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2023.06.07 09:56 banned-practice I just found out my old text RPG forum is gone and my heart is breaking

I'm a grown ass adult and I'm crying because I just discovered my old text RPG forum is gone, and no one, not even the closest members of my family can understand the hurt I'm feeling. It's the burning in the back of the throat, and the clenching of a part of your heart you didn't know was there, unless you've really lost something. I don't think I'll ever be again who I used to be, and now my only record of that last, dimly lit, long ago part is gone, like the memory of the haze of a summer afternoon when you were a kid. This forum was my last gasp before the plunge of depression and adulthood. I guess there's no coming up for air.
It's hard to put into words what this RPG forum meant to me.... I honed my writing and character development skills; I weathered a shitty college experience; I made my first real online friends. My only real online friends. I grew up on this forum. I tasted popularity for the first and only time, and I felt like I really could fulfill a dream of writing characters people were invested in. I recieved my first piece of fan art for a character. I learned how to diplomatically settle grievances, and lead without power going to my head. I learned what it felt like to be respected, even looked up to. I learned what it was like to be an adult when a younger friendcame to me for help with important life advice that they couldn't discuss with their parents. Now it's all gone.
I always wanted to go back and maybe archive as much of it as I could. I mean, I created or used early versions of characters there that are now the main characters of my novels. I left a part of me there so long ago; my young and hopeful self, that I wanted to rediscover. I wanted to find cringe, and laugh, and find hidden gems I didn't remember writing, and meet again those long lost characters that were written by my friends. And primarily, I wanted to reconnect with a handful of people that made life worth living back then. I want to know what became of them.... I've always wondered if they even remember me the way I remember them. I wonder if they moved on,, like I guess I never have. Another thing I learned there towards the end was that I was depressed, and it was that which made me pull away to begin with,, as my friends lives moved forward and money didn't. As I realized I had nothing new to say. They were all going off to college towards the end, and posting was becoming scarce. I think some of them had connected elsewhere by then, but I never did, and I regret it so much now.
My last message was asking them to private message me if they ever wandered through again, because I wanted to keep in touch, knowing full well that meeting place wouldn't last forever. This was years after the RPG had withered away, but the site was still kicking. Even then it was starting to get spammed by bots and no one was cleaning it up. But I never checked back in myself after last post. Every year I've thought about stopping back in, but it was one thing after another. I forgot my password. I lost the link after my old laptop died. I forgot the forum name.
Most of all, it was the feeling that I still had nothing new to say, and surely they would have changed and grown out of this silly old game, and maybe I was just pathetic to even be thinking about it so much. That I was pathetic for it meaning so much to me, and missing it so much still. Year after year I told myself, I need to get back there before it's too late, but it wasn't until tonight that randomly, utterly out of the blue, the forum name came back to me, and found my old log in info, and even a link in the backup of my old laptop. I clicked with an eagerness and apprehension I hadn't felt since I was refreshing that RPG back in the day when it was electric with drama and humor and OOC. Only to find a generic error page. A dry, uncaring placeholder for one of billion forgotten sites where lives once played out in all their naivety, creativity, and eager exploration of who we were.
It's honestly so heart-breaking, because for so many years I thought, yeah, I'll track that link down, figure out my log in, just to see if anyone came back and updated. Did that marriage work out? Did that trip to Korea go well? What have we all grown up to be? Now I'll never know what became of them. I'll never find them again.
I wanted to send them my novel when it's published, like I always said I would. I wanted to know if they recognized the traces of my main character from the RPG in my novel. I wanted to finally have something worth sharing, in all honesty, in all pride, in all maturation. If I am really honest with myself... I haven't actually had real friends since, and I'll always regret pulling away from them, even if it wasn't really in my control. Depression is a bitch like that. I'll always regret it, even if they wouldn't have wanted anything to do with me anymore nowadays anyway. Always. Even if it makes me pathetic. I doubt anyone will even see this much less read it, but that's probably for the better anyway.
Skiltch, Cheesy, Miss F, Dejanor..... I miss you guys. Maybe you'll come across my book someday and feel a little glimmer of something, a tiny trace of recognition you can't put your finger on. I guess, truthfully, it's an image in my mind I can hold onto, because I don't have anything else left.
~ Star
submitted by banned-practice to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 09:21 Harry_is_white_hot I'm not buying the whole "We have no data on crash retrievals" narrative being pushed by Gough et. al. and the Pentagon. There is an enormous amount of declassified and sanitized information available in DoD and DoE holdings, including organization names, addresses, and telephone numbers.

I'm not buying the whole

Don't know where to look
There is a lot of scientific data holdings from EG&G, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories regarding Bluegill Triple Prime shootdown, crash and retrieval. These excerpts of transcripts from the Nevada Test Site Oral History archives by former EG&G staff involved in the Operation Fishbowl tests describe the scientific instruments used in the Bluegill Triple Prime shot, the KC-135 platforms they operated from and how they were calibrated. (Interviewer questions in italics).
Interview with Peter Henry Zavattaro (EG&G) May 31, 2005 https://special.library.unlv.edu/ark%3A/62930/d19g5gr4z
"Shortly after I got started in this, we got involved with Los Alamos [National Laboratory] oratory] on a project called—well, we were building a system called a Z system, and this was designed to—this was a pre-Vela [Uniform] activity and it was designed to look at air fluorescence of a nuclear burst out of space, out in the outer atmosphere. The X-rays would impinge on the atmosphere and light it up at certain precise wavelengths. So we built this system to look at that. And it was deployed around the world. (pg 2)
Dominic was the Pacific test program and, was kind of a period where we tested, I guess it was over 100 tests, every day almost. And I was supporting a branch of the Air Force at the time. And we had a KC-135 that was filled with instrumentation, cameras, antennas. We looked at electromagnetic pulses and photographed things. And we flew on the airplane. Whenever there was a test, we would fly down to Christmas Island or wherever the test was, collect data, and fly back. Lived in Oahu, so we worked out of Hickam Air Force Base [Hawaii] for months and months.
In July of ‘62, I think it was ‘62, [07/09/1962] we started the high-altitude series, which the first test was Starfish. Starfish was a large-yield device, 400 miles up or something. It’s in the book someplace. [DOE/NV—209 Rev 15 December 2000]
But anyway that lit up the whole sky. You could see that the sky turned green from Hawaii to Samoa. It was just spectacular. I had a copy of Life Magazine that had that on the cover and I can’t find it.
It would be in ‘62; ‘62 issue of Life. But after that particular test, there was concerns about what the Russians were doing, and the plane that I was supporting went to Russia. I stayed in Hawaii and took a trailer of equipment, and the government rented a freighter, a Portuguese freighter called Private Frank J. Petracka. My trailer was strapped to one of the holds on this freighter and we went down to Johnson Island, and I spent forty-six days anchored off Johnson Island looking at the rest of the high-altitude series plus some atmospheric shots. The shots down there, the famous one was Bluegill because it took them three tries to actually get that successfully fired. The first one blew up on the pad. The second one blew up shortly after launch, so there were parts of rocket motors and things falling down. And the third test was successful. (pg. 4)
(Zavattaro is mistaken here - it was the 4th test of the Bluegill device that was successful).
But after Dominic was over, I became more involved with Los Alamos. The first thing that happened after the test series was over was coming up with a readiness program for resuming testing in the Pacific, and that was called the Future Off-Continent Program, FOC. And I worked on that until the program was cancelled. Basically, it was a clause in one of the safeguards, Safeguard C, that said we had to be prepared to promptly resume atmospheric testing in the Pacific. So they came up with a concept for that exercise. The concept was that to so that to solve some of the logistics problems of the past test series—because weather in the Pacific is really spotty. You never know where you can see things. So the concept was they would have a flying experiment. They would have the drop plane fly and they would have an array of airplanes follow it and they would find some nice clear place in the Pacific and fire the test. So this was the concept, and to support that, each of the labs had designed an aircraft for experimentation. Sandia had their own, [Lawrence] Livermore [National Laboratory] had their own, and Los Alamos had their own. So they modified these three aircraft, which were called NC-135s, which were refuelable KC-135s, at Fort Worth [Texas]. General Dynamics modified the planes. And I supported—we would go down and we designed the camera mounts and a lot of the stuff that went on the air—a lot of the supporting infrastructure, cameras and things, that went on the airplanes. And then after they completed them, they moved them to Kirtland Air Force Base [New Mexico]; Holmes and Narver designed an array of pad, three pads, for the aircraft, and they were stationed down there. And we had an array of trailers and we staffed it with people from Boston. The first test of this system was called Crosscheck, and we had an experiment. We went out to the Pacific and checked out with a flare and cameras and the whole nine yards to see if everything worked. (pg 5)
What was going on in Boston, supporting Los Alamos, was looking at the high altitude data. We were digitizing all the thousands of frames of data that we had from the highaltitude tests with very sophisticated digitizing equipment at the time. And the lab felt that the arrangement was too costly to have this interface, so they wanted us to move our resources that supported them to Los Alamos, and that’s when we basically opened the office there. I moved to Los Alamos in ’70 to set up an engineering department; and I moved about, I think it was thirteen or fourteen people that worked for me from Boston to Los Alamos."
Now, which division or group were you supporting at Los Alamos?
This was J-10.
J-10 was the field division, the real test division, and at that time that was the biggest, the key group. It was headed up by a guy named Herman Hoerlin who was a quite famous scientist from Germany, and he was a very interesting guy. (pg 9)
And who was the head of J-Division then?
It went through a few people. Herman Hoerlin, after Herman left, God, I can’t— A whole bunch of people. Don [Donald M.] Kerr was there for a while. Hard to remember all these things. It’s been so many years. (pg.11).

Interview with James Arnold Hodges (EG&G) January 17 2005 https://special.library.unlv.edu/ark%3A/62930/d16m33f80
"Well, not originally. Actually, I went into that pretty quick, too, into the taking pictures. I worked with Harry Smith who had some cameras called, oh, well, what were those called? We were up at Building 400 and we had rotor cameras. They had a rotor in them that turned 4,000 rps [rotations per second] and they would—oh, streak cameras, that’s what they were called. When the bomb went off, they made a streak with time and that showed you, since you knew what the speed of the rotor was and how long the film was, it showed you how big the fireball got. They used that for measurements on the yield, yield measurements. And I did that quite a while. When I wasn’t doing the streak camera measurements, I was working in the office in the other photo camera stations. We had photo stations everywhere sitting out there with cameras in them, all types of cameras, all speeds from Rapatronic cameras that took a picture in four billionths of a second to so-called cloud cameras that took a picture every few seconds and traced the cloud as it was going up. (pg. 4)
Some of the pictures that we took are still classified. One of them was taken by a Rapatronic camera. I had a streak camera with a sixteen-foot telescope on it and it looked right into the cab of the tower and you could see the case of the bomb. We have a picture of a crack appearing in the case as it started to blow up. That picture’s still classified. And then I took one at Johnston Island from the deck of the Boxer, that’s an old aircraft carrier with an old wood deck, it was an old one. And they classified the picture because it was some clouds which had, of course, the aerial bomb went off way up in the atmosphere and there was a cloud shaped like an angel, so they said, Oh, we don’t dare publish that picture. People will say we’re punching a hole in the sky and all the air’s going to run out and everything else. And so they classified that picture, and as far as I know, it’s still classified. I don’t think it was ever released. (pg.6)
I was there for the so-called high altitude sun tests. We took pictures from a high altitude airplane.
So you took pictures from the plane.
Yes. Of the sun. I don’t remember just why.
And did you take those, or again did you have equipment set up to do that?
We had equipment set up to do it. I shot some stills from Johnston Island, from the deck of the carrier, I shot some of those stills. That’s in fact the one where the angel was, I shot that one. And like I say, that one’s hid somewhere far, far down in the—
So none of your stuff ever went out to the media or the press.
This was just all for in-house EG&G?
Yeah. I guess since then they released some of the shots. (pg.25)

Interview with Vernon Henry Jones (EG&G) October 4, 2005 https://special.library.unlv.edu/ark%3A/62930/d1q23rb6p
"Right. Now physically what happened with the film? Because I have no idea. The cameras are there. You remove the cameras. How does that work?
Cameras, no. We would remove the film only from all of them. Some of them, you just take the film reel out of them and we had regular film-carrying cases that we would put the film in. Some of them had film magazines on top of them. Some of them were quite large. Like the Fastax camera had a thousand-foot roll of 35-millimeter film on top of it. The Fastax, the name of the camera, it was a real high-speed camera, and it would go through that whole thousand feet of film in one and a half seconds.
No way!
Oh, yes! You should hear that camera when it ran. It was like, stand back!
In what sense?
Noisy! The noise would scare you, hearing that thing wind up the way it did. That camera had a drive motor on the film feed and the take-up spool. That’s how fast that turkey went. So there was probably an average, I don’t know, six to eight cameras in each station. Some were small; some were there for just cloud cover, to see which way the cloud went after the shot. Of course they were real slow-speed cameras. And the others, we had the Mitchell that generally ran at a hundred frames per second. I don’t know offhand what they were really after, but it was one of the cameras, and various other ones in there. We had some high-speed Eastman cameras, slowspeed Triads, and others, I don’t recall their names. (pg.11)
Photo. Setting up field photo. Now there were other people helping me some at times, but for the most part I did the majority of that by myself. A lot of the cameras were mounted on a tripod, small cameras. The camera was called by letters GSAP, which stood for Gunsight Aerial Photography-type camera. It’s a little bitty thing, run on 24 volts, had a fifty-foot roll of 16-millimeter film in them. These were all over the place, taking pictures of all these different things (pg. 52)

Interview with Wayne Albert Violette (EG&G) January 12, 2005
"This was actually done on film. When the bomb would go off, there would be oscilloscope traces recorded and it would record like the alpha growth rate of the bomb. The first few thousandths of a millionth or nanoseconds of the bomb going off is what the critical information was because after that it was all over.
And is that what you guys looked at?
Yes, the first few nanoseconds. That’s where they would get most of their information as far as the effectiveness of the bomb and the efficiency of it, and I’m not sure what the physicists were really looking at, but the alpha growth rate was primarily what we were looking at, right at the very beginning. (pg.10)
I was also sent for two or three weeks to Albuquerque to work on some of the—I think KC-135s, they’re 707s, I believe—was the civilian name for the planes. We went back and we worked on those for putting equipment in them; they were preparing if they went to atmospheric testing again. These had a big window on one side and the equipment was set to where they could take pictures out of it. I had my particular little thing to do, installing certain equipment, so I wasn’t privy to a lot of the details of what they were doing. But that was very interesting, too, to go back there and just be part of it. Sandia built the bombs, and Sandia Labs was back there. (pg.13).
We didn’t process—we came up with negatives. They would look at the negative. It was actually a negative image. It looked like a dark image on a light background, rather than the white image on the dark background. When we would set the equipment up, we would have to get them focused exactly. Very critical on focus and getting the right intensity so they would be the best image possible. We used a lot of Polaroid film doing that. We’d go through boxes and boxes of Polaroid film on the setup of it. The actual photo, though, was then done on an actual negative. So I know Polaroid must’ve made a lot of money off the test site because we used a lot of that, and yellow tape." (pg.15)
Military v Civilian control
It also appears that there were problems within the U.S. Government bureaucracy regarding the military maintaining control over nuclear weapons. This is rectified somehow by the wording in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, and is explained here by the Defence Special Weapons Agency's Associate Dean Byron L. Ristvet.
Interview with Byron Leo Ristvet, (DSWA) April 17, 2006 https://special.library.unlv.edu/ark%3A/62930/d1qf8jw7j
"So the British never had that civilian control quandary that we did. And let me just tell you bluntly, when Truman wanted the Atomic Energy Commission created and in civilian control because he didn’t trust the military, guess who was his strongest supporter? George C. Marshall. Leslie Groves. They both testified secretly at the time that they did not want the production of weapons under the services. They wanted the control of special nuclear material, the design, and the production to remain totally a civilian enterprise.
And what was, their reasoning there again? Was it the knowledge?
No, their reasoning was, is they just felt that the military shouldn’t be in control of such awesome power, that the Constitution had basically said civilians should be in power, and so this way it made it very positive. I think had the Goldwater-Nichols Act been in place where the secretary of war and the secretary of the Navy had control over the CNO and over the chief of staff of the Army who at that time reported directly to the president. It would’ve been different. But the Defense Department really didn’t gain the civilian control power until ’85.
Well, you know, there were changes, and the biggest change to the Atomic Energy Act was ’54, when the military was allowed to have custody of special nuclear material. Prior to that it was always under the control of the AEC, and that was because we were going to these sealed designs, and even where the what’s called the capsule ball assembly was not inserted into the high explosive, it was still carried on the weapon; it was integral to the weapon and you couldn’t manually insert it in flight, it was automatically inserted in flight, and as a result, you had to grant the custody—plus the response times were getting less and less and less. You know, the late forties, three days. By the time you were in ’54, you were getting down to three-or-four-hour kind of response times, about half the time it takes to fly over the poles. By the time you were in the late fifties, you had missiles. Of course we didn’t know the missile gap was sort of nonexistent, but in ’58 the response time was getting down to thirty minutes. And by the time you were in the ’66-’67 time frame, when the Russians had their first fleet ballistic submarines, you were now down to fifteen-minute response time. That’s why the Cuban missile crisis in ’62 was such a huge thing, because now you were looking at seven-or-eight-minute response times. (pg.32)
This is of interest here because according to the Majestic Documents, it was claimed by Allen Dulles that these changes to the Atomic Energy Act 1954 allowed him exclude President John F. Kennedy from knowing the details of the MJ-12 program:

Dulles response to President Kennedy
It would be interesting to know if Pharis Williams and Oke Shannon had any involvement with the J-10 group at Los Alamos or have knowledge of the Bluegill Triple Prime anomaly.
For the past five years, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) weapon physicist Greg Spriggs and a crack team of film experts, archivists and software developers have been on a mission to hunt down, scan, reanalyze and declassify film recordings of the U.S. atmospheric nuclear tests. In this video, Lab science communicator Maren Hunsberger interviews Greg Spriggs to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we've received about the test films since sharing them on YouTube.
Digitization of atmospheric test films ongoing at LLNL:

The Pentagon doesn't seem to be trying too hard to find the data.
submitted by Harry_is_white_hot to UFOB [link] [comments]

2023.06.07 05:03 700PingMan The Nature of Great Herds, chapter 0, 1/?:

