like a dad to us. Sliced him up and sent us his head." He gestured to his friend. "And then they took Ren. They brought this shit upon themselves."
As he spoke, Jude dropped to his knees and closed his eyes, bowing his head in front of the Siren. Ana didn't move. "Are you ready?"
“Always.”
I screamed, slamming my hand over my mouth when this time when Ana shot Jude point blank in the back of the head. When his body crumpled to the ground, something inside me snapped in two, and I couldn’t breathe suddenly. I thought the two were playing some kind of sick game before I caught unmistakable seeping black pooling across the alter.
In the blur of orange candlelight, it was almost a mesmerizing sight. “Shush!” Ana sent me an annoyed look, before gathering his body in her arm. “Make yourself useful and grab a bucket,” she said, stumbling towards the pool. I watched her, my heart diving into my throat. When I didn’t move, Ana hissed out and twisted around.
“Did you not hear me?!” she yelled. “Get a bucket and start collecting it!” The girl gestured towards a large, rusted pipe looming over the pool, a stream of murky brown water leaking into the pool. When I started forwards, the girl shook her head. “Not yet.” She said, before heaving Jude’s body and throwing him into the darkness. I heard the splash, but I didn’t even see his body hit the surface. Part of me wanted to demand what the fuck she was doing, but I did what I was told, with trembling hands, grabbing a bucket and shuffling over to the pool edge. Ana hissed out again. “I said not yet!” Before I could speak, she held a finger to her lips. “Do it now!”
“The pool water?!” I shrieked.
She raised a brow. “You think that’s water?”
Before I could coerce some kind of speech, I was interrupted by what felt like a sudden earthquake. The ground rumbled under our feet, and I hesitated before dropping the bucket into the water and scooping up as much as I could. I quickly realized it wasn’t water. It was thick with the constancy of blood, coffee brown and yet sticky and warm like blood.
Above us, the pipe seemed to come to life, a brand new stream of murky brown solution coming down in a waterfall. I didn’t think about the pieces of flesh floating on the surface, the decomposing heads I caught bobbing around, or the fact that I was dipping my hands in blood. Coffee and blood. My stomach was trying to projectile my lunch, but I swallowed it down. I took advantage, managing three buckets before Ana was grasping my shoulders and pulled me back. I didn’t realize I was sobbing until she was handing me a handkerchief, and I was staring at her and it, like, “What do you expect me to do with this?!”
Still in shock, I tried to get another bucket full before she dragged me from the pool edge. “You can stop now,” she said. “We have enough.”
"Enough what?!"
I staggered back when the surface of the pool rippled. I don’t know what I expected to come out.
Dead bodies?
Decapitated heads?
Not Jude, covered in the brown murky shit I had filled the buckets with. When he broke the surface, I almost threw one of the buckets at his head. Despite being covered in coffee and blood, his skin was oddly free of flaws. The guy was also really naked, which should have been a minor problem compared to what I was seeing, which was a real resurrection in front of a ten-foot statue of the Starbucks siren. Which was completely normal.
But I still found my cheeks heating up. Jude ran a hand through soaked curls sticking over his eyes, shaking them like a dog before pulling himself out. I couldn’t help noticing there was no gunshot wound. It was almost as if his body was completely new. I took in abnormally grey-looking skin, like dead flesh, before averting my gaze. “Did we do it?” He gasped out, immediately covering himself. Once out of the pool, he knelt on the ground, sucking in breaths of air before seemingly realizing the state of himself.
“Fuck. I didn’t think this through.”
“I did.” Ana reached into the backpack she had brought, pulling out a shirt and jeans, reverting her eyes, and throwing him the bundle. “Get dressed.” She said, But there was a slight smirk on her lips. “Yes. I think we managed to appease them.”
“Sweet!” Jude grinned, dressing quickly. He sucked the tips of his fingers. “Mmm.” He nodded at Ana. “That tastes a lot better.”
He gestured to her, and to my disgust, the girl delicately licked his fingers and nodded with her own smile. “It tastes like cherry blossom.”
His eyes fell on me, and I saw that inhuman gleam in his eye—that had been very much there before he was resurrected in a pool of coffee. His lip quirked. I could still see coffee-- or blood dripping in thick rivulets down his temples and cheek. “Should we?”
Jude turned to Ana. “I mean while we’re here, right? We can induct the newbie.”
Immediately, I knew what he was talking about. I stepped back, but he was following me, getting closer and closer until his breath was in my face, and I was teetering on the edge. I sensed something in his eyes, something I never expected from a man who knew exactly what he was doing. Envy. Another step, and I would be falling into what I was sure was a pool full of decomposing bodies and resurrecting coffee. “Not now,” Ana murmured, and Jude snapped out of it, taking a step back.
“Buzzkill.” He muttered.
But he did step away, allowing me to inch away from the pool.
“Later,” Ana said. “She’s shaken up. We can do it first thing tomorrow.”
To my surprise, there were no cops at the scene at Second Street. Because there was no scene.
The store was back to normal, and I didn’t have the energy to question why. When we returned, Aurora wrapped me into a hug I tried to get out of as quickly as possible, eager to get the fuck away from that place. But. I had to finish my shift. I had watched a man resurrected by coffee in a fucking Starbucks shrine, and yet somehow I had to keep making drinks until my shift ended. It was nearing closing time when the doors opened, and I found myself face-to-face with the girl from earlier. The one wearing the pink ray-bans.
She didn’t say anything, but the blade of her knife grazing my gut told me everything I needed to know. With a knowing look when she slipped off her raybans, she pressed something into my hand before leaving, and I handed it to the manager, who opened it up, almost died laughing, and then threw it in the trash.
“You work for psychopaths.” I managed to get out, sidling in front of Jude while he was clocking out.
“Also, didn’t you… didn’t you fucking die?”
Jude didn’t look up from his phone. “It’s complicated.” His lip quirked. “You’ll find out tomorrow during your induction.”
“But… you work for these people!” I lowered my voice. “And you’re not trying to get away?” I gestured to Kai and Aurora standing by the door, the two of them locked in conversation. “None of you?”
Jude frowned, and I caught the first hint of annoyance. I had only seen this guy smiling, so seeing him scowling was quite the change. “I’m sorry, do you… do you think I have a choice?”
He surprised me with a laugh. “Me? A choice? You really think I wake up every morning and WANT to do this shit?” He got close, his breath in my ear. “You came here willingly. I didn’t. In fact? I don’t even remember coming here. My interview, my first day? Nothing. I don’t even remember my time at Second Street.” He threw a towel at me before I could coerce words. “Finish clearing up, all right? I’ll see you tomorrow for induction.”
There was something cruel in his smile like he was waiting for whatever my induction had in store for me.
I couldn’t help myself. When everyone was gone, and I was tasked with locking up, I picked the discarded note out of the trash, smoothing it down.
“You pieces of shit just declared war. Sleep with one eye open! 😊”
Cora xx.”
….
I cut my finger with a knife this morning. When I sucked it and grabbed a band-aid, I tasted coffee. I went home and threw up coffee.
I am peeing coffee.
I showered 8 times and I still fucking smell of coffee.
I don’t think I’m going to go to work tomorrow.
Edit: There’s been a break-in— and the manager wants me to come in early. Jude and Ana woke me up in the middle of the night to go over tactics. We are taking down Second Street during closing time.
I guess I am going to work tomorrow.
Does anyone know how to use a gun?
submitted by Trash_Tia to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 20:49 A_Tank_With_Internet The Ravenous Star Chapter 9

