God of war atlas voice actor

Tales of Erin

2018.08.18 21:51 Vintango Tales of Erin

Community to discuss the mobile game "Tales of Erin"

2012.01.03 20:49 Witzy 'Batch me, baby.


2016.01.05 23:27 Alexivous Music for gamers

This subreddit is dedicated to the band Falconshield, who have created over 100 songs about games, mostly League of Legends, and other stuff (depending on what is requested by donors).

2023.06.01 23:49 SapiosexualGuy 28 [M4F] india/anywhere - honest detailed bio [relationship]

I'm a hopeless romantic deeply thoughtful guy. i could become your lifelong soulmate , provided you put in a bit of effort to understand me. I want to know you deeply from within. Do you have the courage to talk freely and be open about who you really are ? We all have shortcomings and issues. Acceptance is important.
I'm eventually looking for a serious long term relationship but I understand a lifelong commitment can be hard to promise or expect. So, I don't mind taking things slow, starting from a friendship with some fun chats and affection / intimacy. But i would like to discuss about the practicalities and feasibilities at some point in our conversation , especially if incompatibilities or geographical barriers are involved that can make it hard for us to be with each other. And then, we can gradually develop that emotional connect and liking for each other as we talk but yet not rush into commitment until we are sure of our decision.
People outside India are welcome too. LDR is fine with me ( i can move to your country). Long distance makes the final meet even more romantic as we travel across the world to be with each other. I'd be so happy if you visit me and learn about Indian culture from me.

Some Essential Info About Me

I was into software development and even did some stock trading on the side. Tried developing my own game as a hobby project. I didn't learn much in college. I was a self taught app developer. Self-employed. I'm not quite settled or established yet, but have enough to make ends meet. But eventually, I found I need support in life. It's difficult to work alone without a business partner or a romantic life partner. So I've just lost motivation to work since past few years. Also because of my family environment. My father hasn't been working since a decade, so I never had a role model growing up who could inspire me to be diligent, disciplined and help me find opportunities.
And I've realized lately that my motivation is more towards finding love. It's like a fuel I need in order to continue to perform. So I'm focusing on that first because I know I can't have my heart in my career if my mind is craving for something else. Finding a loving partner is both a need for me and the foremost thing on my bucket list. And finding consistent compatible women who are self aware and clear about what they want has been hard for me. It often ends in a few weeks. Or converts into a platonic friendship. But if I can't find romantic love, then I hope I atleast can find a true platonic unconditional love. And once I do, I will have the energy in me to realize my potential in the career aspect too.
I've never had a relationship, so you'll be my first.
Physical: height is six feet ** , I'm average build , slightly **muscular. Fair skin but not white, more like wheatish. Black hair. Cute. I get mixed responses. Some women like my looks, while some ghost after seeing my pics. ( in case you feel unattracted, just tell me bluntly 😅. I appreciate straightforwardness)

My Personality

I really like being a support and best friend to anyone, even if relationship doesn't work out between us. I believe in honesty, kindness, fidelity, privacy, empathy. I am straightforward in talks, i hate mind games, you don't need to be over-polite . Be blunt and straight with me please.
I think i'm assertive and i openly express how i feel and i want you to do the same. If you keep things bottled in, you'll be at discomfort. I want you to share your feelings & thoughts with me in a direct way and be as comfortable while talking , as if i'm your best friend.
I'm an ambivert because i feel introvert with people i don't really connect with and extrovert otherwise. My MBTI type (can't say if it is still the same) is ENTP.

My Interests and Hobbies

talking to people, listening to their issues and helping out, playing sports, especially those involving teamwork, i really want to collaborate eventually to solve problems the world faces. I am altruistic but self-centred too.

Affection & Intimacy

These are results of my love language test :
40% Acts of Service
20% Quality Time
18% Physical Touch
12% Receiving Materialistic offerings
10% Words of Affirmation
I like to give hugs every few hours. I believe i have a high drive. I am a sapiosexual, means attracted to intelligence. I adore your brain. While I'm not a demisexual, overall, I think it's the emotions and love which makes it all the more fulfilling. I like giving pleasure as much as receiving. I also can adapt to my partner's nature. So, I am dominating if they like me to lead and take control but I can be submissive too.

Who I’m Looking for

A woman anywhere on the Earth (if you can't relocate, i will ) who is preferably around my age (but I'm flexible) , any race. I'm open minded about your views of god, life philosophy. religion etc and you should be tolerant too. I'd prefer though that you follow a middle ground between a religious zealot and a hardcore nihilist. I do believe our existence and life has a purpose. But even if we don't align in our spiritual beliefs now, we may become like-minded as we talk and understand each other. We need to be receptive to new ideas and alternate viewpoints and rational / logical.
I value love and intelligence above everything else, so even if you are depressed, don't have confidence in your beauty, have some mental health issues, are not able to get over a break up, still i'd like to atleast get to know you , be your friend and give it a chance.
I feel people who have faced failures are actually wiser, people who have experienced depression before are mature and those who have suffered loss in the past are more emotionally stronger. I'm looking for a loving heart and beautiful soul. Physical attraction is important , but not the main thing i look for.
I don't smoke, drink, take any drugs, and i'd prefer if you don't as well.If you do, i won't pressurize you to change your lifestyle completely for me but I'd want you to put in an effort to abstain from that. I understand addictions are tough to deal with. But occasional indulgence is fine.
I also don't care about your income. You may be a college dropout , unemployed , that's alright. But i need you to be hard working and diligent.
In this overpopulated world, it doesn't make ethical sense for us to have kids. And a secondary reason is they deserve lot of time, attention and resources which we may not be able to provide with our life situations. I don't want to become the cause of why their upbringing may get messed up. That's why I have a preference towards being childfree.


I am open towards voice calls too whereas video calls only after some weeks . You don't need to send a pic right away but you can ask for mine after we chat for some hours . I don't abandon people abruptly , i'd let you know if i wish to discontinue talking. I'm also transparent about whoever i'm speaking to. I will never cheat on you , lead you on , keep you as a backup option , etc. You are free to explore your dating options until we become exclusive. I encourage you to talk to other people too.
If two lonely people get together, we can dispel away the loneliness.
submitted by SapiosexualGuy to MeetPeople [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:49 GruzzyFunt Bert laugh

Just wrapped up 347 They Come & Go, near the end as he is riffing on Bud Lite he starts to do this odd very projected laugh.
It struck an eerie chord to BK's manic forced wheez laugh which while endearing at first, has begun to wear on me. I hope it was just the holy spirit? You don't need to be your own applause meter with a laugh, just get a giggler back in the other chair instead of these voice of God spooks.
submitted by GruzzyFunt to TimDillon [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:49 Odd_craving If God has perfect knowledge, he knew all of the wars and killings that would be done in his name. He knew that we’d live in a fallen world. He knew that I wouldn’t believe before he made me. Does this kind of God seem plausible?

How can this kind of situation be moral, and how are people personally responsible for doing what God knew that they’d do?
submitted by Odd_craving to AskAChristian [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:46 shamanowl888 What I learned Today- The Mind Follows Where the Body Goes

