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2014.05.02 19:29 tearsofsadness SF Bay Area Vapers

Vapers from the Bay Area. All things vaping.
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2014.05.31 05:21 slobdogg Vapers in Northern Virginia

For all you vapers shacked up in NOVA (or anywhere around the DMV), share your builds, mods, RBAs and anything else vape-related.
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2011.12.31 03:53 DaveQat A Subreddit About a Card Game for Horrible People.

Cards Against Humanity is the Apples to Apples for horrible people. Come share your depraved card combinations and additions to the game.
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2023.05.28 08:33 -Bonjour-- More Madeir

From my travel report (2014):
The second trip to Madeira we made to escape the winter The weather was like a moody diva in winter. It changes not only from day to day, but also within a few hours. So you can never plan anything for the next day, because you should not think, today it is so nice and sunny and warm, it will be the same tomorrow. But if you are unlucky, the next morning it will be completely cloudy, only to possibly be sunny again in the afternoon.
It is always a pleasure to stroll in FUNCHAL's old town. Here times an ice cream to eat, there a coffee possibly with Nata to take. But this should be done when there are no cruise ships in the harbor. Then you see fortunately more locals than tourists in the streets.
For football fans: Christiano Ronaldo, who comes from Madeira, now has his own museum in Funchal - eagerly visited by his - mostly young - supporters...
Funchal is spreading out more and more - the slopes all around are already built on, and in the hotel zone construction continues eagerly. Although it is obvious that in the newly built apartment houses still very many apartments are empty.
The first two weeks we booked apartment at about 350 m altitude with a beautiful view of Funchal. The disadvantage was that it became - especially in the evening - but quite cool. Fortunately we had not only an electric heater but also a fireplace in the apartment.
From up here you can see how Funchal has grown in recent years. It is a huge sea of houses, which goes up to all the adjacent hills.
For the second part of our stay we had chosen an apartment house at Praia do Formosa with direct view to the sea and also to Cabo Girao.
One of the most beautiful and varied gardens of Madeira is located only about 9 km east of Funchal: the Palheiro or Blandy's Gardens. In 1801, the property was purchased by Count Carvalhal. A hunting lodge was built and the count had exotic trees imported from all over the world. The count's descendants squandered the fortune, and so in 1885 the estate became the property of the Blandy family of wine merchants. The villa above the garden is still inhabited by the Blandy family and is not accessible.
The gardens are famous not only for the variety of (often exotic) plants but also for their location on a 500 m high hill with a magnificent view of the bay of Funchal. The Count's hunting lodge was renovated in 1997 and is now the exclusive hotel "Quinta Velha do Palheiro".
The gardens are divided into the main garden, the sunken garden, the valley of hell (Inferno) with mighty fern trees, the rose garden, the ladies garden and the tea house area. There are also ponds with water lilies and beautiful flower beds.
Some of the numerous trees are 100 years old. The garden has been constantly developed. Hibiscus, bougainvilleas, jacaranda, African tulip trees, coral trees and orchid trees grow here. The Blandy family imported proteas from South Africa and had a rose garden planted and a small baroque chapel built. The gardens are also famous for their numerous camellias and magnolias.
The orchid garden, created by an Austrian, apparently has more than 5000 plants and is located below the botanical garden. At the moment the orchid garden is closed, because in the big fire of 2016 in Funchal not only many houses were destroyed, but also great damage was done to the orchid garden.
Carnival is also celebrated in Madeira and by chance we saw a children's parade. It was interesting to see with which eagerness the children were partly "there". Therefore, there will probably be no problem with carnivalistic offspring in Funchal.
The town of RIBEIRA BRAVA is located at the mouth of a wide - sometimes wild (brava) river (ribeira). From Funchal there is a highway to get there. In Ribeira Brava there is a wide pebble beach, and on the other side of the promenade there are cafes and restaurants. In the historic center there are small stores, and here is also the pink town hall from the late 18th century
The Igreja de Sao Bento was built as early as 1440, but was given a new look during the Baroque period. The spire with the white-blue tile pattern and the sphere symbol of the Portuguese explorers is striking.
We still drove to Punta do Sol. This place lies between two high rocky capes. In the old core there are only a few houses and the church, behind it already begin the terraced banana fields. There is a pebble beach and on the promenade you can have a drink in small cafes. Except for us, there were hardly any tourists in the village. But here we drank the best poncha on the island. Poncha (made of honey, lemon juice and sugar cane brandy) is a kind of national drink on Madeira.
the village of Camara de Lobos - situated between two rocky cliffs - is only 9 km away from Funchal.
Camara de Lobos is still a typical fishing village with the many colorful boats (xavelhas) that you can admire in the small harbor. A small church was built at the harbor early on, this was remodeled in 1420 and the current Capella Nossa Senhora de Conceicao was built.
There is still fishing and some boat building in Camara de Lobos. However, these are no longer particularly lucrative, so tourism is now a larger source of income.
The fishermen in this area mainly catch the black scabbardfish (Espada), which is offered in many restaurants - also in Funchal.
There is a promenade path from the Lido in Funchal to Camara de Lobos since 2011. The path - always with a view of Cabo Girao - is partly concreted and partly laid out on wooden walkways. If you walk in the direction of Camara de Lobos, you can see the approaching waves of the Atlantic Ocean on the left and the partly high cliffs on the right.
Not far behind Praia de Formosa there are some beach bars or restaurants where you can have a drink or eat quite well.
Cabo Girao near Camara de Lobos is one of the highest cliffs in the world. More than 500 m the land here falls almost vertically into the sea. Since our last visit, things had changed here, there was now a large parking lot. Then the cafes and souvenir stores were also new for us. And surprising for us was also the glass viewing platform, which exists since the end of 2012. Here you can see that wine and vegetables are grown on the small rocky outcrops. The farmers can reach their fields on the coastal fringe with a cable car. Before the cable car was built, these fields were only accessible by boat.
From Funchal it was not far to CANICO. The original village became in the course of time one of the most important tourist places on Madeira. Large hotel complexes, apartment buildings and villas were built. However, we turned off before we reached the town in order to get to Ponta do Garajau. There on a rock cliff is the 14 m high Christo Rei statue, which was erected in 1927. From here you have a beautiful view of Funchal. Since 2007, there is a cable car nearby that goes 200 m down to the pebble beach.
CURRAL DAS FREIRAS is a small village nestled between huge almost vertical mountain slopes in the heart of Madeira. There is only one road that leads serpentine to the 633 m high valley. Originally the valley was inhabited by nomads and shepherds. Towards the end of the 15th century, the land became the property of the nuns of the Santa Clara convent.
The name Curral das Freiras means "pen of the nuns". In the 16th and 17th centuries, the island was repeatedly attacked by pirates, and the nuns retreated here to the protection of the mountains, which are up to 700 meters high.
Here people still live from what they grow themselves on their fertile fields. One of the specialties of the village is chestnuts. They are used to make liqueur, cakes, bread and soups, which are also sold to tourists. On November 1 of each year, the Chestnut Festival is held here.
Not many tourists come to SANTA CRUZ, although this place is certainly worth a visit. There is quite a pretty old town with the church of San Salvador built in 1533 as well as like a large modern market hall just behind the long gray pebble beach lined with date palms.
Just north of Santa Cruz is Madeira Island's airport, renamed "Cristiano Ronaldo" Airport in 2007. Opened in 1964 and reconstructed in 2000, this airport is one of the most dangerous in the world. The 2777 m long runway is built on the rocky coast above the water and looks like a bridge with large concrete supports. A large parking lot has been built below this runway.
Before the landing approach, the mountain massif must be overcome so that the narrow runway can be approached. Unfortunately, there have been numerous accidents, but this is still one of the busiest airports in Portugal.
From Santa Cruz we drove to MACHICO, one of the larger towns of Madeira. Machico profited from sugar cane cultivation in the 15th century and is now a modern town, which is divided into two halves by the Ribeira da Machico. On the eastern bank of the river is the historic fishing quarter with the main square surrounded by tall laurel trees.
The town church of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao in the center was built in the 15th century and partially rebuilt in the 18th century. Opposite stands the town hall built in the early 20th century There are several fish restaurants here.
In the surroundings of the small village FAIAL there is still a lot of agriculture, e.g. wine and fruit growing. The village is dominated by the 600 m high Eagle Rock. Only a few tourists come here, because there is hardly anything worth seeing.
Most people come to Santana to see the famous "Casas de colmo". In total there are still about a hundred of these thatched historic wooden houses. They are very scattered throughout the municipality.
On the way back to Funchal we passed through Ribera fria. Here you can take a short hike up to the Miradouro dos Balcoes, from where you have a beautiful view of the mountains.
The peninsula PONTA DE SAO LOURENCO is 9 km long and 2 km wide. In 1982 it was declared a nature reserve, mainly to ensure the preservation of the fauna with the great variety of birds and the great occurrence of the native flora. The eastern tip of Madeira is barren and windy. One can no longer imagine that everything here was lushly forested.
Then, in spring, a carpet of flowers enlivens the bare hilltops. But also in other seasons the turquoise sea and the rocks in different shades - ocher, rust, gray and green-black - bring color to the area.
The south coast can be easily approached by boats, which is almost impossible on the drastically shaped north coast with its strong winds. There is a paved access road to the parking lot above Baia de Abra. Here you can also take the public bus.
From there there is a popular rocky hiking trail. This hike is absolutely not a walk. There are some climbs, often wooden stairs. You have no shade and are exposed to gusts of wind. To avoid being blown down somewhere, I ducked down and waited out the sometimes strong gusts - really quite extreme.
At the narrowest point with a land bridge only a few meters wide, the rock drops almost 100 m vertically - fortunately the place is secured with a fence.
The hike takes - depending on your condition - 2 to 3 hours. It also depends on whether you only walk to the plateau of Casa Sardinha - administration of the national park - or if you want to make the ascent to Pico Furado. Below the Casa there are some tables for picnics. From there there is also an entrance for swimming, which can certainly be pleasant in the summer.
On the way there are always beautiful views of the sea and the rock formations - e.g. the so-called rock gate. On the south side you can see the cages of a fish farm in the sea.
In front of Sao Lourenco there are two small islands, on one of them stands the oldest (from 1870) lighthouse of Madeira.
From the cape we drove to CANICAL, the easternmost municipality of Madeira. This place is still characterized by fishing and boat building. Fishing boats are still built here and there is a large repair yard.
Over the 1000 m high Encumeada Pass we drove northeast to Sao Vicente. Unfortunately the old coastal road to Seixal and Porto Moniz was closed and we had to drive through many tunnels. A few years ago it was a special experience to drive on the narrow and winding ER 101 directly at the coast - on one side the high cliffs and on the other side the sea. But apparently the road has become too dangerous in the meantime because of constant falling rocks.
We got to Porto Moniz , and unfortunately the weather got worse, more and more clouds came up. The sea raged with huge waves to the shore.
Porto Moniz is a nice little town located on the northwestern tip of Madeira, a region with high mountains and views of the endless Atlantic Ocean.
Day-trippers mostly come for the lava pools filled with sea water. But from Porto Moniz you can also go hiking, for example on the coastal trail "Levada da Ribeira da Janela", one of the best hiking trails in Madeira.
Porto Moniz is known for its volcanic pools. These pools owe their formation to a lava tongue that flowed into the sea here thousands of years ago, creating caves due to the force of wind and waves. The black basalt lava pools form swimming pools and are the attraction of Porto Moniz, because you can swim (swim) in them very well - at least in good weather...
There are two different lava pools in Porto Moniz: the completely natural pools and the western pools, which have been transformed into natural outdoor pools - there are no sharp rocks here. The surrounding rocks of the outdoor pool were built as a terrace , and here you can sunbathe. The pools are open every day - even in winter. But when we were there, there was no one in the water....
The natural pools are not safe because of the black sharp basalt rocks.
It is very interesting to watch the waves as they crash against the rocks. The water is sometimes whirled into the air in such a way that it looks like a geyser.
The PICO DE ARIEIRO is the most visited mountain of Madeira, because it is the only one that has been opened up with a road, but it is only the third highest. The road was probably built primarily for the observatory and not necessarily for the tourists. Already the approach through pristine landscape with rugged rock and sparse vegetation is an experience.
If the weather is good, you have a breathtaking view all around. Equally beautiful, however, is the sight of white cushions of clouds hanging between the high mountains. In winter there can be ice and snow on the peaks. Since it had snowed on Madeira about 2 weeks before our trip there, we could still see the sparse remnants on the shaded layers.
From Pico de Arieiro you can hike up to Pico Ruivo (1861 m) if the weather is good. At the beginning, the path is quite wide and in places secured by railings. Some then walk at least to the first viewpoint - the rocky peak Niho de Mata with beautiful views. The entire hike up to Pico Ruivo is clearly difficult, even if there are partially secured stairways since the 1960s. Some of the paths are steep up to 700 m, the rock steps are high, the paths are sometimes narrow and beaten, and it also goes through unlit tunnels. So you should have a good condition and be free from giddiness and sure-footed.
submitted by -Bonjour-- to ThornTree [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 08:13 pandabison Last minute errand - will pay: Need help to take stuff to thrift store

