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Beermoney India: Money Making Opportunities in India

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2023.06.07 21:01 Erutious I was a lab assistant of sorts but now I'm trapped

First post- https://www.reddit.com/nosleep/comments/13wy7qb/i_was_a_lab_assistant_of_sorts/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
Hey guys, I’m back again with an update.
It’s been a couple of days and the food is just about gone. Luckily, there’s a sink in the corner so I don’t have to worry about water. It tastes a little metaly but it hasn’t made me puke so I guess it’s fine. For some reason, there’s a bag of cat food in the corner so I guess if it comes down to it I can eat that.
Okay, now onto what you’re all really interested in.
The little potato dude is okay. He’s still a weird little guy, but I haven’t had to smash him yet. I know what he eats now, but that's getting ahead of myself a bit. We’ve come to an understanding but it definitely took us some time to get there.
The first day was the worst.
As I tried to find ways out of the little room, the little guy just kept screaming to be let out. The longer he screamed, the more he started to sound like a baby crying for food. I swear I could hear him through my headphones, and after they died, I was stuck with just the sound of him crying. I alternated between charging my phone and charging my earbud case, but sometimes I was still left listening to the little guy scream.
He cried till about midnight, and that's when I almost snapped.
I picked up the tank, now more like a fish tank and less like a jar, and stared through the glass at him. I must have been pretty scary because he stopped yelling and just stared back at me with his multiple eyes. He had so many, they were all over his body, and we had a little staring contest before I finally told him to shut up.
“Or else I will smash your little tank and squish you like a bug.”
He seemed to think about that, and when he nodded it was like his whole body nodding.
We had some silence after that as the two of us sat and made our little plans. I thought about calling campus security, but when I tried, they just thought I was goofing. I tried to explain to them where I was and what was going on, but they just told me not to play games and hung up on me. I tried 911 again, but they said the same thing. Heck, the lady on the 911 call threatened to call the police if I kept calling, and I told her to go right ahead. Maybe the police could find me better than campus security, but since they haven’t broken down the door yet, I guess not.
It was about three am when I finally thought to look at the tank and found him watching me.
“Well?” I asked, making the little guy jump, “Have you got any ideas?”
He seemed to think about it, but before he could say it, I cut him off.
“And don’t say let you out of the tank.”
“Fair enough,” he said, “In that case, I have nothing to add yet.”
“Terrific!” I said, putting my head in my hands and staring at the floor.
“Have you, perhaps, thought about vents or drains?”
I had, but they were all too small for me to climb into. There was a drain in the floor but I couldn’t even get a foot in there. The ventilation shafts were an idea, but most of them would be too snug for me. I’m a beefy guy, not muscular but kinda fat, and getting stuck in the vents sounded like a terrible way to die without anyone realizing it.
“Yeah, obviously. I’m too big to fit through those.”
“A problem I do not have.” the creature reminded me, more than a little smugly too.
“Back to that again,” I growled, “And what's to stop you from just leaving me hanging once you get out?”
The little dude didn’t say anything for a few minutes, contemplating his next move as I Googled like a madman. I was looking for blueprints for the college online since a place like this would have to have them filed. See, I’m not super smart when it comes to math and science, but I know a little bit about building permits and filing your blueprints with the city. If this place was built by the college, then it had to exist in the public sphere.
After an hour of looking with no results, I was ready to throw my phone down. I went and grabbed some kale chips out of the little fridge, munching them sullenly as I tried to come up with a plan. The little guy was back to looking at me again, and I couldn’t help but notice that something had changed. All the eyes on his body opened and closed but they were never all open at once. He also looked tired, maybe even a little pale. I looked down at the bag of chips and thought again about how I might have to feed this little guy at some point.
“Do you need to eat? It’s been about twenty-four hours since Doc was here, and I don’t think I’ve ever been here when he feeds you.”
The little creature pulled its lips up into a sad smile, “You couldn’t feed me what I want. I don’t eat normal food and you aren’t equipped to give me what I need.”
I started to get a little offended, “What's that supposed to mean?”
It looked at me, and I felt a little shudder ripple over my skin as it did.
“I feed on brain waves. Creative brain waves, to be precise. The Doctor feeds me by just being around me like his lab assistants did. You, however, don’t seem to create the same way he did. You look at your little device all the time and it makes your brain waves taste bland and unappetizing. That's why The Doctor’s Assistants kept getting headaches. The more they created, the more I fed. The Doctor doesn’t get them because his mind is like a wellspring. You, on the other hand, are incapable of nourishing me. You simply don’t think the same.”
I sat back, not sure whether to be happy that I couldn’t feed him or offended that he was sayin I was too dumb?
In the end, I guess I just decided to roll with it.
“Well, I guess we’re both stuck then. You need to eat brainwaves and I need to eat food. We can’t get either here, so what do we do about it?”
“Is there anything in here we could use to break open the door?” the creature asked hopefully.
“Checked already. There’s some lab equipment and the fridge, the table you're on, and the chair I’m sitting in. Other than that, not much. There are books, but none of them are gonna get us out of here.”
I kept searching on my phone for something that looked familiar in the blueprints, but it was getting frustrating.
“Ugh, if only I knew where we were. If I knew the name of the building I could find the right map or tell security where to find us!”
“Wait, is that all you need to get us out of here?” it asked, floating close to the side of the tank so it could look at me.
“Well yeah. If I knew where we were then I could tell security where we were stuck.”
“I know where we are,” it said, and it sounded less smug and more sinister when it said it.
I stared back at it for a few seconds, waiting for it to fill me in.
It sat there for a few seconds, waiting for me to ask the question.
“Well? Are you gonna tell me or what?”
“Why should I?” it said, “If I tell you, then you’ll just leave and I’ll be stuck here. What guarantee do I have that you won’t just leave me once you’ve gained your freedom.”
The little son of a bitch had me there. There would be nothing to stop me from just leaving him here to die in that tank. Without any brain wave to gobble, he’d shrivel up and die. Maybe that's what he deserved, but I just couldn’t bring myself to hate him like that. The little dude had never done me wrong, and I couldn’t mess up my karma by shafting him like that.
“I promise that if we get that door open, I’ll take you with me.”
“And release me?” he asked, hedging.
“Dude, if you get us out of here, I’ll take you to SeaWorld and release you, if that's what you want. The kale chips are going to run out soon, and if I starve, you are SOL little bud. You might not be able to eat my brain waves, but you can’t open your tank or dial my cell phone with those baby fingers either. Whether we like it or not, we kinda need each other right now.”
The creature nodded, bumping its little head against the side of the glass.
“Agreed. I will have to trust in your honor, I suppose.”
“Brah, I am chocked full of honor. I've never welched on a promise and I’m not gonna start now.”
“Very well then,” it said with a little smile, “The building is called Rashley Laboratories. At least that's what the assistants always thought of when they thought about it at all. One of them thought it was spooky when they walked through it to get here, and the images led me to believe that it might be abandoned.”
I already had the cell phone out and Googling as he finished. There was no Rashley Laboratories, but there was an R. Ashley Science Hall. It had been abandoned in the nineties after an explosion in the science wing, but the campus had never torn it down for some reason. It had been named a historic building in two thousand nine and while they had renovated the outside to make it prettier, the inside was pretty much untouched. Sounded like a great place for a secret lab and a covert experiment.
Campus security picked up on the second ring, and I sighed when I realized it was the same guy I had dealt with the night before.
“Campus security, Officer Rob speaking, how may I help you?”
“Hey, yeah, we talked last night before you hung up on me. I still,”
“Hey, I remember you. Are you still playing this game? This has got to be getting old by now.”
“Look, just listen. We’re…I’m stuck in the R. Ashley Science Hall and I need help.”
There was silence as he digested this.
“Okay, nice try, but that building has been closed for years. I’m pretty sure the doors never open. How exactly did you get in there, if you are actually stuck in there?”
“It’s hard to explain,” I said, looking at the little potato dude as I thought about how to start.
“I’ve got time, let's hear the whole story,” he said, pretending to be interested. To hell with it, I decided, might as well lay it all on the line.
“I’m sitting down here with Doctor Crandler’s experiment, the one who got arrested for buying stuff to make. He pays me to sit down here and watch it at night, but the door is locked and I need someone to let me out.”
The line was quiet for a few seconds, and then Officer Rob started laughing.
“Wow, great story. I love the little name drop, but I’m kind of busy to be going down to an abandoned building and tromping through dust right now, why don’t you call back when,”
“Fine,” I said, deciding to take another direction, “maybe I’ll just call the Feds and let them know that I have a highly illegal experiment that Doctor Crandler was working on and that the college was probably helping to fund. Then, when they ask why campus security didn’t take the call, you can tell them how you thought it was a big joke and didn’t look into it. That's probably going to make you look really great.”
There was silence for a minute, then a big sigh from Rob.
“Okay, kid. It’s at least worth a look, I guess. Give me your cell phone number so I can call you from my security phone when I get there. You can help me find you since you’re so lost.”
I looked back at the potato dude, putting my hand over the phone as I whispered, “Got any other ideas about how to find us?”
He looked like he was thinking, before nodding and saying he could probably guide him to us.
So that's where we’re at now. Help seems to be on the way, and I’m updating you guys as I wait for the security dude to call back. I’ll post again when I have an update so stay tuned for more news. Wish me luck, hopefully, we make it out of here pretty soon cause one more kale chip and I might need a barf bucket.
submitted by Erutious to SignalHorrorFiction [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 21:01 Erutious I was a lab assistant of sorts but now I'm trapped

First post- https://www.reddit.com/nosleep/comments/13wy7qb/i_was_a_lab_assistant_of_sorts/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
Hey guys, I’m back again with an update.
It’s been a couple of days and the food is just about gone. Luckily, there’s a sink in the corner so I don’t have to worry about water. It tastes a little metaly but it hasn’t made me puke so I guess it’s fine. For some reason, there’s a bag of cat food in the corner so I guess if it comes down to it I can eat that.
Okay, now onto what you’re all really interested in.
The little potato dude is okay. He’s still a weird little guy, but I haven’t had to smash him yet. I know what he eats now, but that's getting ahead of myself a bit. We’ve come to an understanding but it definitely took us some time to get there.
The first day was the worst.
As I tried to find ways out of the little room, the little guy just kept screaming to be let out. The longer he screamed, the more he started to sound like a baby crying for food. I swear I could hear him through my headphones, and after they died, I was stuck with just the sound of him crying. I alternated between charging my phone and charging my earbud case, but sometimes I was still left listening to the little guy scream.
He cried till about midnight, and that's when I almost snapped.
I picked up the tank, now more like a fish tank and less like a jar, and stared through the glass at him. I must have been pretty scary because he stopped yelling and just stared back at me with his multiple eyes. He had so many, they were all over his body, and we had a little staring contest before I finally told him to shut up.
“Or else I will smash your little tank and squish you like a bug.”
He seemed to think about that, and when he nodded it was like his whole body nodding.
We had some silence after that as the two of us sat and made our little plans. I thought about calling campus security, but when I tried, they just thought I was goofing. I tried to explain to them where I was and what was going on, but they just told me not to play games and hung up on me. I tried 911 again, but they said the same thing. Heck, the lady on the 911 call threatened to call the police if I kept calling, and I told her to go right ahead. Maybe the police could find me better than campus security, but since they haven’t broken down the door yet, I guess not.
It was about three am when I finally thought to look at the tank and found him watching me.
“Well?” I asked, making the little guy jump, “Have you got any ideas?”
He seemed to think about it, but before he could say it, I cut him off.
“And don’t say let you out of the tank.”
“Fair enough,” he said, “In that case, I have nothing to add yet.”
“Terrific!” I said, putting my head in my hands and staring at the floor.
“Have you, perhaps, thought about vents or drains?”
I had, but they were all too small for me to climb into. There was a drain in the floor but I couldn’t even get a foot in there. The ventilation shafts were an idea, but most of them would be too snug for me. I’m a beefy guy, not muscular but kinda fat, and getting stuck in the vents sounded like a terrible way to die without anyone realizing it.
“Yeah, obviously. I’m too big to fit through those.”
“A problem I do not have.” the creature reminded me, more than a little smugly too.
“Back to that again,” I growled, “And what's to stop you from just leaving me hanging once you get out?”
The little dude didn’t say anything for a few minutes, contemplating his next move as I Googled like a madman. I was looking for blueprints for the college online since a place like this would have to have them filed. See, I’m not super smart when it comes to math and science, but I know a little bit about building permits and filing your blueprints with the city. If this place was built by the college, then it had to exist in the public sphere.
After an hour of looking with no results, I was ready to throw my phone down. I went and grabbed some kale chips out of the little fridge, munching them sullenly as I tried to come up with a plan. The little guy was back to looking at me again, and I couldn’t help but notice that something had changed. All the eyes on his body opened and closed but they were never all open at once. He also looked tired, maybe even a little pale. I looked down at the bag of chips and thought again about how I might have to feed this little guy at some point.
“Do you need to eat? It’s been about twenty-four hours since Doc was here, and I don’t think I’ve ever been here when he feeds you.”
The little creature pulled its lips up into a sad smile, “You couldn’t feed me what I want. I don’t eat normal food and you aren’t equipped to give me what I need.”
I started to get a little offended, “What's that supposed to mean?”
It looked at me, and I felt a little shudder ripple over my skin as it did.
“I feed on brain waves. Creative brain waves, to be precise. The Doctor feeds me by just being around me like his lab assistants did. You, however, don’t seem to create the same way he did. You look at your little device all the time and it makes your brain waves taste bland and unappetizing. That's why The Doctor’s Assistants kept getting headaches. The more they created, the more I fed. The Doctor doesn’t get them because his mind is like a wellspring. You, on the other hand, are incapable of nourishing me. You simply don’t think the same.”
I sat back, not sure whether to be happy that I couldn’t feed him or offended that he was sayin I was too dumb?
In the end, I guess I just decided to roll with it.
“Well, I guess we’re both stuck then. You need to eat brainwaves and I need to eat food. We can’t get either here, so what do we do about it?”
“Is there anything in here we could use to break open the door?” the creature asked hopefully.
“Checked already. There’s some lab equipment and the fridge, the table you're on, and the chair I’m sitting in. Other than that, not much. There are books, but none of them are gonna get us out of here.”
I kept searching on my phone for something that looked familiar in the blueprints, but it was getting frustrating.
“Ugh, if only I knew where we were. If I knew the name of the building I could find the right map or tell security where to find us!”
“Wait, is that all you need to get us out of here?” it asked, floating close to the side of the tank so it could look at me.
“Well yeah. If I knew where we were then I could tell security where we were stuck.”
“I know where we are,” it said, and it sounded less smug and more sinister when it said it.
I stared back at it for a few seconds, waiting for it to fill me in.
It sat there for a few seconds, waiting for me to ask the question.
“Well? Are you gonna tell me or what?”
“Why should I?” it said, “If I tell you, then you’ll just leave and I’ll be stuck here. What guarantee do I have that you won’t just leave me once you’ve gained your freedom.”
The little son of a bitch had me there. There would be nothing to stop me from just leaving him here to die in that tank. Without any brain wave to gobble, he’d shrivel up and die. Maybe that's what he deserved, but I just couldn’t bring myself to hate him like that. The little dude had never done me wrong, and I couldn’t mess up my karma by shafting him like that.
“I promise that if we get that door open, I’ll take you with me.”
“And release me?” he asked, hedging.
“Dude, if you get us out of here, I’ll take you to SeaWorld and release you, if that's what you want. The kale chips are going to run out soon, and if I starve, you are SOL little bud. You might not be able to eat my brain waves, but you can’t open your tank or dial my cell phone with those baby fingers either. Whether we like it or not, we kinda need each other right now.”
The creature nodded, bumping its little head against the side of the glass.
“Agreed. I will have to trust in your honor, I suppose.”
“Brah, I am chocked full of honor. I've never welched on a promise and I’m not gonna start now.”
“Very well then,” it said with a little smile, “The building is called Rashley Laboratories. At least that's what the assistants always thought of when they thought about it at all. One of them thought it was spooky when they walked through it to get here, and the images led me to believe that it might be abandoned.”
I already had the cell phone out and Googling as he finished. There was no Rashley Laboratories, but there was an R. Ashley Science Hall. It had been abandoned in the nineties after an explosion in the science wing, but the campus had never torn it down for some reason. It had been named a historic building in two thousand nine and while they had renovated the outside to make it prettier, the inside was pretty much untouched. Sounded like a great place for a secret lab and a covert experiment.
Campus security picked up on the second ring, and I sighed when I realized it was the same guy I had dealt with the night before.
“Campus security, Officer Rob speaking, how may I help you?”
“Hey, yeah, we talked last night before you hung up on me. I still,”
“Hey, I remember you. Are you still playing this game? This has got to be getting old by now.”
“Look, just listen. We’re…I’m stuck in the R. Ashley Science Hall and I need help.”
There was silence as he digested this.
“Okay, nice try, but that building has been closed for years. I’m pretty sure the doors never open. How exactly did you get in there, if you are actually stuck in there?”
“It’s hard to explain,” I said, looking at the little potato dude as I thought about how to start.
“I’ve got time, let's hear the whole story,” he said, pretending to be interested. To hell with it, I decided, might as well lay it all on the line.
“I’m sitting down here with Doctor Crandler’s experiment, the one who got arrested for buying stuff to make. He pays me to sit down here and watch it at night, but the door is locked and I need someone to let me out.”
The line was quiet for a few seconds, and then Officer Rob started laughing.
“Wow, great story. I love the little name drop, but I’m kind of busy to be going down to an abandoned building and tromping through dust right now, why don’t you call back when,”
“Fine,” I said, deciding to take another direction, “maybe I’ll just call the Feds and let them know that I have a highly illegal experiment that Doctor Crandler was working on and that the college was probably helping to fund. Then, when they ask why campus security didn’t take the call, you can tell them how you thought it was a big joke and didn’t look into it. That's probably going to make you look really great.”
There was silence for a minute, then a big sigh from Rob.
“Okay, kid. It’s at least worth a look, I guess. Give me your cell phone number so I can call you from my security phone when I get there. You can help me find you since you’re so lost.”
I looked back at the potato dude, putting my hand over the phone as I whispered, “Got any other ideas about how to find us?”
He looked like he was thinking, before nodding and saying he could probably guide him to us.
So that's where we’re at now. Help seems to be on the way, and I’m updating you guys as I wait for the security dude to call back. I’ll post again when I have an update so stay tuned for more news. Wish me luck, hopefully, we make it out of here pretty soon cause one more kale chip and I might need a barf bucket.
submitted by Erutious to RedditHorrorStories [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 21:01 Trash_Tia Camp Redwood is running out of counselors! These children ARE NOT CHILDREN. Update: So, you're telling me it's NOT 2018?

