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Last Week in Collapse: March 26-April 1, 2023

2023.04.02 09:19 LastWeekInCollapse Last Week in Collapse: March 26-April 1, 2023

Protests, drought, fatalism, recession, and the spread of infectious diseases. Just another week on our dying planet.
Last Week in Collapse: March 26-April 1, 2023
This is Last Week in Collapse, a weekly newsletter bringing together some of the most important, timely, helpful, depressing, ironic, stunning, or otherwise must-see moments in Collapse.
This is the 66th newsletter. You can find the March 19-25 edition here if you missed it last week. These newsletters are also on Substack if you want them sent to your email inbox.
The U.S. government is auctioning off a colossal section in the Gulf of Mexico for oil drilling. The parcel totals 73.3M acres—just under the size of Italy’s landmass, or the Philippines. Explore the full map here or here.
Southeastern Europe is facing a dry, dry summer. A year of constant record-breaking will not slow down soon. (Can you believe we are already 25%+ through 2023?) Drought is getting so bad in Spain that group prayers for rain have begun. Spain is also seeing wildfires.
North Africa is suffering from drought too, and it’s affecting their crops. El Niño is heating up the Pacific Ocean already, and forecast to become more severe as the year drags on. Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, is feeling the strain of drought.
Once a sustainable producer of grains, Pakistan (due to drought and debt and overpopulation, etc.) is now unable to produce enough grain to sustain its own people. Government distributions of flour have caused deadly stampedes and injuries to the desperate & hungry people.
2,000 elderly Swiss women are taking Switzerland to court, the European Court of Human Rights, to be precise. They are seeking a binding judgment that climate change is putting their health and lives at risk.
After 8,000 gallons of chemicals (190 barrels) spilt in a tributary of the Delaware River, Philadelphia officials say the water is safe to drink.
Berlin voters narrowly voted to obligate their city to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030—but the vote lacked the overall votes necessary to become law. So the climate effort failed. Germany’s economy is contracting and hundreds of thousands of workers went on a one-day strike on Monday.
Private jet use has hit record highs, far surpassing the pre-pandemic figures. Meanwhile, South Korean researchers may have found a method to transform CO2 from the air into a kind of polyester. The study claims that the electricity-intensive process can be easily scaled up.
Amnesty International released a 412-page report on the state of human rights in the world today. Spoiler: it’s really bad. You can download it in 46 languages. The document is organized by countries, so you can skip to a particular nation and read about its indicators of Collapse.
68 Central/South American migrants, en route to the U.S., were locked in a holding facility in northern Mexico when several started a mattress fire after they learned that they would be deported. Empathy from the guards was lacking, and nothing was done to prevent the suffocation and fire; 38 of the men died.
78% of Americans believe the next generation will have it worse than they do, according to a WSJ poll. The other 22% are fools. U.S. bond markets are in a tough spot, too. The other questions in the poll reveal a damning picture of the American Dream. 27% believe community involvement is very important, while 43% believe money is very important.
Argentina’s currency—the Argentine Peso (the official rate is 1 USD = 208 ARP, but the black market rate is closer to 1 USD = 380 ARP)—has been downgraded from a C rating to CCC, in advance of an “imminent default” of government bonds. Faith in the government’s ability to stabilize its currency is gone—it’s not just the banks that have lost the people’s trust.
China is encountering concerning levels of debt that are forcing governments to find new sources of money. Yet despite China’s structural economic flaws (poor age demographics, corrupt real estate sector, political influences on markets), some economists think China is a safe investment in a turbulent global economy. Last week, China made its first ever purchase of LNG using Chinese Yuan. And China warned the US against hosting Taiwan’s President for a visit.
The IMF says that the stability in the world economy is shaking while growth slows, trust fallout from SVB lingers, and interest rates rise. Central banks are allegedly being called upon to do more—but the situation may be beyond institutional control. What is a bank if not a collection of other people’s debts?
The UK has hit record levels of household debt: £2 Trillion. Meanwhile the ECB (European Central Bank) is warning that shadow banking may lead to the current next economic crisis. “The nonbank {shadow} sector involves firms which are engaged in bank-like activities, but are neither registered nor regulated as banks. These include the likes of funds, insurance firms, venture capitalists and currency exchanges.”
Protests, which are sometimes becoming riots, are continuing in France. This weekly observation gives an interesting summary of the situation. You can watch some footage here, or here, or here. What begins as a protest for one issue can quickly become co-opted by other forces, or organically grow into something larger than itself. Thousands of police and 10 helicopters were deployed in western France to stop protestors trying to obstruct the construction of several reservoirs for agriculture.
Iranian special forces are training to handle new protests; whether their violence can overcome the political grievances remains to be seen. Teachers, many of whom have reportedly not been paid, are allegedly joining the protests. We seldom hear about the situation in Iran these days—is this because the protest movement is dwindling, or something else?
In another silenced conflict, Myanmar, last week the ruling party dissolved a number of opposing political parties, most notable the NLD, the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, who tried to move Myanmar away from military rule. She was eventually removed in a 2021 coup which precipitated Myanmar’s current phase of Civil War.
The runner-up in Kenya’s 2022 election—the 78-year old, Raila Odinga, ran unsuccessfully for President five times—is calling for twice-a-week protests that began two weeks ago. Two protestors have been shot dead in the escalating protests so far, which have given cover for looters and anti-government vandals.
Israel’s embattled PM is temporarily holding back his judicial reform bill after massive protests flexed their opposition. Israel said they totally weren’t intimidated by the US into holding back from the proposed law, which has become a symbol for the struggle of Israel’s identity.
In Senegal, the trial of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko is set to begin—and the people are protesting. The government allegedly wants to block Sonko from running in 2024, accusing Sonko of stirring up the masses to avoid prosecution.
Donald Trump has not (yet) been arrested—but he has been indicted on a number of charges relating to Stormy Daniels and campaign finance law, fraud, etc. Trump said, “this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden,” and he could be right; however, pro-Trump protests have not yet materialized. Trump is allegedly talking to his advisors about (if he is elected again) going to War in Mexico, something that happened not long before the first American Civil War.
Bakhmut continues to hold out against the Russians. Tanks are arriving in Ukraine and this phase of the War turned 400 days old a few days ago. Russia is believed to be planning another wave of mobilizations to recruit 400,000 men to be sacrificed for nothing. Russia is also becoming more popular in the developing world from a combination of self-interest, anti-western sentiment, and Russian disinformation. The War drags on, and victory, whatever that is, remains far away.
The War in Yemen turned 8 years old several days ago, and peace hinges on a fragile ceasefire. It is believed that the Houthi rebels (backed by Iran, in opposition to the Saudi-backed government) will restart an offensive if a deal cannot be secured. It is always easier to break something than to build it back up.
Northern China is expected to see more sandstorms as desertification continues. Thailand is seeing blistering heat waves in some areas above 40 ° C (104 °F); Laos set a new record for March.
Several major cities in Tunisia are cutting off water at night as their drought grows more severe. The water rations are expected to continue through the summer—and perhaps beyond. Nigeria is also suffering from water scarcity.
The ICJ (International Court of Justice) is going to give an advisory opinion on climate change and states’ responsibilities surrounding its damage. Some people believe the opinion (if it is favorable to climate activists) will galvanize action—when it is released sometime within the next two years. Others, who have witnessed the quiet IPCC coverage, catastrophic flooding and wildfires, COPout climate conferences pass without fanfare, and the not-so-gradual expansion of extraction companies into delicate ecosystems accelerate…are not so optimistic.
The “full volume” IPCC synthesis report has still not been released yet. But don’t hold your breath; corporate interests supposedly watered down the language and inserted pages of carbon-removal copium, scrubbing the text of many references to fossil fuels and industrial agriculture.
A study from Functional Ecology about plants in the Sonoran Desert indicated that climate-stressed plants are moving to higher elevations—but they are not thriving at the mountaintops.
A bipartisan supermajority of U.S. Senators, 68-23 voted to end the COVID emergency early—and President Biden has indicated he will sign it, ending the state of emergency about 5 weeks ahead of schedule. With about 1,125,000 confirmed COVID deaths, the United States still leads the world in COVID-19 fatalities. (If you search “COVID India” or COVID {country name}” on Google, you will no longer see the Our World in Data charts appear.) India is currently facing the highest confirmed case numbers in 6 months. Brazil recorded its 700,000th COVID death last week, the country with the second-most COVID deaths.
A small town in Burundi has detected 3 strange deaths from a mystery illness with similar symptoms to Ebola and Marburg. However, both those diseases were ruled out. The disease, whatever it is, killed within 24 hours. Two weeks ago, Burundi saw polio reappear after 30+ years. Polio was also detected again in New York state, after several months of dormancy.
Marburg was detected in Equatorial Guinea’s largest city, while cholera spreads across southern Africa untraceably.
A woman in southern China tested positive for H3N8, a different version of bird flu. She is the third human case in recent history, after two other people in China tested positive last year. A variant of H3N8 killed a million people in the 1889-1890 pandemic.
Things to watch next week include:
↠ The International Academy of Astronauts is holding its annual Planetary Defense Conference next week to discuss the potential of meteor impacts on earth, and how the human race should respond to unlikely threats from space (impacts, Carrington Events, etc). I, however, believe our Collapse will come is coming from within.
Select comments/threads from the subreddit last week suggest:
-The United States may soon pass the most comprehensive security surveillance legislation since the Patriot Act …ever. This thread on the proposed law, ostensibly intended to regulate TikTok, cites large parts of the bill that are concerning, to say the least. This debacle also reveals how difficult it can be to combat modern hybrid War(s).
-A 2.7 °C temperature increase will devastate India, according to this thread exploring the future of the future-most-populated nation on earth. A few years ago, someone made CollapseIndia to explore Collapse in an explicitly Indian context; the subreddit has never broken 800 subscribers.
-Thawing permafrost is going to be a really big pollution problem, according to this post from BiosphereCollapse. You can read the full study here, from Nature Communications.
Got any feedback, questions, comments, articles, doomed petitions, seed-planting wisdom, hate mail, War advice, clandestine maps, etc.? Consider joining the Last Week in Collapse SubStack if you don’t want to check collapse every Sunday, you can get this newsletter sent to your email inbox every weekend. I always forget something... What did I miss this week?
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2023.04.02 00:21 Stllfckingholding 100lb propane tank.

