Holiday inn express silver springs fl

Ocala, FL

2010.09.26 02:39 Ocala, FL

Ocala, Florida, is a sprawling community in Marion County; officially declared the Horse Capital of the World in 2007. Whether you're a Florida native, a transplant, or a tourist all are welcome to participate. Mind the rules and let's keep it civil. Be the change you want to see.

2018.09.05 00:24 AbsolutTBomb Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

A subreddit for Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

2012.11.30 00:44 boynedmaster Hoarders

A private subreddit for persons struggling with hoarding disorder and the associated shame, so that they can work on their recovery and support each other in a safe online environment. This sub does NOT exist as an echo chamber for hoarders who aren't interested in recovery. Please let's avoid any judgment or shaming of other Redditors who struggle with hoarding. Offensive, oppressive and shitty behavior will not be tolerated.

2023.05.28 08:53 Chikipichi Any hotel or airline cards worth putting daily spend on?

Basically what the title says is there any hotel card that would give a better return than using the avg general spending card from Chase, Amex, Capital One with 1.5x back on everything and 3x on dining considering their points are more flexible and usually worth more. From what I've seen hotel and airline cards usually only give the best returns when booking their own respective brands but are there are any that would be better than a daily card.
Right now I've got the IHG Rewards Premier which would give me 5x back on dining but their points are only worth around ~0.6 cents instead of the usual ~2 cents per point you can get with a Chase card so it would be a loss using the hotel card. This is ignoring the potential for amazing luxury redemptions with IHG points since I only ever stay at Holiday Inn Express.
submitted by Chikipichi to CreditCards [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 05:10 BrownTown427 Inside The Doctor's Office - Episode X: The Impurity Of Decision Making

In the last episode, we saw Dr. Logan Wright meet quite the colorful cast of individuals. From WWE superstar Logan Paul to the beautiful bird known as Logan Flight, the Symposium of the Logang was certainly a fascinating place to be. And now, with IWF superstar “Lumberjack” Logan Lawrence motivating him to stop being so passive, FBE’s Resident Doctor looks to be on the Wright path towards becoming the most focused man he can… without the distractions of his demons…

Blitz XX: Paddy Murphy vs. Dr. Logan Wright
We’ve reached the ten minute mark of this match, and after Paddy drills the Doctor with a To Cork and Back, he starts rising to his feet. However, from the outside, we hear Sensei trying to drill something into his student:

“Paddy-san… Rememberuhhh… Target the headuhhhh…”

With that last piece of advice resonating in his own head, Paddy starts getting ready for perhaps the final sequence of the match, a Give It Some Welly ready to be hit. However, Logan also happened to hear the wisdom from Sensei, dodging the big boot to the face. He gets behind Murphy, quickly dropping him with a Relax and Eat Some (German) Soup-lex. Instead of going for another move however, Wright’s gaze shifts to the outside. He exits the ring, staring a dagger through Sensei:

“Why exactly did you tell him to target my head?”

Sensei backs up a bit, but as he does so, a crumpled up piece of paper he was holding falls to the floor. He tries to pick it back up, but Wright beats him to it, revealing it to be…the stolen medical form from his office… the information regarding his head pains. Wright looks at the paper, a calm expression on his face initially, but slowly, he loses his cool. His hands ball up into fists, his face turns a bit red…and he mouths to Sensei:

“You shouldn’t have taken that.”

Wright gets back into the ring, and though Paddy has risen to his feet by this point, Logan drops him with the Whiplash sling blade. FBE’s Resident Doctor stares at his currently downed opponent, and realizes it’s time for a medical procedure…how about a Facial Reconstruction! Wright begins stomping on Paddy’s face, knocking him unconscious, before finally putting an end to the assault with the PDF Kamigoye.

Dr. Logan Wright def. Paddy Murphy via pinfall

As the ref raises Dr. Logan Wright’s hand, the crowd begins…booing? Wright looks around, confused at the negative reaction. I didn’t cheat, I just found a way to win the match. I didn’t do anything wrong… did I? As he heads into the backstage area, he’s quickly approached by a young-looking intern, a microphone in his hand:
Reporter: “Hello, my name is Ryan St. Brown, and I’m with the-”
Logan Wright: “Hang on, your last name is St. Brown? Are you related to Amon-Ra by chance?
Reporter: “No relation.”
Logan Wright: “That’s disappointing. But go ahead, ask your question.”
Reporter: “We just saw you pick up a strong victory over one of FBE’s fan favorites in Paddy Murphy. However, at the end of the match, you clearly looked more agitated than usual, and some would say you used more force than was needed to win-”
Logan Wright: “Are you one of the people saying that?”
Reporter: “Well, I…uh…”
Logan Wright: “Look, I like Paddy and Sensei. But at the same time, they took privileged medical information from me. Sure, maybe I shouldn’t have used that PDF at the end…but should I regret using one of my standard maneuvers to win a match? No, and I don’t. Next question.”
Reporter: “Ok, fair enough. You’re doing well in the Shining Light League right now, and I have to ask: if you were to win the whole thing, who would you challenge?
Logan Wright: “I don’t like dealing with hypotheticals. I much prefer diagnosing current problems with all the information at my disposal. So I’m not answering that.”
Reporter (muttering): “Man, you’re a lot more boring in person than I thought you would be. Your answers suck.”
This comment draws the ire of Wright, who moves closer towards the reporter.
Reporter: “What? Prove me wrong. Give me a message that’s actually worthwhile, and I’ll be more than happy to rescind that comment.”
Logan Wright: “I know you’re just looking for a soundbite to try and further your career, but you’ve got my attention. Ask away.”
Reporter: “Are you the best pure rules competitor in FBE?”
Logan Wright: “You’re damn right I am. They call Inferno Baba Blitz? They ought to call me Da-Da Blitz, because all these wrestlers gunning for my title… THEY’RE CHILDREN COMPARED TO ME!”
The reporter gives a sly smirk as he walks away, having gotten what he needed. Meanwhile, Wright finds a nearby chair to sit on, putting his head down. However, his moment of silence is soon interrupted by a familiar voice:
Jared Gallagher: “Weird night for you, eh?”
Wright looks up to see his once-cameraman and friend moving towards him. However, with the doctor’s tumultuous year, their relationship became more strained, not having spoken for a while…until now.
Logan Wright: “That’s one way of putting it.”
There’s a bit of an awkward silence for a few moments, as neither man initially wants to speak. Eventually though, Gallagher gains his composure:
Jared Gallagher: “Look, I know you probably don’t wanna speak to me-”
Logan Wright: “Then maybe you should stop talking.”
Jared Gallagher: “Ok fine, but let me ask you something first: what were you doing with that last remark to the reporter? It wasn’t as cool as it likely sounded in your head.”
Logan Wright: “I was doing a play on words, what’s confusing about it?”
Jared Gallagher: “Yeah, but you do realize “Baba” translates to “father” too? So instead of being clever, you were essentially just rehashing Inferno’s nickname.”
Logan Wright: “Fuck.”
Jared Gallagher: “Forget about that though, I wanted to talk to you about something else. I heard from a little birdie that you were taking advice from Logan Lawrence.”
Logan Wright: “Logan Flight ratted on me? I knew he couldn’t be trusted.”
Jared Gallagher: “That’s not the birdie I meant…you know what, forget it. I just want you to understand that being overly aggressive isn’t the key to success. You’ve already been good up to this point, don’t lose your true self by being more of a jackass.”
Logan Wright: “Yeah, being good is fine…but I don’t wanna just be “good” anymore. I wanna be great. I want to prove myself as the pillar of something, and pure rules is the best chance I have at that. But relax, I don’t wanna just be an asshole for the sake of being one either.”
Jared Gallagher: “Ok, that’s fine. But if you want to improve… What's your next move? Gonna do some training with the rest of the Ark? Maybe ask your medical colleagues for some more dieting tips?
Logan briefly thinks about the suggestions, before he remembers something that Sensei told him…
Logan Wright: “No, I have a better idea… I’m going to Nepal.”
And with that, Dr. Wright starts heading towards the exit, a smile on his face, while Jared Gallagher is just left confused. He never even said why he was going there, what in the world is he doing…

One Week Before Unbreakable V: Kathmandu, Nepal
After a long trip, Logan Wright has finally made it into the heart of the Himalayan Mountains. He gets out of the car, paying and thanking the driver who escorted him from the airport to get to this point. He reaches into his pocket, grabbing the “business” card that led him to this location. He stares at it for a few moments, glancing up and down to make sure he’s in the right place. Yep, this is the one…
In front of Dr. Wright stands a worn-down house. It's small, with what looks to be only one story, and the white color is wearing away like the wooden beams supporting it. There’s a window near the front door, but a set of blinds are covering it up. As Logan approaches the entry-way, he smells a distinct odor of soup. Taking a breath, he knocks on the door. As he does so, a crash of glass can be heard on the other side, and there’s some momentary yelling before a tired-looking individual opens the door.
???: “May I help you?”
Logan Wright: “Hello, my name is Logan Wright. I’ve been informed that an incredibly wise teacher of medicine and healing resides here…”
???: “You’re correct, but he’s not seeing anyone today. Come back another time…”
Logan Wright: “Wait, I really need this. And I think I know one of his friends, they pointed this place out to me.”
???: “What’s the name of this friend?”
Logan Wright: “He’s known as Sensei-”
This yelling from inside the house startles Wright, and the man at the doorway sighs, motioning for Logan to come in. As the doctor does so, he glances around the house, immediately noticing the kitchen area. Sitting at a table there is an older gentleman, with a pair of glasses on and a cane at his side, Logan quickly realizing he’s blind. The man from the doorway points for Logan to sit down with him, and Wright obliges, positioning himself in the chair next to the old individual.
Logan Wright: “Hello sir, it’s a pleasure to meet-”
Wright briefly cringes at the yelling of the individual, looking back with a confused look on his face to the figure near the door. He notices a nametag on the figure he hadn’t seen before, reading “Bibek”.
Bibek: “Yeah, don’t worry about that. He’s blind and almost deaf, he needs to speak loudly to make himself sure he’s actually talking. Oh, and he said, “Hello, it is very nice to meet you. My name is Blogan Bite.”
Logan Wright: “Wait, why are you translating for him? He’s speaking directly to me, I know what he’s saying.”
Bibek: “Oh, just so the readers of this episode actually have a clue as to what’s going on.”
Logan Wright: “Wait what readers… oh, we’re doing another fourth wall break, gotcha.”
Blogan Bite: “Y HOV U CUHMM HEAR?”
Bibek: (“Why have you come here?”)
Logan Wright: “I’m looking for some advice. For a while now, I’ve felt an inner conflict in my emotional state and my moral compass. I want to be more aggressive, to try and be the best…but I don’t want to abandon the roots of my existence that helped shape me into who I am. Do you have any advice?”
Bibek: (“Hmmm… A tough problem indeed.”)
Suddenly, Blogan reaches towards his side, reaching into a bag. He shakes it around for a bit, before pulling out something from inside. He triumphantly slams it onto the table, before pushing it towards Dr. Wright. Logan looks at it for a few moments, an incredulous look on his face.
Logan Wright: “Why exactly are you… what is… what do you expect me to do with a copy of Fire and Ice by Robert Frost?
Bibek: (“He is a great poet. Take inspiration from him.”)
Logan Wright: “So… let me get this straight: your solution to my problem is…writing fucking poetry?
Bibek: (“Watch your language young man. Poetry is a beautiful thing.”)
Logan Wright: “Yeah but…surely there’s something that’s more suitable for my situation?”
Bibek: (“I am afraid not. The bag has spoken.”)
Logan Wright: “Wait, do you just reach in the bag and randomly pull out an object for everyone that comes in?”
Bibek: (“Of course. What else would I do?”)
Logan Wright: “Ok, I think we’re done here. Thank you for this… attempt at a recommendation. You’re truly one of the people I’ve ever met.”
As Logan gets up, Blogan extends a hand. Reluctantly, Wright shakes it, before heading to the doorway, acknowledging Bibek, and leaving the worn-down house. As he heads towards the street, he’s just left to ponder what transpired. That was dumb… traveling thousands of miles instead of just doing training was rather pointless. But as he gets in the car, ready to go back to the airport, another set of thoughts come over him. You know what…maybe I can make the best out of this situation…maybe writing poetry actually can do me some good…

Day Before Unbreakable V: Dr. Wright’s Office
With just 24 hours until Unbreakable, Jared Gallagher and Charles Crandall figure Wright is busy with training, or if nothing else, his medical work. However, they’re surprised to receive an invite to his office, and though Gallagher tries to ask him what it’s about, he gets no answer. It frustrates him, but he figures it must be important, so after grabbing a quick bite with Charles, they head over to the office. By this point in time, Crandall is fairly quiet, his eyes becoming increasingly purple for longer periods of time and Wrogan slowly and quietly influencing his personality, but the time to reveal that isn’t here…yet.
When they reach the hall outside the office, they’re surprised to see Logan standing in the doorway, a smile on his face. He invites them in, even having an assortment of pastries and desserts on the table for his friends to snack on. While Jared is quick to grab a danish, he’s also quick to raise eyebrows at this behavior.
Jared Gallagher: “Logan, what is all this for? This feels…too nice…
Logan Wright: “What, a man can’t just happen to invite his friends over for some delicious treats?”
Jared Gallagher: “You’re not fooling anyone man, just tell us why we’re here.”
Logan Wright: “Ok fine, you got me. The reason you’re here today… I wanted you to be the first screenings of my first-ever poem!”
Though Crandall is wearing sunglasses, he and Gallagher are quick to shoot each other a glance of confusion.
Jared Gallagher: “What?”
Logan Wright: “That’s right, when I went to Nepal, the man I met recommended I write poetry to ease my tensions and help me become a better person. I thought he was insane, but as I started to write, I realized…he may be right!
Jared Gallagher: “That’s…but…I’m so confused. You didn’t even get any real training or medicinal techniques? You just got…told to write? What even is your topic?”
Logan Wright: “I’m glad you asked, old chum! I’ve entitled this poem…

An Ode To Jay…

In the garden lived a bird
Who truly loved to sing
It was a beautiful mockingjay
And through the air, its voice did ring

The bird was beloved
And believed to be a Hero
But little did the world know
Of its painful little ego

This bird fought and fought
It did everything to grow
But when abandoned by friends
It was a true low blow

Once upon a time, the group was
United, and forever in-sync
But when the Jay hit the bottle
Oh, did their PROSPECTS ever so sink

And the bird has recovered
It has regained its feathers
But little does the jay know
Of the impending, harsh weathers

For the jay may spread its wings
And fly in the dark
But it doesn’t know
Of its impending, dangerous arc

This bird will fly, and
It truly wants to win
But the true challenge is here
For the Doctor is in!

As Wright finishes his last line, his theatrical reading of the lines now finished, he finally turns towards his faithful audience. He’s met with a blank look from Charles Crandall, the sunglasses still firmly covering his eyes. And Jared… his mouth is agape, trying to process what he just heard.
Logan Wright: “So… what did you think?”
Jared Gallagher: “I… what… how… why… I don’t know what to say.”
Logan Wright: “You can show your appreciation by clapping, I worked really hard on that.”
Jared Gallagher: “I could… but let me get this straight… This is how you’re handling your upcoming rematch with Jay? Making a poem that only we’ve listened to, and not trying to find a way to, I don’t know, not finish the match in a time-limit draw?”
Logan Wright: “Forget about that, tell me if I should improve the language I used and how the poem flowed together. I could probably stand to write a poem for the tag team title match as well.”
Jared Gallagher: “Logan, Logan, Logan… Ok, if you want to live in this strange world of yours, go ahead. The poem was fine, but you weren’t exactly subtle with it, especially at the end. Like I get you want to beat Jay, and I know you were mad with what he said about you in the past…but really, finishing the entire thing about the Doctor being in? That doesn’t even make sense with the vibe you established.”
Logan Wright: “Fair critique, I’ll keep that in mind when I continue writing these.”
Jared Gallagher: “Come on man, it’s cool that you have a hobby, but I know just how much you cared about wrestling. Please, just step away from the paper and train while you still have a little bit of time left before tomorrow. I know we’re not as close as we once were…but if nothing else, do it for the rest of the Ark. Do it out of spite against Wrogan. Do it to prove that you’re not completely crazy, and that you deserve to be where you are in life.”
It’s with this line that something seems to click in Logan’s head. He looks towards Jared, nodding his head, and he moves towards his desk. He stares at all the notes and rough drafts he had been working on for his writings, a frown coming over his face.
Logan Wright: “I wish I was normal… I wish I didn’t go through these personality changes every other day. You’re right Jared…You’ve always been right. Wrestling needs to come first, and I have everything I need to stay energized. I don’t want to be passive, I don’t want to be aggressive…I just want to live. And tomorrow…things are going to get fun.
Gallagher smiles at Wright being reinvigorated, and the pair share a quick hug. Upon Jared and Charles leaving, Dr. Wright takes a quick look in his mirror, and smiles at the expression of confidence now piercing through his eyes. He grabs his coat, turns off the light, and so begins a long and tedious night at the gym…

Night of Death Before Impurity:

Pre-Match Process

The Finals are here… and Logan Wright is in them. After weeks leading-into months of this Shining Light League Tournament running center-stage on Blitz, the Doctor has gotten to where he wanted to be…where he needed to be. As he sits in the locker room, getting himself mentally prepared for the tall task that comes with facing DTJ’s Hunter Maguire, he sees in his peripheral vision someone entering the room. He glances up, smiling to see Jared coming to visit.
Jared Gallagher: “Hey champ, how we feeling about tonight?”
Logan Wright: “Whatever happens tonight…well, what I know will happen tonight… is PURE-ly destiny.”
Jared Gallagher: “Not your best joke, but glad to see you’ve been in positive spirits recently.”
Logan Wright: “Yep, tonight has to be the moment where everything pays off…it just has to…”
Jared Gallagher: “It will… I believe in you. And if you don’t mind me asking…who would you want to face at P.U.R.E. if things go your way?
Logan Wright: “You know I can’t answer that right now, I have to get the job done first.”
Jared Gallagher: “Fair enough, fair enough. I should be heading off…go get em’, champ.
With that, Gallagher leaves the room, and Wright rises to his feet. He looks at his arms, then his legs, then finds the mirror. He stares into his soul…Come on out Doctor…It’s operation time…

Post-Match Press Conference

Dr. Logan Wright did it.
As he’s now backstage, being greeted with a bottle of champagne that was ordered for him, Logan is still trying to ponder what just took place out there. From the match itself… to the seconds after the match realizing he won… to the return of the legend Petite Jupiter, handing him the trophy…
It’s all absolutely surreal, and Logan is at a loss for words. However, as he gets word that reporters are waiting to get a word from him, he quickly gathers his composure. He takes a big swig from the champagne bottle, before heading into the room, waving to the assortment of familiar and different faces. He moves towards the stage, taking a seat and getting the mic setup, ready to hear questions.
Reporter #1: “That was a hell of a match you had, Dr. Wright. What’s going through your head right now?”
Logan Wright: “Honestly, half of it is just my brain screaming and the other half is random gibberish. I can’t fully process either, but when I feel this way… I’m fucking pumped. But I do wanna quickly say… I respect you Hunter, I really do. You’ve been a tough opponent twice now… but that’s all the positives I can really say right now. Fuck DTJ.”
Reporter #2: “We just witnessed the return of Petite Jupiter, and the fans certainly loved it. But what did you think about it? Did you feel as though he was stealing your thunder by returning immediately after your big moment?”
Logan Wright: “Look, I know you’re looking for a soundbite, and I caved in several weeks ago to that one reporter. I’m not gonna do that here though. I faced Petite Jupiter in 2021, and I know just how good he is. He deserved to get that electric crowd reaction, and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to hand me the beautiful Shining Light League trophy.”
Reporter #3: “But now Dr. Wright, I think we all have a question on our minds. In addition to that trophy, you have the chance to pick your challenger for P.U.R.E, and that’s a lot of power. So if you can tell us…who are you gonna be facing?
Logan smiles at the question, fully expecting it to have been asked. He glances around the room, noticing Kaze Tanaka, Code Blue, Cactus Mike, and Jared Gallagher all standing at the back. He nods at them, before getting the mic, ready to make the announcement:

Logan Wright:
“In my time in FBE, there have been times where I’ve felt…insecure. Insecure about my talent, insecure about if people actually liked me or not, and insecure about my failures especially. But 2023… let’s just say it’s been a great Spring of Stethoscopes so far. You all know I’ve held the Pure Championship for about four months now, and I’ve faced my fair share of great individuals. But this second title run… it’s missing something. My past, in particular my 2021, was riddled with failures against veterans of this company. Losses to Inferno, to Nate Matthews, to Petite Jupiter… wins were hard to come by. I turned things around in 2022, but even then, my 1st Pure Title reign came to an end at the hands of FBE’s Resident Bastard. It feels like it’s just inevitable, and a running gag…
…But nowadays, I look at myself differently. Other people look at me differently. I’ve grown into what I wanted to be, what I hoped I would be… hell, I’ve even been dubbed as being somewhat of a “Final Boss.” I don’t want to get too egotistical, but not having lost since January… man, the ship I’m on, that being the Ark of course, is on a perfect path. But sometimes, it’s better to go for a different path, a path that stands out…to maybe make history…
So with that, this decision has drifted in my mind, and I’ve weighed all my options carefully. I’ve considered juniors and heavyweights. I’ve considered people from my past or completely fresh opponents. I’ve considered people who would die to win the Pure Championship, or even those who have disrespected it, to show them what it’s all about. But after a while, something finally clicked in my head. I’ve tried to forget that previously mentioned “can never beat a veteran legend” stigma, but until I get a decisive win, it’ll always float right alongside the ocean that contains my thoughts and dreams. So I will be challenging a long-time competitor of FBE, a man who has wrestled here for many years…
But the question of who was certainly a fascinating one…for about a minute. For once this name came to me, it never escaped. This man has held his share of championship gold, This man knows a thing or two about being dubbed a “Final Boss.” And this man has quite the past experience against the Ark… except with me. And to this man, I officially extend the challenge…if he's willing to accept it...

