Hotels near pomona fairplex
Hello, I live in Moscow,and currently Xi Jinping is staying in my city at a hotel near my house, I want to take a photo with him, what should I do?
2023.03.20 18:46 hmsn___ Hello, I live in Moscow,and currently Xi Jinping is staying in my city at a hotel near my house, I want to take a photo with him, what should I do?
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2023.03.20 18:45 canigetuhhhhhhh2 Couples therapist says I F27 have been abused by my partner M31, congratulated me on getting help. don’t know how to feel—anybody been there?
TW: suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, death
TLDR: My partner’s alcohol abuse has led him to kick through doors, smash glass decor, push, shove, threaten to stab me, break a door. Last time a blackout rage happened I demanded couples counseling as a last resort. We finally talked about these incidents in couples therapy and today I met with our counselor on my own and she told me flat out I’ve been abused, and that’s she proud of how long I’ve held on. Has anybody else gone through this with their partner and come out the other end?
My partner and I have been together for three years this month and we generally had a good relationship until it came to my realization that every couple months he’d overdo it on drinking and black out—once I saw he’d had too much to drink I’d suggest we go home, have water, stop drinking. The first time it happened I didn’t know what to do, but it kept happening. He even got a second dui (first happened before we met) and when he did I doubled down on my efforts to reign him in. he’d ignore me, yell at me for putting an end to his fun, make fun of me for offering water, call me a crybaby bitch, threaten me, punch walls, make some much noise in hotels that security would get called on us with a threat we would get kicked out, leave me stranded in a city that we don’t live in… and every time I forgave him and would suggest counseling or an addiction program or going dry, therapy, or just learning your limits even, he’d promise to do better but every once in a while, it would happen again. it’s happened 4-6 times over the years and December of last year was the last incident. I felt like I was drowning, have ptsd and couldn’t take it.
I have severe depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and have been in therapy for nearly ten years trying to deal with my own life, so trying to support him through this has been a lot. Alcoholism runs in his family and both his parents suffered from it in some form I believe? Both his parents passed before he turned 30–his dad had just passed months before we met—and he used alcohol, weed, even coke to cope. At the beginning of the pandemic/our relationship his therapist stopped in person sessions and he never went back. That’s when things got bad and nothing I was doing for myself was outweighing how he was or wasn’t coping. Over the years he promised that the over drinking (and lying about doing coke) would stop but it didn’t, so here we are.
He said he didn’t want to lose me so he agreed to couples counseling and is in the process of seeing a therapist solo too. He’s listened and been cooperative and open in sessions. Minor drunk outbursts have happened since, and after two months of couples counseling he finally brought up on his own what’s happened between us and the therapist told him he’s been abusing me. Today, I had a separate session with her to talk about things where she said without mincing words, “you’ve been abused,” and then told me she was proud of me for going to therapy, being on medication, seeking out couples therapy, and advocating for my partner to do the same.
I knew it to be true (my best friend who is the only one who knows everything has said he’s abusing me.) and I don’t really know what to feel about being confronted with this reality… how do I move forward with my partner if I think he is finally on board after all the damage has been done?
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2023.03.20 18:39 JorritvL Place to chill while waiting on train?
Yoyo! Gotta check-out of my hotel at noon and I’ll be catching the night train at 18.50. Any tips where to waste some time with my luggage and all? Maybe some good coffeebars or place to eat near the trainstation?
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2023.03.20 18:38 CokeSamurai In for a Penny... Chapter 68 a SSBverse story.
Setting by u/Bluefishcake
, posting with permission.
Previous Chapters: https://www.reddit.com/Sexyspacebabes/wiki/index/in_for_a_penny
Herala was currently trying—and failing—to not panic.
He’d been talking with Pelrinn, and she’d just come out and said what he’d started to suspect himself, deep down.
That the plan to get Morivey—and some semblance of security—wasn’t going to work.
He’d been absentmindedly eating, absorbed in coming to grips with it. Before he knew it, his hands were empty, the only thing that remained of the freshly baked pippiya was the mess it left on his grease-covered fingers.
Herala hadn’t even tasted the Goddess damned thing.
He’d quickly excused himself without thinking to go clean his hands so he could continue his meal without giving everything he touched a thin, oily coating.
That was his first mistake.
He had just left the hall and turned the corner, only to nearly run into a woman.
“What’s the big rush, cutie?” The woman said, the scar running cheek to cheek pulled strangely on her skin as she grinned down at him.
“I’m busy,” Herala replied flatly before trying to skirt around her.
She stepped in front of him, stopping him in his tracks. “Now just hold on a minute. Name’s A—”
“I’m not fucking interested. Get out of my way,” Herala cut her off contemptuously and ducked past her and into the men’s room.
He’d turned down pushy bitches hundreds of times before, and didn’t think anything more of it. His second mistake.
He quickly rinsed the oils and clinging debris off in the sinks using the rather lackluster soap provided. Herala decided that since he was here, he might as well relieve himself too. It didn’t take long, and he was back at the sink rewashing his hands while trying to avoid looking in the mirror. What do I do now?
Herala was safe from errant transfers, but that would only last as long as the Admiral was still in the fleet guarding the planet. Sooner or later, she’d either leave, or he’d be officially deployed elsewhere and the nightmare could begin again.
He took a deep breath to collect himself. You’re not about to figure it out right here in the restroom.
Herala dried his hands and marched over to the door, stepping out before it had even finished opening and colliding with a solid wall of muscle. He rebounded so suddenly he nearly fell back, but the moment his brain wasn’t preoccupied with remaining upright to take in the cause, he forgot how to breathe.
“Hello again, little cutie.” She said with a smirk.
Scarface was back, and now she had friends.
He scrambled, closing the door between them as his heartbeat pounded sickeningly in his ears. You can just wait them out, they’ll leave eventua
Muffled through the door, he could clearly hear her taunting tone. “I guess you’re not done in there yet. No problem, we can wait. We’ve got all shel.
Herala fled further inside, jumping into a toilet stall and locking the door with shaking hands. He felt nauseous as he broke out in a cold sweat. Try to call MPs for help?
No, they hadn’t actually done
anything to him yet, and they might even side against
him. You could call Morivey…
A dark thought in the back of his mind whispered temptation, despite the all-consuming dread he felt. It would have been a perfect cliché opportunity, but she probably wasn’t even on base,
at least according to Pelri- That’s not real, you’re both just acting.
He wasn’t even sure if they were even doing that
anymore, from their conversation just a few minutes ago... Knock knock.
The rapping of knuckles on the door to the hall echoed in the empty room. “Don’t keep us waiting too long
now.” The mocking voice said through the doorway.
Herala’s hands burrowed into his pockets, searching for his small bottle of grinshaw spray. Using it in a confined space like this would inflict nearly as much agony upon himself as it did them, but it would probably stop them.
Or piss them off enough that they’d kill
him. Either way, he wasn’t going to go quietly. Where is it?!
He thought as he searched his pockets, coming up empty again and again, and growing more desperate with each pocket found lacking. Where had he seen it last?
The image of the bottle sitting on his nightstand this morning flashed through his mind. You stupid fucking idiot!
Why had he not grabbed it? Herala was religious about keeping it with him, the only times he didn’t bring it in recent memory were when he was with— THAT’S NOT REAL!
It was getting hard to breathe now. Short, panicked gasps came at a steadily quickening pace.
Two more playful sounding knocks on the door sent his stomach into his throat.
Herala screwed his eyes up tight as he neared the point of hyperventilating, and almost dropped his omnipad as he clawed it from his pocket and frantically typed the two words. Please come pleasecome pleasepleaseplease…
Each second that passed felt like an eternity as he huddled in that toilet stall. He prayed for a reply to his message, something, anything
that would tell him help was coming. If
help was coming.
The sudden sound of stifled raised voices caught his ear, and Herala strained to listen. Whatever was said, it was over almost before he could even try to make out the words, and it was back to torturous stillness.
Then he heard the bathroom door open.
Herala choked down a scream, for all the good that would do. There was no other way out and there wasn’t anywhere else he could hide.
“Herala?!” Pelrinn’s voice cut through his fear like a razor. She came?
Herala’s voice escaped him as he unlocked the stall with shaking fingers. He peered out into the larger room to see Pelrinn standing in the open doorway.
“Are you okay?” Pelrinn’s concern was etched on her face as she stared back at him.
Herala meekly nodded.
She held out her hand to him, palm up. “Come on, we’re leaving.”
He darted forward and grabbed her hand, eager for the opportunity to escape. Herala felt like a child as she gently pulled him behind her and out into the hall.
It was filled with onlookers in both directions, most staring at the two of them though some were looking noticeably elsewhere. He followed their gazes to find his lead tormentor climbing to her feet with fury in her eyes, flanked by her two shadows looking equally impotent.
Pelrinn pulled him away from them and through the crowd that parted slightly to let them pass. He could see dozens of eyes on him, and felt dozens more as they made their way through, and he watched more than a few take a good look at him before turning to glare holes into the women behind him as the murmurs all around increased in volume.
When the two of them broke through the ring of bystanders, Herala finally found his voice. “Where are we going?” He asked, hand still engulfed by Pelrinn’s comforting grasp.
“I don’t know, somewhere not here? I didn’t really have a plan…” She trailed off as they kept walking. “Do you want to go back in the mess?”
“I don’t want to deal with any more crowded places right now…” Herala said before his stomach, sensing the danger had passed, decided to gurgle loudly. His face grew hot from the embarrassing noise, though his companion seemed unfazed, not even acknowledging it.
Pelrinn paused for a moment before turning back to look him in the eyes, and he felt the blush worsen.
“Then we'll go somewhere else.”
‘Somewhere else’ turned out to be the bases vehicle pool.
“What’s the big idea here, hmm?” Herala asked with crossed arms as Pelrinn signed out a transport.
“You wanted less crowded. Once you’re off-base, most of the Shil’vati district is a spirit pool, not a living soul in sight.” Pelrinn said as she finished up the signout procedure.
“That’s because there’s nothing out there to do,” Herala groaned.
“Have you been off base before?” Pelrinn’s head and eyebrow were cocked as she looked down at him.
“Well, no…” He awkwardly admitted.
“Then it’s time to go see what’s out there.”
’d, but followed along after her and climbed up into the assigned transport.
Pelrinn seemed entirely relaxed as she fastened herself in and started the machine up, like she’d done it a thousand times before.
“Do you leave the base often? Like, for fun?” Herala asked to avoid silence settling in uncomfortably.
“Before you came, maybe once or twice a week?” Pelrinn kept her eyes on the road as she answered.
“To do what?”
“Visit Kendrick, and sometimes go into the Human city.”
“We’re not going outside the walls, r-right?” Herala asked with sudden nervousness. They tried to kill Morivey just a few short months ago, and he didn’t fancy his chances unarmed and unarmored with only Pelrinn to protect him.
“No,” Pelrinn’s answer let him breathe a sigh of relief for a moment before she continued. “Not today. Maybe some other time though, if you wanted, and we had a bigger group for security.”
Herala gulped. “If it's so dangerous, why go?”
“It’s not all
danger. There’s fun to be had, good food to eat, and good people to meet. Ciltari met her…she met someone she visits for…” Pelrinn cleared her throat. “‘Stress relief’
when Kendrick took us axe
Herala didn’t know what an ‘axe
’ was or why you would want to throw them, but figuring it out took a distant second place on his list of priorities as Pelrinn took the transport off the main street and into a large building’s parking lot.
He affixed his most indignant visage into place as he turned to scowl at the woman driving. “And what do you think you're doing bringing me to a hotel
?” He demanded as he glowered at her.
She seemed unconcerned to his protests, not even looking at him and completely missing his glaring as she shut the vehicle down. “There’s a lounge just inside we can eat at. It’s not free like the mess, but it’s not like we have much we can spend our money on here anyway. Come on, let's go.”
All he could do was gape ineffectually as she climbed down from the driver's seat. Goddess, why are women so dense?
Herala thought before he clamored down after her.
Luckily there was no new snowfall, so the cleared pavement was dry and grippy under his feet as he caught up to her, despite most things still being coated in a layer of snow and ice.
The large double doors opened as they got close, and the temperature around them immediately warmed as the blast of heat escaped the building and mixed with the cold air outside as they stepped inside.
The lobby was a large, beautiful room. The architecture was clean and sleek, with light tones and colors creating a high-class, elegant feeling.
“Wow…” escaped Herala’s lips as he looked around. Off to the left, the lobby opened into another spacious room, the border between the two denoted when the light tones of the lobby met with the darker, richer tones of the other space. Tables dotted the room, and a large bar dominated one side. “How did you know about this place?"
