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An offshoot of /Discworld, for the sole purpose of running a book club dedicated to the Discworld.
Ima start this off and say I’m not suicidal, I mean sure I hate it here and would rather be anywhere else in life but here, but I don’t wanna die, if that makes sense.
I’m almost 17f and am in a running start program (I attend a college for classes to finish high school and earn college credits) and am doing overall pretty good. Life is fine but not great. Life is bad but not horrible. Everything is just fine. Nothing huge has happened except my brother moved to another state and he’s doing terribly mentally and physically and he’s just doing awful. Mom has been sick for some time, seems to improve but then she gets hit with something else and bam, 3 new medications. She’s dying and I’m accepting that. She’s living and I’m accepting that. Best friend got a boyfriend and I’m a second choice. Old best friends don’t share interest in me as much, but it’s better than being a shadow while hanging out with my best friend. She complains about money, but won’t do anything to fix it, even with real life advice I I’ve given. Starting to live by that “cant help people who don’t want to be helped” mentality. Everything is just fine.
I’ve been on antidepressants for over 2 years now, same high dose for about a year. Sure they work but they aren’t great, I just don’t want to have to go through leaning off this one and trying a new one that might just make things worse. Graduated therapy a year ago by lying bc I hated my therapist, my other three all passed me on. One quit without telling me and he was awesome, made me excited to go to therapy. Still feel like shit every day, cant get more than 5 hours of sleep, I will feel better and then remember I’m only functioning at a decent rate because of medication that can regulate my shitty brain chemistry.
I work the highest amount of hours a minor can work legally every week, while also attending college at 16, and a zero hour at my high school, I have no time for myself anymore and I feel like a zombie. It’s to the point where my older siblings contacted my parents about me. People at work won’t stop commenting about my body, old men sexualizing me weekly, how I’d look great pregnant bc I look like ‘that one chick from the hunger games’ and she looked great pregnant.
Birthdays this month, I don’t want to get any older I wish I was 6 again when my family was healthy and happy and together and I didn’t have to worry about if tomorrow will be just a shitty as today was. Birthdays just remind me I’m getting closer to the point in life I have been dreading. Im at the age I used to dream about and if 13 year old me saw that this is what it’s like I probably would have jumped off a cliff.
I’m just ranting at this point, but if this is my life rn and I have to go to school and then work for the rest of my life to pay off student loans and then maybe be happy, I don’t want it. Especially with the world we live in right now, probably the most unappealing thing ever.
But in two months I’ll be in Hawaii, that’s about the only thing to look forward to.
Please relate to this or at least assure me it won’t be like this forever, because I told myself that 2 years ago and it just has only gone downhill. Thanks
I recently uncovered some texts from my boyfriend and someone he slept with before we met. I’ll start this by saying, I am 100% in the wrong for snooping and normally I wouldn’t do that, however we’ve been in a dry spell for a few months (literally no sex that involves any sort of pleasure for me other than giving), which has been kind of triggering for me due to my previous (extremely toxic) long term relationship with a serial cheater. Anyways. The messages dated back to last April, she had reached out to him because she tested positive for HPV. He never said ANYTHING about this to me, we had been sleeping together for months at this point. Maybe stupid I know, but we never used protection because I have an IUD and he had had testing before we started sleeping together (I know men can’t be tested for HPV). Do I have a right to be upset about this not being brought to my attention?
TLDR: boyfriend had an old sexual partner reach out to him last April about having HPV and he didn’t tell me.
I have been in a relationship with an older professional man for nearly a year, inseparable for most of that, we've gone on international vacations, I see his kids every week when they come over, he pushed to meet my parents during the holidays and took me on vacation during Christmas after encouraging to cancel the one I had planned for myself, paid for my student health insurance just because, is responsible for a lot of the essentials in the house and happily picks up the bills for those while I'm in school (we try to have a more balanced financial relationship but he is years ahead of me career-wise and insists). I am not entirely financially dependent on him. I do want this relationship to work out - we get along and our friends/families are interconnected at this point. Besides this problem, we are happy.
He invited me to live with him because he is close to my University and I agreed a few months back because I live in a very expensive town (so much so our grad students are striking because we can't afford to live here...) and am in a competitive high stakes program at my University. He always wants me around: right after class ends, every weekend, etc - we spend a lot of time together doing typical couples activities. I don't know when he would physically cheat.
The problem: this man is so kind but I think is struggling w/ sex addiction. From about 2 months of dating he proposed monogamy. I've bent over backwards to entertain all of his fantasies and go to swingers events (where he doesn't actually interact with anyone...), he gawks at other women in front of me AND his children when we're out, and most recently I got the curiosity to check on Adult Friend Finder which is bottom barrel only to find the profile I was looking for quite quickly because his profile is unique for where we live. Old pictures of him inside of another woman. Not a paid account (and he has talked about using this for hookups in the past way before we ever knew each other - so it's not like I didn't know it didn't exist) but am shocked that he is active there.
His profile listed verbatim his original dating profile from when we met and his picture is him inside of another woman from a few years ago. It was active yesterday... while he is on a once in a lifetime trip with his teen children in a remote area of California.... and he was online on Adult Friend Finder (garbage website but I had the urge to check there since he has a history of going onto these sites to "look" despite having a young, kinky + submissive, and ALWAYS game girlfriend who initiates every day...)
I'm just at my wit's end. We are happy and satisfied when we're together and he always is all over me and reminds me that he loves me, we have a vacation planned in a few months with his kids who have grown close to me. He is coming abroad with me over the summer on my research trip. We take each other to doctor's appointments.
But the minute I'm not home he jumps on these websites to "look" (masturbate and who knows what else he's done offline). How does he even have time? I live here after giving up my apartment in a town where I cannot find a new one in time for the next academic period next month. I can't leave my program. I don't have family here. Working just to meet people for support is not really an option because my academic and research schedules already take up too much time. Because I've spent most of the year with him, I have made no real friends who could be potential roommates.