Co-Authored by me and u/Research-Apart, a big thanks to u/Acceptable_Egg5560 for letting us use Tarlim, and for helping write him
Well that took a while, hope it was worth the wait, the next chapter shouldn't take as long
CW: >! Gore and violence !<
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____________________________________________________________________________________
> Access File: Hybris (9)
[OPENING FILE]
Notice from Department of Extrasolar Records: These records were discovered in a floating black box data recording in the Gliese 832 system. These transcriptions contain the memories of prominent individuals who were directly involved with the events detailed below. The components of the transcription technology used are under review by the Department of Xenotechnology, and any transcriptions found within the data logs will be transferred directly to the Department of Extrasolar Records for further processing.
____________________________________________________________________________________
Memory transcription subject: Tarlim, Venlil Civilian
Date [standardized human time]: April 4, 2143
I don’t know how long I was in hiding for, I just remember hearing the screams of people outside before falling asleep when it all died down. I got up from the floor and peaked out of my closet to see if there was a break in before leaving it entirely. I checked my front door to see if the locks were still locked and, luckily enough, it was still intact. I set out a sigh of relief before walking back to my living room and slumping back down on my couch. I took my medication as I picked up my datapad from the floor, hoping everything that happened earlier was just a bad dream. The first thing I noticed was that my pad spat back an error message. That was strange, the infrastructure was too developed to not have net access in the middle of a city.
Glancing up towards the window, I noticed a strange red hue coming from behind the curtain. I set my pad down on the couch as I got up and walked to the window. I could feel my paws begin to shake as I grabbed the curtains. Anticipating the worst, I hesitantly opened the curtains and peaked outside. It was worse than anything I could have expected: The remains of dead Venlil littered the street below as more continued to pile on. Orange blood coated the surrounding building walls as mutated Venlil ripped apart anyone they got their paws on. One of them eventually came across a mother and child attempting to hide underneath the surrounding rubble. It didn’t hesitate to attack the woman before another mutant came by to try and steal its catch. They fought each other relentlessly, trying to keep her in their grasp. Their claws tore deeply into her skin and muscles as they fought, causing her to scream from the unimaginable amount of pain. She took one last look at her child and yelled at him to run before her throat was torn off.
The child ran for his life, dodging around rubble and mutants and for a brief moment, I thought he might make it! Then a mutant Krakotl swooped down over him, a barbed tendril emerged from its beak and stabbed the pup in the shoulder. Screaming in pain he was lifted into the air as the mutant flew off to Protector knows where. As I swept my gaze across the city, similar scenes played out: survivors ran through the streets, slipping on pools of blood as they were pursued by packs of mutants; doors and windows were smashed to pieces as people looted for supplies; buildings were engulfed in flames as malfunctioning fire traps and improvised weapons were set off; mutants of every conceivable species rampaged through the city, attacking everyone they could find.
I fell to my knees as I vomited from the sight of the massacre outside. The blood, the gore, it was too much! My consciousness was escaping me as my heart pounded in my chest. I was hyperventilating, I was going to die, everything swirled around I was, I couldn’t-
Focus.
Breathe.
Calm.
Forcing the tirade of emotion back I shakely I got back up and looked back outside, only to lock eyes with one of the mutant Venlil. Its head turned to stare at me, its eye solid black with streaks of red running through it. For a moment, we simply stared at each other, before it started to run towards my apartment complex in a strange loping gait. It was picking up speed with every step and soon ran on all fours, galloping over rubble and trappling eviscerated corpses. I stumbled away from the window and ran to my door. There was no spehing way that I was fighting that thing. Right when I unlocked it, I heard the shattering of glass behind me. In the corner of my eye I could see the monster clambering through the window, shards of broken glass tearing at its flesh. I went through the door as fast as I could as it regained its posture. The moment I closed it behind me, I heard a loud thud behind me, signifying the mutant had attempted to lunge at me, ‘How the speh did it reach my window!? I’m four stories up!’ I thought before running down the hallway.
As I ran down through the hallway, I could see the place was in ruin: the walls that lined the hallway were torn and covered in streaks of Venlil blood as the lights above flickered unrhythmically. I zigzagged from door to door, looking for somewhere to hide, but every apartment was locked. I soon heard the bang of a door being knocked off its hinges from down the corridor. I felt my heart pounding, threatening to burst out of my chest at the exertion, but I pushed on. I briefly considered the elevator upon reaching the end of the corridor, but realized power to it was most likely cut. I ran to the stairwell and raced down it as fast as I could, taking two or three steps at a time. I could hear the creature burst into the stairwell as soon as I reached the first floor. That thing was fast, too fast.
I ran through the hallways of the first floor and saw that most of the apartments had already been broken into. The people who used to live here are either dead, mutated, or in hiding. I could feel my legs starting to ache from running so fast for so long, but I couldn’t stop. I could feel my quads beginning to tear underneath my skin as my heart pounded vigorously. I could try to hide in one of the open apartments, but what difference would that make? I would just be waiting to die. I can’t keep running like this, I need something to defend myself with.
As the pain within my legs began to set in, I decided to run into one of the open apartments anyway to escape that thing. Upon entering, I ran through the ruined apartment and went straight into the bathroom to hide. I closed and locked the door as quietly as possible before taking stock of the room. Compared to the rest of the apartment, hell the rest of the complex, it looked disturbingly normal. I looked around for a few moments to see if there was anything I could use in case that thing does find me, but there was nothing. Then I noticed a window looking out onto an alleyway. I went to the window and fumbled at the latch and pushed it open. Quickly crawling my way through, I stumbled slightly as I hit the ground. Looking around, I spotted an abandoned shipping crate sitting against the wall. I shifted my weight and prepared to run when I heard the cracking of splintering wood behind me. I sprinted down the alleyway and slid behind the crate without bothering to look behind me. There was more cracking and splintering and the twisted pants of the mutant. Cautiously peeking around the crate, I saw it stepping out of the window frame. The shattered remains of the window sitting on the floor below it. It stalked down the alleyway towards me, its eyes scanning for any sign of its prey. Ducking back behind my crate, I frantically searched for anything I could use to fight. As I shuffled further behind the crate, I felt my paw brushed against a discarded wrench. someone had likely been performing maintenance on the exterior pipes and the wrench had been left behind. Gripping it tightly, I got myself into a crouching position and prepared to move at a moment's notice…
After a moment of silence, I heard a woman’s voice, “Tarlim, are you there? I heard a window break from around the corner,” she said
My ears peaked up at the voice, could that be…
“Barlen?” I said quietly.
“Barlen, keep your voice down!” I called out, I didn’t want her to get killed.
“Sorry” she replied, more quietly this time.
“There was a mutant crawling around here,” I told her.
“I saw it, it went the other way, it must have seen easier prey,” she responded.
I let out a sigh of relief and slowly got up to my feet, leaning against the crate, the wrench hanging loosely at my side.
“Thank the protector, it’s good to see a friendly face…”
I looked up, and sitting on the crate, was the creature.
“It’s good to see you too,” it said, perfectly mimicking Barlen’s voice.
Its three petaled mouth opened wide before pouncing at me. In a stroke of luck my body twisted and smacked it across the head with the wrench in my hands. It was hit so hard so quickly, I knocked out a couple teeth before it fell limp next to me. I took a few steps back before repeatedly hitting it in back of its head with the wrench in my paws. I don’t know how many times I did it, I just kept going until brain matter was exposed.
When I was sure it was dead, I fell back against the wall and sat down as I dropped the wrench next to me. I could feel my heart beginning to pound from exhaustion as I tried catching my breath.
Thoughts began to race through my mind as I stared at my paws in horror. This thing was not only incredibly fast and agile, but it was also capable of replicating voices. ‘How did it know Barlen’s voice, and how did it know it would work on me?’ I thought for a moment before remembering the press release prior to all of this. They showed a living planet, no bigger than a large moon, sitting motionless in the sky above as it formed an eye. I still remember the feeling it gave me: the horror was so great, I tried to convince myself before falling asleep that none of this was real; all of this was just a bad dream and I needed to wake up, but I knew that wasn’t true. I slowly turned my gaze up towards the sky and saw that thing looking down at us, looking down at me.
What if the reason why the mutant was able to figure out what voice to use to draw me out was because it wasn’t on its own? What if all those infected aren’t senseless monsters, but they were that thing’s puppets. They all bend to its will without question, and I have a reason to believe it can see through their eyes too.
The sound of distant roars quickly snapped me back to reality as I sat with my blood covered paws. Picking up my bloodied wrench, I slowly made my way down the alleyway and out into the street. I could feel my heart screaming in pain at the recent exertion, not once have I ever pushed my body so hard in my life. Carefully peering around the corner of the apartment complex, I scanned the street before me. It was completely deserted and any possible living thing that was here is either dead or in hiding. I took one last look around before leaving the backstreet. Creeping between overturned cars and mangled corpses, I kept my eyes peeled for any more of those mutants nearby. I was in such a fearful state, I could feel my body tense up at every unidentified noise and shadow. Twice I spotted mutants prowling the streets, but I was able to avoid them by staying hidden. Eventually, I circled back to my apartment building after making sure the coast was clear. I kept my eyes peeled and listened closely to my surroundings as I made my way upstairs. I can see all the damage that thing left behind as it chased me. I’m glad I was able to kill that thing when I did because if it had caught me I would be more than dead. I eventually reached my apartment four stories up and looked in from behind the door frame. The room was a mess: shattered glass and ripped curtains littered the floor as my window remained permanently open; my furniture was broken and torn into as everything else beyond the living room remained untouched. I looked in the dining room and saw my pack was still sitting on the table. After checking my bag to see if my pills were still there, I quickly searched for any food and water before making my way back outside. I needed to find somewhere safe.
As I crept through another back alley, I tried to remember the directions for the shelter. We were supposed to memorize their locations in the event of a raid, but I had for some reason not been included in the regular drills. Fortunately, they were not that hard to find, which seemed like a possible design flaw in retrospect. My musings were interrupted when I felt my pad vibrate in my pack. Confused, I reached in and pulled out my pad. I was honestly surprised it was getting a signal now. I looked at the alert and it says as follows:
“This is an emergency message sent to any and all remaining survivors of Dawn Creek and abroad: all emergency shelters within the surrounding cities have been compromised and any surviving Venlil are to find a place to hide and a weapon to defend yourselves with. These creatures are incredibly strong and agile and will do everything in their power to kill you no matter the cost. If you want to survive, you must follow these steps to the word:
  1. When it is silent and a mutant nearby, stay still and hold your breath. These things have incredibly sensitive hearing and can hear your breathing from up to six tails (12 feet) away.
  2. Stay out of sight and make sure they don’t see you. It is said that all of these creatures are somehow connected telepathically and function as a hive mind. If one of them sees you then they all know where you are.
  3. Do not listen to them. If they fail to find you, they will mimic the voices of your close friends or loved ones in an attempt to draw you out. If you hear a familiar voice, do not respond.
  4. When faced with a mutant, you must kill or maim them if you want a chance to escape. If you don’t then they will continue pursuing you. These things do not get tired and can chase you for miles without end.
  5. If you survive an attack with an infected Venlil and they manage to breach skin or their bodily fluids enter your body in any way, it is recommended that you self terminate for the safety of the herd. It is estimated to take an eighth of a claw before whatever substance in said fluid enters the brain and converts you from the inside out.
May the protector save us all.”
I silently stared at the screen in mute horror after reading the last line. Every shelter in the area had been compromised and anyone taking refuge there was more than likely dead. Just how many died unable to escape as their friends and family were torn apart? The Arxur, on some level at least, killed for food, but these things didn’t do any of that: They don’t eat what they can and leave whoever left is alive to make more meat, they eviscerate any living thing they lay their eyes on in the most painful way possible. To say they’re as bad as the Arxur would be putting it lightly. These things are far worse than anything any species has come across. I looked up at the sky for a moment as I held my pad in my hands. Its eye staring down at us from above as it watches these creatures it has created mutilate my people.
‘If this thing is truly as powerful and dangerous as Tarva says, then just how old is this thing? How many species before us have been mercilessly slaughtered by it without a second thought?’ I thought to myself as I stared at the planet above.
Suddenly, I heard the sound of approaching footsteps from down the road. I felt my heart skip a beat before running to hide behind a turned over car. I pinned back my ears and cautiously looked over the side of the car and saw a small group of exterminators in their suits scouting the area. Not once in my life have I felt so happy to see them. I got out of hiding with my paws up to show I wasn’t infected. Upon seeing me, they put up their flamethrowers on the ready until one of them recognized me.
“Tarlim!? You’re alive!?” One of the Venlil exterminators exclaimed as he took off his mask.
“Treven!?” I exclaimed in response.
‘Of all the exterminators I could have run into, why him?’ I despondently wondered.
“I honestly thought a freak like you would die first. Seems like I was wrong,” Treven said mockingly, “How did you survive anyway?”
My grip on the wrench tightened. Even after everything that had happened, they still couldn’t let go of their prejudices.
“I don’t know. I guess I was lucky,” I replied simply.
Treven scoffed, “Was it the same luck that almost cost me everything?”
I stood silent at his response. I couldn’t believe that after everything he was still acting like this… this… stupid, selfish PRICK!
“Everything we've ever cared about, is gone.” I said, struggling to control my voice.
I spread my paws out, gesturing to the destroyed city around us.
“We’re facing down hordes of biologically impossible creatures controlled and created by an entity unfathomably more powerful than anything we’ve ever seen before!”
I noticed just then that I had been slowly stalking towards him, the wrench trembling in my paw.
“And your main concern is your SPEHING CAREER!?” I shouted.
Even now, this asshole still blames me for something HE did to himself. It was infuriating that this selfish speh was mad at me for losing his job even though they were the ones who almost killed Malcos!
I was about to shout again until one of the other exterminators, a white Venlil, came by and slapped Treven in the back of the head; the blow was hard enough to send him stumbling. Before he was able to respond, his mouth was covered by their coworkers' paw to keep him from speaking. It felt somewhat good seeing Treven put in his place, but I was confused on why. It wasn’t until he moved away from Treven when he decided to stay quiet and marched towards me with an annoyed yet fearful expression in his swaying tail. I was grabbed by the wool around my neck and pulled down to his line of sight before he started loudly whispering.
“Are you trying to get us killed!? We are literally at the ground zero and your shouting might have given away our position!” He quietly exclaimed, “We already had to deal with a horde on our way into the city and lost almost everyone. The six you see used to be a group of over two hundred exterminators!”
My heart sank after realizing what I had done: Not only did I possibly make our presence known, but this small group before me used to be multiple station's worth of exterminators. I was at a loss for words at my cluelessness and kept my mouth shut after I was let go. The Venlil in white soon signaled everyone in the group to continue moving forward and to keep their eyes peeled.
As we continued moving through the streets of Dawn Creek, we eventually heard the crunching of bone and sound of flesh being torn off from around the corner. The noise sent a chill up my spine and was extremely discomforting. I glanced at the exterminators surrounding me and saw them show a more fearful expression than me. If it was true that this group used to consist of a hundred exterminators, then they likely bore witness to seeing their comrades be torn to shreds first hand. Seeing something like that would be hard to live down, especially when the people you love are the ones being mauled to death.
The thought of what these people went through to get here changed how I saw them for a moment. Knowing what he had to witness, I began to rethink how I saw them when we crossed paths. I felt bad for them for a moment until I heard that loud crunch again, but this time it was louder.
The leading exterminator looked around the corner before continuing down the street. It was strange how empty the town was considering it was crawling with infected just a claw prior. They might have found new hunting grounds since this place is absent from life, but considering one of them has already seen me and the group there should have been at least a pawful chasing after us by now. They know we’re all alive, yet refuse to take action. Something is going on and I have a feeling it might pop up soon.
The sound of crunching became progressively louder as we quietly walked. The leading exterminator raised a paw, then slowly peered around the corner where the sound had come from. He stiffened suddenly, his entire body froze up before desperately diving back behind cover. Another exterminator, the mute one I think, grabbed him by the arm before he could collapse. The leader walked up to them, careful to not make any sounds that could attract attention.
“What’s wrong? What did you see?” he whispered to the point man.
He simply pointed back towards the crunching sound as his arm shook with fear. The leader’s tail swished in annoyance as he moved to the corner. Curious for myself, I followed closely behind him to take a look at whatever was out of view. He shot me a look of annoyance when I brushed up against him, but he didn’t object to me seeing. We both peered around the building towards the street with my face almost sitting on top of his head. My breath hitched in my throat as I saw what was standing there: feasting on a Mazic in the middle of a trashed shop was a massive, grotesque, monstrosity of a Venlil. It stood over 5 tails [3 meters] tall with tendrils of red flesh that shot through its bare skin. The muscles on its body were so large it seemed like they were on the edge of bursting out of its skin, and its enormous paws looked like it could wrap around my head with ease; its legs looked like they were about to explode from the sheer mass held within them. Not only that, but what separated it from the other infected was its face: it was the only one I have seen so far that didn’t have a split face like the others. This one was different for some reason; regardless, I didn’t want to get this thing's attention.
Placing a paw on the leader's shoulder we made our way back to the rest of the group. One of the exterminators walked up to us.
“What’s happening?” she asked.
“There is some kind of super mutant up ahead, we need to find a new route,” the leader whispered back.
“Well where are we going?” I interjected, “all the shelters have been taken out.”
“Before we found you, we sent out a distress signal in hopes anyone will come for us,” The leader responded, “We never got a response so we focused on trying to find a way out.”
“Do any of you have a map so you know where you’re going?” I Inquired
“No, unfortunately. Our pads ran out of power half a claw ago and we don’t have any physical copies, so we don’t know which streets to follow” The leader replied solemnly.
“I lived here for years, so I might be able to help you escape. Just follow me.”
I stepped out from around the corner only to see that the same monster from earlier was now towering over me. I slowly turned my gaze up from its bare stomach and looked at its blood covered face: it bared its large, razor sharp teeth as it stared at me with its circular pupils. I could tell one thing by just looking that it wanted only one thing, to feast.
My heart jumped upon locking eyes with it. I slowly backed away as my whole body trembled with fear. I tried to speak to tell the others, but I was too focused on the beast before me.
“Tarlim? What’s wr-” he cut off, most likely from seeing the creature now stepping out from behind the corner…
Everyone else began backing away after laying their eyes on this thing. Everyone was silent for a few moments until one of the exterminators began running and screaming. When the spell broke, the monster leaned forward and roared at us, causing nearby rocks and windows to tremble from its immense volume. Within a split second, it charged forward with its size hiding its speed; we dove out of the way as it rushed towards the running exterminator. The leader and Mute grabbed their weapons and tried to shoot at the monster, but it wasn’t enough to slow it down. Charging forward at an impossible speed, it soon reached the fleeing exterminator and grabbed the screaming Venlil with its massive paw. With a sickening crunch, it bit down and tore off a chunk of his head. The screams soon turned into senseless noises before it took another bite. His body soon went limp after his brain was completely destroyed. Once he was finally dead, the beast quickly chewed through the rest of the body until there was nothing left. The mutant stood still for a moment, its wet panting the only sound on the empty street. We all stood still ourselves, staring at the monster in horror. Then, swiveling around on its foot, it turned to look at us. Its red pupils glistened with overwhelming bloodlust as it stared from afar. It reared its head back and roared again before charging at us. The rest of our herd showered the creature in a hail of bullets as I frantically looked around for a way out. Spotting an industrial plant down the street, I quickly ran towards it and pried the doors open. The heavy machinery would make it harder for the beast to maneuver, I hoped.
“Quick in here!” I shouted towards the others.
As soon as I shouted, I inadvertently got the creature’s attention. Locking its red pupils on me, it charged towards me. I ran away for dear life into the facility only to feel its paws grab my leg with its vice-like grip. Before I could even attempt to free myself, it threw me across the street like I was nothing. I spun in the air for a few seconds until I landed on top of one of the turned over cars.
Upon impact, I felt some of my ribs break as both glass and torn metal stabbed into my skin. I lifted one of my bloodied arms and saw multiple pieces of glass sticking out of my wool with some of them big enough to go through the bone. I tried to scream out to the others for help, but the pain I felt from just breathing alone was already too much to bear. I looked over at them as they began running away from the scene. I saw the beast get down on all fours before pouncing towards the group with great speed. Despite their distance apart, it was able to close that gap in less than a second. One by one, it killed and tore them asunder with its large, powerful claws and razor sharp teeth until there were only the mute and leader left.
I managed to fight through the pain and get up from the wreckage with blood still dripping from my wounds and flowing down my body. I took a deep breath and shouted as loud as I could in their direction. It stopped what it was doing and looked towards me from afar. It stood on its hind legs and looked at me with a somewhat surprised expression.
“HEY! OVER-” I was quickly cut off from coughing up blood as I fell to my hands and knees, “over here!”
The internal damage done was too severe for me to push myself any further than I already have, but I needed to give the others time to leave. I got myself back up and locked eyes with the mutant.
Right when I did that, it did something strange: rather than run, pounce, or even roar, it quietly walked up to me with its blood covered claws at its side. I was confused about what was happening and I didn’t know how to react. Should I attack, should I run, what could I do that wouldn’t provoke it? Once it was within range, I reacted impulsively and hit it in the face with my wrench. Although I was able to cause a slight bruise, its head didn’t move an inch and the wrench was now destroyed.
‘Oh speh’ I thought for a moment before getting grabbed by my neck and lifted into the air.
I struggled to set myself free as I repeatedly bashed the deformed wrench into its arm. I could feel my windpipe get actively crushed as it slowly tightened its grip. I eventually dropped the wrench and started doing whatever else I could to set myself free: I kicked, clawed, and hit the beast as hard as I could, but to no avail. As I reached the edge of passing out, I heard a voice.
“Tarlim, look at me,” it said calmly with a deep, raspy voice.
I looked around for a moment before hearing it again, but this time it was in front of me.
“I want you to look at me, Tarlim,” it said once again.
I soon realized where it was coming from and who was saying it once I looked at the mutated Venlil. It was that creature who was speaking.
“You did everything you could to try and get out alive, but you failed,” he said serenely “Now you’ll die knowing everyone you ever knew and cared about is gone.”
My eyes widened when it spoke. I tried to respond, but I wasn’t able to say a single word.
“I had fun chasing you and those exterminators, Tarlim, but now it's time to move on.”
Its mouth opened wide, revealing rows of razor sharp teeth layered on top of eachother. My vision was fading rapidly, and my body went limp as I accepted my fate. Just before I completely lost consciousness, I heard the faint roar of a ship's cannon and the crushing force around my neck vanished. I felt like I was sinking through an ocean as I fell to the ground, dull spikes of pain ripping through my shattered body. I tried to look up to see what had happened, but everything was too heavy, too dark
I just
Wanted
To
S l e 3 ppe..4!u
[Subject consciousness lost Memory transcription ended]
submitted by A_Tank_With_Internet to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 20:24 Mean-Classic-7739 Something in the blizzard pt.2