Recently, I've endeavored to approach my spirituality with Healing being my main focus.
I believe firmly that this coincides with my intense interest in necromancy, and naturally my affinity towards Death. My unique spiritual DNA, I think, has to do alot with my own personal tower moments. Times in my life where I faced the deepest ravines of my personal shadow, where my ego was cut with a scythe; albeit, allowed to regrow again over time. Friends, honestly, I used to be thick in the gangs, the drugs, and that lifestyle which guarantees never tomorrow. The past, my past, was an eclectic mix of many different social circles.
My path was walking through fire the whole time. Whether self-afflicted, or a casualty of war, it is a miracle I am alive. I testify to Santa Muerte always watching over Me.
I know my addiction is in the past, and I don't mean to always thread it in my reflections.
In deepest conviction, I feel and believe it speaks alot about where you are today ... when can use the past as a focal point for real change. It's like all of the sudden, when I got serious about who I am, where I want to go, and how to become who that man is (the one I visualized for so long, the one I needed to be to myself), the one I visualize in daily meditation; all the sudden... the low notes were transposed into a symphony. I have a real family now, I am going to be a Father. I am a rising pillar in the local recovery community. I've been able to be of spiritual assistance to human family that I meet along my journey. To Be this far and look back, it is humbling. Silently I admit, absolutely, a sign post of the turn around is the Spirits. Belial for sure, Lucifer, Paimon, Abaddon. Absolutely, integral, is Santa Muerte. For real, she is so powerfully with Me; I feel a new level of peace and comfort never before felt in this lifetime.
I feel in my heart, the reason I am sharing all of this previous information, is to help explain to you why I feel it's worthy to share today's experience. All of my sharing, has nothing to do with "my" genius, rather this story stands as a testament to the power of Santa Muerte.
Today I woke up at 5Am, meditated on "restoration" for an hour. I dropped my Sananga eye drops into my eye, slowly breathing and accepting the sting of the medicinal sananga eye drops. Sananga is a power filled medicine imported from Brazil. These eye drops utilize subtle energetic medicine to slowly decalcify the pineal grand. Sananga clears the "panema" from the eyes, panema being an indigenous term to reference "dark energy" or stagnant energies which disinhibit our true vision. Our true vision perceives not only the 3 Dimensional, but also the 4 Dimensional and higher; or in a sense, the fullness of the astral plane and spiritual dimensions.
I dropped the Sananga, and I jogged to the park which was 2 miles away. I was going to be a little late unless I sprinted, so I ran without stopping. The whole time I kept thinking "don't be a bitch" and I hauled ass. My friend, like I said, they are a military veteran and a bad ass so I have the utmost respect for their time and the quality of who they are as a human being. When I arrived at this meeting spot, we dapped up and stretched, and then we got too work.
We ran. It wasn't too difficult for me, and at the same time, I'm thinking about the warrior I was honored to train with today and I'm doing self-talk. "mother fucker, you will not stop" and I'm thinking of how I lost a good friend who struggled with addiction to a fentanyl overdose last weekend. I'm thinking of my future family. I'm thinking of how I want to be as ripped and fit as my little brother who is finishing his training in bootcamp right now. I want him to come home and be proud of me, and I want to earn the respect of everyone I meet; Not by talk, rather through actions. There is an undeniable power that comes with being a ripped beast-mode mother fucker. That is Me and who I am becoming.
The summary of that paragraph is "self-talk" and how I used mental images and strong emotions, both negative and positive, to propel me inside of this flow state as I surpassed the previous mental limitations I had placed on myself, and I broke through that fucking ceiling like a raging bull. There were a couple times we stopped, and during those times I was able to connect with my Brother whom I have the utmost respect for. It was during these moments, the camaderie was built and deeper rapport established. So "Here is my message from Ma - Self Talk is EVERYTHING!"
We are repelled and attracted; on an etheric, mental, subtle level it is important to understand the self, and how the self is pushed away from people, places, and things, and attracted towards pleasurable people, places, and things. You are the one in control of writing the programming regarding what attracts you; I used to be moving towards temporary fleshly desires, and now I am strongly attracted towards beinga beacon of hope, laughter, and love; Do not be fooled, I am not love and light. I am very much in touch with darkness, however through this internal understanding of the shadow I am growing into a spirit within a body who accelerates and enhances the energy of those around me, whatever their path may be.
What Am I repelled from? This would be what has cost me tremendous pain, shame, and dissappointent. What I've overdosed on ten years ago, the drugs which have cost me brothers and sisters - yeah, it's thick where I come from, and the pain is deep. I am repelled by that which would create me to become a hypocrite and disrepect towards Santa Muerte whom has granted me family, safety, peace, love, life, and wisdom. What that looks like, is a glutton for pain who disrespects his family and future daughter by choosing to step away from HIs most perfect self. If you pause and think about what I said, consider what that looks like... Reaistically, I am liberal and maybe you could say "Dutch" in the sense that I don't judge, and me personally, I have done a line of cocaine or two and been cool. As long as you got your fucking priorities straight and you're honest with your "god damned self" you know? It's the repulsion from becoming a straight drug fiend, a liar and thief who denys the self and chooses a false projection to subsist on fake pleasure. I enjoy drugs for inspiration, within moderation, with the exceptions of opiates. I avoid the hard shit in general, this writing is all keeping it A- to the motha fuckin real.
I grew up some of my life with the Hood, and also had the privilege of a middle class lifestyle at the least. When I was 18, I left the midwest and went out west to Nevada/Salt Lake City and I got a real taste of the streets. I was a rebellious, hustling psychonaut hellbent on the truth. I was also susceptible to magicians whom claimed to be "Divine and Chosen", having been raised in a very strict and very abusive religious enviroment. All of this submersion into the reality of the world, and the streets, from the Hood and the homeless shelters and the deepest crevices of societies underbelly (even rubbing shoulders with traffickers of drugs and humans on bulk, never NEVER advocating for that shit.... never really judging as such a young man, practically a teenager even, yet never advocating... just observing as a demonic creature witnessing the world...) all of this immersion, this modern baptism into Darkness, it served to broaden my horizons and open me to the possibilities of healing myself.
See when I started out on this spirtual journey officially, doing dedications and witch craft spells for wisdom and knowledge, more than sex and money, this all began a process which I believed altered my quantum reality. My initial course of reality was shifted, and I made choices more in line with "chaos" than the order predetermined and set for me. How I got to this point was willingly embracing "tower moments" only now, looking back, it is coming full circle and I am able to provide real support to those around me having been throught that darkness, and most importantly support to myself.
So In retrospect, today's run of 7 miles was also an "offering", a sort of proposal to my personal God and Ma, respecting them and inviting them into my spirit. Movement can be a great way to transmute the personal struggle and internal state, and with this in mind, I am also encouraging you to get up and become active. Find a way to participate in creative acts, and co-creation; reflect, encourage, and inspire.
I feel like maybe this post was a bit adhd, so I want to leave you with a few thoughts. No Matter Where You Are At, Santa Muerte Accepts You. She wants to see you Shine, and become all that you are. If you love yourself, or maybe you are struggling to love yourself, do you love Ma enough too ask Her to change you? She will create circumstances in your life, move people around, and you will be faced with temptations and challenges. Maybe even losing things. Where there is loss, there is room to grow. So have hope. Be strong. Life is so fucking temporary. Who you live as, beginning today, that is what counts. When you die, choose to face your God, Goddess, Deities, Self ; choose to face that with clean hands and an open heart.
Today I ran alot of miles, it was more than that. My personal achievements are very, very small in the grand scheme of the cosmos. I believe we are small fractals of the greater cosmos at large, therefore our choices everyday contribute to a small movement that is great when collective, a diretional change towards a better future for our children, and a better earth. If nothing else, we can say that we lived as Gods. Hail To Thee! Hail ThySelf! Hail Santisma!
submitted by shamanowl888 to santa_muerte_2021 [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:40 AnarchoFerret Narrator: it was, in fact, not photoshopped

Narrator: it was, in fact, not photoshopped submitted by AnarchoFerret to Fakertarians [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:38 ShoulderGlad5202 SW5e Game in need of players

Hey guys, I was asked by my DM to make a post. We need 1-2 more players for a campaign we're going to be running this Friday at 8 PM CST or 9 PM EST. We will most likely keep to that time. The DM plans to have each session be 1-2 hours long.
The game will be set in the Old Republic, at the very beginning of the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. Because this is a "Sith Empire game," according to the DM, we need anyone wanting to join to be at least 18 years or older. We will be discussing sensitive topics that the DM is not comfortable bringing forward in front of people younger than that.
You're free to pick any class you want, but keep in mind you'll be working for the Empire. We also really need a Healer.
We don't have too many rules, just the usual. Treat others how you'd want to be treated, no overly weird behavior, and don't be That Guy.
Thank you for reading through this, and please let me know if you're interested. I will message you the discord link. We will speak through discord voice channel and also use text channel for the game. My friend Zumbo and I will help you make a character if you need it.
submitted by ShoulderGlad5202 to sw5e [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:37 Joloemaster Fantasy or SciFi books with woke element or by woke authors which are actually good

A while ago before I was red-pilled, I was already interested broading my horizon of fantasy books and unfortunately ended up on the god-forsaken Fantasy Subreddit. Here, I was taken in by the insanity of Critical Race and Feminism. For this reason, I wishlisted books which contain woke leftist or elements like LGBTQ characters and sTRoNg Wamen or are written by female or just woke authors like N.K Jeminism. After knowing better, I try to avoid books with such characteristics, but I heard many good things about those books. For this reason, I want some book suggestion which are "woke" but are also entertaining on their own even if you don´t agree with their politics.
I also want to add a list of books of which many are woke but I want to know if these are actually good:
submitted by Joloemaster to KotakuInAction [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:37 Longshanks_1 [Online] [5e] [Homebrew Campaign] [1-2 Players to backfill lost players] [Friday Nights - 8pm CST]

BLUF Details: 1. Looking for 1-2 interested people to join an ongoing campaign, existing characters are around level 6-8, Warlock, Wizard, Paladin, RangeRogue are the most consistent players we have. 2. When? Friday nights at 8pm CST - using Discord for voice and Owlbear as Virtual Tabletop (VTT). 3. If interested, you could join the next session June 2, 2023 at 8pm CST.
Non-spoiler campaign summary: Kingdom of Stormpyr is recovering from a Unification war after it broke into three realms in the distant past. Ongoing hostilities remain among various people causing disruption of recovery efforts. In the depths of the world, a more hostile force is making its presence felt...
Northern Halorbite Map
Stormpyr Realms World Timeline
Stormpyr Realms Campaign Summary
Deities of the Realms
(All of this is homebrew story/details I created for the campaign - the maps are still a work in progress, however.)
About the group: - Ages range all over, primarily 30-45.- Humanity first, we're open to players of varying lifestyles, gender, sexuality, etc. -The challenge? All of us are parents, and our careers involve emergency response, so it does happen that sessions are cancelled due to IRL requirements. (I know most D&D players are aware of this, but wanted to be up front. Our jobs can literally activate us on a minute by minute notice.) - We've had members drop due to work, miss a week or two, and then return. I simply adjust the plot to get them engaged. Do I make it goofy? Well, sometimes...

Interested? Apply here!

Note: Group dynamic and supporting one another is important to the DM, and the DM wants the group to work together in a cohesive, RP/lore based manner. Disruptive play, antagonizing one another, harassment, and similar are NOT allowed nor are they negotiable to the DM. We had an experience in the past where a new member engaged in "RP" that tried to force a party-wipe during a peaceful encounter - we don't want to experience that again.

submitted by Longshanks_1 to lfg [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:35 PrecSci 25 most recommended SciFi books on Reddit - (Ok, now I'm starting to like AI - check out this list of books it generated!)

I asked Google Bard to shift the wheat from the chaff. Took about 5 minutes of iterations to get here, but this is what I asked Bard to do:
Search reddit for science fiction book recommendations. Pay particular attention to threads with a high number of comments. Extract book, author and very short synopsis. The threads should be from the last 3 years. You should list the books in order of the number of mentions they received (including all upvotes as a mention). List the top 25 recommendations based on mentions (counting upvotes as a mention). Remove the links from the list, keep book, author and year. Add a brief synopsis of each book (no more than 3 sentences). Add a descriptor of the sub-genre of sci-fi that the book is generally categorized in. List them in text blocks, not a table. 
And the output. (Disclaimer, I sure as hell didn't go in by hand and verify this, but based on my experiences here it seems reasonable.)
Sure, here is the list of the top 25 science fiction books recommended on Reddit, based on mentions in threads with a high number of comments from the last 3 years. I have removed the links from the list, and added a brief synopsis of each book (no more than 3 sentences) and a descriptor of the sub-genre of sci-fi that the book is generally categorized in.
Dune by Frank Herbert (1965) - Epic space opera about a young man who must lead his people in a war against an evil empire. [hard science fiction]
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1979) - Hilarious and thought-provoking comedy about a man's journey through space after the Earth is destroyed. [comedy science fiction]
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (1985) - Psychological thriller about a young boy who is trained to be a military leader. [military science fiction]
The Martian by Andy Weir (2011) - Hard science fiction about an astronaut who is stranded on Mars and must use his ingenuity to survive. [hard science fiction]
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (2006) - Epic science fiction novel about the first contact between humans and an alien civilization. [hard science fiction]
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (2011) - Hard science fiction about an amnesiac astronaut who must save humanity from an alien threat. [hard science fiction]
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke (1973) - Mystery novel about a cylindrical object that enters the Solar System and is not of human origin. [hard science fiction]
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (1974) - Military science fiction about a soldier who fights in a war that spans centuries. [military science fiction]
World War Z by Max Brooks (2006) - Post-apocalyptic horror novel about a fictional oral history of the zombie apocalypse. [post-apocalyptic science fiction]
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (1969) - Social science fiction novel about an envoy from Earth who is sent to a planet where there is no gender. [social science fiction]
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge (1992) - Epic science fiction novel about two civilizations that are separated by an unbridgeable distance in space and time. [hard science fiction]
The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (1974) - First contact novel about a human starship that encounters an alien civilization that is technologically inferior. [hard science fiction]
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (1974) - Political science fiction novel about a utopian society on an anarchist planet. [social science fiction]
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (1968) - Dystopian novel about a bounty hunter who is tasked with killing replicants, which are androids that are indistinguishable from humans. [dystopian science fiction]
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (1968) - Philosophical novel about a manned mission to Jupiter that encounters an alien monolith. [hard science fiction]
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (2009) - Environmental science fiction novel about a genetically engineered girl who is sold into slavery in a dystopian future. [environmental science fiction]
The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (1995) - Nanotechnology novel about a young girl who is raised in a virtual reality world and is given a book that contains the secrets of the future. [hard science fiction]
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992) - Cyberpunk novel about a hacker who is hired to steal a program that can control the global economy. [cyberpunk]
Blindsight by Peter Watts (2006) - Hard science fiction novel about a group of scientists who investigate an alien organism that has been found in the ocean. [hard science fiction]
The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells (2017-present) - A series of novellas about a security robot who has hacked its own governor module and is trying to figure out what it wants to do with its newfound freedom. [cyberpunk]
submitted by PrecSci to suggestmeabook [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:35 MrFlac00 TheConsumer and Blind Skepticism