Hi! Looking for someone with a car to bring a bunch of donations to a nearby thrift store today (Sun May 28) at 11am.
Its not a ton of stuff, probably just a car load/ one trip.
Pay: $30-40 Pick up location: N2H Ob1 Drop off: Value Village @ Ottawa and weber
Please message!
submitted by pandabison to kitchener [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 08:02 Dense-Baker-2254 My dad got a new girlfriend and I hate her

Ok i'm not really sure where to start. Im 16 and non-binary and I know this sound really rude. Heres some backstory. Just over 2 years ago my mom passed away unexpectedly. Now i'm not new to loss in the years previously to losing my mom i've lost multiple other family members and friends including my uncle and grandfather, who were my only friends for a long time. Just after losing my mom my grandmother(Who we lived with at the time) decided to sell the house and we were homeless for a short period of time before finding the apartment we live in now. The first few weeks after the passing of my mom my dad(38F) was in and out of the psych ward. My Aunt(35F) helped a lot with taking care of us (things like doc appointments, school stuff, ect) and even has partial guardianship over me and my sister(14). Up until my dads current girlfriend(31F) there wasn't anyone she consistently dated. To make this easier to understand i'll call my dads girlfriend Jane They have been dating for a few months now and we (me, my sibling, and my aunt) finally met Jane. We meet up for lunch and everything went great. My sister loves her and she gets along well with my aunt. She's great and i can tell that she loves my dad and she makes my dad really happy but despite all that i cant help but resent her and i feel terrible for doing so she's done nothing for me to hate her to the point that i do. I guess in someway as stereotypical as it is a resent her cause it feels like i'm betraying my mom. Jane was in an accident as a teen and as such has memory issues. She tends to just say things without thinking because she doesn't want to forget it before she can say it and because of this there have been some really awkward convos and she has said some stuff that really upset me. The day that we met her, Jane, my dad, and my sister went to the store and stopped at the apartment. A rule that we have had set previously to meeting Jane was that she wasn't allowed to come to the apartment so that it would be a kinda "safe place." I went and hung-out with my aunt because she got a new game that I wanted to see(we are both gaming nerds) and my dad texted and asked if Jane could come up to the apartment when they stopped to grab something for my sister and I said it was alright as long as they stayed out of my room. Because the rule of Jane not being allowed over isn't in place anymore my dad has had Jane over multiple time as she was over today from about 10am - 7:30pm. It was great. She helped clean(my dad and sister struggle with hoarding), we walked to a little cafe nearby, went shopping, and Jane, my dad, and my sister went swimming. Like I said it was a great day and I can tell that my sister loves her and Jane makes my dad so happy but despite the great day I still just don't like her. It's really hard because Jane, my dad, and my sister get along so well and i just feel like an outsider. Before we lost my mom I had struggled a bit with feeling like an outsider in my own family but now I literally feel like i'm a stranger living in their home. She hasn't done anything to make me hate her but just doing anything with her feels wrong, like when we went to the cafe today. I don't know how to explain it but there was just this underlying feeling of wrongness i guess and i just don't know how to handle it. I don't really know how to explain it but thats it I guess I just really needed to admit it somewhere cause i felt like crap for hiding it. um I guess if anyone has any advice that would be nice. Im not really sure how this works. ive never posted on redit before but I just really needed to talk about it.
submitted by Dense-Baker-2254 to offmychest [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 07:53 Asvalendorf What makes a good fishing spot in your opinion?

The weather? Parking nearby? Fishing stores nearby? Guided tours? What other factors would you add?
submitted by Asvalendorf to Fishing [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 06:50 StoreFirst6378 So upset!

So upset!
I had a surgery on Thursday so wasn't able to play much then or Friday an now I can't finish after buying a pony last night to try an help, really wanted the pony an the cute outfit for pinkie pie 🤦‍♀️🥺
submitted by StoreFirst6378 to MLPIOS [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 06:48 nekotantei_19 WN Chapter 154