"Kendrick lives here, so we've been here a few times."
"Oh, right." He felt silly not thinking of that.
“That’s the lounge,” Pelrinn confirmed his earlier thought as she pointed. “Let’s take a seat.”
The lighting was dimmer in there, giving a more relaxed atmosphere as they picked whichever placement they wished. Only one other table was even occupied, the two women seated there hardly paid them any mind as the two of them sat down, though Pelrinn gave them a long glance before settling in.
“The uh, the menu is on the pads built into the surface. If you scan your ID, it can be paid for right from your military account.” She said a little awkwardly.
Herala activated his screen and saw the menu. This isn’t your everyday fare.
The prices reflected it too, and he realized if the rooms were as nice as the decor and the food, a noble would probably be quite at home staying here. The thought of eating like a noble brought a childish smile to his face.
He noticed there were also some cheaper items he didn’t recognize at all
, and he asked without thinking.
“What’s a ‘hamb-urger’
?” The unknown word felt strange in his mouth.
“What? Where?” Pelrinn’s eyes narrowed in concentration as she hunched over her screen. It was obvious when she found it as her expression relaxed into something resembling confusion. “That’s a Human food, I think. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it in English
“Why would they be selling Human food at a Shil’vati hotel?” Herala wondered aloud.
“It’s probably way cheaper for them to get food locally. See how cheap it is compared to our food? The shipping costs to bring in food from out of system must be enormous.”
It made sense, but it didn’t solve his other main question.
“It has a picture, but how would we know how any of this tastes? It’s not like there’s a hostess to ask.” He said, sweeping his hand around the mostly empty room.
“We have someone though, Kendrick. Do you want me to ask him?” Pelrinn asked with her head canted.
Herala shook his head quickly. “No no, I know what I want to get.” It wasn’t going to be cheap, but he wasn't going to pass up being able to eat like a high-class gentleman, knowing he might never have the chance again.
is the man you mentioned before?” Nineveh asked before taking a sip of her drink.
“Yes, that is him,” Grikel answered, picking at the remnants of her own meal.
Nineveh and her daughter had been enjoying lunch together, which had become a more frequent occurrence in the past few weeks. Preparing your house for the next generation took a lot of energy and planning, so taking the time to ready and make decisions now would pay dividends later on. Their visits weren’t all
‘business’ though, and it was a nice opportunity to reengage with her daughter.
“He doesn’t look like anything special. I think you snagged the cuter one.” Nineveh said quietly, her skill set allowing her to observe their topic of conversation discreetly.
“In her case, he
seemed to snag her
, and we can’t figure out his intent.”
“Sometimes men do things on a whim, they are much more difficult to profile than women, you know.” Nineveh said, giving Grikel’s plate a sidelong glance.”You hardly touched the steak.”
“It smells wrong
,” Grikel’s nose wrinkled at the mention of it.
“Ah,” Nineveh straightened up a little and rolled some stiffness out of her shoulders before leaning back in her chair. “When you were still inside me, I couldn’t stand the smell or taste of most meats for months. I craved liver, fish and greens to the point I was driving the house insane wanting it all times of the day.” She smirked at the memories.
"You are swimming in a different current, we were talking about them." Grikel chastised her as she nodded subtly toward PFC Pelrinn and her date.
"Ah yes, of course. Since you are so eager to keep the topic on them, would you tell me why
you think there is something more going on, under the surface?" It could be an interesting thought exercise to analyze whatever theory she presented.
"First of all, in our limited interactions, everything he has said or done has seemed inauthentic."
Nineveh almost chuckled. "My girl, you may be pregnant, but you are still very naive about how most men operate. They can adopt a new persona, wear a new mask for every person they meet."
"Even with the person they are purportedly dating?" Grikel countered.
Grikel put her utensils down and leaned back too, putting them back at eye level with each other. "If he is trying to please her, he is doing a terrible job. Pelrinn usually looks like she is walking on a knife's edge when they are together."
"Youthful inexperience. The girl's just nervous." Nineveh waved dismissively.
Grikel narrowed her eyes. "His story of when they began dating, the details do not make logical sense."
"The day the rest of us met him, he claimed to have already been dating Pelrinn. From her
reaction, that seemed to come as a surprise. When Pelrinn’s sister pressed for more details, he claimed they had met on a night that, while possible, would have been extremely unlikely for a romance to begin, given the circumstances surrounding that time."
"Explain." Nineveh prodded for more information.
"That night, all of us, including Kalari, had been visiting Kendrick. Pelrinn had still been pursuing a romantic relationship with the Human, and they spoke in private briefly before chaos ensued." Grikel replied.
"Chaos?" Now Nineveh was intrigued.
"There was suddenly broken glass, and a tearful, enraged Kendrick screaming for everyone to leave. Pelrinn basically shut down after that. She wouldn't speak or make eye contact, she would only shuffle along when guided back to the transport. Back at the base, I left to bring Kalari home, leaving Pelrinn with the others. She slipped away from them at some point during the winter storm, and only reappeared hours later."
"So they theoretically could
have met during that window, as he claimed."
"Technically yes, but given that Pelrinn had been laser-focused on trying to win Kendrick over since the day they met, and
she went back soon after to reconcile with him, it seems unlikely. As does the fact that she told no one of his existence until he introduced himself
as her boyfriend."
seem unlikely," Nineveh admitted.
"Now he avoids speaking with us, as if to evade further questions that may unravel the lies. That's not all," Grikel continued. "Though the rest is possibly unrelated, just...unusual."
"It may seem unrelated, but it could be the key if new information comes to light. Never choose ignorance willingly."
Grikel nodded and kept going. "It seems that that male, Herala is his name, was actually posted on-base months prior, working with Morivey no less."
"Morivey… that is the supply tech's name, the one the Human is with now, correct."
Grikel nodded. "According to what I've learned from Pelrinn and Kendrick, he was abruptly transferred up to the fleet.”
Nineveh frowned. “Many of my investigations begin with ‘sudden transfers’.”
“Exactly, so why was he transferred back down planetside, to the same base, to the same post
, just a few months later?” Grikel poked at the table with each point for emphasis. That is a very interesting question.
Nineveh thought. Nobles and high-ranking officers had a tendency to surround themselves with as many men as they could leverage, and they weren’t like to let them go so easily or so quickly.
“Suppose you are correct, and he’s playing at something. What’s the motive?” Nineveh asked bluntly. “If he had gone after you
, or some higher-ranked officer, it would make sense. Your friend is just a commoner and a low-ranking Marine at that, what does he gain?”
Grikel shrugged. “If he had been trying to get closer to me through her, I would think I was the true target. But as I said before, he seems to avoid contact with everyone but Pelrinn.”
“Hmm,” Nineveh nodded, stealing another look at the other table. The two seemed to be getting along well, quite unlike everything she had just heard described. What was the true state of things? There were a lot of unanswered questions.
And now Agent Nineveh wanted to know some answers.
Herala’s head lay on the pillow, and he pulled up his covers even tighter. He couldn’t sleep.
Shel was over, and it was back to the drudgery tomorrow. That
he could handle, it was the muddled mess of his feelings that was keeping his mind awake.
He’d had fun
—after the bathroom incident, of course—with Pelrinn, going to that hotel. He felt like a prince, eating expensive food in a beautiful place.
And then he found out about the pool! That gave him something to look forward to.
It wasn’t excitement keeping him awake though. What was he going to do about Morivey? Herala would see her again at work tomorrow morning, and he needed to have a plan ready before then. He still needed her if he wanted to have any chance of a secure future. …Right?
Little early and bigger than usual. Probably be normal/a little bit longer than usual for the next one.
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2023.03.20 18:21 VenlilSupremacist NoP: A Change of Pace: Chapter 4
- (Soon to be released)
_______________________ Memory transcription subject: Kilet, Venlil Aeronautics Mechanic
Date [standardized human time]: August 24, 2136
My eyes glancing over to the corner of my pad, reading the time. Damn.. It’s already the next paw?
I moved my hands up to my eyes, trying to wipe away the grogginess that had seeped into me. Giving my face a few baps my gaze settled for combing the net once more. It had been hours since I sent my reply to Miles, but he hasn’t responded yet.. Maybe he backed out?.. Could humans do that? Does their side let them back out?
I let the thought mull itself over in my head for a while. A small sense of relief bubbled up inside of me. My mind considering the fact he may have just terminated contact, but I did my best to end such subconscious feelings. He wouldn’t do that, his first message sounded like he was excited. It’s probably just his rest claw, that’s all.
As I returned my focus to a video I had accidentally clicked on, I felt the familiar feeling of my pad vibrating. A drop-down bar alerting me to a notification from the exchange app filled the top half of the pad’s screen. Immediately, my claws worked to press the notification, the pad silencing the video and displaying my chat with Miles. My eyes scanned his new message with a zeal that managed to surprise me.
“Kilet! I’m so glad you accepted my contact, you work as an aeronautics mechanic? That sounds kinda similar to what I do actually! I’m an engineer stationed on a UN ship orbiting Earth. You asked about the military, right? Well, it’s got its ups and downs. Lots of kids half your age sitting in officer spots thinking they know better, while us NCOs clean up their messes! Then you got the privates that manage to fuck up something as simple as right time, right place, right uniform!”
Most of what he said made sense, officers, they were the leaders, a lot like us, We have General Kam, I assume he’d be an officer in the human military. Though, the fact he said they were so young seems a bit counter productive, why trust the inexperienced to lead? Then he typed up something about an NCO? What in the Stars does that mean? My dexterous claws began to type a reply.
“No problem, this is all kinda much for me too! I bet we do pretty similar things, though engineers do more of the planning on our side, they don’t like to get their paws dirty. I had a couple questions, if you wouldn’t mind. So.. What is an NCO? The Venscript your words came back as just has it as three characters. Also why would your military trust the inexperienced to lead?” Hitting send I only had to wait a moment before a reply came.
“Ah, shit, my bad, the military has so many acronyms for things. Even our own kind doesn’t know them all. Basically, an NCO is a Non-Commissioned Officer, They are technically enlisted, while an officer is commissioned. Officers give orders, decide on a plan, and take charge. An NCO, depending on rank is the one to put that plan into action, works the kinks out, gets the lower enlisted to do their job. Also, we don’t trust the inexperienced. On the platoon level, you have your platoon leader, who’s either a fresh-faced second lieutenant, or a slightly more experienced first lieutenant. He’s paired with either a senior staff sergeant, or sergeant first class. The NCO at that level has been in the military for a decent chunk of their life, so the new officer relies on the advice of their NCO counterpart to lead the platoon. Usually you got three platoons in a company, which is all overseen by a Captain, his NCO counterpart is a First Sergeant. Above a company, you have a Lieutenant Colonel and Sergeant Major who oversee a battalion, by now both NCO and Officer have more than enough experience to be considered damn good soldiers. Above them you have your Colonel and Command Sergeant Major, they are usually in charge of a Brigade. Then it’s usually a Brigadier General and Command Sergeant Major for Division and above them is a Core, which is led by no less than a Major General (two stars) and no higher than a General (four stars) and a highly experienced Command Sergeant Major. I know that’s probably a lot, but that’s just the US military structure, there are I don’t even know how many other militaries on Earth. Sorry for the overload haha.”
My eyes scanned through his message as the rank structure of the predator military wormed its way into my head. Should he really be telling me this? I'm a random Venlil he’s never met! What if I wanted to use it against them? Does he really not see the harm in telling an alien species how their ENTIRE military works!?
Still, his lengthy explanation made sense, it was basically like any other corporation, just with extra steps.
“Well.. That certainly is a lot, but it sounds pretty detailed. You said you were an NCO, right? Speh, I hope the Venscript doesn’t butcher your acronyms, what rank are you?” A tinge of curiosity washed over me as my mind drifted to thoughts of talking to some major player in the predator army, though I quickly reigned those thoughts in. He said he worked on a ship, not that he commanded one.
“I'm a Sergeant, we call it E-5. The ‘E’ part means ‘Enlisted’ and the ‘5’ part stands for the rank of Sergeant. I don’t make too many big calls haha, but I got a team of three soldiers under me. Pretty much I just get told by our lieutenant what parts of the ship are due for maintenance and then tell my three guys what to fix and when it’s got to be done. Nothing too glamorous, but tell me a little about you, I can’t sit here and talk about myself all day!”
Another unfamiliar word, ‘day’ Looking it up on the net I managed to find that it’s the Terran expression for when their part of the planet is hit by sunlight. So Earth isn’t tidal locked like Venlil Prime? I should have figured that, not many planets are.