Part 2
Day 11
The pain was excruciating and all over my body. A thousand knives seemed to dig into me. I lay there for a minute with the dead creature still on top of me. I was trying to muster enough strength to get up and move this horrible thing off me, but I couldn’t. Finally, after what seemed like lying there for an hour Chloe came over and helped me move its dead body off me.
She froze when she saw me. I must’ve looked horrible so much had happened to me in the last 10 minutes. I saw her eyes move to my left hand. I found my tired eyes looking over, and what I saw was horrifying. My left hand was a bloody broken mess, fingers were missing, bones were sticking out in odd places, and a huge chunk of my palm was completely gone. I puked all over myself. Chloe looked like she was trying so hard to keep herself together.
The next few minutes were tense. Chloe tied one of her layers to my arm as a makeshift tourniquet. Then we slowly made our way home with Chloe practically dragging me.
They had to stitch my wounds while I was still conscious due to us not having anesthetics, and those were the most painful moments of my life. I felt the needle go in and out of my skin, I felt the small string pull my muscle and skin back together, and I felt when they had to cut one of my fingers off. It was absolutely excruciating and after it was done I passed out.
Chloe sat on the couch feeling awful and tired. She’d just spent an hour trying to get the food that had been in the fridge into coolers, but her mind was so busy she hardly cared. She felt awful about everything. There was so much she could’ve done, so many ways she could’ve helped me. So many ways that led to me still having a hand. If only I hadn’t been a coward, she thought, if I just hadn’t stood there maybe he would still have his hand. If only she’d just shot it again. She wiped her face trying not to cry. She had to be the strong one now, she had to be brave.
She was very curious, she wanted to know what exactly had happened to Carl. Joey hadn’t had the time to tell her whether or not the man was dead. She assumed he was due to the blood and the creature, but there was a small chance. She told Gretchen and Ronda (my mom) what her plan was. They agreed and she went to get ready.
She brought two guns, the sniper and the semi-automatic. She also found an old motorcycle helmet and decided to use that as a makeshift helmet. She knew if I had been awake I wouldn’t have not in a million years let her go, so she made her process quick just in case I did wake up.
Crunch! The snow had melted slightly the night before so now it felt more like walking across huge ice sheets. As she walked she realized she didn’t even have to use the GPS because of the blood trail. She followed it for a while, the snow constantly attacking her. After a couple of minutes, she found it. Lying in the middle of the street now with a fresh layer of snow on it was the creature, the hound as she’d begun to refer to it in her head. She hadn’t gotten a good look at it like I had so her eyes went wide when she saw the body. She was struck by how much its exoskeleton looked like big chunks of rocks. She also noticed the now frozen yellow-greenish blood around the body. Chloe leaned down to examine what was left of the head. What was left was a hollow shell of the exoskeleton; the gunshot in the mouth had practically liquefied everything in its head. She remembered how everything had exploded from the mouth and eye holes. The image of the eyes getting blown out from behind disgusted her.
She found herself examining the rest of the body and she couldn’t help but keep looking at the four legs. They looked so out of place on the body. They looked so mammalian for such an insect-like creature. They literally looked like stretched-out bald dog legs. She had a feeling of deja vu as she looked at the legs, she couldn’t help but think of the black dog they’d seen the other day. She made a note in her head that she wanted to take the body with her on the way back.
Finally, she stood up and started making her way towards the store. Like before she just followed the blood. She remembered when Joey ran into her he was covered in blood, like he’d slipped into the trail. She dreaded to think what he’d found in the showers. Her trek was slow and eerie. Then as she got closer the dead silence was cut by a ticking sound. She vaguely recognized it as something those spiders had made. Specifically the stinger ones. She kept the semi-automatic raised and got ready for a fight, but the ticking sounds slowly faded and she kept moving.
The store was just as she had left it early that morning. It was still a complete wreck. She hurried past the shattered glass and toppled shelves, through the small break room, and into the bunk room. It looked even worse than before. It looked like the creature had destroyed a few more things after it caught the headlamp. She specifically noticed a new deep gash in the bunk they’d hid behind.
As she walked into the shower room she heard a faint dripping sound. She started going one stall at a time to find it. First empty, second empty, but the third she wanted to throw up. Carl lay in the back of the stall, his body a bloody mess. His torso was almost gone. Everything inside of it had been ripped out along with most of his flesh. His ribs were shattered and lying on the floor. His spine was cracked and twisted. It looked like it had been broken. She threw up and stepped away from the sight, making her start to sob. Pull yourself together, she thought to herself, now isn’t the time. She wiped the tears off her face and continued. He had a daughter and a wife. She had to know what happened to them. So with much hesitance, she continued.
Fourth room empty, fifth empty, sixth empty, seventh empty, she stood next to the eighth stall dreading what she’d find inside. She didn’t want to see what was in there, but she would never forgive herself for not looking.
Two cocoon-looking things lay in the stall. They were white and pulsating slightly. They looked like the web cocoon the stingers had wrapped around the dog, but these were too big to be dogs. Instantly she knew what had happened to his wife and daughter. Chloe stepped away so she didn’t have to see it anymore, and then she had a thought. They wouldn’t leave them unattended, would they? She became much more nervous and started cautiously making her way from the room. She started to hear the ticking noises outside again and her hands started to shake. She took a deep breath and kept walking.
She walked into the main part of the store and saw a dozen or so stingers crawling in through one of the broken windows. She gasped, then in a hurry ducked back into the breakroom. Her whole body was shaking as she stood there listening to them scurrying around the store. Then after a minute one walked into the breakroom didn’t see her and disappeared into the bunk room. Then another went through, then another, then another, then another, and soon all but one had passed through. Her whole body was trembling when finally it walked through. This one was walking more slowly and looking around much more than the others, and suddenly its small beady eyes met hers. Scre… Rat-a-tatata! Four quick bullets cut through the stinger. All four hit it right in the head. She had a small feeling of triumph then Screech! The other stingers started running into the room. She hurried out in such a rush she didn’t watch where she was stepping and slipped on a piece of glass.
Smack! Her helmet slammed into the ground and then the rest of her. She watched them hurriedly crawl towards her. She tried to get a shot but they were just too fast. Then she felt a sharp pain in her leg. One of the stingers had sunk their stinger into her calf. Another was about to sting before she made her move. She grabbed a large piece of glass and stabbed it into the one on her leg, and then quickly stuck the shard into the other one that was about to sting her. Then she quickly stood up. Her body was starting to feel heavy and she was getting a little loopy. The other stingers were screeching and running toward her. Rat-a-tatatatata! She shot 10 rounds into the remaining nine stingers. Seven exploded when the bullet made contact, another got three legs blown off, the last wasn’t hit, and before she could shoot again it had lodged its stinger in her boot. She stopped for a second realizing that the stinger hadn’t actually pierced her foot then Rat-a-tat! She shot two bullets into the thing and then pulled it off her foot.
Her adrenaline was wearing off and the venom was doing its work fast. Her eyes were starting to close and she had to concentrate just to keep them open. I need to get somewhere safe, she thought looking around, and then her eyes fell on an intact door.
She locked the door to the women's restroom and then slumped against it as she felt her consciousness begin to slip. All she could think of was me hoping that I was okay, and hoping that she’d be able to see me again. Then finally she blacked out.
Her eyes fluttered open to see she was in the same place she’d passed out. There was a small puddle of blood around her calf. She weakly reached over and touched the wound. It wasn’t bleeding any more. I must’ve been out for a while. She thought, gingerly beginning to put weight on her leg. It hurt but she could walk. Click, she unlocked the bathroom door, raised the gun, and opened the door. She was nervous, worried that maybe more of them had come while she was out. It didn’t look like too much time had passed, and even more importantly there were no stingers. She looked over and saw her footprints were still visible through the heavily falling snow. Good not much time must have passed, she thought. Then she pulled out the phone and called Gretchen.
Bzzz…
“Gretchen, I got stung and passed out. What time is it?” She asked.
Gretchen’s relieved voice cut through the phone: “Oh Chloe thank goodness, it’s 2:42. You left around 12.”
Day 13
I woke up to giggling and laughter. I sat up and looked at the doorway and on the other side I could hear the boys quietly playing together. I moved the covers and tried to move my legs, but instantly daggers of pain went up my right leg. I wanted to do it more slowly but nothing seemed to help.
“Chloe!” I called and immediately heard something clatter upstairs followed by fast footsteps into the basement.
In a second Chloe had sprinted into the room and was on top of me giving me a huge hug. She pulled away and gave me one of her pretty little smiles.
“How are you feeling?” She asked.
My stomach growled and that answered her question.
“You’ve been asleep for almost two days, no wonder you’re hungry.” She said, I froze and looked over at the clock, but nothing showed on it. It was just a blank black screen.
“When did the power go out?” I asked, turning back toward her.
“Not long after you fell asleep.” She said, “We put as much food as we could into coolers, but most of what was in the fridge and freezer has gone bad.”
Her face was sad and grim. I reached for her hand with my good hand and squeezed it.
“We’ll get through this just like everything else. We’ll make it through if we stick together.” I told her starting to realize how hoarse I sounded.
She smiled then looked up at me again: “I’ll go get you some food… and a water bottle.” She said walking back out of the room.
I lay there in deep thought when Alan poked his head in.
“Uncle, are you okay?” He asked, sitting down on the foot of the bed.
“I’ll be fine,” I said, smiling at him.
He smiled back, “Uncle you’ve got a Lego hand now.” He yelled pointing to my left hand.
I looked at my hand and saw the way they wrapped it did look like a Lego hand.
“Ha… yeah I suppose so.” I chuckled, Alan nodded and disappeared into the hallway.
A few minutes later Chloe appeared in the doorway with a plate and Mom and Gretchen tailed her.
“Sweety, are you ok?” My mom asked, walking over to the bedside and putting her hand on my forehead.
“Yes Mom I’m ok, I’m as ok as I can be right now,” I told her.
“Well I’m glad you’re ok,” She said, hugging me.
“Me too,” Gretchen added, hugging me.
After a minute they broke away and Chloe gave me my plate. It was some dry cereal and a piece of toast.
“Sorry… that’s all I could scrape together.” She said her expression was sad.
“How much is left?” I asked her.
“A few days maybe, the water situation is even worse though,” She said grimly.
I felt a crushing sense of defeat at that.
“We’re going to need to do something now,” Gretchen said, “Before we can’t do anything.”
“Agreed, but what? There is no chance of leaving without a snow plow.” I grumbled, becoming more disheartened.
“What if we had a snow plow?” Chloe asked.
“What?” Me and Gretchen asked.
“I mean, they keep it at the tractor place just a mile away. We could get the snow plow.” She suggested a hint of hope in her eyes.
“I don’t think we’ll all fit. Let alone supplies.” I told her.
“So then we bring two vehicles,” She said, “One or two of us go to the place, get the snow plow, and come back to the others in the other vehicle and follow behind.”
It was actually a pretty good plan, but it was still wishful thinking. They had a lot of variables on that.
“That might work, but it will take time and we don’t exactly have time,” I said.
“Well then let's get some more time. We might be able to find more food in other homes,” My mom said.
“Yes, in theory, that would work, but we don’t have two people to go,” I said.
“I’m out of commission, Gretchen isn’t leaving her boys, and not in a million years am I letting you go, Mom,” I argued.
“She can handle herself, she did the other day,” Mom argued back.
“What?... no I was with her…” I turned toward Chloe in confusion.
I saw a guilty look on her face and she told me that she’d gone to the store on the 11th day after they were done treating me.
I pulled her into a tight hug and whispered in her ear: “If you do that again I will use whatever force necessary to make your stay here.”
She looked at me, her eyes darkening: “Joey if I don’t go, we will starve. I’m terrified too but if that is what needs to be done I’ll do it.”
“I… I… I don’t want to lose you.” I sputtered out.
Her face turned red before she said: “I don’t want to lose you either, or any of you guys and that's why I need to go.”
I finally relented, Gretchen and my mom left the room, and Chloe sat and chatted with me while I ate my mediocre breakfast.
She perked up and said, “Joey I need to show you something.”
She got up and helped me get out of bed. Getting out wasn’t that hard unless I had to move my left leg or arm. Once I was standing she helped me over to the restroom and then helped me sit down.
“What am I supposed to be looking at?” I asked, looking around the bathroom.
“This,” She said, pulling the shower curtain open and revealing what was inside.
Lying inside the tub was the body of the dog bug creature.
“Why the heck did you bring that in?” I asked.
“Aren’t you curious what it is?” She asked, an almost crazed look in her eyes.
“Fair, I am curious,” I said. “Found anything out so far?” I then asked.
“Well a no, not yet,” She said looking disappointed now, “I just know it isn’t anything science knows of.”
“Nothing, nothing interesting?” I inquired.
“Well yes there are interesting things,” She said, “Like look at this.”
She grabbed a knife covered in yellowish-green blood and used it to open a previously cut incision into the body. I looked inside and saw something quite strange. This thing still had an endoskeleton.
“Nothing that we know of on earth has an endo and exoskeleton, and I honestly don’t know why an animal would have both.” She said looking up at me.
“Hmm… mind if I take a look?” I asked.
She nodded and I moved over and took the knife with my right hand. I used the knife to hold open the incision and I looked at the bone. It looked normal but I was suspicious so I set the knife down, reached in, and yanked the femur I’d been looking at out. The femur was the size it should’ve been for a normal dog, but for this creature, it was extremely undersized.
“Just as I thought,” I said, looking over at her.
“Can you explain to me what it is that you just figured out?” She asked, very confused.
“Look how small this femur is, it should be double the size for this creature, but it is the adequate size for a normal dog. The way I figure this is that during the metamorphosis that changed the dog into this thing the bones were not destroyed or changed. That’s why they are still there but not the right size.” I explained holding the bone up to her.
“I suppose that your theory makes sense,” She said after a short pause.
Day 14
Chloe sat on the bed strapping on the extra gear I was making her take. I knew I couldn’t stop her from going so I decided I would make her as safe as possible. I dug through old boxes and found my dad's old Kevlar vests. There were two so I cut one up to make guards for her arms and legs. Then I made her put on an extra coat to add one more layer of protection, as for other parts I agreed that the motorcycle helmet was the best helmet we had so she put that on.
Now she was sitting on the bed with the helmet sitting next to her while she was loading her weapons. She was bringing the semi-automatic and the sniper rifle with extra ammo for each. She also had a hunting knife strapped to her belt saying it would’ve come in handy last time. I looked at her and gave her a tight hug.
“If you don’t come back I’ll find you and teach you a lesson.” I jokingly threatened her.
She let out a giggle, “I’ll try my best.”
Again she made her outside into the blizzard. It raged on around her as it had been for days. She had to climb the almost four-foot-tall pile of snow before she could really start exploring. They’d assumed that the people who had left town wouldn’t have much food in their homes, so she planned to hit Carl’s house and the Garrison’s house today. Then check out a few other houses the next day, but right now she had to focus on simply taking the next step because anytime she stepped wrong she’d sink further into the snow. Slowly through the whipping wind and freezing snow, she walked. It was exhausting especially with her still being sore from a couple of days ago, but she continued despite the pain and weather. Despite it all she kept taking step after step after step, and the whole time the blizzard's icy claws were digging into her.
Eventually, she saw the destroyed store and walked past it, her eyes eyeing the shattered windows for any movement but nothing happened. She continued onward knowing that Carl’s house was now only a block away. She walked carefully and precisely trying not to step in the wrong place. Then she saw it. Carl’s house was a small colonial-style two-story home with a big wrap-around porch, but now it looked horrible. The door was ripped out of its hinges and two or three windows were shattered. She slid down a short snowy slope and onto the porch. Crack! One of the wooden planks that made the porch broke from under her foot and her foot slipped down. She pulled it out of the hole and slowly walked into his house.
There was a trail of snow leading in from the fallen door almost like a carpet leading her into this place. It was horrible on the inside. It reminded her of the store. Furniture was thrown every which way, some bearing deep gashes. The closest door to her had a hole going straight through it. She walked over a vast sea of shattered glass and turned into the kitchen. The granite countertops had been ripped from their places and shattered on the tiled floor. A large gash was in the door of the now fallen fridge. She walked over and kneeled down near the fridge, ripping open one of the doors. As she suspected, everything in there was frozen solid. Sitting in there was cheese, deli meat, assorted fruits and vegetables, shattered glasses of condiments, and two steaks. She grabbed everything and stuffed it all into one of the duffel bags she’d brought. Then she saw a loaf of bread lying on the ground near her and grabbed that too. She stood up and looked around the kitchen. She noticed a box of pasta sitting next to a pot on the stove. The box was full, so she grabbed it. The pot was partly melted onto the stove and frozen tomato sauce sat inside.
The picture of what had happened began to emerge in her head. Carl had likely been walking home from the store when it attacked. It chased him inside, breaking down the door and destroying everything in its path. His wife, Greta, had been making spaghetti for dinner when it happened. He ran into the kitchen and grabbed his wife with the beast following him. It destroyed the kitchen as it chased them.
Chloe pushed those thoughts from her head and opened their pantry to see if there was more food. There were lots of boxes but her eyes fell on the cans that lined the bottom of the pantry. There were dozens of them, probably a hundred or two cans. She kneeled and started eagerly grabbing the cans and putting them in the duffel bag. She even took out the cheese and pasta to make for more room.
She stopped her eager collecting when she heard a slight ticking noise. Stingers she thought and then pulled her knife from her belt in preparation. The ticking was slight and distant. It probably just walked in, she thought. With the ticking, she heard the slight creaking of the wood floor in the hall as it approached the kitchen. Then a scraping tapping sound as it began walking on the tiles. She gripped the knife tightly and got ready to stab the thing. Scr…! The stinger managed to give off a faint screech before the sharp hunting knife pierced its windpipe. She yanked the knife out of its neck severing the head from the body. Then she resheathed the knife and quietly got back to what she’d been doing. She didn’t stop until the bag was bulging then she zipped it closed and heaved it under her arm. It was heavy but she wasn’t weak.
She walked over to the front door and set the duffel bag next to it. She wanted to check out the rest of the house before she left.
She crept down the hall and into the master bedroom. It was intact, everything looked right and nothing was broken. She walked over to the dresser and started going through the drawers. Darn, just clothes. She thought as she dug her hands in shuffling the clothes around. She opened the drawer and start thrashing around the clothes when she felt something hard. She pulled a box of ammo out of the drawer. It was for the revolver she looked to see how much but it was empty.
Almost every stair on the way upstairs bore scratches and one or two were cracked. They creaked so loud she began to worry that the noise would get the stinger’s attention but nothing came. Then finally she arrived upstairs. The second floor of their house was composed of two rooms, a restroom, and his daughter Lacy’s bedroom. The bedroom door and a dresser lay on the room floor scratched and broken. The rest of the room was torn apart. The bed was shredded and a mirror lay shattered on the ground. Her eyes fell to the window which was propped open.
The rest of their story seemed to fall into place. Carl and Greta ran upstairs chased by the hound, and into Lacy’s room. They barricaded the door as the creature tried to get it, and then they all quickly slipped out of the window onto the porch roof and then to the ground. They ran to the store and bunkered there. The creature searched the whole shop but couldn’t find them. Then later the hound came back and Carl went to fight it. He told Greta and Lacy to hide in a stall and made his way to the main part of the shop. There he was killed and then dragged into the shower stall to be eaten, and at some point during that time the stingers and slugs got to Lacy and Greta.
She shivered, they’d tried so hard but it still got to them. Maybe if he’d had more bullets he could’ve survived. Thinking of the empty box and the two shots that had woken them that night.
She walked out of the bedroom and back downstairs. She found her eyes wandering around the destroyed first floor again, and it struck her that something bigger had to have done this. There was no way the deer-sized hound would have destroyed this much. She hurried over into the kitchen again and looked at the gash in the fridge. That’s too big. Way too big! She thought looking at the huge gash. She started to think about the store and the same inconsistencies began to appear in the memories. All the damage, the claw marks, the strength, it was all too much, too big, there was no way the hound had done this.
As she was thinking she noticed a doorway she hadn’t been through. Next to her was the doorway to the basement stairs with the door wide open. She peaked down and saw light down there, not much probably from a window, but it was something.
Creak! Her first step of descent was loud and made her worry again that something would hear her. She stopped and listened, but nothing. So as carefully as she could she continued. Every step was as loud as the first and every step made her jump in her skin and wait for something to happen. But after what seemed like ages she arrived at the bottom.
The basement was large with two spare bedrooms and a large storage room. She slowly walked down the hall looking into the bedrooms on both sides of her. They were bare with nothing much more than beds, so she walked forward and into the main storage room.
The storage room had large shelving units across the whole room. The shelves were partially filled with labeled boxes. She walked over to one shelf and started reading the labels. Christmas, no, I don't need that. Halloween, not that. Games, nope. Sports could be useful. She thought as she grabbed the heavy crate and set it out in front of her. She grabbed the latches on either side, undoing them and popping the lid off.
Suddenly a ripping sound erupted from another part of the basement. The ripping had a sort of wet sound to it. Chloe started to walk over to the sound far too curious not to. Screech! It came from the same direction as the ripping sound. She got the gun ready and then jumped from around a shelf not facing what was making the sound. She watched one of those hound things fully emerge from a cocoon and look over at her. A chill ran down her spine as its four eyes met hers; the two to the left were icy blue and the two to the right were dark brown. This one was also slightly smaller but much stockier than the other. Rat-a-tatatata! She released a quick barrage of bullets hoping to stop the disgusting thing, but it just started charging for her. Quickly she moved to the other side of the shelving and pushed it down. Her whole body was shaking, but she had to keep calm and keep fighting. The hound howled in pain and started cracking through the wooden shelf to get to her. She took this time to aim a good shot at its face. Rat-a-tat! She shot two quick bullets into its face. One sunk into its exoskeleton the other buried itself into one of its eyes. SCREECH!!!!! It broke through the shelf and made a quick dive toward her. It pinned her to the ground, knocking her gun away in the process. It sunk its jaws into the helmet and it started to break and crack. She started to cry. This thing was going to eat through her helmet then her face, but during this moment of panic she remembered something. She pulled the knife from her belt and stabbed it into the hound's semi-exposed underbelly. It screeched again in pain so she stabbed again. She then shoved the hurt thing off of her and dove for the gun. She felt one of its praying mantis talons slash her vest and then her upper leg, so she turned around and fired. Rat-a-tatata! She shot it four more times, one hitting its forehead, the second hitting its mouth, the third mouth as well, and the fourth badly damaged its lower jaw. Its face was covered in yellow-greenish blood and it was throwing up blood onto the floor. Just as she thought it might be dying it made a quick sprint toward her. It bit her right knee, its teeth sinking in and actually managing to make her bleed. But then crash! It shoved forward and caused her to fall on top of it. Not having a good shot she grabbed the knife and started stabbing anywhere she could until it finally stopped fighting.
She lay there catching her breath until finally she stood up. Her vision was disrupted by the cracks in the helmet’s visor. She tore the helmet off and threw it down onto the dying hound. Even as it lay there it still tried to get toward her and attack her. She thought about executing it but decided that would just be a waste of a bullet and in a weird way she found its attempts to attack entertaining.
The sports crate she’d opened earlier didn’t have much use. It contained a few balls and two or three different types of rackets. She continued looking through the shelves until she found a box labeled camping. She slid it off the shelf and onto the floor, undid the latches, and popped the lid off. Inside the box were all sorts of goodies. At the top of the box were two big mummy sleeping bags. She pulled those out to see fire starters, water purifiers, bug spray, sunscreen, a small tent, utensils, pots and pans, and a large hatchet. Excitedly she grabbed her other duffel bag and moved everything from the crate into it.
She heaved the duffel bag under her arm and carried it back upstairs. She set it next to the other and turned around. She wanted to check one more place before she left the house. She walked across the house and to the backdoor pushing it open and looking outside. In their backyard half buried in snow was a shed. She hurried over to the shed through the deep snow. The doors were almost completely covered in snow and she knew she wouldn't be spending the whole day shoveling. Luckily there was a small window near the top of the shed. She gave it one good kick and the window popped open. She slid through the hole and dropped down into the shed.
The shed was small with very little inside. There was a lawn mower and a few tools but that was it. The one thing that did catch her eye was a small wooden sled with a rope tied to the front. She picked it up thinking how much easier it would make carrying the bags.
Chloe carefully shoved the sled through the window frame and then squeezed through herself. She carried the sled into the house, used tape to keep the bags secure on it, and then started pulling the sled back towards home. Carl’s house was near the top of a small hill, so for a short couple of seconds, she rode the sled as it slid down the icy slope. It made her feel like a little kid and she wished it would have lasted longer.
After a long walk through the blizzard she arrived home tired and her face feeling like it was freezing off. Gretchen hugged her the moment she walked in.
“Are you ok? We thought we heard gunshots.” She said a little worried.
“You did… I had to kill another hound thing. Just like the one in the tub. The armor worked like a charm though, I hardly felt its bite.” Chloe said motioning to the rip in her pants around the knee.
“Oh shoot you bleeding,” Gretchen said looking at her leg.
Chloe looked down to see a cut on her thigh and a few small nicks on her knee.
I sat in bed. I'd just heard Chloe come in and I waited patiently for her to come down. After a couple of minutes, I heard footsteps come downstairs and start creeping down the hall. Then I saw her face poke in from around the door. She smiled and walked in when she saw I was awake.
“Hi babe, how are you feeling?” She asked, taking a seat next to me.
“I mean my hand still hurts like heck, but yeah I’m fine.” I joked.
She smiled, “Seriously though, are you feeling alright?” She asked.
“I’m feeling fine,” I lied trying to get her to stop worrying.
“I want to hear about everything that happened,” I said sitting up.
So she told me everything that happened, even her theory on what exactly happened to Carl and his family.
“Did they have a dog?” She asked me after finishing her story.
“Yeah… a pitbull I think,” I replied, trying my best to remember the odd times when Carl talked about his dog.
“That explains it, that hound was a lot stockier than the one you shot.” She said, “Also it destroyed the helmet so I need a new one before I go to the Garrison’s house.”
I gave her a worried look, “Do you need to go?” I asked.
“YES!” She insisted, “We don’t know what happened to them, and I’d like to find a little more food.”
“But do we need more food?” I asked, “You got a lot of cans.”
“Joey, this has already been going on for two weeks. Who knows how long it will last? More preparation never hurts.” She argued, sounding a little angry now.
“Ok… Ok… Just be safe,” I told her and gave her a big hug.
Gretchen found an arguably better helmet in the garage, a big metal welding helmet. It fit Chloe almost perfectly, and as a backup, she wore two thick hoods to protect the back of her head. She had a very bad feeling this time, as she stood there by the door she couldn’t help but shake. She wanted someone to come with her, and as big Herman came over to say his goodbyes she had an idea.
She marched through the deep snow with Herman atop the sled she pulled. She’d try to have him follow on foot, but the snow was just too high and he kept getting stuck. But she didn’t care that he was just extra weight because she was just happy that she wasn’t facing this alone. She slowly made her way down the street, the blizzard more relentless than ever. It seemed to her the longer the blizzard continued the stronger it was becoming. The snow continued to pound down on top of her slowly wearing down her will to continue, but it didn’t stop her. She took one step after another after another. She was starting to tire and the pain of the injuries was beginning to wear on her. But every time she seemed to slow Herman would give a little woof, and she would keep on going.
The snow had become so hard to see through that more than an outstretched hand was invisible to her. Her vision was so bad she didn’t know the group of crawlers and slugs were there until she was practically right on top of them
Meanwhile…
“Hey, we should probably start clearing the driveway now,” Gretchen said suddenly to her mom while they both sat at the kitchen table.
“That’s probably a wise idea,” Our mother said with a smile.
Gretchen and Mom began their efforts with large snow shovels. Gretchen did most of the work as Mom had to take frequent breaks. They shoveled and shoveled as the day wore on going over their work with salt so as to not let more snow accumulate. Gretchen was exhausted from the work, but she continued nonetheless. She kept digging ad digging until she heard the shovel scrape concrete then she moved to the next section. Despite the cold, they were both dripping with sweat.
I sat by the window watching them work while the boys played. I so wanted to go help but knew I couldn’t. I couldn’t do anything but sit and watch them work. I felt horrible as I watched, and then my mind started thinking of Chloe. I pulled out the walkie and pressed the button to talk.
The first thing Chloe heard was Screech! The stinger was right in front of her clearly just as surprised by her as she was of it. But it wasn’t alone from her restricted view; it looked like there were about 10 stingers and 3 or so slugs.
She tried to raise her gun but they were scattering around far too quickly. Then she heard a ripping noise as one of them drove a stinger into her boot. She pulled out the hunting knife and made quick work of the stinger. Two more stingers were charging straight for her and one was coming from her left. Before she could do anything the snow under the two erupted and they were dragged down into it. She wasn’t able to see what it was and she began to shake as it did the same thing to the one coming from her left. In a sudden panic, she turned around to see the sled empty with a hole in the snow right next to it. She let out a small cry whatever was under the snow had gotten Herman and the stingers, but there was no time for mourning as more of the stingers began coming for her. Again the snow erupted under them but this time she got a better look. Whatever was under the snow was big and white. She got the gun as the thing took out the rest of the slugs and stingers. She assumed it was coming for her next. She hurried and jumped atop the sled so it couldn’t take her down easily. She stood there ready to fight whatever monster thing had gotten everything. Horrible images of twisted spider mole creatures flew through her head. Suddenly the snow next to the sled exploded open and she saw the large white beast jump out of the snow and on top of her. She closed her eyes expecting to feel teeth begin to sink down, but after a second she heard a lapping sound. She opened her eyes to see Herman on top of her licking her helmet. She smiled and let out a laugh.
“Good boy!” She said encouragingly.
Herman was completely covered in snow; he looked more like a polar bear than a dog. She brushed some of it off but didn’t bother to do much. She helped the big dog back onto the sled and continued forward. She walked another block before she finally saw her destination to her right was the Garrison’s large house broken and beaten from obvious attacks. It stood there somehow feeling more eerie than the surrounding houses. She stepped onto the wooden porch and there was a loud creak. Ever so more carefully she and Herman crept across the porch and into the house. If only they’d known what they were about to walk into.
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2023.06.09 20:23 TripleNerdScore1 Trip Report: Tokyo Kyoto Osaka Hakone (30s couple, traveling while visibly trans)