The stage is set…the main event of P.U.R.E…for the FBE Pure Championship…The match you reporters and all the worldwide fans of FBE will get to witness is…

Doctor Logan Wright vs. Apeirogone
submitted by BrownTown427 to FantasyBookingElite [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 03:41 palocci The Brazilian "Secular Stagnation" and what Lula can do about it

The Brazilian
Here's another effortpost on Brazil! This time I'll be talking about why the Brazilian economy stagnated, and what we can expect from Lula in terms of economic policy (I've talked about this in the past but now I'll go into more detail).
Between 1920 and 1980, Brazil was a clear economic success story. For 60 years, our GDP grew at an average of 4% a year. This 'golden age' ended in a hyperinflation crisis, which made the 1980s become known as a 'lost decade', and since its resolution in 1994 with the Plano Real, our economy has experienced minimal growth: from 1980 to 2020, the average GDP growth rate was only 0.7%.
Evolution of the Brazilian per capita product, at 2010 prices, from 1900 to 2021. The scale of the graph is logarithmic in base 2.
In this post, I'll try to explain the reasons for Brazil's low growth in the last four decades and what Lula's plans are to address them.
The debate
Before delving into the actual causes of the "semi-stagnation", I would like to explain the economic debate in Brazil. This debate revolves around two major groups of economists: the "developmentalists" and the "liberals." The term "developmentalism" may be unfamiliar to many people here, but it is very present in Latin America. A decent explanation for it could be "dirigisme with Latam characteristics."
In short, liberalism in this context is associated with economic orthodoxy and a pro-market orientation in economic policy, while developmentalism leans towards economic heterodoxy and advocates for direct state interference in the economy. This debate is, in theory, separate from the traditional right versus left political divide, as we have had governments from both ends of the political spectrum adopting policies aligned with either school of thought. For instance, Lula I (2003-2007) represented a left-wing liberal government, while Geisel (1974-1979) presided over a right-wing developmentalist government. However, in practice, liberalism is associated with the right-wing while developmentalism is associated with the left-wing.
One area of major divergence between those two groups is full employment. Liberals argue that the Brazilian economy generally operates at full employment, which means that there are well-defined supply-side limits and restrictions in the economy, whereas developmentalists believe it tends to operate below that level. This implies that the economy's natural state is one of perpetual aggregate demand deficiency, and thus the government could just increase spending to mobilize idle production factors and stimulate economic growth.
Furthermore, liberals typically view direct state intervention in the economy with distrust, opposing increased public investments in infrastructure and most forms of industrial policy. Their preference generally leans towards reducing government spending and relying on a 'crowding in' effect, together with supply-side reforms. Conversely, developmentalists perceive state intervention as a necessity to stimulate the economy, favoring a robust industrial policy and increased public investments.
Those are significant oversimplifications, and many economists do not align themselves with either group. In any case, I would say this categorization reasonably represents the current debate.
It's a tradition in Brazil to divide ministries between liberals and developmentalists to ensure a balance between the two. The current Finance Minister, Fernando Haddad, believes in a middle ground approach, with some of his secretaries (e.g., Guilherme Mello) leaning more towards developmentalism, while others (e.g., Bernard Appy) lean more towards liberalism. Planning Minister Simone Tebet and Industry and Commerce Minister Geraldo Alckmin are firmly in the liberal camp. However, due to the nature of his ministry, Geraldo Alckmin will probably concede more to developmentalist policies (as he's already doing). Aloizio Mercadante, the President of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), is considered the leader of the developmentalist branch of the government, along with Workers' Party President Gleisi Hoffmann (some people jokingly refer to her as the main opposition to Fernando Haddad and the 'Twitter Shadow Finance Minister' due to some of her tweets).
Without further ado, let's get to the causes of Brazil's stagnation.
Guido Mantega (Finance Minister between 2006 and 2014) and Antônio Palocci (Finance Minister between 2003 and 2006). Mantega is associated to developmentalism and Palocci to liberalism.
First of all, the significant growth of the 20th century left a terrible educational legacy. Brazil only began to have a somewhat consistent educational policy in the 1990s and 2000s, when basic education was universalized. To put it into perspective, in 1990, the average number of years of schooling in Brazil was 3.8 years. Even Sub-Saharan African countries like Congo, Zimbabwe, and Zambia had higher average schooling levels than ours. Approximately a quarter of the population were illiterate.
The key change came with the 1988 Constitution, which decided that Brazil would try to become an European-style social democracy. Since then, considerable progress has been made, but clearly not enough. The main educational bottleneck lies in Elementary School II, which typically spans the ages of 12 to 15. It is during this stage in Brazil that the discrepancy between age and the appropriate grade level drastically increases, leading to higher rates of grade repetition and students falling behind in their education.
This problem is probably related to the transition from a single teacher trained in pedagogy in Elementary I to several specialists teaching only one subject. This transition also occurs at the onset of adolescence, which is naturally a turbulent phase already, with the introduction of drugs, alcohol and various forms of prejudice being normal. The result ends up being a distancing of the student from school.
Two Brazilian states, which have been governed by center-left parties for many years, serve as examples in Brazilian educational policy: Pernambuco and Ceará.
A highlight in Ceará is the Programa de Afabetização na Idade Certa (Program of Alphabetization in the Right Age), which aims to ensure that all students in the state's public school systems achieve literacy by the age of 7. The plan was based on the following pillars: (1) the elaboration of a specialized literacy curriculum that was adopted in all the municipalities, with structured materials for teachers and students containing a daily routine of classroom activities and homework assignments; (2) pedagogical practices to encourage reading in the classroom; (3) financial incentives for the municipalities that achieve better results in education; and (4) evaluation and monitoring of the program, with a census and diagnostic test that is applied at the beginning of every semester.
Pernambuco has implemented a Full-Time High School system that stands out. The system is based on the following pillars: (1) the introduction of a subject called "life project," which encourages students to create plans with goals and objectives for their lives; (2) guided study, providing a space for autonomy in learning and fostering self-directed learning skills; (3) hands-on, practical classes that combine theory and practice; (4) youth clubs, where collective interests of young people are pursued; (5) tutoring, where teachers (tutors) interact with students to support their development; and (6) full-time education, of course.
Both plans have been tremendous successes and could be implemented nationwide. The Member of Parliament Tabata Amaral has proposed the program "basic education like Ceará's, high school like Pernambuco's." We might see that put in practice. Izolda Cela, the mind behind Ceará's basic education plan, is the Executive-Secretary of the Ministry of Education, and the current Minister of Education is Camilo Santana, the governor of Ceará between 2014 and 2022.
Izolda Cela (Executive-Secretary of the Ministry of Education) and Camilo Santana (Minister of Education).
Public Investments
Furthermore, there is a general consensus that the significant decrease in public investment since 1980 explains part of the problem. During the Golden Age of Brazilian growth, public investment mounted to about 6% of GDP, whereas it currently stands at approximately 4% since the lost decade. Liberal economists tend to attribute this to the expansion of the welfare state, that came with a substantial increase in the tax burden (from 25% of GDP in the 1970s to 35% in 2000). On the other hand, developmentalist economists point to the decline in public savings due to the privatization of state-owned enterprises in the 1990s.
In his second government, Lula created the Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento (PAC) (Growth Acceleration Program), whose objective was precisely to expand public investments. Unfortunately, the plan ended up with highly controversial results, primarily due to the low administrative capacity of the Brazilian State and corruption (some like to call the plan the Corruption Acceleration Program!).
But now the Workers' Party has gained new experience. Many of its state governments became famous for extensive investment programs in partnership with the private sector, delivering positive results. Chief of Staff Rui Costa, in particular, had a successful experience with public-private investments during his tenure as the governor of Bahia. He is now expected to lead the "New PAC", which will probably be announced at some point between today and July. (The project still has no name and is provisionally being called "New PAC").
Here's what Rui Costa has said about the project: "We will have, in an unprecedented way, investments with Public Private Partnerships (PPIs) at the federal level. Many states, including Bahia, have made PPI projects. [...] We are negotiating with the Ministry of Finance the conditions for guarantees so that we can leverage these projects."
Lula wants to meet with the 27 state governors to determine which state projects the Union should prioritize for its investments. In recent weeks, Costa has held individual meetings with the state governments to define which projects will be included in the new PAC. In all, eight governors have already been heard.
In a speech on the May 1st holiday, Lula said the following about the project: "We are inviting foreign businessmen to invest in Brazil and we are showing them the great projects that we are going to present in the third PAC. It will be the largest infrastructure project in this country."
Former Governor of Bahia (2014 - 2022) and current Chief of Staff Rui Costa.
Another problem is the early deindustrialization that is taking place in Brazil: we are losing our industry before becoming rich. In the beginning of the lost decade, the industry accounted for one-quarter of the Brazilian GDP, whereas today it represents around one-tenth. The reason for this process is complex, and once again, economists disagree. Liberals point to the new form of production organization that emerged with globalization, where the manufacturing of goods was fragmented into different stages, each executed in different countries. According to this line of thinking, Brazil failed to adapt to the new industrial configuration and remained stuck in an unrealistic autarkic dream. On the other hand, developmentalist economists usually argue that after the end of hyperinflation, Brazil fell into a trap of having an overvalued currency and high interest rates, demolishing the industry's competitiveness. (I am more inclined towards the first thesis, although it is a fact that the Brazilian exchange rate was detrimental to the industry after the Real Plan).
Now I want to talk a little bit about the Brazilian industrial bourgeoisie and its problems. In the 1960s, the then sociologist and future president Fernando Henrique Cardoso published his thesis on the Brazilian industrial entrepreneurs. Based on his research, he concluded that Brazilian industrialists did not have any national project, and (1) "only cared about their personal interests when speaking on behalf of the class" and (2) "[their] political action consists of personal participation in the patrimonialist game." Brazil has a serious problem related to what we call 'patrimonialism,' which refers to the capture of resources from the Brazilian state to benefit private interests.
Unfortunately, industrial policy in Brazil often results in tax exemptions, subsidies, tariff protections, etc., for an inefficient, patrimonialist, and somewhat broken industry that was developed in the 20th century. The Workers' Party itself fell into this outdated corporatism while in power, especially during the first Rousseff administration (2011-2015). It is a shame that advocating for greater state involvement in the economy ends up becoming a defense of those interest groups.
In this sense, I find myself opposed to both liberals and developmentalists. While the latter end up promoting an agenda that only benefits private interests, albeit with good intentions, the former dismiss any state planning, believing in an 'economic abiogenesis.' Since 2016, we have been reducing the role of the state and waiting for a crowding in effect, but with no success. We need strong a industrial policy, but it has to be transparent and not perpetuate the old game of patrimonialism.
In the words of the brilliant economist Laura Carvalho: "We want a State that identifies ways to stimulate technological innovation and product development in partnership with the private sector. But this policy cannot become hostage to the existing private sector. We have remnants of our industry of the 20th century, for example the automobile industry, and when we do industrial policy, we end up just giving incentives to them. This is a state that does not choose winners, but rather is chosen by losers. Those who are struggling in the industry try to eat the resources of the state to survive."
Unfortunately, the signals from the new Lula government are quite negative. Industry and Commerce Minister Geraldo Alckmin recently announced a plan of incentives for the automobile industry, which is essentially the same program that has failed several times in the past. There are positive things coming from his ministry, but few of them have much to do directly with a well-made industrial policy. It's a shame.
His plans beyond industrial policy appear positive, as shown in the following excerpt, at least: "Brazil had an early deindustrialization. Europe also deindustrialized, but ours was precarious and severe. More than reindustrializing, we need a neo-reindustrialization. A central issue is the competitiveness agenda. There is a principle in medicine that says: suppress the cause and the effect ceases. We have to act on the causes of low growth. Our tax model generates an absurd cost for companies. It is not fair. We have an absurd judicialization that leads to legal insecurity and hinders exports. The whole world has a VAT (value added tax. I defend it. I think Haddad is doing well and I am a great enthusiast of the tax reform."
Probably more than any other politician of expression today, Haddad positions himself as a republican and talks about reducing the patrimonialist distortions of the Brazilian public budget. He talks about "closing the drains of what is called Brazilian patrimonialism" and "ending a series of abuses that have been committed against the fiscal base" of the country. He says that many sectors have been "overly" benefited "with rules established over the decades and that have not been reviewed by any outcome control. Many have expired from the point of view of efficiency, and need to be revoked."
Former Governor of São Paulo (2001 - 2006; 2010 - 2017) and current Vice-President of Brazil and Minister of Industry and Commerce Geraldo Alckmin.
Business Environment
Brazilian productivity has been stagnant for decades. What is causing this? The main suspect is the Brazilian tax system. There is an enormous complexity in the various indirect taxes (ISS, ICMS, PIS/Cofins, and IPI), which forces every company to have an excessively large department dedicated to tax payment. Additionally, numerous divergences of interpretation arise between the Federal Revenue, state authorities, and businesses. On every corner of our cities, there is a specialized tax law office to assist companies in dealing with the extremely high level of litigation in our taxation system. To make matters worse, our indirect taxes discourage investment in locations with higher social returns, as the tax complexity and special tax regimes artificially alter the profitability of investments and production. A general simplification of these taxes, with the adoption of a Value Added Tax, could have an impact on the economy's efficiency equivalent to the Plano Real, which ended hyperinflation.
Even beyond the tax issue, the Brazilian business environment is terrible. According to the World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report, which measures the ease of doing business in 190 countries, Brazil ranks 124th. This problem is related to excessive bureaucracy, unexpected judicial decisions, loopholes in regulatory frameworks, and disrespect for contracts.
The Tax Reform is going to be the government's main priority after the approval of the New Fiscal Anchor. Planning Minister Simone Tebet summed up the reform as follows: "The Tax reform is the only silver bullet that we have to save Brazil."
And here's what Finance Minister Fernando Haddad has said about it: "There is no way to grow Brazil's productivity with this tax system [...] We are developing a tax reform that is even more modern, because it introduces in the national tax system a Value Added Tax that solves a good part of the flaws of the current system that, in my opinion, is the great villain for the low growth rates of our productivity." The idea is to approve the Tax Reform still this year (Haddad talks about doing it in the first semester!).
Special Secretary for Tax Reform Bernard Appy.
Economic Isolation
Brazil has a very closed economy. Among the 160 countries analyzed by the World Bank, the Brazilian economy is only less open than that of Sudan. The average protection applied by Brazil to capital goods is 14 times higher than in Chile and 25 times higher than in Mexico. This is probably the most expressive cause of the low productivity and deindustrialization in Brazil, together with the tax system. Here, I quote the brilliant economist Edmar Bacha: "[The closure of the Brazilian economy during the Geisel government (1974 - 1979)] caused a tremendous drop in the economy's productivity and an increase in the cost of capital goods. And this, I believe, is what lies at the root of our stagnation after the so-called economic miracle (1968-1974). Our industry became unable to compete internationally. And we were forced, because the industry has this extraordinary lobbying capacity, to prevent the redesign of the Brazilian industry to participate in global value chains."
Bacha's argument makes sense: the collapse of GDP growth coincides with the collapse of capital accumulation (the growth rate of the capital stock) after Geisel's government. Why did capital accumulation collapse? Bacha explains that using a decomposition of the investment = savings relationship: K' = s(1/p)v - δ, where K' = capital accumulation, s = savings rate, p = relative price of investment, v = output-capital ratio, and δ = depreciation rate.
Between 1950-1980, the "golden age" of Brazil, K' grew at nearly 9% per year. Between 1981-2014, this number was 3%. Why? Looking at the historical series, the difference is not in savings or depreciation. What happened was that the output-capital ratio fell by about one-third, and the relative price of investment increased by one-third. In other words, the capital requirement per unit of output increased significantly, and at the same time, the price of investment goods rose significantly. According to Bacha, this process occurred between 1973 and 1983, a period in which the Military Government pursued an autarkic economic policy.
The ideal scenario for Brazil would be to open its economy and have an export-oriented industry. The industry we have developed is heavily reliant on our domestic market, without external competition. In the words of economist Nelson Barbosa: "Brazil cannot produce ships, but it can produce airplanes. Brazil does not have car manufacturers, but it has bus manufacturers. Brazil cannot have a domestic production of microelectronics, but it has a good domestic production of electric motors. So we need to study what worked in these sectors to see if it can be replicated in other sectors. All these successful sectors, Embraer, Weg, Marco Polo, are sectors that are competitive in Brazil and in the world. Here is the first clue: correct industrial policies create domestic production that competes domestically and internationally. They are integrated products that import and export extensively. Value chains."
However, an open trade policy without a plan may not be positive either. In Nelson's words: "Development always means increased productivity. Opening the economy can stimulate productivity, but it can also lead to a negative specialization. You can open your economy and become a country that only exports commodities, with an inflated services sector that only sells domestically, with a significant portion of your population relying on informal jobs. Which is what happens in Brazil. So I think trade openness is inevitable, more developed countries are more open, but thinking that just opening up will automatically lead to development is naïve and something we shouldn't do in the 21st century. I believe that strategic trade integration is crucial and necessary for development. Unilateral openness, without any plan, will only reinforce the specialization we already have today."
In any case, it is certain that the current excessive protectionism cannot be maintained. Opening up would allow broader access for companies to (1) cheaper and higher-quality inputs and (2) foreign-produced capital goods and technology, (3) create significant competition effects to invigorate the economy, and (4) create a 'selection effect' that would eliminate losers and favor winners.
But this is the agenda that I am least hopeful about. Trade openness is a topic that faces strong opposition from the Brazilian left and would likely only occur under a moderate center-right government. I hope, at least, that some trade agreements can be reached to open up the economy. The European Union-Mercosur trade agreement would have a significant impact and would be very important but I'm not very hopeful that it'll be approved.
Haddad is still optimistic, though! He said that a more emphatic diplomatic effort will be made starting in the second semester, in a movement that will take advantage of Brazil's leadership in Mercosur and Spain's leadership in the European bloc.
Simone Tebet (Planning Minister) and Fernando Haddad (Finance Minister).
Interest Rates
Interest rates in Brazil are much, much higher than the global average. Our credit is scarce and dysfunctional. Lula likes to repeat that Brazil is a capitalist country without capitalism because there is no credit.
Brazil has the second-highest bank spread in the world, second only to Madagascar. This means that banks in Brazil charge very high interest rates for lending money. To give you an idea, Brazil's bank spread is higher than the average observed in countries at war. There are several reasons for this, but some stand out: (1) savings in Brazil have historically been very low (around 20% of GDP), (2) the government consumes a significant portion of savings to finance itself, and (3) the Brazilian banking sector is extremely concentrated, with a few banks dominating the entire sector.
The other issue in this discussion is the current policy interest rate set by the Central Bank. Brazil currently has the highest real interest rate in the world, at around 9%. The debate about whether this interest level is correct or not is quite active in Brazil, with its proponents arguing that the current Brazilian inflation is demand-driven and pointing to inflation in the services sector and core inflation, while its critics argue that inflation is not demand-driven, pointing to the fact that Brazil has had a negative output gap since 2015 and that supply shocks can explain the inflation in services.
This debate is complex, and it is hard to determine definitively which side is right. Nevertheless, the Central Bank is strongly adhering to the first thesis.
The current Chairman of the Central Bank, Roberto Campos Neto (RCN), is the grandson of an economist of the Military Dictatorship and was appointed by Bolsonaro. He will remain in his position until 2024 due to the new autonomy granted to the Central Bank in 2021. In this scenario, Lula engaged in a public war against RCN, urging him to lower interest rates. The situation became tense, but Lula never showed any willingness to take effective action to remove him, remaining only in rhetoric. Throughout the conflict, Haddad positioned himself as a moderate, playing a certain "good cop, bad cop" game with Lula and gaining trust in the financial market. Apparently, Lula intends to nominate former executive-secretary of the Finance Ministry Gabriel Galípolo to replace RCN in 2024. He was recently appointed as director of monetary policy at the Central Bank, and is widely identified as a heterodox economist.
Haddad's current plan is to stabilize Brazil's deficit to allow for a monetary loosening. Here's what he said: "We are not at a point where fiscal expansion is going to help the economy. If there is room for any stimulus, it will be monetary. If we know how to make the transition, there is room for a lower interest rate, you just have to give security to the monetary authority." He does not seem to be concerned about banking concentration, though.
Chairman of the Central Bank Roberto Campos Neto.
The Brazilian economy has seen very little growth since the the lost decade in the 1980s. One of the primary factors contributing to this stagnation is the economy's low productivity. There are several reasons behind this low productivity, including:
  1. Inadequate infrastructure and insufficient investments in its development.
  2. A significant delay in comparison to other countries in terms of investing in education.
  3. Unreasonable economic protectionism.
  4. Private groups exerting undue influence and capturing the Brazilian state (patrimonialism).
  5. Failure to adapt our industry to a globalized world.
  6. Excessively high bank spreads.
  7. A terrible business environment, particularly due to the tax system.
There are other reasons for sure, but I'd say most people would agree those are the most important ones. Also, here's my effortpost on the Workers' Party, in case you haven't read it.
submitted by palocci to SocialDemocracy [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 19:10 Aware_Machine_9838 (Selling) List of Movies and TV Shows. 4K and HD qualities. Includes Marvel, Disney.

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2023.05.27 17:17 CIAHerpes We discovered a ghost town where the buildings sweat blood and something strange walks at night