TLDR: TheConsumer is wrong about the CDC/FDA, he arrives at this position with basically zero evidence, and it undermines his entire conversation. He should do better, but I think he can.
Quick set up: I'm basing this post purely on this video, so if there is additional context from the stream I don't have access to it (who watches livestreams lmao). Also I don't hate this TheConsumer guy, he seems good faith and offers a different perspective in good ways, I just think his method of arriving at skepticism is flawed and this specific point is wrong. I'm also not going to talk about the SSRI's convo (as I have no background on it) nor the vaccine convo, we're gonna focus on the FDA/CDC part.
My argument is this: bad skepticism is just as bad if not worse than blind acceptance, and what TheConsumer did during the FDA/CDC conversation was bad skepticism.
Lets start with my probably flawed definition of what skepticism is: skepticism is reasonable doubt and neutral fact-seeking around certain accepted ideas. Importantly skepticism does not start from an assumption of rightness or wrongness of an idea, it requires a sufficient level of evidence one way or another. The sufficient level of evidence is also important as having too high a level makes proving something impossible, and having too low a level can lead to quickly jumping to a conclusion and accidentally biasing ourselves towards that conclusion with further analysis.
TheConsumer's first argument is much too low a level of evidence against the FDA, misinterpreting a fraud suit and rapidly extrapolating. Here's his own words at 16:03. In it TheConsumer speaks about Bextra: claiming the drug killed people, that although the FDA did catch Pfizer the FDA also approved the drug in the first place (clearly implying that this was partially on the FDA for approving the drug). So what actually happened with Bextra? Bextra (Valdecoxib) was an anti-inflammatory drug approved by the FDA in 2001, approved for "relief of signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis and adult rheumatoid arthritis and for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea".
Bextra had two issues, one got it pulled in 2005 and the other was the fraud TheConsumer mentioned. First it had more extreme symptoms than previously found, namely potentially lethal skin rash and some heart problems, and was pulled from the market in 2005. I'm not an expert on drug approval so there is stuff I might misunderstand here, but it appears FDA testing did notice rash side effects (page 20) but it was not as extreme as what got Bextra pulled. Also to note, I'm not totally familiar with the industry but from my understanding a drug being pulled in 4 years is pretty quick, especially since roll-out likely took some time after FDA approval.
The fraud suit had nothing to do with these symptoms, and was not the fault of the FDA. See the FDA approved Bextra as an anti-inflammatory drug for a specific population, but Pfizer began marketing the drug off-label to doctors as a pain medication especially post-surgery. So to be clear the huge fraud suite worth 1.9 billion dollars was due to actual fraud and due to the drug being used outside of FDA approval.
Lets get back to TheConsumer's argument then. He touts this as a "boy cried wolf" scenario where the FDA lied, but this is clearly not the truth. The fraud suit was not because the FDA lied but instead because Pfizer lied. In a scenario where the FDA was perfect and honest this situation would still proceed and Pfizer would be caught in the same way as it is not the failure of FDA regulators which caused Pfizer to sell their drugs off-label. As well Destiny's initial pushback becomes even stronger: we don't trust drugs because Pfizer is honest, we trust drugs because checks on drug companies by the FDA and other regulators who have incentives to check those companies.
"But ah", you might say, "what about when the drug got pulled in the first place and KILLED seven PEOPLE?!?!?" Yes that did happen, but here the level of evidence is important. When judging whether an institution is lying or not we need to make space for honest mistakes. My schizo-y section was trying to show whether there was evidence of a cover-up or planned incompetence, and from what I found there is no evidence of this. The FDA trials did see signs of the extreme rash in in-vivo trials but not to the degree as what came later. When evidence began mounting of a clear issue the FDA issued a clear (and at the time, viewed as slightly extreme) statement and action, pulling the drug. Again, if we assume the FDA was a totally honest actor I don't see how very different this could have played out.
To be frank, this is pretty incompetent skepticism. For one, I don't think a singular example or even a few examples of the FDA "lying" would be enough to view them as a corrupt institution. The FDA is massive and so many drugs go through their approval process every year that a couple examples in their 116 year history is nothing. But even then I could grant this line of argument if the examples are MASSIVE or at least show clear systemic fraud....and this case just fails to show anything. I would expect if you hang your hat on singular examples of fraud at the very least you would have read the wiki page.
Second, the argument of how the FDA receives funding and puts the cart well before the horse. TheConsumer states that the CDC [FDA] is clearly not able to monitor companies like Pfizer because they "take large paychecks" from the pharmaceutical industry. Beyond this statement being non-representative to the point of being basically a lie, which Destiny rightly catches him on, the more moderated position is still wrong. In it TheConsumer points out that 40% of the CDC [FDA] budget comes from the fees generated in approval of drugs. This is only partially true as he identifies total "user fees" which includes other sources of income (like Tobacco fees which generate 712 million). According to Congressional reports (this fact sheet is a bit easier to understand) only 1.224 billion of the total ~6.1 billion is from prescription drug "user fees". So ok, 20% of funding. Again, basic research showed this, did TheConsumer do any? These fees are generated from when companies put their drug up for FDA approval. As quick historical background this has only been the case since the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) in 1992.
What does this money actually do? Well it helps fund....the drug approval process. So the FDA is making money off of drug approvals to fund their other departments? I can't find modern numbers but in 2002 only half the cost of drug approval was covered by user fees, the rest was covered by discretionary funding. Presuming incentives here maybe TheConsumer could have a point, incentives could make the FDA more likely to fast-track many drugs to increase its funding. But surely we'd see consequences of this? According to this article we saw an increase from pre to post PDUFA of drugs being removed/getting different warnings post approval from 21% to 27%. That's bad from a public health standpoint, but an increase of 6% is not rabid corruption to the point where you can't trust the FDA. As well, that could be explainable from other sources, prescription drugs are complicated.
This doesn't mean that the FDA cannot be corrupt, but using actual skepticism we need more evidence than this. We should lean on, for example, reliable reporting instead. But TheConsumer doesn't do this, instead its handwaving at numbers and assuming the result.
OK lets address the 1000lb gorilla in the room, why did I hyperfocus on this one 15 second section of this one video?
The reason is this is the foundation of his point and there is no foundation. TheConsumer arrived at the FDA/CDC (because he conflates the two) being corrupt from the fact they receive funding from requiring companies to pay for drug approval, and the approval of Bextra. That's it. The former is inadequate proof of this corruption he speaks to, and the latter just isn't factually true. The lack of basic knowledge of the facts, the conflation of two wildly different agencies, the assumptions of proof; all of this points to a complete disregard of skeptical engagement. On its own this is fine but its that TheConsumer then extrapolates from this to the point where he doesn't trust FDA approval of the Covid vaccines.
I'm gonna go schizo-psychoanalyst here (so I'm making lots of assumptions), but I think this is representative of a broader issue. TheConsumer seems like a smart dude, he can engage in reasonable conversation, he took points in stride and didn't immediately jump argument the moment he received pushback, I wasn't reflexively trying to gouge my eyes out with a melon baller listening the video, overall a good 7/10 convo would watch again. Its the "I'm a jack of all trades" statement he made (that with the anti-vax adjacent language) that got me thinking because it reminds me of myself. Its very easy as a smart dude to conflate two statements together: I do rational things, I am a rational person. The former speaks to a pattern of action from oneself and the latter is identity. The problem is when we conflate the two we begin to believe that the actions we do are rational because we do it, not because the thing itself was a rational thing to do.
Frankly, TheConsumer did not do the bare minimum of research on this subject. He knows less than nothing. Yet he has established a pretty broad-reaching set of values on this nothing. I'm entirely assuming but I think TheConsumer already arrived at this conclusion, that the FDA/CDC/NIH/three letter agency are corrupt and not to be trusted, well before he had any real evidence to try to draw from. That's a problem. Its a problem that is not unique to this guy, but all of us who engage with subjects well out of our field of expertise, especially Destiny. But its not an inescapable problem and I think this video gives good lessons to learn of what not to do. I'll give credit to Destiny as much as I disagree with him at times, he does appear to have a voice which tells him to "stop, lets try to understand this better". But we all can do better.
submitted by MrFlac00 to Destiny [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:34 Intelligent-Lack-122 My Retrospective on all the theatrical Spider-Man Movies

In anticipation of Across the Spider-Verse, I decided to go over all the theatrical movies and give my thoughts on them. I won't be going over Spider-Man appearances in Civil War, Infinity War, or Endgame. Just the ones where Spidey is the main character. I also won't be talking the Venom movies or Morbius.

First up are the 3 movies with Tobey Maguire.

Spider-Man (2002):
Despite some dated CGI shots. This movie has stood the test of time, and has gotten better with age. Before Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire was Spider-Man/Peter Parker to me. As a kid when I saw him and Kirsten Dunst playing Peter Parker and Mary Jane, I didn't see actors I saw Peter Parker and Mary Jane. The two who steal the show are JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson and Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin. JK was born to play Jonah. While Willem Dafoe embraces the Green Goblin character in the same manner as Jack Nicholson's Joker in Batman. The music is also amazing. The Danny Elfman score is one of the best themes I've heard, to me that always will be the Spider-Man theme. There are the songs for the film like Hero by Chad Kroeger and All About by Sum 41 that are just as iconic as the movie. A perfect balance of Humor and Drama, and some great action scenes for the 2000s. And it's very faithful to Spider-Man's origins while still being it's own thing, which should impress both diehard fans and newcomers.

