Rv antenna booster wall plate
Rays vs Twins Bingo, 6/7/2023
2023.06.07 23:55 ashbourn36 Rays vs Twins Bingo, 6/7/2023
2023.06.07 23:38 Thirsha_42 Tight Money Ch 16
Here is chapter 16 of Tight Money.
Special thanks to u/SpacePaladin15
for creating the universe and allowing fan writers to join the fun.
Additional thanks to u/BiasMushroom
for letting me use elements from their fanfics in mine.
Thanks to u/Zyrian150
, and u/Eager_Question
for proofreading this chapter.
Today, I have 3 character updates for you. We get to see good things happen to Leena and Dani and we get another update on what Niit is up to as well as revisiting some old characters and introducing a new one. This chapter was my first in collaboration with u/Eager_Question
. We are doing a crossover for the next few chapters of Tight Money. A huge thanks to them for entirely changing the trajectory of my plans for Niit and Leena. I'm excited for where this is going.
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: Leena, Human Refugee Host Date [standardized human time]: November 7, 2136
The smell of delectable food woke me up before my alarm – a sweet scent with a hint of roasted vegetables. My stomach demanded a meal, and glancing at the clock, I could see that I had some time before the twins would wake. Eagerly walking to the kitchen, I saw Dani had placed out all manner of items on the counter. She stood in front of her ‘hot plate,’ stirring a steaming pot that emanated the delightful aroma.
“Good morning, sleepy head!”
“Good waking, Dani. What are you up to with all those fruits and jars?”
“Well, you remember how I told you I was going to make some chalk for the neighborhood kids? That’s what I am doing right now – I'm making colored chalk! It's a fun DIY project. You see…”
“That did not translate correctly. The translator said, ‘letters of the English alphabet ask for clarification.’”
“Oh, it is an acronym that stands for the English words, ‘do it yourself.’ A lot of humans are pretty handy and have the skills to make the things that most people buy from a store. Sometimes they make things to save money, some do it for the challenge to see if they can, some do it because they want to customize something, and a lot of people do it because they enjoy doing it.”
“Like you said at our meal, this last paw.”
“Yeah! First, I slice up these fruits and vegetables into thin slices and boil them in water for [10 minutes]. The boiling process helps extract the natural pigments from the foods. Once I've boiled the fruits, I strain the colored water and keep it aside.”
Dani reached for a strainer and gently poured the steaming water into another pot and put that on the ‘hot plate.’ She set the slices of fire fruit on a plate and took a tentative bite out of a slice. I followed suit and to my delight, the fruit had a new mellower flavor with a hint of sweetness. Looking over the counter while I snacked on the boiled slices of Firefruit I got a better look at the jars of colored water and a few with colored powders.
“Okay, I'm following so far,” I pointed to one of the powder jars. “What are the powders for?”
“I’m doing an experiment. I want to see if I can use the pigment water as is or if I have to bake it to remove even more of the moisture in order to get a good color. I’ve never used these vegetables before so I need to do some trial and error to get this right.”
Dani had received a small strayu forge a few days ago in the mail and was putting it to good use making all manner of things except strayu. Honestly, I had no idea you could do anything else with them. Humans think of the strangest things.
The forge dinged alerting her that it was done with whatever it was doing. She pulled out a tray of shriveled up Firefruit slices and transferred them to an empty plate. Dani laid several more fresh Firefruit slices on the trays and began the process anew.
“Dehydrated slices make wonderful snacks. Now, I take plaster,” Dani scooped some white powder into a cheap plastic bowl and poured in two scoops of the colored water, “and mix it with the colored water we obtained earlier. The plaster acts as a base and helps give the chalk a solid form.”
“Dani, that's so clever! So, the colored water gives the plaster its colors?”
“Exactly! The colored water mixes with the plaster, and we end up with a mixture that has the desired colors. Oh, and while I'm doing this, I'm also pouring the mixture into these silicone molds.”
I watched as Dani mixed the blue water and white powder until it turned into a light blue soup. Dani poured the liquid into the cavities of the flexible trays and scrunched up her face the way she did when she was unhappy or thinking.
“Is something wrong?”
“Yeah, it is supposed to be a much deeper blue than this. I think I’ll have to find something else to make a better dye or try the powder method. Oh well, live and learn.”
Dani began to clean up just as my alarm went off, informing me that I needed to get the children ready and fed. When I came out of my room after feeding the twins and grooming their fur, Dani had finished cleaning the counter and sitting on the couch browsing on her tablet. She looked up as I sat down.
“You get your cast off today right?”
Peering at the clock on her tablet, “Yes, my appointment is in quarter a claw at the out-patient recovery facility. It is only a short ride away. Would you?” I passed the twins to Dani before I stood. “I need to get ready.”
“Come here little babies, let's play hide and peek-a-boo.”
A quick shower later and I returned to find Dani loading the twins into the stroller; still talking to them in her higher pitch and smiling. Nothing out of the ordinary about that but what was out of the ordinary was that Vissa and Tas were also showing their teeth. Not quite a smile but not for lack of trying. I wasn’t sure what to say about that. I didn’t want Dani to stop smiling at Vissa and Tas but that behavior worried me.
“Okay, we’re ready.” Dani reached in and tickled my children. When they were done laughing they ceased to show their teeth much to my relief.
“Dani, when I get the cast off and return this scooter, is there anything you would like to do? I would rather not go back home and sit down once I can walk again.”
Dani’s eyes sparkled at my suggestion. “I would love to see some of your museums and I read about these places where people can make communal art. Could you show me one of those?”
“I would love to.” I’m glad I can do something nice for you, after all you have done for me. Memory transcription subject: Niit, Capitol Spaceport Logistics Coordinator Date [standardized human time]: November 9, 2136
I was fortunate. Only three claws after I was fired from the spaceport a new job presented itself. It was a temporary job but it would give me time to find something permanent and help my job history. Getting fired looked worse than the contract ending. They had advertised that they needed someone to come in and finish a new facility. I wondered what happened to the last coordinator. I sent in my application, trying to highlight that I had some experience in procuring building materials for the maintenance of the spaceport hangars.
I was given an interview time for the following paw. That didn’t give me much time to prepare and the place was a bit out of the way. I had to take the train out to the outer ring of the Capital and then walk [20 minutes] more but at least it was easy to find; I could hear the construction a [kilometer] away. A yotul was outside watching the construction crews, obviously impressed with the advanced construction equipment.
“Excuse me,” I tried not to be respectful and not shout, “could you direct me to the project manager's office?”
The yotul looked at me and then pointed to a series of temporary buildings in the distance.
“The furthest of the temporary dwellings on the right," he said, "it has a label on the door.”
“Thank you.” I waved my tail goodbye.
I walked over to the white construction shelter the yotul indicated and raised my paw to knock when the door slid open and a large, dark gray venlil appeared in the doorway. I froze in surprise as he looked me up and down with his left eye.
“Are you Niit?”
“Y-y…” I flicked my ear in affirmation.
The gray venlil stepped inside and motioned to a swivel chair opposite a desk near the door. I took the seat opposite him at the desk and he opened a file with my application on his datapad. The office was a mess of binders, tools, and open cases of energy snacks and drinks; I assumed for the crew. A large map of the block hung on the wall.
"You can call me Foreman Apec or just Foreman is fine too. I'm so glad you could come on such short notice, this project is rather urgent and our last coordinator was poached by one of those ghastly flesh factories they're building now."
The very mention of those atrocious places nearly caused me to lose my lunch. “I-I’m so sorry to hear that. Well, I can guarantee you that I will not be leaving to work in such a place.”
"That's wonderful to hear. Tell me more about your experience, how comfortable are you handling tight schedules?"
“Oh, very, when I worked at the Capital Spaceport I had to manage several tight repair schedules regularly.” I hope he didn’t call Director Cass. I doubt he would give me a positive reference.
"Wonderful to hear. Like I said, we're rather in a rush to get this all done as soon as we can. The good news is that human laborers can work for two, sometimes three claws a shift, so we should be able to manage."
He stated that so nonchalantly, waving his tail around like it wasn’t the most ludicrous thing.
“T-three claws? They can work that long? No,” he’s joking
, “You are pulling my ear. There’s no way anyone can work that long.”
Foreman Apec leaned forward and lowered his voice conspiratorially.
"I could scarcely believe it myself! Between you and me, I believe they're what you'd call persistence
predators, but they're all hush hush about such things, you know. Anyhow,” he sat back and resumed the interview questions. “You mentioned repairs–I assume for starships-- do you have any experience with buildings?" Persistence predators? I’ll have to look that up later, focus!
“Some, yes. I managed the construction of hangars 17 and 18 two [years] ago and the repairs to some of the buildings when debris fell after the successful defense against the arxur earlier this [year].”
"Fantastic! And, of course, while the position does not require you to interact with many humans, it'll likely come up due to the nature of the project. Are you comfortable with that?"
“I’ll manage.” It’s only temporary and I have my secret weapon now. Let's see them crawl inside me now. Ha!
"You should be fine. Older fellows like myself seem to struggle much more than youngsters like you, and I have my first meal with a human every paw now! I'm afraid the compensation on the ad is as high as we can go due to the budget, is that also alright?"
He flicked his tail apologetically.
“Yes, I’m grateful for the opportunity to gain experience in construction and try something other than starship repair.”
"Fantastic. When can you start?"
“I can start immediately, thank you!”
"Well, then you're hired! I'll send you an information package as soon as I can, and you can start at the next claw. As I said, we are quite strapped for time."
I rose, my tail wagged with joy, “I won’t let you down. I’m eager to see what this place will look like when it’s finished.”
"As am I. The whole thing has been mired in secrecy. You'll have to sign an agreement when you accept the contract, it'll be in your information package." A secrecy agreement? What are the humans building here?
“Oh… mysterious.” I tried to wave my tail playfully.
"Yes indeed! We'll be able to talk all about it once you sign on officially, but suffice it to say that the building plans are different from any I've ever seen."
The foreman walked around the desk and opened the door to escort me out. As I left, I turned one last time to reply.
“Well, I am eager to talk with you about it next claw.”
"Wonderful. Go, read through the package. Rest up. You'll need it." Memory transcription subject: Krin, Capitol Extermination Officer Date [standardized human time]: November 9, 2136 Driving to another abandoned home, looking for another poor warto spawn for trespassing. Probably gonna have drugs too; they all do.
Rigel was driving the truck and seemed rather quiet, well, more quiet than usual.
“This is wrong, Krin. Evicting someone from an abandoned house just feels wrong.” Rigel you are naive and too emotional. These people have already left the herd and need to shape up.
“I get where you're comin' from, Rigel, but it's our job. Can't let folks squat in places that ain't theirs.”