My head thought about things I could describe about myself, not a lot was coming to mind…
“Uh.. Well, I like music, but any sentient does really, so I guess that doesn’t help. Venlil music is pretty calming, or there’s a lot of emotion in it, some songs are sad, some are happy, it just depends on what the artist wants to convey. Besides that, I enjoy the occasional drink or two, but my job is pretty demanding, so I don’t get out very often.” That’s seriously the best you can do Kilet? You’re talking to someone who just recently learned about other life, and this is all you got?
“Music is definitely needed on the ship, we’re stuck up here in a metal box for what feels like eternity, just chilling out definitely soothes the mind for a bit. Human music is pretty similar actually, but I've read we have quite a few more genres than most other species! Maybe I can show you a bit sometime. Though, I can relate to the workload, we work some pretty insane ‘claws’ as you guys would say, but when we get some shore leave, or a weekend on the ship there’s plenty to do. Video games, movies, a few restaurants, or just our own stupidity to keep us company.”
My mind drew a bit of a blank, of course I knew what movies, and restaurants were, but what did he mean by ‘their own stupidity?’ Did he also mean that Terrans regularly engage in simulations to pass the time? This must be how they got so good at hunting!
“So.. I know what a few of those things are, but what are ‘Video Games?’ I don’t think I've heard the expression before, but I imagine we venlil have something similar.” Miles’ reply came shortly after my own message. At least I wasn’t boring him away from me.
“Well, it’s basically like.. A virtual game that you play to pass the time. Most Terran games are pretty violent, but that’s more our drive for competition! We always want to improve our own skills, I personally enjoy a nice cathartic session of Farming Simulator 2135. Life gets pretty hectic over here, so spending some downtime tilling the virtual fields lets me forget the stressors of the day.” He’s saying he likes virtual farming? I can’t say that I liked the idea of farming myself, but it’s better than being addicted to one of the more ‘violent games’ they have available to them..
__________________ Memory transcription subject: Sergeant Rowan Miles, Engineer Aboard the USS Patriot
Date [standardized human time]: August 24, 2136
I had just finished my reply to my new fuzzy friend when a loud crash
echoed down the hallway. Setting my phone down on my bunk, I made my way down to investigate. The sight that greeted me was none other than my three joes lying on the floor with mop handles and tipped over mop buckets. “What in the name of fuck are you three idiots doing!?” In truth, I wasn’t pissed off, it was kinda funny actually, but I knew a camera was lurking somewhere down this hall, and didn’t feel like getting an ass-chewing tonight. Private Murrey was the first to stand up and address me.
“Sarnt.. We uh, Morrales and I-”
I cut the boy off, raising my voice as I stepped inches from his face. “I can’t FUCKING
hear you, Private! Your mouth is moving, but all I hear is SHIT!!” Murray, Morrales and Peters snapped as straight as a board, placing their hands behind the small of their backs and feet shoulder width apart. “Hooooooooooly sheep shit, Privates! It’s like God himself came down and touched my ears, THANK YOU!! Now, continue!” This time, it was Peters that spoke.
“We were jousting with the mop buckets, Sarnt.” He answered with as straight a face as he could, hardly flinching while at parade rest.
I pinched the bridge of my nose and looked upwards towards the low ceiling. “Fucking idiots, Listen, Dumbasses, we don’t get a lot of time off, but for putting your retarded asses on the hot seat, guess what? I want this entire fucking hallway swept and mopped. Time. Fucking. Now, Privates!” The trio scrambled away and slowly jogged down the hallway carrying the mops and buckets, raising my voice. I shouted at them as they fled, “HURRY UP, WAITING ON YOU, ASSHOLES!” watching as their light jog increased to a brisk one. Turning away, I headed back for my bunk. Idiots, they haven’t memorized where the cameras are by now?
Sitting down on my bunk, I used my thumbprint to get past the lockscreen, checking to see if Kilet left any messages.
“I can imagine, what’s it like being cramped on a ship for cycles on end?”
I let out a tired sigh and began to type a response since Kilet was still shown as ‘online.’ “Sorry, sorry, you know how I mentioned we have our own stupidity to keep us company? Well, let's just say my boys got a little too
stupid for their own good, now they get to clean the hallway.”
“Oh.. sounds kinda stressful, What were they doing to get such a ‘reward?’”
A lighthearted chuckle escaped from me as the notion of sweeping and mopping being a ‘reward’ in a sense it kind of was, I could have smoked the dogpiss out of them. “Well, they decided to use our mop buckets as vehicles, on camera, I'm sure the Commander wouldn’t like to see something like that go ‘unrewarded’ as you’d say.”
“Sounds like you guys have a lot of rules, though I think I can understand not wanting your soldiers to be wheeling around a military ship in mop buckets, I bet I could fit in one of those pretty easily!”
The thought of pushing Kilet around in a mop bucket through the corridors of the ship gave me quite the mental image, for some reason, I imagined him wearing a pirate’s hat standing triumphantly one foot propped against the lip of the bucket. Land-Ho, Human! Bring the ship port-side to the sandbar! We’ve treasure to bury!
Shaking my head a few times to drive the image from my head I typed up a reply. “That just gave me the best idea, but hear me out, you’ll need a hat, and I'll need to convince the specialist at security to have the cameras experience a mysterious blackout.”
__________________ Memory transcription subject: Kilet, Venlil Aeronautics Mechanic
Date [standardized human time]: August 27, 2136
I spent the next three paws falling into a rhythm, waking up, checking my pad for messages, giving a quick reply, going to work, and spending the rest of the paw chatting with Miles. At first I didn’t quite know what to say, or how to talk, but eventually the words just came naturally from me. Every paw I came home looking forward to telling Miles all about work, how Vemlix screamed at another mechanic, or how Logistics ordered the wrong part for some thrusters. I tried to ask Miles about the U.S.S Patriot, but he insisted he couldn’t tell me much, mostly because most of the specs were ‘classified.’ I guess the UN actually protects most of their secrets well. Instead, I told him all about the transport shuttles, how I diagnose things, and how I fix them. It became obvious to me he’s a really good listener, even letting me ramble on and on about how stressful the claws used to be prior to the borders being shut down.
Arriving home after another late claw of work, I plopped down onto the couch and opened my pad as per my routine. Pulling up the exchange app, I let my claws work over the Venscript keys, typing up my usual messages to Miles.
“Hey, You, what are ya up to? No LTs giving you the runaround like yesterday, I hope?” Hitting send I began to wag my tail in the air, patiently watching the chatbox’s animation indicating he was typing a reply.
“Hah, I wish, Lt. White forgot to include fluid checks on the preventative maintenance due today, when I tried to correct him he got all pissy, and insisted it wasn’t until next week, I had to pull out the calendar and show his West Point ass just how wrong he was, but hey, I got some exciting news!”
Leaning closer to the pad, my thoughts began to fill with useless jargon as to what Miles could mean. Exciting news? Did he get a promotion? Did one of his ‘joes’ manage to fix something all on their own!?
“Ooooh, what happened? Don’t keep secrets, go on, tell, tell!”
“Well the UN is taking us off the Earth defense rotation, some other unlucky sops get to take our spot! Instead we’re being docked in orbit just above Venlil Prime. That’s not even the best part! The crew is due for some shore leave. I’ll get to come planet side for a little bit and meet you in person! Ain’t that gonna be great?”
My initial reaction wasn’t quite what I hoped it’d be, a primal fear got stuck in my throat as shivers crawled up my tail and spine. I’ve never actually spoken to a human face to face. Messages were one thing, but even that took some time getting used to.
I tried to list off how many humans I've even seen in person, but that quickly became harder and harder to remember. I've seen a few around in the Capital, but I've never actually approached any and only from far away. Am I ready to meet one? Am I ready to talk to one?
My thoughts raced out of my own control for several ‘seconds’ as the humans would say. Shaking my head, I quickly reigned them back in. Miles wouldn’t hurt me, he’s listened to whatever I’ve said, as boring or menial as it was, he’s asked me more about myself than most Venlil I know! He just looks different.. That’s all, Kilet..
Suppressing my initial fear at the thought, I tried to keep as much primal terror out of my next message.
“Wow! That’s amazing news, Miles! You’ll love Venlil Prime. The Capital is a gorgeous city, I’ll show you around the sights and maybe a little of the country, though a few of the Venlil might not be so kind out there. A lot of us are still scared of humans, but I'm sure that will all pass with a little time.” Where will he sleep though? There’s no guarantee a Venlil would give a hotel or room to a human.. It could sour his whole perspective. Or worse.. Upset him.
Still, the idea of hosting a predator I just met in my house wasn’t exactly the most appealing thought. Besides, I doubt the owner of my complex would appreciate getting complaints from the other tenants. Without giving Miles a chance to reply, I began typing another message.
“Do you have a place to stay over here? The military wouldn’t just dump you planet side and say ‘figure it out’ would they?”
“Usually, yes, that’s exactly what they’d do, but we’re not on Earth, plus the diplomatic incidents that could occur from us just wandering about the civilian side are endless in the eyes of the big-wigs. As far as I'm tracking, they are gonna put us up at a building near the government complex. The locals near there are the most exposed civilians to human presence.”
Relief flooded my brain as soon as the thought of hosting him was expelled. As nice as this was going, sleeping, fully exposed to a known predator, was just a little out of my comfort zone..
“Well, that’s good, though it’s kinda disheartening to hear how they’d treat you if you were getting shore leave on your home world, what if some of you don’t have the means or ability to get a place to stay off the ship?”
“Most of us would just return to the ship every night and go out during the day. Typically, we have a recall time regardless, like ‘You can go no further than two hours away from the ship in case of emergency recall’ sort of thing.”
I was about to type up a reply when I saw the familiar three rotating dots next to Miles’ name, erasing my message I decided to wait to see what he wanted to add.
“Shit, sorry, Kilet, but I gotta go for a bit. Command meeting with all the engineers about this month's tasking and duty rosters. Commander got pissy cause some lazy sham artist decided he was too good for CQ”
The only thing I managed to understand from all that jargon was ‘Gotta go for a bit,’ ‘Command Meeting,’ and ‘Taskings.’ As for what a ‘month,’ ‘CQ,’ or ‘sham artist,’ I have absolutely no idea. Though, if he said he had to go, he probably didn’t have the time to explain.
“Alright, I’ll talk to you later, Miles, just message me whenever.”
Without much to do, and Miles seemingly busy, a curious thought popped into my head. Without noticing I found my claws pulling up Rivis’ profile, I clicked the ‘call’ button and turned up the pad’s volume. After two rings I heard a ‘click’
and the familiar voice of my dark furred friend.
“Hello? Call to tell me you backed out on your partner, eh?”
I slapped my tail against the couch cushion out of annoyance, my words laced with a similar amount of sarcasm. “No, Actually, I called to see how you
and your partner are going. Miles and I are doing great, thank you very much.
Rivis let out a soft chuckle that almost sounded like a series of squeaks before speaking. “Zoey and I are alright, though the texting app doesn’t like half the stuff I bring up. It’s always ‘Inappropriate topic this’ or ‘inappropriate topic that.’ Worst part is I know it’s for my sake, but I wish there was some way to turn it off. How can I learn about these humans without seeing all sides of them?”
I didn’t exactly mind the restrictions myself, they were there for a reason, to ensure curious Venlil aren’t scared off at a moment's notice, but I didn’t really have the energy to get into a biological sparring match with Rivis right now. “I hear you, I kind of run out of things to talk about too.”
“Well, that’s just your own fault. You have an infinitely curious alien that thinks you’re the most adorable thing they’ve ever seen at the tip of your claws, and you can’t think of a single thing to talk to them about?”
It took me a ‘second’ to get through Rivis’ reply, a light bloom forming over my snout as I pondered just how ridiculous my previous statement actually was. “Fine.. I see your point, but what should I ask?”
“Their culture? Their history? Personal and general, Their herbivore diets? Their hobbies? Their music? Their science? Their religion? I can keep going.” …You really are braindead, Kilet.
“Okay, okay, I get it. When Miles gets back I can ask about some of that stuff, but I was also curious, do you have any plans to meet Zoey?” This was the question I really wanted the answer to, Rivis put on a brave face for these humans, and I haven’t seen him show anything besides curiosity. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was all just a front, or short lived bravado.
“Of course, we’re just waiting for a window when either the exchange program offers, or she can visit here on Venlil Prime. Whichever comes first really. How about you?”
