Brits last letter crossword

29 M question about eye exam

2023.03.22 23:39 silforik 29 M question about eye exam

My ophthalmologist gave me an eye test today. He said that my script had changed significantly. (Currently -4, -2.75)
I disagreed with him, and told him I could see fine with my contacts. He didn’t believe me, so he asked me to do the test with my contacts.
I was able to see every line without effort, and could see everything even like 3 ft behind the chair. He then changed his mind and started talking about eye strain.
Do you think it was eye strain or could the machine have been calibrated incorrectly? The red balloon test started out fine, but it ended with the balloon being blurry. When I went to read the letters, they all looked extremely small, and the last line was so small it was almost not visible.
submitted by silforik to eyetriage [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 23:38 demogorgon96 Should I appeal my UC Davis rejection?

I got rejected from UC Davis and waitlisted from UCSD, UCSB, and UCSC. I only got into UCR, but I want to have more options since the likelihood of getting off the UCSD and UCSB waitlist is low.
I've earned significantly higher grades in my senior year than in my junior year. Last semester, I ended up with a 4.6 GPA, and this semester, I'm on my way to a 4.8. Junior year, I ended up with a few C's in AP classes (Chemistry and Calc AB) which probably hurt me, but I now hold a 97% in Calculus BC.
I wish there were a way to explain this to the schools from which I was waitlisted, but there's no option to submit senior grades.
Given the low success rate of appeals, is it worth trying to appeal for a shot at Davis?
(My AP Lit teacher agreed to write me a letter of recommendation and I may ask my Calc BC teacher as well).
submitted by demogorgon96 to ApplyingToCollege [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 23:32 LittyLitFam [CAN-ON] Background check couldn’t verify past employments, what should I do?

For context I’m a university student who landed an internship starting in the upcoming summer. After receiving the results of my background check I noticed that they were unable to verify two of my past employments. They were both unpaid and only lasted a couple of weeks with one of them being a volunteer position and the other being a work placement as part of a program with my high school so it wasn’t entirely unexpected that I wouldn’t be in their systems, but now I’m worried that my offer might be rescinded because of it. I have documentation from both places proving that I worked there but as the positions were unpaid it’s nothing official like an offer letter, more so an email from the organizer confirming my volunteer start date, which the background check company wouldn’t accept. I have already called the background check company again and they basically stated that they couldn’t do anything unless the employer wanted to run another background check. Normally I wouldn’t be stressed about this as I have more current job experience and both positions were over three years ago but during the interview the hiring manager asked me one question regarding one of the positions related to the excel work I performed there.
What should I do next? Should I just wait and see if HR contacts me or should I take initiative and contact HR myself in order to explain the discrepancy?
submitted by LittyLitFam to AskHR [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 23:26 PeenInVeen Divorce ending and feeling grateful

I finalized my divorce last week, and it's been extremely strenuous, but I'm feeling so encouraged and hopeful now for the future.
Since I'm a single mom now, I can't stay at my part time job and make ends meet. I had to waive maintenance and I get less than $75 of child support per month, leaving me $200 in the hole every month. I have a couple months to find a new job and it's been extremely stressful.
On the plus side though, I have so much help I never realized I had. Everyone came out of the woodwork to help and support me the last 6 months. My parents housed me for over a month until I found an apartment, friends brought me food during lunch when money is tight, furnishing my apartment only cost me $50 because of all the furniture and appliance donations, very high ranking people, my boss, and my past bosses helping me find a new job and being my references, my parents supporting my decisions and helping me pay my lawyer bills...
It makes me want to cry. Sometimes the stress gets to me and I break down, but I have such a support system that I'm just constantly encouraged to get myself back up and work harder. I honestly need to write everyone a letter, but I know I will be sobbing the whole time.
I hope everyone going through this process can find a support system and be able to pick yourselves back up. This is a new beginning, so try and set goals, accomplish things you've always wanted to do, and be grateful for those who help.
submitted by PeenInVeen to Divorce [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 23:26 CasusBellum Ivy Day Results + End of March Results from 2 yrs ago~

Hey all, as Ivy Day comes around and some selective colleges are releasing apps, I thought I'd put my results out from a couple years ago (post-pandemic year) since I never ended posting them. Hope some people will find it interesting - I tried to make it as detailed as possible~
Intended Major(s): Anthropology, Economics, Business (for those with programs)
Standardized Testing
List the highest scores earned and all scores that were reported.
List all extracurricular involvements, including leadership roles, time commitments, major achievements, etc.
  1. Founder of Online Media Publication: Founded youth media org, grew to 100+ global team (10 countries) incl. web journalism, podcasts, videos; partnered w/youth advocacies (purposely vague) (3yrs)
  2. National Clubs Executive for a chain of entrepreneurship clubs attached to a nonprofit entrepreneurship incubator: Selected at nonprofit's 2019 Summer Incubator (10% accept), pitched 2 biz, won $7K seed; joined org, manage 22 int’l clubs/ competitions, help student entrepreneurs pitch and find mentors (2yrs)
  3. Co-founding Managing Partner of small consulting LLC providing GenZ branding, marketing and user experience services to improve client businesses; secured six contracts during 2020; founded with seed funding from (#2) (2yrs)
  4. Director of Student Programs at a small international startup platform; Work w/founders to coordinate student ambassador program and enhance community interactions; founded coalition program connecting student NPOs on site to foster int’l collaboration and drive recruiting/publicity resources into verified site organizations. Paid position (in company shares, not salary), worked my way up from an online internship (2yrs)
  5. Published Author and Misc. Freelance Writing/History Research Co-wrote book on loan surveying volunteer experiences published Jan 2020 over 3 years; research/wrote articles for various youth economics magazines and sites; submitted to Concord Review (hear back soon in time for RD apps hopefully); (4 yrs)
  6. Podcast Host Co-host [redacted] podcast: interview students and admissions officers to discuss [redacted]; 50K views total (2 yrs)
  7. Volunteer / Organizer for Economic Opportunity Initiative for Rural Farmers and small shopkeepers; Led teams to interview farmers and craft financial statements to successfully obtain agricultural loans; 200+ service hours (1yr)
  8. Corporate Culture / Economics Research Intern with local university prof, Contributed to economics research on entrepreneurship, corruption and business politics; also conducted statistical analysis of insider trading rates by gender; acknowledgements in prof's published research (no co-author)(3 yrs)
  9. FoundePresident of SciFair Club Started club to engage peers in research/competition; recruited professional mentors; cancelled mostly due to COVID but I was the top SciFair performer from my school 2yrs
  10. FoundePresident of FBLA club (Formerly LaunchX in 10th grade) Founded schl’s first-ever club to explore entrepreneurship and career dev; grew to 30 members; mentored peers; achieved FBLA state qualifier 2020 (but then COVID) 2yrs
This was CA verbatim with some redactions.
List all awards and honors submitted on your application.
  1. 2nd Place in Entrepreneurship Incubator Competition (technically international?? just national), 5K seed money for my startup
  2. President's Volunteer Service Award-Gold for 200+ hrs from volunteer work and being a mock juror for local law grad students
  3. 2nd Pl–Social Science State Science Fair; 2nd Pl- City Psychological Association for same Research; Monetary Award from Sigma Xi Research Honors Society
  4. 3rd Pl, City Asian-American association: Essay contest where I wrote & presented economic consequences of CA bill
  5. One 1 (of 6) to represent school at Rotary Youth Leadership Award Conference (but then COVID)
Letters of Recommendation
I won't numerically rate my LoRs because... just how would I do that?
Entrepreneurship Mentor (CEO): Had a very strong relationship with him, he provided and advanced a lot of my extracurricular opportunities and he was from the entrepreneurship incubator (gave me a scholarship to attend). He wrote letters for a few other students a year above me at the incubator and they were admitted to Harvard, JHU, Purdue, NYU Stern. Those other students say I was his favorite.
AP Phys Teacher: Well enough, I've known him for 4 years and he's well aware of my entrepreneurial activities and podcasting (actually had him on the podcast once). Generally on amicable terms, been good and ambitious student.
APUSH Teacher: Only takes 10 LOR requests a year, I requested mine a year in advance. Very good terms, probably one of best students in our APUSH class. Had out of class conversations that espoused my personality. Aware of my writing and my authorship.
Peer (for Darty): Co-founder in firm, went through a lot together at entrepreneurship incubator and later reconnected as mentors in same incubator. Read it myself and its quite professional for a peer rec.
UPenn: Not great, really didn't click. She was a doctor who was really questioning my want to go to big city Philly and asked me verbatim what I did for fun again (after my initial response of fall into Wikipedia rabbit holes and podcast) with a straight face. Never making that mistake again.
Duke: Pretty good, was able to make them laugh at end, had an engaging conversation about Duke entrepreneurship and leadership programs.
Princeton: Recent grad who was probably the best so far, she described me as a "gift to the world" (flattered) and she said she was impressed by my responses compared to other applicants. She said to update her on my decision in April.
Harvard: Would say it was good. Really stoic guy who was in President Clinton's cabinet, had an engaging conversation about journalism and the new media forces (Vox, ProPublica) and my ambition to do the same. Ended with a bit about him talking about imposter syndrome as his biggest dislike with his Harvard experience.
Stanford: Short (~40 min) where halfway through interview I became the interviewer. Talked a lot about her daughter who was a Stanford senior and the easily accessible small research grants. Apparently she welcomes the ~60-70 Stanford admitted students every year with a reception at her home.
Dartmouth: Really down to earth conversation with a guy, standard interview questions, he still sends me material and updates from Dartmouth here and there now based on things I said in our interview (like swim team changes, pitching opportunities). I also update him in April.
MIT: Fairly standard interview. Nothing really to note here, talked about my journalism and my view on media for the most part.
After being rejected by Penn, I think I went through maybe like 15 CA drafts in total but only the last two mattered. I applied to half my colleges with one CA draft (that I thought showed how I thought, albeit maybe not as personal as I wanted it). I ended up applying to all the colleges with deadlines 1/3/20 and after using my Harvard supp as my CA since a friend and a college counselor both read it, suggested no changes, and said it was my best work. All sups went through 2-4 drafts and were reviewed by either my friend or college counselor. I had half of them coming into Winter break then I crammed out the rest during break. I'm proud of my CA essays and most of my sups and have realized throughout all my revising and editing, that I lost a great deal of my own voice in the essays that I initially sent to Penn. Which is why I resolved to keep editing minimal and my original voice a priority in my later essays (and rewrote my CA).
Decisions (indicate ED/EA/REA/SCEA/RD)
Additional Information:
In March, I was selected for a 12-person cohort in a career development program following my entrepreneurial activities where I was selected to participate in funded projects ranging from Harvard case studies and startups. This was discontinued owing to the COVID pandemic but will be resuming the latter half of my senior year.
I was interviewed by major news networks (November 2020) about the launch of the entrepreneurial incubator clubs chapters in the midst of COVID-19, interview expected to be in outlets like USNews and the like in February (Hopefully in time for RD)
I was invited to join the student council of a social science research program for high school students around the world, hosted by the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) on the basis of my journalism and the entrepreneurship incubator clubs program. This just began this February and am currently meeting with the director.
Final words:
I made a lot of mistakes back then but I won't deny I was and am happy with how I handled the college app process back then. Happy to answer any Qs - I chose Cornell at the end of the day and am now heavily involved the entrepreneurship/VC scene in uni.
submitted by CasusBellum to collegeresults [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 23:18 jasoncrawford Links and tweets, 2023-03-22