We were headed to the poorer part of the city. Clean streets but smaller houses; some no bigger than an apartment. The homes had an artificial feel to them, lacking any sort of wood or stone, just fillcrete walls and plastic doors. The road was getting bumpier with potholes in the rubber asphalt and frayed edges. The paint was nearly gone in some places and sunbleached in others.
“But it's rough out there, Krin. The economy's tanking, folks are losing their jobs, the banks aren’t making allowances…. Is throwing someone out really the answer? For herd’s sake
, “Look, Rigel, I feel for 'em, I do. But ya gotta think bigger. This squattin' stuff leads to more crime, drugs, theft, vandalism, urban decay. Ain't good for nobody. It’s a breeding ground for predator disease.”
“I get that, but it's hard not to sympathize. People are struggling. Maybe we could help them instead of evicting them?” You want to help them so much, go be a social worker and see how much help you can give these people.
Social services were drowning. Everyone knew that but with less revenue from fees and taxes, agencies had to make cuts. Everyone just had to make do.
“Help 'em how? We ain't social workers, Rigel. We got our hands full already and the owners are breathing down our necks when they should've taken care of this mess in the first place!”
“I know, Krin, but it just doesn't sit right with me. Can't help but think there's a better way to handle this.”
“We can't solve all the world's problems, Rigel. Our job is to keep the peace, not save everyone. It's tough, but that's reality.” The simple reality that ain’t so simple anymore, stupid humans.
“I just wish we could do more, you know? Feel like we're caught between a cliff and a shadestalker.”
“Trust me, Rigel, I feel it too. But we can't change the system overnight. Gotta focus on what we can control and do our jobs. Besides, no point thinkin’ about it anymore, we’re here.”
I stopped the car and got out. Officer Rigel checked the front door and it swung open. We entered the house, announcing ourselves as we went, but saw no one. The place was rather clean for a squat. If it wasn’t for the makeshift bed in one of the rooms and the inflatable birthday pool in the bathroom with a stack of towels, we wouldn’t have even known there was a squatter here.
“Looks like we came all this way for nothing.” The frustration in Officer Rigels voice mirrored my own.
The water in this pool was almost gone, the towels were dry and we didn’t find any paraphernalia. Whoever had been here, was long gone.
“Yeah, let's call it in and go back to the office.”
We climbed back into the truck and pulled out of the driveway. As I drove us back to the guild, we passed a disheveled man. Is that our squatter?
I slowed the car and looked in the mirror, from behind I could see he was wearing a dirty safety vest and carrying a trash stick. No, he’s not a squatter. Glad I’m not that guy though. Sanitation work is not for me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First Previous
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2023.06.07 23:34 Future_Ad_3485 The Night Squad Files Case One: Murder Pays
Waking up next to Stanton, our clothes were all over the floor. Blushing at last night’s activity, I checked the time. A loud scream burst from my lips, the book club was in ten minutes. Crashing to the floor, Stanton stirred awake. Panicking at the time, the floor shook as he crashed to the floor. Searching for anything to wear, he was already tugging on a black band t-shirt and ripped jeans. Fixing his hair, my hand settled on a black and white striped swing dress. Slipping my feet into my boots, he brushed my wild hair into a simple side bun. Kissing me on the forehead, he dropped a random book into my palm.
“I will hang out with the husbands to analyze their behavior. Get those hens talking about their men.” He said simply, ignoring what we did last night. “Try and drink some coffee with them. Tell them that you have a stomach sensitivity.” Focusing on the book, scarlet colored my cheeks. It was one I had written and published fifty years ago, his brows furrowing.
“You’re telling me that I have to go and sit with a bunch of women while they misinterpret what I wrote.” I groaned bitterly, wishing that he would acknowledge last night. “Whatever. At least I know the plot.” Hooking his elbow into mine, we walked across the street. The husbands welcomed him with open arms, Susie yanking me in. Pulling me into the kitchen, she slid me a cup of coffee, my stomach churning. While most vampires enjoyed it, I despised it with a burning passion. Taking a sip, the pungent taste reminded me of a bunch of pennies.
“Tell me about sleeping with him. Was it fun? My husband is so boring.” She pleaded desperately, pressing her palms together. “I also asked for you to come because you look a lot like my favorite author.” Hitting the wall, a secret shelf with every single book I wrote covered every inch of the damn space. Think of an excuse, you idiot. Stanton looked up from his own conversation outside, my lips pressing into a thin line.
“My mother wrote them.” I lied seamlessly, Susie buying into it. “She was a lovely woman.” Lie, that was a lie. My mother was a poor Irish vampire who ditched me at the ripe age of three, her next question causing me to spit my coffee out.
“When is the sound of tiny feet entering your home?” She trilled sweetly, cupping my hands. “You are the first to know that I am pregnant now. I have been trying for years. Maybe you can get pregnant soon and we can have them be best friends.” Horror hid behind my polite smile, a long squeal escaping my lips. Like hell I would go along with her sick little plan. Something felt off, my vision blurred. A purple liquid swirled on top of the coffee, my body hitting the floor. A rough darkness devoured me as coffee pooled around my head.
A yellow light swung over my head, something else feeling off. Clammy sweat drenched my skin, a fever burning my cheeks. Susie towered over me, a spike spinning in her palm. Attempting to crawl away, her heel dug into my back. Unable to move, this felt like something else. The desire to take Stanton nearly controlled my mind, the claws extended from my fingernails. Spinning another needle of the liquid in her palm, she jammed it into my leg. Extreme nausea wracked my body, the beginning of a heat cycle disabling me. Parting my lips to speak, I needed his blood to survive or that was what it felt like. Only wheezes poured from my lips, she jammed another needle into my leg. Sending me into the next stage, every touch raised an incredible amount of goosebumps. Shivering in my spot, the last time I felt this was one hundred years ago when a handsome stranger caught my eye.
“I used to be a hunter.” She bragged gleefully, sitting down on top of me. “We have to finish before the book club arrives, you fucking idiot. I meant what I said about you getting pregnant around the same time. I know the serial killer lives among us. You have to trust me with that.” My eyebrow twitched with a mixture of bewilderment and irritation, a snarl curling on my lips. All of this was too much, my knee meeting her face. Crawling onto the living room floor, my legs felt like rubber. If she hit me with another needle of that liquid I would be pregnant within the next few days. At the current level in mine, three months remained before anything had to be done about that. Stumbling out, blood poured from her nose. Struggling to my feet, my shaking fingers opened her fridge to see what I needed. The process had already begun but I could delay it for a while. Pulling out a needle full of a milky liquid, she cried out as I jammed it into my thigh.
“I am not ready for that quite yet, Miss hunter!” I shouted vehemently, fuming darkly on the stool. “How can I know that you aren’t the serial killer?” Pausing in her spot, her slender hands jammed her nose back into place. Wiping the blood out from underneath her nose, she sat down across from me. Chuckling softly to herself, her fingers drummed on the stainless steel counter top.
“They killed my sister and her family a couple of weeks ago. I have nothing to gain from this.” She informed me briskly, holding her stomach. “I am the neighborhood watch and I can’t stand that someone is slicing their way through our little piece of paradise. Revenge is in my plan but now I have to be careful.” Seeing things through her point of view, the fact that she sped up my natural reproductive cycle ticked me off.
“I figured I might kick start things for your body. The sooner you get pregnant the happier Stanley will be. I always catch him watching the families walking by with a longing look. I am only doing it because he doesn’t suck up to me which makes him my favorite stranger.” She expressed with her real smile, pointing to me. “You are a purebred vampire. Such luck should be blessed in your eyes. You can give birth without dying. I met you once when my old man came to talk to you in your jail cell. I don’t know if you don’t remember him but his name is Father Rowell.” All of my breath escaped my lungs at the mention of his name, my mind flicking through the memories of every person who had visited me. Come to think of it, a redheaded woman did accompany a priest that one time. How did I not make the connection? Laying my head on the table, several women ran in. My eyebrow twitched, the perfectly dressed woman interrupted our conversation. A sea of blonde haired women shoved me aside, a couple of them shooting daggers from their eyes. Stepping back, Susie tugged me close to her. A bout of nausea wracked me, the combination of the potion she had injected with me mixed poorly with my sudden social anxiety. Dropping a tray into my palm, her gentle touch dragged me to the four ivory walls she called her living room. A brown leather set reminded me of my cell, the tray crashing to the floor. Glass shattered everywhere, my immediate response was to run. Apologizing profusely, I bolted out the door. Ignoring their looks, I ripped off my boots. Sprinting down the street, a masked individual slammed into me. Crashing to the ground, the pavement felt cool against my face. Still weak from earlier, I couldn’t just fight them off like normal. Quivering on the pavement, a disguised voice sent chills up my spine.
“Goodnight, my dear!” The robotic voice laughed evilly, a knife slamming into my body repeatedly.” Copper poisoned my taste buds, the person whistling. A rusting van pulled up, the license plate number 568 4325 stuck into my memory while my blood pooled underneath me. Tossing me into the van, Stanton barely made it onto the street. Locking the door behind me, I leaned against the wall. Pulling out my silenced phone, my vision blurred as I turned on my location. Hiding my phone behind a dusty box, a darkness swallowed me alive.
Jerking awake once more, this trend had to stop. Groaning in pain, a yellow light swung over my head, a rough rope cut into my wrists. Struggling only made the knot tighter, the killers having to be boat owners, hunters or some sort of boy scout. Glancing around, no weapons lay around. Talk about being professional. Muffled yelling stole my attention, a filthy redhead tugged on chains against the wall. Two small children hugged her side tightly, silent tears staining their cheeks. One, a pair of worn steel toe boots came into view. Two, the other shoe appeared. Three, his masked face poked around the corner. Four, Five, Six, one of the killers were at the bottom of the stairs. Seven, he towered over me at six foot seven. Lifting up his mask, relief crashed over me at the sight of an anxious Stanton. Seconds from cutting her rope, the boss stomped down the stairs. Pulling his mask down, the boss cleared his throat.
“Cut off her fingers until she talks about how she found us.” He demanded via a thick distorted voice. “Never mind, give me the knife.” Snatching it from Stanton, he could only watch with horror as the man held my finger straight. Three red dots blinked in the corner of my eyes, the operation making sense. This asshole was running a torture to murder show, a lump forming in my throat.
“Thank you for your payment of a million dollars. We shall gut her like a deer.” He mused darkly, tracing the knife along my flat stomach. “Then I will play with the guts to please you.” A scream burst from my lips the moment the blade glided across my stomach. Fighting the urge to vomit, my steaming guts poured out onto my lap. Playing with my intestines, the money began to pour in. Choking on the blood building up in my throat, a hack sent it all over his mask. The questions were sick, a clammy sweat drenching my skin.
“We have a vampire.” He announced with wicked laughter, my heart sinking in my chest. “This is going to be fun.” Stanton held his composure, the back of the metal chair bending underneath his grip. The heat potion kicked in, one accidental touch clouding up my mind for a moment. Bending down to my level, his next words sent chills up my spine.