7th, june, 2023
Welp... time to lay my work bare for the world to tear apart.
Here's a snippet of the "sample" chapter for my first NOP fanfic, "The Nature of Great Herds", TLDR, Federation wins the Arxur-Federation War, spends the next 400 years becoming even worse than they are in cannon, before coming across a humanity beefed up enough to stand a chance of fighting them. This is set at the very end of the war so it can be considered a prequel chapter.
Im fairly new to writing still so any criticism is more than welcome. This is only half of what i have down for chapter 0, being about... 3/5ths of what i have planned for the chapter as a whole, the next half i have done is the Arxur dreadnought tearing apart Slanek's fleet before its finally destroyed and i want to see what people think of my writing before i go any further. Feel free to ask questions about "The Nature of Great Herds" as well.
Oh! and thank you u/SpacePaladin15 for creating this wonderful world of yours and by extension the community based around it.
(I would post this in HFY, but ill wait until this is done to post this there)
Memory Transcription subject: Admiral Slanek of the New Venlil Republic
Date [Standardized human time]: 12th of February 2210
“400 years… after 400 goddammed years its finally ending” I thought to myself as I weaselly breathed. I was lucky to have lived long enough to see this day, even with Kolashian age rejuvenation treatments. Even now my fur has long lost its bright grey lustre, its softness, replaced by a rough feeling, unhealthy old grey. But I had still pushed through. I had to. To See this day. The day the Arxur are finally made extinct. To see the day 400 years of pain and blood shed end.
All around me in my flagship’s CIC, I saw other Venlil. All of them younger than me by decades, all of whom were not even born before Venlil Prime was destroyed. All of them here for the same reason as i. Revenge. Revenge for Venlil Prime. Revenge for all of our people the who the Arxur had killed. Revenge for all the members of the Federation, the Great Herd, that the Arxur had killed. We were all here to cast these nightmares into the abyss they had come from.
We had spent months tracking down this fleet, their last remnants and it seems that they finally had a brief moment of partial sanity. If they were fully sane they would have killed themselves like the Humans, but no. They still had that typical predatory derangement. They wanted to fight. To make a last stand. To drag as many of us with them as they could, in a last bout of predatory bloodlust.
Already the battle was in full swing but it seems we would be the last to arrive. The Arxur were not fighting to kill as many of us as possible for some unknowable reason. They were trying to drag the last battle out for as long as possible. Why? I don’t know. I was certainly not complaining however. It would give us all the chance to play our part in the Arxur’s final stand.
It was the CIC’s subspace technician. I nodded towards him and he continued on with his report.
“Were about to come out of subspace, right behind the Gojid fleet! In 60 seconds!”
A wave of excitement filled the room. It was our turn now.
Once a minute had passed, in a wave of multicoloured light, we arrived, 250 ships total with 5 artillery ships with one of them being my flagship, exiting subspace right behind a battered Gojid fleet. They were down to half their numbers. I could not help but grimace. The Gojid… the race we were the closest with, who had taken in our sick our wounded… our whole race when Venlil prime and their own homeworld of Cradle was destroyed as well in the Arxur Blitz, seeing them so badly mauled lit up a spark of rage in me.
“Were being hailed by the Kolashian Flagship!”
“Connect it to my communication suite”
Static greeted my ear as a connection was made to the Kolashian flag ship, but soon the Static disappeared, replaced by the familiar voice of Grand Admiral Thran.
“Slanek, I am glad to see you have arrived. We are getting battered by their last dreadnought, that dammed thing is the anchor to their battle line, every attack we send towards it is warded off or completely destroyed. As long as it’s still standing we can’t hope to win this battle decisively or without horrific losses. You’re the only formation left within 100 lights years that has the firepower to bring that thing down, so do whatever it takes, ram yourself down its throat if you have to, you’ll have the support of every ship and federation fleet around you. I wish I could say more but they’re hitting my part of the line with everything they have, good luck”
The connection cut and I grimaced.
The last of the dreadnoughts… that ship. A shiver went up my spine.
The Arxur dreadnoughts were the culmination of the Arxur’s Behemoth class vessels. Massive bricks covered in armor and guns with an engine at the end, that could, with an escort, singlehandedly destroy entire Federation fleets. Vessels that the artillery ships were created to counter.
Then the Arxur deployed their dreadnoughts as we pushed on to Wriss. A desperate last gamble to slow us down. They were larger, faster, with more weapons and armor than even the largest of their behemoths. It took 5 artillery ships to even have a chance of destroying a dreadnought. And the word, ‘Dreadnought’, it means ‘fear nothing’. Even as we pushed onwards towards their homeworld, they did not fear us. Even as we destroyed every world that held their taint they did not fear us… even now they do not fear us.
Thankfully there were only 10 in existence, the rest having been destroyed. 3 by the Kolashians… and 3 by the Venlil.
The destruction of Venlil Prime at the hands of their behemoths had taught us well and we had come to specialize in their destruction.
If anyone was suited to the task of destroying their last dreadnought, it was us.
My confidence restored, I opened a channel to my fleet.
“This is Admiral Slanek, to all of the members of the New Venlil Republic Navy present with us at this moment. Today… 400 years of pain and bloodshed will end. 400 years of pain and bloodshed the Arxur have visited upon us. Together with our fellow members of the Great Herd, we shall burn away the last of the Arxur as they make their final stand. Our part to play is simple, the last Arxur dreadnought batters our forces, and its our job to remove it. We shall destroy that demon ship and its escorts, opening up the way for our allies to destroy the last of the Arxur. This is the most important day and duty of our lives, so fight hard and fight well. FOR VENLIL PRIME, FOR THE GREAT HERD”
The Venlil across the fleet heard me, giving a brief cheer, “FOR VENLIL PRIME, FOR THE GREAT HERD” before they returned to their duties.
All at once, the engines of 250 ships lit up, pushing us forward towards our hated fore with the Gojid fleet parting, allowing for us to slot ourselves into their battle line.
Whilst distant, if I zoomed in on the feed being provided to me by the many sensors present on this ship I could see them silhouetted against the bright red dwarf that made up most of this star systems mass. The Arxur, with their black, angular ships which had burned themselves into the consciousness of every member of the Federation. The Arxur ships present here was all they had left and what a meagre amount. 400 ships total.
But in the center of their meagre formation was IT. That dammed dreadnought which had claimed over a thousand of our own ships over the last year. Bright white letters in the Arxur alphabet were painted on its side, the Liberator Isif.
Named after some Arxur chieftain. 800 meters of black angular metal with a dagger shaped prow and boxy middle section topped off by its engines and short stubby missile spewing wings. It was easily larger than any ship the Federation could produce, even the bulk super freighters that sustained the undamaged core. Well… undamaged until the raid in [2170] that destroyed the Farsul’s archives. In front of it was a field of debris made up of over 300 vessels at least, the graves of ships this beast had felled, amongst them 8 other artillery ships. Its armament had done that. Its hull was dotted with massive amounts of kinetics and plasma railguns, enough to wipe out dozens of vessels in a single volley and its missile spewing wings could finish off any stragglers with a massive barrage of 100 missiles.
By comparison, the artillery ships of the Federation, including my flagship, were tooth picks. 500 meters long and rather thin by comparison to the hunk of metal that was the Liberator Isif. Our only armament was the 2 plasma beam cannons that ran the ships length. Both were needed to burn through a behemoth shields and then their armor, destroying the ship in one shot… most of the time. A perfect match against an Arxur behemoth. Against a dreadnought with its stronger shields, thicker armor and dagger shaped prow which could deflect most of a plasma beams energy at the right angle, it was near impossible to destroy a behemoth from the front with anything less than 5 artillery ships. Thankfully with the few artillery ships the Gojid had left and the 5 that belonged to my fleet I had enough firepower to take that dreadnought head on. And one of them was my flagship. The Tavra.
Whereas the Arxur flagship was named after some random Arxur chieftain they seemed to revere for some reason, the Tavra was named after a true hero who still lived on through her. 5 behemoths, and a dreadnought she has claimed for the Federation, for the Venlil. Now its time to add another kill to that list.
The dreadnought was preoccupied tearing apart another push from a federation fleet when we moved into position.
Almost immediately it broke off its savage attack, letting a wave of Arxur reserves move up to destroy what was left, letting the dreadnought go after the bigger threat, namely the 8 artillery ships that had just pulled up.
Arxur behemoths and dreadnoughts sacrificed range for sheer, raw firepower, as a result it would have to come to us, or we could just sit back and pour fire onto it once we moved a little closer. Whichever abomination was in command of the Liberator Isif knew this since they immediately began a burning towards us, with 60 escorts in tow. All at once, roared across every channel by the Arxur ships was a bestial warcry “FOR WRISS!” then at once, the entirety of the Arxur’s battle line charged ahead. Their bloodlust had finally caught up with them it seems.
“Have all of our plasma beam cannons begin charging now! and move our escorts forward and give us a screen.” An audible hum drowned out the ambience of distant machinery as the Tavra began to charge its main weapons. For the next 2 minutes we would be helpless as all of our reactors power went into the capacitor banks that seemed to fill every nook, crevice and seam inside the Tavra. Thankfully the dreadnought will take 3 to reach us. Once we hit it, if we don’t outright destroy it, then the shields will at least be drained to the point that our escorts can finish it off.
It was a suicide run, but it was their only option unless they wanted to die without being able to fight back. Dammed predator insanity.
For the next minute we tensely waited, as our capacitors charged and our firing solutions were calculated. Ammo was loaded and final checks made.
I gripped the handrail in front of me firmly… waiting for the last few seconds to tick down… waiting to give the order.
If we missed… we were in for a world of hurt.
Yes i did leave you on a cliff hanger... deal with it \_/ (*_*) \_/ *shrugs*
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2023.06.07 02:37 Ralts_Bloodthorne First Contact - Chapter 962 - The Shadows of Twilight

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There are some deeds, some crimes and horrors even our Mother, the Universe itself, loathes beyond all. And when this is the case, neither time, nor space, nor reality itself can deny her vengeance.
Because time is a flat circle... and we all dance on its twisting disk. - kwong879, Pukan philosopher, Post Second Precursor War Reconstruction Era
For three days and three nights did the Lady Lord of Hell, the Detainee herself, in all of her fearsome matronly glory, tempt the First Biological Disciple, Daxin Freeborn, Enraged Phillip.
And for three days and three nights did he deny her.
And thus did he pass into memory and legend. - The Book of Telkan
And before I took the lives of the damned, He did appear before us and commanded my hand still.
His glowing blue form a radiant mercy. For us.
For them. - Glory, Failure, Temptation, & Redemption, Magnus Oathsworn
There is no doubt of the fact of malevolence. The very universe itself reaches out to crush what she has birthed in an eternal struggle of hatred. There are, however, some sins which even in the face of annihilation cannot be countenanced. Some acts which even this malevolent universe will not tolerate. Protect the infants at all cost, for they are survival, and to sacrifice survival for the sake of survival shall bring only suffering and doom. - Wisdom of the Traveler, Tribulations, Chapter 5 Verse 1.
In the Age of Paranoia, Humanity's leadership ordered terrible things done. Not because they knew they were necessary, but because they might become necessary. Never realizing that the existence of those terrible things would drive them to find a reason to use them. — Prof. Kuruka N'anga, University of the Sacred Bough, Terra Nuevo
While many things enrage the Lady of Hell, in fact most things seem to, certain crimes and sins earn her personal wrath. The many men who took everything from her. The idiotic creatures who thought themselves masters of everything. And those who commit cruelties upon the innocent. For she sees all of mankind's many many sins and knows very few are clean of them. Wise beings fear when cold gray eyes turn upon them.
We were desperate, and in our desperation we reached for things that will haunt me for all eternity. We could have stopped at anytime, we should have stopped before it was too late. We ignored the warnings, in our hubris we were assured that what we were doing was necessary. We were right, but it was still wrong and there is not enough time in the universe to pay for what we did. We ignored all the warnings and applauded ourselves on our success...only moments later the shouts of joy and celebration became screams of terror as the gray-eyed one illustrated why the warnings of these dark sciences should be heeded. --Words found in a blood-soaked journal at dark site research station, this was the only document recovered. Site glassed and all traces of the research were redacted.
It was misty, with a little bit of rain. The anomaly was hidden behind artificially generated cloud cover so that it looked more like an overcast sun than the strange globe of psuedo-reality it was. The starwalk station was empty, no bones, no shades, no scars from the furious fighting that had taken place after the Glassing had driven the SUDS personnel insane.
Holos flickered, some advertising restaurants or stores, others with directions, some with safety warnings, and still others with just public service holograms. The mist made the holograms flicker and fade in and out as the focused laser systems were scattered by the tiny water droplets suspended in the air.
There was a beep and the gate opened, allowing Surscee to step from the starwalk to the platform. She was wearing revealing leathers, a bustier, a short skirt with copper strips for reinforcement, tight weave fishnet stockings, and polished black leather boots with silver buckles. Around her shoulders was a gauzy sheer cape that shed the moisture even as it gleamed and sparkled.
She stopped to examine a few of the public service announcements. Some making her smile, others making her shake her head.
"You are a window to the world of my ancestors, nine thousand years gone," she said softly, touching the base of the holo. She moved to another and watched it. "We are not so different, you and I," she said, her voice full of wonder. She watched a PSA to remind everyone not to bring plants from Earth in case of seed contamination. "Your lives were full of danger that eventually became mundane," she said softly.
"That's humanity in a nut shell," the voice from behind her was low, rough, a woman's whiskey and cigarettes voice.
"Although ever changing, thus, we are," Surscee said, straightening up. She turned around and looked over the short matron in her dark charcoal gray skirt and blouse. "Greetings, fearsome one."
"Greetings to you, sorceress," the Lady Lord of Hell said. She looked Surscee up and down slowly. "Huh."
Surscee raised an eyebrow.
"Nice to see the Great Value Red Sonja look isn't just an act," the Lady Lord of Hell said, turning and walking into the mist. "Magic, science, mysticism, technology, all the same to the ignorant." Her voice faded as she walked away.
Surscee watched the short woman walk away, then turned and went back to following the path.
She was startled to discover that the vending machines were not VI driven, but just mechanical with a few holograms.
One of the vending machines that normally dispensed energy drinks and fizzybrews was ripped open, like someone had hacked on it with a blade. Surscee noted that most of the Liquid Hate was gone.
She got a lemon-lime fizzypop and followed the softly glowing holographic line of the ground until she finally came to a small park.
She stopped at the playground, leaning against a cement post, and stared at it.
The swings moved slightly back and forth at the almost unfelt breeze that stirred the mist. Droplets of water ran down the slide. The swinging rings just rocked slightly in the air current. The seesaw and the spring horses, the jungle gym and the wooden playhouse all sat quietly, damp from the mist.
Surscee closed her eyes, cocking her head slightly, listening for any echoes of happiness gone by.
"I would bring them here to play, once I had soothed their trauma to where they could interact with one another, to the point they could do more than run and scream and claw at themselves," the voice of the gray eyed matron sounded behind Surscee.
The sorceress turned, seeing the darkly clothed matron standing under a tree, barely visible in the fog, lighting a cigarette.
"I recreated it in Hell, just for them. To let them be children again, to remember," her voice said. She took a drag off her cigarette and Surscee saw the stern planes of the smaller woman's face illuminated for a moment. When she exhaled smoke, Surscee could still see her gun-metal gray eyes.
"I set fallen angels to watch over the park with sword of burning sin and tridents of icy treachery," she said, then turned and walked into the mist.
Surscee frowned as the matron vanished into the mist.
She waited a moment, but the other woman was gone.
Surscee moved on, making no sign of effort as she brought up her defenses. Her fingernails twinkled slightly as the microscopic piezoelectric systems came online. The targeting reticles and the HUD elements appeared in her vision. She brought up the passive acoustic mapping and changed the hardness of the heels of her boots so that her boots clicked with each step.
The fog muffled the acoustic map slightly, the water droplets absorbing and redirecting sound, making the map fuzzy here and there.
She passed by a vending machine and smelled cigarette smoke. The onboard systems broke it down for her, putting it up in the tiny window beyond her left hand peripheral vision. No manufacturer signature, no trace elements from other worlds. Her onboards told her that it was Old Earth brand, the tobacco lacking any genetic engineering and the cigarette containing nothing but an asbestos filter, paper, and tobacco. No flavors, no genetic smoothing, no flavor enhancements. No record in the database she always carried loaded.
She frowned slightly.
"You are unmoved by human suffering, making you suitable for this task," a tired sounding man said from just past a set of benches. He was leaning against a fountain. He had shaggy cut dark hair, a simple pair of pants and shirt without decoration, and dark circles under his eyes.
Two steps and the figure vanished.
The echolocation acoustic mapping told her that there was a solid bipedal humaniod form there for a split second but it vanished just when she got in range of it.
Surscee followed the arc of the path, curiosity filling her.
She knew if the being that had manifested as a five meter tall demon with bat wings and a whip of burning warsteel links woven with barbed wire, or the short matron with the nasty steel knife, wanted to kill her, the being simply would.
Surscee was curious what the purpose of this was.
"Enemies never rest. That's why they're called the Enemy, you blithering morons. I swear, dealing with the two of you is like dealing with particularly naive and ignorant children who are shocked, shocked I tell you, that they can't ziptie a plastic bag around their head and dance in the middle of the Interstate during rush hour," the matron's voice was cruel and full of disdain. "Of course millions are dying, that's what happens when you act like atomic weapons are no more dangerous than sparklers."
Surscee didn't bother to look around, her onboard bioware systems letting her know that the point of origin for the voice kept moving and shifting.
A trivial trick with nanites and one she had used often to confuse and harry foes.
"Your weakness disgusts me," the woman's voice hissed from between two food vending machines. "If you spent less time crying and more time fixing the system you'd be done by now, you pathetic puling weakling."
Surscee smiled slightly.
The voice reminded Surscee of her mother mocking her lessers.
There was a small basket with berries and small fruits sitting on a bench and Surscee's smile got wider. She moved over and sat down, picking up the basket and setting it on her lap.
If the being wanted her dead, she would be dead, simple as that.
The berries were blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Clean, sweet and tart.
After a moment the matron came walking out of the fog, opening a breast pocket to remove a pack of cigarettes and a flint-steel lighter. The woman sat down, crossing her legs at the knee and smoothing her skirt. She then lit the cigarette, the flare of the lighter lighting her face with the warmth of the flame without making the face seem any warmer.
Surscee slowly chewed a blackberry as the cigarette was lit, puffed on, and the lighter clinked shut. The pack and the lighter went back into the top pocket, the matron's fingers nimbly buttoning up the pocket.
They sat there for a long moment.
"All of that power, all your knowledge and mastery of exotic and esoteric disciplines, and here you sit eating freshly picked berries and fruit," the matron said.
"I am a simple woman who enjoys simple pleasures," Surscee said, smiling.
"I could use someone like you on my team," the matron said, exhaling smoke. "Power, the will to dominate, the means to achieve the goals I set out for you."
"An enticing offer," Surscee said carefully. She picked up strawberry and bit off the tip, chewing slowly.
"With your brother as one of my Hell Knights, you would make an excellent Hell Storm," the matron said.
This time when she exhaled the smoke was tinged with a slight tang hot freshly spilled blood and a taint of brimstone.
"Acting as the agent of the Lady Lord of Hell herself," Surscee said. She picked up a black cherry and looked over it. "Empowered, strengthened, by the Lady Lord of Hell, to punish the wicked for their sins."
The matron nodded slowly.
"With you as the judge, myself as the jury, and my brother as the executioner," Surscee said, still smiling.
"At times," the matron said. She exhaled smoke and glared at the mist that surrounded them. "Do you know what sin mankind has fallen into?"
Surscee shook her head. "Pride, perhaps? My mother often spoke of sloth and gluttony, perhaps that?"
The matron shook her head. "No. Far far worse."
"I would hear your words, fearsome one," Surscee said, making sure her voice was respectful.
"An anecdote," the matron said. She sighed. "Later, in my life, as more and more people became enamored with being ethical, more for status than to be truly ethical, philosophers and those who called themselves ethecists began posing questions, providing answers, each of the seeking to be recognized as the pinnacle of ethics and morals that would guide humanity into a Golden Age."
"That smack of wickedness," Surscee said. "Of pride and arrogance."
The matron nodded. "One question, posed by academics to students, always enraged me. Asked by academics who had never traveled beyond their ivory towers or guarded enclaves, asked to pampered students who had spent their lives dwelling in luxuries beyond imagination to the people of my youth."
The matron reached down into the mist that covered her feet, lifting up a bottle of beer and popping the cap with a talon that immediately returned to a manicured nail.
"The question, put forth, involves a situation. I will explain it thusly: You are at a village in a war torn nation. A warlord arrives with his men, intending on killing the village. The reasons do not matter. However, the warlord makes you an offer, handing you a gun with a single bullet. Shoot one person, of your choice, and he will spare you and the survivors. Kill him, and his men will kill you, and allow the village to survive. Kill none, and he will order his men to kill all the villagers, man, woman, and child, but leave you to live," the matron said.
Surscee frowned. "A terrible choice."
The matron snorted. "The academics and ethical philosophers then asked their students: What is the most moral choice?" the matron looked at Surscee. "Care to make a guess?"
Surscee thought for a long moment. "Shoot one of his men. He did not say you had to kill a villager."
The matron laughed. "A choice fitting for a Great Value Red Sonja," she laughed. She shook her head. "But, you would be wrong. You see, you make the unethical choice to take a human life."
"Then what?" Surscee asked.
"To stand aside. That you do not make a choice. The philosophical correct answer was to stand aside, that the warlord and his men make their own decisions and it is not your responsibility nor your moral failing whatever they choose to do," the matron looked out at the mist, taking a swig of her beer. "Do nothing, let the trolley kill five, because for you to decide who lives and dies is unethical."
Surscee snorted. "Choosing to make no choice is a choice in and of itself. You should always seek to do the least harm and the greatest good."
The matron nodded.
"The cowardice disgusts me," the matron said. She took another swig of her beer and then a drag from her cigarette. She exhaled smoke tinged with blood and brimstone. "I need those who will not back down, who are willing to get in the mud and the blood and the beer to get the job done."
The matron held up a red apple. "Take the apple, accept my offer. Be my Hell Storm to your brother's Hell Knight."
"Your offer humbles me," Surscee said. "It does not matter if my brother took your offer, I am Oathsworn to Lady Nakteti the Traveler. My duty is clear, it lies with my sworn liege."
"But what of your duty to your people?" the matron asked. "What of your duty to humanity?"
"I represent humanity wherever I go. Shall my actions, my decisions, lead the people's of the galaxy to believe that humanity are oath breakers? That our word, our bond, our oath, carries no meaning other than to further our own aims and goals? That we will abandon them, no matter what oaths we swear?"
The matron was silent.
"I am tempted by your offer, but I must, respectfully, refuse," Surscee said.
"Very well," the matron said. She blew on her fingertips and the apple dissolved. She stood up, taking a moment to smooth her skirt and tug the cuffs of her sleeves.
"You would have made an excellent Hell Storm," the matron said, exhaling smoke.
When it cleared, she was gone.
Surscee closed her eyes and heaved a great breath.
"I have passed the test, I hope," she said softly.
Only the dripping of water in the mist answered her.
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2023.06.07 02:19 maxsommers CNN Review: I hated 'The Little Mermaid' (i.e. why the pandering is never, ever, ever enough....)