---After some time has passed.......
"How should I put it...... you both look so good together that it's almost too good to be true"
"Yeah. I think you're right"
Liscia sighed in admiration and I nodded my head in complete agreement. Tomoe and Ichiha were now in front of us, dressed in their wedding attire. Today is their wedding day, and instead of the dress and tuxedo that are common attire in the Kingdom of Friedonia, they are now wearing traditional Japanese wedding attire: white kimono, tsunokakusi, and montsuki hakama.
"Thank you. Big brother and Big sister"
"Th-thank you very much"
Tomoe, dressed in plain white, smiled beamingly, but Ichiha, dressed in Hakama (traditional Japanese male formal attire), looked nervous and stiff-shouldered. Incidentally, these outfits were used by people of high rank in the Nine-Headed Dragon Archipelago Kingdom for wedding ceremonies. I felt that the culture of the Archipelago Kingdom is a mixture of Tang Dynasty and Edo, but the wedding ceremony seems to be Japanese style. Then Liscia looked seriously at Tomoe's outfit and said.
"Both Tomoe and Ichiha usually wear this kind of clothes. Maybe it's only natural that they both look good"
"Well, when Tomoe was little, her clothes were things I made myself as a hobby"
When I first met her, she was wearing ragged clothes that looked like a refugee's kantou gown. After becoming Licia's adopted sister, I made Japanese-style dress-like clothes as a hobby and gave them to her as gifts, but it seems that she became accustomed to wearing such clothes and ordered clothes with similar designs from the 'Silver Deer Store' after she grew up.
Ichiha, on the other hand, was able to wear the crested hakama without difficulty, partly because the clothing of the Duchy of Chima was originally more Asian in origin. Apart from the two of them, Hakuya and Excel also usually wear Asian outfits, and now that I think about it, it is probably the result of designs that once existed in the world I was in that have remained throughout the ages. Then.......
"Oh my. You two look so wonderful"
"Yes. They truly look like the brides and grooms of the 'Nine-Headed Dragon Archipelago Kingdom'"
Shabon and Kishun came and complimented them. Behind them, Princess Sharan, who had pulled Prince Sharon's hand, discreetly followed behind her parents, hiding in the shadows. Then Tomoe's face lit up when she saw Shabon.
"Shabon! Thank you so much for lending me such a beautiful outfit!"
"I am glad you like it. That attire has been handed down in the Nine-Headed Dragon Archipelago Kingdom family, and I myself wore it during my wedding ceremony"
"What, are you sure you wanted to lend me such a precious thing!?"
Tomoe was blinded with surprise. Yeah, I was surprised too. I was grateful that they lent her such nice attire, but I wonder if this is a national treasure class attire. In contrast to our speechlessness, Shabon was smiling at us.
"I do not mind. The royal ladies wear these garments only once in their lifetime, so their next appearance will be at Sharan's wedding, no matter how soon it may be. It would be better for the outfit to be used to promote weddings in our country than to be put away until then"
Shabon says it with a carefree smile. Indeed, this wedding is part of the bridal business that Roroa and Lucy are promoting, and will be broadcast live to our country, the Archipelago Kingdom, and other countries that want to play a part in the bridal business, such as the Republic of Turgis and the Euphoria Kingdom. If we can convince unmarried women watching this broadcast to want to wear Archipelago Kingdom-style outfits and hold their ceremonies in the Archipelago Kingdom, it will be in the national interest for the Archipelago Kingdom.
Shabon is becoming increasingly formidable and reliable as a queen.
"Big sister Tomoe......looks absolutely wonderful"
Princess Sharan said with a sparkle in her eyes. Tomoe looked like a mixture of happy and embarrassed, and unfolded the kimono to show it to us.
"The outfit that Lady Sharan will eventually wear. I'll borrow it just for today"
"Will I be able to wear it too?"
"Yes. Certainly someday"
That little Tomoe is acting as an older sister to a girl who is about the same age as she was when I met her......it's something that made my eyes burn.
"Tomoe's......really grown up"
"I saw Inugami express the exact same sentiments earlier"
Liscia, who heard my muttering, said, slightly taken aback. Tomoe's family has seen this bridal gown one step ahead of us. Inugami, who was dressed in formal attire from the neck down but still wore a mask, was so moved that he was sobbing so hard that his mask was blotting out. I remember her mother, Tomoko, smiling and consoling such a troubled stepfather.
......Yeah. I felt a little calmer when I remembered Inugami's weeping. The theory is that you can calm down when someone more distraught than you is nearby.
"But Tomoe Chima, huh. You're leaving the castle, aren't you?"
“It must be pitiful for a newlywed to live in the castle. Well, Tomoe is the chamberlain, and Ichiha lives in the castle and goes to the castle every day because he has the Prime Minister's job, so it doesn't make much difference. I heard that Inugami and Tomoko are going to run the estate given to the Chima family"
"Rou's getting big now. Will Belle be raised in the territory?"
Rou is Tomoe's younger brother and Belle is the girl born to Inugami and Tomoko. Rou, who is now about middle school age, was trained by Inugami and is in the Officer's Academy. Belle is a little girl who looks like Chibi Tomoe, and she was named after her father......I wonder what part of Inugami makes her Belle.
As I was thinking this, Lucy, the facilitator, came in.
"Come on, come on, you two, it's about time. Everyone's been waitin' for ya"
""Yes""
Then we moved to a place where my family, Tomoe's family, two schoolmates from the academy, and others had gathered. Ichiha's relatives, Yomi, Sami, and Nike, who hold important positions in other countries, could not come due to security and schedule constraints, so they were limited to sending gifts of local products from their countries as wedding gifts and congratulatory messages over the broadcasts.
The two were in splendid form, and those who had gathered there were in awe of them.
"Tomoe, you've become really beautiful"
"Hohoho, that's right. This is what it feels like to give your daughter away in marriage"
It was my in-laws, Lady Elisha and Sir Albert, who said that.
"Um, there's a married daughter here too, you know?"
Liscia said with a slightly displeased expression, and they chuckled.
"In Licia's case, it was as if she had taken our son-in-law. She is still in the royal castle, and I didn't feel like I gave her away as a bride"
"I can't help but look at it as a royal wedding ceremony. On the other hand, Tomoe is my adopted daughter, so I can send her off as my daughter without any reservations"
"Something doesn't add up......"
Licia gave my in-laws a cold stare, but they passed it off with a cackle and a laugh. While her adopted father, mother, and big sister were saying such things, Tomoe and Ichiha were surrounded by the usual group of Yuriga, Lucy, and Velza.
"......It's frustrating to say this, but you look beautiful in that outfit. It suits you"
"Hee hee, thank you. Yuriga"
"I'm glad ta hear Yuriga's honest praise for Tomoe. It must be rainin' for Yuriga to praise Tomoe so honestly. It's not good! If it suddenly rains, it'll mess up the ceremony arrangements! Yuriga, please! Please be your usual, prickly self!"
"What the heck are you talking about!?"
Yuriga was pulling Lucy's cheek. It's an exchange that hasn't changed since they were young. Ichiha and Velza, who are in the circle, are also smiling and watching the exchange between the three. And then,
"Oh, yeah"
Suddenly, Tomoe-chan clapped her hands. When she sees Carla (who is assisted by the attendants of the royal castle in this wedding ceremony), she calls out to her.
"Carla. Can you bring me that thing?"
"Ah, yes. Understood"
Then Carla ran off somewhere and came back a short while later with something in her hand. It was a bunch of pure white flowers, and it was a......bouquet? Why would they use it in a Japanese chic Archipelago Kingdom-style wedding? As I was wondering, Tomoe accepted the bouquet from Carla and held it out toward Velza.
"I wanted to give this to you Vel"
"Wha, for me?"
Tomoe smiled at Velza, who looked at her with wide eyes.
"Yeah. I'm not going to use a bouquet. Today's wedding is in the Archipelago Kingdom-style, so we won't be using bouquets, but Yuriga and I received bouquets from Taru and Leporina for 'future brides' at Kuu and his family's wedding. Vel's getting married to Hal, right? That's why I wanted to give you this bouquet"
"Tomoe......."
Velza received the bouquet and held it to her chest with tears in her eyes.
"Thank you so much. I will definitely be happy!"
"That's a bride's word, ain'it? It's not Velie who's gettin' married today!" (Bish)
"Ahahaha......indeed you are right"
Lucy gave a snappy comment, and Ichiha laughed as if he was troubled. Then Yuriga said to Tomoe, who was giggling as well.
"Are you sure you want to do that? You're the star of the day, aren't you?"
“I like Vel’s natural side”
"But, maybe they'll misunderstand that it's Velza whose marrying Ichiha......"
"......Ichiha is my husband, okay?" (smiles)
"Don't give me a strange intimidating impression! Your smile (black aura) scares me!"
Little Tomoe......no, is it Tomoe already? You've grown up......in many ways (far too many). With such a normal scene, Tomoe and Ichiha's wedding ceremony went off without a hitch. The upper class in the kingdom became aware of overseas weddings after watching the ceremony, and among the general public, weddings in the style of the Archipelago Kingdom (of course, traveling to the Archipelago Kingdom is too expensive, so people simply have an Archipelago Kingdom-style wedding in the country) became a boom, albeit a temporary one.
But that boom, too, would be renewed at the time of Velza's marriage.
submitted by nekotantei_19 to RealistHero [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 05:32 Bunker-Nuts Best Spider-Man Video Games?

After playing the insomniac games, I'm hyped for Spider-Man 2 and I want to go back through the wall crawler's previous games, but only the ones generally accepted as OK to Very Good. I have a retro game store nearby so it shouldn't be too hard to get a hold of some if the titles and platform shouldn't be am issue as I should have all the consoles necessary to play them.
submitted by Bunker-Nuts to Spiderman [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 05:01 Front-Strike-8690 Human Nature[OC]

Humanity is relatively young. Compared to the other races, humanity is a short-lived species. They seldom get past 80 years of age, they make crude weapons, they war amongst themselves almost as much as the orcs, and they worship false gods. But, humanity has something not even the orc’s ferocity, nor the elves' magic, or even the dwarves' master-worked weapons can face. Humanity is legion. ——————————————————————— Captain Alderson, Selkath Empire Tartalus fields
I stared out across the open plains to the south, toward the forest line, which marked the border to the elven nation of Silvastan.
I didn’t care much for the politicking of it all, I probably should care more, because it’s the reason I'm in this, middle of nowhere, far from home, fort. Well, it came down to some problems with trade during one of the Empire’s many wars.
The Selkath Empire was in the middle of a brutal war with the Orc tribes of Bordu. The war had been forcing the Selkath to pay a heavy price in blood; after several failed assaults on the large Orc settlement of Mosvil, the Selkath army was running low on soldiers.
What rubbed salt in the wound was the fact that one of our major trading partners, the Pantoran forest elves, was caught trading weapons with the Orcs. Luckily for us, the Orcs are not the sharpest tools in the shed, and a few well-placed lies led the entire Orcish leadership to believe that the Pantoran were going to betray them. The Orc tribes immediately declared war on the Pantoran, who quickly learned of the treachery and cut off trade with the Selkath Empire.
This act infuriated the Selkath aristocrats who swiftly brought together their own armies, filled with serfs and veteran peasant conscripts; some of the richer nobles simply hired large armies of Sonderland mercenaries. These armies marched against the weakened Pantorian elves and shattered their remaining armies, forcing them to retreat all the way back to their traditional homelands.
This act made the Pantorian’s allies quickly cut all ties with the Selkath Empire. Their largest ally was the Silvastan elves, whose forests lie only kilometers away from my position. They possess the largest army of any Pantorian ally and have many mineral-rich resources, which give them great wealth and manufacturing power.
I got dragged out of my thoughts as my lieutenant walked up and saluted, “Good day sir, all clear on the field. The men are awake and performing their duty.”
“Excellent work,” I said before smiling and adding, “Say your corner window has a great view of the field.”
He grinned and nodded, “Yep it sure does, if you don’t mind I’ll be heading up now to get some shut-eye, before my night shift of course.”
I gave myself a small chuckle as he wandered off towards the small cobblestone building we use as barracks. For the officers, we have a second floor away from the communal bunks of the simple conscripts. That gave us a great view of the rolling hills and sprawling fields, but my lieutenant’s view is the envy of every officer, he had a corner room giving him a view of the hills to the west and the fields to the south.
I turned and looked at the compound under my command. The center of the compound is taken up by the barracks. At the northern end of the base, there was a small tower. Surrounding the whole compound was a low timber and stone wall roughly six feet tall. I smiled to myself as I watched my men wandering around the open grounds, calling out greetings to each other and doing their daily chores and duties.
I sighed and listened to the early morning birds which always had the most beautiful songs. As I listened I a thought struck me. The birds weren’t singing. I had a moment to realize that, then I sprinted to the edge of the bulwark.
I started yelling at the men, “TO YOUR BATTLE STATIONS! WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!”
My men looked up at me in confusion, until a soldier on the wall gave a gurgling scream as an arrow embedded itself in his neck. The men immediately began moving towards their positions, uncertainty in their eyes. I snarled, shoving them forward as the first elves began to shimmer into view.
I cursed quietly, falling for such a predictable trick. I watched as the elves began to raise their bows, and my men braced for a devastating barrage of arrows to slam into their positions.
Until the elven archers began to fall, clutching the staves, finding their way into their bodies. I grinned as I remembered the camouflaged positions from which my crossbowmen were launching devastating volleys of fire against the elves. This thinned out their original numbers, and while not making a massive impact it gave my men more time to reach the defenses.
To the elves' credit, they responded quite quickly, firing several perfect arrows into the small gaps, quickly silencing the soldiers inside. Those tiny holes would have been next to impossible for any human to find, but we weren’t fighting humans, we were fighting elves.
I dragged my attention away from the archers and their superior eyesight, as the first of the elven foot soldiers scramble over the wall and quickly began cutting through my men. I ran forward and drove my sword toward the first elf I saw. He turned quickly and withdrew his sword from the body of a fallen soldier, I launched a vicious overhead strike at the elf, he deflected my strike and followed up with a quick offensive of his own.
I stepped back, eyeing his elven blade warily, his sword followed a traditional elven design. Their blades were very light and sharp allowing them to move quickly and unencumbered by their blades. Their blades were slightly curved making lunging stabs difficult but allowed them to swing much more effectively. But I had the longer reach with my sword.
I would have to hold him at bay with my longer weapon. I slashed at him, forcing him to jump back, and as he did that I followed my original attack with a lunge, taking him in the gut he looked up at me with shocked eyes, as if to say, “It can’t be me.” I stepped back allowing him to fall to the ground in a pile.
I sprinted down the line shouting to my men.
A soldier ran up to me, bleeding from a cut on his head he shouted, “Sir the elves have overwhelmed the northern fortifications.”
I grunted in acknowledgment before saying, “Gather your remaining men and make a stand soldier.”
The soldier nodded, grinned, then bellowed, “COME ON BOYS YOU HEARD THE MAN, LETS SHOW THESE POINTY EARS A REAL FIGHT!”
This was followed by a roar from several nearby soldiers who followed him into a charge against a group of uncertain-looking elves, quickly pushing them back.
I shook my head saying, “That wasn’t what I had in mind.”
As I continued to fight, more and more of my remaining men began to gather around me. Me and two other soldiers were fighting against a small squad of elves until the elves began to retreat for some unknown reason. We watched in confusion until a soldier screamed.
“THEY HAVE MAGES!”
I immediately looked out and saw five robbed elves chanting incantations. I ripped a crossbow from one of my men running past, he looked at me in confusion before moving alongside me. I saw the insignia of a sergeant on his uniform.
“What’s happening sir,” he inquired.
“Mages,” I said before standing up and depressing the trigger on the crossbow. The bolt streaked away in a blur of motion, a second before one of the mage's heads snapped backward at an impossible angle, with the bolt embedded in his forehead. My sergeant whistled, impressed before cursing and throwing himself to the ground as the mages turned toward us and unleashed a massive fireball directly at me.
I had a moment to duck before everything turned into ash, dust, and dirt. I flew through the air and landed hard on the ground. I laid there for far longer than I should have, heaving in deep breaths of air each of which hurt more than the last.
I stood up brushing dust and blood from my mouth.
My sergeant stood up as well coughing, he grimaced holding his side in pain, “Well sir, that was quite the event.”
I looked around and saw that we were losing, losing badly, they outnumbered us at least three to one, and they also had the surprise advantage. I was beginning to move towards the small tower at the back of the camp, - which stored the messenger pigeons - when I saw a fireball smash into the corner of the second floor of the barracks. This set my heart on fire as I ran with the sergeant, wiping tears from my eyes as I ran the rest of the way to the tower.
A single guard stood in front of the tower, trembling at the terrible, desperate battle being waged along the wall. He stiffened momentarily as we sprinted up, then relaxed when he saw it was me.
“GUARD THIS DOOR WITH YOUR LIFE,” I bellowed at him, before running full tilt into the tower.
The guard saluted me and joined the sergeant barring the door.
I ran around searching, before finding the fastest messenger pigeon there. I wrote a frantic note about the battle and tied the message to the pigeon before throwing it out the window, its frantic flapping and taking it towards the nearest city.
I almost laughed watching it flap its wings as it flew free into the wind. My brother loved birds. He would have loved to see the speed on this one, but I knew my brother wouldn’t be seeing anything, anymore. He had loved the view from his window so much, the nice one on the second-floor corner of the barracks.
submitted by Front-Strike-8690 to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:47 douglasjfresh Overwhelmed with a choice: New Trek Dual Sport 3 or Used Cannondale Adventure 2?