“The boys are coming. We have to keep him occupied for about thirty minutes.” He growled through gritted teeth, the man asking him to run the computers. Touching my shoulder one last time, the chair squealed the moment he sank down into the chair. Shoving a slender flash drive into the USB hole, he was gathering the IP addresses. Shoving my guts back in, childlike wonder brightened the killer’s tone at my wound sealing shut. Susie’s sister held her hands over her kid’s eyes, the knife sliding in and out of me. The wet noise did little to help me, the potion making my stomach churn worse than normal. The money kept pouring in, the welcome sound of chaos woke me up from my sickly state. The agents from before piled down the stairs, Stanton ripping off his mask. Cutting the rope, his touch made me jump a couple of feet into the air. Popping to my feet, every footfall echoed in the concrete cell. Assisting Susie’s sister, her arms embraced me desperately. Every emotion soaked my shoulder, another touch from Stanton resulted in a tender blush on my cheeks. Shooting me a thumbs up, his lips brushed against the top of my head. Helping the woman to her feet, Stanton scooped up the children. Bright flashes blinded me, the news crew attempting to speak to us. Climbing into a tinted SUV, the children bounced into their mother’s arm. Fishing around a bag, he held out packages of cheddar crackers. The boys accepted them graciously, the car heading towards the hospital. The door ripped open, nurses ushering the family inside. Scanning me up and down, Stanton held me by my hips. Sniffing me real quick, fear flashed on his face. Not having time, Susie smashed into me. Desperate tears flooded from her cheeks, her quaking hands cupping my face. A deep crimson painted my cheeks, a newfound respect for me glowed in her eyes.
“Thank you so much for saving them. I don’t know how I could ever thank y-” She blubbered uncontrollably, my hand raising to stop her. Smiling brightly in her direction, this reaction made it all worth it. My lips parted to speak, a nurse dragging her off before I could explain myself. Stanton dragged me back to the car, a snarl twitching on his lips. Slamming me down into my seat, the partition hummed its way up.
“Your heat is supposed to be for another year! Why do you smell like you are three months away?” He demanded hotly, the crack of my hand meeting his cheeks stunning the both of us. How dare he ask after not talking about last night! Clenching my fists into a ball, I turned my back.
“You haven’t talked about last night. We had fun and you acted like nothing happened!” I blurted out venomously, happy to have it off of my chest. “You already forced me into a marriage, and now you want me to ignore what happened last night. Fuck you. I had fun but here you are. Was it that bad? Susie sped me up so we could be pregnant around the same fucking time. Did you know she used to be a hunter? She opened right up to me. In fact she knew me.” Spinning me around to face him, an apologetic smile dimmed his features. A piece of hair fell in front of his left eye, his hands rubbing my shoulder.
“I can’t tell you why that all scares me.” He mumbled under his breath, sliding me a large emerald box. “You need to get changed into your uniform to enter the facility.” Peeling off my destroyed dress, his eyes couldn’t leave the angry scars covering my body. Flipping the box open, I pulled out a lightly armored leather number. Tugging it over my head, the onyx leather covered my arms. Hiding my bloody hands underneath the bell sleeves, the deep v-neck showed off my ample breasts. Sitting back in the seat, the A-line skirt floated away from my body. Scooting closer to me, he offered me his neck. Sinking my fangs into his tender flesh, every gulp revived my health. Curling my arms around his neck, he drank away. This time a wave of euphoria crashed over me, a long sigh pouring from my lips. Unable to stop, fright rounded my eyes the moment his hand curled around my neck. A muffled protest stopped him, an oppressive silence hung between us. The car skidded to a halt, an impressive navy marble building towered over us. Helping me out, the numb look on his face scared the shit out of me. Marching in aggressively, the way he was acting reminded me of the first time I met Father Powell. Hugging him from behind, his muscles relaxed.
“We all lose control at times.” I assured him lovingly, the tone taking over my voice for the first time. “If I can gain control, you can do it.” Cupping my trembling hands, an agent was attempting to remember the plate number. Typing it in for them with my free hand, a grateful expression met my exhausted face. My legs gave out, Stanton placing me on his back. Ignoring the jeering whispers, the rumors spread within minutes. Bursting into the interrogation room, a shaggy haired man with angry dark eyes watched him set me down in the chair across from him. An unkempt beard danced with every growl in his throat, his scarred face informing me of a rough life.
“I am not the only one in this plot. Do you remember that serial killer club on the news a couple of years ago? I am the bottom tier.” He bragged gleefully, the sweet smell of poison wafting from his mouth. “We must all die with honor.” His heart beat one last time, Stanton calling for help. Help wouldn’t come soon enough, this was a magical poison. Dragging him out of the room, I climbed into the driver’s seat. A skill I had learned the moment cars had been invented, the modern car proving far easier to drive than those things. Stanton hopped into the passenger seat, my fingers typing in an address into the GPS. Driving for too long, the brakes squealed to a halt in front of a bustling night club. Taking off his tie, the poor thing floated to the back. Roughing up his suit, he protested as I messed up his hair. Letting my hair down, a familiar face had to be spoken to. Sauntering up the door, the bouncer let us both in. Loud music worsened my migraine, a scantily clad blond guided us up to the office. Opening the door, my fingers curled around the neck of my old friend. Pinning him to the wall, his scarlet curls bounced around. Ruby eyes glowered back at me, his garish velvet suit irritating me further.
“Who are you selling your poison to, you fucking idiot?” I interrogated him intensely, Stanton yelling at me to calm down. “I know what you sold to Susie. That I can let go but sell some sort of poison to a serial killer after school club! You are playing with fire.” Cocking his brows, he slammed his knee into my chest. Every rib shattered upon impact, all the breath leaving my body. Coughing on the floor, he picked me up by my hair.
“I refuse to let a runt like you run my life. I sell my magical drugs and that is that.” He snapped hotly, my bones fusing back together. “I don’t know or care what they do with them.” Wicked laughter rumbled in my throat, the heel of my bare feet slamming into his jaw. Raw energy built around my fist, his bones shattered upon the impact of my fist. Sliding down the wall, my bruising fingers picked him up by his collar.
“I don’t care that you make drugs. That isn’t my department but when they are used for suicide I have an issue. Who ordered it!” I screamed furiously, a glob of spit landing on my face. “Just answer the fucking question. I will break every bone in your body. You still owe me for you selling me out. I fucking let you keep the reward money.” Clicking his bones back into place, he struggled to his feet. Unlocking his cabinet, he pulled out an ancient ledger. Dropping it into my palms, he sulked to his desk.
“Take it. I have to start another one anyway. I will call you if somebody uber weird pops up.” He commented kindly, pulling out a new one. “Don’t charge me, ‘kay. I provide loads of hunger suppressants for the monsters in the area. I also help monsters get pregnant faster. The poison was only meant to be sold for someone who was going to die. You know that I can see reapers as well as you can. Watch your temper with that heat potion coursing through you. Your powers are going to be a little wacky for a bit.” Mouthing a silent thanks, a triumphant grin spread cheek to cheek. Walking through the club, another discussion had to be had once we got into the car. Climbing in, dread bubbled in my gut.
“Give up why you were in prison.” I demanded sternly, leaning on the steering wheel. “Don’t lie. I can sniff that shit out.” Tears welled up in his eyes, a lump forming in his throat. Storm clouds rumbled to life, heavy raindrops crashed to the top of the vehicle.
“You weren’t my first partner.” He uttered bitterly, chewing on his lips. “I had a romantic relationship with her and she turned out to be the serial killer. The bodies piled up behind me, and I didn’t even know. We were incredibly intimate. She lied with the biggest smile on her face. I enjoyed our evening together and that you only drank from the serial killers to survive. She was what the agency calls a binge eater. Devouring person after person and I was the one to put her down. The difference was that I didn’t love her like I love you.” Covering his mouth, a further explanation needed to be heard.
“What do you mean by love me?” I asked politely, attempting not to lose my cool while pulling into a Cally’s. “Don’t lie to me. I have been through enough hell today.” Refusing to look in my direction, my hands cupped his face. Gritting his teeth, his hands cupped mine.
“I observed you for months and fell in love with the way you helped the prison when you could. I loved it when you would spend weeks buried into an inhumanly huge pile of books.” He choked out awkwardly, fresh tears flowing from his eyes. “I sound like a creepy stalker but I needed to make you my mate from the instant you met me.” Nodding my head, my lips kissed his hungrily. Scarlet colored his cheeks, his hands falling to my flat stomach.
“I love you too.” I choked out just as awkwardly, hoping not to upset him further. “Watch this book, I will be right back.” Swiping his wallet, I ran into the department store. Ignoring the bright lights and horrid smells, I paused in the baby section. Closing my eyes, the sweet sound of my mother singing an Irish lullaby soothed my nerves. Snapping awake, a tiny girl had crashed into my legs. Instead of crying out in fear, she began to giggle.
“You are so pretty.” She sang adorably, her horrified mother scooping her up and running away. Getting a couple of packages of toy cars and a beautiful bouquet of white roses, hurt dimmed my eyes at the cashier watching me in pure terror. Paying for the items, silent tears stained my cheeks. Not saying a word, I punched in the address for the hospital. Cursing to myself, we were four hours away. Setting the stuff in the back, I chose to turn on the radio to drown out the chaos in my mind. Sobbing the whole way back, this world was no different. The only thing missing was the torches that had hunted my mother down. Getting there in record time, I ditched my partner to catch up to me later. Stopping at the desk, the nurse didn’t show the same fear as the people in the store. Tucking a loose piece of caramel hair behind her ears, her gray eyes twinkling with joy.
“Thank you for bringing them in.” She returned with a genuine smile, pointing to the last room down the hall. “Visiting hours are over. Surely, they want to see their hero. I will pretend I looked the other way.” Winking in my direction, she turned her back to me. Running to their room, an exhausted Susie lay on her sister’s bed. The children perked up at me, smashing into my legs. Crouching down at their level, I presented the packages of cars. Pecking my cheeks, they ran off to go play with them. Rising to my feet, I presented her with the flowers.
“How does your sister like her coffee?” I inquired with my genuine smile, the mother’s expression softening into a gracious smile. My lips parted to speak, the woman’s head shaking. Coughing a bit, blood covered her hand. Seconds from pushing the nurse button, her raspy voice stole my attention. Stanton hovered in the door, the mother’s heart monitor going nuts. Looking closer, a bony hand rested on her shoulder. Following the arm, a reaper held her shoulder. Death had come to her, the option not working for me.
“Is there anything I can give you in return?” I begged with my palms pressed together, knowing that those kiddos needed their mother. “How about this?” Snapping my fingers, my stolen reaper’s scythe rested in my palms. Snatching it from me, the cold hand curled around my neck. Gasping for air, his yellowed skull hovered inches from my face. Biting down on my arm, he gulped down enough to figure out who I was.
