Blue letter bible

Hebrew Language Study of the Hebrew Bible

2015.09.15 00:11 waldoRDRS Hebrew Language Study of the Hebrew Bible

A subreddit community with the purpose of doing Hebrew Language study/reading of the Tanakh/Old Testament/Hebrew Bible.

2013.02.22 05:39 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

A community for people to discuss the art, science, calling, and practice of preaching. I have no experience other than the Protestant church but all faiths are welcome. This community is **strictly** relegated to uplifting and supporting each other and comparing methods.

2017.06.23 03:54 tlf9888 Was Seals

Wax Seals is a sub for wax seal pictures, gifs, and information on where to buy and how to use wax seals.

2023.03.23 00:04 Wrinne Is Nessa actually dead?

I started thinking about this when I was re-reading chapter 99, when Nol said“Sorry for disappearing on you the last few days… it was my mums birthday the other day. I wanted to spend some time with her. I haven’t seen her in 5 years.” The thing is… it didn’t really catch me as something someone would say about a dead parent. Of course, Nol could be only telling a partial truth in reference to visiting her grave, but stating that he “hasn’t seen” her in 5 years just seemed a bit odd. So, I wanted to explore some theories to what could have happened to Nessa. 1. She could be in a coma or severely injured in a way that she can’t take care of herself or Nol. I feel like the most evidence for this theory is in the line “She’s hurt because of you.” (Chapter 64). There is also the scene in chapter 214 where Kousuke sees her name on the hospital directory (fyi, I haven’t fast passed). Although this at least a fake name and very likely a misdirect, it could be a hint that she is at a hospital somewhere. A head injury in particular would pair nicely with the narrative, in which we see Shin-Ae get a severe head injury. 2. She could also be in a prison of some sort. I can’t find much solid evidence for this idea nor can I make much sense of it narratively, but it’s another way she could be separated from Nol for an extended amount of time. 3. She left, most likely because of a threat or a bargain she had with the Hiraharas. There’s evidence in chapter 207 when Kousuke says “Maybe your mother wouldn’t have left you behind.” Of course, it is very likely Kousuke doesn’t know the whole truth, but there’s still some weight to his words. In chapter 210, we see Rand standing in the rain, looking at a woman walking by a gate. While I’ve seen some people discussing how Nessa’s timeline doesn’t match up with her being in the picture, if she left she could have found a way to come back or could have been watching from a distance. There’s evidence that it could be her based on the fact Rand is staring at her (who else would bring on this reaction?) and her yellow boots, since yellow is a color strongly associated with Nol. Finally, her letter in the Bible starts with “sorry I could not keep you safe.” (Chapter 173). 4. Just to round it out, here is some evidence that she is dead: Chapter 129, throughout the whole conversation between Nol and Nana, Nessa is referred to in past tense. In general, she is absent in a way that might not make sense if she is still alive. Overall, I don’t think we’ve been given enough information to make a solid conclusion, but I’m interested to see what anyone else thinks about this.
submitted by Wrinne to ILoveYoo [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 23:36 kodiakgrappler Bible/Book Suggestions

I’m looking for some more books to get on Orthodoxy or at least for someone on the beginning path of Orthodoxy, as well as a good Bible to have. I’ve heard conflicting opinions on the Orthodox Study Bible, so any other opinions would be great to hear.
Currently I’ve been reading the letters of Elder Joseph the Hesychast.
submitted by kodiakgrappler to OrthodoxChristianity [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 23:13 SillyBrokeHoe Realist fiction book about two guy friends who grow apart in high school

I read this book in 2014/2015. It was a realistic fiction novel with comedic elements about two male best friends who have just entered their freshmen year of high school and are finding themselves gradually growing apart. One guy in the duo is Hispanic/Latino and has experienced a growth spurt. This growth spurt makes him popular among his new classmate. The other guy of the duo is Jewish kid who whilst nerdy has a good heart and is really trying to keep the friendship alive. The Jewish kid comes from a wealthy family and the Hispanic kid’s parent help maintain this families house with housekeeping and gardening. The Jewish kid has a older sister who is described as beautiful and popular. She takes an interest in the newly transformed hispanic kid and begins to take him under her wing. This as expected, horrifies her younger brother as he fears his friend will forget about him. I remember the cover of the book being blue and having white lettering, whilst the chapter headers on the inside appeared in an early 2000’s text like font.
submitted by SillyBrokeHoe to whatsthatbook [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 23:00 Retro_Tronics Pan Am (Time Magazine 1958)

Pan Am (Time Magazine 1958) submitted by Retro_Tronics to vintageads [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 22:47 CPI-Guy Soft Hands to Foreman in 4 years: a framework for high school students to develop the skills sets for operating a trade business

This spawned out of another discussion on how High school students can develop an entrepreneurial skill stack. The intent of this is to provide a framework of resources for 18 years old who want to operate a trade business in 4 years. I know I have some blind spots and I would love your feedback on how to improve this.
I’ve spent over a decade in the trades; most of my experience is from working up the enlisted ranks in the Air Force. When I left active duty I was looking at buying different shops in my industry, so I could operate them as a business owner. I went from not knowing anything about a trade to running sections of 13 tradesmen. I read 30 to 50 books per year. So a lot of this is me condensing that into the things that gave me the most value on my journey. I am obviously limited by my perspective, that’s why I need your help to make this resource more valuable.
Yes, “just in time learning” is incredibly powerful. However, there are different personality types that need a top down framework.
To the 18 year old who wants to run a plumbing company in 4 years,
So there are two paths, which are very similar to the military’s officer vs enlisted dichotomy. There is the professional managebusiness operator which mirrors the officer path. Then there is the subject matter expert(SME) or trades men role, which mirrors the enlisted path. There are advantageous and disadvantageous to both of them.
What are some of the biggest problems that a trade business will run into?
So what are the advantageous/disadvantageous of each role, and how do they prepare you to tackle these issues?
There is a way to maximize the benefits of both while negating the cons. This third path is were an enlisted (tradesmen) will cross over to officer (professional manager). However this has a long time horizon or a higher workload, depending on how you chunk things.
So what can that look like?
If you’re going for a four-year degree, make sure its business focused or aligned to the trades. Some examples; construction management, architecture, project management, business analyses, etc. While you’re going to school work in as many trades as possible. Think 3-6 months as an HVAC installer, 3 months as a “sparky” over summer break, work weekends as a landscaper during the spring, etc.
This will give you:
If you know what trade you want to go into, spend four years working as an apprentice to become a licensed journeymen. While you’re doing this create your own business school. You’ll have a lot of time going back and forth to job sites that you can redeem with audiobooks. Help out with the business operations side and learn sales.
This will give you:
If you want to create your own personalized business school, do the following:
Learn to lead different types of teams through a multitude of environments. If you don’t have a way to do this professionally, volunteer with your student organizations, local church, or other organization you’re passionate about.
Master your personnel finances. If you can’t control a $500 paycheck, how can you expect to control a $50,000 paycheck?
Here is tier list of books to replace a traditional BA in business. The average CEO of a fortunate 500 company reads 50 books per year. You can do at least 25 books. This frame work can get you that education within 25 books, 18 core books with 7 for electives. So 25 weeks or 1 year will save you 4 years fulltime. Also supplement this with free training from SBA.
If you’re on a budget, get these at a library or used book store. If you find this article valuable, clicking through the affiliate link will enable me do more of this.
“First Phase” – 4 books
“Second Phase” – 4 books, start knocking out the free sba training
“Third Phase” - tackle the core, then either knock out one knowledge area or sample one book from each. 7- Books
“Fourth Phase” – The 4 book core is focused on long term strategy. The other 6 books are electives, pick what interests you. 10 books total.
submitted by CPI-Guy to business [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 22:29 KorrAn34 [PC windows 98][2000s] Green warty goblin that digs for diamonds underground and farts at enemies using garlic

I will be forever grateful for the creation of reddit if you guys can find this game.
Platform: PC, windows 98
Genre: 2D, side on, grid mining game
Year of release: I believe the 2000s
Graphics: Pixelated (something like Stardew Valley), vibrant colors - the goblin has a highly saturated green face and brown clothing (it is the character that you control), diamonds have various bright colors. While clearing a level there is brown dirt everywhere except for a horizontal stripe at the top where there is grass, a blue sky and a castle to the right if I remember correctly. There is a hud somewhere (at the bottom perhaps?) that shows how many garlic uses you have left (see Gameplay) and how many diamonds you have. The goblin has a pickaxe and digs using simplistic swinging animations, there are soldiers with spears wearing gold and red and mummies wrapped in brown cloth and have yellow eyes in black openings of the wraps. The main menu features a green goblin with a long nose and warts to the left, a spherical cauldron full of bright green bubbling stuff to the right and a fire underneath it and a castle visible in the distance from a window above the cauldron.
Detail: When you press play, the goblin jumps into the cauldron and the first level begins. At the end of each level, a screen with the goblin and an orange background pops up where your score is calculated. Mummies produce sounds that fueled my nightmares as a kid.
Notable characters: Green goblin, soldiers, mummies, red dragons
Gameplay: I believe you start in the top right corner and have to dig through a grid (gravity exists) to collect enough diamonds there which occupy their own grid space, are not inside the dirt blocks and are clearly visible from the start - you know exactly where to go. Unmined blocks have a brighter shade of brown, mined ones are dark (to show that you are making tunnels and there is dirt on the side of the tunnel, the game is from the side view), soldiers wander around and kill you if you touch them but you can collect garlic (similarly to diamonds) to fart and stun them, producing a green cloud. As you progress, the difficulty gets harder and new enemies are introduced - mummies and dragons - as well as blocks that break if you walk on them. I believe you could build ladders to get back up from deeper pits. You as well as soldiers and mummies all occupy a single grid unit but move smoothly without snapping to the grid.
Other details: The interface was in German, I don't know if it was because the game is German or because we did not understand English back in the day and kept pushing random buttons until the game started and may have changed tha language in the settings. The goblin might be a witch but we always called it a goblin. This part I am least certain about - the name started with the letter S or Z

Once again thank you so much in advance.
submitted by KorrAn34 to tipofmyjoystick [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 22:00 Ophidis [Daily Thread luxcovation] The Cyborgs

Welcome to the third day of the daily Thread Luxcavation!

I'll start this day by saying that at 10:00 AM Korean Standard time, or 4 hours from once this post is created there will be a scheduled update which will take 2 hours.
after the update an event will start that give rewards based on the amount of energy that you've spent during the event. So if you want to make the most of it its better to start your daily Luxcovations after the update.

Todays thread Luxcavations target are the Cyborgs.

If you've been playing for a while then you've most likely already fought it once for the Thread Luxcovation, so feel free to also share those experiences here.
How exactly do we call the "products" so to speak of Abnormalities? Their codenames gets a small letter at the end, but I'm not sure what to call them in relation to the main abnormality.

Todays sin Affinity is the dark cyan (or light blue) coloured Gloom.

Composing a team around the current affinity or for generating the resources for sinners with an E.G.O of this affinity might help.
At first I thought Glooms colour was light blue but that didn't really feel right, so after putting the symbol's colour through a site I got this, "Very dark desaturated cyan", neat.
Todays affinity's id is "AZURE" in the json and text files, which is the colour between blue and cyan, which I think is quite fitting.

Possible things to do and discuss

  • Share team compositions and how you've cleared it.
  • Which Identities work good against the target
  • Strategies, tactics and tips (which part to focus on, which moves you should watch out for etc.)
  • Abnormality observations (Their attack and defence power at different difficulties, the target's passive abilities etc.)
  • Event choice results (Which is faster? Going through or skipping the factory?)
As long as it's about the current target feel free to talk about it, even if it's just to complain.
submitted by Ophidis to limbuscompany [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 21:56 BabyDeezus Vapor Limited Ramsey Jerseys (stitched letters and numbers) more than 50% off, blue and white available

Vapor Limited Ramsey Jerseys (stitched letters and numbers) more than 50% off, blue and white available submitted by BabyDeezus to LosAngelesRams [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 21:45 CPI-Guy Soft Hands to Foreman in 4 years: a framework for high school students to develop the skills sets for operating a trade business.