The title of this one intrigued me enough to give it a read, and to my complete shock /s it seems that Disney's '''progressive''' pandering in their recent output still isn't good enough for some of the people they're actively courting.
"The Little Mermaid" live action may have racial representation, changed plot points and song lyrics, but it's still problematic, sexist, and promoting violence and patriarchy, apparently.
The review in question:
Disney’s 1989 “The Little Mermaid” was at once a masterpiece of the brand and a somewhat cringey retelling of a very dark Hans Christian Andersen tale. The story of a mermaid who gives up her voice to be with the man of her dreams, it falls neatly into the Disney canon of plucky, curious teenage women, whose pluck and curiosity mostly end up leading them into early marriage. But it’s also a ton of fun, with a dazzling Howard Ashman/Alan Menken score, an iconic villain in Ursula whose look was inspired by the drag queen Divine and a hilariously menacing sequence about cooking fish.
Disney’s had decades to think about how to update “The Little Mermaid” for new generations of viewers. Which makes the dour, overlong, dimly-lit and still pretty sexist product they’ve just released completely baffling.
They’ve jettisoned the fish song, “Les Poissons,” purportedly deeming it too cartoonish (what?) but given a dull musical number to Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). They’ve obscured the great Melissa McCarthy, playing Ursula, in a murk of bottom-of-the-ocean “natural light.” And they’ve retained the central plot, which confers happy-ending approval on a young woman making bodily-harming sacrifices in order to get the guy. Seriously?
I can report that the children in my small-town movie theater were checked-out at best. More than one kid was wandering among the aisles by the time we passed the 90-minute mark of the 135-minute affair, which begs the question: Who, exactly, is this movie for? Why does it exist?
This latest chapter in Disney’s never-ending quest to impose all of its hits on us again, in live-action format, is a profound miscalculation on almost every level, especially about how to revisit a beloved animated property that boasts some pretty problematic themes.
This feels lousy to say, because I was rooting for a huge success to follow the noxious backlash to the trailer last year: Some people apparently couldn’t handle the audacity of reinventing a cartoon character as a Black actress. But star Halle Bailey, in the role of Ariel, has nothing to apologize for: She’s the best thing about this movie. Unfortunately, that’s faint praise.
A lot of ink and pixels have testified to the value of Black children and their moms being able to see themselves in a Disney heroine, and that’s a powerfully admirable goal – as well as a long-overdue one, given the brand’s still overwhelmingly White majority of characters.
Unfortunately, director Rob Marshall’s approach sets a tone of violence at the beginning, rather than inspiration. The film kicks off with a sequence in which the crew of Prince Eric’s trade ship lean and leer over the edge, throwing harpoons at something in the water. A whale? A mermaid? It’s never quite clear, but the bloodlust certainly is. I can’t believe the kids in my screening had imagined a movie called “The Little Mermaid” beginning this way. Yikes.
Then there’s the running time: Two hours and fifteen minutes. The original was an hour twenty-three. The time expansion is such a comically bad decision, I still can’t get my head around it. Nothing little kids like more than sitting still for over two hours! Most recent Disney remakes have kept it at least under the two-hour mark, with the exception of 2017’s “Beauty and the Beast” and 2021’s “Cruella,” both of which were, at least, livelier than this one.
Everywhere you look, a detail about the movie has been slightly altered, but most end up being empty gestures rather than meaningful updates. For example, King Triton (Javier Bardem, who mostly looks bored) still has a bunch of adoring daughters who follow his every command, except now they’re a rainbow of ethnic diversity. So what’s the message here: diversity is good as long as patriarchy remains intact?
When Bailey’s Ariel gives up her voice in exchange for a human body, with three days to kiss the prince, she’s also given amnesia about the kiss part – which handily removes the fun from the original film of having her be an active participant in trying to get the smooch. And in this iteration of Ursula’s show-stopping number “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” they’ve removed the lines in which she smacks down Ariel’s doubts about losing her voice: “The men up there don’t like a lot of blabber. They think a girl who gossips is a bore. Come on, they’re not all that impressed with conversation. True gentlemen avoid it when they can! But they dote and swoon and fawn on a lady who’s withdrawn, it’s she who holds her tongue who gets a man!”
As Alex Abad-Santos of Vox tweeted, it’s “quite literally the best part of the entire song that crystallizes cynical Ursula’s worldview and, at the same time, shows us how she’s tricking Ariel.” Menken has said the change was made because the lines “might make young girls somehow feel that they shouldn’t speak out of turn,” which feels fairly patronizing; in my experience, kids are very good at knowing not to take a cartoon villain’s advice at face value.
That’s gone, but Lin-Manuel Miranda has added some new music, notably a rap song for Awkwafina as the seagull Scuttle, a number which is brief but so tonally different it brings the scene to a screeching halt. If there’s one unifying quality to all of these tweaks, it’s that they aren’t going to convince any of the 1989 movie’s fans that this one is worth their time or money.
More broadly, Disney’s painted the movie with the broad brush of corporate studios’ vision for What We Think Will Put Butts in Seats, which consists mostly of gloomy, under-lighted visuals (which audiences are, in reality, very tired of) and extensive action scenes. The 11th-hour standoff in which McCarthy’s Ursula grows to Godzilla proportions is so very dark here that you can barely see her, which begs the question of how much bad CGI they’re trying to cover up.
As Hollywood continues to wring its hands about the decline of moviegoing, “The Little Mermaid” doesn’t feel like it’s going to be an asset in that fight – let alone inspire many repeat viewings. (I imagine any parent who’s known the earworm of “Let It Go” from “Frozen” will know this is damning indeed.) Maybe a cool reception will inspire a little more introspection for Disney before next spring’s release of the next remake: “Snow White.” What could go wrong?
I feel like I've seen a few examples of this in recent times, like they're almost close to getting it (beyond the obvious flaws like the crappy CG) but they're ideological tunnel vision is preventing them from seeing the forest for the trees, so to speak.
And meanwhile we continue to be baffled as to why Disney and so many others are pandering to this crowd when they will never be satisfied...
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2023.06.06 17:00 AutoModerator Weekly Discussion Thread - posted every Tuesday!

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2023.06.06 08:03 KyletheAngryAncap Dumb article is dumb.

Ukraine has worked for years through legislation and military restructuring to contain a fringe far-right movement whose members proudly wear symbols steeped in Nazi history and espouse views hostile to leftists, LGBTQ movements and ethnic minorities. But some members of these groups have been fighting Russia since the Kremlin illegally annexed part of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014 and are now part of the broader military structure. Some are regarded as national heroes, even as the far-right remains marginalized politically.
So basically you're point is that it's a fringe group, and that people celebrating soldiers in a time of war is supposed to change that somehow?
In the short term, that threatens to reinforce Putin’s propaganda and giving fuel to his false claims that Ukraine must be “de-Nazified” — a position that ignores the fact that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish. More broadly, Ukraine’s ambivalence about these symbols, and sometimes even its acceptance of them, risks giving new, mainstream life to icons that the West has spent more than a half-century trying to eliminate.
Look, the confederacy was unilaterally in support of slavery, however, many southerners do sincerely believe the confederacy stood for freedom because the education system taught them that. Most liberals acknowledge this and then immediately proceed to call every flag waver a racist because they don't understand how anyone can have a framework that contradicts their's even when they give a good explanation of how they could.
And this rule applies here. Ukraine is stupid to use Nazi symbols, but symbols are ultimately mere symbols, they don't objectively mean anything, and as such, the meaning can shift if there is enough mass change, given that mass meaning is how they become meaningful in the first place.
“What worries me, in the Ukrainian context, is that people in Ukraine who are in leadership positions, either they don’t or they’re not willing to acknowledge and understand how these symbols are viewed outside of Ukraine,” said Michael Colborne, a researcher at the investigative group Bellingcat who studies the international far right. “I think Ukrainians need to increasingly realize that these images undermine support for the country.”
Oh so it's their fault the rest of the world is a bunch of idiots.
So far, the imagery has not eroded international support for the war. It has, however, left diplomats, Western journalists and advocacy groups in a difficult position: Calling attention to the iconography risks playing into Russian propaganda. Saying nothing allows it to spread.
You acknowledge that the Far Right is small, and the only reason you hate the iconography ultimately boils down to Western interpretations instead of Ukrainian intentions.
Even Jewish groups and anti-hate organizations that have traditionally called out hateful symbols have stayed largely silent. Privately, some leaders have worried about being seen as embracing Russian propaganda talking points.
Did this section of leaders call this their sole concern, or did they also mention context?
Questions over how to interpret such symbols are as divisive as they are persistent, and not just in Ukraine. In the American South, some have insisted that today, the Confederate flag symbolizes pride, not its history of racism and secession. The swastika was an important Hindu symbol before it was co-opted by the Nazis.
As I said earlier, you can dive into both the actual history of a symbol and how the distortion of it can still create sincerely held falsehoods. And don't throw in the Hindu use of the Swastika, it looks different from the Nazi one in multiple ways, the temples with it bear no resemblance to European artwork, and the only people who knowingly conflate the two are Librandus who would hate Hinduism anyway do to real or perceived faults in it and its followers.
The patch in the photograph sets the Totenkopf atop a Ukrainian flag with a small No. 6 below. That patch is the official merchandise of Death in June, a British neo-folk band that the Southern Poverty Law Center has said produces “hate speech” that “exploits themes and images of fascism and Nazism.” The Anti-Defamation League considers the Totenkopf “a common hate symbol.” But Jake Hyman, a spokesperson for the group, said it was impossible to “make an inference about the wearer or the Ukrainian army” based on the patch. “The image, while offensive, is that of a musical band,” Hyman said.
Yes, that's an inconsistency on behalf of the ADL. If you actually want to make a statement, you can't deflect on the faults of others, you have to look at the truth. And the truth is, it's entirely in the realm of possibility that the guy wearing became a fan of the band because a Nazi blared it, or someone else heard a Nazi blare it and blared it themselves because they liked the music, and a hypothetical chain. Complex, perhaps veering on convuluted? Perhaps, but still within the realm of possibility just as, if not more than widespread Nazism.
The band now uses the photograph posted by the Ukrainian military to market the Totenkopf patch.
Hurray! Collective guilt predicated on tangentiality.
The soldier in the photograph was part of a volunteer unit called the Da Vinci Wolves, which started as part of the paramilitary wing of Ukraine’s “right sector,” a coalition of right-wing organizations and political parties that militarized after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. At least five other photographs on the Wolves’ Instagram and Facebook pages feature their soldiers wearing Nazi-style patches, including the Totenkopf.
Hold on, you established it as a right-wing paramilitary coalition, you can't call everyone there a Nazi. Perhaps the nationalists might as well be Nazis, but they didn't all take the plunge. Besides, right-wingers are predominantly stupid and reactive, they will adopt Nazi slogans if left-wingers call them nazi slogans. That's how the OK sign went from a 4chan troll to a legitimate symbol among the right.
NATO militaries, an alliance that Ukraine hopes to join, do not tolerate such patches. When such symbols have appeared, groups such as the Anti-Defamation League have spoken out, and military leaders have reacted swiftly.
Yes, because the context was different (or perhaps it wasn't and NATO made a debatably bad call).
Russian soldiers in Ukraine have also been seen wearing Nazi-style patches, underscoring how complicated interpreting these symbols can be in a region steeped in Soviet and German history.
No, that's different because the Soviets were in firm control of Russia before WWII, meanwhile Ukraine and others were under Soviet invasion, allowing the lines to have a grey zone in those areas. If those Russians were wearing symbols of the Red army, that would be equivalent.
Some Ukrainians joined Nazi military units such as the Waffen-SS Galizien. The emblem of the group, which was led by German officers, was a sky-blue patch showing a lion and three crowns. The unit took part in a massacre of hundreds of Polish civilians in 1944. In December, after a yearslong legal battle, Ukraine’s highest court ruled that a government-funded research institute could continue to list the unit’s insignia as excluded from the Nazi symbols banned under a 2015 law.
So Ukraine is actually trying to do something? What big event could interrupt such measures from occurring?
Also, the Unit was one unit, that likely got tangled into it by law of favor instead of anti-Polish sentiment.
That makes it difficult to easily separate, on the basis of icons alone, the Ukrainians enraged by the Russian invasion from those who support the country’s far-right groups.
And there it is, admission that this is just one big puff of smoke that you made to feel more important than you are.
“I think some of these far-right units mix a fair bit of their own mythmaking into the public discourse on them,” Colborne said. “But I think the least that can and should be done everywhere, not just Ukraine, is not allowing the far right’s symbols, rhetoric and ideas to seep into public discourse.”
Yes, the nuance of a sledgehammer because of fear and ideology.
submitted by KyletheAngryAncap to AntiWesternCircleJerk [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 05:27 Xerxes250 Hazardous Recovery 7 - An NoP Story: Part 1, Smoke and Mirrors

