Worlds tallest water slide accident
Latest two builds, FM Aerial and the HG Lfrith Ur. Just waiting on water slides for both but mean while the RG Zeta is my next project.
2023.06.03 19:03 Tedbear_85 Latest two builds, FM Aerial and the HG Lfrith Ur. Just waiting on water slides for both but mean while the RG Zeta is my next project.
2023.06.03 18:58 Frank_Leroux Molossus, Chapter Sixteen
First Chapter Chapter Fifteen
“Thank you, Ms. President, and Mr. Secretary-General. It’s my privilege to come and speak to everyone present during such a momentous time in human history. One which, I hope, will lead to a brighter future for us all…”
US President Correa’s boilerplate beginning flowed out as she scanned the room. Behind her rostrum sat a larger dais tiled with green marble, behind which sat the UN President, Secretary-General, and Under-Secretary-General. Two huge screens flanked the dais, and those screens now showed Correa’s face as she continued.
“…and we are committed to our country’s pledge to finding a peaceful and just way for Coalition technology to be incorporated worldwide, and to not attempt any reverse-engineering of our own. Make no mistake; we do not do this out of any sense of altruism or fairness, as pleasant as that may sound. We will hold this pledge sacred for the simple reason that, if the United States were
to attempt such efforts the rest of the world would, without a doubt, find out. That, of course, would lead to a great instability.”
‘Great instability’ was diplomatic-speak for ‘the rest of the world then gangs up on the USA and then everything goes to hell’.
“I know there has already been a great deal of debate in this august hall as to the best way to proceed forward, in a fair and impartial manner. We believe that we have found what one might call a ‘trial run’ which will allow us to work out such matters.”
The general murmuring from the many semi-circular rows of desks in front of her increased.
“To begin with, during the first weeks after first contact we wanted to make sure our guests from the Coalition would not starve to death. Much like humanity’s own ships during the Age of Sail, Coalition exploration vessels store enough provisions for years…but such provisions never last. They have very advanced recycling, but mostly for water and even that is only a stop-gap measure. It is unknown even at this time as to how long it will take to repair the Exultant Finger of Rithro
, and we did not want to risk the crew running out of food.
“Therefore, we undertook an emergency effort to have their ship’s medic examine various Earth foods to determine their compatibility with our guests’ varied biochemistries. I am pleased to report that there are quite a few Earth foodstuffs which are indeed compatible, although there are some specific items which act as allergens amongst some of the Coalition species. During these efforts, we did learn a bit about how their alien biochemistries work…information which has been duly published and is now openly available. We also began to get glimpses of something wonderful, and asked the Coalition crew for more details. They supplied us with some general ideas of what their medical technology can accomplish; I must emphasize that we do not possess any knowledge of how they can perform such miracles.”
Now the murmuring got quite a bit higher, but not quite to the point where they’d have to call for order.
“Yes, I use the word ‘miracles’ advisedly. For example, take Captain Sadaf. You have all seen her, and how she moves like a person in the prime of their life. Now. What if I told you that she is a little over four hundred years old?”
The murmuring died down into a shocked silence.
“Her species, the auhn, is no more long-lived than we are…but they are able to regenerate and remove the effects of aging. I hope the esteemed ambassadors can see what I am driving at. I propose that we set up a research institute, international in scope, to be placed at a neutral location which is still to be determined. The purpose of that institute will be to study and adapt Coalition medical technology for use in humans.”
Now the murmuring started again; she hoped they were actually listening instead of hatching side-deals with each other.
“You all have families and friends. I’m sure you have at least one family member, one good friend, who died of some horrible and unnecessary
affliction. Think of what this means to the world, to us. It is also an excellent way to determine the inevitable issues and frictions which will arise from such a concerted international effort, and that, in turn, will inform our efforts in mutual reverse-engineering of other Coalition technology.
“I know this is, in many ways, a frightening time. Change can be frightening. But I am convinced that you will all know the right way forward, and that you will all see the need for us to unite in this matter, even if others may not be so clear-cut. I thank you for the opportunity to speak.”
As she stepped away from the rostrum, the UN President cleared his throat.
“We will now begin the debate on Madame President Correa’s proposal. Paper copies, with specifics of the proposal, are now being distributed to you all. We’ll now begin the debate period…yes, the gentleman from Portugal…?”
Correa’s Chief of Staff was a shorter, tubby man with an olive complexion by the name of Pablo Rosas. He and Correa sat in a White House conference room, staring at a big screen which now showed the results of the UN vote. “Well, I suppose that went about as well as we could expect,” said Rosas.
“Yep. I was surprised they even agreed with our asking them to kick in some money.”
Rosas chuckled. “Keep in mind that all of this new medical tech will be available for anyone patent-free. Should be air-tight legally, since nobody here on Earth invented it; we’re merely adapting it. I think that was the sweetener we needed to get it passed.”
The president gave a brief nod, then tapped a few keys on the controls in front of her. The screen now showed a world map. “Now we just have to figure out where to put the damn thing without everyone getting butt-mad about it.”
“Hmm.” Rosas laced his fingers over his substantial gut as he regarded the map. “Someplace not ‘the usual’, then.”
Correa growled in frustration. “I keep thinking Switzerland, but I know there’s gonna be a lot of shit flung about that it’s too European-centric. Taiwan would be great; they’ve got both a good tech base and excellent transport infrastructure.”
“But way too controversial, for obvious reasons,” replied Rosas. “Japan?”
“China will, again, kick up a fuss. Huh. New Zealand?”
“That might work. They tend to be more neutral…but then again some might say they’re in too close with Australia, and that this whole effort is too Western-centric.” His eyes flicked back to north on the map. He was about to move his gaze elsewhere, but then he paused. “What about Iceland?”
“Iceland?” Correa almost scoffed, then looked more thoughtfully at the map. “Okay, they’re a NATO member which is a minus. But they tend to remain mostly neutral, which is a plus. Decent transportation infrastructure…don’t we have a naval air base there?”
“I think so, let me check…” Rosas tapped at his phone. “Hey, Jack? What can you tell me about any US naval air bases in Iceland? Just the highlights.” After a couple of minutes, he responded with a curt, “Okay, that’s enough, thanks.”
He put his phone away. “We kinda-sorta have one, at a place called Keflavik. The base there used to be a lot bigger during the Cold War. Then we shut it down after the Soviets were no longer a going concern. Iceland uses it now, and they allow us to fly submarine-search aircraft out of there, but a few years ago they nixed the DOD’s request to rebuild it into a more permanent base.”
“That does work in their favor. It makes for better optics if they’re known for keeping NATO at arm’s length.”
Rosas sat up. “Think the UN will go for it?”
“We can only try. I’ll have our ambassador in Reykjavik make some discreet inquiries, let’s see if they’d be okay with our proposing them as a candidate.”
The Chief of Staff smiled. “If it goes through, this institute will be pumping well north of a billion dollars per year into their economy. That should make it more than ‘okay’.
Agent Cécile Savoie sat in a secure-location breakroom, silently grumbling as she held an as-yet un-drunk mug of coffee in her hands. As the agent-in-charge of the security detail during the Camp David incident, she’d been put on administrative leave, right alongside every other agent who’d been there. But it wasn’t like she had much down time; the inquiry board into that incident now summoned her damn near every other day for yet another round of tedious questioning.
“Hey,” said Hanson as he strolled in, looking just as sour as she felt.
She looked up in surprise. “Hey yourself. I thought you were assigned to the alien detail.”
“I was,” he said as he seated himself across the circular table from her. “Guess being in Alabama when the shitshow went down wasn’t far enough away to be completely out of suspicion. I just finished running my own gauntlet. But the rumor is, I’m getting it easy compared to everyone who was at Camp David, including the special forces people. Especially you.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty much a colonoscopy every day,” she muttered. “Going over the timeline, where I was at which times, who I had direct line of sight on, who I was in radio contact with.” She finally sipped her coffee.
Hanson’s sour expression deepened. “Do you really think it was one of us?”
She sighed. “It has to be. My gut tells me that there’s more than one mole and I told the inquiry board as much. The fuckers who got in knew too much about our patrol patterns, where everyone was, when they’d have a clear shot at an infil. That means someone with access to our methods and comms, and as to the latter we don’t use CB radios.”
The other agent leaned back. “Fuck. I wish I knew why any of us would do that. We’re supposed to be quiet professionals, not frothing radicals.”
Savoie turned the mug in her hands. “Not to tell tales out of school but, through the whisper network, they’ve been leaning hard on the captured dudes from the attack. Apparently one of their main ‘objections’,” and here she made some one-handed air quotes, “is that they think the whole Breaker thing is a ruse. It’s all smoke and mirrors, so that we’ll beg the Coalition to come and save us. And then…well, it gets vague after that but I guess they claim that at best we’ll get turned into the galactic equivalent of a Native American reservation. Worst case, we all get harvested for our precious bodily fluids.”
Hanson stared at her for a moment in disbelief. “That is, if you will forgive the uncouth term, utterly retarded. For chrissake, the Hubble got some beautiful shots of their ship once they’d spun that shield around to reveal it to us. I mean, I’m no spacecraft expert but even I could tell it had gotten the shit pounded out of it.”
She responded with a shrug. “Hey, Flat Earthers are still a thing.”
“Flat Earthers don’t stage FUCKING mortar attacks in our nation’s capital,” snapped Hanson. Then he subsided and spoke more softly. “Sorry, I shouldn’t be so on edge. This whole thing just pisses me off.”
“Join the club,” said Savoie as she sipped more coffee. “I just don’t get it, though.”
Hanson made a gentle ‘continue’ wave of his hand.
She leaned forward. “Okay. Our comrades in the CIA managed to identify the four who made it into the compound. They were all mercenaries, each with at least ten or fifteen years of experience in kicking ass around some of the worst hot spots in the world. Syria, Burma, bunch of places in Africa. One of ‘em even turned out to be ex-Wagner group.”
“Okay?” It was a leading single-word question, but not an unkind one.