The abandoned building I looked at seemed to be bleeding. Looking down the street, I saw a few more stone structures, and they too had red fluid dripping down their dark granite. My friends and I backed off instinctively.
“Maybe it is just some type of sap,” Amy said, running her hair through her fingers like she usually did when she was anxious. But then the wailing started, and we all looked at each other. I saw the same paleness and uncertainty on all of their faces that I felt inside my stomach.
“What’s that, a fishercat? A fox?” James asked to my right, speaking quickly, his voice quavering. He was always the natural leader of our little expeditions, the one who did the research into abandoned sites or caves and encouraged everyone else to come along. But right now, he didn’t look like much of a leader. His eyes were wide, his skin was pale and he was quickly looking around to the right and left. I knew how he felt.
“That’s no fox,” I said, feeling around in my pocket for my knife. The wailing seemed to come from all around us. It sounded like a woman being burned alive.
The fourth member of our group, Sarah, was the only one who seemed to not be in a state of mortal terror. She calmly looked at the blood dripping down the buildings, walking up to it and sticking her fingers into it, then smelling it. I thought for a moment she would taste it. Thankfully, she didn’t. She wiped the blood off and turned to us.
“Yeah, that is blood,” she said. “I think we need to get out of here.” Her calmness seemed to bring the group back together for a moment, and we all looked at each other. I took out my knife. I looked over at the old church at the beginning of town, and saw with horror that it was absolutely covered in blood now. Every floorboard and wall and beam on it sweated the dripping, red fluid. It looked like a shimmering, flowing maze of dark crimson. It soaked the dirt and grass growing around it, dripping down from every surface.
“If any of you have weapons,” I said, “it may be a good idea to take them out now. We don’t know what is around us, but it is better safe than sorry.” Sarah nodded in agreement, pulling out a keychain with mace on it. James had a boxcutter, and Amy had absolutely nothing, but she went to the side of the dirt road and picked up a thick stick.
We all started walking back to the car in a tightly-clustered circle. The hike would take at least forty-five minutes, even if we hurried and didn’t get lost. We had to follow the red trail until it intersected with the green trail. The green trail would lead directly back to the dirt parking lot where we had parked. I would be ecstatic to see those little green markers.
The wailing never stopped, but seemed instead to follow us. Silvery eyes looked out at us from the mist, but whenever I turned my head to look directly at them, they were gone. They moved so quick, I wondered whether maybe I was just hallucinating them.
James was in the back of our little circle, and I was at the front. I heard a quick commotion from behind me, but by the time we all turned to look, he was gone. It couldn’t have taken more than a fraction of a second for us to look back.
The thick fog on both sides of us obscured sight. We heard a deep, terrified, low scream, but it was cut off in the middle with a horrible gurgling choking noise, and we were plunged into silence. The wailing had stopped.
“James?” I yelled, trying to discern where the scream had come from. There was no reply.
* * *
Throughout history, there have been countless unsolved disappearances of towns or groups of people: the Mayan city of Tikal, the English colony of Roanoke, the entire Roman 9th Legion, the Eskimo village of Anjikuni Lake and many others. One of the most bizarre and least well-known occurred near where I grew up.
Sources from a few centuries ago told of a bustling community of loggers and fur-trappers who had a small hamlet deep in the forests they called “North Windshire”. It consisted mainly of one dirt road with buildings on each side of it. But it had a church, a tavern, a blacksmith, a barber-surgeon, and a few other functioning establishments. The people who lived there were, by all accounts, peaceful and hard-working. The fact that all of them disappeared one night without any sign of a struggle confounded locals, and to this day, no one has discovered any conclusive evidence as to what happened to the townspeople. Explanations ranged from a sudden epidemic to hostile Native American tribes.
A few of my friends and I went out urban exploring and cave exploring, and we knew we needed to see this place. James had brought it up, texting everyone about it, and then Amy went to the local library and found anything and everything she could about North Windshire.
By the next day at around 4 PM, four of us were driving out there. The thick fog of early spring covered the endless forests. We nearly missed the single dirt road leading off to North Windshire, but luckily Sarah’s eagle-eyes saw the faded marker just as we drove past. It got dark around 5:30 but since the hike was only estimated to take thirty minutes each way, I figured we had plenty of time.
The walk into North Windshire was beautiful and peaceful. We complained about our jobs, discussed other abandoned sites and caves we might explore, griped about politics, and drank a couple beers. By the time we reached the outer limits of the town, I was in a good mood, happy to be with friends and explore somewhere new.
But as we entered the first building in the town, an ancient-looking church with the doors busted off and animal droppings all over the floor, an eerie feeling had fallen over me. I could see it was affecting the rest of the group as well. No one wanted to be the first to speak about it, however, not after we had driven an hour just to see this old ghost-town.
Yet when I was inside the church, I could have sworn I saw silver eyes, looking in through the broken windows. There was a feeling of immense power in the church, a feeling of something ancient and inhuman watching us. And a slight smell of sulfur seemed to cover the entire town, mixing with the smell of fog and pine trees that pervaded the forests.
* * *
“Where could he have gone?” Amy asked. She was in clear panic mode. Sarah and I tried to calm her down.
“We need to get out of here, so we can call for help,” I said. Sarah shook her head.
“We can’t just leave James and you know it,” Sarah said, still maddeningly calm about the whole thing. “We have to go look for him. What if that was you? Would you want us to hike out of here and call the police? It could take a few hours before they get here and start searching, and if he is in danger…” I sighed. She was right.
I didn’t want to mention that choking sound that had cut off his screaming, however. It sounded like something was ripping his throat out. And if that was the case, there was nothing we could do by searching. Luckily, Amy brought it up instead.
“It sounded like he was choking,” Amy said, tears starting to fall down her cheeks. “What if he got attacked by a bear or a mountain lion? What if it ripped his throat out? What if by looking for him, we all get attacked too?”
“Sarah is right, though I hate to admit it,” I said. “Even if he did get attacked, he might still be alive. We might be able to help him.” We heard scuffling from our left. I had my knife pointed out in that direction. For a keychain knife, it was rather long and strong, made from Damascus steel and longer than the palm of my hand. With shaking hands, I took the key ring and keys off and slid them in my pockets, so the knife wouldn’t jangle every time I moved. Amy had her thick tree branch ready. The figure broke through the fog suddenly, on the ground and dragging itself forward, and Amy and I both let out a short scream.
My first thought was that it was a zombie, but I quickly realized that wasn’t really true. It had a smell of sulfur, disintegration and feces emanating from it, a smell that made me want to gag and cover my face. But I didn’t dare put my hands up.
Though it had no legs, it moved deceptively fast. It veered towards Amy, who was holding her branch like a baseball bat. She swung the huge thing as fast as she could, knocking the wood into the side of the creature’s head with a massive crack. Its head whipped to the side, its open drooling mouth biting off a piece of its own tongue in the commotion. The tip of its tongue, a dark brown, rotten thing, fell off into the dirt. Its cracked black teeth smashed together, pieces of them shattering.
Yet within seconds, it had turned its head back towards us, and started forward again. Amy quickly backpedaled as I ran forward, stabbing the knife through the side of its neck. With a strong grip, I pulled the knife handle back towards myself, opening up the creature’s throat with a single motion. It opened its mouth in a silent scream, but no blood came out. Instead, white light began to seep out of it. It looked like a thin shimmering mist, which at first dripped slowly out of the creature’s wounds and then began to run faster and faster. The light twisted back towards the abandoned town, forming a spiraling tunnel as it veered down the path. The strange creature had lost the glow of its eyes now. It just lay there on the ground, kneeling on its stumps. Its rotting, filmy eyes slowly started to close. It fell forwards, landing at Amy’s feet.
“Oh my God,” Amy said slowly. “What the fuck was that?” I shrugged calmly, but inside I was just as terrified as her. I could feel my hands trembling badly. I tried clasping them together, holding the knife between them, taking deep meditative breaths in an attempt to stop the trembling. After a few seconds, it seemed to recede slightly.
“I think whatever it is, it is connected with that church,” Sarah said. She still seemed maddeningly calm about the situation. I wanted to shake her and ask her if she understood how close to death she was right now. And then she looked at me. “You lead the way, Dean.” I nodded.
“We need to get as far away from the church as we can, I think,” I said. I started walking down the trail, and they followed close behind. I could practically feel Amy breathing down the back of my neck.
We made good time on the trail. We each had flashlights on our phones. Even though we had no service, the presence of the phones and the bright LED lights they provided made me feel quite a bit better. It seemed to connect me back to the real world, a place of technology and 911 and science, rather than this trail of silver eyes and bleeding churches.
But after hiking for forty-five minutes, I knew there was a problem. The hike was only supposed to take thirty minutes each way. Going in, we hiked the green trail for about ten minutes, which intersected with the red trail. We had only had to hike about twenty minutes on the red trail to reach the town. We had stayed in the town longer than we should have, and it had gotten dark, but since the trails were clearly marked and we had lights on our phones, I hadn’t been worried.
Now I was extremely worried. It would have been nearly impossible to miss the sign and the big green marker on the intersection of the trails, even at nighttime. I knew we hadn’t passed it. It seemed impossible. And none of us wanted to break the silence. Eventually, however, I did. I turned around.
“We’re lost,” I said simply. Sarah and Amy shook their heads.
“Do you think we should turn back around?” Amy asked, nervous. Her eyes flitted from me to Sarah rapidly.
“And do what?” I asked. “It just leads back to the church. We’re trying to get…” Sarah interrupted me, pointing suddenly.
“Uh, guys?” Sarah said. I turned around so fast I almost fell over. I saw where she was pointing with her cellphone light, and I wanted to start crying.
It was the church. We had somehow done a full circle and came back to the abandoned ghost town. This was, of course, geographically impossible. The red trail did not circle back around. It continued in a relatively straight line to the east. And yet here we were, back where we started in the pitch-black night. Then the singing started.
It reminded me of a church hymn, but it was eerie, off-note, slowed. It was like a church hymn from a bad acid trip. And as I saw lines of silver eyes walking down the street, I realized where it was coming from.
“Quick, around back,” I whispered, pointing to the church. We sprinted around the building, hiding behind it, though careful not to touch the exterior itself, which still swam with blood. Sarah and I poked our heads out to watch, while Amy hyperventilated, hugging her branch to her chest, looking into the dark bushes suspiciously. We had all turned off our lights by this point, but the moon gave off a little light- enough to see vague silhouettes, anyway.
The smell of the creatures walking down this eerie, abandoned street was overwhelming. The smell of blood from the buildings mixed in with the rotting, sulfurous reek that now overpowered us. I saw many of them had pieces of their faces, arms and legs missing, as if a leper colony were marching past us. But no blood ran from these wounds, and the light in their eyes seemed to come from within their bodies. They weren’t simply reflecting the moonlight, but emanating some dead light from within themselves. It was disquieting.
When I turned to look away, I realized Amy was gone. I shook Sarah quickly, who seemed to come out of a trance.
“Amy,” I said simply, pointing. She turned, and her eyes went wide.
“Where the fuck is she?” she said through gritted teeth. I tried squinting into the bushes, but it was too dark to see anything. I swore under my breath. “We’re going to need the lights, Dean.” I nodded, though a pit of dread formed in my stomach as she spoke the words. If those things in the road saw our lights…
She turned her light on, covering most of it with her hand to try to make the beam smaller and less noticeable. Her mouth opened in a silent scream, and she nearly dropped the phone.
I looked down, following her gaze. Ten feet into the bushes, we saw Amy. Her head was on backwards, her neck snapped, the skin stretched into a tight circle. Her mouth was still open in horror, her eyes wide and unseeing.
“Oh God,” Sarah said, and for the first time, I saw her calm, cold demeanor shatter. She was breathing fast, bent over, repeating those words: “Oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God…”
“It’s OK,” I said, taking her hand gently. I covered her light up with my palm, then turned on the screen and turned it off. “We’re going to be OK.”
“Don’t fucking lie to me with that bullshit,” she whispered angrily. “We are definitely not going to be OK. Do you see her? Look at what they did to her.”
“We can’t give up hope,” I said. “We need a plan.”
“Our plan should be to burn that fucking church down and kill all those bastards,” she whispered. I nodded.
“I like it,” I said simply. “That is a great plan.” I peeked back from around the corner, trying to see if the creatures with the glowing eyes had gone away, and to my horror, I saw one of them standing inches away, watching us and grinning from ear to ear. It showed off blackened teeth and squirming brown gums in its Cheshire cat grin. I involuntarily yelped and stumbled back, falling over a branch, dropping my knife and phone when I hit the ground.
Behind that one stood dozens more, all smiling wide, watching Sarah and me with their dead, glowing eyes. I began to fumble in a panic on the ground, looking for my knife and phone. I found my knife, but my phone was nowhere that I could see. For a moment, time seemed to stop, all of us frozen like statues, the creatures smiling with insane expressions on their decomposing faces. Sarah flicked her mace to the firing position and began shooting it at the creatures’ faces.
At first, nothing happened. Then a bellow of rage began. Each of them that had been hit began to mutter. It didn’t sound like words at first, but it grew louder and more angry with every passing second, until it turned into a shriek. All of their grinning mouths turned to open, furious screams. They began to run forwards. I was out of time. Grabbing my knife and leaving my phone, I got up, sprinting into the forest.
Sarah wasn’t so fast. By the time she had turned to flee, their dead, rotting hands had already grasped her. Her screams of pain followed me out into the darkness, echoing and growing more animalistic. Then they were cut off, and I was alone.
I ran in a straight line for a few minutes, cutting myself open on prickers and falling over branches and smashing my knees on tree trunks. I was battered, bloody and hurting. Eventually, I found a huge rock with a small opening underneath it. I crawled under it, hiding, thinking. Sarah’s words came back to me: “Our plan should be to burn that fucking church down.” Hell, they were her last words, her dying wish.
Eventually, I crawled back out. Feeling in my pockets, I found a lighter. I limped painfully back towards the abandoned town, back towards the church and all those murderous creatures who called it home. As I got close, I could hear those eerie hymns stretching out through the forest, distorting and echoing. I crawled to the back window, and what I saw there will give me nightmares for the rest of my life.
They had the bodies of Amy, Sarah and James crucified against the front wall. A figure in a black robe was cutting out pieces of their bodies and feeding them to the congregation. One by one, the creatures with the glowing eyes would go up to the front, where the robed figure would use a knife to rip off a piece of skin or muscle from the dead body and feed it to the open, rotting mouth of the kneeling creature. They all lined up, and soon, the bodies of my friends were skinned, the bones and organs showing as they mutilated each body and fed them to the crowd.
I felt like throwing up. I backed away from the church quickly, trying to form a plan. I stumbled around, looking for a thick branch. I found the one Amy had been holding behind the church. Next to it, I saw Sarah’s can of police mace. Grabbing both, I snuck back up front and shoved it through the handles of the church door as quietly as I could.
I started a fire in the town, destroying the church first. The weather was dry, and it was fairly easy to get it started. I used dry leaves and twigs, piling them up in the corner of the building and lighting a few leaves to get them started. The fog was thicker than ever, and the darkness was starting to come in. I could only hope someone would still be able to find me.
I let the fire spread, starting new ones at each of the buildings I passed. Hissing and whispering came from the shadows all around me. I used Amy’s mace to stop one of the crawling, biting creatures, who had only one leg and was dragging himself around, leaving trails of blood behind him. As the flames grew higher, more creatures came out, and soon I had to abandon the town entirely. But they were following me closely.
I sprinted down the trail, continuously looking back. Silver eyes glinted in the night. I was grabbed from the bushes and trees repeatedly, rotten hands shooting out to stop me from escaping. The hands were cold, and the skin felt loose on them. It was as if in the process of decay, the flesh had started to separate from the bones. When I ripped free of the last one, most of the skin came with it, revealing brown, fetid muscles underneath squirming with worms and insects.
But looking back into the forest, I could see flames high in the sky now. I knew it would only be a matter of time. I sat on the trail, a knife in one hand and the can of mace in the other, and waited. Soon, I heard voices- human voices. They were coming from farther down the trail. Seconds later, I caught my first glimpses of firefighters in reflective suits. I started shouting and waving my hands. Weak, dehydrated and terrified, I was quickly ushered out of there. They brought me further down, and I realized the branch of the trail that led back to civilization was here again. I nearly cried in relief when I saw those green markers along it.
Finally, I had broken the loop. With help, I made my way to safety- the sole survivor of a trip to Hell.
submitted by CIAHerpes to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 04:48 mostreliablebottle If Best Picture was decided by Critics Polls (1940-2021)

Roughly 7 years ago u/TheGreatZiegfeld did an experiment of a post to determine what the best films of each year would be from 1940 to 2011 (before the 2012 S&S polls).
With the recently updated TSPDT and the 2022 S&S list, I decided to do the same from 1940 to 2021 regarding what critics thought were the best of each year.
Keep in mind this is all from a critics' poll, not from one specific critic's list. Also no short films or miniseries (meaning no Twin Peaks or Meshes of the Afternoon), as well as those from 2022 and beyond because of the last S&S poll.
With all that in mind, let's begin.
Winner: His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks)
Other nominees: The Great Dictator (Charlie Chaplin), The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford), The Shop Around The Corner (Ernst Lubitsch), The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor)
Winner: Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)
Other nominees: The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges), Sullivan's Travels (Preston Sturges), The Maltese Falcon (John Houston), How Green Was My Valley (John Ford)
Winner: Casablanca (Michael Curtiz)
Other nominees: The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles), To Be Or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch), The Palm Springs Story (Preston Sturges), Cat People (Jacques Tourneur)
Winner: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Powell and Pressburger)
Other nominees: Day of Wrath (Carl Theodor Dreyer), Shadow of a Doubt (Alfred Hitchcock), I Walked with a Zombie (Jacques Tourneur), Ossessione (Luchino Visconti)
Winner: Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder)
Other nominees: Ivan the Terrible, Part I (Sergei Eisenstein), Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli), A Canterbury Tale (Powell and Pressburger), To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks)
Winner: Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné)
Other nominees: Rome, Open City (Roberto Rossellini), Brief Encounter (David Lean), I Know Where I'm Going (Powell and Pressburger) Les Dames du bois de Boulogne (Robert Bresson)
Winner: It's a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra)
Other nominees: A Matter of Life and Death (Powell and Pressburger), Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock), My Darling Clementine (John Ford), Paisan (Roberto Rossellini)
Winner: Black Narcissus (Powell and Pressburger)
Other nominees: Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur), Monsieur Verdoux (Charlie Chaplin), The Lady from Shanghai (Orson Welles), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
Winner: Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica)
Other nominees: The Red Shoes (Powell and Pressburger), Letters from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls), Spring in a Small Town (Mu Fei), Germany Year Zero (Roberto Rossellini)
Winner: The Third Man (Carol Reed)
Other nominees: Late Spring (Yasujirō Ozu), Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (John Ford), White Heat (Raoul Walsh)
Winner Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa)
Other nominees; Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder), All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz), Los Olvidados (Luis Buñuel), In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray)
Winner: The River (Jean Renoir)
Other nominees: Diary of a Country Priest (Robert Bresson), Miracle in Milan (Vittorio De Sica), Early Summer (Yasujirō Ozu), Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock)
Winner: Singin' in the Rain (Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly)
Other nominees: Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa), Umberto D. (Vittorio De Sica), The Life of Oharu (Kenji Mizoguchi), The Quiet Man (John Ford)
Winner: Tokyo Story (Yasujirō Ozu)
Other nominees: Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi), The Earrings of Madame de (Max Ophüls), The Band Wagon (Vincente Minnelli), Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (Jacques Tati)
Winner: Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa)
Other nominees: Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock), Journey to Italy (Roberto Rossellini), La Strada (Federico Fellini), Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi)
Winner: Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer)
Other nominees: The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton), Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray), All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Kirk), Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse)
Winner: The Searchers (John Ford)
Other nominees: A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson), Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk), Aparajito (Satyajit Ray), Bigger Than Life (Nicholas Ray)
Winner: Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman)
Other nominees: The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman), Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini), Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa), Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick)
Winner Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)
Other nominees: Touch of Evil (Orson Welles), Ashes and Diamonds (Andrzej Wajda), Ivan the Terrible, Part II (Sergei Eisenstein), The Music Room (Satyajit Ray)
Winner: The 400 Blows (François Truffaut)
Other nominees: Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder), North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock), Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks), Pickpocket (Robert Bresson)
Winner: Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard)
Other nominees: Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock), La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini), L'Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni), The Apartment (Billy Wilder)
Winner: Viridiana (Luis Buñuel)
Other nominees: Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais), La Notte (Michelangelo Antonioni), West Side Story (Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins), Yojimbo (Akira Kurosawa)
Winner: Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean)
Other nominees: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford), Jules and Jim (François Truffaut), Cléo from 5 to 7 (Agnes Varda), L'Eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni)
Winner 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini)
Other nominees: Le Mepris (Jean-Luc Godard), The Leopard (Luchino Visconti), The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock), The Executioner (Luis García Berlanga)
Winner: Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick)
Other nominees: Gertrud (Carl Theodor Dreyer), The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Pier Paolo Pasolini), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy), Black God, White Devil (Glauber Rocha)
Winner: Pierrot Le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard)
Other nominees: Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles), Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Sergei Parajanov), Le Bonheur (Agnes Varda), Doctor Zhivago (David Lean)
Winner: Persona (Ingmar Bergman)
Other nominees: Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky), Au Hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson), The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo), Blow-Up (Michelangelo Antonioni)
Winner: Playtime (Jacques Tati)
Other nominees: Mouchette (Robert Bresson), Le Samouraï (Jean-Pierre Melville), Belle de Jour (Luis Buñuel), The Graduate (Mike Nichols)
Winner: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick)
Other nominees: Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone), Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski), Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea), Faces (John Cassavetes)
Winner: The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah)
Other nominees: The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Parajanov), Kes (Ken Loach), My Night at Maud's (Eric Rohmer), Army of Shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville)
Winner: The Conformist (Bernado Bertolucci)
Other nominees: Wanda (Barbara Loden), Performance (Nicholas Roeg), Husbands (John Cassavetes), Tristana (Luis Buñuel)
Winner: A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick)
Other nominees: Death in Venice (Luchino Visconti), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman), A Touch of Zen (King Hu), Out 1 (Jacques Rivette)
Winner: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola)
Other nominees: Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Werner Herzog), Cries and Whispers (Ingmar Bergman), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Buñuel), Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky)
Winner: Amarcord (Federico Fellini)
Other nominees: The Mother and the Whore (Jean Eustache), The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice), Don't Look Now (Nicholas Roeg), Badlands (Terrence Malick)
Winner: The Godfather: Part II (Francis Ford Coppola)
Other nominees: Chinatown (Roman Polanski), A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes), Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder), Celine and Julie Go Boating (Jacques Rivette)
Winner: Jeanne Dielman (Chantal Akerman)
Other nominees: Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky), Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick), Nashville (Robert Altman), Jaws (Steven Spielberg)
Winner: Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese)
Other nominees: News from Home (Chantal Akerman), Kings of the Road (Wim Wenders), In the Realm of Senses (Nagisa Oshima), The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (John Cassavetes)
Winner: Annie Hall (Woody Allen)
Other nominees: Star Wars (George Lucas), Close Encounter of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg), Eraserhead (David Lynch), The Ascent (Larisa Shepitko)
Winner: Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett)
Other nominees: Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick), The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino), The Tree of Wooden Clogs (Ermanno Olmi), In a Year with 13 Moons (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
Winner: Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola)
Other nominees: Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky), Alien (Ridley Scott), Manhattan (Woody Allen), All That Jazz (Bob Fosse)
Winner: Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese)
Other nominees: The Shining (Stanley Kubrick), The Empire Strike Back (Irvin Kershner), Heaven's Gate (Michael Cimino), The Elephant Man (David Lynch)
Winner: Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg)
Other nominees: Possession (Andrzej Żuławski), Blow Out (Brian de Palma), Mad Max 2 (George Miller), An American Werewolf in London (John Landis)
Winner: Blade Runner (Ridley Scott)
Other nominees: Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg), The Thing (John Carpenter), The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese)
Winner: Sans Soleil (Chris Marker)
Other nominees: L'Argent (Robert Bresson), Videodrome (David Cronenberg), Nostalgia (Andrei Tarkovsky), A Nos Amours (Maurice Pialat)
Winner: Once Upon a Time in America (Sergio Leone)
Other nominees: Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders), Love Streams (John Cassavetes), Amadeus (Milos Forman), Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch)
Winner: Shoah (Claude Lanzmann)
Other nominees: Come and See (Elem Klimov), Ran (Akira Kurosawa), Vagabond (Agnes Varda), Brazil (Terry Gilliam)
Winner: Blue Velvet (David Lynch)
Other nominees: The Green Ray (Eric Rohmer), The Sacrifice (Andrei Tarkovsky), Aliens (James Cameron), Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen)
Winner: Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders)
Other nominees: Where is the Friend's House (Abbas Kiarostami), The Dead (John Huston), Withnail and I (Bruce Robinson), Yeelen (Souleymanne Cisse)
Winner: My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki)
Other nominees: Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore), Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies), The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris), Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata)
Winner: Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee)
Other nominees: A City of Sadness (Hou Hsiao-hsien), Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen), When Harry Met Sally (Rob Reiner), The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (Peter Greenaway)
Winner: Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami)
Other nominees: Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese), Days of Being Wild (Wong Kar-wai), An Angel at My Table (Jane Campion), Paris is Burning (Jessie Livingston)
Winner: A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang)
Other nominees: Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash), The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski), The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme), Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou)
Winner: Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood)
Other nominees: The Quince Tree Sun (Victor Erice), Orlando (Sally Potter), Life, and Nothing More (Abbas Kiarostami), Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino)
Winner: The Piano (Jane Campion)
Other nominees: Schindler's List (Steven Spielberg), Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieslowski), Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis), The Puppetmaster (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
Winner: Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino)
Other nominees: Satantango (Bela Tarr), Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai), Three Colors: Red (Krzysztof Kieslowski), Through the Olive Tree (Abbas Kiarostami)
Winner: Heat (Michael Mann)
Other nominees: Underground (Emir Kusturica), Safe (Todd Haynes), Casino (Martin Scorsese), Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch)
Winner: Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier)
Other nominees: Fargo (Joel Coen), A Moment of Innocence (Mohsen Makhmalbaf), Secrets and Lies (Mike Leigh), Crash (David Cronenberg)
Winner: Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami)
Other nominees: Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai), Lost Highway (David Lynch), Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson), Princess Mononoke (Hayao Miyazaki)
Winner: Histoire(s) du Cinema (Jean-Luc Godard)
Other nominees: The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick), The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen), The Celebration (Thomas Vinterberg), Flowers of Shanghai (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
Winner: Beau Travail (Claire Denis)
Other nominees: Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson), The Matrix (Wachowskis), Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick), All About My Mother (Pedro Almodovar)
Winner: In The Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai)
Other nominees: Yi Yi (Edward Yang), The Gleaners and I (Agnes Varda), Werckmeister Harmonies (Bela Tarr), In Vanda's Room (Pedro Costa)
Winner: Mulholland Drive (David Lynch)
Other nominees: Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki), La Ciénaga (Lucrecia Martel), A.I: Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg), The Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson)
Winner: City of God (Fernando Meirelles)
Other nominees: Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (Wang Bing), Talk to Her (Pedro Almodovar), Russian Ark (Aleksandr Sukurov), Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay)
Winner: Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang)
Other nominees: Dogville (Lars von Trier), Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola), Elephant (Gus van Sant), Oldboy (Park Chan-wook)
Winner: Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Other nominees: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry), The Intruder (Claire Denis), Before Sunset (Richard Linklater), Sideways (Alexander Payne)
Winner: Caché (Michael Haneke)
Other nominees: The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu), Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee), The New World (Terrence Malick), Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog)
Winner: Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Other nominees: Inland Empire (David Lynch), Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro), The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck), Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron)
Winner: There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Other nominees: No Country for Old Men (Coens), Zodiac (David Fincher), Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas), 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu)
Winner: The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel)
Other nominees: WALL-E (Andrew Stanton), Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman), The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan), Hunger (Steve McQueen)
Winner: The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke)
Other nominees: A Prophet (Jacques Audiard), Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold), Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino), Avatar (James Cameron)
Winner: Uncle Boonmee (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Other nominees: Nostalgia for the Light (Patricio Guzman), The Social Network (David Fincher), Mysteries of Lisbon (Raul Ruiz), Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt)
Winner: The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
Other nominees: A Separation (Asghar Farhadi), Melancholia (Lars von Trier), The Turin Horse (Bela Tarr), Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
Winner: Holy Motors (Leos Carax)
Other nominees: The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer), The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson), Amour (Michael Haneke), Tabu (Miguel Gomes)
Winner: Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
Other nominees: The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino), Blue is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche), Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski), 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
Winner: Boyhood (Richard Linklater)
Other nominees: Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard), The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson), Girlhood (Celine Sciamma), Interstellar (Christopher Nolan)
Winner: Mad Max; Fury Road (George Miller)
Other nominees: Carol (Todd Haynes), Cemetery of Splendor (Apichatpong Weerasethakul), The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien), No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman)
Winner: Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)
Other nominees: Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade), American Honey (Andrea Arnold), Arrival (Denis Villeneuve), Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt)
Winner: Get Out (Jordan Peele)
Other nominees: Zama (Lucrecia Martel), Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson), You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay), Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)
Winner: Roma (Alfonso Cuaron)
Other nominees: Happy as Lazzaro (Alice Rohrwacher), Burning (Lee Chang-dong), An Elephant Sitting Still (Hu Bo), Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda)
Winner: Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Celine Sciamma)
Other nominees: Parasite (Bong Joon-ho), Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino), Atlantics (Mati Diop), First Cow (Kelly Reichardt)
Winner: Nomadland (Chloe Zhao)
Other nominees: Time (Garrett Bradley), Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hitman), Days (Tsai Ming-liang), Quo Vadis, Aida? (Jasmila Zbanic)
Winner: Petite Maman (Celine Sciamma)
Other nominees: The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion), Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi), Titane (Julia Docournau), Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
submitted by mostreliablebottle to movies [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 03:30 wtfwafflezor (Selling) 800 Titles Knock at the Cabin MA HD $5.50 Batman 2022 MA HD $2.50