“Yeah, Miles is coming over for shore leave in a bit. I told him I’d give him a tour of the city, take him to a few local hotspots. Nothing too fancy, but I'm sure he’ll appreciate it.”
“Mmmmhm, I'm sure he will too, you really can’t be too overbearing on him. With the way the humans know they affect most
Venlil, you’re almost granted immunity, they’ll assume responsibility for any offense. They’re dancing around our feelings right now, you’d have to be an idiot not to see that.”
I took a short pause as I really listened to Rivis’ words.. They sounded ‘wrong’ somehow, off.. “Rivis.. Don’t you think that’s a little manipulative?” He had always been a very grounded Venlil, but I just assumed he was more quizzical than most, but to be honest I never had a lot to compare him to.
“Maybe, but it doesn’t change the fact that’s how this first contact is treating it. Zoey told me so many humans applied to the exchange program, but hardly any made it in. Meanwhile our government was practically begging us to sign up. Listen, all I’m saying is don’t feel nervous about what to talk to Miles about, you can’t
be wrong, Kilet. I have to finish up cleaning, but let me know how it all goes on your end.”
I heard the beep
of the call end as I sat on my couch, a little stunned by just how easily Rivis described it was to manipulate these predators, maybe that isn’t what he meant. The possibility of a Venlil lashing out, acting scared all to get pity and trust from a human felt far more predatory than anything these humans have shown me so far..
“Bye, Rivis” my empty words rang out to no one on the other end of the call as I sat the pad down, a new dilemma surfacing in my mind. I hope no human meets a venlil like that.. No sentient deserves having their trust turned into a toy.
- (Soon to be released)
Thanks so much for reading Chapter 4 of ‘A Change of Pace’ things are starting to kick off between Miles and Kilet, who knows what future shenanigans are held in store for the two? I like to think I'm getting better at this whole writing business. Yall can be the judge of that! So long as you guys enjoy the story I'll keep at it! As always, thanks to all the fanfics that inspire me! I’ll list them at the bottom as per usual. A giant thanks to SpacePaladin for their amazing universe, and I could never forget my lovely Proofreader(s) for this chapter, a big thanks to you guys as well!
"A silly little man"
Fanfics that Inspired me: End of the Line Foundations of Humanity Nature of a Giant Lost and Found
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2023.03.20 17:32 philologus_ Dining Cars Menu on the Midland Railway (UK) 24 August 1900
2023.03.20 17:22 theopilk What was missing wasn’t the infected in particular
Was playing the game with my spouse (who only watched the show), and one thing she noticed was how tense the game felt. There was a survival horror aspect to it that unnerved her and characterized her experience. In several sequences she told me that she didn’t expect it to be so scary.
That’s what I felt was missing from the show. It was there for a moment in episode 2 in the museum episode, and I kind of expected the rest of the season to give some flavor of that, but it never quite did. That moment ended up as an outlier compared to how the rest of the show felt. Which was kind of annoying because it was such a tease of what else was possible.
Even the Philly portion of the game (Kansas City in the show) had totally different vibes. In Philly it all just felt horrifying: the dismemberment bodies, the random killings on the street. It has a brooding, dark, survival horror feel. And of course the hotel basement scene went to the max. The more I think about the Kansas City episode the more disappointing it is to me compared to the game (even if the Revolution concept was more interesting than just evil raiders—which we don’t really explore much in the show either).
The show did contain some of that in episode 8, but not nearly to the degree of the game, where at all times you feel like you’re truly exploring a world gone to hell, and that was deeply unnerving. There’s this grotesqueness to the way human life has become so unbelievably cheap. People die everywhere around you or they are dead and decaying in horrible positions and situations. I guess the mass execution of the “collaborators” kind of shows that? But it’s the way it’s presented to casually in the game that I felt makes it effective. People kill or are killed like it’s nothing, and you’re both a spectator of that as Joel, actively participating in it or just trying to avoid it all as much as possible.
I can seem some choices had to be made since so much of the survival horror was gameplay. But it still felt kind of missing. It makes the world feel so much more unsafe than how it was presented in the show.
But anyway. I still deeply enjoyed the show and can’t wait to see how they do Season 2. But that’s definitely something I’d like to see explored in the following season.
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2023.03.20 17:13 akstary Hotels near the strip with no casino?
I am looking for hotels near the strip with either no casino or one where you can access the rooms without passing the casino.
Trump International (no casino)
Resorts World (can be avoided)
Westin (no casino)
Is there anything else that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?
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2023.03.20 17:06 AccountantOfFraud Plane arrives in Guatemala City just before midnight...
Our plane arrive in Guatemala City just before midnight (10pm). Is it safe/smart to get a private ride to Antigua on arrival (probably to Maya Papaya)? I only see old articles about staying at a near by hotel/hostel instead of going directly to Antigua and wondering if this would still apply.
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2023.03.20 16:59 Magnusdidright The roast of the roof scene in ends
So Halloween ends is a movie that exists. And it’s gotten a lot of praise and a lot of hate. So I thought it would be fun to see if people who like the movie can defend what I see as the worst scene in the movie, the roof scene. Basically it’s the scene were Allison and Cory are hanging out on a roof, mind you not the roof of a building they own or a building they work at or even a roof near were they live, just the roof of a dj with a radio tower. You know this would be a ok set up for a scene if Allison and Cory were like 16, but there both supposed to be in there mid 20’s,both have houses and they also have access to a car, so the idea that they just traveled to hang out on some guys roof is ridiculously stupid. Can you not just go to a restaurant or does haddonfield not have a trashy bar or cheap hotel? No? Roof it is. Well I know why there there it’s because I’m a meta sense they’ve been hyping up this tower for an entire movie so they need to put it into this movie good writing be damned . The less said about what Allison and Cory are talking about on said roof the better. This is were we start to hear burn it down in the movie, which honestly sounded like a cool idea at first and then you stop and think “wait if Cory isn’t in trouble with the law and on probation and can just leave haddonfield whenever he wants why hasn’t he left the town that’s done nothing but torment him?” Don’t think about it viewer the movie doesn’t feel the need to think about that either. It is then we get to the cream of this shit sandwich of a scene with Cory, using the logic of a ten year old thinks “I’ll impress Allison by jumping off of the roof!” I like to think the actor probably realized that scene was horrible and tried to run for it and they just kept filming. So after all this the actual owner of the building comes out and berates the dubfuck who just almost blew his legs out jumping off of his roof and the movie actually has the gall to paint the trespassers as the victim here. Anyway thnx for coming to my Ted talk.
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2023.03.20 16:56 SpartanG28 8 Days Itinerary Check: Tokyo-Hokkaido, May 2023
Hi everyone, it’s my second time in Japan and I can’t wait to explore both the parts I missed out in my previous trip and the different cities across Hokkaido. I’ll be going with two other family members on this trip. Day 1, 20 May, Saturday
Day 2, 21 May, Sunday
- 6:45am: Arrival into HND from Singapore
- 8:30am: Check In Airbnb, next to Tokyo Skytree (if Early Check In not possible, leave luggage at Oshiage Station Coin Lockers)
- 10am: Taito Sightseeing Center + Kaminarimon Gate + Nakamise Shopping Street + Senso-Ji Temple
- Asakusa Kagetsudo Melonpan + Sukemasa Coffee
- 1pm: Tonkatsu Toyama Lunch
- 2pm: Sumida River Walk
- 3:30pm: Tokyo Skytree
- 5pm: Kura Sushi Oshiage Dinner
- 6:30pm: Night Photo-taking at Senso-Ji and Jukken-bashi Bridge
Day 3, 22 May, Monday
- 8am: Ueno Park + Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (quick 30 min look inside at 09:30 am)
- 10:30am: Akihabara GiGo Arcade + Super Potato Shop + Yodobashi Akiba Mall
- 12pm: CoCo Curry Akihabara Lunch
- 1pm: 2k540 Aki-Ora + Radio Kaikan + Kanda Shrine
- 3pm: Odaiba Unicorn Gundam Statue + Rainbow Bridge Observation Deck + Statue of Liberty (till Sunset)
- 6pm: teamLab Planets Tokyo
- Matsuya Oshiage Dinner
Day 4, 23 May, Tuesday
- 7am: Tsukiji Outer Market Breakfast
- 8:30am: Tokyo Station + Marunouchi Ekimae Square
- 9:30am: Your Name Stairs (Suga Shrine)
- 10am: Shimokitazawa (Bocchi the Rock) Sightseeing: Village Vanguard + Shelter Music Club
- 11am: Shiro-Hige Cream Puff Factory
- 11:30am: Tokyu Plaza Omotesando + Sakura-tei Harajuku Lunch
- 2pm: Cross Shinjuku Vision (3D Cat) + Kitamura Camera Store
- 1 Hour Free Time Slot
- 4pm: Shibuya Sky
- 5pm: Miyashita Park
- Dinner at Yakiniku Like Shibuya
- 7pm: Shibuya Parco + Tokyu Hands + Mega Donki + Uniqlo Shibuya
Day 5, 24 May, Wednesday
- 10:30am: Store some Bags at NRT T2 JAL ABC
- Depart NRT T3 for CTS
- 3pm Arrival into CTS
- JR Hokkaido Info Desk (Reserve Return Trip Ordinary Seats on Hokuto Line to Hakodate, 25 May 7am Train)
- 4:30pm: Check In Airbnb, near Odori Station
- 5:20pm: Sapporo Beer Museum (maybe too rushed?)
- 7pm: Susukino Junction
- Dinner at Ramen Yokocho
Day 6, 25 May, Thursday
- 8am: Otaru Sankaku Market + Otaru Canal + Denuki Koji
- 9am: Sakaimachi Street + LeTAO Pathos Dessert
- Lunch at Yabuhan Soba
- 2pm: Head back to Sapporo + Sapporo Station Sightseeing?
- 5:30pm: Mt Moiwa Ropeway + Cable Car
- Sunset at Mt Moiwa
- Dinner at Soup Curry King Tanuki Koji
Day 7, 26 May, Friday
- 7am: Travel to Hakodate by Hokuto Train Line
- 11:30am: Goryokaku Tower + Goryokaku Park + Rokkatei Goryokaku Dessert Shop
- Lunch at Lucky Pierrot Goryokaku
- 2pm: Mt Hakodate Ropeway + Mt Hakodate
- 3pm: Hasegawa Store Bay Area + Kanemori Red Brick Warehouses
- 2-3 Hour Free Time Slot
- 7pm: Head back to Sapporo by Hokuto Train Line
Day 8, 27 May, Saturday
- 7:30am: Maruyama Park + Hokkaido-jingu Shrine
- 10am: Check Out from Airbnb
- Drop Off Luggage at JR Sapporo Station Coin-Lockers
- 10:45am: Odori Park + Sapporo TV Tower
- 11:15am: Sapporo Clock Tower
- 11:30am: Former Hokkaido Government Office
- Lunch at Nijo Market
- 5-6 Hour Free Time Slot
- 5pm: Pick Up Bags from JR Sapporo Station + Head to Chitose Airport
- 10pm Arrival into NRT
- Sleep in Airport Terminal? 9h Capsule Hotel?
- 9am: Pick Up x2 Baggage at NRT T2 JAL ABC
- 9:30am: Head to HND T3 to drop off rest of Luggage at HND T3 JAL ABC
- Lunch at Gyukatsu Motomura Ueno
- 1:30pm: Tokyo National Musuem
- 3:30pm: Mori Art Museum
- 5:30pm: Starbucks Reserve Roastery Meguro
- 6:30pm: Head back to HND + Dinner at Ramen Setagaya
- 11pm Flight
- Any ideas or suggestions to make my schedule more efficient – to make the most of my 8 Days in Japan? I know the schedule is a bit all over the place, especially the last 2 days. I tried to keep all the locations close to one another.
- For Hokkaido, are the Sakura still blooming when I head over there (23-26 May)? If not, I’m inclined in removing visiting Maruyama Park altogether.
- Is it possible to sleep in Narita Terminals? I did the same in KIX in my previous trip but I don’t see much chatter about sleeping inside NRT. If that’s not possible, I’m considering the 9h Capsule Hotel.
- Any suggestions for different places for meals or dessert?
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2023.03.20 16:32 AT-25 Question about parking by Yankee Stadium.
Wassup guys. Long story short, I’m from Ohio and have been to NYC a couple of times. I usually stay in Newark and use public transit as that’s the plan that’s usually fits my budget better.
I’m doing something this time I haven’t done before though. I’m going to the Yankees game on 4/3, and plan of driving from my hotel to near the stadium instead of taking the train and the subway to make it easier (?) to get back since it’s going to be late. I’m looking for somewhere to park all day so we can just park and then subway around and just do shit during the day, but then just hop in the truck when the game is over. I plan on parking in the garage about 10 or so AM and not leaving until after the game, so probably 10:30 or 11.