After buying my five-year-old his first bike last month, I decided that I wanted to get back on and start riding for the first time in over 23 years.
The problem is that I have no idea what to get. My plan is to buy something that makes sense for my suburb, some of the paved trails and parks around here, and maybe the roads nearby once I’m more comfortable.
I’ve been to several stores to try things out, most recently my local Trek store. I really enjoyed the FX 3 and Dual Sport 3. Probably the DS3 for the added stability of the wider tires.
But I’m also tempted to buy used, and there’s a used Cannondale Adventure 2 for $340 on FB marketplace. Based on its looks, I’m thinking it’s from 2018 or so. I’m test riding it this week.
Given that I’m a novice and my plans for riding, which one makes the most sense to y’all?
submitted by douglasjfresh to whichbike [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:47 ladylara0 Basic Tips and Tricks!

Beginner Tips and Tricks!

If you are having an issue with your game and it’s not registering what you definitely just did you should get back to the main menu and then go back into the same campaign/trial you were playing. It takes 3 full seconds after it’s loaded for the changes to “kick in” and then you should see some happy screambubbles.

Always click the static blue bubbles from your citizens! (The little moving ones are unclickable!) Even if there is no exclamation point or decision to be made that bubble will give you a bit of coins to use. If you click into a decision bubble and you can't afford it at the moment you can click off of the decision screen back into your city and it will save the decision for when you want to address it again.

Completing the objectives on the left hand side are a great way to earn more coins and improve your approval rating. The top ones are more important than the bottom ones and help guide you through the beginning stages of the game and then just give you more coins when you level up or build stuff. If you have a good approval rating and don’t need any coins you won’t have any negative repercussions for not completing the objectives.

Don't be afraid to recycle the roads that are already on the map and place your own! I personally hate building on the diagonal and will avoid doing so whenever possible. But sometimes you have no other choice! No matter if you love the diagonal or not you can wipe the slate clean and make your own path. If you are playing on a touch screen or use a mouse you can swipe to select a whole section of road and it saves SO much time! Also, to build a ramp up to the next level of your map you have to have 2 clear road spaces directly infront of the edge and the area above the edge unlocked.

When you are thinking about organizing your city you should think of having zones so things are easily accessible for you. I prefer to pair my commercial zone closer to my residential zone and keeping the industrial zone farthest away because it produces pollution that can harm your citizens. Personally I like to make long rectangles for residential and commercial and squares for industrial with the civic buildings in the middle. I also like to lump together the power buildings together in one area because they can chain off of each other so you don't have to use as much road-facing space and they don’t need to be close to where they are providing power, it’s a grid! Also so you can quickly find this zone if your residents complain there isn't enough power.

When you’re in the beginning levels (under 10) I would recommend pausing right after you level up so you can address whatever needs your residents are going to immediately require. As soon as water, fire, police, etc is unlocked it’s best just to place them as soon as you get them. If a need is gone unnoticed it can tank your approval rating fast!

The number presented on the buildings in the build menu only correspond with the first level, so if you need 625 jobs but you build 2 400 job factories to satisfy them you will soon create a bubble as both of those factories will quickly grow from 800 jobs to 1600 jobs and then 2000 jobs! My personal best practice is to build the one factory and if the “scream bubbles” can’t be fulfilled before it levels up enough to satisfy the residents then I just delete the resident building that is giving me issues. You can immediately rebuild the same building but it gives you the extra time to solve the problem for them!

Get familiar with the needs of different types of residents, you can group the different rarity levels together so you only have to address the higher-end needs with the residents that will level up from those needed buildings. Same goes for Manufacturing and Commercial buildings as well!

Also get familiar with how to check on the needs of your city, check the bottom most build menu (with the residential, commercial, and manufacturing buildings) and notice on the left hand side of the screen that there are sets of numbers and they will tell you if you need more shopping/shoppers or jobs/workers. This is the place to look if you start getting "screambubbles" that your residents need work or your factory needs more workers. For other types of needs you can click into the build menu above this one, the civic menu, and there will be several filters up in the left hand corner that you can click through for each individual type of building. This is a great way to get a jump on where you may have troubles getting your buildings to level up or to plan future building expansions.

Water is not available wherever you put a water tower! There is a filter that shows where there is water available with different levels that correspond to how much water can be produced for level 1 and they grow a lot with the higher levels in the higher concentrated area. This is especially important on the Dry Stop, Dry Plains, Cactus City, and Scorpion Gulch campaign.

Every so often to level up in campaigns you will have to complete a challenge. They are pretty easy to complete but there is a trick to making it even easier! If you pan the camera completely down so that you can see almost your entire map in one view you can click on the shopping bags and shipping boxes, and the traffic jams/police/fire events in later levels too.

If you are playing on a small screen you can find different buildings in overcrowded areas by goin into the build menu for the building you’re trying to access, say an elementary school. You can go to the education tab and the scroll your map around to see where those types of buildings are, their level, and if they’re at capacity or not. This is very helpful when you are trying to upgrade bus stops, they’re so tiny!

As you continue to level up more and more so will the types of buildings that can fulfill your residents, commercial and manufacturing needs! As you start placing them make sure that you are optimizing the space that you are utilizing the maximum range that you are able to. Use one Main Fire Station and a Police Station to cover a much larger area than using several Volunteer Fire Station and Police Kiosk.

Building Specific Advice;

You may only need one or two jails for the whole map, but a whole lot more kiosks!
The Fire Dispatcher doesn’t actually provide more firefighters or firetrucks but it does extend the range of existing ones.
Research Center and Renewable Energy College are the best ways to provide technology for your Industrial buildings.
Parking lots are your friend! If you put a parking lot in range of 4 commercial or industrial buildings then you get +30 for each of them, so +120 jobs or shopping for just one level 1 square.
Some parks increase the amount of residents in nearby buildings, need for knowledge, need for technology, or they reduce pollution. Make sure you are putting the right parks in the right places and that they’re actually helping the surrounding buildings!
Place your special zones and the landmarks strategically by checking what their buffs are, if its a +20% to residency put it in the middle of a large neighborhood. If its -20% shopping you should definitely put it in a commercial zone. If you buy multiple landmarks in the store you can upgrade them when you play them in your campaign or trial.

I think that’s it for now, I hope these help you enjoy your Cityscapes experience to the max! Enjoy and Happy Gaming!
submitted by ladylara0 to CityscapesAA [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:40 Field-Formal [GA] Richmond, VA - Betta fish, sick or healthy - Free!

So I visited one of my local big box stores and checked out their bettas. A ton were clearly sick and when I asked the manager they told me they’ve been dropping like flies and they don’t know why. They said that I was welcome to take as many as I could handle if I thought I could help them. Well of course I took a literal box full. I have what I need to treat most of them, but the sheer quantity is the issue, and I could use some help. Some of these guys just honestly need a warm tank, maybe some aquarium salt and Catappa leaf/IAL. Others have pop eye/fin rot/swim bladder and will need medication.
If anyone happens to be nearby and is willing to take one/any in I would really appreciate it. If so please comment below and DM me. I’m not asking for anything in return, though if you had medication or equipment, I wouldn’t likely say no.
submitted by Field-Formal to AquaSwap [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:18 Sayan-isPassing-by I haven't seen anyone use neckband earphones of Samsung . Is this good ? Or should I get one of Xiaomi ( which I am not particularly keen to do )

submitted by Sayan-isPassing-by to samsunggalaxy [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:06 Adorable_Kitten100 28 F in Wisconsin looking for girl or guy friends!