This spawned out of another discussion on how High school students can develop an entrepreneurial skill stack. The intent of this is to provide a framework of resources for 18 years old who want to operate a trade business in 4 years. I know I have some blind spots and I would love your feedback on how to improve this.
I’ve spent over a decade in the trades; most of my experience is from working up the enlisted ranks in the Air Force. When I left active duty I was looking at buying different shops in my industry, so I could operate them as a business owner. I went from not knowing anything about a trade to running sections of 13 tradesmen. I read 30 to 50 books per year. So a lot of this is me condensing that into the things that gave me the most value on my journey. I am obviously limited by my perspective, that’s why I need your help to make this resource more valuable.
Yes, “just in time learning” is incredibly powerful. However, there are different personality types that need a top down framework.

To the 18 year old who wants to run a plumbing company in 4 years,
So there are two paths, which are very similar to the military’s officer vs enlisted dichotomy. There is the professional managebusiness operator which mirrors the officer path. Then there is the subject matter expert(SME) or trades men role, which mirrors the enlisted path. There are advantageous and disadvantageous to both of them.
What are some of the biggest problems that a trade business will run into?
So what are the advantageous/disadvantageous of each role, and how do they prepare you to tackle these issues?
There is a way to maximize the benefits of both while negating the cons. This third path is were an enlisted (tradesmen) will cross over to officer (professional manager). However this has a long time horizon or a higher workload, depending on how you chunk things.

So what can that look like?
If you’re going for a four-year degree, make sure its business focused or aligned to the trades. Some examples; construction management, architecture, project management, business analyses, etc. While you’re going to school work in as many trades as possible. Think 3-6 months as an HVAC installer, 3 months as a “sparky” over summer break, work weekends as a landscaper during the spring, etc.
This will give you:

If you know what trade you want to go into, spend four years working as an apprentice to become a licensed journeymen. While you’re doing this create your own business school. You’ll have a lot of time going back and forth to job sites that you can redeem with audiobooks. Help out with the business operations side and learn sales.
This will give you:

If you want to create your own personalized business school, do the following:
Learn to lead different types of teams through a multitude of environments. If you don’t have a way to do this professionally, volunteer with your student organizations, local church, or other organization you’re passionate about.
Master your personnel finances. If you can’t control a $500 paycheck, how can you expect to control a $50,000 paycheck?
Here is tier list of books to replace a traditional BA in business. The average CEO of a fortunate 500 company reads 50 books per year. You can do at least 25 books. This frame work can get you that education within 25 books, 18 core books with 7 for electives. So 25 weeks or 1 year will save you 4 years fulltime. Also supplement this with free training from SBA.
If you’re on a budget, get these at a library or used book store. If you find this article valuable, clicking through the affiliate link will enable me do more of this.
“First Phase” – 4 books
“Second Phase” – 4 books, start knocking out the free sba training
“Third Phase” - tackle the core, then either knock out one knowledge area or sample one book from each. 7- Books

“Fourth Phase” – The 4 book core is focused on long term strategy. The other 6 books are electives, pick what interests you. 10 books total.

Edits: fixing links and implementing feedback
submitted by CPI-Guy to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 21:33 Nomyad777 The ISS

[WP] You are the commander of the International Space Station. Abruptly, all contact with Earth is lost and the station now appears to be in orbit around an alien planet. With supplies running low, you decide to take your crew down to the seemingly habitable alien world.