Spider-Man 2:
Just as good as the first, and one of the best sequels I've seen. The film deals with Peter Parker struggling with responsibilities as Himself and as Spider-Man, this is something a lot of people can easily relate to. Since Peter wants to have a normal life without the stress of being a superhero. And his duties as Spider-Man has led to him being fired, his friend Harry resenting him, not being there for his Aunt May, and his love interest Mary Jane rejecting him for another guy. But in the end he realizes that the city needs Spider-Man. Especially against the new villain Doc Ock played by Alfred Molina, who is just as amazing as Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin.

Spider-Man 3:
This movie had some cool action scenes, and I thought it did a good job juggling the 6 main characters Peter, Harry, MJ, Venom, & Sandman. As well as their personal struggles. I also like the direction they went with where Peter let the fame as Spider-Man go to his head, to being consumed with revenge after finding out Sandman killed Uncle Ben, to learning what it means to put others before himself. But it's kinda Silly at times, Gwen Stacy was completely pointless, and I agree that the dancing scene was pretty lame. But other then those problems, I still think it's a good movie, just not as good as the first two.

Next up is the two Andrew Garfield films.

The Amazing Spider-Man:
I have issues with this one. I don't like Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man (not in this movie anyway), I don't like The Lizard, and I don't like the fact that we went through the origin story again, I know it's a reboot but I still wasn't interested in seeing Peter become Spider-Man for the second time. But I will say that Sally Field and Martin Sheen were perfectly cast as Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and I will admit that Peter and Gwen Stacy have good chemistry (mainly because Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were dating at that time).While I didn't hate this movie, I was very underwhelmed.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2:
This movie is a sloppy mess with too many storylines and new characters that are underdeveloped and takes themselves way too seriously. It also has a really dumb twist that's like something out of an episode of Power Rangers. There was one good touching scene between Peter and Aunt May when she told him about his father, but that's the only positive I can give it. While The first Amazing Spider-Man wasn't that good at least it was watchable, and say what you want about Spider-Man 3, it may have had some of the issues but at least it knew how to balance the story and characters. To the studio it was just and ad to promote future spinoffs and sequels, and nothing more. Thankfully after this train wreck, things would get better.

Now we're onto the Tom Holland movies.

Spider-Man Homecoming:
The second reboot of Spider-Man, but the first one since Spider-Man 2 to get the character right (absolutely right). In the movie, Peter Parker desperately wants to be an avenger just like Iron man, despite being in high school. But throughout the film, he learns what it means to be a real hero, which is helping out the little people. Tom Holland is the best actor who has played the character and Michael Keaton as The Vulture is the best Spider-Man villain since Doc Ock. This film also made me a fan of The Ramones, extra points for that.

Spider-Man Far from Home:
Seeing it for the first time in theaters, I thought it was just OK. But as time went on I started to like it more and more. What makes this film great is seeing Peter trying to live up to what Iron man did before him, and the pressure it has on him. And his relationship with MJ is just adorable, she is probably the best girlfriend in the Spider-Man movies. While I like Vulture more, Mysterio was a welcome addition to the series.
Spider-Man No Way Home:
I won't go into too much detail as I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet. But the best way I can describe this movie is that it's The Dark Knight of Spider-Man movies. The film pushes boundaries and raises the bar on superhero movies. No Way Home is a perfect example of a movie that balances nostalgia with good writing, which ties up all the loose ends from not just this Spider-Man series, but also the other series that came before it. Also, not everyone is going live happily ever after by the end of the film, in fact Peter does have to make the ultimate sacrifice. These are things that other long running movie franchises should take inspiration from. Now of course this isn't the end, because there is another sequel in production, and I look forward to seeing these characters again . Aside of the mid credit scene, I can't think of any major issues.

Finally the first animated Spidey movie.

Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse:
I can now say that the good Spider-Man movies officially out way all the bad and mediocre ones. It's one of the most unique animated films I've seen, a 3D movie in the style of a comic book. But that's not all, Miles Morales is a well written character and makes a great Spider-Man in his own right. In addition the film has memorable supporting characters such as Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, and of course Spider-Hamm. It's also has a great moral that anyone can be Spider-Man, no matter who they are.

So, there's my retrospective on all the movies until Across the Spider-Verse comes out. I'll give my thoughts on it sometime in the future.
submitted by Intelligent-Lack-122 to Spiderman [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:34 JAbremovic [POEM] "Antonous ", Mikhail Kuzmin, 1923. Full poem. #pride

submitted by JAbremovic to Poetry [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:34 cheez_luvr55 Question about Syl’s past from a quote in Oathbringer…

“‘Besides, there was … another voice. Pure, with a song like tapped crystal, distant yet demanding…’ She smiled, and zipped away.”
^ this is a quote from syl in kaladin’s first chapter in Oathbringer. What is the voice syl is talking about? Before she said this, she was talking about how she was connected to kaladin before she knew him. Could it be connected to the pure tones of roshar that we hear about in Rhythm of War?
submitted by cheez_luvr55 to Stormlight_Archive [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:30 lucarionHarmony I basically have an appointment to get HRT. What now?

Happy pride month all!
I [21, transfem] realized recently in a conversation with my friend about my gender and future that I've been procrastinating about transitioning. There was a moment where I mentioned getting married to my girlfriend and aloud went "Oh god. There's so much I have to do before then." I don't want to graduate college in a year and I definitely don't want to get married as deadname and agab but I also still don't know exactly who I *do* want to do these things as (or how to become her).
Every day lately though I've been getting deeper into the Dysphoria Hole, and even more, fear that if I wait any longer, it will be too late for my own comfort. So first day of pride month I bit the bullet and despite my nerves, I just now called the gender affirming care clinic. But I skipped over so many steps to get here because I haven't come out to my family, have barely begun to socially transition (my friends know me as nonbinary but I don't have the courage to dress especially feminine in public), don't have a name I like, haven't done voice therapy, etc.
So, what's the first step to catching up? What path has worked for y'all?
PS. If it helps, the reaction my two parents will give will average out to indifference. I know I will struggle to get my mom to respect name and pronouns but it's whatever. I feel like I should have a name to go with my identity before I come to them so they don't learn it's okay to deadname me, but idk.
submitted by lucarionHarmony to asktransgender [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:29 demonpiggies [USA-CT][H] SEGA Genesis Games, GB [W] Paypal

Cross-posted in both Gameswap and Retrogameswap if you want to trade instead (retro games, comics, ps4/5 games, etc.)

SEGA Genesis


submitted by demonpiggies to GameSale [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:23 Ser_Dudeness Need help with creating a teleporting merchant

Hello, I am creating a new campaign and i am thinking of creating a merchant/artificeartisan who freely teleports like the Brokk and Sindri from God of war games (basically they can freely and instantly teleport wherever they want). E.g. players could meet him in a closed room in a dungeon.
I of course want to make it in the best dnd way possible. He will have a connection to the group, so i also want to prevent any teleport-abuse, like persuading him to teleport into a mansion and get something for them. ( i understand it is easy to say no, but am looking for a better reason)
So far i came up with the idea of some form of astral plane travelling. Any ideas of how to implement this power in the game or how to make him a better npc would be very much appreciated.
submitted by Ser_Dudeness to DnD [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:22 Trash_Tia My college's cheer squad have too much school spirit. In fact, I think they're going to kill me.