Links and tweets, 2023-03-22

Progress Forum








Politics & policy

Original link:
submitted by jasoncrawford to rootsofprogress [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 23:01 stanfordropout Stanford dropout proves the UCs are a crapshoot (chance me for Berkeley!)

Intended Major(s): CS (very original)
Standardized Testing
List the highest scores earned and all scores that were reported.
Going to heavily anonymize
  1. work for a legitimate established non-profit in a semi-leadership role
  2. research, didn't publish
  3. robotics team
  4. leadership in student council
  5. rest of a bunch of random stuff that is hardly relevant (some projects, other school stuff, tutoring, whatever)
Letters of Recommendation
Don't matter for UCs, but according to my Stanford admissions file, they were the strongest part of my application lol.
I spent a lot of time on them and I think were good.
Decisions (indicate ED/EA/REA/SCEA/RD)
2023 Acceptances:
Waiting on Berkeley (L&S CS) - wish me luck!
2023 Rejections:
2022 Acceptances:
2022 Rejections/waitlists:
Additional Information:
Why did I drop out of Stanford? A lot of reasons but the most important one is $$$$: our fin-aid situation changed but Stanford's fin-aid didn't, so continuing to go would put me in debt. Like a lot of debt. In-between applying to colleges (when I was indecisive about my major) to now, I realized that I genuinely enjoyed CS & EE and did a lot of random projects with them, so that's why I applied the way I did.
I think I got pretty lucky but at the same I would say my grades and stats were strong considering my situation. All this really proves is that the UCs are a crapshoot, which is how I felt the first time around getting rejected by UCLA, and now when I got in. Admission officers be rolling dice.
submitted by stanfordropout to collegeresults [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 23:01 LatterStreet Landlord Refunds?

I paid a new landlord $7000+ for security, first & last month’s rent. We haven’t moved in yet, lease doesn’t begin until the second week of April.
She’s now asking for a letter from our current landlord, to who my partner owes money (thanks to crappy roommates). He’s in the process of paying this off, but won’t be caught up in time.
I understand that many landlords ask for this verification, but she’s suddenly asking AFTER we’ve paid. If we’re not able to provide a landlord letter, will she legally have to refund my money?
submitted by LatterStreet to legaladvice [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 22:55 iwkms2 How can i put my 14yr old sister in jail?

I 19F have a 14 almost 15 year old sister. Ever since we were little i have never had a bond with her due to her behavior and attitude to not only towards me but my family. She’s always been the type to get in trouble and shes a mommy’s girls till this day without realizing it. When younger she used to literally chase after me with knives, throw temper tantrums, tell me to die or kill myself, and even stole $300 i had saved up from birthdays and gifts. Now, at this time she wasn’t necessarily getting punished and i believe it was due to favoritism. Even though she would get the most whoppings out of all 3 of us during her middle school years due to her horrible behavior, she was the most spoiled one. By her age i had to learn how to cook,clean, take care of myself and her and she cant do not one thing. Now to the real problem, she has catch 2 cases: assault and vandalism. The first case they let her go as long as she took an anger management class and did some community service. The second case is still currently being worked on but they’re looking towards probation and more community and anger management classes. I forgot to add that when younger she was diagnosed with ADHD which i believe its bs (not the disorder, the fact that she has it). She has gotten the police and CPS into our home several times and nothing ever comes out of it. I truly think that my mon will end up in jail from building up so much resentment and anger towards her. The last time the police came into our house i was 3 months pregnant and i had to be questioned on her whereabouts because she decided to leave her phone and watch so that no one could track her, write a letter, and run away. She’s constantly talking to 19 to 21 year old guys and think that theres nothing wrong with that and victimizing herself, making our family look like the bad ones for treating her like an outcast(it wasn’t always like that). She leaves the house when she wants and comes back even though she has a 7pm curfew and her PO and the court wont treat her seriously simply because shes a minor. She also has a boyfriend and his mother is brainwashed by her, making her think that my mother is the bad person and will literally pick up my sister from her school bus stop to take her to school. My mother tried to text her and update her on whats going on but she chose to ignore her and told my sister she didn’t want to be involved in my mothers drama (that my sister has caused). She doesn’t clean to the point where she had trash next to her bed and a mountain of clothes that hadn’t been washed for months (6+ months). She doesn’t know how to do anything for herself and frankly im tired of it and so its our family. She also has a friend in the neighborhood who supplies her with vapes and weed and will literally hide her out in her house, her mother also doesn’t care. When she had ran away she told her friend and her mother and nobody thought to tell us till the police got involved. Shes constantly failing her court’s drug tests and even smoked in her room knowing i have a 2 month old baby in the house. While cleaning her room with my mother (it got to the point where i couldn’t stand the stank coming from there so we cleaned it) i found a tattoo gun machine brand new and in my mothers room was the ink that she ordered under a different name. We don’t know where she gets the money and at this point i could care less i just honestly wanna get rid of her and put her in jail. i would also like to state this is in FL in case someone has any legal advise.
submitted by iwkms2 to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 22:54 TheKingOfMaor My Dearest _____

How many letters have I written to you now? How many did I delete for fear of you finding them?
I know I've lost count.
I haven't deleted the last few letters. I really don't think you'll see them. I wonder if we'd still be friends if you did or if you'd shut me out. You know that's why I don't tell you, right? Because I'm terrified that if I ever told you that I'm in love with you that you'd shut me out completely.
The timing is all wrong anyway. There's just too much in the way right now.
I know, I'm a coward for not shooting my shot or whatever. Honestly, I think that if you rejected my feelings it would be the end. Not just because it's you though, if I had these feelings for anyone else it would be the same. I've always been rejected. Sure, I've been in a number of relationships, some of which were fairly long-term. I never initiated those, I accepted the feelings of others and grew to have strong feelings for them.
This time feels different. I don't understand why but what my heart holds for you seems stronger, more robust.
It can't be healthy, keeping this chained up within. I can't let it run free right now though. Hopefully, this will settle down and die out like I should.
Have you read my letters? Do you know that I am in love with you?
submitted by TheKingOfMaor to UnsentLetters [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 22:53 Patient-Card-8070 11/29/22 Annual ECF Processed/Approved After Follow-Up

I'm in a very generic PSLF situation. I consolidated within the six-month deferment period at the end of my masters program in 2014 and was immediately transferred to FedLoan and put on an IDR plan (PAYE). Besides a few ECFs kicked back for random errors over the years, my case has been pretty straightforward. My loans transferred to Mohela with the correct PSLF count in September 2022. I submitted my annual ECF on 11/29/22 and on 3/7/23 the form was switched to processed but nothing happened. On 3/17/23 when my counts weren't updated, I called and got a rep in training who I had to explain a lot of the program to (no clue where this "mentor" they were working with was for support) but ultimately she read me a letter on my file dated 3/7/23 that said literally nothing about my 11/29/22 ECF. Then she dug around and said she saw my ECF was denied without a specified reason. ????? I asked for a supervisor review and she put it through. Magically today 3/22/23 my counts updated +12 which is accurate for the 11/29/22 update. I now sit at 101/120 payments. For those of us in the OG program (not waiver programs) they are still getting to our forms. I thought I'd be waiting even longer to be processed considering the volume of work, but looks like progress is being made and at quite a fast pace suddenly!
14-ish months to go.....pray I hang onto my non-profit job for the last stretch. 😀
submitted by Patient-Card-8070 to PSLF [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 22:48 timeslider My (36M) girlfriend (29F) gets emotional about being wrong and I'm not sure how to handle it.