I am just distracted and my self esteem is shattered. This was supposed to be a fun and no strings attached relationship and grew into what I thought was what we both wanted. I advocated for that at the start and he’s continued to push and push for our relationship. How can I be so stupid?
To the users on here: I understand and see that this is not something you willingly do, so I hope my anger and distress isn't interpreted as condescending or anything similar. I am here for perspective, Is there any chance he is just addicted to the "hunt" and excitement of looking for women? (I am somewhat okay with that? I would want my man to still appreciate other women).
Is there any chance that this is just browsing/curiosity/ a way of masturbating? Why look at women locally instead of just using porn/reddit? We are almost never apart (his choice) other than when I'm in class for a few hours during the day. Is this just browsing or do you actually find ways to meet in person? :(
Deep in the woods, people say, a magical creature lies. A fairy. This fairy was known to cause both blessings and curses to whoever stumbles upon them. There were stories of this fairy granting wishes to women who wish to have children. There were stories of this fairy stealing names, leaving his victim to wander around the Earth clueless fools.
These stories are the single reason nobody refuses to trek close. Not even your crackhead classmates dare to touch the place because of the stories. And you...you always felt something was wrong. Every time you stare into the deep darkness, you shiver.
But one night, out of curiosity or foolishness, you decide to go to the woods for a midnight walk.
Never did you return that night.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hello, this is a revised version of a now deleted draft. So if this is familiar that's the reason. Content Warning: The dude here is really creepy and a slimy yandere basically, so if themes like that disturb you or your target audience you might not want to pick this up. Other than that, the usual usage is alright with me. (revisions, gender flipping, monetization are all yes). Have fun reading and please leave comments or critiques im very open to them.
(SFX: howl hooting)
The woods were much darker if you were inside, you realized. You walk, slowly. Ducking at random tree branches with sharp edges that with one wrong move can end you in an instant.
You shiver, placing your hands inside the pocket of your jacket sleeves. It has become much colder now. You don't exactly know whether its caused going deeper into the woods or because it was much later in the night. You realize you should probably head back at this point, but there was a part of you that didn't.
There was a part of you that was reluctant. Alone in your apartment, nothing but a plant on your windowsill to keep you company. It was...it reminded you just how big a room is when you were alone.
You got pulled out of your thoughts by the sound of laughing.
Deep. Maniacal. Laughing.
Sweat began to drip down your forehead. You froze, looking around the dark, dark forest.
Fairy: You're too far from the city, aren't you, human?
You twist your head from side to side, trying to find the voice.
Fairy: A long way from home. In a dark scary forest.
Fairy (mocking): Your parents must be worried. Probably looking at those black little magic things your kind calls a phone to call those little men in blue.
The fairy begins to laugh.
(You: Show yourself!)
Fairy: Show myself? (*cackles*) And why should I, little human?
(SFX: thumping sound, grass crunching*)
You look around trying to see any movements in the dark, but you could not see.
Fairy: You are nothing but a pesky little mortal weakling. What makes you think, I should follow your commands? Neigh, what makes you think you have the slightest authority to even speak in my presence?
Fairy: Tsk, tsk, you look so frightened now. Did you finally realize your mistake now, little human?
He laughs. The sound of something walking closer and closer to you echoes.
Fairy: I have forgotten the thrill of hunting humans. My, it feels so (*blissful sigh*) euphoric. It makes the hair on my arms just stand thinking about it. The way your face flushes, your eyes go wide, and your knees shake. And when you plead, oh you plead so prettily. You, humans, always plead with so much emotion and tremor into your voices. I get chills down my spine just thinking about it!
Fairy: And oh, it gets even more delicious when you try to run. The way your heart beats faster and faster. I can almost dance to it. The way sweat trickles down your neck. Your blood rushing to your cheeks painting your face so red. Oh! Such a pretty, pretty red.
You begin to run back in the direction you came. The fairy laughs.
Fairy: Yes! Yes! Run! Human! Run! Run as far as you can!
You continue to run for hours and hours. You feel like you're going in circles.
A hand grips your shoulders stopping you. You begin to scream and fight, but the sound of laughter sends chills down your spine making you halt.
Fairy (*sing songs*): I caught you. My, my that was such a fun chase.
His long sharp finger trails the lines on your neck.
Fairy: Your heart is pumping so fast. (*pleased hum*). My how wonderful the sound is.
Fairy: Hold still. I want to look at you.
Something stands in front of you. You try to move, but you're frozen. Rooted.
Someone holds your chin. A hand that smells like roses.
Fairy: So pretty. Even prettier with your cheeks so red and flushed. (*giggles*)
Fairy: If I didn't know any better I would've easily mistook you for a nymph. No, no, that's too high of a compliment. Probably just a pixie or a servant fairy.
You begin to cry.
(You: Please, please, don'-)
Fairy: Shh, shh, hush, human. I'm looking at you now. Shut up and hold still until I tell you.
A hand caresses your chin, wiping away a stray tear.
Fairy: Hmm, you know what, cry more.
You halt your breath.
Fairy: Didn't you hear what I said, human? Cry more.
Out of fear, you began to sob.
Fairy: Yes, yes, just like that. You look so...so beautiful like this. Like a tragic artwork. It takes my breath away.
The figure sits on the ground.
Fairy: Hmm, what's your name, pretty human?
(You: Please, please just let me go.)
Fairy: Tsk. I'm asking for a name not a plea. Name. What is your name?
You bite your tongue. Holding back the urge to follow his command. You've heard the tales you aren't stupid. Giving your name is giving your life, your will, and your whole being away.
He begins to laugh again.
Fairy: You trying to combat my magic won't work. It's useless. Although highly amusing.
Fairy: You are nothing but a human. Compared to my magic, you are nothing but a cockroach. A small cockroach that runs away as a big scary cat chases after you. There's no use to your fighting. You're just making this more pleasurable for me to watch.
Your lips uncurl and your name slips out of your tongue. He was right. You were weaker in the end.