Hello fellow predators!
About a month ago I discovered SpacePaladin15 's story and then this place shortly after. After binge reading through every story I could find I still wasn't satisfied. So I started writing my own!
Shoutouts to rebelhero and Acceptable_Egg5560 for greenlighting some cross references that will come up later.
An extra special thanks goes to eager_question for their help brainstorming some cool plot stuff that will also come up later.
You don't need to have read their stories to understand mine, but you should read their stories. Cause they're cool n'shit.
Memory transcription subject: Kimmich, Head of Exterminator Special Investigations, Starside, Venlil Prime.
Date [standardized human time]: October 17th 2136
It was always windy on Venlil Prime, how…
….broken and still on the sandstone…
…already asleep, propped up on…
…32 kids and prou…
Resuming Playback Mid Entry
Memory transcription subject: Kimmich, Security Specialist and shuttle pilot for Hazardous Recovery 7
Date [standardized human time]: October 27th 2136 2:40 AM
‘…I did not raise Venmka and Sevkan to be this naive.’ I fumed as I pushed my way through the screen door separating the laundry room from the indoor greenhouse our host kept.
Even light years from home and lit only by bloody orange heatlamps, it was still nice to walk between healthy plants. Spaced throughout the room were rows of boxes bearing tall fruiting plants, racks of hanging vines heavy with clusters of yellow and green beans, and low trays of root vegetables ready for harvest. It reminded me of Tulma…
No, focus.
Of course I was sending reports of our stay here back to the office! This trip was an intelligence goldmine! If even half of the technology our oh so civilized host had invented was implemented into the UN’s military forces there would be no stopping them!
My paw traced the ridge of my right eye socket, a claw tracing the skin of my eyelid. I could feel the functionless silicon spacer that sat where my eye had been shift slightly under the pressure.
Bitterness rose up in my chest. ‘They went through all that trouble to keep him alive, and yet the Federation wouldn't clone me one single replacement eye because ‘medical resources are stretched thin on the front right now.’ Pfft. No one does a full eye replacement on a frontline.‘
‘Andre did offer to design something…’ No. I didn’t want to be indebted to this predator like that. Being forced to stay in his home through the winter was already enough of a strain on my nerves as it was.
I paused by the carbon fibre planters Vemnka and I had built a few days ago and shook some of the stress from my shoulders and tail. I leaned over and peered into the dirt. Two tiny leaf sprouts had begun to climb out of the rich soil, barely visible in the dull orange light. “A full harvest of ‘brussels sprouts’ in six weeks or less!” the seed package said. I angled my ears in irritation and moved towards the foggy windows.
I didn’t really believe he intended to feed us that long. After what had happened on the 17th and all that talk of his savage religious rituals it was only a matter of time before some loud noise or predatory demon vision compelled him to attack us. Erich didn’t...
I looked over the ridge of condensation that clung to the bay windows and into the dark yard. Small solar lanterns dotted the important features, highlighting the paths and furnishings. The contrast seemed to deepen the darkness between them somehow, and it lent the yard a strange alien fee-
A spot of bright red light reflected off the window, the source was right in the centre of my blindspot.
‘Laser sight!’
Trained reflexes took over, and In single a flash of movement I leapt, spun, drew my gun, and activated my own laser before landing in a shooting stance. The green dot of my laser sight lined up squarely… with Andre’s sternum.
He was sitting in one of the wicker chairs on the other side of the tomato cages, across the room from me and well out of pouncing range. Lit from behind by the pale blue moonlight I could see he had been reclining comfortably, looking at his tablet on the small coffee table in front of him. The glowing red tip of one of those burning sticks he enjoyed was hanging from his left hand, trailing smoke into the air.
‘It wasn’t a laser sight, it flared when he inhaled! He wasn’t even looking at me!’
I felt a surge of relief until I realized that he wasn’t looking at me.. because he was looking at the green dot I still had trained on his chest.
Andre looked up from the dot on his shirt and across the room. His terrifying binocular eyes flicked back and forth across the darkness until they locked with my lone eye and...
Without articulating ears or prehensile tails, humans had evolved an entire system of moving muscles in their faces to express things. It was unnerving to watch his entire appearance swim between snarls of sadness, betrayal, rage, before settling into a stone stillness that scared me more than any baring of teeth ever could.
I had seen it before, back in Starside. It was the look of someone who could see the burning napalm arcing towards them and knew they had nowhere to go. 'Never my job to pull the trigger, but they always trusted where I told them to aim…'
Seconds passed, and neither of us moved. My paws began to shake, the laser dot wobbled on his chest, but his eyes were still locked onto me. ‘Make this as easy as it’s supposed to be dammit! lunge at me! Growl! Bare your teeth! Something!’
“Well?” He said, his clipped tone shattering the silence. “You gonna to take the shot or not, Kemmich?”
“What are you doing out here?” I demanded.
“Smoking. Also, it’s my house.” He said, his voice now flat and expressionless, before bringing the stick in his left hand up to his lips and inhaling.
The burning tip flared again, the unkind colour casting a sinister light over the carbon black mechanical arm he held it in. He pointed it at my gun with his other hand, a mirror image of its twin.
“Shoot me already.” Smoke curled up from his lips and nose as he spoke. “Drill two of those coilgun slugs right right through my centre mass. I’m a nice, stationary target. Just like Tokyo, or Montreal, or Berlin.”
I suppressed a flinch at the mention of those names. Cities reduced to rubble and glass by the Federation’s extermination fleet barely a week ago. All three places Andre had lost people. ‘Why is he goading me like this? Wait, that sounded practiced. Oh speh, he anticipated this!’
Determination steadied my aim, until Andre slammed his empty hand down on the coffee table and bolted upright. The impact knocked his tablet to the floor. He didn’t notice.
“A billion and a half wasn’t quite enough for you people, eh?” He said, venom starting to bubble in his voice.
“The Ven-” I started.
“Not the Venlil! You! And people like you!” He had gone from venom to shouting as he spoke. It was loud enough that Vemnka or Sevkan had to have heard it. Good, they needed to see this. To see what their silly sentiments towards these poor misunderstood meat-eaters actually-
“You killed Erich, didn’t you? With that stupid big iron I let you wear around my house.” My heart started to race, my train of thought totally derailed.
“No! How could you say that!?”
“All I got was a bag of ashes and your word for it, Kim. You and your fucking cronies torched him then scraped what was left into a bag so you had an excuse to come here and finish the job yourself, didn’t you? Had to follow it back to it’s den and burn out the nest to be sure, right?”
I may as well have killed him... And the three of us now too. “No! We told you why we came here…” I trailed off weakly.
Andre had been advancing as we spoke, and it wasn’t until he was barely a metre away that I noticed how bright the laser dot on his chest suddenly was in the surrounding darkness.
“Then why are you still pointing your gun at me?”
Before I could formulate an answer, his arms lashed out. In a blur of motion my gun was slapped from my paw and two black mechanical hands wrapped themselves around my head. I tried to draw a breath and scream for help, but all I tasted was ash…
submitted by Xerxes250 to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 01:06 Bipedal The Silent Library Torrent - 2023-06-05

Well, it's here. Thanks for your patience (over the last . . . year and a half). Firstly, the torrent itself—here's the magnet link: [TORRENT] (Raw info hash: aa5f4e8da72a0d9a926c1e2eecd83e44cf92a524)
And here are the contents of "Notes.txt" inside same:
Since I said I'd put this torrent update out no matter what, I'm kind of caught in the middle of some stuff.
I only recently flattened the folder structure, I still have to make some decisions about how to handle certain things (are six Toriniku clips enough to have an entire episode folder? I don't think so but I also don't know how else to handle it for now), apologies for any confusion.
You'll notice two file lists in the torrent root: one is my trusty fully manual google sheet, which is really no longer sensible since I can't make tabs at the bottom for all 39 library directories I have (so far). The other is a csv from wa, who you'll know as the founder of chikichiki.tube. This has been created by script from the actual files, and therefore probably has much more accurate information. My next big library thing is going to be switching over to a tidied version of that rather than the current master spreadsheet, but since we've only just started this you get to have both.
Otherwise, there's a lot of new material. There are obviously fresh subs, but a significant amount of the classic stuff has been remastered with new raws, parts merged, etc. as well.
Outside of this torrent, I've started collecting raws as well since the beginning of the year. That's going smoothly enough, though storage is really filling up. For the moment they're accessible on the library's MEGA, we'll see how that goes into the future.
If anyone wants a full synched copy of the library (or the raws), I've got syncthing running, so that can definitely be arranged; get in touch on reddit (u/Bipedal) or shout in discord (https://discord.gg/gaki) or on the Japanese Variety Shows 4chan thread, or I guess even on the guestbook (https://thesilentlibrary.com) as long as you leave a way for me to contact you back in your message.
Much love, happy watching. ヽ(´ー`)ノ - Bipedal
As for the rest of the library; things have been happening in big ways since January. I built a TrueNAS server that warms up my living room now, and moved all library storage and services to it (away from the other QNAP NAS that I use for my video work.) This is mostly cobbled together from stuff laying around (and given freely by good friends; thanks, Daniel), and it's going to be perfectly usable as-is for the next . . . . couple of months.
The storage volume the library is on consists of four 4TB drives, two of which are new-ish and should be good to go but the others are very much used. This gives a total usable capacity of 10.44TB, which sounds like a lot until you realize that I started archiving raws this year (I say "I" but actually I get a lot of help on this front, you people know who you are). Currently 75.6% of that storage (7.9TB) is used up, and any more than 80% isn't ideal because of the way that the system works. That means in the near-ish future, I need to plan for buying some more disks. This doesn't need to be fast storage, so I could do something like buy a pair of 16TB drives for ~€300 eur each, run those in a mirror configuration, and then down the road if I need more just get another pair of whatever, which brings me to my next paragraph . . .
If you check the master spreadsheet (which will soon be changing a bit but give me a minute lol), you'll notice that the library now receives €20.00 every month! Someone set up a recurring donation for enough money to pay for the Pro II mega.nz plan! That's 8TB of MEGA storage, which means—at least for now—I can put all the raws live as well as the main translated library! This is brilliant because honestly I can't even imagine what would be involved trying to host (or pay to have hosted) these files, and it would be a shame to hoard them but not have them easily accessible. While MEGA isn't a perfect solution, I'm gonna go ahead and say it's better than any alternatives available to me.
Now, I also received another large single-sum donation of €200 recently. Now that I'm not slowly bleeding from the pot to pay for MEGA, that can accure and be the start of saving towards new drives. The existing donation button on the site is very much an out-of-the-way thing and I'm very happy with how it's brought in just enough support that I haven't been out of pocket for the recurring mega subscription since the early days of the library. However, if I want to keep on top of the storage space and have everything be healthy and usable, I do now have some modest expenses to think about.
I don't know what form it will take, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to try and do a funding push at some stage. I don't know if that means I should try the patreon thing, if I should try and do things like tshirts and stickers and such (though I did do some proofs of concept of these and they turned out brilliantly, as you'll know if you've seen the twittemastodon feed, or if you're gakidave and you own one), if I should . . . I don't know, what do people do as value-added these days? Something to do with live streaming, no doubt? Obviously I'm not an authority on this, I welcome anyone's input.
I always feel like I have more to say, but that's all I can come up with now and nobody wants an even longer post. I hope everyone is getting what they want out of the library, and I hope it's growing and changing in ways that you find improve things, rather than a lot of feature creep and needless meddling. As always I would love to hear what anyone has to say about the library and its future. I have a lot of excellent people who help me a lot, I won't try naming everyone here, but you all know who you are, and honestly at this point I'm probably not even the main contributor (if you could ever say I was, since I'm just gathering all the stuff in one place) to the library.
Happy watching, everyone. It's been a great year and a half since the last torrent, we're absolutely in the middle of a golden age right now.
Much love ヽ(´ー`)ノ https://thesilentlibrary.com/
submitted by Bipedal to GakiNoTsukai [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 21:56 Thirsha_42 Tight Money Ch 15

Here is chapter 15 of Tight Money.
Special thanks to u/SpacePaladin15 for creating the universe and allowing fan writers to join the fun.
Credit goes to u/zyncer and u/ImaginationSea for this idea for the mazic
Additional thanks to u/BiasMushroom, u/YakiTapioca, u/cruisingNW, u/SavingsSyllabub7788, u/YaaliAnnar, u/White_Dragon_Coranth, u/Illwood and u/Redundant-Honse for letting me use elements from their fanfics in mine.
Thanks to u/NotSoSlimShady1001, u/Saint-Andros, and u/blankxlate for proofreading this chapter.
Now we get to see the fallout of Niit's rash actions and I add a bit to the mazic lore. I used Jenny Jinya's characters from her wonderful webcomic, Loving Reaper as additional inspiration for this snippet. If you want to read one of the myths of the mazic, I have written one here, Inspired by Jenny Jinya's wildfire comic but much less depressing than hers.
I love your comments so please tell me what you think so I can get better or if you have suggestions for future snippets of life on Venlil Prime you would like to see me cover, leave it in the comments.
First Previous
Memory transcription subject: Tobor, Temple Initiate
Date [standardized human time]: March 15, 1896
As I stood in the small, spartan head priest's office within the secluded temple complex, my eyes fixated on the mysterious red book that lay before me. Three long strands of chain overlapped each other from its jagged edges and linked together in the middle. What secrets did it hold? Should I dare to delve into its pages? My thoughts wandered back to the reasons that had brought me to this forsaken monastery.
I was sent here for asking a simple question; why did the federation kill all predators, including the ones that couldn’t possibly threaten even the weakest mazic? For daring to challenge the Federation's dogma about predators, they whisked me off to the exterminator's guild for a ‘mandatory’ screening. Despite passing the test, I found myself banished to the remote Mowai monastery for what they called ‘contemplation.’ But all I had experienced here were endless hours of menial chores paired with tedious scripture readings about the Great Herd and the Protector Goddess.
The time had come for me to break free from this monotonous existence. With the book within reach, I reminisced about the long hours I spent in solitude, revisiting the questions that haunted me. How could the Kolshians have exterminated all predators? Why did they fear predators so much? What exactly was predator's disease? How did it spread? The answers I sought were not to be found in the sanctioned texts of the faith I had been raised to believe in, but instead in the red book that sat in front of me, eager for me to unearth its secrets. What else could it possibly contain?
Without another moment's hesitation, I decided to seize this forbidden knowledge. I carefully retrieved the book from the contraband box and hid it in my satchel. Back in my small and barren room, I lay on my bed and pulled out the blasphemous book. As I leafed through its pages, a sense of wonder and enlightenment washed over me. The authors presented arguments and evidence that debunked the Federation’s claims about predators. More than that, some of the papers even suggested that predators were a good thing. Every word made more sense than the last, resonating with the doubts that had been gnawing at me for so long.
But my bliss was short-lived when Babar, the aged head priest whose fur had begun to gray, threw open my door. In my haste to hide the book, I fumbled and clumsily dropped it onto the floor. Babar picked it up slowly and directed his steely glare on me.
“Why do you have this?” He seethed. “This book is forbidden!
“But, Head Priest, Why is it forbidden? It has knowledge about how to…”
“Lies, all of it.”
“They aren’t lies, if you would just…”
“This book has a corrupting influence. It will give you predator disease! It seems to have done so already.” The older mazic glowered.
“That’s impossible, it’s just a book. Just read the first par…”
“This is BLASPHEMY!” His shout echoed throughout the entire temple and was far more intimidating than anything I had heard before.
I pleaded with him to read the book with a shaky voice.
“It has the answers, if you just read it, everything fits.” I swallowed, trying to reason with the Priest. I believed that he, too, would be swayed by the book’s truth. He had to be, it made too much sense for him not to be convinced. Babar, however, seemed unfazed by my pleas, his eyes filled with an iron determination.
“Get up. Come with me.” His previously threatening demeanor was replaced by one of pity.
He led me into the cellar of the monastery and then further down into a basement. As we continued down the rich granite of the plainly crafted staircase, I felt like I was descending into the very core of Khoa. I could hear the faint sounds of ritualistic chanting and rhythmic sounds echoing through the dimly lit corridor. My hearts beat faster and faster dreading what the head priest had in store for me at the bottom.
As we entered a large chamber well below the temple, my eyes widened in astonishment. Before me, a group of Mazic priests performed an awe-inspiring ritual dance. Their movements were fierce and commanding, their spirits aflame with an ancient power that seemed almost primal. It was a display of strength, courage, and defiance.
Babar stood beside me as we watched. The priests shouted challenges to invisible enemies and waved their arms in coordinated movements. They slapped their thighs and trumpeted their trunks, wielding large clubs shaped to a point at the end. I was riveted to the spot. This felt different. What was the meaning of this?
“This is the Hako,” Babar looked intently at me with piercing eyes that felt like he could peer into my soul.
“Please, forgive us. We needed to make sure you could be trusted.”
I looked at Babar, flapping my ears in confusion. “Trusted?”
Babar motioned with his trunk for me to follow him deeper into the subterranean levels. As we walked down the sloping tunnel of rough granite lit by archaic lamps and wired together along the walls, Babar revealed the truth that had been concealed from me since my arrival at the temple. My entire ordeal had been a meticulously orchestrated test.
“We, the other priests and I, wanted to know if you possessed the will necessary to question the Federation and their puppet government, to believe that they were wrong.”
We descended an uneven staircase into a small room with a single rough hewn door decorated with heavy metal fittings and carvings of the protector. My heart skipped a beat as I realized that a cloaked predator joined our life-giving goddess. The head priest beckoned me closer and pulled open the door, unveiling the secret that lay hidden within these walls. An absolutely beautiful chamber greeted us. The floors were decorated with mosaics depicting all manner of stories, the walls surrounded with shelves filled with books and the ceiling, like the floor, was decorated with murals of the protector goddess and the predator.
Babar continued, “This temple, along with others scattered across the planet, safeguarded our ancient knowledge. Here, the priests protected the remnants of our culture, our history, and the true faith of the mazics from the ravages of the Federation.”
Babar showed me the vast library; shelves filled with thick tomes that covered every subject imaginable. There were books on ancient mazic history, wildlife that once thrived before the Federation's interference, and the ancient religion of the Mazic people—worshiping dual opposing gods, the mazic protector goddess that I was familiar with, and the other a skeletal predator god of death.
Babar led me to a table that had a single book atop of it with the two gods depicted in bright colors, accentuated by gold highlights. Before I could even ask my question, Babar spoke.
“She is life, and this,” he gestured to the predator, “is Death. We didn’t always fear him. We knew he was inevitable and patient. Death would cheer our victories and cherish every gift that life sent his way.”
The weight of the truth settled heavily upon my shoulders as Babar warned me of the consequences that awaited if this secret were to be exposed.
“The Kolshians have already attempted to erase our history once, and they would not hesitate to finish the job. The survival of our knowledge, our culture, and the old way of life depended on the steadfast protection by those initiated into this secret. That includes you now.”
With conviction in my voice and tears streaming down my trunk, I swore to Babar that I would carry this secret with me until my last breath. I understood the importance of preserving mazic heritage and resisting the oppressive dogma imposed by the Federation. My duty now lay in safeguarding the truth, nurturing the flame of knowledge that flickered within this hidden sanctuary.
Babar grasped my shoulders and wiped my tears away, his ears raised in joy. He directed me to sit at the table. And so, as he left me in that subterranean chamber, my perspective had forever changed. No longer would I be a naive and curious Mazic seeking answers. I would instead become a guardian of our nearly-lost legacy—a torchbearer entrusted with the preservation of truths that the Federation wished to extinguish.
From that moment on, my path was clear. I would dedicate myself to the protection of this secret, to the dissemination of ancient knowledge, and to resistance against the Federation's reign of ignorance. The words of the book echoed within me, empowering my resolve as I walked the less-trodden path of the enlightened Mazic, challenging the very fabric of the kolshian-led Federation.