Welcome to Camp Redwood!
Are you ready to fight to the death with age regressed forty year olds with the faces of adorable little kids?
How about coming to terms with your entire life, or at least five years of it, being one big fucking lie?
We are so excited to announce our 2018 group! Where you will undoubtedly FIND yourself here. Your true self.
The self you did not know existed.
SO, jump in that military bunker, grab that blunt object to fight against our little campers disembowelling our counselors, and get yourself down to CAMP REDWOOD. WHERE WE START EVERY DAY WITH A CAMP REDWOOD SMILE.
Apply now!
Application end date: 05/02/2018.

It’s been a tough few days.
So, I think I will be posting this update in two chunks so I can get everything down and clear my head. I am alone right now.
Yes. I am the last survivor of Camp Redwood 2023 (?). I’ve been unsure how to start this and end this because I really just want to get into the meat of what has been going on.
But… I must ask. I have to.
What year is it?
That doesn't matter right now. I'll continue where I left off.
Teddy did leave us alone in the end. But his screams were still haunting me hours after the thing with his voice had left. I don’t even think I could call it his voice.
It sounded like him but there were pieces of him missing. Like someone had reached into the boy’s mind and pulled out the skeleton of his consciousness, the bare bones of his being—and cruelly stuffed him into a metal shell.
That is what Teddy sounded like.
He sounded like a wounded animal, confused why he was alive. Terrified. I now know what he is the product of. Teddy is a victim of horrifying, unethical experiments our campers have been forcing on kidnapped counselors after taking over the camp. Have you ever heard of the sound of crying which isn’t human?
That is Teddy. He is the product of forcing life into the dead, and leaving it to suffer with its consciousness. Which, in my opinion, is a fate far worse than death.
You’re probably wondering where my two companions are.
Well, that is why I am writing this.
I want to tell you what happened so I can wrap my head around it myself, and choose between killing all of us and sending these psychopaths to hell, or coming to terms with our truth and fighting back. Well, it’s their truth. I wouldn’t say it’s mine. It took us three whole days to get the guts to risk leaving Allison’s secret bunker inside her cabin, and attempting to find a way out of this hell-hole. Harry and I were the ones to do it, leaving a still-not-completely-himself Rowan to guard our safehouse. I didn’t want to leave him alone for a multitude of reasons but due to Harry actually having a soul and a semblance of empathy, I was overruled.
Despite being heavily under the influence of age-regressing animal crackers which had mentally turned him into a toddler, Rowan was still himself to a degree. Which meant he was back to being our leader. I was sceptical at first, because no matter how many times he insisted he was in fact okay, I couldn’t seem to shake off the feeling that the childish parts of him, the warped parts of his mind which had turned him into a child, were still there.
Even if they were very subtle. I caught him doodling on his clipboard, and much later on, singing to himself with an odd smile on his face he had successfully gaslit Harry and I into believing it was just a coping mechanism. Say what you want about Rowan Atlas, he is damn good at swaying your opinion. Even when we were 100% sure Rowan was not his original self, the guy we had both met at the start of camp.
It was almost like him having two minds. The mind of a child, and the mind of a teenager.
For example, he still ordered us around and attempted to take back his role of leader— which had at least secured some normality back into our lives. But he also hated loud noises, and freaked out every time one of the littles tried to get in. There was also the incident we had agreed not to talk about, because talking about it meant facing the fact that our friend was no longer himself.
It was a hours after Teddy left us in peace. Harry was sleeping, and I was on the cusp of slumber, slipping through more files. Rowan had been oddly quiet. Which wasn’t a Rowan thing. Whether he was mentally a child or a teenager, he was still being loud and obnoxious. I sat up to find him cross-legged, playing with something.
I thought it was a worm at first, but no. It was exactly like what I found at the start of this, an eye attached to a nerve. But this time it was undoubtedly human, and now Rowan’s plaything. When I questioned him, he said he was “studying” it. Though there was definitely a difference between studying something and playing with it. The scary thing was, he saw no wrong in it, holding it in his hands and stripping off the metallic pieces cruelly attached to it.
In the end, I took it from him and stamped on it. Rowan didn’t have the reaction I was expecting. Because he was still hiding behind the façade that his mind hadn’t been warped by de-aging animal crackers.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Eleanor Summers had given me a 24 hour deadline to hand over the boys, and we were well over the limit so an ambush was likely imminent.
I still had so many questions. Why were Rowan, Harry and Carmel so important while the rest of us were seen as nothing but spare parts?
That is what the little bitch said. Now physically eleven years old with the mind of a deranged forty year old scientist, Eleanor told me I was nothing to them but spare parts. God, it’s so weird calling her what she is after looking after her kid self, her fake self, for weeks. Little Eleanor with her golden pigtails and obsession with teddy bear picnics was in fact a complete fucking sociopath. That much of one in fact, that her and her equally psychotic colleagues who engaged in these experiments had been regressed into little kids inside a rehabilitation camp (Nicknamed: Project Spearhead) which was supposed to fix them and had failed spectacularly. Because they’ve taken over. And this time? We’re the fucking lab rats.
The counselors here at Redwood.
I had seen her adult self being interviewed by mysterious Agent Lemrac, a face behind Project Spearhead, the girl who was far too young to be an agent, and have that kind of authority. Also, someone with a soul—who had a clear biased opinion against the experiments.
Part of me wondered if Lemrac still existed. Maybe she was behind the odd phone calls we kept receiving on an old fashioned rotary phone. With Eleanor’s deadline in mind, the two of us made our journey quick. It wasn’t hard to leave the camp itself. There were guards in the form of Callen and Olive, brainwashed and turned into the kid’s muscle, but they were easy enough to get past as long as we distracted them with something shiny.
They were mentally six-years-old so literally anything grabbed their attention.
I quickly realized my mistake once we managed to escape the camp—Harry in front of me, with me lagging behind. We moved slowly, ducking behind trees and throwing ourselves into the dirt. Very cloak and dagger. It didn’t take us long to slip into the woods. Just past the lake were the exit gates to Redwood which led to a road.
Not exactly civilisation, but I would take it over having my body taken apart for “parts” in these so-called experiments.
When we got to the gate, however, I realized I had given the adults too much fucking credit.
Whoever was in charge of Spearhead clearly did not care about lingering survivors, as long as they were successfully cutting us out from the outside world. And that’s what the giant wall I found myself staring at was, an impossible foot monster towering over us and cementing my earlier thoughts. We were screwed. The woman on the phone had made it clear we were being abandoned, and yet some of me naively held onto them maybe still rescuing us.
“Fuck.” I didn’t know what to do, but kicking the damn thing felt like the right thing. I did, and then regretted it half a second later.
This thing was impenetrable. Impossible to climb unless we had a fucking death-wish.
Blinking at it through fraying sunlight blinding me, the thing almost resembled a mirage. It stood under the sun, a giant roadblock completely blocking us from any form of help.
The sun wasn’t helping, scorching through my shirt. I swiped at my sweaty forehead, unable to resist a frustrated scream I had to muffle-gag with my hand. I risked a look behind us. Thankfully, we were around ten minutes away from the main camp. The lake was nearby glittering under a late afternoon sun, and all I wanted to right then was to wade into the shallows and let the murky water swallow me up. The little shits couldn’t swim, maybe I’d be safe.
“Fuck!”
“This is bad.” Harry Carlisle broke the silence after my frustrated cry. With his eyes glued to the wall, he took off his hat and ran a hand through dark brown curls which were catching the light of the sun, setting strands alight across his forehead. None of us were in great shape after spending days hunkered down in a secret bunker. Harry was no exception.
His short sleeved camp Redwood shirt was still covered with vomit, discoloured with days’ worth of sweat stains and lack of showers.
He bent over, grasping hold of his knees. “What do we do?” I could tell by the tone of his voice he was freaking out, and I didn’t blame him. But Harry was still on my mind.
His signature was undoubtedly all over every Project Spearhead file, despite him repeatedly insisting he had nothing to do with it. At that moment, I could almost believe him. The boy looked exhausted and frustrated, pained.
He surprised me by slipping to his knees and burying his head in the dirt and screaming into rough soil. I was struck, then, by the sudden memory of flames. I had been sitting around campfires for weeks at Redwood, but this one didn’t feel like it took place at camp. Instead, it felt more personal. I could almost see it, flickering orange sparking at the backs of my eyes and the sour taste of beer in my throat. Like the memory was trying to push itself to the surface. This moment felt nostalgic and yet close—as if it had happened yesterday. Like both the past and present had entangled in one.
If I concentrated I swore I could hear the murmur of voices, phantom laughter in my head and a cool night breeze grazing my cheeks.
“Earth to Josie?”
I snapped out of it quickly. “You’re asking me?” I kicked the dirt again. “I thought Rowan was our camp leader.”
Harry lifted his head after a moment, his eyes flicking to me. “You know he can’t make rash decisions right now.”
“Exactly.” I said. “We both know he’s not back to his normal self. He’s both right now. A little kid, and a teenager.” I shuddered. “I’m sorry, did I forget to mention our so-called head counsellor was playing with a human eye like a fucking cat?”
“Mm."
“Well, why aren’t you taking it seriously?”
Harry’s gaze skated the horizon, cotton candy colored clouds blurring into twilight. “Becauuuse the sun is going to your head.”
I could practically hear his eyes rolling. Rowan took three strides towards the wall and pressed his face into rough brick. “So, this is it, right?” He muffled into rough cement. “We are really going to die at fucking summer camp.”
“I’m going to die,” I corrected him. “They want you two and Carmel because apparently you’re special.”
Harry made a scoffing noise into the wall. I was starting to think he was setting up camp there, planning to tell all of his grievances to the cement. “Oh yeah, because that’s a good thing? You’ve seen—no—heard what they’ve done to Teddy and the others, and you think them wanting us for something else is special?” his voice broke a little. “I’d rather have your fate.”
The boy’s words made me realize how little I was compared to the others. While they and Carmel were part of some grand, psychotic scheme, I was just needed for extra bulk. “Why don’t you talk to your friends?” I said, after letting the boy throw several punches into the soil. I wasn’t going to comment on his hits being surprisingly strong enough to shake the ground.
Harry didn’t look at me after calming down, resorting to tracing the earth with the toes of his shoe. “Who?”
"The CIA."
I was surprised by his retort, even if it was equally sarcastic. “Oh, you think I’m in the CIA?” He stepped closer to me, his breath in my face. “In case you haven’t noticed, this is bigger than the CIA. Whoever is in charge of this project is way higher up.”
“So, you’re admitting you’re a sleeper.”
“No, that’s not what I—”
“Then what?” I demanded, cutting him off. “Why are your fingerprints quite literally all over this?”
Harry folded his arms, his expression darkening. "You're still talking about this?" He groaned. “Josie.” He planted his hands on my shoulders. “I am not a spy, okay? Yes, my writing being on those documents was weird, but we’re also dealing with animal crackers which turn us into littles.” His lips curved into the slightest of smirks. “I’m pretty sure it would be easy for a group of scientists to use my writing as some kind of red herring. They’re trying to turn us against each other, obviously. And that’s not going to happen.” He squeezed my shoulders and I felt momentary comfort. I was so tired.
I hadn’t slept properly in days in fear of Eleanor coming to smoke us out—and the urge to just sink into the boy’s chest was suddenly overwhelming. Luckily, I had self-control. I took a step back, and he dropped his arms. “That's sobering, yes,” I said. “But I’m still going to try waking you up with those trigger phrases we found.”
When he tried to speak, I shook my head.
“Like it or not, you’re our only way out.”
I had made it clear several times to the two of them that I had no intention to use the trigger phrases we found taped to the back of the door in the bunker, when searching for more intel. But the more I was really thinking about it, if there were sleeper agents capable of taking down a group of forty-year-old tweens, I had no choice but to at least try. Because it was either that, or I gave the littles what they wanted. The boy’s. Whatever they needed, Rowan, Carmel, and Harry were the keys to their plan.
We needed a miracle, and those trigger phrases were our best shot.
Harry, of course, was against this idea.
He did that thing he always did when he scrunched up his nose and curled his lip. It reminded me of a toddler not getting their way. I saw it exclusively when the littles were taking advantage of his piggybacking service. “Josie, I’m not a fucking spy!”
"You could be." I said stiffly. "And until we figure out what is going on with you, I don't trust you. You said it yourself. Your writing was all over the kid's files, so at some point, regardless of you remembering or not, you have been part of this project.”
“So, why did you bring me out here?” He inclined his head. “You don’t trust me and yet you bring me on your little mission to find an exit.”
I shrugged. “I was partly hoping we would be attacked and your natural instincts would kick in.”
“So, I’m your lab-rat?”
“Partially.”
Harry did the scrunchy-nose thing again. “What the fuck, dude?!”
He looked like he was going to argue before deciding against it. Instead, he slipped on his raybans and gestured behind me with a sigh.
"We should probably get going before those little freaks come looking for us and realize we’ve left our safehouse.” I didn’t know how to explain and put into words that to survive we had to try everything—and if there was a slither of a chance that Harry really was some kind of sleeper agent, I was going to take advantage of that. I hadn’t forgotten about Carmel, Callan, and Olive. Rowan too, no matter how screwed up he was. I was counting on getting all of us out. I turned on my heel and started to head back to camp. I didn’t look at him because doing that would make me weak.
“Right. Let’s go.”
There was something going at the camp when we got back. I was startled by an intense blue light illuminating from the lunch cabin, and I had half a mind to turn and run. Then the screams started. Just like Teddy, they sounded both human and not, a horrifying mix of man and machine wailing for death. I found myself paralysed, crouched behind Cassie’s cabin, their phantom screams rattling my skull sending my thoughts into overdrive. “Josie.” I felt warm fingers wrap around my elbow and pull me back. Harry was thankfully there, dragging me away before I could expose us. It was enough to snap me out of it. Enough to drive me into fight or flight.
When we made it back to Allison’s cabin, Rowan was sleeping. He had conked out halfway through a pack of gummy worms. I spent the next few hours going through each trigger phrase written on the yellow sticky note we found taped to the door. I figured if we were going to try and wake Harry up, he would have to be restrained in case he was triggered to hurt us or even himself. “Is this really necessary?”
“Yes.” I said, squinting at the third trigger phrase. The two of us were sitting cross-legged in front of each other. Harry, breathing heavily, and me, trying to make myself calm. Harry pulled gingerly at the jump-rope restraints we had managed to loop around his wrists. I was expecting something out of him, but all I got were his wide eyes staring back at me.
The latest phrase was twisting my brain. It sounded like a kid’s book. I took a deep breath.
“Green Tigers Do Not Live Independently.”
Harry didn’t move, making a deal of blinking rapidly back at me. “No, I mean,” he gestured to his arms pinned behind his back. “Why did you have to make them so tight?"
“Because you’re a spy, dude.” Rowan had woken up, intrigued by my attempts to wake up a possible sleeper. He was pretending to go through the Eleanor Summers footage again, but the boy was clearly invested in what we were doing. Sitting slumped in the spinning chair, he leaned his fist on his chin. There were various things about Rowan I wanted to point out, but I was too scared to. The tips of his fingers were still stained red, and I had no idea if it was new or old. Rowan Atlas used to be the one guy at camp I used to think looked older than he was—and acted older than he was.
Instead of taking part in camp activities, he chose to sit on a branch and read pretentious classics. Yeah. He was one of THOSE guys. The slight stubble on his chin would definitely get him served alcohol, and his intelligence and quick-thinking would easily sway you if you were sceptical. Now he was the complete opposite. Maybe I was imagining things, but he had definitely gotten younger in the face, even if it was just a year or two.
I am not talking about his appearance, however. Rowan’s mentality was drastically different from the guy who held crisis meetings and ordered all of us around like we were his own children. This guy had a certain childish twinkle in his eye when I happened to catch it, a twitch in his lips which was constantly a wide smile like he was constantly seeing butterflies. Before being force-fed animal crackers, the guy had maintained his hair and hygiene no matter what happened. Now, he looked like he’d been dragged through a forest. Literally. There was still grass and leaves caught in his sandy hair, his camp Redwood shirt torn in odd places.
He yawned, curling up on the chair, apparently getting comfy. “No hard feelings, but we gotta keep you under investigation. Like Josie said, your name was all over those shady documents.”
Even his voice was different. I couldn’t call it a squeak, but it was close enough to one.