“I recognize your stupid face.” A chilly voice thundered evilly, the other finger playing with my hair. “You vampires are the bane of my existence. I can’t take your souls when there's none to take. I will spare her this one time but she will have to go next time regardless of what you have.” Dropping me to the floor, he was gone. Coughing up a storm, one of the kids hit the button. A look of horror dawned on his face, his tiny body smashing into my legs. Crouching down to his level, he shivered in my arms.
“Was that a reaper?” He stuttered brokenly, my head nodding. “Will they ever hurt me?” His tight red curls tickled my face, the other twin watching from a distance. Their emerald green eyes watched me as the nurse brushed past me.
“No, they won’t.” I promised them warmly, taking him to the waiting room. “Let’s go play while they take care of your mom, ‘kay.” Susie snapped awake, picking up her other nephew. Crashing into the nearest chairs, they played with their cars. Susie rested her head on my shoulder, snores echoing in my ear. Letting her sleep, I was thankful for my current life.
submitted by Future_Ad_3485
to DrCreepensVault [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:24 RalphXlauren_joe dark future(screenplay)
He was only 14 years old, but he had the skills of a samurai. He had trained with his grandfather, a master swordsman, since he was a child. He had learned the art of stealth, speed and agility. He had learned to face his enemies with courage and honor. He had learned to jump off buildings.
That was his favorite part. He loved the feeling of flying through the air, the wind in his hair, the adrenaline in his veins. He loved to see the city from above, the lights and the shadows, the people and the cars. He loved to land on his feet, like a cat, and disappear into the night.
He was a black kid in a white world, but he didn't care. He had his own identity, his own culture, his own code. He was a samurai.
EXT. INFINITY CITY - NIGHT
The city is a nightmare of violence and chaos. The sky is dark and filled with the sounds of sirens and screams. The buildings are crumbling and burning, the streets are littered with corpses and debris. The only light comes from the red lasers that cut through the air, fired by the ruthless army of the tyrant who rules this hell.
But in the distance, a faint rumble can be heard. A sign of hope. A sign of resistance.
INT. ALLEY - NIGHT
In a narrow alley, a fierce battle is taking place. Two figures are exchanging blows, their shadows cast on the brick wall by a flickering street lamp. One is a man, tall and muscular, wearing a black suit and a metal mask that covers his face. He has a device on his wrist that shoots red lasers. He is the tyrant's right-hand man, his most loyal and brutal enforcer.
The other is a woman, slender and agile, wearing a leather jacket and pants, with rose gold gauntlets and chest plate. She has long blonde hair that flows behind her as she moves. She is one of the leaders of the rebellion, a fearless fighter who has sworn to overthrow the tyrant and free the city.
She dodges a laser blast that grazes her shoulder, then leaps forward and lands a punch on his jaw. He staggers back, then recovers and kicks her in the stomach. She falls to the ground, but quickly rolls away and gets up. They stare at each other, their eyes full of hate and determination.
He speaks in a distorted voice through his mask.
"You think you can stop me? You think you can stop him? You are nothing but a weak woman. You belong to him. You belong to us. You will bow and submit to his will...or you will die."
She spits blood on the ground and replies in a defiant tone.
"I will never bow to him. I will never submit to you. You are nothing but a coward who hides behind a mask. You are nothing but a puppet who obeys his orders. You have no power. You have no honor. You have no future."
She lunges at him again, throwing a series of punches and kicks that he barely blocks or dodges. He counters with his own attacks, aiming for her vital spots with his laser or his fists. They are evenly matched in skill and strength, but not in spirit. She fights for freedom and justice, he fights for fear and domination.
They clash again and again, until they are both bruised and bleeding, exhausted and wounded. But they do not give up. They do not surrender. They do not stop.
submitted by RalphXlauren_joe
to u/RalphXlauren_joe [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:20 radio_free_carolina Coax cable stuck?
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I want to set up MoCA adapters to have better internet upstairs. However, the coax cable behind every wall plate looks like this and I'm unable to pull them out. What do I need to do? This may be a dumb question but I've spent the last few hours searching for the answer online and I just can't find anything. submitted by radio_free_carolina to askanelectrician [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:19 azndinho Help with cabling behind a wall
I recently moved into a new place that already has cable wall plates installed. The issue is that the wall plates are aren't vertically or horizontally aligned, and I need to pass a new cable between the two plates. 1 plate is above the fireplace, the other plate is in a cabinet which is about 2 feet lower but also recessed as the front of the cabinet is even with the front of the fireplace.
I tried my best to draw a diagram of how it looks: https://imgur.com/a/Ch9chS7
I think my best bet is to tie the cable I need onto the existing cable that is in between the plates, and drag it through.. But I haven't been able to find information on the web or on reddit with a similar situation, please help and thank you!
submitted by azndinho
to DIY [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 23:02 Aron_nemmondommeg Incorrect RP-1 Installation warning and other errors. Downloaded straight via CKAN (express)+ downloaded harmony to make community fixes work(without it it doesn't even get this far). LOG in comments.
2023.06.07 22:49 FGC92i New set up
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Leviton 28” wireless structured Media Center arris modem TP link VPN router (ER605) TP link 16 ports (TL-SG116) Cable Matters 12 ports patch panel Google mesh wifi (1st gen) submitted by FGC92i to HomeNetworking [link] [comments]
Electricians install the media center, 11 different locations of CAT 6 drop and redirect the coaxial cable underneath for a decent price. I finish the rest including keystones and wall plate.
Goal: remove the patch panel, convert to ends connectors into a new TP link TL-SG1016PE, 2 EAP670 and TP OC200 for full Omada.
2023.06.07 22:41 MrGreenzor Best solution for best speed without a cable?
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Hi, I just moved in yesterday and today I received my internet from the provider.Sadly the modem is placed into the fuse box, which really sucks, but hopely in the future it will be changed. But till then I want the best way to have the best connection for my computer as possible.To explain it a bit, I have added two pictures of my house, one of the place I want to install the new AP and the other one is a 2d floor plan. As you can see I've added text to it, where the electricity sockets in my house are.
As I was thinking myself, I was about to buy a new AP (This one in the picture is an old one UniFi AP AC LR version). The new one I was thinking about is the U6+. (On the picture I've marked the spot where I want to mount it.)
Then I was thinking to buy an UniFi 6 Extender and install it at 0.2 Power sockets electricity extender, so it can reach from that spot to my computer. My computer does have the motherboard Asrock Z790 Steel Legend WiFi, which does have a WiFi 2.4/5/6 GHz Antenna attachted to it, so that should be good.
The only thing is I am not really known by the UniFi 6 Extender product line, also Would 0.2 be the best place to install the extender or should 0.3 be better? Of course I could experiment with it, but I feel like, when I install the Extender on 0.3 it is not really able to connect to the AP, since there are a few walls, specially when I close the door of the computer room.
Thanks in advance!And please if you think I should buy other products of UniFi, let me know, since I still have to buy them.
2023.06.07 22:12 jacobodman B-Class Dark Purple and Light Blue Interceptor Starship Narrow Tau / Long Spine / Rear Pincer X-Wing with Under Carriage and Antenna / Pommel, Hilt, and Booster / Vented Euclid Galaxy (Planet Coords: +6.33, +113.84)
2023.06.07 21:54 jacobodman S-Class Dark Purple and Light Blue Interceptor Starship Narrow Linea / Ant Grill / Spine / Pommel, Hilt and Booster with Antenna / Wedge Euclid Galaxy (Planet Coords: -39.85, -91.90)
2023.06.07 21:30 First_Ad9127 Start of my Garage Gym
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Just decided to build a home gym in the garage due to new baby at home. Found this setup on OfferUp for a pretty good deal! submitted by First_Ad9127 to homegym [link] [comments]
Items: Rogue SLM-2 Rack Rogue Dip Attachment Rep fitness iron plates (285lbs) Powerblock Adjustable Dumbbells 5-50lb Giant Adjustable Bench Giant Barbell
I had to cut off about 3 inches from the posts for it to fit in the garage but that was easy with a chop saw and a $6 metal cutting blade.
Still got to hang a mirror, paint the walls black and put up some cool banners for inspo!
Cheers to the home gym life
2023.06.07 21:18 Arrow_Flash626 Any suggestions for how to trim molding already around a door?
I have been working on a bathroom in a house I just bought due to the old owners leaving it half finished. Due to the way the bathroom is, I had to run the molding around the door right to the edge of the door frame. I need to edge out part of the molding now to fit the strike plate that attaches to the door frame.
Any suggestions on how I could do this without removing the molding from the wall?
submitted by Arrow_Flash626
to HomeImprovement [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 21:04 drjtzod I’m new to radios I need help
Hey I recently received a new ham radio to practicing receiving and using radio. I currently own a 5v-K5 which is able to receive transmissions from 50 to 600mhz but I noticed the antenna on it starts at 136/144mhz to 400/480mhz. My question is: I been looking to upgrade the antenna on it but I can’t find anything online for Multi Band AM/HF/VHF/UHF antenna for sale online. Any recommendations? I currently carry this radio in my plate carrier and I would like to have a foldable antena. The connection on has to be a SMA-Female but everything I can find with a wide range of frequencies comes in a SMA-Male. Can someone help me with this ? Thanks.
submitted by drjtzod
to HamRadio [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 20:45 thrownawaz092 I don't THINK I'm an assassin? - Chapter 3 - Stalking the streets
As day turned to dusk, the reality of the situation Mike had found himself in was starting to dawn on him. It was already established he was in monster central, and in another world, and alone, and had no idea what was going on around him, but after the initial need of not getting spotted and probably mauled was satisfied, a whole new slew of problems were arrayed before him. Where would he eat? Drink? Sleep? If he injured himself, where could he get medical supplies? Where was he going? How could he get back home?
Could he get back home?
A stiff wind blew around him and stole the heat from his body, leaving him cold in an encroaching dark. 'How do I know I can even get back?'
besides knowing it existed, Mike knew nothing about magic. He was fairly certain that kobold had sent him back the first time, but by the looks of it they had also summoned him in the first place. Something else pulled him in the second time, so there was a very real chance that he wouldn't be able to do anything. 'and of course, that all comes before the fact I have no idea how to find the little lizard.'
Mike ducked into an alley to avoid some kind of flying fish as he considered his situation. Hopeless as it was, finding a needle in a haystack was the only option to present itself, so he reluctantly chose his only option.
Things hit an all time low as Michael sat under a bridge that would serve as his shelter for the night. Sure, there were plenty of haunted houses to choose from, but they all ran the risk of him being found by the monsters that lived in monster city. The bridge was a solid piece of work, being composed mostly of concrete and some kind of wood, and it passed over a wide river that was pretty turbulent for its size. Mike was suprised by the lack of metal, but it seemed to be holding up well enough so he let it go.