“So why was the rest of the attack made up of nothing but a bunch of goddamn shit-kickers? And that includes the aborted attempt in Decatur. I’ve seen the files of those we rounded up in the Camp David attack. They were all low-life idiots just banging around, maybe they might have once held a gun in their lives. Hell, from what I’ve heard, the shootings that triggered the alarm at Camp David were an accident; those intruders were supposed to sneak around
that patrol, not kill them. They all had the same top-of-the-line kit, so we know whoever is behind this has deep pockets. Why not hire an entire bunch of competent people instead of doing it onesy-twoseys?”
“It is a puzzle.” Hanson got up and set a styrofoam cup of water into the nearby microwave. As the cup turned within its electromagnetic prison, he leaned against the nearby counter and pondered her question. “Maybe the team in the woods was intended just as a distraction?”
“That’s what I thought at first, but then I reconsidered. I mean, what if the four who went in failed? You’d still need a proper backup plan. Same thing with the Decatur bunch. By the way, did they ever catch them?”
Hanson let out a dark chuckle. “Decatur PD found a pile of vests and rifles, hastily wiped down. They were able to pull a few partial prints off of ‘em. My guess is they’ve fled to the proverbial four winds, hoping to lay low for the rest of their lives. We’ll nab ‘em eventually.”
The microwave dinged and he retrieved his hot water, then pulled a tea bag out of his jacket pocket as he re-seated himself.
Savoie smiled. “I never figured you for a tea guy.”
He unwrapped the bag and with a bit of ceremony dunked it into his cup. “Well, I used to be a coffee guy, but my gut doesn’t agree with the acidity.”
“We do have tea here, you know.” She pointed to the storage bins behind him.
“Yeah, but it’s cheap-ass stuff. The brand I like is expensive, but worth it…” Hanson’s eyes widened as he trailed off.
She raised an eyebrow. “Hanson? Do you smell burnt toast?”
“They couldn’t afford it,” he said in a near-whisper.
Savoie was about to tell him to stop being overly dramatic, then she realized he might be on to something and that she didn’t dare distract him. “Keep talking.”
He leaned forward, his forearms on the table. “Okay. Imagine you’re a hard-bitten mercenary. You’ve been in the literal shit, in every nasty conflict anyone cares to name. Somehow, someone finds you and comes to you. They say ‘hey, these aliens are bad news, do you want to kill them?’ Even if you, as the hypothetical mercenary, are down with the cause…”
“From what the intruders were yelling, they were,” said Savoie.
“Yeah but even then, our mystery financier is asking you to infil and exfil out of one of the most heavily guarded pieces of real estate on the planet. Oh, and kill a bunch of special-forces-maybe and aliens-definitely in between. What do you do then?”
She replied with a grim smile. “If I’m that mercenary, then I ask for a metric fuck-ton of money. And there were four of them, they would have all done the same. Hell, they must have been doing collective bargaining.”
Hanson dunked his tea bag as he thought it through. “Okay, so our mystery mastermind has a lot of money, but not billions on hand to hire a literal army of hard cases. Huh. So those other dipshits might indeed have been a distraction.”
“Maybe. They must have also spent quite a bit on the mortar attack. That wasn’t made by some hobbyist in their bedroom, they knew what they were doing. Given that nobody saw them set up the launcher or leave, they were more pro.” Savoie hoped that the FBI’s efforts to track the various mortar components turned up something soon. Thus far, those efforts were bogged down; as it turned out, quite a few companies had ordered the identified components, and tracking the subsequent second-hand purchases was time-consuming.
“And those mortar-making pros would be more expensive.” Hanson sipped a bit of tea. “Did they ever get anything off of the launcher itself?”
“Sadly, no. Turns out the whole damned thing was homemade, constructed out of tubing and other off-the-shelf components. It was also wiped down thoroughly, no prints. Like I said, pros.”
“But limited in resources,” said Hanson. “Which explains one of the things that’s bugged me
. Namely, that our OPFOR didn’t use some proper artillery. If they have a couple of moles in the Secret Service, then it should be easy to recruit and pay some military dudes to slip ‘em some gear and alter the logs. They could stow a howitzer inside a semi-tractor-trailer. You could park that thing anywhere up to 25 miles away. Use a single 155mm Excalibur GPS-guided munition, boom. That would have pretty much obliterated the stage and everyone on it. Then you just re-stow the howitzer and toodle off all innocent-like, right when everyone is freaking the hell out.”
“So they couldn’t afford that type of arty strike,” she said. “Or they simply didn’t have the contacts to pull that off. Hmm. I wonder if our moles are getting paid at all?”
Hanson resumed his thousand-yard stare. “The mortar attack must have been planned first. The other two attacks feel much more like rush jobs.”
“Eh? Oh, I get it. Sadaf’s speech was known well in advance. It was going to be one of her first big public appearances since the initial presidential speech. They were broadcasting it online to the world. Having her get turned into chunky red salsa, in real time, would be one helluva statement. So that’s what they focused on.” She drank a bit more coffee, and now it was time for her eyes to widen. “Our mole or moles didn’t arrive at Camp David until after
Sadaf’s speech was announced.”
“That…oh, yeah, that makes sense. Originally the mortar attack is the OPFORs’ only focus, but yet somehow they’ve suborned one or two Secret Service agents and they have ‘em in their back pocket. Then one, or better yet both, of the moles gets assigned to the Camp David detail, and they realize that now that they have a golden opportunity to get at the other aliens as well. So they go off and hire four pros for the actual attack inside, plus a bunch of chucklefucks to act as a distraction, because that’s all they can afford since the four pros are asking for some serious money.”
Savoie leaned forward. “When did Chao and Grakosh leave Camp David?”
“It was, ah, three? No, four days after we got everyone settled, both the aliens and the special forces types.”
“Okay, so then
the OPFOR gets word, courtesy of our moles, that one of the aliens is now heading to Alabama. But now they’re stretched so thin that they can’t afford anything other than to hire another bunch of dipshits to make a run at them and hope for the best.”
“And then the second bunch lets the FNG drive.”
They both laughed, but that humor settled down as they both thought through the chain of inference.
“It is pretty thin,” said Savoie at last. “There’s a lot of assumptions in there.”
“Yeah. But I do like the idea of our moles getting assigned at the last minute.”
She rubbed her forehead. “We had a bunch of new people come in when they decided to stow the Rithro crew there. Seven, no eight in all.”
“It’s a place to start,” said Hanson. He finished his tea. “C’mon, let’s see if we can get a meeting with the inquiry board.”
A little while later and not very far away, three people sat in a well-lit but otherwise deadly dull room. At least the chairs were somewhat comfortable. Matt and Martinez sat at two chairs against one wall, while across from them McCoy sat sprawled sideways on another with a foul look on her face. She glowered at the far beige-painted wall. “This completely sucks. Why can’t we have our phones? I could at least play some mahjong.”
“This is a secure location, Corporal,” replied Matt. “Ixnay on the onephays.”
Martinez’s leg jittered. “How long are we gonna sit here? They said they’d call us in, like, an hour ago!”
“Dunno, it’s some kind of last-minute interview thing,” replied Matt with Zen-like calm.
The corporal looked over at Matt. “I don’t get you, man.”
Matt grinned. “Nobody gets me. I’m like the wind, baby!”
“That’s not…I mean, I watched you open up a dude like he was a bag of fuckin’ Doritos using nothing but a fuckin’ knife. Now you’re being all Caine from ‘Kung Fu’.”
“It’s good to know that the classics are still appreciated,” said Matt.
Martinez pointed at him. “If you start calling me ‘Grasshopper’ I will
McCoy turned her glare to the ceiling. “Maybe it’s a psychological test. They want to see if we crack under pressure and start yakking secrets.”
“I mean, I’m sure they’re recording us right now,” replied Matt. “But it’s merely as a precaution. I am also five-nines certain that none of us are suspects. We weren’t integrated into the compound’s overall security, and thus it would be unlikely that we could have let our four attackers in.”
“Not to mention, we were the ones to kill ‘em,” added Martinez. “Well, except for the one that Takh took care of.”
“Yep. This is…I won’t call it a formality, but the board just wants to know where you were and what you saw. Walk them through your personal timelines, understand? Tell them only what you know. If you don’t know something, then say so.”
McCoy turned herself around so that she now sprawled the other way. “This whole bullshit just bugs me. Takh and the others are off with a bunch of strangers and I…I mean, we aren't there to help protect them.”
Matt and Martinez shared a meaningful glance. “From what I heard, Takh is quite capable of taking care of himself,” said the latter with a grin. “You told me he pitched that one dude across the room like he was throwing a softball.”
For once, the petite corporal looked a bit flustered. “Yeah, but, I mean, what if some other potential bad guy gets the drop on him with a gun? I don’t like not being there. I just wanna know that he’s okay. I should be there, just to make sure.”
The smaller man snapped his fingers in the face of the taller, who sighed and took out his wallet. With great ceremony, Matt pulled out a five-dollar bill and placed it upon the now-upraised palm of Martinez.
“Told ya,” said Martinez with a grin.
She sat up and glared at them both. “That doesn’t mean anything! Takh is a good guy!”
“Nobody said he wasn’t,” replied Matt as he stowed his wallet. “He is indeed a good guy.”
“Yeah, seriously, we’re glad you two hooked up,” added Martinez. “Takh’s solid. Hell, I’d let him date my sister.”
“I. Am. Not. Hooked Up. With ANYONE.” McCoy now looked furious enough to chew nails.
Martinez stroked his chin. “Kissing might be a problem, though.”
Matt performed a similar chin-stroking action. “Hmm, indeed, Corporal, I do believe it might be a serious issue. One has all of those mandibles to contend with.” He hooked his fingers next to his mouth in an approximation of an udhyr’s face. “Still, I think that, with enough will and effort, one could figure it out. Like the man said, life finds a way.”
“But how much tongue is he packing?” posed Martinez. “You know what the man also says. Big dude, big tongue. Could make things more interesting, all around.”
The woman did not look amused. “Martinez, Toke? You are now both officially gigantic flatulating assholes.”
“C’mon, McCoy!” protested Martinez. “Think of it this way. A few years from now, let’s say we filthy humans are now part of the Coalition and I’m at some meet ‘n greet, and I just so happen to spy me an oh-so-very-fiiine udhyr mamacita from across the room. Now, I wanna do my bit for my species and approach her, and get some good old inter-species cultural interaction going on. But there’s all sorts of questions. How do I compliment her without insulting her culture? How am I supposed to get in good with her? How do the mechanics work? How do the various bits line up? We need details! You’re at the tip of the spear, we all need good intel!”