Hello all! I figured it wouldn't hurt to give this subreddit a try at finding friends, as it hasn't been easy for me otherwise. I'm fine with making friends with anyone from anywhere but if you live nearby and have similar interests, that would be amazing and we should definitely chat, as having IRL friends would get me out of my life routine! :)
Anyway, I'm a Jewish Bisexual woman and I've been with my partner since 2016. We've been married since last September and he's also Bisexual/Bigender. We're in a monogamous relationship. We live in Appleton/Menasha Wisconsin and have a house together with our 3 fur-daughters (cats). We also share a car hobby together and enjoy going to car shows! Along with being ChildFree, I've been sterilized since last August, and I'm also an Anti-natalist.
Now, some stuff about me! I'm an introvert, but I open up a bit more once I'm comfortable around you. I enjoy drawing, and I'm pretty much self taught! I've always liked insects and don't mind picking them up as long as they aren't harmful/poisonous. I also like nature, and riding my bike or going for a walk. I've been working at a bakery since 2021, and I do enjoy it still but wish it paid better. I don't smoke/vape, have never tried alcohol (and never plan to), and don't do drugs or weed (and never will), so please respect that! If you do that stuff, that's completely fine but keep cigarettes and weed away from me please, as the smell makes me gag or feel nauseous. Thank you <3
*** A couple things I don't mind sharing that I'm not often vocal about is that I have an underbite, and I recently accepted that I'm a furry. My husband and I plan to go to Trotcon this year in July, and I plan to wear a partial fursuit if I can get it in enough time. So if anyone is going to be there too, I hope to see you there!
Anyways, I enjoy EDM, 70's, 80's, 90's, rock, dubstep, and don't mind Country music, but I really don't like rap, hip-hop, and heavy metal. I'm a 90's gal, so if you can relate to and miss all the good old shows and cartoons from then, that'll make my day! Nowadays, I don't really watch any current TV shows or movies, as I'm not really interested and prefer to watch the stuff I grew up with. Plus, I rather be playing PC/video games instead! I don't play many multiplayer games, but I have replayed single-player games that I've grown up with quite a lot, depending on my mood. Feel free to ask me about them! If I'm not at home drawing or playing games, I like to be out at malls, museums, amusement parks, antique stores, bike riding, going for walks, or exploring different places! I'm also not a very athletic or exercise driven type person, and have never been interested in sports.
All in all I know I can be a good friend, even though I'm pretty quiet, can be shy, and not as outgoing. I'm very kind, honest, respectful, and willing to be there for anyone if they need cheering up or support. I'm not one to ever start drama and would prefer to not be a part of it, as I'm also a pacifist. I may not be very forward with talking and other stuff, but I'm a loyal and I would never play games or hurt anyone. So I apologize for a lot of reading but if anything caught your interest, then let's chat and see where things go! :D
Thanks for reading! <3
submitted by Adorable_Kitten100 to ChildfreeFriendships [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 03:50 Drakolf Sanctuary:

It was desperation, pure and simple.
When the women of the village accused us of the crime, their husbands wasted no time in getting their tools. We tried to plead our case, that we had just arrived this morning, that we had nothing to do with the bodies.
I distinctly remembered the satisfied grin on the village head's face as his axe cleaved my brother's skull in half.
There was no way they would believe one of their own was the murderer, no way we could prove he was the one who desecrated their bodies.
No way we could prove that he was the one consorting with demons.
So we ran, the three of us. It had been myself and my brother, along with the two strangers, who were traveling. My brother and I were going to pay our respects to our mother, who had passed away in the winter.
I choked back the sobs, especially when I heard the village head maniacally screaming for us to be burned alive. "Even just one will do, for our vengeance!"
We weren't prepared for the forest, but in we ran, knowing that the twisting boughs were more likely to offer us protection than not.
Still, they persisted. No matter the paths we took, the twisted turns we made, the rivers we crossed, they were on our heels far beyond the point of sanity.
Indeed, it was likely they were all possessed.
I saw the glow before the others, stopping short in my tracks like a deer that realizes its being stalked.
I'd never seen the entrance to a dungeon before, but I knew the tales. Twisting labyrinths full of wonders and dangers alike, I looked at the others pleadingly, "Is there any other way?" The man asked.
"We're going to die regardless." I said. "Would you rather die to a random monster, or sacrificed to demons?"
it wasn't even a choice, we dove into the dungeon, scrambling over our feet, somehow managing to get past traps that would have otherwise killed us.
That would have been a mercy, yet as the rabid voices of the townsfolk faded to a distant roar- still present, the occasional word indicating they had followed us in without hesitation, only to be stymied by the traps, we knew our safety was only going to be short-lived.
"John, we're safe, John." The woman said.
"I know." John said, "Hell's bells, I need a strong drink and a sheep."
"I wasn't aware you were into that, John." I said. "Need a hard one before you give the sheep a hard one?"
"Aye nay, you get the sheep drunk first."
We stared at each other for a few moments, then we laughed. The woman shook her head, she was trying to look exasperated, but I could see the smile on her face.
"Bloody fuck, sorry about your brother, aye? Least he got a quick death, unlike us three."
I nodded, my heart was still thundering.
"Well, we en't gonna fouckin' go back." The woman remarked. "Bloudy starve to death in 'ere before they let us out."
I gestured toward them. "Siblings?" I asked.
"Aye nae, lad. This woman's the scourge o' the damned, she is." The woman punched his arm, he let out a pained cry.
"Don't you bloudy do that, you fouckin' weasel-arse!" She snapped. "The name's Jimmy, bloody wizard turned me into a woman on a lark. It's been months and we've been trying to find the prick."
"My condolences." I said sincerely. "For your manhood, and the manhood of every man who's tried to touch you."
Jimmy chuckled. She- fuck- He nodded and said, "I'll tell you this mouch, that wizard could have turned our cousin into a woman and made her the happiest lass in the land. But no, I'm the one who got the bad end of it."
"My condolences to your cousin, for her manhood as well."
Jimmy laughed. "Aye, fouckin' brilliant, this. Trapped in a bloudy dress. Can't even put me bloudy pants on, they burst into flames. Now this."
"Aye, sorry lad. T'was just a joke, aye?" John said.
"Aye, a joke, one you keep makin', like I give a damn."
"How do you two know each other?" I asked.
"Cousins." John said. "Not that it hasn't stopped her- bloody fuck- his father from tryin' to marry him off on me."
"Is it really that hard to keep her- his..? My head began to hurt. His?
"The curse makes people think I'm a woman." Jimmy said. "Doesn't make me think it, else we'd not be in this bloudy mess, now, would we, John?"
John nodded. "Aye, and on yer wedding, too. Saw yer bride to be forget all about you."
The screams of the villagers were getting louder. I looked at the others. "We have to keep going. Sometimes these dungeons loop around on themselves, we could get out."
"How do you know so bloudy much about dungeons?" Jimmy asked.
"My brother was an adventurer." I said, forcing myself to stand up. "He hung up his sword a year ago, nearly lost his life, got tired of it. We really could have used it."
They didn't say anything to that. What could they say? Our best chance of getting out of here alive was currently dead, and we would be too if we didn't hurry up.
I took the lead, knowing at least something about dungeons was better than nothing. I kept my eye out for raised tiles, pointing them out and getting us safely past them.
When Jimmy's dress got caught on a trap we missed, we helped him tear he dress enough that he still had some decency.
"A nice kilt couldn't have worked, now, could it?" I asked.
"A kilt isn't a bloody dress." John said. "We should know, Jimmy tried it."
We carefully walked around the edge of a pit, that's when I saw it. A treasure chest, at the end of a hallway. That could be anything, hell, even a cursed weapon would be an improvement.
I carefully moved through the hallway, reaching the far end and- remembering my brother's words- I carefully checked to see if it was a mimic.
Mimics were stupid creatures, they only reacted to touch, so you could look at them all you want and it wouldn't wake up.
"What're you bloudy doin', mate? It's just a bloudy box!"
The 'box' in question just opened its mouth and inhaled, before closing back up.
I carefully walked back.
"You were saying, Jimmy?" I asked.
"What the bloudy fuck was that?" He asked.
"A Mimic. Chest monster. They have all sorts of powerful items, but you so much as touch one, it eats you alive."
Both John and Jimmy nodded, and proceeded to have nothing else to say on the matter aside from a short string of curses.
Still defenseless, I was getting worried that we hadn't seen a single monster in the dungeon.
I tripped, hitting the ground, we all froze, breaths held, then relaxed when nothing happened.
"We need to rest again." I said. "My feet hurt, feels like they're swelling in there."
"Here, sit down and I'll check."
I sat down, wincing as my boots pressed against my feet in awkward and unpleasant ways. Getting the thing off was torture, but Jimmy was able to get it off.
I felt immediate relief as stretched out my toes and- Wait. I looked at my foot, and stared uncomprehendingly at the lizard-like one where it should have been.'
"What in the bloody fuck is that?" John asked.
"That's a Kobold foot." I said. "My brother showed me a stuffed Kobold once, they're vicious little bastards, but they'll leave you alone if you leave them alone."
Jimmy got to work on my other boot, which once gone had done a number on making me more comfortable.
"Why are your feet bloody Kobold feet?" John asked.
"It's something called 'Goblinification'," I said, he shot me a confused look. "It was first seen with Goblins" I explained. "Basically, when a dungeon is brand new, it comes into being without any monsters, any animals that wander in get turned into them. But, in rare occurrences, a dungeon is found before it has a stable population. Any Humans who go in begin undergoing Goblinification."
I touched my feet, the scaly texture was pleasant, left me with a feeling of excitement. "You can check how far along you are by touching the affected parts. If you're afraid, it's only just begun and will reverse in a few days. If you're indifferent, it can still reverse, but it'll take anywhere between a month to three months. If you start feeling excited, it means it can be reversed in a year."
I looked at them, my hands idly rubbing my feet. "When you want it to spread faster, you've hit the point of no return, it's permanent. You can leave, certainly, and you might be able to go back to a somewhat normal life, but you still change, and when the transformation is complete, you have to resist any nearby dungeon's call to break free."
'What happens if you don't leave?" John asked.
"You become a dungeon monster." I replied. "Your thoughts become fixated on protecting the dungeon, depending on how much you embrace it, you could remain extremely intelligent, but if you resist it, you become nothing more than a wild animal."
I unbelted my pants and pulled them off, I could see the slow progression of the transformation, my legs changing to accommodate animalistic legs.
"I can't go anywhere." I said. "Not without help."
"What? Why?"
I looked at John. "Kobolds can't keep their balance without a tail, and I'm at least an hour away from that happening. By that point, I'll be wanting the transformation to quicken."
He nodded and helped me stand up. I needed to lean on him heavily to support my weight.
We continued on, I was finding it easier to notice the traps, it was like they were more obvious to me. In fact, I was beginning to feel excited at the prospect of them going off.
"Kobolds are trapmasters." I said, "We can innately sense what they do and where they are."
"'We'?" Jimmy asked.
"Yeah, we." I said. "Just follow my directions, we'll avoid any traps I set." I paused. "That I set..?"
I distinctly remembered laying those traps down, and couldn't help but feel a surge of pride for my handiwork.
I wasn't at the stage where I wanted the transformation to happen faster, but the pride I felt was making it hard not to wish for it.
"Your face is beginning to change." John said.
"Nak, I know." I said. I let go of the Humans and looked at them. "I have enough tail to walk, I can still guide you out, but you can't come back, understood?"
"What are you saying?" John asked.
"That's always the problem with you, Humans. Just because you're in a hurry, you just barge into people's homes and-" I rubbed my head. "Oh, sorry. I forgot who I was for a moment." I looked at my body in annoyance. "Can't this thing hurry up!?"
"You're at the point of no return." John said morosely.
"Yeah, I am." I said. I walked over to a wall and slid open a panel. "But it also means I know where there are hidden paths. This will be a tight squeeze for you." I looked at Jimmy. "You okay, Human?"
"Aye." He said. "Just wonderin' why we're not fouckin' turning into bloudy Kobolds."
"The dungeon's focusing all its attention on me, it knows we're trying to get out, so it's trying to get as many monsters as it can." The Humans crawled behind me as I let them through the passageway. We came out on the other side, inside a small treasure room.
I looked at them. "Every instinct is telling me if you so much as touch a shiny, you die." I warned. I walked over to the treasure and picked up a dagger, then a sword, and then a bow and arrows. "There are no rules that say I can't give them to you."
John took the bow, while Jimmy took the sword. I then picked up a ring and held it out to Jimmy. "This is a cursed item, it forces men to become women and the reverse. It only works once. Put it on."
"What?" He asked.
"Now, unless you like having breasts and being ogled at."
He took the ring and put it on. As his body physically changed, he drew in a shuddering gasp and began crying.
I sighed. "Look, we've got three hours before I'm stuck here for good, I'm starting to get annoyed with you Humans, and the one of you is going to start changing." I looked at them both. "Unless you want it, we can't waste time."
They nodded.
I scoured the rest of the room for anything of immediate use, then grabbed a bag of holding, shoved as much gold inside of it as I could, and carried it on my back. "When we get outside, you are going to need to drag me out of here. I am going to get violent. No matter what I do, keep me away from this place."
They nodded.
We kept moving, going faster because I knew where we were, and I knew the quickest path outside.
We stepped into a hallway, and I saw the bastard who killed my brother.
"If you walk forward past two hallways, the third one will take you to the entrance." I said, handing them my bag.
"What?" John asked.
"Are you bloudy fouckin thick, mate?" Jimmy asked.
I looked at them. "I can't let that man live. Not only did he kill my brother, but if he gets taken by the dungeon, he'll take control of it. I'll die before I let that happen. So go, and don't wait for me."
I started running down the hallway, dagger grasped in hand, seething hatred burning in every fiber of my body. I stepped onto a pressure plate and leapt, letting out a mighty battle cry. The man looked up at me, grinned, and then was speared in the side by a trap. Before he could even react, I landed on his shoulder and slit his throat.
The dungeon was safe, the treasures were safe, except there were two Humans leaving. I yanked my dagger out. "Nak nak nak nak nak!" I snapped as I raced down the hallway. There they were, just outside. Waiting for me.
I snarled, running headlong at them. "Humans!" I screeched. "Those shinies belong to the dungeon!"
I leapt at the nearest Human, who kicked me out of the air. I felt the wind get knocked out of me, my dagger flew out of my hand, an for a moment, I was completely stunned. The Human grabbed hold of me and I struggled to fight him off.
"Calm down!" He shouted. I froze. "Calm down, please. It's me, John."
"Shit." I said. "I was about ready to kill you."
"About?" He asked. "If Jimmy didn't kick you out of the air like that, you'd have bloody stabbed me."
He let go of me, I walked over to get my dagger, picked it up, and looked back at my home.
My home.
I looked at John. "I can't abandon my home like this." I said. "Who will maintain all of the traps? Who is going to empty out the pits? Who is going to kill the foolish Humans who come seeking our treasure?"
John knelt down to my height and grabbed my shoulders.
"You used to be Human." He said. "You helped us escape, even to the very end. You asked us to take you with us, and we will."
I looked back at my home, then started walking away from it. It hurt, it felt like my soul was being ripped out. I didn't have any memories except as a Kobold, I didn't know anywhere except the dungeon.
Two hands grabbed hold of me and lifted me up before placing me down on a pair of shoulders.
"Don't worry, we've got you, you bloody reptile."
"Keep talking like that, you smelly Human, and I'll-!" I cut myself off. "Sorry."
They kept carrying me through the forest. Every now and again, I looked back, the dungeon was still calling me, telling me to come home.
But I couldn't.
We walked into an empty village, John and Jimmy hesitated for a moment.
"Let me down." I said. He did so, and I pushed open a door. "Help me loot the place, we're going to need food and water."
"Bout, that's immoral." Jimmy said.
"Says the Humans lugging around a bag of dungeon gold!" I snapped. "Bloody ingrates, can't even appreciate when a Kobold's trying to help them survive."
We went through the village's stores, helping ourselves to anything that was still good.
I paused as I passed by a dead Human on the ground. I looked at him, his head caved in half by something, maybe an axe.
I searched through his pockets and found some coins, a silver identification tag, and a letter. I opened the letter, read the contents, then threw it aside.
It was unfortunate for those two, but it didn't matter a whit to me. I looked at the Human again, my vision blurring. I wiped my eyes and looked at the tears that stained my beautiful scales.
My breathing hitched, and though I didn't understand why, I began to weep.
Why did I care about some dead Human?
submitted by Drakolf to DrakolfsWritings [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 03:29 Sufficient-Shock-378 Is this a good idea ?