I asked her to help me on my resume. She's pretty good at this stuff from what I can tell and she recently got a good job for a large corporation. Things were going well with the resume until she started talking about something that didn't make any sense. She was trying to add my programming skills but she doesn't know how so she found this webpage on indeed.
If you scroll down to Core Programming Qualifications, she's under the assumption that each row is one unique skill. Like knowing XML for Mac OS X using Oracle SQL is one thing or one skill which doesn't make sense at all. XML and SQL are two different languages to begin with.
I asked her where she got them from because I figured she misread it wrong (she did and still is) and then the following exchange happened:
Her: Does it matter? Me: I'm just curious Her: You can save all your questions after it's done but don't question every step and make no progress. Thank you for your cooperation. Me: All right Her: I can't make any progress till now because you are not on the same page still and seriously if you doubt or not happy / satisfied, you can always find someone else to do it or stick with the original one. I really wouldn't mind. Me: I'm not unsatisfied but I think I can take it from here.
At this point, I was trying to move on because I can tell she was getting frustrated with me.
She sends me what she has.
Her: I wouldn't mind at all, because I couldn't even collect what is needed to fill in the form I created. Me: Sorry, I don't have all the answers but it's not a problem. Her: But all you sent me is question and doubt. I really don't like how you do it since if you don't believe in me, please don't ask me to do it in the first place then question every bit I want you to do and disagree with me almost everything and can't even follow the three lists I sent you. Can you imagine how frustrating it is? When I do research and give you the breakdown and all you care is how I did the research. I'm not blaming you, don't get me wrong, I just let you know I tried so you can have the template I created and fill in whatever you liked.
I feel that she's greatly mischaracterizing the events. All I asked is where she got it from and now she's saying I'm disagreeing with her on every bit and everything.
Me: I'm not doubting you. I was trying to make sure you're not using a bad resource. Her: But to me it is, that is the product (outcome) I sent you that make you ask if it's from a bad resource. It means you think what I have sent you is bad so you question it and want to see where does it come from.
And I don't see what's wrong with that. Like if it's bad, it's bad. It should be questioned but when I try to bring it up, I'm shutdown. I feel like she's attaching herself too much to what she just learned. She seems ok right now but I don't know what to do.
Last month, we got into a huge argument because she swears up and down that she played a demo of The Legend of Zelda: Breathe of the Wild on her PS4 and not her Switch. I knew that wasn't true so I made the mistake of saying so. She yelled at me. At first, she said she would send me proof like a screenshot but once she realized she was wrong, she refused to send anything. She tried to send a video by IGN about it because the title mentioned PS4 and Zelda but if watch the video, those were two separate points in the video.
We've been together almost 10 years and she has been like this the entire time. These moments are somewhat rare now but they used to be more common. I feel like it's a bit worse right now because she just got a new job and she's really proud of herself (she should be) but she's letting her ego get the better of her. It seems that she wants to be surrounded by yes-men who praise her, tell her everything she is doing is right, etc but I've been trying to fight it for years. She's never going to grow if she's never questioned.
submitted by timeslider to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 22:42 SPOOKYSELTZER What do you think are possibilities for this person's name? (Arrows for where you can rest of single letters below tape)

What do you think are possibilities for this person's name? (Arrows for where you can rest of single letters below tape)
The front of the painting says "Gerry B". The last 5 letters are "strom".
submitted by SPOOKYSELTZER to Handwriting [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 22:41 elifant33 AITA for not visiting my dad now that he is out of prison?

My (19F) bio dad (48M) went to prison when I was 5, I am now 19 and attending college. He was released from prison 3 weeks ago and my brother (17M) and half-sister (30M) have both spent some time with him. I currently live in a different state for college and already have plans for my spring break next week that don't include going back to my hometown to visit him. We talked on the phone a few days after he was released, and he said he would love to see me but whenever's convenient for me is fine.
To be honest I don't consider my bio dad to be my real dad. In the last 14 years I've visited him in prison maybe 40 times and talked to him on the phone once a month until a few years ago. My mom remarried when I was 7 and I was raised by my stepdad, who I consider to be my real dad. My brother does not feel the same way (hates our stepdad) and has always been "close" with our bio dad. He and our dad would write letters weekly and he was always begging our mom for more visits. He has always been very eager for our dad to get out of prison and has spent a lot of time with him since he has.
My brother thinks I'm an asshole for not sparing a couple of days of my spring break to come and see him. My half-sister also messaged me to say that even if he hasn't said it to me, my dad really wants me to visit and has apparently expressed sadness over possibly not seeing me for a few more months. My uncle has also reached out to let me know if it's just about the cost of flying home then he would pay for plane tickets.
AITA for not visiting during my spring break?
submitted by elifant33 to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 22:01 ForayIntoFillyloo The Unknown [On The Road Challenge]

“…the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live…” – Jack Kerouac
If anyone is to blame for all of this, it’s Kerouac.
Sarah and I met in a class studying literature and film of the Great American Road Ttrip. She needed a course to keep her work-study job, and I needed a few credits to stay on pace to graduate. Sounded easy…read some books, watch a few movies, no sweat.
It wasn’t challenging, but it was engaging. The small group of us read Krakauer and Pirsig, watched Easy Rider and Thelma and Louise, and of course dove headfirst into the ultimate road trip, Kerouac’s On The Road.
The discussions lasted for hours. Most of us would meet up after class at a campus bar to continue exploring our thoughts on freedom, experience, risk, discovery. Sarah loved those sessions, and she would often jump in with an easy smile and eyes so intensely bright. She spoke often about the optimism of the Unknown, as she called it. I was smitten.
It didn’t take long for Sarah and I to do what college kids do, and we lost ourselves to it. We dove in fully. Boundaries disappeared. Inhibitions released. Like truly living for the first time.
After a month together we began our own road trip, a foray into the Unknown. Sarah wrote down route numbers and letters on scraps of paper and put them in a bowl. I picked one. 126e. That was the highway we took out of town. We threw clothes and sleeping bags in my trunk and went.
The first weeks were amazing. Freeing. No plans, no schedules. If we felt a pull in a direction, we went. We camped in beautiful places, gazed into the Milky Way at night, and spoke about everything endlessly. I’d never felt so in sync with someone.
But we ran out of money and gas in Ashton, Idaho. We were stuck and hungry. I wanted to call home for help, but Sarah…she couldn’t give up on the Unknown. Her eyes shone intently as she convinced me going back wasn’t an option.
Ashton is small. Super small. We sought cash jobs, but the town was wary of us. Hunger got to us. One night I broke into a hamburger joint for food, but the owner was there. He’d rejected my plea for work the day before, and when he pulled a gun that night…I went to the Unknown. It provided food and a way out.
Sarah convinced me we had to trust in it. She threatened to turn me in if I tried to leave. I had no choice but to stay on the road.
Months have passed. Nights are colder now. Darker. I can’t keep doing…these things. I want to go home.
Sarah stirs in her sleep. I touch her neck. I look into the clear night sky, into the Milky Way shining bright. The Unknown. Just one last time.
Let’s go home, Jack.
submitted by ForayIntoFillyloo to shortscarystories [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 22:00 LittyLitFam Unable to verify past employments on Background Check. What should I do?

For context I’m a university student who landed an internship starting in the upcoming summer. After receiving the results of my background check I noticed that they were unable to verify two of my past employments. They were both unpaid and only lasted a couple of weeks with one of them being a volunteer position and the other being a work placement as part of a program with my high school so it wasn’t entirely unexpected that I wouldn’t be in their systems, but now I’m worried that my offer might be rescinded because of it. I have documentation from both places proving that I worked there but as the positions were unpaid it’s nothing official like an offer letter, more so an email from the organizer confirming my volunteer start date, which the background check company wouldn’t accept. I have already called the background check company again and they basically stated that they couldn’t do anything unless the employer wanted to run another background check. Normally I wouldn’t be stressed about this as I have more current job experience and both positions were over three years ago but during the interview the hiring manager asked me one question regarding one of the positions related to the excel work I performed there.
What should I do next? Should I just wait and see if HR contacts me or should I take initiative and contact HR myself in order to explain the discrepancy?
submitted by LittyLitFam to jobs [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 21:59 ColonClenseByFire [OH] Uncomfortable saying a coworkers name....