McCoy slumped back into her seat. “Over seven hundred billion Dimmadollars of defense spending, and yet somehow I wind up stuck in a room with you two fuckos…oh, by the way, Toke
,” she added, pointing a finger at Matt, “why the hell can you and Sarge never go back to Okinawa?”
“Nice distraction, McCoy,” said Martinez. “My guess is some sort of wet-work shit.”
Matt just smiled. “Oh for fuck’s sake, I don’t kill everyone
I meet. I was a Second LT at the time, managed to somehow leapfrog my way into officer ranks all the way from enlisted. Anyways, the Okinawa affair was merely a case of, well, one particular case of rye whiskey. The good sergeant…was he a sergeant then? Oh yeah, we had done some other stuff I can’t tell you about in someplace I can’t tell you where, and we were celebrating Shaw getting his third stripe. We’d got ahold of the previously-mentioned case of whiskey and then we began toasting to each other’s good health. We did a lot of toasting. Quite
a lot of toasting. As you can imagine, the toasting went on and on until we, um, well we did some unwise things. It started out with us sparring-for-fun with each other in public and escalated from there. No locals were harmed, and nothing we did was hella illegal, or I would’ve never made Captain. Buuut the local government would definitely throw a shitfit if me or, God forbid, both of us set foot back on the island.” He chuckled. “Hell, the Okinawan customs people probably still have both of our pictures taped up inside their booths with a big old sign saying ‘DO NOT ADMIT THIS PERSON, YOU FOOL’ written above them.”
“What did you do?” asked Martinez. His eyes were big and soulful, like a kid asking for yet one more story before bedtime.
Matt shrugged. “I mean, I don’t remember much for obvious reasons. I’m almost sure we didn’t piss on any monuments, that would have definitely been cause for a serious demotion. We did do a number on some shrubbery, that I do remember. We decided it needed to be trimmed back, and so we did so. Using our bare hands. Seemed like a good idea at the time.”
A fearsome light came into McCoy’s eyes. “Martinez, do you know what this means?”
He looked at her all uncertain. “Um, Toke and Sarge have cast-iron livers?”
“No, you fool. Blackmail material
Matt pointed back at her. “Hey, now, I told you that in confidence. Besides, Shaw has a lot more to contend with right now.”
The reminder of the sergeant’s current crippled state brought the elevated atmosphere of the room back down. McCoy nodded as her smile faded. “Right. Hey, did you see the Prez’s speech at the UN?”
“Yep,” said Matt. “From what I’ve read, the political wrangling after it seems pretty tame compared to the usual.”
Martinez snorted. “No shit. Did either of you see the laundry list of shit that we might be able to do? Anti-aging, limb regrowth, cancer treatments which work well and which don’t
half-kill the patient…hell, maybe even Alzheimer’s could be in our rear-view mirror. The grand high muckity-mucks are falling all over themselves to get that out into the world, for themselves if nobody else.”
“You’re way too cynical, Martinez,” said Matt.
“Oh fuck off. What if…okay, I know this sounds like a cheesy sci-fi concept, but what if they hoard all of the good shit for themselves and we peons get just the crumbs?”
Matt lapsed back into his meditative demeanor. “In that case, my dear corporal, you or I or McCoy or someone like us will show those hypothetical elites that, while they are indeed long-lived, they are not in fact immortal.”
The trio fell into silence for a few minutes. Then Martinez leaned over towards Matt. “Ah, a little birdie told me you were involved in questioning the prisoners we nabbed at Camp David.”
“I merely facilitated certain conversations,” replied Matt.
Martinez sighed. “What the fuck does that mean?”
“Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies…Corporal.”
McCoy let out a growl. “Well, I
heard these terrorist assholes are saying that the Breakers aren’t real, that it’s all fake videos from the Coalition.”
“Just to play devil’s advocate,” said Matt, “our AI image and video generation is already getting to the point where, soon, we puny humans could manufacture such evidence.”
“What?” Martinez looked as if he was about to launch himself at Matt.
Matt held up a calming hand. “I’m not saying it is
fake. The Hubble pics are damned convincing.”
Martinez hiked up one foot to place it on his seat, then rested his chin on his knee. “Fuck. I guess it didn’t convince everyone.” He mused for a few moments. “Wait. What if we made it even more convincing?”
“How?” asked Matt.
“We send some humans up to the Rithro
. Two or three at least. The boats can still make it up to the ship, right?”
For once Matt looked uncertain. “I think so? Dunno how many times they can come and go without recharging, we’ll have to ask ‘em.”
“Right, so we set up an even better publicity stunt than the Hubble pics. Choose a few people, from all over the world. We have ‘em travel up to the Rithro
, take pics and video up close showing the damage. Even take ‘em inside the ship and get a full tour, maybe…if the crew is okay with that, of course.”
“Huh.” Matt sat back and pondered the idea. “That’s a really good idea, Martinez. I guess you aren’t as dumb as you look.”
The corporal responded with a slight smile at the verbal jab. “We’d need to choose the right people, though.”
“They’d have to be trustworthy…or at least someone that the entire world will consider trustworthy,” said Matt.
“Well known,” added McCoy. She no longer looked vengeful. “With recognizable faces and voices, and then they can go on all the talk shows after and say that, yes indeed, I got a tour of the ship and it is indeed quite banged up.”
Martinez stared at the far wall. “Some kind of celebrity? Heh. You think Tom Cruise would be up for it?”
Matt laughed. “That beautiful maniac? Hell, he’d insist on shooting an entire movie up there, with at least one action scene where he’s hanging off of the outside of the ship.”
They all smiled at the resulting mental image.
“Chao could work,” said McCoy into the silence. “She’s kind of a celebrity now. After all, she was the first human to come into contact with aliens, eh?” She gave Matt a big and very un-subtle wink.
To skirt the rather…unconventional methods used to achieve a positive First Contact, Matt’s role had been very much demoted in the official story. Now every recounting of the tale included a bit of ‘…oh, and there was also another person who stumbled across our brave woman in the midst of her attempts at informational exchange with the aliens…” His exact identity was also not published, under the screen of ‘he wishes to remain anonymous’.
“Oh bite me, McCoy, it’s fun,” replied Matt. He waggled his eyebrows. “Besides, I work better in the shadows!” He threw his forearm across his face like a half-assed Count Dracula trying to hide behind his cape.
Then he dropped his arm. “Yeah, Chao would be good as a current social-media darling. Of course, she might not want that. She strikes me as more of the wallflower type, for the most part.”
“We need more people,” said Martinez, as he stared at the floor. “Chao might be good on her own, but she’s got that motor-mouth talking thing when you get her going. It’s one or the other. Either she’s trying to shrink into a corner and take up as little space as possible, or suddenly you’re getting pulled into another corner for a doctoral dissertation on how minimal-energy transfer-orbits work.”
Matt pondered for a moment. “Wait, when did she do that? I never sat through one of those lectures.”
Martinez looked away and…well, Matt hoped that their supposed overlords were indeed recording this particular moment in time because the hard-bitten Hispanic special-forces corporal actually blushed
McCoy, of course, realized a golden opportunity for payback and immediately pounced. “Why, Corporal
Martinez,” she purred. “Doooo tell us. When did Chao Me Chu, heh, pull
you into a corner? Hmmm?”
“She’s…she’s just real nice, that’s all,” replied Martinez. “I asked her a couple of questions, and she answered them. That’s all. We both love classic sci-fi, like Asimov and shit. I guess we bonded over that.”
Matt cleared his throat. “Aaaaand may I remind you two and
everyone listening in that we have all been cooped up nuts-to-butts for awhile? Don’t mistake familiarity for romantic bullshit.” He pointed over at Martinez. “But you. If you can follow at least half of what she talks about, then you are absolutely without-a-single-fucking-doubt wasted
as a corporal, even if you’re in a low-drag high-speed outfit like this. You hear me?”
“Um, yes sir.” It was the first time in McCoy’s memory that anyone had addressed Matt as befitting his perhaps-former rank.
“Good. You get your ass into college, somehow. You’re a smart guy, you’ll figure all that shit out. And as for Chao? Just give it room to breathe. Let her know you’re interested, but don’t press the matter.”
“Let her know?” For once Martinez looked completely lost. “How do I…” he trailed off. “I mean, I like her…and yeah, I mean I like her in that
way, but she’s so damn smart and pretty and I’m just some dipshit meathead.”
“Hey, don’t sell yourself short,” said Matt. “You’re our
McCoy’s vengeful smile faded. “Martinez…no, Luca.”
Martinez looked up in surprise at her use of his first name.
She continued. “Just talk to her. Neither of you have any clue as to what ‘normal’ social interactions look like. In your case, it’s because you’ve been a soldier for all of your adult life. In her case, it’s because she’s, well, because she’s Chao. So just walk up to her and be straightforward. Trust me, it’ll be like a breath of fresh air for her to not have to navigate social cues. Just say something like ‘Hey, I really like you, do you like me and do you want to go get a coffee sometime’? Start with that. Chao’s good people, the worst thing she’ll do is say no. She won’t yell at you or talk shit about you online. Buuuut, some sixth sense is telling me she won’t say no to getting some coffee with ya.”
Matt smiled. “McCoy, I think you might have a calling after you leave the military.”
She snorted. “Oh yeah, I’ll hang up my match-making shingle on the internet and start raking in the big bucks. Martinez is right, though. If we try to do a publicity stunt up at the Rithro
, then we’ll need somebody alongside Chao to win the world over. Somebody well-known, but preferably someone not in the traditional Western pop-culture sphere. That’ll make it more palatable…”
Her voice trailed off and she stared into space. The two men now looked at each other in genuine concern until she spoke again a few moments later.
“Guys? I think I just had the best idea ever.”
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2023.06.03 18:57 ScholarNeonBot Defamation started
2023.06.03 18:57 TylerDurden_555 Defamation started
2023.06.03 18:53 MickySuperBuddy Unlicensed Overcrowded Slumlord HMO – I am about to call the council to come for an inspection and need advice please!