Fairy: See. Shh. shh, you did so good, human. Thank you for sharing your name. In return, I shall share a little bit of information.
Fairy: By now you might have guessed that I am a fairy. Specifically I am the prince of this kingdom, this domain. And you see as a prince, I am in charge of looking out for my kingdom. My people's wellbeing and peace are first. No matter what I do to preserve it. So when a human like yourself, dumb, curious, and reckless enters here. Well I have no choice but to get rid of it.
You start to cry again.
Fairy: Shh don't cry just yet. I haven't even finished what I was saying yet. Hush. Shut up, now.
Fairy: As I was saying before I got interrupted, I am in charge of your life now. Whether that means ending it or preserving it. It is upto me and only me.
Fairy: And us fairies do have an eye for pretty and shiny little things. And my aren't you just a pretty human. A beauty such as yourself only comes once in a while and it will be too bad to waste it.
Fairy: Hmm, in all this talking, I only realize I have yet to see your eyes. Come now, won't you open your eyes for me?
You try to rebel against it, but...but you could no longer. Not when your name has already been forfeited.
Fairy: There (*sharp intake of breathe*) my they are so beautiful. So shiny and perfect...so beautiful
Hear me out, I’m a girl who’s pretty grossed out by feet in general so I generally paid attention to what my toes looked like and in general my feet. You know kept them tidy & would often get pedicures. Ever since I met my boyfriend that changed. I noticed his very smelly feet after a while of dating, but I Didn’t say much about it but once I moved in with him, things changed with my feet. I’m almost certain my boyfriend passed athletes foot to me since we use the same shower. I had VERY itchy feet & flaky skin, you could tell it was AF. I used the over the counter medicine you get at drug stores to help get rid of it. It went away on my toes but Then the worst happened and it moved up my legs.. I began having a rash near my sock line. Then it started spreading up my legs.. God the nightmare this has become. I started using the medicine on my legs & bam it’s calmed down but not gone. scar is still there and rash. Now I’m convinced it’s on the back of my hands noticed the hyperpigmentation, dryness, itchiness. & starting to get on my face.. Im so scared I’ve never had anything like this happen and I’m starting to think this is some super strain of fungus that has vowed to live within me. I forgot to mention my boyfriend seems completely indifferent to his own toes and has no rashes or spreading of fungus anywhere else. It’s honestly embarrassing to have such a bad case of some sort of fungus or rash. I’m just waiting for the look of shame the doctor will give me when I finally go to the Drs for a oral medication! Any tips y’all could give?
I often hear the Imu theory, but it wouldn't make sense for him to have the water fruit because the way the celestial dragons present themselves, especially the higher ones like gorosei, is that they are Saints. It would be ironic for a Saint like Imu to have a DEVIL fruit, but if he indeed had one by some stretch, I'd rather say he has some variation of a Curse Curse fruit.
Making someone immortal (Not confirmed but highly suggested that he is) is techincally a curse not a blessing.
Maybe a former encounter with someone who had the Water Water fruit led to "cursing" the waters. Erasing memories of the void century, even for the highest officials is near impossible without some "occult" way of doing so. The poneglyphs were a way to preserve information regardless of memory wiping (which we saw that it's possible due to how sugar's devil fruit worked)
Since we know that some zoan fruits have a will of their own, maybe this is a hint to how the will of D was initially passed down, and implicitly the JoyBoystuff. Entraping former key people's "memories" into devil fruits sounds like a good curse to me.
Coming back to the initial question, I feel like if there was anyone who had a clue about it, it would be either Blackbeard who spent decades studying various fruits and their interactions (hence being so fixated on the dark-dark fruit), or Vegapunk who had access to almost all government resources. There is a stretch that could be made for a 3rd option, that somehow Shanks' crew is in it's possesion, but in a box like Luffy's fruit was at the beginning.
Possibly no one is currently a user of the fruit, otherwise I'd assume there would be "rumors" in the one piece universe by now, however I'd like to believe Vegapunk's trump card is the water fruit indeed, which would tie nicely with the current events in the manga. And if that's the case, who would be supposed to wield it, Zoro?
There was a huge discussion at my workplace about trans athletes. After MMA fights between trans women with cis women, even one trans man against a cis woman, people are getting worried about how to fit trans athletes in these competitions without taking away their jobs and years of training.
To me the problem is, they never ask what trans people want. Would it be better to create separate categories just like it is to cis people?
Others say to just put trans women with cis women and do the same for men, but specialists deny it saying that biologically there's a disavantage for those who were born female, even if there's hormones treatment involved, male bodies are still stronger, according to them.
I'm not really active in the trans community, because i'm not a trans person and don't have trans friends in real life, so this is the place i believe would give me the best results and opinions.
Please, if you are or know someone who is trans and an athlete, what are yours/theirs opinions on the matter?
I received an email from HMRC saying there have been changes to my tax code for upcoming tax year. My estimated tax for year starting 5 April 2023 is £17k (I have paid £5.5k in this last year). My salary for 2023 is £38k with no other income from other sources so £17k is absolutely ridiculous - does anyone know why HMRC would think I am due so much? Will phone them on Monday to sort it out but worried I’ve missed something.
Bit of background - I moved jobs in August 2022. At my previous job I earned £14k from 5 April 2022 to August when I left and paid £1.8k in income tax during that time (tax code S361LX). And since August to 5 April 2023 I have earned £22.5k and paid £3.7k in income tax (tax code S0TX). I had trouble getting my P45 when I left my previous so was on an emergency tax code for a month but then got things sorted with my current employer once I’d received the P45. However in November, I received a letter from HMRC stating that I had underpaid tax and was due them £650, hence the current S0TX tax code. I had just accepted the underpayment and have been paying it for the last 4 months. I personally believe I’ve overpaid tax for the year 2022/2023 as I think I should’ve been on the standard S1275L tax code and paid c.£4.3k of tax after pension salary sacrifice (7.5%). I figured everything would resolve itself come this April and HMRC would realise I’d overpaid in 22/23 and I’d get that money back in due course.