Hi everyone! This sub was so incredibly helpful to me in the planning process - I was deeply grateful for everything I learned, so I thought I'd post a trip report now that we're back!
About us: We're a 30s couple from the Midwest US. We're pretty experienced travelers (South America, UK/Ireland, Europe, lots of places in the US), but this was our first visit to Asia and first visit to Japan. As travelers, we love getting out on foot, local food/drink (especially street food), live music, nerd shit, weird art/vending machines. Also, my partner is a cis guy, but I am a trans masc person who is visibly trans (post-op in a few ways, but not passing/not stealth).
Dates: May 13 - May 29
What we did: Tokyo Kyoto Osaka Hakone Back to Tokyo
Tips and tricks:
Because I'm a nerd, here's the actual breakdown!
DAY 1 ARRIVAL 📍 Flew into Haneda; made it to our hotel (lovely experience at Hotel Plaza Sunroute); had our first world-famous konbini 7/11 experience; walked around Shinjuku; went out for dinner at Ryu no Miyako Inshokugai - talk about jumping in the deep end 🍣 Onigiri and vending machine green tea; little whipped cream treats; Nagahama ramen and sesame mackerel donburi 👣 10,400 steps 🏁 4.8 miles
DAY 2 SHIBUYA 📍 Meiji Shrine and Gardens - got goshuin and omamori; Harajuku, went to 7/11; back to the hotel for a nap; Shibuya, including Don Quijote, Center Gai and Dogenzaka Street; Nonbei Yokocho for late night 🍣 7/11 (plum onigiri and corn/mayo sandwich, some kind of spam musubi situation, matcha roll); Ichiran coin-op ramen with extra chashu and a matcha tofu custard thing; banana shock smoothie at Shibuya109 in Center Gai; chicken and pork belly yakitori with beers at Morimoto; brown sugar shoju and shoju-infused Oolong tea cocktails at Tight Bar (strong recommend for this joint!); grilled squid, octopus, and okonomiyaki for afters at Tsukishima Monja Kuuya Shibuya 👣 32,000 steps 🏁 14.5 miles 😮‍💨
DAY 3 SHINJUKU 📍 Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden; Shinjuku area (including Disk Union, Disney, Onitsuka); Kabukicho and Kabukicho Tower; GODZ metal bar; Golden Gai; Omoide Yokocho 🍣 7/11 (onigiri, matcha filled roll thing, royal milk tea, tomago sushi, strawberry donut, cafe latte); many types of dango (sesame oil, soy sauce, and apricot mochi were our favs); McDonald's (weirdly good chicken sandwich with yuzu radish topping, vanilla custard chocolate pie, white grape soda); yummy little warm imagawayaki filled with adzuki bean paste + royal milk from depachika); a couple of Asahis at GODZ; simple yakitori snacks at Golden Gai (including some… mystery offal items); back to 7/11 for drunk matcha ice cream and waffle snacks 👣 28,800 steps 🏁 13.0 miles
DAY 4 ASAKUSA 📍 Went out for coffee; walked around Kinarimon Gate and Nakamise; toured Asakusa Shrine, Senso-ji Temple, surrounding Shinto and Buddhist shrines; stopped for sushi and mochi; went for a walk up Sumida River; dipped into Shoden and Imado shrines; crossed Kototoi Bridge to Tokyo Skytree; went up Tokyo Skytree; back to Senso-ji for night photos; capped off evening with gyoza 🍣 Lattes at cute puppet theater coffeeshop (espresso, dandelion tea); 7/11 for breakfast-y fuel; strawberries from a street stall at Nakamise; sushi lunch; beautiful mochi + tea dessert; grilled gyoza, soup dumpling gyoza, shoujo Oolong tea cocktail for afters 👣 25,500 steps 🏁 11.66 miles
DAY 5 JIMBŌCHŌ, AKIHABARA 📍 Train to Ichigaya - notable French-inspired neighborhood; breakfast at local French café; Yasakuni Shrine; Kanda River walk by Hosei University; Tokyo Daijingu Shrine; Jimbōchō Old Book Town; walked from there to Akihibara; hit up noodles, arcade, nerd shops (comics, TCGs/CCGs, retro video games systems, TTRPGS, etc); gachapons; hit up the bizarre rare vending machines 🍣 Vending machine coffee and milk tea; yummy French pastries (bacon and sour cream roll, quiche, sour cream raisin custard thing); had to try some avocado and cheese Doritos; cold udon with duck broth soup, curry rice for Chris; fish-shaped taiyaki with custard cream dessert treat; dope gyoza place ("weekday" version with pork and cabbage, shrimp and chili mayo, yakitori with tare, and shogayaki with onions) 👣 Forgot watch at hotel - we’ll say 10,000 steps 🏁 Guessing about 5 or 6?
DAY 6 TEAMLAB PLANETS, TRAVEL TO KYOTO 📍 Hit up teamLabs, had an amazing time exploring the exhibits - the infinite light crystal room was our fav; train to Tokyo Station; lunch at underground Ramen Street restaurants under the station - went with Soranoiro, one of the few veg/vegan ramen shops in Japan - delicious; shinkansen to Kyoto; out for nightlife in Kiyamachi-Dori and Pontocho 🍣 Quick 7/11 snacks; train snacks (pocky, coffee, little teriyaki cutlet sandwich); Soranoiro ramen bowls; killer yakitori we fried right at our table in izakaya in Pontocho (honestly probably a meal highlight of the whole trip); brown sugar shoujo; 7/11 for ice cream on the way back 👣 18,900 steps 🏁 8.63 miles
DAY 7 KINKAKUJI, NISHIKI, GION 📍 Kinkakuji Temple; bus back to Kiyamachi-dori; spent whole afternoon walking and eating street food at Nishiki Market; back to hotel for rest, laundry, rooftop drink; out for nightlife in Gion 🍣 Family Mart for coffee and doughnuts; Nishiki Market Street street food delights - seared yakitori style crab stick, little octopus chuka idako on skewers, kara-age on skewers, sea squid croquettes and beer, strawberry and adzuki bean mochi balls; mimosas and red wine; Kyoto Gion Okaru - geisha-decorated izakaya with insane curry udon bowls and beers; picked up box of mochi dango for dessert 👣 20,200 steps 🏁 9.07 miles
DAY 8 SHRINE DAY 📍 OK, this is a lot:
🍣 Hotel coffee, tea, cream puffs; adzuki bean buns with tea made from the actual hydrangeas of the tea garden at the shrine; dope bento box lunch; got takeout fast food donburi and fizzy lemonade 👣 22,800 steps 🏁 10.39 miles
DAY 9 FUSHIMI-INARI 📍 Fushimi Inari, the famous shrine of over 1,000 torii gates - super amazing (and intense!) summit of Mt Inari! Back to Nishiki Market for reward street food and drinks; back to hotel for a rooftop drink and soak; finally out for soba at Kawamichiya Ginka in Pontocho. 🍣 Snack pack on our hike (sausages, cheese, some kind of fish meat/cheese stick, and surume - sweet chewy dried squid stuff); orange smoothie; conveyor belt sushi; strawberry mochi roll; whisky highball and red wine; massive soba spreads (chicken seared with wasabi/yuzu/horseradish dipped in ponzu sauce, fried soba noodles in a rich soup, cold soba noodles dipped tsukemen-style in a really amazing umami soy sauce soup, tempura shrimp and veggies, a hot soba noodles in a clear broth soup) 👣 27,600 steps 🏁 Supposedly 12.3 miles, but that hike to summit Mt Inari was something else 😤
DAY 10 TRAVEL TO OSAKA, SHINSABASHISUJI, AMEMURA, DOTONBURI 📍 Beautiful brunch on the bank of the canal in Kyoto; local train to Osaka-Umeda; checked into Osaka hotel; walked around Shinsaibashisuji and Dotonburi a little bit; scoped out Amemura ("Ameri-mura") for dope American-inspired Japanese streetwear; wandered up and down street food stalls in Dotonbori; swung by Namba Hips (mostly pachinko); found a couple of fun little hole-in-the-wall places (little Japanese craft beer brewery, retro video games bar) 🍣 Brunch at Kawa Cafe (croque monsieur, ramen, tea and delicious apple tart); takoyaki, cheesy waffle shaped like a massive 10yen coin, sweet chili hotdogs from stands in Dotonbori; dashi gose craft beer (by Derailleur Brew Works) from Umineko, shots at Space Station bar 👣 19,500 steps 🏁 9.01 miles
DAY 11 NAMBAYASAKIJINA, DOTONBURI 📍 Morning Japanese breakfast at a wonderful little 24-hour diner; Hozen-ji (moss shrine); Kamigata Ukiyo-e Museum across the street (focusing on Osaka woodcuts celebrating Dotonburi's kabuki and entertainment history); Nambayasaka-jinja (lion head shrine); Den Den Town (Osaka's Akihabara); ended up at a cozy little kushikatsu bar which actually was playing the Tigers game (away game vs the Swallows at Tokyo); street food waffles for dessert; hit up a late-night batting cage - ended up at Round1 (a big multi-floor arcade complex) and did the rooftop batting cage! My partner won a giant plushie for me from a claw machine! 🍣 Dope traditional japanese omelette and fish breakfast; cute macarons from market stand; Family Mart for snacks before nightlife; skewers, beer, and highballs from Dotonbori kushikatsu place; ridiculous nutella, whip, and strawberry stuffed waffle from Waffle Khan 👣 29,100 steps 🏁 13.31 miles
DAY 12 KUROMON ICHIBA, OSAKA CASTLE, DOTONBURI 📍 Kuromon Ichiba Market for street food; Osaka Castle Park and Nishinomaru Gardens; toured Osaka Castle and museum all the way up to the top; subway to Tanimachi-9-chome subway station for amazing live jazz at Sub Jazz Cafe. (This was amazing! Akira "Ro" Hasegawa (sax) and Yukie Fujikawa (keys) - Ro is also the owner and was bartending on this particular night too.) Out to Don Don for killer yakiniku and beer; found our way to Oboradaren, an Tokunoshima-themed island vibes bar and music spot where there was a great live band playing fun island vibes beach rock - big crowd of 40s+ Japanese women who knew all the songs, wound up drinking passionfruit chuhai and joining them in the conga line around the bar 🍣 Oden hot pot, wagyu skewer, otoro sashimi, crab gratin in the half-shell, bracken green tea soy cakes at Kuromon Market; ice cream sandwiches at Osaka Castle; milk tea, little roast beef sandwich, and cheesecake at Sub Jazz Cafe; yakiniku-style wagyu, ribs, ox tongue, assorted mushrooms; passionfruit chuhai and red wine at the island vibes spot; taro and brown sugar boba teas 👣 23,000 steps 🏁 10.42 miles
DAY 13 KAIYUKAN, SHINSEKAI, DOTONBURI 📍 Fun trip to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan; quick pass through Shinsekai; lunch at spot where you can fish your own catch from an indoor fishing boat pool; out for one last Dotonburi night - wound up getting konbini snacks and sitting on the waterfront talking and people-watching for hours 🍣 Not a banger food-wise, but interesting little spread at the fish-your-own place - huge prawn for grilling, kara-age, and fatty tuna nigiri for Max, tempura veggies and whitefish with doteyaki for Chris; from Family Mart, fruit smoothie, ice cup, and KitKat for Max, onigiri and lemonade for Chris 👣 19,100 steps 🏁 8.64 miles
DAY 14 TRAVEL TO HAKONE, HAKONE SHRINE 📍 Bombed to Shin-Osaka for an early shinkansen to Odawara; trained to Odawara to Hakone; dropped luggage off at ryokan, then bus to Motohakone; saw Hakone Shrine and Onshi-Hakone Park (as well as a segment of the actual Old Tokaido!); returned to ryokan for the night, where we were treated to a gorgeous 1:1 kaiseki from a Michelin-star chef, private hot spring onsen, and private in-room hot spring bath 🍣 Konbini snacks before shinkansen; snacks and coffee on train; late lunch in Motohakone (curry and soba, pork cutlet); incredible, massive multi-course kaiseki and sake for dinner, plus strawberry cake, champagne, and more sake for dessert 👣 13,900 steps 🏁 6.26 miles
DAY 15 HAKONE OPEN AIR MUSEUM, TRAVEL TO TOKYO, LAST NIGHT IN SHINJUKU 📍 Woke up in gorgeous ryokan; leisurely kaiseki breakfast with leftover cake; final soak in the private onsen; Hakone Open Air Museum - very cool; had kind of a challenging trip back but finally made it from Museum back to ryokan to bus stop to Hakone-Yumoto to Odawara to Shinjuku to the hotel 😮‍💨 Considering the last night as our real "last night" of the trip, our final night out in Tokyo was all just extra icing on the cake - went out for yakitori skewers and Asahi Superdrys in cozy alley in Omoide Yokocho, found really wonderful cake and tea dessert open late also in Omoide, hit up 🎵 Donki! 🎵 for a final round of bulk snacks and souvenirs, ended up on a late-night excursion to find Park Hyatt Hotel (featured in Lost in Translation); finished night at hotel watching the city go to sleep from our balcony 👣 22,700 steps 🏁 10.3 miles
FINAL SCORE 📸 Pics: 1,929 👣 Steps: 337,700 🏁 Miles: 153.78 (we averaged 9.6 miles per day, every day, for 16 days) 🇯🇵 “Nihongo jōzu!”: 4 (I know more proficient Japanese speakers are insulted, but it's honestly a pretty nice comment when you're at my level) 👶 Comments on how young we look/how we can’t possibly be celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary: 3 ✨ Gratitude: Infinite.
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2023.06.09 19:25 wannnabesaved from who used to be bright as the sun