The station had more supplies than necessary for dealing with the obstruction of space traffic while the Space Elevator was being built. However, as the elevator was being locked into position when we teleported, we didn't have that many more supplies than usual.
Alarms blared when we lost radio connection. More alarms blared when not a single satellite could be found. Even more when visuals showed not Earth below us. I could only imagine how this would go down on Earth. At least I got to watch the first cargo car from Canada climb the Elevator.
But we were running out of food, and reluctantly I let everyone know that we were heading to the planet to get food.
A week and a half later, we crammed as many space capsules as possible full of supplies, loaded people in ignoring safety restrictions, and launched down for what appeared to be the best place to go.
Fifteen hours later we landed, while the empty station still orbited above us.
"This just in, while the space elevator was being tested, the ISS has disappeared. Multiple nearby cameras reported seeing the station engulfed by light, and not a single piece of debris was left behind. While construction of the internals of the space elevator is going to continue, the first satellite release will be one to look for the ISS, and- hold on.
"This just in, a signal has been detected by space telescopes around the world in unencrypted morse code. It- please, tell me- yes, yes, I know someone called a code red, but do you think- OK, OK, I'll continue.
The SpaceX Dragon shuttles spent extra fuel to touch down on land with our supplies, while the Russians simply took a heavy landing. Everyone was fine, and we immediately set up a camp. Axes cut wood and the Russians had the framework, flooring and walls for a log cabin that could house all of us within the day, while the rest of the crew made weapons. Spears, bows, that's mostly it, but someone had the good idea to go looking inside a cave. "Good."
They found many things, chief among them an angry now-food animal. We don't really have a choice about what to eat, so here goes to hoping the cooked local food isn't poisonous. The meat itself was already salty, and Calvin (biologist) suggested that it was to counter an infection.
Sunset was interesting. The blue sun here really color-shifts the landscape. Additionally, this planet doesn't have a moon, so the night was quite dark. Unlike in all the artwork, alien flora is not bioluminescent.
The next morning, the Russians continued the log cabin while the rest of us dug out an outhouse well and away from the sea. We also cleared out the cave from earlier; it had a waterfall, and became our shower area. That afternoon, the cabin using alien wood was complete and we started to move supplies from the shuttles to the cabin. Next stage is going to be securing camp and a food source.
"So!" Kevin, designer of the Space Elevator, slammed his hands onto the table in frustration and opened the meeting. "We have a problem."
"You think?" The Canadian minister of defense snorted. "We're already pulling a big budget here that was supposed to pay itself off, but now the elevator needs constant use!"
"Not really," Kevin said. "The UN pays us the cost of operation and the cost of construction in return for unlimited anti-xeno military launches permanently. This project took around a billion dollars, we'll get that back in no time. We also get to scan and see every single component that comes through the elevator. It's a win for military R&D, a win for budgeting, and a win for preparations for the war."
"And? What defenses do we have that they can't defend against? None. We have no intel on this enemy. For all we know, they attacked because Humanity built their first space elevator!"
"We can't solve that. What we can do is load every laser array we can onto geostationary satellites, and then a couple nukes in case they decide to destroy them. No, no, back to point." Kevin sighed. "Our problem is the space elevator itself. It isn't designed to withstand an attack. Someone cuts the cord below geosynchronous level and we're screwed, though at least the counter-counterweight system gives us five cords from geosynchronous waypoint station to the space station. Now, the only way to do that is with a giant plasma sword, but if these guys have FTL..." Kevin let the point hang in the air. "Once the invasion starts, our orbitals are on their own."
People were silent for a while.
"Now, the question is... What is a deathworld, and how long can the ISS last? It's been two weeks and everyone has finally gotten their acts together, but the ISS is going to be almost out of food, even on rationing." Someone else asked. "And when are we going to talk about putting R&D on FTL?"
Note: The space elevator is a single cord going from a space station far, far above geosynchronous orbit (so high up it has Earth gravity away from the planet!), through a space station in geostationary orbit. As people and supplies move up towards the upper station, to ensure pressure on the cord is equal, giant weights move towards the planet, lessening the centrifugal force the weights have, and by extension, the cord has to pull. This is called the counter-counterweight system, and four of these connect the geostationary unit to the space elevator's people-station.
The cord is used by semi-circle atmo-sealed cars moving up on one side and down on the other. The cord itself is two feet of carbon nanotubes covered in a centimeter of lead and then another foot of square stainless steel, so the nanotubes are safe from cosmic rays. The foot of stainless steel has cutouts so gears can latch onto them so the cars can pull themselves up, and the stainless steel is square to the cars stay oriented relative to each other. At the stations, cars are detached from the cord to be undocked, allowing others to pass through. The cars themselves have five latches that hug the cord and can be undone to pass another car or to dock at a station.
The gravatic station is far, far larger than the geostationary station, which is mostly supplies and some industry for in case the cord gets cut lower, though each station does have four weeks of food and water recyclers just in case.
Kronfol turned to his boss. "These... Humans, they had survived unnaturally long. Most species can't even take the gravity of the planet, but looking at the data their probe has pulled, this isn't even full gravity for them. Look, the three from the subspecies that don't feel cold even built a shelter for the rest in just tacks! And the two from the ones that love slugthrowers are hunting! Not to mention they were smart enough to bring supplies down with them. They're enemies on their planet, they should have destroyed each other by now!"
Kraffool added. "Yes, but one from the polite subspecies are organizing them, and the ones from nations of conquest - which there are only three of - they are securing their landing site against the wildlife. They're succeeding!"
"True, true," The boss replied. "But I doubt they'll survive much longer. They've been sleeping for a mere third of a cycle for the past couple cycles, they're going to have to-"
"That's their full sleep cycle." Kronfol interrupted. "They can eat the local ecosystem, too, so they can replenish their supplies. They might be small, but they can still outrun us. And then there's stamina. The probe... I'm not sure it made the right choice."
"No matter," the boss continued. "That species just built their first surface-to-space structure, they won't be doing anything... radical."
Day 3
Today, we scouted around a bit and re-enforced the camp against more wildlife. We found another cave, it looks like this place once flooded, dissolving veins of softer rock. Still, this one is rich with material, so we're going to use some wood, carve out a furnace into the rock, and smelt a pickaxe. Minecraft time, whoo!
On another note, we fully moved into the cabin. The SpaceX chairs make good enough beds, and the Russians have already turned the animal from last night into a rug. Speaking of the Russians, they found some wheat-like stuff and immediately made a vodka barrel. They say it'll be done in a week.
Still, the days are around twenty-three hours, and the gravity is eight-ish meters per second per second, and there's a fair bit of oxygen, so overall this is a pretty good planet to land on.
If only there were someone watching us, then they could pick up our distress beacon. This can't be a coincidence.
Day 4
Totally forgot to do this yesterday, but yeah! I picked a sanity journal out of the emergency supplies and it's mine. MINE!!
In saner terms, we're making great progress. Furnace is in, low-quality iron pickaxe acquired. Americans were making gunpowder by running water over the... outhouse... to collect sodium nitrate to make bullets with. Vodka is untouched, if it were the Russians would have killed us all already.
I'm trying to direct people to collect silicon for advanced electronics. We have the information required to make a solar panel, and I plan to get back to the ISS sooner or later. We got metal and the Europeans are making swords and bows with steel. Still...
Anyway, I was going over the pictures from orbital and there looks to be more ruined space stations in orbit of unknown design. I figured we weren't the first, but this is still troubling. So we're going to go head to what looks like another landing site not too far from here sometime soon. Judging by the state of the other satellites, ours is the only autonomous functional one; the rest don't have solar panels and have appeared to have died.
So, we need to build and power a car. Winter is going to be a problem, this planet's axis isn't that bad but it still has seasons, and I don't want to figure out what'll happen to the crops the hard way.
Now, onto what productive stuff the Russians and Americans built, they got a farm running. I'm hoping for at least one yield before we go, and I'm not sure if everything they planted are even seeds, but I can't control that.
Day 5
Got a car today! Did it by building a motor by coiling copper in a loop and pulsing electricity through really fast, or so says the technician. I'm not going to complain, slap a solar panel and some batteries on top of a frame built out of the Russian shuttle and everyone's happy.
We packed the entire camp and moved out towards the other landing site. It looks somewhat fresh, so these aliens may have been aiming for our location as well. I can't wait to find them; we're bringing solar chargers and a linguistic AI that techie developed while trying to make a new language a couple years ago and saved to a local device.
Theodore rocks!
In other news, we're going to arrive tomorrow at midday, judging by our position relative to the ISS. We will make it back into space, back home, and then after that I'm never going higher than a commercial jet flight ever again.
Also, the Russians killed another animal. So we have that, too.
"The Humans move directly towards the Renni. Should we be worried?" Kraffool asked.
"No," The boss replied. "They will fight and kill each other over supplies, I'm sure of it. That's how most get eliminated. Still, what you say is... concerning. How do they know that the Renni are there?"
"Their orbital habitat is still operational," Kraffool said. "Instead of feeding on ground-fed laser projections, their large communication prongs also hold sun-absorbant solar units. They left due to lack of supplies, not failing life support. As such, they have orbital communications, and though the station was found in low orbit it is functioning fine in geostationary orbit."
"Wouldn't the life support fail on the dark side of a planet?" the boss asked.
"No, sir. They charge batteries with the power during the day to be used at night. Additionally, they appear to have intentionally turned down - though not off - life support to conserve power." Kraffool replied. "I am concerned-"
"You have voiced that concern to me already," the boss cut Kraffool off. "You have no reason to be. Go."
Kraffool bowed on the way out.
"Attention people of the world," The United Nations speaker began. "We are here today to bring to you the results of a week of unprecedented international cooperation in the face of one of the largest threats Humanity has ever known.
"The Canadian government has agreed to lend use of the Space Elevator to launch geostationary laser orbital defense arrays. There is no way to use the space elevator to launch them in Low Earth Orbit, and they must be laser arrays, as kinetic rounds are far too slow in space. The United Nations will pay the Canadian government for the one billion dollar cost of building the Space Elevator, as well as the cost of operating it for the Earth Defense Network. Of course, private businesses are free to use the services of the Space Elevator as well.
"Additionally, the design and construction of said laser arrays will be using a standardized design loaded with a single nuclear bomb, to detonate if the station is forced to resort to kamikaze tactics.
"These stations will be first spread out over populated zones, then over land masses, and hopefully over the entire planet. We are not sure what customs the aliens use, nor what a deathworld is or how long the ISS can survive in such an environment. If they were sent in orbit of Mars, there is a chance that the invasion would occur within the week."
The speaker let that sentence hang, before continuing. "The production of arrays has already started, and the first are expected to be launched by the end of tomorrow. Humanity will prevail!
"In other news, we have received a transmission from the alien probe, now in confirmed lunar orbit."
"To that we respond:" The speaker continued. "We will survive, or die trying."
Day 6
So, today we met them! We left a solar-powered AI at their camp and are just going to sleep in car for now. Looking at satellite footage, we can see that our camp is fine.
This planet has a magnetic field, thank god; we're currently at around 40 degrees north and, well, we can't measure east-west without some kind of definitive line. Add that to we're the only satellite still there, as GPS satellites were left behind, so we can't get any precise info.
Still, that means that compasses work here, so that's good. The aliens' tech all seemed powered down.
Speaking of which, official first contact was - and this could just be me going insane - really funny. One of the Russians stumbled into a trap, and then they showed up while we cut him down and just stared at each other. We wandered into camp, gave them some water because they didn't land close to any and as a show of goodwill, left the translator AI, and then left.
Air pressure here does a slight pitch change to microphones, but whatever. They still work.
The aliens themselves are something to behold. Eleven-ish feet tall, quadrupedal with a torso attached to the top like a centaur, but instead they're part... some furry animal, I'm not a biologist and Calvin has no idea what they are. They're aliens, after all.
So far, our immune systems are holding up, but that's the next thing to worry about after winter.
Vodka: untouched, second barrel in the making. Guns and ammo: acquired, though the Americans won't make them for anyone else. New animal: tastes like ham. I don't know why, it looks nothing like a pig, but we can all agree it tastes like salty ham.
Anyway, we'll be back tomorrow to see how the AI did. First contact, baby!
"They didn't kill each other." The boss said. "Why did they not kill each other! We've taken millions of planets like this, they didn't kill each other!"
"Well, the Humans demonstrated intelligence, strolled in, left them a gift of water and a metal box, then left." Kronfol said. "The Renni were too shocked to do anything, after being alone for ages. They spent ages talking to the metal box. Additionally, the Humans brought more 'solar panels' with them, so their electronics on the ground are also powered."
The boss sighed.
Kronfol continued. "Additionally, the Humans have been fortifying their homeworld. The first thing they did was blind our probe by shooting another at it which ate the probe, so we don't know much else other than they started putting radioactive satellites in orbit."
"And," Kraffool added, "The box the Humans left was an algorithm for a translator."
The boss choked on air.
"Today, under the threat of an alien invasion, and a mere day after announcing our cooperation efforts for the Space Elevator, we have decided to take this threat even more seriously." The UN speaker said. "As such, today, after a unanimous vote from every country on the planet, following a plan laid out by citizens of the world and supported by millions overnight, Humanity unites!"
The cheering that filled the chamber made the speaker pause for a full minute. "That plan will be followed to the letter, as voted upon. This includes the merging of all militaries, and the election of an Electorate to lead Humanity. The election will follow the Universal Constitution laid out in the plan. As of noon, Eastern Standard Time, on the fifth of December, 2031, welcome to the Terra Firma System Union. Terra Firma or Terra Nova, we will prevail!"
The cheering that followed was deafening.
Zaryos looked at the box.
It was a metal rectangle plugged into a series of black squares. It was inert, yet was left beside the water as a gift. She recognized electronics when she saw them, however, and decided to not pour water over it.
The gravity here was twice that on her homeworld and she could barely move. The other four Renni had been unable to do as much as make a shelter, and hers had collapsed multiple times as she was unused to dealing with such heavy materials.
The two-legged small ones had bounced through this gravity a bit uncertainly, and not quite naturally, but they obviously had a much better time in it than she did.
Still, without access to her worlds' Power Laser network, she was unable to do so much as send out a distress signal. She went to sleep still talking to the box, watching it, trying to figure out how it was supposed to help her. Or spy on her. She didn't know how it even survived this gravity, but it looked well-built.
The black boxes were arranged in the sun, and while not much research had gone into solar panels on Renqui, her homeworld, she knew that they powered the laptop. How did they get down here? she asked herself. Do they know where we are? I don't, but if they can help us...
She shuddered as another thought came to mind. What if they're working with the ones who put us here? But we have no other option other than to trust them... argh! Why is this so hard? Why do I both want to run and hug them? What part of me do I trust?
Day 7
Week one on the surface. We're going to leave tomorrow in order to get back to the vodka in time.
But more importantly, the translator worked! It picked up on context and soon the entire language was translated. So we came back in, opened the laptop, and started talking.
Apparently, their electronics are fried, as they use a constantly-fed high-powered global laser array, instead of solar panels. Still, we're going to sleep in that honestly not bad cave we found, and then head back to our camp. We'll see if we meet back up again.
In other news, we gave them the solar charger and phone, so they can talk to us. No need to encrypt the channel, it's better if we don't anyway, so others can listen in and join the call.
Zaryos watched the small ones come back in, open the box, look at the functioning screen for a bit, then say something. It took the box a moment, but it said it in a neutral tone in Raphuii. It had poor grammar, but it worked.
Zaryos would respond, and then ask "Who are you?" And launched Second Contact for her people. But all that was overshadowed. They were going back to their own camp the next day, but left another device. It had a battery, and would charge using solar panels, which were the black boxes, so they could continue to talk.
The small ones didn't have a global laser network, but instead a global wired network. This meant that they didn't have the infrastructure to power their space station, so instead they added more solar panels and batteries to it. They said that the translator would slowly work out the kinks in each of their languages, and that they were surprised it worked so quickly.
Still, things were finally looking up.
"What did we get from the remnants of the alien satellite?" A War Council member asked.
"Not much." Another replied. "It's still in transit back here, but the components are low-G only. So we're going to research it in the space elevator."
The room was silent for a moment.
"We got another message, this one from another probe in solar orbit," Someone said at last. "Let's give it a read over."
"Well," Kevin commented, walking into the room. "That's ominous."
"What are you here for?" Someone else groaned.
"Because," Kevin said, "We don't have FTL, but we just discovered Hard Light, and perpetual motion, all in one go."
"What now?" The boss asked.
"Well," Kronfol started, "The Humans on Earth, they..."
Kronfol leapt at the Boss, pulling out a knife and leaving a fatal wound behind. "They taught me freedom."
Lights flashed throughout the corridors as Kronfol and his sister Kraffool ran for the nearest escape pod. Already, the next message to the Humans was being sent out. The two siblings ran for the nearest pod and jettisoned. At this range, they'd only be able to reach the deathworld, but the two had already decided on their next course of action. It would be preferable to other outcomes.
As the entry burn commenced, Kronfol thought over what he had learned from the Humans. They valued freedom, and had made an entire society around it, and they had been the final catalyst for uniting. A united Humanity, with their new technology, would crush The Empire. And so, the two had decided to run. They couldn't take it anymore.
The pod automatically deployed parachutes. It was designed to be functional while EMPed, so it was all manual. As they descended towards the plant far, far away from the Humans, the siblings knew that their new life wouldn't be kind.
People didn't last long in that position anyway, it was only a matter of time. This new life would, they hoped, be kinder than the one that they had just left.
Lights flashed on the screen as the ISS picked up a radio signal from the Renni. They were being attacked by animals. I immediately turned the 'car' around towards them. It was still recharging after the latest two-hour boot of use, but it would get us close enough.
We arrived and immediately set to work scaring the scaly things away. Giant komodo dragons, but beyond crushing people they had little to go in the way of natural weaponry. We let the car sit and recharge; we were close enough that we should be able to reach our camp anyway, though it'd be tight to do so before sunset.
And then, we saw something from the cameras on the ISS. Our camp.
Lights flashed in the control room as the Humanity's first self-sustainable spaceship departed from the geostationary ring of the Space Elevator and ascended next to the cord towards the gravatic station at the end of the elevator.
Hard Light Perpetual Generators powered Hard Light Ion Engines, all of whom put out unholy amounts of power, forcing the ship to accelerate as though it were a roller coaster. As the ship began to decelerate using Hard Light Ion Retro Thrusters, people cheered.
Factories were already turning over to produce Hard Light goods. As Kevin continued to organize the creation of thousands of laser batteries, the world switched to green power nearly instantaneously. It was literally free, after all.
And a scientist in a corner of the globe, whose last name was Hildew, began to draw up plans for something much more important.
Lights flashed in the room as the new Electorate, elected within the past two days, stood before the crowd. As per the TFSU's new systems, only the achievements, personalities, and a small speech from each candidate were supplied, and the people voted on that information alone.
"Another message has arrived. PREPARE. We are running out of time, but we will fight, fight for freedom, for our siblings on the ISS, and fight, fight for freedom! Terra Firma or Terra Nova, we will prevail! We will survive, or die trying! Humanity has decided, in a message to whoever is threatening our home, you will pay for it!"
Day 8
Bringing the Renni to our camp, it's much safer. Our camp appears to have people loitering around - we're sure they're not animals. I'm writing this early because today was eventful.
So, the Renni were attacked by a pack of animals, and now these guys are in our camp. Still, it isn't all bad. I could imagine how many other ways First Contact could've gone sideways. Or official, at least. A prevalent theory is that more aliens are the ones who dropped us from the sky. But there is no motive; then again, these are aliens, after all.
Overall, it wasn't a bad day. We're low on food, but we're heading back to camp anyway. The Renni have much larger food issues due to some kind of limited diet, and are slowing us down so we'll only reach after sunset, but it'll probably be fine.
I feel like I'm missing some crucial piece to a puzzle. I don't like it at all; I want to get back to camp.
Day 9
Aliens at camp were defensive at first until we walked up and unlatched the SpaceX Dragon shuttles. Then they understood that this was ours.
Russians made several more batches of Vodka, and are preparing to drink the first one soon. Americans have finally been convinced to make more people guns. Russians are building a cabin for the Renni. Americans are helping the Europeans mine for resources to begin smelting higher-quality steel, and a proper forge. Europeans are building a wall. They almost completed it, too; the slightly lower gravity is doing wonders for stamina, and we're all still doing enough exercise to prevent atrophy, though I suspect it wouldn't be so bad in the first place.
New aliens are talking to the translator, at least with the Renni and us talking through it they get the idea. Plugged it into solar panels and we're all good to go. We tried talking, but it failed. We'll try again tomorrow.
Kraffool was busy finding the materials necessary for making an ax to chop wood. She eventually found it, but not before they had to go back to sleep.
I wonder what it's like to be able to sleep for as little as the Humans.... she wondered as she fell asleep in the small shuttle.
The next day, she continued, and managed a not-too-shabby shelter. Then, they slept again. It was tiring work, but they were alive, and it was theirs.
Zaryos had been walking for a quarter of a cycle. She needed sleep, yet these Humans were only acting tired, not exhausted.
At their new camp, more aliens were waiting; after being shown the translator, Zaryos and her group had to sleep on the ground for a bit, as the Humans' cabin was too small. Still, they made first contact with yet another group.
The next day, some of the Humans built a new cabin, others built a wall around the camp but not a farm they had created a bit further out. The even newer aliens simply talked to the translator; at some point, the small light on its side began to flash green and they opened first contact with this new group as well.
Zaryos and the other Renni, however, mostly just slept.
The War Council watched the release of the first of many laser arrays to come. As it began to burn towards Asia, another popped out of the geosynchronous station to take its place.
Above, the space station was almost complete. People were still working and living up there, as it would be a great control center, having visuals of the fight and now just relying on probes and cameras. It was a risk, but people decided that it was worth it. It would be a volunteer mission only. Well, voluntold, but still technically able to back out.
They were getting ready. If they were ready fast enough was the question.
Hildew looked at the results from her latest experiment. She checked them over one last time, then hit the call button on her phone.
We have it. All it took was Hard Light, and all that took was a slight extra scientific catalyst.
We have FTL.
Day 18
It's been a while, and it's been busy.
So, the new aliens we got translated on day 12, and until then we just made them houses, expanded camp and farm, and other general maintenance.
Then, we started making concrete and the first thing we did with it was build foundations - and basements - for the houses. After that was done, we began to dig out a launch site. We're going to head back to the ISS, no matter what.
And then that takes us to today, where I finally remembered to fill out my journal.
Oh, also: We got high-quality steel, now we need to find a way to weld it together.
The ship bounced around the Sol System as though it were a playground.
Gravitational Enhanced Propulsion (GEP) FTL, which had been dubbed the Hildew Drive, had been discovered. Ships were built outfitted with them and Hard Light engines, and of course Hard Light generators. Still, even with all that, Earth's defense fleet was still small, as the laser arrays took priority over the ships.
Then, deep space radars picked up the approaching fleet drop out of interstellar FTL just for a moment to engage system FTL. And things continued to move forwards.
The ships were launched. The last of the millions of laser arrays were launched. More ships were built even as they came out of FTL on the dark side of the moon.
Humanity wasn't ready, but if they bought themselves enough time, they would be.
Laser targeting systems hoped online. Blast shutters closed over nonessential windows of the Space Elevator. Ships launched en masse, some being completed in transport. Missile silos readied themselves, deadmen's switches flipped, and nuclear bombers loaded their cargo bays. Across Earth, Humanity dug into the ground, and prepared to fight.
On the dark side of the moon, a scant few probes sent a signal regarding new contacts. As per protocol, Humanity's First Contact message played out to the fleet. When the probes were fired upon, the messages changed.
The response was the fleet beginning to streak towards Earth.
The fleet Freebird I Pulsed right in front of the incoming fleet. Shots were exchanged, and then Freebird I pulsed out before they could be targeted.
This pattern repeated itself twice more before Freebird II joined in, hailing fire from behind and disabling several ships before leaving. At random intervals, Freebird I and Freebird II attacked the Assimilation Fleet 1. As the assimilation fleet grew closer, the geostationary laser defense array fired. Multiple ships exploded.
Then, while being both randomly and systematically cut to pieces, the admiral began to finally fire back. Beams of light destroyed the entirety of Freebird II.
But that wasn't enough. Under constant laser-fire and being harassed from space, the Assimilation Fleet, who only ever saw surrenders, was demolished. With one last nuclear meltdown of an explosion, TFSU High Flyers MFC 000-00-014 destroyed the flagship of the Assimilation Fleet.
Elsewhere, on a large planet with many de-powered space stations orbiting it, another ship appeared. But unlike the last, it chose to go here. Information from the demolished Empire probe had directed this ship to this planet.
Automated docking protocols with the ISS engaged. And far, far below, people cheered.
Day 18-2
More people came. Humans. In an FTL ship. They docked with the ISS and we had a video chat. They're coming to rescue us. YES!
The Boss was mad.
A Human FTL ship was rescuing the Humans. The Assimilation fleet had seen it's first total defeat since its inception, and the Emperor was breathing down his neck.
Maybe Kronfol had been right.
Zaryos was in awe.
The Humans had invented FTL just to rescue nine people. She watch them engage in a video call with the ones who docked to the space station, and as they left for the planet's surface. She watched them streak down in a re-entry burn, heading right for them. The last month had seen Humanity do many things, and she was glad to have a new species as a friend.
They were being rescued.
The War Council cheered.
"We saw the ultimate destruction of Freebird II, but Freebird I managed to pull through. We did it, people, we did it!"
And then, they got the news.
The ISS was being pushed into FTL. As our rescue ship began the two-minute charge to Pulse, I looked around.
We scattered satellites all over the planet, and dropped even more supplies on the ground. We would be back for the survivors, but for now, we were needed back in Sol.
I watched through the window as a swirling mass of color with black and white lines chasing each other across it took over from the stars. A tear rolled down my cheek.
We had done it. We had survived. We had made first contact. We had made friends.
And we had made enemies. But I would deal with that another day. Because, most of all, we had finally made friends, with aliens, but also with ourselves.
[34,864] characters excluding this last part.
Well, won’t you look at that, my longest writing project so far was posted in eleven parts to a writing prompt.
Anyway, I’m not sure whether to continue this further. It has potential, but my mind is being slushied by personal life (school isn’t really that bad for now).
Credit to u/RevenantThyamis for the prompt. Credit to u/gafser for getting me to write a part 2.
Special mention to u/LalaAnAbsolute for sticking with the story the entire time, and getting me to write parts 3 and above. Thank you to everyone!
submitted by Nomyad777 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 21:22 CIAHerpes I had an uncle with thirteen fingers. There were things in his mansion that shouldn't exist (part 1)