First of all, thanks for reading and commenting. In October of 2020, I immigrated to Britain and have been living in an HMO in Liverpool. Since the beginning, the condition of the property was bad (including mould and damp, mice etc) and we were 6 tenants in total, mostly immigrants. Since then, the HMO has been sold over and over again and had 3 different owners. Since the last owner took over in January, the situation in the property has been deteriorating extremely and often the landlord has simply refused to make repairs. He has been filling the rooms with couples to charge more money and the number of tenants has risen and now has been oscillating around 8-11 tenants. We even had an Indian couple who just arrived in Britain with a little 5-year-old girl squeezed into the smallest room of the house (barely fits a double bed) for about a week while charging them horrendous prices.
When the shower downstairs broke, the landlord made 6 tenants (including me) share a small shower box for over 6 weeks. The drier broke and he refused to repair it, so now we do not have a drier anymore. The kitchen only has 1 standard cooker with 4 hobs. The overcrowding of the kitchen let to accidents happen and tenants getting burned when bumping into each other and hot pots falling over. Rubbish everywhere and very dirty and no cleaning service ever cleans the house. I guess you guys get the picture. This situation let me to question “How can such inhumane treatment be legal in England?”. I know this from third world countries, but was surprised to find it here. When I researched, I found out that not only is all of the above illegal, but there is no HMO licence for this property in the database of the Liverpool council, hence, the entire HMO is illegal. Coincidentally, this week the landlord served notice to the tenants in the first floor (including me) and gave us 60 days to vacate (reason unknown).
I want to call the council and ask them to come for an inspection, which will result in them finding out about all the illegalities. Ironically, the London agency that manages the property and the landlord are all foreigners too (Indian and Arabs) and act a bit like “Wannabe Gansta” with obvious total disregard for the law. So, I’m worried for the safety of the tenants too. Many are immigrants that do not know the law and their rights, have no family in the UK and are vulnerable. Here is what I would like to ask before I call the council:
- I talked to Citizens Advice already about this, but they could not answer this. What happens to the tenants when the inspection concludes that the HMO is illegal? Do we get 60 days to leave or less or more? Can we leave whenever we want? I know that the notice that he gave us would be nullified, since you can’t evict tenants in an unlicensed HMO.
- I want to ask for a rent repayment order of 12 months after all is done, but since there are 2 landlords in that time period is that even possible or how does this work?
- I always had a tenancy agreement, but this last landlord gave me a Licence to Occupy agreement, which is illegal too. I complained to him with no success. I know that my deposit does not have the same protection as with a tenancy agreement and I plan to not pay the last month’s rent to make sure I get my money back. Is this ok under these conditions or can that cause me problems?
- Has anyone here practical experience with a council inspection in illegal HMOs and can share their experience or give me some tips?
Thanks to everyone and hopefully justice will be made…
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2023.06.03 18:51 CaktusJacklynn DAE Get Angry When Parents Talk About Their Children?
For instance, yesterday my boss was going on and on about how some asshole former football player was calling this generation of kids "soft" and "lazy", abd how we needed more "tOuGh LoVe" and that "folks aren't allowed to fail these days"
Another person brought up how "they aren't their child's friend" (🤢🤢) and how they're trying to raise them to be "productive members of society"
To a normal person, these comments would just roll off their shoulders like water off a duck's back.
For me, someone raised within and neglected by a narcissistic family, I could feel my rage boiling just under the surface.
Honestly, I wanted to warn everyone about how that kind of bullshit leads to kids abandoning the family as soon as they are of age, never to return. Keep focusing on making kids "good" and watch as they run the fuck away and stop being "good" as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
I wanted to say that I don't speak to my own mom because of those very attitudes about "laziness" & "tOugH LoVe" and how I plan to leave the state and this job because of these kinds of conversations.
The whole parenting thing turns my fucking stomach. No, you're not your child's friend but they should feel that you're trustworthy enough to be a confidant. It's important fir people to be productive, but often that's not to the standards of others and that's a problem for other folks to deal with.
The idea that I would have to be my child's first bully to supposedly prepare them for the world makes me fucking sick. I'm considering a more permanent solution to the whole question of having kids, so I don't even have to risk the possibility of getting pregnant.
I'm seeing my therapist Thursday, so this will come up during that session. I just wanted to vent here because it's eating me up and it pissed me off.
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2023.06.03 18:46 dreamingofislay Feis Ile 2023 Day Eight - Ardbeg Day Recap (6/3)
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That's a wrap, folks! Feis Ile 2023 has been an incredible experience, and it ended with a bang on Ardbeg's open day today. The chosen crew for Operation Smokescreen, a free single-cask tasting panel
The angry smokecloud residing in every bottle of Heavy Vapours
- Ardbeg Committee members could enter a lottery for a free experience called "Operation Smokescreen" in the runup to the Feis. I signed us both up, and my wife won a place! Here's what she could disclose to me. During the Operation, the fortunate 50 or so fans entered an elaborately decorated mad scientist's lab, where they tried samples from five Ardbeg single casks and Ardbeg 10 at cask strength. The mad scientist in question was Gillian Macdonald, the company's master blender. Working in teams, the lucky ducks offered tasting notes on the five casks using Ardbeg 10 as a reference point. My wife guessed that the Ardbeg crew will blend these cask types to make a new expression, perhaps an upcoming Committee release.
- This year's open day single cask release (495 pounds) was an 11.5-year-old whisky aged in a first-fill amontillado sherry cask. Even at that steep price, the line was massive, and it kept up all day, never letting up as new arrivals joined in. I saw stray bottle flippers grabbing as many as they could and then immediately leaving festival day, which is a real shame.
- I missed Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain days doing activities at other distilleries, but I cannot imagine anyone does it better than Ardbeg. Their day is a fitting capstone to the week because they go all out. Elaborate decorations (this year, giant green octopus tentacles hanging from the windows, and comic panels all over the walls); staff in sci-fi and superhero costumes, along with savvy guests; and by far the most activities and games of Feis week. The entry ticket was 10 pounds but was a bargain: two drams, a "smokie" (a smoked fish), a mini-glencairn glass, and a scavenger hunt-style game that could earn another dram. And the crowds were the biggest we saw all week, by far.
- Aside from offering the whole core range and the Heavy Vapours festival bottle as those two included drams, Ardbeg also had a cash bar with very reasonable prices for rare or pricey whiskies, including Ardbeg 25 for 20 pounds and Supernova 2014 and other old Committee releases or Feis bottles for 10 pounds. The bartenders also had very heavy hands. A single pour was enough for my wife and me to split, with me filling up a 20 ml sample bottle and still having leftovers to nose and sip. There was also a fun game of chance where, for five pounds a play, we drew a surprise dram from a set of small mailbox-like lockers. The pours ranged from the standard Ardbeg 10 up to Twenty-something, Renaissance, Alligator Committee Release, 25, etc. In our three plays, we got the Heavy Vapours, 8-year-old For Discussion, and Traigh Bhan 19-year-old Batch 4. Not too bad!
- There were tons of games and activities. One of our favorites was a comic workshop where people could draw this year's "Heavy Vapours" villains or heroes (from the Planet Ardbeg comic book series) on merchandise they purchased at the gift shop. In my wife's case, she got a free lab coat from Operation Smokescreen and later added her own hand-drawn touch to it.
Farewell to another spectacular week with the best whisky-makers in the world Ardbeg Heavy Vapours Festival Bottling
- In contrast to other distilleries, Ardbeg festival day tastings are booked day-of. We jumped on the 1:30 tasting, led by distillery manager Colin Gordon and two employees, including Emma, our tour guide from yesterday. The tasting covered (1) new make; (2) Heavy Vapours; (3) Blaaack; (4) Supernova 2014; and (5) this year's Amontillado single cask. The price was 50 pounds, up from 40 pounds last year, and was held outside thanks to the spectacular weather. While it was nice, it was also mobbed - there must have been over 70-80 people in our tasting group. The pours were well worth the cost, although I preferred other experiences earlier in the week with smaller groups or more organization.
- We saw the swan couple again alongside the Ardbeg pier. Throughout the week, they proved themselves more dedicated festival attendees than we were.
- Note from last night: Lucci's Bar at the Bowmore Hotel is another iconic Islay watering hole, and Peter is an absolute encyclopedia of whisky knowledge. The bar had live music on Friday night; we left around midnight to a heartwarming rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
- Looking back at my notes, I tried 85 whiskies in 8 days on the island, so I'm ready for a vacation from this vacation. We're heading to Skye next and will visit three more distilleries in the next week or so, but nothing like this pace (thankfully).
- This is the 46%, slightly diluted version of the Committee Release we tried yesterday, but it's very similar. It has a dry presentation missing some of Ardbeg's brighter fruit notes, so it almost seemed to have a hole in the middle of the palate. I'm not a big fan, so I wasn't tempted by its 120-pound price tag. Ardbeg 8 y.o. For Discussion
- I'm wondering why Ardbeg would release an 8-year-old whisky, but it's hard to complain about a new, age-stated, higher ABV (50.8%) Ardbeg at a fair price of 60 pounds. This pretty much tastes like a champion's breakfast of a lemon muffin and two cigarettes. If released in America, we'd call this "Ardbeg Bottled in Bond." Good stuff. Ardbeg Blaaack Committee Release
- Alright, hello, this is different. This has lots of ripe orchard fruit, berries, and other rich flavors. On the finish, moreso than on the nose, I get a healthy dose of vanilla. Subsequent sips got more acidic and less pleasurable. Ardbeg Supernova Committee Release 2014
- This whisky epitomizes what it means to be peaty, not smoky. This whisky is a blend of very peated barrels (or barrels that expressed that character more than normal), but the type of peat is a vegetal, floral, and earthy melange, not the ashy smoke typical of Ardbegs. It's surprisingly mellow on the palate, and on one particularly good sip, there were hints of Boston cream donut on the finish. Ardbeg 11 y.o. Amontillado Single Cask Feis Ile 2023
- In watches, one way to distinguish between quartz watches and mechanicals (which are more of a luxury item) is by the movement of the seconds hand. Quartz watches tick, while mechanicals have a sweeping, smooth motion. But some super-high-end mechanical watchmakers include a feature called a "dead-beat" seconds hand, which ticks like a quartz watch. So for an extra $10,000 or $20,000, that feature makes a very expensive luxury watch look, in one way, like a regular quartz. That wasn't just random wristwatch trivia, folks; it was a very long metaphor for the fact that this single cask tastes a lot like my favorite bourbon, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. It has a very oaky but sweet nose, and then a mix of fruit, brown sugar, and more charred wood on the palate before wrapping up with a dried-fruit-and-oak finish. On the one hand, I love every part on it. On the other hand, why would I pay $620 for a scotch that tastes like my favorite $80-100 bourbon? This is the dead-beats seconds hand of the scotch market. Ardbeg Traigh Bhan Batch 4
- I started getting palate exhaustion by this point. This dram seemed very subtle and balanced, especially in this day and age when almost all Ardbegs are well under 10 years old. The dried glass surprised me with a distinct deli ham note when we got home from festival day. This is a savory Ardbeg, and pretty different than the original Traigh Bhan from 2019. Ardbeg 10 Cask Strength
- OK, one quick pour at home, just to confirm this is as good as I would expect. It is. The "soot and fruit" core character of Ardbeg shines through. Yesterday, I almost asked our tour guide yesterday whether Ardbeg would ever consider doing a 10 at cask strength, since Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength is my favorite series of whiskies. After tasting this, I am holding out hope. Delicious.