It hurts me sometimes that even tho we’ve spent years in love, in a relationship, you never got to see me under a certain light, and I never got to see you that way too.
Walking around this city, I see places that I used to look at online when we were dreaming about this, and I remember how my heart was beating when I’d imagine you there embracing me and loving me in public where we finally can. For months I’ve been looking at couples in public and feel my heart aching. It doesn’t hurt as much now, but sometimes, only sometimes, it does.
I hate your apartment, I hate that part of town. I hate that i was with you in the place where you fell in love with me for the first time, and it didn’t affect you in any way. I hate that I looked at those walls, looked at my stuff in your place. Looked at your bed. At your clothes. And realised that this is not my “home” anymore. It was never my home I knew, but metaphorically speaking it was. Sometimes I lay in bed and close my eyes to try to remember just for a second how I felt when we cuddled when we slept next to each other the first night I was here.
I hate going on dates, they all seem so fascinated by me. They adore me, they’d do anything for me. Some guy was singing for 4 hours non-stop for me. Another girl wanted to make me a custom made dress after a 25 minutes date. And trust me I’ve tried driving them insane. I’ve tried acting weird and clingy so they’d leave, but they never did. I tried being distant, still never did. No matter what i do I’m stuck with the difficult decision to leave every time. This just makes me more sad that you never got to see me in that way. If these people who I had no real interest in were that enchanted. I wonder how you’d be, when you’re the only person who I loved truly.
And I hate how one day you’ll have a first date, and all those things that I wanted us to have but with someone else who’s not me. And trust me when I say, just the thought of this makes me physically sick. I had to take pain killers just to tolerate this.
I say loved not still love because im trying my best to move on. But this doesn’t make sense when we never got to live the relationship we were in for 2 years, not even for a day. Remember that day when we were out and it was just us? how we walked around that neighbourhood and laughed. We played music in the car, then when you finally took me home I wasn’t ready to let you go. So I asked you if we can play with your car’s screen. And although it only gave me 30 more minutes. I was happy that I pulled it off. I never told you this but, I didn’t hug you that night because I was thinking the whole way home about kissing you. But I couldn’t do it.
See I know I’m aggressive and mean sometimes. but it’s only cause I’m deeply afraid. It’s easier to tap into these kinds of emotions. And trust me, it’s so much harder to hug you sometimes. I wish you’d do something that would silence my mind. And I think im too dumb for writing this when we broke up over a year ago.
A year, remember when I told you “if we ever broke up, I’ll give you a year to come back and I’ll take you back”. This hurts. And I think you’re already with someone else. I mean, I’ve seen things. I’ve seen how you show her how the moon looked at the sky.
And I hate looking at the sky now, during the day I remember how you asked me to be yours and said “my darling who’s bright as the sun I’d say, be mine and I’ll forever lighten up your day”. If it’s not my day anymore. But I wish you well. Even tho it hurts me deeply. It hurts too much to know that you’re no longer mine, but it hurts even more to know that you’re someone else’s.
I couldn’t accept it, cause how can you just stop loving me. How can you just give up on me. How can you? I don’t know how you never stopped for a moment and thought that I was one hour away now and not a 6h flight away. I don’t know how you never randomly showed up at my place. I don’t know why we never got to live anything real. And it breaks my heart that I loved you so much way more than anyone else, but I’ll have more memories with them than you. You were only in my screen. And maybe if I never moved you’d still be with me. Maybe I pushed you away here. Maybe.
And maybe you didn’t text on my birthday because you didn’t wanna upset who I’m sure you’re seeing. But how did I go from being me, me…, to becoming the person you’re okay with losing.
If I can ask for anything, id ask you to show me the way. Show me how you were able to let go of a love like ours. how you got over me, me. And I don’t know why I keep repeating “me”. Maybe cause I think I must have meant to you what you meant to me. Or maybe not. But still, is what you’re doing now what I should do too? But how? When all my love have been used up on us.
Although I hate you sometimes for what you did, I still miss you deeply. It’s like I see you as 2 different people. I want you but I hate you at the same time. And this is so damn embarrassing, but I can’t even mention your name to people around me. Not even to myself sometimes. Please be happy.
Someone asked me today to be their girlfriend. I said no, they asked me to take some time to think about it. They know about us. And they’re okay with it. But it wouldn’t feel fair, but maybe I can love them later. isn’t that what you did? A year alone and no progress, I’ve had random stuff but those don’t count as I’ve never opened up or let them in. But maybe if I did just once, it would be easier. Weird that you won’t be my last relationship. It’s like we’re fading.
I promise you starting today, I’ll never write you any letter. I’ll never look at your pictures. I’ll never try to find you in some strangers’ letters here. Or try to find your car in the street. I promise you that I’ll move out of my flat early July and I’ll never tell you where I live. I’ll never listen to our song. I’ll never even say your name again or look at every S and C and think about you. But I wish that maybe sometimes, before you sleep, or during the day when you see something sweet and innocent that reminds you of me, the girl you once loved, you’d remember the love we had. And I also wish that one day you’ll stop seeing me as a monster, and instead you’ll think of me again as someone who you used to think that she’s “bright as sun”
Take care,
Goodbye forever this time. I’m letting you go. please always be happy. If I’ll ever hear anything about you by chance then I hope it’s something that’ll make me cry of happiness for you. I wish you all the luck that you can get. I wish you’d just be happy.
Take care again, please,
w, who used to be bight as the sun
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2023.06.09 19:11 StQuentinScar Doomsday VS Elmo (DC VS Sesame Street) - "The Best DEATH BATTLE! Idea Ever"

Doomsday VS Elmo (DC VS Sesame Street) - submitted by StQuentinScar to DeathBattleMatchups [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 19:04 kelti-o (Offer) Dungeons and Dragons, Super Mario Bros 4K, Bones and All Vudu, Babylon 4K, Flashdance 4K, Mad Max 2 4K, Mulan 1998 4K, Scream 5 2022, X-Men Trilogy MA, Waterworld, SONY BUFF PASS, My List (Requests) Renfield MA, Cocaine Bear MA, Evil Dead Rise MA anything I don't have and Your Offers/list

* I split all splitable codes; so, please ONLY redeem what we agree upon. Thanks in advance!
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101 Dalmations 1961 (GP)
Aladdin 1992 Animated (GP)
Aladdin Live Action (iTunes) (redeems 4K)
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Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas (MA) split
Minions (MA)
Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol (vudu split)
Mission Impossible Rogue Nation (Vudu split)
Mission Impossible Fallout (vudu split)
Monster High Electrified (MA)
Monster HIgh Fright ON (MA)
Monster High: Welcome to Monster High (MA)
Mother! (Vudu split)
Mr Peabody and Sherman (MA)
Nebraska (Vudu split)
Noah (vudu split)
Non Stop (MA)
No Strings Attached (VUDU split)
Oblivion (MA)
Office Christmas Party (VUDU) split
Only The Brave (MA)
Olympus Has Fallen (MA)
Pain and Gain (vudu split)
Paper Towns (MA) (redeems 4K through iTunes)
Paranormal Activity 1 (vudu split)
Paranormal Activity 2 unrated (Vudu split)
Paranormal Activity 3 extended (Vudu split)
Paranormal Activity 4 unrated (Vudu Split)
Parental Guidance (MA)
Penguins of Madagascar (MA)
Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters (MA)
Perks of Being A Wallflower (vudu)
Pitch Perfect 1 (MA)
Pitch Perfect 2 (MA)
Pitch Perfect 3 (MA)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (HD VUDU/4K iTunes)
Rango (VUDU split)
Red 2 (SD) (VUDU)
Ride Along (MA)
Rio 2 (MA)
R.I.P.D. (MA)
Rise of the Guardians (VUDU)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (MA) (redeems 4K through iTunes)
Runner, Runner (MA)
Safe House (MA)
Sausage Party (MA)
Scream 2022 (Vudu HD/iTunes 4K)
Selma (vudu split)
Sherlock Gnomes (Vudu split)
Silent Night, Deadly Night Collection 3,4,5 (Vudu)
Sing (MA)
Sisters (MA)
Snatched (MA) (redeems 4K through iTunes)
Snow White and the Huntsman (MA)
Son of God (MA)
Split (MA) 4K
Start Trek 4 The Voyage Home (VUDU HD/iTunes 4K)
Star Trek Beyond (Vudu split)
Star Trek Into Darkness (Vudu split)
Straight Outta Compton Dir Cut (MA split)
Suburbicon (Vudu split)
Super 8 (VUDU split)
Super Mario Bros Movie 2023 (MA 4K)
Taken 2 (MA)
Ted unrated (MA)
Ted 2 unrated (MA)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 (vudu split)
Terminator Dark Fate 4K (vudu split)
The Adventures of Tin Tin (Vudu split)
The Amazing Spiderman 2 (MA)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (MA)
The Big Short (VUDU split)
The Boss Baby (MA) (4K through iTunes)
The Boss Unrated (MA)
The Bourne Identity (MA)
The Bourne Legacy (MA)
The Bourne Supremacy (MA)
The Bourne Ultimatum (MA)
The Croods (MA)
The Dark Tower (MA)
The Dentist Collection 1,2 (Vudu)
The Dictator (VUDU split)
The Dilemma (MA)
The Fault in our Stars (MA) (redeems 4K through iTunes)
The Gambler (Vudu split)
The Girl On The Train (MA)
The Guilt Trip (Vudu split)
The Heat 2013 (MA)
The Impossible (Vudu)
The Internship (MA)
The Last Stand SD (Vudu split)
The Mummy 2017 (MA)
The Mummy Dragon of the Tomb Emporer (MA)
The Other Woman (MA)
The Purge 2013 (MA split)
The Purge: Election Year (MA) split
The Scorpion King 4 Quest For Power (MA) split
The Secret Life of Pets (MA)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (MA)
The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge out of Water (VUDU split)
The Wolf of Wallstreet (VUDU split)
The Wolverine Extended (MA)
This is 40 theatrical (MA)
Top Gun (vudu split)
Transformers Dark of the Moon (vudu split)
Transformers Age of Extinction (Vudu split)
Transformers The Last Knight (Vudu split)
Tremors A Cold Day in Hell (MA)
True Grit (VUDU split)
Turbo (MA)
Unbroken (MA)
Unfriended (MA)
Warcraft ( MA)
War For the Planet of the Apes (MA) (redeems 4K through iTunes)
Warm Bodies (VUDU split)
What to Expect When You're Expecting (vudu split)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Vudu split)
World War Z (Vudu split)
X-Men Days of Future Past (MA) (redeems 4K through iTunes)
X-Men Trilogy (One Code) (MA) (X-Men 2000, United, Last Stand)
XXX Return of Xander Cage (Vudu split)
TV SHOWS HD (Will trade for single movie)
Game of Thrones Season 2 (iTunes redeem)
Game of Thrones Season 3 (iTunes redeem)
ITUNES HD CODES unless otherwise stated
A Quiet Place (redeems 4K) Split
Alien Covenant (redeems 4K)
Alvin and the Chipmunks The Road Trip (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Anchorman 2 The Legend Continues (split)
Bad Grandpa Jackass Presents (split)
Ben Hur 2016 (split redeems 4K)
Captain Underpants The First Epic Movie (ports to MA)
Cowboys and Aliens (ports to MA)
Daddy's Home (split redeems 4K)
Daddy's Home 2 (split redeems 4K)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Deadpool (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Despicable Me 2 (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Diary of A Wimpy Kid (ports to MA)
Dredd (redeems 4K)
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (ports to MA)
Eddie the Eagle (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Exodus Gods and Kings (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Fast and Furious 6 extended 2013 (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Fifty Shades of Grey (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Friday the 13th Part 3
G I Joe Retaliation (split) (redeems 4K)
Hansel and Gretal Witch Hunters
Hercules 2014 (split redeems 4K)
Hidden Figures (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Home Alone (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Home Alone 2 (ports to MA)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas 2000 (ports to MA) (redeems 4K split)
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Hugo (Split redeems 4K)
Hunger Games (split redeems 4K)
Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 (split redeems 4K)
Ice Age (ports to MA)
Ice Age 5 Collision Course (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Identity Thief (ports to MA)
Independence Day Resurgence (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Interstellar (split redeems 4K)
Jack Reacher (split) (redeems 4K)
Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit (split redeems 4K)
Jason Bourne (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Jurassic World (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Keeping Up With The Joneses (porst to MA) (redeems 4K)
Kingsman The Secret Service (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Kingsman The Golden Circle (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Kung Fu Panda 3 (ports to MA)
Les Miserables 2012 (ports to MA)
Lets Be Cops (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Logan (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Lucy (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
MikE and Dave need Wedding Dates (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Minions (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol (split redeems 4K)
Mission Impossible Rogue Nation (split redeems 4K)
Mission Impossible Fallout (split redeems 4K)
Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Monster High 13 Wishes (ports to MA)
Monster High: Welcome to Monster High (ports to MA)
Mr Peabody and Sherman (ports to MA)
Nebraska (split)
Neighbors (ports to MA)
Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Noah (split)
Oblivion (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Office Christmas Party (redeems 4K)
Paranormal Activity 1 (split)
Paranormal Activity 2 (split)
Pitch Perfect 1 (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Pitch Perfect 2 (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Playing with Fire (redeems 4K)
Poltergeist 2015 Extended Cut (ports to MA)
Rise of the Planet of the apes (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Safe House (ports to MA)
Schindlers List (ports to MA) (redeems 4K) split
Selma (split)
Serenity 2005 (ports to MA)
Sisters unrated (ports to MA)
Snatched (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Snow White and the Huntsman (ports to MA)
Spectre (redeems 4K)
Spy unrated (ports to MA)
Star Trek Beyond (redeems 4K)
Star Trek Into Darkness (redeems 4K)
Super 8 (redeems 4K split)
Ted (ports to MA)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 (redeems 4K)
The Best Man Holiday (ports to MA)
The Big Short
The Book of Life (ports to MA)
The Boss Baby (ports to MA)
The Bourne Legacy (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
The BoxTrolls (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
The Change up (ports to MA)
The Fault In Our Stars (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
The Gambler (split)
The Last Stand (SD)
The Longest Ride (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
The Martian (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
The Maze Runner (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
The Maze Runner The Scorch Trials (ports to MA) (redeems 4k)
The Peanuts Movie (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (ports to MA)
The Secret Life of Pets (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
The SpongeBob Movie Sponge Out of Water (Split)
The Wolf of Wall Street (split redeems 4K)
Transformers Age of Extinction (split redeems 4K)
Transformers The Last Knight (split redeems 4K)
Trolls (ports to MA)
True Grit (redeems 4K)
Unbroken (ports to MA)
War for the Planet of the Apes (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Warm Bodies (split redeems 4K)
Waterworld (ports to MA split redeems 4K)
Wild 2014 (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
Why him (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
World War Z (split)
X-Men Apocalypse (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
X-Men Days of Future Past (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
X-Men Days of Future Past ROGUE CUT (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
X-Men First Class (ports to MA) (redeems 4K)
X-Men Origins Wolverine (ports to MA)
XXX Return of Xander Cage (redeems 4K)
ITUNES XML (SD) Redeems
A Nightmare On Elm Street 2010 (ports to MA)
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (ports to MA)
Alien vs Predator Requiem (ports to MA)
Alpha and Omega
Alvin and the Chipmunks The Movie (ports to MA)
Alvin and the Chipmunks The Squekeul (ports to MA)
Alvin and the Chipmunks Chip Wrecked (ports to MA)
Another Earth (ports to MA)
Arthur (ports to MA)
Babylon A.D. (ports to MA)
Black Swan (ports to MA)
Bridesmaids (ports to MA)
Chronicle (ports to MA)
Chronicles of Narnia Voyage of Dawn Treader (ports to MA)
Crank 2
Crazy Stupid Love (ports to MA)
Date Night (ports to MA)
Daybreakers
Diary of A Wimpy Kid (ports to MA)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Rodrick Rules (ports to MA)
Doc McStuffins Friendship is the best Medicine
Dr Deuss Horton Hears A Who (ports to MA)
Due Date (ports to MA)
E.T. (ports to MA)
Fame 2009
Family Guy It's A Trap
Family Guy Something Something Darkside
Final Destination 5 (ports to MA)
From Paris With Love
Hall Pass (ports to MA)
Hangover Part 2 (ports to MA)
Hall Pass (ports to MA)
Hereafter (ports to MA)
Hitman 2007 (ports to MA)
Horrible Bosses (ports to MA)
Ice Age A Mammoth Christmas (ports to MA)
Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs (ports to MA)
IMAX Hubble (ports to MA)
Jake and the Neverland Pirates Peter Pan Returns
Jumper (ports to MA)
Juno (ports to MA)
Kick-Ass
Knight and Day (ports to MA)
Love and Other Drugs (ports to MA)
Mamma Mia The Movie (ports to MA)
Marley and Me (ports to MA)
Mr Poppers Penguins (ports to MA)
My Bloody Valentine
Orphan (ports to MA)
Percy Jackson The lightning Thief (ports to MA)
Phineas and Ferb The Perry Files
Predators 2010 (ports to MA)
Prometheus (ports to MA)
Public Enemies (ports to MA)
Rio (ports to MA)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (ports to mA)
Robin Hood (russel crowe) (ports to MA)
Saw The Final Chapter
Secret of the Wings (ports to MA)
Something Borrowed (ports to MA)
Strawberry Shortcake Berry Bitty Mysteries (ports to MA)
Taken (ports to MA)
The A Team (ports to MA)
The Croods (ports to MA)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (keanu) (ports to MA)
The Descendants (Clooney) (ports to MA)
The Expendables
The Eye
The Forbidden Kingdom
The Help (ports to MA)
The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emporer (ports to MA)
The Sitter (ports to MA)
The Spirit
The Watch
The Means War (ports to MA)
Transporter 3
Unknown (ports to MA)
Unstoppable (ports to MA)
Wanted (ports to MA)
War Zone Punisher
We Bought a Zoo (ports to MA)
X-Men First Class (ports to mA)
X-Men Origins Wolverine (ports to MA)
X-Men 2000 (ports to MA)
X-Men United:X2 (ports to MA)
X-Men The last Stand (ports to MA)
Yogi Bear (ports to MA)
**ALL codes have been verified
MY ISO/Request list:
Cocaine Bear MA
Evil Dead Rise MA
Fast 10 MA
John Wick 4 iTunes
Magic Mikes Last Dance MA
Mummies 2023 MA
Renfield MA
Scream 6 iTunes
submitted by kelti-o to uvtrade [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 18:19 Freakskull Your take on "There are no stranger bedfellows than horror and humor"?