I see there are websites to by areas, but I wanted to know if there were any better ways to go about it that some of you might know. Thanks guys can’t wait to visit this awesome city once again in just a couple of weeks!
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2023.03.20 15:58 Panda_Paradox Is my itinerary realistic?
Hi Scottish friends, I'll be visiting Scotland for about 7 days in August from Canada and drafted up a rough itinerary. I know I won't be able to see everything, so just want to make sure I'm not spreading myself too thin by including too much.
I was planning on staying in Glasgow for 3 days, doing day trips to Glencoe, Loch Lomond National Park, and explore the actual city of Glasgow. Then to east and stay in (or near) Edinburgh, explore the city, take a day trip up to the Glenfiddich brewery and visit iverness on the way back since it's close-ish, another day exploring Cairngorms.
I'll be renting a car, and will probably get a hotel since I've read other posts that outlined the issues created by Airbnb.
With Edinburgh having the festival in August and the increased accommodation rates, would it instead be better to stay in Glasgow the entire time and instead take a day trip to Edinburgh by capark and ride instead?
Thanks friends, I'll be sure to move to the side when taking any pictures :)
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2023.03.20 15:26 rsziz Ah so that's why they are holding Wrestlecon in the Biltmore Hotel during Wrestlemania Week
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2023.03.20 15:14 Wyngann Itinerary check : 10 days in Yokohama - Hakone - Tokyo
Hello we are a family of 3 (incl 6yo kid), we'd like some feedback on our itinerary. We have interest in video games, pokemon, anime, sanrio, Japanese clothes (denim/designers), food and deserts. Dates are Apr 10 (day of landing) to the 19th.
Mon Day 1 : Landing at Haneda at 5pm.Purchase Passmo at Tourist info center + Pick up Ninjawifi (pre-ordered) .Bus transfer Keikyu line to YCAT Station then train to Minatomirai for our hotel.
Tues Day 2 : Yokohama. I'm not sure how I should organize the end of the day, with the risk some activities to close. For now, in chronological order : Cup Noodles Museum at 10am, Walk to YCAT area : Surugaya (used plushies), Hapipiland, Anpanman museum. Walk to Mirai Mall/Queen square (quick stroll ?/ skip ?) then Red Brick Warehouse + Gundam Factory from outside. Evening in Chinatown and perhaps Cosmoworld + Air Cabin during the night if still open.
Wed Day 3 : Travel to Odawara in the morning, via Negishi Line & Tokaido Line. Odawara to Hakone Yomoto via Tozan Line. Purchase Hakone Free Pass (2-day). Luggage dropoff in locker at Gora Station or ryokan check-in/dropoff (Gora Station area) Ropeway to Owakudani for Sulfur eggs, Hakone Open Air Museum before they close. Return to Ryokan for dinner + private onsen time.
Thu Day 4 : Hakone area + Tokyo. 9am Check out & drop luggage in coin lockers at Gora Station. Cablecar to Togendai Ko Pirate Ship at 10.30am. Get off at Motohakone-ko, Shrine pics & Lunch. Take Bus Tozan to Kowakidani, then Tozan Rail to Gora, then Bus M/L to Gotemba Outlets. Gotemba Outlets shopping, return before or with the latest Shuttle 6pm. Gora Station train to Hakone Yumoto then to Odawara (7.48pm), transfer to the Romancecar booked for 9.06pm destination Shinjuku. Check-in at Hotel in Shinjuku Area when arriving in Tokyo
Fri Day 5 : Shinjuku/ Ikebukuro + Tokyo Station area. Chill day of strolling/shopping in Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, most likely Sunshine City for the shops and games and the new Animate building. Evening near Tokyo Station with Yaesu Mall, Nihombashi Takashimaya... we have a reservation for Pokemon Café at 8pm.
Sat Day 6 Sanrio Puroland + Shibuya area. Puroland at 8.30am... Not sure what's the best discount, seeing some tours for $18 but also Passmo discount (no idea what the %off) Return to Tokyo Shibuya/Harajuku : Thrift shops (Ragtag, Junkie Special), Animal cafés, Street food, Purikura, desserts etc... that's the kawaii day ^_^
Sun Day 7: Odaiba area. Teamlabs Planets at 9.30am (we have tickets booked already) then Odaiba malls. If we have time, we'll finish our day in Omotesando area.
Mon Day 8: Asakusa/Ueno area. We'll start swan boat rides in Ueno Park at 10am, Ueno street food at Ameyayokocho market + shopping at Americaya/Hinoya. Lunch at Kirby Café in Tokyo Sky Tree at 1.40pm (reserved!), quick stroll in the building/Solomachi then head back to Senso-ji temple, Nakamise St before 5pm.
Tue Day 9: Ginza & Akihabara. We'll be moving to Ginza area for the special Pokemon room. Ginza stroll with Itoya, Muji, Uniqlo, Ragtag, Kapital stores. We'll finish the day in Akihabara for video games, arcades, gachapons, claw machines... Maybe Square Enix Café but not as important as Kirby or Pokémon Café.
Day 10 : Departure
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2023.03.20 15:10 Kaleidoscope_SKY_ Discussion Topic 1: Which Hogwarts house would the cast members belong to?
The Hogwarts houses: Gryffindor: known for bravery, being daring, nerve and chivalry, but can also be single-minded, overly honest, arrogant, bold, hot-headed and entitled in their pursuits. Gryffindors often act without thinking and are prone to breaking rules. Gryffindor corresponds to the element of fire. Famous Gryffindors: Godric Gryffindor, Potter Family, Weasley Family, Albus Dumbledore, Hermione Granger, Minerva McGonagall, Nearly Headless Nick, Neville Longbottom.
Ravenclaw: values intelligence, knowledge, curiosity, creativity and wit. They can also appear judgemental, secretive, distant and cold. Often perfectionists with high standards. Ravenclaw corresponds to the element of air. Famous Ravenclaws: Rowena Ravenclaw, Luna Lovegood, Cho Chang, Filius Flitwick, Sybil Trelawney, Marietta Edgecombe, Garrick Olivander, Gilderoy Lockheart.
Slytherin: values ambition, leadership, self-preservation, and are cunning and resourceful. Very goal-oriented and self-confident but can also appear as prideful, vindictive and arrogant. They are also prone to breaking rules like Gryffindor and often fit the anti-hero trope. Slytherin corresponds roughly to the element of water. Famous Slytherins: Salazar Slytherin, Severus Snape, Horace Slughorn, The Malfoy Family, Regalus Black, Andromeda Tonks, Dolores Umbridge, Merlin.
Hufflepuff: values hard work, dedication, patience, loyalty, and fair play. But can be too trusting, too loyal, stubborn, naive and think others are like them in their way of thinking. Often afraid of conflict. Hufflepuff corresponds to the element of earth. Famous Hufflepuffs: Helga Hufflepuff, Cedric Diggory, Nymphadora Tonks, Newt Scamander, Pomona Sprout, Teddy Lupin, Hannah Abbot, Susan Bones.
Here is my personal take: YJ: Gryffindor. He is quite daring, chivalrous, bold and can sometimes appear slightly aloof and hard to read, making some misunderstand him, but he is generally very brave at heart and strong-willed in mind. He commands the room with his mere presence and also gives off strong protag vibes.
SE: Ravenclaw: She is an artist so very creative and naturally curious, and seem to think outside the box. She has a rich character and a colorful background that really reflects in the way she presents herself. Appears to be a deep thinker and can sometimes seem a little distant in mind but very warm when you get close and has a blindingly beautiful smile that invites you in.
JY: Gryffindor: strong main character energy/scene-stealer. He is brave, charming, daring, full of nerve, very single-minded, overly honest, a little dash of arrogant/cocky, can be hot-headed, creates chaos wherever he goes, loves chasing highs and is the breaker of all rules. Also, places great value on friendship and family, making him a textbook Gryffindor. But I believe he possesses some qualities that could place him in Slytherin as well as he is ambitious, resourceful, goal-oriented, self-confident and again loves breaking the rules like the troublemaker he is.
SK: Ravenclaw: deeply intelligent on many levels, deep in thought, knowledgable, very creative-minded and very witty. Reserved but fun once she opens up to you. She has the best flirty one-liners on the entire show. At times, she can also appear a little secretive, distant and cold. Generally, a perfectionist at heart with very high standards for herself and others.
ND: a self-declared Slytherin, so Slytherin it is! Highly complex and values ambition, leadership and self-preservation, and is cunning and resourceful. Very goal-oriented, determined and self-confident but can also appear a little prideful and arrogant to some. Has set very high standards for herself and knows exactly who she is and what she wants to do in life. Can appear cold at first glance but is very considerate, warm and friendly once you get close to her.
DW: Ravenclaw: highly intelligent, a perfectionist and full of academic knowledge. He is a textbook Ravenclaw. Has very high standards and can at times appear a little judgemental and distant but is generally a good man, and maybe a little misunderstood in some regards.
SJ: Ravenclaw: he has a law degree so obviously quite booksmart. He also has a quite witty side to him and is a bit of a perfectionist. His strong ambition, however, in addition to being secretive but more-so in a mischievous way, places him in the Slytherin house. He also has a knack for being a trouble-maker and is very resourceful and goal-oriented. At first glance he may also appear a little prideful but is generally very easy-going and friendly to the ones who are close to him.
Soe: Hufflepuff: hard working, selfless and very dedicated to her field. When it comes to relationships she has shown patience, understanding and loyalty to those who captured her interest. As one of the youngest members, she can sometimes appear a little stubborn and naive in her way of thinking, which can be due to her lack of experience above anything else. However, she has generally shown herself to be very considerate of others and is cute as a button. Seriously, one of the cutest members of the cast and she knows it very well.
JW: Hufflepuff: extremely loyal to the point of sometimes being too loyal. Also very trusting and kind but can be slightly naive and stubborn in his way of thinking and might believe others think in the same pattern as him. Ultimately, believes in fair play and is a very dedicated hard worker with great potential and big dreams. Innocent at heart and consistently patient in reaching his end goals, of which he has many.
SEJ: Slytherin: naturally cunning and self-confident in how she carries herself both off and on camera. Appears to have high-end goals and looks pretty career-oriented. She might have a slightly vindictive and mischievous side when things don't work out in her favor. Generelly very fun, charming, friendly and playful, and an eye-catcher!
HB: Hufflepuff: he is a lover, not a fighter and tends to steer clear of incoming conflicts. Very hard working in his field and proud of his achievements. Trustworthy and appears to value patience, loyalty, and fair play above anything else.
MS: Gryffindor: bold, daring and entitled in her pursuit. Can appear single-minded in achieving her goal and might even have a slight temper. Also, supremely confident and self-assured and generally good at heart and friendly underneath her slightly prideful exterior.
Agree/disagree? Comment your opinion below! 😊
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2023.03.20 14:44 UKQuestions Itinerary Check: 12 Days; Last of May/Early June; Tokyo/Osaka/Kyoto; First Time! - Too Much/Food Tips/Skip Hakone?
After bunkering down the past three years till everything related to you-know-what had died down and foregoing international travel, my and my wife are finally going abroad. To celebrate the fact, we are heading to Japan! The top of my bucket list, a dream since playing Sonic 2 on release day, and I'm beyond excited!
I've been long putting together an itinerary and some of the broader logistics, hoping to maximize our time in Japan, provided below: Day 1 (Mon 29th, May) -
HND -> Tokyo
Plane Arrives: 17:15 Train Leaves: 17:55 Hotel Arrive: 18:35
Day 2 (Tue 30th, May) -
- Check-in to Hotel
- Explore Area
- Eat near Tokyo Stn.
Day 3 (Wed 31st, May) -
- Pokémon Center DX
- Imperial Palace
- Tsukiji Market
- Sushizanmai Honten
- teamLab Planets
Day 4 (Thu 1st, June) -
- Nakamise-dori Str.
- Skytree View Point
- Izakaya Restaurant
- Ueno Park
- Ameya Yokocho
- Super Potato
- Game Panic Akihab.