If I had to pick an embarrassing moment which will haunt me until I die—it has to be the time I tried out for The Sunbeam cheer squad last year. I was a freshman, and I wanted community. Friends.
I heard the cheer squad were just an extra-curricular group rather than an actual majoring level class, so I figured I’d give them a shot. It’s not like I could ignore them.
On my first day when I was moving into my dorm room, I must have walked into the same girl three times. I am in strict belief that it is not possible for a human being to be permanently happy.
And yet that was her. She wandered around like the sun shone right out of her ass, and it was both endearing and terrifying.
The girl resembled the sun herself, a halo of golden curls held in a scrunchie and a flaunting sundress, matching ribbons wrapped around her. The Sunbeam Squad were easy to spot because they were all wearing insanely bright yellow—waving around gold streamers, ribbons tangled in their hair. They all spoke in insanely high pitched voices like they inhaled helium for a living, but that must have been their shtick, right? It was kind of cute. I wasn’t expecting such a welcome in the shape of guy’s and girl’s looking like they had just stepped off of ABC Kids. The girl who handed me a flyer and yelled in my face about school spirit was practically hopping up and down, a bright grin splitting her lips apart.
I nodded and smiled politely, stuffing the flyer in my bag and heading into my room to finish moving my stuff in. When I looked out of my window a few hours later, the Sunbeam squad was still threaded through the crowd, each of them wrapped in glittering fairy lights illuminated in the late evening sunset glow. Sunbeam. Yeah, I got it, but it was still kinda overkill. They were starting to remind me of a cult.
That, however, didn’t stop me trying out. I’m fairly athletic, and they were exactly what I wanted. I’ve never had a group of people I could call friends.
Though it’s not like I could blame anyone but myself. I was a shut-in for most of high school. I either worked or preferred my own company in my room. One of my biggest regrets is pushing people away, friends I wanted to get even closer to. Because now they had built these lifelong friendships and relationships, and I was stuck at 18 years old with nobody but childhood friends I spoke to once a year when we sent mutual holiday greetings to each other. But college could change that.
At least, that’s what I hoped. I spoke to as many people as possible on my first day—and in my head I was making them. Slowly but surely I was actually making friends in my classes I wanted to hang out with.
Sunbeam were my attempt to go even further and join a club. Through word of mouth in my first few weeks of classes, I learned they were more of an extra-curricular group for fun.
They didn’t cheer competitively and had been formed in the mid-90’s by some kids who wanted to make a community out of positivity and school spirit. Sunbeam had a reputation for being Watson State student body’s beacons—and their team’s good luck charm. It was well known across campus that the squad was the reason behind the college’s fortune.
It had been like that since they formed 30 years ago, with members through the generations carrying out that pledge to spread as much pep as possible. While I say that they seemed nice judging from what I heard from others, they weren’t exactly the easiest clique to get into. Unless you were on the squad.
I saw them around campus between classes. They always moved as a group, the six of them with their arms wrapped around each other, brandishing the school colours. The guy’s in loose fitting varsity jackets, while the girl’s flaunted cheer skirts.
The way they acted was a little too close, like they were more than friends—and community and friendship had bled into something else. Like they had just walked out of an early 2000’s teen movie. Not that I was complaining. Their style was intriguing. They were like this untouchable group of god’s who had been placed on the highest pedestals. They ruled over campus, which made me want to get to know them even more. So, I tried out. Which was my first mistake of many in my freshman year.
It didn’t hit me that I was in way over my head until I was in the college gymnasium, standing in front of a four person panel like I was auditioning for a Hollywood movie. Sunbeam took their try-outs incredibly seriously. Which was weird considering they were known to be the complete opposite.
There were maybe fifty or so applicants, and we had to stand near the back wall and watch others try out one by one. Which was already setting off my anxiety. Weren’t they supposed to be closed try-outs? Initially, I was excited.
I had my routine in my head. What I had learned from watching the squad at my old school. High V, Low V, followed by a Touchdown, and then a backflip. I was confident. I mean, it ticked most cheer moves off, and even had a flip to complete the routine. My high school were a multi-sex quad, so I learned a lot from watching the guy’s moves during pep rallies.
I wasn’t really worried about the quality of the moves since they were known not to take everything too seriously. But watching the others try-out, impossible flips without crash mats and twisting their bodies in ways I didn’t know was possible, I quickly realised I was screwed. My competitors were acting like they were auditioning for an Olympic level team. My gut was dancing when I took centre stage.
The panel were made up of four members of the squad. Two boys and two girl’s, including the blonde who handed me the flyer on my first day. I was surprised when her eyes lit up with recognition.
"Oh, I know you!" She squeaked. Leaning forward, her smile seemed to brighten, illuminating her features. All four of them seemed to emanate a warm glow.
I felt myself relax slightly, the knot in my stomach loosening. Maybe their heightened positivity thing wasn’t a shtick, after all. The girl, as well as the other members of the team seemed genuinely happy to see me trying out. “What’s your name?” Her voice reverberated off of the walls, and I was suddenly aware of a dozen other students watching me.
“Alex.” I said, offering a shy wave. “Hey.”
Still grinning, she nudged a redhead next to her playfully. The guy was like no other I’d seen before. He was a god damn traffic light. He was easy to spot in a crowd and was usually one of the low-key members who kept his head down. All of those colours painting him, and yet somehow he wasn’t blinding people.
Though admittedly, he suited them; bright red hair clashing with the blue and gold of his football jersey, pasty skin and dark eyes drinking me in while the blonde girl pulled at his sleeve. “See, I told you annoying freshmen would work!”
In response, he chuckled, rolling his eyes. “Whatever you say, Evie.” The guy straightened up, leaning his chin on his fist, a curious spark in his eyes. “Alright.” Twisting around in his chair, he signalled for music. When it started, the beat slammed into me, rumbling under my feet. “Let’s see what you’ve got!”
I’m not going to describe my routine because I don’t have time to describe how fucking bad I was. In my head, I was doing okay. I was ready to finish with my back flip, but the music abruptly cut off and I found myself struggling to find my breath with my hands in the air, panting like an idiot. The blonde maintained her smile, but it was slightly strained. I could tell she was struggling to keep the façade of a Sunbeam member while also retaining critical thinking.
The redhead looked like he was in pain. He was first to speak, and I could tell by his sympathy smile I’d screwed up. The others who I hadn’t fully taken in until that moment, an asian American guy, and a girl with pigtails, were laughing like pre-schoolers. And they didn’t stop until the redhead shot them the warning eyes.
Weirdly enough, the crowd of onlookers didn’t join in. I expected the redhead to politely tell me I sucked, but instead he cocked his head, chewing on his pen. “You’re good.” He said. “You’re a good dancer, and I liked your moves…”
He trailed off. “But it’s positivity we’re looking for. And you didn’t smile once through your whole routine which made you look stiff. Like you weren’t even enjoying it.” He shrugged helplessly. “I like you, and I like your dancing. And I’m sure you could be better if you worked on it. There are countless dancing clubs here, so maybe you might be better fitted there.” After exchanging a look with the blonde, he sighed. “Unfortunately, you’re not the type of person we’re looking for.”
Evie nodded. “I agree. We pride ourselves on staying positive and smiling. I didn’t see that on you, Alex.”
“Same here.” Pigtails, still giggling, joined in. “I don’t think you’ve got enough school spirit.”
The other guy scoffed. He looked to be of Korean descent. Unlike the redhead, he was always at the centre of their group, always joking around and laughing. Just looking at him told me he was the leader. “Bullshit!” He slapped the table with one hand, running his hands through thick dark hair with the other. “I liked it. Fuck pep, amirite?” He threw his pen at the blonde, who retaliated in a squeak, lobbing hers at him. “Ignore these clowns. I think you’ve got what it takes. We just gotta work on you, y’know? All you’re missing is a cheesy grin.”
He pointed to himself, stretching his lips into the widest smile he could muster. “See? Like this.”
“Clowns?” Evie shook her head. “I didn’t see one smile. Sunbeam is all about smiling!”
“You make us sound like a cult.” The Korean-American caught my eye. “Which we’re not, by the way. These guys are just scared of change.”
“Okay, that’s too far.” Pigtails shot him a scowl. Are you seriously disrespecting the alumni who created us? Who birthed us?
“Well, yeah!” He threw his paper at her. “Sunbeam is a pep cult. We get high off of happiness. I thought we distinguished that.”
“Take that back!”
“Never! Why do you think I joined? To get high! Do you really think I joined for the cheering?”
They were joking around. I could tell by the smiles on their faces—a smile I knew I would never be able to mimic.
“Quiet.” The redhead shushed them. The guy had been sitting silently. Studying me. He leaned back, folding his arms.
“See, even now—even when I’m considering giving you a chance, there’s no hope in your eyes. Not even a glitter of excitement. You’re still not smiling and that’s what we want, Alex. We want people who will embody what Sunbeam is all about. Even if I give you a second chance to brighten up your routine your smile will be fake. And that’s not what we want. We want people who are willing to shed their humanity and become beacons.”
Beacons, huh?
And they were seriously saying they weren’t a cult?
The redhead stabbed at his sheet of paper with the end of his pen. “Can’t you just give us one smile? It won’t kill you.”
It was then when the others watching started to laugh—and I wanted to punch the asshole in the face.
“Dude, chill.” The Korean-American played with his pen, twirling it between two fingers. “He’s right, as much as I hate saying it. We do need smilers, unfortunately. But hey, you can try out next year! Just remember to smile, alright?” He threw something at me. A squashed candy bar.
Which made me look even more pathetic.
I found myself nodding, even when I knew it was all bullshit. Still though, what each member had told me hit me harder than it should have. They were just words, what could they do? It turned out, words were far more powerful than I realised—I just didn’t know it yet. I didn’t wait for the others to speak and made a quick getaway, my gut twisting and turning.
They were a cult. That is what I decided. These guys were a cult who needed members willing to throw away their souls. Probably for ritualistic sacrifice.
They needed weak people, I thought. Even when part of me knew they were right. I wasn't a smiler. Every photo I'm in, I'm either frowning or look constipated. Still though, I didn't dwell on the try-outs for too long. By the time a week had gone by, I had mostly forgotten about it and threw myself into my studies and college life.
Though something was wrong with me. It was as if the world had slowed down, had stopped making sense completely. Every day felt like a dream, and I myself felt like I was a ghost, like I was disassociating from my own body. Conversations with people felt fake. Like I was making them up.
I remember waking up day after day in a daze I couldn’t get myself out of. It was only several weeks later did the thick mind fog which had been blanketing my brain finally lift—only for me to hear the news that all six members of the Sunbeam squad had disappeared. I don’t know how I didn’t notice, how I didn’t see the police investigation, or hear rumours being spread around like wildfire.
According to the college, it wasn't technically considered a disappearance since the members were all over eighteen, no longer minors. However, an investigation was conducted, with a statement being released that they were due to be performing at Knoxville College, cheering on our football team. But they never turned up. And what made it worse, was their bus was found abandoned on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Sounds bad, right?
Well, that's what we all thought. Vigils were already being held, and bodies weren't even found yet. Every time I walked back to my dorm after classes, the night would be lit up in warm golden light, candles flickering in the breeze. I'm not sure how many days had gone by-- they all seemed to blur into one-- when our college made another statement. The members of the Sunbeam squad were alive and healthy and had been sent to a training academy for professionals.
When the student body responded with confusion and scepticism, the college reassured us they were coming back once they were finished training. And while my classmates were relieved, I found myself confused. Sunbeam didn't cheer competitively. Their whole thing was that all they wanted to do was spread cheer and pep, regardless of how good they were. I had seen them perform, and they were good, sure. They were better than average. But definitely not good enough to be trained into pro’s. Their moves were too clumsy, too half assed—which I was convinced they thought overwhelming amounts of positivity could fix. So it didn’t make sense that they had been sent to some training academy. I kept up my scepticism until I saw them for myself.
The college were right. Sunbeam returned a week later like nothing had happened.
I did see a change in them. I think that was a universal opinion though. Sunbeam were well known for their pep and cheer, their constant smiling faces which drove me crazy—and it’s not like that stopped. They still smiled. They still walked around campus laughing together, in their own little world. That was when people were watching. When they had an audience. I caught them when they didn’t have an audience. Without eyes on them, they detached from each other, their eyes darkening, expressions twisting, like each of them could smell something rotten in the air. I started noticing they were getting progressively clumsier at keeping up that Sunbeam façade they must have pledged when they joined the group. I figured it was just tiredness. They must have been through some pretty intense training.
Anyway, months went by. I started to feel less distant, and the fog which had been choking me faded, thankfully. I started my junior year moving into a shared house with my roommate, and the only talk I’d heard about Sunbeam was that one of their ex members was rumoured to be pregnant. As for the rest of the squad, they were still popular, still talked about—but their disappearance had definitely made people wary of them. I even heard someone say they were considered bad luck. I guess people thought they had sold themselves out for a chance to get into the big leagues. And it wouldn’t surprise me.
Forced positivity can get you a long way, sure—but recognition can get you further.
It was just a few weeks ago when I was invited to a game. Our first of the season, thanks to delays due to cuts in the sports department. I’m not much of a sports fan, though I needed a distraction from the copious amounts of assignments I’d let pile on my desk.
When I sat down with a chilli dog and Coke, I wasn’t expecting to get so invested in a game where I had no idea what was happening. It was loud and obnoxious and I was choking on the stink of fried food, but it was fun. It was fun until Sunbeam walked out onto the side-lines. I glimpsed them in a blur of blue and gold, and a dull pain crawled across the back of my head. “You okay?” My housemate’s voice was barely distinguishable in my ears, when I found myself transfixed by the way they moved in erratic jumps, quickly taking position. They had gotten better. Everything which was Sunbeam had been stripped away. Their smiles were forced. Wrong.
I remembered they used to push and shove each other, making the crowd laugh. Now though, they were in almost perfect sync in the way they moved, no longer shakily, sometimes stumbling into each other. Their routine was longer than it usually was—and when the Korean-American guy perfected a triple flip, the crowd went crazy. I expected him to smile when he landed, grinning into the audience to generate what Sunbeam was made for. But his expression stayed stoic. Robotic. They were stiff. Heads up, backs straight, staring ahead of them. I was told when I tried out that fake smiles weren’t allowed, and yet that was all I was seeing. I was seeing egotistical grins and curled lips, quick glances between each member.
I expected looks of reassurances, and in jokes only they found funny. Instead, it looked like a mutual agreement.
They were planning something. From the looks on their faces, it wasn’t a firework show.
Sunbeam used to generate happiness. Their smiles, even under a façade, had always been real.
These guys emanated power. The way they stood. The guy’s at the front, readying what I guessed was a lift, and the girl’s on top of them.
Their routine ended with the music reaching a climax, and the two main girl’s being lifted into the air while performing High V’s.
But they didn’t stop there.
When the crowd exploded with applause, one of the girl’s slowly raised her arms and shot into the crowd with finger guns.
She shot twice—and with every time she pulled that imaginary trigger, her painted lips stretched into a maniacal grin.Until her gaze was on me. And then behind me. I could see it in her glittering eyes I could no longer call human. I met Evie at the start of my freshman year, and then at the disastrous try-outs.
I knew her wide smile, and the glint of passion twisting her expression—a love for the group and the members she couldn’t put into words. Right then I wasn’t seeing Evie, a Sunbeam cheerleader. I was seeing something else entirely, a being scanning faces in the crowd for a victim.
Her expression seemed to melt, from a gleeful grin, to something twisted and putrid, someone who craved the exact opposite of what Sunbeam preached. I watched her lips. I watched the words pop into existence, drowned into nothing by the crowds cheering. But I saw them in perfect clarity. “Drop.” She said, before pulling the imaginary trigger again.