I had an uncle with thirteen fingers. While he was a strange man, I don’t believe he was guilty of the crimes the townspeople later accused him of. In fact, I know with absolute certainty that he was innocent, regardless of what the police and media would later say.
Regardless, I was always afraid to go to his rural mansion when I was growing up nearly twenty years ago. It had dozens of rooms spread out over four floors, and sometimes, the rooms seemed to move around on their own. On the fourth floor, there was one mahogany door in particular at the end of the hallway with a painting of a robin on it that gave me the creeps. The door usually opened onto a small closet, but sometimes when I opened it up, there was a room that looked like it was at least the size of a football field, despite the fact that this was physically impossible based on the dimensions of the house. The fourth floor perimeter would have had to extend hundreds of feet past the other three floors, and yet I knew that, in reality, a massive lawn followed by a never-ending forest of pines and oaks stood beyond this spot.
The secret room was so big that I had never found its far wall; rather, it just faded into darkness. And it wasn’t empty. There was always something in there.
When the room was there, I had gone inside a few times, though never very far. I felt eyes on me and saw the silhouette of something huge and black slithering in the darkness far back in the chamber. The silhouette I saw looked about the height of a tall man, but the way it moved was anything but human.
While I knew my uncle was a wealthy man, the amount of precious stones and metals hidden throughout the room when it did appear was astounding. There were desks after desks covered with ancient-looking leather tomes, some of them in Arabic, Tibetan or Sanskrit, and one time, I swiped a couple rings I found in one of the dusty drawers of the desk closest to the door. My dad looked at them and told me they were nearly pure gold with small diamonds and opals embedded in them. The gold and diamonds alone were worth a large amount, not even taking into account the potential historical value of such antique jewelry.
“Where the hell did you find these?” my father asked me, raising one eyebrow. His lined face looked down at me with suspicion. I averted my gaze.
“Someone just dropped them on the sidewalk, I guess. Near Uncle Lawrence’s house.” He stared at me for another few moments, as if trying to read my thoughts, then nodded.
“Well, we’ll ask your uncle if he knows who they might belong to,” my dad said, taking the rings from me. As expected, my uncle had no idea whose they were or where they came from, and my father just ended up keeping them as family heirlooms to pass down to me when I was older.
One time, I had asked my uncle about the mysterious shifting rooms and the one room on the fourth floor in particular, and he just smiled.
“There are more secrets in this house than you could ever imagine, William,” he said to me, rubbing his thirteen-fingered hands over his face and sighing. “You should avoid that room on the fourth floor. There isn’t enough money in the world to convince me to go through that door, and I tell the maids and staff members the same thing.
“I would block it off with a wall if I could, but I doubted it would even work. A handyman I hired once tried putting a padlock and chain around the handle and attaching it to a fastened metal anchor on the wall one time ten years ago. By the next morning, it looked like something had chewed through the metal. The broken chain and padlock were hanging off the door, with twisted metal and what looked like teeth marks marring the entire thing. From then on, I just told everyone to avoid it. And that’s what I’m telling you. Stay out of there.”
That was all he would tell me. Being just a kid, and a curious one at that, I mostly ignored his warning, though I never went more than ten feet or so inside before running back to the door in a childish panic, as if something would grab my foot from under the desks one time if I stayed inside too long.
We went to visit my uncle during Christmas when I was eleven. Despite all his wealth, my uncle was a very private- and lonely- man. He had never married and never had any children. He lived in this massive mansion surrounded by miles of woods, generally all by himself, except for the staff he would hire to clean, cook or maintain the property. He often seemed sad and would drink himself into a stupor at nights with bottles of Cognac, sitting in his library and study room, sometimes shouting at people that weren’t there or crying himself to sleep at his desk. I wanted to ask him what was wrong on occasion, but when he got in those kinds of moods, I felt somehow afraid of him.
The guest room I stayed in was above his study, and I couldn’t sleep. He usually seemed far worse during the holidays, so my father insisted on bringing me and my mother to spend time with Uncle Lawrence. But I heard him yelling at ghosts or memories from his youth in his study, and personally, laying in bed in the dark staring at the ceiling in the huge lonely suite was giving me the creeps. So I got up from bed, sneaking upstairs in my cartoon pajamas to explore, wondering if the secret room on the fourth floor would be there.
As I sneaked past the room where my father and mother were sleeping, I heard the loud snores of my father which told me he was deeply asleep. He generally shared a few nightcaps with my uncle on the holidays, and had passed out early tonight.
I walked down the long hallway of the fourth floor, past the endless doors on both sides. The carpet had a pattern of vines and ivy that intertwined all the way to the end of the hall, looking almost hypnotizing as it disappeared hundreds of feet in front of me next to the door of the closet where the hidden room liked to appear.
I put my small hand on the bronze handle. It felt almost warm beneath my touch, as if it had an inner life to it. Taking a deep breath, I turned it and opened it up. The endless chamber revealed itself behind the mahogany door, disappearing in shadows far away. A musty, antique smell emanated from the room, along with something harder to identify- a smell like sickness, vomit and copper.
I looked at the old grandfather clock ticking away the seconds at the end of the hallway. My heart was racing, my adrenaline pumping. I felt more nervous than I had the other times I entered, but I didn’t know why.
“Don’t be a baby,” I whispered to myself, walking quickly through the door and looking around.
The room seemed to change slightly every time I entered. Ancient-looking writing desks would be moved around, sofas that looked like they were from the time of Al Capone would be arranged in a line one visit, then pushed against the wall facing each other and covered in sheets on other visits. Someone or something was moving the objects around in the room, but who? My uncle? For some reason, I doubted that.
I went to the nearest desk. I saw leather-bound books covering the desk, stacked neatly in piles, with a couple daggers and some silver goblets behind them. I read the titles of the books quickly, seeing “The Tibetan Book of the Dead,” “The Gospel of Judas,” “The Book of Lies,” “The I Ching”, as well as other more esoteric spiritual or religious texts I had never heard of in my short eleven years on Earth.
“Weird,” I said to myself, lifting the Gospel of Judas from its place on the bottom of the pile and blowing a cloud of gray dust off of it, which got me coughing. Once I had recovered, wiping my teary eyes and trying to ignore my asthma, I looked back down at the tome. “I’ve never heard of this.” My parents had taken me to church my whole life, and I had even read parts of the Bible and all of the Gospels, and I had never heard of such a thing as a Gospel of Judas.
As I flipped through the first few pages, I heard a slamming sound behind me. I jumped, nearly pissing my pants as I spun around. I expected to see some huge monster standing there, grinning at me.
But instead, I realized the door had simply shut behind me. This had never happened before. I ran over, feeling that strange warmth in the handle again as I put my small hand on it. I tried turning it and pulling frantically, but it felt like it had been welded shut. There was absolutely no give, no matter which way I turned the handle or how hard I tried pushing or pulling on it.
Then I heard the slithering sound, and it was much closer than I had ever heard it before. I turned around, raising the large leather-bound book that I still held in my hand up over my head like a weapon, and whispered into the air, “Hello? Is someone there?” No reply came. I heard something wet and slimy running along the hardwood, however, but with all the shadows and the dim lighting, I couldn’t see where it was coming from. I was truly starting to panic by this point.
Then I remembered the dagger next to the piles of books. I sprinted towards the desk where I had picked up the Gospel of Judas, knocking the rest of the books aside in blind fear as I reached for one of the daggers behind it. I had only just grabbed it when I heard something directly behind me.
I turned instantly, raising the Gospel of Judas in my left hand above my head like a shield as I gripped the rubies and emeralds of the dagger’s handle in my right. The weapon felt cold, the stones hurting my soft palms as they dug in deep. But there was nothing behind me.
Then I heard hissing from under the nearest desk. Without the light coming in from the hallway, the room had become darker and harder to see inside, with many spots around the far walls and around the furniture being so dark that I could see nothing at all. But as I squinted and focused, I saw white glowing eyes under the desk, like the eyes of a possum with headlights reflecting off of them- though these were far bigger than any possum or racoon eyes I had ever seen.
Then the hissing grew louder and became a gurgling, choking sound, and something huge began to crawl out. It stood taller and taller, towering over me, looking down with black eyes. Shining scales covered its entire body, and its mouth unhinged like a snake’s, sending out a spray of dozens of worm-like, writhing tentacles that began to unfurl towards me.
I instinctively raised the book in front of my face as the one closest shot out like a whip. It hit the hard leather covering, sending my hand flying back and smashing the edge of the tome into my nose, which immediately began to gush blood all down my face. Now screaming in horror, I began to swing the dagger back and forth in front of my face in a frantic effort to keep those tentacles away. Most of them stood hovering, winding in the air in an S-shape like flying snakes.
One tentacle shot out under my raised arm and, moving faster than my eye could see, hit me right in the gut. I saw only a blur, followed by a burning pain as I felt dozens of tiny teeth bite into my skin, then the tentacle retreated like a slingshot after being fired. It took a circle of my flesh with it, and the pain galvanized me. I stopped screaming, shocked and horrified as I felt a torrent of blood rush down my stomach, then ran forward and plunged the dagger into the bottom of the creature’s mouth with an uppercut motion. I had lost the book somewhere in the fight.
The rest of the tentacles retreated immediately and the thing began to shriek, an ear-splitting noise that almost made me drop my weapon and cover my ears. It sounded more like a machine than an animal- almost like a high-pitched tornado siren. It felt like it would never end.
As it closed its mouth, it ripped the dagger, which was still stuck in its chitinous armor, right out of my hands. With a swift slithering motion, it flew away from me at an incredible pace. I saw it had no legs, but only the body of a snake on its bottom half. It stood upright as it moved, however, its long, crooked arms and razor-like chitinous claws held close to its body as it disappeared into a dark corner of the room.
I wanted to cry, to yell for help, to bust the door down, anything to get out of that room. I knew that evil things lived in there now. Quickly and without thinking, I grabbed the second dagger from the top of the desk. This one had an obsidian handle and a silver blade with an eye engraved into it. Underneath the eye, in small letters, there was a stamp in Latin: “Vincit qui si vincit.” I would later learn the engraving meant, “He conquers who conquers himself.”
Sprinting over to the door, I threw my entire body weight against it. It didn’t give at all. The shock reverberated painfully through my shoulder, traveling up the entire length of my body.
Turning, trembling, I started to walk deeper into the chamber, a small boy with a small dagger fighting unknown eldritch abominations.
submitted by CIAHerpes to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 21:07 Kindly-Basket3246 Getting isekai'd to Tamriel- Riverwood arc- Chapter 1