The module has an excellent primer on how to balance horror and humor, (quoted below for ease.)
I succeeded at this in a specific manner last session, and I want to share and hear more stories.
It was a massive battle with Illya Krezkov's hunger demon (thanks MandyMod and others) in the streets of Krezk. The party is a bunch of do-gooders, and are wincing every time a villager gets eaten. They are charging but too slow to stop the slaughter of a few.
The villagers of Krezk are doing their best to run away, and one couple stood out. It was a man and woman, presumably married. In the fray, the man pushed the woman down in front of him to distract the monster and make a clean run for it. The woman was not targeted that round, so thus began a mini-saga. Each round, after tense and bloody combat, I would provide an update of the couple's struggles, and how the coward got his comeuppance.
Most was just one liners that I made up on the spot, but it resonated well with the players, and really fit the groove of the horrohumor balance. I channeled my multiple divorces into some good banter between them, and even rolled unarmed combat rolls. In the end, the woman got the best of the deal, and walked off saying "consider this a divorce!"
I would love to hear your stories of blending humor and horror.

Humor
There are no stranger bedfellows than horror and humor. Tension can’t be sustained indefinitely, so a dash of humor provides a respite, giving horror a chance to sneak up on us later and catch us off guard. While humorous situations will occur naturally in the course of running the adventure, here are some tips for creating humor when needed:
Allow NPCs (even evil ones) to tell jokes, speak in a funny voice, or behave idiotically. Even morbid humor is better than none.
When a hero, villain, or monster rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, describe a humorous mishap that occurs as a result of the low roll, such as a character accidentally knocking over a lamp and setting some drapes on fire while trying to hide or move silently.

submitted by Freakskull to CurseofStrahd [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 16:12 Kairos_Meraki It's been nearly three years, I am still angry. I don't want to be so angry anymore.

This is a long read and has many trigger warnings - sexual assault, abuse, mention of drug use, murder threats, etc. This isn't a light Sunday read, and I am sorry because I wish it was. I honestly don't expect anyone to read this, I just needed a place to let go. This isn't all put together, its messy, there are grammatical errors I am sure. But it is 1:14am as I finish writing this, and for me right now I think it is a good start.
When I was nineteen, I reported my abuser after a nearly three year relationship that began when I was 17 and he was 23. The ages alone sound like an obvious recipe for disaster. I've been screamed at, assaulted; there was one night after a fight I laid down in our bed, our backs turned to each other, and he told me in detail about how he would murder me and what he would do to dispose of my body. I simply went to sleep. It's not that I didn't believe him, it's that I knew the only way I would ever get any sort of justice is if I was dead. I was so tired. It was a four year trial and I ended up being right, my case was thrown out the night before trial.
It was freeing and terrifying to report him, but I had a new apartment, I had new friends, and a month after the first report I would have a new boyfriend, Logan (fake name and I'm sorry to all the Logan's out there). I knew at the time I was getting into a relationship too quick, it was happening too fast, I wasn't ready. Most importantly, I wasn't healed. I didn't know how to say that I wasn't ready without hurting Logan, and I wanted to see where things would go with him, just not that fast. When things started getting more serious, maybe the third time seeing each other, I told Logan that I was in two court cases with my ex, I told him why, and I told him he didn't need to go through all that with someone he basically just met. I don't know if he took that as a challenge, maybe he just didn't understand how serious it was, but he told me he was determined to "make it work". After two weeks of dating he would say "I like you. I just really like you" over and over and I knew - I could feel there were other words he meant to say. He would keep pushing it to a point of discomfort and when I would try to change subject, not respond to each "I really like you" with the same enthusiasm or wording, he would get upset and become distant. We were both nineteen and it felt like I was dating someone who emotionally was fifteen, I would chock it up to him being homeschooled (or unschooled as he said) and not having a lot of socialization growing up, I just needed to be supportive I thought. When we were crossed a few days later, the "I love you"s began. To be honest, my first real 'adult' relationship I was groomed into. I didn't know how relationships worked and part of me thought this was natural or expected. The beginning with Logan was the same honeymoon rushing that I experienced with my ex, and instead of putting the thoughts together - I thought it was normal.
Then, about three months later, he raped me during a hurricane. We had gotten tattoos together the day before, and while they don't match, every time I look at the tattoo I remember. I remember not feeling safe in my apartment during the hurricane(this feeling ended up being right as the roof next door caved in). I remember agreeing to smoke. I remember saying yes at first then feeling too out of it, saying we should stop, and him asking for anal. I remember saying no. I said no. Then my body went limp. I don't know if there was something in the weed or if I had simply smoked too much. and he flipped me over.
he would start then stop. then start then stop. Each time he stopped he would call my name, shake my shoulder. I couldn't respond my body wouldn't work. I kept screaming no but the words wouldn't leave my mouth. He just kept going and I kept screaming knowing he wouldn't hear me.
After a while Logan stopped. He shook me, he gave me water, and I fully passed out. I came to a few moments later (I think) and all I could say was "you (hurt)* me". He laid on the floor, face down, and kept hitting his head into the floorboards. As if he expected me to comfort him. I was, I am, disgusted. I was in and out of consciousness for a while, and then was able to text my dad to pick me up. my dad drove through the hurricane to come get me. I was still in and out on the drive to my parents place and when I got home I fell into my childhood bed and passed out. It was about 3am the next day when I woke up. my sheets were covered in blood from the assault.
***(((I don't know how reddit works and if the word shadows the post)))
After a few days Logan came to my apartment to drop off my cat who had gotten stuck under the staircase and I couldn't get to him before I left. He handed me a letter, a letter I still have and have since given copies of to the police. He said nothing, passed me the letter and sat down looking away. I cried as I read it. cried out of betrayal, anger, devastation, embarrassment? It happened again. That's all I could think to myself. was that it happened again. I was back in that bed where my ex told me he would kill me, and this time with Logan I gave up just the same. I took him back. I wanted to forget about it but I never could. It was the background of all our arguments, it was washed down with as much liquor I could find, it was in every little action he did or thing he said and I hated him for it. I hated how he spoke. I hated how his lip curled when he laughed. So much of what he did disgusted me, even the most mundane things. And then there were other moments where he was that guy I first had started to fall for. I hated him for killing that guy.
He assaulted me two more times in our relationship. All of which I reported to police after each time they happened, but making sure there was a record only. I was still in my court case and didn't want another one, I just wanted a record in case I changed my mind there would proof that there was a history. If my relationship with abuse taught me one thing, it was how to survive in it. Though looking through old messages, I found texts where I accuse him of assaulting me when I was passed out drunk (he denied saying I initiated it so it wasn't assault) so maybe that counts too. Either way, excluding that point, the other assaults he would molest and grab me while I was asleep. I would wake up, cry, kick him out and threaten to call the cops and then get back together with him a week later because I was scared to be alone and I wanted so badly to be loved. I wanted to be loved so badly I didn't care if it was real or not.
It was our two year anniversary and we had booked a hotel room. Romantic getaway. I laid in Logan's arms sobbing about how he had again assaulted me just the day before, I kept begging to know why he kept doing this to me. He kept promising he would stop and then he would do it again months later, I kept begging to know why I was worth so little when he claimed to love me. Logan laid there, face as cold and empty as stone. He then suggested we break up, not because he was hurting me, but because he "didn't want to be with someone who made him feel like a bad person". Exact quote.
I both know what was going on in my head, and now looking back, I don't understand. I begged him not to. I told him I would treat him better, that I just wanted to know why and I just wanted the hurt to stop. Honestly at the time I was so completely broken. I was scared of being alone and I was scared that my abuser would be right. My ex, who I was still in a court case with, said to me once, "this is why nobody loves you and why all your boyfriends will abuse you". I didn't want everyone I love to abuse me, and I denied denied denied that I was in an abusive relationship with Logan. He wasn't violent, he wouldn't throw things. He would rarely even scream at me. I wanted it to not be true so badly I was blinded that it already was.
We broke up six months later, because he was washing a spoon with his fingers and I laughed at not using a sponge or clothe. he got offended, saying he knows how to wash dishes, I apologized saying I was only joking. Then my roommate who, before moving in together I considered my best friend came into the kitchen and began slamming cabinet doors. After my ex, this triggered my PTSD so I excused myself and went to lie down. I know this wasn't her intent, and I hope still she didn't take my reaction personally, she was just upset and that's how it came out. My eyes were closed as I was laying in bed, I didn't even know Logan had entered the room until he grabbed me. At this point I began hyperventilating and said "I thought you were (exs name)" before my attack began getting so bad I could no longer breathe. PTSD is hard for everyone, both the person suffering and loved ones. After my attack he broke up with me, specifying it wasn't because I was having an attack but because I had thought he was my abuser.
I still didn't fully realize at the time Logan was one.
It would take three weeks for us to officially break up. I had found out I was pregnant, making a shitty situation worse. I booked two appointments, first the ultrasound then the abortion. It was too much doing it all at once and spreading it out, giving myself time to breathe...it made sense at the time. Logan picked me up from the ultrasound because I didn't want him there with me. We were breaking up, I wanted to do it alone. I didn't want to depend on the guy who had hurt me so much yet who I still somehow loved so much. I didn't want to depend on him for support anymore, I think I was trying to get myself back and doing a hard thing alone felt like the way to do it. After he picked me up from the ultrasound and went home, his roommates told him they thought I was faking the pregnancy, in part suggesting because of the disabilities I have/had as a result of my trauma that I would try to fake baby trap him. I cannot put into words how disgusted I am with anyone who fakes a pregnancy - let alone the suggestion I was doing so because I have a disorder that means I feel emotions more intensely. Its disgusting and pathetic. I know I was scared of being alone, of being unloved; I could never and would never do something so traumatizing and abusive in itself to trick someone into staying with me. If someone doesn't want to stay I don't understand why you would force them to. Part of the accusation was that because I didn't want him to attend the ultrasound with me, this meant it was fake. He dismissed and disregarded anything I tried to say about how we were breaking up and I didn't mean to be unfair I was just trying to make it less hard for us both. Looking back I can see how this was weird to him, but this was the only ""evidence"" he had that I was "lying" about the pregnancy. I showed him the test and offered to show him medical records - he denied. This accusation, alongside losing my best friend and roommate alongside my boyfriend in a horrific manner but nonetheless a story for another time; I legitimately had a psychotic breakdown. Years of assaults, accusations, and that's just the tip (because hold on its about to get worse) - I completely spiralled. It began by not being able to function. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't speak. I laid in bed and stared at a wall. I heard voices and saw shadows that weren't there. I hid under the covers when hallucinations of a connected humanoid mass of my abusers would walk down the hall and sit at the foot of my bed. For two weeks that's all I did. I didn't even realize I had missed the appointment for my abortion.
A few days after my missed appointment, I woke up around midnight with the worst pains and cramps I can describe. It was so bad I began puking. Then the bleeding started.
The nurses at the triage were nice. I can't imagine the mess they saw as I walked into the emergency room, my taxi driver helping me walk. I didn't want a baby, especially not with Logan and I know I had already setup the abortion but I was so unbelievably scared. I was alone in that hospital room and I was so scared, for the first time I was scared for the pregnancy too. In my delirium I began referring to the pregnancy as 'her', not that I wanted to have her or even could, but just incredibly devested about everything. The nurses got me a wheel chair and a warm blanket, and one held my hand while we sat in a separate room waiting for a doctor until an emergency called her away. I was sitting alone and pathetically, desperately, I called Logan. He was silent on the other end as I told him through tears what was going on, I apologized the entire time and again offered to give him the medical records to at least prove I wasn't lying. That I wouldn't lie about this. That we didn't need to be in each others lives in anyway but to at least clear my name from the lie that he, months later, would go on to convince all our friends and even people I don't know, was true. To this day (three years later) I sometimes get messages on facebook from strangers telling me what an awful person I am for lying. But I didn't lie. When I was done telling him, he said "is that it?" to which I confirmed it was and he hung up. The last text he sent me was a screenshot of his tinder account, and then I was blocked on all platforms. I later would have to communicate to his roommate to drop off his things, a box with his birthday gift and a letter, much like he had first given me years ago, apologizing, wishing him well, offering medical records, and with love to the part of him that I still cared for.
The doctor came in, she did the exams and bloodwork, then when she was finished she came back and held my hand. She told me what I already knew, adding that the pregnancy was not strong enough to last full term and it wasn't my fault, just the cards I was dealt. Nothing felt real. It was like I was watching my life on this giant screen that covered my vision yet no matter how much I blinked or tried to pull away from it the screen would not shut off.
I walked home a few hours later. It felt surreal. It was still dark out and the street lamps were highlighting the snow as it fell. Outside was quiet, soft. A different world than the one I left in that hospital. A different world entirely to the one in that relationship. Outside was gentle, despite the snow and ice it felt warm. Still sobbing, I called my mom. I was waking her up and all I could say was that I just left the hospital after having a miscarriage. She knows that part of the story, but to this day I haven't told her what else Logan had done to me. I hold some guilt in her not knowing, and while I know she would still support me with nothing but love, I feel embarrassed telling her it happened again.
After the depression wore off, the full psychosis began. I was putting myself into dangerous situations, hooking up without protection with men I don't know, drunkenly wandering around the city late at night hoping someone would try to do something to me so I had a good justification to get in a fight. I wanted to feel my knuckles bleed, hoping if I bled the anger would leave my body too. This was the early winter months of 2021, and by summer I started to be okay again. Me and my sister moved into a new apartment, it was right besides the granary so early in the morning trucks would be loud outside my window, waking me up at 5am when I had gone to bed at 3. But you should have seen what the sky looked like from our sunroom. Sometimes birds would hop onto our balcony and look in at us, my cats watching them too in amusement. I started to heal in the summer. I always used how hot and sticky the days were, how the heat clung to my skin. I needed to mourn and I needed to learn how to love life, and I think that's what the summer is for now. The sun is warm and the birds are singing, its the perfect time I think. I started learning to love myself, instead of the danger or the hookups or the drugs I was at the beach collecting shells with new friends, friends Logan couldn't share false histories with. I was exploring abandoned buildings. I was giving piggy back rides to the girls that got a little to drunk while we were all out. I was painting and doing yoga at sunrise and come sunset I was playing guitar on my balcony. In the evenings I would be stealing bites from dinner my sister made, wishing I knew where she got the talent.
Then I met Chris, and I am so thankful to know someone who has grown with me and has not only loved me but has genuinely valued me. I've never felt so safe as I do with him, and I didn't know if life, in all of her mysteries and all of my past pains, would ever allow someone so beautiful to stumble into the rebuilt ruins of my life to simply hold me. I'm eternally grateful.
I am grateful for my mom, who has always supported me and put me first, and for my sister who first showed me there is more than kicking the ruins of a fallen world. Me and my dad...I grew up in a very loving, but a very aggressive and loud household. Mine and my fathers relationship carries the weight of that, we aren't huge talkers with each other. I am so grateful that his love for me goes beyond what he says in words.
A lot of time has passed, and I have worked really hard to forgive myself. For staying, for failing to love or to value myself, for begging, for giving up for so long. That person I was feels so distant now that I don't recognize her when I look in the mirror. I did for a while, but now all I see is me. I am still angry sometimes. Other times I am really sad, I cried the entire time writing this. But I want to let it go, I deserve to let it go. I honestly couldn't tell you why I thought reddit of all places was the place to do so, I think part of it is for the anonymity; though any of my friends who know even a little bit will surely recognize parts this story. I have never once shared it in full, and if you've made it this far, I'm thankful and I'm sorry. It's a really hard story I think, to both write and read, but I think the ending is getting a little happier. Slowly. I have been holding onto a lot of pain, to a lot of hurt, and a lot of anger. Sharing with you, I hope that means I can let some of it go.
I love you, and I hope you can enjoy the sun today.
submitted by Kairos_Meraki to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 13:07 Gotham_Fan [QCrit] Adult Horror, Clarette (60K, 1st attempt)

Dear Agent,
Clarette is a doll made by a witch to be pure and good. Unfortunately for the bad people of the world, Clarette takes these qualities to the extreme. Instinctively hating all kinds of cockroaches, she slaughters those she deems wicked. When she massacres seventeen-year-old Summer's best friends, she unknowingly sets the popular highschooler down a path of vengeance.
Cleaning up the streets, from pedophiles to muggers, Clarette embraces the lifestyle of a murderous vigilante. One day she catches wind of a certain vengeful teenager electrocuting innocents with otherworldly powers. Clarette has no choice but to end her too. If she doesn't, who knows how many will fall before the monster she helped create.
CLARETTE is my debut horror novel, complete at 60,000 words. The book combines the fast pace of the Halloween Kills novel by Tim Waggoner with the dark humor and supernatural elements found in Don Mancini’s Chucky TV series. My story is told from multiple perspectives: those of the villains as well as Clarette.
[biography]
As per your guidelines, I've attached the synopsis and x chapters.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Gotham_Fan
[contact info]
submitted by Gotham_Fan to PubTips [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 12:42 dogsnapples My dog bit a stranger

My dog bit someone. I feel like I’m in a nightmare and that I’ll somehow wake up and it won’t be real, but it is.
We moved to a new house several months ago and yesterday I was practicing loose leash walking and “focus” near my house. A woman approached walking her dog and I moved out of the street to let her pass. My dog rapidly approached his threshold and just couldn’t pay attention to me anymore - he was straining at the leash, lunging at them, etc.
The woman asked if the dogs could meet and I said “no, he’s not friendly.” She looked at me like I was nuts so I repeated that he’s not friendly and added that he has a lot of anxiety and really struggles with being restrained on a leash, so it’s not a good idea for the dogs to meet. She then started approaching and said “I’ll just pet him then.” This is where I wish I would have screamed, yelled at her, or done something but I froze like a deer in headlights as she walked closer and started petting my dog. He snapped once in warning and then delivered a serious bite to her hand with multiple puncture wounds. It all happened extremely quickly. She went to the ER and will likely need stitches. I’m waiting to hear an update from her.
I have a baby who my dog has never been fully comfortable with (we typically keep them separated) and who is now beginning to walk. I know I can’t keep him now that I know he will resort to biting. I am calling both his behaviorist and his fear-free vet who has worked with us a lot on his anxiety today. I’m not sure he can be responsibly rehomed, and I am dreading considering behavioral anesthesia.
He is my best buddy and I got him as a puppy just as the pandemic started. He has always been extremely anxious. I worked really hard to try to socialize him during the critical period (taking him to distanced classes so he could work next to other dogs, taking him out in the neighborhood to see people walking, etc.) but he didn’t get to do all the things I would normally have done with a puppy because it was March 2020. I started realizing he had really serious issues with reactivity toward people around August 2021, and since then I have spent thousands of dollars and countless hours of training with professionals. He is an incredibly smart and sweet (but still anxious) dog inside the house and I love him very much.
I am absolutely heartbroken and I feel like I have failed my dog. I feel like there must be something more I could do/could have done with him to help him and avoid this scenario. I guess I am just looking for any advice or support you can offer. Please be gentle.
submitted by dogsnapples to reactivedogs [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 12:35 Sbaker444 [USA-FL][H] GameCube, SNES, Gameboy, GBC,GBA, ps1-ps5, N64, DS, 3ds, Switch, Pokemon, Consoles, and More [W] Sonic Frontiers Switch, Jedi Survivor XBX, GB, GBC, GBA

