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Beast World #45: Secrets & Misunderstandings
2023.06.07 00:56 D0WNGR4D3 Beast World #45: Secrets & Misunderstandings
- Author's Note: So... its been 3 months. I still live and my writing gobo too. Also I just recently realized its been a bit over 1 years since the series has begun so.... HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVERYONE! I hope you'll enjoy the read and please let me know if you'd like me to do anything specific to celebrate 1 year of Beast World. You can support the series by donating my writing gobo a cookie here!
Another morning came upon the Tuskir settlement, which's inhabitants have been shambling about with a bit less tension in their steps.
The perimeter walls of their small village have been reinforced by Runhar's earth molding magics. Rok and Brekda have been assisting him in keeping the perimeter watched at all times.
This precaution was necessary as a lot of the Tuskir village's able bodied fighters have been rendered less than optimally effective in combat. Although generally safe, a small tension filled thought gnawed at the back of their minds. The chance of a second assault was something the tribe considered.
Honestly, at a first glance this would be a most opportun time to assault the place, especially with their elder and most skilled healer, Urla, still mostly bed ridden due to exerting herself when healing others.
Still, they tried to go back to a normal state of operating as best as they could, having to make certain compromises. Discussing among themselves the whole group decided to give as best an aid as possible to the two wounded Hay-yen that they still found alive within their walls, asking their previous captives, the ones more willing to co-operate to take care of them. The procurement of constant supplies of food and water up to the present time made them quite willing to assist.
During this time Michael had been spending his time along Zurra and Woh. Zurra, having taken on the responsability to assist the, hopefully temporarily, crippled hooman, has been going about this task while giving aid in any other mundane endeavors like taking care of the children along side Runny, Brekda's wife.
In one such moment did Michael find a moment to reflect upon the situation as he was left at the base of Spek's tree alongside Woh. Still, contemplation would have to wait as the human's amphoran companion seemed rather excited for chit-chat, indicated by repeating irregular and excited croaks leaving her throat.
"Michael! Michael! Its been a few days! Can you walk, yet?" Woh asked her question with such a light hearted and casual tone as if she expected Michael to grow back his legs if he actually lost them.
The young man, taking a moment to process the question, shook his head while arching an eyebrow. "Pfft. I'd wish, honestly. To be fair they hurt as all hell, but I am glad whatever herbs Zurra's been reapplying my bandages with have been numbing them. I don't know how well healing magic will work to help me if... at all, but I have been terrified that... I might not walk again. At least... not properly." Michael said choking a bit on his words.
Nervousness washed over him as he looked down at his wrapped up legs, faint blood stains covering them here and there. He only looked at his legs once when Zurra was changing the bandages, he was numbed up good, but the sight of them was something too visceral to not make his mind aware of the pain he should be in. Although suppressed, he could feel his legs burn in a muffled agony.
The mana burn had turned the young man's skin and toe nails to actual ashes that Zurra had to clean off, a rather painstakingly slow endeavor due to how caked in blood the ashes were. From bellow the knees the young man was akin to one of those skinless statues showing the human's body muscular fiber, only minor patches of actual skin hanging on here and there.
Woh kind of grew silent for a moment, before shaking her head as her big round eyes looked at Michael. "W-well don'tcha worry! Even if you can't walk we're here, s-so... we'll be able to help! If I was bigger I wouldn't mind lugging you about like a sack of timber! 'Cause you'd be the best sack of timber to ever be and 'cause we're friends." Woh said with a happy croak, trying her best to cheer up the young man.
Michael snickered and smirked and he shook his head, petting Woh's covered back. "Thanks. It'll be my honor to do my best interpretation of a heavy sack, but I'm hoping I can be fixed." After taking a moment to lean back against Spek's trunk and to look up at his crown of branches and leaves, the young man took in a deep breath. "Woh... I'm going to need your help with something. I know you might be not too happy about it, but if you'll allow it...I'd like us to make some vials of your poison, even if it is distilled with some water."
"O-oh... uhm... well... uhh... ya been sayin' that it doesn't do you much harm and... it has been helping you fight, so maybe I don't mind if we make a small bottle or two of it, but ya gotta promise to still be careful, ok?! Ribbit, last thing I want to do is hurt you with it." The tiny pink frog like woman said with a small croak of worry leaving her throat.
Michael sat silent a moment as he looked at his hands and forearms and at the slight yellowish hue they had. His skin has taken to the color just recently, bit by bit. His brown irises with eyes ever so faintly yellow as well, would look at Woh, a small smile accompanying it, although preceeded by the human sucking in his lips slightly. "Y-you won't be hurting me. You can trust that. Hell after what happened, you're the last person that could do that. So no need to be afraid. Whatever choices you make, you can do me no foul."
Woh looked at him, with an ease washing over her tiny form. "Fair enough then. Say. Since its been kinda borin' around 'ere, mind using your magic thingy, what ya called it... ah! Your phoon
! To put on that one song you said it is about happiness and not worrying? I liked how it sounded."
"Hah. Gladly. We'll be around here a while, at least until Zurra wants to do my physical therapy. Still kind of regreting telling her about that when she asked about what my kind do to help maintain one's muscles when they can't train and how to deal with pain." Michael said with a small laugh, followed by a grunt of discomfort caused by a stab of his sore body at itself due to the contracting muscles. He'd soon go through his phone and put the tune in question to play on repeat.
"Hah~ there it is... I don't get why, but the song does make me happy. Thanks!" Woh said with a greatful ribbit as she laid down inbetween some of Spek's roots and using them like a lounging chair. She would look up at the tree for a moment too, mouthing a silent 'thank you'
The day would go on to pass as calm as can be, until the late afternoon, when Runhar nearly had a scare for a moment, when he saw torch light coming from deeper within the woods. Still, with a sniff of the air and feeling the scents of Gharna, Oinna, Azhul and Yenna, the guard captain would calm down as he then asked Rok to prepare opening the gates.
When the group came within sight they could be seen pausing as they looked about, their heads clearly turing to examine the surrounding outskirts of their village on the outside.
"What in the name of The Hunt Father happened?!" Gharna yelled out eventually as they got closer, their pace having increased as they saw their home in shambles. "The wall is lookin' like a mess. Is everyone alright?"
"Most, aye!" Runhar yelled and after a moment paused. "Come, there's more to discuss!" The guard captain added as he descended from the watch tower he had climbed up on while on watch.
The group of four was eventually welcomed in and after a quick retelling of their journey and a quick stock of what they brought, which was pulled to storage, Runhar would recount the events that occured here. The whole endevour was burned upon his mind... he couldn't help himself to not go into details, some of which made him visibly look saddened or furious. He eventually even backtracked to what happened to Spek and... how it happened.
To say the least... it was a lot to process, and the news about Spek becoming a... tree... had a mix of reactions.
"Gah... the situation is shite, but I'm kinda pissed I missed ma' using the family technique. I still can't do it nowhere as good as her. Got the getting bigger part down somewhat though." Azhul said with a huff.
"S-seriously? That's yer first concern?!" Gharna added with a snort as she stared up at her bigger hunt sister.
"What do ya wan' me tha do?! Cry about it? I feel like shite, but I ain' gonna break apart over it. Not when we have tha keep things together." Azhul oinked back in retort.
"I-... I have to agree with Azhul. I will check on Urla and see to who's still wounded. If Michael is taken care of at least somewhat for now, I will see to make sure everyone else that can be dealt with quicker, is up on their two feet!" Oinna said with a determined huff as she excused herself and trotted off.
"I'mma be sleepin' a bit. Sleepin' on the road has been a pain." Yenna added with a half dozing off snort as he left. Although he was hit by the initial shock of the situation as well, it only added to the mental exhaustion that traveling has taken on him.
Azhul and Gharna were still lightly huffing at one another, until the latter's eyes sparked with a realization. Gharna's eyes would look at Runhar. "Say, cap'. Ya said Zurra's been takin' care of Michael. Thought we should talk with her, too. Where's she?" She asked very curious, a snort leaving her flat nose.
"Ah... think she might be in his shack with 'im. She said that she wanted to do- " Before Runhar could finish his sentence properly, Azhul seemed to be hit by panic.
It didn't take long to the large Tuskir woman to realize what Gharna was asking and partially hearing Runhar's reply, sent her in nearly a frenzy of embarrasment. "DO HIM?! MA! STOP!"
On the way here Azhul tried telling herself it wasn't possible for something like this to happen, but as her heart rate spiked she attempted to take off toward's Michael's hut.
The nearly stampede like charge though, would be prematurely stopped by Gharna, who wrapped her arms arounds Azhul's waist. While trying to not snort out of sheer amusement, she coughed trying to sound serious. "Wait a wee moment. If ya barge in there while she's doin' him, ya really want tha see that? Might be better to see what the situation... pft... ahem... is... quietly."
Runhar a bit surprised by this whole situation, wanted to finish his sentence, only to be interrupted by Gharna's clear gaze to not utter another word. He even took a moment to chuckle internally, appreciating the bit of amusement after the shit show they have been through.
"Y-yeah... Yeah. Yeah. Yeah... Don't wanna make it worse... oh... h-ho... Hunter Father... please don't let it be too late." Azhul muttered as she walked at a really fast, yet quiet pace.
Gharna would follow up after whispering some words of thanks to Runhar. "Ya kno' can't really blame her, if Michael faught like Runhar says he did. Yer mother did always... pft... ahem... a-appftt... preciate a... ahem... sturdy warrior type o' man."
"I will wrangle your throat if ye utter another bloody word." Azhul said to Gharna, without even looking back.
Still, as they approached Michael's hut and listened, Azhul's expression would only change to that of someone who has seen or heard the most disturbing of the secrets held by eldritch gods of the cosmos.
The sound of a creaking bed frame, the moans of Michael in a mix of pain and pleasure and the groans of Zurra as if she was riding a most unruly beast. The trifecta of trauma had fully hit Azhul into a silent stunned coma as he charge stopped to a full halt.
"Agh- god... you're working the knots out of me." Michael could be heard groaning in pain before letting a grunted moan of relief.
"Told ya boi. If we huff... just changed positions a bit and ye gave me a pointer or two... I could get ya done. Ya ain't so different from any ol' tuskir man. Huh... yer givin' me a bit o' a workout." The older smithy woman could be heard lightly panting.
Gharna got silent as well, feeling embarrased as all hell, but nowhere nearly as bad as Azhul, who seemed to have been shell shocked, her eyes staring into nothingness.
"O-oh! Oh no! Hah! That's sensitive t-take it easy on me a bit! Hah!" The young man groaned, which prompted Azhul to crumble to her knees.
The sudden sound of the short fall made the sound from the hut stop. Heavy steps would soon approach the door and open it, as Zurra looked out towards the two.
"Oh! Yer back! Glad to see ye two fine an' well. Uh... what are ya doin'?" The old Tuskir woman asked as she stretched herself a bit, then popping her knuckles.
The two younger women stood silent, until Gharna could finally utter something. "We-... uh... we're good. W-what... uhm... what were ya doin'?" She said nearly choking.
"Ah. Just givin' da boi a massage. After the fight we had he's in shambles if ya haven't 'eard. Gettin' a wee bit tired, so I could use a hand." Zurra said most casually.
To this reply, Azhul go on her palms as well and pressed her snout to the ground. "Thank ye, Hunt Father... oh huh... thank you..." she said whispered, in a slightly whimpering tone, with sighs of relief leaving her.
Gharna calming down too, nodded. "Ye. Gladly." As she passed by Azhul though, she snickered and whispered to her. "Nearly had tha call 'im daddy there, ay?" She asked before stepping up and inside.
Azhul took a moment to calm down, as she contemplated the repercussions of murder, before approaching the shack and talking with her mother. Glad to see one another, the two went into detail about all the events that happened, together with Michael, who was happy to see them both her and Gharna.
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2023.06.07 00:53 SpideyFan914 I Just Caught Up on ASM: A Rant
Really, I just need to rant. I know most of this is old news now. But no one I know IRL reads these comics, so I gotta let it out somewhere...
I tend to binge comics every so often instead of reading month-to-month, as I find it easier to keep up that way (and single issues are no longer substantial enough to feel worth it honestly). So I last left off after Spencer's run. Read Beyond in two days, and then Wells' run (including most Dark Web tie-ins) in another two days.
So, first off...
I didn't hate this actually. There are times when it's a bit dull. I wanted more of a focus on Ben and Janine's daily life, but the story was primarily interested in plot plot plot. Even then, Ben's personality shines through and I really liked him for most of it.
The villains were pretty lousy. Doc Ock and Aunt May teaming up did not work at all, I'm sorry. I just don't buy that Aunt May would do that (and also I keep forgetting that she no longer knows Peter is Spider-Man, like I could've sworn she found out again at some point).
Queen Goblin is okay though, and I like that they play up the therapy angle here. The whole "Norman's Sins" thing is weird magic mumbo-jumbo, but if you just swap it around and use some basic science experimentation / brainwashing instead, it would work pretty well.
Benching Peter was ballsy and done in a pretty lame way. It doesn't really make sense he'd be in a regular hospital to be honest, like they should've figured out he was Spider-Man from every blood test. But at least they didn't pretend to kill him off or whatever.
Ben ultimately losing his memories... was an interesting idea for an issue or two.
Anyway, Janine is my favorite character for some reason. I've never heard of her before this (I thought she was an MJ clone for a minute). I understand she had a few appearances back in the 90s, probably in the Clone Saga. (I've read most of Spider-Man history, but the 90s Clone Saga is my biggest blind spot. Too many crossovers which I didn't have access to when I read all of ASM as a kid, so I just skipped it rather than stopping. Then as an adult when I did get access to those other books and read them up to the Clone Saga... I just didn't have the patience haha. I'll get back to it one of these days.) But yeah, Janine kicks ass here. I love the internal conflict, the genuine devotion to Ben, the willingness to throw down when shit hits the fan... She's great.
The best though was the single one-shot when Peter fights some weird demon thing in the hospital. It made no sense and came out of nowhere and I'm still not sure why it happened. But it was cool and the art was good and I like horror stuff, so that was neat.
Okay, main event...
ZEB WELLS AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
I'm not above being able to compliment some things.
I like how he wrote Tombstone. Tombstone's plan to make Spider-Man beat up Rose for him is surprisingly solid and a well-done twist.
I also like Vulture's brief appearance, and how vicious he is. I'm a Vulture stan, and hate it when people treat him like a joke. So it's nice to see someone recognize just how terrifying and ruthless Vulture can actually be.
Hobgoblins... are okay. He kinda neutered Kingsley, but it's fun seeing Ned get brainwashed again.
Um, let's see, there's some other positive...
Black Cat shines throughout. I did not need Peter and Felicia to get back together, but at least I buy it when it happens. Even aside from that though, she does feel like an actual character in both this and Beyond, and not just Peter's ex who writers don't know what to do with.
Uh, the Celestial Gwen bit was interesting... I don't know how the main event is, but for a tie-in this was an interesting idea. The execution was kinda lackluster though. Like Peter sees Gwen and just acts like a good guy, and she approves, and that's it. It's not really surprising and doesn't say anything interesting about the character that isn't obvious. And then "bringing her back" for five seconds... I don't know how I feel about that, kinda weird... I wish Peter had stood up for humanity in general, instead of just showing how he's a good guy. Like, he should've told the Celestial to bugger off, and let it know that it is the villain here. It's weird that he doesn't defend humanity at all. Even his own good actions feel weirdly filtered through the need to impress a Celestial, which is just weird.
Hmm, that wound up being more of a bad than a good...
Oh yeah, there was that Living Brain story for the 60th anniversary. I like the idea of that story. Again, it kinda flopped in execution, coming off more as a parody than anything. Peter's friends definitely should've realized he's Spider-Man. And all the villains are so... odd. It's a parody that isn't funny, even though the idea is decent. Ock doesn't even reference that the Living Brain was once his minion! (Does he remember that?)
Okay, that was more negative as well... Okay.....
I'll start small. In that Tombstone story, there's a scene where Tombstone kidnaps Peter (not Spider-Man), and Peter jokes and makes fun of him, and then Tombstone goes, "You're weird." Tombstone should've figured out he's Spider-Man. I swear, I thought that was about to happen. Peter is not acting like a regular person, and Tombstone's not a goddamn idiot. I was waiting for him to be like, "Oh, it's you. You're Spider-Man. Good to know." That could've been a great moment, Peter's own loud mouth outing his identity, but naa...
Also, though Wells gets Tomby and writes him okay, Wells also dunks on my boy Richard Fisk. Why has no one taken Rose seriously since the 80s? He was such a great character back then. Now he's just another mobster. Has Wells even read those stories? He must have, since he uses Hobgoblin a bunch, and all those things were happening at the same time. Sigh...
Nothing with Norman works at all. I mean, look, I get it, this was a thing Spencer did. And it didn't work then either. And I do respect that they're actually exploring the concept and trying to make something out of it. But it just fundamentally doesn't work. When Ock became Superior, it worked because he still read like Otto. But this Norman... this isn't Norman. This is a new character who so happens to look like Norman and technically has his past. But it's just... not Norman.
While I'm at it... since I did read that Gold Goblin series as well.... Queen Goblin immediately loses all the intrigue she had in Beyond when she goes up against Norman. This just emphasizes the "Sins" thing, which is too woo-woo magical to make any sense or feel real or tangible at all. The stakes are unclear. It just doesn't work.
(On the other hand, the Mary Jane & Black Cat series is the most fun I had during all of this. Like, the plot is nonsense and it's a bit tied into the Paul stuff to really be recommend-able... but the writers there made the most of the shitty stuff they'd been handed and wrote a fun five issues. Good art too. S'ym is great.)
Oh yeah, the art is terrible. I'm not a JRJR hater -- he's hit-or-miss, for the most part. His work on Daredevil in the 80s is brilliant, and his Mephisto redesign is excellent, the only Mephisto that really feels like some otherworldly Eldritch horror. But this run... this is JRJR at his absolute worst. It's not good art.
THE DARK WEB
Okay, so... Like Beyond, I didn't hate this. I didn't like it much either, but it had its moments.
Rek-Rap is great. Just... just everything about Rek-Rap.
I like all the X-Men tie-ins too. In Dark Web, I mean. That one-shot issue shortly before Dark Web where fights Moira or... or whatever that was... That was dog poop nonsense boring shrug. But Dark Web has fun ideas that organically incorporate the X-Men.
I mean, it's really weird that you have a story where Goblin Queen and Queen Goblin are running around at the same time... They, uh, probably should have found a different name for Queen Goblin....... Can she just be the new Red Goblin, since the old one isn't coming back anytime soon? Or a new Menace? This is such a weird naming thing, and letting Peter (or was it Ben?) make a joke about it did not assuage that confusion...
But yeah, teaming up the two most iconic Marvel clones is such a natural move that built for some good drama, even if that drama is built on, um, completely character assassinating Ben...
Okay, here's a positive: the Chasm suit is cool. It's a good suit. I like the suit.
But holy hell Ben (literally?), this is waaaaaay off the deep end. Remember that time in the 60s when Peter lost his memories and teamed up with Doc Ock, but at the end he came to his senses before getting his memories back, because he's inherently a good person and knew this wasn't right? Why can't Ben get that treatment? I mean, okay, I guess he didn't just lose his Uncle Ben memories, but also kept a bunch of traumatic ones... except, apparently, he still forgot about getting killed and resurrected twenty-something times. I thiiiiiink that one's gone too... So he lost his most traumatic memories as well... So he really just has the, uh... mid-memories?
I like when Jean helps Madelyne. That was a good moment. Just gives her memories back, and then Madelyne helps them. Well done. Love it.