This recent update saying I’m due £17k this upcoming year is starting to worry me. I’m hoping that phoning them on Monday will resolve things but should I be preparing anything before I speak to them? Any advice is appreciated.
On Wednesday, I took my first dose of .5 mg after being on the .25 for 4 weeks. The .25 seems like it wasn’t working very much anymore and my doctor and I decided it was time to go to .5 mg. The problem now is that it seems like the appetite suppression isn’t working, and on top of that the food noise is back. All I can think about is what I’m craving and what I want to eat. I’m scared that this will set me back. I was able to lose 12 pounds on the .25 in the first three weeks, and then scale stop moving on the last week. I’m scared that at this point I’m gonna start gaining again, even though I am not eating nearly as much as I usually would. I’m trying to keep up on my water and making sure I’m drinking enough in case that is what is triggering the hunger, but nothing is really working. I’m looking for advice on how to get through the .5 mg until my body is ready to go to the 1 mg.
We took all the clean towels and covered the macabre paintings and collapsed into bed.
That night I had the worst sleep paralysis episode I had ever had.
I just remember that I was sitting up in bed, looking at the door to our room because something was behind the door that made me bolt up and start sweating, despite the brumal chill that came over the room.
The sound of as like a cat scratching to be let inside.
Suddenly the door burst open violently and there was an apparition of an elderly woman in a pure white evening gown.
She was levitating about a couple feet off the ground. Her eyes were white like a severely blind old dog.
Below her there were snake like lizards that made figure eights, chasing each others tails in some ritualistic undulating circle.
The apparition floated to the foot of my bed. Her arms were outstretched in front of her, shoulder height like Frankenstein and the lizards followed her wherever she went.
The old woman began shrieking like a banshee and the room filled with blinding white light.
Next I’m laying in bed screaming and Carolina is shaking me out of my vivid and lucid sleep paralysis.
She was terrified.
I sprung out of bed and ran to the door to see if it was still locked.
We tried to shrug it off and return to bed but the room was so I cold I was expecting to see my own breath.
Carolina pointed out that something sounded like it was scratching the window lightly and a distended humanoid shadow was cast across the wall.
I opened the curtains to see if it may be hail making the noise as we were way too high up for it to be anything else.
The shadow figure would vanish each time I yanked the blinds open but it and the scratching would manifest again a few minutes later each time.
The thermostat said the room was 80 degrees and we had the cranked to no avail. It would get progressively colder and colder each night until exactly sunrise and then it seemed the heater would finally function properly.
So, I gave up on sleeping but my girlfriend slept well into the afternoon.
I called down for more towels but nobody came so after an hour I took the one down that we had hung over easily the must unnerving painting in the whole room.
Just above the toilet was the saddest sack of shit wino clown that appeared to have the wounds of Christ in its wrists and of course, just behind the clown was like a wendigo or skinwalker entity that I hadn’t noticed initially.
Regarding the painting, my girlfriend took pictures of all of them just because she knew that no one back home would believe that they were real. Also, they were so complicated that it’s truly hard to describe exactly what was going on in each one. The best comparison I could make was if Hieronymus Bosch used oil paints and charcoal on an average sized canvas and had a hard on for clowns.
After a year or so, she and I both felt that the photos of the paintings should be deleted as we both experienced frequent sleep paralysis the following year or so. Part of me regrets that decision.
It was 2016 so it didn’t help that it was that year where disturbing clowns were popping up all over to the point where McDonald’s nixed Ronald McDonald for good.
So, there I am in the shower with my back to Clowny McAntichrist and I’m feeling distinctly like I’m being watched.
I allow myself to revisit my nightmare from the night before but suddenly there was only one thing I could think about…
The disembodied, Krusty the Clown cartoonish laughter that suddenly manifested near my right ear.
I yanked the shower in the direction I thought was off and ended up scalding my neck and butt and almost completely ate it.
I pulled the shower curtain open from the other side and searched the entire room for whatever made that noise.
At this point, I was convinced that it was my turn to go crazy seeing as my older brother lost his mind around the same age. That’s another story but he is a homeless schizophrenic meth who talks to himself and went full on Syd Barret with out any prior indication of mental health problems.
Heartbreaking as my brothers descent into madness was, I was selfishly more afraid of waking up one day just as insane as he is.
I couldn’t tell Carolina what I was experiencing. If I was losing it, she is the last one I would want to find out about it.
We went to a dinner show thing at a Japanese restaurant called Ichiban.
Our cook was awful.
Black Panther Volume 3: Beyond the Horizon Issue #36: To the Moon, featuring the Amazing Spider-Man
Written by u/PresidentWerewolf
Edited by u/FrostFireFive
& u/DarkLordJurasus Previous Issue
“You don’t have much time.” Shuri paced the width of the downed Wakandan transport and back again, stopping for a moment to stare out the jagged hole in its flank. Behind her, the hazy bulb of light on the horizon, perhaps Chicago, perhaps a smaller, closer city, drove the twinkling stars away.
“I have to bring you home. That is my duty, but then you show me this,” she said, gesturing to the Vibranium Atlas displayed on the cracked screen. As they looked at it, it began to flicker.
“We need to download that,” Ross said. “Main power is failing.”
T’Challa was already on it. As he tapped buttons in sequence, the Atlas faded and was replaced by a progress bar that swiftly filled from left to right.
“See? And we didn’t even have to ‘sweat it out’ at ninety-nine percent like in your American action movies.”
As he said that, the lights went dead around them, and the computer blinked off.
“American action movies are what prepared me for all of this,” Ross laughed. “I’ve been on the road with Chuck Norris of Wakanda for the last year.”
“I am still somewhat weakened, but I am regaining strength quickly,” T’Challa said. “Okoye may not be so lucky, as she is not empowered by the herb.”
Okoye huffed an obscenely annoyed breath. “Losing half my blood brought me down to your level!”