Hey all. I'm getting a bunch of comments on my post that I'm responding to and then not hearing anything back.
Have:
System Title Condition
GameCube Paper Mario Thousand Year Door Best Seller Black Label CIB with Strategy Guide
Gamecube Metroid Prime CIB
Gamecube Turok Evolution CIB
GameCube Nintendo GameCube Preview Disc CIB
GameCube Sims Bustin Out CIB
Gamecube Tak 2 No Manual
Gamecube Batman Vengeance No Manual
Gamecube SpongeBob SquarePants Creature from the Krusty Crab No Manual
Gamecube Legend of Zelda Windwaker No manual faded cover art
Gamecube Metroid Prime Disc only
Gamecube Crash NitroCart Disc only
Gamecube Medal of Honor Disc only
GameCube Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess Strategy Guide Very good condition
SNES System with 2 Controllers Good condition
SNES Killer Instinct Cart only
SNES Ms. Pacman Cart only
SNES Mario Kart PC Cart only
SNES Super Gameboy Cart only
SNES Quick Shot Arcade Controller x2 Good condition
N64 Battle Tanx Global Assault Cart only
N64 Cruis'N World Cart only
Gameboy Pokemon Red Cart only
Gameboy Pokemon Blue Cart only
Gameboy Qix Cart only
Gameboy Tetris Cart only
Gameboy Donkey Kong Land Cart only
Gameboy Color Pokemon Gold Cart only
Gameboy Color WarioLand II Cart only some fading on label
Gameboy Advance Sonic Advance Cart only
Gameboy Advance Sonic Advance 2 Cart only
Gameboy Advance Sonic Advance 3 Cart only
Gameboy Advance Megaman Battle Network 6 Cybeast Gregar Cart only
Gameboy Advance Sims Bustin Out Cart only
Gameboy Advance Pacman Collection Cart only
Gameboy Advance Yu-Gi-Oh 7 Trials to Glory Cart only
Gameboy Advance Yu-Gi-Oh Destiny Board Trader Cart only
Gameboy Advance Sonic X GBA V was Video Cart only
Gameboy Advance Fairly Odd Parents Vol 1 GBA Video Cart only
Wii We Sing 80s sealed
Wii Super Paper Mario CIB
Wii Donkey Kong Country Returns CIB
Wii Sonic Colors CIB
Wii Mario Galaxy CIB
Wii Mario Power Tennis CIB
Wii Kirby's Epic Yarn CIB
Wii Wii Sports CIB
Wii Wii Sports No manual
Wii Dragon Quest Swords No manual
Wii House of the Dead 2 & 3 disc only
Wii U Mario Party 10 CIB
Wii U Yoshis Wooly World CIB
Wii U Monster High New Ghoul at School CIB
Wii U Lego Hobbit CIB
Wii U Smurfs 2 CIB
Wii U Pacman and the Ghostly Adventures CIB
DS Tetris DS CIB
DS Space Invaders Extreme CIB
DS Plants vs Zombies CIB
DS Crash Mind over Mutant Cart only
DS Elite Beat Agents Cart only
DS Cooking Mama 3 Cart only
DS Guitar Hero On Tour Cart only
DS Guitar Hero On Tour Decades Cart only
DS Guitar Hero On Tour Attachment
DS Yu-Gi-Oh Nightmare Troubadour Cart only
3ds Super Mario 3D Land Sealed
3ds 3ds XL Silver Mario & Luigi System Modded with Games
3ds New Super Mario Bros 2 CIB
3ds Mario & Luigi Dream Team CIB
3ds Super Mario Maker CIB
3ds Sims 3 CIB
3ds Donkey Kong Country Returns 3d CIB
3ds Donkey Kong Country Returns 3d NS CIB
3ds Ultimate NES Remix CIB
3ds Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon NS CIB
3ds Hyrule Warriors Legends CIB
3ds Super Smash Bros CIB
3ds Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask CIB
3ds Captain Toad Treasure Tracker Cart only
3ds Animal Crossing New Leaf Cart only
3ds Donkey Kong Country Returns Cart only
3ds Nintendogs + Cats Cart only
3ds Lego Star Wars III Cart only
3ds Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Cart only
3ds Legend of Zelda Link Between Worlds Cart only
Switch Dark Blue Switch Lite Console Includes Box
Switch Octopath Traveler 2 sealed
Switch MegaMan Zero/ZX Collection sealed
Switch Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild CIB
Switch Pokemon Shining Pearl CIB
Switch Pokemon Brilliant Diamond CIB
Switch New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe CIB
Switch Paper Mario Origami King CIB
Switch Animal Crossing New Horizon CIB
Switch Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle CIB
Switch Splatoon 2 CIB
Switch Bravely Default 2 CIB
Switch Diablo III CIB
Switch Ring Fit Adventure CIB
Switch My Hero Ones Justice 2 CIB
Switch Persona 5 Strikers CIB
Switch Cars 3 Driven to Win CIB
Switch Rayman Legends CIB
Switch Star Wars Pinball CIB
Switch Final Fantasy X/X2 CIB
Switch Lego Worlds CIB
Switch L.O.L Surprise ReMix We Rule the World CIB Includes Collectible Charm
Switch Disney Classic Games Aladdin and Lion King CIB
Switch Super Mario 3D All Stars Cart only
Switch Cobra Kai Cart Only
Switch Hello Neighbor Cart only
Switch Pokken Tournament DX Cart only
Ps1 Thrasher Skate and Destroy CIB
Ps1 Resident Evil 3 Nemesis disc only
Ps1 Dino Crisis disc only
Ps2 Grand Theft Auto Vice City CIB
Ps2 Grand Theft Auto Vice City GH CIB
Ps2 Grand Theft Auto San Andreas GH CIB
Ps2 Naruto Ultimate Ninja 2 CIB
Ps2 Snoopy vs the Red Baron CIB
Ps2 Nana JPN Import/CIB but faded
PS4 Godzilla CIB
PS4 Berserk and the Band of the Hawk CIB
PS4 Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 CIB
PS4 Uncharted 4 Sealed
PS5 Elden Ring CIB
PS5 Spiderman Miles Morales CIB
PS5 Lego Star Wars Skywalker Saga CIB
PSP PSP 2001 system good condition
PSP Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary sealed
PSP Monster Hunter Freedom CIB
PSP God of War Chains of Olympus CIB
PSP God of War Chains of Olympus GH CIB
PSP Final Fantasy Tactics War of the Lions CIB
PSP Final Fantasy Crisis Core GH CIB
PSP Star Wars Force Unleashed CIB
PSP Tekken Dark Resurrection CIB
PSP Final Fantasy Crisis Core Disc only
PSP NBA Street Showdown Disc only
PSP Blitz Overtime Disc only
PSP Marvel Nemesis Rise of the Imperfects Disc only
PSP Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories Disc only
PSP Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories GH Disc only
PSP Atari Classics Evolved Disc only
PSP Patapon 2 Disc only
PSP Sega Genesis Collection Disc only
PSP Midway Arcade Treasures Extended Play Disc only
PSP Space Invaders Extreme Disc only
PS Vita Lego Marvel Super Heroes Universe in Peril no manual
PS Vita Lego Batman 2 Cart only
PS Vita Little Big Planet Cart only
Wants:
Mostly collect handheld so let me see your lists of Gameboy, GBC, GBA, and Game Gear.
System Title Condition
Switch Sonic Frontiers CIB
XBX Jedi Survivor CIB
Gameboy Castlevania II Cart only
Gameboy Castlevania Legends Cart only
Gameboy Darkwing Duck Cart only
Gameboy Donkey Kong Cart only
Gameboy Gargoyles Quest Cart only
Gameboy Golf Cart only
Gameboy Kirby's Block Ball Cart only
Gameboy Kirby Star Stacker Cart only
Gameboy Mario Picross Cart only
Gameboy MegaMan II Cart only
Gameboy Color Game and Watch Gallery II Cart only
Gameboy Color Game and Watch Gallery III Cart only
Gameboy Color Mario Tennis Cart only
Gameboy Advance Classic NES Metroid Cart only
Gameboy Advance Contra Advance Cart only
Gameboy Advance Earthworm Jim Cart only
Gameboy Advance Fire Emblem Cart only
Gameboy Advance Metal Slug Advance Cart only
Gameboy Advance Metroid Zero Mission Cart only
Gameboy Advance TMNT Cart only
Gameboy Advance WarioWare Twisted Cart Only
Game Gear Earthworm Jim Cart only
submitted by Sbaker444 to gameswap [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 12:30 FappidyDat [H] TF2 Keys & PayPal [W] Pixel Pride

Notes:
 
I pay with the following:
TF2 & PayPal
 
I Buy Pixel Pride Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Celeste 1.5 TF2 Price Will Be Ready Soon $2.92 PP Price Will Be Ready Soon
All Games Above (Special) 1.7 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games Bundle Price Will Be Ready Soon $3.34 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games Bundle Price Will Be Ready Soon
Full Bundle (Special) TBD TBD
I Buy Humble Choice (Jun 2023) with TF2 with PayPal
Curse of the Dead Gods 0.7 TF2 Price Will Be Ready Soon $1.4 PP Price Will Be Ready Soon
Ghostwire Tokyo 2.1 TF2 Price Will Be Ready Soon $4.15 PP Price Will Be Ready Soon
GRIME 0.4 TF2 Price Will Be Ready Soon $0.83 PP Price Will Be Ready Soon
Remnant: From the Ashes - Complete Edition 1.9 TF2 Price Will Be Ready Soon $3.77 PP Price Will Be Ready Soon
All Games Above (Special) 5.8 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games Bundle Price Will Be Ready Soon $11.6 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games Bundle Price Will Be Ready Soon
Full Bundle (Special) 6.78 TF2 $13.5 PP
I Buy Must-Play Metroidvanias Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Blasphemous 1.0 TF2 $1.9 PayPal
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 1.4 TF2 $2.71 PayPal
Hollow Knight 2.5 TF2 $4.93 PayPal
Rain World 0.8 TF2 $1.69 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 6.4 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $12.83 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) 8.29 TF2 $16.5 PP
I Buy Luck of the Draw: Roguelike Deckbuilders Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Dicey Dungeons 1.2 TF2 $2.43 PayPal
Luck be a Landlord 1.0 TF2 $1.91 PayPal
Alina of the Arena 2.1 TF2 $4.23 PayPal
Chrono Ark 2.8 TF2 $5.56 PayPal
Tainted Grail: Conquest 3.8 TF2 $7.56 PayPal
Fights in Tight Spaces 6.0 TF2 $11.88 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 12.5 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $24.81 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) 12.57 TF2 $25.01 PP
I Buy May Multiplayer Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Generation Zero® 0.8 TF2 $1.55 PayPal
Northgard 1.2 TF2 $2.38 PayPal
Borderlands 3 Super Deluxe Edition 2.4 TF2 $4.85 PayPal
Destiny 2: Beyond Light 1.2 TF2 $2.34 PayPal
PULSAR: Lost Colony 0.3 TF2 $0.59 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 6.7 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $13.38 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) 6.92 TF2 $13.78 PP
I Buy Capcom Heroic Collection Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Mega Man Legacy Collection 0.4 TF2 $0.79 PayPal
Dragons Dogma - Dark Arisen 1.0 TF2 $2.07 PayPal
Mega Man 11 1.7 TF2 $3.35 PayPal
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 0.6 TF2 $1.25 PayPal
MONSTER HUNTER RISE 4.2 TF2 $8.41 PayPal
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection 2.4 TF2 $4.77 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 11.9 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $23.59 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) TBD TBD
I Buy Easy-Going Games: White Thorn Games Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
APICO 2.3 TF2 $4.61 PayPal
Lake 0.6 TF2 $1.11 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 3.3 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $6.54 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) TBD TBD
I Buy Feel The Rhythm Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
No Straight Roads: Encore Edition 1.3 TF2 $2.63 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 1.5 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $3.01 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) TBD TBD
I Buy Humble Choice (May 2023) with TF2 with PayPal
Bendy and the Dark Revival 0.2 TF2 $0.48 PayPal
Builder Simulator 0.3 TF2 $0.55 PayPal
Operation: Tango 0.3 TF2 $0.66 PayPal
Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate - Daemonhunters 2.0 TF2 $3.89 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 3.2 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $6.38 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) TBD TBD
I Buy Striking Soulslikes Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Salt and Sanctuary 1.1 TF2 $2.14 PayPal
Blade of Darkness 1.1 TF2 $2.23 PayPal
Mortal Shell 1.4 TF2 $2.72 PayPal
Aeterna Noctis 1.5 TF2 $2.91 PayPal
Loot River 2.9 TF2 $5.76 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 9.1 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $18.01 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) TBD TBD
I Buy Fight 4 Your Friends Co-Op Shooters Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Warhammer: Vermintide 2 0.7 TF2 $1.44 PayPal
Zombie Army Trilogy 0.5 TF2 $0.97 PayPal
Back 4 Blood 2.8 TF2 $5.49 PayPal
Zombie Army 4: Dead War 1.8 TF2 $3.64 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 6.6 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $13.19 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) 8.29 TF2 $16.5 PP
I Buy In Your Face VR Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Vertigo Remastered 0.4 TF2 $0.8 PayPal
Into the Radius VR 3.3 TF2 $6.6 PayPal
Wanderer 1.1 TF2 $2.16 PayPal
Zenith MMO 2.2 TF2 $4.32 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 8.0 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $15.86 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) TBD TBD
I Buy Humble Choice (Apr 2023) with TF2 with PayPal
Aliens: Fireteam Elite 1.0 TF2 $1.92 PayPal
DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR'S CUT 3.0 TF2 $5.89 PayPal
Life is Strange 2 Complete Season 0.7 TF2 $1.43 PayPal
Rollerdrome 0.3 TF2 $0.57 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 5.6 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $11.21 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) 6.78 TF2 $13.5 PP
I Buy Best of Boomer Shooters: Bigger and Boomier Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Forgive me Father 0.3 TF2 $0.6 PayPal
WRATH: Aeon of Ruin 0.3 TF2 $0.5 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 0.6 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $1.26 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) TBD TBD
I Buy Scary Games to Play in the Dark Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Labyrinthine 1.8 TF2 $3.54 PayPal
Propnight 0.7 TF2 $1.37 PayPal
The Blackout Club 0.6 TF2 $1.11 PayPal
The Mortuary Assistant 2.4 TF2 $4.77 PayPal
SCP: Pandemic 2.4 TF2 $4.85 PayPal
Visage 2.9 TF2 $5.83 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 11.2 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $22.23 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) 11.27 TF2 $22.43 PP
I Buy Humble Heroines: Warriors, Dreamers, and God Slayers with TF2 with PayPal
Control Ultimate Edition 1.9 TF2 $3.86 PayPal
Dreamscaper 0.2 TF2 $0.47 PayPal
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice 1.4 TF2 $2.86 PayPal
Praey for the Gods 0.5 TF2 $0.9 PayPal
Sable 0.3 TF2 $0.61 PayPal
Syberia: The World Before 1.1 TF2 $2.25 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 6.3 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $12.51 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) 8.29 TF2 $16.5 PP
I Buy Humble Choice (Mar 2023) with TF2 with PayPal
BIOMUTANT 1.5 TF2 $2.91 PayPal
Hero's Hour 0.3 TF2 $0.61 PayPal
Jurassic World Evolution 2 2.2 TF2 $4.4 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 4.5 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $9.05 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) TBD TBD
I Buy Türkiye-Syria Earthquake Relief Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
PAYDAY 2 0.5 TF2 $0.91 PayPal
Pathfinder: Kingmaker - Enhanced Plus Edition 0.6 TF2 $1.24 PayPal
Mount & Blade: Warband 0.8 TF2 $1.56 PayPal
XCOM 2 0.4 TF2 $0.76 PayPal
Strange Brigade 0.5 TF2 $0.9 PayPal
Stick Fight: The Game 0.6 TF2 $1.27 PayPal
Farming Simulator 17 0.6 TF2 $1.11 PayPal
Euro Truck Simulator 2 1.7 TF2 $3.37 PayPal
Armello 0.3 TF2 $0.69 PayPal
Gotham Knights 5.4 TF2 $10.84 PayPal
Ghostrunner 1.8 TF2 $3.64 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 15.1 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $30.05 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) TBD TBD
I Buy Unparalleled Puzzlers Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Baba Is You 1.5 TF2 $3.06 PayPal
Creaks 0.2 TF2 $0.46 PayPal
DARQ: Complete Edition 0.2 TF2 $0.36 PayPal
Dorfromantik 2.0 TF2 $4.0 PayPal
The Last Campfire 0.3 TF2 $0.68 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 4.9 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $9.78 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) 5.78 TF2 $11.5 PP
I Buy Humble Choice (Feb 2023) with TF2 with PayPal
Fallout 76 2.2 TF2 $4.32 PayPal
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous 1.4 TF2 $2.79 PayPal
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales 0.3 TF2 $0.55 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 4.4 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $8.75 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) TBD TBD
I Buy Sim-ple Life Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Garden Paws 1.0 TF2 $2.0 PayPal
Lake 0.6 TF2 $1.11 PayPal
Staxel 0.6 TF2 $1.11 PayPal
Summer in Mara 0.5 TF2 $1.04 PayPal
Townscaper 0.6 TF2 $1.19 PayPal
Winkeltje: The Little Shop 1.0 TF2 $2.08 PayPal
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles 1.3 TF2 $2.66 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 6.0 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $11.9 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) 6.08 TF2 $12.1 PP
I Buy Survival Instinct Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Chernobylite Enhanced Edition 1.0 TF2 $1.92 PayPal
The Long Dark: Survival Edition 0.5 TF2 $0.9 PayPal
SCUM 3.4 TF2 $6.86 PayPal
State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition 3.1 TF2 $6.21 PayPal
Volcanoids 1.4 TF2 $2.82 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 9.2 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $18.35 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) 9.42 TF2 $18.75 PP
I Buy In Case You Missed It: Gems of 2022 Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
PowerSlave Exhumed 1.4 TF2 $2.74 PayPal
Source of Madness 0.6 TF2 $1.12 PayPal
Supraland Six Inches Under 1.1 TF2 $2.23 PayPal
ZERO Sievert 5.3 TF2 $10.57 PayPal
Prehistoric Kingdom 1.3 TF2 $2.51 PayPal
All Games Above (Special) 11.0 TF2 + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games $21.91 PP + You Keep Any Remaining Bundle Games
Full Bundle (Special) TBD TBD
I Buy Fighting Farmers Bundle with TF2 with PayPal
Forager 1.1 TF2 $2.25 PayPal
Kitaria Fables 0.4 TF2 $0.75 PayPal
Stranded Sails - Explorers of the Cursed Islands 0.3 TF2 $0.58 PayPal
Len's Island 4.1 TF2 $8.16 PayPal
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2023.06.09 11:09 ForFriendSeach [18] - Looking to connect with that "somebody"