I am posting this for a friend of mine that doesn't use reddit, so this is from her perspective.
I work for a multi national company. Recently I got put on a team with a woman from another country. I wont be able to type her name out here because my account may get banned but her name is only 1 letter difference than cigar. I am so nervous to even say her name. I don't want to get accused of saying it wrong or too enthusiastically. I also don't want to call all my other teammates by their name and use that persons last name. I don't want to single her out but I know it only takes 1 person overhearing something and I am out a career.
How would you handle this?
submitted by ColonClenseByFire to AskHR [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 21:54 Qeuzee "From the Ashes of the Union" (WIP)

Chapter 1
A rough start.
Our story begins in the 1990s, where unrest is growing in Europe, as the Soviet Union - a fierce and powerful superpower of the world, is starting to face trouble with its republics.
The Soviets have oppressed the people of its lands for many decades, sending them to gulags and taking from the land, whilst snuffing out potential thoughts for independence with heavy censorship of television and writing.
The people had enough of the Soviets oppressive dictatorship, and on the 11th of March, 1990, the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic became the first country to leave the Soviet Union, starting a chain reaction which would lead to the inevitable collapse of the once great nation.
One nation which had been especially inspired by this was the Lavinian SSR, a Soviet republic along the coast of the Baltic sea, bordering Finland to the north, and Estonia to the east, with their capital city being the historical capital of Russia, St.petersburg.
Due to this inspiration, they announced their own sovereignty and independence from the Soviet Union on the 5th of November, 1991, with the first few countries to recognize them being the Baltic states themselves - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
As for the republics prior to them, their independence did not come easily, the Soviets put in extra effort into keeping the Lavins under their control, as their independence would mean them losing St.petersburg.
As the Soviets tanks rolled into Lavinia from the east, the world looked on timidly as their war machines crushed the unarmed protestors.
That is until the main people group of the eastern side of Lavinia intervened - The Anarchowens, who were Ukrainians that were forcefully taken from their homeland and placed into the cold wilderness of eastern Lavinia.
The Lavins along with the Anarchowens fought fiercely against the Soviets tanks, as did the Lithuanians during the January Events between the 11th and 13th of the month.
And in the end, they managed to gain their independence and breakaway from the tyrannical clutches of the Soviet Union.
Chapter 2
Rising tensions.
The independence of Lavinia was celebrated throughout the entire country, however, in the eastern side of the Lavinia a desire for independence was also growing.
The Anarchowen community was separated from the rest of Lavinia, as they lived in a small city in the mostly barren east of the nation, and over the years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the desire for sovereignty grew in the Anarchowen inhibited region.
1995 was the year it all went down, the Anarchowens, under the rule of a ambitious young woman, who is only known as 'Mother Anarchy' declared independence from Lavinia.
Their sudden declaration was met with resistance from the Lavinian law inforcement within the area, but they were quickly overwhelmed, the seperatists managed to take over the region.
Upon the news of this, the current president of Lavinia, Mikel, instructed his army to take back the region from the seperatist.
Mikel had expected a swift and easy victory against the underpowered and unorganized seperatists, and his army had great success at taking back land from the seperatists, that all changed soon enough thought.
The leader of the seperatists gave instructions on what to do, they bombard the trenched of their enemies with Molotov cocktails, burning anyone who didn't take cover or run away from the area of impact within the thin and narrow trenches.
This tactic proved quite effective at not only lowering enemy moral, but also causing a good amount damage and casualties to them Lavinian army.
Soon the Lavinian army would build metal roofing on top the their trenches, providing protection from the fiery bombardment that they have faced.
Mother anarchy had another trick up her sleeve though, she instructed the creation of 'Battle Bikes', modified motorcycles with spikes on the front, two machine gun barrels on the side, taking ammo from the ammo boxes placed on the sides of the vehicle, and, as a last ditch resort, the driver could open up the gas tank, leaving behind a trail of gasoline wherever they drive, which could be lit up after gas tank runs dry.
This war machine was used to cause havoc on the battlefield, and in the enemy trenches, the riders of these bikes would ride down into the enemy trenches and mow down anyone unlucky enough to be caught, and as an added bonus, the drivers would leave these bikes in the enemy barracks, and set the gasoline trail on fire, burning any poor soul who was trampled by the biker.
The trail of burning gasoline would eventually reach the motorcycle, causing it to explode in the enemy barracks, which were often times build beneath the surface, and would cave in.
This kind of fighting went on for months, the people of Lavinia grew increasingly angry with their leader's incompetence on this situation, and he was overthrown and replaced with a new president, one Maria Haikka.
Chapter 3
Maria was a young girl from the northern most town of Kovosa, which had a sizeable Finnish minority, along with a few Estonians and Russians for some nice diversion, Maria grew up to a Finnish family, learning her parents native language, along with Russian and Lavinian, Maria had a shy and timid personality, often getting anxious and nervous when in tense situations or when having big responsibility placed on her, which is exactly what happened.
Maria was absolutely losing it, she had no idea of how to run a country, and had no knowledge on politics.
Mikel, who was now made into the new presidents secretary, tried to calm Maria down.
"Snap out of it Maria! You've got a country to run!"
-Mikel says while shaking Maria by her shoulders.
"I'm sorry! I'm just... I don't know what to do! I've got all these people who expect me to make things better but I don't even know what I'm supposed to do and it's making me nervous and-"
-Maria's rambling is cut short by Mikel.
"Listen, I know it's hard, but you have to do your best! These people are all counting on you to solve this issue!"
-Mikel says to Maria, holding his hand on one of her shoulders, she looks at him nervously.
"Y-you're right.. I have to stop do my best and solve this issue!"
-Maria says, looking a bit more confident in herself...
The battle continues to rage on weeks after, both of the armies are exhausted and tired of fighting, yet they neither seem to be giving up, that is when Maria receives a letter.
"We can continue fighting this war, or we can discuss a peace treaty, meet me at the border between our countries. - Mother Anarchy"
Maria gasps at this, a possible end to this dumb war? That would be amazing, but she was also nervous that it may be a trap, nevertheless Maria decides to take a chance and goes out to the border of Lavinia and Anarchow.
Maria finds herself in front of a destroyed part of town, most of the buildings are in ruins, except for an bell tower that used to belong to a church.
As Maria steps out of the vehicle, in the distance she sees a brown haired woman, wearing a black fisherman's cap and a long brown trench coat, her face is covered with a black surgical mask, and only her eyes are visible.
Maria comes closer to the woman, around them stand many soldiers, Both Lavin and Anarchowen, Maria stands awkwardly, waiting for the woman to speak.
"So, you decide to come and discuss this peace plan then?"
-MA says, her voice sounds devoid of emotion and bears a Ukrainian sounding accent.
"Y-yes, that is correct."
-Maria says anxiously
"You must be the one they call 'Mother Anarchy', correct?"
-Maria asks.
"Yes, that is correct, and what may your name be then?"
-MA asks, still bearing that same emotionless voice.
"Maria ma'am.."
-Maria answers.
"Maria.. That's a nice sounding name, fitting for such a nice girl as yourself."
-MA says.
"O-oh uhh, t-thank you.."
-Maria blushes a bit at the comment, she looks away shyly.
"Now then, let's discuss this peace agreement, shall we?"
-MA says, gesturing to Maria to come over to a nearby table where the two of them sit down and discuss the peace treaty.
"As the leader and representative of the Anarchowens, we have the following demands."
  1. The withdrawal of Lavinian forces from Anarchowen claimed regions.
  2. The recognition of Anarchowen sovereignty and industry.
And finally
  1. The permission to establish The state of Anarchow within this area.
-MA pulls out a map depicting the area which they claim as their own.
-Maria looks at the picture and thinks for a moment.
"Hmm, okay... You can have this land, but I must also ask for an agreement on someone."
"An agreement on what exactly?"
-MA asks curiously.
"We will provide your country with resources needed to sustain itself, and in return we ask for you to protect the eastern side of Lavinia from any possible land invasion."
-MA considers this offer for a few moments before answering.
"Our country would need help with sustaining itself, and due to the nature of our government, it would be hard finding countries who would support us... Fine, we will protect eastern Lavinia from any land invasions that try to pass through Anarchow."
-MA extends her hand to Maria and they both shake hands, Marking the end of the brutal war...
submitted by Qeuzee to StoryWriting [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 21:52 Apprehensive-Many257 large overpayment

I'm looking for some advice. I was on disability for major depression for over 10 years. I stopped working, was approved for SSDI, went back to school while taking care of three young children who also have disabilities that required much of my time advocating for better supports at school with IEPs etc.
I completed school and necessary training for my new career, starting working in my new field about 5 years ago, slowly building up to close to full time. The kind of work I do is mostly independent "gig" kind of work that usually pays per project on a 1099 basis, but some of the work I do pays on a w2 basis. At the begining of Covid, for a short time all the work went away, but then fortunately the work came back, more than before, but still I was nervous that the work could quickly dry up again since my work is done mostly in person, and one lockdown could end it for a short or extended period of time. Fortunately, that didn't happen, but since I wasn't paying close attention, always worried it could go away, I was overpaid for over one year. Because I collect for myself and 3 dependents, the amount I've been overpaid is in the 6 figures. I reported to SSA as soon as I realized my earnings were exceeding the monthly allowed amount, but SSA continued to make deposits for 8 additional months.
I've asked for a reconsideration, because by my calculations, the months that SSA counts as EPE months and TWP months are slightly different. I've requested additional information from SSA by letter that they explain how they calculated which months are EPE. I received a letter that I'm in the processes of a reconsideration last year, but haven't had any letters since. That was almost a year ago.
My question is should I call SSA to check the status of my reconsideration? or should i just leave it and wait for their eventual response? I imagine there is a backlog of work and SSAs short staffed which is likely the reason for the delay and eventually I will have a response, but at the same time it's been almost a year since the last letter they sent to me and nothing yet providing me with the information I've requested. I'm anxious to put this behind me but at the same time very nervous about this very large amount and starting the process of negotiating a payment plan that we can afford.
any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks
submitted by Apprehensive-Many257 to SocialSecurity [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 21:51 Russian_p1ge0n69 name scheme for beyblade x

what name scheme if they have 1 do you think theyll use so far we have had
plastic: animal but different and also each team had a thing such as all of the blade breakers starting with dr or the demolition bous ending in borg
metal: constelations/star sighns, planets and gods in fury and mythical animals in zero g (except salamander. salamanders are real)
burst: had a bit of a norse theme at first but quickly dropped it and changed to anything they wanted really, they did however have a thing in the anime where characters and beys started with the same letter such like valt and valkyrie
beyblade x: we dont know so im looking for ideas personally if were to asume it will be a mix of all past generations it could be plastics animals but different combined with bursts character and bey sharing initials with metal contributing to the prefix with it being an element (element prefixes didnt last in metal but it was a thing for most of fusion and masters) so a name could be something like blaze leo owned by leonard
submitted by Russian_p1ge0n69 to Beyblade [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 21:50 Welcomebacktrig I'm Hurting - Should I send this letter?