Slinging off his backpack, Michael decided to occupy himself by taking stock of his inventory and situation. Laying everything out, he had:
The gym clothes he was wearing, just a tee shirt and shorts. They were sweaty, dirty and didn't cover much
His regular clothes, thick jeans, another tee shirt and an over shirt
His phone, which had no service and 67% battery life. 'yeah, let's turn on airplane mode and the battery saver.'
it wouldn't last long, but the calculator, flashlight, stopwatch, notepad and compass tools could all be useful.
Earphones, 'ha! I downloaded all my songs and can listen to them forever if I find a charger! Suck on that Spotify elitists!'
Shoes, nothing special about them
A bag of chocolates that monsters think they're too good for
An almost empty water bottle. 'pro tip, if you're lost in the desert, conserve sweat, not water.'
Remembering that bit of survival trivia, he downed the last few gulps.
His pocket knife, score! The salesman had told him this thing could withstand his own weight on the blade, and Mike had really put it through its paces to confirm that claim. It was also a swiss army knife and had several tools in it, even a firestarter! That alone tripled his chances out here.
His wallet, full of useless bills, coins and cards
A gym membership, also useless
Ankle and wrist weights, with detachable pieces of metal to change the weight. 'Should I keep these on or off?'
On one hand, he would like to be as physically capable as possible for whatever was coming, and the constant work out would only help with that, but on the other, they would slow him down and tire him out. Not good without a food source. He took them off for now.
And a gym bag, which is always good to have.
The first thing Mike did was change back onto his normal clothes. They would keep him a little warmer and weren't so smelly, which would be good for werewolves that might sniff him out. Walking down to the river, it seemed clear, so he filled his bottle - he could always not drink it later - and began washing the gym clothes.
As he scrubbed his mind moved onto the situation he was in. Another world, monsters, magic and local superpowers are all established. Judging by the state of things, that being the ruins and monsters, this was probably once a thriving nation that had since been overrun and was now populated with the monsters that did so. The biggest concern that came out of that was that this clearly hadn't been a medieval society. True, just about everything was alien to him but he could recognize a TV screen or a car, this place was just as if not more advanced than earth, and they still got wiped out by monsters.
As Mike started wringing out his shorts, his introspection was interrupted when he heard voices overhead. He immediately stopped and turned his head up. It was getting dark by now and whatever was above him had a light, he couldn't understand what the two, no three voices were saying, but he didn't like the tone or the fact that the light source seemed to be getting closer to the side of the bridge. He tensed, and slowly put his sopping clothes into his bag as quietly as he could.
With a loud grunt, whoever has the light jumped over the edge of the bridge, still out of view behind a support but that was as close as he was willing to get. Mike took off as fast as he could in the opposite direction of the ravine the bridge crossed. The ones still on the bridge pulled out another light and called out to the one on the ground, who growled a response back. 'crap, crap, crap!'
rang through Mike's head as he put on more speed, the sounds of pursuit not far behind. Between the weights and wet clothes, Michael was worried he might have to ditch his bag again, but it wasn't weighing him down nearly as much as the thought it should. 'just wish adrenaline would come this easy at the gym!'
he was making good speed all things considered and was glad to hear his pursuer falling behind.
His hopes of escape were shattered however as one of them proved able to fly, because he heard a screech overhead and saw a silhouette giving away his position! Come on, that's not fair! He had to lose the little cheater and soon, otherwise the others could just run him down at their leisure! Mike turned, slipping on the grassy turf as he aimed to go back in the city. If the universe would just throw him a bone for once, there wouldn't be many other monsters, and he could shake these jerks.
He ducked into an alley, left onto a street before swinging behind some buildings again. Looking up he could still see that cheeky little spy plane was still on him, and from the sounds of the voices, the ones on foot were taking a direct route instead of weaving around, they were closing in. Thanking the universe for actually not putting other monsters in his way, Mike ducked into another alley and saw what he was looking for; a dumpster (he assumed) right under an open window. The only issue was the chain link fence between him and it. 'Really though, who sets up a fence right in an alley like this?
' another call from above reminded him of his situation. 'right, deal with it now, ponder neighbors who probably hated each other later.'
despite his dismay at the obstacle, he practically leapt over the fence, which was at least 6 feet tall. Adrenaline was one hell of a drug, but there was no way he could do that!
He mentally stored that away as well as he hopped on the dumpster and into the window, waited a couple seconds and hopped back out. He couldn't see the spy anymore which meant they couldn't see him either. He just managed to crawl down a basement window of a building on the other side of the alley before his pursuers burst into the alley as well.
Watching through the window, Michael finally got a good look at the one on foot. That was a big
guy, like 8 feet tall and built like a truck kind of big. He was the one with the light in his hand, a glowing ball that floated in his palm, and it cast a rather terrifying shadow over his crocodilian face. He was a crocodile man, no other way about it. Thick tail, heavy green scales that are more yellow on the underside, whatever you're imagining is probably right. The teeth didn't look too sharp but they made up for that in size and number. Besides, if he was anything like earth crocs he had enough bite force to make gums probably work.
Mike was thanking his lucky stars he hadn't been caught when suddenly a second head popped out from behind the first, and he realized the croc had a bucket strapped to his back with something poking out of it. After a bit of chatter, a second creature slithered out of the bucket and onto the ground. It was... Strange to say the least.
The creature stood at four feet tall, and was clearly an aquatic being, being covered in fins from head to toe to tail, along with burgundy scales so small he might've mistaken them for skin. Looking at its head it was decidedly a moray, with a mouth full of sharp teeth and an eels... Tail? Body? Let's say tail, coming out of the back of its head. Or would it be a humanoid body coming out of the moray's neck? 'This thing is weird to look at! Why do you need two bodies!?'
Michael mentally screamed at the merfolk. He was just getting a grip on his mental image of it when the merfolk threw a wrench into his poor brains attempt to understand it, by flying. Well ok it wasn't flying
flying, but with a little hop and spreading its wing-like fins it was able to glide along while hardly touching the ground. 'well this just keeps getting less and less fair.'
A call from above, undoubtedly from their flier, probably told Mr. Crocodile that Mike was in the building that he double backed out of, because his made some growling sounds of their own before he and the merfolk entered in through the window. Mike released a breath he hadn't even realized he was holding and took a look around the room he was in. It was dark in here, with only a bit of light coming from the twilight of a single window, but he could see place was almost empty, with little more than the occasional rug or bit of furniture that had been strewn about and a bit of debris by the stairs.
Seeing his way out, he ran to the stairs before noticing that there was more debris in the way than he saw in the dark. Turning on the flashlight on his phone, his hopes were dashed as he saw that the upper floor had caved in, blocking his access out. He hadn't seen the flier come down to enter the other building, so they were most likely keeping overwatch in case he tried to give them the slip, which he already kinda had, but he needed to make the same trick to work twice, and that always goes well.
Peeking out the window, Mike caught sight of what he assumed to be the flier making rounds overhead. There were only a few seconds on the far side that line of sight was broken, not enough time to run, but there were
other hiding spots. Taking a chance, Mike crawled back out of the window as soon as the flier was out of sight and hopped into the confirmed dumpster. It was around now that he realized he didn't exactly have a plan, and his situation wasn't exactly improved either. 'I'm just making sure that I'm not cornered in case they find me. Yeah that's it!'
now he had a plan, and his situation had improved too! Sort of, stop asking questions. A few seconds later he was out and under a shutter, and on the next loop he was out of the alley.
Turns out, it's not that easy. Mike had thought he was safe, after rounding a corner he ran until he was sure he'd lost them, only to hear more footsteps from behind. The flier must have seen him and Mr Croc was in pursuit again, at least Mike had enough of a lead he couldn't see them yet. Testing a theory, Mike found a balcony and jumped for it. Yep! Lower gravity was confirmed as he made it nearly two meters off the ground! He also undershot it and smacked his head on the underside of the balcony, eliciting a (hopefully) dignified shriek, ruining the momentous occasion. Still, he was able to hit the ground running and made for another escape.
It had not taken long for a pattern to establish, Mike would hide and lose pursuit only to be spotted by the flier as soon as he got any distance. His best bet was, somehow, to stay close, under the radar so to speak and lead them away. He wasn't sure how they always knew what direction he was in, considering how well he kept out of sight, until he saw Mr. Croc kneel down and sniff a footprint. Ahh, they were tracking him.
That might actually be a blessing in disguise, because they were moving from an abandoned looking residential area to an industrial complex that was more populated, seeing a bit of foot traffic and lights in windows. He just might be able to lose them in there. Mike had a bit of a laugh at the fact that monsters were living on a jobsite when there were some perfectly fine - ok dilapidated, but so is everything else - houses a few streets over. He snapped his attention back to the situation at hand, he was still being chased after all, and now he planned on escaping by walking through Monster City night life. 'how did I let this become my best option?'
there was nothing for it though, he just had to hope he could still keep out of sight.
After a couple close calls where Mike had turned a corner only to see a wall or monsters that somehow hadn't noticed him, he got enough of a lead that he could try hiding. Finding a road with hundreds of footprints up and down it, he backtracked a few meters before diving behind a couple pipes that were sticking out of a building.
Mr. Croc showed up not long after with the eel in tow, and signed the flier to come down. He could finally see that dirty little spy plane! It was a... Moth! 3 feet tall with big black eyes, droopy antennae and some soft looking fluff on its head and body, Mike would have thought it adorable if it hadn't been snitching on him!
Being unfamiliar with monsterese, Mike had no idea what was being said, but the body language made it clear they were arguing. It actually looked like a parent scolding their children, with Mr. Croc being 8 feet tall while the others were in the 3-4 foot range. That didn't stop fire being flung both ways as the small pair clearly gave the kind of back talk that would have gotten the taste slapped out of Michael's mouth if he tried it on his dad. With someone saying something the conversation suddenly came to an end with Mr. Croc spitting on the ground and turning away. He fiddled with a latch on his chest and the bucket on his back came loose, hitting the eel on the head and soaking it, undoubtedly on purpose. With a few snide remarks the three went their ways, leaving Mike gracefully alone.
...In the middle of monster city.
Why did the universe insist on not improving the situation? 'Ok that wasn't fair universe, you're trying very hard, and I appreciate you getting me out of that.'
Karmatic retribution for his insolent thoughts hopefully averted, Mike got moving again.
Much to his own chagrin and with a hint of irony, Mike found himself tailing Mr Croc. Looking back it was ridiculous that nobody had noticed him running through the streets but he was found squatting under a bridge. Mr. Croc clearly had a reputation of some kind, because people seemed to avoid him like the plague. When Mike tried to backtrack he found himself relatively surrounded by monsters compared to the empty streets he was chased through, and he ended up finding sanctuary in the invisible bubble of Mr. Croc's presence, causing no end of irritation on Mike's end.