- *Gyukatsu Motomura
- Gyukatsu Ichi Ni San*
- Yodobashi Akiba
Day 5 (Fri 2nd, June) -
- Todoroki Valley
- Shibuya District
- Shibuya Crossing
- MEGA Don Quijote
- Harajuku Street
- Shibuya Parco
- Meiji Shrine
- Miyashita Park
- Shinjuku Gyoen
- Shibuya Sky
- Mori Art Museum
- Toyko Tower
Tokyo -> Hakone
Train Leaves: 07:30 Train Arrives: 09:20
Day 5 (Sat 3rd, June) -
- Hakone Round Course
Hakone -> Osaka
Train Leaves: 11:50 Train Arrives: 14:30
Day 6 (Sun 4th, June) -
- Minami (Namba)
- Kuromon Market
Day 7 (Mon 5th, June) -
- Minoh waterfall?
- Osaka Castla
- Umeda Sky Building
Osaka -> Nara -> Kyoto
Nara: Train Leaves: 08:30 Train Arrives: 09:40
Kyoto Train Leaves: 13:30 Train Arrives: 14:30
Day 8 (Tue 6th, June) -
- Nara Park
- Isuein Garden
Day 9 (Wed 7th, June) -
- Fushimi Inari Shrine
- Nishiki Market
- Philosopher’s Path
- Yasaka Pagoda
Kyoto -> Tokyo
Train Leaves: 16:00 Train Arrives: 18:10
Day 10 (Thu 8th, June) -
- Bamboo Forest
- Monkey Park
Day 11 (Fri 9th, June) -
- Free Day
- Ghibli Museam
Tokyo -> HND
Tokyo Leave: 20:00 Airport Arrive: 21:00 Plane Leaves: 00:10
Pre-face: my wife and I are fit, healthy individuals in our early-30s and are more than capable of covering many miles by foot in a day. Shinjuku is listed under most days in Tokyo as we'll likely be there most nights, should body and time allow so.
With that in mind, it's hard to ignore that trying to pull off all the listed locations in Shibuya may be pushing it. The crossing, Hachiko, etc are close to one another, but there's a number of parks/gardens and towers; is it possible to cover them all?
Hakone is on the way to Osaka, has great reviews, and seems like a nice pause button after some days in Tokyo to rest (ignoring hinking the circuit). Is it worth visiting at the expense of more days elsewhere (though we have a days padding in Tokyo at the end of the trip, listed as 'free')?
Is the day (8am - 3pm(ish)) in Arashiyama, Kyoto feasible if our aim is to be on the train back to Tokyo by 4pm? I know the forest and such is on the other side of Kyoto, away from the station. Would it make more sense to switch it with the day beforehand (Fushimi Inari, etc)?
Other than heading back to where we enjoyed or felt we missed, is there anything you would do with one full free day in Tokyo? I'm tossing up the idea of heading back closer to Fuji or down to the beach in Kamakura.
Are there any obvious glaring errors in the itinerary? Is there anything you would move or improve?
Also taking food recommendations as it's so hard finding good spots due to a lack of advertising on Google maps and other Western platforms.
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2023.03.20 14:42 Axay_jain Unlucky Mess
The wolf is sitting on one knee, asking for the vixen's hand in marriage.
No. says the Vixen. You are good in all the qualities of a man, but I feel nothing for you; there is no connection between our hearts, so I can't give you my hand.
But I thought we had something, look at all the time we together have spent.
I tried everything there is but the heart wants what it wants. You should go now and start living your life without thinking about me or about what your heart wants.
The Wolf understands that there is nothing to be done, he took his lonely heart with him and sat down alone in a bar with a bottle of rum.
On the magic mountain, the Owl finally got his pendant back. This pendant can make wishes come true. And the Owl wanted to play God, so he entered the city asking people what they want.
"Give me a big house." done. "Make me handsome." done. "Make me tall." done. Whatever anyone asks of him, he fulfills their dreams.
Being all happy and Godly the Owl decided to wet his neck and he enters the same bar where the Wolf was sipping away his bad luck.
Bartender asks "what can I get for you, dear sir?". No!! , says the Owl, "Tell me what you want? I am the God of this world, I can make anyone dance."
The Bartender asks for a hotel and whoosh; the bar converts into a hotel's bar.
"Everyone drinks are free tonight, we have been blessed by a true God, let us celebrate tonight!" says the Bartender.
The Wolf is still looking at his drink unaware of the changes happening at the bar.
"what can I do for you? Asked the Owl to the wolf.
The wolf says "Nothing.".
"Everyone wants something, tell me, whatever it is I'll make it come to life." says the Owl.
"If it was that simple I wouldn't have cried tonight, all I want from you is that you leave me alone and let me have this night."
You foul Wolf, you dare disgrace a God. I'll banish you from this city, It's the night you want, so now a night on you shall befall.
The green pendant on the Owl's neck starts to shine and whoosh the wolf is gone. He is in a steel Cage that resides near the lakes of the magic mountain. Wolf shows no remorse as he is already broken he just sits in the cage and gazes at the moon with his dreams broken.
Weeks went by the city is flourishing, and everyone is happy. The Vixen is here, standing in front of the Owl.
"Tell me what you want?" says the Owl.
"I want a man to marry, he should be tall, handsome, with a body of gods and a heart of gold. He should care and love me and whenever I need him to be there for me. That is only what I want". says the Vixen.
The owl's pendent again shines and whoosh the Wolf came out of the cage and is standing shocked in front of the love of her life.
The Owl is shocked seeing the Wolf as the wish, he laughed and congrats the Wolf saying this Vixen has just saved your life.
No, he is not the one my heart demands. I already have his heart, but his heart I do not want. Give me someone I can feel about. Also, please don't do him any harm, he is a dear friend of mine.
The Owl now understands the whole story. He is pissed as he understands what the vixen wants can't be fulfilled.
"God gave you exactly what you asked for. This Wolf will keep you safe and will provide for you until his last breath. What more kind of love do you look for?"
It is the feeling I can't catch for him, for he always will be the one who was just there for me.
If it's the feeling that you desire, I shall curse you with infinite feelings for the wolf who you don't desire.
In the blink of an eye, there was a change in the heart of the Vixen and what she desires. She looked at the wolf with love in her eyes.
Seeing this the wolf starts to cry, he asked the Owl to fulfill his wish now and lift the curse off the Vixen he soo much desires.
The Owl understands and lifts the curse of the Vixen.
Please tell me what you want. I want to see you happy for once, tell me, there must be something that your heart demands. Says the Owl.
Give her the prince she desires in her life, and please send me back to the beautiful mountain to live out the never-ending night.
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2023.03.20 14:34 radiazde One day in San Jose, is it worth it? What is the best area to stay for a solo traveller?
I have the change to spend one day in San Jose during a trip I am doing around Costa Rica but I would be alone.
I read a lot of info about if it´s safe or not and areas to stay away from, that it´s dangerous at night etc
But most of the post I read are pretty old (some of them go back to the beginning of the last decade).
Do you think San Jose is worth visitng for a day for a solo spanish speaker male traveler? (I am pointing out my sex as I read women can have more troubles traveling).
If you think is worth it, where would you recommend me to stay? I saw a hotel called Hotel Colonial near the downtown and I was thinking of booking around there. Would that be a safe area?
I read a lot about petty theft and stuff like that but that is a risk I am ok accepting, I would be more worried about most infamous kind of crimes.
I also read is quite dangerous walking alone at night, does it also applies to downtown area? I´ve been living the last few years in Australia so I lost contact with the reality of countries that can be more risky to be on your own (the other day I saw two expensive bikes parked on the street without locker...)
Appreciate any tips :)
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2023.03.20 14:24 dipoots_ Recommendation for hotel?
Hi, I'm (M) planning a short trip by myself to HCM cos it's cheap from where I am and I've never been. Been to Hoi Ann, Hanoi.
Recommendations for a nice 4 / 5 stars hotel near lots of nice cafe? I'll mostly be going cafe, reading and working on some side project on my laptop.
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2023.03.20 14:10 Decepticon4Life1991 The Hell that was my childhood
After being in therapy for most of my 20s (I’m a 31yo male fwiw), I found that my issues were rooted in my upbringing - specifically with how my parents handled emotional distress. Looking back, I can say for certain that at ages 16-18, I began suffering from frequent anxiety attacks and depressive episodes. My parents response to this? They’d tell me to “suck it up”, “why are you so pissy”, and my personal favorite, “change your damn pad”. So yeah, it’s safe to say I didn’t exactly have the best support system, if any at all. Recently, I’ve tried explaining my issues to them, but they would either ignore me or immediately change the subject.
All I needed was for them to ask “what’s wrong and how can we help?” I’m not sure if they didn’t know about mental health given this was 2008-2010 and society didn’t really have that strong of a focus on it quite yet but still, something is better than nothing. To make it worse my father is a well established alcoholic - has been all of his life. My parents marriage nearly ended on a few different occasions but that’s besides the point. When he’d drink, he’d say the most emotionally abusive comments you could think of - which made my depression turn into irritability and I would just bottle it. Not exactly the best method to cope, but I had not clue what I was feeling and I couldn’t talk to them without derogatory comments.
As I’m sure everyone knows, with every narcissist there’s an enabler - that’s my parents - dad is the narc and mom was the enabler. She always shrugged everything off and pretended nothing was wrong. She never once sided with any of her 6 kids when said/did something when he’d be drinking. It took me nearly half of my life to realize all of this and to truly understand why me and my younger brother have mental health struggles and also why my older siblings don’t really speak to my parents anymore.
I’ve learned that nothing will ever change with my dad and to try and accept his behavior, but now I have a child of my own and I refuse to let her even get a glimpse of the childhood I suffered through. My parents live out of state now and they came to visit for Father’s Day last year and we offered to stay with us to save money on a hotel. I knew my dad would be drinking so I made him promise me that he would keep in under control to set a boundary as this was MY HOUSE.
You can tell wheee this is going right? Of course the boundary was ignored, but dad got shit faces and made comments about our parenting to my wife’s parents. I had to hear about this from them and immediately became insufferably furious. I approached my dad about it and immediately deflected blame even though 3 fucking people heard what he said. He claims to own to his mistakes, but has never done so as long as I’ve known him. My mom didn’t say a word, my dad said everyone was fibbing, and I told them to leave, so they did. After this, I didn’t speak to them for 6 months - I blocked their numbers. The stress ate me alive so I called my mom a few weeks before Christmas and offered a truce. Of course they pretended nothing happened and whatever did happen was misunderstood and our fault.
That was strikes 1 and 2; now fast forward to a few weeks ago - my dad was HOUNDING us about coming to visit. Keep in mind, my dads favorite weapon was always to guilt trip us into getting his own way - we always had to cater to him. We told him we couldn’t afford the trip this year since we owed more on our taxes than we thought - pretty straightforward right? Wrong. My dad didn’t take no for an answer and continued to hound us. My wife believes this could be because with his excess drinking he could have what’s called “sponge brain” but who knows really. I sent him a text that explained our concerns with the drive with our child, his drinking, needing our own space, etc. I was respectful with setting this boundary and his reply was “whenever you want to visit I’m only a phone call away.”
Perfect. It was settled and it went better than I thought - or so we thought. The next fucking say I get a text from my mom telling me she’s disappointed in me for upsetting my dad and that I’m lucky I had a dad who gave a shit because she never did. She also Saoud in there that is regret what I had said when they’re gone. At this point, I was a cocktail of confused, sad, and downright furious. I thought my dad finally understood? So he turns tail and whines to my mom and had her send the text when ALL OF MY LIFE he’s always told me to “be a man”? What a hypocrite.
So at this point the gloves were off - I sent a reply to my mom stating if he was truly upset then he should have grown a set and approached me about it. I also blamed her for enabling his manipulative behavior and ensured she knew they’re the reason I’ve been in therapy and why my brother has anxiety issues. I told them I’m not going to regret shit because what I said was honest and from the heart, but it wasn’t good enough. So I said have a nice life without me and blocked them yet again. Strike 3 and they’re out.
I still have mostly bad days with my depression because it (emotionally) feels like my parents died - or at least whatever relationship we had left did. I do my best to cope, but it’s a daily struggle. I do my best to try to not let my irritability out on my wife and daughter as that was how my dad acted. I told myself when my daughter was born I’m not going to turn into my dad by any means - I don’t even drink unless there’s a special occasion. I’ll also BE THERE for her if she ever needs to talk. I often wonder how different my life would be if I only had those simple chats to try and rationalize my thoughts and feelings.
I hope this all helps some of your struggles and I apologize if this didn’t have a great flow - I kinda just mentally regurgitated half of my life on paper for catharsis. I’ve read all of your posts and it gave me the strength to tell my own story so for that I say thank you, keep up the good fight, and just know that better days are ahead.
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2023.03.20 14:09 Sylver713 Hunger Games : A new Generation (118th Hunger Games, part 2)
Welp... It's gonna be a three parter, since I went over the 40 000 characters limit...