So, um, she can totally do that for Ben too right? Like, she's an omega-level mutant and just showed that she has this ability? Why didn't they just do that again? It's not like Peter would've been against it. Really doesn't make sense.... Heck, they could still do this. Ben is right there. Just... just ask Jean to give him his memories back. It's that easy.
Janine still rocks. I love the bit when she almost runs away, but gets recognized, and then comes back more committed to Ben than ever. Janine is an awesome character.
It's funny that there are like five redheaded women in this story, and they're all drawn exactly the same.
That was stupid.
This most recent arc literally opens with a note from Nick Lowe, promising that they all really do care about these characters. See that, guys! They do care! Don't mind everything you're about to read, they promised us that they care! Not sus at all...
Making this whole thing a flashback was stupid. Like, there's this whole mystery box storyline... Then when you get to the reveal, it's just 90% an extended flashback, because there isn't really a good way to tie it into present day. It's almost like they should've just done this chronologically to begin with. None of their teases actually made me care. It's all just shallow "hype." (I mean they wanted it to be hype, but I wasn't hyped, so... Like I said, shallow.)
Who the hell is this villain? From the editor's notes, I've definitely read the story arc where he first appeared. I do not remember it. I do not remember him. He is so beyond forgettable that my brain hasn't even stored him as a footnote.
And he isn't fleshed out here either... Most of the time, I was just confused by who he is and what he wants. I'm not even sure how many of these villains there were. Are Rabin and the God the same? Wait, is Rabin the bearded guy? I think they said Rabin was someone else, Paul's dad or whatever... I don't know, I couldn't really follow it. It feels like remembering that forgettable story from Brand New Day era is essential to understanding this one, and I just... I don't. Bring back Freak. Bring back Paper Doll. Those guys I remember, not well but they were fun enough and had cool powers. But this guy? Who the hell is this guy? (And is it racist? It feels racist.)
At least set up the Mayan stuff earlier in the run... Like, with all the mystery box teasing, they didn't actually tease anything. Spider-Man vs Mayan Gods? That's your big story? That feels like something the 60s cartoon would've tackled in its weaker seasons...
Oh, and they Amy Ponded MJ. That was just dumb. This is the kind of random scifi poop that has nothing to do with reality. Good scifi challenges characters and forces them to reveal character in a way that relates back to the real world. Like Into the Spider-Verse uses Peter B Parker to mentor Miles and has both characters grow. The glitching rule is added in so that Miles will have to be the one to stay, so that it can remain fundamentally his story without snapping away the problems by having the more experienced Spider-Men do all the work. Or that Amy Pond story I referenced -- that's an amazing episode of Doctor Who (Season 5, "The Girl Who Waited," strongly recommend), because it challenges the Doctor's readiness to play with the timestream and bring along a string of companions, and it also challenges Amy's readiness to trust the Doctor and assume he always has everything under control. It feels organic to the larger scifi rules in play, and reveals a ton about both characters, with this tragic underpinning that is earned and emotional.
But this? This is just more pettiness. This is just the Spider-Man team not caring about the character (no matter what Nick Lowe says) and wanting to mess things up with MJ... because reasons. It doesn't tell us anything about Peter or MJ that we didn't already know. Heck, they don't even feel in character half the time. Or rather, MJ doesn't really feel like a character at all.
There's this one part where The MJ Who Didn't Wait and Paul get super bulk and Terminator-y during the flashbacks... and then like a page later they're normal sized again. What was that about?
The whole thing is also rushed, not that I wanted them to stretch this out any longer. None of the beats in the MJ flashbacks are fleshed out at all. We're watching a snippets montage of some story we'll never read. We don't get connected to any of the events.
I felt nothing when the kids vanished. I felt nothing when freaking Mary Jane Watson was stabbed to death. And I felt nothing when it was revealed to not be MJ but Kamala. Like, these are characters I traditionally care a lot about... and I just feel nothing and don't care what happens to them in these stories.
That Kamala Khan bait-and-switch? Damn, that was trash writing. I'm not up to date on Kamala's books either (I haven't been since Wilson left -- couldn't get into the following run). But to kill her off in someone else's book??? With none of her supporting cast, none of her villains, heck not even a real Spider-Man villain for that matter... (Again, who the hell is this stupid boring Mayan God guy? What is actually at stake right now? Does he have a personality? Motivation? Is he a racist concept? I'm still not clear on these things.) Kamala "dies" in the dumbest way possible. Well done, Mr. Wells. You aimed to write an incredibly stupid book, and you succeeded.
Heck, Kamala wasn't even a character in this arc. The last time I recall seeing her was during Dark Web. She isn't in ASM 21-25. She just shows up in #26... to die. That's so stupid. This character deserves more than that.
Also, MJ deserves more than this.
Peter deserves more than this.
Heck, even that Mayan guy deserves more than this. At least give him a personality.
If any of you actually read all this... uh, I'm sorry? I just needed to vent and mark down some thoughts. Curious on other people's thoughts. I mean, I think I know most of them (I don't live under a rock and did have some spoilers going into all this).
Can we please just retcon all this already? Just do some time travel shenanigans and pull in MJ from before all of this. It worked for Doctor Who.
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2023.06.07 00:35 jazzlikeAstronaut7 I am burnt out and feeling so many emotions.
For context I am already a pretty anxious person who is prone to low moods.
I am currently working full time trying to obtain a promotion, I work part time personal training, and I am studying in the morning before work for my LSAT. I am also working on my law school applications. While doing this, I am living with my boyfriend who works longer hours than me at his job and is super busy.
I do majority of the cooking, and we split the cleaning pretty evenly. There are certain days where I feel so burnt out, anxious, and depressed…he offers to cook but I feel so guilty. We are in a fairly traditional relationship (he pays majority of the bills and leads the relationship. He said eventually I don’t have to work if I don’t want to; it’s my own personal choice to attend law school).
I am just feeling so confused and emotional about what to do. If I do everything I feel burnt out; if I recruit him to help I feel guilty and less feminine. He supports my goal to attend law school but I know deep down he would probably rather have me work part time and be a homemakecaregiver once we have children. Am I rethinking my goals because I am just stressed? Or is it because I’m at an age (25) where I’m biologically starting to think about having kids and just being a mother?
If I had more female friendships and emotional support I think I could handle this all but living with a stoic guy and doing all of this stuff is just getting exhausting. I know it’s my choice but I feel a deep sense of ambition to achieve because of my strict upbringing.
Sorry for the rant style post, I just feel burnt out and don’t know what to do.
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2023.06.06 23:38 Puzzleheaded-Pitch32 Ultimately F2P vs P2W
There are a lot of people upset at the moment and some argument over whether or not this game is F2P or P2W. I'd like to keep it open to discussion and opinion, but here's my diatribe on the matter.
Some of the practices that have been shown regarding pool drops, card nerfs, and bundles have been problematic. They aren't overwhelmingly covert about trying to make money from the players willing to pay for things. But, that said, the things are almost entirely cosmetic. And those that aren't, which is basically just getting to a card faster, is not something I would personally consider a P2W system, somewhat in general but especially in this game.
So here goes the hot take while everyone's outwardly upset at the devs at the moment, I really do think that Snap is ultimately a very free to play friendly game.
FWIW, I just got my buddy into the game during this last season and he hit 85 with a Devil Dinosaur and never spent a penny, or will. I was impressed because I came nowhere close to that my first season but that's beside the point lol. This is purely anecdotal but it does reinforce for me how true it is that despite everyone being upset at the prospect of having things be less easy to obtain than they may have anticipated, it is by no means inaccessible, and it is not at all necessary in order to achieve success without being overly arduous.
There is nothing forcing your hand to spend in order to remain competitive. That's part of what P2W is to me. The other part being even less applicable where the whales who spend the absolute most are at the top or every leaderboard, with maxed out units and gear and stuff and things and junk - you'll find no fair equivalent here.
The truth is the game does reward simple consistency. Nothing is barred behind money walls and they also give you the choice of what you want between the seasonal and the token cards for the things that you want most or won't be likely to open.
I've only ever spent a penny on the season bundle and I've hit infinite multiple times. But I wouldn't have needed to in order to do that. I believe that but I won't lie and say I've never spent a thing. But what I can say is that getting there taught me something I had to learn in my journeys to hit infinite, especially the first time. It was never about which specific deck I used. Just consistency. Playing smart with cubes. Playing with experience. And just very simply, maintaining consistency in my climbing.
So while I do think it may be 'pay to have the newest shiniest thing taking over the meta', it really isn't 'pay to win'
It is, in pretty much every way, free to play. And like most free to play games in the modern era, for better or worse, there are things that can be purchased and there are incentives for them; but none of it is needed by a player who's looking to win. It's almost all cosmetics. And the only thing that actually comes close to directly buying power is the season pass to get a single card earlier, meaning within the month that that one said card is released.
There's nothing unavailable to a 100% free to play player. There's no reason, especially for someone who has played a season or two and gotten deep into pool 3, maybe even with a good token choice or two but even that's not necessary, would need to pay in order to win.
They won't have all the neat cosmetic variants people got from bundles. Obviously. And they might not have the meta deck on everyone's lips, but also... they just might. Or be very close to it just looking at what's performing best right now.
The deck at the top of the list last season, and the deck that is still showing top of tier 1 after being updated for High Evolutionary was, and continues to be, Sera Control. Everything in that deck outside of Hit Monkey is Pool 3 or sooner and has plenty of viable alternatives.
The new shiny thing has been High Evolutionary, and now I'm sure we'll see a spike in movement with Ghost Spider and see if it sticks, but neither of those are necessary to be able to play and win. That sounds pedantic. Neither of those are necessary to play and win at a much higher rate than without. That's more to the point. They might not have all the cards for the suggested net deck of everything on said tier list for whatever they're looking at; they might not have as much variety; but patience and smart play may see them win even more than those bouncing around to play what seems to be the best at the time.
You can pay to expedite. Sort of. But unlike most mobile games where that's a thing, getting things faster is not a direct translation to power level. You're not upgrading buildings or levelling up heroes. It's a deck builder, where the vast majority of the cards are obtained freely and at a pretty quick pace. A deck builder with only 12 cards to a deck. Lots of synergies. Lots of strategies. Lots of options. F2Pnewbie27 will be able to find something competitive within their collection pretty quickly if that's their aim.
I get it, the Darkhawk thing is, no pun intended, ruffling some feathers. That's totally fair. Some of what they've done regarding pool drops and nerfs and all that has been very lame. Very discouraging. Some of the bundles are absolutely atrocious with lack of value. There are a lot of things to criticize and be upset by if that's your modus operandi. I don't mean to fight for the game against any of that. The sole point I'm attempting to make, and you can still simultaneously be mad at them about other things, is
as far as any big mobile games go, this game is just about as F2P-friendly as it gets.
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2023.06.06 23:33 la_cucaracha13579 How do I stop being a bum?
I'm 29m, 5'7, look a lot younger, in decent/average shape, overall average-sliiightly above average looks (can def be brought up if I make some changes and get some rest), very proportionate facial features. I dress really well, speak really well, and have high intelligence as well as broad knowledge. Gifted with talent equally in the sciences and humanities/arts. I'm a good friend, with lots of empathy, and a deep understanding of human psychology. I'm a summa cum laude genetic engineering/biosciences graduate, and belong to the nation's most prestigious honors society. Moreover I was admitted to and completed a separate honors college within my university.
I live with my girlfriend who is my best friend, soon to be my wife. We share 90% of interests in common, and are inseparable. By society's standards, she is considered very very attractive. She makes 70-80k and has a very easy job from home.
So, why am I bum?
I make $15 an hour for a job that provides me with 10-25 hours a week from home. Been doing that for several years. I make less than $1000 a month most months.
I own an old, beat up truck that 1) paint completely came off 2) no AC 3) beat up inside 4) no power steering 5) 1000 other issues 6) doesn't even run. Never owned another car, use girlfriend's car every day.
I have no physical tolerance. I cannot fathom working 8+ hours a day. Not only am I afraid of wasting my life away, but also, I actually do not have the physical tolerance. I work 3-4 hours a day and feel completely wasted, beat up, after staring into a bright screen. My head hurts, I get flashing in my eyes, and I feel done.
I don't know where to start. I am about to be 30 and I can no longer "start from the beginning" for the 10000th time in my life. All of my peers are balls deep into their careers and many are making 3 figures. I have so many dreams and ambitions, goals, but I can't start anything. I have confusion, anxiety, and obsessive tendencies that will not allow me to start anything...plus, chronic feelings of lethargy. The doctors don't know why, they say it's life and everyone feels that way.
I feel like a complete bum. I can't start anything. No I do not have depression, I did before. I feel like a complete loser, that eventually everything else will go downhill. For me, I see things always downgrading, instead of upgrading in life.
I look at apartments near me and think "everything is for rich people. how is any of this affordable? why aren't there low-income apartments for everyone else, but without cockroaches and drug addicts?". Meanwhile, my peers never even glanced at the apartments I live in, and live like normal people but pay more.
What's stopping me from marrying my girlfriend immediately is loss of free health insurance and food stamps. Yep, you heard that right. She has too high of an income once I marry her, I have to give everything up. What am I going to do on $1000 a month with all of my health issues and no insurance?
I also have problem after problem. My parents keep getting evicted and I need to solve their lawyer problems, I'm always accumulating their problems and anxiety, rent is always increasing, I have new medical issues popping up every other week, huge expenses out of nowhere, and just life problems one after the other. I cant focus on starting anything, something is always in the way.
I am a complete loser who could be making significant money with my ideas and brain power, but... "I can't." I have no self-esteem, and don't know how to deal with difficult people. I ask my girlfriend why she even likes me and she says "you're just cute". I feel completely emasculated.
Some things that bring me down:
- terrible self image
- medical issues from head to toe - something is ALWAYS wrong (badly herniated spinal disc means daily chronic pain, severe heartburn, 20 years of GI issues that affect me 80% of the day, dislocated shoulder, all of my teeth have issues and cause me pain and cracking, allergies which never allow me a good sleep and puff my face up for hours and hours, legally blind, and I can name another 10 most likely).
- the cherry on top is that I developed severe panic disorder since January with agoraphobia and to this day, am struggling to be outside. I would rather break my back another 50 times than ever go through this again - the feeling of dying a hundred times a day, every day, for months.
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2023.06.06 23:29 EnCamp A hilarious developer diary penned by Greg Fulton, lead designer for HoMMIII, detailing NWO's final sprint to get the game published in working order at the deadline
Two weeks ago, I spoke on the phone with Tom Ono, the manual writer for Heroes of Might and Magic III. As usual, Tom asked how things were going. I said things were good... then proceeded to whine and complain for the next five minutes (much to Tom's amusement). 12/05/98
When the conversation concluded, Tom said, "Don't complain too much. Some people would give their eyeteeth to be in the game industry." I responded, "Who are these people and why haven't they been beaten for their own good?"
My name is Gregory Fulton, game designer for Heroes of Might and Magic III (developed by New World Computing, published by 3DO). You may call me Greg. Like most game designers, I'm sure you'll find me a bitter and cynical man, aged beyond my years, full of sarcasm, and inexplicably drawn to the horrors of game production like a lobotomized moth to the "pretty" flame.
As I guide you through your weekly tour of my memories, I promise the recollected images will be truthful and sincere but written with a smirk and a wink.
Undoubtedly, we will interact with the following animals: artists, level builders, managers, producers, programmers, testers, and monkeys. To help ensure your safety, I request you fasten your seat belts, keep your hands to your sides at all times, and be sure to not make any quick and sudden movements. Remember... we will be passing through the game production process.
It's Saturday. I'm at work with three other members of the Heroes3 team. I'll be in again tomorrow.
Smells like "crunch time."
Everyone in the game industry knows the term "crunch time." Those not in the industry may ask, "What is crunch time?" Long hours: 10-18 each day. We're starting our fourth crunch month. We have at least one more after this.
Bad take-out food: Mexican and Chinese food are New World's favorites. Today we had Taco Bell and Domino's pizza as part of NWC's "work for food" program.
Social Life: To work in the game industry you must already have some form of social retardation. When crunch mode begins, you may only speak in code to coworkers. Immediate family and friends may be seen on brief occasions so they don't file a missing-persons report. I'm one of the lucky ones; I don't remember having any friends or family.
Hygiene: Haircuts and showers become optional in favor of more sleep time. For me, showers are a must, but my hair is sprouting wings and a tail. Pretty soon I'll look like the lead singer from Flock of Seagulls.
Stress: Anger and frustration are frequent companions. If bridges are burned, this is usually the time. Earlier this week morale was low. In a fit of anger concerning team interactions, I was heard shouting, "I feel like a kindergarten teacher. Can't everyone just keep their hands to themselves and play nice!"
Murphy's law: Any potential hazard will be encountered. I'm writing this diary from the NWC conference room. My computer refuses to function for more than five minutes without seizing up. 12/06/98
This weekend I'm taking care of my PR duties (hence this diary). Not the most exciting stuff, so I'll relate a short story from earlier this week.
David Mullich (producer), Mark Caldwell (NWC vice president and programmer), Jon Van Caneghem (NWC president, creator of all things Might and Magic, and company design visionary), and I found ourselves crowded into the sweltering office of Scott White.
Scott did all the town screens in Heroes III except the Rampart, Necropolis, and Fortress. Since he finished his 3D duties, he's turned his skills to the game's interface. Believe it or not, we were in Scott's office arguing about color: interface colors and player colors.
After much arguing about the interface colors, we decided to leave it virtually untouched. Player colors were a different subject.
Originally, we used light blue, dark blue, red, green, purple, brown, black, and white. These colors needed to change. Light blue looked like the blue used in the main menu. Brown clashed with the brown used in the general game interface. Game text disappeared against white. Black and green disappeared with the terrain colors shown on the game mini-map.
OK. We agreed some of the colors needed to change. After this, the agreements stopped. I don't know what is more ridiculous... arguing over what colors to use or the twisted logic behind the arguments. Red, blue, and dark green were safe choices. We still needed five other colors. The conversation went something like this....
"I don't want yellow. Yellow is the urine color."
"What about brown?"
"I don't like brown."
"Brown is the s**t color."
"What about pink?"
"Pink is a sissy color."
"We won't call it pink. We'll call it 'rose'."
"The rose player?"
"I don't know. If I saw a pink hero, I'd turn and run away. You know any hero secure enough to use pink as his color is bad ass."
"What about magenta?"
"What about cobalt? What about cadmium?"
"Have we accounted for all the fecal colors?"
"What about orange?"
"Phelan (our art lead) doesn't like orange. It looks bad."
"So. I don't think it looks bad."
"Fine. You tell her you want orange."
"She'll kick your ass."
"Oh. Fine. We won't use orange."
So it went. Fifteen minutes later everyone agreed to disagree, and Jon was made the final judge. Here are the final colors: red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, aqua, and rose (pink). 12/07/98
Today we stopped all map production. From here until we ship, I join the mapmakers and testers in playing maps and writing bugs... or so I thought.
Today, I had dropped into my lap the assignment of converting the 144-plus pages of the game manual into a help file. Anyone who has written a help file knows how huge this task can be. I could probably finish it in a day, but it requires no one bothering me for an extended period of time. Ha!
At this late stage of the production cycle, my entire day is spent meeting with people, making sure people are doing their work, and confirming that what is being done is correct. I don't have time for work. I've made the ugly evolution from game designer to middle manager.
It wasn't like this at the beginning of the project. At the beginning of the project the game designer is the screaming prophet, lost and alone in the desert (or the design process if you prefer).
In the middle of the production process the prophet is being screamed at by all his fellow coworkers who are wondering what to do because the design doc is behind schedule.
At the end of the project, everyone's a screaming prophet, and everyone is screaming at everyone else.