Memory transcription subject: Niit, Capitol Spaceport Logistics Coordinator
Date [standardized human time]: November 6, 2136
I had to buy some earbuds so that I could listen to Rux on my way to work, as I had been getting nasty looks and a few venlil had even told me to mute my pad. They started calling me horrible names, too. They just didn’t understand the danger we were in; the humans were going to use us as breeding stock for their parasites any day now!
“Volek, the head of the Exterminators Guild in the Capitol, is nothing more than a public relations slave! They got to her people. They tempted her and she gave in. She was seduced by a Welsh man and now she’s turned traitor to her own people. The exterminators have been infiltrated, I repeat, the exterminators have been infiltrated. You can’t trust them anymore. The good ones were fired and shipped off to a black site. I bet, no, I know they are being experimented on.”
I already knew that. I had called Leena to check on her and see how she was doing only to find out that she was more desperate than I realized. She had let a predator into her home in exchange for money. That the predator was near her children. I had to call the exterminators, but the first responder told me I was ‘wasting their time.’ At least the second responder was willing to listen to my suspicions.
I just hoped that they could get that predator away from Leena and her kids. She wasn’t safe. But then, she sent me a message on Bleat to never contact her again and blocked me. I hadn’t been able to ask if she was okay in two days and I was worried. She had stopped checking her Bleat account and I could only imagine what horrible things that predator was doing to them.
“The humans are hiding things from us. My team keeps finding things buried and hidden. Keep listening to us and we will keep you informed. Remember you can’t trust the authorities; they are in on it. And remember we are going to create the greatest herd the likes of which the federation has never seen before on [November 22nd] and finally push the humans out of their headquarters at the Refugee Resettlement Center.”
At least Rux had a plan to do something. All these other venlil just went about their day like nothing was wrong, like we weren’t surrounded by predators.
“To help you protect yourself from the predators, I have come up with a new product. While digging in their archives I learned that the parasites have some weaknesses. I took all of the plants that kill parasites and combined them into a new protein shake. It has unparalleled taste too. Well, Strayu is still better but for ingredients from the predator planet it is pretty good.”
“Now, I know you are asking yourself, you are asking ‘Rux, how could we possibly drink anything from that death planet’ and I’m telling you, this stuff will kill predators. They are trying to build up an immunity to these plants. It’s why they haven’t gotten rid of them completely; each ingredient is only sixty percent effective but when you combine them all together? This drink will protect you from being infested by the humans.”
I had to pause the stream and exit the train. When I caught the tram to the space port I ordered a case of that new drink. We couldn’t be too careful. As I swiped my card and entered the office, Mirna waved me down.
“Niit, what did you do? The boss is really angry with you.”
“I have no idea!”
“Did he catch you listening to that spehhead again?”
“No, I followed his orders.” Well, all but one.
“Well, you need to fix whatever it is he’s mad about.”
I steeled my nerves as best I could and marched off to his office. I could see the black stripes that contrasted with his white fur through the window to his office. He was talking to another tan venlil with two white stripes going down his back, though they were hard to notice with his exterminator cut. Director Cass saw me and motioned for me to enter his office.
“Niit, have a seat.” He gestured to one of the chairs in front of his desk.
The tan venlil man stood off to the side, holding a stack of papers and a data pad, eyeing me sternly. I sat in the chair quivering slightly under this stranger's gaze.
“Exterminator Rigel?” My boss motioned towards the tan venlil standing to his right who checked his stack of papers and then offered it to me.
“Niit, you are duly served with a notice to appear before the Capitol Magistrate’s Court in 3 paws to account for charges of wasting exterminator resources and false accusations against,” he dug out his pad, “Leena of child endangerment. Scan your paw here to acknowledge you have received your summons.”
I should have been more shocked than I was as I accepted the papers but Rux had just announced that the exterminators were already lost. Our last defense against the predators. Now all that was left was us all taking action against them. The exterminator held his pad out to me and I put my paw on it. He flicked his ears in farewell to Overseer Cass and left.
“Niit, that would be enough to fire you right here and now.” My boss fixed me with an exhausted eye. “But that is not the main reason I am firing you.”
My ears and tail drooped. I knew what was coming next.
“I told you to contact the humans to repair the fabricators so we could make parts and get our business back.”
I made an attempt to protest that I had called but he held up a paw.
“I know you called them but terminated the call before you could schedule anything. You ignored their call back. I even gave you a day to work up the courage to try again. They had to call me to find out what the problem was. They will be here later this claw.”
The director swiped a pad on his desk and entered a few commands. My pad pinged, having received the data package he sent.
“That is your severance notice. You are to clean out your locker, retrieve anything you left in the break room, and return your key. You are no longer an employee of this Space Port.”
First Previous
Seriously, please share any ideas you have for what could happen in the future. I only have things planned out through the start of December in the story
submitted by Thirsha_42 to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 19:35 GreatInca JumpChain EVERYTHING Traditional Gaming 4Chan TG SpaceBattles SB Questionable Questing QQ Reddit

JumpChain EVERYTHING Traditional Gaming 4Chan TG SpaceBattles SB Questionable Questing QQ Reddit Last updated, 2023-06-04. 7.77 GB (11.3 GB extracted on disk). 6,056 files total. See original Reddit post for more details, and archives for individual community drives
submitted by GreatInca to JumpChain [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 08:53 Sjguy81 Investigating a psychopath

To start off its my gf’s father but im not personally attacking him. No bias involved. I have a lot of humint training and its how i got to this point. He had his daughter brainwashed by a constant flow of manipulation. I read through him rather quickly but kept it to myself. She wouldn’t have believed me anyway. He was an inmate in USP Atlanta in the early 80’s when it was a high security federal prison. His daughter and exwife had no clue of this. I kept my distance and just didnt allow any of his games to get to me. My gf and i moved in together and he wanted to move in also. No way. Thats when he went on the attack. Without her know he turned the neighborhood against us, lied to the police about me and even went as far as going to her therapist and tried getting her hospitalized. People eat up his act and he has it down perfectly. But now his daughter knows whos behind the mask. Im trying to figure out what put him in club fed. It happened as a minor and carried him till he was 21. So to go to a usp for a crime as a juvenile it had to be bad.
What i have so far is he told someone he lit a gas station on fire years ago. But thats not club fed worthy. Looking around his hometown history i found a post about a string of fires happened on the same road as the gas station and included an apartment building. I spoke to a friend at the bureau of prisons and in the system hes there but no info beyond high security inmate at usp Atlanta. We figured out that’s because he was a minor. Those fires he would have been 15. Old enough to charge. He lied about what school he went to also. Because i went back in archives and checked year books to see when he disappeared. He took his daughter to the school once to go fishing. The school was in Berlin nj. The school he said he went to was in pennsauken. There is a school in Berlin for kids with behavior issues and there is a lake on the campus. I showed her and that was it. Her mom is in denial or knows and is covering. Because she claims the federal bureau of prisons is wrong, its my fault. I must have put it there.
So im looking for info on charges for the fires in haddon heights NJ around 1978. They happened on station ave. I have his info but if i put it on here its searchable so pm me
submitted by Sjguy81 to investigation [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 08:50 Necessary_Papaya2048 Where does Lt Masipag's profile picture come from?

Where does Lt Masipag's profile picture come from?
The profile picture.
While reading SCP-173 I decided to check on the revision history. The person who originally transferred the 4chan post to Wikidot was somebody called "Lt. Masipag" (Filipino word for diligent). I clicked on the user, and wanted to know where did the pfp come from?
It's probably from a Filipino film/show due to the nature of the username. And also the pfp itself has what looks like a Filipino man in it.
Though, I don't know if the profile picture is actually just the picture of the user.
If the user was actually controversial, I am sorry, I did not know.
All I found within the first Google search is that she transferred SCP articles from EditThis to Wikidot.

Useful links:
submitted by Necessary_Papaya2048 to SCP [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 08:43 Necessary_Papaya2048 Looking for the origin of this pfp from a SCP Wikidot user.

Looking for the origin of this pfp from a SCP Wikidot user.

The profile picture.
While reading SCP-173 I decided to check on the revision history. The person who originally transferred the 4chan post to Wikidot was somebody called "Lt. Masipag" (Filipino word for diligent). I clicked on the user, and wanted to know where did the pfp come from?
It's probably from a Filipino film/show due to the nature of the username. And also the pfp itself has what looks like a Filipino man in it.
Though, I don't know if the profile picture is actually just the picture of the user.
If the user was actually controversial, I am sorry, I did not know.

Useful links:
submitted by Necessary_Papaya2048 to HelpMeFind [link] [comments]

2023.06.04 01:53 FantasyWriter1987 Are all KDP books listed on Amazon?

Honestly after listening to Brandon Sanderson lectures a ton I expected to find tons and tons of authors listed in epic, adventure, sword and sorcery etc fantasy. But after scrolling through 25-50 pages in each sub section searching on Amazon I still only seem to find a few dozen authors and most of those are traditionally published authors. Besides them I mostly find LitRPG and romantic fantasy. It's weird. You'd think there'd be so many more self published authors trying their hands at big fantasy epics like ASOIAF, Stormlight Archives, Malazan etc
submitted by FantasyWriter1987 to KDP [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 17:02 medievalbkeeper Canadian rising senior aiming for Deep Springs + some Ivies…?

Major Applying For:
Was going to do comp lit but will probably apply for sociology/pre-law or pre-med (Native American studies for Dartmouth)
Extracurricular Activities:
  1. Trained for and completed 6k open water swim (in the ocean!!) to raise money for international cause, student coordinator (11, lots of time)
  2. Niche water sport, leader, competed in my first year, trying out for national team this fall (11, 12) 🐍
  3. School literary magazine, leader next year (11, 12)
  4. Writing, performed some poetry, published (paid) in a newspaper (9-12)
  5. Varsity Soccer, some regional awards (9, 10)
  6. Piano, RCM level 7, level 6 for theory (9, 10)
  7. Tutoring, paid + volunteer (9-12)
  8. Gymnastics coach, 2 months, volunteer (10)
  9. JROTC type thing, (9, 10), lots of awards
  10. Various art, beading, painting…. Probably won’t include anything about this
  1. Assistant Technician at Theatre, this was partly volunteer (9-10)
  2. Soccer Coach, summer, (9-10)
  3. Archival Assistant, summer, (9)
  4. Admin Counsellor for Literacy Youth Camp (11)
Summer Activities:
Letter of Recs + Essays:
One from my English teachehouse parent/CAS supervisor: we have a great relationship so will be 10/10
Unsure about second
I’ve been called a strong writer but that doesn’t mean shit🤑
Goal schools:
Deep Springs (dream) Dartmouth (might apply for IFI??) Princeton Either Brown or Stanford (or maybe Cornell for my sport)
Aid is complicated cause there’s a third party I get guaranteed scholarships from for the above schools… and the schools know that☝🏼
Safeties (in Canada):
UBC, UVic, Carleton U, U of King’s College
submitted by medievalbkeeper to chanceme [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 07:40 JStevinik Advice on a Beginner to Seriously Consider Writing a History Book on Mid-1990s Animated Shows?

I was listening to the What a Cartoon! podcast, hosted by the same guys who host the Talking Simpsons podcast. They had animation critic and amateur historian Thad Komorowksi on one of their podcasts on Ren and Stimpy since Komorowksi wrote a book about the acrimony of the production of that show. Komorowksi said that someone ought to write a book the 1990s Warner Bros. produced animated TV shows, like Animaniacs, Tiny Toons, and Pinky and the Brain, etc. He said this because there were lots of behind the scenes acrimony during the production of these shows.
I am into animated media, but I have only seen some episodes of the Animaniacs reboot and the "One Beer" segment of Tiny Toons. I am super into literature and documentaries that focus on the behind the scenes production trouble and personalities of crew, such as owning a copy of Michael Barrier's Hollywood Cartoons, Walt Before Mickey, and the memoir Springfield Confidential . I thought a book about a certain set of shows would be interesting when written from the perspective of someone who does not have any nostalgic feeling or "fresh perspective", or at least taken more seriously behind hard-core fans.
However, I am a beginner and would like to know what things that I need to do to seriously prepare for the task of writing a serious history book. I regarded history as my favorite subject in my primary and secondary education, so I am aware of things, such as historiography and the limitations of primary sources from memory (as opposed to documented company records).
I came up with a rough outline of what I think could be covered. Yes, prior to even researching, I will buy the book On Writing Well. However, this would be the case if there is really demand for such a book while having the time and clout to get a hold of TV network archives and production staff (most of whom are retired by now, beyond the voice actors).
Chapter 1: The legacy of Looney Tunes post 1960s shutdown, biographical information of show-runner Tom Ruegger, how Steven Spielberg came into the picture after he co-produced Who Framed Roger Rabbit, how syndication and after-school broadcasting of animated media formed by the 1990s, and how Tiny Toons began.
Chapter 2: Cover Tiny Toon Adventures, include the handling of public service announcements such as the "One Beer" segment. Emphasize the backgrounds of the staff which include Sherri Stoner and Deanna Oliver from Groundlings improv, writers Tom Minton and Jim Reardon and director Kent Butterworth from Mighty Mouse the New Adventures, and how many Ren and Stimpy storyboard and layouts artists were in the first season of Tiny Toons but did not really like how board artists could not contribute to the writing. Cover the Plucky Show. Oh, refute the urban legend that the show was cancelled because of one particular stalkeharasser against, though most of the work has been done by YouTuber Bedhead Bernie.
Chapter 3: Cover Animaniacs as the main production. Cover the switch from Fox Kids to WB networks. Include on how Spielberg having the marquee value to pressure network executives to allow subtle innuendos. Settler the question whether Spielberg's role was ceremonial (just collecting checks for minimal input) by saying that he would consistently give an hour of his time to give notes. Cover the cultural impact and appeal of the show, especially among those beyond the intended audience of kids. Address whether the staff were just passionate on a variety show that they want to work beyond just kiddie fair.
Chapter 4: Cover the spin-offs of the Animaniacs, primarily Pinky and the Brain and the spin-off Pinky, Elmyra, and the Brian, in which even the lyrics made of the executive decisions to produce the latter.
Chapter 5: While Ruegger had little to with Batman the Animated Series aside from enabling its development into being green-lit, this show should be included.
Chapter 6: Cover other Ruegger produced shows, such as Freakazoid, Road Rover, Hysteria! Trevor Thompson of the YouTube persona The Looney Tunes Critic interviewed Tom Minton for doing the episode "Toby Danger" in Freakazoid. Afterwards, include the downfall of Fox Kids and WB, which slowed the careers of those involved, including Ruegger.
Chapter 7: Cover the 2020 Hulu Animaniacs. Emphasize that Ruegger was never contacted about the decision of Hulu to green-lit a reboot to the point he found at when the announcements were made to the general public. Cover the decisions to not include most writing and directing staff of the original beyond consulting, (of course most of the voice actors retained their roles) and how Wellesley Wild worked as the show-runner.
Again, this is a general idea and only showed what I already know of these shows.
I posted this idea to animaniacs, in which they are not against the idea of the book but skeptical of my ability since I rarely viewed much from these shows. However, I think that my non-fan status would have an "untainted" perspective that is the biases of fanbases.
What would it take to write a serious book that not only you but broader entertainment fans would be interested in checking once published? Thank you very much! As I said before, I need to read On Writing Well to become a non-fiction author. Thank you all in advance!
submitted by JStevinik to nonfictionbooks [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 03:54 RealBenjaminKerry Hybridization: The gravitational effect of foreign analysis material upon Chinese discourse over Ukraine War