And some stray notes from the Bowmore Hotel last night ... Bowmore Vault Edition No. 2 Peat Smoke
- It's so funny, this dram was supposed to highlight the peaty/smoky side of Bowmore's moderately peated spirit. Instead, it hit me with the clearest, most powerful prune note I've ever gotten in a whisky. Not the most complex, but a delightful surprise. Kilchoman STR Cask 2019
- STR is an experimental cask finish involving shaving, toasting, and recharring (hence, S-T-R) old wine casks to mature whisky. Based on this one, I'm not the biggest fan. Like a dried-out bourbon that had its sweet notes sucked out of its nose before mummification. Arrrrrrrdbeg!
- This pour was pretty pricey, but damned if it isn't worth it. The nose is minty and features starfruit, anise, and mukhwas, with more of those fresh fruit and spice characteristics on the palate, along with a balanced dose of cigar smoke peatiness. A mellow and self-assured Ardbeg, and a fitting tribute to longtime distillery manager Mickey Heads. Bunnahabhain 12 Cask Strength 2022 ed.
- Aberlour A'bunadh is like the Two Face of whiskies for me; half is amazing, but half is harsh and hot (even though we mostly drink cask-strength whisky). This dram is the good half of A'bunadh: spiced cider, sultanas and trail mix dried fruits, cocoa powder, all in a rich and syrupy whisky.
The complete week's recaps are here: Day One, Lagavulin Day Two, Bruichladdich - but we skipped and did Bunnahabhain Day Three, Caol Ila Day Four, Laphroaig Day Five, Bowmore and Ardnahoe Bonus notes from Days One through Five Day Six, Kilchoman Day Seven - Bunnahabhain Day, but we did Lagavulin and Ardbeg warehouse tastings
Slainte all, and thanks for reading! I plan to do two followup posts. Tomorrow, I'll compile a "best of the week" list to recognize which distilleries did which parts of the week well, and then I'll do a writeup in the next few weeks with some booking and logistics advice, if people are interested.
2023.06.03 18:45 tomdavis611 Starting to Write First Thing in the Morning
I have discovered that writing first thing in the morning is the most productive.
I've watched many interviews with writers and the one thing they all seem to agree on is writing first thing in the morning, as soon as they wake up. Stephen King writes for four hours a day in the morning, every day. Hemmingway wrote in the morning and his family often remarked that he was unavailable in the mornings and not to bother him. Anne Rice had her writing desk in her bedroom and went to work as soon as she woke up, writing in her pajamas.
I noticed that I had to take more and more time putting myself into the writing mood if I delayed my writing until the afternoon. After got all my household chores done, answered emails, started dinner in the crock pot, made the bed, and watered the garden, only then would I sit down to write. By then, my mind was so wired up that I had to listen to om chants or calming music to put myself in the mood to write.
I've trained myself to write first thing in the morning. The only thing I do after waking is make a cup of coffee and use the bathroom. Nothing else goes on in my mind. I was surprised how hard it was to resist the urge to tend to my daily chores and it actually took me a few days to completely abandon them and get right to writing first thing. The results are surprising. I can put in four hours a day with almost no effort and it flows like mercury sliding down a non stick pan (ha! - had to get that one in there). I even think my writing has gotten better.
In the morning, my mind is completely free of worries, doubts, or fears. I just write as if I'm still in the dream like state of sleep.
When I'm done at around noon, I still have half a day to do all the chores I need to do and I feel better knowing that I already put in my writing time.
I hope this technique helps others on here. Has anyone had a similar experience?
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2023.06.03 18:44 CIAHerpes The Leatherman building has something strange in the basement
The building had a reputation for being haunted. Kids would dare each other to go inside, but unlike other places around town, they would actually see something- or at least claim that they did.
Little Jamie Curry, 9-years-old, went into the basement of the abandoned Leatherman’s complex on a dare and saw a zombie. He said he knew it wasn’t just some guy in an outfit because the zombie had a grapefruit-sized hole in its chest, and he could actually see right through the middle of the thing. He had run right past his group of friends who were patiently waiting outside, screaming and wetting himself as he went.
Another young kid from my town, Alicia DeSilva, 11-years-old, said it was all a bunch of garbage, that she wasn’t afraid of a run-down factory building, except for maybe the asbestos which her uncle told her “rots your lungs from the inside”. She had said she would even go inside it at night. Why not? After all, there were no such things as ghosts or boogeymen.
One of her friends told Alicia that if she went inside Leatherman’s main building at night, grabbed something from the basement and brought it back out for their mutual inspection, the friend would pay Alicia five dollars. Alicia had gasped. Five bucks was a good amount to someone like her. With five dollars, she could even get a kit so that she could finally fix her bike tire. They all met in front of the building, and Alicia disappeared into the dark fire doors on the side of the building, full of bravado and still laughing as she went inside.
Except unlike Jamie Curry, Alicia never came back out screaming and wetting herself, never had a chance to tell some unbelievable story about what she encountered in the fetid basement of that place. Her body was never found. The police were called after a few hours, and they searched the entire building from top to bottom. They were able to follow some fresh footprints in the dust that might have been Alicia’s, but when they got to the basement, the prints just disappeared- as if the person making them had simply gotten sucked up into the ceiling. And yet they did find one thing, the only real evidence left in the entire building that night. What they found still gives me nightmares sometimes.
One of her eyeballs was inside a snowglobe. The glass and foundation of the snowglobe were all intact, and there were no signs of foul play anywhere on the decoration. It was as if it had been manufactured that way- with that blue, staring eye floating lazily next to plastic mountains and white glitter snowflakes.
In my nightmares, I often see an old woman shaking that snowglobe, an old hag who cackles and whose split lips form into a dreadful smile as she stares directly at me. The eye and the glitter all hang suspended in the water for a moment, then begin to fall slowly, the eye spinning rapidly as it drifts down the front of the globe. And when it’s stopped, I see it is looking directly at me, and it still looks frightened.
OK, so that last paragraph was pretty dark. But what I’m trying to communicate is just how terrifying that place is. The kids in school know what’s going on, though, at least in a general way. After all, Alicia and Jamie came from among them, and they’re not the only ones. Others have gone into the building before. And Matt wants me to go with him tomorrow to look at it.
Maybe that’s why the dreams are getting worse. Maybe that’s why I’ve woken up screaming twice in the last few hours. Because there was something else, too, something else I saw in my nightmares. In that building, around the back walls, there were dozens of kids. Their skin was chalk-white, their hair and eyes all pure black. They were dead. And then thousands of “Missing” posters started to fly down, all of them of smiling children. I looked between the ones surrounding me and the posters and noticed that some of them showed these same kids. I turned to run but little rotted hands started pulling me down and then, I was sitting straight up in bed, yelling and pleading.
I really don’t want to go in that building tomorrow.
OK, so Matt and I went inside the doorway. No way was I going in the basement. But just the front doorway… well, that wasn’t too bad. I even stuck my head in and looked around inside.
Matt didn’t see it, but I did. There was something huge in the front hall. It wasn’t much more than a silhouette. It looked like a very tall, very thin man in a suit whose neck was all twisted and strange. It came off his chest like a snake’s, turning and curling back on itself, and at the end it had this reptilian face. Everything about the man was hairless and slimy. I could smell the strange stuff on his skin.
But by the time I had gotten Matt’s attention and pointed it out to him, the guy was gone. I don’t know how he disappeared so fast.
Matt was making fun of me as we walked home afterwards, pointing at random alleyways and asking, “Do you see him there, too?” and then laughing. It wasn’t that funny. I’ll prove to him there was someone in there.
I convinced Matt to come back with me. I need to see what’s in there. He wasn’t thrilled about it, but I told him an older kid offered to pay $10 for a souvenir from the place, and that I’d split it with him if he went with me. All of this was total crap, of course. But I want to see what was in there, and I definitely want these dreams to stop.
“You know, you’re lucky you have a friend as brave and manly as me,” Matt said, puffing up his little bird-chest. “After what happened to those other schmucks, everyone has been avoiding this place like the plague.”
“Yeah, but unlike all of them, you know it’s just a building,” I said. He gave me a funny look then.
“It’s just a building, but you know something actually happened,” he said. “I was talking to my dad about it, and he said maybe a homeless guy was living there, totally deranged, and maybe he cut out Alicia’s eye and kidnapped her.” He stated this was the seriousness of a news anchor recounting bits of total bullshit for the audience. I smiled at his grave expression, repressing an urge to laugh. He looked over at me disapprovingly. “It could have happened, you know. Homeless people are homeless because they’re crazy. My dad says so. Maybe one of them just went really crazy and started taking souvenirs off of people’s bodies.”
“I guess,” I said. We were most of the way through the old industrial part of town now. Shuttered factories and condemned buildings stretched out on both sides of the street. A fat, limping raccoon walked lazily out of a nearby alleyway. He gave us a sideways glance, stopping for a moment, then kept on maneuvering his round frame forward. Something that Matt had said had given me pause.