I am trying to verify the regulator I need for my setup, currently have a 36.5k max btu rinnai direct vent and a gas stove/oven. I am installing a 100lb propane tank as the furnace is only back up to the woodstove. From what I have learned I need an integral twin stage regulator off the tank to the main or would a 2 stage regulator sized for the btus be all I need?
submitted by Stllfckingholding to Plumbing [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 23:53 Logical_Swimming_987 AITA for refusing to share my toolkit and then denying immediate service after an accident?

I(25m) work as both an in-house and a mobile Auto mechanic for a moderately sized garage. Like many other mechanics, one of the first things I had to do was buy my own tools as very few garages supply them. Rather than have two toolkits for in-house and mobile work I decided to put together a single large but mobile one that cost 5,000$ to make. Due to its price and connection to my bottom line, the kit is off-limits to others.

When it comes to why I am posting here, it all started over an oil change I did with a roommate of mine five days ago. This roommate was Jared who despite being a plumber likes to do his own auto work. While working we were approached by our other roommate Ashley(24 F). After seeing us working on the cars she asked if she could borrow my tools to do her tires. She explained how she watched a video and wanted to do it herself to save money. In the kindest way possible I told her no while explaining that I don't lend my tools to anyone.

She didn't like this and started going off about how I am lying with the only "real" reason being that I am sexist against women. Luckily Jared stepped in and backed me up by telling her there is a difference between household tools and a professional's equipment. She didn't accept this and started cussing at us before storming off. The following day things took a drastic turn with her. While Jared and I were out she stole my tools and tried to do her tire changes. Long story short, we came back to the fire department blocking the parking lot as she had ruptured her car's gas tank.

In the aftermath of this, my response to her was simple, I told her that she was going to clean up her mess and that I won't be expediting her car's repairs. This was fine until she realized that it would be at least a month until she could be seen with the estimate being just over 1,500$ excluding tow costs. Additionally she also learned that insurance won't help her at all with this. This led to her demanding that I get her car seen immediately because she needs it for University and work. In response I told her no and that not having her car serviced immediately is her punishment for stealing my tools. She didn't like this and complained to her friends who alongside her are all saying that I am at fault and am a huge asshole.

Am I the asshole?
submitted by Logical_Swimming_987 to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 20:09 MikeJesus I work in a nursing home. I fear the first Friday of every month.