No sooner had the words left her mouth before someone screamed behind me. I twisted around to see a guy had collapsed. He was pronounced dead five minutes later by his sobbing girlfriend who had attempted CPR. When I twisted back to look out onto the field, the Sunbeam Squad were gone. It didn’t make sense that they were the ones to cause the guy’s death—but it couldn’t have been a coincidence, right? Evie had shot into the crowd at the exact same time the guy had dropped dead. Finger guns weren’t a weapon of course, but the timing was too coincidental. I already knew there was something wrong with Sunbeam. And this just strengthened my claims.
Obviously, when I tried to tell people this, I was called crazy. Delusional. I reported it to the student information building and just got a blank stare.
The woman wasn’t even attempting to hear my story. She just heard “murder” and “Sunbeam” and her lips curved into an amused smirk. “You know, you are quite fascinating,” leaning back against her chair, the woman frowned at me through wonky glasses. "First you unexpectedly quit, and then you accuse them of murder. Which I can tell you is false.”
She flipped through a notebook in front of her. “According to the autopsy report released a few days ago, the young man died of a brain haemorrhage, not the result of being pretend shot at by a cheerleader miming finger-guns.” The woman cleared her throat.
“Tell me, what exactly do you have against the Sunbeam squad?"
“You quit the squad at the end of your freshman year,” she said, “And now you’re trying to accuse them of murder? Fascinating.”
Her words struck me, a shiver sliding down my spine. The office was cosy, and when I sunk into the rich leather of the couch in front of a roaring fire I recognised the book on her desk. It was a dog eared copy of Harry Potter. I’d seen it before. But that was impossible. I had never been in her office. “Quit?” I shook my head. “No, I don’t…” I trailed off, stumbling over my words. “I’ve never been part of Sunbeam.”
“Were you not?” She shook her head, a crease forming between her brows. “Ah, I must be getting you mixed up with someone else.”
I nodded. “Just… can you just listen to me? That Evie girl was fucking—”
She cut me off. “Language.”
“Sorry. Evie. She was… I don’t know what she was doing... she was doing like... like magic?”
“Are you sure you didn’t dream it?”
“Mmm hmm.” The woman cleared her throat, dismissing my protests. “I’m not a doctor, but If you’re experiencing memory loss and confusion, I suggest you go to the hospital. As for your ludicrous claims, you should keep them to yourself. That poor young man died due to a brain haemorrhage. Terrible and tragic, yes. But it was accidental, and not the work of… I’m sorry, what were you claiming it to be?”
“Magic.” I said, again.
When she raised her brow, I couldn’t resist a groan. “I saw her! She shot into the crowd and mouthed something!”
“She… mouthed something?”
“Yes! But—"
Again, her words sliced into mine. “Okay, let’s say you were right,” she said. “If you are saying this girl shot into the crowd with her imaginary gun, wouldn’t it be a gun shot which would have killed him? You said it yourself—, it was some kind of witchy magic to kill him. So, where was the bullet wound?” When I tried to speak, she raised her arm to shut me up.
“Exactly. There was none. Because the man suffered a haemorrhagic stroke, and nothing could be done to save him. Your claims a group of young people carried this out as a murder is not only blatant defamation, but also disrespectful to the young man and his family. Now, please leave my office. I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” The woman nodded for me to stand up. “I think you have been watching too much TV. Might I suggest focusing on your studies?”
I left her office, slamming the door.
My housemate wasn’t helpful when I told him. He told me I was maybe a little too obsessed with Sunbeam. He headed to work, and I ended up in the lounge trying to focus on an episode of Criminal Minds. But I couldn’t stop thinking about Evie.
I saw what she said.
But it wasn’t the force of her imaginary finger-guns ricocheting back. It was the word. Drop.
It had been alive on her lips like it was a sentient thing bleeding into existence. I managed to fall asleep, twisted like a pretzel in my housemate’s favourite chair, when three loud knocks on the door tore me from slumber. I was on my feet, blinking, disoriented. It was rare when we got a visitor. Stumbling over to the door, I had a moment of hesitation. I imagined Evie on the other side.
I imagined her raising her arm and shooting her pretend finger-guns directly into my head.
When I opened the door, I was surprised to see three little kids. The youngest must have been maybe nine years old. To my surprise, they were dressed in Halloween costumes. There was a little witch, a ghost, and a scarecrow all carrying pumpkin shaped holders It took me a moment to realise I was staring at a group of Trick or Treaters. It wasn’t even mid-October yet.
“Hey there,” I said, “Uh, you guys are a little early.”
The little girl’s eyes were wide and unblinking. “We want candy.” She held out her candy holder. “Now.”
I decided to be firm with them. “It’s not Halloween.” I said, taking a small step back. I was grasping the handle, ready to slam it in their faces. These little shits were freaking me out. Not just their tone, but their expressions were vacant. There were no lights on and that terrified me. “Sorry kids, I don’t have any candy. But like I said, come back when it’s actually Halloween, and I’ll have candy bars for all of you. "
What I wasn’t expecting was for the Scarecrow to pull a knife out of his pumpkin shaped candy holder. He didn’t hold it like a kid should, clumsily, confused. There was a strategic way the way his fingers were wrapped around the handle—like he’d brandished one before. The kid held the knife up to his own neck and made a slicing motion. Like the little girl, his eyes were blank. Unblinking. There was something wrong in the way he was standing. Stiff, like a puppet on strings. “Are you fucking kidding me?” He squeaked out a laugh. I didn’t see him lunge forward, I was already moving back, stumbling, losing my footing.
The kid moved with impossible speed—and before I knew what was happening, the hilt of the knife was buried in my lower leg. I didn’t even feel pain. My body was being driven by adrenaline, pushing me to get away from him. I remember falling back. I remember my own trembling hands grasping hold of the handle and pulling out the knife. Red was pooling down my jeans and onto our hardwood floor. The little kids turned around and ran back down the steps into the night, and I watched them in a sort of daze.
They didn’t move like normal.
They stalked down the sidewalk like video game characters. The witch shoved a passing old man before pulling out a gun and pointing it at his head. But she didn’t shoot. The three of them ran off—and it was only when I was watching the top of the girl’s witch hat disappear into the night, when I glimpsed something—or someone—at the corner of my eye.
Before I heard laughter. The tree in front of me moved. At first I thought they were shadow’s. Before the shadows bled into figures. Four of them. I glimpsed the school colours. Blue and Gold. I saw twin ponytails, velvet and blonde-- as well as the tell-tale Sunbeam varsity jacket. The group were laughing, whispering to each other. Not exactly doing a good job of hiding. When they slipped from their hiding place, I recognised Evie. Her fingers gingerly on her nose while intense red pooled down her chin.
The others were the same, swiping at their faces with jacket sleeves. They didn’t seem fazed. The redhead’s gaze was latched onto the retreating children, his lips curling. I could sense he was still tethered to them. He was still commanding them to act out grand theft auto. They had caused the man’s death at the game and had controlled those children.
I wasn’t crazy or delusional. Evie had killed someone by simply shooting imaginary finger guns, and somehow the others were able to bleed into children’s heads, taking them over.
Pulling my phone from my pocket, I heaved out a breath. The pain was starting to hit in waves I had to grit through. I couldn’t move. I was stuck, curled up on my floor. While they laughed.
I was halfway through stabbing 911 into my phone when one of them came over. It was the Korean-American. The one who had been the nicest to me out of all of them. The real smile I remembered was gone, replaced by something inhuman. Something I didn’t want to question.
With his hands stuffed in his varsity jacket pockets, he approached me with mocking eyes, almost an attempt at trying to mimic his old self.
The guy knelt in front of me with a chuckle. “Kids these days, right? They’re animals.”
His voice, no, his words, were hurting me. I felt each one penetrate me like gunshots.
My wound wasn’t bad. That’s what I estimated, anyway. I don’t think the kid had hit anything vital. But I needed the emergency room. I still had one hand grasping at my side, drenched in red.
I managed a hiss, grasping for my phone when he pulled it out of my grasp and waved it in the air. “Fuck off. What did you do to those little kids?” I gritted out, trying to reach for my damn phone. I was starting to feel the pain in my side and it hurt like a mother fucker—dizzying bolts of electricity which felt like waves of boiling hot water slamming into me one by one. I tried to get onto my knees, but he pushed me back down again. The guy cocked his head to the side, confusion creasing his expression.
“Ouch. That must hurt.”
"What did you... what did you do?" I hissed out.
His presence was hurting me. Every time he opened his mouth, it was agony. Somehow, it was worse than the stab-wound. This kind of pain was no other I’d felt before. The type I’d rather die than feel. A cry was clawing at my throat, fight or flight taking over. Again, I tried to move, I tried to get away from him. But he was holding down my arms and prodding at my side before sticking his finger in the cut and twisting. "I didn't do anything, Alex.”
His voice barely hit me when my vision blurred and I screamed. Like a fucking animal, I screamed. But not because his fingers were digging around in my insides.
Because my brain was suddenly boiling, a metal rod piercing my skull and stirring it into a soupy mess. His voice was inside me. It was bleeding into me, taking over me. But not just his voice. The world blurred around me and I was no longer in my doorway, bleeding out against the wall.
Instead, I was moving. I was… I was walking. No, I was being dragged. Except these weren’t my memories. This wasn’t my mind. I could see bare feet beneath me delicately slapping on white tiles. When I looked up, I saw an expanse of white like I was being led straight into the clouds. This was a building. There were glass doors and electronic panels, people in black guarding each one. It took a while for me to gain my senses—or him to gain his.
We could smell something like chlorine and taste rusty coins at the back of our throat. Feel the ice cold tiles against our bare toes. A strange feeling at the back of our head. We kept wanting to run our fingers through our hair, but every time we did, our fingers only touched bare skin. Scuffed and rigged skin. Tight fingers were wrapped around our arm, dragging us further and further into a white oblivion. Until a glass door seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
From now on, I am going to describe his memories very vaguely. I’m just going to tell you what I saw.
The room we walked into reminded me of a classroom—but there were no desks. In front of me were the other members of Sunbeam pressed against the back wall. They faced forwards, their gazes penetrating nothing. But I saw they were trembling. Terrified. The squad were dressed in pale white shorts and t-shirt, ugly red spattering the front. There were still traces of blue and glitter on their faces, ribbons hanging from bedraggled curls.
Their feet were bare and filthy like ours. When we were shoved forwards, we took our place next to Evie who had half of her hair shaved off. Her arms were folded across her cheer uniform, her bare feet tapping a beat against the floor. When a woman with dark red hair held in a strict ponytail entered and asked if either of us wanted to show her what we had learned, Evie eagerly raised her hand. “Okay, Evie.” The woman’s voice was too sweet. Sickly sweet. She gestured for the girl forward. “Show us what you’ve got.”
The door opened, and a man stepped through. His hands were tied in front of him, his eyes blank.
Evie nodded, her eyes set in determination. She cleared her throat. “Shatter.”
Nothing happened.
“Intent, Evie.” The woman said. “It doesn’t matter how you say the word unless you use proper intent. Try again.”
The girl did, growling in frustration.
The man’s head flew from his torso suddenly in a river of red, and the girl squeaked in excitement.
While we watched in horror, the rest of the squad gave in to their own despair.
Different days bled into one—and we watched faces change. Heads were shaved. Hair grew back. Fear turned to joy.
A blonde girl exploded into bloody chunks, splattering against the walls.
“Yes!” The redhead high-fived pigtails, the two of them locked into some bizarre handshake. “That’s what I’m TALKING about!”
“Bang!” One of the girls used finger guns, and with each “shot” innocents dropped against the wall one by one, their heads blown through.
She jumped up and down in glee. “Bang, bang, bang!”
“Keep going,” the voice of the woman crackled through the speaker. “You’ve almost got it.”
“Divide.” Pigtails used her pointer finger at an old man who was skewed by an invisible force sending bloody chunks of him to the floor.
"Show off.” The redhead said in a sing-song voice. He was slumped against the back wall using his jersey to wipe blood from his face while the others painted the room scarlet. With simple words of intent and a hand gesture, they were able to take people apart piece by piece.
Pigtails snorted when another “test subject” was brought in. "Oh, you think you can do better?”
“Think I can? I know I can.”
This time he plunged two fingers into his temples. He was centre stage, the others against the back wall with their arms folded.
“Rip it out.”
The test subject’s eyes widened, her trembling hands clawing at her own head, fingernails digging into flesh. “Rip…rip it out?”
His lip curved. “That’s what I said.”
We didn’t see the test subject rip her own brain from her skull. We were already burying our head into our knees and screeching into the floor. Another flash. Like watching a movie.
This time we’re cutting into our wrist with shards of glass. Pulling back fleshy flaps of our flesh, there are two wires entangled with muscle and bone. One red and one blue. “Why won’t you submit?” A sharp growl, and I can feel our body pressed against metal. Our arms are restrained. “Out of all of them, you refuse it.” A hand slaps our face. “You don’t want it!”
He started to laugh.
“You don’t want… control?”
He leaned his face closer. “Tell me to mutilate myself. Tell me to… to tear out my brain stem! That’s the beauty of it! No matter how impossible the order is, it will be completed! Control, my boy. Use it. Do you even understand how much you are going to shape the world? Words! Do you know how powerful they are? When said from the right mouth, with the right intent, they can cause bloodshed, pain and misery-- a despair drowning our already shattered earth. And you will be the centre of it. You will bring this world to its knees, Jason."
"Now, do it. We call it cutting, but you will find familiarity in referring to it as erasure. You can make up your own words if you would like. What matters is the intent.” I feel something slicing into our arm. It’s nothing medical. It’s torture. He plunges something sharp into the same spot and twists the blade until we throw our head back and scream at the ceiling.
“You’re the last one.” The man hissed. “Do it.”
“No.” I heard his—our—voice. “I… I can’t!”
“Do it!”
He’s dragging us again, forcing us down a long winding corridor until we reach another door.
"Drown." The boy - - Jason's-- voice was suddenly in my head. I could sense it was trying to hold back, attempting to peel back whatever power his own words had. But the word came again and again until it was suffocating his mouth. “Drown. Drown. Drown. Drown.” We were standing in the doorway of a smaller room. In the corner there was a figure curled up with their head pressed against the wall.
It was a guy.
I recognised our school colours, a bloodied varsity jacket over shorts and t-shirt. When he lifted his head and twisted to face the boy whose mind I was in, I noticed he had an uncanny resemblance to me. His eyes wide, frightened. They were my mother's.
This guy looked exactly like me.
No, it WAS me.
My eyes were shadowed and haunted.
Like I had been drained of everything I was.
As quickly as the memories came crashing into me, they were yanked away when the guy must have pulled back.
I blinked rapidly, and Jason looked as confused as me. Slowly, he pulled his finger from my cut. The man's voice was in my skull, and it was agonising. I felt the command in my head, my body instantly reacting to... to nothing. I had my hands out, ready to do.... do something.
"That was… just a trick,” He said. “Yeah! Just a trick!”
I found myself nodding, echoing his words. Something warm ran from my nose.
"Just... a trick..." I whispered, the words forced from my lips.
Blood spattered down my chin.
“Louder.” He said.
"JUST A TRICK!" I yelled, the force of the wail sending me my knees, panting. The guy was frowning, seemingly unsure what to do with me.
He wrapped up my wound and told me it wasn’t bad—and it wasn’t. I watched in disbelief as my skin stitched itself back together.
"Go into your kitchen." Jason said, and I felt the power of his words ripping through me like bullets. My body moved on its own, and I got to my feet and stepped into my kitchen. He followed me, grabbing a scarf off of the table.
"Get on your knees." I did, dropping to my knees, my breath in my throat, my mouth sealed shut. I could sense the others in the doorway as he wrapped the scarf around my eyes, the heel of his shoe slamming into my neck forcing me onto my stomach.
"I want you to wait for me to kill you."
His words pierced into me. I did. Even when I knew he was gone, the door slamming shut-- I waited. I waited until the next morning, until I regained control over my own body and pulled the scarf from my eyes. I'm still waiting, my brain in constant panic, twisting around when I'm alone, looking into every corner.
I was roped into going to Friday's game against Harrington. During Sunbeam’s routine, they did it again. They had the crowd's attention, and Evie was mouthing something. I felt her words, sharp like needles cutting into me. But they didn't penetrate. They have done something to the student body. Ever since, I’ve been catching looks around me. Those whose heads they have crawled into. Mindless eyes. Every so often an arm will touch mine, fingers will wrap around my neck. I can hear their feet pitter pattering after me. Those little kids from that night. I keep seeing the little witch girl in the corner of my eye. They’re creating an army who are coming for me once he decides to kill me.
If only I knew what happened to the Sunbeam squad. Maybe I can help them somehow.
But something tells me they’re way past help.
And so am I.
I wonder if one day, I might be allowed a glimpse of my memories. What really happened to me during my freshman year.
And why, ever since going into his mind, I dream of a white room.
submitted by Trash_Tia to TheCrypticCompendium [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:21 Aza_ [QCrit] Cozy Fantasy - HORSES, WAGONS, & DRAGONS (90k, v1)