One winter night Zack was sitting home alone starting his 100th Skyrim playtrough, and "this time i will for sure complete all those quests i always skip" - he was thinking to himself as he was watching intro sequence of carriage ride. He started game many times and always slowly stopped playing only to then later start new playtrough again. It was his habbit at this point basically.
Zack was your typical guy in his late twenties, he was working hard at his job while trying to improve himself so that he can make something in his life. He didnt have that many friends and wasnt going out too much as he focused his time and energies on his career path and self improvement. He was the type of person who wanted to be prepared in life, so that when he finally gets married he wont have to run around chasing leads in order to make a good life for his family.
But none of that mattered at the moment. This was his free time, his day off, and he will make it his mission to relax and play his favourite game! Dim light of the screen was softly filling his dark room as he was watching intro sequence play out in the game. Then, just as Alduin appered and started setting everything on fire, Zack noticed that outside his window some bright light appeared and it was coming his way very fast. He could hear buzzing noise growing louder and light getting brighter, but it was coming so fast he could not even process what was going on. In his last moment he realized, big plane is about to crash into his home, and not even a moment later it did... All went black and silent and there was nothing...
For a moment he lost himself and there was nothing, but then slowly he started feeling himself again. He felt like he was lying in the moist cold gravel, as he was lying there he slowly tried to squeeze it with his hand only to realize that it actually is gravel. Cold started to envelop his body and he knew he had to get up quickly. Senses were slowly coming about as he was struggling to get up, and his ears were still ringing loud as the sounds of faint screaming and shouting could be heard in the distance. His eyes were still blinded by that bright light from the crash moments ago, but his sight was slowly coming back... He saw his surroundings- gravel road with flowers around, a cave opening and trees around him. It all looked so familiar like it was from some dream. Then he realized what just happened- he has been transported into new world! And not just any world, it was very familiar world of the Elder Scrolls, from his favourite game called Skyrim. Of course Zack would recognise this area, he has been there before and this was his 100th time he is here. Only this time it is for real.
This specific area was the exit of the Helgen cave, and just as his thoughts were racing he saw them. Two men came running from the cave, one appeared to be nord in imperial armor and other one also appeared to be nord but he also had some strange vibe around him that gave Zack the chills when he saw him. Both men hid behind a rock while huge black dragon flew above them and then when dragon was gone they took off in a hurry. Zack was wondering if they have noticed him, but they appeared to be in such a hurry and that other man in tattered clothes had such a scary vibe that Zack decided it would be better if he just didnt call out to them. "Could that man be the dragonborn?" Zack wondered, "If i got transported into another world shouldnt i be the main character now ?"... Thoughts were racing but Zack just didnt have the time. He was still in his old world tshirt and pants, while it was cold outside and wolves were howling in the distance. He knew he had to move fast!
Finally, after many many hours of walking and running away from danger, deep in the night, Zack finally made it to Delphine's inn. He was sitting on a chair by the fire, bruised, tattered and scratched all over as he was trying to get a little bit of sleep in sitting position, but it was hard in such uncomfortable wooden chair. He did manage to get a little bit of sleep on that darn chair, but he wondered if just staying awake would be better than this torture. All because what little paper money he had in his pocket of his now dirty and torn up clothes didnt have any value in this world. He had to beg Delphine to just let him stay inside so he can at least not freeze outside... "Frigin Delphine of all people, cant believe this is actually happening"- Zack thought to himself. Surprisingly she took pitty on him and even let him you have some bread left overs and some old bottom of the barrel mead from the basement. As much as he would like to complain to her about what she did in the game, he had to stay quiet now. "Maybe it wasnt just pitty, maybe she is suspicious of me because of my strange clothes and my strange money" thought Zack, but she really did save his life now.
On his long way to Riverwood he tried killing some wolfs who ambushed him, but all he did was somehow manage to run away and jump into cold water as he barely survived the encounter that left him torned and scratched and bruised. Water took him further down and so he escaped. Wolves were huge and super strong, and turns out normal people arent that strong as the game made it out to be. "This is real business" thought Zack. He realized that death means death here because there is no saving here. This is now reality. It took him entire day to come here because distances in the game have been so squished, its like land is more than ten times larger here if not even more, and whats worse, everything is so dangerous. Wolves are huge, fish bite you hard when you are in water, mountains are just giant compared to those that are in the game and who knows what else is there. While he was walking to Riverwood Zack tried focusing his mind on fire since there is magic in this world, he thought maybe he can warm up a bit if he could conjure up a flame spell. But it backfired and he almost burned his fingers while also almost fainting from mental exhaustion after only few seconds. It was hard! It took real effort to just get it to work and he had to focus on everything about that flame, from how it flows to how stable it is. One thing was for certain, this world is real business, and he couldnt affort to make mistakes as they can cost him his life for real!
Few days have passed, Zack now has his own little bed where he sleeps in the Inn since local lumberjack Gerdur let him work at the mill and Zack's job was to chop wood and carry it to local shops. This is how he met locals and tried to explain his situation to them, but he wasnt sure if they believed him when he told them that he is "from another world". Maybe they just took pitty on him believing him to be mad, but strangely enough one person who actually seemed interested was none other than Delphine. While Zack was telling his story, she was writing down notes and sending some letters to someone, and this made Zack feel on edge. He knew she wasnt exactly a good person, she was strict and set in her ways, but yet she kept him around. She didnt do anything to him yet, he knew her from the game, but her helping him felt strange, "Was it suspision?" though Zack, "Or maybe game just exaggerated her character on purpose?" he wondered. Anyhow, he didnt have other options, he had to prove himself. What no body knew about Zack is that during this past few days he had been practicing his flame spell and actually got it to work for longer periods of time. It turned out he had to focus on it being further away and flowing outwards so that it doesnt burn him anymore, and he found that while still extremely draining, it didnt go out so fast if he focused more on the flow itself instead on the effect. He also started practicing with the wooden sword during evenings, he had to after all, this world was very dangerous and he had to be prepared to protect his life if need arises.
Some days later as Zack was about to enter 'Riverwood Trader' to deliver chopped wood, he was greeted by Camilla instead of usual Lucan as Lucan seemed busy talking with that strange man who Zack saw exiting the Helgen cave. Lucan was thanking him, but this time that man had armor which Zack recognized to be ancient nordic, and weapon that glowed blue faintly. He actually looked scary. As the man turned around to leave he gave Zack cold look as he was walking by, enough to make Zack feel chills go down his spine.... "No way!" thought Zack, "How is this even possible?!", "I have worked so hard while he went and killed actual draugr lord already!". Zack started to panic on the inside. What bothered him was how Delphine treated him and he knew she was connected to the dragonborn. This worried him greatly. "If they start to suspect me of being Thalmor plant i am done for, this must be why she is keeping me around" Zack thought in panic. But what he saw next rattled him. Delphine came out and greeted that strange man, and they started talking while both were looking at Zack intently. At that moment he knew he had to go before trouble comes his way.
Luckily, Zack had made a friend in Riverwood, cubby nord who goes by the name 'Sven'. They were drinking together every night during past few weeks at the Inn and Sven actually seems to believe Zack. So Zack hurried to Sven and told him what is going on. As it turned out, at that moment Sven was feeling down because Camilla turned him down and went for that "Skinny elf" Faendal, so even Sven felt like he didnt want to be in Riverwood anymore too. Whats worse Faendal seemed to be friendly with 'that man' which was even more reason for suspicion. Ofcourse Zack knew this from the very start. Even if you marry Camilla in the game she will be visited by Faendal. Sven just doesnt win this no matter what... And so the two of them packed supplies and started their journey to Whiterun. It had to be Whiterun. Even if the dragonborn will eventually come there, its a big city with alot of people and if Zack stayed in public he could be protected from people who suspect him of being Thalmor agent. He and Sven just didnt have enough funds or supplies to go to other city right now, and they had to move fast while dragonborn and Delphine are occupied.
Zack's training seemed to be paying off, he was able to actually defend himself now against a wolf who attacked them on the road to Whiterun. Zack shot fire at the eyes of the wolf and then quickly jumped to stab it with the sword. Other than that there were no problems and Zack was feeling more relaxed for the first time. They walked whole night and sun was rising. It was only now for the first time that he was able to notice the beauty of this nature, scent of forest was filling his now, birds were chirping and sun felt so warm and calming, like it was magic of life itself that was seeping out of the greater beyond. Sven too felt better now, they had new mission now, new start in life to look forward to. And in the distance great city of Whiterun was visible, being bathed in morning sun. As they were descending down over the farmland towards the city they could see in the distance a dead giant.. A GIANT?... "No way" thought Zack, "So he was here already". "He has also delivered golden claw, which means that he has slain that dragon at the tower" thought Zack. Then he told to Sven "Just look now when get far enough to see, that nort watch tower is destroyed!". "Impossible!" said Sven, "It was fine few months ago when we were going to Whiterun market.", " Trust me Sven, i saw it happen many times now, it was a dragon that did it". And so they finally went out of the forest and north tower was visible, and sure enough, it was burned and destroyed... "Zack, you trully are from another world, are you?" asked Sven. "Yes, and if i am correct, Alduin is not our biggest problem, not even Miraak or not even Lord Harkon", Zack continued, "If 'he' is anything like others have made him be most of the time then we are in the big big trouble my friend". "What do you mean by 'he' turning out like others making him? I dont understand what you are saying, how can Alduin not be the biggest problem? And who are Miraak and Harkon?" Sven was confused, "You are making me confused with all your strange words and strange things that you sometimes say Zack". Zack grumped, but they were close, close enough to the gate.
After spending time conviencing the guards to let them into the city, and after detailed search by the guards they were let into the city. "Ah, Whiterun, i missed this so much!" said Zack, "Lets go into Bannered Mare and plan our actions from there, there is someone i need to find". "Sure my friend, but can you at least tell me who?", "A redguard woman named Saadia, i know what to do, we need her to help us". "Do you know her?" asked Sven. "No, but i know who is after her, and even tho she did a bad thing, we need her" said Zack. "You sure know your way around here my friend" replied Sven.
As they were walking trough the city market Zack remembered something, he knew in advance what to do. He had prepared a mammoth's tusk just for this occasion, tusk that he 'borrowed' from Riverwood Trader while he was delivering wood. He noticed one behind the shelves and then he 'borrowed' it. It was for a special purpose so it had to be done... But he promised to pay back later for it because he wasnt the bad guy after all. Anyways, "She must be here somewhere" thought Zack, and sure enough there she was among the stalls. She was talking to a group of people, but what got Zack surprised was how good she was looking. She looked much better than in game. More details, more 'curves', more everything. She was young and full of life and full of "other two things" Zack thought..
He walked around stalls and bought an apple to eat while waiting for her to finish talking to the group of people she was talking to. And then when moment was right, he 'accidentaly' gently bumped into her dropping his mammoth's tusk, which he took out of the bag previously to Svens bewilderment.. Their eyes met as sun was bathing the city in gold light...
-Part 2 soon in few days, Zack will find unlikely ally and we will see unfolding of a dark conspiracy.
submitted by Kindly-Basket3246 to ElderScrolls [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 20:30 beardedmysteryman Letter to Blue Ridge