It caught my eye the moment I got behind the desk. The pamphlet was lightly wedged between a potted plant and a filing cabinet, no doubt having slipped someone’s hand and mind as papers were being shuffled around the nursing home. The pamphlet must’ve been casually dropped recently, yet it looked ancient. Its paper was yellowing and worn and the pages were ever so gently sticking together. Even its font, regal and as far from modern as one might go, seemed to come from a different time.
Most of the adverts that would make their way through the nursing home would have large lettering to complement our clientele’s eyesight. The titles of the Morana Air flier were just as big as any other, yet the actual text of the ad was so miniscule even my healthy eyes couldn’t read it.
FLOAT! — the first page commanded. Beneath the title there was a scrawl of ant-sized literature and beneath the text there was a picture of an old bearded man. He was inside of a dark empty airplane and had a look of utter shock stamped on his face. He was floating.
GO FAR AWAY! — the next page ordered, accompanied with a photograph of a massive black airplane flying over a majestic cover of clouds. The photograph was composed like any other airline advert, but there was something wrong with that plane. Its wings were far too short to accommodate its long, raised hull. The plane didn’t look like it should be capable of flight.
TOUCH LOVED ONES! — the third page read. Beneath the title sat an image I could not decipher. I do not know whether it was a photograph or a drawing or some sort of collage. The image was dark, and within that darkness there were hands and wild faces caught in the midst of some religious rapture.
There were no images on the back of the flier. The space had been completely taken up by Morana Air’s supposed motto:
I was new in the nursing home. It was my first shift without supervision. The flier seemed odd, sure, but there were plenty of other odd things in the Wolf Pines Assisted Living Facility for me to contend with. When I found the flier I simply tucked it away into one of the filing cabinets and pushed its queer offers far from my mind.
The holiday season was busy. Families would come to visit their relatives and the residents themselves would travel out of the facility to celebrate their Christmases. The paperwork associated with the visits, along with the occasional lonely resident who tried sneaking out with the crowds kept me occupied, yet a couple days after the new year I found myself thinking about Morana Air once more.
It was a stormy January night. I had done a couple night shifts before and learned to enjoy the calmness that they provided. By the time I clocked in, visitation hours were long over and no one ever called the nursing home past sundown. I grabbed myself a book and prepared to enjoy an evening of rainy solitude.
It didn’t occur to me for a while, and it certainly didn’t occur to me then, but that night was the first Friday of the month.
A couple minutes before midnight an orderly came in with a resident. Apparently, Mr. so-and-so had a taxi picking him up to take him to the airport. When I asked the resident where he was flying to, he stared back on in silence. When I asked the orderly, he simply shrugged.
No matter how hard I tried, the old man was impenetrable to my attempts at conversation. He would occasionally grunt to show that he had heard my questions, but he wouldn’t return a single word or look me directly in the eye. When I finally gave up and returned to my book, I found myself rereading the same paragraph over and over, unable to concentrate on the text.
That’s when the thought hit me — Morana Air.
I reached into the cabinet and found the flier exactly where I had left it a couple weeks prior. I grabbed it and took it to the resident, close enough that he could read the massive lettering on the front. The moment I showed the old man the flier, his cloudy eyes grew wide with shock. With a quickness I did not think he was capable of; he snatched the flier from my hands and shoved it in his coat.
The old man’s sudden burst of shock produced even more questions from me. Among other things, I wanted to know why he had snatched the flier away from me. With the first barrage of questions the old man still wouldn’t meet my eyes, yet when it became clear I wasn’t going to leave without answers he finally looked up.
“They don’t like it when you ask questions,” he said, in a voice balancing between a whisper and a wheeze. Then, he shifted his eyes to the floor from which they did not rise.
The old man’s words troubled me. After a couple more futile attempts at talking to him, I made my way back to the desk and called to make sure he was, indeed, meant to get on some midnight taxi. The orderly who had brought him picked up the phone and assured me that Mr. so-and-so’s paperwork was all in order and that his caretakers and family had signed off on the trip. If I wanted more information, the orderly said, I should get it out of the old man myself.
The phone call couldn’t have taken more than a minute or two but it was, to put it lightly, frustrating. The orderly had zero interest in the resident’s mental state and wasn’t the least bit concerned with the old man’s strange behavior. Seeing that sort of attitude from someone who is meant to take care of vulnerable people made me angry and through that anger I lost focus. Again, it couldn’t have been more than a minute or two, and I doubt I was distracted enough to not notice the squeaky sliding door open or close — but when the orderly finally hung up on me, I found the old man gone.
The storm outside had picked up to a tropical degree, but in my panic I ran out into the frigid rain. Off by the gates of the nursing home I could see taillights turning off onto the main road.
The man had caught his taxi. His destination was a complete mystery to me and the idea of dropping off a senile man at the airport filled me with disgust, but both his caretakers and his family had signed off on the trip. I tried to content myself with the idea that I was simply doing my job and returned to my book. I tried hard to focus, but I kept reading the same three pages over and over again.
The Wolf Pines Assisted Living Facility had a staff room, but it was sparsely populated. People were always working and, when they had breaks, they would either smoke in front of the gates or, if they had a car, ride back home for lunch. From the few colleagues that I did find a moment to chat with, none were interested in my questions about Morana Air or the strange midnight taxi ride. Apparently, Morana was a charity that offered free senior trips to residents. That’s all my colleagues knew and cared to know.
The food served at the Wolf Pines cafeteria is better suited for the pallet of people half a century older than me, but the tables face a beautiful garden. Whenever I was working day shifts I’d pack a lunch and eat in the cafeteria. My breaks were pretty late, so the tables were mostly empty. Every once in a while though, some of the residents would join me and chat. They were considerably nicer than the employees and I really started to look forward to my lunch breaks.
When I asked the residents about Morana Air, however, they had no answers. A lady of about 90 said that one of her friends went on a Morana Air trip a couple weeks back. When I tried to find out where the trip went or whether her friend had talked about it, her memory was far too faded. She didn’t recall if her friend ever spoke of the trip. She couldn’t recall whether her friend had returned at all.
I had so many questions about Morana Air, yet as the weeks dragged on they lost their urgency. I had worked plenty of night-shifts since that January storm, yet nothing of interest happened. No one entered the building, no one left and the phone only rang once and that was purely because someone misdialed the last digit of a pizza parlor.
It was only three months later, at the start of April that the specter of Morana Air entered my life again. Just at around midnight a familiar orderly entered the lobby. He was accompanying a frail old man with a thinning beard. Rolling next to the resident was an oxygen tank. When I told the orderly that the airport might have an issue with the oxygen tank he simply shrugged.
Mr. so-and-so had a taxi coming for him to take him to the airport. His caretakers and his family had approved of the trip. It wasn’t the orderly’s job, or my job for that matter, to poke around the details.
I tried to talk to the old man but it was of no use. No matter how sweet or curious or direct I was, the man wouldn’t answer my questions or meet my eye. When I had finally given up and sat back down at my desk I could hear the faintest whisper from him.
“They don’t like it when you ask questions,” the old man said, and then took a drag from his oxygen mask.
There wasn’t a thunderstorm outside this time, so, when the taxi arrived; I could see it from my desk. Immediately, I got up and offered to help the resident to the car, but the old man shooed me off and then said something about “Them not liking it when anyone helps.”
The man shambled his way to the taxi, pulled his oxygen tank in and then the car drove off into the darkness. The return of the strange airport fare was a reminder of the Morana Air mystery, but it made me no wiser on the subject. I sat behind that desk all night long trying to make sense of what I had seen. By the time the sun rose I was no wiser on where Morana Air was taking the residents of Wolf Pines, but I had noticed a pattern.
Twice, they had come on the first Friday of the month.
I wasn’t scheduled for the May 5th night shift, but I made some uneven trades with the smokers outside the gates. When the first Friday of the month came again I was back behind that desk. My book stayed shut the whole night.
The orderly wasn’t of much help, but I didn’t expect him to be. The woman, likewise, wasn’t helpful in illuminating the mystery of Morana Air. When I started asking questions about where the taxi was going she averted her eyes and focused on fidgeting with her ring. I had some hope for getting information out of the traveling resident, but that was not the crux of my plan.
I was going to talk to the taxi driver. I was going to find out what happened with our residents when they reached the airport.
Outside, the night was calm and still. As if the driver knew I was waiting, the taxi didn’t come for a long time. When I registered the faintest bit of light in the driveway, however, I was on my feet and ready to ask questions.
When I approached the door the old lady blocked my path. She, much like the other midnight-riders, said that they did not like folks asking questions or going with company. When I demanded the old lady explain who they were she did not provide any answers. Instead, she slipped off her ring and offered it to me as payment.
I wasn’t someone to be bribed. I was looking out for her. All I wanted to do was talk to the taxi driver to make sure the old woman would be safe.
She offered the ring to me in scared whispers, yet when I declined her bribe the old woman’s demeanor completely changed. She turned aggressive. With shouts and swipes of her nails she demanded I let her through the front door to her taxi. The woman was frail and she posed no danger to me, yet her shouts had alerted a trio of orderlies who entered the lobby to investigate.
Her family and caretakers had signed off on the trip, they said. I was in no position to stop her or interview the taxi driver, they said.
By the time I got home I received a mass e-mail from Wolf Pines management. The e-mail did not name me directly, but it concerned the practice of exchanging shifts without notifying management. Exchanging shifts, according to the e-mail, was strictly forbidden and bordered on fraud. Anyone found partaking in this swindling of the company would be punished.
By the time I woke up I had a second e-mail waiting for me in my inbox. The e-mail, once again, came from Wolf Pines management but this time I was its only recipient. I was not just chastised for ‘manipulating one of my coworkers into exchanging shifts’ but also for ‘getting into a yelling match with one of the residents’ and ‘disparaging a charity that worked with the nursing home.’
Apparently, Morana Air graciously offered residents of Wolf Pines free trips to exotic destinations. That was all I needed to know. Any further questions weren’t welcome.
When I made my way to the afternoon shift my spirits were low. Getting chewed out in the two e-mails didn’t feel good, but more importantly I didn’t manage to confront the taxi driver and my chances at being able to do so again seemed nil.
Not long after I settled at my desk though, a familiar cab pulled into the driveway.
The taxi driver was a big burly guy but he spoke in a near whisper. Nervously, he asked me if I knew anything about the residents that leave the nursing home every first Friday of the month. I was beyond relieved to be talking to the man, but my response seemed to have scared him. When I asked where the customers went and whether they spoke about their journey in the car, he simply shook his head.
He said he just dropped them off at the airport, as he was instructed to do by dispatch. That was all he knew. Nothing weird happened on the rides.
I tried asking more questions, but the driver had suddenly become uninterested in talking to me. By the time I even said the words Morana Air he was already out the door.
For a brief moment I thought I could find answers, but then I was plunged back into darkness. The taxi driver’s reaction made me certain that there was something off about the midnight trips. The moment he saw that I also had questions about all the strange airport rides, he backed out. He had questions too, but he knew a lot more than he was letting on.
Halfway through my shift I got another visit. My boss dropped by my desk to repeat the fine points of the two e-mails I had received from management. Her tone was a lot nicer than the text, but within her friendly attitude and empathetic voice there was a clear message:
I wasn’t meant to ask more questions about Morana Air. They were a trusted partner of Wolf Pines and implying that their trips were somehow unsafe was not appropriate under any circumstances. If I was to keep my job, I was to stop asking questions.
Without much of a choice, I told my boss that my curiosity about Morana Air had been satisfied. I knew that I could no longer ask any of my coworkers, but for a couple of days I kept some hope alive for the taxi driver coming back. From the look on his face, I could tell that he knew that something was wrong with the midnight trips.
From the look on his face, I could tell that he felt guilty.
Yet the taxi driver never came back. As the weeks went on Morana Air went from being a mystery that consumed every waking moment of my internal monologue to an eerie curiosity that I would occasionally think about shortly before I fell asleep. I still didn’t know where the elderly residents of Wolf Pines were taken every first Friday of the month, but what I did know was that I couldn’t lose my job.
After the initial mystery of the midnight trips, my life in Wolf Pines attained a calming regularity. There was the occasional escape attempt for me to calmly prevent and every other week I’d get at least one mind-boggling phone call from an overbearing relative, but aside from that work was just as tranquil as it could be. I managed to make a big dent in my reading list with the night shifts and, on the busier day shifts, I always had my lunch breaks to look forward to.
Many of the friendships I had made in the cafeteria were tragically short, but such is the nature of friendships in nursing homes. Throughout the months I said goodbye to a lot of the old folks who would sit with me during lunch, but one stayed a constant — Gabriella.
Gabriella was a stout woman in her early 90s. Aside from the wrinkles on her face and the difficulty she had sitting down or getting up from her chair, you couldn’t tell though. Gabriella’s mind was sharper than most healthy adults I know and her sense of humor had the cut of a professional. She had spent most of her life teaching and had an endless supply of stories from all the corners of the country where she had taught. Whenever I went for lunch she’d be sitting by my usual spot, waiting for me. My chats with Gabriella quickly became the highlight of my work day.
I had mentioned Morana Air to her, once. The cafeteria workers seemed completely uninterested in anything past the lunch queue and there were no other members of staff in the room, yet I still found myself speaking about Morana in a whisper.
I was actually relieved when Gabriella said she had never heard of them. By then, the questions of the midnight rides were starting to slip from my mind. Gabriella not being familiar with Morana Air calmed me. I presumed there still was a taxi arriving at Wolf Pines every first Friday of the month to pick up our residents, yet without being involved myself the concept was abstract enough to forget about.
I had accepted that some mysteries were better left unexplored. I almost forgot about Morana Air all together, but last week I was given a horrid reminder.
It was a day like any other. I got off for my lunch break around three and Gabriella was already sitting at our usual table waiting for me with her tray of easily chewable food. Something about her was different though. That usual sharpness of mind that reflected in her eyes had dulled, or, more accurately, was flickering away. When I sat down she spoke no differently than she usually did, but every couple of sentences her eyes would glaze over and her articulation descended into the realm of a child.
At first, I simply thought that something was wrong with her in a medical sense. It was tragic, yes, but the woman was not too far from being a century old. I thought I was simply watching someone’s years catch up with them, but then, about halfway through my sandwich, Gabriella took out a familiar piece of paper.
She said a handsome young man in a suit had come to her room last night and told her all about Morana Air. She would go on a trip far, far away and meet everyone she had missed for so long. She would fly high up in the sky and float and laugh and feel young once more. She would fly with Morana Air and, best of all, the trip was completely free.
When she spoke about the trip her voice lost all trace of the Gabriela I knew. Even though she was 90, when Gabriela spoke about Morana Air she took on the voice and look of a barely cognizant child.
I tried asking questions. I tried asking about who the handsome young man was or where she was flying to or why she would trust a mysterious travel company that she had never heard about before. To my questions, Gabriella simply shook her head:
“They don’t like it when you ask questions,” she said.
I had heard those words enough to not have any faith in getting past them. Instead of asking more questions, I asked Gabriella if I could borrow the pamphlet and give it back to her the following day. For a moment her eyes attained that same sharpness I was accustomed to. She gave me the pamphlet and then, with complete lucidity, asked me how my day was going.
I told her I had a meeting with the boss coming up and had to cut our lunch short.
Gabriella said she was looking forward to seeing me the next day.
I never saw her again.
I didn’t lie about the meeting. My boss wasn’t expecting me, but I did meet her. Pamphlet in hand and with fifteen minutes left on my lunch break, I went to her office and repeated my qualms about Morana Air. She was surprised to see me unearth the forbidden topic months after I was told to drop it, but when I showed her the pamphlet, when I told her about the “handsome young man” that came into the rooms of one of the residents last night — my superior’s demeanor changed. Holding the pamphlet by the tips of her fingers as if it was covered with filth, she started to ask questions.
For the first time since I started working at Wolf Pines, I saw my boss become visibly concerned. She spoke slowly, calculating each word. She wanted me to tell her, in detail, about all of the midnight shifts I had worked where residents left for Morana Air flights. She asked about the taxi driver and the woman who tried to give me the ring and then, when I had answered all of her questions and posed some of my own — she fired me.
My termination had nothing to do with Morana Air. I had left the reception desk unattended for over ten minutes. That was unacceptable. When I tried to argue the decision she summoned a familiar orderly that showed me the door.
I’ve checked before — I’ve checked many, many times before — but there’s still no trace of Morana Air online. They have no website, they have no way to book flights and there isn’t a trace of evidence of them ever having any charity programs for senior citizens.
I’ve been warned that if I tried to go to Wolf Pines Assisted Living Facility under any circumstances, the authorities would be contacted and charges would be pressed. The last thing I want to do is end up in cuffs, but as I watch the days count down to the start of the month I can’t help but to wonder what will happen to Gabriella.
I can’t help but wonder where the midnight taxi will take her.
submitted by MikeJesus to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 09:08 BlueFishcake Sexy Space Babes - The Video Game