The first essay
In the previous post, I have discussed about the skirmishes on all corners of the internet, the systematic destruction of idea by algorithms, and the apocalyptic wasteland that is the Chinese internet. All were discussed in the last post, however, one thing was neglected from the picture: the “eldritch influence“.
In the first post, I have mentioned an intensive effort launched by RT and CCP to shape the narrative in favor of the invasion. However, as previously mentioned, due to a myriad of reasons, the entire effort lays to waste in the lone and level sands that stretch far away. They have abandoned their old way of setting up positions on RT's main channel and their Donbass offshoot "Donbass Today". In fact, back then DPR was extremely successful in their propaganda machine before Belgorod attacks. The amount of DPR lies actually made me lost my shit multiple times. You would never want to know what ideas I had to deal with the people of Donbass, in fact it almost becomes a rage trigger to me. Despite that, the pro-Russians stragglers are still there, and they are adapting. Nobody has declared surrender yet, so the war will just drag on, as Clausewitz has observed. Many of them are now operating purely out of spite, resembling the worst of the trolls in the west and their rhetoric began to be more similar to their twitter counterpart. Meanwhile, the Russian influence campaign is still ongoing in a more insidious and covert way. The internet arguments become more like UkraineRussiaReport than RussianWarFootage. The main focus of Russian influence campaign seems to be dedicated to creating artificial disinfolklores and some legitimately weird channels showcasing how good life is in occupied Mariupol. Sometimes pro-Ukraine content creators will be subjected to mass report and get banned, but most of times they have a backup account to minimize damage.
As previously mentioned, the Chinese domestic "analysts", one being pro-Russia and the other being pro-Ukraine, both ended up being noncredible, with one being Chinese Chuck Pfarrer and the other making schizo claims like Zaluzhnyi has intimate relationship with several female service members (is this supposed to make him look bad?) Of course, people began to adapt. On the pro-Ukraine side, there is now a guy called "Regent Taboritsky" (塔博里茨基摄政王 yes, this is a TNO reference). He was formerly a pro-Russian who use Artermovisk but has changed to the Ukrainian side. Meanwhile, other "analysts" has also underwent evolution. (ignore the next two paragraphs if you just want to read noncredible)
Do you remember the TNO reference? Why does Chinese also know about that? Actually, it shaped all Chinese political discourse. Chinese internet is a wasteland at best, years of censorship and bitter warfare has drained the land of creativity and independent thought. Many of the counterculture guys who I refer as PANOP (pan-opposition, an umbrella term for modern anti-establishment Chinese) are actually pro-regime folks who ended up graduating from college and have to work 12 hours a day. Despite having changed side, they are actually just the same, same mindlessness and malice, nothing more, nothing less. Meanwhile, censorship algorithms have systematically salted the earth, so that no organized ideology apart from the official one can be present. These efforts are eventually made futile thanks to one man - JREG (yes, you can trust your eyes). His political compass memes successfully provided the PANOPs with enough munition to blow up the internet. Eventually everything related to him got censored, but then TNO was there, the weapons are now everywhere, no amount of salt would ever stop them again. It's like the wars in Japan that lead to Edo period in many regards, battles with salvaged foreign ideas and memes where getting hold of foreign material becomes an immense power multiplier.
In fact, I have a very derogatory comparison for Chinese internet's relationship to the global one: the anaerobic tank of a sewage treatment plant. The worst crap of 4chan and beyond sedimented into the Chinese one, just like how the large excrement particles sedimented into the anaerobic tank after the initial aerobic respiration, and our netizens feasted on it like bacteria feasted on the fresh excrements. (my knowledge of sewage treatment comes from IGCSE biology, so it might be inaccurate). One of the most terrifying case of how this can influence Chinese internet was the alt-righters in '16. Actually, the largest case of the great meme war spillover was in China. During that time, everyone was fuming about Baizuo, the Chinese equivalent of SJW, while some others do stand for Bernie, most are taking up Great Replacement Theory and mocking Trans ideology. Many began to take Breivik as a hero and claim refugees are swarming Europe. Pizzagate was also a widespread meme back then. This exposure left a mark in the Chinese internet culture, which partially contributed to the recent surge in antisemitism in '23. To be honest with you all, after spending years on Chinese internet, I just can't stand regular Chinese netizen calling Azov guys neo-Nazi, they should look into the nearest mirror.
The hybridization described above then contributes to a new evolution of Chinese online discourse over the Ukraine war. Chinese posters are expert trolls and partisans, but they have a fundamental lack of first hand knowledge regarding war in Ukraine. Thus, contact with foreign sources becomes essential. On Zhihu, there are several accounts that have access to twitter OSINT accounts (accounts that are highly regarded by professionals). The most notable being Ducling, who have been a staunch pro-Ukraine guy with liberal tendency. He made a reference to Emil Kastehelmi:"The Russian 'Special Military Operation' is getting increasingly special, even after day 453" for an question about the Belgorod attack. He also made a cope compilation (the most favored tactic of Chinese pro-Ukraine accounts, known as 合订本, that collects all the past pro-Russian claims as a method of discrediting the pro-Russians. Often with great effect ) of claims surrounding Bakhmut. For people who can't understand the information presented, Chinese internet slang was often designed to evade censorship and is highly informal, so you shouldn't understand it at all. There's another OSINT guy called Suyi控, who made the best analysis of the Discord files ever. Chinese OSINT guys tend to have a boner for Syrskyi, me included. Memelords have also adopted some stuff from twitter, I remember seeing the Putin attending Nuremburg escorted by fellas wearing MP uniforms on the profile on one of the accounts. At the same time, there are also pro-Russians who use the John McBurgers of Ohio oblast under Zelensky's tweet as proof of Ukraine is losing. This tactic can be incredibly effective due to confirmation bias, and in many cases RT have used the exact same material to propagandize both Chinese and Americans.
Bilibili, due to the limitations mentioned in the first article, relies on cruder extraction. There is a guy called Deepstate-carry (Deepstate-搬运) who basically cargo-cult through deepstatemap's telegram. In my opinion, the best combat footages come from a guy called Okken sight (欧肯视线), who is a true neutral source regarding combat footage, he contain a slight Russian bias but his videos are neutral, which led to him being criticized by both pro-Russians and pro-Ukrainians. I'd recommend folks on this sub who drank too much pro-Ukraine vranyo to be tied on a chair forced to watch his videos of both Russian and Ukrainian combat losses to remove overt bias and complacency. Meanwhile there are other pro-Ukrainian accounts such as CarlPacho (卡尔帕乔) who uploads Ukrainian combat footages and is a pro-Ukraine guy himself, recently he got banned but he's got a backup account. Meanwhile there are people translating Battle Order's videos, such as a guy called 101eagle and a guy who's called Marine rifleman (四等人的步枪兵). On Bilibili the materials used are often of inferior quality such a a gal doing analysis who is called frosty leaves of a thousand spring (千秋霜叶), her sources include Weeb Union (HistoryLegends' pal) and Chuck Pfarrer. She's pro-Ukraine by the way.
Now we have talked through all the developments of the pro-Ukraine side, let's face the pro-Russian abyss. As mentioned before, Bilibili has access to inferior foreign materials. Meanwhile pro-Russians coopt the pro-Russian war blogger model. The most notorious model being a guy known as SnailColgiweibo (蜗牛柯基weibo) who is basically a Rybar copycat, he is capable of mimicking Rybar to an astonishing degree and has the ability to cheer during Kyiv bombing (what about Donbass). I'd recommend you to stay away from Chinese internet unless you want to be dehumanized like me.
Recently, another person called Atuna (阿吞啊) popped up, he is some of the most capable pro-Russian ever. At first, he came out with translation of a RUSI report. However, in his next video, he uses HistoryLegends. Calling him a "neutral pro-Ukraine source". He marked a dangerous new development of pro-Russian messaging, the ability to use actual credible western sources to their advantage. Furthermore, there is another analyst called Mt. Guandong peasant Wangdaxi (关东山农民王大喜), who made a video detailing RUSI's latest report. He took great note of the adaptation by the Russian armed forces while dismissing the mentions of poor Russian morale as "western hubris", "illogical" and "political correctness". The Wangdaxi person is actually a protégé of sort of the person who claimed Russia is going to take Lviv (that guy deserves his own article), and it seems like now there's an advanced sect of pro-Russian who have access to information. One of his fans in the comments even took a jab at Suyi控, indicating a capability to compete with even the most experienced Zhihu OSINTer. And to make it worse, HistoryLegend serves as a force multiplier of this next-generation pro-Russia crowd. He is basically an A-10 in this "comment section war", he and his pal WeebUnion exerts little use to pro-Russians on YouTube, Reddit and twitter, as the pro-Russian effort is largely focused on amplifying western internal grievances such as the border crisis and China baiting. On 4chan his soyjak face will get mocked to oblivion. However, he truly shines in China. Perun's videos are too lengthy to be translated, meanwhile military history visualized have a long interval and Lazerpig is relatively obscure in China due to meme incompatibility and being too noncredible, he is unrivaled. The way he feigned a neutral pro-Ukraine stance makes it even more damaging, even to the point of starting a disinfolklore began to be built around him, claiming he cried during the fall of Bakhmut, claiming he was a pro-Ukraine guy ostracized by other due to unwilling to follow blindly pro-UA lines.
Warning: Schizo rant below, proceed with caution
Want to hear my stance? Well, maybe they are the right guys all along. I'm not really a member of this sub, I'm always cynical, always skeptical, and always doubtful. Whenever I see the next generation pro-Russians, I become shrouded in doubts. What if they are right? In many cases pro-Ukraine folks are drawn into intellectual traps, such as the need to hold Bakhmut, a city with little strategical importance. And a lack of acknowledgement of Russian adaptation. It could be the Winter War all over again, the Finn fought valiantly, but who controls Karelia now? I have an irrational fear, may it remain irrational, that the average NCD user is no better than the new generation of pro-Russians, that we also lack any critical thinking capability like a mindless horde. The doubt just echoes inside me, it accompanies me whenever I saw a Ukraine flag on someone's twitter handle. Such cynicism often end up manifesting into outbursts against pro-Ukraine positions on reddit. I took a grim enjoyment being the "conscience of NCD" where I regard many as vranyo obsessed individuals no better than the vatniks. If there's anyone reading the passage whose uncle work at GUR, don't ask him to [REDACTED] that soyjak off the surface of the earth. Don't. Chinese opinion does not chance the course of the war. If I have a button to delete Jackson Hinkle's twitter account at the course of every single pro-Ukraine account in China, I'd press it. We can achieve nothing, absolutely nothing. It's a losing battle from the beginning. Such is the reality of Chinese internet.
I see a bad moon rising.
submitted by RealBenjaminKerry to NonCredibleDefense [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:22 Boneyard_Tales The Church on the Hill

Short Synopsis
A young boy with an interest in local history and cemeteries learns about life and the value of friendship when he meets a child named Peter in the local cemetery that may not be all that he seems.

When I was a kid I had a fascination with graveyards, burial grounds and old churches. I wouldn’t call this a morbid fascination but more of a learning place for a kid of the age of 5 or 6 to explore death and what it means to be remembered by loved ones and friends. As this fascination grew it lead me to the study of local history which would become a keen interest for the rest of life.
My great uncle Tom, who was a mountain of a man as he had worked all of his life as a miner in the local pits, encouraged this interest I had shown in history and at my behest, after Uncle Tom picked me up from school, we would often take long walks with his mongrel dog Tina around the local cemetery. The cemetery was scattered around the large hillside of the local church on the hill. The church cut quite an imposing presence in the small village I grew up in, as it seemed to loom over the whole place sitting high above the rows of houses, local pub and farms. Everyone in the village attended the church at least a few times a week, but at night it was considered a spooky place to the children in the village and my friends considered me very odd and often ridiculed me for my interest in the place and I gained the affectionate nickname Spooky Steven. This wasn’t a bad thing, it was just kids playing around and now we are all grown, we often all sit together having a pint in the local pub and laugh about it. I had my fair share of pokes of fun at them too when we were kids, there was no Internet or game consoles back in those days, so entertainment was what we would make it.
The church was ancient and had gravestones and markers now crumbling with the decay of age that dated as far back as the Anglo Saxon period of Great Britain. This history always fascinated me and it became a common practice for me to head to the graveyard, most often alone in my youth, and make grave rubbings to find names from the past and look them up in the local archives at the town library. This small library was full of old documents such as land registry papers and birth or death records which dated back for hundreds of years, it was like google before computers. I would spend hours in there till closing time at 6pm, looking through all these ancient records and when names came up again and again in certain papers, you could slowly build up a picture of someone’s life. You could see when they were born, who they worked for, who they married and how their lives progressed, most of the older papers ended up with people inheriting land or buying farms and making their way as countryside workers, it was enthralling to me. I think it made me realise early in my life, that if you say someone’s name aloud or read it, that person’s memory is still alive. Even at a young age I found that rather comforting.
Listening to this I’m sure you can imagine I was a bit of a loner, you don’t get the nickname Spooky Steven for being the captain of the football team. No-one was ever cruel to me or anything, I was bullied a little for being different and that was upsetting at times but I wasn’t bothered and I always just kind of did my own thing, so you can imagine I was happy when at about 12 years of age I found a friend who was interested in the same things as I was.
One beautiful summer afternoon while in the graveyard among some shady ancient oaks swaying in the breeze, I was taking some graphite rubbings in a particularly old part of the cemetery and I meet a boy named Peter. Looking back it’s strange that I didn’t know Peter from school, but you don’t think about these things at a young age. When ever I was in that part of the cemetery Peter would often turn up unexpectedly and talk to me about what I was doing and why I was interested in these old names from the past. He was full of information and seemed old for his 13 years, he talked about a lot of the old names on the gravestones as if they were still living. He would tell me about Mr Jones the welsh baker, who spoke with such a strong accent that he was hard to understand and how John Blakley the blacksmith would often let the local children into his shop and teach them how to use the kilns and pay them a small wage for helping him keep the fires burning good and hot. I checked out all of these people that Peter talked about in the library and they were all legitimate people who had lived in the town often hundreds of years in the past. I didn’t question this as Peter would have access to the same documents from history that I did, but I had never seen Peter in the library and I was there most afternoons.
On another occasion Peter told me that he was made to leave school and work from a young age because his father had died in a farming accident, so he had been put to work to help support his family. These times I met Peter we’re all in the late 1980’s and early 90’s and it was only when I began to get a little older that I started to think Peter was not from around here. There was no way a boy of 13 years old would be allowed to work at the hard labour Jobs that Peter talked about doing. Drystone walling or working in the fields are highly dangerous jobs that deal with heavy equipment and chemicals that a child of that age would never be allowed to use in this day and age. But, still I thought nothing of it at first, my young ego thought that maybe he was trying to impress me so I would be his friend. I started to ask about him at school amongst my friends and then the teachers and no-one knew who this boy was. I was again ridiculed for having an imaginary friend so I took a bunch of school friends to the church yard to meet him, but he would never show when I was there with other people. This became very frustrating, so I stopped talking about him.
After about a year or two of meeting with Peter on a few different occasions in the cemetery, I began to notice things that were odd or different about him. The clothes he wore seemed old fashioned and unlike me he didn’t seem to be getting any older, at that age kids grow at an accelerated rate and I was already almost a whole foot taller, but Peter had remained the same. On the last day I saw Peter in those years I questioned him about his clothes and the way he looked and he took great offence to this, his eyes welled up and tears began to roll down his cheeks. I told him I was sorry and that I wouldn’t mention this again, he then said to me some words that I will never forget “Its ok” he said through his tears “It’s been my absolute pleasure to spend this time with you. Just do me a small solid and say my name every once in a while when you are here, I’d appreciate that” he then smiled at me in a way that breaks my heart when I remember it and walked away into a shady part of the cemetery and that was the last time I would see him as a child.
By the time I was around 16 years of age the local historian knew me by name and we had developed a friendship and she began to tell me stories from the past which were not written in any of the history books. Some of the stories she told me were spooky ones about hauntings and other strange paranormal stories of local legends. Because of this interest she had and the passion with which she told me these tales of local occurrences, I felt comfortable enough with her to mention Peter. Her eyes lit up and she asked me to please tell her more. I told her everything and we stayed together well passed closing time looking up names and histories of local residents but we couldn’t find anything about about a young local worker named Peter, however we did find information in a record about the death of a local farmer in his 40s who was crushed in an accident with his wheat plough in the summer of 1889. The strangest part of the story is still to come.
Later in life when I turned 18 I was a regular in the village pub and became very friendly with the landlord and often did shifts in the bar serving in the evening to help pay my way through college where I took a bachelor’s degree in history. In the summer for extra pay the landlord asked me if I were interested in clearing out some of the old attic spaces to get the place ready for an extension that they were going to build. The extra money was welcome so I agreed and that is where the most amazing thing happened. Amongst all the cobweb ridden stacks of books, papers and a wealth of old furniture I found a framed portrait from a very old 1890’s camera. The picture was of a boy laying dead on a bed of flowers on one of the big old wooden tables in the pub, it was Peter. I rummaged around and to my amazement I found hidden in the back of the frame an old newspaper clipping about the death of a 13 year old chimney sweep named Peter Robinson. I was not afraid, but the revelation came as more a relief to know that perhaps I wasn’t crazy and that Peter had reached out to me from somewhere beyond our own understanding of this world. I chose not to mention this to anyone as Peter had never shown himself to anyone else and it felt it would have betrayed our friendship that had occurred in those early years of my youth.
A few weeks later I found myself drawn back to that shady part of the church on the hill amongst those ancient oaks and mossy gravestones with bottle of beer in my hand. It was a beautiful day, there was a gentle breeze and the crickets, birds and insects chatted in the gentle afternoon, just like those summer days I had spend in this place as child with my Uncle Tom and Tina who were now themselves long since departed. I rose the bottle of beer in the air and said Peter’s name out loud and for a brief moment, from the corner of my eye I thought I saw the flicker of a boy standing in the distance in the summer shade and a smile spread across my face. That day I learned a lesson for good, that if we think of those who are dead and gone and remember them out loud they will live on and never be forgotten.
The End
Written By John Renney
submitted by Boneyard_Tales to ChillingApp [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 03:08 facile32 Top 10 Fanfics of 2011

I just thought it'd be fun to go through the years of MLP fanfiction and pick out some good old fics.
The actual oldest G4 fics were probably on 4chan in 2010 but those are probably gone. The only scrap of 2010 fanfiction I can find are a few on Fanfiction.net. Of those few, my favorite is The Make Me Better Boutique. It's cute Pinkiedash fluff. So I guess that's my favorite MLP fic of 2010.
Now for 2011. Many of the links are going to say the stories were published in 2012, but 2012 had a lot of people moving their old fics onto FiMfiction from google docs or wherever their fics were since FiMfiction didn't become the main hub for fanfiction until late 2011 and 2012.
  1. Where Earth Meets Sky - Cloudy Skies
Cloudy Skies was a prolific writer from 2011 to 2012. He put out a lot of great ship fics with uncommon pairings and always made them work. This is no exception as this is still the most convincing Appleshy fic out there.
  1. The Vinyl Scratch Tapes - Corey_
This is my favorite Octascratch fic. It's not necessarily the best at capturing their dynamic, but it's best at doing it in a romantic context. They are cute together. There's a lot of great banter and Vinyl's energy is a lot of fun. I also appreciate that there more to the fic than just jokes. Vinyl goes through real development and that surprised me in a good way when I got to it.
  1. Causality - Abalidoth
This is one of my favorite Twipie fics. Even over a decade later, it still holds up as one of the most creative and compelling ways of getting them. The scene after their dinner date is straight up one of my favorites in any shipfic.
  1. Somewhere Only We Know - PatchworkPoltergeist
The idea of Equestria just being a fantasy is nothing new, but this fic pulls it off so well. The contrast between fantasy and reality is great, especially the transitions at the beginning and end.
  1. Twilight Sparkle vs. Bridle-Zilla - Tumbleweed
This is just really funny. All of the mane six get a moment to shine. The pacing is nice and quick and everyone's exaggerated in a way to make them funny, but not out of character.
  1. Storm - Kits
This is a very bittersweet story. A storm devastated Ponyville and a part of the does reflect on that, showing the damage and the characters' reactions. Yet the story focuses more on the efforts to repel the storm and to rebuild after. Despite the destruction, there's an sense that everyone did what they could to help and a hope that things will get better.
  1. The Best Night Ever - Capn_Chryssalid
The works both as a tribute to Groundhog Day and a great story in its own right. It hits a lot of the beats from Groundhog Day, but the fic puts its own spin on things and isn't afraid to deviate. It's extremely funny and still has time for a well written Blueblood redemption.
  1. The Little Pink Pony - AbsoluteAnonymous
This might just be the most dated fic on this list. It is so 2011 that it hurts. It uses all of the old fanon names for Pinkie's family, it's a tragic backstory for Pinkie, and it has a split between Pinkie and Pinkamena (though Pinkamena is not a crazy murderer). It is such a product of its time and it's still great. It's easy to look past all of the dated names because the story being told is still sad and compelling. One of the scenes near the end is especially powerful.
  1. Memories Of Those Friends Who've Gone Before Us - WTFHIW
This is simply one of the most powerful MLP fics out there. Twilight is captured perfectly, the bookseller is a fantastic OC that feels like he was always part of the show. It touches on themes of death without coming off as edgy or immature. If the show ever talked about death in its early seasons, it would probably look like this. It's just a shame that only people with an AO3 account can see it since it's locked. The fic was originally on google docs and the Pony Fiction Archive since this was march of 2011. Now, the google doc link doesn't work and the PFA got discontinued and is now part of AO3.
  1. Sparkle's Law - Aesthetic B
I already talked about this in my list of my favorite fanfics so I'll just say once again that this is the funniest fic I've ever read and everyone should read it.
submitted by facile32 to mylittlepony [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 00:30 s2kfred Failing to run X-Plane 12 on Fedora