Sometime in the middle of all this screaming I've got to write this help file. Maybe I could give the assignment to Christian Vanover (H3 assistant director). Isn't it the job of a middle manager to delegate? 12/08/98
Yesterday I was wondering where I would find the time to write the game help file. Today I have the answer.... I think I have the flu. This doesn't feel like any 24-hour "see-ya-bye" flu either. This feels like "kneel before Zod!" flu.
All right. I've got a story for you.
Earlier today we "officially" stopped making maps. From here on out, we play, test, and polish the game. This could mean a little, or a lot. If the maps play well the first time out, revisions will be minor. If we end up chucking whole maps, we may find ourselves back to making maps. Thus, we started playing them today. JVC (Jon Van Caneghem, New World's president) ended up playing a notorious map named "Barbarian Breakout."
Ten minutes after he starts, JVC pages me over my phone intercom: "Hey Yoda." (He's been calling me Yoda lately. I don't know why. I'm not sure if I should be honored or offended. On one hand, Yoda is wise and he trains Jedi Knights. On the other hand, he is a short ugly green dude with big ears.) "Enemy hero with six behemoths (one of the highest-level creatures) knocked on my front door on week two, day one."
"Oops. I'll be right there."
As soon as I walked into JVC's office, the razzing began.
"What's with the six behemoths? Is this one of the balanced scenarios?"
"OK, OK. Something's wrong. Turn off the fog."
Jon restarts the scenario, turns off the fog of war, ends turn four times in a row, then right-clicks the enemy hero to see the extent of his forces. Aside from his other three stacks of creatures... he has one stack of six behemoths. Oops.
"All right. Open the map in the editor."
Jon opens the map in the editor. What do we discover? First, the enemy hero starts at level three, and the mapmaker (Dave Botan) has given him four stacks of creatures. In addition, the enemy hero's starting town has three of seven creature generators already prebuilt.
No wonder the enemy was able to recruit behemoths on day four.
Remember the story about the father who comes home from a bad day at work and yells at his wife? She in turn yells at her kid. The kid in turn kicks the dog.
At this point, I'm looking for a dog to kick. So, I hunt down Dave Botan. Immediately, Dave states his defense.
"Everyone says the map's too hard. It isn't. The AI's cheating." (Recently, we discovered the artificial intelligence was exploiting an undiscovered bug allowing it to recruit more creatures than were actually available.)
"The AI doesn't need to cheat. It's already got a huge advantage."
"There's a bug."
"Doesn't matter. Set all players to normal starting conditions."
At this point everyone begins to playfully dog-pile on Dave telling all the reasons why his maps suck. In the end he relented and fixed the map. 12/09/98
I'm not writing from work today. I'm writing from home. I have seven-way-straight-from-the-bottom-of-the-Amazon-flu.
With this kind of flu the logical course of action would be to rest, drink lots of fluids, watch lots of movies, maybe see a doctor. However, I am a game designer and unfamiliar with the ways of logic. A day at home with the flu means I have the opportunity to finish the H3 help file.
How pathetic can you get? On my day off to rest and get better, I use the uninterrupted time to convert a 144+ page manual into a help file.
I should get sick more often. I get more work done. 12/10/98
I'm back at work today. Good news... I finished the help file. Bad news... I still have the flu, and because I was so efficient in writing the game help file... I've been given the task of writing the map editor help file. Oh yeah, finish it by Monday.
Monday? There's so much pressure in my head, when I sniff, my eyes want to flee their sockets. My voice has the auditory consistency of sandpaper. Monday? Sure, I'll have it done by Monday. 12/11/98
Well, it's Friday night, and I have yet to see Star Trek: Insurrection. Doubt I'll be seeing it anytime soon.
One of the unmentioned symptoms of crunch time is cultural unawareness. In my time at a previous company I almost missed the entire O.J. trial. I haven't seen a movie since Starship Troopers. I'm not kidding. 12/14/98
I shouldn't have come in to work Thursday and Friday. It really pushed me over the edge. For the past two days I've been laid up with fever and chills. Remarkably, it was the one thing to take my mind off work. Aside from a froggy throat, it seems to have passed.
Enough about my illness. From here on, assume I'm always ill with the flu. 12/15/98
Today NWC (New World Computing) took a brief pause from game development to listen to Trip Hawkins (president of 3DO, NWC's parent company).
Twice a year, Trip makes a formal visit to talk about the company and where we're going as a company. It's a nice break from things.
However, Trip wasn't half as exciting as David Richie (our tools programmer) who sat next to me. Turns out David is coming down with the flu.
Over the course of the meeting, the air conditioning didn't turn on. With over 50 people crammed into a room, it got hot very fast. As the minutes passed, I could see David slowly whither.
I thought he was going to vomit. So basically, for most of the meeting, I sat envisioning how I was going to get out of the way when the volcano erupted.
Luckily, the volcano did not erupt. David left in the middle of the lecture and I haven't seen him since. 12/17/98
Welcome to the end of another working day at NWC. There is still no sign of David Richey. Another one of our programmers, John Krause, called in sick today. David Mullich (the Heroes III director) was ready to take bets on who would call in sick next. Of course, everyone blames me for getting them ill.
As far as your average NWC workday goes, this one was hectic and full of revelation.
Yes. Revelation. Only today did I look at my calendar and realize Christmas was next Friday.
Yes. Hectic. Every now and then I need to wipe my desk clean. This means catching up on all the hand-scrolled notes and stray post-its littered about my desk. When my desk is clean, I'm caught up.
This very act of cleaning makes for a semi-chaotic day. There is much gear shifting and subject changing to close dangling issues.
Add to this my usual parade of visitors, and my first chance to test multiplayer, and it takes great effort to avoid turning into a screaming monkey. Yes, I said screaming monkey.
Frequently, I find myself held hostage in my own office as a line of visitors (testers, programmers, artists, producers, etc.) quickly assemble outside my office in a short period of time, all wanting a piece of my brain.
Today it happened to occur while I was in the middle of a multiplayer game with Jeff Leggett (H3 multiplayer programmer). Simultaneously, I had three people show up and cram themselves into my small office. Each began jockeying for position to ask a question. Meanwhile, Jeff waited on the phone intercom, with Heroes III continually chiming in the background, letting me know it was my turn to play.
At this point you may apply the screaming monkey metaphor.
Despite the great potential for chaos, I asked Jeff to wait, gave my three suitors a number, told them to wait in line, then answered each of their questions.
On the surface, everything looked under control. Little did these poor souls know there was a screaming monkey, trapped in my mind's steel cage, wildly thrashing about in a desperate attempt to escape and turn me into a volcano of anger and lunacy.
When it was over, I took a deep breath, noted the walls weren't sprayed with the blood of innocent coworkers, and returned to my multiplayer game with Jeff.
Heroes II multiplayer wasn't friendly in the least. When it wasn't your turn, all you could do was sit at the computer and stare at the screen like a moron.
Well, thanks to our wonderful network programmer, Jeff Leggett, a moron you will no longer be.
Jeff has finished implementing multiplayer support. Now we're on a bug hunt. So, today, Jeff and I played a multiplayer game in the background while we went about our work.
I must admit, I had a blast. Moments like this make me forget my job is serious work. 12/18/98 Friday
Today I actually managed to catch up on all my notes. Next up, International Translation Kit. It can wait until Sunday. I don't get to enjoy these moments of accomplishment very often.
Being a game designer is nothing more than a life of delayed gratification. You spend the first month of the project "being creative," then spend the next 17 as a bricklayer implementing low-level details and boot-strapping the game design when unforeseen consequences arise.
Tomorrow we have our annual company Christmas party. I won't be going. I see my coworkers every day at work. I don't want to see them in a social environment. It'd be too weird. They'd have, like, spouses and dates and stuff, and wear dress clothes.
We've been told we can dress formal or casual. To me this means torn jeans and a food-stained white T-shirt. To everyone else, this means dress formal, because no one wants to underdress.
I don't want to see any of my coworkers dressed up. The thought frightens me. We're a bunch of geeks. We don't look good in casual wear. Formal wear will only amplify our geekiness.
Only one thing could entice me to go to the Christmas party - seeing the wives go off on the management for working their husbands so hard. I'd pay to see that... provided I wasn't on the receiving end.
By the way... hello to Chris Cross and Brian Reed, two friends I made when I briefly worked at Dreamworks Interactive (I didn't work on Trespasser). They called me today. They'd read the first entry in the Designer Diary and called to tell me what they thought. They then tied me up on the phone for the next 30 minutes while simultaneously sending me e-mail with bizarre and obscene attachments. 01/02/99 Saturday
Well, I'm back at work. The Christmas break was needed. I spent the first three days drinking eggnog, sleeping in 12- and 16-hour shifts, and watching Clinton get impeached.
After I was well rested, the eggnog was all gone, and Clintion was impeached, I did what any game design loser would do... worked on the game while on vacation. Ugh. I'm so pathetic.
My initial goal was to play existing maps. After playing five maps, it was obvious the AI hadn't been fully tested. It tended to sit back and never struck out until it had enough forces to guarantee a win.
This made for very extreme game experiences. Either you never saw the AI, or it came storming out of nowhere, knocked on your door, and politely introduced itself as your doom.
When our AI programmer (Gus Smedstad) gets back from vacation, I'll need to share my findings with him.
Well, seeing as I couldn't really play the game, I turned my attention to our 144-page game manual... much to my horror.
It turns out our second draft of the manual was full of errors. So, with red pen in hand, I promoted myself from game designer to fact checker. Over the next three days, I proceeded to bloody the pages of our beautiful manual.
To say it was tedious would be an understatement. When it was all over, I couldn't read anything if it wasn't written in fine print. 01/04/99 Monday
Today was another screaming monkey day. Why? One word: programmers.
I won't say who, but one of our programmers came into my office and proceeded to yell at me over a feature request he'd been given to program.
Why was he yelling at me? On the surface, it was because I hadn't given him enough details, or I hadn't thought through its impact enough. Or it could have been because it was simply a stupid feature, I didn't know what I was doing, and I was ruining the game.
The real reason? He wasn't sure how to program the task he'd been given, and the specified time frame was short. Instead of calming down, thinking it through, and telling me whether it could or could not be done in the given time frame, he panicked, and chose to vent at me.
Programmers are a unique breed. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Some of my best friends are programmers.
I must admit I am fascinated. I've watched each of our team programmers code. It's very amusing. How they code gives me a unique insight to their personality. For instance...
John Bolton (lead programmer): When John programs, it looks like he's playing chess.
David Richey (tools programmer): David doesn't code. Beforehand, he thinks about his task in depth, like contemplating philosophy, then simply writes it up. Quite often you can look through David's office window and see him bent over in his chair, chin on fist, like The Thinker.
Mark Caldwell (NWC VP): You need to know Mark to really understand, but when Mark codes, it's like he's in a boxing ring, ducking shots, trading blows, and trash talking with the program.
Now take such individuals and do the unthinkable... Make them into a team. Worse yet, force them to have meetings in which they must interact on a social level and agree to work together. Worse yet, force them to interact with right-brained artists and game designers.
It's a wonder any games ever get made.
Join designer Greg Fulton as gives us his very last Designer Diary entry, which tracks the last days of Heroes of Might and Magic III. In these last few days, the team waited anxiously to approve the gold candidate. But there is no rest for Greg, as he mentions a little something about the expansion disc. Join us as we count down the final development of Heroes III. 01/07/99
Ever heard the phrase "thousand tile stare"?
It's a phrase used by our mapmakers. You get the thousand tile stare from making H3 maps all day long.
Today I got the thousand tile stare after making a map for our eventual game demo.
It's a very simple, small map, letting players experience a portion of the game. Hopefully they'll experience enough and feel compelled to buy the game. I've been calling the map "Dead and Buried."
When I finished, I gave it to Chris Vanover (H3 assistant director) to play. Chris is an expert Heroes player. He's a good gauge of the map's difficulty.
Watching Chris play was a lot of fun. It allowed me to take a break from work and finally see the game in action. However, I am the worst person to have over your shoulder when you play.
Why? I'm a backseat driver. It's a bad habit from playing console games with friends.
Thus, I watched Chris play and second-guessed him all the way. We were like two old men spitting and complaining about the best strategy as Chris clicked his way through the game. It was rather humorous. 01/08/99
Today I gave the Dead and Buried
map to a few select people to see if anyone could beat it in the allotted time frame of four game weeks.
One of my candidates was Jen Bullard. Jen is the only female tester in the QA area.
Upon entering the test area, I found Jennifer burning a candle at her desk. She wasn't afraid to comment aloud how everyone else in the test area doesn't wash their clothes often enough. She thinks they stink.
No sooner did I sit down to watch Jen play than the verbal bantering between the testers began.
Ryan Den, another one of our testers, was sure he found a bug and asked aloud if anyone had encountered the same bug. No one had. Immediately everyone began shouting "user error." Ryan thought they were all high... until he realized it was user error. Everyone then proceeded to playfully tear into Ryan yet again.
I must admit, our testers are pretty cool. Their interactions are quite amusing. They banter with the voracity of a knife fight, but it's rarely cruel. 01/14/99
Last night was my last chance to revise the game manual. Thus, I decided to pull an all-nighter to finish it. This was my first time being at NWC so late. I also experienced something completely new.
I had been drinking many free Cokes when my bladder reminded me who was really in charge. Without hesitation, I raced to the bathroom. I opened the door. It was dark. This is not unusual. The lights are hooked up to a motion sensor. To save energy, they turn on and off based on the presence of a moving body. Confident the lights would turn on, I strode into the bathroom.
The lights did not illuminate.
Fumbling around in the dark, I was able to find the light switch and flip it on.
Fumbling around some more, I found the door handle and exited the bathroom.
Moving quickly to Mark Caldwell's office (Mark and George were also working late), I told him, "The bathroom lights won't turn on." He said, "Yeah. The bathroom lights don't turn on after midnight." I asked, "How do you go to the bathroom with the lights off?" He answered, "Usually I just feel my way to the urinal."
"I need to take a crap."
"Hey, I wouldn't know anything about that. Get the flashlight from George."
"I need a flashlight?"
So, I walked to George's office.
"I need the bathroom flashlight."
Giggling to himself under his breath, George reached into his desk and gave me a pocket flashlight. With flashlight in hand I returned to the bathroom where everything went according to plan.
I know game production has its odd moments, but... this one was really odd. 01/18/99
In the last days of a game's production, the game designer makes a desperate attempt to prevent features from being cut to make the deadline. However, if I got all the features I wanted, the game would never ship. Thus, there is always a tug of war between the game designer, management, programmers, and artists, to decide what gets into the game and what gets pushed back to the expansion or sequel.
Today I was doing my best to get a new hero into the game without too much additional programming or art. I realized I could get the results I needed by simply adding a new graphic and customizing an existing game hero. Even better, I could get the graphic from existing art in the intro movie. All the artist had to do was crop a freeze-frame from the movie and give it to our asset manager to be put into the game. I could customize the hero in the editor. All the programmers had to do was recognize the character's unique identification.
Well, we did.
I wonder how much longer I can push my luck. 01/19/99
I have become the Walmart floor manager.
No. I haven't quit my job.
Let me explain.
At this stage in the making of the game, I find myself spending most of my time walking the halls with my Notepad of Oppression waiting for people to call out my name.
The notepad is a list of issues needing resolution. Most people find the notepad humorous unless their name is on it. Ironically, I end up putting my name on the notepad more than anyone else's (I'm oppressing myself).
Regardless, when I am walking the halls and someone calls out my name, I duck into their office to answer their questions. Sometimes this means getting on their phone and calling someone else to clear up an issue. If I don't have the answer, I'm the intermediary.
Thus, I feel like the Walmart floor manager, roaming the isles, taking care of arising issues. All I really need is the blue vest. 01/20/99
For a moment, consider most game manuals. Usually, a manual details the game interface and introduces you to the various game elements. Rarely do these manuals give you true game statistics.
For Heroes III , we wanted to buck this trend. Using the Heroes II strategy guide as a model, we decided to make a big manual loaded with information. This is exactly what we did - 144 pages.
Today we signed off on the manual. Well, no sooner did the ink dry than we discovered some errors. It was terrifying. I literally sat at my desk, looking at the errors I had discovered, and heard the manual mocking me with the chittering of a wild hyena.
There was nothing I could do. It was carved in stone. Now understand, most manuals ship with some errors. This is what the Readme is for. However, several people had gone over this manual time and again, and still there were errors.
I'll never make a big manual again. It's too much upkeep considering the fluidity of game design.
I'm sure I'll lose some sleep over this. 1/25/99
Today the Coke machine caught fire.
Let me repeat this. Today the Coke machine caught fire.
Since we started crunching, around 7:00pm each night, Mark Caldwell (NWC VP) has been unlocking the Coke machine for free drinks to go with our evening meal. We don't continue pressing the selection buttons for the various drinks. Instead, we literally open up the front half of this big, red, half-ton refrigerator, made to withstand the assaults of the most juvenile of delinquents.
Now, I'm not exactly clear on the details, but one of the testers pulled open the front door to grab a soda from inside. Apparently, some of the electrical wires were sheared, followed by fire and smoke.
Upon seeing the fire and smelling the smoke, the tester grabbed Ben Bent (NWC office manager and part-time game director). He then pointed out the fire in the Coke machine.
With perfect calm, Ben simply unplugged the Coke machine. Poof. The fire went away.
I must admit, I can't help but see the fire in the Coke machine as a metaphor for Heroes III in production. A fire starts, someone panics, and someone else calmly solves the problem.
Truthfully, it's the story of the game production process. 2/07/99 Sunday
Today could be the day.
We've decided to make a "final candidate" CD-ROM for 3DO approval. A final candidate is what we consider "ready to ship." We then send the final candidate to 3DO for them to do shrink-wrap testing.
Tonight, no one leaves the building until the game is finished. 2/08/99 Monday
It's 5:00am Monday morning.
We just started burning the final candidate.
About half the team is still here.
We've been crunching too long. Everyone's burnt.
About 15 minutes ago, Mark starting broadcasting Money For Nothing over everyone's speakerphone.
I am literally weak-kneed. Except for writing this entry, all I intend to do is just sit in my office chair and do everything I possibly can to do nothing.
As of 8:30 Saturday, February 13, we're calling it good Barring last-second crash bugs, the game is done.
It's 9:30, and with the realization the game is done, already I'm beginning to crash.
After crunching for so long, the crash is the aftereffect. This is the time when you finally realize you can relax and return to a somewhat normal life. This is also the flag signaling the release of all the pent-up stress and illness you've been holding off by sheer will for the past six months. Thus... crash.
We're done. 02/14/99
Four days after announcing Heroes has gone gold, we're already talking about the expansion pack. Already, I've assembled my map makers. They're good people. With H3 under their belts they should make even better maps for the expansion.
The downside? Chris Vanover is moving onto a different project. Technically Chris was H3's assistant director, but I adopted him as my assistant designer. He was a big help in many of the grunt areas. I was hoping to hand the expansion off to Chris so I could concentrate on the next Heroes.
No such luck.
Ultimately, this means vacation must wait.
Where is a monkey boy when you need one? 02/19/99
David Mullich's (Heroes III director) wife was pregnant and expecting about the same time as E3 last year (Atlanta '98). So, he couldn't go and demonstrate the game.
I was the next logical choice. I know the game better than anyone else, and when needed, I can turn on the charm.
Now don't get me wrong, when I have demoed the game, it has been a delight. Yet, as a game, Heroes III doesn't demo well. It's a turn-based game. It's not a first-person shooter or real-time strategy game. There's no real immediate reward for your attention span to latch onto.
However, Heroes does have a very large, very dedicated following. Thus, most people who want to see Heroes are already fans. This was the case at E3.
At E3 I did the vast majority of the presentations. I did so many I ended up losing my voice. Almost all the people who saw the game were fans of Heroes and liked what they saw. We were so successful, people were taking chairs from the other game stations to sit in front of ours.