T’Challa laughed. It was a good sound that put the rest of the crew at ease. It put him at ease as well. Even Shuri cracked a half-smile, though it didn’t last long.
“The Council knows that we have tracked you. They may believe that it took some time to catch you, but they won’t believe that you got away for good. They will be expecting us home within twenty-four hours.”
“And yet, we will not be going home, and they will
believe that we got away for good,” T’Challa said.
Shuri’s eyebrows went up with interest. “So you have a plan.”
a plan. Once the Atlas was complete, I was going to return to Wakanda and convince the Council to track down any significant stores of Vibranium that existed outside our borders. Now, however…”
“You are preoccupied with the line that extends…” Shuri thought about her words carefully. “Off the map.”
“Hence the new plan,” T’Challa said. “We are going to find it.”
Shuri blinked, taken aback. “Find it?”
T’Challa nodded, his eyes gleaming. “We are going to find it.”
“What…what about,” Shuri was now searching for words. “What about Nakia?”
She hit upon the hardest one first. T’Challa flinched, but replied, “I have done nothing but fail that woman. I can’t imagine she even wants to see me.”
“That’s not true,” Shuri said.
“She shouldn’t want to. It is better to give her space for now.”
“Mm,” Shuri said. She gave a hard glance at Okoye, who kept a calm, defiant face. “All right then. What if it goes to the Moon? The Council won’t give you a shuttle.”
T’Challa shook his head. “It is not on the Moon, or even near it. It reaches far, far past our orbit, our moon, even our solar system. Not even Wakanda has a shuttle that can take me that far.”
“Well then, how are you going to go out there?” Shuri asked.
“Uh, she has a point,” Ross said, while Okoye nodded.
“A friend of mine has such a ship,” T’Challa said simply.
“Who?” Ross asked. “You don’t mean Reed Richards?”
“You think he’s just going to give us his spaceship?”
“Of course not,” T’Challa said. “We are going to steal it.”
Nobody seemed to like that idea very much.
“Are you insane?” Okoye said, berating him. “You know what that man is capable of.”
“I don’t actually know what Richards is capable of,” Ross said, “but that scares me even more.”
Shuri shook her head firmly. “You’ll never get it out of there. Doesn’t he have all of his…technology in orbit anyway?”
“Not all of it,” T’Challa said. “The Badoon ship he used to travel the cosmos…not only has Reed restored it to working order, it is in the hangar at the Baxter Building.”
Ross whistled through his teeth. “Look, T’Challa. I said I’d go through anything with you, right?”
T’Challa nodded. “You have acted with great loyalty and bravery, Agent Ross.”
Ross took a deep breath. “You should know, this isn’t any different. If you say we’re storming the Baxter Building, then that’s what we’re doing.”
Okoye nodded. “We are pledged to even your most suicidal of half-baked schemes.”
Ross almost patted her on the shoulder, and then he thought better of it. He looked at T’Challa. “Just tell us you have a really good plan.”
The next morning: New York City
Sun streamed across the vast floor of the Baxter Building’s hangar, a hundred and twenty stories above the streets. The wind whipped up here, the air cold with a bite, but Susan Storm didn’t feel it. Protected by a partial bubble of invisible force, she lounged on a patio chair in shorts and a buttoned shirt, her hair flowing freely and brushing the ground as she leaned back. A half-finished mimosa sat on the ground, just within reach. A biotech journal lay open on her stomach.
“Hey, Sis?” Johnny Storm, her younger brother, called out from the exit to the main building. His voice echoed within the hangar, but it was almost lost to the wind before it reached Sue.
“Hm?” she sat up, shielding her eyes from the sun.
Johnny walked halfway out to her. “Sorry to bother you. Uh, just looking for…”
Sue sighed. “What? Do the kids need something?”
“No, HERBIE has the kids.”
“Well then what is it?”
“Kinda lost a…”
Johnny laughed weakly and scratched his head. “A brunette.”
Sue sat up. “Another one?”
“Well, they get up in the morning, and they want to leave,” Johnny said defensively, “or they don’t, but HERBIE scares them, and Reed
didn’t put exit directions up like he’s supposed to. It’s a fire hazard, Sue. That’s what it is.”
Sue put her magazine down on the ground and stood up. “Okay, where did you last see her?”
Johnny started to turn red.
“Are you twelve? You know, this wouldn’t happen if you would just walk them out.”
“Well! Well…” Johnny’s mouth worked as he searched for words. “I just…um…wait. What’s that?”
Sue turned around, sighing again in annoyance, but she stopped when she saw it, too. There was an extra shadow on the hangar floor, shaped like another aircraft…There was something hovering above the hangar!
“Johnny, hit the alarm.” As she said it, several figures dropped from above on the hangar floor. They landed easily, four of them, silently, their dark profiles making them seem like mere shadows themselves.
One of them stepped forward, halfway out of the light so that his features could be seen.
“T’Challa?” Johnny said.
T’Challa pointed. “Steal it! Steal the ship! Steal it before they catch us!” The rest of his group ran for one of the vehicles in the hangar.
“What the actual hell!” Johnny yelled. He immediately burst into flame, and blasted off after them. The sudden burst of hot air blew hard against Sue, making her hair fly up and causing her to stumble back.
“Gah! Johnny,” she coughed. When she looked up, T’Challa’s team had already flown out over the city, and Johnny had gone after them. But it didn’t make sense. “Why would T’Challa steal the Fantasticar?”
The Fantasticar, though seemingly not much more than a platform with seats on it, was as agile as any aircraft. In many ways, it was superior. Inertial dampeners made sharp corners easy and smoothed the bumps out during hard acceleration. As the Fantasticar looped and slid between the skyscrapers of New York, evading the Human Torch, it acted more like a dragonfly than the clunky box it appeared to be.
Shuri looked back at the furious orange flame dogging them. “I am going to give you credit and assume this was part of your plan.”
The Human Torch flung a huge fireball at them, but T’Challa swerved to dodge it easily. It went straight up into the air and exploded in a ball of smoke and light.