The gas giant loomed large in the viewport, ballooning as the ship coasted toward it, the colorful blue hues of its swirling bands reflecting the glow of the system’s star.
Darren could make out the bright, scarred surface of an ice moon drifting lazily past, framed against the rivers of flowing hydrogen and helium. Silhouetted against the Jupiter-mass object was their destination – Halfpoint Station.
Having come from Earth, which was still a backwater when compared to many of the Imperium’s more developed worlds, the sheer size and grandeur of the structure took his breath away.
It was hard to gauge its true scale in the vacuum of space where there was no atmospheric haze, and there were no landmarks for reference, the unfiltered light creating harsh shadows. As they drew nearer, however, he was able to pick out some of the massive fuel tankers that swarmed its ports like clouds of gnats.
Those vessels put anything created by Humanity to shame – their purpose being to dip into the upper atmosphere of the gas giant, harvesting its resources to fuel the ships that made their berth here.
Calling it enormous was an understatement. It must have been nine miles tall, the main hull of the station forming a long, relatively thin vertical shaft. Surrounding that shaft were half a dozen rotating rings, each one connected to the central column by spokes, the pinpoints of innumerable windows glinting as they slowly turned.
At its apex was a dome of immense proportions, sitting proudly atop the structure, the crystalline material that made up its transparent hull glittering in the starlight. Inside, he could make out glimpses of regal skyscrapers and patches of parkland – an entire city encapsulated in a habitat that had a breathtaking view of the planet.
Darren pursed his lips as he looked down at the device on his wrist, the tiny display showing the familiar text of an article he must have read at least a dozen times by this point.
Halfpoint Station was situated on the outskirts of the Imperium’s sphere of influence, a region of space known only as the Periphery. This put it soundly outside of Purp jurisdiction, but the place still saw a lot of traffic, as the station was right in the middle of a relatively well-traveled shipping route between the three big powers.
While it had started its life as little more than a place to fuel up and get resupplied, being located outside any of the major spheres of influence had its benefits, and the station had garnered a bit of a reputation for its more permissive policies. Now, it was said to be populated by hired guns, smugglers, gamblers, and anyone else who might appreciate discretion.
The Human frowned as he looked out the window once more and tried to reconcile the gleaming edifice before him with the dark reputation the article in his hands presented.
He didn’t have long to dwell on it before the pilot’s crackly voice came through a hidden intercom in the cabin, informing the passengers that they were commencing docking procedures.
The woman spoke in accented Shil. What that accent was, Darren had no clue, but he knew it wasn’t the same one spoken by his professors – linguistic or mechanical.
He glanced around at his fellow travelers, seeing a few species that he didn’t recognize, along with the more familiar Shil’vati. The aliens were easily identifiable by the purple hue of their skin, their sharp tusks, and their seven-foot height.
Several of them returned his gaze, some curious, some covetous.
Males were rare in the Imperium.
Hell, males were rare, period.
By the standards of most races out in the galaxy, Humanity were the strange ones for having an equal number of men and women. Even six years into the occupation, most were still struggling to adapt to the new paradigm brought on by that reality.
Darren was no exception.
Still, he managed to ignore the stares, turning his attention to the smart display on his wrist, bringing up his itinerary. He was headed to Hab-Ring Five, and the only information that he’d been given beyond that were some coordinates to who-knew-where.
He sighed, wishing – not for the first time – that he might have a fellow first timer to converse with.
Unfortunately, that was a pipe dream.
The lack of other Humans on his ship wasn’t surprising. The Imperium had only recently relaxed enough to begin authorizing travel visas allowing Humans to leave Earth, and his kind were still a rarity on the Galactic stage.
As to why he was out here out in the ass end of space?
He’d been offered a job.
He was an engineer by trade, at least according to his degree, and he specialized in the combination of alien and Human technology. It might seem like an oddly specific skillset, but it was one that was in high demand, as just about every industry on Earth was trying to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the Imperium’s literal space-age technology.
It was complicated work, but he was quite good at it, if he said so himself – and his professors seemed to agree. His gift had catapulted him through university and had apparently landed him a very lucrative offer to take up a position on Halfpoint.
How they’d heard of him, he wasn’t too sure. Nor did he truthfully know exactly what the job entailed. Apparently, he was to be briefed on-location.
Regardless, off-world work was a rare opportunity for any Human, let alone one fresh out of school, and visiting an alien space station was a lot more interesting than backpacking around Europe for a year.
Whatever happened, it was going to be an adventure.
The ship matched velocity with one of the rotating rings, the structure at least half a mile tall in its own right, covered in tiny windows that made it look like a whole city block had been condensed down into the shape of a donut.
Now that he was a little closer, Darren could see that the station was actually far from pristine. Its hull was pocked with haphazard repairs, the newer sections shining brighter than their older counterparts, its armored panels pitted with little craters from space debris and micro-meteorite impacts.
The ship lined up with a docking port, and an umbilical walkway began to extrude from the ring, reaching out towards them. It looked like the jib of a crane, covered over with a flexible material that bore a suspicious resemblance to a grey tarp.
Surely it wasn’t actually a tarp? No, it had to be some kind of alien supertech – too advanced for him to recognize at a glance.
His thoughts did little to reassure him as the umbilical connected to the shuttle’s airlock with a tangible thud.
Shaking his head, he retrieved his travel bag, then made his way down the aisle to join the queue of passengers who were waiting to disembark. More of them crammed in behind him, and he tried to ignore their uncomfortable proximity.
He hadn’t actually spent a lot of time around aliens during his schooling. One of his professors had been a Shil, but she had been professional to a fault and had always kept a healthy distance from her students.
Of course, she had still managed to be rather intimidating despite that, her head seeming to scrape the ceiling every time she stepped into the classroom. However, Darren was rapidly discovering that being surrounded by women who stood head and shoulders above him was a different experience altogether.
It was nothing to get worked up over, though. He just needed to-
The Shil standing behind him pressed close – uncomfortably close – Darren swearing that there was room enough in the aisle for her to keep her distance. Suddenly, he felt a sharp twinge in his rear.
Had she just...pinched him? No, it had to have been a mistake.
He turned to glance over his shoulder, looking up at the towering Purp. “Sorry, Ma’am, I must have bumped into you.”
Her sly smile faded as she furrowed her brow in confusion. Before she had time to formulate a reply, the intercom above the exit beeped.
“Oh, looks like we’re moving again!” Darren chimed as he began to follow the queue. “Sorry!”
He followed the procession of towering women into the passenger ship’s airlock. Both of the pressurized doors were open, and before him stretched the umbilical. The worryingly thin material that protected them from the deadly vacuum of space was wrapped taut around a metal frame, and the walkway beneath his feet was made up of a simple grate.
After a short walk, they emerged into a cavernous dock area, so large that it was more like standing in some kind of indoor stadium than anything that could be compared to a space station. There were stacks of shipping containers and unidentifiable machinery everywhere he looked.
It was a challenge not to stop and examine the equipment, each new sight piquing his interest, each strange device begging to be investigated. As he followed the other passengers to the far end of the room – his head on a swivel – he almost bumped into one of the containers. To his surprise, it was floating a foot off the ground, suspended on an anti-gravity cushion.
It was funny – no matter how many times he saw it, it never stopped being surreal to see something just…float.
As he stooped to look beneath it, an irritated dockworker leaned out from behind it to yell at whoever was in her way. She stopped when she saw him, raising a skeptical eyebrow. She was a Rakiri, if Darren remembered correctly. She resembled a towering werewolf, a pair of cat-like eyes peering out from beneath her black fur, her facial features strangely leonine. She was clad in dirty, yellow coveralls that hung loosely from her broad shoulders, exposing the ragged tank top that she wore beneath it. Tufts of her dark coat poked out around the faded garment, giving her a surprisingly fluffy appearance.
“You lost, boy?” she asked as she shooed him out of her path. “Stay behind the yellow warning markings unless you want to get that cute butt smushed,” she added with a nod toward the deck. She continued to push her heavy container, moving it effortlessly on its gravity cushion.
More dock workers were assembling to stare at him, perhaps having never seen a Human before. Or perhaps it was because he was male? It was hard to tell. Either way, a small crowd of yellow-clad women saw him off, a couple of them hooting at him and waving. Not sure if this was some kind of alien greeting, he shyly waved back, eliciting laughter from them after a moment of surprise.
One started to make her way over to him before a menacing growl from her superior made her freeze in place sheepishly. Darren took that as his cue to move on – he didn’t want to get anyone else in trouble by being in the way.
He arrived at a security gate, and after being asked to show his visa, he was subjected to a very thorough – and in his opinion unnecessary – pat-down. Once he was cleared, he emerged into the station proper. He stepped out of the way of the women behind him, then set his travel bag down on the metal deck, taking in the alien sights and sounds for a moment.
Far from being a sterile, clinical environment, he found himself in a bustling bazaar worthy of any city back on Earth. It scarcely felt like he was standing inside a station at all, what passed for the ceiling so high above his head that he could barely make out the crisscrossing support beams and maintenance catwalks.
It was styled like a cramped street, too small for cars, almost like the city center of some old European town had been reimagined in an industrial style. Civilian quarters that resembled apartment blocks rose up towards the ceiling, connecting to it in some places, likely leading up to higher levels of the station.
In every nook and cranny – anywhere there was room – the denizens of the hab-ring had set up little stalls where they were hawking their wares to the tourists who had just boarded. Colorful awnings fluttered in the artificial breeze from the air recyclers, and insulated cables that had been patched from the station’s systems trailed along walls and floors, powering streetside food stands and colorful neon signs.
Speaking of the denizens, they came in all shapes and sizes. Darren had never seen so many varieties of alien in one place before. He could make out a few Shil and Rakiri, but most were unknown to him, the varied hues of their skin and clothes creating a bustling sea of color.
He checked the device on his wrist again, pulling up the coordinates that his new employer had forwarded to him. This was indeed Hab-Ring Five, and he’d been given what passed for an address in this strange environment. Hefting his bag once more, he made his way into the throng, having to dodge and weave between the towering aliens. Many of them barely seemed to register his presence, probably due to his comparatively small stature, though some seemed to stop and stare in confusion.
Well, I suppose Humans are pretty new on the galactic scene, he thought to himself.
The scents of strange, alien food assailed him as he navigated the cramped streets, a few of the criers singling him out. They had sharp instincts, he’d give them that. It seemed the locals could smell a tourist at thirty paces.
Maybe it was all the staring he was doing?
Eventually, he arrived at his destination, glancing up from his display to see a dingy bar. It was open to the street, built into an overhang at the base of one of the many buildings, little more than a long counter with a few stools. Above it was a blinking neon sign in a script that he couldn’t read. As he made his way inside and struggled up onto one of the tall stools, the small handful of patrons who were sitting off to his left paused their conversation to examine him.