Well, the downside to my work at E3 was... I became the demo guy. The downside of being the demo guy is traveling.
I hate traveling.
Once I arrive at my destination, there's no problem. I'm just impatient by nature. I'm also 6'1" and hate sitting in supercramped airline seats.
So, today I got to fly up to 3DO with Peter Ryu (MM7 producer), Keith Francart (MM7 director), and Jeff Blatner (new Heroes producer) to give presentations on MM7 and Heroes III to our Ubi Soft partners and a smattering of European journalists.
As much as I hated getting up at 5:30am and traveling to San Francisco (less than one week after going gold), the trip was amusing for a number of reasons.
Since I have been at New World, Peter Ryu has always worn shorts and sandals. For the presentation, Pete was ordered to wear pants and shoes. Throughout the day, he was wincing as the shoes rubbed his feet raw.
The other amusing part was hanging out with the French chicks from Ubi Soft and the European press.
Last time I was at 3DO I did an H3 presentation to a number of European journalists. Not a French woman among them. It was different this time, and dare I say, worth the trip. 02/22/99
David Mullich (H3 director), George Ruof (H3 programmer), and I are the only members of the team in the building today. Everyone else is on vacation.
Over the weekend I began my self-rehabilitation for returning to the real world.
When you do nothing but work 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week, and then it all comes to an abrupt halt, you suddenly find you have all this spare time on your hands.
Ultimately, you become bored. You don't know what to do with yourself because your "normal" situation meant working on the game... but the game is finished. Normal has become different and no longer normal.
A logical assumption for curing this boredom would be a vacation. Not yet. I've got to write the design for the expansion disc. I've got two weeks before it is due. After hammering out the specs, everyone will be briefed, then I can go on vacation.
I've got it all planned out. I haven't seen my parents since Christmas of 1997. So, I'm going to go back home and sit in the rocking chair in front of my dad's big-screen TV and watch nothing but cable television for at least two weeks. You heard me. Nothing but CNN Headline News for two weeks. If by then I'm not properly vegetated, I'll watch it for another week. Then I'll track down my old high school girlfriend and see if she's still single.
I've set up an e-mail address for your feedback about the game when it hits the shelves. This e-mail is merely for player feedback and suggestions. I will be the one reading the e-mails, and most likely, I won't be answering any of them. So, don't flame me if I don't respond. [[email protected]
I've enjoyed writing these diaries. I wish I had been able to dedicate more time to them.
My apologies to Elliott Chin (who made these diaries possible). Elliott wanted me to talk about the design philosophy behind H3. After practicing design philosophy 12-14 hours a day, I couldn't bring myself to write a diary about it. So, I thought I'd do "a day in the life." I hope you enjoyed my tongue-in-cheek account.
I leave you with the following words I once heard the great Jon Van Caneghem speak, "When it's all over you'll forget how hard it was and do it all over again." He's right. We will.
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2023.06.06 23:28 Surfaceofthesun Don’t underestimate the self improvement you can gain from a breakup.
I was in a relationship for over 2 years with someone I truly ended up in love with.
It wasn’t always this way; for the first little while I felt trapped, suicidal, and depressed which had nothing to do with her but more with my life circumstances.
I had a big medical injury, couldn't work for a long time, and lost all control and independence for the longest time. Coupled with ADHD and Anxiety, it lead to a really tough period of around 6 months. It was insanely hard on her to put up with my shell of a human being which caused agony, pain and sadness. She was stuck too.
Anyway, things got better after I got a job and we talked through things that would help our relationship. I finally got some control back in my life, made some short films, made some money and I fell madly in love with my partner and was ready to give it my all, ready to truly commit forever and work toward that life but it was too late.
We broke up after things were getting better because of the hurt of those 6 or so months. However, even in the good times, I couldn’t completely fight my anxiety or issues. My job was stressful and fast-paced, my exercise regime was time-consuming and I couldn’t slow down to focus on the things that mattered in our relationship like friends, socializing, and therapy. I made some massive improvements on my own but it was too late. For some reason I just couldn’t find the time to seek out help or support, I felt like all my time was scarce and my ADHD brain couldn’t take a second to truly think long-term. I just also felt so inferior to the relationship when I shouldn't have, she was the sweetest, least judgemental person I'd ever met but couldn't rationalize that to myself - Her friends were all so lovely but super successful and 'adult' they all had amazing jobs, their lives so routine and social. I felt so jealous and inferior all the time. I felt like no-one wanted to actually speak to me or be around me so I reserved myself and stopped hanging out with them because I was terrified they saw me as this big loser (I didn't want to embarrass her but staying home was actually worse!) her parents obviously hated me, they helped support us but they didn't take me seriously, they didn't ask me anything, they weren't interested in me and obviously were just nice to me because it was her daughter. All of these things I just couldn't fix whilst in the relationship because I was SO embarrassed all of the time and at this point she would make hints that she wanted someone more adult and professional - Anyway..
Then the breakup happened. This was my first real heartbreak and I can’t describe the love I had for this woman. I deep love I’ve never ever felt before, a realization that this could be the one and could truly see us conquering the world together and creating our own lives and universe. We talked about moving to London or LA, we both imagined it vividly - It was going to happen eventually, me and her, on a big adventure. - Until it didn't.
I went straight into no contact. I couldn’t eat, I threw up a lot, and I cried until my ribs hurt. I wailed in the shower listening to sad music. I ran all the scenarios in my head that could have saved the relationship. “ I should have just made that movie with her” “ I should have read those books with her” “ I should have done improv with her” things that would have happened but weren’t a priority.
However, my body went into an offensive mode. I said “fuck it” I booked therapy, I got a Hims subscription for anxiety, and I joined a 6-week anxiety class through one medical. I read 2-3 books a week, I journaled, I went to weekly meetups for trivia and local political events I took up piano and dance, and I started going to local entertainment events where I get to dance and meet people and show off my new skills, I got a new job making an insane amount of money (which massively helped my anxiety), I was suddenly invited to hiking, small musical events and got into a major film festival. I started getting invites to many different things from different people. I finally felt part of the city.
2.5 months later I truly am a new person. I’ve reflected on my past self and realized how much of a double-edged sword the breakup was. I was thrust and forced into a position where I had to grow, I had to become an adult. Gaining independence at this time in my life has been invaluable.
Whilst I lost the love of my life, I have become someone new. Someone who that person would love, in hopes that I can be with someone similar one day and I’ll be fully prepared to give them everything.
In the relationship I was always too worried and scared to make these improvements, always scared of being judged as I already felt lesser toward the end. I couldn’t even fully give myself sexually which was important to me and her.
I always felt like a child and keeping myself busy was a good way to ignore the important things. Now I know when I enter a relationship that I need to maintain that independence and to keep working on myself separate from the relationship and to make sure I’m honest, mature, and available to do those things.
It would have been very easy for me to just go no contact, carry on like usual as my old self and take nothing from it. Don’t think that this has been easy, every day I think about her and wonder about her, the dreams are fucking insane and unfair but you just need to focus on the NOW and the improvement you are making.
I know I'm doing this for me because there's no way she would know what I'm doing/working on. We're not in contact. I don't post any of this on my public social media account which she doesn't view anyway. My motivation is for me, I now know that I'm doing everything for myself and my future.
I hope you reach this place too. Get out there, be proactive, and work toward being your best self.
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2023.06.06 23:24 GavinJohnWriter Whatever you do... DON'T LOOK AWAY FROM IT
I recently moved into a new house in a quiet Suburban area. I’m not going to say where because it’s had it’s fair share of media coverage, and teens showing up at night trying to get a glimpse inside the infamous house.
It had been on the market for three-years, and I secured the house at a much cheaper price due to the fact that two people had been found murdered there.
The mystery and brutality of the murders catapulted the story into the local news. No specific details were released to the public, and I only found out about it because a friend of mine is a local realtor with connections.
Nobody was ever arrested for the murders. A male in his thirties was found in the living area, and a female in her thirties was found barricaded in the basement. Another mysterious fact was that the woman had barricaded herself in from the inside, in a desperate attempt to stop someone or something from getting in.
Yesterday whilst doing some cleaning in the basement, I came across a cell phone that had fallen down a gap behind the washing machine and the wall.
And there’s a voice recording on it.
Recorded the same night of the murders by the female victim. And, It’s pretty terrifying. I’ve already handed it into the police, but I made a transcript of the recording.
What you are about to read is the unedited transcript of the cell phone recording found in the basement.
I have to admit, it’s extremely disturbing. The desperation in her voice will haunt me forever.
“If you’re hearing this, please, please, please give it the police. My husband is dead, it killed him. I’m so sorry Scott.
I can hear it now, upstairs, looking for a way in, and it’s only a matter of time before it finds one.
I’ve barricaded myself in the basement and I’ve got my eyes on the only door, one way in one way our.
You see, it can’t move if you’re looking at it.
It began twelve weeks ago. The night Scott, my childhood sweetheart and husband of five-years confessed that he’d had a drunken one-night stand on his bachelor party in Europe. The apparent guilt had consumed him for the past five-years, and his sudden urge to be truthful was due to the fact we were due to get married this same year.
His words hit me like a freight train, and the urge to vomit washed over me like a tsunami. I stormed out of the house, our house that we’d bought together twelve-years prior. I felt like the world had swallowed me whole, and in a way, it had.
I was struck with a throbbing chest pain that rapidly spread down my entire right side. The pain intensified, taking my breath away, and I stumbled into a tree to steady myself as I felt my body about to faint.
The next thing I remember, was waking up in a dark and dismal forest, devoid of colour. The air was dry and had a distinctive, malodorous smell, like rotten meat or that of a decaying carcass. But worst of all, was a terrifying feeling that I’d never experienced before, and one that I pray I’ll never feel again.
The feeling of absolute hopelessness.
The sky was dull and cloudless, and was ripped apart by soundless, ferocious lightning that illuminated the bleak landscape I found myself in. I felt like I’d been wandering for hours, maybe even days when I came across a decaying cave. Animal bones crushed beneath my feet as I made my way towards it.
As I approached the cave, the putrid smell grew with intensity causing me to retch, and I was violently sick, bringing up my own stomach bile. The entrance was made of crumbling stone and was completely opaque. I threw a small stone into it and heard it ricocheting down the stone steps and off the walls. The silenced lighting strobed the area, and I was able to glimpse into the cave and see a few descending steps.
Then, two yellow reptilian-like eyes flashed in the darkness.
I stumbled backwards, and just as the lightning struck, I was forcefully thrown by an unseen force. The lighting flashed continuously, accompanied by a gale-force wind, tossing me around like a rag doll. My eyes were fixed on the cave, and I crippled in terror, as a pale, gangly hand reached around the crumbling stone. Another flash hurled me hard against a tree, and suddenly -
I woke up in the back of an ambulance with paramedics hovering over me with a defibrillator, and two words that sent a cold and grotesque shiver through my spine.
Welcome back? Back from where? What was that place? That thing in the cave? How long was I gone?
Hundreds of questions raced through my mind, but none of which I had the answer for.
Not yet anyway.
“You died in the back of that ambulance” the doctor said as I lay in a bed in the ICU.
The room tilted as I tried to digest what the doctor was telling me. I felt like I was in a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. I’m thirty-years old, I eat healthily, and I run four times a week, how could this be happening to me?
My scans revealed I’d inherited a faulty gene and developed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and suffered a cardiac arrest. I spent the next seven-weeks in the ICU and told nobody of the dark forest and the creature with the yellow eyes. Just the thought of that place was enough to raise the hairs on the back of my neck.
My mother practically moved into the hospital. Fussing over me like mothers do. She blamed herself for my condition, even though her scans were clear, meaning that I inherited the faulty gene from my absent father.
My husband Scott came on the first day, but I asked him for space. I needed some time to heal and process everything that had happened, about both my condition, and his infidelity. Although he kept that promise, he would call my mom every day to check on me, to make sure I was okay.
Not because of my condition, but for something else.
I’d started to see something.
I wasn’t sure what it was at first. It started as a tiny dot in my peripheral, nothing more than a spec on my retina. Of course, I had my eyes checked, but all results came back clear, as did the results for my visual cortex.
Days later, what started as a dot in my peripheral began to grow.
The first time I saw it, I was at my doctor’s office. He had left me alone for a moment whilst he consulted with my surgeon. It was dark outside and the sound of heavy rain pit-a-patting against the glass was hypnotic. I stared out of the window, watching as a small handful of people came in and out of the hospital.
Then, my eyes were drawn to an ominous silhouette at the far end of the parking lot. I couldn’t make out any distinguishing features due to the minimal light, but there was something there, standing deadly still in the shadows.
A car horn broke my reverie, a man was getting into his truck in the lot and must have pressed the horn by accident. I turned back to the silhouette, and it was in a completely different position.
It had moved.
It was standing eerily still again, but like it had frozen mid-walk. I could just about make out its elongated limbs, like it’s arms and legs had been stretched out.
The doctor returned momentarily, startling me. He’d gotten my scans, and everything was how it should be.
“Good news, you should be okay to be discharged in a few days” he said.
That was great news, I was so ready to get out of the hospital. I turned back to the window in curiosity, but whatever I saw had gone.
I didn’t think about it again until the night before I was going home. It was late and most of the patients were sleeping. My room is situated at the end of the hall, so I get a clear view of it through my observation window. I wasn’t quite ready to go to sleep and was watching something on my iPad.
Suddenly, there was a putrid odour wafting in through my open door. The same unmistakable smell that I’d experienced in that ‘other place’. Two nurses walked past my room, neither showing any signs that they too could smell it. I covered my nose and mouth to try and stop me from heaving.
Then, my eyes drifted to the observation window, and to the corridor.
It was here again. The silhouette.
At the far end of the hall. Completely still, with its back pressed up against the wall. But I could see it. It was tall and skinny, and had either feelers or tentacles stretched up against the wall like an ink spill. Its daunting yellow eyes stared straight at me.
I saw another nurse walk up the hall and straight past it, like it wasn’t there. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe visual hallucinations were a symptom of what I’d been through, or maybe it was a side effect of the many meds I was taking. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
“There’s nothing there, there’s nothing there, it isn’t real” I whispered to myself.
I opened my eyes and, it hadn’t gone.
It had moved closer.
Halfway down the hall. It had dropped onto all fours like a large dog. Starring straight at me. Its long tentacles spread across the floor and up the wall.
I was absolutely petrified.
I moved over to the window, tentatively. The smell that resonated from this creature was overpowering. I watched it for a few moments, until a nurse walked past the window, startling me. And, like before, when I looked back, it wasn’t there. It was as though I’d imagined it. I climbed back into bed, but I didn’t sleep a wink that night.
The next morning, my mom came to pick me up. I left with a suitcase of medication and instructions on how and when to take them. I didn’t tell my mom or anyone at the hospital about my hallucinations. I was worried If I did say something, the doctors wouldn’t let me leave.
I had decided to stay at my mom’s until I was ready to talk with Scott. He brought a box over with some essentials, like my comfy clothes, pyjamas, and my own toothbrush as I’d been using a cheap store bought one up to now. He was sorry, and it was clear he hadn’t been sleeping. He said he’d wait for me until I was ready to talk. I missed both him and our home so much, but I just wasn’t ready to talk about it. Not yet.
My mom suggested that I go into town, see the locals, get some fresh air into my lungs. She offered to drive me, and then we would meet back up at the car after an hour.
Whilst in town, I noticed a poster for the yearly travelling fairground in a storefront window. I have fond memories growing up of this fair. It’s where Scott and I shared our first kiss. We were halfway round the Ferris wheel, when it started to rain. He covered us with his jacket, and then he kissed me. This was the moment I knew I’d fallen in love with him. I was flooded with happy emotions, and it felt right that I text Scott.
“I’m ready to talk, I’ll be at the place where we shared our first kiss at 8 tonight, Chloe x”.
He replied almost instantly.
“I’ll be there, thank you x”.
After a quick smile to myself, I went for a walk through the local market. It was bustling with energy. Vendors selling local, fresh produce, handmade furniture, bakeries, and plenty more.
After browsing the stalls, I was hit with that smell. That horrific, nauseating smell. And I felt the hairs on my arms prickle up.
I knew it was here. Somewhere. Observing me.
My eyes narrowed as I scanned the area. I weaved in and out of the locals looking for it. Paranoia struck me like lightning. I was bumping into people as I went. All eyes had now turned to me. I burst into tears, sprinted back to the lot and leaped into my mother’s car.
I was sitting in the passenger seat crying my eyes out. I looked out of the window and saw my mother rushing back to the car shouting my name. Someone must have told her about my freak out.
I looked out of the opposite window and, IT WAS THERE, standing on top of a vehicle several cars over!
“GET AWAY FROM ME” I screamed.
My mother whipped open the door.
“What is it? What happened?” she replied.
She couldn’t see it. Nobody could. I told her that I’d had a panic attack. I hadn’t been around people outside of the hospital for a few months and I felt overwhelmed. She knew I wasn’t being truthful, but it’s the only answer I could give.
That night I decided to go ahead and meet Scott at the fair. When I saw him waiting for me by the Ferris wheel, my heart felt hole again, if only for a moment. We got our tokens and went on the wheel. We talked as we went round, about how sorry he was and how much of an idiot he’d been, which I agreed with.
Everything was going well until I saw the creature again. Standing on top of the ghost house attraction. Watching me.
I kept my eyes on the figure whilst grabbing Scott’s arm.
“Do you see it?” I asked with a shaky voice.
“See what?” he replied.
“It’s standing right there, on top of the ghost house”.
I could see him squinting to look, but I knew deep down that he wouldn’t be able to see it, because only I could.
“Sweetheart, there’s nobody there, look at me” he replied, calmly.
“I can’t” I said solemnly. “If I look away, it’ll move”.
“Chloe, look at me, there’s nothing there” he said, as he grabbed my chin and turned my face towards his.
“No! it’ll move, it wants me to look away” I screamed.
I quickly spun round, my eyes darting back to the ghost house, but it wasn’t there. I looked around, anxiously, Scott looking on with worry.
“Shit, where is it?” My anxiety palpable.
I looked down, and it was at the bottom of the Ferris wheel. It had moved inhumanly fast. I screamed and almost fell out of the carriage, but Scott held onto me.
“Hey, hey, I got you, what is it?” he said, desperately trying to keep hold of me.
I stood up in a panic, rocking the carriage, Scott tried to hang onto me, but it was too late, and I plummeted twenty feet to the ground.
The last thing I remember, was Scott screaming for an ambulance.
I was fortunate enough to only suffer a sprained wrist and a slight concussion. My doctor wanted to keep me in overnight for observations, which I reluctantly agreed to.
I decided to confide in Scott. I told him everything. From the cave in the forest to this creature that’s stalking me. This monstrous entity that must have crawled out of the pits of hell. And worst of all, it’s getting closer to me.
He could see that I was terrified, and instead of trying to explain away what I was experiencing, he just held me. And, for the first time in a long time, I felt safe. We spent hours just holding each other. He offered to stay the night, to stay awake in the chair whilst I got some sleep, but I couldn’t have him doing that.
After Scott left, I managed to get a few hours rest. I woke up just after two AM and grabbed my bottle of water from the nightstand. That’s when I noticed the door was closed, even though I specifically requested it to stay open.
And then, there was that horrendous smell. I knew it was close.
It was in the fucking room.
It was crouched down in the corner on all fours, blending into the darkness, watching me. I desperately tried to scream but no sound would come out.
Keeping my eyes on it, I slowly climbed out of the bed with my back pressed firmly against the wall. I knew it couldn’t move if I didn’t look away. I side-stepped along the wall towards the door.
I started to manoeuvre around a set of drawers, knocking something off that caught my eye for a millisecond. But that’s all it took. It was now standing on its two legs.