After nearly an hour of following, Michael's blood was boiling. Maybe because it was due to the lack of sleep, maybe it was due to being chased for hours for no reason, maybe it was due to being forced to hang around his least favourite semi-aquatic reptile. Or maybe it was because he was witnessing a mugging.
While sneaking along behind his quary, Mike did his best to hang back aways and keep an eye out for an escape route. They were still in the industrial complex, but must have been leaving the populated area, judging by the fact that fewer and fewer monsters were coming out after the crocodile had passed. Michael was just about ready to finally get away from him when he spotted someone walking in their direction, clearly having missed the memo to stay away.
The Croc was on them in a flash and the old bird -that's not an insult, she had feathers and a beak- tried to run but didn't get more than a couple steps away before the Croc had gotten a hold of her. Michael watched from the shadows as the bird lady was shaken, growled at and nearly had her head taken off by the snapping maw of an Egyptian god who had a chip on his shoulder. She was panicked, trying to run and begging, but the actual monster had her arm in a firm grip, and with his other hand he grabbed a pouch of some kind of the lady before shoving her onto the ground and walking away like nothing happened.
Michael was fuming. All that just to snatch a purse!? This thug who had chased him all throughout town, acted like he owned the place, who could probably rip Mike in half, did all that over a freaking handbag! His anger froze cold as the victim slowly picked herself up. Now that she wasn't being actively assaulted he could see she really was an old bird, with patches of feathers, wrinkles, generally frail looking, he was looking at someone's grandmother! And that crocodile... No, he would not
get away with this!
Michael's anger had been subdued by the realization of what he was doing, now tailing the 8-foot lizard man a lot closer than before and armed with a pocket knife, one that felt a lot smaller in his hand as he realized what he was doing, he wasn't sure how to actually do this. The bastard deserved what was coming, but after cooling off Mike knew rushing in was a bad idea. Luckily this industrial complex, or whatever it was, was packed with rails, pipes, and other things so tightly there was practically a second road overhead. Mike's plan, if you could call it that, was to jump down onto the guy and take him out before he even knew what was happening.
Michael barely made a sound as he went up and over, stopping only when his target looked around. It seemed he could tell something was off, but wasn't ready to act on the feeling just yet, which wasn't the kind of opportunity that Mike was one to waste. He dropped, silent as a shadow.
The crocodile may have been 8 feet tall, built like a brick and was in a lower gravity setting, but the simple fact was that he wasn't ready for someone to suddenly land on his neck. He went down like a sack of potatoes with Mike clinging on, the tumble having left him momentarily disoriented. Still, he quickly righted himself, this needed to end fast, or it would turn into an actual fight where he would have the disadvantage. Wrapped around the monster's head Michael brought the knife to its neck and... Hesitated. Mike had been in fights before, but those were scuffles in the school yard, now he was about to kill.
He knew his opponent deserved nothing less, but that seemed to fade in the face of taking a life. It was enough to take the fire out of him.
And so, instead of pushing the blade into his windpipe he only pressed it to the Crocs neck instead. "Alright listen up you big bastard," but the big bastard did not listen up, a fact made clear when a large hand grabbed and threw him off. Mike rolled as he landed and quickly got his feet back under him, knife luckily still in hand. The croc slowly stood up, cracking his neck as he did so before speaking. "Ev'uoy tsuj edam ym yad."
It said with a toothy grin. Mike just glared from his crouched position. 'different language, nice to know I wasted my time!'
kind of obvious in retrospect, but there's nothing for it now. Mike kept low to the ground, with a two foot difference in height he wouldn't even try to match his opponent in strength or reach, so he opted to keep low.
The Croc tensed for a moment before lunging at Mike, maw open and ready to swallow him whole. Mike lunged himself, keeping low to the ground and barely ducked under the attack and swiped at the exposed neck. He didn't expect to land the hit, but his opponent was taken off guard by his offence and didn't quite pull back fast enough, taking a superficial cut below the chin. Shock flashed in the croc's eyes and he lept back, lashing out with claws to keep Mike at bay. Unfortunately for him, Michael knew that playing fair was for suckers, and that you kick opponents when they're down, so he didn't let up. He was moving forward before the Croc had even landed, stayed below the counter and was in his guard again.
This time he didn't hesitate, and plunged his knife in the croc's side eliciting a shocked gasp from the titan and, keeping his momentum, moved just beside his opponent's shoulder before jumping just a little higher than intended and striking again. Still reeling from the first stab, the croc had only managed to make eye contact as Michael's knife sought his throat again, and this time did not stop. Michael landed on his feet as the croc sunk to his knees, blood leaking freely from his neck as he tried to stop the bleeding with his bare hands but it was already done. The crocodile was dead before he hit the ground, and Michael breathed a sigh of relief.
That purse wasn't the only property Mr. Croc had appropriated, as Michael found plenty of interesting things on his person. His things now, as he had no way of returning them. Despite the haul, his mind was elsewhere as he walked.
That guy did not
know how to fight, probably used to just intimidating people around him. When an actual fight came he was honestly kinda sluggish, and didn't even think to use magic or the shiv that was in his pocket. Even so, that was a dumb thing to do. What was he thinking, attacking someone like that? What if he had known what he was doing!? Mike could not afford these kinds of mistakes in a survival situation, even if he did get lucky, even if he somehow got out unscathed! You just don't rely on that happening, and Michael resolved to remember that in the future.
Finding a good spot, he set the purse down in the middle of a road and retreated to a hiding place. Soon enough the bird lady passed by even slower than before, the only reason Mike got ahead of her was because she was slowly limping along. Seeing that made his hatred flare up again, but his anger faded away as with a shocked look, the bird lady found the purse, looked inside and sagged with visible relief before looking around suspiciously and continuing with just a bit more pep in her step. 'Well,'
Mike thought, 'maybe that wasn't such a dumb move after all.'
Alright part 3 is out! Hope y'all enjoy.
In case anyone had missed it, large portions of Reddit will be going dark in protest of the removal of third party software on June 12th. I had originally planned to join the protest, but then I read the HFY
's official take on the matter (remaining neutral to act as an escape from stressful situations like this) and decided that's worthwhile. As such I will continue posting but otherwise will be off of Reddit in protest.
shall be previous
and the next shall be in a week or so.
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2023.06.07 20:08 dblack246 [Spoilers ADWD] Establishing a test for dragonflame in ADWD and applying that test to the end of The Dragontamer
I thought it might be interesting to look at all the dragonflame events in Dance. I theorize George has provided several detailed examples of dragonflame to help readers understand what is--and what is not--the result of a dragon unleashing fire on a target. By applying this collected knowledge to The Dragontamer chapter, I believe we can throw water on the widely held theory that Quentyn's burns are the result of being bathed in dragonflame.
The first witnessed dragonflame event is in Daenerys II, ADWD. Daenerys goes to the pit to look in on Viserion and Rheghal.
When Rhaegal roared, a gout of yellow flame turned darkness into day for half a heartbeat. The fire licked along the walls, and Dany felt the heat upon her face, like the blast from an oven.
Viserion's claws scrabbled against the stones, and the huge chains rattled as he tried to make his way to her again. When he could not, he gave a roar, twisted his head back as far as he was able, and spat golden flame at the wall behind him. How soon till his fire burns hot enough to crack stone and melt iron?
So early on we are told dragonflame can be accompanied by a roar and a wash of heat. Dany describes the heat as blast from "an oven".
We see the dragon's again when Daenerys takes Quentyn to the pit.
Rhaegal roared in answer, and fire filled the pit, a spear of red and yellow. Viserion replied, his own flames gold and orange. When he flapped his wings, a cloud of grey ash filled the air. Broken chains clanked and clattered about his legs. Quentyn Martell jumped back a foot. Daenerys VIII, ADWD.
Rhaegal's flame is consistent with the last time. We see a roar and we see the yellow color of the fire.
Drogon shows up in Daenerys IX and provides several examples.
Above them all the dragon turned, dark against the sun. His scales were black, his eyes and horns and spinal plates blood red. Ever the largest of her three, in the wild Drogon had grown larger still. His wings stretched twenty feet from tip to tip, black as jet. He flapped them once as he swept back above the sands, and the sound was like a clap of thunder. The boar raised his head, snorting … and flame engulfed him, black fire shot with red. Dany felt the wash of heat thirty feet away. [...]
His spear remained in Drogon's back, wobbling as the dragon beat his wings. Smoke rose from the wound. As the other spears closed in, the dragon spat fire, bathing two men in black flame. [...]
Drogon roared. The sound filled the pit. A furnace wind engulfed her. The dragon's long scaled neck stretched toward her. When his mouth opened, she could see bits of broken bone and charred flesh between his black teeth. His eyes were molten. I am looking into hell, but I dare not look away. She had never been so certain of anything. If I run from him, he will burn me and devour me. In Westeros the septons spoke of seven hells and seven heavens, but the Seven Kingdoms and their gods were far away. If she died here, Dany wondered, would the horse god of the Dothraki part the grass and claim her for his starry khalasar, so she might ride the nightlands beside her sun-and-stars? Or would the angry gods of Ghis send their harpies to seize her soul and drag her down to torment? Drogon roared full in her face, his breath hot enough to blister skin. Off to her right Dany heard Barristan Selmy shouting, "Me! Try me. Over here. Me!"
With a hisssssss, he spat black fire down at her. Dany darted underneath the flames, swinging the whip and shouting, "No, no, no. Get DOWN!" His answering roar was full of fear and fury, full of pain. His wings beat once, twice …
As with Rheagal, Dany sees a consistent black coloring in Drogon's dragonflame. Drogon does not roar.
Quentyn sees several examples.
Rhaegal took it in the air. His head snapped round, and from between his jaws a lance of flame erupted, a swirling storm of orange-and-yellow fire shot through with veins of green. The sheep was burning before it began to fall. Before the smoking carcass could strike the bricks, the dragon's teeth closed round it. A nimbus of flames still flickered about the body. The air stank of burning wool and brimstone. Dragonstink. [...] The Dragontamer, ADWD.
Viserion launched himself from the ceiling, pale leather wings unfolding, spreading wide. The broken chain dangling from his neck swung wildly. His flame lit the pit, pale gold shot through with red and orange, and the stale air exploded in a cloud of hot ash and sulfur as the white wings beat and beat again. [...] Id.
Dany's POV included many auditory clues such as roaring and hissing. Quentyn's POV notices olfactory clues with the smell of brimstone and sulfur. Quentyn also notices hot ash.
The crossbowman was fumbling for another quarrel as the dragon's teeth closed around his neck. The man wore the mask of a Brazen Beast, the fearsome likeness of a tiger. As he dropped his weapon to try and pry apart Viserion's jaws, flame gouted from the tiger's mouth. The man's eyes burst with soft popping sounds, and the brass around them began to run. The dragon tore off a hunk of flesh, most of the sellsword's neck, then gulped it down as the burning corpse collapsed to the floor. Id.