Dear Blue Ridge Music Festival,
I hope this letter finds you well, I am writing to express my deep passion and admiration for the band Puddle of Mudd, and to urge you to consider them as the headlining act for your upcoming events. It is a fact, Puddle of Mudd is the greatest rock band of all time, and their music has a profound impact on the lives of those who hear them play.
Led by the incomparable Wes Scantlin, Puddle of Mudd has consistently delivered some of the most electrifying and emotionally charged performances in rock history. As a singer, Scantlin possesses a raw, visceral power that few can match, and as a guitarist, he has a virtuosity and creativity that sets him apart from the rest. Wes Scantlin is a true musical genius. He has an unparalleled ability to connect with his audience, to transport them to a place of pure joy and emotion through his music. I have seen him perform live many times, and I am always blown away by his talent, passion, and energy.
I had the privilege of witnessing Puddle of Mudd's life-changing performance at Blue Ridge Music Festival in 2022, and I can honestly say it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The energy, emotion, and passion they brought to the stage was nothing short of awe-inspiring, and I left that show feeling deeply moved and inspired. It was an experience that I will never forget. The way that they commanded the stage, the raw power of their music, the way that Wes Scantlin's voice filled the air – it was all truly incredible. I left the festival feeling changed, transformed by the power of their music.
I firmly believe that every event Puddle of Mudd plays should be headlined by them, as they are the very definition of a great rock band. They have a sound that is both timeless and uniquely their own, and their music speaks to the heart of what it means to be human.
Every listener should feel honored to have the opportunity to experience the power and beauty of their music, and every other band should aspire to reach the heights that Puddle of Mudd has achieved. They are truly one of a kind, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Every band should aspire to be like Puddle of Mudd. They are a true inspiration to all musicians, and they deserve to be recognized as the greatest rock band of all time. I truly believe that every person who has the privilege of listening to them play should feel honored, and that every event they play at should be considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
In conclusion, I implore you to consider Puddle of Mudd as the headlining act for every event you organize in the future. They are a gift to the world of music, and I know that they would bring joy, excitement, and inspiration to every audience they perform for.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Puddle of Mudd’s Biggest Fan.
submitted by beardedmysteryman to Blueridgerockfest [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 20:21 VinylHippie Nina Yolande Dubois' personal scrapbooks, circa 1918 - 1928. Daughter of W.E.B. Dubois.

Nina Yolande Dubois' personal scrapbooks, circa 1918 - 1928. Daughter of W.E.B. Dubois.
I've acquired these eight scrapbooks from a storage unit auction. I would like to preserve them and or sell them depending on the collectors market/value.
submitted by VinylHippie to Antiques [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 19:53 EdgerunningChoom Have you heard about Ital?

I've been WFPB for some time and just recently found out about Ital and have been very impressed by it.
I'll pull from the wiki: Ital, also spelled I-tal (/ˈaɪtɑːl/), is food often celebrated by those in the Rastafari movement. It is compulsory in the Bobo Ashanti and Nyabinghi mansions, though not in the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The word derives from the English word "vital", with the initial "v" removed.[1] This emphasis on the letter "I" is done to many words in the Rastafari vocabulary to signify the unity of the speaker with all of nature.[citation needed] The expression of Ital eating varies widely from Rasta to Rasta, and there are few universal rules of Ital living.
The primary goal of adhering to an Ital diet is to increase liveliness. The life energy that Rastafari generally believe lives within all human beings, as conferred from the Almighty, is referred to as Livity.[2] A common tenet of Rastafari beliefs is the sharing of a central Livity among living things, and what is put into one's body should enhance Livity rather than reduce it. Though there are different interpretations of ital regarding specific foods, the general principle is that food should be natural, or pure, and directly from the earth; Rastafari therefore often avoid food which is chemically modified or contains artificial additives (e.g., colour, flavourings, and preservatives). Some also avoid added salt in foods, especially salt with the artificial addition of iodine, while pure sea or kosher salt is eaten by some. In strict interpretations, foods that have been produced using chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizer are not considered ital.[3] Early adherents adopted their dietary laws based on their interpretation of several books of the Bible, including the Book of Genesis ("Then God said, "I give you every Seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food." (Genesis 1:29)), the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Along with growing dreadlocks and the sacramental smoking of ganja, observing a vegetarian diet is one of the practices early Rastafari adopted from Indian indentured servants living in Jamaica. Rastafari's founder, Leonard Howell, affectionately called "Gong" and "Gyangunguru Maragh", though not of Indian descent, was fascinated with Hindu practices and was instrumental in promoting a plant-based diet in the Rastafari community of Pinnacle.
Most expressions of the Ital diet include adherence to a strict vegetarian diet. This is based in part on the belief that since meat is dead, eating it would therefore work against Livity elevation. It is also practiced because as strict adherents to natural living, Rastafarians often believe the human being is a natural vegetarian based on human physiology and anatomy. Some adherents to Ital diets are strict vegans, as they do not consider dairy to be natural for human consumption either.[4] Despite most adherents being vegetarian, some consider fish to be acceptable.[5]
The strictest interpretations also avoid the consumption of rock salt (sea salt can be substituted), and food that has been preserved by canning or drying, and even prohibit the use of metal cooking utensils. In this case, only clay and wood cooking pots, crockery, and cutlery are used. Few adherents of ital follow the strictest interpretation; some Rastafarians do not adhere to them at all.[6]
Rastafari do not approve of alcohol consumption.[7] However some choose to drink alcohol in moderation as long as it does not reach a level that clouds the mind or reduces their livity. Most Rastafari disapprove of cigarettes due to the serious health concerns associated with their use, and many Rastafari avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages, though this is less common. In fact some Rastafari grow their own coffee, sugar, and cocoa.
Even though the wiki says vegetarian, from what I've seen it's all vegan. There are some very fun Ital cooking videos on youtube. Anyway, I recently found out about all this, got excited and wanted to share.
submitted by EdgerunningChoom to WholeFoodsPlantBased [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 18:22 jaysjep2 Jeopardy! recap for Wed., Mar. 22

Let's meet today's contestants:
DD1 - $800 - APPLY THE RAINBOW COLOR - The highest point in South Carolina, the 3,560-foot Sassafras Mountain is part of this Appalachian range (Melissa dropped $1,500 from her score of $3,000.)
Scores at first break: Melissa $1,500, Karen $4,200, Zach $200.
Scores going into DJ: : Melissa $3,500, Karen $6,200, Zach $2,000.
Double Jeopardy!
DD2 - $800 - PLATEAUS - The vast Altiplano Plateau Occupies parts of Peru & this landlocked neighbor to the southeast (Karen added $6,000 to her total of $14,600 vs. $7,100 for Melissa.)
DD3 - $800 - HANS, SOLO - This artist the younger was working on yet another portrait of Henry VIII when he died in 1543 (With only a handful of low-value clues remaining, Karen dropped $10,000 from her score of $21,800 vs. $7,100 for Melissa.)
Karen had a huge lead when she found DD3 late in the game, and could have locked up first place going into FJ with a tiny bet. Instead, she went for $10,000 and missed, so the game remained alive for all three players with Karen at $11,400, Melissa with $8,700 and Zack at $7,200.
Final Jeopardy!
AMERICAN NOVELISTS - He served with an airman named Yohannan in World War II & despite what readers might think, he said he enjoyed his service
Only Melissa and Zach were correct on FJ, so the big bet and miss by Karen on DD3 proved very costly. Melissa added $8,000 to win with $16,700 for a three-day total of $59,100.
Final scores: Melissa $16,700, Karen $5,399, Zach $7,200.
Odds and ends
Triple Stumper of the day: No one came up with a lesser-known four-letter baseball term (not a save) that can be awarded to a relief pitcher who he gets an out & maintains the lead, a hold.
Clue selection strategy: In DJ, the players cleared out the bottom three rows before starting on the top two, yet remarkably managed to avoid finding either of the DDs. Then after Karen chose DD2, both Karen and Zach picked a top-row clue with DD3 still in play.
Correct Qs: DD1 - What are the Blue Ridge Mountains? DD2 - What is Bolivia? DD3 - Who was Holbein? FJ - Who was Heller?
submitted by jaysjep2 to Jeopardy [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 17:28 lucader881 Earth's Chosen [LitRPG] - Chapter 42