“I’m not a spy,” Harry grumbled, ducking his head. “I think I would know if I was—what, some kind of government agent?”
“That’s the whole point of them,” Rowan, still with lingering childish traits, winked at him. “They don’t know either.” He raised his hand and mimed the finger guns, protruding them into his temples and pretending to pull the trigger. He adapted a storytelling tone, lowing his voice into a whisper. Like he was talking to the kids.
“They can live their whole lives without realizing.” I could tell from his tone he was getting excited with the idea of sleeper agents. Maybe it was a kid thing. Rowan sat up straight with wide eyes. “Cruelly brainwashed by a secret organisation at a young age and turned into super soldiers, these guys have no family. No friends.” His gaze flicked to Harry, his lips twitching into a teasing grin. “Only the insatiable urge to kill and follow orders. They don’t have brains to feel or emotions. And that?”
He did a dramatic spin on the chair. I could tell he was revelling in the look of horror on Harry’s face. “That is the most dangerous thing about them. The inability to have free will. Because what happens when they come face to face with people they used to love? People from their old life?”
With both of us enthralled in his speech, the boy smirked. “They kill them. Family members and friends. With one simple order? BAM.” Harry jumped, and I am ashamed to say I did too. Rowan blew his imaginary finger guns. “With one single and yet perfect headshot, it’s allll over. There’s blood EVERYWHERE. There’s brains!” He giggled. “Brains! And it’s like, sooo gross.”
With the way he kept adding to his story, getting progressively more excited and practically vibrating in the chair, the boy was reminding me more and more of my little sister. Which terrified me. Because if this was him back to himself, was this his new normal?
“Rowan, stop.” It took every ounce of my being not to yell at him. “You’re acting like a fucking child.” I was frowning at a sign on the wall warning us to ‘mind our head’. It wasn’t even a low ceiling, and yet that was the fourth time I had seen that sign.
Harry looked mildly horrified. Usually, he was the one who told the ghost stories. I could tell even he was questioning his own identity at that moment, and I paused interrogating him with phrases. “I’m sorry, but who out of us ate our weight in animal crackers?”
“Against my will.” Rowan yawned again, doing another spin on the chair. I had to turn around and shoot him a glare. “That’s the second time you’ve thrown me being turned into a kid in my face. Which is not fair. Did I ask to be stuffed full of poison?"
“Well, you didn’t exactly fight against Eleanor.”
“I was tied up, asshole—and I’m pretty you were in la-la land at that point.”
“I’m allergic to peanut butter, so no,” Harry rolled his eyes. “I snapped out of it when my body reminded me.”
“That sounds like a you problem, dude.”
Harry groaned, tipping his head back. “Holy shit, Rowan. You used to be cool and now you’re like an annoying little brother.”
“Touché.”
“Shut up. Both of you.” I found my voice, grabbing a pen and scribbling out the first line of trigger phrases which were a no-go.
“Rowan, annoyingly, is right.” I said, ignoring the guy’s noise of glee. If he kept spinning around on that chair, I was going to kill him.
The blur of movement at the corner of my eye was driving me mad. Focusing on Harry, I took a break from the trigger phrases for a moment, poking him in the cheek. It was supposed to be light-hearted, but the guy looked offended.
“For the third time, we can’t ignore that at some point you have signed off on all of those files, which means you were part of Spearhead.” I shrugged. “I’m not saying you are, but we have to be smart if we’re going to survive against a group of deranged scientists.”
Rowan chuckled. “What she saiiiiiid.”
"Why aren't we paying attention to the guy who clearly has allegiance to those freaks?” Harry stuck out his tongue at Rowan, which was surprising on multiple levels. Wasn’t he supposed to be the normal one? “Aren't you their favorite counselor?"
"I was literally mind controlled by preservatives, asshole," Rowan shot back. "And I'm not the only one. You and Carmel are on their radar too."
"Yeah, but we’re not the ones playing with eyes.”
"I'm too tired to argue with you." The boy responded in a yawn, cuddling into the chair armrest like a cat. “Also… you’re a noodlehead.”
“Ignore him.” I told Harry. “Just focus on me, alright? You have to look at me.”
“I am!”
“It’s time to make the donuts.” I articulated it perfectly.
Harry surprised me with a laugh. “That one can’t be real.”
“It is. Shush.” I cleared my throat. “The strawberry moon will rise in July.” When nothing happened, I frowned. “Maybe I’m not saying them right.” I peered at the next one, mentally speaking it and then muttering it to myself to get an idea of the tone.
“Or,” Harry shrugged, pulling at his restraints. “I’m just spit-balling here, but maybe I’m NOT a secret government sleeper agent after all?”
“Be mindful of the deep ravine.” This time I practically shouted it in his face, only to get his wide smile in return.
“Josie, this isn’t working.”
“It will.” I was growing increasingly more frustrated. “Just try and listen to them, okay? Don’t push them out.”
I tried one more time, leaning close and scrunching up the sticky note in my hand. Harry’s expression stayed stoic, though from the contortions in his forehead and the twitch in his lips he was trying so hard not to laugh. “It looks like it will rain tonight.”
I was surprised, then, when Rowan jolted in the chair suddenly. He lifted his head, his eyes wide. I was seeing him back to his usual self for the flicker of a second, his expression contorted with fright, lips curling into a scowl. “Do you guys smell that?”
“Smell what?” I sniffed the air, but there was nothing which was out of the ordinary. I had grown used to the combined stink of our body odour.
Rowan wrinkled his nose. He sat up straighter. “That.” He whispered. “It smells like… burning.”
I opened my mouth to ask what he meant before Harry went stiff suddenly. I sensed his entire body seem to brace itself. His eyes hardened. “Untie me.” He said in a croak.
When my shaking hands went to the boy’s restraints, his were balled into fists. I glimpsed muscles bulging through the back of his shirt and forearms. His demeanour reminded me of an animal growing territorial. “Something is… wrong,” he said in a sharp breath. Harry’s frightened eyes found mine. “Wrong.” He said again, blinking rapidly. “Something is...wr–wrong. ” When I pulled the last of the rope from his arms, Rowan shocked me with a piercing cry which sent him tumbling off of the chair, his trembling hands planted over his ears, lips carved into an O.
His eyes were wide with terror, with agony I couldn't understand. Childish terror. Which catapulted him back to his real age.
Before I could hesitate, I was crawling over to him, attempting to snap the boy out of it. But he was inconsolable, his eyes almost unseeing, his body contorting with every shriek. It took me a moment to realize Harry was the same. But instead of a piercing shriek of a scream, he was wailing into his knees, as if to escape something.
His body seemed to jolt left and right, like he was being electrocuted. When I saw glimpses of sharp red pooling between his fingers and down the back of his neck, something sickly crept up my throat. Rowan was somehow worse, his whole face contorting like it was it's own separate being, rivulets of intense red dripping from his nose and mouth, and staining his hands desperately pressed over his ears.
It was a synchronised cry, I realized, after concluding that no matter what I did, I couldn't save them.
It was a sound only they could hear, a high-pitched screech like a dog-whistle which was only affecting them. It was the kids, I thought. Surely. If they could disembowel counselors, I was sure they would have no problem engineering a sound which would only affect certain people.
Stumbling back, I had two choices. I could either try and help them, try and block out this phantom noise slowly killing them-- or I could leave them and find a safer place. With that choice in my mind, I barely noticed the phone begin to ring under Allison's desk.
That same old fashioned trilling rang in my head, and I managed to reach under and grab the receiver, my heart in my throat. "Please." I managed to squeak out, trying to ignore Harry, who was trying to rip out his hair, his eyes rolling into the back of his head. I saw the whites, blood vessels popping one by one. When he crumpled to the ground, I thought he was dead. But his wails continued into the floor, and I wanted them to stop. I wanted him to die because I couldn’t stand hearing him screaming for help which wasn’t coming. I couldn't help them, and it was killing me. The kids were clearly trying to smoke us out, this time targeting the boy’s. Still though, I had my secret weapon. The Spearhead project.
"There are three of us left," I panted down the phone. "You have to help us. I am at Camp Redwood. You need to get us out of here. Do you hear me? You need to get us out–"
“Attempts to fix the current situation have been unsuccessful, Miss Greenfield," the woman with the British accent's voice came through in a rush of static, cutting me off. Her voice was monotone, and I wondered if she was in fact a programmed bot. "All efforts for manual activation have failed from the disaster zone. The signal appears to have been sabotaged. I repeat. The E.485 frequency has been sabotaged. Designated models 0115, 0116, and 0118 are now officiated as being faulty and are no longer needed for protocol 9AXC5. Please stand by for standard protocol deactivation. Thank you for your service. Agent Salta. Agent Elsilrac. Agent Lemrac.”
My grip loosened on the phone, and I felt my legs started to give-way. "You're the one doing this to them?”
When Rowan dropped to his knees, blood dripping from his nose, my stomach jumped into my throat. There was no way. I figured it was an attack from the kids, but I was wrong. Instead, this sound, this frequency, was coming from the phone.
I thought back to the video footage. Agent Lemrac interviewing Eleanor Summers. Harry's signature on the paperwork. “Can you… say that again?” I heard myself say in a breath. But the dead ringing tone was already clanging in my skull, a robotic countdown laced within the static. I grabbed the pen I had been writing with, scribbling those names down, my hands shaking.
“Preparing emergency shutdown protocol. Thank you for your service, Agent Salta, Elsilrac, Lemrac.” The voice continued, which was just another stab in the gut. I heard Salta before. I heard Lemrac. But writing them down, I realized what they meant.
Salta.
Elsilrac.
Lemrac.
I was a fucking idiot. No wonder the littles wanted them and Carmel— why they were so important to their plan. Slowly, I could feel myself start to crumble. The phone slipped from my clammy hands, but I could still hear the woman beginning an emergency shut down.
I didn’t feel the impact when my knees hit the ground, but I did start to sense something twisted and sour tickling the back of my nose and throat. By the time I had noticed it, it was already choking the bunker. But somehow, I didn’t care about the stars in my eyes or my own blood being projected onto my hands with every wet sounding cough exploding from my lungs. I could still hear their names, and every time I said each of them, more and more of me shattered.
Atlas.
Carlisle.
Carmel.
“18…”
“17…”
“16…”
“15…”
Laying on my back while my head spun, I was partially aware the boy’s screaming had cut off.
Instead, they were just sitting there, eyes wide and unseeing, the blankest I had ever seen them. There was so much blood running down their faces, and I imagined something rooted inside of them tearing their minds apart from the inside. Letting out another strangled cough, which was definitely biological warfare courtesy of the kids, my gaze flicked across the bunker, taking everything in. The paperwork we had been going through. The chair Rowan had been spinning around on. The ropes Harry’s arms had been entangled in. I was frowning at the walls, and then the ceiling.
“Please mind your head when you step down the stairs.”
Drinking in the words slowly, my cotton candy thoughts imploding into one blurry mess. But then I was a little more awake, this time turning my gaze to the wall where the same sign had been taped to the wall. Please mind your head when you step down the stairs. And… there it was again, taped to the desk, and underneath the laptop. Hidden in plain sight. It had been there all along, and yet I only realised when I wasn't thinking about it, when my mind was being suffocated. Something seemed to snap inside of me, and I sat up, driven by pure adrenaline. With one hand pressed over my mouth and nose, I forced myself into a sitting position and dragged myself to Harry, whose head was lolled at an unnatural angle, his eyes closed.
Part of me wanted to smash up the phone, knowing what these bastards had done to their sleeper agents now they were no longer usable. The boy almost resembled a doll. Was this the so-called sleeper which had been planted inside Redwood? Empty eyes, empty everything. He was like a shell with a human face. No better than Eleanor's experiments.
When I grabbed hold of his arms, I had to hold him steady, his body cut from these puppet strings which had held him. “Harry.” I could barely speak, my voice more of a croak. I knew he was awake and aware, but a singeing, almost burning smell was coming from directly inside his head as blood ran from his nostrils in shades of red and pink. Now I knew what the burning was when I pressed my face against his and sucked in a lungful of poisoned air. It was him. He was a defect being set alight from the inside. “You need to look at me, okay?”
When he didn’t, instead crumbling in my arms, I struggled to hold him upright. Twisting my head to Rowan, he seemed in a better state—kind of. At least he was still sitting straight.
My last words were barely audible. “Please mind your head when you step down the—” no sooner had the words left my mouth before the sounds of footsteps coming from above, the unmistakable murmur of giggling getting closer and closer. Harry dropped to the ground like he had been severed from his puppet strings.
I wasn’t aware when I slipped to the floor, whatever had filled my lungs finally taking its toll. Through flickering eyes, I could see our barricade being blown through, the ground rumbling beneath me, throwing me into something warm.
Rowan.
His body was curled up against the wall, haemorrhaging from the ears.
It was only when I was truly taking in the stink curling in the back of my nose and throat as Eleanor Summer’s mechanical grin popped out of nowhere, when I realized I had smelled it before. I had choked on it before. The circle of kids looming above me let out a shrill squeak of, “Found you!” while I found the dark, and beyond that, a memory I thought was a dream.
Firelight flickered in the backs of my eyelids. The blur of orange and shadowy smoke was mesmerising. I stared real hard at the fire like I was told to, at smouldering shades of yellow and orange colliding, thick black smoke billowing into the air while our faces illuminated the circle. I tightened my grip on my beer, swallowing another mouthful. It was cheap shit, but had just enough burn to get me tipsy. I felt good at that moment. Relaxed.
My head was starting to spin, but it was the good spinning, like I was going round and around on a carousel. I wasn't sure why I felt apprehension at the moment.
It was just a game, right? So, why did I want to jump up and go home? Why did I want to squeeze my eyes shut? Milo's words rattled in my skull as I squinted into the fire. "Come forth, those who are no longer with us." Ghosts weren't real, I thought dizzily. They couldn't be.
Not when science and logic existed. However, when the flames began to grow increasingly more erratic, I couldn't resist leaning forward, and... there. Something warm crept its way up my throat.
There was a shadow twisted in the smoke, a very human-like thing stepping directly from the trees, from the hollowed darkness I had been too scared to fully take in-- finding solace in flickering and illuminated sparks spitting from the fire. The others started to murmur to each other as the thing took a step out of the trees. Clea shuffled back with a cry, and Milo and JJ turned twin shades of sickly pale. It was a guy.
Older, by maybe a year. Shaggy reddish hair tied into a loose ponytail. His clothes were a simple leather jacket and jeans, but looking at his face, he was bruised, every part of him exhausted and battered. His eyes, when I caught them, were nothing but twin pools of oblivion glaring back at us.
"Holy fuck." Milo hissed out. “I didn't think that would actually work!" Downing his beer, he whooped. "Alright! Name, age, occupation, and..."
His lips quirked into a grin. "How you died, man!”
The guy inclined his head, his mouth curling into the start of an amused smile. "I'm not a ghost, Jackass."
His British accent was jarring.
"And?" Milo leaned back, crossing his legs. "Play along, bro. Or I call the cops and tell 'em a grown ass man is fucking with some minors."
"But he looks our age," Clea hummed. "And he's kinda cute."
"I don't give a fuck," Milo's eyes were hard. "State your truth, or I get my dad on the line."
The guy rolled his eyes, raising both arms like he was surrendering. "Samuel Joseph Wilder," he surprised me by responding. Now that I looked at him, this guy definitely was not dead. Unless dead people carried a gun latched to their belt, and a cheap iPhone sticking from their jeans pocket. "Nineteen years old." He shrugged. "I guess you could say I'm an ex-student."
He paused, and I caught emotion flicker across his face, his hands balling into fists. "I was killed– no, murdered, by my town."
Milo leaned back, cracking open another beer and taking a sip. Clea leaned closer to him, her eyes wide. “Playing along, huh? I like it. State your truth."
The guy nodded, lowering his arms. His dark eyes flicked to each of us, drinking all of us in. “I just escaped from a secret government facility doubling as a summer camp which has converted half of my town’s kids into mindless super soldiers.”
There was a pause, before Clea burst into nervous giggles. Milo cocked his head. “I said state your truth, not plagiarise The Hunger Games.”
Ignoring Milo, the guy turned his eyes to me. "Josie Greenfield?" He took a step forward before seemingly deciding against it. I didn't move or speak, my heart in my throat. I didn't have to reply. This strange boy continued, his lips curling. "You're going to die tonight, Josie."
At that moment, I realized why I had been feeling nauseous all night. Why my mind had been anticipating something all day, and why, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't brush off his words. Maybe part of me was expecting this.
The stranger's tone was too cold to ignore, the state of him too real to brush off as a joke. Suddenly, it was just me, him, and fate itself glaring down on us, my life as I knew it exploding into nothing in the charred remains of the dying fire. His voice echoed in my head, collapsing into white noise, when I noticed how truly inhuman he looked. I fully took him in, illuminated in firelight. "If you don't get the fuck out of this town, you are going to have the same fate as me."