Okoye looked like she was having less fun than anyone. Indeed, anyone who really knew her could tell that the rough ride, combined with her recent injuries, was making her sick as a dog. T’Challa shot her a concerned look, but she waved him away.
“I’m sure space travel will be much easier,” she said, wheezing a laugh.
“Speaking of,” Shuri said. “How do
you make this thing go into space? It does not look like a spaceship.”
T’Challa opened his mouth to speak, but just then there was a bump
that shook the entire Fantasticar. They all looked around to find the source. No one had joined them. Johnny was still cursing them out from behind.
There was suddenly drag in the controls. They were losing speed. T’Challa banked and the ship was sluggish. “Shuri, take the controls,” T’Challa said, as he magnetized his boots and gloves.
Before she even grabbed the stick, T’Challa had already secured his helmet, swung over the side, and latched on to the bottom of the Fantasticar. He hung there with both feet and one hand, the wind and inverted view threatening vertigo, but he shook it off. There were giant spiderwebs all over the bottom of the Fantasticar. He wasn’t alone down there.
“Uh, how are you doing that
?” asked Spider-Man. He was standing on the bottom of the vehicle as well, but on the balls of his feet, almost casually, as if they were meeting on the sidewalk. Well, he had tempted fate, and fate had taken the bait. Planning a heist over the New York skyline in the middle of the morning had attracted exactly who he feared it would.
T’Challa growled and freed his other hand.
Spider-Man crossed his arms and tilted his head slightly. “Listen pal, if we can just be honest for a second. I know a heist when I see one.” The Fantasticar swerved hard, and a jet of flame blew through the air beneath them. T’Challa could feel the heat through his suit.
Spider-Man didn’t seem bothered at all. “Hoo boy,” he said, clapping his hands together. “How long before one of those ends up taking out some innocent falafel stand? You know, I know the Human Torch. Well, I mean, I don’t actually know
him, but I see him on TV all the time, you know–actually, half the girls in the city know him better than I do. Okay, that kind of sounds like I’m slut-shaming. Him! Not the girls.” Spider-Man put out a hand defensively, explaining himself. “I’m slut-shaming Johnny. I mean, I’m just saying that I thought this was a paparazzi thing, and then I realized that Johnny was the one chasing you
, and I thought, geez I hope the girl he’s with is okay. Is she up top? Is she the the muscly-looking…” he did a little body-building pose, “that one?”
“What are you doing down here?” There was a sudden burst of light and heat as the Human Torch joined them. The Fantasticar started to swerve again as Shuri tried to tell where he was.
Spider-Man pointed at Johnny. “Hey! You!” He cleared his throat. “You’re the fantastic guy with…the Torch!”
“The Human TorchI Are you with this guy?”
Spider-Man shook his head. “No way! I think he stole this…uh…flying car.”
“Yeah, he stole the Fantasticar!” Johnny replied.
“Fantasticar! That’s such a cool name.”
“Nah, it’s lame. But he can’t steal it.” The two of them shared a glance.
“Superhero team up?” Spider-Man said.
Johnny nodded with a huge grin. “Superhero team up! Let’s get him–hey, where’d he go?”
As both of the young heroes looked around wildly, T’Challa cut off the rest of the webbing and returned to the top of the Fantasticar. He grabbed the controls from Shuri.
“Hang on!” he yelled, and he yanked the stick. The Fantasticar hit a hard bank that turned into a tight spiral. It was a move that would have been deadly for any conventional aircraft, but Reed Richards’s design was a generation ahead of anything conventional. He spied the Torch spinning away behind them as they dove for the ground, and at the last second, he pulled them back up, shooting for the sky. Four seconds later, they cleared the tops of the skyscrapers and blasted into the open air. T’Challa breathed a sigh of relief. There was no way the Spider was still clinging to the bottom.
“This thing is incredible,” Spider-Man said from behind him. “Well…fantastic? I guess that’s the pun. What kind of EM field is keeping you guys in your seats?”
T’Challa turned without warning and struck with blinding speed, swiping with hard strength for a gouge across Spider-Man’s chest. The hero moved an instant before
T’Challa struck, and the swipe missed by a hair’s width.
Spider-Man responded with a quick jab of his own, and T’Challa was almost off balance enough to take it on the chin. He just managed to dodge to the side, and he pivoted away, taking a defensive stance.
Spider-Man took a quick look at his fist. “That usually works. You’re not just some thug, are you?” Shuri and Okoye both stood at that. “Hey! Hey, just kidding,” he said, waving his hands in front of him. “I know you’re King T’Challa.” He leaned in a little. “By the way, do you have diplomatic immunity?”
Back in the hangar, Agent Ross watched as Susan Storm stood at the end of the launch platform and looked out over the city. He waited until she finally went back into the main building, and then he emerged from his hiding place and located the Badoon space cruiser. He moved quickly, running to one side to find the controls to unlock the moorings for the ship, disconnect the power, hydraulic, and fuel lines, and figure out how to taxi it to the launch platform.
Most of that was done by small helper bots, and Ross was able to move quickly through all of the computer systems because of T’Challa’s information. A year ago, the Black Panther had performed something of a stress test on Reed Richards’s security. He had broken through and given Reed instructions on how to improve, but not before downloading the bulk of the orbital lab’s files and installing his own backdoor into the system.
T’Challa had shrugged when telling them about it, like that kind of thing was no big deal. “If he really listened to what I told him, he would have found it.”
“Hard to lecture him about it now,” Ross muttered to himself. He tapped at his datapad, and was still a little shocked when it managed to connect with the cruiser’s system. Another tap, and the hatch opened.
“This guy thinks of everything,” Ross said, and he moved to climb into the cruiser.
“Hello, Agent Ross,” said a female voice, directly into his ear.
“Jesus!” Ross yelped as he jumped. He knew exactly who it was. It was her, the Invisible Woman. She was right next to him.
“Language, please. I grew up going to Sunday school, you know.”