Howdy, y'all. I know I broke some conventions here, so if you find them detrimentally egregious, please do let me know! Thanks in advance!
Dear [AGENT],
HORSES, WAGONS, & DRAGONS is a cozy fantasy covered in a sticky coating of comedy. Complete at 90,000 words, it will appeal to readers of Travis Baldree’s Legends & Lattes and Nicholas Eames’ Kings of the Wyld.
Of all the things one can say about goblins, ‘smart’ is assuredly not among them. ‘Curious?’ Sure. ‘Enthusiastic?’ Absolutely. ‘Likely to critically bungle the vast and pivotal quest before them?’ Also yes.
Oli the goblin is the last creature anyone would send on a world-ending quest. But the Dark Lord’s under siege and without his doomsday weapon, those pesky forces of good might just get it done this time. Seizing the long-awaited opportunity to serve their Big Boss, Oli and his cousins strike out on a super secret mission to retrieve the doomsday wep–on a road trip to see their family.
With the hopes of every creature sinister and foul riding on them, the goblins hurry directly to their destination. Mostly directly. Okay so it’s more of a zigzag. Also the wicked item delivery network’s in shambles on account of the war, and since they’re already headed that way, maybe the goblins could help out the Dark Lord’s spies and deliver a few evil packages?
Agents of Good await at every stop, but with empty heads and too-big hearts, Oli and his bumbling family deliver the packages (mostly), sabotage the forces of evil (accidentally), and save their Dark Lord (probably). All of this while facing down the dangers of road rage, unionization, and one genie wish gone terribly wrong.
The final battle’s brewing between good and evil and the fate of the world rests in Oli’s wriggly little hands.
Gods help us all.
HORSES, WAGONS, & DRAGONS is a standalone with duology potential, and my tenth novel. My past works include XXX and XXX (Audible Originals), XXX (a YONDER Exclusive), and the co-written XXX series, the audio rights for which sold to Audible in a significant deal. I’ve been writing full-time since 2018 with the intent to create books that allow readers to dream, laugh, and sometimes question my sanity.
All the best,
Author website
submitted by Aza_ to PubTips [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:17 demonpiggies [USA-CT][H] SEGA Genesis Games, GB [W] Comic-related retro games and lists