Prices FIRM - CashApp/Venmo/PayPal Friends & Family
Disney/Marvel titles are split codes. Only redeem what you pay for. Thank you.
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12 Monkeys (1995) (MA/4K) $3.50
12 Years a Slave (2013) (MA/HD) $3.50
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Big Hero 6 (2014) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $4.50 (GP/HD) $1.50
Big Short (2015) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $3.25
Birdman (2014) (MA/HD) $4.75
Birth of the Dragon (2017) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $4.25
Black Adam (2022) (MA/4K) $7 (MA/HD) $4.25
Black Panther (2018) (MA/4K) $6 (iTunes/4K) $4.25 (GP/HD) $1.75
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) (MA/4K) $6.50 (MA/HD) $3.75 (GP/HD) $2.50
Blacklight (2022) (MA/HD) $4.25
Blindspotting (2018) (Vudu/4K) $5.25 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4.75
Blockers (2018) (MA/HD) $3
Blues Brothers (1980) (iTunes/4K) Ports to MA $6
Blues Brothers + Unrated (1980) (MA/4K) $7
Bob's Burgers Movie (2022) (MA/HD) $3.25 (GP/HD) $2.25
Bodyguard, The (1992) (MA/HD) $5
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) (MA/4K) $5 (MA/HD) $3.25
Bond: Skyfall (2012) (Vudu/4K) $5.75 (Vudu/HD) $1
Book Club (2018) (Vudu/HD) $2 (iTunes/4K) $1
Book of Henry (2017) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $5
Booksmart (2019) (MA/HD) $5.25
Boss Baby (2017) & Family Business (2021) (MA/HD) $5.75
Boss Baby (2017) (MA/HD) $1.50
Bourne Collection 1-5 (MA/4K) $25 (iTunes/HD) $19 (MA/HD) $15
Bourne Identity (2002) (MA/4K) $5.50 (iTunes/HD) $4.50 (MA/HD) $3
Bourne Legacy (2012) (MA/4K) $5.50 (iTunes/HD) $4.50 (MA/HD) $3
Bourne Supremacy (2004) (MA/4K) $5.50 (iTunes/HD) $4.50 (MA/HD) $3
Bourne Ultimatum (2007) (MA/4K) $5.50 (iTunes/HD) $5.50 (MA/HD) $4
Boxtrolls, The (2014) (iTunes/HD) $4.75
Brave (2012) (iTunes/4K) $6.25 (GP/HD) $4.50
Braveheart (1995) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6.25 (Vudu/HD) $5
Breakfast Club (1985) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $5.25
Breakfast Club (1985), Weird Science (2008), Sixteen Candles (1984) (MA/HD) $11.50
Brian Banks (2019) (MA/HD) $4.25
Bridesmaids (2011) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $3.50
Brightburn (2019) (MA/HD) $6.75
Bullet to the Head (2013) (MA/HD) $3
Bullet Train (2022) (MA/4K) $5.75 (MA/HD) $4.25
Bumblebee (2018) (Vudu/4K) $4.75 (Vudu/HD) $1.75 (iTunes/4K) $2
Cabin in the Woods (2012) (iTunes/4K) $2.75 (Vudu/HD) $2
Call of the Wild (2020) (MA/4K) $7 (MA/HD) $1.50 (GP/HD) $1.25
Candyman (2020) (MA/HD) $4.50
Captain Fantastic (2016) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $4
Captain Marvel (2019) (MA/4K) $5 (iTunes/4K) $4 (GP/HD) $1.75
Card Counter, The (2021) (MA/HD) $5
Cars 1-3 (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $16.50 (GP/HD) $9
Casablanca (1943) (MA/4K) $6.25
Case for Christ, The (2017) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $4.50
Celebrating Mickey (2018) (MA/HD) $5.50
Chaos Walking (2021) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $5
Charlie's Angels (2000) (MA/4K) $7.75
Charlie's Angels (2019) (MA/4K) $6.50 (MA/HD) $5.50
Chasing Amy (1997) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $3.75
Chicago (2002) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $5
Chicken Run (2000) (MA/HD) $5.25
Choice, The (2016) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $3.25
Christopher Robin (2018) (MA/HD) $5.25 (GP/HD) $4
Chronicle (2012) (MA/HD) $4.50
Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) (MA/HD) $7
Cinderella III: A Twist in Time (2007) (MA/HD) $6.50 (GP/HD) $5
Clerks III (2022) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $5.50
Cloverfield (2008) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6.75
Coco (2017) (MA/4K) $6.50 (iTunes/4K) $5.25 (GP/HD) $2.25
Cold Pursuit (2019) (Vudu/4K) $6.50 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3
Coming to America (1988) (Vudu/4K) $4.75 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3.25
Commuter (2018) (Vudu/4K) $6.25 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $2.50
Conan The Barbarian (2011) (Vudu/4K) $5
Constantine: The House of Mystery (2022) (MA/HD) $3.50
Contractor (2022) (Vudu/4K) $7 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4.50
Courier, The (2020) (Vudu/4K) $5 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4.50
Crash (2004) (Vudu/HD) $5.25
Crawl (2019) (Vudu/HD) $3 (iTunes/4K) $2
Croods (2013) & A New Age (2020) (MA/HD) $6.75
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2001) (MA/4K) $7.75
Da Vinci Code (2006) (MA/HD) $7
Daddy's Home 1-2 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $5.25
Daddy's Home 2 (2017) (Vudu/4K) $4.50 (iTunes/4K) $2 (Vudu/HD) $2.25
Dances With Wolves (1990) (Vudu/HD) $6
Daniel Craig Collection 5-Movie (Vudu/4K) $20
Dark Tower (2017) (MA/HD) $3
Dark Waters (2019) (MA/HD) $5.75
Darkest Hour (2017) (MA/HD) $3
Dawn of The Planet of The Apes (2014) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $4
Day After Tomorrow (2004) (MA/HD) $6.75
DC League of Super-Pets (2022) (MA/4K) $8 (MA/HD) $5
Deadpool (2016) (MA/4K) $6 (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $2
Deadpool 2 (2018) (MA/4K) $6.25 (MA/HD) $3.25
Death on the Nile (2022) (MA/HD) $5 (GP/HD) $3.50
Death Wish (2018) (Vudu/HD) $2.25
Deepwater Horizon (2016) (Vudu/4K) $5 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $2.50
Dentist Collection 1-2 (1996-1998) (Vudu/HD) $5.50
Detective Knight Collection 1-3 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $15 $5.75 Each
Devil's Due (2014) (MA/HD) $2.75
Devotion (2022) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $6.50
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010) (MA/HD) $4.50
Die Hard (1988) (MA/4K) $7 (MA/HD) $4
Die Hard 1-5 (MA/HD) $16 $4.75 Each
Dirty Dancing (1987) (Vudu/4K) $5 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4.50
Dirty Grandpa (2016) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6
Disaster Artist, The (2017) (Vudu/HD) $6.25
Django Unchained (2012) (Vudu/HD) $2.50
Do the Right Thing (1989) (MA/4K) $6
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) (MA/4K) $6 (MA/HD) $2.75 (GP/HD) $2
Dog (2022) (Vudu/HD) $3.25
Dolittle (2020) (MA/4K) $6 (MA/HD) $3.50
Don't Worry Darling (2022) (MA/HD) $5.50
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) (Vudu/HD) $5.25 (iTunes/4K) $4.25
Downsizing (2017) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $1.25
Downton Abbey (2019) (MA/HD) $5.50
Downton Abbey: A New Era (2022) (MA/HD) $3.75
Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) (iTunes/4K) $5.50 (MA/HD) $5
Dracula Untold (2014) (MA/4K) $7 (MA/HD) $2.75 (iTunes/4K) $4
Draft Day (2014) (Vudu/HD) $3.25 (iTunes/HD) $2.50
Dragged Across Concrete (2019) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3.25
Dragonheart 5-Movie (MA/HD) $15
Drive (2011) (MA/HD) $4.25
Dumbo (2019) (MA/4K) $6 (iTunes/4K) $5.25 (GP/HD) $2.50
Dune (2021) (MA/4K) $5
Dying of the Light (2014) (Vudu/HD) $2.25
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) (MA/4K) $6 (iTunes/4K) $5 (MA/HD) $3
Earth Girls Are Easy (1988) (Vudu/HD) $5.75
Edward Scissorhands (1990) (MA/HD) $3
Eighth Grade (2018) (Vudu/HD) $5.75
Elvis (2022) (MA/4K) $6.75 (MA/HD) $4
Elysium (2013) & District 9 (2009) (MA/HD) $7.75
Elysium (2013) (MA/HD) $3.25
Emoji Movie (2017) (MA/HD) $2.25
Epic (2013) (MA/HD) $1.75 (iTunes/SD) $1.25
Equalizer 2 (2018) (MA/4K) $7.25 (MA/HD) $2.75
Escape from L.A (1996) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6
Eternals (2021) (MA/4K) $6.75 (MA/HD) $4.50 (GP/HD) $3
Everest (2015) (MA/4K) $6.50 (MA/HD) $3 (iTunes/4K) $4
Ex Machina (2015) (Vudu/4K) $6.50 (Vudu/HD) $4
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $3
Expendables 1-3 (Vudu/HD) $4.50
Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) (GP/HD) $4.25
Fabelmans (2022) (MA/HD) $6.50
Fahrenheit 451 (2018) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $4.50 (GP/HD) $3
Fantastic Beasts Collection 1-3 (MA/HD) $8
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022) (MA/4K) $5.25 (MA/HD) $3
Fantastic Four (2015) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $4.50
Farewell, The (2019) (Vudu/HD) $5.50
Fast & Furious Collection 1-9 (MA/HD) $10
Fatale (2020) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $3.75
Father Stu (2022) (MA/HD) $5.50
Fatherhood (2021) (MA/HD) $3.75
Fault in Our Stars (2014) (MA/HD) $1.75
Fences (2016) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $1.75
Ferdinand (2017) (MA/HD) $3.50
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $6
Field of Dreams (1989) (MA/4K) $7.50 (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $6
Fifth Element (1997) (MA/4K) $8 (MA/HD) $6.75
Fifty Shades of Grey 3-Movie + Unrated (MA/HD) $9.75
Finding Dory (2016) (MA/4K) $5.75 (iTunes/4K) $3.50 (GP/HD) $1.25
Finding Nemo (2003) (MA/4K) $6.75 (iTunes/4K) $5.25 (GP/HD) $3
Finest Hours, The (2016) (MA/HD) $6.25 (GP/HD) $3.75
First Cow (2019) (Vudu/HD) $6.50
First Man (2018) (MA/4K) $6.75 (MA/HD) $4.25
Flashdance (1983) (Vudu/4K) $6.75
Flatliners (2017) (MA/HD) $4.25
Footloose (2011) (Vudu/HD) $5 (iTunes/HD) $3.50
Ford v Ferrari (2019) (MA/4K) $7.75 (MA/HD) $4.75
Forever My Girl (2018) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $3.75
Forrest Gump (1994) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $5.50
Fox and the Hound (1981) (MA/HD) $6.50 (GP/HD) $5
Fox and the Hound 2, The (2006) (MA/HD) $4 (GP/HD) $3
Frankenstein (1931) (MA/4K) $6.50 (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $4.50
Frozen (2013) (MA/4K) $5.50 (MA/HD) $3.50 (GP/HD) $1.50
Frozen 2 (2019) (MA/4K) $4.50 (MA/HD) $4 (GP/HD) $1.75
Fruitvale Station (2014) (Vudu/HD) $4
Fury (2014) (MA/4K) $6.50 (MA/HD) $4.50
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3.75
Gamer (2009) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $5.50
Garfield (2004) (MA/HD) $6.50
Gate, The (1987) (Vudu/SD) $4.25
Gemini Man (2019) (Vudu/4K) $5.75 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $2.25
Ghost in the Shell (1995) (Animated) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $4.75
Ghost In The Shell (2017) (Vudu/HD) $2.25 (iTunes/4K) $2.75
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012) (MA/HD) $6.75
Girl on the Train (2016) (iTunes/4K) $2.25 (MA/HD) $2.50
Girl with All the Gifts, The (2016) (Vudu/HD) $5
Gladiator (2000) (Vudu/4K) $6.25 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $5
Glass (2019) (MA/4K) $6.50 (MA/HD) $4.50
Glory (1989) (MA/4K) $7.75
Godfather (1972) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/4K) $4.75
Godfather Trilogy (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $14
Gods of Egypt (2016) (Vudu/4K) $5.25 (Vudu/HD) $2 (iTunes/4K) $1.50
Godzilla (1998) (MA/4K) $8
Gone Girl (2014) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $5.75
Good Boys (2019) (MA/HD) $3.75
Good Will Hunting (1997) (Vudu/HD) $5.25
Goodfellas (1990) (MA/4K) $6.50
Goosebumps 2 (2018) (MA/4K) $7.50 (MA/HD) $6.50
Gotti (2018) (Vudu/HD) $2
Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) (MA/HD) $3.75
Grease (1978), 2 (1982), Live! (2016) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $14
Greatest Showman (2017) (MA/HD) $2.25
Green Book (2018) (MA/4K) $7.25 (MA/HD) $5
Green Knight (2021) (Vudu/4K) $5.50
Green Lantern: Beware My Power (2022) (MA/HD) $3.25
Green Mile, The (1999) (MA/4K) $6
Greta (2019) (MA/HD) $5.25
Grey, The (2012) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $2.75
Groundhog Day (1993) (MA/4K) $8
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) (MA/4K) $6.75 (iTunes/4K) $4.25 (GP/HD) $1.25
Hacksaw Ridge (2016) (Vudu/4K) $4.50 (iTunes/4K) $3.50 (Vudu/HD) $2.25
Halloween (2018) (MA/4K) $6.25 (MA/HD) $4.25
Halloween Ends (2022) (MA/4K) $6.25 (MA/HD) $4.50
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $2.50
Happytime Murders (2018) (iTunes/4K) $1.75
Hardcore Henry (2016) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $3.50
Harriet (2019) (MA/HD) $4.25
Hate U Give (2018) (MA/4K) $7.75 (MA/HD) $4.50
Haunting in Connecticut (2009) (Vudu/HD) $6.50
Heat, The (2013) (MA/HD) $2.25 (iTunes/SD) $1
Heaven is for Real (2014) (MA/HD) $2.75
Hell Fest (2018) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $3.75
Hell or High Water (2016) (Vudu/4K) $5.25 (Vudu/HD) $2.25 (iTunes/4K) $3.75
Hellboy (2004) (MA/4K) $7.75
Hellboy (2019) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $4.25
Hercules (2014) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $1.50
Hereditary (2018) (Vudu/HD) $3.75
Hidden Figures (2016) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $2
Highlander (1986) (Vudu/4K) $5
Hitman's Bodyguard (2017) (Vudu/4K) $6.25 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4.25
Hobbs & Shaw (2019) (MA/4K) $5.75 (MA/HD) $3.75
Hocus Pocus (1993) (MA/4K) $6.75 (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $4.75 (GP/HD) $2.25
Holmes And Watson (2018) (MA/HD) $3.75
Home (2015) (MA/HD) $2
Home Alone 1-2 (MA/HD) $7.50
Hope Springs (2012) (MA/HD) $2.50
Hostiles (2017) (Vudu/4K) $4.75 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3
Hotel Mumbai (2019) (MA/HD) $5.25
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018) (MA/4K) $6.75 (MA/HD) $4.50
House of 1,000 Corpses (2003), Devil's Rejects (2005), 3 From Hell (2019) (Vudu/HD) $6
House of Gucci (2021) (iTunes/4K) $5
House of the Dragon: Season 1 (2022) (Vudu/4K) $9 (Vudu/HD) $5.50
House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) (MA/4K) $6 (MA/HD) $3.75
How to Train Your Dragon (2010) (MA/4K) $6.50
How to Train Your Dragon Collection 1-3 (MA/HD) $7.50 $4.75 Each
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) (MA/4K) $6 (MA/HD) $4.25
Howard the Duck (1986) (MA/4K) $7
Hunger Games Collection 1-4 (Vudu/HD) $6 (iTunes/4K) $12
Hunter Killer (2018) (Vudu/4K) $5.75 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $2.75
Hurt Locker (2008) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6.25
Hustle, The (2019) (iTunes/4K) $2.75
Hustlers (2019) (iTunes/4K) $3
I Feel Pretty (2018) (iTunes/HD) $1
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007) (MA/HD) $3.50
I See You (2019) (iTunes/HD) $2.50
I, Frankenstein (2014) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $1.75
I, Tonya (2017) (MA/HD) $5.75
Ice Age (2002) (MA/HD) $5
Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) (MA/HD) $6
Identity Thief (2013) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $3.75
If I Stay (2014) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $5.75
Imitation Game, The (2014) (Vudu/HD) $3.25
Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks (2017) (iTunes/HD) $3.50
In the Heights (2021) (MA/4K) $5
Inception (2010) (MA/4K) $6.50
Incredibles (2004) (MA/4K) $7.75 (iTunes/4K) $6.25 (GP/HD) $4.75
Incredibles 2 (2018) (MA/4K) $6.25 (iTunes/4K) $4.50 (GP/HD) $2
Independence Day (1996) (MA/4K) $7.75 (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $5.50
Indiana Jones 1-4 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $20
Inglorious Bastards (2009) (MA/4K) $7
Inside Out (2015) (MA/4K) $5.75 (iTunes/4K) $4.25 (GP/HD) $1.50
Instant Family (2018) (Vudu/HD) $2 (iTunes/4K) $1.50
Insurgent (2015) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $4.25 (Vudu/HD) $3.50
Interstellar (2014) (Vudu/4K) $6 (iTunes/4K) $5.75 (Vudu/HD) $4
Invisible Man (2020) (MA/4K) $6.50 (MA/HD) $3.75
Iron Man 1-3 (MA/4K) $21 (iTunes/4K) $16 (GP/HD) $7.50
Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United (2013) (MA/HD) $5.50
It Follows (2015) (Vudu/HD) $4.50
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) (Vudu/HD) $6.75
It's a Wonderful Life (1946) (Vudu/4K) $5.25 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $5
Jack Reacher Collection 1-2 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $7
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) (Vudu/4K) $5.50 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $2.75
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3.25
Jackass Forever (2022) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4
Jane Got a Gun (2016) (Vudu/HD) $5.75
Jason Bourne (2016) (MA/4K) $5.50 (iTunes/HD) $3.50 (MA/HD) $3
Jason Statham 6-Movie (Wild Card, War, Bank Job, Transporter 3, Crank, Crank 2) (Vudu/HD) $11.50
Jaws (1975) (MA/4K) $6.25 (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $4.75
Jaws (1975) Jaws 2 (1978) Jaws 3 (1983) Jaws: The Revenge (1987) (MA/HD) $15.50
Jexi (2019) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $4.50
Jigsaw (2017) (Vudu/4K) $5 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $2
Jingle All the Way (1996) (MA/HD) $5.25
JOBS (2013) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $3.75
John Wick Collection 1-3 (Vudu/4K) $16.50 (iTunes/4K) $14.50 (Vudu/HD) $8
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $4
Judy (2019) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $3.75
Juice (1992) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6.50
Jumanji (1995) (MA/HD) $6.50
Jumanji: Next Level (2019) & Welcome to the Jungle (2017) (MA/HD) $7.50
Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) (MA/4K) $7.75 (MA/HD) $5.50
Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle (2017) (MA/4K) $5.50 (MA/HD) $2 (MA/SD) $1
Jungle Book (1967) (MA/HD) $6 (GP/HD) $4
Jungle Book (2016) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $5.25 (GP/HD) $2.75
Jungle Book 2 (2003) (MA/HD) $6.50 (GP/HD) $5.50
Jungle Cruise (2021) (MA/4K) $6 (MA/HD) $3.75 (GP/HD) $3
Jurassic Park: The Lost World (1997) (MA/4K) $6.50 (iTunes/4K) $3.75 (MA/HD) $3
Jurassic World Collection 1-5 (MA/4K) $20 (iTunes/4K) $17.50 (MA/HD) $10
Jurassic World Collection 1-6 (MA/4K) $23.50 (MA/HD) $11.50
Jurassic World: Dominion + Extended Cut (2022) (MA/4K) $6.50 (MA/HD) $4.25
Justice League x RWBY Super Heroes and Huntsmen Part One (2023) (MA/HD) $4.25
Kick-Ass (2010) (Vudu/4K) $5.75 (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $4.50
Kid, The (2019) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $5.25
Killer Elite (2011) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $3.25
Killing Kennedy (2013) (MA/HD) $6.50
Killing Lincoln (2013) (MA/HD) $5.25
Kin (2018) (Vudu/4K) $5.75 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3
King Kong (2005) (MA/4K) $5.75 (iTunes/4K) $3.75 (MA/HD) $3.50
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (2016) (MA/HD) $4.50
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $2.75
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $4.25
Knight and Day (2010) (MA/HD) $6.50
Knives Out (2019) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $5.25
Knock at the Cabin (2023) (MA/HD) $5.50
Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) (MA/HD) $2.50
Kung Fu Panda Collection 1-3 (MA/HD) $12.50
La La Land (2016) (Vudu/HD) $2.25 (iTunes/4K) $3.75
Lady and the Tramp (1955) (MA/HD) $5.75 (GP/HD) $3.75
Last Duel, The (2021) (MA/HD) $5.25 (GP/HD) $4
Last Witch Hunter (2015) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $1.50
Last Word (2017) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $4.75
Legion of Super Heroes (2023) (MA/HD) $6
Les Miserables (1998) (MA/HD) $7
Les Miserables (2012) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $2.75
Life of Pi (2012) (MA/HD) $2.50
Lightyear (2022) (MA/4K) $5 (MA/HD) $2.75 (GP/HD) $2
Lilo & Stitch (2002) & Stitch Has a Glitch (2005) (MA/HD) $10.50 (GP/HD) $6
Lincoln Lawyer (2011) (Vudu/4K) $5.25 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4.50
Lion King (1994) (MA/4K) $7 (iTunes/4K) $4.50 (GP/HD) $2.75
Lion King (2019) (MA/4K) $6 (iTunes/4K) $4 (GP/HD) $1.25
Little (2019) (MA/HD) $4.50
Little Fockers (2010) (MA/HD) $5
Little Mermaid (1989) (MA/4K) $7.25 (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $5.75 (GP/HD) $3.75
Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow (2014) (MA/4K) $5
Lock Up (1989) (Vudu/4K) $5
Logan (2017) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $2.75
Logan Lucky (2017) (MA/HD) $1.50 (iTunes/4K) $2.25
Lone Ranger (2013) (MA/HD) $4.50 (GP/HD) $2.50
Lone Survivor (2013) (MA/4K) $6.75 (iTunes/4K) $2 (MA/HD) $1.50
Long Shot (2019) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4
Longest Ride (2015) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $1.50
Looper (2012) (MA/4K) $5.75 (MA/HD) $3
Lost City, The (2022) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6
Love and Monsters (2020) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $7
Lucy (2014) (MA/HD) $2
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (2022) (MA/HD) $5.50
Mad Max Collection 1-4 (Vudu/4K) $20
Madagascar Collection 1-4 (MA/HD) $14
Magnificent Seven (2016) (Vudu/4K) $6 (Vudu/HD) $2.50
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) (MA/4K) $6.50 (MA/HD) $1.75
Man on a Ledge (2012) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6.50
Marry Me (2022) (MA/HD) $6.50
Marshall (2017) (MA/HD) $4.75
Mary Poppins Returns (2018) (MA/4K) $6.50 (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $4.50 (GP/HD) $2
Matrix: Resurrections (2021) (MA/4K) $5
Maze Runner (2014) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $5.50
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $6
McFarland, USA (2015) (MA/HD) $6.25 (GP/HD) $4.50
Mechanic: Resurrection (2016) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3
Megan Leavey (2017) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $1.75
Memory (2022) (MA/HD) $3.50
Men (2022) (Vudu/HD) $3.75
Men in Black (1997) (MA/HD) $6.50
Men in Black 3 (2012) (MA/HD) $2.50
Men in Black Collection 1-3 (MA/HD) $15.50
Men in Black II (2002) (MA/HD) $6.75
Menu (2022) (MA/HD) $5.50 (GP/HD) $4
MIB: International (2019) (MA/4K) $5.75 (MA/HD) $4.75
Mickey & Minnie 10 Classic Shorts - Volume 1 (2023) (MA/HD) $5.75 (GP/HD) $4
Midway (2019) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $4
Mile 22 (2018) (iTunes/4K) $1.75
Minions (2015) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $2.75
Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022) & Minions (2015) (MA/HD) $8
Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022) (MA/4K) $6.75 (MA/HD) $5.25
Miss Bala (2019) (MA/HD) $3.75
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2015) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $2
Mission: Impossible Collection 1-6 (Vudu/4K) $25 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $20
Moana (2016) (MA/4K) $7 (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $4.75 (GP/HD) $2
Money Monster (2016) (MA/HD) $3.25
Moneyball (2011) (MA/HD) $2.75
Monster Hunter (2020) (MA/4K) $7 (MA/HD) $4.25
Monsters University (2013) (MA/4K) $6.75 (iTunes/4K) $5.75 (GP/HD) $3.50
Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) (MA/HD) $4.75
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983) (MA/4K) $7.25
Moonfall (2022) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $5
Moonlight (2016) (Vudu/HD) $4
Moonrise Kingdom (2012) (MA/HD) $4.75
Morbius (2022) (MA/4K) $5.25 (MA/HD) $3.25 (MA/SD) $2.25
Mortal Engines (2018) (MA/4K) $7 (MA/HD) $3.25
Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2014) (MA/HD) $3.50
Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind (2022) (MA/HD) $5.50
Mother's Day (2016) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $5
Mountain Between Us (2017) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $1.50
Mr & Mrs. Smith (2005) (MA/HD) $5.75
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014) (MA/HD) $3.25
Mulan (1998) (MA/4K) $6.75 (iTunes/4K) $5.75 (GP/HD) $3
Mulan (2020) (MA/4K) $6.25 (MA/HD) $4 (GP/HD) $2.25
Mulan 2 (2005) (MA/HD) $3.75 (GP/HD) $2.75
Mummy, The (2017) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $2.75
Muppets Most Wanted (2014) (MA/HD) $6.25 (GP/HD) $4.50
Murder on The Orient Express (2017) (MA/HD) $2.75
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $4
My Boss's Daughter (2003) (Vudu/HD) $6
My Fair Lady (1964) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $5.50
My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $3.25
Natural, The (1984) (MA/4K) $5
Nebraska (2013) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $2.25
Never Grow Old (2019) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $4.50
New Mutants (2020) (MA/4K) $6.75 (MA/HD) $5.25 (GP/HD) $2.75
News of the World (2020) (MA/4K) $6.25 (MA/HD) $3.75
Night at the Museum 3-Movie (MA/HD) $13.50 $6 Each (MA/SD) $9
Night Before (2015) (MA/HD) $4.75
Night School (Extended) (2018) (MA/4K) $7 (MA/HD) $3.75
Nightmare Alley (2021) (MA/HD) $4.50 (GP/HD) $3.50
No Country For Old Men (2007) (Vudu/HD) $5.50 (iTunes/HD) $6.50
Noah (2014) (Vudu/HD) $1.75 (iTunes/HD) $1.50
Nope (2022) (MA/4K) $8 (MA/HD) $5.75
Nope (2022), Get Out (2017) & Us (2019) (MA/HD) $10
Northman (2022) (MA/4K) $7.25 (MA/HD) $4.50
Notting Hill (1999) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $3.75
Now You See Me 1-2 (Vudu/HD) $4 (iTunes/HD) $6.50
Nut Job (2014) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $1.75
Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) (MA/4K) $6 (MA/HD) $3 (GP/HD) $2.50
Oblivion (2013) (MA/4K) $7 (iTunes/4K) $3.50 (MA/HD) $2.25
Office Space (1999) (MA/HD) $7
Olaf's Frozen Adventure Plus 6 Disney Tales (2017) (MA/HD) $4.50 (GP/HD) $3
Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood (2019) (MA/4K) $6.75 (MA/HD) $5
One Direction: This is Us + Extended Fan Edition (2013) (MA/HD) $3.25
Only The Brave (2017) (MA/HD) $5.50
Onward (2020) (MA/4K) $5.50 (MA/HD) $4 (GP/HD) $2.25
Operation Finale (2018) (iTunes/4K) $2.75
Other Woman (2014) (MA/HD) $2.25
Ouija (2014) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $2.50
Our Kind of Traitor (2016) (Vudu/HD) $3.25
Overboard (2016) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $5.75
Overlord (2018) (Vudu/4K) $5 (Vudu/HD) $2.75 (iTunes/4K) $4
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) (MA/HD) $2 (GP/HD) $1
Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) (MA/4K) $7.75 (MA/HD) $4.50
Parasite (2019) (MA/HD) $4.75
Passengers (2016) (MA/HD) $2.75
Paterno (2018) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $4.25 (GP/HD) $2.75
Patriot Games (1992) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $5.50
Patriots Day (2017) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $2.50
Paul, Apostle Of Christ (2018) (MA/HD) $4.50
Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank (2022) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $6
Peanuts Movie (2015) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $2.25
Pearl (2022) (Vudu/HD) $5.50
Penguins of Madagascar (2014) (MA/HD) $2.75
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013) (MA/HD) $2.25
Pet Sematary (1989) (Vudu/4K) $6 (iTunes/4K) $4 (Vudu/HD) $3.75
Pete’s Dragon (2016) (MA/HD) $6.25 (GP/HD) $4.25
Peter Pan (1953) (MA/HD) $6.25 (GP/HD) $4.75
Peter Pan: Return to Neverland (2002) (MA/HD) $6 (GP/HD) $4.50
Peter Rabbit (2018) & 2 (2021) (MA/HD) $8.50 $4.75 Each
Philadelphia (1993) (MA/4K) $7.75
Pineapple Express (Unrated Edition) (2008) (MA/HD) $6.50
Pitch Black - Unrated Director's Cut (2000) (MA/HD) $6
Pitch Perfect (2012) (MA/4K) $5.75 (MA/HD) $2.75 (iTunes/4K) $3.75
Pitch Perfect Collection 1-3 (MA/HD) $11.50
Plane (2023) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $8
Planet of the Apes 1-3 (Newer) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $12
Power Rangers (2017) (Vudu/4K) $5.50 (iTunes/4K) $3.25 (Vudu/HD) $2.75
Precious (2009) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $6.25
Predator (1987), 2 (1990), Predators (2009), Predator (2018) (MA/HD) $11
Predator (2018) (MA/4K) $6.25 (MA/HD) $3.50
Pretty in Pink (1986) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4.75
Prey for the Devil (2022) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6
Priceless (2016) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $5
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) (MA/HD) $6.50
Prophecy Collection 1-5 (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $14.50
Proud Mary (2018) (MA/HD) $4.25
Psycho (1960), Rear Window (1954), The Birds (1963), Vertigo (1958) (MA/4K) $17
Pulp Fiction (1994) (Vudu/4K) $5.50 (Vudu/HD) $4.25 (iTunes/HD) $5.25
Punisher, The (2004) (Vudu/4K) $5.75
Punisher: War Zone (2008) (Vudu/4K) $5.75
Purge: Anarchy (2014) (MA/4K) $5.75 (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $4.75
Puss in Boots (2011) (MA/4K) $6.75
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022) (MA/HD) $7.50
Queen & Slim (2019) (MA/HD) $4.50
Queen of Katwe (2016) (MA/HD) $3.50 (GP/HD) $2.50
Raid 2 (2014) (MA/HD) $5.75
Raid: Redemption + Unrated (2012) (MA/HD) $5.75
Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) (MA/4K) $5.25 (iTunes/4K) $4.50 (GP/HD) $1.50
Rambo Collection 1-5 (Vudu/HD) $13
Ray (2004) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $5.25
Ready or Not (2019) (MA/HD) $6.25
Rear Window (1954) (MA/4K) $4.75
Red 2 (2013) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6.25 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $1.50
Red Sparrow (2018) (MA/HD) $4.50
Replicas (2019) (Vudu/4K) $5.50
Requiem for a Dream - Director's Cut (2000) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6.25
Rescuers, The (1977) (MA/HD) $6.50 (GP/HD) $4
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017) (MA/4K) $7.25 (MA/HD) $3.25
Revenant, The (2015) (MA/4K) $5.25 (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $3.25
Rhythm Section (2020) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4.25
Riddick Collection 1-3 (Unrated) (MA/HD) $14
Ride Along 1-2 (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $5 $2.75 Each
Rings (2017) (Vudu/HD) $2.75 (iTunes/HD) $1.50
Rise of the Guardians (2012) (MA/HD) $3.25
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2010) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $5.75
Robin Hood (2010) (MA/4K) $6.25
Robin Hood (2018) (Vudu/4K) $5 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3.25
RoboCop (2014) (Vudu/HD) $2
Rocketman (2019) (Vudu/4K) $4.75 (iTunes/4K) $2.50 (Vudu/HD) $2.25
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) (MA/HD) $5.25
Rogue (2020) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $3.50
Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) (MA/HD) $3.50
Rookie of the Year (1993) (MA/HD) $7.50
Room (2015) (Vudu/HD) $5
Rough Night (2017) (MA/HD) $4.25
Rumble (2022) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $5.75
Running Man, The (1987) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6.25
Same Kind of Different as Me (2017) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $2
Sandlot, The (1993) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $5
Saturday Night Fever (1977) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6.25
Sausage Party (2016) (MA/HD) $4.75
Savages (2012) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $2.25
Saving Private Ryan (1998) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6.50
Saw (2004) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $5.50
Saw Collection 1-7 (Vudu/HD) $10
Scarface (1983) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $5.25
Scary Movie 3 (2003) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $4
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $3
Schindler's List (1993) (MA/HD) $4.75
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010) (MA/4K) (iTunes/4K) $5.75 (MA/HD) $5.25
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015) (Vudu/HD) $3.75 (iTunes/HD) $2.75
Scream (1996) (Vudu/4K) $6 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3.75
Scream 5 (2022) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $5.50
Scream Collection 1-3 (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $13.50
Scrooged (1988) (iTunes/HD) $3.75
Secret Headquarters (2022) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/4K) $6
Secret in Their Eyes (2015) (MA/HD) (iTunes/HD) $2.25
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $4.50
Selma (2015) (Vudu/HD) $3 (iTunes/HD) $2.25
Serenity (2005) (MA/HD) $3.50
Seriously Red (2022) (Vudu/HD) $6.75
Sessions, The (2012) (MA/HD) $4.50
Shack (2017) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $1.50
Shallows, The (2016) (MA/4K) $6.75 (MA/HD $4
Shang-Chi (2021) (MA/4K) $6.25 (MA/HD) $4.75 (GP/HD) $3
Shape of Water (2017) (MA/HD) $3.25
Shaun of the Dead (2004) (MA/4K) $5
Shawshank Redemption (1994) (MA/4K) $6
Shazam! (2019) (MA/4K) $7
Sherlock Gnomes (2018) (Vudu/HD) $2.75 (iTunes/4K) $2.25
She's the Man (2006) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $3.25
Shrek 2 (2004) (MA/HD) $6
Shrek the Third (2007) (MA/HD) $6
Shutter Island (2010) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6.50
Sicario (2015) (Vudu/4K) $6 (Vudu/HD) $1.75 (iTunes/4K) $3
Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) (MA/4K) $7.75 (MA/HD) $3.75
Silent Night, Deadly Night: 3-Film Collection (1989-1991) (Vudu/HD) $6
Silver Linings Playbook (2012) (Vudu/HD) $2
Sin City (2005) (Vudu/HD) $5.75
Sing (2016) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $2.75
Sing Collection 1-2 (MA/HD) $6
Singin' in the Rain (1952) (MA/4K) $6.50
Skyscraper (2018) (MA/4K) $5.25 (MA/HD) $1.75
Sleeping Beauty (1959) (MA/HD) $3.50 (GP/HD) $2.50
Slender Man (2018) (MA/HD) $5.25
Smile (2022) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/4K) $6.75
Smokey and the Bandit (1977) (MA/4K) $6.50 (MA/HD) $3.75
Smokin' Aces (2007) (iTunes/4K) $5.75
Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937) (MA/HD) $6 (GP/HD) $3.75
Snowden (2016) (MA/HD) $3.50 (iTunes/HD) $4
Snowman (2017) (MA/HD) $2.75
Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) (Vudu/4K) $6.25 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4.25
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022) (Vudu/4K) $6.50 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4.50
Sorry to Bother You (2018) (MA/HD) $4.75
Soul (2020) (MA/4K) $6.25 (MA/HD) $3.75 (GP/HD) $2.25
Source Code (2011) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $6
Space Jam (1996) (MA/4K) $5
Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) (MA/4K) $5
Sparkle (2012) (MA/HD) $3.50 (MA/SD) $2.25
Speed (1994) (MA/4K) $5.25
Spider-Man Collection 1-8 (MA/HD) $26
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) (MA/4K) $8 (MA/HD) $4.25
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) (MA/4K) $8 (MA/HD) $1.75
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018) (MA/HD) $5.25
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) (MA/4K) $6.75 (MA/HD) $3.75
Spies in Disguise (2019) (MA/HD) $3.50 (GP/HD) $2.50
Spiral (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $5.50
Spirit Untamed: The Movie (2021) (MA/HD) $4.25
Split (2017) (MA/4K) $6.75 (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $2.75
SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015) (Vudu/HD) $4.75 (iTunes/HD) $3.50
Spotlight (2015) (MA/HD) $5 (iTunes/HD) $3
Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $4.25
Star Trek 1-3 (Vudu/4K) $18 (Vudu/HD) $9.50 (iTunes/4K) $13.50
Step Up Revolution (2012) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $3.25
Stir of Echoes (1999) (Vudu/HD) $4.75
Strange World (2022) (GP/HD) Ports to MA $4.25
Stuber (2019) (MA/HD) $4.75
Suburbicon (2017) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3.25
Suffragette (2015) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $3
Suicide Squad, The (2021) (MA/4K) $5
Sum of All Fears, The (2002) (Vudu/4K) (iTunes/4K) $5.75
Super 8 (2011) (Vudu/4K) $5.75 (Vudu/HD) $3.25 (iTunes/4K) $5
Super Buddies (2013) (MA/HD) $5 (GP/HD) $3.50
Super Troopers 2 (2018) (MA/HD) $3
Survive the Night (2020) (Vudu/4K) $4 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3
SW: A New Hope (1977) (MA/4K) $7 (iTunes/4K) $6.25 (GP/HD) $3.50
SW: Empire Strikes Back (1980) (MA/4K) $7 (iTunes/4K) $6.50 (GP/HD) $3.50
SW: Force Awakens (2015) (MA/4K) $5.25 iTunes/4K) $3.50 (GP/HD) $1
SW: Last Jedi (2017) (MA/4K) $5.75 (iTunes/4K) $3.75 (GP/HD) $1
SW: Phantom Menace (1999) (MA/4K) $7.50 (iTunes/4K) $6.50 (GP/HD) $3.50
SW: Return of the Jedi (1983) (MA/4K) $7.25 (iTunes/4K) $6.50 (GP/HD) $3.50
Taken Collection 1-3 (MA/HD) $9
Tangled (2010) (MA/4K) $8 (MA/HD) $5 (GP/HD) $3.75
Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse (2022) (MA/HD) $5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $3.25
Ten Commandments (1956) (Vudu/4K) $6 (iTunes/4K) (Vudu/HD) $5.75
Terminator: Genisys (2015) (Vudu/HD) $1.75 (iTunes/4K) $3
Terms of Endearment (1983) (Vudu/HD) (iTunes/HD) $5
Theory Of Everything (2014) (iTunes/HD) Ports to MA $4
Thing, The (2011) (MA/HD) $6.25
Think Like a Man (2012) & Two (2014) (MA/HD) $9
This Is The End (2013) (MA/HD) $5
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) (MA/4K) $6.75 (MA/HD) $3.25 (GP/HD) $2
Thor: Ragnarok (2017) (iTunes/4K) (MA/HD) $3.50 (GP/HD) $1.75
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) (MA/HD) $3.50
Till (2022) (iTunes/4K) $6.50
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) (MA/4K) $6.25 (iTunes/HD) $4.50
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2023.05.26 21:40 SKwiatks Written In the Stars Ch. 13: Lay Your Healing Hands On Me part 3