Marie-Ange went to sleep immediately, while Gaia screamed at Julien. How dared he attack the Capitol ! Doing so ruined his chances at any sponsor or support. The boy did not seem to care, surrounding himself in an icy silence while his mentor gave up on scolding him and started giving phone calls. She did so for the entire night.
In the morning, no one was able to eat breakfast. They didn’t talk, didn’t make eye contact, until it was time to go to the holding rooms. Pavel Demigloss accompanied Julien. He stayed back, probably afraid that the boy would attack him if he said anything. Julien put on a short-sleeved white shirt, linen shorts and tan espadrilles. He was as pale as his shirt, every muscle tensed as he climbed into the launching tube. Pavel risked a soft “good luck” before running out of the room.
Gaia and Marie-Ange cried. A lot. The mentor had to convince her to put on her clothes, which she helped with, and then to climb into the tube. Marie-Ange tried to fight and run away. A pair of peacekeepers had to intervene in order to help Gaia maintain her into the glass cylinder. She almost collapsed when her podium started to rise.
In Annie and Reef’s apartment, the preparations were quickly finished. They had gone to sleep immediately the past night, in order to be full of energy on the first day. Tavali Landow accompanied Reef. She criticized his unkempt appearance, which didn’t bother him. He took a deep breath before entering the tube that would send him to a certain death. The stylist waved at him cheerfully.
Annie, once dressed, approached her mentor. She gave Oleander a neatly folded piece of paper. “Could you please find a way to give this to Marley ? The address is on it”. At first, Oleander was shocked. Never had a tribute tried to communicate to the outside world before. She nodded, but then changed her mind. “You know what ? I’ll keep it safe, so that when you come back you can give it to her yourself.” Annie burst into tears and hugged Oleander very tightly. She thanked her mentor before climbing into the glass tube. Her eyes were puffy and red, but her jaw was set in a determined scowl.
Julien stood straight as an arrow as he was lifted into the arena. It took him a little time to adjust to the blinding sun. Once he was used to the light, he looked around. The cornucopia clearing wasn’t one. It was a sort of plaza, paved in beige stone. Julien stood on the northwestern side of the ring of podiums. Behind him was an open gate leading to some sort of main road, and in front of him, to the South, was the front entrance of a luxurious hotel.
The cameras lifted up as Head Gamemaker Jahani Vishwa greeted the tributes and began the countdown. This year, the arena was an island, inspired from the Mediterranean Sea. On the Southern side was a huge hotel complex, with many rooms, a restaurant, pools, gardens, and even a whole spa. The Northern side was occupied by a small village for the employees of the complex. Linking each side was a narrower part of the island, with gift shops and restaurants. All of this stood on a plateau, as the terrain turned into steep cliffs dropping into the water. There was a single beach, with a treacherous path leading down to it.
As Urania was describing the rocky cliffs of the island, an explosion sounded. The cameras turned back to the cornucopia clearing. It was Galax (5). He’d been standing on the edge of his podium, and a single sneeze was necessary for him to fall off of it. The landmines placed around each podium to prevent the tributes from getting a head start worked incredibly well and Galax was pulverized.
Marie-Ange had been staring at the cornucopia, which had taken the form of a sumptuous golden fountain in the shape of President Crane. She held a spear in one hand and stood on top of a literal cornucopia overflowing with supplies. Most of the weapons sat in there or in the empty basin, but some less interesting things (water, bland food, scraps of fabric,…) were strewn about the plaza. When the explosion happened, Marie-Ange screamed. The droplets of blood that splattered around her made her feel queasy.
Reef stood on the Western podium, between Freya (2) and Edna (8). He looked for his allies in the circle. Once he found them, Galax was dead, and the countdown was at ten. He followed Annie’s glances to the entrance of the hotel. From the tribute’s perspective, it didn’t look that big. The viewers could see that the other floors were carved down into the island, creating terraces on the opposite side of the entrance. However, he agreed with his district partner. He signaled to Heath (12) that they were planning on entering the building.
Annie signaled their plan to Brandy (12), who stood two platforms away. Between them was Templar (1), focused on the cornucopia. Annie became pale, now realizing that Chevron (8) was on the other side of her. In her back, the door of the resort beckoned to her. As the countdown reached zero, she readied herself. She eyed a big backpack laying against the edge of the fountain.
As soon as the countdown ended, Julien flew to the center of the cornucopia. He was joined by Faunus on the way. The two boys knew what they needed to get. As Julien bent down to grab a bow and a quiver of arrows, one of Filigree’s knives hit Faunus in the neck. Julien picked up the collapsed boy’s supplies and joined Freya (2), who was already getting ready to leave. There were too many strong tributes, some even with a grudge, fighting in the clearing for now.
Marie-Ange ran for the bag she had spotted. Her path crossed with Dakota’s, who eyed her with a devious smile. Fortunately for her, Chevron (8) tackled the other boy to the ground. The girl didn’t stay long enough to watch who killed who (Chevron won) and made her way to the backpack. She grabbed it without looking inside and went the other way. Instead of choosing the front door, Marie-Ange went to the side and climbed into one of the open windows. She ran through the maze of corridors.
Annie ran to the center, Brandy at her side. She saw Dakota falling, then Deezer (3) being impaled by Templar (1). She felt sick but kept on running, picking up useful supplies here and there. Reef and Heath (12) ran their way, holding weapons and packs. They decided to leave as soon as possible. Annie caught Filigree (1) approaching from the corner of her eye. Just as she turned, she felt something yank at her back. She almost lost her balance when Harvey (11) tried again. He took out a knife.
As the fighting started to die down, Freya (2) and Julien made their way East, through the terraced gardens. Down the heavy slope was a jetty with a small motorboat. The wiry silhouette of Planche (7) stood there, trying to detach the heavy ropes tying it to the dock. No words were needed, the two tributes knew what they had to do.
Annie and Harvey stood a few feet from each other now. He approached but she kicked him in the chest. He fell backwards, as did she. However, she just hurt her back on the warm stone. Harvey, on the other hand, broke his neck on the ledge of the fountain. Without further ado, the four allies ran to the hotel. They were afraid someone had followed them, but the pair from 1 had deemed the other alliance, composed of Edna (8), Chevron (8), Cornelia (9), Shepherd (10) and Chica (10), a more important threat.
After half an hour, the 5 cannons of the bloodbath sounded. With 21 tributes still in the competition, Marie-Ange didn’t feel relaxed in the least. She tried every door, but most of them were closed. The keys were still in the lobby, all hanging behind the welcome desk.
Marie-Ange stayed on her guards. The grey carpet muffled every sound, but she heard someone coming her way. It was Virginia (6), who was in the middle of a withdrawal episode. Her head was bent at an angle and her walk was jittery. From behind a big vase, the girl from N could see she was holding an axe. There was no other issue than the other side of the corridor.
Marie-Ange waited until the other girl was walking past her, then pushed the vase. It shattered against Virginia, not hurting her, but causing enough surprise for Marie-Ange to get away. She feared the noise had attracted other tributes. She ran, and Virginia followed. Her head start helped a lot. She noticed a door without a key hole, labeled “Laundry”. She entered, thanking “god” for the open door. The room was dark, but she felt a big cart full of towels and linen. She jumped in, buried herself in them, and hoped for the best. Virginia limped past the door and did not come back.
When entering the hotel, Annie, Reef, Heath and Amber had not noticed the room keys. They’d run downstairs. There were other bedrooms, a lounge area, and another set of stairs. A big sign said “restaurant” in neon letters. They went down again. Brandy was the smallest of the group, so she scouted ahead. In the meantime, the other allies shared what they had picked up in the bloodbath. Reef had managed to grab a trident, but they would have to share the two other knives. They also had a bow, but no arrows. There were also general supplies, such as wiring kits, med packs and towels. Annie wondered why there wasn’t any food in the bags, but Brandy stopped her. “Come, quick!” said the girl. She was grinning from ear to ear. The restaurant was empty, but the kitchen was not. There was everything, from vegetables to fresh desserts, along with bread, charcuterie and other “survival” foods. Heath blocked the double doors with a pair of chairs. “Well let’s have lunch !” he exclaimed. Since every appliance worked, Reef and Annie decided to prepare as much food as possible while eating the things most likely to spoil first.
While that little group was feasting, Freya and Julien were ambushed, waiting for their prey. Planche (7) had managed to untie the boat, and she had spent a couple of hours drifting away from the island. During this time, the pair hid in the bushes. They knew she would have to come back eventually. She started to panic when she noticed the faint shimmer of the perimeter closing in on her, and managed to turn on the motor. The boat roared and jumped forward, dropping its passenger in the water. It crashed into the cliff. Planche (7) was a good swimmer. She made it all the way back up to the dock, unaware of the tributes waiting for her there. Julien didn’t wait. He stood up as she was almost there, and it was too late for her to do anything. He shot Planche in the eye, sounding her cannon immediately. Freya clapped him in the back. “Next one is mine, she said. But first we need to rest up.”. Julien acquiesced, and they made their way back up to the cornucopia plaza.
After having eaten all that they could, the 4-12 alliance decided to find a place to camp. They didn’t feel safe inside the hotel. There were not enough exit points. They walked along the pool, admiring the sea view, then headed westward towards the setting sun. They avoided the boxy building housing the spa. That was where the pair from 1 was resting at the moment. There were also a scattering of small villas, each with its own private jacuzzi. As for the rest of the hotel rooms, the doors were locked. Annie was afraid to attract attention if they forced them. Instead, they climbed down the rocky cliff on a narrow path to end up on a beach. It looked almost like a postcard. Since the path was the only way to access that beach, they felt safe enough setting up camp there.
Marie-Ange was much too scared to get out of her linen closet. She drank from the laundry room faucet, and built herself a little nest out of bedsheets behind the cart she’d hidden in. With any luck, no one would see her. In the evening, her stomach started growling. She rummaged through the contents of the shelves, finding a bunch of tiny chocolates, which she deemed enough. Marie-Ange went to sleep shortly after.
Julien and Freya (2) were like peas in a pod, meaning that neither of them spoke unless it was to share pertinent information. The boy found a wisteria climbing up the single floor of the hotel visible from the plaza, and the pair used that to get to the roof. It meant they would be safe and could see a big chunk of the arena. Julien took first watch. At midnight, the portraits of Faunus (2), Deezer (3), Galax (5), Dakota (6), Planche (7) and Harvey (11) were displayed in the starry sky. With 6 tributes gone, there were still 20 left in the arena.
Marie-Ange was one of the first tributes to awaken on the second day. The realization of where she was hit her like a freight train. She suffered from the “day 2 effect”, like many other. Once her tears had stopped, she could hear the gurgling of her stomach. The chocolates would not be enough. She listened at the door, making sure no one was wandering the corridors, before emerging. She walked to the lobby, but saw that Templar was browsing the many room keys. He and Filigree (1) didn’t notice her, so she just took another corridor and exited via an open window. She emerged near the garden, but continued walking north, parallel to the small street.
After an uncomfortable night on the roof of the hotel, Freya and Julien started their day by looking around and spotting the other tributes. Many of them were hidden inside buildings, but they saw Keyra (3) making her way to the docks and Reaper (9) hovering around the heliport on the opposite side of the island. Sometime later, they heard the sounds of conversation right under them. The pair crept to the edge of the roof, hoping to surprise the group that was there, but Julien stepped on a dislodged tile. It shattered on the ground and the chatter stopped abruptly.
Freya and Julien jumped down, but the small group was already running into a corridor. It was the alliance of 8, 9 and 10. The tributes followed them but they entered a room and locked it tight. Julien wanted to kick the door in, but Freya had a better idea. This room, like all the others on this side of the hotel, had a view of the pool, which meant a big window.
It took only a minute for them to go around. Shepherd and Chica (10) were still holding the door just in case, while Cornelia (9), Edna and Chevron (8) stood at the ready with their weapons. When they turned around and screamed, Julien was surprised at the effect he had on them. The window was not even broken yet they looked paralyzed by fear. Then he saw his reflection in the glass. He only had time to jump aside. An enormous tiger collided with the window. It didn’t break, so the beast turned around and attacked the closest target : Freya. It swiped a first time, ripping her sword out of her hand. The second swipe let deep gashes appear on her chest. She looked imploringly at Julien. With one bite, the tiger finished her, sounding her cannon. It was only then that the boy from N released his arrow. It killed the tiger immediately. Julien ran.