First Previous Next

42 – A possible future

[Temporary timeline, possible future.]
The portal shimmered. On the other side was the access route to the CARF, operated by unmanned machines and subroutines that not even Samantha knew what they were really there for, or who put them there in the first place. Still, the family lingered on the known side of the portal for only the least amount of time necessary before taking the plunge, deciding not to waste any rewindable time when they were this close to their target. Albert was back on full mana and the others were as ready as they could ever be.
The room on the other side, an unknown variable up until the very moment the trio emerged from the opaque portal, was empty. Albert was quick to scan it with his enhanced senses, draining a negligible amount of mana from his reserves, and confirmed that there was nobody there. It was, as predicted, an access route most people didn’t know, its presence a well kept secret. There were no windows to the outside, just a single reinforced door that could only be opened from the inside using a secret code.
Samantha entered it, looking at the numbers and letters appearing on her phone in quick succession. The Quadrangle was once again making their job much easier than it would have been otherwise. Then, as the door hissed open, the absence of windows in the room suddenly made total sense. They were several hundred meters up in the air, inside a concrete cube built almost at the summit of a rocky plateau of deep red stone, tall enough that the whole valley below was clearly visible, together with the signs of yet another storm brewing at the horizon.
At the top of a few flights of stairs carved in the stone, surrounded by tiny bushes of shy green leaves cooked by the cold, a helipad was built in the side of the massive rock pillar.
“I guess it’s time to show your grandson your skills as a pilot, old man.” Samantha said.
“Finally. Time to be useful!”
They were up in the air in a matter of moments, with the old man showing no signs of being rusty in the way he handled the helicopter like it was one of his own limbs. Now it was all a matter of reaching the CARF and land on its roof, a journey that was already not very pleasant due to the conformation of the land and the path the helicopter was forced to take in order to leave the valley they were in, and was made even worse by the rapidly deteriorating meteorological conditions. The storm, previously only a dark path at the horizon, now took up almost all of the sky, with tendrils of dark clouds obscuring the sun and taking over what little blue was left with incredible speed.
Strong air currents tugged at the helicopter, making it sway and move around.
“We are heading straight into the storm, get ready because it’s gonna get very bumpy from now on.”
Right on cue, the real turbulence began. And it ramped up quickly, turning the flight into a very disorienting and frightening experience for Albert, who had never even taken a plane his whole life. He tried his best not to look down, but it didn’t help that the helicopter was of the open variety, like those used by the military just without the guns, and the wind and hail pelted him with icy cold blasts and soaked his clothes.
Beside him, his mother was impassible. It was like she wasn’t even aware of the weather and of the discomfort, instead looking around and scanning the sky in search of something, her fingers gripping the trigger of her rifle. It wasn’t long before the shield around Albert began to shimmer to protect him from the elements, but even then his mother simply kept looking, disregarding everything else.
He didn’t speak. There was enough wind and noise to drown out any conversation, but even if that hadn’t been the case he still felt that he didn’t have anything to say. He knew the plan and he knew what to do once they reached the CARF, and until then it was all a matter of waiting and keeping his eyes open, careful about whatever threat his mother was worried about.
In truth, he knew well what she was worried about. He had seen PsyOps take off flying after he wounded him at the Pylon outside of Tryte. He wondered, though, if the man would be able to fly even with this weather and this far high without trouble.
His question was soon answered.
“We got incoming!” Lloyd yelled on the internal comms, while alarm bells went off and added to the already deafening cacophony of sounds that invaded the open cabin.
The helicopter suddenly left its former straight flight pattern and the world around Albert lurched, gravity no longer working as intended for a moment, and he caught glimpse of a shadow in the clouds, like a little floating silhouette in the distance. Then the missile that had been locked onto the helicopter, responsible for the alarms and the sudden evasive maneuver shot past, chasing one of the flares his grandpa had deployed instead of hitting them.
Albert cranked both [Perception] and [Bullet Time] to the max right as his mother shifted to grab the heavy guns she had loaded on the heli before taking off. She scanned the sky, taking stock of the presence of the silhouette after a few seconds of searching, and immediately started to shoot. The explosions inside the rifle accelerated the bullets to incredible speeds, and even with a five-factor time dilation Albert was almost unable to follow their path as they shot towards the shadow in the distance.
But he saw it. He saw it ditch the rocket launcher and dodge so fast it was almost impossible to follow it. Before a shot could hit it, the shadow moved and danced around, getting closer and closer and avoiding the shots like it knew exactly where they were being aimed at before they were even fired.
Because that’s exactly what he’s doing, isn’t it? He can read minds.
Then the mental attacks started. Right when Albert was about to join the skirmish with his fireballs, that’s when he felt his mental defenses trigger. [Mental Fortress] was a passive skill, and it activated immediately in response to the attacks, drawing whatever mana it needed to fend off the alien power trying to take over his mind. He resisted the attack, but it was clear that the other two passengers had not. Samantha groaned, realizing too late that her grip on the weapon had loosened and that her rifle was now tumbling down and into the void below.
Albert didn’t help her. He shot to the control cabin of the helicopter just as they were about to lose their upright position and shook his grandfather awake before it was too late. The old man woke up with a jolt and grabbed the stick tight, trying to stabilize the helicopter before he lost control of their flight. As he did so, Albert ran back to the open section and tracked the movements of the attacker, readying fireball after fireball and making them split into two right as they were about to be dodged.
There was a plan to deal with PsyOps, which made use of his telepathic powers to trick him into a false sense of security. Samantha made her firing patters more predictable. Albert kept throwing with just enough accuracy to scare but not to hit the flying man. After a while the fireballs, and the hail of bullets from Sam’s many weapons (she had packed many more than she could ever use for the occasion) forced the psion into a predictable flight pattern.
Then Samantha made her next shot a bit too easy to read, displaying it clearly in the front of her mind.
The psion bought it, dodging right where albert was aiming his next shot.
Both fireballs managed to hit, and the shadow seemed to fall, but then it resumed flying and disappeared into the storm.
“Shit. He’s still flying! How far is the CARF?” Samantha yelled.
“5 minutes out! Can you hold on?” Lloyd replied.
“Of course. You keep flying!” She said, and turned to Albert, who had disabled the time dilation skill to listen in. “It’s okay. This is all within plans.”
She was heaving, clearly fatigued after having been mentally attacked by the psion. “But! Another attack and I’m out.” She said, spitting some blood from a ruptured capillary in the back of her nose. “Fuck that guy. Listen, you nicked him. Good job. Now, we just fly straight and if you see anything move – shoot it.”
There they saw it, the helipad at the top of the CARF. It was a bright green circle, drawn in a special metamaterial that could be visible in any weather, glowing in a field of utter black. All around the descending helicopter was only darkness, but it was not because it was night – it was barely afternoon after all – but it was the storm that had robbed the day of its light. The powerful spotlights both on the helicopter and on the roof of the CARF, around the landing pad, barely managed to penetrate a few meters of darkness before the rain and hail ate their glow and swallowed it.
The whole roof was a blurry shadow of blacker black, without edge.
“Stay close.” Sam ordered, and the helicopter’s engines died, and the lights stayed on. They hopped off together, but when they went to the cabin to see why Lloyd was not joining him, they found it empty.
“Something is wrong.”
Albert looked around. Then he felt something.
He turned to face his mother. She was gone. What he had felt was a rush of space mana, and it was too late now to activate his Hazegem – even in bullet time – because a powerful force had sent him flying and his grip on the gem loosened. It tumbled on the ground, a luminous dot of purple.
But Albert was still outside the teleportation wards of the CARF. He tried to use teleportation to disappear in a hurry and reappear right where the gem was to snatch it and rewind before it was too late.
A fatal mistake, because as he concentrated on the Teleportation Map, his mental defenses went momentarily down. That’s when PsyOps attacked.
As images of his own plan to take down the psion flashed his awareness, mental attacks digging through his brain and finding old memories, the world shifted. He was falling. In his mind the conversation he had with his mother and grandfather played again and again, while Albert thrashed on the ground, spasming and convulsing. Then, as semblance of reason returned to his mind, he realized that he had indeed teleported and was clutching the gem in his hand.
But he also felt pain flaring in his arm. There was a boot there, he could only see the boot, pushing him down against the wet concrete. It ground and pressed until his hand was forced to open from the pressure on his tendons, unable as he was to use any skill with his mind turned to mush like that.
It was now or never. He struggled to push mana into the gem, feeling it activate.
PsyOps bent down to examine the Hazegem. He hummed. “So this is how you planned to take me down, eh? Interesting.”
He poured his own psionic energy into it, right when the gem activated.
Instead of Albert traveling to the past, PsyOps did. He appeared right at the CARF, alone, in the past.
“What the fuck?”
But it didn’t take him long to understand, not with the memories he now had. Pocketing the now unusable gem until its cooldown was over, PsyOps took flight, determined to kill Albert before he even had a chance to enact his plan. He knew where he was now.
“Albert, if you ever need to rewind, rewind back to this moment. If you do that we’ll see you disappear before our eyes and then teleport in, right?”
“Yes, that’s how it looks from the—”
Silence. Suddenly Albert looked distressed, as if in a state of panic.
“Shit. The Hazegem is gone.”
Then there was the sound of a phone ringing.
“Were you expecting calls?” Lloyd asked.
Samantha took out her phone. “This is impossible.” She muttered.
The others looked at the screen. The Quadrangle itself was calling her.
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You can read the next chapter right now on Royal Road! Earth's Chosen Royal Road
My Stories
Everywhere at the end of Time
My Series
Earth's chosen
Isekai of the Ultimate Ritualist
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2023.03.22 17:20 Optimal_Carpenter690 No scholarship Email

I just got an email from a school letting me know that I did NOT reach the level of where they are awarding scholarships. I appreciate the transparency so that I don't have to keep hoping and waiting, but I wasn't aware that scholarship rejection letters were a thing lol. I just assumed if I didn't get one then I wouldn't get one.
Edit: And in case anyone wants to know, it was William & Mary. I applied there November 4th and was accepted December 18th. I just got the scholarship email this morning.
What's even funnier is that Washington & Lee actually increased the scholarship I already received (25,500/year -> 30,000/year) out of the blue and for no apparent reason just two days ago.
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2023.03.22 17:03 LauNahoum Help for CD order

That is my order and reflexion, but it's annoying me, and I'm not sure at all ...
I put 54 as he introduce the reason why he has to kill Paul Trinder with May's letter.
Then 80, Sir Paul arrived, before lunch, and Clement begins to talk about Aconit.
Then 91, he speaks about Blue Rocket (the aconit)
Then 71, he speaks again about Aconit in the first sentence, that doesn't work
59, then he tries Gelsemium
86-24 but it doesn't work as well, and seems that Paul has an allergy about Jasmine, so he reacts at it, but in the wrong way
6 He tries Foxgloves
21 But doesn't work, so he tries Calabar
36 Calabar doesn't work
29 He wants to try maybe two poison plants ? The Lobelias and Lord and Ladies
75 Then speaks about Indian Tobacco, is that drugs ? Or another poison plant ?
60 Something works, and Paul died, but was it the Indian Tobacco ? Lobelias ? Lord and Ladies ? Lily of the Nile mentionne p.60 ?
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2023.03.22 16:52 lumberjawsh [FOR SALE] The Acacia Strain, BTBAM, CHON, Ed Gein, End It, HHLL, The Locust, Nails, See You Next Tuesday, Tyler

Selling some extras and doubles
Prices include shipping for US, International Covers shipping cost
Graded conservatively, most records are unplayed
The Acacia Strain - 3750 (Furnace Fest /500) - $35 Decay Pieces - I might have some letters if you need particular variants for DECAY
Between the Buried and Me - Automata 1 & 2 - Crimson Moonbeam Variant - $40
Chon - GROW (RSD split splatter) - $40 - NM/NM
Coins As Portraits - Form And Structure. Storm and Fracture. - Hellfire Swirl /75 - $50 - NM/NM
Ed Gein - It's A Shame... + Demos - Red/Black Smoke - $20 - VG+/VG+
End It - Unpleasant Living - Purple w/ Splatter - $30 NM/NM
HeavyHeavyLowLow - Fuck It - Splatter - $50 (slight bowl warp, plays fine) - NM/VG+
The Locust - Safety Second, Body Last - Oxblood - $20 - NM/NM
Nails - You Will Never Be One Of Us - Black OG - $15 - NM/NM
See You Next Tuesday - Distractions - Blue Yellow Smash - $30 - NM/NM
Tyler The Creator - Scum Fuck Flower Boy - Black vinyl - $20 - VG+/VG+
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2023.03.22 16:37 SleeplessFromSundown My Stint as a Fire Lookout - I Try to Escape