I’m going to go out on a whim and say it’s… not 2018 and I’ve been at Camp Redwood for way longer than I realized?
More tomorrow, I hope. I’ve got nothing else to do. I still need to tell you how I ended up here.
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2023.06.07 21:00 Erutious I was a lab assistant of sorts but now I'm trapped

First post- https://www.reddit.com/nosleep/comments/13wy7qb/i_was_a_lab_assistant_of_sorts/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
Hey guys, I’m back again with an update.
It’s been a couple of days and the food is just about gone. Luckily, there’s a sink in the corner so I don’t have to worry about water. It tastes a little metaly but it hasn’t made me puke so I guess it’s fine. For some reason, there’s a bag of cat food in the corner so I guess if it comes down to it I can eat that.
Okay, now onto what you’re all really interested in.
The little potato dude is okay. He’s still a weird little guy, but I haven’t had to smash him yet. I know what he eats now, but that's getting ahead of myself a bit. We’ve come to an understanding but it definitely took us some time to get there.
The first day was the worst.
As I tried to find ways out of the little room, the little guy just kept screaming to be let out. The longer he screamed, the more he started to sound like a baby crying for food. I swear I could hear him through my headphones, and after they died, I was stuck with just the sound of him crying. I alternated between charging my phone and charging my earbud case, but sometimes I was still left listening to the little guy scream.
He cried till about midnight, and that's when I almost snapped.
I picked up the tank, now more like a fish tank and less like a jar, and stared through the glass at him. I must have been pretty scary because he stopped yelling and just stared back at me with his multiple eyes. He had so many, they were all over his body, and we had a little staring contest before I finally told him to shut up.
“Or else I will smash your little tank and squish you like a bug.”
He seemed to think about that, and when he nodded it was like his whole body nodding.
We had some silence after that as the two of us sat and made our little plans. I thought about calling campus security, but when I tried, they just thought I was goofing. I tried to explain to them where I was and what was going on, but they just told me not to play games and hung up on me. I tried 911 again, but they said the same thing. Heck, the lady on the 911 call threatened to call the police if I kept calling, and I told her to go right ahead. Maybe the police could find me better than campus security, but since they haven’t broken down the door yet, I guess not.
It was about three am when I finally thought to look at the tank and found him watching me.
“Well?” I asked, making the little guy jump, “Have you got any ideas?”
He seemed to think about it, but before he could say it, I cut him off.
“And don’t say let you out of the tank.”
“Fair enough,” he said, “In that case, I have nothing to add yet.”
“Terrific!” I said, putting my head in my hands and staring at the floor.
“Have you, perhaps, thought about vents or drains?”
I had, but they were all too small for me to climb into. There was a drain in the floor but I couldn’t even get a foot in there. The ventilation shafts were an idea, but most of them would be too snug for me. I’m a beefy guy, not muscular but kinda fat, and getting stuck in the vents sounded like a terrible way to die without anyone realizing it.
“Yeah, obviously. I’m too big to fit through those.”
“A problem I do not have.” the creature reminded me, more than a little smugly too.
“Back to that again,” I growled, “And what's to stop you from just leaving me hanging once you get out?”
The little dude didn’t say anything for a few minutes, contemplating his next move as I Googled like a madman. I was looking for blueprints for the college online since a place like this would have to have them filed. See, I’m not super smart when it comes to math and science, but I know a little bit about building permits and filing your blueprints with the city. If this place was built by the college, then it had to exist in the public sphere.
After an hour of looking with no results, I was ready to throw my phone down. I went and grabbed some kale chips out of the little fridge, munching them sullenly as I tried to come up with a plan. The little guy was back to looking at me again, and I couldn’t help but notice that something had changed. All the eyes on his body opened and closed but they were never all open at once. He also looked tired, maybe even a little pale. I looked down at the bag of chips and thought again about how I might have to feed this little guy at some point.
“Do you need to eat? It’s been about twenty-four hours since Doc was here, and I don’t think I’ve ever been here when he feeds you.”
The little creature pulled its lips up into a sad smile, “You couldn’t feed me what I want. I don’t eat normal food and you aren’t equipped to give me what I need.”
I started to get a little offended, “What's that supposed to mean?”
It looked at me, and I felt a little shudder ripple over my skin as it did.
“I feed on brain waves. Creative brain waves, to be precise. The Doctor feeds me by just being around me like his lab assistants did. You, however, don’t seem to create the same way he did. You look at your little device all the time and it makes your brain waves taste bland and unappetizing. That's why The Doctor’s Assistants kept getting headaches. The more they created, the more I fed. The Doctor doesn’t get them because his mind is like a wellspring. You, on the other hand, are incapable of nourishing me. You simply don’t think the same.”
I sat back, not sure whether to be happy that I couldn’t feed him or offended that he was sayin I was too dumb?
In the end, I guess I just decided to roll with it.
“Well, I guess we’re both stuck then. You need to eat brainwaves and I need to eat food. We can’t get either here, so what do we do about it?”
“Is there anything in here we could use to break open the door?” the creature asked hopefully.
“Checked already. There’s some lab equipment and the fridge, the table you're on, and the chair I’m sitting in. Other than that, not much. There are books, but none of them are gonna get us out of here.”
I kept searching on my phone for something that looked familiar in the blueprints, but it was getting frustrating.
“Ugh, if only I knew where we were. If I knew the name of the building I could find the right map or tell security where to find us!”
“Wait, is that all you need to get us out of here?” it asked, floating close to the side of the tank so it could look at me.
“Well yeah. If I knew where we were then I could tell security where we were stuck.”
“I know where we are,” it said, and it sounded less smug and more sinister when it said it.
I stared back at it for a few seconds, waiting for it to fill me in.
It sat there for a few seconds, waiting for me to ask the question.
“Well? Are you gonna tell me or what?”
“Why should I?” it said, “If I tell you, then you’ll just leave and I’ll be stuck here. What guarantee do I have that you won’t just leave me once you’ve gained your freedom.”
The little son of a bitch had me there. There would be nothing to stop me from just leaving him here to die in that tank. Without any brain wave to gobble, he’d shrivel up and die. Maybe that's what he deserved, but I just couldn’t bring myself to hate him like that. The little dude had never done me wrong, and I couldn’t mess up my karma by shafting him like that.
“I promise that if we get that door open, I’ll take you with me.”
“And release me?” he asked, hedging.
“Dude, if you get us out of here, I’ll take you to SeaWorld and release you, if that's what you want. The kale chips are going to run out soon, and if I starve, you are SOL little bud. You might not be able to eat my brain waves, but you can’t open your tank or dial my cell phone with those baby fingers either. Whether we like it or not, we kinda need each other right now.”
The creature nodded, bumping its little head against the side of the glass.
“Agreed. I will have to trust in your honor, I suppose.”
“Brah, I am chocked full of honor. I've never welched on a promise and I’m not gonna start now.”
“Very well then,” it said with a little smile, “The building is called Rashley Laboratories. At least that's what the assistants always thought of when they thought about it at all. One of them thought it was spooky when they walked through it to get here, and the images led me to believe that it might be abandoned.”
I already had the cell phone out and Googling as he finished. There was no Rashley Laboratories, but there was an R. Ashley Science Hall. It had been abandoned in the nineties after an explosion in the science wing, but the campus had never torn it down for some reason. It had been named a historic building in two thousand nine and while they had renovated the outside to make it prettier, the inside was pretty much untouched. Sounded like a great place for a secret lab and a covert experiment.
Campus security picked up on the second ring, and I sighed when I realized it was the same guy I had dealt with the night before.
“Campus security, Officer Rob speaking, how may I help you?”
“Hey, yeah, we talked last night before you hung up on me. I still,”
“Hey, I remember you. Are you still playing this game? This has got to be getting old by now.”
“Look, just listen. We’re…I’m stuck in the R. Ashley Science Hall and I need help.”
There was silence as he digested this.
“Okay, nice try, but that building has been closed for years. I’m pretty sure the doors never open. How exactly did you get in there, if you are actually stuck in there?”
“It’s hard to explain,” I said, looking at the little potato dude as I thought about how to start.
“I’ve got time, let's hear the whole story,” he said, pretending to be interested. To hell with it, I decided, might as well lay it all on the line.
“I’m sitting down here with Doctor Crandler’s experiment, the one who got arrested for buying stuff to make. He pays me to sit down here and watch it at night, but the door is locked and I need someone to let me out.”
The line was quiet for a few seconds, and then Officer Rob started laughing.
“Wow, great story. I love the little name drop, but I’m kind of busy to be going down to an abandoned building and tromping through dust right now, why don’t you call back when,”
“Fine,” I said, deciding to take another direction, “maybe I’ll just call the Feds and let them know that I have a highly illegal experiment that Doctor Crandler was working on and that the college was probably helping to fund. Then, when they ask why campus security didn’t take the call, you can tell them how you thought it was a big joke and didn’t look into it. That's probably going to make you look really great.”
There was silence for a minute, then a big sigh from Rob.
“Okay, kid. It’s at least worth a look, I guess. Give me your cell phone number so I can call you from my security phone when I get there. You can help me find you since you’re so lost.”
I looked back at the potato dude, putting my hand over the phone as I whispered, “Got any other ideas about how to find us?”
He looked like he was thinking, before nodding and saying he could probably guide him to us.
So that's where we’re at now. Help seems to be on the way, and I’m updating you guys as I wait for the security dude to call back. I’ll post again when I have an update so stay tuned for more news. Wish me luck, hopefully, we make it out of here pretty soon cause one more kale chip and I might need a barf bucket.
submitted by Erutious to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 21:00 The_Fallen_1 [THJVerse] Arcane Starfarers - ep 41 - Non-alien tech support