“Yes, ma’am. Sorry.” That sounded bad. Might as well have called her mommy. Ross waited for the bump on the head, to wake up in a jail cell. Sorry, T’Challa
, he thought.
“Normally, I would turn an intruder over to the police. If Ben or Johnny didn’t get to them first, that is,” she said with a soft chuckle. She was speaking right
into his ear, her breath giving him chills down his neck.
“Okay,” Ross said. “That sounds fair.” He let his free hand drift down near the data pad. Two taps would activate the floodlights. It might give him enough time to take off, or distract her. He could knock her out if he caught her off guard–
HIs entire body froze. He was suddenly wrapped in a forcefield the exact shape of his body.
“Let’s not get jumpy,” Sue said. “Normally
, I would hand you over to the police, but you are right, Agent Ross. T’Challa really does think of everything. Take the ship and go.”
The force field vanished. “Really?” Ross said.
Sue kissed Ross on the cheek, just a peck. The chill intensified down his spine. “Just fill up the tank before you bring it back,” she said, and then she was gone.
The intelligence was true. T’Challa had scarcely believed it at first, but this Spider-Man really did have an extra sense. He dodged most of T’Challa’s blows easily, moving only after an attack was committed but with plenty of time to spare. What blows did land felt like he had punched a statue. He was superhumanly fast, and while T’Challa had managed to avoid his blows in return, his strength was clearly far, far beyond that of a normal human. Or a Black Panther, for that matter.
The only advantage T’Challa had was that he was fighting a novice. Spider-Man was clearly a young man, and his fighting experience was shallow. At the same age, T’Challa had nearly conquered the Feast of the Heart. This would essentially be a stalemate until one of them landed a solid blow.
The Human Torch still followed them. Shuri did her best with a small shield to deflect the flame he shot at them while Okoye tried to outfly him, but neither of them were going to succeed forever. The Torch just never ran out of flame, or clever insults, to hurl at them. T’Challa almost chuckled when he called them a “Saturday-Night-Live-mid-February-musical-guest-looking-bunch-of-scrubs.” Very creative for several minutes into a tirade like that.
On the top of the Fantasticar, the inertial dampeners kept them all from flying off, so T’Challa was able to fight with his full agility. He pressed as hard as he could, coming at Spider-Man with jabs and claw-tipped strikes. He did not want to seriously injure the young hero, but he knew he couldn't play defense. Spider-Man, in turn, acted like he was having a laugh.
“It’s a good thing Johnny and I are doing a team up,” he said, and then he called over his shoulder. “Can I call you Johnny?”
Spider-Man shrugged. “I mean, without Johnny it would be three on one. Three on two is a lot better. You’re a great fighter. I’ve never fought anyone like you, really. Even though the ol’ Spidey sense is keeping me safe–” he spun to avoid a nasty kick from T’Challa and hopped back, “I have to watch out for you.”
A real fighter would have grabbed that kick and punished him for missing. T’Challa snarled and pushed forward, using a complicated series of blows designed to confuse, well, a person without a Spidey sense, but it worked well enough.
“Hey!” Spider-Man laughed, “can’t even get my webs off. If I get flung off and have to swing back up here, so help me.”
“Does he ever shut up?” Okoye asked over her shoulder.
“Hey! I’m starting to think that you’re not actually Johnny’s girlfriend.”
Okoye rounded to charge at him. “I’m no–”
Webbing hit her in the mouth and stuck her hand to the control panel. “There we go! I got a shot off after all.”
Okoye’s eyes were murderous as she fought against the webbing. Well, it was probably for the best that she was tied up, now.
Manhattan wasn’t exactly an enormous landmass, and the Fantsticar was capable of some impressive speed. Neither Spider-Man nor the Torch seemed to have noticed that they had essentially circled the city three times since the chase began. T’Challa had been waiting, trying to hold on until Agent Ross arrived.
He saw the Badoon ship in the distance, so sleek and oddly angular, as it descended towards them. Fifteen, twenty seconds, and they would be close enough.
Spider-Man noticed the shadow first, and then the Torch. They both backed off their attacks and looked up at the approaching ship.
“Hey wait, you stole that too
?” Johnny exclaimed.
“What did they steal?”
“A spaceship! They stole our spaceship!” Spider-Man turned to T’Challa. “I thought you just stole their car.”
“I’m giving back the car,” T’Challa replied. “Sorry for this.”
“Sorry for wh–” Spider-Man began, before T’Challa hit him with the Umsiki wexesha
T’Challa had been holding it back, knowing that if it worked, it would probably work only once. The two-step attack, the second hidden within a superhuman reaction time of the first, landed. Spider-Man stepped back from the fist, but the darting elbow caught him hard in the shoulder, knocking him aside. To T’Challa, it felt like he smashed his elbow into a brick wall.
He moved with Spider-Man’s momentum, pushing past him, and he grabbed his wrist. He aimed the web shooter and pressed the exact spot where he had seen the teen press to activate it a moment before. A stream of webbing shot out and wrapped out the Human Torch’s middle. His flame went out suddenly, and he started to fall.
“Hey!” Spider-Man exclaimed, and he yanked his hand back, lashing out with the other. T’Challa caught it on his own shoulder, and he was knocked back across the platform of the Fantasticar. Spider-Man advanced quickly, moving to end it, but then he realized what had happened. He glanced over the side of the ship.
“A king playing dirty,” he said. “Well now I’ve seen it all,” and he leaped over the side to save Johnny.
T’Challa struggled to his feet, and he cut Okoye free. Ross was close enough now. Shuri joined him, and T’Challa saw how sweaty she was from the heat of the flames. Soot smudged her skin and clothes.
He brought the Fantasticar down to a low speed and then waited for Okoye and Shuri to hop over onto the cruiser. They were still so high over the city, and both of them were exhausted, but neither showed a hint of fear or hesitation. T’Challa set the controls for the Fantasticar to return home, and then he boarded the spaceship as well. Ross took them up as soon as the hatch was closed. The city, the island, and the continent all receded, until they were well above the clouds, high enough that they could see the neon-blue curve of the Earth.