It must have been eight-feet tall with outstretched limbs. A streak of moonlight illuminated part of it’s pale-blue face. Its yellow eyes glistened in the light. Its slimy tentacles spread up the wall and onto the roof.
I kept my back to the wall and kept moving. I made it to the door, grabbed the door handle, but it was fucking locked. I kicked the door, but nobody could hear me.
I could see the key for the door on the table in my peripheral. I fumbled around on the table without looking. I grabbed everything but the key. I knew I had to look to find the key.
I quickly glanced to my left – Saw the key – Looked back, and the creature was point-blank in front of me. Reaching out for my throat, its black, curved talon had pierced my neck and blood trickled down.
Somehow, I managed to scream and within seconds two orderlies had barged through the door. All they found was me, alone with blood trickling down my neck. I barged straight past them and ran as fast as I could out of the hospital.
I ended up running all the way home. I banged as loud as I could on the door, forgetting that it was almost three-thirty in the morning. Scott answered the door in his pyjamas with a worried look plastered across his face.
I told him what had happened at the hospital whilst he bandaged my neck.
“See, this is proof that what I’m seeing is real, this is physical proof, you believe me, right, you have to?” I barked.
After a momentary pause, he replied:
“Yes, I believe you. I believe... I believe you’re seeing something”.
I registered the pause, and the hesitation in his voice. He didn’t believe me, and I didn’t blame him.
After talking for a few hours, I had calmed down enough that I told Scott to get some sleep. He was reluctant to leave me, so he took a nap in the chair. I grabbed my laptop and searched the web for anything related to what was happening to me.
There’re thousands of incidents across the world relating to haunted houses, demons, cults, and possessions, but none that was specific to the entity that was stalking me.
Every time I heard a sound, a car outside or a floorboard creek I jumped. I was a nervous wreck. I went into the kitchen to grab a glass of water. I looked out of the window into the darkness, expecting to see it watching me. But it wasn’t.
I went back into the room, and –
IT WAS THERE!
I dropped the glass, and it shattered on the floor. Scott leaped from the chair.
“What, what is it?”
I couldn’t speak. My lips were glued shut. I slowly raised my hand and pointed at it. It was standing at the far end of the room. I kept my eyes on it the entire time. Scott rushed over to me.
“Hey, Chloe, there’s nothing their sweetheart, whatever you’re seeing isn’t real”.
He headed towards it.
“NO, SCOTT, PLEASE DON’T!” I pleaded, as I grabbed his arm.
He shrugged it off and marched over to it.
“There’s nothing here, I’m going to prove it to you” he said.
He cocked his arm back and swung his fist, only his arm stopped mid-swing.
HE HIT THE FUCKING CREATURE!
I moved to grab Scott and stood bare foot on the broken shards of glass, cutting my feet, I screamed out, and for a split second, I LOOKED DOWN.
And that’s all it took.
When I looked up, the creature had already grabbed Scott and folded him in half like a piece of paper. The sound of his spine breaking echoed through the room. Scott laid dead on the floor, his eyes widen open and looking at me.
I screamed and backed away into the kitchen. I slammed the door shut and ran to the rear door. It was locked and I’d left my keys in my bag in the front room. I noticed Scott’s cell on the countertop, so I grabbed it and ran down into the basement.
I shut the door and pushed the spare fridge in front of it. And then I hid in the corner. Crouched down beside the washing machine.
Which is where I am now. Hiding. Crying. I can’t call anyone because Scott’s cell doesn’t have a signal down here, which is why I’m recording this message on his cell in the hopes that someone will hear my story.
I can hear it now, moving around upstairs. It knows my eyes will be watching the door, so it’s looking for another way in. I’m so scared.
I’m the reason Scott’s dead. My true love. And I’ll never forgive myself for that. The thought of that is far worse than anything that monster can do to me.
Oh God, it’s here!
The old fucking laundry chute! Goddammit!
WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU?!?!
It’s watching me with those horrifying yellow eyes.
I can’t keep running because it’ll find me.
And I won’t put anyone else in danger.
It’s me that it wants.
Scott I’m so sorry, I love you so much.
And Mom, I love you so much.
I’m going to close my eyes now.
That’s it, that’s the recording. It’s very disturbing to me. If only you could hear her voice. She was terrified.
The police haven’t been back in contact as I write this, and I’m not expecting them too either.
The woman mentioned her mother in the recording, I might try and find her. Tell her what I've found, just in case the police don’t believe it.
submitted by GavinJohnWriter
to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 23:18 MaxSee33 Liberal Christians don't really make any sense when it comes to homosexuality.
I'm an atheist and gay (pro gay of course) and while I generally like liberal Christians (I would never get near a conservative one again) I don't find you guys make any sense when it comes to homosexuality and the Bible. You are better kinder human beings and people but I feel like you twist and lie a lot to defend the religion and at times even downplay and ignore Christianity overall contribution to the hatered of gay people around the globe for centuries. I mean take for example how quick liberal Christians are to say that all the anti gay Christian people are in a minority and majority of Christians are pro gay when they receive even slight criticism about the negative impact Christianity has had on gay people. Some go as far to say Christianity has always been pro gay. You cant possibly believe that! Same with these mentions of gay people being hated because the word "homosexuality" was added in the 50's which made people anti gay. Time existed before the 50's and gays were treated just as bad if not worse based off the Bible verses but let just for the sake of this convo pretend these makes sense.
I have question! If anti gay Christians are the loud minority and pro gay Christians are the majority and the word" homosexuality" was added to the Bible, which changed its original intention confusing billions of people to the point gay people lives have be negatively impacted for a century, then shouldn't it be fairly easy for Christians ,as the majority ,to get together and change the Bible to what it is suppose to mean saving countless lives and correcting the confusion? I don't see that happening nor is anyone claiming they want to do that. Is that because the original meaning is to oppress gay people and liberal Christians know this deep down? I say this because you have liberal Christians claiming that the "man sleep with man is abomination" was specifically about older men basically molesting children yet a few verses down it say "both shall be put to death". Does that mean liberal Christians support children of molestation being put to death? I don't think you want that I just feel like this was just a way to find some way to say say it wasn't really talking about gay people when in actually it was. I just don't understand the need to defend a religion that is hateful to a particular group of people with all these twist and turns like this. You are good people but why lie to keep something that isn't?
submitted by MaxSee33
to Christianity [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 23:14 No_Landscape_1019 I am regretting accepting this role so bad right now.
This is literally just a rant so if you don’t want to hear me ranting don’t keep reading 🤣
I booked a non-union feature film. Low pay, thought it would be fun. It was shooting near my family’s cottage and I decided to apply and I could visit there for a while.. we’ve been shooting for 5 nights so far, 10 hour shoots, all outside. Day one I arrived and there was no bathroom, I asked if they were getting one and they didn’t really answer.. no bathroom came, the boys all said they would all be fine to pee in the woods but since that’s not as easy for us we had to make a bathroom trip for the girls to Tim hortons once in the middle of each shoot. (12 minute drive) I ended up getting my period last night, and another girl on set also got hers so we talked to them about it and they were not happy about us going to the Tim hortons every two hours to get cleaned up.. like how are you going to set up an almost 3 week long shoot with multiple women and expect none of us to get our period? Not too mention we were all running and moving around a lot so we were all drinking a ton of water. One of the actors on set made a joke last night “haha girls need to go change their tampons again” and suggested we just change it in the car, as we were leaving.. at least the majority of the cast/crew have been just as mad as we are but a few of the boys thought it was so funny that we had to ask to leave for it.. also to make it worse I had a makeout scene with the one making jokes😖
Also there were like 25 people in total on set so what if anybody had an emergency? Got sick? This might have been enough of an experience for me to not do any more self submitting on the side of my agency work, only a few more nights to go🙃 hope I get some good reel footage out of this. I have done so much unpaid/non union work in my life and I’ve actually been so lucky to never had a bad experience, everything was organized & everyone was really nice but man I want this too end🥲 last night was so uncomfortable
ALSO they changed my lines and forgot to send me the new script for my scenes on day 2 & 3, so I literally had to learn them when I got there
Use this as your reminder sometimes if you don’t book that role it might be better off lol
submitted by No_Landscape_1019
to acting [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 23:14 kinglourenco Miele or Sebo Upright or Cannister for primarily carpet with a dog
I am based in the UK looking to buy a new vacuum and have decided between a sebo or Miele.
The house is primarily carpet with some hardwood - maybe 70/30 split.
I also have a small dog who sheds a lot. These are very small hairs but there are a lot of them. My current vacuum doesn't suck these up well from the carpet.
I'm looking for a vacuum that is very good at deep cleaning carpet mostly but also ok at hardwood. As I live near a main road, there is also a lot of dust build up regularly.
I would also like something that is easy to clean stairs with. The house is quite small so preferably not a very large cumbersome vacuum that may be hard to manoeuvre around or is going to knock into things often.
Budget is around £500. Thank you very much!
submitted by kinglourenco
to VacuumCleaners [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 23:13 wgc123 RIP French Press. Pros and Cons of stainless?
I had a 1 liter Bodum glass French Press that was perfect for a lazy Sunday morning. However it fell out of the cupboard, hit the floor and smashed into a million pieces. RIP little guy!
So what should I replace it with? My only complaints were that the second cup might get cold, and of course that I wish it lived longer.
What about stainless, insulated? Is it as easy to clean as glass? Does it add any off taste? Any drawbacks?
I see in the wiki here there is a Bodum model recommended, however it doesn’t list pros or cons to look for, why that model was recommended, and Bodum no longer sells such a thing. So what do you think?
submitted by wgc123
to Coffee [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 22:56 Ask_me_4_a_story Trip Report: Using my Go Wild Pass to Get to Costa Rica (Spoiler Alert I found Wild Sloths!)
Hi Go Wild Friends! In case anyone wants to know about beautiful Costa Rica
I went there using my Go Wild pass so I thought I would do a story about what happened in Costa Rica. There aren’t really a lot of travel tips in here, its just the wild shit I got into in Costa Rica. I did another write up with actual tips about South Beach in Miami on a budget here
if you want to read that one.
Okay, Costa Rica, so fuckin amazing! I want to fly to all the international places Frontier goes so I decided to do Costa Rica second (Cancun is an easy trip for me in Kansas City, they go nonstop there every weekend). The hardest part about Costa Rica is just getting there, I took a bit of a circuitous route.
I always take a big vacation each year after tax season, its fun for me to turn my phone off and go somewhere off the grid and not even think about work. Last year I went to Argentina and Uruguay and it was wild but honestly, this year was even better! I first wanted to stay with my brother and see my nieces and nephews in Orlando so I booked a one way flight from St. Louis to Orlando for only $19 with my Go Wild pass. I got to take a train from Kansas City to St. Louis, it was only $37 and I loved it actually, something about trains is so fun for me, probably because I took one to Chicago in college and stayed in a homeless shelter, my first real experience solo traveling, I loved it!
I spent the afternoon in St. Louis riding around downtown on those fun scooters and eating chicken wings and walking around the baseball experience place they had, it was a good afternoon. I had a late flight to Orlando but I fucked up the terminal (don't google which terminal is Frontier, its wrong). I went through security and bag check only to find out I was in the wrong terminal so that stunk but I had plenty of time for two security checks so no big deal. The flight was delayed so I didn’t get into Orlando until almost 2am and there was a long line for the rental car. I regret not doing the one you can pick up without talking to an agent so much, it was only like $5 more, do the self check car rental if possible. Orlando was fun, got to see my nieces and nephews and my brother and his wife put a little guest bedroom in the shed, easy to get into at 2am without waking anyone up.
After two days in Orlando it was time for my big flight to Costa Rica! So excited! This flight was only $51 with my Go Wild pass, an absolute steal. It stopped in Atlanta and then I was in Costa Rica in no time. On the plane a bunch of us were excitedly talking about our Go Wild passes, its kind of fun to do the spiderman meme thing and be like, you have a Go Wild pass? Me Too! The ringleader told me there were wild sloths if I went to a place called Manuel Antonio. I said what the fuck did you just say, wild sloths? Oh yes! I literally had no plans for a whole week so I mentally added sloths to the list of things I wanted to see. I have a travel buddy I met in Mexico to visit in San Jose and I wanted to see the volcano and the beaches of course but that was it.
At the airport you will want to get some cash, they have an ATM right there when you walk out. Don’t do the currency exchange, those people were giving really shitty rates. After you get cash walk around outside the airport to the backside, it’s a short walk and that’s where all the city buses come. There are buses to San Jose every 15 minutes, just jump on one of those its only like $1.50 and it goes 25 minutes to downtown. I have a huge aversion to taxis in Latin America, I’ve been ripped off a lot and airports are especially bad.
Once in San Jose you can walk most places, it’s a fun city to walk around. I stayed at the Costa Rica Backpackers hostel which I do not recommend for one big reason. Its so fuckin hot. I didn’t even think about checking for air conditioning, most places have it now. Also, I like hostels and the common areas and the hammocks and I always set up my chess board and play at night with beers. But I really like to have my own room at a hostel. This private room was I think $35 a night which is pretty good but it did not have air conditioning, just a fan recirculating hot air and it was right off the street so yeah, no recommendation for that one, I only stayed one night. That’s the fun thing about how I travel though, no reservations and no plans, if its not great I just go to a different place. I hung out with my travel buddy that night and we smoked a lot of um… cigarettes and went to this place where locals hang out. It was like some fuckin fast and furious movie but with Ticos, guys were just flying around on motorcycles on wheelies. I bought a huge meal for my friend and me, empanadas, a bunch of other Costa Rican food, it was so fuckin good and the whole meal was only $7, ha!
The next morning I set my chess board out at the hostel and I put $10 out on the money clip like I normally do when I travel. It’s a fun way to get people to play, if you beat me you get $10 if I win, nothing. My chess is kind of like a parlor trick too because I play in less than 5 seconds every move so everyone is thinking through it and Im having beers and going quick, usually at a hostel there gets to be a crowd and Im playing four dutch people on warm night in Mexico, so fuckin fun. On this morning a kid came up to play and I was teaching him chess for awhile nervously, I didn’t see his mom anywhere and secondly who brings a kid to a hostel? I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen one. He starts just taking my pieces off the board and then he takes the $10 and says welp I guess I won. I laughed and I said alright then, good job buddy. Just then his mom hobbled over, a Danish hippy with a broken foot. She thanked me for hanging out with him and told me the doctor said not to walk too much but it was hard with a six year old. I said sit down, sit down and I got her breakfast and helped her out. We talked for a bit and I told a funny Mexico story and helped them get their stuff together and she said oh you have to come to our hippy community in Puerto Viejo, you can stay in our shack by the ocean. I said oh that sounds fun today Im going to see a volcano but maybe later. She said they are the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica, one is entirely black sand. I said Im listening. She said they were poor in a little shack by the rainforest and they have monkeys and sloths in their backyard. I said um what the fuck did you just say? Wild sloths? She said yeah, tons of them. I booked a ticket right away for the 6am bus the next day. I went with my friend to the active volcano and then he dropped me off at my hotel. I booked the Radisson the second night because I really wanted Air Conditioning. Im soft like that, sorry. And it had a hot tub. I’ve never seen that many people in one hot tub, ha. At night I did a Tinder date, I found out all the cabs are pretty much $6 in San Jose so it was easy to get there and back and I went out with a fun lady who told me in Costa Rica they eat chicken wings with gloves, did you guys know that?
I got up at 4:30am and packed up for my 6am bus. At the front desk I asked them if they could call me a cab and they said its an additional $30 US. I was like nah, fuck that, $30? What a ripoff, I’ll just walk, its only 2 miles. So I walk pretty far into downtown San Jose and whoooooooosh, a bottle explodes near me! I go what the fuck and look up, theres a drunk Costa Rican man in a soccer jersey like two blocks away screaming at me in Spanish! I had so many questions, the first of course was who is balling out of control at 5am in the morning? The second was, who the fuck is that Latino Roger Clemens? I could barely see the guy from two streets away and he was (presumably) drunk getting that close to me with a full bottle of beer? The last question of course was who is drunk and throwing FULL bottles of beer? I walked away from his direction and then saw that there was a whole bar full of drunk soccer fans like him and I noped the fuck out and ran to the taxi stand and got a taxi. I said you know what, a taxi isn’t such a bad idea!
I regretted not Googling anything because my phone didn’t work at all in Costa Rica. They said I could buy a sim card but I didn’t want to, I kind of liked being off the grid. But I really wanted to find wild sloths. Maybe the person beside me will help I thought as I stood in line for the 6am bus
. Damn, I hope its not someone rapid firing Spanish at me though, my Spanish is not great. Most of my Spanish I’ve learned from the music of Bad Bunny. I was relieved to see my seat in 44 was next to a Japanese man in 45. Oh that’s awesome I thought, he will struggle with Spanish too and we can find wild sloths together. Nope, turns out Im a racist asshole, he was a Japanese Argentinian who spoke perfect Spanish and no English, none. His phone worked too and he was putting all these upside down house letters in Japanese and beautiful beaches were popping up, I really needed his help. I tried to befriend him but they speak a different kind of Spanish in Argentina, cajes instead of calles and so fast, so fuckin fast! His had like a little stall in it before it winded up too, like a UUUUUU mi esposa no esta aqui! His wife was either sleeping back in San Jose or dead, I couldn’t really understand. I noticed he had a bear avatar on his phone so I knew he liked animals so half way through the ride I decided to try to tell him they had sloths there. Hay peresozos en Puerto Viejo I said but he didn’t understand what I was saying. I said peresozos again and put up three fingers mimicking a sloth and then I panicked, I was like shit, what do sloths do? Its an animal famous for not doing anything. I pretended to hang up side down and he is (loudly) guessing animals in Spanish and Im like no, peresozos! Maybe I was saying it wrong but I had no Google so I said es posible tu telefono? And I typed in sloths and all these upside down houses came up and the words Oso Peresozo. And he goes UUUUUU OSO PERESOZO! I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a bus traveling through rural Costa Rica and seen a Japanese Argentinian get excited in Spanish about wild sloths but it is… ADORABLE!
Si SI! Oso Peresozo! I yelled. People are turning around now, they are like why the fuck are the American and Japanese guys back there in 44 and 45 playing charades two hours into a 6am bus ride? I said juntos? (Together) and he said si si! He told me where we could get bikes to rent and what to eat, he was the perfect travel partner! He said Yelp dices Jerk Chicken is the best to eat here. I said thanks Juan, you are my favorite travel partner! We had an amazing day in Puerto Viejo, beautiful beaches, monkeys, wild sloths, God damn that was an amazing day. He even showed me where my hostel was and I dropped off my bag. This hostel was called 456 hostel which I also do not recommend because no AC and there are weird animals running on the roof but I didn’t care, I just wanted to throw down my bag and get back to looking for wild sloths. The lady said we can’t just take your bag you need to check in first, I said listen lady you see that God damn excited Japanese man out there? We got wild sloths to find! I had no desire to spend one second in that hostel but Juan goes “Esta bien, cerveza” and then he had a beer by the ocean while I checked in. I joined him for a beer and it turns out that is a beautiful setting for a hostel. Still don’t recommend though, so fuckin hot.
Juan and I had an amazing day in Puerto Viejo, God damn that place is beautiful. We saw wild sloths, monkeys, and had an amazing time on the beach. I was sad to see him go, what a great travel partner! He pointed to where my hostel was but I said I would ride back into town with him. To be honest, I forgot to write down the name of the bike rental and there was like a hundred in Puerto. I turned my bike in with his to his surprise because we had rented for a full day but I told him I wanted a motorcycle. He used his expert Googling skills to get me to the cheapest motorcycle place. It was only $30 a day for a motorcycle which I thought was very reasonable. And I didn’t have enough cash on me and they didn’t take cards so the rental guy just said no worries man, take de bike to the ATM. That was pretty trusting! I came back with the money and got the bike and I can’t tell you guys the drugs part because the mods said no talking about drugs.