I bought X-Plane 12 a few months ago on Steam, a couple of weeks before I retired my old gaming PC and built my new one with latest hardware and moved from Ubuntu 22.04 to Fedora 38 to have a more up to date Linux kernel and Mesa drivers.
X-Plane 12 worked just fine on my old gaming PC but I have not been able to get it to run on my new gaming PC:
New Gaming PC Hardware: OS: Fedora 38 Linux Kernel: 6.3.4-201 Mesa: 23.1.1 OpenGL 4.6 CPU: AMD 7950X3D GPU: MSI AMD RX 7900XTX Motherboard: Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme X670E RAM: Corsair 64 GB DDR5 6000 Mhz
Old Gaming PC Hardware: OS: Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Linux Kernel: don't remember Mesa: don't remember CPU: Intel i5 6600 4 core GPU: AMD RX 6600XT RAM: 32GB DDR4 3000 Mhz
X-Plane 11 ran native on my old PC, and runs native on my new PC. X-Plane 12 ran native in my old PC but running it native on my new PC, when I press Play, it says running, and after a few minutes it shuts down and it will not generate a log.txt file.
Plane Maker, and Airfoil Maker will start, just X-plane 12 will not.
This is the log.txt file when I run Plane Maker or Airfoil Maker native.
log.txt for Plane Maker 12.05r1 (build 120504 Intel 64-bit, Vulkan f7b628ec95e0ea64bb6d708dfc264044be6263f1) Compiled on Apr 27 2023 17:21:35 Plane Maker Started on Thu Jun 1 17:59:14 2023 This log file is generated automatically by Laminar Research applications and contains diagnostics about your graphics hardware, installation, and any error conditions. If you need to contact tech support or file a bug, please send us this file. NOTE: this file is rewritten every time you start ANY of your X-System applications. processor : 0 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 1 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 5041.136 processor : 2 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 3 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 2887.126 processor : 4 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 5049.340 processor : 5 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 6 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 7 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 8 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 5241.128 processor : 9 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 10 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 2994.738 processor : 11 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 12 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 13 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 2998.678 processor : 14 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 15 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 16 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 17 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 4339.193 processor : 18 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 4200.000 processor : 19 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 20 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 5249.882 processor : 21 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 22 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 23 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 2860.347 processor : 24 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 4648.983 processor : 25 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 2987.044 processor : 26 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 2948.468 processor : 27 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 2781.992 processor : 28 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 3000.000 processor : 29 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 2997.501 processor : 30 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 2998.418 processor : 31 model name : AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor cpu MHz : 2992.535 MemTotal: 64945948 kB X-System folder:'/home/crossfadeDesktop/NAS/Steam Games/steamapps/common/X-Plane 12/', case sensitive=1 0:00:00.000 D/TRN: Unable to determine default language. May need to prompt the user to select. 0:00:00.000 W/TRN: Resetting language selection to force user selection Vulkan Layers : VK_LAYER_VALVE_steam_overlay_32 (1), VK_LAYER_VALVE_steam_overlay_64 (1), VK_LAYER_VALVE_steam_fossilize_32 (1), VK_LAYER_VALVE_steam_fossilize_64 (1), VK_LAYER_VKBASALT_post_processing (1), VK_LAYER_MANGOHUD_overlay (1), VK_LAYER_MANGOHUD_overlay (1), VK_LAYER_MESA_device_select (1) 0:00:00.000 W/GFX/VK: Unknown device vendor ID 10005, for device llvmpipe (LLVM 16.0.4, 256 bits) (skipping) Vulkan Device : AMD Radeon Graphics (RADV GFX1100) () Vulkan Version : 1.3.246 Vulkan Driver : 23.1.1 Vulkan Extensions : VK_KHR_8bit_storage VK_KHR_16bit_storage VK_KHR_acceleration_structure VK_KHR_bind_memory2 VK_KHR_buffer_device_address VK_KHR_copy_commands2 VK_KHR_create_renderpass2 VK_KHR_dedicated_allocation VK_KHR_deferred_host_operations VK_KHR_depth_stencil_resolve VK_KHR_descriptor_update_template VK_KHR_device_group VK_KHR_draw_indirect_count VK_KHR_driver_properties VK_KHR_dynamic_rendering VK_KHR_external_fence VK_KHR_external_fence_fd VK_KHR_external_memory VK_KHR_external_memory_fd VK_KHR_external_semaphore VK_KHR_external_semaphore_fd VK_KHR_format_feature_flags2 VK_KHR_fragment_shading_rate VK_KHR_get_memory_requirements2 VK_KHR_global_priority VK_KHR_image_format_list VK_KHR_imageless_framebuffer VK_KHR_incremental_present VK_KHR_maintenance1 VK_KHR_maintenance2 VK_KHR_maintenance3 VK_KHR_maintenance4 VK_KHR_map_memory2 VK_KHR_multiview VK_KHR_pipeline_executable_properties VK_KHR_pipeline_library VK_KHR_present_id VK_KHR_present_wait VK_KHR_push_descriptor VK_KHR_ray_query VK_KHR_ray_tracing_maintenance1 VK_KHR_relaxed_block_layout VK_KHR_sampler_mirror_clamp_to_edge VK_KHR_sampler_ycbcr_conversion VK_KHR_separate_depth_stencil_layouts VK_KHR_shader_atomic_int64 VK_KHR_shader_clock VK_KHR_shader_draw_parameters VK_KHR_shader_float16_int8 VK_KHR_shader_float_controls VK_KHR_shader_integer_dot_product VK_KHR_shader_non_semantic_info VK_KHR_shader_subgroup_extended_types VK_KHR_shader_subgroup_uniform_control_flow VK_KHR_shader_terminate_invocation VK_KHR_spirv_1_4 VK_KHR_storage_buffer_storage_class VK_KHR_swapchain VK_KHR_swapchain_mutable_format VK_KHR_synchronization2 VK_KHR_timeline_semaphore VK_KHR_uniform_buffer_standard_layout VK_KHR_variable_pointers VK_KHR_vulkan_memory_model VK_KHR_workgroup_memory_explicit_layout VK_KHR_zero_initialize_workgroup_memory VK_EXT_4444_formats VK_EXT_attachment_feedback_loop_layout VK_EXT_border_color_swizzle VK_EXT_buffer_device_address VK_EXT_calibrated_timestamps VK_EXT_color_write_enable VK_EXT_conditional_rendering VK_EXT_conservative_rasterization VK_EXT_custom_border_color VK_EXT_depth_clip_control VK_EXT_depth_clip_enable VK_EXT_depth_range_unrestricted VK_EXT_descriptor_buffer VK_EXT_descriptor_indexing VK_EXT_discard_rectangles VK_EXT_display_control VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state2 VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state3 VK_EXT_external_memory_dma_buf VK_EXT_external_memory_host VK_EXT_global_priority VK_EXT_global_priority_query VK_EXT_graphics_pipeline_library VK_EXT_host_query_reset VK_EXT_image_2d_view_of_3d VK_EXT_image_drm_format_modifier VK_EXT_image_robustness VK_EXT_image_sliced_view_of_3d VK_EXT_image_view_min_lod VK_EXT_index_type_uint8 VK_EXT_inline_uniform_block VK_EXT_line_rasterization VK_EXT_load_store_op_none VK_EXT_memory_budget VK_EXT_memory_priority VK_EXT_mesh_shader VK_EXT_multi_draw VK_EXT_mutable_descriptor_type VK_EXT_non_seamless_cube_map VK_EXT_pci_bus_info VK_EXT_physical_device_drm VK_EXT_pipeline_creation_cache_control VK_EXT_pipeline_creation_feedback VK_EXT_post_depth_coverage VK_EXT_primitive_topology_list_restart VK_EXT_primitives_generated_query VK_EXT_private_data VK_EXT_provoking_vertex VK_EXT_queue_family_foreign VK_EXT_robustness2 VK_EXT_sampler_filter_minmax VK_EXT_scalar_block_layout VK_EXT_separate_stencil_usage VK_EXT_shader_atomic_float VK_EXT_shader_atomic_float2 VK_EXT_shader_demote_to_helper_invocation VK_EXT_shader_image_atomic_int64 VK_EXT_shader_module_identifier VK_EXT_shader_stencil_export VK_EXT_shader_subgroup_ballot VK_EXT_shader_subgroup_vote VK_EXT_shader_viewport_index_layer VK_EXT_subgroup_size_control VK_EXT_swapchain_maintenance1 VK_EXT_texel_buffer_alignment VK_EXT_transform_feedback VK_EXT_vertex_attribute_divisor VK_EXT_vertex_input_dynamic_state VK_EXT_ycbcr_image_arrays VK_AMD_buffer_marker VK_AMD_device_coherent_memory VK_AMD_draw_indirect_count VK_AMD_gcn_shader VK_AMD_gpu_shader_half_float VK_AMD_gpu_shader_int16 VK_AMD_memory_overallocation_behavior VK_AMD_mixed_attachment_samples VK_AMD_shader_ballot VK_AMD_shader_core_properties VK_AMD_shader_core_properties2 VK_AMD_shader_early_and_late_fragment_tests VK_AMD_shader_explicit_vertex_parameter VK_AMD_shader_image_load_store_lod VK_AMD_shader_trinary_minmax VK_GOOGLE_decorate_string VK_GOOGLE_hlsl_functionality1 VK_GOOGLE_user_type VK_INTEL_shader_integer_functions2 VK_NV_compute_shader_derivatives VK_VALVE_mutable_descriptor_type Vulkan Instance Extensions: VK_KHR_device_group_creation VK_KHR_display VK_KHR_external_fence_capabilities VK_KHR_external_memory_capabilities VK_KHR_external_semaphore_capabilities VK_KHR_get_display_properties2 VK_KHR_get_physical_device_properties2 VK_KHR_get_surface_capabilities2 VK_KHR_surface VK_KHR_surface_protected_capabilities VK_KHR_wayland_surface VK_KHR_xcb_surface VK_KHR_xlib_surface VK_EXT_acquire_drm_display VK_EXT_acquire_xlib_display VK_EXT_debug_report VK_EXT_debug_utils VK_EXT_direct_mode_display VK_EXT_display_surface_counter VK_EXT_swapchain_colorspace VK_EXT_surface_maintenance1 VK_KHR_portability_enumeration VK_LUNARG_direct_driver_loading checkpoints : 0 aftermath : 0 anisotropic_avail : 1 coarse_timer_avail : 1 precise_timer_avail : 1 tess_avail : 0 geom_avail : 0 viewport_arr : 1 layer_arr : 1 native_reverse_z : 1 has_reverse_z : 1 max iso filtering : 16 max samples : 3 max texture size : 16384 (hardware limit) max tex units : 8388606 persistent map : 1 msaa shader write : 1 This video card is bucketed as: Vulkan with async compute 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: Surface formats for surface: 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: VK_FORMAT_B8G8R8A8_SRGB 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: VK_FORMAT_B8G8R8A8_UNORM 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: Picked VK_FORMAT_B8G8R8A8_SRGB as the common window surface format 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: Surface 0x43ef9a0: 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: minImageCount 3: 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: maxImageCount 3: 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: supportedUsageFlags 8009f: 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: supported modes: 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: VK_PRESENT_MODE_MAILBOX_KHR: 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: VK_PRESENT_MODE_IMMEDIATE_KHR: 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: VK_PRESENT_MODE_FIFO_KHR: 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: VK_PRESENT_MODE_FIFO_RELAXED_KHR: 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: Created swapchain for 0x3639d90 with size { 1280x768x5 }. Mode: VK_PRESENT_MODE_MAILBOX_KHR Queue 0: Generic, Presentation, (VK_QUEUE_GRAPHICS_BITVK_QUEUE_COMPUTE_BITVK_QUEUE_TRANSFER_BITVK_QUEUE_SPARSE_BINDING_BIT) Queue 1: Transfer, Async Compute, (VK_QUEUE_COMPUTE_BITVK_QUEUE_TRANSFER_BITVK_QUEUE_SPARSE_BINDING_BIT) Heap info ( 2 heaps) Heap 0 - Flags: Unhandled VkMemoryHeapFlagBits, Size: 33252325376 Heap 1 - Flags: VK_MEMORY_HEAP_DEVICE_LOCAL_BIT, Size: 25753026560 Memory type info (11 types) Heap: 1, Flags: VK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_LOCAL_BIT Heap: 1, Flags: VK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_LOCAL_BIT Heap: 0, Flags: VK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_VISIBLE_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_COHERENT_BIT Heap: 1, Flags: VK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_LOCAL_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_VISIBLE_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_COHERENT_BIT Heap: 1, Flags: VK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_LOCAL_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_VISIBLE_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_COHERENT_BIT Heap: 0, Flags: VK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_VISIBLE_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_COHERENT_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_CACHED_BIT Heap: 0, Flags: VK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_VISIBLE_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_COHERENT_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_CACHED_BIT Heap: 1, Flags: VK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_LOCAL_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_COHERENT_BIT_AMDVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_UNCACHED_BIT_AMD Heap: 0, Flags: VK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_VISIBLE_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_COHERENT_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_COHERENT_BIT_AMDVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_UNCACHED_BIT_AMD Heap: 1, Flags: VK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_LOCAL_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_VISIBLE_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_COHERENT_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_COHERENT_BIT_AMDVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_UNCACHED_BIT_AMD Heap: 0, Flags: VK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_VISIBLE_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_COHERENT_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_HOST_CACHED_BITVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_COHERENT_BIT_AMDVK_MEMORY_PROPERTY_DEVICE_UNCACHED_BIT_AMD All Vulkan devices discovered: AMD Radeon Graphics (RADV GFX1100) AMD Radeon Graphics (RADV RAPHAEL_MENDOCINO) llvmpipe (LLVM 16.0.4, 256 bits) Diagnostics : memory Device memory : 21429092352 Host memory : 32985274368 OpenGL bridge device: OpenGL Vendor : AMD OpenGL Render : AMD Radeon Graphics (gfx1100, LLVM 16.0.4, DRM 3.52, 6.3.4-201.fc38.x86_64) OpenGL Version : 4.6 (Compatibility Profile) Mesa 23.1.1 (460/0) OpenGL Extensions : GL_ARB_multisample GL_EXT_abgr GL_EXT_bgra GL_EXT_blend_color GL_EXT_blend_minmax GL_EXT_blend_subtract GL_EXT_copy_texture GL_EXT_subtexture GL_EXT_texture_object GL_EXT_vertex_array GL_EXT_compiled_vertex_array GL_EXT_texture GL_EXT_texture3D GL_IBM_rasterpos_clip GL_ARB_point_parameters GL_EXT_draw_range_elements GL_EXT_packed_pixels GL_EXT_point_parameters GL_EXT_rescale_normal GL_EXT_separate_specular_color GL_EXT_texture_edge_clamp GL_SGIS_generate_mipmap GL_SGIS_texture_border_clamp GL_SGIS_texture_edge_clamp GL_SGIS_texture_lod GL_ARB_framebuffer_sRGB GL_ARB_multitexture GL_EXT_framebuffer_sRGB GL_IBM_multimode_draw_arrays GL_IBM_texture_mirrored_repeat GL_ARB_texture_cube_map GL_ARB_texture_env_add GL_ARB_transpose_matrix GL_EXT_blend_func_separate GL_EXT_fog_coord GL_EXT_multi_draw_arrays GL_EXT_secondary_color GL_EXT_texture_env_add GL_EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic GL_EXT_texture_lod_bias GL_INGR_blend_func_separate GL_NV_blend_square GL_NV_light_max_exponent GL_NV_texgen_reflection GL_NV_texture_env_combine4 GL_S3_s3tc GL_SUN_multi_draw_arrays GL_ARB_texture_border_clamp GL_ARB_texture_compression GL_EXT_framebuffer_object GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc GL_EXT_texture_env_combine GL_EXT_texture_env_dot3 GL_MESA_window_pos GL_NV_packed_depth_stencil GL_NV_texture_rectangle GL_ARB_depth_texture GL_ARB_occlusion_query GL_ARB_shadow GL_ARB_texture_env_combine GL_ARB_texture_env_crossbar GL_ARB_texture_env_dot3 GL_ARB_texture_mirrored_repeat GL_ARB_window_pos GL_ATI_fragment_shader GL_EXT_stencil_two_side GL_EXT_texture_cube_map GL_NV_copy_depth_to_color GL_NV_depth_clamp 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GL_ARB_spirv_extensions GL_EXT_window_rectangles GL_MESA_shader_integer_functions GL_ARB_polygon_offset_clamp GL_ARB_texture_filter_anisotropic GL_EXT_memory_object GL_EXT_memory_object_fd GL_EXT_semaphore GL_EXT_semaphore_fd GL_KHR_parallel_shader_compile GL_NV_alpha_to_coverage_dither_control GL_EXT_EGL_image_storage GL_EXT_texture_shadow_lod GL_INTEL_blackhole_render GL_MESA_framebuffer_flip_y GL_NV_compute_shader_derivatives GL_EXT_EGL_sync GL_EXT_demote_to_helper_invocation GL_NV_ES1_1_compatibility CPU count : 32 0:00:00.000 I/wmgr: Monitor 0: { 3840, 0, 3840, 2160 } 0:00:00.000 I/wmgr: Re-building fbos for window 0x35dac10 using pool 5 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/legacy_flat_mapping.xsv with hash: 2bf71c83df75c515ed55da5c046e5d2 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/legacy_flat.xsa with hash: 3ac8ea5bfc47121dba80acebdbcd132 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/legacy_depth_mapping.xsv with hash: a1d82618b9a11fc710785317e4a063c3 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/legacy_depth.xsa with hash: 785ae5d0a642ed86d364f9fb2a6299 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/blit_mapping.xsv with hash: 635da81bce30e6ee2b7fb650dbfa93a4 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/blit.xsa with hash: 314124f5dc839a3e4665d7f3b3ea9812 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/font_mapping.xsv with hash: b9fee3b23fc95985975582a159db33d 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/font.xsa with hash: 707d652b055d4328292599e53dc6378 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/minify_mapping.xsv with hash: fef9e8a33f6fcff058a4bd7822211f 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/minify.xsa with hash: 4e787683bae644adbf8d3bbfb892191c 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/gstack_mapping.xsv with hash: 6af33e761a47a32d315567ed49b76c 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/gstack.xsa with hash: 470f44f3332696c788de9de19b9228 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/in_place_blur_mapping.xsv with hash: f0a48b80151b2c1fc44cba6de485323 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/in_place_blur.xsa with hash: dba380599bb624f5a1559271a4283da 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/single_pass_blur_mapping.xsv with hash: 65376dbae5af6bdeb2a83736777aeaf 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/single_pass_blur.xsa with hash: f162fd4f8b04395cc59f3e122cbb17e 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/fake_terrain_mapping.xsv with hash: 50f2c53b45813aad2bda1875cbf43694 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/fake_terrain.xsa with hash: 251d5d1b471f2b93474ea8b7844cd 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/line3d_mapping.xsv with hash: b272cb73c22d98f8f960e7ebb26e83 0:00:00.000 I/GFX: Loaded archive 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Mode: VK_PRESENT_MODE_FIFO_KHR 0:00:00.000 I/wmgr: Re-building fbos for window 0x35dac10 using pool 5 0:00:00.000 I/GFX/VK: Cleared memory pool 5, allocations: 1, block bytes: 33554432 0:00:00.026 I/TEX: Target scale moved to 16.000000 0:00:02.929 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/lit_mapping.xsv with hash: f490e74126c850d96d1a2ce38731fdc7 0:00:02.929 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/lit.xsa with hash: 1a74d46bf809710acaeb8ef4901645 0:00:02.929 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/ground_lights_mapping.xsv with hash: 3ba7d53caa96dd79ae8686a6f1 0:00:02.929 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/ground_lights.xsa with hash: f676c8adcf60fb812abad8aa61e71a 0:00:02.929 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/light_mapping.xsv with hash: bee895af5f7a33f12d014913125ee3d 0:00:02.929 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/light.xsa with hash: d2c9ac43ea0e4d9e36bf230c657ab2b 0:00:02.929 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/cube_filter_compute_mapping.xsv with hash: 4435d967b5c9bf24201f5310d8c34d6c 0:00:02.929 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/cube_filter_compute.xsa with hash: b970e81c1e2de7dbb12f252c39ba2bac 0:00:02.929 I/GFX: Loaded mapping Resources/shaders/bin/cube_filter_raster_mapping.xsv with hash: a23e87eca3821a1a6859236b74b1374 0:00:02.929 I/GFX: Loaded archive Resources/shaders/bin/spv/cube_filter_raster.xsa with hash: 9f8484fce26cea42f132d19692f931b Clean exit from threads. 0:00:02.929 I/TEX: Pre-warming paging cache 0:00:02.929 I/TEX: Target scale moved to 1.000000 0:00:02.929 I/TEX: Finished pre-warming paging cache. Time taken: 0.089s 0:00:03.853 I/TEX: Target scale moved to 16.000000 
If I force compatibility with Proton, regardless of Proton version, it crashes. X-Plane 12, Plane Maker and Airfoil Maker crash.
This is the log.txt I get when I force compatibility with Proton.
log.txt for X-Plane 12.05r1 (build 120504 Intel 64-bit, Vulkan f7b628ec95e0ea64bb6d708dfc264044be6263f1) Compiled on Apr 27 2023 12:25:08 X-Plane Started on Thu Jun 1 17:56:15 2023 This log file is generated automatically by Laminar Research applications and contains diagnostics about your graphics hardware, installation, and any error conditions. If you need to contact tech support or file a bug, please send us this file. NOTE: this file is rewritten every time you start ANY of your X-System applications. Windows 10.0 (build 18363/2) This is a 64-bit version of Windows. CPU type: 8664 Physical Memory (total for computer): 75094581248 Maximum Virtual Memory (for X-Plane only): 140737488224255 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 CPU 0: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D 16-Core Processor Speed (mhz): 5758 X-System folder:'Z:\home/crossfadeDesktop/NAS/Steam Games/steamapps/common/X-Plane 12/', case sensitive=0 0:00:00.000 E/GFX: GFX bridge doesn't support required extension GL_EXT_memory_object_win32 0:00:00.000 E/GFX: GFX bridge doesn't support required extension GL_EXT_semaphore_win32 0:00:00.000 E/GFX: Failed to initialize Vulkan 0:00:00.000 E/GFX: Vulkan layer reported: An extension required to run the OpenGL bridge is not supported on 4.6 (Compatibility Profile) Mesa 23.1.1 An extension required to run the OpenGL bridge is not supported on 4.6 (Compatibility Profile) Mesa 23.1.1 0:00:00.000 E/SYS: MACIBM_alert: X-Plane failed to initialize Vulkan and can't run. 0:00:00.000 E/SYS: MACIBM_alert: An extension required to run the OpenGL bridge is not supported on 4.6 (Compatibility Profile) Mesa 23.1.1 An extension required to run the OpenGL bridge is not supported on 4.6 (Compatibility Profile) Mesa 23.1.1 0:00:00.000 E/SYS: MACIBM_alert: See the Log.txt file for detailed error information. 0:00:00.000 E/SYS: MACIBM_alert: 
When I first installed Fedora 38, the Mesa driver version was 22.2.5, a lot of games were having trouble running but I had some decent success so I just waited for Mesa to update, and with every update the games got better, the RX 7900XTX got better support but still, X-Plane 12 still would not run.
Finally Mesa 23.1.1 came out with a log of bug fixes and improvements for the AMD 7000 series gpus, I have seen some great gains but X-Plane 12 still won't work.
I have uninstalled the game, deleted the folders for X-plane 12, did a fresh install, but still, nothing works.
Has anyone run into this problem? Is it a vulkan problem? Or Fedora? Or is the Steam version bad? I really want to play it with the new hardware.
submitted by s2kfred to Xplane [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 19:19 amateurWriterNumber [Underlord] Orthos' Lost Days