“Okay, so as far as team ups go, that wasn’t the best,” Spider-Man said. He lowered Johnny gently to the ground and started to tear the webbing off of him.
“Stand back,” Johnny said. With a burst of flame, he incinerated all of the webbing covering his body. “And no, it didn’t go well. Next time, let me
fight the Black Panther and you
can fight the girls.”
“I mean…” Spidey said, shrugging, and then his shoulders drooped. “I can’t believe he actually got me. What was that he hit me with?”
“Dunno,” Johnny said, brushing off web-ash from his clothes. “That guy has like a million tricks. He almost beat up my Skrull girlfrie–I mean, my friend, who is a Skrull, and who is a girl. Sometimes.”
“What’s a Skrull?”
From far down the street, police sirens began to blare. The two young men perked up.
“Sounds like a bank robbery,” Johnny said.
Spider-Man extended a fist. “Uh…team up, take two?”
Johnny bumped the fist quickly. “Race you there. Flame on!”
They landed the cruiser near Shuri’s transport. All of the Wakandan soldiers came out to admire the alien ship. The hatch opened, and Shuri stood looking down on them.
“It is hard…to be the Black Panther,” she said to T’Challa. “It is harder being your sister.”
T’Challa squeezed her arm, and then he pulled her in for a hug. “I know. I am a difficult sibling.”
“And son,” she said into his shoulder.
“And king,” he chuckled. He stepped back and handed her a data pad. “The Atlas is loaded onto this. You know something has to be done here on Earth.”
Shuri shook her head. “I don’t even know where to begin. Start small, I guess.”
“You will manage,” T’Challa said. “The three of us will manage as well.”
“I don’t understand,” Shuri said. “I get that this is some kind of adventure, but there has to be more to it. No mere impulse would send you to the stars. You don’t know what’s out there.”
T’Challa hesitated. “There…is more. I won’t say now. I will say that there is a mystery surrounding Vibranium, one that I believe we should have tried to solve generations ago. A monster like Klaw, the attention of Bast, the spirits of the seven Kings…it is more than just a meteor, more than just Wakanda’s luck.”
“I…I trust you, T’Challa, but there is still a Wakanda to protect, a Wakanda to rule.”
“You don’t need me for that,” he said.
“Then, I guess there is nothing more to say,” Shuri said.
T’Challa smiled down at his sister. “There is a lifetime of things left to say. Gather your adventures, and I will gather mine, and we will trade over the fire when I return.”
The bridge of the Badoon ship was meant for a crew of about ten, but Reed Richards had rigged it so that three or four could easily handle all of its functions. Ross sat in the captain’s chair as he guided the ship up into orbit. T’Challa sat at a control panel and monitored the engines, atmosphere, and various energy levels. Okoye was monitoring communications.
“Susan Storm showed up,” Ross blurted out. The blue sky in the viewscreen faded to black.
“She did, and instead of stopping me, she just let me take the ship. I thought I was a goner.”
T’Challa laughed. “And you want to know why you are not a goner.”
“It is a simple matter,” T’Challa said. “I am a rogue head of state…or a head of a rogue state, depending who you ask. If I asked for their spaceship, the Fantastic Four might just give it to me, because they are my friends, but the U. S. Government would…”
“Pitch a fit?” Okoye said. “That is how the Americans say it?”
Ross nodded and pointed at her.
“Yes, pitch…a fit. Something like that. So, I have to be seen stealing it.”
“You arranged that ahead of time? How?”
T’Challa shook his head. “I arranged nothing ahead of time.”
“Wait, you didn’t know if Sue was going to flatten me when I tried to take the ship?”
did not know if she was going to flatten you,” Okoye said.
“I knew she would let you go,” T’Challa added.
“I already told you how. I told you the first time I spoke of this plan. They are my friends.”
“Huh,” Ross said simply. He started setting nav coordinates.
“Being my friend is a very serious matter,” T’Challa said, with a play of a grin on his lips.
Okoye looked back and forth between the two of them. “It is lunch time.”
Ross punched in a destination. “Lunch on the moon?”
T’Challa nodded. Inside, he was excited, bursting with anticipation, craving the adventure to come. Outside, he was as calm as he had been since…had there ever been a time he felt like this?
“Lunch on the moon.”
End of Volume 3: Beyond the Horizon
Basically the title, gf keeps calling every attractive men that she sees irl “daddy” whenever we go out together. She doesn’t say it directly to them but she whispers it into my ears saying “he is so daddy”. She also sends me ig posts and tiktoks of men older than her saying “daddy material” and etc. I’m pretty sure she means this in a sexual way and I have told her multiple times to stop calling other men “daddy” and she refuses to listen to me. Oh and she has daddy issues so ig that’s where she gets this kink from but still calling other men daddy is so frustrating to me especially when she’s in a relationship with me. What exactly do I do here? I overthink a lot and it’s killing me from the inside. I have had multiple talks with her but it doesn’t seem to change a thing.
I(28M) was very close growing up with my grandparents. My grandmother passed away in 2015 from cancer. I spent the last few months keeping her company and spent the night with her. I was there when she passed away. I have a cousin(25F) who did not care about visiting them. She only wanted the money that they would give every birthday and holiday. My Aunt would come up with an excuse when cousin was younger as why she never visited.
I helped move my grandfather into a small apartment that was near where I was living. I had him over every Sunday for dinner and would drive him anywhere he wanted to go. I went over to his apartment last week and he had passed away in his sleep. The funeral was scheduled for yesterday and he had asked me to do his euology. I wrote out everything to say and after I spoke, my Aunt approached me.
She thought it was rude that I was the one that was chosen to do the eulogy. She made a small scene in front of a few family members. My cousin approached me later regarding the eulogy and how she should have been asked. I then told her that she would have embarrassed herself as my grandfather made it clear he did not know her at all.
I have been spending the weekend cleaning up his apartment and thinking about if I was an AH for giving the eulogy.