They were Nighkru, their goat-like horns and the bruise-purple hue of their skin giving them away. Their silver eyes were striking, almost seeming to glow in the dim light of the bar, as reflective as those of a cat. Their clothing was all tight leather and straps, their skin strategically exposed in places to show off their stunning bioluminescent tattoos, the swirling patterns trailing down slender limbs and across toned midriffs.
He kept his gaze aimed forward, knowing that their kind didn’t think much of the Imperium to which he now belonged.
…Then again, that was true for pretty much every race that wasn’t a part of the massive interstellar empire. Say what you would about the Purps, but they knew how to make an impression.
The bartender walked over to him, leaning on the counter as she looked him up and down skeptically. It was another Rakiri like the dockworkers, her feline nose twitching as she took in his scent.
“You lost, or do you want something to drink?” she asked.
“No thank you, I’m waiting for someone,” he replied sheepishly as he lowered his eyes to his device again.
He was right on time, but as he looked around, there was no sign of his contact. He was supposed to meet them here, right?
The Rakiri shrugged her furry shoulders, then left him to his own devices, moving over to the small group of Nighkru.
Perhaps one of them was his contact?
He certainly hoped not. While he didn’t have anything against a person enjoying themselves with a good drink after hours, it wasn’t a good way to make a positive first impression on a prospective employee.
Fortunately for him, the surprise on one of the trio’s grey skinned faces when she happened to blearily peer in his direction dashed that possibility. Just a trio of young women out for a drink.
Unfortunately for him, after a few hastily whispered words to her friends, the group made their way over to him.
“Don’t see many males round these parts,” one of them said, her faux leather getup creaking as she planted her hands on the bar to his left. Another leaned on the counter to his right, the third posting up behind him.
“A Human, too,” the woman to his right added with a sly chuckle. “Now, what’s a Human doing all alone out on the Periphery?”
“I didn’t think the Purps were letting their pets off the leash.” the one behind him snickered.
“I don’t know,” the first said with an exaggerated shrug. “Maybe he snuck out in search of a real woman? I think we’ve all heard how Humans can be.”
That set the three of them laughing.
All the while, Darren wasn’t sure where to look, turning his head left and right as he struggled to pick a Nighkru. He settled on the woman to his left, having to lift his head to meet her gaze, those reflective eyes shining like a pair of silver coins.
“I...uh...was actually supposed to be meeting someone here.” he stammered, a little of his anxiety bleeding through.
The Nighkru gave him a warm smile that wasn’t reflected in her eyes, leaning a little closer. He tried to pull away reflexively but found another Nighkru waiting for him, something rather soft pressing against his back.
“Well, I don’t see anyone else in here but me and my friends,” one of them said as she tutted dramatically. “Maybe they stood you up?”
“Poor form, that,” the one behind him whispered into his ear. He lurched in his seat, surprised by her proximity. “Leaving a pretty young thing like you hanging.”
The first one nodded, as if that was a piece of sagely wisdom. “I know – how about my friends and I give you a personal tour of the station to make up for it?” she asked, reaching out to brush a piece of errant fluff from his collar. “We’ll even carry your luggage for you – we’re nice like that.”
She signaled to one of her compatriots with a curt nod, who then plucked his travel bag off the deck.
“Oh, that’s really not-”
He tried to stand, but he was cut off as two of the women placed their hands on his shoulders, pushing him back down into his seat. Their touch was gentle, but firm, letting him know that he wasn't going anywhere.
Darren looked to the Rakiri bartender for help, feeling more than a little overwhelmed by the turn of events, but she was staying out of it. She was feigning disinterest, cleaning a glass with a rag that didn’t look clean enough for the job.
It was clear that he wouldn’t be getting any help from her.
Was this really going to be his first experience on the station – kidnapped by a gang of alien grifters?
Just as he was getting ready to – likely ineffectually – start swinging like his life depended on it, he heard a voice ring out in a language he didn’t recognize.
The Nighkru turned their heads as one, and he followed their gaze, seeing another of their kind step in from the street. Her skin had the same twilight hue, her silvery hair pulled back into a long ponytail that trailed behind her as she strode towards them. She wore a jet-black body suit that left little to the imagination, so tight that it might have been sewn onto her, the garment open at the front to expose a chiseled midriff and the beginnings of her cleavage. Her eyes were mesmerizing, his gaze drawn to the glowing tattoos that served to accentuate them.
Oddly, unlike the trio surrounding him, she had no horns.
The stranger walked with purpose, her heels clicking on the deck, her hair swishing behind her as she came to a stop to stare down the three other women. They were already backing off, the Nighkru who had taken his bag setting it back down gingerly beside his seat. Did they know this person? They seemed so wary of her.
“Maybe we’ll see you around,” one of them whispered, her hand lingering on his shoulder for a moment before she followed her friends out into the street.
Once they were finally out of sight, Darren breathed a sigh of relief and turned to thank the newcomer. Before he could utter so much as a word, she beat him to the punch.
“You shouldn’t wander around Halfpoint alone,” she said, skipping the preamble. Her voice had a melodic tone, one that was almost musical to Darren’s ears. She planted her hands on her hips, scrutinizing him with a skeptical expression. “You’re just asking for trouble.”
“I’m just...waiting for someone,” he replied. “Thank you, by the way. I’m-”
“Do you have a weapon on you?” she asked, cutting him off. “A handgun under that jacket? Defense spray? A pocket knife?”
“What? No,” he replied, his brow furrowing. “Why would I have a gun?”
Even with a few inches of titanium-alloy plating between everyone aboard and a messy death by explosive decompression, using a firearm on the station seemed risky.
She snorted derisively, almost as though she couldn’t believe his reply.
“For your sake, I hope that whoever you’re waiting for is smarter than you are,” she said with a roll of her silver eyes. “This isn’t Earth, boy. There are no Shil Marines around to babysit you. Next time you want to play tourist, go somewhere closer to home.”
With a flick of her long hair, she turned about, vanishing into the crowd once more to leave him sitting at the bar in confusion.
Darren felt another hand on his shoulder and turned to see an Edixi wearing grease-stained overalls standing behind him. The tool belt that hung loosely about her hips let him know that she was a mechanic before she’d even had time to open her mouth.
Her kind were evolved for an aquatic environment, and although they were fully amphibious, they retained many of their ancient features. Their bodies were smooth and streamlined, with lean, lightly-muscled frames that made them look like Olympic swimmers. Her eyes were a striking ocean-green, and her azure skin was patterned with faded tiger stripes, darkening as it neared her extremities.
“You’re the new engineer, right?” she chirped excitedly.
“Darren Fogle, pleased to meet you,” he confirmed as he extended a hand. She took it, shaking it eagerly, and he noted that her fingers were webbed.
He was a little surprised by how smooth her skin was. Given the sharklike appearance of the Edixi – and her vocation – he’d expected it to be rough and scaly. Maybe cold and slimy, too. By contrast, it was warm and soft, her small scales smooth like a snake’s rather than sharp like those of a fish.
“Oh, it is. It very much is. The boss told me to fetch you,” she said before turning back towards the street. “Don’t get lost, you hear? There are some rough types around these parts.”
Yes, she could say that again. He stooped to pick up his bag, then hurried after her, trying not to lose sight of her in the crowd. He also belatedly realized that she hadn’t told him her own name.
Was that an Edixi thing or was she just in a hurry?
The mechanic led him through the streets, which seemed to be arranged in a kind of grid pattern, always flanked by the towering hab-blocks. It was as challenging as ever to navigate when so many of the station’s inhabitants stood a head taller than him. It made him feel like a bug that was trying to avoid being stepped on.
He could only assume he’d get used to it. His guide seemed to have no problem getting around, and she was a few inches shorter than him.
Their destination was some kind of service elevator – a large platform that seemed designed to carry heavy cargo up from the docks, wide enough that a couple of trucks could have parked on it side by side. There were still a few cargo containers stacked off to one side that hadn’t been unloaded yet.
He watched as the woman hit a touch panel beside the double doors, and they began to slide shut, the platform lurching as Darren felt it start to rise. There was no grinding of machinery, no vibrations, only a sensation of getting heavier. It was obviously gravity-manipulation tech. It wasn’t too surprising – the Shil seemed to use it for just about everything, so it wasn’t too strange that the rest of the universe did as well.
Convergent technological development, he could almost imagine his Shil instructor saying as they started to descend. Good tech is good tech.
The hab-ring’s many levels flashed by one by one, until finally, the elevator slid to a smooth stop. Darren followed the happily humming mechanic out into a garage, his eyes lighting up as he took in his new surroundings.
Were those… mecha?
The bay’s walls were lined with bulky harnesses that were obviously designed to hold the machines in place, a few of the berths already occupied by half-disassembled vehicles.
They were!
“Real life mecha,” he mumbled.
As a mechanic, he wasn’t ignorant of the genre. After all, what kind of engineer didn’t hold a soft spot for giant stompy robots? Of course, as an engineer, he also held an inherent disdain for anyone that actually thought said machines were even remotely practical outside of the realm of fiction.
The Square Cube Law was a harsh mistress.
The long and short of it was that if you doubled a machine's height while keeping it the same shape, you ended up with four times the muscle power moving eight times the mass. As a result, instead of having the same relative agility as the original, the double-sized machine actually had only half.
That was why ants could lift so much relative to their weight. If you scaled one up, you’d end up with a much less impressive power to weight ration.
And, the problem only got worse the bigger you went. Giant robots would be slow, cumbersome, and they would inevitably suffer from exploding ankles if they tried to move too fast. They’d also sink in just about any terrain that was even slightly porous.
All in all, mecha were a cool concept with absolutely zero real world applications.
Which was why he was so stunned to see some in real life. Sure, the Shil military liked to use exos, but they were really just power armor by any other name with thrusters attached. Besides, the only reason those things could skip around like they did was because they had anti-grav generators…
His thoughts trailed off as an idea occurred to him. He jogged over to the nearest machine, peering up at the twenty-foot humanoid monstrosity. Its legs had been detached, leaving only a bulky torso covered in half-stripped sensory equipment, lenses and scanners visible where their protective covers had been removed. The cockpit was open, revealing the pilot’s seat, along with the surrounding neural interface cables that hung loose like the entrails of some mechanical beast. Its weapon attachments were empty, but it was nonetheless an awe-inspiring sight.
Sure enough, there were two oversized humps on the back. One was clearly for the thing’s fusion engine – and the other must have held the anti-grav generator.
“Darren?” the mechanic asked, having only just realized that he wasn’t behind her. “Aren’t you coming?”
“Y-yeah,” he said, jogging for a few paces to catch up. “That’s a mecha!”
The blue-hued alien nodded slowly. “Yes?”
“A mecha,” he reiterated.
Which prompted another slow nod. “You’ve never seen a gladiator mech before?”
“Didn’t they tell you what job you’d be doing?” the mechanic asked, cocking her head in a rather adorable manner.
“No?” This time it was his turn to cock his head.
Several emotions seemed to fly across the alien’s face. He saw surprise, confusion, and dismay before she finally settled on irritation.
“Typical,” she grunted. “Just… follow me.”
AN: https://youtu.be/a3Xp1WhRQ9Q
submitted by BlueFishcake to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 05:43 Elick320 master cheif converted