“You know,” I said, “it’s kinda weird that we don’t have homeless people out here. We have all these empty buildings, yet most of them camp out on the sidewalks on Main Street. I’ve never seen a single homeless person sleeping in one of these buildings, and I’ve never seen one even close to the Leatherman building. It’s like they have some sort of sixth sense to avoid the place.”
“Clearly they’re smarter than you and me,” Matt muttered. We were walking past the rusty metal chain link fence around the property. He looked pale and his eyes were wide. “Are you sure you want to do this?” Right then, my instincts screamed at me to run.
“Yes,” I said simply, walking in first, taking the flashlight out of my pocket. “I need to know. For sure. Either way, I’d like evidence. Either it is my imagination, or something supernatural actually exists within and around this building.” An old, musty smell permeated the huge hallway. I looked up and down it, wondering what was missing. Then I realized- it had no graffiti. It had to be the only abandoned building I’d ever been in without tons of graffiti scrawled on the inside.
In some places, the walls had begun to buckle, and whole sections were crumbling and coming down. Farther ahead, the ceiling had collapsed inwards, blocking half of the main hallway off. Downstairs, lights started turning on, and the entire building started to come to life. I looked at Matt, who was looking dazed.
“Bro, what the hell is that?” he asked. I had no idea.
“Someone’s in here with us,” I said. “Let’s go check it out.” He looked at me like I was insane.
“Are you mad? What if it’s cops? What if it’s tweakers pulling out all the metal?”
“We’ll be quiet, and just peek around the corner,” I said. “I think we’re meant to see this. Don’t you want to know what’s going on here?” He scowled.
“I’d much rather get home alive,” he said, but he followed me reluctantly. There was a rhythmic hum coming from the floors now, as if machinery were coming to life. A sign, dirty and covered in spiderwebs, pointed to a staircase on the right. I looked down it, seeing bright light flood into the stairwell corridor, despite the fact that there was no electricity running to this building. We started down the staircase to the basement level. There was a smell of ozone in the air, a cyclical rhythmic humming that popped and buzzed. I took a deep breath, wondering what I would see down here. Then I poked my head around the corner.
There were conveyor belts stretching against the basement, their legs embedded into the cracked concrete floors. Beams and pillars ran up from the floor to the ceiling every ten feet or so. And it looked like there were countless workers just sitting on each side of the conveyor belts, sitting in crooked wooden chairs with splintering legs and backs. But it was the workers who caught my attention most of all. They looked… strange.
“Does something look off to you?” I whispered to Matt, who had been standing behind me only a moment earlier. But I got no reply. I figured he was too engrossed in the bizarre nature of what we were seeing to respond.
The workers, if that’s what they were, looked blurred, as if in an overexposed picture with a long shutter speed. Their skin appeared to writhe and crackle, some of their heads constantly turned from side to side, and their limbs… all of them appeared to be missing limbs. I saw pale, white bodies without arms, without legs, even without heads, but they all still continued working in unison, moving in that jerky, blurred way.
“Jesus, Matt, do you see?” I asked suddenly, my eyes widening. “Do you see what they’re doing?” I looked forward in horror as I saw human bodies rolled down the conveyor belts. The people were still alive. They were naked, many of them crying and covered in blood. As they passed by the workers, the blurred hands quickly took pieces of their skin off. Glistening sheets of it were raised by other workers walking along between the lines, and they would give an admiring look at the large pieces of skin, smiling eerily as their heads writhed from side to side and blurred in my vision.
And I saw the kids from my dream, the kids from the missing persons posters, all in the corner. They were huddled, emaciated, with wide, staring eyes. They trembled and cowered as some of the workers came over to grab them and throw them on the belts.
I turned to get the hell out of there, and that was when I realized Matt was no longer behind me. I caught a glimpse of something dark and massive moving at the top of the stairs, disappearing around the corner. I was alone. I know I should have stayed and looked for Matt, but instead, I ran. I got out of that place and went home and hid under my blankets.
I thought 13 was old enough to deal with this, but it has gone way beyond what I thought.
Matt’s parents are calling. My parents stand at the bottom of the stairs, my mother holding the landline in her thin hand, my father looking disturbed. They tell me that Matt is missing, that he never came home last night. What should I tell them? Certainly not the truth. If I started talking about the things in that building, I would be forced into a psychiatric ward before the week was up.
The police stopped by and asked me a few questions. I told them all straight-up lies. “No sir, I haven’t seen him, and I have no idea what happened to him.” But what else could I say? That he was taken by something from a nightmare?
I have to go back. I have to try to rescue Matt. I shouldn’t have ran like I did, but seeing those things cutting up people like that… it scared the shit out of me. Tonight, once my parents go to sleep, I’m going to sneak out, and everyone will think I’m a hero if I bring him back. If I don’t, I’ll probably end up as just another stupid missing kid who ended up way over his head.
I went back. I made it out, but I think they’re coming for me. There was something in the basement.
All of the conveyor belts were gone, the lights were off, the rhythmic hum had disappeared. It was as if the other night was all a hallucination- except for, of course, Matt is still missing. His parents are freaking out, and I can’t even tell them I know what happened to him, kinda.
Going into the building alone was terrifying. My legs felt like wood, and I kept glancing behind me every second as if I were hearing imaginary pursuers. But I walked through to the staircase, and I saw nothing.
I went down to the basement, peeking my head around the corner. It was just a mostly empty basement, some broken furniture and old boxes stacked in one corner. I shone my light all over and saw no one. But there was a light coming from the far corner, a faint, glowing, orange light. A feeling of dread came over me.
I crept slowly forward, trying to find the source of that light. A faint smell of smoke and roasting meat seemed to creep through the air. Off past the last line of boxes, I saw what looked like a small crater on the floor. There was a hole there with glowing fire underneath. Cracks spiderwebbed out from it in all directions for a few feet. More curious than afraid now, I peered forward and looked down.
Beneath the abandoned building, there was another world. It had fire licking the walls and ground, and in the middle of this inferno, I saw Matt. His face was a map of blackish-purple bruises, his head was cocked at an unnatural angle, and I saw blood pouring out of his ears and nose. He looked up at me, and the bones in his neck grated together. I saw his spine was broken and his entire throat was crushed inwards.
“Help me,” he croaked. “You brought me here, now help me. You can’t leave me. They’ll come for you next…” All around him, I saw hands reaching up- the pale, jerky hands of those strange workers. They grabbed Matt and dragged him back down to the fire. I saw other horrid creatures in the flames, some laughing and insane, others shrieking in agony. Large, black insectile silhouettes moved through the smoke and flames. And then, like one, they started coming up towards the hole, coming up to the building where they would be free.
I ran then, and I never went back. I know now that Matt is dead. I can’t sleep. Every time I look out the window, I see shapes in the front yard- blurred humanoids with missing limbs, hiding in the bushes and trees, and constantly inching closer.
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2023.06.03 18:40 Watercress-Senior What should I do and am I the jerk
So the accident just happened and I don't know what to do. I was riding my scooter it's 70cc yamaha jog aprio very rare bike whit 2k of tunning and its loud but not crazy it's like 250 dirt bike. And I was out riding in my area it's a small village so there is not much places to go and I wanted to go in the south part of the village so I went then I did some off road and decided to go back home on my way I see an old fuck slaming his gate open yelling at me that I have made him crazy and some dumb shit didn't hear him good I was whit helmet earplugs and mask so I just speed off leaving him yelling so what shoud I do about him in the village (south side) has only to roads that go to the north side where I live and one of them is closed off for new water pipes so I can't go through there and the only way is right infront of his house what should I do
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to amithejerkpodcast [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 18:32 BimboJeales "Bro, you're doing it wrong"
submitted by BimboJeales to Arthurian [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 18:30 AutoModerator [Download Course] Dan Koe – Digital Economics Masters Degree (Genkicourses.site)
| || | submitted by AutoModerator to TheCoursePlace1 [link] [comments]
Get the course here: [Download Course] Dan Koe – Digital Economics Masters Degree (Genkicourses.site)
Our website: https://www.genkicourses.site/product/dan-koe-digital-economics-masters-degree/
Phase 0) Digital Economics 101
The Digital Economics 101 module will open 1 week prior to the cohort start date.This is an onboarding module that will get you up to speed so we can get straight into the material.This will be required to finish before the start date.
- Gain a deep understanding of all of the pieces in the digital economy.
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Phase 1) Creating A Meaningful Niche
Every day I hear people going on and on about trying to find their niche.I also hear people talking about how they don’t know how to combine what they love talking about
with what will sell.
You already have the answer. You just don’t have the clarity.
- Develop a long-term strategy to create your own niche — meaning you don’t have to worry about your “competition” playing status games.
- Discover your life’s work, curiosities, and obsessions. I see too many people that are uncertain about this for years.
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There is one thing that separates those who make it in the digital economy and those who don’t.It’s the quality, articulation, and perceived originality
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It has to change their thought patterns or behavior
— that’s what makes you memorable.That’s what separates you from the sea of people posting surface-level copy-cat style posts.Example and putting my money where my mouth is:
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- Implement our Epistemic Research Method — which is just a fancy way of saying scientific research method… but it’s for researching your mind to craft brilliant content and product ideas.
Phase 3) Crafting Your Offer
Most people are sitting on a goldmine of skills, experience, and knowledge (that they can use to help people 1-2 steps behind them
).That is what people pay for.Considering 95% of the market are beginners
… if you are good at something, you can help them get to your level (no matter how “basic” you think the information is
).Do you not watch basic content all day anyway? People don’t want new information, they want to be reminded of what works.
- Use our Minimum Viable Offer strategy to start monetizing immediately (and have something to improve over time, rather than procrastinating until it’s perfect).
- Have a strategy for reducing the time you spend working over time (as you build leverage and improve your offer).
- Know how to create your own customers from the audience you are building, instead of “finding” the right customer for your offer.
- Take the guesswork out of building coaching, consulting, or digital product offers.