The crossbowman gets a direct hit of dragonflame at point blank range. Instead of a roar or smell, we are instead shown the impact of the heat. A bronze mask runs and eye's burst from the fire.
And we come to this event in the final Daenerys POV.
Soon one horse began to lag behind the others. The dragon descended on him, roaring, and all at once the poor beast was aflame, yet somehow he kept on running, screaming with every step, until Drogon landed on him and broke his back. Dany clutched the dragon's neck with all her strength to keep from sliding off.
The carcass was too heavy for him to bear back to his lair, so Drogon consumed his kill there, tearing at the charred flesh as the grasses burned around them, the air thick with drifting smoke and the smell of burnt horsehair. Daenerys X, ADWD.
While not fire events, it is important to recognize heat escapes the mouth of a dragon even when it does not unleash dragonflame.
Then the dragon opened its mouth, and light and heat washed over them. Behind a fence of sharp black teeth he glimpsed the furnace glow, the shimmer of a sleeping fire a hundred times brighter than his torch. The Dragontamer.
Dany has a similar experience.
Drogon roared. The sound filled the pit. A furnace wind engulfed her. The dragon's long scaled neck stretched toward her. When his mouth opened, she could see bits of broken bone and charred flesh between his black teeth. His eyes were molten. I am looking into hell, but I dare not look away. She had never been so certain of anything. If I run from him, he will burn me and devour me. Daenerys IX, ADWD.
By looking at what the author tells us, we should expect a dragonflame event to include one or more of the following:
- A roar
- Dragonflame escaping a dragon
- Target is near instantly engulfed in flame
- Bronze will show signs of melting
- Eyes will pop and run
- A wash of intense heat described as a "furnace" or "oven" felt by a witness who is not hit by dragonflame (A witness can also feel this intense heat when a dragon opens its mouth but does not unleash dragonflame)
- Hot ashes
- Odor of brimstone or sulfur
Now we take this information, apply it to the end of the Dragontamer chapter, and test Barristan's theory of Quentyn being hit by dragonflame. Based on what Barristan knows, his conclusion is understandable. He enters a room, sees three people, recognizes two of them as the Dornish knights who travel with Quentyn. He can't tell who the other body is because it is too badly burned. He assumes the body is Quentyn and makes guesses about what preceded his arrival.
We readers do not have to make the same assumption Barristan did because we have much more (and better) information at our disposal. We see the end of The Dragontamer chapter and we see each of the dragonflame events. So we need only compare what we see happen to Q against what we know to expect with a dragonflame event.
Quentyn turned and threw his left arm across his face to shield his eyes from the furnace wind. Rhaegal, he reminded himself, the green one is Rhaegal.
When he raised his whip, he saw that the lash was burning. His hand as well. All of him, all of him was burning.
Quentyn is not burning when he turns. He is not burning when his arm is raised to eyes. He is not burning when he see the green scales. So he was not engulfed in flames at this point. So if he was hit by dragonflame, it was not while his back was turned.
He raises his whip and then notices the lash burning, his hand burn and all of him. So, between seeing Rhaegal and raising the whip, he began to burn. If that burn is due to a dragon, then we should have noted one or more of the events we are told accompanies a dragonflame event in that short passage. Did we?
|Dragonflame events ||Quentyn burning after recognizing Rhaegal |
|A roar ||No |
|Dragonflame escaping ||No |
|Near instant engulfment ||No |
|Melting or running bronze or brass ||No |
|Eyes pop and run ||No because he "saw" the items burning |
|A wash of intense heat ||Yes |
|Ashes and cinders ||No |
|Sulfur or Brimstone ||No |
The only element present here is the furnace wind. And as we know, furnace wind alone means either you witnessed dragonflame but you were not hit by it, or the dragon just opened its mouth near you without unleashing dragonflame. The absence of Quentyn seeing dragonflame coming at him (he is looking right at the green scales), and the absence of Q being instantly engulfed in flames, suggests Rhaegal did not unleash on Quentyn. Quentyn sees no ash or cinders. He smells no sulfur or brimstone. Rhaegal is simply breathing near Quentyn when the lash of his whip begins to burn. Rhaegal did not unleash dragonflame on Q.
There likely was a dragonflame event involving Rhaegal, but it did not occur after
Quentyn turns to see Rhaegal. It happens while Quentyn's back is turned
. Let's now look at the text immediately before Q turns.
And then a hot wind buffeted him and he heard the sound of leathern wings and the air was full of ash and cinders and a monstrous roar went echoing off the scorched and blackened bricks and he could hear his friends shouting wildly. Gerris was calling out his name, over and over, and the big man was bellowing, "Behind you, behind you, behind you!"
Now let's apply the dragonflame test.
|Dragonflame events ||Before Quentyn turns |
|A roar ||Yes |
|Dragonflame escaping ||Not seen by the POV |
|Near instant engulfment ||Not seen by the POV |
|Melting or running bronze or brass ||Not seen by the POV |
|Eyes pop and run ||Not seen by the POV |
|A wash of intense heat ||Yes |
|Ash and cinders ||Yes |
|Sulfur or Brimstone ||Not noted by the POV |
We have three elements known to be present with a dragonflame event: roar, a wash of hot air, ash and cinders.
Now because a roar and heat are present, we need to eliminate a non dragonflame event because we are twice told a roar and a wash of heat can be present when a dragon simply opens its mouth. However, the presence of ashes and ciders in the air strongly suggests a recent fire. The pit is already full of ashes but the cinders tell us something was burning very recently. Cinders are never noted to be present during heat only events. Hence, the text supports Rhaegal unleashed fire while Quentyn wasn't looking at Rhaegal.
As Quentyn wasn't looking, neither he--nor the readers--could see what/who may have been hit by the dragonflame so he also can't tell we readers what happened to the possible target. But if there was another target, then something or someone else in the room was set ablaze prior to Q burning. And that someone else could be who Barristan assumed is Quentyn. Barristan does not know a second person was burned and so he concludes this is Q because he has little else to go on.
Given George has associated none of the established dragonflame rules to Quentyn's burning, readers should be very hesitant to claim a direct hit of dragonflame is responsible for the burning. An alternative theory for the burning is spontaneous combustion which George does reference elsewhere in the story.
"Oh, yes, most certainly . . . but carefully, my lord, ever so carefully. As it ages, the substance grows ever more, hmmmm, fickle, let us say. Any flame will set it afire. Any spark. Too much heat and jars will blaze up of their own accord. It is not wise to let them sit in sunlight, even for a short time. Once the fire begins within, the heat causes the substance to expand violently, and the jars shortly fly to pieces. Tyrion V, ACOK.
And while I think it both unlikely and unwise for Q to carry wildfire on him, there are other substances in the story capable of spontaneous combustion. Oil for example is referenced several times in the story as an accelerant. And we are told several times whips are maintained with oil/grease. The elements of spontaneous combustion (a low ignition point substance, exposure to heat, dry enclosed conditions) are all present in the pit and they far better align with Q's burning than the dragonflame theory. An oil fire would spread starting from the source of the ignition to the adjacent areas (whip, hand, all). Alternatively, dragonflame engulfs a target immediately and entirely (sheep, boar, Barsena, the two men in the pit).
Applying the text as it is presented to us by the author strongly suggest Quentyn was not hit by dragonflame. This scientific model makes sense to me because I believe I am reading a science fiction story. Therefore, I look for a scientific explanation for why a supposed dragonflame events bears none of the established hallmarks of a dragonflame event. Others community members believe they are reading a fantasy story. Therefore, inconsistencies or unexplained events are easily attributed to magic.
It could be either or both. At any rate, diversity of thought it a wonderful thing.
I think Quentyn is an important character who will have significant plot importance in the books to (hopefully) come. Perhaps my admiration and hope for this character has clouded my objectivity, which is why I continue to post my thoughts on the subject here for feedback from the knowledgeable, passionate, and unfailingly civil members of the community.
But what say ye, fine redditors? Did George set up all the dragonflame events in ADWD to reward careful and suspicious readers, or is the shocking lack of detail surrounding how Quentyn came to be burning just artistry, magic, and a weariness of hand-holding? If I've missed or misrepresented a relevant dragonflame event in Dance, please let me know. As always, polite disagreement
and constructive criticism
is welcome. TL;DR: Quentyn was not hit by dragonflame. His burning bears none of the established hallmarks for a dragonflame event in ADWD.
submitted by dblack246
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2023.06.07 20:05 Vraddhie Blue pottery wall plates made by me
2023.06.07 20:04 Vraddhie Blue pottery wall plates made by me
2023.06.07 19:25 OGGMAdventures Level 6. Area 1. Room 7: Treetop trap
Features: Entrance to the north, entrance to the west. The doors are made of thick wood. There are windows in the ceiling to let light in. The room smells like dry leaves and pine.
Someone has written "I LOVE LAVA" on the east wall.
Pressure plate trap in the floor (DC 18 to spot, DC 16 to disarm) Ice Ball trap(like fireball but cold damage) 11d6 DC 12 Dexterity save to take 1/2 damage
submitted by OGGMAdventures
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2023.06.07 19:24 ImmortalJormund Ride of the Valkyrie
A scorched courtyard full of corpses received its final one for the battle when a pseudodog riddled with bullets keeled over. Its limp, lifeless body was hit by one, last confirmation bullet, but the original intent by the shooter was now forgotten. The sound of a helicopter's rotors and engines was growing louder, and following it, Boris had ordered the men with him to reach cover instantly. Screaming one last order, for Dimka and Sevka to seek shelter under the grocery store, into his helmet radio, Boris could only pray for the two ex-UNISG troopers. The helicopter got closer, and a question on Degtyarev's lips froze when a hailstorm of bullets began hammering down on the yard like an angry god had just decided to strike the ground with a million lightning bolts. The three stalkers standing outside managed to reach the safety of the big blocky building just in time as the bullets kept getting closer.
"Who the hell are these guys now?", Degtyarev managed to somehow shout over the fire.
"We don't know, but they're in league with UNISG. Or were. They're led by some Serbin guy.", Boris yelled back in return.
"Serbin? Oh blyat, should have killed him when I had the chance.", Degtyarev muttered when the minigun fire from the chopper stalled for a second.
"You know him?", Dima asked, and the colonel nodded before answering.
"Back during Fairway, I had a chance to kill him. Killed his pal, Jackal, and he managed to escape."
"Damn. So that was what Vulture was on about. Who is Serbin?", Boris questioned in turn, but he was cut off by a remark from Sanyok.
"Troops rappeling down from the heli! Prepare for an attack!"