That was such a fast motorcycle. I turned my Bluetooth speaker up all the way and floored it and zoomed down the coast in time for the sunset, so God damn beautiful! Something about that warm Costa Rican sun on your shoulders and the sound of Khalid and the smell of salt in the air riding along the beautiful ocean, it will change your life. After the sunset I went to Cat’s house and her beautiful German friend Alina was there. There were three kids too and as soon as I got there they went riffling through my bag looking for candy. I had two caramels but was one short so I gave the little kid my chips. This was her sad face for not getting candy!
Cat was hobbling around on crutches so Alina and I said sit down we will take care of dinner. I went to the store down the street and got so much stuff for that poor family- toilet paper, rice, peppers and Barbies for the kids and a soccer ball for Marcello. Gringo santa claus when I came back, both the ladies cried, Alina said her girls had never had a Barbie doll. Alina and I cranked up the music in that little hippy house by the ocean and made dinner and drank wine and laughed while the kids played with their new toys and Cat relaxed and finished her remote work. We ate the food and drank the wine and smoked…cigarettes and had an amazing night. Alina asked if I wanted to share the Tuk Tuk and I said yes. She said it in kind of a mischievous way so I thought maybe she wanted to make out. And she was very beautiful so I said yes. We got in the Tuk Tuk and rode back towards town passing my hostel, she winked and said your hostel was back there you know and then put her hand on my arm.
I thought Cat was poor but Alina was super poor. She told the tuk tuk driver to turn left by the trash dump and we pulled up to an even tinier house right next to the rainforest. She said wait out here and I’ll put the kids to bed. So I waited on the porch. The kitchen was actually outside, a little refrigerator and a little stove and a sink. I sat in the chairs and she came out and we smoke a um cigarette together and then she said wait here. I was like fuck, wait her for what? Is she going to rob me or something but she didn’t seem scary, she seemed sweet. She came back out with a big giant mattress and threw it on the porch floor. Then she took off her shirt and said in her German accent, “Un now we share our bodies.” I thought that was a pretty sexy thing to say so I took off my shirt too and joined her except I didn’t want to have unprotected sex with a hippy so we just made out.
Sometime after she slipped back inside so I was alone on the mattress on the backporch by the rainforest. I thought that was a pretty good place to spend my first night in Puerto Viejo and I looked up and saw a hundred million stars lighting up the sky and fell asleep. But not too many hours later, God damn I awoke to a caucophony of jungle sounds! So many monkeys, just fuckin howling. And there were these weird rat things running around, they weren’t small at all, if you’ve ever seen the Princess Bride fucking ROS. (Rodents of Unusual Size). I honestly thought the monkeys were coming on the porch, that’s how loud they were.
I jumped up and leaned the mattress against the house and started walking, past the trash dump and out to the ocean. The first beach I came across was the black beach, it was amazing and I sat there until the sun came up. I had no watch or anything and my phone was dead so I walked for a long ways until I found a Tuk Tuk driver who took me to Cats. I got my motorcycle and went back to the hostel but when I charged my phone I found it was only 6am so I went back to sleep. But the hostel had no AC and there were some fuckin animals on the roof right over my head so I couldn’t sleep much. I went to the beach and found more wild monkeys and then sent Cat a WhatsApp message to see if she needed my help since she had the broken foot and Marcello was home, it was some kind of Costa Rican holiday.
She said sure come over and so I drove my motorcycle back down the coast and went back to the store and got more supplies and cooked them a big lunch. I had asked before if they eat meat because some hippies don’t and she said sure but its expensive here I don’t know if you want to buy it. It was $4 ha, I got some ham and rice and peppers and made a huge lunch and drank some beers and cooked while Cat did her remote work. She took a picture and I asked if she mind taking a short video of me cooking. IT wasn’t for social media or friends or anything, that video was for me so I could remember when I could be happy. A trip to Costa Rica for only $51 with my Go Wild pass and I got to be by the ocean and I met new friends and I was actually helping someone, I realized that day that’s what made me the most happy, that’s why I wanted the video.
After lunch I cleaned up and then Marcello and I played some chess. She asked if I minded watching Marcello while she ran to town with a client and I said sure, no problem. I was wrong, it was a huge fuckin problem! She said she would be back in an hour and then we could go to the hippy get-together on the beach. She was NOT back in an hour and I fuckin panicked. I didn’t know this lady’s last name, I didn’t know Marcello really, I called Cat and she didn’t answer and I tried texting her, nothing. I thought fuck, she must have abandoned me with this kid. And I don’t know how to get ahold of the authorities and it was a holiday, this shit was basically the plot to the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy. I started pounding beers because I was so nervous. I asked Marcello if he knew Alina’s number and this little dude said, and I quote, “Who’s Alina?” What the fuck? I said buddy, the lady that was here last night with the kids? He said he didn’t know them very much. Oh my God I thought, I’ve definitely been saddled with a kid. But then I was thinking, you know what, I could raise this kid, wouldn’t be that bad, live in this $400 a month house by the ocean, sounds good. But I have my own kids back home in Kansas City and that made me panic even more, now Im fuckin slammin beers so worried. Every car that goes down this little side road Im like oh please be Cat. Now this kid is starting to yell at me to come back out in Norwegian, I don’t know Norwegian and he wants me to read him books, which are also in Norwegian, Im full panicky at this time.
Finally Cat came back I said Cat, I wasn’t comfortable with that, I don’t even know your last name or anything. She goes, why, whats wrong? And goes running in to see Marcello, I said oh no, he’s fine, nothing happened its just that I thought you left and weren’t coming back. She said why would I leave my kid I love him more than anything in the world. I said I know, okay, its just that I was panicking. She said calm down, all good, lets go to the hippy fire circle. I was not going to go, I was going to get the fuck out but I really wanted to go to the fire circle, I was hoping they would let me spin the fire. So we went to the fire circle, Marcello and Cat with the client and me following behind on the motorcycle. We relaxed on the blanket and then up came beautiful Alina looking like a million bucks in the sun tucking her brown hair behind her ears. She got on the blanket with us close to me and I retold the story about how I thought Cat abandoned her kid with me and we all laughed and smoked again and had beers and then watched the sun go down. I didn’t know Marcello didn’t know how to swim so I showed him how to swim
a bit, a little lesson in front of the beautiful sunset. After the sun went down it was time for the fire circle and the main guy said brother, thank you for helping Cat, you are in our circle now, whats ours is yours. I said oh man thank you so much can I do the fire spinning? And he said that you can not do. Damn.
So I watched the others spin it jealously and then I got us some appetizer snacks from the restaurant. After the fire circle and the singing and everything we decided to have a picnic at the black beach. They went to the store to get the food and I went to go get my motorcycle. When I got back I guess Alina had stolen something from the store because the workers were all around her and the police were coming. It was equally sad and scary. They took everything she bought away and Cat said its okay she had enough so we all walked to the black sand beach and I gave Alina a hard time for being a thief until we all were laughing. We had a great night by the ocean and then they both got Tuk Tuks and I got on my motorcycle and drove back to the hot hostel and fell asleep and I never saw those hippies again. The end.
submitted by Ask_me_4_a_story
to gowildfrontier [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 22:54 10642alh AITA for waking my husband up to get a cockroach and always expecting him to get rid of them?
So we live in Spain and regardless of how clean your house is, the horrid goblins that are cockroaches still come in. We’ve been away in the UK for two weeks and you will always see them when you return, likely because they aren’t being disrupted! I think we get more in the summer, at leat 1 or 2 a month.
If one is dead, I will leave it and wait for my husband to get rid of it. I can’t even go near them if they’re dead.
When they’re alive, I need it gone immediately otherwise you don’t know where they go and they end up scaring you again. I know they can’t hurt me but I do not like them and the scuttling is usually a shock (e.g. turning lights on and they dash out). I also had one in my hair before when I picked up a towel from the shelf and wrapped my hair up in it on top of my head. Felt the scuttling down my neck and scrapped it off - while screaming bloody murder. I’ve had one come up the shower drain whilst showering before too. These things only seem to happen to me!!!!
Went to the bathroom today to shower and low and behold, turned the light on (no windows in there) and one dashed out from under the door to under the sink. I screamed once at the shock, ran out and woke my husband up (around 10am: both of us were not working today) to come and get rid of it. He asked me to use the other bathroom and I did eventually but now I cannot use the other bathroom because I know it’s likely in there.
I said he should have got up to get rid of it for me because of how much I am scared of them and how much anxiety I will have knowing it’s in the house. He said they can’t hurt me and my reaction to them is silly. He said I always frighten him when I scream and I overreact to harmless creatures.
I’m still upset but I want to know if I am the asshole for expecting him to always be the cockroach saviour?
He has used the bathroom since but hasn’t been able to get it - the sink cabinet is deep and he can’t get under there.
I know it won’t be there tomorrow so I’ll spend the whole day anxious waiting to see it somewhere else in the house.
submitted by 10642alh
to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 22:54 dickles_pickles 26 [M4F] - New Jersey/East Coast/USA - Closeted goth "gamer" guy and tall girl appreciator looking for loving relationship. Open to relocation, pictures included!
Here's a very informative post because I'm very serious about finding the right person for me. I've clearly marked and categorized everything, so feel free to skim the parts that interest you the most. What brings me to reddit for dating:
For the short of it, I've been doing online dating for about 7 years, and could only describe my experience as a sisyphean struggle. With more traditional dating platforms having been
absolutely torturous and a complete waste of time, with me rarely ever finding matches and those I do get ending up being ghosts or people who just don't respond
less than productive, I'm hoping this might give me a breakthrough. Age:
26, open to 18-32~. I’m less about age, more about attraction. Appearance:
5'8", medium length blond hair (pictures are from when it was short), blue eyes, white skin, slim fit body type. I dress almost exclusively in black if I can help it, hence "closeted goth". I've been told I'm fairly handsome, but I'm including a few (poorly taken) pictures, so you can decide for yourself whether or not I've been lied to!
(Imgur seems to be having problems lately so if you're getting an error that's why. My posts tend to get automatically removed if I include any other image hosters but if you message me I can send alternatives no problem.) Face: https://imgur.com/a/ykiCkwQ Body (Warning: Shirtless): https://imgur.com/a/zO96e63 Interests:
Many of my interests fall into the "nerd" category. Games (video and tabletop), anime, music, art, sci-fi and fantasy stuff of all varieties. I enjoy a lot of RPG's, and some of my favorite game series include kingdom hearts, fire emblem, dark souls, and a fair few others. I play a lot of league at a fairly high level, but I'm not exactly proud of that because the game damages my sanity at times.
In general, I like to keep in shape, play games with friends, share music I think is great, watch tv/movies/anime (horror and psychological stuff especially), share memes, read, and do some amateur writing. I'm also rather intelligent/insightful and enjoy some nuanced discussion. Location:
Currently in central NJ, somewhere in the no man's land between nyc and philly. I'd prefer someone local who I can meet in person, but won't pass up someone great online who's willing to eventually relocate or that I can eventually relocate to. Looking For:
Monogamous relationship, ideally something serious. I feel that what I'd like the most is to find someone very special to me, who I can love with all my heart and spend my life with. It'd probably be my greatest joy in life to be able to do that, and have someone do so in return. That said, this is just a description of my ideal scenario, not what I'd expect out of every relationship. Traits I'm Looking For:
Kind, loving, trustworthy, understanding. Good sense of humor, emotionally intelligent, communicates well. In this regard, I wouldn't ask for anything I don't freely give. I also very fond of women who are dominant/aggressive in a playful way, as well as role reversal dynamics. Personality:
Generally cool headed, laid back, and kind. Introverted, but can be extroverted when I'm in my element and otherwise comfortable. Deceptively intelligent despite how incredibly basic my pictures look, but I also tend to clown around a lot so that's not easy to discern at first. I’m also very reasonable, with a strong preference for peacefully resolving issues, so you can expect very little to no drama and good communication. Oh, and according to a myers briggs test, I'm an INFJ? Fun facts:
I have a deep and sexy voice which many people don't expect, and a great many people tell me I should get into radio or voice acting. I'm also a bit dead on the inside but that's probably because there's a skeleton living inside me. Partner preferences:
I'm a big fan of goth/alt girls, as well as tomboys. I also really like short hair, usually between pixie and neck length, and have a sizable interest in women that are taller than me. But these aren't dealbreakers! As long as I find you attractive, everything is fine. Dealbreakers/Requirements :
Similar interests are pretty important for me. I tend to play a lot of games in my free time for entertainment, so having a partner that I can do that together with is my ideal. I do have a strong preference for body type that I unfortunately can't get past, with that preference being the thinner end of the spectrum when it comes to proportions/body fat. So basically petite/slim/fit/muscular. PLEASE DON'T BE A SOCIOPATH, OR ACT LIKE ONE!
If you have any questions about anything I mentioned (or didn't), just ask and I'll absolutely answer them for you. I'm very friendly so absolutely feel free to come talk to me.
submitted by dickles_pickles
to r4r [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 22:53 selene_bastet Any suggestions before I invest in one? First time buyer.
I'm planning to buy Dyson V15 Detect+. We have one cat and one baby. I have got allergies so what we want in a hoover is being able to deal with human hair and cat hair, being able to do a deep clean when needed, being lightweight and easy to carry around. Looks like this model is our best option. But I just wanted to double check if anyone can suggest a better suited model for our needs?
Thanks so much!
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to dyson [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 22:53 Rusted-1 Stronger together 14
Yeah these last few chapters have been kinda insane and sad. Don’t worry this is the last of that for a bit! After this chapter things SHOULD calm down, this one is a bit shorter then the last few. This fanfic is based off the fanfic The isolationists, by Seeyouon_otherside
. Constructive criticism is appreciated. Memory Transcript Subject: Sergeant first class Anax, Zeyzel of the wanderer fleet.
I…could hardly think. We knew the federation was bad, but this…this was pure evil. An evil so potent, so powerful that it sees itself as good in a horrible twisted way…I could hardly process what I just heard I didn’t want too but, here I was going through all the information. Disposing of living people in such a way, treating them as disposable waste, they had no regard for life they deemed as tainted.
Even the Arxur had a degree of respect for life even if it came from a place of wondering what the next meal was. I sat further back in my chair. Watching Lemon and Alvaro try and comfort Hazard. This so-called madman had the heart, the care, the ability to make a book, a book for all those children lost. To take the time to name every single one.
I took the book and began to flip through it. I looked at all the faces, some were looking happy with their arms, paws, legs, and even tentacles, reaching up towards the camera. Others looked beten, bruised, lifeless with tears in their eyes. Those eyes…they were filled with not understanding what or why this was happening. Those last photos looked like they were taken as an afterthought.
Then I realized something. These photos were the only marker of their existence…at all…some were captured with joy and wonder on their faces, others…not so lucky. I then made a silent vow to myself. This book would be protected by me, and passed down from generation to generation. To give everyone the harsh reminder of what the federation did. I then read off some of the names. “Turmoil, Lucis, Rendalla, Mellow, Brosive, Handy, Trime…”
“Trime…I remember Trime.” I looked up and saw Hazard lean over to me as Lemon and Alvaro backed up.. “He was taken here because both of his parents had predator disease, when in reality they both had PTSD from seeing their cousins get eaten alive by the Arxur. So they assumed he had it too. No matter how hard the parents pleaded to those bastards they just laughed and said, you can’t fool us predators. They then…threw him into my cell. It was pure luck that I caught him at all.”
Alvaro asked the question I was scared to say. “They just threw the children in with the others?”
Hazard shook his head no. “Normally they had a special cell they would be dumped into with all the other children. They just threw him in there with me to piss off the parents. I…never saw them again…he was so little and scared. I comforted him as best I could, and gave the little Yotul my extra food as I didn’t need much. Told him to hide whenever the exterminators came for me. Then I made him this.” Hazard pulled out a small stuffed toy from a hidden compartment on his suit, the toy was made from a variety of clothes and other items. It represented a teddy bear from earth.
“I would sing him to sleep every night. Holding him as I did. Then one day I came back and…he was gone. This toy was all that was left of him. I found out later they tried to pump him full of some sort of experimental drug…it killed him by causing most of internal organs to collapse… he died slowly as the scientists wanted to study the effects of it. Then he was...disposed of.”
I swished my tail in acknowledgment. Then I thought of something. “Um, Hazard. You seem to be very focused on protecting children. I think it’s very noble, but I have to ask…why?”
He looked at me. “Because they are the next generation, and we, the old generation, have a duty to protect, teach, and defend this next generation. So that they may live to see a sunrise that we the old generation, will know we will never see. Yet can rest easy knowing that they did.
It went silent again. We all absorbed this information. Then Hazard jumped up. “All right THEN! Enough with these sad emotions! Can’t do too much about what happen in the past! HAHAHAHAH! Now then. What do you guys need? You have quite the large fleet out there? I assume you need supplies?”
“You are correct in that.” Lemon replied, still stunned by how deep Hazard went. “Anything from batteries to ammunition. Food and water too.”
Hazard leaned back as if thinking about something then snapped up with his plates shifting to symbolize an idea. “I have just the thing! There’s an onboard foundry on this thing! It makes everything! Let’s go there!”
Getting up I gently placed the book on the table and we all followed him back through the hallway. Each of us taking more Neutrolen from Alvaro. Following Hazard we arrived at a large transport elevator. Stepping into it we went down, and down, and down. “As you can see this station is MASSIVE! MY HOME IS A FORTRESS AS IS MY MIND!” Hazard then laughed like a nutter again for about a minute then returned to reality. “We will now be entering the foundry area and-” he was cut off when half a body of a Venlil fell out of an open elevator door. Nearly hitting me on the head. “Huh. Though I cleared this elevator already.” He shrugged. “Guess not.” When the elevator opened we were looking at a massive foundry.
“Here it is my guys! All the equipment we could need to build a fleet of…anything! Weapons, armor, gear, ship parts, smaller ships! This place has EVERYTHING AHAHAHAHHAHA!”
The three of us all looked at each other and nodded. This place would be perfect. “This place is amazing!” I exclaimed. “What is the food production capacity here?”
He turned around to address us. “Hehehheheh! It’s quite nice! Plenty of space for growing crops, mainly for me but I always have WWWWAAYYYYYY to much food. So if we swap that out with meat cloning from the human ship that they pulled here. We could feed you the entire fleet with room to spare! IT WILL BE GLORIOUS!! AHAHAHHAAH! Oh yeah the station can move, it’s also a ship.”
We all stopped what we were doing to look at him. “It’s a…what?” He smiled like a nutter at that. “It’s a station designed to be a mobile fortress, home, restocking place, dry dock! IT'S EVERYTHING!” Lemon spoke up. “Uh, how do we get it to work?” We looked back at Hazard only to see him chanting something while looking at some molten metal. He swayed back and forth for a bit before coming too. “Oh! Right! Most of the systems can be operated by basic AI but a large crew is still needed. Not to mention raw supplies. Heheheh! The good news is that I know EXACTLY we’re to get raw supplies!”
His chest opened and a screen popped out. That displayed the debris field around us! “That’s genius!” I exclaimed. Alvaro nodded. “We can break down the wrecks into basic materials! Scrap what we can’t use and take what we can! We can reprogram the repair drones we have for disassembly work!” Alvaro finished. “Then,” Lemon continued. “We can upload the blueprints for official disassembly drones to the foundry here and then make more out of the extra supplies that we gather! Making the process faster!”