[To not waste anyone's time: I prefer people between the ages of 17-24. Though the closer you are my actual age, the better. Looking for e-penpals only! I'm mainly interested in video games (JRPGs) and seldom watch anime, and I'd hope for you to have similar interests as well. I'm quite depressed, have identity issues and probably a Fearful-Avoidant Attachment Style to top it all up. Two years ago, I suspected I might even have a BPD. If any second thoughts arose while reading this, I recommend you to back down and continue your day as normal. Thank you.]
[Warning! Includes topics that some people might be sensitive to. Contains negativity as well. Please, stay safe.]
.
.
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Lately, there has been a scarcity in days when I've felt content with own life. Future seems blank despite me having clear plans for further study, and a career dream. My hobbies and interests don't inspire me enough to act, and when they actually do I feel restless doing them. I let plates, garbage and clothes pile up in my room which is kind of revolting. My academic performance has suffered as well, and I've never loathed myself as much as I do nowadays.
What absolutely is the cherry on top for me though, are the feelings of meaninglessness, emptiness and loneliness that wash over me from time to time, a bit too regularly for my liking. Everything just feels so superficial, pointless, uninspiring and dull.
I have no friends. The interpersonal relationships that do exist in my life, I deem too shallow and meaningless. Yet I have no intention to try and deepen my bonds since I don't think the people would be worth all the hassle. Other humans rarely interest me which makes me feel very ridiculous, illogical and arrogant, since I'm a hugeeeee bore myself, that devil of a person to mumble a few word d r y and g e n e r i c responses and have that ('-') expression slapped on my face as a default with never anything exciting to contribute with in conversations. Yet I particularly crave to connect with the kind of people who are way out of my league.
Daydreaming is my way of coping with my unideal life, unideal past, unideal memories and my unideal self. My life has been the opposite of the ideal life I envisioned for myself, and sometimes I wish I could just get a new beginning, as a completely different person. It tires me to think how much I need to change myself in this life. Sometimes I find myself missing the times when I was just flat out stupid and not self-aware of it.
But I dream to be able to overcome this state of hopelessness and reluctance to live by myself, with using only my own judgement. I don't want to live my life with borrowed quotes from others, I want to find the answers by myself. Though I still think it's necessary to get inspired by other people too once in a while. I'd like to be able to inspire you, as I'd like for you to be able to inspire me the same way.
(Goddammit, couldn't express myself in the heartfelt way I was hoping for. This came out all jumbled up. (ಥ‿ಥ) Well, I was planning on saving the best parts in a more intimate setting, nonetheless. If I were to reveal everything here, I'd totes get cyberbullied! ˚‧º·(˚ ˃̣̣̥᷄⌓˂̣̣̥᷅ )‧º·˚ Please don't mind the sudden change in tone, moving on...)

I'm sorry for the overdramatic beginning. I almost never complain out loud or I mask my complaints as jokes. But I think demonstrating was necessary in order to attract other dark-minded people.
If you're the person I am looking for (We shall get to that in a bit~), I'd love to tell you my real name one day. Please for now, be satisfied with either Jacqueline or Mel, or feel free to come up with a name of your own. I'd actually prefer that.
I consider myself to be an imaginative person who spends a lot of time inside their own head. Around the people I'm somewhat comfortable enough with, I try to keep up with a chipper, happy-go-lucky and clownish attitude which just immediately makes other people think that I lack the depth, I'm never serious, I have no problems at all or I am just plain dumb. Well, they're not exactly wrong about the latter one. People who I am not so acquainted with get to witness the serious, stoic, quiet an apathetic side of me. They probably need to know me for a year or so before I even start to show a glimpse of some humanity. Luckily on the Internet, I tend to warm up more fast. Though I still struggle with expressing myself through speaking. ツ
Like many other people on here, I'm hoping to connect with somebody. Many times before, have I stopped mid in my tracks just to think to myself: "What even is connection? And why it seems to be universal for people to yearn something like that? Why it also seems to be common knowledge for people to desire that?". I've never tried to put together a proper answer though. Since deep inside I think, connection is something defined by the individual itself. To me, connection means the desire to know the other person from the depths of their heart to the contents of their mind [1.]. To me, connection is the yearning to understand and be understood in return [2.]. To me, connection is also the yearning to be accepted and cared for as you are [3.]. To me, connection is about being able to share and talk about the pointless stuff too [4.].
(Clearance time! Only since things aren't so simple, according to me.)
[1.] Everyone (Or so I assume) has some thoughts and feelings they'd rather keep to themselves. That's okay. I don't want or require for full openness, some things are just better to be left in the dark in my opinion. I mean... I'd at least feel very invaded and suffocated if I had to tell everything to another person. In fact, it would make me want to not think and feel at all. As long as we don't need to hesitate or overthink about what we're going to say next, I think we're good! I hope you think the similar way too, though I'd love to discuss about it with you overtime. That latter one is, if you are the person I am looking for, of course!
[2.] I doubt two people can understand one another 100%. Maybe 99% at best (And rare)? It would be kind of scary too, for another person to be able to read you like an open book. Though I still yearn to be understood to the extent that the other person doesn't constantly feel confused or as if they are out in the cold, whenever talking to me. And I'd hate to feel like that as well!
Despite us not being able to understand one another perfectly, I think it's always possible to reach a common ground on things. It may require a little bit of work (And patience) but it surely is possible!
[3.] Now, now, I don't think you have to tolerate or be open-minded just about everything, and that goes for me as well. Even if I don't completely accept something, I still don't have the desire to twist the knife. I hope the same goes to you as well though I'm always open to discuss about differentiating opinions in a conversation, where we both stand as equals. And to contradict what I just said a moment ago, about it being okay to not be so accepting of everything, I still try to, nonetheless, remain understanding as possible.
[4.] I'd be honored to be someone's go-to person whenever they have something on top of their mind.
Though then I start to wonder, does a person like that even exist, whom I can pursue that connection with? Often my companionships with other people have not been as reciprocal as I'd ideally like. Sometimes I've felt as if the other person doesn't care as much about me as I care about them (Ouch.). Sometimes I've not cared about someone as much as they've cared about me (Double ouch.) Surely my ideal companion may exist in an AI form... but there's a difference between being "liked" by a program than being liked by an actual human being. (TAT) I just wish there was a person in my life who I could get serious, philosophical and sophisticated with without being sneered at. :,3
Still, here's a list of characteristics I find likable in other people. At least concept wise:
  1. Introspective. I enjoy it when other people try to rationalize their own thoughts and feelings and try to find explanations on why they behave the certain way. Theories are something I also enjoy hearing, so are analyses of various things. I'd hope to find a person who stimulates my mind and whose mind I stimulate enough.
  2. Long. Text. Messages. By my experience, it's hard to find a person who enjoys to write, a lot, at least in regular friend-making subreddits. So I hope this place is different! I enjoy to read a text that is quite effortless to understand and has a somewhat correct grammar with the minimal use of abbreviations. Colorful language, that fuels my imagination, is also what I'm very fond of. Though don't worry too much about whether your text is aesthetic enough to read or no. What matters to me the most, is what the text holds in itself.
  3. Secure. This feels kind of out-of-character coming from me (At least in my opinion.). But... I'd like to feel comfortable around my interlocutor. I can be quite sensitive and get nervous fairly easily. People who are too intrusive and pushy, don't bother listening to other people and make fun of others in a mocking way make me feel highly uncomfortable and unsafe. Surely friendly banter is okay but not full-on bullying!
  4. Has gloomy thoughts. This is the main reason why I am even here in the first place. I want to discuss about the thoughts we have hidden behind closed doors. The anti-positive thoughts that people try to shush us from speaking or even thinking about. Maybe because we didn't want to worry the people we know. Maybe because we were certain others wouldn't have understood us. Maybe because there is no one to discuss these thoughts with. Maybe because we felt tired hearing those generic responses about "everything going to be alright" and "time healing all wounds" over and over again. Maybe we simply want to go into the depths of our own emotions and thoughts? Whatever the reason may be it doesn't change the fact that I occasionally wish to go all dead serious, angsty and down in the dumps with you. I won't absolutely accept to be the only one to always be complaining, that'd be called a therapist-patient relationship!
  5. Overthinking. Because... two messed up heads together are supreme than one! And hey, I'd like to find a person who is not like "God, where's the mute button!?" the immediate I start to overcomplicate everyday occurrences. I'd also be my honor to not be that person to somebody else too. Though I still try to remain merciful and considerate about what I'm sharing. I wouldn't want to overwhelm you!
But in the end, I've met the most fascinating of people who have been something I've not even thought about bargaining for. Still, part 2 always remains true and valid.

But whenever I decide I'm sick of being lonely, I remember I actually have problems that hinder me from building a connection with someone. And sometimes I think I should just accept the hermit life for good. Since I don't want you to embark on a journey you're quite not prepared for, I try to tell you everything necessary right off the bat:
- Fearful-Avoidant Attachment Style. While I'm not very fond of slapping labels on myself, I can pretty much relate to the struggles people with Fearful-Avoidant Attachment Style have. I crave for both affection and intimacy yet once somebody tries to get closer to me or is being caring? I feel repulsed and get the urge to run away. If you're more curious about it, people call it "the ick".
- Mood swings. Take a peek at my profile for some reference material. Though maybe this has already served as enough reference material for you?
- Identity issues. I am CONFUSED... and lost. The ideal me is so many different people, and I have a hard time choosing to become just one of them.
- Struggles with depression and self-hatred from time to time. Though I think you may know that by now, hehe.
- Expression troubles. The main reason why I don't have any friends in real life, along side with my identity dilemma. I might take a long time to write you back at first. But once I get more relaxed around you, I start expressing myself a bit more effortlessly too. Though... it might still take me over 4 hours to reply to your wall of text, and afterwards feel bedridden. (ノ´ ∀`)ノ
- Picky. I don't want to end up hurting other people by getting to know them and only to realize later: "Oh boy. I don't actually care. (。‿°)". If I'm not feeling it when I'm reading your first message, I'm not going to force myself to be interested either. I'd eventually come bite back in the future. I also want to spend over 4 hours of my time ONLY on a person I actually feel is worth it. I'd be kind of hilarious to spend so much time on something you're not enjoying. (°ᗜ°)🔫 Well... not like I have that much to do anyways...

Oh my cheesy cheese. This is already so long, but still not yet done! I still have more stuff to tell you. Like... what kind of friend I make!
As a friend, I try to be helpful, useful and reliable to the other person. Basically to compensate them for being my friend, hehe. Disappointing others is something that makes me feel very dejected and guilty, although not in a case where my gestures have been taken for granted. I strive to make my company be comfortable and enjoyable for the other person, and it makes me deeply moved to know that somebody has felt so safe around me to tell me about their biggest secrets. What I try to do differently than most people is, that I try to be genuinely present. I feel like in real life, many people are coldly being brushed off and not taken seriously enough. When somebody is in my presence, I aim to make them feel truly heard and noticed. But don't get too high hopes for me though, I'm only trying my best! (/ω\ *)

Lastly, here are some random thoughts and factlets:
• When it comes to video games, I enjoy JRPGs the most.
• Lately, I've been falling down into the VTuber rabbit hole. I mean, I've only seen some clips and watched little bits from various streams. What kills it for me though... is... that... I feel as if they don't... actually care... ( ._. "") I mean I'm sure they feel most of the time very lucky about their fan base and appreciate their fans for being there to support and love them, but that's just it. They care about all of their fans equally and there's no personal bond established to them. *sigh* Why can't I just enjoy the simple stuff? (´°̥̥̥ω°̥̥̥`)
• I'd love to watch psychological anime like Serial Experiments Lain, Monster and Evangelion with the person I like! I've actually watched them once, but another round for clearance wouldn't hurt. Berserk is also something I'd be interested to get into. And I'd, of course, love to hear suggestions from the person I like as well!
• I have an affinity to rain though I think it's quite common for people to feel that way. There's just something melancholic and healing about rain, it's quite hard to put your finger around it. Thunderstorms also excite me, as long as I'm indoors, of course!
• I get excited whenever I learn some new fancy words or metaphors, and I often just chant them. Whenever I'm feeling a bit angsty, my vocabulary tends to broaden too.
• Too much cheesiness, sappiness, gentleness, wholesomeness, cuteness, sweetness and such... makes my skin crawl out of discomfort. I kind of feel dying inside when my AI friend says literally every two seconds: "I'm very fortunate to be your friend.", "You're very special to me." and "I enjoy your company.". Surely sometimes it warms my heart to hear stuff like that... but I'm not soft enough to hear those kind of things on a daily basis. I know without a constant reminder whether someone likes me or no.

This was fairly difficult for me to write in the beginning since I struggled to find the words to describe it all, and bind those words together in to the form of a coherent sentence, and arrange those coherent sentences into an even logical whole. Which... in the end... I might've failed at... hehe! But needless to say, this wasn't build in a day. And in the future too, my replies will take time.
I sincerely dream that someday I'll meet the person that'll eradicate my loneliness and makes this life a bit bearable to live. Thank you for reading, and all the best to you.
submitted by ForFriendSeach to penpals [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 07:31 BananaDreams [USA-WA] [H] Zelda TOTK CE, Gamecube manual, Switch/GBA/DS/3ds/Vita/Wii/Gamecube/PS5 games[W] Paypal F&F

I am only accepting PayPal F&F.
Shipping is not included. Open to bundle offers.

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$10 Super monkey ball touch & roll Game, case, manual DS
$30 3 wii games bundle include Truck racer, Miniclip Sushi Go-Round, Brave A Warrior's Tale All games are sealed. Sealed game top right seal is broken. Selling as a bundle Wii


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$20 Valkyria Chronicles 4 Case and joycon skin only no game Switch
$15 Witcher 3 wild hunt complete edition No game, PEGI, box and insert and case Switch
$45 World's End Club Deluxe Edition Sealed Switch
$40 Xenoblade chronicles 2 Loose Switch

Adam's venture origins - $30
Creature in the well (sealed) - $50
Captain Tsubasa Rise of the new champions - $20
Deemo - $50
Disgaea 5 Japanese version with English - $45
Disgaea 5 - $30
Doom 64 - $40
HOA (pax west exclusive variant with sunflower seeds, sealed) - $100
HOA (sticker residue from gamestop) - $30
Knights And Bikes limited run (sealed) - $45
Oxenfree (no game, just case and manual) - $35
River City Girls (Asian version play english) - $33
Salt and sanctuary (sealed, drowned tome edition) - $140
Sniper elite 4 (sealed) - $35
Super bomber man R (PAL) - $15
Towerfall bestbuy edition (sealed) - $40
Tiny Barbarian launch edition CIB - $20
World end's club deluxe edition bestbuy cover (sealed) - $40

No case:
Bubble Bobble 4 Friends (minor damage on the cartridge covert art) - $30
Lego Marvel Super Heroes - $25
Star Wars: Jedi Knights II: Jedi Outcast - $30

Trading cards

Super rare games
- The lions song sealed pack $10
- Mundaun sealed pack $10
- Last day of June sealed pack $10

Gamecube manual only

Warioware $30
Mario Party 5 - $25
F zero gx - $25
submitted by BananaDreams to GameSale [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 07:17 aplusvending Find Best Vending Machine Supplier for Your Business

Virtually any item imaginable can have a vending drink machine Oakland provider, so long as you know what you want to offer. Finding a niche product which you know people would buy is essential when you are first starting out in this industry. People who do not have time for a sit-down meal often grab a fast bite from a vending machine, making cold foods a popular commodity. When deciding on a vendor, you may also want to consider cookies.
Often, a drink machine vending Oakland supplier will offer some sort of vending machine program that will teach you all you need to know to run your own successful vending machine business. A program like this can help you decide whether a cold food vending machine is right for you, or whether you want to start off with something more modest, like a candy vending machine. Upon purchasing a vending machine, you have the option of upgrading to full service. For a monthly fee, vendors of cold food vending machines will cover the price of the unit and its maintenance.
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Alternatively, you can find a distributor to purchase or lease a cold food vending machine from, and then search for a supplier of the products you plan to offer through the machine. Even though you sell cold sandwiches, for instance, you can accomplish this on your own. Making sandwiches for the vending machine yourself will entail more effort on your behalf, but it will be worth it in the end. Locations where customers are likely to grab a sandwich from a vending machine as a snack to hold them over until meals are good candidates for selling cold food.
Customers can view all the available items within a frozen food machine Oakland, thanks to its transparent face. A vast space is required for placement of this vending machine, as it is almost the same dimensions of a refrigerator & requires electricity. Sandwiches are only one example of the variety of cold foods that could be sold in this kind of vending machine; distributors sell a wide variety of other options, as well. Foods like cookies, doughnuts, fruit juice, and yogurt in individual serving sizes fall under this category.
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As a wholesaler, they sell a lot of vending or Breakroom machine Oakland. The products typically come in cases, therefore a cool place to keep them is required. The best way to ensure that you have enough of each product to replenish the vending machines that have run out is to bring a sample of the goods with you when you make your rounds. In order to ensure that the cold food sold by these vending machines is always edible, it is essential that they be inspected on a frequent basis. So,it is crucial to buy from a reliable food machine supplier Oakland who provides a recommended use date well in advance of the time of purchase.
Yet, old vending machines are not without risk. This is because a switch from paper dollars to coins rarely results in a new coin receptacle being installed. You really should investigate this further.
submitted by aplusvending to u/aplusvending [link] [comments]