Boris spun around to look outside, where a squad of men in midnight-black armour was gathering under the helicopter. Fighting the gust coming off the rotors, they gathered in loose but organized formation, beginning to advance. The helicopter creeped onwards, and the rotary machine gun mounted in its side started spewing lead once more. Boris took cover alongside the others as the swarm of the bullets struck the edifice with immense strength. The helicopter closed in on the building, passing over it as the strong winds kept its momentum going too fast for it to remain stationary.
"It's our chance, strike them now that they're not supported!", Degtyarev ordered, and the men mounted the very same positions they had used earlier to fight UNISG.
The ten men advanced by the road, working very much like UNISG before them. These attackers had a machine gunner with them, which Redemption found out about the hard way when they fired the opening salvo. The mysterious force dispersed, receiving some hits but firing back in return, hitting Sanyok. The Redemption sergeant was struck in the shoulder by the machine gun-wielding trooper. Dima moved quickly to help Sanyok, who Boris saw to be in shock but not gravely wounded. Using the contents of Sanyok's orange medkit and a bandage to stop the bleeding, Dima hoped to at least stabilize his friend. Boris muttered a short prayer for Sanyok's recovery but grimly noted that it was one less gun in the fight.
Degtyarev and Dimuha had not been idle, though. The Abakan of the SSU agent sent two-round bursts at fearsome rate down the road, while Dimuha used his accurate machine gun to try pin down the enemy gunner. It was still an uphill struggle, for the enemy had far more guns and were no rookies by the looks. Boris tried to use his armour to their advantage, rising momentarily to fire a long burst, but he was immediately focused down. Boris felt a bullet strike his MASKA head on, again feeling blood trickle down his face. Another struck his front plate, the dull pain of a blunted bullet making his RPD swerve slightly, missing every round it had pushed out.
"This isn't working, they've got us pinned down.", Boris said while ducking down to wipe the blood coming off the bruise on his forehead.
"Da, I've managed to wound one of them and I'm down to my last two magazines. We need to retreat.", Degtyarev replied.
"But to where? Into the tunnels?", Dimuha asked.
"Tunnels?", the other SSU agent, Yvanova, asked.
"There's a network of tunnels below this place. Strelok used it to escape earlier. And Meeker dragged one of your men there to cover. We can reach the laundromat from there, apparently.", Dima replied.
"Let's go, then. No use sticking around here at this rate.", Dimuha said anxiously, as the wall shook from hits.
"Da. I'll hold them off for a bit. Go.", Degtyarev ordered, and the others crawled further into the building.
Boris could hear the distinct barks of the AN-94 even over all the noise. Further inside the decades old, decrepit building, they found a sewer grate-looking plate, and using his exoskeleton-boosted strength, Boris lifted it off the ground. Dima helped Sanyok lower down, Dimuha followed suit and Yvanova dropped down after him. Boris waited for two more minutes, seeing his comrade-at-arms disappear into the darkness with only their steps reassuring him that they had not faded into an abyss. When his clock notified him of the two minutes passing, the secret service colonel stormed into the room. Boris pointed him down the ladder, and soon even the exhausted Degtyarev had vanished. Boris attached a grenade to a rope he had been tying into the grate, and entered the manhole. He left the grenade now in a position, where even attempting to move the cover would cause the grenade to explode.
To his surprise, when Boris made it into the dusty, cramped corridor, Colonel Degtyarev was waiting for him.
"I wanted to use this brief moment of calm to, well, apologize. I really was in a tight spot, with the general breathing down my neck when it came to light that I had employed stalkers as help. Higher-ups think we cannot compromise with stalkers, while simultaneously they provide no help from the Speznaz or regulars.", Degtyarev said quietly.
"Often decisions you want to make and ones you need to make are as far apart as possible. So I accept that apology, but I must admit, I don't give a damn about your relations to Redemption. You worked for years with Strelok, you must have seen how the Institute treated him. I don't know him well, but Strelok barely shows any emotion from anything, yet when he recounted that situation of his in the Big Land, he seemed like a man whose opinions had been suppressed and belittled at every turn.", Boris commented.
"This isn't as much about him as it is about national security. He knows things about the Zone no one else does, even if he shared most of it with us. There is just too much at risk if we let him stay here. Monolith, Sin, UNISG and now Omega is on his heels, and it is only a matter of time before somebody gets him. And if it's international actors... It will be the foreign political crisis of our age.", Degtyarev replied.
"Wait, are those black-clad stalkers called Omega?", Boris asked.
"Ye-... Eh, never mind. You don't need to know more of them, really. All you need to know is that they're highly influential and are hellbent on killing Strelok. That's about all I'm allowed to share too, otherwise I need to eliminate you as well. And I've grown on your antics, so don't make me do it.", the colonel explained.
"I'm pushing it as is, so I won't. But back to Strelok, can you not see how he is handling the situation alone? He does not need state protection due to his legendary status, really. I have seen with my own eyes what his reputation does, in Limansk both Freedom and Duty arrived to fight by his example, and even kept a ceasefire intact for days due to it. Wherever he goes, he has allies, which is more then you can say about life outside the Zone. You know our office politicians and bureaucratic backstabbings, the jealous bastards would try to get rid of him any chance they got.", Boris countered, and for a brief moment, even in the darkness of the tunnel, Boris saw the colonel weigh his words.
"Boris, it's Dima. We got to the laundromat, but those goth larpers have shifted their attention towards here thanks to that blasted heli. Get a move on before you're encircled.", the helmet radio crackled to life inside Boris' helmet.
"Blyat, will this ever end.", Boris muttered and relayed the news to Degtyarev.
"We need to resolve what to do with Strelok later, but you raise good points. First, though, we need to deal with Omega. Let's move.", Degtyarev replied, and they moved through the cramped hallway faster now.
Soon the pair made it to the ladder leading up to a grate. Moving it, Boris found himself in broad daylight. They had arrived to the slightly wooded area between the apartment block and laundromat, where old construction equipment was left to rot and crumble away after the first disaster. On their right, coming from the gap between the H-shaped large apartment block and the tall commieblock on the opposite side of the road to it, was the Omega squad, still at full strength. Boris turned to look at the laundromat, where Dima, Dimuha and Yvanova had moved some of the metal plates from the windows to create firing ports. Rogue's machine gun was blasting from the first floor, while Dimuha's did the same from the upper one. Strelok used his custom SIG sniper to pin down the Omega squad's machine gunner. All in all this skirmish seemed far more balanced between the two sides than the earlier one. The Omega squad had more firepower, with many of its troopers armed with high-powered assault rifles and magazine-fed shotguns, but Strelok's entourage had the advantage in positioning and heavy weapons.
"Chyort, how do we get to the laundromat? It's open ground between us and those woods, far too much for my comfort.", Boris asked in a hushed tone.
"We have no choice but to make a break for it. Your armour should hold just fine.", Degtyarev said bluntly, and with a hesitant nod, Boris threw open the covering and jumped out into the open road.
Degtyarev followed suit, and they rushed on, towards the woodlands. To Boris' surprise, Degtyarev had been right and the Omega squad was too preoccupied to actually notice them. Once they made it into the shelter of the leaves, Degtyarev gave him a thumbs up, and Boris couldn't help but grin. This was a life or death situation and yet it felt like they had managed to evade an angry school teacher after some particularly annoying prank. Weighing their options, the two men decided to make another break for the laundromat. They ducked and weaved between various old concrete blocks and drums, pieces of lumber and ancient machines long dead and rusting. Almost at spitting distance from the laundromat, however, disaster struck. The deafening sound of a loud flying helicopter hit them first, and it was followed by the whirring of a M134 minigun. Boris felt Degtyarev push him behind a concrete block, and then all he could register was the ear-splitting sound of a lead rainstorm.
"That's it, then. No matter how hard we fight, nobody can get a line of sight on that chopper with the death ray running.", Boris complained.
"As much as I hate to agree with that bleak assessment, I know it to be true.", Degtyarev responded, hunkering down seconds later as another spray of death dug itself into the concrete around them.
That was when Boris could see movement at the corner of his eye. Strelok had risen up to the roof of the laundromat, and using the momentary focus of the chopper's gunner to his advance, had began laying down fire at the flying machine. It was mostly ineffective, but it did momentarily turn their attention from Boris and Degtyarev. Using it sprint towards the laundry building, they managed to scrape by with seconds to spare as Strelok retreated back inside as well. The furious gunner, fooled by his stealthy adversary, took out his frustration on the building at large. The entire structure shook as hundreds of rounds poured into it, and the defenders had to retreat back into the most safe room in the middle of the building. There, surrounded by laundry machines that blocked the few bullets that got through, Boris took his bearing on this sorry group.
Sanyok was wounded, and now so was Dimuha. Yar and Cashier, the two locals of this place, were patching them up. Meanwhile Meeker and Stitch took care of the wounded SSU agent from earlier fight with UNISG. Dima had hunkered down next to Rogue. Strelok made his way into the room now, stepping next to Degtyarev, and the two legends of the Zone shared a look that Boris could not entirely decipher but which he got the gist of. A look that said "we have some things to get through, but first we'll deal with this shit." It was too noisy for anyone to hear the others, but right now nobody really had anything to say either. They were under siege, and incredibly outgunned. Boris could see Yvanova at the other side of the room, gripping his gun like it was a saving light in the dark. For a brief second, Boris was sure that this would be the end of Redemption, and all he had worked for. Then, the minigun fire stopped. A sound of Omega squad placing explosives on the main door echoed inside the building. Then, a massive explosion.
Boris opened his eyes, but the door was still intact. Everyone listened as something fell hard from the ground, slamming down like thunder. Dima rushed to the window, Boris in tow, and they saw the Omega chopper, crashed down and burning like a star. The black armoured squad was looking at the crash site in disbelief, when gunfire from the large apartment block began cutting down the survivors. Over all the cacophony of the crash, Boris heard a helicopter. The Valkyrie, hanging atop said building, firing its machine gun at the Omega squad. Combined sniper and heavy machine gun fire tore the small group to shreds, and whatever threat they had posed to Strelok, Redemption and the SSU was now gone.
"The Ecologist Air Force saves the day once more!", Sokolov's voice rang in the comms.
Boris couldn't help but grin. Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat. For a moment he had lost hope. But never again, he swore. For nothing was ever as bleak as it seemed. Yet looking back and realizing the tension suddenly rising between Strelok and Degtyarev, he was suddenly far less sure of victory.
submitted by ImmortalJormund
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2023.06.07 19:13 ALCoutinho Deflector X - Legendary Barrier
2023.06.07 19:11 risky194 RV getting very hot
My RV's AC is on just about 24/7 but it doesn't seem to be helping much. It will still reach up to 85F-90F. The walls get very hot as well to the point where they almost burn my hand. The walls get hotter on my 3 slide outs than they do anywhere else. I just got this RV a couple of months ago and I'm not sure how to solve this. Sadly I'm not able to get it parked under shade or anything at the moment. What else could I try that would help?
submitted by risky194
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