Clementine comes in from the down pouring rain and makes sure the gates are secure from the big storm that has been threatening all day. She shakes the rain off of her jacket as Aasim closes the door behind her.
"Crazy how fast the storm came. Almost thought It would miss us." Aasim said as he peers outside.
"Let's just hope the gates hold," Clementine said casting out into the sheets of heavy rain.
"Yeah, the last thing we need are walkers invading our walls." Aasim looks at Clementine as worry sets in her eyes. "Don't worry, I'm sure the extra support of scrap metal from the raider's supplies should hold it. We will inspect it once the storm passes. Willy and I will keep watch of the dorms tonight, just in case. You should get some rest, you did well today Clem."
"Thanks." Clementine heaves a sigh of relief. She knows AJ will be sleeping with Tenn for the night as Tenn always has issues with big storms, so it looks like it is a Lou and her kind of night.
Clementine makes her way to her room and opens up the door, and to her surprise, it was romantically lit with candles and a lantern beside the desk. There were sheets aligned at the bedside as well as stacks of pillows. "Louis?" Clementine asks as she closes the door behind her.
Louis pokes his head out from underneath the bed sheets, "Oh there you are."
"What have you done with our room?" Clementine asks as she questions him and looks around.
"Figure we can have a date night since we haven't had one in a while, and build a pillow fort," Louis said all innocently which always melted Clementine's heart.
"A pillow fort really?" Clementine asks.
"Yes really. It will be like we are camping just without a tent. Well, sort of...Besides, I got some pretzels waiting for you." Louis incises her a bit. Clementine giggles and joins him under the fort.
"When did you have time to do this?" Clementine asks.
"Well, when you were out prepping for the storm. I know I should help but with the day you had, wanted to give you something to look forward to when all is said and done." Louis eyes her. "And AJ is with Tenn tonight, so figure you, and I can have some romance time."
"You are so cute, and I got to admit this is really romantic." Clementine smiles. Clementine blushes as she tries to hide it from him. She hates it that he can get her to soften her tough girl look, and become all mushy.
The thunder outside begins to pick up as the hard rain can be heard splattering on the glass and wood on the window. Clementine looks at him, "So any plans for our romantic evening or just this."
Louis looks at her and softly comes over to sit behind her, "Well was thinking of playing a game of cards with you, but with how stressed you are, I will offer you a massage if you want it Or we can sit and talk about what hap-" Louis started to say, but when he mentioned it Clementine got emotional and shuttered away. He bit his lip and wanted to take away whatever it is that is upsetting her.
"I don't want to talk about it. At least not right now Lou." Clementine finally spoke after a moment of silence. "I don't want to spoil the mood."
Louis nods to that, "So massage then? I promise I won't hurt you. I am pretty good at it, giving massages I mean."
Clementine smiles and nods to that. She knows how well he read her mood and knows when not to push things. Being a leader is tough, and he knows this, so being her rock when she needs him to be is all Clementine can be grateful for. Louis begins to massage her tighten shoulders as Clementine stares at the flickering light of the candle and lantern. She closes her eyes to feel the tension leaving her body as Louis loosens up those strained muscles. "I tried to help her, and she shoves me away..." Clementine voiced out loud.
"Vi?" Louis asks.
Clementine nods in silence. It has been several weeks since Clementine found out Violet is being extremely friendly to the girl Maya from the other group she has trust issues with, and since then Violet and she are still on shaky ground. Aasim told her how Violet got injured and when Clementine tried to help Violet shoved her hand away and told her to piss off. Ruby was the only one besides Tenn that Violet allows to talk to and sometimes Louis.
Louis didn't say anything and just kept working on Clem's shoulders. "She yelled at me this afternoon after getting cut from securing the gate and the walls for the storm. I came and offered to help her get up so Ruby could examine her. She told me to fuck off pretty much. I don't understand what I did to hurt her. I wish things could back to where they were. I miss having her as my friend another girl I can talk to, besides just Ruby."
Louis finally speaks near Clementine's right ear; "I can try talking to her if you want. I know her a bit better than you do. Vi and I kind of go back a ways."
"I don't want her to hurt you the way she has hurt me." Clementine looks at him with worry in her eyes.
"As I said, I know how she runs. She uses her cold heart to push away people as a defensive mechanism the way I use jokes, to protect her heart from getting broken." Louis confesses. "She isn't trying to be mean and cold towards you darling, that is how Vi is sometimes." Louis tucks a lock of Clementine's beautiful soft curly hair behind her right earlobe. And kisses her cheek for reassurance. "She will come around. Just got to give her time and space."
Clementine heaves a sigh as he does that, "It's been several weeks, Louis."
"I know. But she will come around." Louis kisses the back of her neck and shoulders. Clementine smiles, as she feels loved by him. She leans her back against his chest and lets him hold her for a while. They listen to the storm rage outside for a bit then Clementine looks at him and reaches inside his coat pocket grabbing his deck of cards.
"Hey." Louis shouted, "Those are mine."
"Truth or dare?" Clementine looks at him with a cheeky smile.
"I thought you didn't want to play a game?" Louis asks as his eyebrows rose.
"To take my mind off of what happened, besides I need the distraction of the shitty day I had." Clementine said as she shuffles the cards, "So truth or dare?"
Louis raises his eyebrows in a cocky way, "All right. Bring on your best game Clem." And gave Clementine a smirking grin.
Clementine slyly smiles at him and placed the shuffle cards in the middle as she draws one from the pile, and so does Louis. Louis has the eight of hearts and Clementine has the two of spades. Louis eyes her, "Well I guess I win, hmmm let's see, Truth. Would you rather eat a spider or kiss a snake?"
Clementine blinks up at him, "What kind of question is that."
"A warm-up one for later." Louis challenges her. "So which one? Eat a spider or kiss a snake."
"Kiss a snake no contest." Clementine answers.
"Why?" Louis said with curiosity, "Some snakes are poisonous and can bite you, you know."
"So as some species of spiders. And I hate spiders. So if I have a choice between a snake and a spider I will take my chances with a snake thank you." Clementine confesses.
"Interesting. So you are afraid of spiders, duly noted." Louis snickers.
"I'm not afraid.... I just don't like them." Clementine plays it off cool that she is not afraid of them when she actually is, and Louis saw right through it.
"I will kill every spider that comes your way darling, and I will protect you from the big bad eight-legged creature." Louis teases her as he made his hands gesture and move like a spider.
Clementine rolls her eyes and playfully smacks Louis with a pillow as she smiles at him for defending her honor. She takes another card from the pile, and Louis does the same. Louis drew three of the clubs, and Clementine drew ten of the diamonds.
"Let's see, dare." Clementine looks at Louis and sees his face flush a bit.
"I dare you to lick the mushroom." Clementine pointed to the plant on the broken bookshelf.
"Really, that it?" Louis looks at her.
"Well that or run outside in the storm streaking to tease the walkers, but it is too dangerous outside," Clementine said kind of teasing him.
Louis nods and then goes, "Okay." He gets up out of their mishap tent and goes over to the bookcase where Clementine has her collection of animal skulls and a plant. He takes the vase that holds the mushroom and licks it. His face scrunches up as he spat the nasty taste from his mouth. As he did that Clementine laughs at the sight of Louis doing that. He loved to hear her laugh, which made the task worth it.
Louis rejoins her underneath the bed sheet fort and looks at her with amusement, "As much as that tasted nasty it was worth it to hear you laugh."
Clementine looks at him with eyes glowing with love. She takes another card already and waits for Louis to draw a card. Louis drew his third card, and it turns out to be the five of hearts, and Clementine flips her card over to reveal the jack of spades. Louis drops his head, as Clementine's smile grows ever more. "Looks like I win again."
Louis looks back up at her, "Just don't ask for any more dares that will ruin my image."
"No dares this time. Uh... truth." Clementine said. She thought of a question she had wanted to ask him for a while, "What is the significance of the tan jacket you always wear?"
Louis looks at her and smiles, "It belongs to my dad. One of the things he accidentally left in my boxes when I got shipped here after I destroyed my parent's marriage. I guess it is my last memory of my parents and life before everything went to shit." Louis answers her.
Clementine nodded and gently added, "And that is why you go to sleep with it on every night?"
Louis looks to her, " only get one question for that, and you asked it what is the significance of."
Clementine nods to that, "Well...since you kind of confirm it with my question earlier, I will take that as a yes."
Louis shyly looks away from her, as she guessed right. He draws another card from the pile between them, and Clementine does the same. Louis showed his card as Clementine did too. Louis has the King of clubs and Clementine has the nine of hearts. Louis smiles and looks at Clementine, "Since you asked something personal of mine that I always keep near my heart, what is the significance of the raggedy old hat you always wear or used to, now that AJ wears it."
Clementine smiles at him. She usually would get mad at anyone teasing her about her hat, but Louis, who she fell in love with makes her want to share a bit of her life before the outbreak started, with him. "It belonged to my dad. He used to wear it all the time when he did yard work or play with me out in the yard. It was his favorite baseball team, I forgot the name of it and what the D actually stands for, but Javi told me it is a famous baseball team he used to remember." Clementine paused briefly to look at Louis, and his hand met with hers. She felt his thumb rubbing her knuckles to her left hand. She then took a breath and finish telling him about her parents, "before he and my mother went to Savannah for a trip and left me with my babysitter Sandra, he told me I could borrow it not keep it. Then the world ended, and I never saw my parents again. So I kept it all these years as my remembrance of my parents as a keepsake."
Louis looks at her as she shared a bit of her life story with him. "Well, I'm sure your dad would be proud you kept his favorite hat all this time. And even pass it down to little AJ."
"Yeah, he would've." Clementine looks at him with admiration.
Then she reaches for another card, and Louis does the same. Although Louis was still in a trance of what Clementine just told him about the significance of her hat and what it means to her. He now understands why she gets a bit mad whenever he tries to take her hat from her. Louis flipped his card over and revealed the king of hearts and Clementine had the Jack of clubs. Louis gleefully did a victory pump in the air, "Yes, I win again. Um...dare this time."
Clementine braces herself for the dare she is about to receive. Louis pulls out two pieces of old candy. "Okay, pick your poison. I dare you to eat a stale old gummy bear or a rock-hard piece of taffy."
Clementine looks at him suspiciously, "You knew I was going to play a game with you tonight, didn't you."
Louis shrugs, "Wasn't sure about your mood darling, but since you suggested it I wasn't going to say no. Besides, I always come prepared." Louis smiles. "So what will it be stale gummy bear or rock-hard taffy."
Clementine reaches for the gummy bear, took it in her mouth, and ate it. It was bland and out of flavor, but it was better to go down than rock-hard taffy. Now it was Louis's turn to laugh at Clementine's face as she scrunched it up with the bad aftertaste. Clementine looks at him, disregards the game, and lunches after him, tackling him in their fort tent. When she does that the sheets fell down as well as the pillows that held them up tumble down onto the floor destroying their beautiful fortress. Clementine and Louis didn't care as she tickles him until begs her for mercy and his insides couldn't take any more laughter.
"Okay...okay....stop...stop that tickles..." Louis shouts in between laughter. "Please, Clem...." Louis tries to speak in between laughter, "I can't any...more."
Clementine has him pinned on his back with his head a few feet from the dresser stand as she held his hands above his head. For her being one-legged and small, she sure has a firm grip. "Not until you say, uncle?"
"Okay..." Louis looks her in the eyes as he reaches up and plants a kiss on her lips that seems to have shocked Clementine as she loosens her grip on him and kisses him back. Something sparks in her heart that night, as she wanted him at that moment. Like really wanted him. He pulled back just a bit to look Clementine in the eyes and smiled, "I guess I win with that, huh...."
Clementine looks at him and breathes profoundly, "Louis can I ask you something?"
Louis looks at the fort, then back at her, "Kind of ruined the game a bit, but sure.."
Clementine lightly smiles at his reply then she looks at him deeply in the eyes, and being serious for a moment. "Have you thought can I explain this in a way that doesn't freak you out..." Clementine looks away, unsure how to ask this of him. She closed her eyes and softly spoke the words she wanted to say to him, "Going farther than second base with me."
Louis eyes her now as his mouth runs dry at what she is proposing here. His heart thumps in his chest as he stares at her unable to speak. Clementine notices his silence as she looks back into his eyes, "Louis?"
Louis coughs as he tries to say something serious and not in a joking fashion, "You mean, have I uh...thought about moving past that and going the full home run with you." Clementine nods as he is picking up her baseball analogy of having sex and hooking up. Louis looks a little shy at first, but there is a calmness in his eyes as he looks deep into her golden depths. He leans up and places his hands on her cheeks and seductively kisses her deeply as he responds to her question. He always felt that way about her but never knew how badly she wants to be with him. He was waiting for the more opportune time but this moment with her with him like this was more than he could ask for. He pulled back to look her in the eyes and breathlessly said, "Yes."
Clementine looks at him and smiles, feeling the fire in her soul and heat with him. She then leans back down to continue to kiss him passionately and seductively, as he wanted this as badly as she did. She was saving this question later in the game of truth or dare but she got her answer. Louis kisses her deeply as she feels his tongue collide with hers. Her hands move up his chest to his collarbone as she strokes the smooth skin. Louis soon breaks their kiss as Clementine allows him to sit up. He soon goes back to kissing her tenderly and works up the next move he plans to do. Still keeping his lips locked with hers, he moves his hands up by her shoulders and slides them down her arms and sides until he finds the ends of her denim jean jacket and slowly tugs on it to take it off.
She felt Louis slip off her denim jean jacket as it falls behind her. She looks at him and closes her eyes again as he kisses her tenderly. Clementine soon moves her hands up around Louis's upper arms and soon do the same taking off his long coat jacket and letting it fall behind him. He kisses her lips once more, and she lets out a pleasing moan at his touch. Louis's heart was beating insanely fast with the rush of excitement. But he wants to savor this moment between her and him and tries not to rush it. Louis breaks contact with Clementine's lips momentarily as he moves down the slope of her neck, leaving hot kisses behind with each movement down to her collarbone, where he sucks on her soft flesh some.
Clementine felt electricity flow through her, as she never felt this way with anyone before. And when she felt Louis kissing her neck, she felt like she was in heaven, and for the first time, let her walls come down and just be loved. The feeling Louis is giving to her was out of this world. She wonders if this is what true love is like. Her head tilts back as Louis kisses her neck, and her eyes roll back some to feel the intense feeling Louis is giving her, as Clementine's mouth agape a bit. Louis moves back to her lips as she crashes with his movements without missing a beat. Everything was a blur, leaving Clementine feeling lightheaded with love when Louis flipped her on her back as he posed above her. She smiles at him a loving smile when she felt his nose rub against hers in a tender way, as he breathes heavily along with her own breath. She doesn't know which is louder her own heart beating wildly with Louis's or the thunder booming outside.
Louis looked at her and breathlessly spoke, "My heart is pounding."
Clementine places her left hand on Louis's chest as she feels his heart beating wildly along with hers. She looks up into his soft chocolate eyes, which she loves so much, and never breaks eye contact with him. Clementine found the end of the collar on his green shirt, and with her fingers, she gently tugs on the collar to lower his lips back down to her own as she kisses him profoundly, moving in seductive ways for a little while until the passion was growing, and they wanted something more. Her tongue collided with Louis's once more as she felt him cupping her face with his thumb caressing her cheekbone. They kiss like that for a bit until Louis pulls back and takes Clementine's hand to guide her to sit up with him. It made it easier for them to remove each other's shirts. She feels Louis as he slowly unzips her white-stained hoodie and lets her hoodie glide off of her. He soon lifts up her white undershirt so that her bra remains the only piece of clothing left at the top half of her body. Clementine does the same removing his green shirt and letting it mingle with her denim jean jacket and her two other white shirts. They both stare at each other with loving eyes as they admire one other of their bare skin.
Louis looks in awe at the woman before him and sees the battle scars on her left arm. Her scar on her lower forearm and what looks like a branding mark on her upper left shoulder. He knew Clementine comes from a dark past, just never knew how much. He reaches out and tenderly strokes the brand on her shoulder. Feeling the indented skin under his fingertips. He felt Clementine flinch a little at his touch. He can tell she never let anyone know what was done to her. Louis then looks upon Clementine's sympatric face when she looks up at him. No words spoke between them, but their eyes said everything. Louis then did something that she was not expecting him to do. Louis kisses her brand on her shoulder tenderly and softly, moving down to the scar on her lower arm. He wants her to know that none of her battle scars matter to him. He loves all of her, and he wanted to let her know that and not just say it but let her feel it.
Clementine closes her eyes and grips the bed sheet she is sitting on top of to Louis kissing her scars as she is being open and vulnerable with him to have him love her like that. Clementine lets out a soft pleasurable moan when Louis kisses her sensitive skin. She never let anyone see, not even AJ, of the scars she had to endure when she was younger and all the painful memories and sacrifices that came along with it.
She felt his lips run over her scars, then back up the slope of her neck and finally to her lips. She let out a satisfying moan against his lips as he made contact with them again. Clementine momentarily breaks her contact from his lips as she eyes the man before her. Clementine looks at Louis as his torso is smooth, and she smiles when she notices his very fine abs and chest. A soft look came over her eyes as she reached out and touched the smooth skin on his chest. Caressing her fingertips over his soft, smooth flesh, smiling at every touch. His adorable freckles scatter down his nose, his cheeks, neck, and onto his chest. Making him even cuter and more handsome, and she can't believe her luck in finding such a man who is a reflection of her. She can make her own star constellation in his freckles.
When she touches his torso, Louis closes his eyes as she sees him holding back tears of joy and love, as if someone loves him for the first time. Clementine smiles as she kisses his neck hard, leaving love bites down his neck for the first time, and slowly moving to his collarbone as her fingertips continue to roam over his smooth torso. She smiled, and a little giggle escaped her lips as she felt Louis twitch a bit from her touch and explore his chest with her fingers.
Then she felt an old scar on Louis's right side of his torso that made her stop kissing his neck and chest as she gazed down onto his body and where her fingers rest on. She notices Louis also bares some battle scars of his own. Near the right side of his torso, just above his ribcage, was a deep scar; on his back, she feels healed up deep scar tissue. She sees the pierced skin on his left shoulder where Abel shot him. Clementine closes her eyes on the gunshot wound on his left shoulder for a moment. With a sigh, Clementine opens her eyes as she does the same action Louis did to her moments ago and reaches out and touches the bullet wound scar upon his left shoulder tenderly. Feeling a bit guilty that she was the direct cause of letting this happen to him.
She looks up at him with awe in her eyes just then. Then she reaches over and kisses a tender kiss on his bullet wound to his left shoulder, which is healed up, and kisses his other battle scar on his chest. Letting him know she loves him with scars and all just as much as he loves her. She felt Louis tremble as she kissed his scars and trailed back up his body towards his lips again and crashing her mouth onto his as she encircled her arms around his strong neck and pulled him back down to the bed of pillows that now lay scattered on the floor.
Louis lets out a satisfying moan of pleasure when Clementine kisses his own battle scars. When she leads him down onto the bed of pillows to make love to her for the first time, he is in heaven and knows for sure she wants to be with him at this moment just as much as he wanted to be with her. She let her one good leg fall as Louis moves his legs in between hers. Clementine moves her one good leg over Louis's as she entwines them. Louis continues to foreplay a bit with her as he removes the last remaining clothing from him and her as, for the first time, they are both naked with each other. Louis uses one of the loose sheets as a blanket to cover his lower abdomen as he lowers his body onto Clementine as she closes her eyes. She felt Louis kissing her neck and slowly moving up to her jawline as he caresses her ribs and moved his arms up hers until he finds her hand and fingers. She looks at him and moves her head to kiss him tenderly and deeply, giving him all of her love.
Clementine feels Louis getting in position as he entwines his fingers to hers. And slowly, he moves against her body in a slow rhythmic way. She squeezes his hand tightly and feels ecstasy for the first time as Louis makes love to her. When both she and Louis reach the climax of their lovemaking, she feels Louis's whole body tremble and shake of the love he is feeling from her. Clementine's body trembles, too, with the love she feels from him and the pure ecstasy bliss that makes her weak in the knees. She still feels Louis's toes curl inward with the pleasure he is still feeling with her.
Louis crashes down near her as he rolls onto his back feeling very happy and satisfied. Still breathing hard, trying to find his breath as he pants with what he and Clementine just did moments before. Clementine is still trembling with the sexual excitement she just did with Louis. Both of them lay in silence as the rain poured outside until they regained their breath to speak.
Louis is the first to break the silence. "Wow....that You were, wow...."
Clementine uses Louis's jacket to cover her naked body some as she gazes up at him, "Is that all you can say,"
Louis looks at her as he slides closer to her and reaches out to caress her sweaty cheek tenderly, "Yes, because, oh my god, that was amazing. You are amazing and so incredibly beautiful. You leave me breathless. I may have died back there and was in heaven with you. Because, oh my God. And got to say, with all the practicing I have done in my early teen years, nothing compares to the real thing of doing it. And you....just amazing." Louis was so speechless he couldn't form words to express how happy she made him.
Clementine smiles brightly at him and tries not to laugh at his expression of them having sex for the first time. Clementine closes the small gap between him and her and kisses him again. Partly to quiet her boyfriend on the rambling of his happiness with her and because he was too cute to not have a lip lock again with him.
In the midst of kissing him, Clementine moves slightly to be on top of his body with Louis's coat draped around her shoulders as she peers down into his chocolate-brown eyes. Louis gaze up at her all love-struck. Then without even realizing it, she says the words her heart told her all along. "I love you, Louis." Louis's eyes were wide with shock, and so was Clementine's as she said those words for the first time. Clementine bit her lower lip as she looked at him, "Shit, Sorry, I meant to say that to you before we...and just never came out until now, and I didn't know how to express what I felt or how to say those words and me. a-" Clementine started to ramble as Louis reached up to passionately kiss her.
Louis smiles at her and thinks she is so adorable when it is her turn to be flustered and doesn't know how to respond. Louis shuts her up with a kiss to her lips as he reaches from behind her head, which causes Clementine to lose focus as he intimately kisses her in his response to her words.
When he pulled back and moved his hand on her cheek and stroked it tenderly as he smiled very brightly, looking into those beautiful golden depths of hers when he repeated the words right back to her, "I love you too, my darling Clementine." Clementine reaches her hands to meet his, where Louis is cupping her face, and her smile widens. Clementine moves her head to touch her forehead to his and nuzzles her nose tenderly to Louis's. Louis then guides her head to rest on his beating heart and entangles his fingers in her hair as he smiles at her love for him.
The night fell upon them, and when Clementine was fast asleep next to Louis. Louis watches in awe of her as she dreams. He eventually moves to blow out the candles and turn off the lantern so he doesn't set fire to their room. Louis tucks a piece of Clementine's hair from her face behind her ear and kisses her forehead. He then felt her unconsciously move closer to him and nuzzle the nape of his neck with her little nose. He smiled at that gesture and holds her naked body near his under the sheet that they were wrapped in, although Clementine ended up using Louis's long brown coat as her blanket to snuggle up in. Louis smiled at her and thought it was the most adorable thing to have her wrapped up in his jacket. Every man's dream is to have their girl in their clothes, which melted Louis's heart. Between the rain falling outside and the soft breathing from Clementine, the sounds from both soon drifted Louis off into a nice sound sleep. Louis slept in Clementine's embrace until the following morning.
The storm raged outside, making this moment between Maya and Violet magical, as the two of them started to get heated in their making out. Maya was heavily making out with Violet as she felt her heart racing with Violet's. Maya felt under Violet's green shirt to feel her soft white skin against her fingertips. Maya kissed Violet's neck, and a soft moan came deep inside Violet's throat from being pleasured. Just when Maya was about to take off Violet's shirt, as she was lost in the moment with Violet, suddenly Maya's mind got transported to another time and space where she blacked out in front of Violet and was unresponsive. Fuck!
Violet was enjoying the touch from her new girlfriend, and when she saw Maya unresponsive from her kissing, she thought she had gone to sleep, "Maya? Maya. Okay, you got me going there." When Maya was still unresponsive, Violet was getting to be concerned. "Maya! Maya, this isn't funny anymore. Wake up! Maya!" Jesus Christ, what do I fucking do now! Violet slides out from underneath her girlfriend and props her up on the back wall near the sign. This place is cursed and waited.
Maya's world went black, and her heart stopped for a moment. Violet disappeared, and Maya was in another world. She looks and is in a bedroom. "Violet?" Maya calls out, and no answer. She looks around and looks to be a child's room. Maya places her hand on her head as she slowly rises from the floor. "Where the hell am I?" Maya spoke as she shook her head. She looks into the space before her, and in the dim light, she sees drawings of a spaceship, comets, a girl shooting hopes on one wall, and lots of basketball references. Above her were the glow-in-the-dark sticky stars you put up on the walls of a room. It was in the shape of one of the constellations. Draco. Maya glances over at the closet door of this room, and a name in purple writing stands out to her as Maya's eyes open wide. Violet!
Am I in Violet's room when she was a little girl? Why? Just then, a noise from the tv set in another room broke Maya's thoughts of questions as she turned out of what looked to be Violet's bedroom and wonders down the hallway. She touched the plastered wall and noticed pictures of her past. Her mom and what looks to be her grandparents. Then her eyes fixated on a little girl standing with her grandmother next to a school sign, Alexandria elementary school, in the photos. Violet.
Maya reaches out and traces the smile on her face, and stares into her eyes so love so very much. Maya sees that Violet looks like a happy kid by the look of these pictures, but smiling at times can be deceiving. Maya moves down the dark corridor of the hallway and sees an old lady in a rocker, and a little blonde girl sitting below her feet. Maya watches from a distance, and it pains her to see her new girlfriend so in pain. She looked and saw a young Violet watching tv what looked to be a disco band of veggies. As Maya turns her attention back on this old woman, which she guesses is Violet's grandmother, she looks so sad and crying as she holds tight to a picture of what looks to be her late husband. The look in this old woman's eyes told Maya everything.
Maya watches as this lady gets up from a rocker and heads out down the hallway where Maya is standing and disappears into the master bedroom. She was only gone for a few seconds, and when the old lady came back out with a .22 rifle Maya's blood ran cold. Maya wanted to scream and shout don't do it, but her voice had no power here as this was a vision of the past. Maya watches in horror as the old woman pulls up another chair behind a young Violet and put the rifle on that chair. Maya watches as this old woman puts the barrel to her chest, reaches down, and pulls out a back scratcher. Maya shook her head and then screamed, "No, no, no! Don't..Don't!"
Maya wanted to close her eyes not to see what she didn't want to see, but she witnessed it all and heard a bang from the rifle, Maya sees the old woman slumped over in her rocker, blood pooling out of her gun wound, and the gun hit the floor. Maya turns back and sees Violet glued to the tv set, traumatized by hearing her grandmother commit suicide in front of her. Maya looks at her and to the dead woman, and now she understands fully why Violet is so standoffish. Jesus. Maya thought and couldn't imagine that pain and image. She then sees a time jump as a young Violet enters Ericson Academy for Troubled Youth. Holy fuck, the same school Robert sent Louis to! It really does exist out here. Maya looks at the gates and the crest of the school. She sees Violet's mother walk past her exiting the school, turning her back on her daughter with a good soul. Violet's mother had the same shade of spring meadow eyes and blonde hair as Violet. Maya watches Violet's mother hop in her silver car and take off, never to be seen again. Maya closes her eyes and felt the betrayal in her own heart of seeing a parent walk away from their child.
Maya turns back to look at Violet standing at the gates, watching her mother leave. It pained her to see her lover so small, and felt forgotten. Maya wanted to go to her and hug her, but the world around her flashes to white, and she hears Violet's voice calling out to her to bring her back to the world of reality.
Maya! Maya!
Maya snaps forward, panting at what she just saw and taking deep breaths.
Violet was shaking her to get her to come to, "You passed out or something, and when you didn't respond, I got scared. You scared the shit out of me. What the fuck is going on?" Violet spoke as panic set in her voice. "What the fuck happened to you."
Maya took deep breaths as she tried to regain what she had just seen. Once her heart was evening out, she looked into Violet's eyes, "Sorry about that. I never wanted you to see me like that when I have these just happens at times. I'll be fine."
Violet still doesn't understand shook her head as she glares at Maya, "Maya, you are freaking me out here. What is happening to you, what...." Violet looks to her at her with her hands on her cheeks, stroking her.
Maya took a moment as she looked at her girlfriend, "I saw everything."
Violet, still confused, look at her, "I don't follow you. You saw everything? Of what?"
"Your past, Vi. How your grandmother committed suicide in front of you, pretty much. And your mother left you at Ericson's Academy for troubled youth." Maya leans forward with a pounding headache and blood dripping from her nose. Fuck hadn't had this bad vision before to cause a nosebleed.
Violet looks at Maya with wide eyes, "That...that is..impossible. How can you know of this, and how do you even know about Ericson?"
"Cause I saw it in my vision just now." Maya winces at the burning pain in her nose from the blood coming out. She leans her head against the cloth tapestry behind her as she explains to Violet everything of her past, "You grew up in a trailer park outside of Alexandria, Virginia. I saw your room when you were a little girl. Had drawings of spaceships, comets, and a girl playing basketball. And up on the ceiling were glow-in-the-dark stars in the shape of a constellation of Draco, the dragon. And your closet had your name written in purple. Then after you witnessed your grandmother's suicide, your mother sent you to a school, and the look in your eyes as you saw your mother drive away...." Maya said as she closed her eyes for a moment, then looked at Violet, "I now understand why you keep people from your heart and why you are scared of falling for me. Because everyone you look to has left you feeling abandoned or unwanted." Maya closed her eyes and felt her pain as Maya let out a heavy sigh.
Maya looks up at her, "I am not lying when I tell you am a clairvoyant. I get visions where I go back in time and relive past events as if they are happening in real-time., like how I saw you and your friends on the beach of the river and the aftermath of the Delta's boat blown up. And just now, I relived your past on your worst day." Maya wipes the blood from her nose as she leans back against the wall, pitching her nose to stop the bleeding. "I don't know why now; it gave me visions of your past as a warning or letting me know how to care for you."
Violet was just shocked that Maya told everything precisely to the fine details of where Violet lived before she came to Ericson, that only Violet would know. She looks down, "How often do you have these 'visions' of yours."
Maya looks to her, "Not that often, just when it serves a purpose for me to know what is important. It's a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I can use my gift to help others, and sometimes...." Maya pauses and looks away, "Sometimes I wished I didn't have this gift and wished I could have something else.." Maya confesses.
Violet scooches closer to her girlfriend and asks, "Why?"
Maya looks down over her left shoulder, "Because sometimes I wish I didn't see the gory details of my visions. Those images stay in my mind. And I can't unsee them.." Maya looks out over the mattress and closes her eyes.
Violet nodded and then asked Maya the question she wished she never had asked, "Did you see...her killing herself...." Violet spoke and the she, Violet was referring to is her grandmother. Violet looked at Maya and the expression on Maya's face as she squinted her eyes tighter when she asked that Violet knew and Maya didn't have to verbally say it as a confirmation.
Violet leans her head on Maya's left shoulder and reaches out to touch her left hand and hold it. Knowing that vision shook her. Maya had seen something that Violet didn't have the courage or was too afraid to witness herself. Violet then, in a soft voice, said the words she had withheld for a long time and only said these words to one other person. "I love you, and everything that you are, Maya. Even your gift you view as a curse. I love everything about you, and wouldn't change a single thing. I love you, my rugged Indian warrior." Violet snuggles her head on Maya's shoulder and left kisses on her bare skin giving Maya all the love in her heart for her.
Maya looks over, wraps her arm around Violet, and lovingly kisses her head. And the two hold each other in silence, listening to the rain fall outside, until they fall asleep in each other's embraces the rest of the night.
submitted by SKwiatks to TeamViolet [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 19:12 carebearstarefear AI generated story about Witcher