Respect The Chief

You're home now. We could finally make an officer of you. You'd have Admiral without much of an argument from anyone.
No offense, sir, but "The Admiral" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 is the most important figure of the human race in the mid-26th century. Abducted at the age of six by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), he was conscripted into the SPARTAN-II program. The initiative was originally designed to crush human rebellion against the Unified Earth Government as the human Insurrection movement neared its tipping point. John endured harsh physical and mental training, survived the physical augmentations required by the program, and was later matched with state-of-the-art Mjolnir battle armor.
Throughout his training and early career, John emerged as a clear leader among the Spartans and was set to lead a successful UNSC campaign to stop a brewing human civil war. Though through circumstance, he became the sole savior of the human race several times over. First, in the face of an alien hegemony called the Covenant--an advanced alien empire bent on the complete destruction of humanity. Later, against an eldritch parasite known as the Flood which toppled both the Ancient Human and Forerunner empires of the past. Most recently, John defended humanity against the efforts of an ancient Forerunner general called the Didact, who returned to take his revenge against humanity for wars fought a hundred millennia in the past.
  • Feats are shown in chronological order in-universe
  • Feats showing relevant scaling or context will be indented
  • Hover over a feat to see the source.
Height: 6'10" // 7'2" (In armor)
Weight: 130 kg // 451.3 kg (In armor)

General Info (Augmentations / Mjolnir Armor)

Pre-Augmentation / Training
Spartans were heavily trained almost daily since they were kidnapped at the age of 6, leading them to become physically and mentally prime by the young age of 14 even before receiving their augmentations.
Dr. Halsey marveled at what a spectacular physical specimen he had grown into. Fourteen years old and he had the body of an eighteen-year-old Olympic athlete, and a mind the equal of any Naval Academy honors graduate.
Description of an unaugmented 14 year old John; The Fall of Reach Ch 6
Codenamed Project: ASTER, the Spartan candidates were augmented to drastically increase their physiology and physical capabilities. Their bones were laced with powerful material to make them 'virtually unbreakable', their muscle tissue density was increased and lactase recovery time was decreased, they were given hormones to boost skeletal and muscle growth, increased eyesight, and had their nerves altered to drastically increase reaction time.

MJOLNIR Armor / Stat boosts

The feats in this RT will sorted by which armor John is wearing, as each iteration of Mjolnir armor increases his abilities further.
Unarmored - These feats occur after John receives his augmentation, but without any Mjolnir armor. They also all happen to occur when he is 14 years old and still recovering from his augmentations.
MJOLNIR Mark IV - The Mk IV was the first iteration of armor given to John and the rest of Spartan II's at the age of 15.
Neural interface / Onboard Computer
Mjolnir armor is linked to Spartans with a neural interface, which means they simply have to think and the armor would perform an action. Combined with the onboard computer, it allows Spartans to do things such as place Waypoint markers, or targets on their HUDs with a thought.
MJOLNIR Mark V - Deployed almost two and a half decades after the previous iteration of MJOLNIR, the Mk V now possessed recharging energy shields but retained the same double strength multiplier as the Mk IV.
Cortana - Cortana is the AI that was paired with Master Chief for Operation: REDFLAG, she is present for the feats that occur while John is wearing MJOLNIR Mk V and most while wearing Mk VI.
MJOLNIR Mark VI - Due to the UNSCs rapid advances in technology, the Mk VI was deployed less than two months after the Mk V rendering it obsolete, containing major improvements in both shielding and stat multipliers.
MJOLNIR GEN 2 - The second generation of MJOLNIR armor developed after the Human-Covenant war ended. Every aspect of the armor has been improved upon and thrusters are now built into each set of armor, drastically increasing maneuverability.


Mk V


Mk V


Mk V


Mk V




Other Spartan Feats / Additional Scaling

Weapons / Equipment

Enemies / Additional Scaling

The four Spartans that composed Blue Team covered his back, standing absolutely silent and immobile in their MJOLNIR combat armor. Someone had once commented that they looked like Greek war gods in the armor … but his Spartans were far more effective and ruthless than Homer’s gods had ever been.
submitted by Elick320 to Elick320 [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 19:27 MoonlitSintari [SF] Executioner Squad: Thirteen (1/2)