SOME PREFACE: I am in recovery now with almost 4 months. I met my ex in rehab last year and we did what you would call "trauma bonding". Meaning, we became very close and intertwined very fast. We became best friends originally but after a few months we decided we would be together as it was obvious that's what we wanted. He had left rehab and stayed sober however I'd left rehab and continued to struggle with relapsing and going back to treatment during 2022. In October of 2022, he broke up with me. I continued to have 2 or 3 day relapses here and there but considering we were separated by states, he wasn't totally aware. For Thanksgiving, I'd gotten a ticket to visit him. I was excited, a week before our trip he made comments that confirmed we were going to be hooking up (we were still not together). Days after those comments however, he said he was setting up the guest room since he'd been on a couple of dats with a girl. I was upset but I still went on the trip. The day after Thanksgiving I drank and I don't remember much of it. When I drink, it gets bad very fast. Blacking out, can't move, I get sick, I've been hospitalized. He decided he needed to enforce a firm boundary. He chose to take me, a very intoxicated blacked out woman, to the airport and leave me on a bench with no ticket home. I forgave him originally. I respected him for setting a boundary. However, this past week it's all come up in my life in such an intense way that I see it for what it was. I wrote this, I really want to send it...I have to say something. This man thinks he's prefect and that I ruined everything, he has to know that isn't true. I've never been more violated and terrified in my life.
There's a lot more to all of this but that's the very condensed version.
*Please note the references to Matty are regarding an incident that he believes triggered his alcoholic drinking. When in college, he and his girlfriend were very drunk and had sex. The next day she said he had date raped her. He beat himself up over this for the next 10 years and became an alcoholic. This is why it's prevalent to what I'm talking about in my situation.
I woke up on a bench in an airport, drunk and confused, trying to figure out where I was. It could have been minutes after you left me there, it could have been hours, it doesn’t matter. I woke up terrified. I don’t know what I was acting like before you abandoned me but I do know that I would have accepted help from anyone. Do you understand the implications of that? I think about how scared and desperate I was at that moment. Any man could have told me they’d help me and I would have gone. I could have been abducted, wandered into traffic, had a seizure, who fucking knows. I legitimately could have been taken and murdered, sex trafficked, god knows what else. How could my best friend, ex lover, my so-called “person”, leave me in an airport in the most vulnerable position I could have been in? Then you went on a date.
I spent our entire relationship, up until this last week, blaming myself for everything. It was always my fault. Every bad thing. I knew I was a mess and I never meant to hurt you. I loved you with everything I had. There is so much regret about my actions when it comes to you. I don't think I know just how much I actually hurt you, clearly I hurt you a lot. I was told that I was loved, I was told that I was safe, I was told that I’d never have to worry about you leaving. I bought into all of it. I wanted to respect your boundaries. In some ways I did. I don't think you thought about the implications of abandoning me there but ultimately, it’s what you did. You questioned who you were as a person after Matty. Who are you now? What person leaves their best friend, someone they once were deeply in love with, at an airport in the absolute most vulnerable state they could have been in? Maybe I was coherent enough that you were convinced I could handle it. I’m sure you were angry and that you just wanted to hurt me and make your point about boundaries. But you also knew what kind of drunk I was. You had to have known it was possible for me to be in a blackout. I’m sure there is much more to the story but it doesn’t matter. I just know there were other options than leaving me like that.
You questioned whether what you did was too harsh. I originally said no and stood by what you did. For whatever reason recently, all I have been able to do is think about this. How blinded I was by my toxic love for you. It was too harsh, it was inhumane.The truth is that I would have never lived up to your standards. You would have spent the rest of your life resenting me for having to lower your expectations. I would have spent my life hating myself for never being good enough for you. We would never have worked. I was like a stray and battered kitten who showed up at your doorstep.You were broken and wanted to fix yourself and subconsciously you thought by saving me you’d be saving yourself. You took care of me and I let you because I needed it at the time. You nurtured me but not without a price. It always came at a price. You always had to know you were just a little bit better than me. So I gave that to you, whether I was aware of it or not. I built you up because I truly put all of myself, all of my love and trust in you. I started to believe it myself. I was little, nothing, and you were everything to me.
I can’t even begin to describe to you what I felt at the airport when I came to from having been discarded. Or at the next airport in fact since I can’t even remember how I made it there. It envelops me in a way that I have never experienced, it’s all encompassing. I haven’t slept well recently and I’ve realized why. It’s because every time I wake up, I’m back there in the airport, terrified. This moment in my life, it’s the one. It’s the one that will stick with me in my chest. It was the ultimate act of abandonment. I would rather be raped again than have my best friend and most trusted person in the world leave me there the way you did.
The beauty of it is that I found some clarity. Remember how I struggled to understand how 13 years of being a good mom could be wiped out because of one tough year? I get it now. Every single good thing you did for me. Every single picture and memory is ruined by this moment. By this one choice that was made. Every joke and bit of happiness is gray now because I will never understand. You took in a stray kitten in the hopes of nurturing it. You gave it shelter, kindness, love, trust, and so much more, and then abandoned it on the fucking train tracks.
So now we’re here. Who are you? I don’t know, but you’re not the good guy I thought you were. You struggled with Matty, you were both drunk and it was messed up. It was always valiant of you to want to better yourself from that experience. But you did this to me stone cold sober. So now you have to figure out who sober Chad is. Because right now sober Chad appears to be a highly intelligent, handsome, driven man, who owns two homes, runs and seems like he's got it all together. But we know that’s not true. Sober Chad abandoned a very intoxicated woman, that he claimed he loved, at an airport where anything could have happened to her, and then he went on a date.
submitted by Welcomebacktrig to BreakUps [link] [comments]

2023.03.22 21:49 yangenomics Tales from New London: The Engineers Protest (Fan Fiction)