Hazard was practically vibrating with excitement. “Then! We can retro fit the disassembly drones we don’t need any more into repair and combat drones! Keeping some disassembly drones for any more wrecks we find on the way! As I’m coming with you and you can’t fight me on that! On top of that I have marked several shipwrecks that can be repaired to full working order! Expanding our fleet even larger! I estimate an additional one hundred and ninety ships! And that’s just the ones I know about! I also estimated that this will take about five weeks to complete! If we make A LOT of drones to help us! WE SHALL WANDER THE STARS UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE CHAOS LORD AHAHHAHAHA!”
I could tell everyone was feeling the energy in the room. Then Alvaro put his hand out. Then so did Hazard. Me and Lemon looked at one another, shrugged, and did the same. “READY!? THREE, TWO, AHAHAHHAHA ONE! GO TEAM! With that we all threw our hands in the air. Then Choking hazard ran one way and Alvaro the other. Leaving us just standing there. “Guys this way!” Alvaro yelled. We took off after him, trying not to trip over the dead bodies, and made our way to the ship. “If we want to station people here we have to clean this place.” Lemon told Alvaro. He nodded in agreement.
Alvaro then pulled something out of his pocket and attached it to his arm. He then activated it. “Hey, testing one, two, three! Does this work?”
“AHAHAHAH! MY MIND IS ONLY THE BARREN WASTE WHEN I CHOSE IT TO BE! Yep, I can hear you loud and clear!” Wait, Choking Hazard? Must be a communication device of some kind.
“Hey buddy can you, uh, clean up the bodies that are…everywhere?”
“INDEEEEEED! I SHALL TELL MY CLEANING ROBOTS TO TURN THEM INTO FERTILIZER! THERE DEATHS SHALL FEED GENERATIONS TO COME AHAHHAHA!”
Alvaro turned off the radio. “Yeah he’s got it!”
We got back to our ship and took off. When we landed and disembarked, a frantic looking Crew member came running to us. When we got off he ran to Alvaro and nearly ran into him. “Sir! Natare fell into the water carrier and the lid closed and we can’t get him-”
Alvaro tore past him with me and Lemon in hot pursuit. We ran through the ship toward the water hold. When we got there we saw Aurora, Leiejaa, and four others trying to get the hatch open. One was even trying to cut it open using a plasma beam. Alvaro leapt onto the top we’re the hatch was with me and lemon in close pursuit. He tore it open and we looked inside and saw Natare just floating there on the bottom of the large tank.
“NATARE!” Alvaro screamed. Natare then looked up at him and smiled. He shot out of the water and into his dads face squeaking the entire time. They fell off the top of the tank and onto the ground, Alvaro held Natare close to him, then Aurora joined the two in a tight hug. Me and everyone present let out a massive sigh of relief. Alvaro then turned to a crew member. “Why didn’t you call me?!”
“We tried sir! There was something blocking the signal!”
Alvaro nodded his head. “How long was he in there for?”
“Uh, forty of your minutes.”
Alvaro’s eyes went wide. “Forty…how did you not drown?” He looked at the giggling Natare.
Then I noticed something on Natare's neck. “Hey, did Natare get scratched on the neck?” Alvaro turned Natares head to look at the scratch, that’s when we noticed there were three of them in perfect spacing of each other. Me and Lemon leaned in closer. “Those look like…gills?” Then Natare yawned, the three marks on the side of his neck opened. They were gills. By the balancer. Alvaro turned Natares head the other way and it was the same as the other side. That’s when I noticed his tail is flatter and longer like a…fish. We’re the mutations…growing, evolving?
Alvaro held the absolutely soaked kit close to him, getting himself wet as well. Then with loving eyes he gently told the little one, “you're my little merman.”
This caused Natare to squeak in delight, although I’m certain he had no idea what his dad just said to him. He played with Natare’s little hands for a bit and then handed him off to Aurora, then they both started to dry him off.
The couple began to dry off the little one who seemed to really enjoy it. He made a satisfied purring noise the entire time.
As I was looking at the two dry him off, I realized I knew a lot about Alvaro’s past, but not much about Aurora's. A thought occurred to me. “Hey Aurora, what DID you do before you met Alvaro?”
She stopped drying off Natare, who squeak in protest as he seemed to like the rubbing motion of the towel, she then continued to dry him off but slowly. “Uhh…”
Alvaro stepped in. “You don’t have to tell us if you don’t want to. It’s fine. We all have our secrets we keep for a reason.”
I looked at Alvaro. “Wait, you don’t know either?”
He shook his head no. Then Aurora turned to us. “No, no it’s time you all knew. Especially you, my hunk of love.” The two lovingly kissed each other. “We will be traveling together for a while now so...okay here it goes.” She breathed in and out. “I was an assassin who was trained by the government to take out high priority targets. I received some of the best training and I have over eighty seven completed missions and a body count over two hundred. I was…very top secret to put it lightly.”
I dropped the towel I was holding. Lemon’s jaw dropped open, Leiejaa just stood there completely surprised. The only sound was the half gurgling, half purring noise coming from Natare. Then Alvaro laughed. “That explains why you're so flexible, and how you're able to get the kits out of tight places, like the vents, and how I never roll on top of you when I sleep! Don’t worry my sweet, you're still the same fluffiest best girl that I know, come here.” He picked her and Natare up and hugged them both. Aurora laid her head onto his shoulder and closed her eyes while Natare just yawned and fell asleep in between his parents.
I’m…still ashamed of all the lives I took…once I figured out why they had me do it…” Alvaro shushed her. “My sweet pea, don't think about that now. You helped to create life, six little beautiful lives. One of them is between us right now.” They looked down at the now sleeping Natare, and smiled with loving eyes only parents could have.
“Alright little guy, let’s get you to bed.” Aurora softly spoke. The three got up and left for their room. First
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to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 22:43 sultanweb Best Cleaner for Tesla Seats
Preserving Elegance: Unveiling the Best Cleaners for Tesla Seats
The seats of a Tesla are a testament to both style and comfort, designed to provide an exquisite driving experience. To maintain the pristine condition of your Tesla seats, it is crucial to invest in the right cleaner that effectively removes stains, dirt, and spills while preserving the quality of the upholstery. In this comprehensive article, we will explore some of the best cleaners specifically designed for Tesla seats. We will consider factors such as effectiveness, ease of use, and compatibility with different seat materials. By selecting the best cleaner, you can ensure your Tesla's seats remain luxurious and inviting for years to come.
Leather Honey Leather Cleaner
If your Tesla's seats are upholstered in leather, the Leather Honey Leather Cleaner is an exceptional choice. This premium cleaner is specifically formulated to remove dirt, grime, and stains from leather surfaces while preserving their natural beauty.
The Leather Honey Leather Cleaner is easy to use, requiring only a small amount to effectively clean large areas. It gently lifts away dirt and restores the supple texture of leather without leaving behind any residue. The pH-balanced formula ensures that it does not strip away essential oils, preventing the leather from drying out or cracking.
Chemical Guys Nonsense All Surface Cleaner
For Tesla seats with non-leather upholstery or a combination of materials, the Chemical Guys Nonsense All Surface Cleaner is a versatile option. This cleaner is specially formulated to remove stains and dirt from various surfaces without causing any damage.
The Chemical Guys Nonsense All Surface Cleaner is safe to use on fabric, vinyl, and synthetic materials. It effectively lifts away stains and grime without leaving any residue behind. Its gentle formula ensures that it does not discolor or deteriorate the upholstery. It is also a suitable choice for cleaning other interior surfaces, such as carpets and dashboards.
303 Fabric Cleaner
If your Tesla's seats are upholstered in fabric, the 303 Fabric Cleaner is an excellent choice to keep them clean and fresh. This cleaner is specifically designed to remove tough stains and dirt from fabric surfaces without causing any harm.
The 303 Fabric Cleaner is easy to use and effectively lifts away dirt and stains. Its gentle formula is safe for use on a variety of fabric materials, including those with special coatings or treatments. It does not leave behind any residue, ensuring that the seats retain their original appearance. Additionally, the cleaner helps repel future stains and maintains the fabric's water-repellency.
Meguiar's Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner
For deep cleaning and stain removal on Tesla seats with fabric upholstery, Meguiar's Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner is a reliable choice. This cleaner is designed to penetrate deep into fabric fibers to lift away embedded dirt, stains, and odors.
The Meguiar's Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner effectively remove stubborn stains without damaging the fabric. Its advanced formula foams upon contact, allowing the cleaner to penetrate deep into the fabric. It can be easily rinsed off, leaving behind clean and fresh seats. The cleaner is also safe to use on carpets and floor mats, providing versatility for your Tesla'selectric vehicle interior
Maintaining the pristine condition of your Tesla seats
is crucial for preserving their elegance and comfort. The Leather Honey Leather Cleaner is ideal for leather seats, effectively cleaning and preserving their natural beauty. The Chemical Guys Nonsense All Surface Cleaner is a versatile option for non-leather upholstery, ensuring effective cleaning without causing any damage. The 303 Fabric Cleaner offers a gentle yet powerful solution for fabric seats, while the Meguiar's Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner provides deep cleaning and stain removal for fabric upholstery.
submitted by sultanweb
to u/sultanweb [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 22:37 blurryturtle 2023 Roland Garros Men's & Women's Quarterfinals Day 2
Ty Alcaraz for letting us watch a bit of extra tennis <3
ATP Singles :
Rune vs Ruud : Yes we’ve had fifth Rune vs Ruud on clay but what about sixth Rune vs Ruud on clay? This is quickly becoming a rivalry despite Casper leading the set count 10-3 and having only lost once. That’s how the conversation goes though when your opponent is younger. Every win they notch feels like a changing of the guard, and even if it isn’t you can be sure Yahoo Sports and the Daily Mail will pump out an article announcing it as such. Complaints about clickbait aside, Rune’s last (and only) win in Rome did feel like he was starting to solve the puzzle. Holger having a better backhand and his service game getting to even made it feel like Ruud would really have to do a lot to win in this matchup. Add in that this season has seen a peculiar lack of form from Ruud at times, and panic mode was somewhat engaged. This is a good chance for Casper to reset the discussion, but it also feels like a must-win.
Ruud beat Jarry in straight sets, which is a tall task for anyone right now. Jarry played great, but Ruud was patient and stubborn from the baseline, and his deep return position made it tough for Jarry to score quick points. The thing that really makes me point to Ruud winning his next match is how reliable he was on the big points. When he needed to, or wasn’t expected to, come up with a big shot, he did. His forehand is getting excellent height when he goes cross-court, and despite his backhand lacking some depth it’s been getting up high on his opponents. If Jarry at 6‘6” had a bit of trouble, it’s probably going to both Rune at 6‘2” (both these listed heights seem fudged in opposite directions). While Ruud was enjoying a return to form and a solid win, Rune was struggling physically in a marathon match against Cerundolo. Their match lasted just a minute under four hours, and despite looking physically fine during points, Rune’s play looked like someone who did not want to run anymore. Late in the fifth the dialogue with his box had started, and I was impressed that he managed to keep his head in the game and make some adjustments, but I was worried at how quick he was to try for return winners and quick infusions of offense. Rune should like himself against Cerundolo in a rally unless he’s struggling, and the recovery here will be an issue if they go deep. To Rune’s credit, he came to net a bunch in the 5th set tiebreak and that was the key to him winning. He applied pressure, and Cerundolo wasn’t able to come up with passes.
With Rune having a long match and physical fatigue, and Ruud having a straight set win, oddsmakers have set this at even odds. I’m inclined to agree. Rune has shown (in his Paris run) the ability to play at a breakneck pace and appear to put out a ton of energy, but still show up to compete the next round, so I don’t think this will be one-sided. I think he’ll be fine in the early-goings, but his willingness to play patient from the baseline will be essential here, and the quick unforced errors he displayed against Cerundolo can’t appear. Ruud plays less aggressive tennis than Cerundolo, and if you force the issue against him he’ll win. He also serves a bit more aggressively than Cerundolo, and is a bit more resilient about not letting changes in the scoreline affect his approach. Since they’ve been scheduled for the night match, and the colder conditions mean the ball really plays a bit slower, so I’m expecting this to be settled with frequent and extended rallies. Rune will win most of the backhand to backhand exchanges, but I think in these slower conditions it’ll be hard to hit through Ruud and physicality will become a factor. Ruud in 4-5.
Zverev vs Etcheverry : The plot of Oceans 14 will be me getting fooled by Dimitrov one more time. Employing what is clearly the macro plan, Dimitrov has gone ahead and thrown in a few seasons of lackluster results and injury issues. Here, healthy, and playing his best tennis, he finally got me. I believed. Ouch did it hurt to watch this match. I don’t really like to drop negative things in here, but it really was a bad match. Dimitrov started off the match with two double faults, which I don’t even understand. The first few games your range might be off, but you should be firing on all cylinders after a day and a half of prep, and a thorough (these guys are preparing for hours) warm-up. He looked tentative throughout the affair, and it was pretty clear early on that he has a significant mental block against Zverev.
To Zverev’s credit, he did nothing. He hung behind the baseline, and just made it clear that it would take several shots to beat him. Dimitrov had two choices : play hyper aggressive and try to hit clean winners, or temper his offense and constantly hit to the open court because even though Zverev is quick, no one giving up that much space (behind the baseline) should be able to beat a professional tennis player in good form. Dimitrov chose neither. He constantly tried to come up with the next offensive shot, but swung tentatively as if he was assuming Zverev would get them. He had openings, but went safe and retreated back to the middle over and over. It was like watching someone play the role of a hitting partner for Zverev, but unfortunately they were nervous about the occasion and couldn’t keep the ball in the court. It was hard to watch, but I’m ready to get hurt again.
I expect Etcheverry will give Zverev the game that I thought Dimitrov would. Etcheverry and Nishioka was extremely close in the first set, and it felt like Nishioka would have equal chances if he could win the tiebreaker. What ensued was a really high level affair with most rallies being won with winners rather than errors. Etcheverry proved a bit more effective on serve though, and Nishioka appeared to aggravate an injury. He played out the match, which is a really nice gesture to the fans, but Etcheverry is through to his first major quarterfinals and it is well deserved. He has a great service delivery, doesn’t struggle with double faults, doesn’t back off his offense when he has control, and his backhand is very solid. This, I expect, will be Zverev’s to lose, but I think it will take some time to get there. Despite Zverev’s pre-injury passivity, he has shown some signs of life since his return. He’s hitting his forehand significantly better and seems to have (jinx) gotten rid of his deceleration issues. His backhand is still the most reliable shot for him, and he’s taking it down the line more often in this event which is causing extreme problems for his opponent. The double fault issues are there, but it’s a lot easier for me to expect his opponents to create break chances and scoreboard pressure while watching from home than it is to actually put balls in play off his powerful delivery. In short, Zverev is probably the pick to come out of the bottom draw, but this is his hardest test yet.
Etcheverry will not fold, unlike a certain someone whose texts are currently blocked (sorry Grigs but IT’S TOO SOON). His serving won’t falter as Dimitrov’s did, and he’ll be willing to ply his craft and test his offense against Zverev because unlike Dimitrov, he doesn’t have history against this opponent. Where I think he may struggle is returning serve. It can take a while to really read an opponent’s delivery, and since they’re playing in the daytime the ball should be moving a bit. Looking at some of the big servers he’s played, he beat Struff and Hanfmann, but he lost to Tiafoe twice. I am pulling for him, and I think his game will transfer well to grass and hardcourt, but this is probably the end of the road for him. Zverev really does have the next tier of ability in every department here, so only impatience and doubt are likely to send him home. Zverev in 4-5.
WTA Singles :
Haddad Maia vs Jabeur : At the beginning of this tournament, I really only expected one of these players to be here. Ons Jabeur has had some slight injury issues, and just hasn’t seemed terribly motivated at every event. Her play every round here has improved though, and against Pera she broke out all the tricks. I really love her backhand dropshots down the line because she looks away from them. It mirrors the cross-court slice that some players employ overhand and even in my head I can feel myself starting to step to the left when she does it. Here Ons has her toughest opponent, but it’s one she’s played recently. These two met in Stuttgart, and Jabeur won 3,0. That’s a rough thing to overcome, but it was indoor tennis so Bella may fare better in these slower conditions.
Haddad Maia had a marathon against Sorribes Tormo, and the win meant a lot to her as SST has had her number for years. I think her serving will have to be at the next level here, as Jabeur was able to hold fairly easily in Stuttgart and is pretty fresh for this one. Haddad played for 3 hours and 51 minutes in her last round, and that makes three 3-set marathons in a row after her wins against Shnaider and Alexandrova. Those players had powerful offenses, but they aren’t as consistent or as solid defensively as Jabeur. It’s going to be hard to overcome Jabeur in these conditions, and fatigue is not on her side. Tremendous result for Haddad Maia, but Jabeur in 2.
Swiatek vs Gauff : -1250 is what they’re suggesting is a fair price for Swiatek, but you will understand if I disagree. Lesia Tsurenko was unfortunately forced to retire in the first against Swiatek, but she was likely not going to put up much of a fight anyway. She’s a tricky player, but Swiatek was seeing the ball big and was applying a lot of pressure to Tsurenko’s serve. Lesia seemed to feel a bit faint, and told the physicians that she was having some trouble breathing. She’s had a fair bit of withdrawals this year (5), but with an illness removing Rybakina, and Tsurenko issuing some harsh sounding coughs during the treatment, she may have been dealing with a cold/flu of some sort which is unfortunate for the fans.
Gauff had a close first set with Schmiedlova, but she never really seemed in big trouble in her match. Gauff has struggled on her forehand wing in the past, but this week she’s been solid in every match and her game has gotten better as the match went on. That’s why I’m not sure how dominant of a performance Swiatek can turn in here. Similar to the Djokovic/Khachanov match, I know which player is better, but I don’t see an easy path for the victor because the deviation in level just isn’t there with Gauff. She’s going to defend well because she’s (I think) the fastest player on tour, and she’s going to hit the ball solid off both wings. Swiatek has shown that she struggles a little bit with errors when you take her time away, and Gauff’s ability to hang on the baseline and keep the ball low might represent a challenge similar to Rybakina’s. I don’t think her serve is anywhere near as reliable as Rybakina’s at creating setups though. Gauff has the potential to serve aces, but it’s more of a momentum thing it seems, or at times she mirrors Sakkari where on a huge point she can summon one, but most of the time she lands around 55% and doesn’t really get many aces.
After hyping up Gauff’s chances, my eyes drifted back over to the bad news. These two have met 6 times, and Gauff has yet to win a set. Swiatek won 3,1 at this event last year, and she’s gotten an entire day off so her arm will be fresher than Gauff’s. I’m expecting some thrilling rallies, but Swiatek’s return of serve in the last few rounds has looked really good. Swiatek in 2, one close and one bakery-esque.
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2023.06.06 22:25 Ok_Yam3701 Please HELP. Laziness or adhd paralysis?
I am undiagnosed adhd (and sometimes I wonder if also autistic). I’m in a long-term relationship, we’ve been together for 2 years-ish and have a kid together. My partner has BPD/anxiety/depression and I have adhd/anxiety/(postpartum) depression. We are both currently unemployed but recently they were the working partner while I stayed home with our toddler. Now that they’re home all the time, I’m still the one that takes care of our kid a bit more. They definitely help out, but 9/10 I’m the one that bathes them, sleeps with our kid at night (and don’t get enough sleep because this kid loves to have their feet in my ribs), I cook the food we eat, feed our kid, and make sure that my partner eats before I ever really get to enjoy my meals. I also am the one to wash the dishes majority of the time. Note I’ve started cooking more to try and help take that load off my partner.