Phase 4) Marketing Strategy
You aren’t making money because you aren’t promoting yourself or your offer.That is literally the only way to make money. Have something desirable and consistently
put it in front of peoples’ faces.In Phase 4, I will show you how to systemize, automate, and be consistent with simple promotions.You will be able to make money without having the chance of forgetting to do it (or letting fear of failure get in the way).
- Learn to sell on social media, in your writing, and across different platforms.
- Have consistent sales coming in while focusing on your meaningful message (no need to sound salesy all the time).
- Learn advanced automation strategies that you can implement at your own pace, especially once you validate your offer.
Bonus) The Creator Command Center
The Creator Command Center is a Notion template that houses all of the systems.This is how you will manage your brand, content, offer creation, marketing strategy, and systemized promotions for consistent sales.
Bonus) Live Product Build & Launch
In the first Digital Economics Cohort, I built out my course The 2 Hour Writer.I have videos showing how I build it with the strategies in phase 3 and 4.There is a bonus module that shows how I had an $85,000 launch that resulted in my first $100K month.I did this to prove the strategies inside Digital Economics work if you stick to the plan.And, this past Black Friday, I blew my that monthly high out of the water in 4 days.
That’s the power of these strategies if you stay consistent with your life’s work.
If you're wondering why our courses are priced lower than the original prices and are feeling a bit suspicious (which is understandable), we can provide proof of the course's contents. We can provide a screenshot of the course's contents or send you a freebie, such as an introduction video or another video from the course, to prove that we do have the course. Should you wish to request proof, we kindly ask you to reach out to us.
Please be aware that our courses do not include community access. This is due to the fact that we do not have the authority to manage this feature. Despite our desire to incorporate this aspect, it is, unfortunately, unfeasible.
Explore affordable learning at Genkicourses.site
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2023.06.03 18:29 Lefty8312 New lube recommendation and sex related question
Just thought I'd highlight a new lube we go recently that has worked very well for us today!! https://woowoo.fun/products/woowoo-slide-it
It's water based so condom safe and unlike others doesn't have an unpleasant smell or turns to a liquid mess in your hand (it's quite gel like)
Onto the sex question though. Not posting in the sex subreddit as I know my fiancée is a regular reader there.
For years, she's had an issue during foreplay where her leg will start to twitch randomly and it completely throws her concentration.
It's not an issue during sex itself, just when using fingers in her or on her clit, but it really frustrated her.
Has anyone came across something like this before? We've googled it and came up with squat in the last so thought I would post here
submitted by Lefty8312
to bigdickproblems [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 18:25 attymarie These have popped up within the past year - MD
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when they bloom they look like mutated dandelions, stem is thick and hard to cut through. Boiling water didn't help kill them either. Tallest one currently is about 3ft tall. submitted by attymarie to whatsthisplant [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 18:25 Googunk LAOP has all the evidence in the world but comments suggest that the case hinges on "WTF is a Ranch Water?"
submitted by Googunk to bestoflegaladvice [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 18:25 macmillan333 OMG YouTube actually did a good thing
They removed the Explore button between Home, Shorts and Subscriptions in the left menu. I have never ever wanted to Explore YouTube - at least in the categories they want me to explore - and every time I clicked on it it's by accident. Removing the Explore button will save me a handful of misclicks each year! Hooray! Impact!
The next step in my ideal world would be to remove the Shorts button as well. But as long as TikTok still exists that probably won't happen.
submitted by macmillan333
to u/macmillan333 [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 18:24 HorrorJunkie123 My Girlfriend was Convinced that I Cheated on Her. I Swore that I Didn't, but I Met a Stranger in the Street, and Now I'm Not so Sure.
“Baby, please don’t leave. We can talk this out. It was just a dream, I promise.”
“Jen, you accused me of cheating on you. Even after what happened with my ex, you really thought I was capable of infidelity,” I said, hoisting my bag onto my back.
“Kenny, I’m sorry.
How many times do I have to apologize? I was out of line and I shouldn’t have said that. But you have to see it from my point of view. I-”
“Your point of view?! Jen, you woke up today screaming at me and trying to prove that I fucked some imaginary girl. I do
see it from your point of view.”
She stared at her feet for a long time. The tension in the air was thick enough to cut with a knife. When my girlfriend finally glanced up, tears were beginning to spill from her eyes. I wanted nothing more than to wrap her in a bear hug and tell her that everything was okay. But it wasn’t. And we both knew that.
“I’m about to leave,” I said, as a pang of guilt stabbed through my chest like a bayonet, “I’ll call you in a couple days when I’ve had a chance to think things over, alright?”
Jen shuffled over and threw her arms around me before I had a chance to protest. I didn’t return the gesture.
“I’m sorry, baby. I’ll give you your space. I love you, my Ken doll.”
I gazed down at her despondently as she released me from her grip.
“I’ll see you in a few days, Jen. Goodbye.”
Her bottom lip quivered as I slammed the door in her face. Tears clouded my vision as I reversed out of the driveway of our shared apartment. Was I really doing this? Maybe I should just forgive her. I really did love her, after all. No. I needed to do this. And Jen needed to learn that her words carry weight.
I spent the next couple of days at my parents' house. I told them that Jen and I had gotten into it, but I didn’t elaborate. They didn’t pry, sensing that I could use some space. I took some much-needed time to myself to mull things over. I was leaning toward returning home and taking Jen back when I received a call that turned my world upside down.
“Hello? Mrs. Thompson, is everything okay?”
My heart thudded against my ribcage as I heard muffled sniffles on the other end of the line.
“Kenny, it’s Jen. She’s been in an accident. She’s in the ICU. They don’t know if she’s going to make it.”
She burst into hysterics, leaving me to process those devastating words.
“Wha- no, that can’t. I- Which hospital is she at?”
“I’m on my way,” I said, adrenaline surging through my veins as I bolted to my car.
I flew down the empty streets, doing well over the speed limit. I felt numb as I drove, praying to any god that would listen for Jen’s recovery. What had I done? My girlfriend meant the world to me and now there was a chance that I could lose her forever without even getting a chance to say goodbye.
I skidded onto a desolate road, nearly to my destination, when my heart stopped. A man in a brown leather jacket stood in the middle of the road. His round-rimmed glasses glinted in my headlights as I slammed on the breaks and swerved. Time felt like it slowed to a crawl. The stranger’s stare followed me as I lost control. My life flashed before my eyes. And then, it was over as quickly as it began.
I suddenly found myself slumped against the steering wheel, blood smearing a deflated airbag. I leaned up, pain immediately searing through my right leg. I screamed in agony as a figure approached my demolished Camaro.
“You really screwed up, man. You should’ve paid me my due.”
I furrowed my brows, racking my brain, but coming up empty.
“What the hell are you talking about? I’ve never met you, dude.”
“Are you sure about that?” he asked, placing a hand on my shoulder.
A torrent of memories began to flood through my brain. He was right. I had
met him before. And that filled me with a kind of primal fear that I hope I never experience again.
“That’s right,” he said, “real shame that you couldn’t control yourself around that little brunette from work. I cleaned up your mess. Now it’s time to pay the piper.”
“It was one stupid mistake. Look, Jen is in the hospital. I really need to go. I’ll pay you later, just please let me see her,” I sobbed, tears spilling down my face. He pondered for a moment.
“Okay. I’ll cut you a deal. I’ll make all of this go away, again,
then you and your little girlfriend can live happily ever after. But you have to give me what I want. Right here, right now.”
“Well, what do you want?”
A nauseating smile inched its way across his lips as dread seeped into my heart. I swore that for a second, I glimpsed a forked tongue slither between his teeth. What he said next sent abject hopelessness sinking into my stomach like a stone.
“I want your soul.”
I awoke in a familiar room. A girl lay beside me, facing the wall. I’d recognize that petite frame and those platinum blonde highlights anywhere. It was Jen. She was okay. Pure unabated contentment flooded through me. Until I remembered my conversation with Wayne. I have a feeling that I won’t be getting any more second chances. As I lay here, holding the love of my life, I can only hope that I’ve made the right decision. XX
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to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 18:24 klubuvf At a kids birthday party, I’m currently the coolest uncle on the planet, lol
2023.06.03 18:20 Any-Writer5955 Physical Abuse in Spurts
I'm 27 years old and have been processing a lot of trauma and abuse that had happened to me from the ages of 5 to 13.
My mom was addicted to prescription drugs for my whole life. At 5, I watched her threaten my dad with a kitchen knife, and he hit her in retaliation. She had custody of me after the divorce. At 8, I found her overdosed on the toilet. The majority of my trauma comes from taking care of her and myself when she was under the influence. She was also unpredictable in her emotional responses, and called me a bitch a lot from the time I was a kid.
She didn't really physically hurt me. But I have a memory of her pulling my hair at a water park, because we had walked at the way to a giant slide and I got scared at the last minute. She yanked my hair in front of my cousin, who then admitted she was scared too. My mom said, "I would have pulled your hair anyways."
Is this one situation of physical abuse..worth me getting upset about? I read the stories on here of repeated physical abuse and SA, and I feel that I'm just exaggerating this event.
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to CPTSD [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 18:20 Exciting-Salad-8990 Lottie Matthews: Grappling with Modernity
I’ve found myself thinking a lot about Lottie while rewatching season two. People say she feels like a different character from season one, but I don’t agree. The girl who offered a bear heart to a tree stump and said ‘let the darkness set us free’ is the same girl who put blood in people’s drinks and told Shauna to ‘open herself to the pain’ during childbirth, and her self-doubt was just as prevalent in season one as it is in season two. She’s a character that walks in ambiguity, vacillating between danger and compassion, shadow and sunlight, reason and madness, reality and unreality.
There’s this constant push-pull at play: how much is it Lottie’s responsibility to bear as the instigator of the ‘Wilderness cult’, and how much are the other girls shifting complicity off themselves and onto Lottie instead? (In a similar fashion to how they use the Wilderness as external justification for violent actions.) It’s a lot more compelling of a dichotomy than I initially realized, and the answer is more complicated than ‘Lottie is entirely at fault’ and ‘Lottie is entirely innocent’.