In the heart of New London, amid the biting cold, the gurgling steam pipes and the towering tenements, a weary engineer named Dr. Arthur Harwood laboured tirelessly in the First Workshop. A once-renowned scientist and inventor from Cambridge University, Dr. Harwood had been one of the brightest minds of his generation, a pioneer in the field of robotic automation. But now, relegated to the role of a mere craftsman, he toiled away in a dimly lit assembly room with a handful of other lost souls, crafting prosthetic limbs for those who had fallen victim to the merciless frostbite that plagued the city.
The First Workshop was a veritable menagerie of mechanical marvels, from the high-powered steam cores in various levels of repair, to intricate fabricators that could churn out the essential glow worm electrical lights that each citizen was instructed to wear when they left their homes, to replacement parts for the Silver Scot, the city's last remaining automaton.
As Dr. Harwood worked, his fellow engineers laboured alongside him, their once-brilliant minds reduced to mere cogs in the great machine that was the Glorious City of New London. There was the intrepid Dr. Leonard Macdonald, once a famous theorist of electromagnetism hailing from Oxford, and the ambitious American fluidic systems engineer Dr. Elizabeth Conley. Among them was also Dr. Percevel Leclair, a French astrophysicist with a long history of dabbling in robotics, and Professor Heinrich Schmidt, a German scientist who had once been hailed as the father of modern steam power. Together, they formed a motley core of a crew of New London’s finest intellects, bound together by their shared indignation at the demeaning work that had been thrust upon them.
After periodic demonstrations in the Central District organized by the working class of New London, the engineers of the First Workshop were surprised to watch the Brotherhood of the New Order sanction a series of meetings with Major Wilkins to revise the colony’s labour policy. There were celebrations in the street when the Mad Captain announced that the fourteen-hour workshifts that had persisted since the city’s founding would be reduced to a more tolerable ten hours a day. The engineers, traumatized by the draconian rule of the New Order, took heart that perhaps the months of emergency conditions were coming to an end.
It seemed the Wilkins administration could hew to reason, if only enough citizens could come together to demand it. Conversations ran long in the First Workshop and at the pub after hours about how even with the reduction of work hours, the people of New London were working themselves to death without a single day of rest. Conversations with the medics at the infirmary only confirmed their worries, as they counted the number of work accidents and deaths of despair and realized they were ticking up. Besides this, the engineers loudly criticized City Hall for misappropriating their unique talents in their mission to survive.
But the proposals of further reform by Dr. Harwood and the other engineers were swiftly crushed when the Wilkins administration announced at a morning roll call that talk of further protests had been noted by the secret informers of the New Order. He told everyone gathered there that there would be no further reduction in work hours; the city did not have the population yet to sustain it. Furthermore, they would all do well to not balk at any of the sawdust food additives in their soup that week. Angered, but also deeply concerned for the colony, Dr. Harwood, Dr. Macdonald, and Dr. Conley took their grievances to the Propaganda Centre that day after their maintenance work of the formidable Silver Scot was completed.
Dr. Macdonald, a tall and lanky man with wiry glasses and a perpetual frown etched upon his face, had drafted the formal inquiry, detailing their grievances and their hope for a more equitable work environment. He led the delegation down Coal Street one afternoon, the long windy Arctic night hiding any sign of the passage of time, and marched bravely into the looming Propaganda Centre, its awesome exterior and red banners striking fear into their chilled bones. It had been some time since either of them had entered the building, as to do so without permission by the Guards was an easy way to end up on a watch list. Dr. Harwood gulped heavily, then pulled back the imposing double-reinforced steel door to let his peers take the first steps inside.
Upon entering the lobby of New London’s Propaganda Centre, the engineers were met with silent stares from the guards posted besides the front desk, who gripped their bayoneted rifles with the seriousness of the King’s Guard. The three dusted off the snow on their boots and Dr. Macdonald tried not to gawk at the dazzling sight of the administration’s clerks, Ms. Abigail Green and Ms. Megane Black, beautiful and poised in old world work dresses, their nails painted red and their hair in good fashion, seeming to flaunt their comfortable working conditions.
Dr. Macdonald, his voice wavering slightly, stepped forward slowly, saying, “We, your humble fellow citizens from the First Workshop, have taken it upon ourselves to provide a statistical analysis and series of practical recommendations to help inform the policy choices of the city administration.” He brought the sheaf of papers that was the First Workshop’s inquiry to the secretaries’ desk, his eyes pleading for understanding.
The two clerks, however, seemed to regard the engineers' request with scorn, their faces twisted into mocking sneers as they scanned the first page. They exchanged derisive glances, then Ms. Green dropped the sheaf unceremoniously onto a stack of papers beside her. She turned to their leader, her voice dripping with disdain.
"Good sir, do you truly believe that your pitiful pleas will be heard by our esteemed Major Wilkins?" she asked, her eyes narrowing. "You should be grateful for the work you have been tasked to complete by the New Order. Many are not so fortunate to work all day indoors under a steam vent."
The engineers’ faces flushed with anger and humiliation. Ms. Green reached for a dreaded clunky switch behind her, which would instantly trigger the facility’s radiogram, summoning more guards of the City Watch. The men on either side of the front desk watched with bated breath. The threat was clear: any further dissent would be met with swift retribution. Dr. Harwood’s courage failed and he turned hastily for the door. His two coworkers muttered apologies and they departed.
The following day, as they returned to their workshop, they found their workspace patrolled by stern-faced guards from the City Watch. The engineers surpassed their daily production quota of prostheses and made significant headway on finishing their blueprints for enhancements to the Generator’s overdrive couplings. Yet, their disgruntled conversations only continued late at night in the alleyways behind the pub. Dr. Leclair and Dr. Schmidt were oblivious to the three’s lackluster behavior at the Propaganda Centre. Meanwhile, Dr. Macdonald and Dr. Conley blamed Dr. Harwood in private for not standing strong in their convictions.
One evening, as Dr. Harwood and his colleagues made their way home through the frosted streets of New London, they discovered a pamphlet in the snow, only one side disfigured by a wet boot. The paper was coarse and the typewritten text faded: it was clearly the result of an illegal printing press somewhere in the city. The pamphlet spoke of revolution, of overthrowing the New Order and the Wilkins administration, to forge a new, better future for the people of New London. The engineers were not alone in their continued discontent!
The engineers gathered in secret that night at a cousin’s bunkhouse at the cold side of the Steamshires, their voices a low murmur as they debated what to do with the incendiary literature. Dr. Macdonald, his eyes alight with a newfound fire, urged his colleagues to consider joining the rebellion, to fight for the rights and dignity that had been stripped from them.
"We have been silenced for far too long," he declared, his voice trembling with passion. "If we do not stand up against the injustices that have been heaped upon us, who will? Are we to remain mere cogs, our lives and dreams ground to dust beneath the heel of the Mad Captain?”
Others, however, were more cautious, their eyes darting nervously to the shadows that seemed to press in around them. Dr. Conley’s cousin, a stout soldier-cum-miner by the name of Geoffrey, spoke up, his voice trembling with fear.
"Leonard, I understand your frustration," he began, his eyes pleading for understanding. "But we have families to consider, friends to protect. Do you truly believe that joining this rebellion will make things better? Or will it only bring more suffering upon us all?"
The engineers continued to argue amongst themselves, their voices growing louder and more heated with each passing moment. Dr. Conley disagreed with her cousin and was eager to throw their lot in with the rebels. Their two European colleagues also were impatient to fight for a brighter future. Dr. Harwood remained steadfast in his belief that the price of rebellion was simply too high; they'd already seen what had happened to poor Thomas Winslow’s uprising, to say nothing of the night of terror during the Great Storm at the Battle of the Scaffolds.
As the debate raged on, the young Dr. Conley stepped forward, her eyes bright with determination. "We cannot allow simple fear to dictate our actions," she declared, her voice clear and strong. "Yes, there is risk in joining a rebellion. But there is also risk if we let Mad Bill work the entire colony to death! If we do not fight, who will, and when? We have no time to waste."
Her words seemed to strike a chord within the hearts of the engineers, and as they stood there, huddled together in the darkness, they made a silent vow to one another. A spark had been lit. And as the engineers returned to their labors the next morning, their hearts burned with newfound purpose.
The next night, their discussions took a different turn as they met with hushed voices at the snowblown far corner of St. George’s Square. The question to be resolved moved towards whether to make an attempt to contact existing rebels or wait for the rebels to make another move.
"Patience, my friends," urged Dr. Macdonald, his eyes gleaming with steely resolve, as Dr. Harwood nervously rubbed his hands. "We must bide our time and wait for the right moment to strike. The rebels will show more evidence of their activity, or even contact us when they're ready. We will join our forces with theirs to bring about the change we all desire."
"But how long are we to wait?" asked Dr. Leclair, his impatience clear in his voice. “A week? A month? I’ve seen people that can barely put a spoon to their mouths in the mess hall, we’re so overworked! We will not survive at this rate.”
Dr. Harwood found the City Watch at the First Workshop the next day and nearly shat himself out of fear that they had been caught. Instead, the hard-nosed lieutenant simply informed them of their need to oversee and hasten the construction of the city’s new industrial hothouses. They did their best to hold back their disappointment. They would miss the steam vents above their work stations and their heated water closets.
Yet, as they were guided to their new posts far from the Central District, the engineers knew this could be an opportunity to spread their message to the working people of the city. Arriving at the construction sites, arranged around a single roaring steam hub, they were met with a cacophony of hammering, sawing, and the grunts of exertion, punctuated by the occasional expletive or barked order. Yes, it would be an opportunity indeed.
The engineers would soon meet after hours with stories recounting their marvel at the construction teams’ willingness to toil for long hours in the snowy winds, to hoist up enormous pillars of steel and carefully position the fragile panes of thermal glass. The workers, most British nationals with the odd handful of Americans and Europeans, seemed emaciated, filthy, their bodies even twisted by the requirement of their hard labour, but they nary stopped for a break outside of a brief respite for a quick lunch of hard tack and fish soup. To Dr. Conley, she was filled with empathy which fueled more exasperated calls for action. Dr. Harwood, on the other hand, argued that perhaps they misjudged and the common people had more energy than they expected.