A murky red light lit the fuselage dimly as the hum of the StrikeRaptor reverberated through Aleace’s body and into her mind. The atmosphere created by the interior of the craft was dark and ominous as red pierced the veil of mist which hovered around at all times. The thumps of the engine entranced her into an almost unconscious state until Twenty announced their descent from higher altitudes.
With her head as stiff as a machine, Aleace made a final check of her gear before they arrived.
The first thing she looked over was the knife on her left forearm, then the one on her lower back. With both secure, she made sure the grenades hugging her hip were still attached and then moved to check if the launcher on her right forearm was stocked. All so far checking out, she made sure her rifle was in place before moving to her helmet. She gave it a sharp tug to make sure it was sealed and briefly activated cloaking to test if it was operational.
With this done, she turned her head slightly to the left to look at Twenty on the other side of the fuselage. Eight was sitting next to her and Four was next to Aleace, although she paid him little mind as to look in his direction was to see a hideous sight.
The StrikeRaptor noticeably hit major turbulence and yet none of them flinched for a moment. The cockpit soon rang in notifying Twenty of the disturbance as they came in close to the mountains, but she only stopped speaking briefly, then resumed once the cockpit rang away.
Knowing they neared their destination, Twenty had instructed the team to stand and await landing.
Although the StrikeRaptor rocked and jolted from side to side, none of them made use of the overhanging grips that swung violently. It now felt second nature to keep perfectly upright using only her leg and core muscles which she knew was the same for the rest of the team.
The New Future project had only been in operation for a few years, but this was the life they lived day after day. The only life they were expected to live once committing to the augmentations, but she didn’t mind that. It was her dream to serve SHOCK like her father and she had the chance to live that dream.
“SHOCK wants this camp to be taken out cleanly, no survivors” ordered Twenty and although she didn’t move her head whatsoever, Aleace could feel her eyes piercing through her. Those last two words were words Aleace was supposed to be accustomed to and after every mission, she thought she was.
Sometimes she wished they were a public force and not some shadow assassin squad. She always found it sickening that she’d want something so selfish while her squad mates never once complained about their orders. Then she found herself arguing internally that it wasn’t selfish to want more humane options instead of scorch earth everything that moved. She’d often go to her father with this kind of predicament, but he always avoided any answer that she wanted. In the end, she’d settle it by looking upon her squad mates' example and following orders as perfectly as she could. Then the cycle repeated on a loop like the StrikeRaptors engines that entranced her.
Twenty and Four were the first to exit the StrikeRaptor after it landed, followed by her and Eight.
Twenty hailed off the StrikeRaptor and it jolted awake once again, flying back towards home base.
Now on solid ground, Aleace removed her rifle from where it sat on her back and held it firmly with both hands. The group followed Twenty along the side of the mountain, the exposed rock exterior a darker grey since the sun was facing the opposite direction.
The Nivir only had one look, snow-covered goliath mountains for as far as the eye could see. Sometimes if she was lucky, she could catch a faint glimpse of Durman sands or a large stretch of ocean miles upon miles away. Most of the time however, it was the same snowy mountains she’d lived in most of her life. Because of this, she often stared at the intricacies of her squad mate's armor instead.
As Aleace had found, Four had possibly the least interesting armor out of all of them. It was a flat mat grey color with scrapes and etches all over it. He never cleaned it or went over it again with new paint, and certainly applied repairs rarely. There were what looked like chips and cracks throughout his plating, big enough to lodge a full-sized combat knife through. Other than his plain colors and battle-torn suit, he usually had extra holsters and pouches adorning him. The most prominent feature of his whole look was a long sash-like bandolier carrying grenades that hung across his chest. Fortunately for her, she was behind him so she didn’t have to look at its awful mix of yellow colors and harsh leather. He was also carrying some other gear packed in a bag that hung off his left shoulder, but that wasn’t a standard load out for him.
Had they been briefed beforehand? She questioned, but pushed the thought away. It didn’t matter, this time she would just follow orders no matter if she was left out of the briefing or not.
She then went on to the next member.
Eight wore a tad more interesting suit of armor if not scarier. His was a cold marine blue with scratches off the paint from battle here and there. What stood out most however, was the sheer number of etches he put into the paint himself. After every engagement, if he had not already done it in the StrikeRaptor on the way back to base, then he would go to his quarters and etch in tally marks which now ran down his armor in droves. Aleace had never asked what he was counting out of fear of already knowing the answer. It shivered her to her core at the thought of remembering every single one, every face, every set of eyes. Besides this glaring feature he also had his name in roman numerals plastered all across his armor similar to the word SHOCK which they all had adorning them, but much more haphazardly placed. Something she noticed almost immediately after they were allowed to customize their armor was the abundance of knives he decided to holster around. One simply couldn’t use that many in a single hand-to-hand fight which wasn’t something they did often anyhow. Besides these striking features, his armor was also pretty standard if not intimidating.
Twenty’s armor was Aleace’s favorite to look at although it brought the most worry to stare. It was pure white with black edge highlights going around each panel of armor plating. This simplistic look made every feature of her and her armor pop but brought an unsettling feeling with it. She kept it in perfect condition, not a scratch or dent or chip of paint in it. This rule rang true for all but her left sleeve. Running down its sides was a long list of names, all names Aleace recognized. The names of every resistance they had crumbled, and even when they were too early in the making to have had a name, she would put a slash and number to commemorate it instead. To an outsider, it might read like holy texts with how clean and proper the names were both organized and displayed. To the squad, they were a sort of holy text, a history of their deeds and actions. From what Aleace could tell, Twenty seemed to put great care into recording the names. Aleace had never seen Twenty do it herself, but they were obviously engravings in the armor plating itself and not just a simple scrape of the paint. On one of the rare occasions where Aleace saw Twenty out of her armor, she caught a glimpse of what looked like the same thing printed on her skin in the same place. Aleace never mentioned what she saw to anyone, not even her father out of fear of what would happen if Twenty found out she knew. Not that Aleace would personally be harmed, but Twenty was intimidating and had the power to do any manner of other things. Other than the engraved sleeve and the pristine condition it was always in, she also shared a feature that Aleace’s armor had. Attached to almost every armor plate was another smaller plate that acted similar to a flap which changed in angle the moment they entered camouflage. They were the parts that usually acquired the most damage and subsequently repair which made Aleace’s downtime drop dramatically. Usually, the two of them would repair the flaps in the same room after a battle, although they never once spoke in all that time applying repairs.
Even after Aleace admired and detracted from each member of the team's armor they were still not on the right side of the mountain from their target.
She was the only one to ever make small talk that wasn’t relevant to their mission or just small talk in general. Not to mention whenever she did she could feel their seething hatred for her. She wasn’t one for kicking the nest and angering them with her presence like it usually did, but the question felt warranted this time. “They’ve been pretty strict about leaving no survivors recently, haven’t they”? Aleace reverberated through her helmet out loud. “Not any more than normal” Eight spoke and stopped almost as immediately as he started. “If they have, then I haven’t noticed it” noted Four in a less than intrigued and dismissive voice. “There’s been a contact supplying these resistances, SHOCK doesn’t want them to escape and rebuild,” Twenty said in her usual smooth, but callous voice and peered around the side of the mountain to look down on their target.
Aleace got close to the edge of the cliff as well and gazed down at the sun-draped camp.
She pulled her rifle up close to her helmet and used the built-in zoom function with her weapon. Shining blue almost see-through rings appeared atop her rifle as she activated the scope. Zoomed in, she didn’t notice many sophisticated buildings, merely tents, and temporary shelters with a few more solid structures closer to the base of the mountain. It didn’t look all that different from any other Niviri resistance they had eliminated, besides the occasional gun and body armor, but even that wasn’t unseen before.
“Here is a good enough spot,” Twenty said and made room for Aleace to lie down in a sniping position. "Me and Eight are to engage the outside camp while Thirteen provides cover fire until air support gets here”. Thirteen almost forgot her number for a moment and got down in the position Twenty advised.
“Four, you're going to cut into the ice on the ledge below us and get into the mountain's tunnels”. “Taking it out from the inside needs to be quick”. Thirteen peaked upwards from her position to see Four nod and pull out some equipment from the bag he carried before hopping down on the ledge.
What she saw next almost stopped her hyper-efficient heart even though it was nothing new from Twenty. Without a word she jumped from their position then was followed by Eight. Thirteen watched them fall and land almost fully encased in snow. She knew the fall wouldn’t kill them, but the sudden jump without hesitation or regard for caution surprised her greatly.
“We’ll be using comms from now on” Twenty radioed to them. Thirteen watched them make their way to the edge of the camp through her scope until Twenty cloaked herself, then she only watched Eight.
“Eight get to this rock right in front of you, Thirteen give Eight overwatch”, she ordered. “Yes, ma’am” Thirteen replied, but felt strange saying it since they were roughly the same age. Nonetheless, she would never say anything other than ma’am to Twenty on a mission.
Something else that felt strange was their positioning. Twenty certainly knew placing the two of them in between the entrance to the mountain and the camp was a poor tactical decision. They would be torn apart from both sides unless they hunkered down and that wasn’t Twenty’s style of a firefight.
Now curious where her team leader was, Thirteen activated the cloaked objects spotting tech in her helmet to find Twenty’s position.
Twenty seemed to embody SHOCK to its fullest degree since she was so out of position compared to Eight, it seemed she was trying to surprise everyone back at base with news that the she got him killed. Thirteen was on cover fire, so perhaps that was why she felt comfortable in her placement. However, even with that said, she felt there were still better tactical options for the assault instead of this scattered mess.
It was very unlike Twenty to have a plan of attack as messy as this, so it had to have some kind of reason for its structure. Thirteen pondered on the situation until they were all in their places, but nothing came of it.
“Command this is Executioner Twenty, over,” Twenty said linking their comms with one much farther away. “Executioner Thirteen” Thirteen played in her mind. She knew the title was formal and they hardly ever used it, but she found it quite aggressive even if it was true to their role.
“This is command, over”. “We’re commencing the operation, over”. “Obliged, air support in the form of Night Jay is ten minutes out, happy hunting” base replied all in sequential order.
“Happy hunting” Thirteen repeated to herself. With how many combatants she witnessed on the camp side alone, it was going to be a war zone not a hunt.
“Thirteen you heard him, air support is ten minutes out so until then your the fire support, we open up on your cue” Twenty told her through comms. “Roger” Thirteen replied and started scanning for a target.
There didn’t seem to be much valuable to hit, however. Sure there were plenty of armed fighters around, but no discernible commander or high-ranking leader of any sort. Now that she really looked at the layout, she noticed something odd. Most of the armed targets she would end up sniping were on the mountain entrance side. With that in mind, she eventually settled on a man standing atop one of the more solid buildings who had a good position to fire on Eight.
She adjusted the power setting on the side of her rifle and snuggled close to get the best position in scope. Finger now on the trigger she sent a bolt of energy slamming into the man’s chest, disintegrating fur and flesh alike. Not a moment later “finally”, Eight grumbled and opened fire, rounds echoing around the mountains.
She watched panic from all over the camp spread as his bullets tore through the settlement.
Twenty soon decloaked and took up firing as well. She was a bit farther out on the outskirts of the camp side, however.
This still didn’t seem like the best tactical choice to split the two of them up, especially when Eight had to hold such a precarious position alone. Because of this, Thirteen mainly supplied cover fire for him, taking out targets in his blind spots.
Watching it from her vantage point felt odd as the Niviri were as small as ants, but were herded like sheep by the two armored warriors.
She was reloading when Eight spoke over comms. “They’re getting reinforcements from inside the mountain and I can only kill them so quick”. “Thirteen,” Twenty said without a slight bit of worry in her voice. “Already on it”. She maneuvered her sights around to the entrance of the mountain and scanned for anything she could use. As she did this Twenty hailed Four over comms. “Yes?” He asked obviously focused on something else. “Speed it up” Twenty ordered him. “I’m working on it, SHOCK wants all the details” he finished and Twenty went silent. All the details? Thirteen wondered while finding some kind of gas tank she was unsure of. Hoping for the best she turned the power setting to max and took aim. As the reinforcements passed the tank she sent a blast out. The eruption of fire and destruction it caused spread a smile of accomplishment over Thirteen's face. She was intrigued by the interaction and although she was tempted to ask over comms, she knew it would amount to nothing but more resentment. She was the only one who ever asked questions and she was hated for it. She hated herself sometimes for it. Good soldiers followed orders and she always had an opinion.
“Night Jay is now on station” a rumbling metallic voice crowed through comms.
“Level this building for us Night Jay” Twenty spoke getting straight to business, although she would usually never add the “for us” part if it was normal air support.
Thirteen gazed up and spotted a hovering dark mass, then watched as a bomb was launched with perfect precision. A building with fighters inside was now reduced to smoke, signaling Thirteens overwatch duties had come to an end.
“Thirteen assist Four in the tunnels” she was ordered. “Roger” she replied and hopped down on the ledge below her. Time to see what’s taking Four so long. She took one last look at the smoldering camp below and crouched through the opening into the tunnels.
submitted by MoonlitSintari to shortstories [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 17:43 Necessary-Safe-2846 Hybrid-ish kart?