First / Previous / Next
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Daniel heaved up Hannah’rah to prevent her from falling off of his back as he carried her back from their walk, which she happened to misjudge the length of. He didn’t mind too much, as she was fairly light, but the frequency that it was happening made him suspicious that she might be doing it on purpose.
“Hey, sleepy, you still awake?” he asked.
“Mmh?” she quietly replied.
“If you’re this tired, I’m not sure we’ll make the gaming tournament tomorrow.”
“I’ll be fine, ‘s why I’m resting now.”
“Uh huh. And do get to rest as well at some point, right?”
“You need less sleep than me,” she mumbled.
“Any chance I can sleep in a little and wake up to a nice breakfast?”
“‘Course.”
“Thank you,” he replied, turning his head and kissing her on the lips.
-----------------------------
Daniel yawned as he woke up, looking around his room on the Trailmaker, and at Hannah'rah who was still asleep next to him. He gently stroked her head for a moment wondering if there was any chance he could get her planet side with him, maybe even to go on a walk like they used to, but with her duties to defend the ship, especially with an open connection to the station, and the fact that there wasn't anything that only she could do down on the planet, he realised it was practically impossible. He instead spent his waking energy running through his spell exercises, manipulating a weighted ball on the desk completely with magic and getting used to holding spells for a longer period of time. As he did it, he attempted to recall some of his dream again, but all he could remember of it was that it was based on a memory of them hiking together.
As he was doing so, he realised that it had been a while since he'd attempted to speak with Ordos, and now that he was back in UPC space, there was a better chance of success. He uttered an invitation, and waited.
'There's a reason us Deities don't respond all the time, you know,' Ordos told him.
'Sorry, but I had to try again to see if I could,' Daniel apologised.
‘What did you wish to ask?’ Ordos asked.
‘You probably know, but I have two questions. The first is, am I the first person to align with you?’
‘You are currently the only person aligned with me. A sort of test, if you will,’ the God confirmed.
‘Thank you, and second, are you here in this system?’
‘No, I’m on Earth, or my main physical form is anyway.’
‘When I come back to Earth, can I meet you please?’
‘That depends on many things, and some are unlikely.’
‘I understand. Thank you for taking the time to speak to me.’
‘You’re welcome,’ Ordos told him. ‘I do have something for you, however, which is why we’re talking right now. There’s a “friend” of yours on the station, looking to have a chat like before the Trailmaker left port. Do what you will with this information.’
‘Thank you, Ordos, I appreciate the warning,’ Daniel replied, sensing the connection end.
-----------------------------
Daniel adjusted his jacket, making sure it was sitting comfortably over his uniform and obscuring his rank slides and brassard, and disembarked from the Trailmaker onto the station. He mainly wanted to wear it so he wasn’t purely in space uniform when he was planet side, but it would help him be slightly harder to spot in a crowd, as anyone could own a jacket, but not his ranks and awards. He knew he had a little time to kill before his shuttle was ready, so he began to check some of the select civilian stands laid out in a small market that had been allowed to set up shop to sell some things to the Navy personnel, as well as allow the few Langan aboard to try some of the smaller luxuries the UPC had to offer. He joined the back of a small line to a food stall to see if he could grab a few small treats, and he was pleased to see signage saying that everything on sale was rated safe for all species, including Langan.
When he got to the front of the line, he picked up four bars of chocolate, as well as four bottles of cola. He presented his holo to the payment terminal, confirmed the slightly overpriced transaction, and made sure it went through. He smiled at the stall attendant who was just there to restock and deal with any Langan customers, and walked away, stuffing the items into his jacket pockets, securing them properly.
Finding he still had a bit of time, he also headed over to a less busy stall nearby that was staffed by a Lagan looking to make a head start in their new life, selling some copies of Langan items. Daniel had a quick browse, and his eyes landed on a set of books he thought could make a useful tool to help him learn Langan writing a little faster if he decided to learn it. He saw the price and knew he could just wait a few months and get them online for dirt cheap, but he admired the stall keeper's desire to get started out again, so he bought the books which worked out to be about two day’s salary, making the Langan very happy.
He checked the time once again to see that he could probably start boarding the shuttle very soon, so he began to casually make his way towards the shuttle bay, checking his messages to see if anything had come through, finding a few messages from his group of friends welcoming him back to UPC space, and correctly guessing that his ship was the one to make first contact. He sent a quick reply to them all, thanking them and promising to talk properly when he had more time. He also found a message from an unverified source, which he quickly read and deleted, finding the information within to be useful but disappointing, reminding him he still had to sort out the chip he was hiding.
“Lieutenant Daniel Hardbrooks, what a pleasant surprise!”
Daniel stopped as he felt a hand on his shoulder, looking to his side to see someone he didn’t recognise, wearing the stereotypical agent suit. “Wrong person, sorry.”
“Don’t be like that, I just want to have a quick chat, that’s all.”
“I’m not a Lieutenant, and you’re not wearing a Navy ID or a visitor pass, so I strongly suggest you identify yourself before I call for security,” Daniel replied.
“Agent Johnson, CSB,” the man told him, flashing their ID.
“Ok, but you’ve still got the wrong person, and I don’t have a lot of time, so sorry, and good luck on you manhunt.”
“Sorry, Lieutenant Commander Hardbrooks,” the man apologised in a snide tone.
“I still don’t have time, goodbye,” Daniel replied, walking away.
"I'm afraid I really need to talk," the Agent insisted, grabbing Daniel's left arm to prevent him from walking away.
"I politely request you let go."
"There's a quiet room down the way where we can talk."
"I strongly suggest you let go," Daniel sternly persisted.
"And I strongly suggest you come with me," the Agent warned him, glancing at Daniel's arm as it beeped, indicating something that shouldn't be used accidentally had just been powered on.
"I am giving you one-"
"Come on, Lieutenant Commander, you're holding up the shuttle."
Daniel looked over his other shoulder as Milla grabbed his other arm and firmly pulled him away from the Agent and towards the shuttle bay, forcing the Agent to let go. Daniel looked back at the Agent, who prepared to give chase, but was immediately confronted with two military police officers.
"Thanks for the save," Daniel told her.
"We're even for you helping me after the jump, right?" she asked, messing with her holo.
"Yeah, sure. How did you kn-"
"Saw the guy arrive yesterday, and heard about your CSB encounter from Hannah'rah. I put two and two together, and got the MPs to keep an eye on him. They probably can't do anything to him, but they can waste his time for not wearing proper ID, which is great for an opportune moment. The timing of me being there to call them over and pull you away was just luck really," she shrugged, closing her holo. "Oh, and by the way, you're on my shuttle now."
"Oh, thanks," he replied, checking the notification as it came through.
"No problem. You'd really think that they'd drop the suit and try to blend in, making sure they at least have fake IDs on display, but nope. It's like everyone there is addicted to century old spy movies or something."
"I know what you mean. A high-vis jacket and a clipboard would be a much better disguise. People might even help you."
"Don't give them ideas," she warned him as she guided him onto a small shuttle, revealing that they were the only two passengers, and when she closed the door, they had complete privacy. "So, why is a government agency after you?"
"I'm not 100% sure, as both times they never managed to get to the point," he shrugged, sitting down and buckling in. "I have a suspicion they want to recruit me, as if they wanted to arrest me, I wouldn't have gotten away so easily. As for where this comes from, well, I have a grey hat background. They could just be trying to find out if I know anything I shouldn't do from that I suppose."
"Grey hat is legal, right?"
"Yes, but you have to tread carefully, as a small slip up can get you in a lot of trouble."
"That's fine then," she replied, signalling to the shuttle pilot on her holo that they were good to go once they were both securely seated. "If that man is still on the station when we return, I think you should stay with me until we're on the ship, just to make it so you can't be singled out."
"Thanks, Milla."
"So, I'm curious to know what you would have done if I didn't arrive in time."
"Oh, I probably would have tased him and reported him for assault after he didn't let go. He wasn't operating by the books, didn't present his ID well enough for me to verify it, and ignored my requests, so I was about to electricity my arm. After all there was no way for me to know if he was telling the truth, and I'm not going to let myself be taken to an unknown place by a shady person," he explained, slightly smirking. "I am a senior officer after all, it's a massive security risk to the Navy if some crook captures me. I can only comply with MPs while on a Naval facility."
"Sounds reasonable to me," Milla chuckled as the shuttle touched down. "Perfect, we're here."
"That was fast."
"Good shuttle and a good pilot," she explained, disembarking and sending the pilot a message of thanks.
"So, I managed to get planet access to help Oprin, but how did you manage," he asked as the shuttle took off behind them.
"Oh, I just needed some fresh air after my recent incident."
"You're lucky you're a Gater. That excuse would never fly with anyone else."
"Yeah, probably not. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get special treatment, such as the ear of MPs, and being able to squeeze friends on private shuttles, instead of slightly more open ones that might have an unwanted ‘friend’ onboard."
“Very lucky and very useful,” he agreed, pulling a bottle of cola and a bar of chocolate out of his pocket. “Here, I was going to give you this when I was back on the ship, but now is as good of a time as any.”
“Giving treats to other women? You’re brave.”
“I’m giving them to all my friends. I have the same for Hannah'rah and Oprin,” he explained.
“I’m glad I’m your friend then,” she replied, opening both and having a small amount of each. “So, what are your plans for today?”
“Just help Oprin with whatever she needs.”
“Mind if I tag along? I didn’t really come here with any more plans than to just wander around and help out where I could.”
“It's up to Oprin really.”
“Fair enough.”
Daniel began to lead Milla down various roads, away from the temporary spaceport, and down to the residential area Oprin’s house was located in. The streets stretched for much longer than they did when he left the day before, but the addition of new homes had been halted to save on the currently limited resources, as there were far more than were required for the current residents, plus a tenth of the currently frozen Langan, and more could easily be built when the logistics hiccup had been resolved. Instead, the few deliveries were more focussed on permanent infrastructure, delivering resources to a few construction ships that had landed and started building a small fusion power plant and multi-purpose factories. Ignoring all that though, they continued until they arrived at Oprin’s home, and Daniel knocked on the door, it opening a moment later to reveal Oprin.
“Oh hello, Daniel,” Oprin happily announced. “Oh, Milla too!”
“How are you doing, Oprin?” Daniel asked.
“Good, but having a few issues with some of the new stuff,” she replied. “Come in and sit down.”
Daniel and Milla obliged, entering and noticing that Oprin’s holo was turned on, but waiting on standby mode with half a dozen icons on display, including the mute, 2D mode, and resolution adjustment mode. A few moments later, she put some glasses of water and a plate of biscuits on the table in front of them, and sat down next to them.
“So, how are things?” Daniel asked.
“It’s nice to live somewhere so comfortable, but I wish I understood more of your technology,” she replied.
“The best thing to do is not to overthink things. We try to keep most things as simple as possible so even a young child would have no problems operating things. All you need to do is slow down and think simple,” he told her, holding up the two remotes, one with significantly more buttons than the other. “Let’s start with the holo here. Ignore the programming remote, and just focus on the normal one. The number buttons allow you to switch to a channel quickly if you know the number, but you don’t, so we can ignore those for now, as well as the circle underneath, as we aren’t dealing with menus. Next, we have two flick switches, once for channel, and one for volume. Flick either up to increase either the channel number or volume number, or down to decrease them. The four buttons underneath are for the channel menu, display resize, dimension mode, and mute. The first can be ignored as it hasn’t been translated yet, and the display resize can as well for now. The dimension mode will change it between 2D and 3D, depending on your preference, and the mute turns the sound on or off. Finally, the red button at the top turns the holo on and off.”
“Ok, so how do I get back to the start?” Oprin asked.
“Just a second,” he replied, playing around with the programming remote to undo everything she had done, slowly resetting everything to its default and setting the holo to the state-run news channel. “Ok, there we go.”
“So what’s this now?”
“So this is the most popular new channel. It details the major headlines from all over the UPC, with segments about local news as well. It gives factual and unbiased reports on many things, but given how general it is, it might not always be relevant to you, and given how it does its best to be unbiased, it can be a bit robotic and boring at times. They worry that any significant emotion will impact how viewers perceive different stories, rather than being able to freely interpret it their own way. It’s a good way to catch up on big things, but it gets boring very quickly, so if you want actual entertainment, you can try one of the other channels. There are a fair few more news channels sprinkled about, but the majority of the remaining channels are purely for entertainment.”
“I see,” she replied, flicking through a few, stopping on one that was currently running a program about various types of spaceships, focussing more on personal high-performance ones. She also spent a few moments flipping between 2D and 3D, and eventually settled on 2D, as she could pick up some faint lighting issues thanks to the sunlight with 3D.
“Also, just so you’re aware, though you don’t have to look now, there are some subscription streaming services that allow you to watch premium content on demand, but you will have to pay and the controls to navigate aren’t as simple. Just so you know if you end up looking for more in the future. They also don’t break up what you’re watching with advertisements.”
“How frequent are the advertisements?” Oprin asked.
“It depends on the channel. State-run ones don’t have any, aside from advertising new shows that will be on that channel later, but some of the others can run up to five minutes of ads every 15-30 minutes.”
“Sounds better than our radio already. About half of the broadcast was advertisements on a good day, and the other half were carefully curated news stories.”
“Sounds like it wasn’t much fun to listen to,” Milla commented.
“No, it really wasn’t. Thankfully, I was too young at the time to have any interest in it.”
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First / Previous / Next
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Hi all, just wanted to sorry if the dream sequence felt a little odd for what I normally do. I wanted to make some small changes based on some feedback to show a little more of Daniel and Hannah'rah's past, which is hard to do in the current situation.
I also wanted to make people aware of the Reddit blackout protest happening on the 12th of June. I just wanted to say that I will continue to post my episodes here during the blackout in case any of you are worried, partly due to the sub not taking part in it as well as me not wanting to disrupt your entertainment, but I do agree with the premise behind it and encourage people to look into it if they are unaware of what’s going on.
submitted by The_Fallen_1 to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 21:00 cryptidhunter1 What if you based a Domain off of Sonic the Hedgehog (Redux)

Domain name: Conflictus
Society Level: Renaissance (level 9)
Landscape: temperate forests, hills and mountains
Flora and Fauna: Flicky (bird), Ricky (chipmunk), Rocky (walrus), frog, pocky (rabbit), clucky (chicken) Krudzu (sentient mechanical plant that incorporates machinery)
Border: The Mists fill with electricity whenever you try to escape.

Dark Lord:
Name- DR. Ivo Robotnik aka "The Eggman"
Description- the obese mad scientist and ruler of the Eggman Empire, his narcissism is evident in how his own image is used extensively throughout his Empire from statues to the designs of buildings to some of his robots and even the insignia of his Empire. His Rotund physique however is a reuse as he has an inhuman strength and is surprisingly athletic. He has no regard to the various lives he's ruined in his attempted conquest.

Torment: whenever he is on the cusp of victory Eggman's pride becomes his downfall.
Inhabitants:
Mobians- an anthropomorphic race of varying sub-species with some displaying traits of animals, some have traits of fantasy creatures such as dragons and others have traits of unrecognizable origin. While most simply refer to themselves using epithets (Such as Sonic the Hedgehog or Bean the Dynamite Duck) they will sometimes use family names (such as Antoine D'coulette or Elias Acorn).
Overlanders- a race of mutant humans with four fingers instead of the usual five (with some exceptions) and they tend to be xenophobic towards the Mobians. Mobians unfortunately often can't tell the difference between Overlanders and ordinary humans which sometimes results in hostility.
Humans

Characters of interest:
Ixis Naugus- the current Ruler of New Mobotropolis and an evil Wizard who took over by gaining the publics favor he seems to have become comatose but is he really?
Geoffrey St. John- a Mobian Skunk and the Apprentice of the evil Sorcerer Ixis Naugus currently acts as temporary ruler of New Mobotropolis but in reality he is possessed by the spirit of his master. Nobody knows this and even the Secret Freedom Fighters only have vague suspicions as to what is actually going on.
Sonic the Hedgehog- the current de-facto Leader of the Freedom Fighters, Sonic tries not to succumb to despair at the loss of Sally and several others as he leads his remaining friends and allies against Eggman. He has become more vicious over time. His only hope of victory would be the Chaos Emeralds but they haven't been seen ever since the Mists appeared.
Harvey Who- the Leader of the Secret Freedom Fighters this Owl Mobian is a master of disguise and espionage who doesn't let anyone outside of the freedom fighters know anything about him except his last name.
Hershey St. John- a Cat Mobian and the Wife of Geoffrey St. John who is a secret reserve member of the Secret Freedom fighters who has hidden her existence so well that even her husband believes her to be dead only Harvey Who is aware of her existence.
Silver the Hedgehog- a telekinetic Time Traveler and member of the Secret Freedom Fighters he is concerned about the fact that the Mists prevent him from returning to the Future.
Nicole the Holo-lynx- a sentient AI that can project a solid hologram from her main body that consists of a PDA. She built New Mobotropolis using nanites. She has become distressed over the loss of her closest friend Sally Acorn.
E-123 Omega- an E-series robot whom rebelled against Eggman and wants to kill him. He tends to go to extremes at times.
Metal Sonic- a robot copy of Sonic the Hedgehog with sharp claws that can cut through flesh, bone, stone and steel with ease. He can move at similar speeds to Sonic using a jet turbine in his back and can create force fields that can be used both defensively and offensively. He acts as Eggmans enforcer along with Mecha Sally.
Mecha Sally- formerly known as Sally Acorn, princess of the former Kingdom of Acorn, she was the lover of Sonic the Hedgehog until in an act of sacrifice to save her people she became roboticized. Eggman then proceeded to weaponize her against Sonic and modifying her giving her similar abilities to Metal Sonic along with the addition of sword-like retractable wrist blades, boot thrusters instead of a jet turbine and a hidden laser inside her head. However this means that she can no longer be de-roboticized by normal means.
Bunny Rabbot- one of Sonic's friends that was lost, soon after she was cured of her partial roboticization she was captured, brainwashed and legionized. Eggman takes great glee in the ironic fate that befell her.
Shard- Formerly a previous model of Metal Sonic, he gained a conscience and became a member of the Secret Freedom fighters after being rebuilt. He has similar abilities to the normal Metal Sonic but with the edition of an arm cannon and the ability to fire energy blasts from the power gem embedded in his chest. His key weak point is the power gem embedded in his chest. He secretly has feelings for his fellow AI Nicole the Holo-lynx.
Fiona Fox- A traitor to the Freedom Fighters. She feels regret after the one whom she betrayed her comrades for left her for dead. She fears that the Freedom Fighters will never welcome her back due to the gruesome extent of her betrayal. So now she aids them from the shadows unable to face them out of shame.
Blaze the Cat- a pyrokinetic Princess of a far away empire. She has been anxious since she cannot tend to her kingdom with the mists preventing her return.

Major Settlements:
New Mobotropolis- A seemingly idealic city and safe haven ruled over by The Republic of Acorn (formerly The Kingdom of Acorn) and where magic and futuristic technology are used in equal measure, however under the surface there lies political corruption, hidden plots and worse. They are ruled by the Tyrant Ixis Naugus who acts by manipulating public opinion in his favor under the guise of a benevolent ruler. However recently Naugus seems to have entered a comatose state with his apprentice Geoffrey St. John taking his place however in reality something far more sinister is at play.
New Megaopolis- a mechanized dystopia patrolled by robots under the leadership of the Eggman and where most buildings are factories filled with the sounds of machinery. Any signs of life seem to have been scoured entirely and any organics spotted are captured and often condemned to a fate worse than death. At night the air is filled with a toxic blinding smog.