Ciri and Kelpie were running away from a group of bandits who had ambushed them in the forest. They reached a clearing where they saw a familiar figure standing in front of a portal. It was Geralt, the witcher who had trained Ciri and protected her from danger.
“Geralt!” Ciri shouted, relieved to see him. “We need your help!”
Geralt turned around and saw Ciri and Kelpie approaching. He also noticed the bandits behind them, armed with swords and crossbows.
“Quick, get in!” he said, gesturing to the portal. “It will take us to Kaer Morhen.”
Ciri and Kelpie followed Geralt into the portal, just as the bandits reached the clearing. They fired their crossbows, but the bolts missed their targets and hit the portal instead. The portal closed with a flash of light, leaving the bandits frustrated and confused.
Ciri, Geralt and Kelpie emerged from the portal in a snowy mountain range. They were at Kaer Morhen, the home of the witchers. Ciri hugged Geralt and thanked him for saving them.
“Don’t mention it,” Geralt said. “You’re like family to me.”
He looked at Kelpie and smiled. “And you too, you stubborn horse.”
Kelpie neighed and nuzzled Geralt’s hand.
“Come on,” Geralt said. “Let’s go inside. I have something to show you.”
He led Ciri and Kelpie to the castle, where they were greeted by other witchers and friends. Ciri wondered what Geralt had to show her, but she was happy to be safe and reunited with him.
Geralt took Ciri and Kelpie to a large hall, where a huge painting was hanging on the wall. It depicted a scene from the past, when Geralt and Ciri first met. Ciri was a young girl, hiding behind a tree from a griffin that had attacked her village. Geralt was fighting the beast, wielding his silver sword and using his signs. Kelpie was nowhere to be seen, as he had not met Ciri yet.
“This is it,” Geralt said. “The painting I wanted to show you. It was made by a friend of mine, a bard named Dandelion. He heard about our story and decided to immortalize it in art.”
Ciri looked at the painting with awe and nostalgia. She remembered that day, when Geralt saved her life and took her under his wing. She felt a surge of gratitude and affection for him.
“It’s beautiful,” she said. “Thank you for showing me this.”
Geralt smiled and put his arm around her shoulder.
“You’re welcome,” he said. “You’ve grown so much since then. I’m proud of you.”
He looked at Kelpie and winked.
“And you too, you stubborn horse.”
Kelpie neighed and nodded his head.
They stood there for a while, admiring the painting and reminiscing about their adventures together.
Ciri, Geralt and Kelpie decided to go for a walk outside the castle, to enjoy the fresh air and the snow. They put on their warm clothes and headed to the stables, where they mounted their horses. Geralt rode Roach, his loyal steed, while Ciri rode Kelpie, her magical horse. They followed a trail that led them to a frozen lake, where they saw some ice skaters and snowmen.
"Look at that," Ciri said. "They're having fun."
Geralt nodded and smiled.
"They are," he said. "Do you want to join them?"
Ciri hesitated for a moment. She had never tried ice skating before, and she was not sure if she would like it. She looked at Kelpie, who seemed to share her doubt.
"I don't know," she said. "What if I fall?"
Geralt chuckled and reassured her.
"Don't worry," he said. "I'll be with you. And if you fall, I'll catch you."
He dismounted from Roach and helped Ciri down from Kelpie. He took her hand and led her to the edge of the lake, where they rented a pair of skates. He helped her put them on and then put on his own.
"Ready?" he asked.
Ciri nodded nervously.
"Ready," she said.
Geralt smiled and pulled her onto the ice. He held her hand firmly and guided her along the lake, while Kelpie and Roach watched them from the shore.
Ciri felt a rush of adrenaline and excitement as she glided on the ice. She felt Geralt's warmth and strength beside her, and she felt safe and happy. She looked at him and saw him smiling at her.
"This is fun," she said.
Geralt nodded and squeezed her hand.
"It is," he said. "You're doing great."
They skated around the lake, laughing and enjoying themselves. They felt like children again, free from worries and troubles. They felt like they had found a moment of peace in a world of chaos.
Ciri, Geralt and Kelpie returned to the castle after their walk. They were greeted by Vesemir, the oldest and wisest of the witchers. He was like a father figure to Geralt and a grandfather figure to Ciri. He smiled when he saw them.
"Welcome back," he said. "You look happy."
Geralt nodded and hugged him.
"We are," he said. "We had a good time."
He introduced Ciri and Kelpie to Vesemir, who welcomed them warmly.
"It's a pleasure to meet you," he said. "You're both very brave and talented."
Ciri thanked him and smiled.
"Thank you," she said. "You're very kind."
Vesemir invited them to join him for dinner, where they met the other witchers and friends who lived at Kaer Morhen. They ate and drank and shared stories and jokes. Ciri felt like she was part of a big family, and she felt happy.
After dinner, Vesemir took Ciri aside and gave her a gift. It was a silver pendant with a wolf's head on it. It was the symbol of the School of the Wolf, the witcher order that Geralt belonged to.
"This is for you," he said. "It's a sign of our friendship and respect. You're one of us now."
Ciri was touched by the gesture. She put on the pendant and hugged Vesemir.
"Thank you," she said. "This means a lot to me."
Vesemir smiled and patted her head.
"You're welcome," he said. "You're a special girl, Ciri. You have a great destiny ahead of you."
He looked at Geralt and winked.
"And you have a great friend beside you."
Geralt smiled and nodded.
"I do," he said.
He walked over to Ciri and Vesemir and joined them in a group hug.
They felt happy and content, knowing that they had each other's backs. They felt like they had found a home in Kaer Morhen.
Ciri, Geralt and Kelpie decided to stay at Kaer Morhen for a while, to train and rest. They learned new skills and techniques from the other witchers, who taught them with patience and respect. They also had fun and played games with them, who treated them with kindness and humor. They felt like they had found a new family, and they felt happy.
One day, they received a message from Yennefer, a powerful sorceress and Geralt's lover. She had heard about their whereabouts and wanted to see them. She also had some important news to share with them.
Geralt was surprised and curious to hear from her. He had not seen her for a long time, and he wondered what she had to say. He also felt a mix of emotions: love, guilt, fear, hope. He cared for her deeply, but he also knew that their relationship was complicated and turbulent.
He decided to go and meet her, and he asked Ciri and Kelpie to come with him. He wanted them to meet Yennefer, who was also an important person in his life. He also wanted to protect them, in case the news was bad or dangerous.
They packed their bags and said goodbye to the other witchers and friends at Kaer Morhen. They thanked them for their hospitality and friendship, and promised to keep in touch. They mounted their horses and rode away from the castle, heading to the place where Yennefer was waiting for them.
They wondered what she had to tell them, and what it would mean for their future. They hoped that it would be something good, something that would make them happier. They hoped that they would find another moment of peace in a world of chaos.
Ciri, Geralt and Kelpie arrived at the place where Yennefer was waiting for them. It was a small town near the border of Nilfgaard and Redania, two powerful kingdoms that were at war with each other. Yennefer had rented a room at a local inn, where she had set up a protective barrier to avoid being detected by anyone.
Geralt knocked on the door and waited for Yennefer to open it. He felt nervous and excited to see her. He wondered how she would react to him and to Ciri and Kelpie.
The door opened and Yennefer appeared. She was a beautiful woman with raven-black hair and violet eyes. She wore a black dress that accentuated her curves and a silver necklace that sparkled on her chest. She looked at Geralt and smiled.
"Geralt," she said. "It's good to see you."
She hugged him and kissed him passionately. Geralt hugged her back and kissed her too. He felt a surge of love and desire for her.
"Yen," he said. "I missed you."
Yennefer pulled away and looked at him.
"I missed you too," she said. "But we have a lot to talk about."
She looked at Ciri and Kelpie, who were standing behind Geralt. She recognized Ciri as the girl who had been prophesied to be Geralt's child of destiny, and Kelpie as the horse who had been given to her by the elves.
She smiled and greeted them.
"Hello, Ciri," she said. "Hello, Kelpie. I'm Yennefer, Geralt's friend."
Ciri smiled back and greeted her too.
"Hello, Yennefer," she said. "I'm Ciri, Geralt's friend too."
Kelpie neighed and nodded his head.
Yennefer invited them to enter the room. She closed the door behind them and locked it with a spell.
"Please, make yourselves comfortable," she said. "We have much to discuss."
She led them to a table where she had prepared some food and drinks. She offered them some bread, cheese, wine and water.
"Thank you," Geralt said. "You're very kind."
He took some food and drinks and gave some to Ciri and Kelpie too. They sat down at the table and ate and drank.
Yennefer sat down opposite them and looked at them with a serious expression.
"I'm glad you're here," she said. "I have something important to tell you."
Geralt looked at her with curiosity and concern.
"What is it?" he asked.
Yennefer took a deep breath and spoke.
"It's about the war," she said. "And about Ciri's destiny."
Yennefer looked at Ciri with a mixture of admiration and pity.
"Ciri, you have a very special destiny," she said. "You are the Lady of Time and Space, the Child of the Elder Blood, the Fire that will Burn the World. You have the power to travel between worlds and times, to shape reality and to destroy it. You are the key to everything."
Ciri looked at Yennefer with confusion and fear.
"What do you mean?" she asked. "What is the Elder Blood? What is the Fire that will Burn the World?"
Yennefer sighed and explained.
"The Elder Blood is a rare and ancient gene that runs in your family. It gives you access to the Chaos, the source of all magic. It also allows you to open portals to other worlds and times, where you can find creatures and civilizations that are beyond your imagination. The Fire that will Burn the World is a prophecy that foretells your role in the end of times. It says that you will either save the world or destroy it, depending on your choices."
Ciri felt overwhelmed by Yennefer's words. She had heard some of these things before, from Geralt and from others who had tried to capture her or kill her. She had also experienced some of her powers, when she had escaped from danger or when she had seen visions of the past and the future. She had always feared and hated her powers, and wished she could be normal.
She looked at Geralt and saw him looking at her with love and concern.
"Geralt," she said. "Is this true?"
Geralt nodded and took her hand.
"It is," he said. "But you don't have to be afraid. I'm here for you. I'll always protect you."
He looked at Yennefer and asked.
"Why are you telling us this now? What does this have to do with the war?"
Yennefer looked at Geralt and spoke.
"Because the war is about you, Ciri," she said. "Because everyone wants you for their own purposes. Because you are the most wanted person in the world."
Yennefer looked at Ciri and spoke.
"Many people want you, Ciri, for different reasons. Some want you for your power, some for your blood, some for your prophecy. Some want to use you, some want to kill you, some want to love you. You have many enemies and many allies, but you don't know who is who."
She looked at Geralt and continued.
"The war is between Nilfgaard and the Northern Kingdoms, but it's also between other factions and forces. There are mages and sorceresses, elves and dwarves, monsters and humans, gods and demons. There are also the Wild Hunt, the spectral riders who chase you across the worlds. They are the most dangerous of all, because they want to capture you and take you to their world, where they will torture you and drain your power."
She looked at Ciri and Kelpie and added.
"They are also after Kelpie, because he is a special horse. He is a Zerrikanian mare, a breed that can travel between worlds too. He was given to you by the Aen Elle, the elves of another world. They are your ancestors, Ciri. They are the ones who gave you the Elder Blood."
Ciri felt shocked and scared by Yennefer's words. She had seen the Wild Hunt in her dreams and in her visions. They were terrifying and relentless. They had killed many people who had tried to help her or protect her. She had also met the Aen Elle, when they had kidnapped her and taken her to their world. They had treated her like a princess, but they had also tried to force her to marry their king.
She looked at Kelpie and felt a bond with him. He was her friend and her companion. He had saved her life many times. He was also a gift from her ancestors, who had given her the Elder Blood.
She looked at Geralt and Yennefer and asked.
"What do they want from me? What do I have to do?"
Yennefer looked at Ciri and spoke.
"They want different things from you, Ciri. The Nilfgaardians want you to be their empress, because you are the daughter of their emperor. The Northern Kingdoms want you to be their queen, because you are the granddaughter of their queen. The mages and sorceresses want you to be their ally, because you are the source of their magic. The elves and dwarves want you to be their savior, because you are the hope of their races. The monsters and humans want you to be their enemy, because you are the threat of their existence. The gods and demons want you to be their pawn, because you are the tool of their plans. The Wild Hunt wants you to be their prisoner, because you are the key of their world."
She looked at Ciri and continued.
"But you don't have to do anything for them, Ciri. You don't have to follow anyone's orders or expectations. You don't have to fulfill anyone's prophecy or destiny. You don't have to be anyone's empress or queen or ally or savior or enemy or pawn or prisoner. You only have to be yourself, Ciri. You only have to do what you want to do, what you think is right, what makes you happy."
She looked at Ciri and smiled.
"You are free, Ciri. You are powerful. You are unique. You are wonderful."
Geralt looked at Ciri and spoke.
"I agree with Yennefer, Ciri. You don't have to do anything for anyone, except for yourself. You don't have to be anyone's child of destiny, except for your own. You don't have to be anyone's friend, except for those who care for you."
He looked at Ciri and smiled.
"And I care for you, Ciri. I care for you more than anything in the world. You are like a daughter to me, Ciri. You are my family."
He looked at Ciri and continued.
"And I will always be with you, Ciri. I will always protect you and support you and love you. No matter what happens, no matter where we go, no matter who we face, I will always be by your side."
He looked at Ciri and squeezed her hand.
"You are not alone, Ciri. You are never alone."
Ciri looked at Geralt and Yennefer and felt a surge of gratitude and affection for them. She felt like they were the best friends she ever had, and the only family she ever needed. She felt like they understood her and accepted her for who she was. She felt like they loved her unconditionally.
She hugged them both and thanked them.
"Thank you," she said. "Thank you for everything. Thank you for being here for me. Thank you for being my family."
Geralt and Yennefer hugged her back and thanked her too.
"Thank you," they said. "Thank you for being our family."
They looked at each other and smiled.
They decided to stay at the inn for a while, to rest and plan their next move. They knew that they had to be careful and smart, because they had many enemies and dangers ahead of them. They also knew that they had to be brave and strong, because they had many challenges and opportunities ahead of them.
But they also knew that they had each other, and that was enough. They knew that they could face anything together, as long as they stayed together. They knew that they could find happiness together, as long as they loved each other.
They were happy and hopeful, knowing that they had each other's backs. They were ready and eager, knowing that they had each other's hearts.
submitted by carebearstarefear to story [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 18:48 Brouknow99 Witness told that Hotboii apparently spared someone lives bc of they was with their kid and g9 wanted to slide on Hotboii and crash out but the gang told him hell no, and AFNF tried killing hot but he got security all the time so they put money on hotboii’s head