One day, a worker, a burly man by the name of Hugo Walsh with a bushy beard and the calluses of a lifetime of labor etched into his hands, approached Dr. Harwood.
"Oi, Doc," he rasped, his voice gravelly from years of inhaling the icy air, "I hear it's you lot wot built them crank-powered prosthetics. Saved me mate's life, that did. He'd 'ave been a goner otherwise. So, thanks for that, guv."
Dr. Harwood, touched by the sentiment, replied, "It's our pleasure, sir. We're here to help our fellow citizens in any way we can."
Overhearing the conversation a man named Freddie Hudson limped over, "Here to help, aye? While we break our backs buildin’? Must be nice, workin' in them fancy workshops for months at a time. All them heaters an' hot water on tap. Ain't like out 'ere in the bleedin' cold." He spat on the ground and walked off.
Dr. Harwood’s face reddened with anger at the ungrateful comment. Hugo frowned and looked at the ground, ashamed at the fellow’s rudeness. An outspoken woman on the team by the name of Sylvie Pearson had watched the scene and promptly marched over.
"Give 'em no mind, sir. It's only complaints that come outta that one's gob! Harwood, is it? I can't wait to get inside these gardens an' see 'em grow," she said, her voice full of wonder. "Imagine, a place right 'ere in New London Crater with lamplights to make things grow right in the dark winter! I've 'eard tell them plants already sprouted in the two we already built. Ain't it a miracle?"
The inventor’s ego was still bruised and he lashed out at Sylvie, “That’s Dr. Harwood to you, madam. And grow lights are no miracle, they are simply yet another gift from the arduous project of science. You lot would be wise to acknowledge the fact that without our educated minds, survival in this wasteland would be a fool’s dream!” He stormed off.
Yet, the other engineers were not so dispirited. Dr. Conley won that night’s debate at Geoffrey’s tenement that they could spare no more time. They had at least the responsibility to win the construction workers over to their side, while they had the chance.
The next day, the engineers assembled together at the steam hub and gave each other courage. Dr. Macdonald took leadership once again and approached a burly worker nearby named Dylan Lee. The doctor's hands shook slightly as he proffered a carefully folded and sealed parchment, detailing their concerns and ideas to reduce work hours and improve the lives of New London's laborers.
"Read this, Mr. Lee," Dr. Macdonald whispered, his voice trembling slightly. "It contains thoughts on how we might make things better for all of us."
Dylan hesitated, his eyes darting to the parchment in Dr. Macdonald's hand, then to the other workers toiling nearby. He looked back at Dr. Macdonald and, with a steely determination, called out to the others. "Oi, gather 'round! The doc's got somethin' he wants us to read!"
The workers all stopped, curiosity piqued, then set down their tools and shuffled closer.
Dr. Macdonald winced, unprepared for such a public display. Dylan took the letter, unfolded it, and began to read aloud, his voice rough and unpolished.
As the words filled the air, a mixture of hope, skepticism, and confusion began to manifest on the faces of the workers. The air around them crackled with tension, the cold wind blowing down from above the Crater as they listened to the engineers' proposal.
"What do they know?" snarled a thin, wiry man by the name of Keegan. "They ain't never had to lift a finger in their lives, and now they think they can tell us what's best for us?"
"Wait a moment," interjected Sylvie, as she rubbed her hands furiously to keep them warm. "Perhaps they're just tryin' to help."
The site erupted into mutters and shouts. The engineers, unaccustomed to the raw, unfiltered emotions of the workers, began to stammer out explanations, trying to assuage their concerns.
Dylan cut through all that with his voice booming over the others. "We can't risk it! Rebellion would cost us everything. You ‘eard the Captain, it’s only obedience that’ll save us in these tryin' times!"
The man’s gaze fell upon a pair of guards who happened to be walking nearby, their boots crunching on the frosty ground. He called out to them, his voice urgent and powerful.
"Guards! Over 'ere, we've got some troublemakers!"
The guards exchanged glances before swiftly making their way toward the gathering. The engineers, sensing the danger, immediately began to protest, their voices rising in a desperate attempt to avoid the consequences of their well-intentioned plan.
"Wait, you misunderstand!" Dr. Macdonald implored, his eyes wide with alarm. "We only wished to help the Major see reason and improve life for everyone!"
"'Improvin’ life?" Dylan snorted. "By bringin' unrest an' questionin’ orders?!"
One of the guards, a broad-shouldered man by the name of Lieutenant Murray, looked at the engineers sternly. "Let me see this letter," he demanded, his hand outstretched. Dylan handed it over as Dr. Harwood’s heart filled with dread.
The guard's eyes flicked over the parchment, scanning the words quickly before he passed it to his companion. The second guard read it, his face betraying no emotion, and handed it back.
"It seems you've been inciting dissent," Lieutenant Murray said sternly, his voice cutting through the frigid air. "You'll be coming with us."
"No, please, you must listen!" cried Dr. Harwood, his hands shaking. "We never meant to cause trouble!"
The guards paid him no heed, instead producing iron cuffs and securing them around the wrists of each engineer. Their faces were impassive, as if the act of arresting these men held no more significance than any other daily task. As they prepared to lead the engineers away, a hush fell over the crowd of workers.
"Please," Dr. Harwood tried once more, desperation etching lines into his face. "We were only trying to improve things. Our letter makes that very clear! Can't you see that?"
The guards remained stone-faced and unyielding, turning the engineers around to march them off to jail cells. The workers watched, their expressions a mix of fear and resignation, as their foremen were led away. They returned back to their tasks in the half-frozen muck.
In the cold, dank depths of Gridiron Prison that night, the engineering team huddled together in a lower jail cell, their spirits sinking with each passing moment. The stone walls seemed to close in around them, and the imposing guards patrolled the corridors with a relentless, watchful vigilance. The air was heavy with despair, and the only sounds that echoed through the cells were the soft moans of misery and the idle clanking of the pipes.
Suddenly, the cell bars slid open, and Major Wilkins himself strode in, a wolfish smile playing on his lips. He surveyed the engineers with a predatory gaze, his eyes dancing from one disheveled figure to the next.
"Well, well, well," he drawled, his voice smooth. "The great engineers of New London, brought low by their own misguided ambitions."
Drs. Schmidt and Conley, their faces gaunt, immediately began to protest the gritty dregs they had been given for dinner. Major Wilkins merely chuckled at their outrage, a twinkle of amusement in his eyes.
"Ah, yes," he said, smirking. "I imagine prison food is a far cry from the victuals served at the mess hall.” "You know, it's quite ironic," he went on, his voice dripping with amusement. "Here you are, the finest minds in New London, and yet you find yourselves behind bars. I must say, I expected more from the brilliant creators of our steam-powered prosthetics and those ingenious electric lamps."
The engineers bristled at the Major's mocking tone and his feigned ignorance at the full record of their accomplishments as some of the brightest minds in a generation. Dr. Harwood, his jaw clenched and his eyes flashing with defiance, shot back, "We were only trying to help New London survive as you commanded us to do. You've been working our people to the bone!"
Major Wilkins laughed, a rich, dark sound that echoed through the prison. "Ah, yes, your noble intentions. But, in all your genius, do you really believe you can change the world with your pitiful attempts at rebellion?" he asked, his voice scornful. "The New Order is here to stay, and you’d be wise to learn your place in it is to obey."
The Mad Captain paused for dramatic effect, then continued, “But fear not, my dear engineers, for I have a proposition for you."
The engineers exchanged wary glances, their hearts pounding. Major Wilkins leaned in closer to them in the jail cell, his voice low.
"You are far too important to our city to remain here," he whispered, his words like honey. "We need your skills, your expertise, to ensure the success of our hothouses, our factories and ongoing industrialisation. Still, let us not forget the gravity of your actions… after all… that little letter of yours, well, that could be grounds for execution."
The engineers stiffened, their bravery faltering as the weight of their predicament settled upon them.
"However," Wilkins continued, drawing out the word, "I am not without mercy. I am willing to overlook your misguided attempt at insurrection, on one condition. You will swear your loyalty to me and the New Order, and you will work tirelessly from now on to ensure the success of our endeavors. ALL OF OUR ENDEAVORS AS YOUR COMMANDER SEES FIT! In return, you can return now to your homes and your work tomorrow."
Though they had been staunch critics of the Major, the engineers found themselves doubting their earlier convictions. Dr. Harwood thought that perhaps the Mad Captain could be reasonable, after all. With heavy hearts, they agreed to Major Wilkins' terms, and he smiled in his victory.
As the days passed, the engineers continued to work on the hothouses, their doubts and fears gnawing at them. Once the structures were complete, they even joined the work teams to plant row upon row of potatoes, broccoli, turnips, kale, radishes, tomatoes, and pumpkins. Not another word was spoken of dissent with them, but any friendliness that existed before had been extinguished, as their fellow citizens wouldn’t dare talk to them for long.
The engineers, however, remained torn by their consciences during that long night of New London’s first winter. Dr. Conley was adamant that the rebellious printers of that godforsaken pamphlet had to be out there somewhere. Dr. Leclair opined that the workers assigned to the hothouses must have been hand-picked for their loyalty. They would try again to raise the working conditions of their colony, but this time would operate in an even more secret matter, speaking with only the most trustworthy souls they could find face-to-face in the shadows of the night. Dr. Harwood was more quiet than ever during their whispered debates, but they set their plans into motion nevertheless.
Dr. Macdonald spoke to a foreman at the coal mine. Dr. Schmidt made contact with a group at the steelworks that had flirted with the idea of a work stoppage. A few engineers at the Wall Drill finally gave Dr. Conley the time of day to win them over to the cause and she proved most persuasive. Slowly, although reports always had to be questioned for fear of misinformation, the engineers of the First Workshop detected the number of their supporters were growing.
One evening, back in Geoffrey’s tenement, the engineers gathered with a group of representatives from the discontent to discuss their strategy.
"Friends, we must rally the people," he declared, his voice firm with conviction. "We must make them understand that at the current rate of malnutrition, accidents, infections, and frostbite, our lives in the Crater are at risk. If we don't act soon, we will all perish."
Dr. Conley, nodded in agreement, adding, "The Wilkins administration hoards supplies, dreading the worst, but we have already been pushed to the brink. We need more food, adequate rest time, and it’s high time the New Order return the right of all good Christian men and women to worship as we please!"