Factions:
The Freedom Fighters- a group led by Sonic the Hedgehog to fight against the Eggman Empire however many of it's original members have been lost over time with Sonic as one of the last founding members as they keep losing more and more members in their skirmishes.
The Secret Freedom Fighters- a secret team built to eliminate Ixis Naugus in secret under the command of Harvey Who. It also serves as a replacement for the Royal Secret Service that belonged to the former Kingdom of Acorn. They operate out of a Secret HQ, a hidden bunker built by the AI Nicole in an undisclosed location within New Mobotropolis. They are currently studying the Krudzu to find a way to return Sally Acorn to normal this plan may or may not backfire however.
The Dark Egg Legion- regional enforcers and soldiers of the Eggman's so-called Eggman Empire, they have all undergone a process known as "legionisation" where they are turned into cyborgs and a bomb is placed within one of the mechanical parts as a failsafe against treason. While many members have joined willingly or out of desperation there are some cases where unwilling captives are brainwashed and "legionised."
The Badnik Horde- the Robot Army of the Eggman Empire, the Badniks range from animal shaped machines (such as moto bugs, cater-killers, buzz bombers and bat brains) to bipedal androids (such as Shadowbots, Egg Pawns and Egg Swat) and even more bizarre forms (like Orbinauts and Gohlas) each Badnik often contains a captured animal within being used as an organic battery. There are far more advanced models as well known as the E-series (like the Egg Keeper, E-1000, E-2000 or E-123 Omega).
Roboticized creatures- a fate that has befallen many of the victims of the Eggman Empire, Roboticization is the process of converting an organic being into a robot. The victim is still conscious after being roboticized but they have no control over their body as they are forced to turn on their own allies and loved ones before dragging them away screaming to a similar fate. Roboticized Mobians are nicknamed Robians. Robiticized humanoids can be de-roboticized with a machine found in new Mobotropolis or their free will can be restored with the help of an engineer. However an individual cannot be de-roboticized if their bodies have been modified after roboticization.
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2023.06.07 21:00 Sylver713 Hunger Games : A new Generation (118th Hunger Games, part 1)

Day 1:
Few of the tributes got much sleep that night. The parties all throughout the Capitol did not end until dawn, and the noise could be heard in the accommodation building. Vannery and Carton ate breakfast slowly, like zombies. They were subsequently taken to the holding rooms. Organza wished Carton good luck before accompanying Vannery in her cell. She kept trying to reassure her as she put on her beige shorts and t-shirt. The young girl attached her hair with a purple ribbon that had been provided and climbed into the glass tube. Organza hugged her one last time, feeling her tears soaking her shoulder.
It was Platonia Travers who accompanied Carton. She muttered to herself about the outfit choice for this year. She tried to be cold to the boy, but she accepted to help him tie the purple ribbon to his wrist. He gave her a sad smile : “I probably won’t come back, but it’s nice to know that everyone in the Capitol isn’t heartless.” Platonia stood, mute, as the boy’s platform started to rise. She couldn’t keep the tears in this time.
A few cells over, the atmosphere was as morose. Alexandra had finally deigned to discuss their strategy with Delta. She accepted his plan of staying on the sidelines while he ran to the cornucopia. Still, he looked at her suspiciously and hounded her about working together for the whole breakfast. Halifax gave Delta one last pill to combat the morphling withdrawal, assuring him that the only symptoms he would experience were a mild headache and maybe some stiffness. He subsequently accompanied him to his holding room while Sean Callahan went with Alexandra.
Halifax took advantage of being alone with his mentee : “You shouldn’t trust her. I know these kinds of girls. They look harmless, but they’ll stab you in the back as soon as you let down your guard.”
“But-but…”
“You like her, huh ? Too bad, she doesn’t. So, man up and move on !”
Delta did not know what else to say. He climbed into the glass tube in silence, his brows forming a single black line over his dark eyes.
In the next holding room, another conversation was happening. “You don’t plan on allying with Delta, do you ?” asked Sean Callahan. Alexandra looked away coyly. “ I have other plans… With Angelo, we have an agreement.”
The mentor sighed, but he did not criticize the girl. He just told her to be prudent. You couldn’t trust careers. Alexandra nodded then flinched as the glass tube started descending from the ceiling.
The first thing she noticed as she rose into the arena was the noise. She hadn’t even emerged that she could hear a cacophony of bird songs. It was almost deafening, and she covered her ears before protecting her eyes from the sunlight.
The racket made Delta’s headache intensify. He first looked to his sides ; Hattie (3) cowered on the left while Angelo (2), on the right, was focusing on the cornucopia. This year, it had been made out of a thin weave of golden metal, almost like a very shiny basket. After this zoom on the cornucopia, the cameras started moving around to show off the arena. The tributes stood in the clearing of a dense rainforest. The terrain was relatively flat, with a few creeks and an explosion of colorful flowers. The main attraction of it was the birds, however, as thousands of them fluttered about, sang, and screamed.
As Carton looked around for his allies, Head Gamemaker Vishwa welcomed the tributes and wished the odds to be ever in their favor before starting the 30 seconds countdown. With Borea (5) and the girl from 10 to his sides, he didn’t feel safe. He finally found what he was looking for, but he didn’t like that his allies were so spread out. He made eye contact with Rivage and Vannery but was unable to see Sardine, who stood on the opposite side of the cornucopia.
Vannery caught sight of her district partner, as well as Sardine. She gave them a small wave, but made the mistake of looking to her left, where Perfecto (1) was sneering at her. Georges (N), on the other side, was just as intimidating. Instead, she looked straight ahead. As the countdown reached ten, she spotted a coil of rope on the outside of the cornucopia.
Delta had been pondering, unsure if it was worth entering the bloodbath. Alexandra, who happened to be just two podiums over, winked at him. She then pointed to the cornucopia. He understood. At that moment, the countdown reached zero. He sprinted to the center of the clearing, expecting her to follow, but she stayed on her podium.
On later replays, it was shown that Alexandra was winking at Angelo and not her district partner. As the boy from 2 sprinted forth to the cornucopia, the girl waited for a few seconds. She moved only when most of the other tributes were too occupied and grabbed a knife as well as a small bag of food. Angelo acted like he helped the other career tributes in order to pick up weapons and supplies, but as soon as they were occupied, he joined Alexandra. The pair was actually one of the first to leave the clearing, not counting Circuit (3) and the pair from 10 who had run away immediately.
When Vannery realized that she was running side to side with Perfecto (1), she immediately changed course and ran to Carton. She had to give up on the rope but managed to pick a water bottle off of the corpse of the boy from 9, who had just been stabbed by Glare (9).
If the career pack didn’t notice the disappearance of one of theirs, it wasn’t the case for Delta. When he saw his district partner escape with Angelo, he became enraged. He tried to exit the cornucopia. Fraxen then attacked him to try and steal his backpack. Delta threw him to the ground and punched him so hard it broke his neck. Now he had lost trace of Alexandra. As the fighting started to die down, he ran in a random direction.
Carton had dodged one of Glare’s knives and grabbed a bag of food and an unwieldy lance before Vannery and Rivage joined him. The trio heard Sardine scream from the other side of the cornucopia. Carton wanted to go and help her, but a second gargled wail convinced him that they couldn’t do anything else, especially since Proserpina (2) had now retrieved her axe from Sardine’s chest. As they left, they could hear the crunching of Ora’s neck (12) at the hands of Georges (N).
Meanwhile, Alexandra and Angelo were already far away, giggling at each other. It was only after Perfecto had stabbed Hattie (3) to death that the career pack noticed Angelo’s absence, but they didn’t seem bothered by it.
Delta was halfway to the perimeter when the five bloodbath cannons sounded. He was still seething, and the running helped him calm down. Eventually, he collapsed on the side of and old mossy tree, out of breath. Once he was a little better, he explored his surroundings. The big tree had a hole in his roots where Delta could fit, although it was a squeeze. He decided to stay there for now and used moss to hide himself. He also put some in his ears, which helped with his headache.
Carton, Rivage and Vannery had been running in the opposite direction. They wanted to put the most distance between themselves and the other tributes. They stopped long after the bloodbath cannons had sounded. They set up camp a few hundred feet away from the Northern part of the perimeter, next to a creek. Carton helped Rivage to take inventory. He had the lance, Rivage had gotten a trident, and between the three of them they had enough food to last two days at most. The bottle Vannery had taken was only half full, but the water of the creek was clear and drinkable.
The trio decided to stay put. Vannery and Carton would work on a shelter while Rivage fished for their dinner, as they had agreed to during training. In the early afternoon, they heard hurried footsteps coming their way. The boys readied their weapon, protecting Vannery between the two of us. Circuit (3) came running into their little encampment, which took him by surprise. He skidded to a halt and turned around as quickly as he’d arrived, leaving the trio dumbfounded.
Angelo and Alexandra had quite enough supplies to last a while. He held a sword in his hand and an “emergency axe” strapped to his back, while Alexandra held two knives. At first, they wanted to get away from the careers, but Alexandra eventually convinced Angelo to follow them from afar. They weren’t really hard to track, their bickering could be heard over the constant chatter of the birds. The noise also covered them. Proserpina, Glare and Perfecto were circling around the central clearing, slowly moving away from it. In the late afternoon, they discovered Forger (12) who was lying unconscious. He had received a deep wound during the bloodbath and was now at the mercy of the other tributes. Proserpina killed him.
The subsequent cannon surprised Vannery. She had climbed on top of a tree to get a view of the arena, and the sudden sound almost made her loose her grip. She didn’t fall, but while reaching her hand for a hold, she grabbed something warm and spherical. It crumbled and a viscous liquid dripped onto her finger. She looked up. She had inadvertently grabbed an egg from a nest. She was silent a moment, and a bright purple starling looked at her. “Oh no !” she whispered to herself. The bird screamed louder than she thought possible. Then it attacked.
All the birds in a radius of 50 feet coalesced into a multicolored tornado. Vannery fell to the ground, fortunately not hurting herself on the way down, and a feathery mass started clawing and pecking at her. They also attacked Carton and Rivage, who had been chilling at a distance. They batted the volatiles away, trying not to get scratched. Vannery managed to get up and run to the makeshift tent they had built. She picked up Carton’s lance and swung it, hitting some of the birds. She swung a second time and hit the metallic water bottle with a resounding CLANG! It seemed to stun the birds, but Vannery was too busy keeping them out of her face. Carton, however, noticed their reaction to the noise. He shouted loudly and flailed his arms : “Make noise ! They don’t like noise !”. Just his screaming was enough though. Eventually, the three tributes managed to drive the mutts out by hitting their weapons against rocks and the water bottle and screaming as loud as they could.
Delta also had an encounter with some angry birds. Those were red, with a long curvy beak and fearsome talons, but he managed to kill them all with a big branch he used as a bat. He then ate them, cooked over a small fire. Argus berated him for building a fire that could alert the other tributes to his location. However, the “Aviary Jungle” as it had been baptized by Urania Whimsiwick herself, was way too dense for anyone to see the smoke.
As the sun started to set, Delta squeezed himself back into his root hole, being careful to camouflage himself with moss. He held his branch in front of him just in case. An hour later, two cannons sounded in quick succession. They belonged to the pair from 10, who had had the great idea of making an omelet. The flock did not appreciate that…
When the sun started to set, Angelo suggested he and Alexandra find a place to sleep, preferably away from the career pack. She agreed, so they stopped following. They looked for a safe spot in the light of the dusk, eventually settling on the middle of a tight thicket. It was complicated to get inside, but the small space was comfortable, and the pair even had a view of the darkening sky. They ate some food then laid down, hand in hand. “Your district partner doesn’t seem to mind that you ditched her” joked Alexandra.
“I don’t think she cares. Maybe they believe I’m dead. But they’re not looking for us at least.”
“I think Delta is, though. You should have seen his face when he saw us. I almost feel bad about leading him on.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll get rid of him if he isn’t dead yet.”
“I’m sure he’s feeling the same thing”, responded Alexandra before going to sleep. Angelo kept the first watch.
In another section of the arena, Carton took the first watch. He had spent the remaining hours of daylight cleaning his wounds, along with Rivage and Vannery. The two of them slept, hoping to feel better the next day.
A little before midnight, Rivage awoke. He came to sit next to Carton, and the boys talked about their families, their school. Suddenly, a cannon sounded. It belonged to Ulma (7), who had stumbled upon Quinoa’s (9) camp by accident. The younger girl had not hesitated to stab a pointy branch in Ulma’s throat. This cannon prompted Carton to go to sleep, Rivage taking second watch.
At midnight, the hymn of Panem resounded in the arena and the portraits of the 9 fallen appeared in the sky : Hattie (3), Sardine (4), Fraxen and Ulma (7), the boy (9), both (10), Ora and Forger (12). This left 17 tributes after an eventful and interesting day.
Day 2:
Delta didn’t sleep much that night. The uncomfortable position coupled with a strong headache meant that he was up before the sunrise. As the first hints of blue appeared to the east, Delta got up. He needed to occupy his mind. The moss had stuck to his clothes, and he decided to take advantage of it. He caked his face and hands in mud and used it to stick more moss to his clothes. Urania commented that he looked like a green Orang-utang, which prompted laughter in the Capitol. Once he was fully camouflaged, he started roaming the arena. Stealthily at first, but as the sun rose and the birds started their cacophony as well, he allowed himself to move a little faster.
Alexandra and her district partner had spent a restful night. As she awoke, she was surprised to be cuddling with Angelo. Her rousing awakened him, and he turned around to look at her, puzzled. “I guess you’re the little spoon”, she joked. They ate cereal bars in awkward silence. Soon, the voices of the career pack walking in their direction prompted the pair to hide. Proserpina and Perfecto were loudly arguing about someone stealing their water bottles. Unbeknownst to them, it had been Glare who had hidden them in her own bag.
As they moved away from her, Alexandra suggested they follow the trio like the day before. Angelo thought it was a safe strategy as long as they kept their distances. They made their way out of the thorny thicket and followed. A few minutes later, a scream warned them that something was going on. It was Glare (1). She’d walked into a trap laid by Georges the day before and was now hanging upside down from a rope. Perfecto started to help her, but the stolen bottles fell from her bag, along with a few hidden knives and more food. Instead of killing her, as Perfecto wanted to do, Proserpina convinced him to leave her there. She screamed and screamed. Proserpina and Perfecto left her there wiggling. Before Alexandra and Angelo could arrive, the thin rope holding up Glare by the ankle snapped. She fell headfirst on the ground and her cannon sounded. Alexandra winced, but Angelo told her that it was better this way, since you could survive for many hours hanging this way. Then another cannon sounded.
Delta had been unsuccessful for a few hours. He had avoided a couple of poorly made traps and fought off a flock of tiny yellow canaries but had been unable to find another tribute. Eventually, he decided to change tactics. He found a path that clearly looked like it was in use and hid in proximity. His ambush eventually worked. Lavandine (11) walked past him, clutching a meagre stick in her pale hands. She didn’t even notice him getting up and following her, his branch raised. Many viewers thought it looked cartoonish, the tiny girl, followed by a big man with a club, not noticing anything. Glare’s cannon gave him the signal he expected, and he swung at her head. Lavandine flew and crashed into a patch of ferns. Her head was bloody, but she was still alive. Delta walked up to her in order to finish what he had started. The cameras cut to another group of tributes.
For the whole morning, Vannery, Rivage and Carton had been staying put. They foraged, fished, and built rudimentary spears just in case. Vannery climbed trees, very carefully in order not to disturb any more birds, so she could spot any tributes. Eventually she did, a little after midday. The pair from district 5 was heading their way. They were armed.
Vannery transmitted the information to the boys, who debated leaving or fighting. “Let’s fight !” said Vannery. There were 3 of them against 2, and they had weapons. Carton had his lance, Rivage his trident, and her… a spear and a rock would do the trick. So, they waited for what felt like a century. As soon as Borea and Zapp entered their field of vision, they attacked. The pair was surprised, but not enough to let themselves be killed that easily. Borea shouted at Zapp to run while she fended of Rivage’s trident with her sword. She had wrapped metal coil all around her arms, as she had seen on one of the older games. They clashed for an instant, enough time for her to disarm him, and then she ran too. On the way, she threw an egg she’d hidden in her pocket to the group. A flock of angry sparrows was the distraction the pair from 5 needed to escape.
Proserpina and Perfecto seemed to have made up a little and were now actively hunting. Still, they weren’t aware of the couple _ the “double A couple” as they were now called in the Capitol _ following them from afar. They dared not speak, but the looks they shared meant a lot more. They say love makes you blind, and maybe that’s why Alexandra didn’t see the orange and turquoise pheasant she walked on. It screamed and ran away, catching the attention of Proserpina. She turned around and shouted, “I knew it !” before charging at Angelo and her ally. Her first axe hit a tree a few inches above Alexandra’s head. She was hesitant to fight a career, but Angelo had already jumped into the fray and was now battling his district partner. So, she ran at Perfecto, who was lagging behind. He quickly turned around and sprinted when Proserpina’s cannon sounded. Angelo had managed to stab her in the gut. The look of betrayal was still printed on her face as the hovercraft claw took her away.
The pair was unsure if they needed to pursue the boy from 1, as Angelo assured that he was an “ego-inflated wimp” . Instead, they rifled through the bag Proserpina had dropped and decided to rest a little. They could have stayed there longer if it hadn’t been for the fire…
After getting rid of the birds, the trio decided to keep following Zapp and Borea (5) in order to get their supplies. Vannery managed to track them thanks to their footprints and the trail of broken branches. They found them quite quickly. Indeed, the gamemakers had decided to trigger a forest fire in order to move the tributes around a little. This explained why they had seen so many birds flying away. The pair from 5, however, had found themselves cornered on three sides by the flames, and the last side was where Carton and his allies arrived from.
Rivage thrusted his trident straight into Borea’s back, sounding her cannon. Carton’s lance, however, flew past Zapp and into the fiery inferno. The boy from 4 barely had the time to pick up his trident before a tree fell, smashing into the boy from 5 and sounding his cannon. As other trees started to creak and groan, Vannery led the boys back to the creek, where she believed the water would keep them safe.
Delta ran as soon as he smelled smoke. He ended up in a small clearing in the Southern part of the arena. As the grass quickly burned, he jumped into the flames. Many viewers gasped, thinking he had just killed himself, but he just ran a few seconds then stopped. Argus explained that the fire had been controlled in a way that it burned quickly and extinguished itself just as fast. From his spot of scorched earth, Delta was safe for now. From the sky descended a small silver parachute bearing the number 6. It contained a water bottle and some aspirin. Delta was the only one to use this strategy successfully. A few minutes after him, Circuit (3), who was shorter and weaker, tried. He fell face first into the fire and did not get up, his cannon sounding a few moments later.
Angelo and Alexandra were some of the closest to the central clearing, so it was after the three cannons that the fire reached them. They ran. Angelo was practically flying but the fire was catching up to Alexandra. Another tree cracked. It crashed onto the girl, pinning her legs to the ground. Thankfully, it was a much younger tree, and it did not cause her much more damage. For an instant, Alexandra thought the boy from 2 would just keep running. That he would be glad to get rid of yet another opponent. But he turned around. He used his axe as a lever, bending it in the process, to get the girl free. Then he picked her up onto his back and ran again. Angelo was not a very muscular tribute, but he proved to be quite a strong one.
Neither Carton, nor his allies had suffered any injury thanks to Vannery’s quick thinking. The creek was wide enough to protect them from the flames, and they avoided any falling branch. Quinoa (9) had had the same idea. She internally debated reaching the small group, but eventually decided not to. In the late afternoon, it started to rain, revealing that many of the trees and plants of the forest were actually fireproof. It was much sparser now, but the rain cleaned off the soot and, soon enough, the forest was green again.
Rivage, Vannery and Carton huddled together. They stayed that way for the whole evening, until Carton took the first watch while the other two went to sleep.
Delta was almost unharmed too, apart from a few minor burns on his ankles. The aspirin had taken effect, and for once in a long time, he felt totally clear headed. He hoped his district partner had died today.
The fire had changed the landscape quite a lot. What used to be a lush jungle was now less green. The ground was visible in most places, and the humidity levels had gone down. The sky was more visible. It also meant that the traps set by Georges and Odette (N) on the first day were either destroyed or very conspicuous. The boy from 6 avoided them all.
Delta found a pond where he cleaned himself from the soot and the half-charred moss. The fresh water also soothed his burns. He ended up settling close by, between two fallen trees.
Angelo and Alexandra, however, had suffered many burns. Fortunately, as they were setting camp and trying to remove their singed clothes, a silver parachute descended over them. It contained two containers of oil, as well as a blanket and a note from Angelo’s mentors, which he did not show to Alexandra. It would later be revealed that it scolded him for keeping his plan of betraying the career pack secret. The oil was perfumed and designed to almost instantly heal burns. It worked a charm. As the massaging continued, the two tributes started to get more and more steamy. They were intimate that night.
While they were busy, the portraits of the fallen appeared in the sky. The second day of the games had seen the loss of Glare (1), Proserpina (2), Circuit (3), Borea and Zapp (5), and Lavandine (11). This left only 11 tributes for the third day, with better odds now that a few strong tributes were gone.
Day 3:
On the morning of the third day, an announcement was made by Head Gamemaker Vishwa. She informed the tributes that a feast would be held at noon, three hours from now. The 11 surviving boys and girls would find supplies they desperately needed there. She then wished everyone a glorious day and the dampened sound of the birdsongs came back in full force.
The announcement awoke Delta, but he decided not to go to the Feast. He still had food and a source of water nearby, as well as his heavy branch. A real weapon would have been nice, but he didn’t feel safe going to the central clearing. Instead, he decided to just sleep more. He only woke up again when the first cannon sounded.
As for the couple, they were lost in bliss. Their show from the previous night had to be censored, although it was available for those who had enough “connections”. Let’s just say that it was quite memorable, and cemented Angelo and Alexandra’s place as favorites. They got ready after a long cuddling session, grabbing their bags and their weapons and heading to the cornucopia. They arrived with minutes to spare. Actually, they were the last tributes to arrive.
Vannery had been the first on site, scouting for other tributes. Once she had been sure the coast was clear, she had signaled to Rivage and Carton that they could come. They hid in the bushes nearby; this area having been spared from the fires. Little by little, other tributes started to arrive. Kumquat (11) hid behind a tree, Perfecto (1) stood in the open, Odette and Georges (N) huddled together.
As Quinoa (9) and the “Double A couple” finally arrived, the cornucopia started receding into the ground. It reappeared at once, and a bell rang.
Vannery stayed behind. She watched all the tributes run to the center where laid 8 numbered bags, including Carton and Rivage. The fighting raged in the cornucopia. Her allies attacked Alexandra and Angelo, as Kumquat escaped with his bag. Quinoa (9) almost got out, but Perfecto (1) caught her by the ponytail and stabbed her in the throat, sounding her cannon. He then picked up her bag in addition to his.
Alexandra and Angelo fought side to side, covering each other. She scared Odette (N) away, while he pushed back against Rivage. The boy from 4 tried to hit Alexandra again, but her ally caught the trident and almost tore it out of Rivage’s hands. Instead of trying again, he attacked Georges. The trident hit him in the back and sounded his cannon a few seconds later. Angelo took advantage of this distraction to slash at Carton with his sword, causing the boy from 8 to bleed out.
Vannery screamed and ran out of her hiding place, almost colliding with Odette (N) on the way. Rivage grabbed the district 4 and district 8 bags in one hand, and Vannery’s arm in the other, and they ran away together. The young girl cried and struggled to keep up the pace. She wanted to go back, but Carton’s cannon sounded, ruining her hopes.
Angelo and Alexandra were the last tributes to get their bags. One of Perfecto’s knives punctured Alexandra’s. The pair turned back, giving Kumquat (11) enough time to flee. They chased Perfecto into the woods. He was quick, however, and they had a hard time gaining on him.
The following hours were very quiet, boring, even, so Urania and Argus invited a few guests to discuss the bloodbath and the tributes’ different strategies. It was only in the late afternoon that Delta deigned getting up. He was well rested. He ate what remained of his food and started camouflaging himself once again in order to hunt. The tributes were now very spread out, however, and it appeared that Delta was in an area devoid of them. He walked until it got too dark to continue, before letting out a scream of rage. His sudden outburst scared some resting birds. They flew away and hit Kumquat (11) square in the face as he was in the process of climbing up one of the taller trees. The surprise caused him to lose his grip and he fell to his death a few feet away from Delta, his Feast bag laying next to him. Suddenly, Delta laughed and thanked the birds. He emptied the contents of the bag, glad to find some fresh food and water. He settled right there for the night.
Angelo and Alexandra eventually gave up on hunting Perfecto. Every time they thought they heard him; it turned out to be another bird. He was nowhere to be found. The pair settled down near a creek, right where Carton and his allies had camped earlier, in order to clean themselves. It was another spectacle to behold. The couple played in the fresh water, wearing only their underwear, and at one point, Alexandra winked at one of the cameras. This resulted in the appearance of a sponsor gift a few seconds later. She caught it and opened it discreetly once she was dressed again. She checked that Angelo was busy with the campfire before peeking inside. There was a water bottle and a tiny, sheathed stiletto knife, about two inches long. There was also a note that said : “You will only get one chance” – S. She acted nonchalant, thanked her sponsor for the water, and hid the knife in her sock. She took the first watch, jumping when a cannon sounded.
Since they had come back from the Feast, Vannery felt that Rivage was acting strange. He kept pacing and muttering to himself and seemed unhappy even though they had received enough supplies to last five more days in the arena at least. They found another place to sleep, Vannery built a new shelter. As she was about to go to sleep, Rivage approached her, trident in hand. He didn’t speak, so she asked him what he wanted. “I’m sorr-“ he started. Vannery interrupted him : “Behind you !”.
He spun around and threw his trident. It caught Perfecto in the head, sounding his cannon before he had hit the ground. He had been sneaking up behind Rivage with a knife in both hands, but Vannery had a keen eye. Rivage seemed to deflate. He cleaned up his weapon and went to sleep. Vannery tried to ask him what he wanted to tell her, but he didn’t answer. Instead, she took the first watch.
At midnight, five portraits appeared in the sky : Perfecto (1), Carton (8), Quinoa (9), Kumquat (11) and Georges (N). The six remaining tributes were spread out around the arena : Rivage and Vannery to the East, Angelo and Alexandra to the North, Odette (N) in the South and Delta to the West.
Day 4:
The sound of a cannon startled Delta out of his slumber. He was feeling well rested and decided to head to the cornucopia with just his branch and a knife he had taken from Kumquat. With only 5 remaining tributes, he knew that the showdown was about to take place and was about as excited as the viewers in the Capitol for it to happen. On the way, he stumbled upon a suspicious mound of leaves. He almost let it be, until he saw two feet poking out of it. As he bent down to look at it, a sharp pain entered his shoulder blade. By pure reflex, he swung his club backwards, hitting a barefoot Odette (N) in the forehead. She stumbled backwards, clutching her knife, and tripped on a rock. Delta jumped onto her, planting his knee in her stomach, and stabbed her with her own knife. He added it to his “collection”.
The atmosphere between Alexandra and Angelo had been quite tense since they’d woken up. They hadn’t slept so well. When the first cannon sounded, they set out to get to the cornucopia, and by the time the second cannon echoed throughout the arena, they were in position. “We’ll fight together, right ?” asked Alexandra. Angelo nodded solemnly : “Until there’s no one else. I’m so glad I got to meet you.”
“Me too… Too bad one of us will have to die.”
As she said those words, a twig cracked in a nearby bush.
The first cannon had shocked the viewers quite a bit. As Rivage finished his watch, he looked at Vannery, asleep next to him. He murmured “I’m sorry”, so low that it had to be subtitled. Then he plunged his trident in her throat. Before leaving, Rivage let out the longest sigh of relief.
Alexandra climbed onto the cornucopia, hiding herself, a length of rope held tight between her hands. She waited as Rivage entered the clearing. He was focused on Angelo. Delta appeared a few seconds later, on the other side of the cornucopia. He walked under it, oblivious to the girl awaiting him. As Angelo charged Rivage with his sword, Alexandra lowered the rope. Delta let out a choked growl as she pulled. He was much stronger, however. With one labored step, he yanked her off the roof. The rope was still around his neck, but his hands were now around Alexandra’s. Nevertheless, she held on to the rope, using it to hold him at bay. Just before she fell unconscious, she kicked him in the groin. She let out a few coughs, before grabbing the two ends of the rope again and pulling Delta against one of the steel columns of the cornucopia. Delta tried to stab her, but she was behind him, and he was quickly loosing consciousness. With one last brutal pull, the rope crushed his windpipe.
Alexandra watched Angelo dispose of Rivage with one final feint of his sword, and his cannon sounded at the same time as Delta’s.
Silence fell on the clearing. Even the birds had shut up. The couple was breathing heavily. They hugged tight. Something glinted in Alexandra’s hand. She almost reached Angelo’s neck when he gripped her wrist. He smiled, but his eyes were full of sorrow. “I had to try at least !” she half-laughed, half-whimpered. He sat her down and hugged her once again. She told him that he deserved to win. That he was a good man. He took his swords and gently stabbed Alexandra in the heart. She barely cried as he looked into her eyes. A cannon sounded. The last one. Jahani Vishwa announced Angelo Clearfell, of district 2, as the victor of the 119th Hunger Games. He had to be forcefully removed form Alexandra’s corpse in order to be retrieved.
Aftermath:
The games took an immense toll on Angelo, who was unable to speak for more than a month. Even when he had gotten the use of his words back, he fell into a lengthy depression. His interview with Urania Whimsiwick and Argus Brown had to be cut short as soon as they mentioned Alexandra.
After that, he remained alone in his home of the Victor’s village. He received no guests and did not act as a mentor the following years. The other victors of his district described him as “disillusioned” and “a killjoy”. The situation stayed the same until his disappearance two years later.
submitted by Sylver713 to christianblanco [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 21:00 Pseudo_Nymble In a stand of solidarity, this subreddit will go dark for 48 hours starting on June 12th