Someone came into our small grocery store earlier today during our busiest hour and bought a small item and afterwards went to the back of our building through the side alley and stole our hose nozzle worth at most $7.
We didn’t notice until an hour later and check the security camera. We didn’t catch him unscrewing it on camera but we did caught him walking out with it.
He come in about once every week or two to buy bait to fish in a pound nearby
I’m thinking of waiting till the next time he comes in and pull him over to the side and tell him that he is no longer welcome in the store because he has stole from us and to leave before I call the cops.
Is this a good idea or should I do something different? I really don’t want to call the cops and file a report because the amount is so little.
He come in about once every week or two to buy bait to fish in a pound nearby
submitted by Sufficient-Shock-378 to smallbusiness [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 02:52 goozmakappa Was I scammed by a gas station employee the other night?

So on thursday night I drove out to a house near the city because my friend and I were looking to rent it. Place ends up not being what we were looking for so we decided to go grab a bite to eat. My friend forgot his wallet and was able to use apple pay to pay for the food but he said he was worried it wouldnt work at a gas station and asked if I would meet him at a gas station in case i needed to spot him for the gas. I agreed bc I obviously didnt want to risk having my friend get stranded in the city without enough gas in his tank to drive an hour and a half back upstate where he lives. We leave the restaurant and I hop in my truck and drive to the gas station nearby. I got there a few minutes before he did and remembered I needed some windshield washer fluid so I decided to go inside and grab some.
So I walk inside, I go up to the counter where the cashier is standing, the guy asks what I need and I tell him windshield washer fluid. He proceeds to say “okay, thatll be 25 dollars
I paused for a moment to consider what he just said. Could I have misheard him? Surely he must have said “$2.25” and my mind, exhausted from working all day, had registered it as “25 dollars”. Just to be safe, I looked up at the cashier and said “*25 dollars??” and this mf looks me dead in the eye and says “yeah”. I swiped my card, grabbed a jug of washer fluid, and left the store.
Since that night, I have been utterly fucking bewildered by what happened. I have sat at my desk at work for hours racking my mind as to how I didnt get absolutely swindled by this guy. 25 dollars for fucking windshield washer fluid, which I dont think I have ever paid more than 5 dollars for, was just such an outrageous number that I didnt think he could possibly be scamming me. And what the hell would he have to gain from this? He was working at a Circle-K and I paid with a credit card. There is no way he got a dime out of doing this. Is inflation that high? The gas station was in an expensive part of town so maybe that was literally the price of a jug of washer fluid? Was this some sort of game for him? When he gets bored at work, does he throw out absolutely insane asking prices for certain cheap products the store sells, just to see if people will actually pay for it? Was I unknowingly a subject of some fucking social psychology experiment?
Honestly, if my suspicions are correct and he managed to trick me into paying 25 dollars for a jug of washer fluid, I’m not even mad about it. He got my ass. His ability to look me dead in the eyes and tell me the cost of a blue colored jug of methanol and ethylene glycol is 25 fucking dollars deserves a certain degree of respect.
Tldr: was possibly swindled by an absolute mad man working the night shift at a gas station
submitted by goozmakappa to NoStupidQuestions [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 02:19 DepartmentPresent480 Would you go through with the close?