Witness told that Hotboii apparently spared someone lives bc of they was with their kid and g9 wanted to slide on Hotboii and crash out but the gang told him hell no, and AFNF tried killing hot but he got security all the time so they put money on hotboii’s head submitted by Brouknow99 to WestOrlando [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 18:24 TheCatWalk_VI Dao of the Web - Prologue 2 - The weaved man

Royalroad Patreon (10 Chapters Ahead)

“Phew! I made it in time.” In the grey world devoid of movement, a tiny humanoid figure made of neon threads of gold waved her hands grumpily. The cracked windows, walls, and computers mended themselves, and blood flowed back the floor and up the mangled corpses.
Silence reigned.
In no time, the dismembered corpses were whole again. His family, friends, and the scientists of the research institute.
But time did not move. He was just a floating orb of light trying to escape the trauma of seeing his bastardised body tear his loved ones to ribbons.
“Hi! I’m Moira.” The witch-hat-wearing thread-girl said. She flew in front of Jung and blew a kiss. His terror melted away like summer ice.
But the confusion remained.
“At least you can talk now,” Moira said. She flew around his orb-like body while rubbing her chin. “Yes, yes! You look like a good man.”
Om in, Om out.
Jung breathed in and out with the tunes of his favourite songs. He forced himself to concentrate on the musical beats and the soft humming vibration. It relaxed him. Slightly, but just enough.
This orb-body can breathe! Om in; I volunteered for the latest virtual reality tests by my nephew’s institute. Om out; it worked! I moved for the first time in decades! Then they scanned my brain, captured the fluclight… The AI… The AI!
“The artificial soul took over my body!” Jung shouted, and the fairy thing giggled.
"Close." Moira pointed at the tube-like machine. It was a silver tube filled with gears and mechanisms, emitting a faint azure light. Protruding pads at the base were used to connect it to other devices. Thin robotic arms spun and pulled the gears inside while silver circuits adorned the top, each spark of wire carrying its own unique meaning. The instrument resembled a harp, with numerous wires branching out from a central point like roots. It had angular and rigid features and many delicate accents and curves.
"The moment this contraption created the artificial soul by scanning yours, it sent a blaring alarm through the universes and attracted our uninvited guest to Gaia." Said Moira.
Jung’s now restored body was strapped to a million wires inside of the contraption again, as though he had not suddenly turned into a monster and killed all his—
Om in, Om out. Aaaaaa—!
“The weird portal thing!” Jung remembered. “Something crawled out of it.” This talk with Moira helped keep his mind off—dammit!
“A creature from a lower dimensional universe. A bone god of some kind. It ate the artificial soul, and then it ate yours and took over your body. The rest… well, I’ll let you om in and out for a while longer.”
Moira flew up and chanted a strange melody. There were other orbs, souls, floating above each of the corpses.
No! They are alive. This Moira being turned back time to save them… right?
His hopes were not dashed. The orbs sank into each body. Jung could feel their life returning.
“I think I’m calm now,” He said.
Moira flew back. “Good! You must have a lot of questions.” There was something strange to her expression.
“I. What happens now?” Why did you not send my soul back to my body yet?
Moira looked away. She could definitely read his mind.
“Thank you,” Jung quietened his tone. He did not mean to sound accusatory, not least to his saviour. He had been living a life of the dead for the last nineteen years anyway. Death to him was a release. But he wanted to know what would become of his family. “Thank you for saving the most important people in the world to me. Please ask if there is anything I can do to repay you.”
“You are a good man,” Moira said. “The creature is not dead.”
Jung lost his hard-fought calm.
“I sealed it in the contraption, inside the artificial soul in your body. But I can’t kill it. As I said, it’s a god. And gods are tricky.”
“Can it escape?”
“Mother Gaia, I hope not. But there is a way to kill it once and for all. I’ll need your help.” A colour of sadness clouded Moira’s golden visage. “The artificial soul alone could not let the creature live in our universe. Gaia would squash it in microseconds. It needed a suitable native host to integrate itself.”
Jung remembered what Moira had said before. “You mentioned it was a bone god? Oh.”
My damned disease.
“Bone attracts bone. Aspect attracts aspect, a divine formula. Your muscles have been all but calcified, making you the best host possible. It was a strange series of coincidences. The creature was already in a limbo of alive and dead. This act was probably its last grasp at life to escape its home universe. If it wasn't so weak, I couldn’t have sealed it away so quickly. And since it has partially integrated into Gaia already, I can’t simply fling its godsoul back the way it came. No god can, not even Gaia herself.”
“So I brought it here.” I am keeping it here.
“Hey!” Moira liked saying hey. “It was a multifaceted cause and occurrence. Don’t make the fallacy of negligence of common causes, dear Jung.”
Jung laughed. The last book he read was about informal logic.
“So it was bad luck. Wait, The Moirai, the Greek goddesses of luck?”
Moira blushed. “Singular. And the Greek goddess of the fates! And I don’t control the whole universe’s fate. There are many other divinities of destiny and fate and luck and so on, eternally.”
“Sorry.” Jung said, “The fallacy of irrelevance. Let’s get back on topic. I figure I can help kill this monster for good?”
“If it dies in your body, it stays dead.” Moira nodded. “But the body’s original soul needs to stay away … You don’t have to go along with this! I won’t force you or trick you. I am not Loki.”
“What will you do, if I say no?” Jung did not believe the alternative solution would be simple.
“I’ll have to seek out other patients with your disease and ask if they want to volunteer.”
“If they all say no?”
“Then Tartarus.” Moira shrugged. “Or the Narakas. Or Gehenna.”
Jung trusted Moira, but he did not know why. She could calm him with a flying kiss and read his mind, but Jung had this unshattering belief that Moira spoke the truth. Jung wanted to believe that Moira did not control his mind to think so. She could have overridden his will with mind control if she was such a being. To make him go along with her request.
“Thanks. You’re sweet.” Moira blushed again. It was strange, the pink hues on her thread-formed cheek.
“I didn’t have long to live anyway,” Jung decided to see this through. “What’s going to happen to my family? I can’t imagine dying and reviving is a good experience. In the Greek mythos, the revived are always changed in strange ways.”
“There will be side effects. I wiped their memories, though experiences like this live on in nightmares. But! I promise,” Moira caught his tiny soul in her embrace and flew towards the machine. “I will care for them. I’ll bless five generations with the luck of royals. Especially your nephew. His team was the fifth to create artificial souls in a non-magical and unique way! Sarasvati, Thot, and Athena at least will not let him pass before his time.”
“If I die, I don’t think his team will dub that a success.”
“That’s the thing, sweet Jung.” Moira giggled and dove into the machine. “You won’t die.”
“… You said you would not trick me!” This time it was Jung who blushed. Gosh, and I was acting like a noble martyr!
“But I didn’t. I only said the creature had to die in your body, not you.”
They were back in the virtual world. A lush green depicting the central Chinese plains of the Tang dynasty. His nephew created this background at Jung’s request.
Nineteen years. That’s how long Jung suffered from Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, a rare disease that changed his muscle into bone. He lost his ability to move seven years ago. Five years ago, he lost his senses of smell and taste—then eyesight, hearing, and touch.
To live and breathe in life-realistic air, water, and soil again should have been the greatest moment of his life. He walked, jumped, sat down, and cried. It was the greatest moment of his life before the portal appeared.
The portal was an unassuming thing, dark and cracked like a rip in space. It was not a feature of the landscape. Foreign, alien, evil.
It hovered above a miniature fox shrine, which also wasn’t a Tang dynasty feature. But Jung liked the Inari legends.
“There is a valence to the universes,” Moira explained, pointing at the cursed circular shape.
“Universes. Multiverses are different.” Moira accepted his apology. “At equilibrium, each universe is disconnected by the quantum barrier. Usually, the universe the bone god came from would be nothing but a baseless imagination; a hypothetical, unreal, and parallel reality that may or may not exist. They are as real to us as the fictional world of Star Wars. We can’t exist simultaneously, for in between, there is the event horizon of existential perception.
“But now there is a portal, and one soul from that side escaped here and observed our universe. As long as there is this imbalance, more of these uglies can find their way to this side.”
“Oh god. You want to transmigrate me?”
“Oh, goddess.” Moira giggled, correcting his exclamation. Moira liked giggling. “And no. You want me to transmigrate you. And the moment your soul observes their universe, it will restore the equilibrium and erase the valance difference, saving the day! Yay!”
“I…” Jung stammered. “There are creatures like the bone god on that side.”
"Will you give me a mission? Revenge? Reverse invasion? Will I remember you, my nephew, or my family?" Jung wondered if this was his elder sister's uncertainty before her wedding night. Probably not.
“Mother Gaia, why would I want to take up more work?” Moira tutted. “Better to cut off their reality from ours forever. You won’t have a mission. Just live your life however you wish. As for your memories, well, come here.”
Moira plucked Jung from the air again and kissed his, forehead? The top part of his soul sphere.
“My gift to you.” She smiled, but it waned in a second.
Not knowing where or what he would be, especially being purposeless, scared him. But it was better than being a paralysed fossil. Endless possibilities, now that’s a compelling phrase.
“I want to say goodbye to my family.”
“I can’t let them talk to you as a soul; there’s a good reason mortals are ordinarily disallowed to interact with the supernatural. And I can’t put you in your body unless you decide to turn back. The creature is trapped inside of it. And you can still turn back.” Her fingers were made of golden, metallic threads, but they felt warm on his soul. “Time needs to move soon too. Chrona is at her limit.”
“I’ve made my choice.” Jung cleared away the doubts. He trusted Moira.
“You are a man of your word.” Moira clapped three times. Jung felt a part of him break; the link connecting him to his mortal flesh. The next second, a roar unlike any he had heard screeched out. No, he had heard it before, just forgotten—when the creature had hijacked his body and devoured his being.
I’m angry.
“Don’t be. I killed it. A changeling will take over your body and live pretending to be you for six months. After which he, you, will pass on peacefully. Let no one say that Moira doesn’t provide extra service to her best customers!” Moira smiled again. It was a beautiful smile, not the kind given by sleazy saleswomen. “This is goodbye.”
Jung nodded. He was ready. He felt the surroundings change. Golden threads swirled around him, humming softly with an otherworldly power that vibrated through his body. The ethereal melody they created was comforting yet eerie, like a lullaby from another world, filling the air with a soft, soothing music that surrounded Jung with a feeling of peace and security.
The gold then carried him to the portal, before weaving across him like armour. As they settled on his orb-skin, he felt the vibrations emanating from them morph into a comforting embrace and energy, filling him with courage and warmth. Despite the uncertainty surrounding him, he felt safe and at ease, embraced by something larger than himself.
“Goodbye.” He said first to his family. He could sense their souls breathing outside this virtual world. Stuck in time but not for long. Jung’s favourite song that had been playing in the background resumed ever so slightly. He heard, felt, and bade farewell to the final tunes that made him feel alive.
Om in, Om out. How truly rare and beautiful it is, that I had them as my family.
“The universes will be cut off forever. But your light will carry on endlessly, even after... your passing.” The goddess of the fates whispered, joining him in humming the sad tune. The hopeful tune. “But… no information will pass from that side to this… or vice versa, hereafter.”
Jung’s senses grew muted. His soul orb melted into liquid light and entered the portal as though he was a star being devoured by a black hole.
"Remembering might take a while, but please trust my blessing. You'll be safe, and then guide yourself to yourself. I made sure that fate won't bother you too much in that regard!" But Moira's voice was soft; it soothed his qualms.
“Goodbye.” He next said to her.
“I hope you like my gift. You don’t know what big a favour you did us. You deserve this holiday.”
The last thing he heard was Moira’s quiet sob. With shortness of breath, she said, “Bye, Jung; we will miss you.”
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2023.05.26 18:12 NamelessNanashi [The Gods of Dragons: Beginning] Ch 02 - Firewyrm