I will say that I rarely put a load of laundry to wash because they take on that task. Also, since being out of work, they took it a little hard and they’ve been keeping themselves busy by fixing up the house a bit (yard work, gardening, etc). It hasn’t felt like a loving relationship for a while and we never really spend time together, especially because they’ve been doing work around the house every day. We’ve been arguing a lot and 9/10 they throw something in my face about how I never clean or “get shit done”. I absolutely hate cleaning. Not the act itself, but because I procrastinate, things pile up and our room is messy, so when it comes down to it, my brain gets so overwhelmed thinking about all the things that need to be done (and the fact that I don’t know where my partner wants their things so I don’t want to upset them by moving something) and I never know where to start. They always give me the task of folding the clothes and tell me that they can’t clean the room unless I do that, but folding clothes is the most boring task for me, I force myself to start and can never really seem to finish. I would much rather vacuum and mop all the floors before folding.
My whole life I’ve been told that I’m lazy, and the way my partner makes comments when we argue about me not doing certain things makes me believe it, but the simple tasks that are easy to do for everyone else is so hard for me and it sucks. I’ve also had conversations with them in the past about my adhd paralysis and how they can help, but help hasn’t been implemented.
I know I gotta get my shit together, but especially right now in life after having my first kid, even taking care of myself is a chore after making sure that their needs are met everyday, it’s so hard to make everyone happy. There was also a point in time where I was working 2-3 jobs while they stayed home with our kid and the house wasn’t clean everyday but they make it seem like I don’t do anything for this family.😔
Does my partner have a point or are they just inconsiderate of the fact that I have adhd and they don’t understand? :/
I’m also not trying to paint them out to be the bad guy here, life just is really hard lately and I needed to vent.
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2023.06.06 22:23 red-0405 27 [M4F] GENUINE CONNECTION
Apologies for the frequency at which this post is appearing, as I have yet to find what I am searching for. I don't believe my standards are excessively high, but perhaps I simply don't have enough time to communicate and would rather arrange a meeting if we seem to be a good match. In any case, let me share my story.
Once upon a time, there was a tall, nerd, and not-much attractive guy pero pwede na
who woke up one morning, looked at the sky, and thought, "Well, this sucks." He knew there was only one solution - to turn to the all-knowing oracle of modern dating: T̶i̶n̶d̶e̶r̶ Reddit lol.
With his trusty cup of coffee in hand, he set out to find someone who shared his thirst for knowledge, someone who could keep up with his nerdy quirks, and someone who he could eventually take on 'friendly' dates (whatever that means). He wasn't in a rush to jump into anything too serious too soon, but he knew that someday, he wanted to find someone he could build a meaningful and caring relationship with.
So if you're a fellow lover of coffee, learning, and all things nerdy, this tall drink of water might just be the partner in crime you've been looking for. Dating at times feel like a job hunt doesn't it? So I thought it’d be fun to write it in a mock format just like a resume! LOL
An old soul as older people I spoke with would say, into business and investments, frustrated law student, can drive a fucking 10 wheeler truck (sarcasm towards people looking for someone with wheels), no ex issues or sabit, can provide a certificate of no relationship (kahit wala naman talagang ganon haha).
- I'm 5'10", medium built if that matters, resides in quezon city. I would say that I'm not that much attractive but would consider myself very hygienic.
- I'm an INTJ, Aries, if you’re into MBTI and believes in horoscope.
- Loves to read self-help books as I love to learn and motivate myself along the way.
- I'm the kind of person who doesn't follow the herd blindly, even if it means standing alone in a field of conformity. My principles are like a compass, always pointing me in the right direction, even if it's not the most popular route. In short, I'm not afraid to swim against the current, as long as it's in line with my beliefs.
- You could say that my communication style is like a triple-layered cake: serious, meaningful, and sprinkled with a healthy dose of humor. Sure, I may come off as awkward at times, but that's just my way of keeping things interesting. After all, who wants a bland and flavorless conversation when you can have a deliciously complex one? So, if you're looking for someone who can engage in a thoughtful discussion, crack a few jokes, and still leave you with something to ponder, then look no further.
- I'm what you might call a clean freak with a creative streak. As someone who's a bit OC (okay, maybe more than a bit), I can't stand to see a messy or cluttered home. But don't worry, I'm not the type to wait around for someone else to do the dirty work. I take pride in noticing when something needs to be done and taking care of it without being asked - it's like a satisfying little victory every time. And when it comes to interior design and home decor, I'm practically a pro. I'm always on the hunt for the latest and greatest tools and gadgets to keep things looking fresh and stylish. So if you're looking for someone to spruce up your space and keep things sparkling clean, I'm your go-to guy.
- I'm not in the business of putting people down - unless we're talking about the volume on the stereo (badum-tss!). But seriously, I believe in treating others with kindness and respect, even when it's not the easiest thing to do. After all, life is hard enough without having to deal with someone else's negativity. So let's lift each other up instead of tearing each other down, shall we?
- I set feasible goals and actively pursue them.
Here's a list of my favorites:
|Movies/Series ||Music ||Places ||Activities ||Books |
|Godfather ||Radiohead ||Paris (not yet) ||Cycling ||The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday |
|Sherlock ||Eraserheads ||Coffee Shops ||Painting ||How to Win Friends & Influence People |
|Castaway ||Chicago ||Cebu ||Roadtrips ||Meditations by Marcus Aurelius |
|Forrest Gump ||Ebe Dancel ||Japan ||Diving ||Start with Why by Simon Sinek |
|Homeland ||Urbandub ||Rome (not yet) ||Piano ||Atomic Habits by James Clear |
|Before Sunset ||Frederic Chopin ||Canada ||Travelling ||How to think like a Roman Emperor |
|The Office ||Eminem ||New York (not yet) ||Cooking ||Letters from Stoic |
|Big Bang Theory ||Dr. Dre ||Maldives (not yet) ||Film & Photography ||48 Laws of Power |
|Breaking Bad ||Elton John ||Marrakesh (not yet) ||Badminton ||The Intelligent Investor |
- Responsible (Good credit score, no debts, no criminal records, and self-reliant)
- Curious type of person, who's ready to listen and craves to learn a lot of things
- Doesn't do drugs and is not a heavy drinkealcoholic.
- Respects your views and accept healthy criticism.
- Actually appreciating the things you'll do for me, and showing it. If you cooked a big dinner, saying thank you is nice. Doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen is even nicer, and in my opinion, should be the norm. The cook doesn't clean. If someone does something for me, I'll show them that their effort was appreciated instead of just accepting their generosity and then running off back to whatever I'm doing.
- Accepts responsibility for one's own actions and does not try to blame everything or everyone else.
- Doesn’t play online and computer games
- Someone who has a strong passion for accurate and comprehensive learning, maintains a normal BMI, and is beautiful and easy on the eyes - I believe that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes (no offense intended towards plus-size women!).
- High standards for what she wants and is not afraid to communicate it.
- Craves knowledge too. Love and isn't afraid to try new things
- Passionate and proud about something they've been working on/have done/are planning to do
- Confident about what they want but isn't in-your-face about it.
Let's take a break from stressing over the mundane and focus on the important stuff - like what will make us happy for the rest of our lives! Share your thoughts on how we can achieve that and let's get this happiness train moving! Oh, and if you're curious let’s exchange photos first!
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2023.06.06 22:07 Issac_E234 Azur Waves, Chapter 28 (part 2)
Chapter 28 cont;
Working at sea had made me buy a coat specifically designed for the more extreme types of weather, but with its age and my short stint in the Irish sea the efficacy of the wax coating had all but vanished, after only taking a few steps I felt the water beginning to seep through. Putting aside the chill that came with wearing wet clothes I made my way along the deck until I found the cruiser.
She wasn't particularly difficult to find. Her cherry blond hair and pure white cape made it easy to spot her against the greys of the ship and sky. Her head was tilted upward with her eyes closed. She held Montpelier’s cube in her arms letting the rain fall on it. She must have noticed me coming, for she opened her eyes and looked over to me as I approached.
“Hey.” She greeted, her tone completely neutral and with a distinctive lack of the boyish bravado I had heard before. Her hair and all of her clothes were absolutely drenched yet she didn't seem to care.
“Hey. How are you holding up?” I awkwardly replied.
“Fine, I guess.” Cleveland replied, looking down at the cube and affectionately rubbing it with her thumb. “I’ve had this body for half a year now. Yet this is the first time I've ever felt the rain.”
“And how are you finding it?”
“Cold and wet.” She lifted her head up once again, letting the rain splash against her face. “But it is kinda nice. The sound against the deck and sea is rather pleasant.”
“You should try listening to it near a forest or field, especially during spring. I used to listen to it all the time back home.” Memories of countless days back home sitting in the study with the window open reading book after book while it rained outside surfaced.
“Guess that stereotype holds true then, eh?” There was the faintest hint of a smile on her lips. “Monty always enjoyed the quiet time we had together.”
My eyes were drawn to the cube in her hands. “May I?”
There was a moment of reticence before she slowly offered the cube to me. “Please, be careful.”
“I will, I promise.” I carefully took the item from Cleveland, taking it into my hands as delicately as I could. The dull crystal felt cold to my touch, and it wasn’t only due to the rain. I slowly rotated it in my fingers, hoping for something, anything that would show a sign of activity within, yet my mind didn’t become awash with random thoughts or feelings; it felt like nothing more than mundane glass in my hands.
The guilt was piling up again. “I can't begin to express how sorry I am. We should have acted sooner.”
Cleveland looked at her hand while she flexed her fingers, but her eyes never left the cube. “You have nothing to be sorry for. You did all that you could, and even took a great risk for complete strangers. It's me who is to blame for not being there for her. For leaving her behind.”
“But I will not fail her again.” She continued, confidence returning to her voice and posture. “I know within my heart that we will be reunited one day.” She ran a hand along the silver streak in her hair.
“If you don't mind me asking, what happened when you touched your sister's ship? For a moment it looked like you had two riggings.” I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.
“I don't really know what or how I did it, I just couldn't let her ship fall apart like that. However, now it seems like I can have both my and her rigging.” She waved a hand out to sea where a Cruiser sailed alongside the battleship. And with a flash of light her rigging appeared. “It's uncomfortable having both at the same time to say the least, but like this it's not too bad.”
“Well you can keep her ship safe for her.” I carefully held out the cube for her to take back. “If there's one thing I've learned in the time I've spent around you girls is that anything is possible.”
“Thanks.” She took the cube back. “Not just for saying that, but for everything you and your crew have done. It's heartening to know there's at least one person out there looking out for us.” Cleveland rocked on her heels. “If it's alright with you, may I hang around with you guys for a bit? I don't really have anywhere else to go and being part of a fleet sounds nice.”
“There will always be a place for you in this fleet, Cleveland. For you and any other ship that wishes to join us.” I offered my hand. “No strings attached, if you don't wish to fight or follow orders then you can just wait out any fight onboard a ship”
Cleveland gave a toothy smile. “I won’t be no slacker. I'll earn my keep just as much as any other girl. You can depend on our six inch guns.” I paid attention to her eyes when she took my hand. Now there was the distinct blue glow for less than a second in her right eye, something that had happened before with other girls. Cleveland seemed to relax slightly after the exchange, but I could still see weariness in her.
She tilted her head up to the sky. “Man, it's really coming down now. We should head back inside.” Cleveland took one more pensive look at her ship before walking inside.
The water dripping from our clothes echoed inside the ship as we walked. We came upon a junction where we would go down different paths, and Cleveland paused to speak, rubbing the brooch on her cape once again. “James… About what you did. I know it probably isn't right to say, but thank you. If anyone deserved such a fate, it was him. So you ever need anything from me, no matter what it is I will do it.”
“Uh, thanks.” I replied, unable to think of something meaningful to say. The idea of being thanked for what I did was hard to comprehend, but the gratitude I saw in the cruiser's face helped ease the turmoil within.
That gratitude was also disturbing somehow.
I decided to return to my cabin with my drenched self and next to no desire to eat. I changed out of the wet raincoat and inner clothes and sat down on my bed, contemplating what to do. With how exhausted I felt sleep would probably come easily but I knew without a doubt it would be anything but peaceful.
There was the option of finishing off the bottle under my bed, but while it would help it’d only be pushing the problem aside temporarily, and I didn’t want Warspite or worse, Javelin or Z23 see me in that state. I continued mulling over my options until the daylight disappeared completely. Just as I was about to risk a night's sleep there and there came a gentle knocking at my door.
With a sigh, I got up and opened the door. I was greeted with the warm and dignified visage of Hood standing on the other side, with several books held under her arm and lips curled into a smile when our eyes met.
“Ah good,” her eyes moved to the empty tray still left at the side. “I see you enjoyed your lunch. May I come in?”
Hood had been the one to leave that try outside my door, even after how I had snapped at her, now I just felt even more guilty.
I stepped aside and waved her in. “Please.”
The battlecruiser walked into the small cabin with a familiar scent of lavender trailing behind her. She placed her books down on the small table while inquisitively looking around the room. I soon wished I had cleaned it.
I gulped when her eyes spotted the bottle under my bed. She didn’t say anything about it, but laid dead still, keeping an inscrutable smile. She lingered on it for a moment then returned her attention to me, taking off the glove of her right hand in the process. She gestured to come closer with one of her revealed fingers. “Come here.”
The very instant I closed the distance, I received a slap for the second time today, faster than I could react as well.
“I deserved that.” I sputtered gracelessly, rubbing my swollen cheek. She didn’t hit me as hard as Warspite had, but it had been the same side and reignited the sting from earlier.
“I will not tolerate being spoken to in such a manner, not from you nor anyone else. Not now, not ever.” Hood folded her arm and raised her nose curtly, her face a scowl of indignation. “No matter what you went through, to threaten one of us with an order of that kind goes against everything you stand for, and if you ever begin to stray again a slap will be the least of your problems, James.”
I looked down, misery once more coming afloat.
With her fury vented, Hood's posture relaxed and she looked at me more caringly. She put on her glove again. “James. I–we only desire to be of service to you in any way we can. You need not suffer alone. You don’t have to suffer alone, nothing good will come of it. Which is why I am here now.”
She carefully sat down on the small chair in the room, ensuring her large skirt didn’t get caught or creased.
“I don’t understand?”
She smiled with dignity. “My cabin is directly next to yours. And the walls are naught but a thin sheet of metal. I know you regularly awaken suddenly in the night from being disturbed in your sleep, so I'm here to ensure you get a proper night's rest.” She waved to the pile of books and the bed. “Don’t worry about me, I will keep myself occupied.”
I opened my mouth to protest but she quickly cut me off. “There will be no negotiation, you assisted me when I struggled to sleep and now I shall do the same. Now get yourself ready for bed, I will close my eyes.” She leaned back and shut her eyes.
Knowing there was no point in arguing, I removed both my shirt and trousers and laid myself down in bed. My face felt warm at the idea of Hood sitting by me while I slept, enough to overpower the last bits of lingering pain from the slap, but exhaustion hit me like a train the moment I laid down.
Hood reopened her eyes with the slightest bit of a blush of her own. “Good, now you just relax and I will be here if you need me.” Hood reached down and grabbed the bottle. “Honestly, I don’t understand your reasoning behind seeking comfort in this instead of getting it from a beautiful lady.” She opened the bottle and took a rather large swig.
“Don’t know where I could find the latter.” I mumbled.
“I am not ignorant of how I look, nor am I to your wandering gaze.” She quipped with a coy smile. “Now enough chitchat, it’s time for you to rest. That is unless you want me to read for you?”
“Fine, fine. Have it your way.” I said, resting my head down and shutting my eyes. It took a while to get over the nerves of having Hood sitting beside me, but the occasional flip of a page became a pleasant background noise that helped lull me to sleep.
Warspite sat in her captain’s chair, resting her head in her arm as she wracked her brain. She rocked her head back with a groan once more. “Why did you have to go and hit him, Warspite? You bloody stupid ship.”
She didn’t know why she had such a rush of emotions when he spoke and acted without thinking before bawling like an infant. Why is it now that just his presence is enough to throw her whits into a loop, yet she couldn’t wait until he was sitting in this chair with her at his side again?
“Things were easier when I wanted naught but to throw him overboard.” She sighed.
Another issue came to her mind, something she had brought back from the facility, not the notebook; that could remain safely locked away until she was sure her opinion of humans wouldn’t worsen even more. This was something else, something she wished she had never even touched and just left it where it lay, for what it meant made her sick.
Someone approached her bridge, Warspite quickly brushed aside her thoughts and tried to figure out who it was. She was unsuccessful at figuring out who it was but when the door had opened she quickly dropped to her knee.
“Good evening, your Majesty.”
Elizabeth smiled and walked onto the bridge. “There will never be a day where thou need to kneel upon thy own bridge. Stand, my dear Warspite.”
“Yes, your Majesty.” The battleship stood back up. “How was your rest? I hope the rain was not too distracting.” Warspite offered the captain's chair to Elizabeth for her to sit. But the tiny Queen remained standing.
After surveying the surrounding sea Elizabeth turned to her sister. “T’was most pleasant. How did things fare while I rested? Did you speak to our Commander about the book?”
“Ah, well.” Warspite scratched her head. “He gave me the same answer as you, your Majesty. I will wait until Cleveland is in a better condition and ask her permission to read it.”
Elizabeth brought a hand to her chin, noticing the small movements and fidgeting her sister was still doing. “Yet something troubles you still. Is it anything I could be of assistance with?”
Warspite sighed and dropped her shoulders. “May I ask for your assistance in something, not as my queen but as my sister?”
The Queen nodded with a soft smile. “I will always be your big sister before I am your Queen, Warspite. What is it you wish to confide in me with?”
“One second.” She replied before walking off into a small secondary inner communications room connected to the bridge, its purpose made redundant by her being able to control the ship completely no matter where she was. But inside a small cabinet was an inconspicuous rag that hid the source of her problems. She returned to the bridge with the item in hand.
“The notepad wasn't the only thing I grabbed before leaving.” She spoke as she walked over. “When James…” Warspite paused as she relived the memory. “When he shot that wretched man he dropped his gun.”
Peeling back the rag she showed Elizabeth the firearm. “There had been something about the sound it made when it fell that made me curious. I could tell you, but I think it's better for you to see for yourself.”
She offered the gun to her sister cautiously. Elizabeth took the firearm into her hand, instantly finding herself being able to handle it like she had trained with it for decades. Her brow furrowed as she noticed something was off about it.
“It can't be.” She pressed down on the magazine release to confirm her suspicion. “It's… empty?” Elizabeth was dumbfounded at the empty magazine. “Did you unload it?”
Warspite sighed and shook her head. “Unfortunately no. This is how it was, so technically…”
“James was never in any real danger.” Elizabeth finished, remembering what Warspite had told her of the exchange when they had returned.
“And that's the problem, I know James would want me to be honest to him. But what he did is tearing him apart inside, this would only make things worse.” She looked in the general direction of where his cabin would be. “I’m perplexed, Elizabeth. I’m sorry for dropping this on you, but what should I do?”
The Queen was silent for a while. Her gaze was distant as she thought over the problem until her smile returned and she returned the gun to her sister. “You should throw this in the ocean and forget about it. He put a gun against our James’ head. Loaded or not, James acted accordingly.”
Warspite looked at the gun and nodded. “I should have clocked it.”
An arm rested against her shoulder. “The past is filled with should haves and would haves, Warspite. If we were able to go back and change things then a lot of disasters could have been avoided.” Elizabeth felt the echoes of a memory come to mind, of a beach too steep to climb and an ocean filled with blood. “But we can't change them, so we must learn, grow stronger and soldier onward.”
The two sisters embraced one another in a hug for a long time until eventually breaking and retiring for the night. But not before the old warship went and threw the gun overboard, cursing the name of its deceased owner as she did, hoping the seas would swallow one more secret, never to resurface again.
(A/N) once again I ended up seeing this chapter getting longer and longer, I hope you enjoyed the chapter and look forward to the next, it should be coming soon as at the time of posting this the next chapter is already about halfway done.
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