First time home buyers needing advice- Sorry this is so long, there’s so many moving parts with this situation!
Here’s the situation, we are under contract as of April 17th, the sellers requested a longer close which was fine by us, our close date was originally set for May 23rd, and we’ve had some delays due to heavy rains in Colorado on May 11/12. We never really get this amount of rain, and a lot of homes were affected including the one we’re buying.
The house has two issues- the roof leaking into the garage, so roof flashing repairs + the ceiling/wall in the garage needing replacement, and then the crawl space was pooling water from under the soil and now the entire space needs to be redone with insulation and vapor barrier.
Before the rain damage, inspection and appraisal came back and everything was in. Great condition, like literally nothing to worry about.
The delays we are having are because between May 11 to closing date, all the sellers did was throw some fans in the crawl space and make an insurance claim. They were not proactive in letting us know about damage, getting quotes, getting and repairs started. My realtor found out and immediately got 3 vendors out to give us quotes for repairs and our inspector to asses the damage.
Insurance can’t get out to the property until this upcoming Tuesday (3.5 weeks after the rain) and then the written report done by Friday. So that’s holding things up…
But now the sellers are saying they HAVE to close on Wednesday, are unwilling to wait any longer, and that’s before an insurance report is written up where we even know what’s covered and what’s not, and are offering $5k in concessions to help pay for the repairs.
The average quote for all repairs is $7,000, but all of them said “but we also won’t know until we start”
They don’t want to inform the title company, which means no post-escrow account, because obviously that would delay close because title would NEED repairs to be done, so we’re already being nice not informing them.
The sellers are already moved out, we know they are staying in temporary housing nearby, and are waiting on the sale of the home to buy their next one, and are moving out of state (AKA they NEED this house to close)
Here’s some of the issues we have-
Our options- 1) take $5k concessions and risk repairs 2) ask for $10k concessions if they want to close without an insurance report 3) put them into a corner and say we won’t close until insurance has written report 4) what would you do??
Thank you!
submitted by DepartmentPresent480 to RealEstate [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 01:39 throwaway827418 Keg taps for rent in Victorville?

Visiting the area and a friend asked about getting a tap. Any liquor store or shop that rents these out in Victorville or nearby?
submitted by throwaway827418 to highdesert [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 01:34 Used_Needleworker625 Recommendations for smaller snakes?

My daughter is interested in getting a snake, and some of the more common options here are corn snakes and a couple others. They all seem to need, according to a local pet store and some brief internet searches, at least a 40gal tank. Problem is, the 40gal tanks readily available nearby (36"x18"x18") won't easily fit in her room (we're in a condo), so I figured maybe a smaller species could be better.
Any suggestions, in any avenue are appreciated.
submitted by Used_Needleworker625 to snakes [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 00:25 PhesteringSoars [SF] Paige & Caroline (3,622 Words; 20,273 Characters)