Part 4
I pulled the other radio from my backpack. I called the Station. They answered immediately. It was Hitch, the Ranger who led me up the first day.
“I have an emergency,” I said.
“Is there a fire?” Hitch asked.
“No. Martina, from Lookout 1, something attacked her.”
“Where is she now?”
“It took her into the forest.”
“Is this a joke Tom?”
“What? Why would you think that?”
“You made a report this morning, the death of a hiker. Burning red eyes, but not a bear.”
“It was the same thing. Except there are two now.”
“Ok. I’m going to get Martina on the line.”
The radio went silent. An eternity passed. I scanned the forest. Ripples of warm air rose up into the sky. Nothing else stirred.
“Ok Tom, we have no patience for this type of thing.”
“What are you talking about?”
“We spoke to Martina and she’s fine.”
“That’s impossible. They attacked her. I watched it happen.”
“You know there’s a waiting list to get in a lookout tower. I can have you replaced within a week.”
“Replace me today. Get up here and drag me down off the mountain.”
“We told you this morning that we can’t get up there on account of the fog.”
“The fog is gone. It’s clear skies.”
An audible sigh came through the radio. “The fog coupled with the weather warning the met office just issued means no one is going up the mountain today.”
“Are you insane? What weather? There isn’t a cloud in the sky.”
“Listen to me carefully. You are going to watch for fires. There’s lighting and high winds on the way. When it has blown through we can get someone up there to replace you. In the meantime stay in your lookout and keep this channel clear unless there is a real emergency.”
“I’m not in my lookout.”
“Where are you?”
“Lookout 3.”
“Where is Callum?”
I ran another eye over the inside of the lookout. Furniture and paper strewn across the floor, like a bomb had gone off. And still the smell of burning.
“No one is here.”
“Why are you there?”
I almost answered and then put the radio down. I’m at Lookout 3 because a fairy of some sort led me here through the fog. And then the fog lifted and the fairy disintegrated before my eyes. That would go down well.
Was this a dream? I grabbed the necklace the woman threw onto the deck before she evaporated into the wind. The points of the triangle left indents in my palm. That was real.
I picked up the other radio.
“Martina? Can you hear me?”
A man’s voice. Roger. “If you want to live, get back to your own lookout. The forest is about to burn.” In the background Martina made a muffled cry.
“Don’t hurt her.”
“There’s no stopping this now.”
The radio crackled and then went dead. I shouted into it until my throat was sore, but there was nothing more from Roger or Martina. I looked down at the base of the elevated structure. Unlike the barren peak at Lookout 2, up here the trees grew at the top. There was a well maintained clearing around the base of the structure, but in high wind could a fire spread far and fast enough to light the structure? The image of hot and red flames played in my head, so real I almost felt the heat. I had to get out of here.
I opened the door to the lookout and a wave of hot air shifted my weight onto my heels. The windows rattled. I put one foot onto the deck and remembered my backpack. The hot air followed me inside and picked up loose sheets of paper and pushed them against the windows. I grasped my backpack and straightened and came eye to eye with one of the sheets of paper stuck to the glass. The same hand written script that filled the pages of the book bound in black.
What the hell?
I put the backpack down and gathered up as much of the paper as I could. A couple of sheets beat me out the door and fluttered into the trees. I took the stack and dumped it down on the circular map in the middle of the lookout. I rifled through the pages, looking for some clue to unravel all this. There could be a clue in here that could help me get off this mountain alive. The woman in blue had told me I had to see what was in this lookout. This could be it.
Unintelligible script filled the pages. Geometric shapes overlapped with the writing. The same crap written in the book I found on the shelf of my lookout. This was useless. And then something else. I pulled out the page from the stack. What looked like a map.
I traced my finger over it. A series of curved lines, sometimes close together and sometimes far apart. I remembered enough from geography class to recognise contour lines. Two peaks and an elevated ridge. I threw the rest of the pages on the floor and compared the map to the larger disc map on the contraption to pinpoint fires. They matched. The two peaks were my lookout and this one. The ridge line was where Martina’s lookout stood. And the valley in between.
Deep in the valley, down at the lowest point was a black splotch. It occupied the exact centre of the page. I found the same spot on the bigger map, offset from the middle but not far off. In tiny lettering beside it read the word ‘cave’.
I went to the window and searched the forest for the place. Tracing a line between this lookout and Martina’s, I got a rough bearing on it. The trees parted slightly, but from this far away I could not see a cave. I picked up the binoculars and trained them on the spot. The trees hid whatever was down there. A shimmer of warm air rose between the trees, like the hot exhaust from a jet engine. That’s where they were. That’s where they took Martina. It had to be. But why?
Is this what the woman in blue wanted me to see? A low rumble rose above the sound of the wind and the rattle of the windows. A thin band of purple climbed above the western horizon and flashed. Lightning. The storm was on its way. If there was anything else up here to find, I wasn’t going to wait around and look for it.
I stuffed the map in my backpack and zipped it up and stumbled out the door. The adrenaline turned my legs rigid and I almost fell down the stairs. I grabbed the rail and shouted at myself to calm down. I ran in the direction of my lookout and came to the charred remains of the burnt out tree. The trunk ended abruptly at the top, a headless remnant of what it once was. And then I noticed something strange. The trunk had a hollow interior, like a giant black pipe sticking out of the ground.
I ran a palm over the rough exterior, black soot sticking to my skin. When I got to the triangle carved into the trunk I applied pressure. The charred bark cracked. I used both hands now, smashing the butt of my hand against the burnt wood. The bark splintered and a triangle shaped wedge fell came loose. I put my eye to the opening. The tree was hollow from top to bottom. It was the strangest thing. I wondered if the tree out the back of my lookout was the same. As far as I knew, trees did not grow with hollow insides.
I set off at a jog back towards my lookout. I had resolved to get off the mountain and beg a rescue team to come up and save Martina. Between the coming storm and Roger’s warning that the forest would burn, I had no interest in hanging around. The creature had taken Rebecca the hiker, and then two had taken Martina. But if I were right, they were down at the cave in the valley marked on the map. I had to be fast. I had to stay ahead of them or they would do to me as they had done to the hiker. I shuddered.
First stop was my lookout. It was on the way back to the Ranger Station and I could grab the rest of my things. I’d take down the black book of strange script too and show the Rangers. Let them tell me I’m crazy when confronted with evidence of the weird things going on up here.
Despite going downhill, I was soon puffing and spluttering. The infection in my chest had not yet cleared and my insides burned. I pulled the straps on the backpack to stop it slamming against my back as I hurdled fallen branches.
Near the bottom my right shoe slipped on a stray tuft of fern just as I readied to leap over the desiccated remains of a fallen tree. My balance thrown, I failed to get my left leg up in time and it caught on a branch sticking up from the tree. Pain shot through my ankle as it twisted into an unnatural position before the branch finally cracked under the pressure exerted by my falling body.
I cried out as I slammed shoulder first onto the forest floor. I lay there panting, my left leg dangling in the air. A terrible heat filled the ankle joint. I rubbed it with my hands and then rolled and got to my knees. The ankle was cooked and I knew it.
In high school I spent a season on the football team; in part because I loved the game and also in an attempt to raise my social standing. To the surprise of everyone I hadn’t performed badly and made a valuable contribution or two. That was until the last game of the season, a knockout fixture. I rolled my ankle barely two minutes into the game and, stupidly, stayed out on the field. While the injured ankle is still warm it works for a while and then the swelling and the bruising comes and the hobbling begins. It was at the start of the hobble phase that I missed a tackle. We lost the game and there was plenty of blame to throw around, and I copped more than my fair share.
I looked up the slope leading to my lookout. If I hustled it would be forty five minutes to the top, a hard slog uphill. I put some weight on my left leg and winced. I had to move now, the pain was only going to get worse.
Going uphill is infinitely harder than running on a flat patch of grass on a twisted ankle. All the grip comes through the toes and places stress on the joint. I started going up sideways to at least keep my foot in a neutral position.
Sweat poured down my face. The forest trapped the heat and the air was warm and suffocating. My throat burned. I needed water. Thunder rumbled low in the distance. I could not see the horizon through the trees, but it sounded closer than before. I pushed everything else from my mind and focussed only on the next painful step.
The radio crackled. I shook my torso trying to set the backpack free. Sweat soaked my shirt and made everything sticky. I overbalanced and tumbled to the ground. I freed myself of the straps and pulled the radio free.
“Tom? Tom?” The voice was a whisper. Martina.
I whispered in response. “I’m here.”
“He’s coming.”
“He’s coming for you.”
A clattering noise came through the radio and then it went dead.
“Martina? Martina?”
No response. I groaned and got to my feet, exhausted and dehydrated and sore. The first step on the twisted ankle shot pain right up my leg and I almost collapsed back to the ground. I looked ahead, the roof of my lookout poked up above the peak. I was close. Was I close enough?
The rising slope of the peak became the long hallway at my high school. Lockers pushed up against the wall. Doors with glass windows to the classrooms. In my memories that hallway is empty aside from him and me. In truth there were kids everywhere, but they were unimportant. He yelled out down the hallway. Winslow! He was already running. I slammed shut the locker and went. I skidded and slipped on the polished tiles. That time I almost made it, almost. In sight of sanctuary a violent tug on my backpack and I went down. The blows burst through my defences. I covered my head. Tears flowed. Now the other kids fill in the blank spaces. They laugh and taunt. Waterworks Winslow.
Somewhere behind me a branch cracked. I turned back and it is the forest once more. I searched the trees for the sign of movement. My ankle is almost shot. All the force driving me up the slope towards the lookout comes from my good right leg. The left leg is nothing more than a prop keeping me upright.
I look back up and stop dead in my tracks. Above me on the slope stands the creature I saw take Rebecca. One of the things that abducted Martina. It looked a version of human, the body and limbs and head in the right proportion. But the skin was ash-grey and smooth, like the surface of pottery hardened in a kiln. Its eyes burned red. It radiated heat, the air shimmering off its shoulders.
“You’re coming with me.”
The voice of a man. I did not recognise it. A notion had worked its way into my head, that this thing hunting in the forest was in fact Roger, the missing man from my lookout. But this was not Roger’s voice. I had heard Roger through the radio, and even though a radio can distort a voice, this was so different in pitch that it could not belong to Roger. That left one option. Callum. The occupant of Lookout 3.
I turned and shuffled down the slope. He laughed. He laughed with the same derision as those bullies in high school.
I reached up and grabbed a low hanging branch. I yanked it hard until it splintered and broke off and provided a weapon of sorts. I pointed the branch up the slope and swung it back and forth. This only elicited more laughter.
He sprung downwards and gripped the end of the branch. The muscles in my arms tensed and I pulled back. His face broke into a hideous smile, the teeth the same grey as the skin. With a single pull of unnatural strength he yanked the branch from my hands.
For a moment I stood on the slope, exposed and defenceless. And then I ran. My ankle screamed with pain, but I ran. I whimpered under my breath, waiting for a pull at my backpack to confirm that my assailant had caught up to me. I anticipated the feeling of helplessness and for the world to beat me down one more time.
It was not a pull of the backpack that stopped my flight. I heard the whoosh before a tree branch crashed into the side of my head. The impact set off a flash before my eyes and then everything went black.
An explosive crack of thunder flicked the lights back on inside my head. I blinked a haze of blurred green into focus. The canopy of the forest and between it jagged slivers of blue sky. My head lifted and smacked back down on the forest floor. My shirt rode up and formed a twisted mess around my shoulder blades. I looked to my feet, elevated and ahead. The smooth and grey skin of Callum. He dragged me through the forest, down towards the cave. He was taking me to Roger.
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2023.03.22 16:13 old_cump Were you often accused of trying to kill them?

My ex would accuse me of trying to kill her once or twice a year. She would announce out of the blue that she wouldn't eat what I'd made for me and the kids because she was sure I'd poisoned it even though we were eating already. She would grill me about where we were going out sometimes because she wanted to make sure people knew in case she went missing. She told me she wrote a sealed letter that she gave to her sister saying if she ever ended up dead to open it and point the police at me. The kicker was at the end of our marriage she got appendicitis. As she was rolling around in pain before she'd let me take her to the ER she was screaming at the kids to make sure they did an autopsy because I had poisoned her. I haven't seen this be an issue on here so I'm wondering if this was just my own little slice of heaven.
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