So I'll lay out the rough idea, if it will work; how? If not; please help if you can. Thanks in advance.
A generator (power needs unkown) 2 electric hub motors maybe 4 for bike or scooter? Controller? Inverter?
The idea is sort of a mini ripsaw tank with tank steering so I want to be able to place the motors easier around the bigger frame(modified John Deere gator) and to have true zero turn not skid steer. I want to use a gas generator for quicker refuel, extended range, and price compared to a comparable battery. And I don't want to use 2 gas motors because gear boxes would only offer skid steer and linkage for tank steering is a bit more challenging. And hydraulic would be too slow ( I'm hoping for close to 50mph)for the size of engine that would fit the frame.
If I'm dreaming, you know of a similar design, if my idea just needs some tweaking, or if you know what parts and power output the generator would need to be please let me know. Thank you
submitted by Necessary-Safe-2846 to gokarts [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 12:50 DemonsRuletheEarth Retiring my greatest fighter pt.1

Retiring my greatest fighter pt.1
Bryson “bloodshed” Richards a great fighter and a future Hall-Of-Famer a very smart technical fighter with dangerous power in his hands.
A young kid born in Los Angeles, California in 2004 fell in love with fighting when watching Floyd Mayweather when he was 6 made his amateur debut at the age of 10 the first thing that was noticed was his strong powerful jabs and his destructive power.
During his amateur career he joined the BTG Gym in Los Angeles in 2011 where he was welcomed with open arms and treated like family from there he would hold all his camps there from that day forward
Finishing off his amateur career in 2022 undefeated in 40 fights he was a pretty hot prospect coming in to the boxing game
he was being managed and promoted by his coach at BTG and they made the decision for him to make his professional debut in February 2023 at 19 he had a long reach for his height standing at 5’9 with a 76 inch reach in his lightweight debut he knocked out his opponent in the second round after that fight more people started paying attention to his name
None of his opponents would go past the second for two more fights where he took the fight to the 4th round then knocking out his opponent
He kept knocking out his opponents then when he got to his 8th professional fight he fought for the continental championship against undefeated prospect “the mauler” Enan Macdonald 9(8)-0-0
During the lead up to the fight during the head to head face off during their first press conference it turned into a war between the two
He knocked out Macdonald in 4th round after that fight he was given the nickname bloodshed after making Macdonald bleed from a cut on his lips and his eyebrow
In his subsequent title defenses he would take the fights to the 12th and 11th rounds to prove he has the gas tank to go that distance while dominating the fights
During the lead up to his fights he was making his opponents hate him taking this from the guy he looks up too
After being stripped of his title due to his rank he would immediately fight for the intercontinental championship and take that belt after knocking out his opponent in the 11th round but he ended up getting stripped of that belt too for being in the top 10 he fought his only ever 10 round fight against Gabi Marian “Maelstrom” Mirita a 31(18)-5-0 TKOing him in the 3rd
After that fight he would fight for his first world renowned belt against Sergio Darío “The Chase” Calderón 21(17)-2-0 for his 14th fight
Knocking Calderón out in the 12th taking the WBC & WBA titles from him one of the best moments in his life and the best moment in his career
He would defend his titles against “The Marksman” Darren Boyle 18(12)-6-0 making him quit on the stool after the 5th round
Then he would look to become IBF champion against Ahmad “Too Scorching” Shehab 29(21)-2-1 his toughest challenge up to that date going the distance for the first time in his career winning by spilt decision he would be pushed to a new level to a new level after that fight he would fight Ahmad two more times winning by spilt decision those times as well
After the trilogy with Ahmad he would look to become undisputed at lightweight he went to fight the WBO champion Aron “Mr Mayhem” Millar knocking him out in the 11th round
He moved up to super light weight to fight against WBO world champion Neville “ghost” McClenahan 21(14)-0-0 winning by spilt decision
After that fight he rested for about three months while waiting for the IBF,WBC and the WBA champions fight to become unified
He went on to fight the new unified champion “The Future” Francisco Arturo Estay 29(24)-0-0 taking the fight distance Winning by spilt decision he would defend his titles twice by knockout in 12th round against “jackpot” Jude Jennings 31(23)-5-0 and Joseph “Too Outstandin” Outwater 29(21)-1-0
He would go on to fight too Wojslaw “Tank” Trochowski 28(25)-1-1 for the fist time he would end Tank in the 11th round the second time he fought Tank he would win by spilt decision
After that fight he would defend his titles for the last time in the super lightweight division knocking out Barney “The Vortex” Volpe 30 (27)-0-0
I’ll finish the rest of his career on another post.
submitted by DemonsRuletheEarth to LeatherTheGame [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 07:31 Benitez8989 e30 mix help! :/ Hey guys so im getting tuned for e30 by Alan over at Edge Autosport. But i want to make sure i get my mixing right to not risk anything. Im not to familiar with this app (e85 Cal) and need a bit of help as to what each section means and what numbers are to be written down. Pt. 1/2

e30 mix help! :/ Hey guys so im getting tuned for e30 by Alan over at Edge Autosport. But i want to make sure i get my mixing right to not risk anything. Im not to familiar with this app (e85 Cal) and need a bit of help as to what each section means and what numbers are to be written down. Pt. 1/2 submitted by Benitez8989 to FocusST [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 07:23 lydiahehe 17-4 PH Stainless Steel Investment Casting

17-4 PH Stainless Steel Investment Casting
What is 17-4 PH stainless steel?
17-4PH stainless steel is an austenitic stainless steel containing more than 17% chromium, and its performance is equivalent to that of 18-8PH. This steel is used to make corrosion-resistant equipment, stainless steel for the food industry and general purposes, such as chemical processing, petroleum refining units, seawater treatment systems, and nuclear reactors.
It has high strength and hardness at high temperature (tensile strength can reach 1000-1200 MPa), and it has high strength and elasticity at low temperature (elongation can reach up to 50%). Due to the high chromium content of this stainless steel, the mechanical properties of 17-4ph steel are very close to those of 18-8ph steel; at the same time, it also contains a certain amount of nickel, so it has better corrosion resistance than 18-8ph steel.
About 17-4 PH casting grade
In the casting production process, due to the shrinkage of metal, thermal cracking and process hardening and other effects, so that the castings produce internal stresses. When the internal stress is greater than the yield limit of the metal at room temperature (that is, the material modulus of elasticity E less than or equal to 0.80MPa), it will produce compressive stress inside the casting; when the internal stress is greater than the yield limit of the metal at high temperature (that is, the material modulus of elasticity E>=1.20MPa), it will produce tensile strain. This change in volume due to temperature changes is called thermal and tissue stress. Thermal stresses and tissue strains are one of the main factors causing defects in steel, and are also one of the main factors affecting the performance of steel. Therefore, in order to ensure that the steel has sufficient strength and toughness and good weldability and cold-forming properties and other comprehensive mechanical properties, the casting must be annealed to eliminate or reduce these harmful internal stresses.

Heat Treatment of 17-4PH Stainless Steel Precision Castings

Heat treatment is an important process in the production of 17-4PH stainless steel precision castings, heat treatment is good or bad directly affect the performance and service life of the product. In general, 17-4PH stainless steel precision castings in the thermal process, due to the role of high temperature and phase change, resulting in certain organizational changes and changes in mechanical properties. Therefore, the 17-4PH stainless steel precision castings must be annealed, normalized and other heat treatment processes to eliminate the role of internal stress.
The following austenitic-ferritic steel as an example of heat treatment process and operation points: 1, annealing The purpose of annealing is mainly to eliminate the effect of the mesh carburizing body in the eutectic steel, reduce the hardness of the eutectic steel, brittleness and improve the machinability and weldability. For the requirements of the parts (such as the support), can also be appropriately reduced by heating temperature or the use of slow cooling method so that parts to achieve the required hardness value; and for the higher requirements of the parts (such as crankshaft, connecting rod) is to use quenching + tempering with the method to meet the requirements of use. Annealing is generally carried out in a protective atmosphere (furnace temperature of 1040 ~ 1150 ° C or so). Commonly used insulation media are asbestos board, diatomaceous earth bricks, etc., according to the need for graphite powder is sometimes used as a thermal insulation layer.

The pros of stainless steel 17-4 PH

1, good corrosion resistance. 17-4PH stainless steel has very good corrosion resistance, it can not only resist corrosion in alkaline solutions and most acid solutions, but also in the reducing environment. For example, it can remain stable in concentrated hydrochloric acid at high temperatures and is resistant to the action of any kind of organic acid as well as non-oxidising salts. Due to this characteristic, 17-4PH stainless steel is often used as a substrate or lining material in chemical equipment. 2, high strength, good toughness, easy to weld. 17-4PH stainless steel strength is very high (yield strength up to 800Mpa), its toughness is also very good; In addition, 17-4PH ductility is also very large (elongation rate of 10%). Therefore, when hot working (above 17°C), its properties do not change, and when cold working it does not deform; in addition, it is also very weldable.

The cons of stainless steel 17-4 PH

1,Pitting resistance is poor, generally used for seawater corrosion resistance, good resistance to chloride ion permeability in the environment.
2, poor weldability. Due to the high carbon content in the steel, easy to form martensite organization and embrittlement (i.e., reduced hardness). Therefore, 17-4PH stainless steel on the weld heat affected zone toughness requirements are high, and not suitable for TIG welding.
3, cold working hardening serious.
4, the price is expensive.

Application of stainless steel 17-4 PH in petrochemical industry

In the petroleum industry, PH stainless steel is mainly used to make various storage tanks, pipes and containers. As PH stainless steel has good corrosion resistance, strong mechanical properties and low price, so is widely used in the oil industry. The world’s largest oil storage tank is the Russian “Kuleba” storage tank (capacity of 10 million barrels), the material is 17-4PH steel. In addition, the “Aframax” refinery also uses a large amount of PH stainless steel to manufacture equipment and pipeline linings and other components.

Application of stainless steel 17-4 PH in nuclear power

Nuclear power is a clean, efficient, safe and reliable energy source, but nuclear power plants operate in a very demanding environment. To ensure the safe and reliable operation of equipment, stainless steel is used as a material for key components to achieve efficient cooling and sealing of the equipment. Stainless steel 17-4PH has excellent corrosion resistance, high temperature resistance and good processability.

Application of stainless steel 17-4 PH in Shipbuilding industry

In shipbuilding, PH stainless steel is mainly used in marine boilers, heat exchangers and condensers. This equipment often requires materials with good corrosion resistance and PH stainless steel is therefore the ideal material choice. The tensile strength of 17-4 PH steel reaches around 1000 MPa, while the tensile strength of ordinary austenitic stainless steel is only around 400 MPA.

What problems can arise during the process of casting 17-4PH stainless steel?

  1. As the casting is cooled at high temperatures, thermal stresses are generated. When the temperature is higher than 800°C, the thermal stress will increase sharply; while when the temperature is lower than 400°C, the thermal stress will drop rapidly. So for the large size of the casting, 17-4PH stainless steel solidification speed to slow some, so that the internal heat generated enough for tissue transformation (i.e. austenitization).
  2. Due to the role of alloying elements and the influence of gas and inclusions in the steel and the hindering effect in the pouring system can lead to different shrinkage rates of castings. In general, large or heavier 17-4PH stainless steel solidification time is longer (about 20 ~ 30 minutes), and the shrinkage rate is also larger; and small or lighter alloy is relatively short (about 10 ~ 15 seconds) and shrinkage rate is smaller (17-4PH stainless steel has a large coefficient of linear expansion)
submitted by lydiahehe to MetalCasting [link] [comments]