“Now Paige, you’re sure there isn’t anything for me to sign?”, my mother asked.
“No mom. It’s ‘Bring your sibling to work day’. Caroline is 10 and old enough for the summer training, even though she can’t officially serve as an Imperial Page for two more years.”, I reply.
At 14 myself, I’ve been an Imperial Page for 2 years now. “I did the summer training.”, a month each, for two summers starting at 10, “I wanted to see if she might be interested serving as well.”
“I just don’t want her getting in someone important’s way.”, mother continues.
“She’ll be fine. The shuttle flights in/out off-world will be the most exciting part. ‘Court’ is currently in session on Tau Ceti 9a, with the Emperor himself at one of the orbital Space Stations. He’s overseeing rescue, recovery, and restoration operations dealing with the aftermath of the two recent super-typhoons on the planet. We’ll mostly be delivering snacks & meals and hand delivering documents and supplies all day. Routine stuff.”
“I just don’t want her to do something to upset the Emperor.”, mother said.
I reply, “He’s trying to help people in distress mom. People left with next to nothing. He’s just a man.”
Mother shakes her head and mumbles, “I worry about that too.”
I snort, “He wouldn’t do anything to us and the Sezrakeen (the Imperial Guard) wouldn’t allow it anyway.”
I remember something they told us in training . . . “Even if you see the Emperor in a room, seemingly by himself, two of the Sezrakeen are always there. Though they can be invisible, and you may not see them. One to protect him from evil in the world and one to protect the world from any evil in him.” No one in the Imperial Court has treated me badly.
Mother finally relents, cleans up after breakfast, and sees us off. We catch the community transit to the city-center, then on to Lacross Spaceport. One shuttle to the regional military base, then a shuttle combining many groups to go to / from wherever Court is in session at the current time.
With 7,645 inhabited worlds in the known multiverse, “Imperial Court” moves around every few months trying to spread the attention around. Currently there are 74 regional centers large enough to house the staff of the traveling court. 17 of which could be classified as “Palaces”. (Including “The Winter Palace” the Emperor build by himself, by hand on Beatrice Nine. It’s beautiful and one of my favorites to visit and serve in, though knowing he was abandoned alone on the planet for almost 40,000 years, time enough to build the central structures by himself . . . sort of brings a melancholy air to the place.)
Caroline and I arrive at R44 (the closest Regional Center), and I take her to Security while we wait for the morning shuttle. I scan my left forearm under the ID scanner. You can wear a ring, bracelet, pendent, or carry a card or pen-sized wand for ID . . . But I opted for the radial (bone) implant. It’s much harder to forget and leave your left arm at home. And since it registers body heat and blood flow, it can’t practically be taken from you and used by someone else. (I did “neglect” to tell my parents I opted for the implant 18 months ago.)
Caroline gets her biometrics recorded. (Photographs, walking gait, finger-hand prints. Reads a sample text for voice capture and a pinprick for DNA.) She opts for a subtle ring ID and asks me, “Why does it look like I’m the only sister or brother here?”
I respond, “It’s only you today. I just wanted you to see what a day was like in the Imperial Court.”
“What do you mean ‘only you’? Is it really ‘Bring your sibling to work day?’”
“As far as I know there is no such thing. I just wanted you to come and see the Emperor and the Court.”
“You’re just bringing someone to see the Emperor of the Known Multiverse and the Imperial Court? Who approved it?”
“I did.”
“You can do that?”
“An Imperial Page can do what they need to.”, I say as we finish her setup. Most of the biographical info (date of birth, relatives, placed lived) I entered to her personnel record weeks ago. I scan my ID and vouch for her to match the biometrics to the central data personnel record.
“Let’s go, the Shuttle will be ready for boarding about the time we get there.”, I put my left arm around Caroline’s shoulders and nudge her in the right direction.
Feeling the tenseness in her shoulders I ask, “Are you worried?”
“A little bit.”, she says with a bit shaky voice.
“Don’t. Just keep your ears open. Follow me and help me whatever I’m doing. Unless someone there directly addresses you, try not to interfere. You’ll hear things meant to be kept private. Try and let it flow in one ear and out the other without thinking about it or remembering it. Normally its boring procedural matters running the Empire. But for the past few weeks at this odd location there has been a lot of ‘sad news’ from the deaths, injuries, from the storms. It’s been turning around a bit. Back to more rebuilding hospitals, schools, city halls, and some factories. You can whisper me questions but try not to bother the others there. You’ll do fine.”
The morning shuttle we are on (of 6 per day cycling in/out wherever court is) arrives and docks with the station. The contents depart and scan past security checkpoints. Caroline her ring and me my forearm. Which leaves Caroline with a perplexed look. (I didn’t explain yet that the implant was an option, and she sees no ring on my hand.)
I lead Caroline past stationed guards, secretaries and administrators, dignitaries, and court personnel to one of the inner facility rooms. One of the court cooks sees me, points to a cart loaded with coffee and tea Thermos’s, water pitchers, cups, and an assortment of donuts, sweets, ‘breakfast things’, and says “Conference L2 Room 6a.”
I begin pushing the cart to the Lift for Level 2, room 6a. Caroline stays almost glued to my left hip. She’s being inordinately quiet. But then I remember what it was like for myself, only a few years ago.
More guards at the conference room recognize me and one holds the door as I push the cart in. One points at Caroline. I simply say, “Sister.” The guard nods.
Caroline and I spend the next 10 minutes distributing drinks and retrieving used cups/plates, and occasionally pulling my sister gently along by her arm. With over 7,000 inhabited planets and an average population of 2 billion, a good 80% of the 14 trillion in the known multiverse have seen images/video of the Emperor. But it’s quite another thing to pass by him close enough to touch for the first time. Not to mention Admirals, Generals, and dignitaries of all sorts around the conference table and outer ring chairs many with a dizzying array of medals, epaulets, and such.
She hands me things as I place them on the table. (So, if she spills anything, it’ll only get me, not a General) and I place them on the table.
I half listen as Admiral Burns shows video on the large screen at the end of the room and describes the current situation on the planet below.
“. . . Rescue operations have officially completed everywhere. Recovery (of human/animal remains) and final demolition of dangerous structures continue in the Rangor and Balok districts.
Next, I’ll go over how we plan to deploy Military-Imperial construction teams to begin assisting with infrastructure repair and restoration . . .”, as the Admiral’s aide works on a laptop on the conference table to bring up the next presentation.
An imperial aide I recognized pops their head in the end door and says, “Sire, message on F23.” The emperor says, “One second Admiral.”, and taps some keys on a tablet at his right hand.
The presentation clears on the end video screen and a woman dressed in what I’ll say is a doctor's white cloak appears on screen. Momentarily fazed upon seeing the Emperor himself, she stutters, “I uhh,”
The Emperor said, “Its fine Doctor. How can we help you?”
The woman tries to continue, “I, uhh. I’m sorry, I . . .”, closing her eyes for a second and opening, “I’m Doctor Akins on Brandenburg 2, Jellico City Memorial Hospital. I have a patient, Angela Graham. I’m afraid she’s had a heart attack and at her age of 97, I fear she won’t last more than a day or two, despite our best efforts. Her son a . . .”, looking down at a tablet she was holding, “. . . Captain Angus Graham was listed as family-emergency contact with instructions to call the Regional Base and explain any issues. I vid-called and two people later and I’ve somehow ended up with you.”, she adds hesitantly, “Sire”, not quite sure the proper form of address for the Emperor.
The Emperor responded, “He’s on station here with his Star Carrier the Perecles so they bounced you through to us. I’ll find him and let him know to go home. Thank you, Doctor Akins.”
The Doctor nods and the screen returns to the aide’s presentation slide.
Caroline and I had been clearing coffee cups and snack dishes from afternoon tea away from the conference table and were pushing the tray to the door to leave when the Emperor held up a hand towards us.
The Emperor asked aloud “Donna? (The computers name) Locate Captain Angus Graham”.
Donna: “Captain Angus Graham has just entered the Officers Lounge on Deck 23, at Bulkhead 41.”
The Emperor hand wrote a note on a sheet of paper, folded it in half, looked my way and said “Paige”.
Paige was an inconvenient name to have in my position, I was never quite sure if he knew my name and was saying Paige or just Page.
“You heard the location?”, the Emperor asked
Paige, “Yes sire.”
“Directly to Gus.”, the Emperor said, handing me the folded note.
I nodded.
Pushing the tray on through the door, I saw another page standing nearby and said, “Please.”, pointing to the tray and nodding to the closest kitchen. Thomas nodded and began pushing the tray in that direction.
We, Caroline and I, headed for the nearest Lift. (The multi-axis elevators that span the height and breadth of the station.) And I spoke tilting my head up a bit, “Deck 23, closest Bulkhead 41.”
“Deck 23, Bulkhead 42.”, the Lift responded.
The station bulkheads are about 50ft apart, so not that far to walk.
I opened the folded note and read it silently.
Caroline, still at my side and mostly silent since a flurry of questions when we stopped to have lunch, finally spoke inside the Lift, “Can you read the note?”
I responded, “An Imperial Page can do what they need to.”
We reached the Lift destination. I spoke to a nearby common terminal and said “Officers Lounge Deck 23, Bulkhead 41.”.
The terminal responded back, “The Mango Room. Light Blue”, simultaneously a Light Blue courtesy light appeared on the wall-track and began moving at a walking pace to the right.
Caroline and I followed the dot as it matched pace to lead us.
We reached The Mango Room double doors.
I tried the door handle but while it turned, the door didn’t unlatch. I tapped the “knock” button on the rightmost door.
A few seconds later a man about 40, with slicked back black hair and a pencil thin mustache appeared on the screen above the knock button. Seeing me, he only said, “Beat it kid. This is the Officers Lounge.”, and the screen went blank again.
I pressed the button again.
This time when he appeared, I spoke before the man could, “I am an Imperial Page with a message to be hand delivered to Captain Graham. I believe him to be inside.”
“I don’t give a fuck who you are ‘Little Girl’. Children aren’t allowed in here to bother the patrons. Get lost.”, the man sneers and clicks off again.
I turn and retrace steps to the Lift, Caroline following.
I tell the Lift, “Armory”.
Scanning arm ID at the doorway, we enter and I approach the wire cage behind which stands a man I have never seen before. I fill out a “request form” on the tablet nearby, tap it to and scan my ID to the nearby sensor.
The man looks at the list popping up on the screen on his side of the cage, “A bit young, aren’t you? Why don’t you try back in a couple years.”, snickering and turning back to his desk behind him.
Back out the Armory door, to the Lift and back to the conference room with the Emperor.
I enter, holding one palm back, indicating for Caroline to stay in the doorway of the room.
Saying nothing to anyone, I walked around to the left of the Emperor and pulled the Imperial Signet off the little finger of the Emperor’s left hand and placing it onto my right index finger, while he continued to ask questions about Engineering Group deployments on the planet below.
Outside the conference room, I pointed my index/middle finger in the direction of two Imperial Marine Guards on the distant side of the room, in self-contained fully body armor then motioned with a cupping hand a ‘follow me’ hand signal.
Four of us in the Lift this time.
Back at the armory. I held my right hand up in a fist, index finger with signet facing the clerk, then swept the signet over the ID reader and entered the Emperor’s personal 18 character passcode.
The display lit up on the clerk’s side of the cage . . .
Things moved much faster this time.
The Armory attendants fitted us both with PDS’s (Personal Defense Shields), I pointed at Caroline and said “Openers”.
One Armory tech clipped two breaching charges on Caroline's belt, as I reached for the thermal viewers and mid-sized carbine the other tech held.
Facing the two Marines that had accompanied us, I waved my left hand in their direction and said, “Released.” They turned and left.
The tech previously holding the carbine asked, “You know . . .”
I turned the side of the weapon towards him and said, “Kill/Stun”, clicking that lever to Stun pointed at a 2nd switch “Rate of Fire, Single, 3 shot burst, Full Auto”, and pointing to the last, “Power Setting”.
I turned to leave with Caroline in perpetual tow.
Caroline asked, “A gun?”
I responded, “The Power settings for Stun go from level 1 to 5. One would sting. Two feels like a dozen angry bees stung you with the pain fading over the next hour. Three might knock out a child. Four would definitely knock out ANY ordinary man/woman, unconscious for an hour or so. Five would stop a charging elephant and bring it to the ground for three or four hours.”
I click the carbine settings to Level Two . . . Full Auto.
Back at “The Mango Room” doors, I swatted Caroline with the back of my hand to see our PDS fields light up and confirm it on like mine, flipped down the thermal viewer over my eyes and look to see if anyone is standing directly behind the doors.
“Take one of the breaching pucks off your belt.”, holding my hand up as if I was carrying one on my fingertips, “Set the dial on the side to 2.”
I look down the hallways to the left and right. No one on the left. I hold up one flat palm and stop a group to the right in their tracks about 20 yards away.
Speaking to Caroline again, mimicking the motion I say, “Fling it towards the center-line between the two doors.”
She flings the puck, it self-orients to flat-on face the two doors.
A half inch from the doors it discharges. The central 90% of the doors vaporize and blow back past Caroline and me in a plume of smoke and wood-metal shards. Harmlessly skittering off and around our PDS’s.
Mustache man steps out from beside the doors and seeing me begins to approach. I aim the carbine at him and hold the trigger down moving the impact point around his body.
They shoot you once during page training at settings two and three. A single shot at level two hurt worse than anything I’d felt to that point in my life for the next hour. A week later when they did Three . . . I was out for an hour.
I can’t imagine 2 seconds of Full Auto felt pleasant as mustache man crumpled to the floor.
Officers and Civilian Dignitaries around the room stood up from their tables upon seeing/hearing the door breach.
I took the opportunity to step up from one of their chairs to a nearby table, trying to dodge drink glasses.
Addressing the room with a firm voice, “I am an Imperial Page. With a message from the Emperor for Captain Angus Graham. Captain Graham present yourself.”
The crowd somewhat parted as a man in his late 60’s answered, “Here Miss.”
Stepping down from the table/chair, slinging the rifle, and approaching Captain Graham, I didn’t remove the note, but chose simply to speak directly to the Captain.
“Gus”, (the Captain understood it was the Emperor speaking), “Word just came through and it seemed better to deliver it in person. Your mother has suffered a heart attack and we fear her time is near. If your responsibilities allow it, take my shuttle and go home while you still can. Spend what time you need with her. I’m very sorry old friend.”
The Captain responded softly to me, “Thank you John.”
I stepped back and to the side, using my right hand to wave Caroline back out of the way.
Captain Graham passed through the crowd, presumably to gather personal items and head home.
I, with Caroline following, turned to follow Captain Graham out.
The “very angry” bouncer was just getting up on one hip, trying to push himself up on one hand and yelled through clenched teeth, “Why you little Bit. . . ”
He didn’t finish the sentence. I clicked the gun up to level 4, single shot, pushing him back 3 feet, and pinning him to the wall. Unconscious for at least a couple hours this time.
Caroline and I returned to the armory, dropping off the Carbine, Thermals, PDSs, and one un-expended breaching puck. Signing them back in. Logging one puck as “expended”, and 0.2% down on the carbine charge.
Back in the Lift to return to the conference room, I notice out the corner of my eye, a still silent Caroline, looks over and up at me with a thousand questions on her face.
I continued looking forward at the Lift doors and said, “An Imperial Page can do what they need to.”
I reentered the conference room, Caroline still in tow. Walked around the Emperor to his left, lifting his left hand and placing the signet back on his little finger and whispered, “Thank you John.”
As a video of reconstruction projections continued on the vid-screen at the end of the room, the Emperor nodded to me, understanding the message was from Gus and after I had crossed around behind him, looked to his right and said, “Thank you Paige.”, nodding to my sister, “Caroline.”
Caroline, her eyes as big as dinner plates, half bowed, half curtsied, and we left the conference room.
I looked over at Caroline, “It’s been a long day for you. We can just catch the next shuttle back to R44 and home if we leave now.”
Off the local transport, our parents were just stepping out of their personal car. Dad had two grocery bags in each hand, mother had two in one hand and was reaching for the last one in the open trunk-hatch.
“You survived!”, she said teasingly, looking our direction.
“Yes mother.”, I said.
“Did anything interesting happen?”, she asked.
“No mother. It was just another ordinary day. Passing out coffee, meals, and delivering notes.”, I replied
Caroline picked up the last of the grocery bags from the car while mother closed the hatch.
“How about you nibblet?”, Father asked, stopping to look at Caroline, “Were you bored to tears? Do you think you might like to be a Page in two more years when you’re old enough? You’d have to go through the training classes for the next two summers like your sister did.”
“Yes father. I think I’d like that.”, and lead the way into the house.
Caroline sets the grocery bag on the kitchen table and moves into the living room to sit down on the sofa. She faced the vid-screen and clicks it on. One of the weekly shows is on about one or another of the nation’s larger zoo’s. But she’s got that “glazed over” thousand yard stare . . . That I probably had after my first day after seeing the Imperial Court.
I wonder to myself if she’ll follow in my footsteps. Someone, from somewhere will need to replace me in about two years. In theory you can stay an entire career as a page. Some do.
But in two years I’ll be sixteen. And with four years’ experience as an Imperial Page, I can begin training for a range of other jobs in the Imperial administration.
“Combat Courier” sounds interesting.
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2023.05.28 00:03 origutamos Repeat offender with dozens of criminal charges arrested for break-in hours after release

A notorious repeat offender is in police custody again, just hours after his latest release, according to Kelowna Mounties. Justin Wayne Collins, 45, has been charged with breaking and entering at a retail store on Cannery Lane Wednesday night, Kelowna RCMP said in a news release.
Wednesday's break-in involved Collins smashing the store's glass front door. Before police arrived, employees of the store already recognized Collins and located him nearby, Mounties said.
Before this latest incident, Collins had generated 421 police files and been charged with 64 offences since 2016.
https://bc.ctvnews.ca/repeat-offender-arrested-for-break-in-hours-after-release-from-court-kelowna-rcmp-say-1.6415607
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2023.05.27 23:25 lilspoon05 Unsupervised kids in retail stores...

I worked at a big retail store a loooong time ago. This is a super tame, compared to the other horror stories I've read on here, but it still irks me to think about it.
One time I returned to the dressing rooms to find a very small child (3-5 years old?) behind the counter, drinking out of my co-workers water bottle! I found the mum nearby browsing a rack, told her, and gestured to where her spawn was still sucking back the water. I thought the mum would have at least been concerned,since that bottle could have had anything in it. What if we kept cleaning product back there?! But nope, instead of showing concern or apologizing, she just offhandedly yelled to the kid to put it back and kept shopping. I let my coworker know what happened, but I'm sure if I hadn't noticed, she would have ended up drinking some kid's backwash out of her Contigo later. Gross and just poor parenting.
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