A fanfic about what happened to Orthos after he left Night Wheel Valley.
Archive of our Own Link
Since some of yal don't want to go out to an external site, I've also posted the text here.

Chapter 1 - A Turtle’s Pace

Pillars of shadow madra stood tall, between them a wall of darkness that swallowed even the sky. It dominated the landscape; day felt like night and even the bravest beasts dared not approach. A single ripple distorted the massive portal, and out stepped a turtle. Wider than he was tall, taller than a man, leathery skin and massive shell black like charcoal, with eyes red like smoldering flames.
Orthos looked up to the sky and closed his eyes. A single tear rolled down his eye and sizzled away to steam on his cheek. He took a deep breath and breathed out smoke.
It was the first time Orthos had really been on his own ever since Eithan had brought Lindon to him, deep in the belly of Serpent’s Grave. His life had been a whirlwind since then. It had all moved so fast, too fast for a turtle. Lindon would be fine, he had Yerin to grow with and Eithan to protect them both. Orthos needed someone to grow with too, someone more his speed.
He would strike out to Lindon’s home, Sacred Valley. From what Lindon had said the pace was slower out there, and he had family that Orthos was looking forward to meeting. His father Jaran, his mother Seisha, and his sister Kelsa. What a family they must be to have produced Lindon. Orthos would meet his adopted family then choose who, and what, he was to become with them.
The great black turtle raised his head to the setting sun and set out West.

Chapter 2 - Resolve

Wake up, walk, eat, sleep; Orthos plodded ever westward. The days blended together into weeks. The solitude gnawed at him. He was lonely in a way he hadn’t been in a very long time, since he lost himself in the bowels of Serpent’s Grave. His mind wasn’t his own back then, but in some ways this journey was harder than those dark times.
The caverns were known to him, they were safe. There was nothing on this journey that could truly threaten him, but he was heading into the unknown with only Lindon’s stories to guide him. A sense of unease crept into his thoughts as the reality of his situation hit him and the weight of his decision settled heavily on his back. He was truly alone. He couldn’t simply go back to Serpent’s Grave, the sense of shame and failure would be too great.
Orthos shook his head and gobbled down a choice rock. Dragons didn’t second-guess themselves, and they didn’t retreat. He huffed out a plume of smoke and ignited the Burning Cloak for the first time since he’d left Night Wheel Valley.
He dashed across the land of the Ashwind continent, a comet of black and red. He reveled in the strength of his body and the coherence of his mind, reforged by the Life Well. He flared his spirit and basked in its strength, brought to the very peak of Truegold by the Heaven’s Drop.
And he laughed. His amusement rumbled across the valley he sprinted through. He laughed in delight at how good he felt, at the freedom he now had. The freedom offered by his own strength, and by his circumstances. Perhaps this journey was something to look forward to after all, rather than something to be endured.
Soon Orthos would meet the soulsmith that inspired Lindon, Wei Shi Seisha. He would be swapping war stories with the great warrior Wei Shi Jaran. He would meet the genius of the Wei clan, Wei Shi Kelsa. Orthos would meet his adopted family, grow with them, and…advance.

Chapter 3 - Best Served Warm

Months on the road had ground Orthos’ joy down to a dogged resolve. But now he was close. He recognized the Transcendent Ruins from Lindon’s stories. It was a massive pyramid. In his Copper Sight the colossal bricks shone with the bright yellow of strong Earth aura, while vital aura from the surrounding area was drawn to its peak; faint streams of color were drained from miles around and drawn up to the pyramid’s peak.
Orthos breathed out an exhausted sigh of relief, faint trails of smoke left his nose and his body sagged. He was so covered in dirt and dust from the road that he looked more brown than black. Even the coal-red of his shell was muted.
He trundled toward the ruins and the sprawling town that had sprung up around its base. When he reached the ramshackle gate he was challenged by a sacred artist with a very familiar goldsign.
“Halt beast!” Said a reedy voice haughtily from atop the gate. Orthos never stopped moving, but he did spare the young one some words. “What do you want hatchling?” He grumbled.
“I said halt!” The youth’s voice cracked, and his metallic hair clicked and clacked as he turned his head to look for support. Orthos walked up to the gate and shrugged through it, breaking down the doors and chomping up the pieces that fell off before continuing on into the town.
The commotion at the gate brought unwelcome attention. More representatives from the Jai clan turned up, as well as their equally cowardly minions; Sandvipers. Orthos grunted and plodded on, looking for some water and a place to sleep.
A spear landed in front of Orthos; its point stuck fast into the ground and its haft wobbled back and forth. “He said halt, beast.” The speaker was an elder Jai, though not quite as old as the ones Orthos was used to from Serpent’s Grave. This one was just old enough to have some bass in his voice and some hair on his lip. He was flanked by Sandvipers, subtly cycling their madra.
Orthos turned his head to look this new Jai up and down. “No,” he rumbled as he bit down on the spear, chewed it up, and swallowed it whole. The Jai artist stood still, mouth agape, as Orthos continued on his way. The Sandvipers that flanked him faltered, no longer cycling, simply looking between Orthos and their leader.
Wandering deeper into the town, Orthos found what he was looking for, Fishers. Gesha must be unique among Fishers, these other ones were too easily cowed, and didn’t even try to haggle with him. They simply asked for his assistance subduing some beast in exchange for all the water he could drink and a place to sleep in a warm forge.
Orthos woke to the sound of hushed whispers. “I don’t care whose turtle he is! I see no Underlord here, and I see no other Blackflame. And if he IS that turtle we will be rewarded for this. So just do as I say.”
Orthos grunted and shook himself awake, “I am no one’s turtle. But I do have a human.”
The doors of the forge were slammed shut and barred from the outside. Toxic gas filtered in through each side of the building. Forged needles of Sandviper madra shot through cracks in the walls. Orthos retreated into his shell to shrug off the first volley, then cycled the Burning Cloak and erupted from his shell in anger. He burst through the nearest wall, colliding with a Sandviper on the way out. The Sandviper flew into a building and slid down, unmoving, his remnant slowly rising.
Orthos raced around the corner to find the elder Jai from this morning standing ready, new spear in hand and skin alight with the Jai enforcer technique. He wasn’t alone; two Jai and one Sandviper stood behind him. Orthos roared in rage and unleashed a Dragon’s Breath. All four sacred artists burned to ash.
There was gas from every wall, at least two more Sandvipers. Orthos darted around the building and made short work of his remaining enemies. Remnants from his opponents converged on him as the forge burned bright in the night. Orthos twisted braids of Fire and Destruction aura in the sky above the remnants, ending the battle in a single decisive blow.
After it was over, among the ash twisting in the wind, the Fishers finally showed up to find Orthos eating what was left of the forge. They saw the Jai spear among the ash outline of bodies, and said he owed them nothing for burning it down.

Chapter 4 - Every Mountain has its Thorn

Beyond the dead remains of the Transcendent Ruins, past the blighted lands filled with dreadbeasts, Orthos found Sacred Valley. Four peaks, one surrounded by a great ring of white light.
Orthos finished crushing the bones of his latest victim and gulped it down. These dreadbeasts were foul, but they were the only meat to be found in these accursed lands. Even the trees here were afflicted with something foul.
Now he just had to find a way in. Four peaks, four entrances to Sacred Valley. Lindon knew surprisingly little about his own home; he’d not ventured far out of his clan’s land, and he only visited one of these sacred peaks before leaving.
Heaven’s Glory, stewards of the easternmost peak, under the glowing ring. Lindon had experience with them, and a grudge to settle if Orthos had any say in the matter. Heat burned in his shell at what Lindon had told him about these people. But that vengeance was Lindon’s, and dragons didn’t steal. Unless they were gold.
Another peak then, and another entrance. Lindon had mentioned something about a wonderful bath at the peak to the southern peak, some appetizing sounding rocks to the western peak, and favored fruits of his childhood grown near the northern peak. Orthos’ stomach churned and rumbled. His choice was made for him it seems, the fruits to the North it was.
Days later, Orthos came upon a wall of thorns. The plant life was free of the blight of the Desolate Wilds. It shown with healthy brown and greens, and it had a satisfying crunch. “Finally,” Orthos thought to himself, “some good food.”
Orthos ate his fill, and then he ate some more. He chewed his way through thorn and briar for the better part of a day until finally he saw light ahead. With one final bite Orthos tore into Sacred Valley.
Before him lay grassy plains and tilled fields, dotted with barns and white trees with purple leaves, bearing heavy fruit.
Two remnants approached him with obvious ill-intent, guardians of this path. Orthos breathed out smoke and cycled Blackflame; it would be good to move around after such a large meal. They fled before he could attack. Orthos let out a booming laugh, “Entertainment is as good as exercise I suppose.”
So the great black turtle trundled into Sacred Valley.

Chapter 5 - Finding Family

The days dragged on in Sacred Valley. Orthos wandered, using his Jade senses and Copper Sight to search for the Path of the White Fox. Lindon had said it was a complex path of light and dream. Orthos had been catching hints of White Fox madra in the wild but it was never enough, and it was getting harder.
Each morning Orthos woke up weaker than the night before. Something about this place sapped his strength; the vitality provided by the Heaven’s Drop was already gone. He could scarcely call himself Highgold anymore. Even the aura was weak, the color of the world drab in his Copper Sight. The inhabitants of this place stayed away from him for now, but soon his advancement would leak away and it would no longer hold the wild at bay. Orthos snorted out a gout of smoke, “No matter,” he rumbled, “A dragon doesn’t fear a challenge.”
He’d need to eat to keep his strength up. The vegetation here was rich in flavor, if spiritually poor. Orus fruit Lindon called it. Too sweet for a turtle, but the trees they grew from had a satisfying crunch. Orthos tore up the stump of an Orus tree and crushed it between his jaws.
There was a commotion deeper in the forest, loud enough for Orthos to hear it over his own chewing.
“Finally, something happens here.” Orthos turned toward the noise and opened his senses, and what he saw raised his spirits. White Fox madra, being used liberally, and it was being tailed by a horde of Life practitioners, the gardeners for this mountain..
Orthos bounded towards the disturbance, but the White Fox madra disappeared again. He waited in a shadowed hollow to observe. Turtles were patient. The White Fox madra appeared sporadically, coming right towards him, when suddenly a young woman ran through a bush and almost into his hollow. She was a White Fox iron and she looked like Lindon, back when Lindon was still weak.
Orthos stared the iron down. “Wei Shi Kelsa?”
The iron stopped trying to run around him and looked at him, recognition of the name in her eyes.
“Took me long enough to find you,” he grumbled, “but a dragon does not give up.” Orthos leaned his neck down and noisily at a branch, taking his time to chew and swallow. “I am called Orthos,” the turtle said. “I come from your brother Lindon.”
Wei Shi Kelsa froze, her body trembled and her control on her spirit broke. “He’s alive?” She whispered.
All the while the Fallen Leaf school continued to close the distance, lending an eerie green glow to the forest behind her. Wei Shi Kelsa came back to her senses, “We have to get out of here,” she ordered. “Can you run?”
Orthos laughed. A dragon did not run, not from gardeners. But he could forgive her. She was family, and she would not have met many dragons here. “I am pleased by you already, Wei Shi Kelsa. And I cannot run.”
The turtle walked past Kelsa and faced the rising verdant glow of the forest, lit by the frail aura of Irons, Coppers, and a single Jade.
“Not when I can fight.”
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