Where I stumbled a bit was with adult Lottie. While I enjoyed Simone Kessel’s portrayal of Lottie entering a manic state, once she pulled out the phenobarbital, any ambiguity was lost. Even before that, there was a sense of artifice to everything Lottie did and said in the present timeline that simply did not compute with what I was witnessing in the 90s timeline. It didn’t feel like a problem with the actress, it felt like an intentional decision on the writers/directors end. There’s a meaningful contradiction here, begging to be examined critically. I couldn’t wrap my head around it at first, but the more I’ve contemplated potential reasoning, the more I’ve come around to a new interpretation of both Lottie Matthews and the Wilderness metaphor.
Lottie, more than any other character on the show, really struggles to exist within the realm of modernity. We see this from pretty much every survivor of the crash, I think: they survived because they were able to abandon their ties to civilization and shift into a more primal state of existence--not just shift, but flourish in ways they never could back home. But Lottie, and perhaps Nat, struggles the most with reintegration upon being rescued. (At least outwardly.) The Wilderness represents antiquity, which might be a reason the Ancient Greece motifs are so prevalent in the 90s timeline.
When I use the term modernity, I mean it in a very specific sense. Post-industrialized, secular society. While perusing several articles to help clarify my thoughts, I came across this piece: 'Is Modernity our Antiquity?' • Afterall
It’s a beautifully written essay that I suggest reading if you’re at all interested in philosophy. But I’ll pull only the pertinent quotes to underline my points for those who don’t care. The essay offers this definition of modernity:
“We are now, according to Clark, living through modernity's crowning achievement of pure contingency and absolute secularisation: the disenchantment of the world that Max Weber once described is complete. The experience of modern life today is one of administrative regimentation where industrial and virtual machines produce everything that order and configure our daily lives, and they do this according to an enduring and secularised set of protocols (profit, regimentation, order and globalisation - in short, Capital). And yet amidst this total modernisation, every day we feel more insecure, and every day the risk associated with our modern obligations increases exponentially.”
The key takeaway is Capital, and that cuts to the heart of the difference between the two Lottie’s as well. One has money, the other does not. In one world, money matters, in the other, money means nothing. People often discuss how the show deals with mental health, but the show also touches on class issues, what with Shauna and Van and Nat in the lower middle to working class range, while Misty and Tai and Jackie and Lottie are in the upper middle to upper class spectrum. If Lottie is ‘fixed’, as her father wishes her to be, with all her spirituality stripped away and replaced by the watered down, neoliberal version, what is left--and how much better is it, really, than the Lottie we saw in the Wilderness?
(I’m also intrigued by the interplay between the public and private sphere in the present timeline. In the past, everything is intimate. In the present, everything is obfuscated by distance and technology.)
“For today it is fundamentally a question of our relationship to these recently past forms, a question of what is to be done as the artistic signs and images of emerging and developing modernity are rapidly becoming historical. It can be quite disconcerting, I think, to recognise just how fast this has happened, to acknowledge that high-modernist forms have become historical ones. By this I mean that we can no longer fully identify with them, as they belong to a different time, to a different knowledge, and finally, of course, to a different ambition. On the other hand, it may be important to recognise that this impression we have that our modern forms are rapidly accruing a sense of 'pastness' is in part the result of our contemporary cult of the past. Bruno Latour wants to argue that this cult of the past - this need to at one and the same time conjure the past, revere it, excise it and destroy it - extends to the very heart of modernism and is in the end what undermines modernism from within, in fact what makes modernism not modern at all.”
The contradictory nature of the past, of how the Yellowjackets treat their past, was really pinpointed by the line I bolded in this quote, particularly for Lottie. She fears the past, fears the person she was in the Wilderness, and yet simultaneously reveres and conjures that period by surrounding herself with imagery of the symbol. (Perhaps unconsciously in some instances, like with the beehives?) It’s both a form of exultation and iconoclasm. By turning the symbol into a representation of her cult, Lottie has perverted its original meaning into something palatable, meant to be mass distributed and consumed. It has become a product for sale, to be pinned to the breast of a yuppie in a mid-life crisis, when originally it was a beacon of both tragedy and hope for a desperate, starving, mentally-ill child.
“Following Adorno, we perhaps need to think of the categories of decline (of old forms) less as categories of destruction, but rather as categories of transition. If modernism is indeed now historical, then this surely raises the question of transition as a return to the question of the end of art, the very condition for art that Hegel had already announced in the 1820s. But is this necessary state of transition, knowing and acknowledging that things are changing rapidly and that the promise of yesterday is no longer (nor ever will be) the realisation of today - is this the same thing as assuming an antiquity for our immediate past?”
The paradigm shift of categorical decline as opposed to categorical transition really struck me. How the show structures itself with the two timelines is to meld the past and the present so that they echo and reflect each other. Lottie--and Nat (?)--is always in a state of flux, transition, her younger and older versions constantly juxtaposed and interrogated. At times the past feels like the present and the present feels like the past, and this temporal abrogation substantiates the concept of the modern as antiquated and the antiquated as modern.
“In At the Foot of the Flatiron, as with other early films, we are witnessing that particular look (the look at camera) as it begins its inevitable arc of disappearance. Soon it will transform itself into something more self-conscious, more sophisticated. It will become a look no longer at camera, but to camera. It will incorporate a knowledge born of comparison and anticipation ('how will this film of me match and compare to the ideal image of myself, in relationship to all similar images of me and others?'). In short, what we witness in this early film is the subject's self-consciousness before, or actually at the very moment, that that self-consciousness is imbued and invested, via this modern moving-image regime, with a new sense of history. I find this feeling remarkable; because it is truly and radically unknowable, it seems to suggest that it has also failed to become a past object. Failure in this sense is to give that look a real possibility, a second chance that is always never the last. In this sense, I want to argue that far from being part of an antiquity that belongs to us, what we 'find' in the past (in this case the strange look at camera, or more properly the impossible juggling between this look and the desire to hang on to your hat, that is to say, to hang on to history) can sometimes be the unfulfilled dreams of what never came up to be but maybe still might, only differently.”
I find this entire paragraph incredible and could probably write another essay entirely on its resonances with Yellowajackets, but for the sake of brevity I want to primarily focus on the part I bolded. This idea of looking at
the camera vs looking to
the camera is another pivotal distinction between teen and adult Lottie. Both are performances in a way, but one carries with it a level of authenticity while the other carries with it a level of inauthenticity. And the themes of performance and authenticity are incredibly prevalent within season two of Yellowjackets. Whether or not what Lottie experienced in the Wilderness was real doesn’t matter; what she experienced in the Wilderness was the closest she ever felt to touching her authentic self, and attempts to touch that authenticity once more within the acceptable confines of civilization has brought her down the path of a cult leader. At the same time, the cult is a means to re-live the experience in the Wilderness, to provide help and assistance, but, in Lottie's view, done the "right" way.
“As our modernity evolves, so too does our relationship to our immediate past, and our antiquity is transformed and re-invented. In the political sphere, modern religious ideologies that have at their heart some previous perfect from of organization play out what is in fact only a simulacrum of the pre-modern (antiquity). While they are clearly unable to replicate an earlier period, what they can do is imagine that past, and make a wholly modern fiction of it. They act the pre-modern like a huge D.W. Griffiths set, only this time more than a few get hurt. They cannot make the past come back, yet they are stuck in the hopeless and meaningless attempt of trying to do exactly that. Paradoxically, rather than becoming the ancients that they worship and idolise, they seem to have learnt an awful lot from the moderns. In other words, what they are engaged in is a very modern idea and this is what makes it so terrifying.”
And this is why Lottie turns manic and unhinged by the end of the season. She has spent the entirety of season two trying to re-contextualize antiquity (the Wilderness) through the lens of modernity (the wellness center). But it can only be doomed to end in failure, can only be doomed to hurt other people, whether they be Travis or Nat or Shauna or Lisa.
An addendum: This is only about the ideas presented in season two, not necessarily their execution. Nor is it intended to assess the morality or ethics of the past and present timelines, rather compare and contrast them, and the resonances and metaphors both are attempting to evoke.
submitted by Exciting-Salad-8990
to Yellowjackets [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 18:18 Thickencreamy Ice maker Issues Kitchenaide kscs25fvms01
Been thru 3 techs and 3 ice makers. It will work fine for 12 hours and then it spews water all over freezer side with ice maker. Making a winter wonderland with icicles and food covered with ice. Something is causing icemaker to discharge massive amounts of water. We have lots of pressure here (90psi) but it worked fine for 14 years. Is the valve for water IN the icemaker or separate? If separate then I think it needs replacement. Another symptom is when we see the issue and we slide switch to icemaker off it still periodically discharges water Where is this valve and why won’t it listen to the switch?
submitted by Thickencreamy
to appliancerepair [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 18:16 braillerosebookworm Dnd 5e, online, 18 plus, lgeat and newbie friendly, mondays 6.30 pm bst 7.30 pm cest etc, Welcome to Atlas, the game that becomes reality.
premise: You all know atlas. Its the game that went boom across the globe a year ago. That signature globe logo that sits on the homescreens of most people's phones tablets computers and consoles. The realistic, immersive rpg game where you can select from a huge list of races and aclasses, make a backstory, and roam free across the globe, back and forward in time, leaping through portals to new worlds, some you know from familiar stories and some that are very new. Billions of people play it, at home, work, and anywhere you are. And on the year anniversary there's a series of special events planned. Prizes for random users, level ups, bonuses, and the like. But while you play, whereever in the world you are, something weird haspens, and the next thing you know... You are in atlas, playing your character for real. Questions buzzing in your head, where am I? how do I get back? Do I want to? Was this an accident? if I die in game, will I die in real life?
I'm Danielle, a 25 year old female dm from the uk. This is my first shot of a homebrew campaign although not ky first time dming. It will be a level 3 start with all wizards of the coast content on the table, and using discord and nd beyond. I'm a visually impaired dm but it will still be a fun and immersive experience even whough its theatre of the mind. If you have already applied, don't worry, I haven't forgotten you, I'm just branching out a little bit. My At feature's not working properlys could you please msomesage me with the fobblowing: 1. First name 2. Age 3. pronouns 4. Country/timezone 5. Dnd experienced (if none that's oay!) 6. Fun fact about you. 7. discinrd tag (please don't forget this as its how I'll reach out to you, you'll get a friend request from danielle, so do accept the request as some people I've added haven't accepted.) Can't wait to meet some of you!
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