Below is a copy and pasted version of the original post that can be found here. Reddit wouldn't let me crosspost it, how peculiarly inconvenient.
---
What's going on?
A recent Reddit policy change threatens to kill many beloved third-party mobile apps, making a great many quality-of-life features not seen in the official mobile app permanently inaccessible to users.
On May 31, 2023, Reddit announced they were raising the price to make calls to their API from being free to a level that will kill every third party app on Reddit, from Apollo to Reddit is Fun to Narwhal to BaconReader.
Even if you're not a mobile user and don't use any of those apps, this is a step toward killing other ways of customizing Reddit, such as Reddit Enhancement Suite or the use of the old.reddit.com desktop interface .
This isn't only a problem on the user level: many subreddit moderators depend on tools only available outside the official app to keep their communities on-topic and spam-free.
What's the plan?
On June 12th, many subreddits will be going dark to protest this policy. Some will return after 48 hours: others will go away permanently unless the issue is adequately addressed, since many moderators aren't able to put in the work they do with the poor tools available through the official app. This isn't something any of us do lightly: we do what we do because we love Reddit, and we truly believe this change will make it impossible to keep doing what we love.
The two-day blackout isn't the goal, and it isn't the end. Should things reach the 14th with no sign of Reddit choosing to fix what they've broken, we'll use the community and buzz we've built between then and now as a tool for further action.
What can you do?
  1. Complain. Message the mods of reddit.com, who are the admins of the site: message reddit: submit a support request: comment in relevant threads on reddit, such as this one, leave a negative review on their official iOS or Android app- and sign your username in support to this post.
  2. Spread the word. Rabble-rouse on related subreddits. Meme it up, make it spicy. Bitch about it to your cat. Suggest anyone you know who moderates a subreddit join us at our sister sub at ModCoord - but please don't pester mods you don't know by simply spamming their modmail.
  3. Boycott and spread the word...to Reddit's competition! Stay off Reddit entirely on June 12th through the 13th- instead, take to your favorite non-Reddit platform of choice and make some noise in support!
  4. Don't be a jerk. As upsetting this may be, threats, profanity and vandalism will be worse than useless in getting people on our side. Please make every effort to be as restrained, polite, reasonable and law-abiding as possible. This includes not harassing moderators of subreddits who have chosen not to take part: no one likes a missionary, a used-car salesman, or a flame warrior.
submitted by Pseudo_Nymble to TattooApprentice [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 21:00 Starmix_23 All three have become REALLY shy/on edge overnight?

All three have become REALLY shy/on edge overnight?
I have three girls, just turned 4 months old, and had them since early March.
Yesterday I came home from work and they were all bursting to get out of the cage as normal. Usually free roam consists of them swinging from the chandeliers, rummaging in their dig box, hiding food from their cage in my bed and generally just absolutely causing it.
Yesterday I was pottering around for an hour or two while they were out and checking on them every 10/15 as normal, and after a while realised all three had remained behind the 'forbidden' barrier I put in place behind my bed the whole time.
I thought it was weird, and they stayed like that, wandering around a little bit and taking the odd bit of malt paste, but refusing to come out from under the bed. This went on until I had to work overtime coaxing them out to get back in the cage. Even taking their favourite treats they were very hesitant and unsure.
I decided to just give it a day but coming back from work today they are even more shy. They weren't bursting to get out the cage and even after convincing two to climb in my sleeve, one is still in the cage and not coming out.
We have had an incredible bond up until now, as much mischief as they are they are also obsessed with me and climb up my legs / generally get in my way and give lots of affection/interest.
I'm a student paramedic and was wondering if it's me coming home with weird smells on me, but I just say hi and then immediately showechange.
I also wondered if it's that they've been left on their own for 14hrs. But I left them with a foraging toy, fresh food and water, and they haven't had a single day without free roam for a minimum of two hours since I got them, no matter what shifts I'm working!
Sorry for the wall of text, I just want to know what is going on, whether I should be concerned, and what to do about it?
submitted by Starmix_23 to RATS [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 21:00 Virtual_Ambition_946 Psych Hospital Learning Materials

I apologize if this sounds odd in any way but I just recently started a job at an inpatient psych hospital and was just curious if there are any online courses that cover the fundamental of inpatient psych social work? Or at least anything heavily related to it?
Im also open to any good reading materials as well.
submitted by Virtual_Ambition_946 to socialwork [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 21:00 Successful_Ad8797 Annoyed at all the parenting accounts.