Annie, Heath, Brandy and Reef had spent the night on the beach but had not been bothered. They lazed a bit before deciding to explore. The group walked back up to the upper part of the island using the narrow path. It took them about half an hour to get to the top, and they decided to explore the main street with all its little novelty shops. The restaurants were mostly empty. Some tributes had already gone through some of the food, but there was more than enough left. They did not hear the first cannon.
They also picked up other supplies. Brandy grabbed a butcher’s knife and a barbecue fork “just in case”. They raided the pharmacy and covered themselves in sunscreen. Reef and Annie were used to the seaside sun, Brandy and Heath, however, were already turning red. Once they had all that they needed, they sat around inside the “Paradiso Cocktail Bar” and discussed their strategy. Annie wanted to hide for as long as possible. The beach seemed like the perfect place. They could defend it, set traps on the path down. Brandy agreed with her, but Heath and Reef were reluctant. “There’s four of us, said Reef. As long as we stay together, we won’t get attacked.”
In the meantime, Marie-Ange was picking apples. They weren’t that nutritive, but they would be better than chocolate at least. Suddenly, a voice called her : “Marie-Ange ? Is that you ?”. She swiveled around to the face of Berry (11) inside a bush. Actually, she was the bush. Berry went to hug her ally, then remembered that she was covered in branches. Marie-Ange executed a short victory dance and offered an apple to the other girl. “Thanks, but I have better…”. She took her to the back of a bakery. Marie-Ange could recognize the smell. She was about to open the door when the tiger that had just been released inside roared. The girls ran as quickly as they could, even though the beast was stuck inside.
Back in the Capitol, Head Gamemaker Vishwa explained that she had chosen to only release a dozen tigers, but that they would not be gone. Instead, some were stuck in rooms or buildings. They would be a constant threat to the tributes unless they were dealt with. “And if they’re not, added Urania, I was just looking for a nice throw rug…”
Reef and his allies had also dealt with a tiger that appeared out of nowhere. Since they were in a fishing shop at that time, they survived by throwing every net and fishing line available at it until it was too entangled to move. Heath killed it.
Once they were full of supplies, the group decided to try their luck in the hotel’s kitchen again. Maybe it was the fact that they had just defeated a tiger, or the dreaminess of the island that made them imprudent. Either way, they walked straight to the hotel, without paying too much attention to their surroundings. They traversed the cornucopia plaza, which had been emptied of its supplies. Reef led the group as they entered the hotel. He gasped in surprise as a knife pierced his skull. Brandy screamed and grabbed Annie’s arm. They ran as fast they could. As Filigree (1) appeared from behind the door where she was hidden, Templar came out from behind a bush to block the allies’ path. He held a sword at the ready. Brandy used one of the bags to deflect it as the trio collided with the boy from 1. Since they were there, Brandy also decided to plant her meat fork into his chest. He dodged, but the utensil still stabbed him in the shoulder. Annie, Heath and Brandy got back up and stumbled towards the gardens. The pair from 1 hesitated before following them.
Reef’s cannon surprised Julien and almost made him miss his mark. After a fruitless hunt for a tribute, he’d spent some time building traps with some wire he had collected. He fabricated tripwires and snares to disperse around the villas on the southwestern side of the arena. After that, he had climbed onto one of the rooves with his bow. There were still no tributes, but another tiger had appeared, freed by Virginia (6) a little earlier. He shot it once, then a second time in order to kill it. He didn’t bother fetching his arrows. An hour later, as the sun started to set on the island, another cannon sounded.
Annie, Brandy, and Heath eventually managed to lose the pair from 1. Every time they thought they were well hidden, Filigree and Templar’s footsteps came back. They ended up hiding in the pool house behind the cleaning products. They waited for what seemed like an eternity. Annie peeked through one of the vents, but she couldn’t see or hear anything. She was the first to exit the cramped cabin, a knife in one hand and a neon pink pool noodle in the other.
Once she was certain that no one was there, she beckoned the others. They were about to go back down to their camp on the beach when Annie got distracted by colorful lights. The jacuzzi of one of the villas was turned on, and along with the bubbles it displayed a nice show of colors. Brandy was too curious to let it go, and the two others followed. I hope it’s warm, laughed Heath. He plunged hand into the water and started seizing.
Brandy tried to grab his arm, but Annie pulled her away. A cannon sounded. As suddenly as he had started, Heath stopped seizing. The jacuzzi switched off. In the newly obscured backyard, a silhouette ran away. Annie and Brandy didn’t notice, they were too busy trying to reanimate their ally. To no avail. A smoke emanated from his corpse, a smell similar to that of cooked pork.
In the Capitol, the footage was rewound to show Eileen (5) rigging a trap to electrocute any tribute touching the water on her first day. She had waited 24 hours for her first kill, not expecting that there would be survivors. As she ran through the perfectly trimmed bushes, Annie and Brandy mourned their friend and cursed their stupidity.
No one else had bothered Berry and Marie-Ange in their orchard. They spent their afternoon and evening building some sort of nest in the biggest apple tree, using branches, but also tablecloth, beach towels and cushions from the shops. They talked a little more of their life in their respective district. Marie-Ange was surprised that her friend could not choose what job she wanted to do. Berry, however, was totally content working at a canning factory and not in the fields like most citizens of district 11.
Once their nest was built, they climbed inside. It was not very discreet, especially with the multicolored fabric hanging from it, but it would work for that night, thought Marie-Ange. They nestled together and fell asleep almost immediately.
When the last cannon of the day sounded, Annie and Brandy had barricaded themselves in a hotel room. They had picked a random key from the lobby whilst Filigree and Templar were absent. Room 215 had a cozy king size bed, a heavy commode they used to barricade the door, and a view of the sunrise. Meaning right now it was completely dark. The girls bundled up in the bed, Brandy scooting over to rest her head on Annie’s shoulder.
The cannon in question belonged to Cornelia (9), who had fallen victim to a particularly sneaky tiger. Chevron (8) and Shepherd (10) dispatched it quickly, leaving only two surviving tigers in the arena. They were both still locked in rooms of the hotel. From his perch on the roof, Julien saw the little group of them enter the spa. He did not bother to follow, as it was already late. He fell asleep, and the hymn of Panem woke him up. The portraits of the fallen were displayed in the sky, including Freya (2), Reef (4), Cornelia (9) and Heath (12). In the Capitol, the viewers hoped for the next day to be even more challenging for the 16 remaining tributes.
On the third morning, Julien woke up early. He remembered Gaia telling him that the Feast was usually held on this day. He made sure there was no one around before climbing down from the villa whose roof he had slept on and walked to the cornucopia plaza. There was nothing there yet, but he was happy to be the first there. He wouldn’t be alone all day though, so he did the same as on the first day and climbed up to the roof. Since there was only one floor, he was positive he could just jump down in case of emergency. Surely enough, Templar and Filigree appeared soon after. They were in a foul mood after having played hide and seek for an hour with Reaper (9). They had given up.
Marie-Ange was still deeply asleep next to Berry when something woke her up. The tree was shaking slightly. Someone was there. She opened her eyes ,and surely enough, a small silhouette was in the process of detaching her bag from the branches. She lunged, waking Berry in the process. The thief was Keyra (3), who had survived this whole time by following the bigger groups and stealing from their supplies.
Marie-Ange’s first reflex had been to grab at the other girl. Keyra was quick, however, and she managed to dodge. She jumped down from the tree, holding a small bag with the stolen supplies, and ran. Marie-Ange followed, leaving a dumbfounded Berry to guard their base camp. She caught up with Keyra and they fought for the supplies, inching dangerously close to the edge of the cliff. Only the girl from 3 noticed. Once Marie-Ange had her back to the edge, her opponent let go of the bag. She fell backwards and landed a dozen feet lower, impaling herself on a particularly sharp rock. Her cannon only sounded ten minutes later, but the cameras of the Capitol did not show her agony.
Right after the cannon, an announcement by Head Gamemaker Vishwa was broadcast in the arena. “Dear tributes. As you may have guessed, it is time for the Feast. At noon, in the cornucopia, you will each be offered the chance to grab something that might be the key to your victory. May the odds be ever in your favor !”.
Annie and Brandy had overslept in order to get as much energy as possible. When Marie-Ange’s cannon sounded, it woke Annie. Brandy was spooning her, which made her quite uncomfortable. She broke out of the unconscious hug and began preparing herself for the day. Getting a shower and revisiting what weapons the pair had. There were only kitchen knives left, but it would have to do. Annie had to shake Brandy out of her slumber. At that time, noon was approaching, and they worked together to remove the commode whilst making as little noise as possible.
Julien was ready for the start of the Feast. He had hidden his bow on the roof, opting for two long knives instead as it was close quarters combat that was expected. He watched as the other tributes approached, waiting for someone to take the first step. Only Berry (11), who was still searching for her dead ally, Keyra (3) and Virginia (6) who was suffering from an intense bout of fever due to withdrawal, were not present. Some, like the pair from 1 and the outlying alliance, were standing in the open, waiting for anyone to dare attack them. The others, Annie, Brandy (12), Eileen (5), Reaper (9) and Forrest (7), kept low and hid behind various bushes or doors.
As the sun reached its apogee, the statue of President Crane started to rise. Under it, 8 keys hung from small hooks. Each had a room or house number on it, but no mention of any specific district. Julien jumped from his roof and charged into the fray, kickstarting the battle.
Annie and Brandy jumped into the fray too, after concluding a silent alliance with Eileen (5). They didn’t know she was responsible for Heath’s death. The three girls covered each other’s backs, so The pair from 1 concentrated on lone tributes. Reaper (9) received a series of knives to the throat from Filigree (1) and Templar managed to chase Forrest (7) away without a key. The girls reached the statue, which was guarded by Chevron (8) and Edna (8). Brandy distracted them as Annie grabbed a random key. She did not try her luck, instead backing away immediately. The pair from 1 was approaching.
Julien did not feel confident in melee, so he only defended himself. He managed to wound Shepherd (10), avoided Templar’s sword, and grabbed a key for himself. He watched Annie, Brandy and Eileen run away with a key. Chevron (8) followed them and threw his spear. It hit Eileen in the back, paralyzing her. Chevron finished her. The remaining tributes scattered, leaving Filigree and Templar to deal with the three remaining keys.
Annie and Brandy ran without stopping. Their key bore the number 204. The gamemakers had made it so the tributes going to their “rooms” were less likely to encounter each other. Annie noticed that Eileen was not following them, but Brandy exclaimed that they didn’t need a third wheel.
Room 204 sat at the end of the western corridor, two floors down from the lobby. The inside made Brandy giddy, although Annie was a little more suspicious. There were no weapons or useful supplies, just a luxurious buffet of expensive foods. Turkey, cakes, roasts of all sizes and canapés stood on a table, still steaming. Brandy hugged her ally tightly and started eating. There was also a big bottle of champagne. A jeroboam, detailed Urania Whimsiwick, who was a fine connoisseur of wines.
Julien had inherited of villa number 18. It also contained a small meal, much smaller than that of Annie and Brandy, but also some body armor and kneepads. All the keys were actually a form of lottery, some rooms contained food, some weapons, some cosmetics and camouflage supplies.
Julien did not spend much time there. He ate some, put the rest in his bag, put on his armor and went out again. His first stop was the roof, where he got his bow back. He wondered if he would have enough arrows. His stock decreased quickly. He didn’t hope for a sponsor gift, even though he had seen some silver parachutes in the past days. Most had gone to the careers and the outlying alliance.
He decided to go to the Northern part of the island, which had been quite empty of tributes in the past. He almost crossed path with the outlying alliance, but heard them soon enough and dove behind a small building. He readied his arrow, but before he could release, Templar jumped out of another bush and stabbed Chica (10) with his sword, sounding her cannon. Filigree appeared behind him, but her knife only bounced off Edna’s ribs. Shepherd, Chevron, and Edna ran, pursued by the pair from 1. Julien stayed there, sulking. He spent the evening in the same location, alone and angry at himself.
In room 204, things were getting awkward for Annie. She had eaten a little bit of food and was trying to bend one of the silver platters into a functional chest plate. Brandy, however, had sampled the champagne. A lot of it. She was drunk and sulking since Annie had emptied the remains of it in the bathtub. The scene was very entertaining to watch, with Brandy trying desperately to invite her ally in bed. Annie turned her down, her cheeks reddening. The other girl wouldn’t take no for an answer, but soon fell asleep. Annie waited until she was passed out to get in bed, as far away from her as possible.
At midnight, the portraits of Eileen (5), Reaper (9), Chica (10) and Marie-Ange (N) appeared in the sky and on the many screens inside the hotel. This left 12 remaining tributes to start the 4th day.
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