Their message resonated with the beleaguered workers. They expressed eagerness to join the protest and make their demands known. A coal miner named Samuel Holmes spoke up, his voice quivering with emotion. "Major Wilkins has no right to keep us living like this. We deserve better. We deserve to live, not just survive!" An engineer from the industrial tools factory, a woman named Margaret Palmer, chimed in. "Yes, we've been pushed too far! We must stand in unity and make our demands known!”
The group's resolve strengthened with each passing day, and finally, the night of the protest arrived. The engineers, coal miners, steel workers, toolmakers and lumberers came streaming out of their homes towards the Central District. With Leonard and Elizabeth leading the charge, they marched past their enormous steam-belching Generator toward the Propaganda Centre, their voices raised in unison.
"We demand better conditions! We demand more food! We demand the right to worship!"
The air was thick with tension as the protesters came around the corner, to see that Major Wilkins and the Brotherhood of the New Order were waiting for them en masse. Someone had informed the administration of their plans! The militia were even there, standing in rows like a regiment, wearing red armbands to illustrate their loyalty. A horn blast came from beyond the infirmary, and the protestor’s chants faltered as they saw the Silver Scot take up a position beside them, four guards with rifles standing at attention atop its steel back. They braced themselves for the confrontation that was sure to come, their hearts pounding in their chests.
The engineers stood at the front of the crowd of protestors, locking eyes with Major Wilkins, neither side willing to back down. With a deep breath, Dr. Macdonald addressed the Major, his voice filled with resolve.
"Major Wilkins, we stand before you today not as enemies, but as fellow citizens of New London, united in our desire for this glorious city to survive. In light of our people’s deterioration from months of exhausting work schedules, we demand fair treatment, proper nourishment, and the right to worship as we see fit."
Major Wilkins stared back, his eyes cold and unyielding. "Ah, a veritable League of Extraordinary Protesters! Well, let me enlighten you, my international friends. Survival requires sacrifice, and I'm afraid your little tantrum only serves to delay the progress we desperately need."
The protesters took heart as a couple of children began to bang on makeshift drums. The crowd shouted their slogans again, and Dr. Conley stepped closer to the Mad Captain, her voice ringing with conviction. “Sir, we cannot ignore the suffering of our people. The methods of your administration have been harsh and unsustainable. We need change, and we need it now.”
"You dare to question my attention to the survival of humanity?" Wilkins bellowed, his voice booming across the Central District. "I have worked tirelessly to ensure our city's survival, while you waste time on this foolish protest! How many times must I explain that we cannot afford a single extra moment of delay? There is much work to be done, and your doubt only hinders us!"
"Major Wilkins," Dr. Macdonald started, his voice wavering, "we believe that work hours should be reduced to eight per day, with construction projects continuing in the evening only on a voluntary basis. This would be suitable."
Elizabeth chimed in, tripping over her words in her haste, "A-and we d-demand Saturdays a-and Sundays off, too! To give the people a needed rest! A-and…"
The Mad Captain raised an eyebrow, a sly grin spreading across his face. "So you want to work less and rest more, do you?" He paused, letting his words sink in before continuing, "Tell me, my dear engineers, how will New London survive if we all laze about like it's a never-ending holiday?"
Some of the workers who had joined the protest began to waver. Major Wilkins went on, "Perhaps we should send you all to the Propaganda Centre for re-education. It seems you haven't quite grasped the concept yet of the New Man."
As the debate raged on, the drumming and slogans from the crowd began to fade, replaced by a tense silence as they listened to the verbal duel. Major Wilkins, unfazed, continued to mock the protest leaders. A crowd gathered then, as New Londoners were drawn to the spectacle unfolding in the Central District in the full view of the City Watch and their lone automaton.
The engineers began to exchange panicked glances, struggling to find adequate responses to their charismatic leader. The crowd, sensing their uncertainty, began to laugh and jeer.
Major Wilkins' eyes twinkled with mischief as he turned his attention back to Dr. Macdonald. "Tell me, Doctor," he asked with condescension, "do you consider yourself more intelligent than an Apis mellifera?"
Dr. Macdonald blinked in confusion, caught off guard by the unexpected question. "I-I'm not sure I-I…”
Major Wilkins smirked, clearly enjoying the famous theorist's discomfiture. "Why, Doctor, I'm surprised at your ignorance! Surely a man of your intellectual prowess is familiar with the Latin name of the humble European honey bee?"
As Dr. Macdonald's face reddened with embarrassment, Major Wilkins continued his lecture. "You see, my dear engineers, even the simple honey bee understands the importance of hard work and cooperation in the face of adversity. They labor tirelessly, each one playing their part to ensure the survival of their hive. They do not complain, nor do they demand rest and leisure. They work because they know that their very existence depends upon it."
The engineers shifted uncomfortably in silence. Major Wilkins, sensing their weakness, pressed his advantage. "Now, if a tiny insect can grasp this fundamental truth, why is it that you, with your esteemed educations and lofty ideals, cannot?"
The crowd, once sympathetic to the protesters, began to murmur in agreement, swayed by the Major's persuasive rhetoric. Dr. Conley raised her voice again, stammering, "Y-you must take into account th-the rising number of work accidents, the malnutrition, the-”
“Oh, I have taken everything into account, rest assured doctor! We all have our role to fulfill and I have not fallen short as you have tonight. But, fear not, my esteemed debaters, for I have a solution!" The biting wind whistled its way through the streets of New London, a ghostly reminder of the icy world beyond the city's confines. Major Wilkins, standing tall amid the swirling snowflakes, sensed the tide of the crowd turning in his favor.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I understand that, in the past, I have spoken admiringly of General Napoleon for his force of vision and strength of will. I know that some of you may not approve, given the long years of war fought by our grandfathers against that tyrant. However, perhaps you would be more amenable to the ideas of the French leaders that came before Little Boney, the Jacobins.”
The crowd leaned in, curiosity piqued by the Major's dramatic shift in tone. He continued, "You see, the Jacobins sought to sweep aside the traditional systems of the past. They recognized that God had no mercy for humanity, even without the Great Frost as proof of his cruelty, and that the old ways, such as the seven-day Christian calendar, were holding them back. They understood the need for change, for progress."
Major Wilkins paused, allowing his words to sink in before delivering his proposal. "I believe we should adopt a new calendar, a ten-day calendar, much like the French Republicans of old. We will call it the New London Calendar, dated from our arrival here to honor the founding of our Glorious City."
The crowd murmured to each other, even the guards of the City Watch, wondering aloud where the Mad Captain was going with this. He raised his hands for silence before continuing. "By my calculations, eighty-nine days have passed since my arrival in the Crater with the vanguard group of the Arebates. As such, tomorrow shall mark the ninetieth day, a fitting time for us all to rest and reflect upon our sacrifices and progress... those who can be spared from vital labors, of course."
Cheers went up from the crowd and the engineers were stunned to see Dr. Leclair clapping in support. Drs. Macdonald and Conley stared at each other in disbelief. Well, that was something, at least. Would it be enough? Dr. Schmidt muttered about the need for new calculations of caloric expenditures.
Major Wilkins continued, his voice booming with authority as he raised up his hands to look around at the faces in the crowd, "From this day forth, the last day of each week of the New London Calendar shall be your day of recuperation and recreation!"
A band, having set up hastily nearby with trumpets and drums, struck up a lively military tune, their instruments cutting through the cold air and infusing the crowd with a sense of camaraderie. The music brought smiles to many the faces of those who had gathered, casting aside their worries. The engineers, realizing that they were losing the crowd's attention, made one desperate last plea for more generous working conditions. They shouted over the music, their voices hoarse and strained, but their words were lost in the cacophony.
Major Wilkins cut them off as the music’s volume increased. "My dear citizens," he shouted, “I know these are trying times. Which is why tonight,” the crowd leaned in, eager to hear, “Tonight, the last remaining jugs of moonshine shall be opened at the pub for all to enjoy.”
A cheer erupted from the gathered throng, their previous concerns momentarily forgotten in the promise of a night of revelry. As the jubilant crowd dispersed, Major Wilkins stepped towards the disheartened engineers, a wolfish grin upon his face. He draped his arms around the shoulders of Drs. Macdonald and Conley as he addressed them. "Ah, my esteemed colleagues, what an unfortunate series of events. it seems you have failed to fulfill your promise of loyalty to New London, to its people and more importantly… to me.”
The Mad Captain tightened his grip on their shoulders, a sinister glint in his eyes. "However, I have to admit my generosity sometimes exceeds my good sense. I shall grant you a chance to redeem yourselves. You see, there is a vital task that requires your attention – the improvement of the locomotive efficiency of the Silver Scot. You shall begin at once and work through the night and the holiday."
The engineers gulped as dread overcame them. Major Wilkins walked over to the automaton, peering up at the guards above, their rifles gleaming coldly in the light of the Generator. "Gentlemen, we’ll pass your drinks up shortly. You are to ensure that our respectable peers remain properly motivated during their labors. Understood?"
The engineers exchanged a resigned look, knowing they had no choice but to comply with the Major's orders as the militia stared on. As Dr. Harwood started to follow his colleagues to the city’s automaton, Major Wilkins stopped him with a firm grip on his arm. "Not you, Dr. Harwood. You have crossed no line, and your loyalty remains unblemished. In fact," he said, a warmth creeping into his voice, "I would like you to join me for a drink at the Swan & Plough. I find myself in need of some intelligent conversation."
Dr. Harwood hesitated, his eyes flicking to his departing friends, who looked back at him with fierce eyes accusing him of betrayal, a swirl of emotions washing over his face. Major Wilkins' smile widened, knowing that the young engineer was torn. "Come now, Dr. Harwood. One drink won't hurt, and we may even find ourselves discussing matters of great importance to the future of New London."
With that, Major Wilkins steered the reluctant Dr. Harwood towards the pub. The militia departed, eager to begin their house searches to find every calendar of the old world that now had to be replaced. As the snow continued to fall upon the city, a blanket of white grew thick upon the rooftops, and the citizens of New London reveled in their fleeting moment of respite, unaware of the trials and tribulations that still lay ahead of them.
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