I go back and forth between being happy they exist and offer some free content and enraged that they exist and ask for money for their course.
Let me preface this by saying I know they work hard and they deserve money for their time and expertise.
But it just makes me so mad that there are all these courses and I feel overwhelmed and angry that this type of stuff isn’t just available to struggling parents. Shout out to solidstarts for offering a free database to everyone and a free course for single parents and low income families. But most of them give you partial information and ask for money for a pdf or course. And they have sponsored content. For instance, biglittlefeelings which has sponsored content said they created their course in 3 months. But now they get to ask for money for it forever. At what point can online courses be offered at something like a public library. I get it library is for books but I just feel like we can do better as a country/world and 20 years ago their course would’ve been a book.
Behavior, sleep, car seats, eating, breastfeeding, speech, and so on. It just makes me mad that in order to ensure I install a car seat correctly they want money. And all these accounts want close to 100 bucks. Idk. They make me feel guilty all the time but then I also feel like they help. Blah.
submitted by Successful_Ad8797 to Mommit [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 21:00 ThrowRAIdiotMaestro Airworthiness Directive about "Unsafe Condition" for CFM LEAP?

Hi all --
I'm doing a Hawaii trip soon and was checking out my plane's information online.
I made the mistake of going way too into detail about the plane and ended up finding a new Airworthiness Directive about the engines being unsafe and prone to uncontained failures.
Because I have a long over-ocean flight, this is making me naturally skittish. I understand that both engines failing is crazy rare, but is my risk increased because both these engines seem to be more prone to debris causing failures?
The fact that the AD takes effect in a few weeks and my flight is tomorrow makes me particularly worried that I might be getting onto a plane with potentially bad engines.
Thanks in advance for any insight.
submitted by ThrowRAIdiotMaestro to fearofflying [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 20:59 NoiseTank-3000 My biased roster prediction with a side of copium!

My biased roster prediction with a side of copium!
My list will probably upset some people but it's just an opinion! Keep it civil in the replies please just trying to have a bit of speculation fun! Also, feel free to counter some of my picks and explain why. I decided to keep out potential new fighters because of the way tier maker works and I was lazy haha.
Prediction Roster
submitted by NoiseTank-3000 to MortalKombat [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 20:59 JPSteele8 What other fields would be fitting for a TV/Film/Video production burnout?

TLDR: what is another stable, decent paying, future-proof, creative field I could consider?I'm really struggling trying to figure out if I want to stay in this field or pursue something else entirely. For pretty much my whole life I've just wanted to do something creative. As a kid it was drawing, legos, drums, then guitar, photography, cinematography, then video editing and acting. I fell in love with filmmaking through my major coursework in college around 2011. I began investing in equipment and started freelancing with whatever work I could find. I've lived in Atlanta since 2014 to pursue the TV/film industry. I worked as a production assistant for a year and a half, joined the union for cinematographers to start working my way up. I joined as an entry level position but could not get work despite doing everything the union reps recommended to network, but after a year and a half of paying monthly dues and only working 2 days, I left to keep doing freelance work. Around that same time I decided to try my hand at acting, and was very lucky to get picked up by an agency and start auditioning. I've had some success booking co-staguest star roles on network shows, but haven't booked anything since 2020. I also kept running into conflicts with auditions/callbacks coming up on days that I had freelance work scheduled. Almost 2 years ago I was offered a pretty good salary with a consulting firm to edit corporate videos. Those offers are pretty hard to come by. I was 32 and tired of living with roommates paycheck to paycheck and wanted to try stability for a change. At first it felt really good for my mental health. I was able to buy a condo which is something I had started to question would ever be in the cards for me, and finally felt okay about turning my brain off from work at 5PM instead of always questioning what I should be doing to make a living.
But now I'm just painfully bored. I work in a typical post-covid office where most of my team is remote. Editing makes you pretty isolated in your work for the most part which would be fine if I actually cared about my projects instead of editing corporate union-busting videos (oh the irony). The only 2 people I do see at my office are much older and more conservative, and days I work from home I don't really talk to anybody so work culture is definitely missing for me. I have been looking for other editing jobs for about 6 months now, but often roles like this are low pay or just delegated to interns.
As for acting, I've really gotten fed up with how that business works. Recording auditions yourself for casting directors is the norm now, and it's required to have someone else in the room read the other lines with you. I usually audition 1-2 times a week, so it's too frequent of a favor to ask of a friend, so I use a paid service to have a scene partner virtually on-demand but the cost of that adds up. I probably spent $1200 last year just auditioning, on top of the multiple online profiles you have to pay for monthly to be submitted for auditions.
This field just feels like a shit show no matter how I try to spin it. If I try to go back to camera work, it's no work-life balance, with 14 hour days being the norm. You won't spot many wedding bands amongst crew members on a film set. Nothing else piqued my interest until I had to pick a major in college and started exploring this field. And I never felt like a regular desk job was for me.
Not to mention the conversations around AI and creatives are really concerning now since I was already fighting for decent pay rates as a freelance videographephotographer.
All I've wanted to do is make things, and I feel like can't figure out how to actually make a life doing that. Basically what I'm asking is...what is another stable, decent paying, future-proof, creative field someone like me could consider?
submitted by JPSteele8 to Advice [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 20:59 ajn0592 Heads up! /r/SkylinePorn will be going dark June 12 in protest of Reddit's API Pricing changes

This subreddit will be joining in on the June 12th-14th protest of Reddit's API changes that will essentially kill all 3rd party Reddit apps.

What's going on?

A recent Reddit policy change threatens to kill many beloved third-party mobile apps, making a great many quality-of-life features not seen in the official mobile app permanently inaccessible to users.
On May 31, 2023, Reddit announced they were raising the price to make calls to their API from being free to a level that will kill every third party app on Reddit, from Apollo to Reddit is Fun to Narwhal to BaconReader.
Even if you're not a mobile user and don't use any of those apps, this is a step toward killing other ways of customizing Reddit, such as Reddit Enhancement Suite or the use of the old.reddit.com desktop interface .
This isn't only a problem on the user level: many subreddit moderators depend on tools only available outside the official app to keep their communities on-topic and spam-free.

What's the plan?

On June 12th, many subreddits will be going dark to protest this policy. Some will return after 48 hours: others will go away permanently unless the issue is adequately addressed, since many moderators aren't able to put in the work they do with the poor tools available through the official app. This isn't something any of us do lightly: we do what we do because we love Reddit, and we truly believe this change will make it impossible to keep doing what we love.
The two-day blackout isn't the goal, and it isn't the end. Should things reach the 14th with no sign of Reddit choosing to fix what they've broken, we'll use the community and buzz we've built between then and now as a tool for further action.

What can you do as a user?

What can you do as a moderator?

Thank you for your patience in the matter,
-Mod Team
submitted by ajn0592 to skylineporn [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 20:59 webookflight Flight Search Disrupted by New Tools

Flight Search Disrupted by New Tools
The New Tools Disrupting the Way We Search for Flights
The New Tools Disrupting the Way We Search for Flights Long gone are the days of calling up your local travel agent to book flights for your next holiday. Nowadays, the internet has made it easier than ever to search and book flights online. However, with so many differen...
https://webookflight.com/flight-search-disrupted-by-new-tools/?feed_id=2706&_unique_id=6480d37348594
submitted by webookflight to globaltraveltips [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 20:58 Pseudo_Nymble In a stand of solidarity, this subreddit will go dark for 48 hours starting on June 12th

Below is a copy and pasted version of the original post that can be found here. Reddit wouldn't let me crosspost it, how peculiarly inconvenient.
---
What's going on?
A recent Reddit policy change threatens to kill many beloved third-party mobile apps, making a great many quality-of-life features not seen in the official mobile app permanently inaccessible to users.
On May 31, 2023, Reddit announced they were raising the price to make calls to their API from being free to a level that will kill every third party app on Reddit, from Apollo to Reddit is Fun to Narwhal to BaconReader.
Even if you're not a mobile user and don't use any of those apps, this is a step toward killing other ways of customizing Reddit, such as Reddit Enhancement Suite or the use of the old.reddit.com desktop interface .
This isn't only a problem on the user level: many subreddit moderators depend on tools only available outside the official app to keep their communities on-topic and spam-free.
What's the plan?
On June 12th, many subreddits will be going dark to protest this policy. Some will return after 48 hours: others will go away permanently unless the issue is adequately addressed, since many moderators aren't able to put in the work they do with the poor tools available through the official app. This isn't something any of us do lightly: we do what we do because we love Reddit, and we truly believe this change will make it impossible to keep doing what we love.
The two-day blackout isn't the goal, and it isn't the end. Should things reach the 14th with no sign of Reddit choosing to fix what they've broken, we'll use the community and buzz we've built between then and now as a tool for further action.
What can you do?
  1. Complain. Message the mods of reddit.com, who are the admins of the site: message reddit: submit a support request: comment in relevant threads on reddit, such as this one, leave a negative review on their official iOS or Android app- and sign your username in support to this post.
  2. Spread the word. Rabble-rouse on related subreddits. Meme it up, make it spicy. Bitch about it to your cat. Suggest anyone you know who moderates a subreddit join us at our sister sub at ModCoord - but please don't pester mods you don't know by simply spamming their modmail.
  3. Boycott and spread the word...to Reddit's competition! Stay off Reddit entirely on June 12th through the 13th- instead, take to your favorite non-Reddit platform of choice and make some noise in support!
  4. Don't be a jerk. As upsetting this may be, threats, profanity and vandalism will be worse than useless in getting people on our side. Please make every effort to be as restrained, polite, reasonable and law-abiding as possible. This includes not harassing moderators of subreddits who have chosen not to take part: no one likes a missionary, a used-car salesman, or a flame warrior.
submitted by Pseudo_Nymble to tattooadvice [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 20:58 Outrageous-Plenty236 I wonder if they still feel this way 🤣

I wonder if they still feel this way 🤣 submitted by Outrageous-Plenty236 to doordash_drivers [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 20:58 spaceman60 Trafficking PSA

I just ran across this post in legaladvicecanada of a kid that is worried about their 13 year old friend. I like to read through legal subreddits just to learn things and didn't expect to see this one today.
The part that struck with me is the advice that this might be a trafficking ploy and posted the steps that "recruiters" take to isolate and manipulate kids. I'm still digesting the info and trying to figure out if we should talk with our kid about what to look for and what age since he's still very young, but I figured that this is knowledge that needs to be spread more.
I'll try to keep all credit/sources:
" RacecarHealthPotato·9 hr. ago📷📷
https://safeandsoundschools.org/2019/07/17/the-6-step-process-human-traffickers-use-to-groom-and-recruit-teens/
  1. Befriended– Recruiters are strategically placed in the child’s life to befriend them and gain their trust. They can be new kids at school or church. They may look like your child and will fit right in.
  2. Intoxicated– Once the friendship blossoms, the recruiter introduces alcohol or drugs to start the process of breaking the child down and creating a wedge between the child and their family. Now the child has secrets that he/she shares with the recruiter but keeps from their parents/caregivers. The child starts to “enjoy” things that make him/her feel older and more independent.
  3. Alienated– Now that a wedge is developed, parents start responding to the changes in their child by placing more rules and in turn, the recruiter uses this to drive a greater wedge between the child and their family.
  4. Isolated– In addition to causing friction at home, the recruiter drives distance between the child and his/her friends and introduces the child to a new crowd of people.
  5. Desensitized– By this stage, the child has heard so much about “life could be so much better if they were just free.” Parents and their rules are a burden, the child has already done drugs or been drinking, they may have started sleeping with a boyfriend/girlfriend or shared promiscuous images online. They start to see traditional thoughts about respecting themselves and their families as immature and no longer pertinent.
  6. Capitalized – At this point, the recruiter has convinced your child that life is better somewhere else and a plan is placed for your child to leave home. Once away from you, the trafficking starts and the retrieval of this child goes down to 1 or 2 percent.
It’s important to realize that by the time you reach step six, your child “willingly” runs away but the real issue is your child was never truly in control of this decision and the outcome. Their immaturity and the parents’ naivety all work to the predator’s advantage."
submitted by spaceman60 to daddit [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 20:58 JPSteele8 What other fields would be fitting for a TV/Film/Video production burnout?

TLDR: what is another stable, decent paying, future-proof, creative field I could consider?
I'm really struggling trying to figure out if I want to stay in this field or pursue something else entirely. For pretty much my whole life I've just wanted to do something creative. As a kid it was drawing, legos, drums, then guitar, photography, cinematography, then video editing and acting. I fell in love with filmmaking through my major coursework in college around 2011. I began investing in equipment and started freelancing with whatever work I could find. I've lived in Atlanta since 2014 to pursue the TV/film industry. I worked as a production assistant for a year and a half, joined the union for cinematographers to start working my way up. I joined as an entry level position but could not get work despite doing everything the union reps recommended to network, but after a year and a half of paying monthly dues and only working 2 days, I left to keep doing freelance work. Around that same time I decided to try my hand at acting, and was very lucky to get picked up by an agency and start auditioning. I've had some success booking co-staguest star roles on network shows, but haven't booked anything since 2020. I also kept running into conflicts with auditions/callbacks coming up on days that I had freelance work scheduled. Almost 2 years ago I was offered a pretty good salary with a consulting firm to edit corporate videos. Those offers are pretty hard to come by. I was 32 and tired of living with roommates paycheck to paycheck and wanted to try stability for a change. At first it felt really good for my mental health. I was able to buy a condo which is something I had started to question would ever be in the cards for me, and finally felt okay about turning my brain off from work at 5PM instead of always questioning what I should be doing to make a living.
But now I'm just painfully bored. I work in a typical post-covid office where most of my team is remote. Editing makes you pretty isolated in your work for the most part which would be fine if I actually cared about my projects instead of editing corporate union-busting videos (oh the irony). The only 2 people I do see at my office are much older and more conservative, and days I work from home I don't really talk to anybody so work culture is definitely missing for me. I have been looking for other editing jobs for about 6 months now, but often roles like this are low pay or just delegated to interns.
As for acting, I've really gotten fed up with how that business works. Recording auditions yourself for casting directors is the norm now, and it's required to have someone else in the room read the other lines with you. I usually audition 1-2 times a week, so it's too frequent of a favor to ask of a friend, so I use a paid service to have a scene partner virtually on-demand but the cost of that adds up. I probably spent $1200 last year just auditioning, on top of the multiple online profiles you have to pay for monthly to be submitted for auditions.
This field just feels like a shit show no matter how I try to spin it. If I try to go back to camera work, it's no work-life balance, with 14 hour days being the norm. You won't spot many wedding bands amongst crew members on a film set. Nothing else piqued my interest until I had to pick a major in college and started exploring this field. And I never felt like a regular desk job was for me.
Not to mention the conversations around AI and creatives are really concerning now since I was already fighting for decent pay rates as a freelance videographephotographer.
All I've wanted to do is make things, and I feel like can't figure out how to actually make a life doing that. Basically what I'm asking is...what is another stable, decent paying, future-proof, creative field someone like me could consider?
submitted by JPSteele8 to careerchange [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 20:57 Odd-Independent7710 [Friendship] 24/UK - Looking for some local mates! (NW England)

In my life, I currently do not have a single person I consider a friend (awful, I know). I feel like I am just coasting through my 20s completely alone (even worse, I know). So, what better way to look for a friend than Reddit? I have seen lots of good posts here. This is probably not going to be half as good, but we can give it a go. I live in NW England. I am a university student. I am massively into gaming (mainly PC and NS). Huge hip-hop head. Collector of pottery and home décor. Lover of Dr Martens. Avid reader.
Super basic. However, it would be nice to organically get to know someone. Feel free to hmu.
submitted by Odd-Independent7710 to Needafriend [link] [comments]


2023.06.07 20:57 Odd-Independent7710 [Friendship] 24/UK - Looking for some local mates! (NW England)

In my life, I currently do not have a single person I consider a friend (awful, I know). I feel like I am just coasting through my 20s completely alone (even worse, I know). So, what better way to look for a friend than Reddit? I have seen lots of good posts here. This is probably not going to be half as good, but we can give it a go. I live in NW England. I am a university student. I am massively into gaming (mainly PC and NS). Huge hip-hop head. Collector of pottery and home décor. Lover of Dr Martens. Avid reader.
Super basic. However, it would be nice to organically get to know someone. Feel free to hmu.
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