Mainly looking for comic-related games, or even comics for that matter, but open to other retro to current console games.

SEGA Genesis

Also have God of War Ragnarök Day One Edition (PS4) and House of Ashes (PS5).
submitted by demonpiggies to retrogameswap [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:17 ChuckDC27 ISS Vanguard Wave 2 content won't be narrated like base game

So Awaken Realms have decided not to have "voice actors" narrate the 2nd wave of content for ISS Vanguard which I can't lie is a pretty big L in my book...if I had known that was going to be a possibility I probably wouldn't have went all in...granted it was never promised it would be or anything but looking at Tainted Grail and seeing them support all of that games content seemed pretty promising that ISS Vanguard would be getting the same treatment. ISS Vanguard seemed like Marcin's dream game to make when he talked about it in his weekly Q&As as development of the game took place and while in production. You'd think he would be all about getting the 2nd wave of content voiced acted as well. Seeing the FB Group for the game people seem pretty disappointed to hear the news as well. In my opinion it makes the game 100x more immersive and just better to play. I wish they would have just taken the Forteller route and paid them to do it and included some of that cost into the pledge price but I would think that is a lot more expensive than what they have done on their own. Maybe they will have an optional buy down the road for wave 2 content, but for how much the game costed you really would think it would have been included in both waves of content.
I know that ISS Vanguard wasn't their next big hit or anything and people weren't dropping a stack to buy the game off the 2nd hand market for a premium price like Nemesis. Also not a whole lot of the "bigger" YT channels covered or reviewed this game as well and if they did cover the game it wasn't overwhelmingly positive reviews. So maybe that had to do with the decision not to support wave 2 like they did in wave 1.....end of the day still sad news!
submitted by ChuckDC27 to boardgames [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 23:17 MelasD Amelia: The Level Zero Hero Chapter 133

Her name was Amelia. Giles had never heard of her, but he could tell that she was strong. With a single swing of her rusty blade, she had easily deflected Eloise the Dark Wizard’s black lightning.
Giles himself could barely even react to it— despite his speed and agility as a Level 57 [Daggermaster], he had only been able to gape in awe as the dark spell shot through the air at him. And yet, Amelia had somehow been able to stop it.
No— she didn’t just stop it. She did so much more. She had intercepted the black lightning bolt, before cutting it in half with a decrepit sword that looked like it could shatter at any moment.
The Flying Blade didn’t comprehend. He couldn’t comprehend it. How did she get here? Did she teleport in with a spell while he was distracted? That was the only explanation.
He rose to his feet as she swept her gaze over her surroundings. The entire battlefield came to a halt to face this third party— every soldier in the convoy had their sword and their bow and their staff aimed at her. Rokh the Bludgeoning Striker raised a pair of metal gauntlets, and Seth the Battlemage conjured another frost broadsword.
The Clawed Hands had been thoroughly defeated— except for Giles himself. Nevertheless, it was not like there was anyone else for the legion of soldiers from the Kingdom of Kal to turn their attention to; they focused their gaze on their lone enemy.
Even Eloise tilted her head curiously to face the brown-haired woman.
“Who are—” the Dark Witch started.
And Amelia blinked as she looked down at Giles. “Wait, you’re not Evan.”
“Evan? You mean the guildmaster?” He stared at her, taking a step back in confusion.
“Yeah— you’re Giles, right?” she said as she helped steady him. “Where’s Evan? I’m here to free him.”
Giles shook his head, glancing back at the armored wagon at the center of the convoy. “He’s locked up over there. But…”
He pursed his lips as he watched Seth take a step forward. The Battlemage was bruised— hurt from the brief scuffle with Giles. And yet, despite the injuries he had sustained, Seth looked ready to go for a round with Amelia.
An armor of ice began to form around him as he grinned. “I have been entrusted by my King to protect the cargo with my life. I will not let you even get close to—”
And Amelia appeared right next to him, with a finger raised to his chest. Seth blinked. Giles stared in shock. The legion of soldiers looked on with wide eyes as she poked his ice armor.
Seth took a step back as his ice armor began to crack— and a moment later, it shattered into thousands of pieces. He looked down in horror as his staff too began to crumble.
“What?” He stared at himself for a moment. And his clothes fell apart next, leaving only his underwear to cover his privates. “H-how…?”
“That was a warning,” Amelia said as she drew back from him. “I’m not going to hold back if you guys get in my way.”
Giles couldn’t believe his eyes— it took some of his best Skills to break through Seth’s ice armor. And yet, she was able to shatter it with just a finger.
Was this an illusion? A trick? Did Giles die, and was he imagining this whole situation up? He couldn’t believe it. But it was happening.
“T-t-that was my [Armor of the Frost Lord]!” Seth exclaimed. He looked down at his shredded robes and broken staff. “And those were A-grade artifacts… how did you…?”
The Battlemage couldn’t comprehend it either. But Amelia didn’t seem to care. She rubbed her chin in thought as she murmured to herself.
“...well, alright, maybe I’ll hold back. I don’t want to accidentally kill everyone, you know?”
Seth gritted his teeth. He raised a hand as a ball of mist coalesced in the palm of his hand. He unleashed a blast of frost at Amelia— the spell engulfing her point-black.
“Take this, you monster!” he screamed. “[Frost Wyvern’s Breath]!”
Giles staggered back as he felt the chilly winds reach him. Even from a distance, he could feel the intensity of the spell that was unleashed— a powerful attack for an A-rank. But as the dust settled, Amelia stepped out of a small crater, completely unscathed.
Eloise narrowed her eyes. Seth stumbled back in horror. Because the brown-haired woman suffered not a single scratch— even her clothes escaped unharmed.
“Are you serious?” she said flatly. “I gave you a chance to give up, and you try this shit? Are you an idiot?”
Giles himself winced from her words. Even though they weren’t direct to him, it still stung— because he knew he would have tried the same thing out of pure disbelief or what was happening.
Seth tried to work his jaw as he stared at her. But nothing came out. She just sighed as she took a step forward.
“Look, if you get out of the way now, I’ll—”
But a booming voice interrupted her. “Oh? Very interesting!”
Rokh laughed wildly as marched forward. He slammed his gauntleted fists together, and a sharp metallic sound rang out. A crimson aura overcame him as he smiled savagely. Eloise just looked on.
“I am Rokh the Bludgeoning Striker!” He smirked as he walked straight up to the brown-haired woman. He raised a fist, ready to swing down at her. “I am going to enjoy pummeling you to death—”
And he was cut off. Quite literally. His head was cut cleanly off in an instant. Blood splattered on the ground as Amelia lowered her blade.
“Must I literally kill every single one of you here to prove my point?” She shook her head as she swept her gaze over the legion of soldiers. “No more warnings— I’m freeing Evan. Don’t get in my way.”
Amelia spun around to face the armored wagon. Seth stumbled back away from her. He looked like he wanted to run— Giles himself wanted to run too in the face of this overwhelming power.
She had killed Rokh the Bludgeoning Striker just like that.
He was a high-leveled captain. He had been the one in charge of the small army Kallistus Kal had led to Windrip. Giles had heard of his fighting prowess. Even though they were of similar level, the [Daggermaster] hadn’t been sure if he could defeat the Bludgeoning Striker.
But Amelia defeated him. She killed him before he could even react. He didn’t even put up a fight. He lay slumped over on the ground, headless as his legion looked on. A susurration swept through their numbers. They whispered amongst themselves.
They looked like they didn’t know what to do. Their leader was dead, and they were lost. They exchanged nervous glances as Amelia strode forward to the armored wagon. She walked past Seth as he gritted his teeth.
And he spun around, raising a sphere of frost. “Don’t let her—” he started.
But Amelia swung back with her sword, cutting his head off without even looking his way. Giles flinched at the suddenness of it. The watching soldiers winced too— reaching their wits’ end. And she glanced dismissively at them.
“I suggest the rest of you run away,” she said simply.
And with that, they shattered. The legion of soldiers ran for it as they cried out in terror. Giles wanted to join them, but he was petrified. He couldn’t even move. He watched as they fled into the distance as the brown-haired woman just sighed.
“Good,” Amelia whispered to herself. “At least those guys have common sense. Now—”
She paused when she saw a figure descend from the sky just before her. Eloise landed right on top of the armored wagon, raising her staff. Amelia massaged her temples.
“Oh my god, please just stop…”
Giles blinked, looking between the Dark Wizard and the brown-haired woman. Neither of them attacked each other. Not just yet.
“I have to admit, I am impressed— no, I am not impressed.” Eloise tilted her head back. “I am absolutely terrified by what I have just witnessed. You slew both Rokh the Bludgeoning Striker and Seth the Battlemage with ease. I can’t lie and say that I am looking forward to facing you in battle.”
Amelia just looked back at her with a deadpan expression. “Then… why don’t you just not do that? It’s very simple— you step to the side, and we’ll all be happy.”
“Unfortunately…” the S-rank mercenary said as she shook her head. “Even if you are quite the monster, I have no choice but to stop you. My contract demands it so.”
“That’s really fucking stupid,” the brown-haired woman sighed, unsheathing her blade once again. “Are you seriously going to be risking your life because of a contract?”
“Yes,”came the response.
Giles watched on as Amelia continued to walk forward, while Eloise raised her staff. He pursed his lips, not knowing what was going to happen next. After all, the Dark Wizard was S-rank in level.
But Amelia? Well… Giles just didn’t know.
Author's Notes:
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2023.06.01 23:14 demonpiggies [USA-CT][H] SEGA Genesis Games, PS4/5 Games [W] Comic-related retro games and lists

Mainly looking for comic-related games, or even comics for that matter, but open to other retro to current console games.

SEGA Genesis


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