((This is a repost/split of a previous very long combined chapter that reddit isn't letting me edit because its was too long. I apologize for any inconvenience.))
--- Table of Contents ---
Spring 4978, Date Unknown
They spoke to each other as if She wasn’t there, as if She couldn’t hear each word muttered only a few feet above Her head.
“Maybe we’ve been taking too much…”
“Or it could be the collar…”
“It's not like the tattoos; it shouldn’t affect her health.”
“She’s healthy, just…”
She sighed, opening Her eyes and letting them adjust to the brightness of the room. She didn’t bother to pull at the leather straps holding Her to the cold slab of a table. To either side of Her, the journeymen whispered. Ran was thin, with pale brown hair he kept long and loose to his shoulders. He stood a few inches taller than Brom, who was built stocky, with short dark hair, nearly black but with hints of chocolate in the magical light that filled the room from the hanging orb on the ceiling.
“Are you going to take me back to my room now?” She rasped, interrupting their discussion. Trying to swallow but not finding enough saliva to wet Her throat, She sighed again.
“Yeah, Red…” Ran said softly, reaching for the straps on Her left side.
Brom grunted, going for Her right side and fiddling with the lock before he stopped, resting a hand gently on Hers for a moment, then pulling away from the heat of Her skin. “Or…” he said, glancing back up at his fellow, “we could take her to see the others. Kids are supposed to like animals…”
“She isn’t a 'kid', Brom,” Ran argued, avoiding her eyes. Instead, he glanced out the door that led to the windowless hall that would take Her back to Her locked room. Maybe considering the idea?
“Animals?” She croaked the question, and Brom reached for a glass beside the vials of blood he'd drawn from Her bound arm.
“Yeah, Goldy, we got a new litter of kittens. They have red scales just like yours…” he lifted Her head just enough to pour some of the lukewarm water into Her mouth. She gulped eagerly until he was forced to let Her go, rubbing his palm on his robes.
Ran hummed again, still unsure.
“It can’t hurt.” Brom argued as he finished with the buckles on his side, “She’s hardly spoken for the last month, and the Archmage hasn’t let her outside since autumn.”
“It could hurt. Those beasts are dangerous.” Ran countered.
But Brom scoffed, “It's not like she can burn them. And they'll stay in their cages.”
Ran hummed, and She waited, unbound but still. “We’ll try, but if they snap, she’s going back to her room.”
She rolled to Her side, and Ran helped Her sit up, still dizzy from the samples they'd taken. Brom passed Ran Her dress, and he slipped it over Her head. She almost made them help Her pull Her arms through the sleeves, but in a rare wash of curious energy, She did it Herself, sliding off the table and waiting for them to open the door.
Ran walked ahead of Her, Brom behind. She was never allowed in the hall by Herself, and though they didn’t take Her back to Her room as they usually would, that rule wouldn't change. She stared at Her bare feet as She walked, the three scaled stripes on Her right foot peaking out with each step. Brom had said the animals had red scales like Hers…
The ever-present sound of mewling and yipping grew louder as they approached the farthest door in the hall. She turned into the new room only to stop dead in Her tracks. The room was huge, almost thirty feet square, and lined with caged stalls, each holding a different animal with sparkling scales or vibrantly colored fur. A large jungle cat yowled in greeting, its red scales glistening in the steady magic light. In the cage beside it, a wolf with green fur, the color of cut emeralds, barked and danced on its front paws. Another lazy cat lounged in its stall, stretching and extending golden claws as it yawned, draping a leathery wing over its side like a blanket.
“Pretty…” She breathed, Her eyes wide, their pupils constricted to slits like the cats'. She stepped towards the nearest cage and reached towards the scarlet cat as though in a trance. It tilted its head at Her curiously, and She let Her fingers slip between the bars.
“Watch it, Goldy!” Brom called, grabbing Her shoulder to pull Her away. The cat hissed, reaching through the bars.
Brom jerked away before the cat's crimson claws could dig into his flesh, and the girl grabbed the cat by the jaw, forcing its eyes to Hers, “No. Be nice.” She bopped it lightly on the nose and the beast dropped to the floor of its cage, laying its head flat on the ground before rolling over to show Her its glittering scaled belly. For the first time in a very, very long time, She giggled, kneeling in front of the cage and scratching the cat on the chin as it purred.
Behind her, Brom laughed nervously, and Ran pat him on the back, “Well, she seems happier at least.”
“And they like her more than us…” Brom added as another cat three cages down hissed at them.
“It's like they're made of jewels…” She said, reaching into the cage with both hands to run her fingers over the scales, fluffed like feathers, on its muscular neck. The three scaled stripes on Her left hand were a near match to the ruby cat’s.
“Do you want to help us feed them, Red?” Ran asked. She spun on Her knees to tilt Her head at him, the cat rolling over enough to do the same. Something in the twin expressions made Ran laugh, and he gestured to the far corner and a crate there, “There’s cut steaks in that box, get two for each, and you can feed them.”
She scrambled on Her hands and knees before She managed to get to Her feet, sprinting to the box and straining to open the heavy lid. Her fingers squelched on cold bloody meat, and She turned around with two fist-fulls, then froze. They hadn’t followed Her… Brom and Ran still stood by the first cage, talking to each other and not even looking at Her.
Slowly, She walked to a different cage on the opposite side from the journeymen. They glanced her way but didn’t stop Her or call Her over. Was this freedom? She could go anywhere in this huge room…
Something icy brushed the back of Her hand, and She jumped, dropping the steaks. A wolf that seemed to be carved of silver tilted its head at Her, ice blue eyes looking from the steaks to Her face before it let a long blue tongue loll from its mouth full of large teeth. She retrieved the dropped meat and offered it to him, tilting Her head in equal curiosity. Gingerly it took the slab of steak with its front teeth and pulled it slowly from Her slack fingers.
“Do you like them, Goldy?” Brom whispered from behind. She jumped again, spinning fast enough that She smacked the poor wolf in the face with Her golden hair.
She took a moment to look around at all the animals again before She smiled broadly at Her two caretakers, “They're like living treasures!”
“That’s the smile I like to see…” Ran knelt beside Her, reaching out to carefully brush some of Her hair back without touching Her skin, just barely brushing the three scaled stripes on Her right cheek. “How would you like to help us take care of them once and a while, Red?”
She was too happy for words and lunged forward, wrapping Her arms around his neck in a tight but swift hug. He flinched but pat Her on the back anyway as She pulled away. She'd thought Her life wasn’t worth living, locked in Her room except when escorted to the lab to give samples, but if She could help with these treasures, even just once a week, it would give Her a purpose.
“I would love to,” She answered, not bothering to fight the tears running silently down Her cheeks, wetting skin and scales on their way to Her chin.
"Why is the Firewyrm in here?" at the sound of the Archmage's deadpan voice, She folded in on Herself, rolling Her shoulders and staring past Ran's legs as he rushed to stand. Archmage Morndancer stood in the doorway, sternly staring down his journeymen.
Brom stepped between Ran and the Archmage, pulling the man's attention to himself, "We thought she might like to see the other subjects, Archmage." he licked his lips nervously now that the Archmage was focused only on him, "We... we thought she could help us feed them... stretch her legs a bit..."
The Archmage didn't explode; he didn't even yell, "You've already gathered her samples?" he asked.
"Yes, Archmage," Ran answered quickly.
Archmage Morndancer slowly let his eyes trail past the journeymen to Her. She bit Her lip but tried to stand taller. Morndancer merely huffed, "Very well. She is not to be left unattended."
"No, Archmage." Ran and Brom confirmed in unison.
"Perhaps she is old enough now..." the Archmage muttered to himself as he turned to leave. He stopped after only one step, looking over his shoulder at Her again, "Prove you are capable of not abusing this bit of freedom, Firewyrm, and perhaps we can see about granting you more."
He left, and Brom and Ran both exhaled slow breaths as She stared after the Archmage. Freedom, this really was freedom.
--- Table of Contents ---
All comments and critiques are welcome and wanted.
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2023.05.26 16:08 Degermark [The Arcane Paladin] Chapter 47 - Assembling the Team

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Wiki RoyalRoad
Cover Art & Travis Portrait by Pedro Puglisi Journal Entry #8
I left the village today. It will never be my home again.
I managed to muster enough dignity to at least walk out with the hunters and witch. I've seen plenty of sad sacks that needed to be hog-tied and thrown onto a wagon before, so I knew there was no escaping my fate.
We walked and walked and walked, until my exhausted body fell to the ground when we camped that night. The sky was clear, and the largest moon Porta shone brightly.
I wonder... Do the gods even care that my life as I know it is over?
Mattius and I escaped the rapidly filling cafeteria with our precious cargo of sandwiches, then stood at one of the outdoor tables between the main walkway and green space, hoping to catch Drozuk or someone else before our mission briefing.
Well, Arc was looking, I was busy trying to console Mattius while he routinely kept rechecking the squad assignments between bites of sandwich, the dread on his face growing more and more pronounced as it refused to change who he was going to be in a squad with. From what I've been able to gather, Mattius took the advice I relayed from Arc to heart and hasn't done anything stupid. However, he hasn't done anything bold either. The only communication between each other so far have been short conversations during specialized weapons training a couple of times per week, meaning that they've barely gotten past basic introductions at this point.
"Isn't this your chance to get to know her better?" I cautiously asked, "You'll be in the same squad, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to talk."
Mattius didn't bother to finish his last bite of sandwich, opting instead to mope about, "Please, like she'll give me the time of day when there's a pair of twins to flirt with."
I sighed in response to my friend's pessimism, and to Arc hinting with his snickering that he knew more than he was willing to divulge. I didn't even know how to empathize with Mattius' situation. Here he was with a golden opportunity, but all he could do was sulk. Exchanging letters with Caldia has been nice, but it couldn't hold a candle to how wonderful it was to spend the day with her.
Well... it was, until our... sort-of-date got hijacked.
"Hey! Professor Quinsandoral is approaching with an elven Ice Mage. How much do you want to bet that's his son?"
Welcoming the interruption, I perked my head up in time to see my Wind Spells professor walking along the main path with a young elf who, despite some obvious attempts to look different, was clearly his son. Unlike his dad who normally wore traditional high elf robes of varying colors and only carried a wand for spellcasting assistance, he was wearing the same uniform I was. Albeit his arming jacket was blue instead of forest-green, and had an additional leather bandolier across his chest filled with throwing knives that must have also acted as a mount for the oddly shaped shield on his back.
The faces were what truly confirmed they were father and son, not just because they had nearly identical sharp and angular faces topped with platinum blonde hair, but because they both had matching looks of irritation furrowing their brows. The younger also had a dozen silver piercings to differentiate him, the most notable ones being a spike in each eyebrow, a pair of studs in his nose, and two more in his pointed ears. Something I haven't once seen in any of the other elven students, although I'll be the first to admit I've barely interacted with the non-humans on campus.
Raising my hand in greeting, I shouted out to Professor Quinsandoral, who to my delight, smiled upon seeing Mattius and I by the outdoor bar table. His son, however, visibly sighed and dragged his feet as they moved towards us.
"Young Master Mattius, Travis," Quinsandoral greeted us with a gleeful tone, "I was hoping to meet you before my son's mission briefing." He gestured to his scowling child, "This is Vesril, future Lord of Vörðuhálsmýrdalsjökull, or as you may know it by it's poorly translated name, Glacier-cut Edge."
Raucous laughter violently erupted from Arc in my ears so loud that I instinctively brought both hands up to my ears and winced in pain. My obnoxious sword at least had the decency to quiet down, but a hand on my pauldron and worried look from Mattius made it obvious that I needed to think of an excuse fast.
"You okay?"
"Yeah..." I massaged the sides of my head and back of neck to stall, "just... uh, tweaked my neck is all..." I made a show of relaxing my shoulders to help sell the lie, then secretly vowed to test Arc's heat resistance at the spell range later tonight.
Vesril watched our interaction with his violet-colored eyes, completely cold and expressionless throughout, then in a sudden shift, looked over my shoulder and smirked, "That's a gnarly looking axe."
Professor Quinsandoral tensed up, then spoke through clenched teeth, "Yes, Travis does have an eccentric choice of weaponry..."
Vesril huffed, "Figures, it's perfectly fine for your pet human to wield a unique weapon, but if I want to---"
"Travis isn't an elf!" Quinsandoral barked. "And he doesn't have the legacy of his forebears to uphold."
Vesril rolled his eyes, "Monsters haven't attacked the mountain pass in over six eras, that's hardly a legacy. Why do I need to use the same weapon my great-great-something wielded while cowering behind a wall and never using the thing?"
My professor grabbed his son by the shoulder in a tight grip and cut into him with his glare, "You are on the narrowest of branches boy. Your mother still sees you as a child, and your uncle may only be indifferent as of now, but I have final say on whether you can attend this academy. And let me tell you boy, self-expression isn't looked upon kindly at Krisneirous University. They'll rip out those piercings, burn away your tattoos, and snap that ridiculous thing you call a weapon in half before you take a second step on school grounds."
The tension in the air was near to boiling as the two stared each other down in defiance. Mattius looked just as scared as I was to say anything, knowing that this kettle was only a single bump away from exploding.
Ironically, it was a student bumping into Professor Quinsandoral that broke the tension as they rushed by in a hurry, barely able to spurt out an apology. The father and son broke off their staring contest, and in unison with matching faces, cringed upon realizing they just had a very public argument.
Mattius, showing way more initiative than me, pulled out his pocket watch to check the time, "We should probably get to our meeting." He forced a smile towards Vesril, "Want to join us?"
Vesril shrugged his shoulders while rolling back his eyes, "Sure, I'm heading there anyways."
As the Ethics & Law building came into range, I decided to scout ahead with my focus and see if I could eavesdrop on anyone coming to the mission briefing or at least figure out where Drozuk was. I found him already in the room, seated with his arms crossed, and looking especially grumpy.
Hmm... I'm guessing he's not too thrilled about getting teamed up with Travis, a princess, and an edge lord.
I watched for a few seconds, but after determining that no one in the room was saying anything of substance, I flung my focus over Travis as he entered the building and back outside to watch Princess Seleyna approaching with Sir Asher and another unknown knight. To my surprise, she looked just as grouchy, completely ignoring the unknown knight behind her as they quietly whispered to Asher.
"So, what's got her kindling snapping in the hearth?"
Asher let out a tired sigh, "She's convinced that I'm the one who put her on a team with Travis and Reidar, and flat out refuses to believe I didn't submit anything."
The unknown knight raised her eyebrow, "You didn't? I'm surprised, even I requested a roster change."
Asher chuckled as they approached the building, "Didn't have to, someone already did." He then spoke louder to ensure Princess Seleyna could hear as well, "Honestly, she's being a bit of a hypocrite, given that she submitted a request of her own."
Seleyna ignored the gossip as she stormed in and made her way to the meeting room. By this time, Travis had already sat down in the front row between Vesril and Drozuk, and Mattius took a seat in the second row next to the Creeksmith twins Thaddeus and Zaccheus, so when Seleyna saw Travis' smiling face and friendly wave at her upon entry, she noticeably relaxed and put on a royal smile of her own.
Vesril nodded to the princess as she took the seat next to him, "Princess Seleyna."
"Young Lord Vesril, it's been a while... last year's Spring Gala?"
"Sounds about right." He gestured to Travis, "Your parents pay off the general to put you on the same team with him too?"
Seleyna stifled a laugh, "Not sure, no one's admitted to it yet, but it's safe to assume. That shadow show about us does need a sequel after all." She leaned forward to get a better look at the surly orc, "Drozuk, it was quite the surprise to see that your father was elected Jarl of Coldwater Spring Fortress. Has he been able to settle into his new role?"
"Don't know," Drozuk growled, "he hasn't told me a thing..."
Jarl? Huh... I'm surprised Drozuk never spoke about that, unless... ah, I'm guessing Travis isn't the only one with a dad keeping secrets from them.
The door opened to permit a dozen people in Logistic Corps uniforms, Mattius' crush Treblana, and a tall burly half-orc wearing half-plate. He stepped up to the unknown knight who walked in with Seleyna and reached to shake her hand.
"Captain Adaline, pleasure to finally meet you."
The Royal Knight took the offered hand, "Same as well, Captain Aguk, it's nice to have a face and voice to put to your correspondences."
My focus drifted back towards Mattius, who looked just as nervous as ever whenever he tried talking to Treblana, but at least managed to hide it well and produce a semi-stoic nod of acknowledgement when she took the seat next to him.
"Looks like I'll get to see you fight up close now." Treblana spoke cautiously.
Mattius smiled, "Same here, umm... I'll be counting on you to help overwhelm the opponent, since... you're much more talented at Earth Magic than me. I don't even have the needed mana to mimic the [Earth Wall Slide] you used a couple of weeks ago to shove that muledeer into the arena wall."
"Really? I think you're the talented one. Even from the stands I can tell every repeated structure you build is identical in dimensions and spaced out the same distance."
As usual, their conversation was cut short, right as they were about to build momentum, when Brigadier General Jonas called the meeting to order.
"This looks to be everyone, so let's begin." The general reached to pick up a box in front of him, "Your mission will be twofold; monster eradication in the Coldwater Spring Fortress' territory, and diplomatic relations with the fortresses you'll be harboring at during your journey." He opened the box to pull out a very familiar looking baseball sized sphere infused heavily with Order Mana and a Wind Mana gem embedded in its core. "This is a Master Message Stone. Unlike the private ones some of you carry or the inscriptions in your helmets, this does not vibrate or create sound. Its construction does have a unique advantage though..."
General Jonas grinned madly as he let the orb roll off his hand and crash onto the stone floor with a loud bang, causing all the students to flinch. He softly chuckled as he reached to pick the extremely valuable artifice back up, "It can maintain its paired frequency for a minimum of twelve years, despite how roughly its treated. Princess Seleyna will be presenting one of these to each fortress you visit, partially to build positive public relations with the populace outside of the capital, but also as part of a test run for the Queen's proposed long-range communication improvements."
Twelve years! Holy gods and God, I know the gift Travis received from the queen was expensive but... wow! The inscriptions in Travis' helmet require daily resynchronizations for the private and squad channels to ensure they don't randomly cut out, the battalion channel needs a weekly reset (assuming normal amount of chatter), and the emergency channel can maybe last two months if he doesn't take a blow to the head to rattle the inscription.
Travis must have had the same thought since I caught him stiffening up and gently placing his hand over the valuables pouch on his belt.
The general continued with the mission brief, starting with introductions to the battalion's leadership, "Captain of Squad 1, Royal Knight Adaline will have general command of the battalion's diplomatic and over all mission, Spartan Captain Aguk of Squad 2 will be acting lead for combat operations, and Raven Four will provide scouting and logistics security with their squad." He paused to gesture to the back row of people wearing the double-breasted jackets of the Logistics Corps, "Staff Sergeant Julien and his team, along with six horses, will manage supplies, field maintenance, and the camp. Keep in mind that they will be outnumbered three to one, so you will be expected to assist when needed."
I continued to listen in on the dry presentation, taking notes so Travis could consult me if needed, but I did take time to enjoy watching the corpsmen and mages struggle to stay awake as the general droned on and on. Honestly, two hours to basically state that everyone will take a gun boat down and up the rivers, stopping occasionally to overnight at some of the more prominent riverside fortresses on the way, then coordinating with the Jarl of Coldwater Spring Fortress to kill as many monsters as possible after arrival seemed like overkill, but maybe that's just because all Travis really needs to do is whatever his squad captains tell him to do.
Eventually, the torture session... err, I mean meeting... ended, and Travis was preparing to leave with his friends for a late lunch when one of the logistics corpsmen called out to him.
"Sir Travis, can you spare a moment of your time."
Travis whirled around to face the approaching man and nervous teenager accompanying him, "Uh... sure, what do you need sergeant?"
He saluted Travis, then reached into his satchel, "This morning, during our preparations, we discovered to our dismay that one of the horses assigned to our mission will not be fully recovered in time from an injury to be cleared for deployment. As a result, we need a last-minute replacement, and Private Tomas has kindly informed me that your horse, 5751054, enlisted last night."
Heh, he almost makes it sound like Travis' nameless horse enlisted on his own.
Travis pondered the request, "Doesn't he need training?"
The Staff Sergeant glanced towards the private, until the social pressure forced Tomas to speak, "Sir! 5751054 is already trained to ride, haul, and self-navigate. He will not be required to know more for this mission given the limited need for equine support."
Travis shrugged, "Well, if he's willing... then I guess I am too."
Sergeant Julien smiled, then handed Travis a document, "Just need your final approval."
Travis signed the sheet, handed it back, then addressed the private, "Will you be in charge of the horses?"
The corpsman saluted, "Yes sir, I'm Private Tomas, my main duty will be to act as stablemaster and coachman."
Travis nodded, then spoke in a stern voice, "5751054 is precious to me. My parents saved up for two years to purchase him for my eighteenth birthday, and still had to do so on credit from my village's horse breeder. If something were to happen to him..."
Tomas gulped, "Understood sir, I will ensure he's properly cared for."
Super serious Travis gave another nod, but broke character instantly after taking two steps away, "Oh, wait! When does he need to report in? I was going to take him to run a few errands this afternoon and might need to make a run to get some last-minute supplies tomorrow."
Staff Sergeant Julien smirked, "As long as he's in his stable when you drop off your personal supply crate tomorrow night, you should be fine."
Travis exhaled a sigh of relief, noticed that his friends had already left for lunch proper, then rushed out the door to go catch up.
Julien gave Tomas a firm slap on the back, "See, I told you he'd be amenable. Most mages are too preoccupied to fuss over small details, so the trick is to make it seem like you're doing them a favor, instead of trying to save your own ass."
Tomas grumbled, "I still can't believe 5640161 did something so stupid."
"Meh, it's probably for the best. You know how primes can be when told to pull carts in a team."
"I know, but still... prancing backwards down the exit ramp?"
The Staff Sergeant could only shrug their shoulders in reply.
"Your left one's drifting again."
I paused the warmup routine Reidar taught me to check over my [Water Bracer] enchantment and scowled. This spell was proving much more difficult to maintain than [Earth Cleat] or the [Message] enchantment I created on my helmet's dust filter.
It seemed so simple when I got the spell at first too. Basically, just a trio of condensing arrays on the inside of my forearm to collect Water, and six evenly spaced lines at 60-degrees on my outer vambrace to create a thin layer of fast-moving water capable of deflecting small objects down and away from my face. I didn't even stumble much on the diagram's mentioned tricky part of getting the Water to jump over the gaps between my forearm plates, just having difficulty keeping the parallel lines evenly spaced and at the correct angle.
"Hmm... it's a lot harder to keep my formation consistent without a flat surface, and I don't have anything to act as guidelines..." Trying to puzzle out a solution, I thought back to the serving pots Ansel's family used. They were rounded as well but had decorative indentations and ridges to help with spacing and line shape, similar to how I could use my boot treads as a reference for forming [Earth Cleat].
"Ah, I think I understand now why the inscriptions senior students use are so different from the one on Lancel's sword and other knight weapons. When I got a good look at that shield Vesril carries, I noticed it had a lot of directionless Water inscription lines running along it. I'm guessing any enchantment he casts will use the inscription as a skeleton to keep it from falling apart in combat."
I nodded along as I cast a cloud of Fire Mana off my palm and tried to squeeze it into as tiny of a ball as possible, allowing some of my frustration to bleed out, "That makes sense. It'd be like using graph paper to write out a formation. I bet it's a lot easier to invert or neutralize the direction of a line too if the core is made up of mana dust or gems."
"Thramreat mentioned that dwarves used to paint spell formations on their bodies, maybe you can do something similar with your bracers?"
"Good idea." I tossed the ball of Fire Mana above my head, reshaped it into a [Fire Orb], then nodded to Arc sticking out of the ground down range, "Okay, I'm ready."
Light and Shadow Mana pools around Arc as he starts playing music, until a wireframe statue of a bull's head emerges from the ground. Slowly, but surely, the rest of the creature appears, starting with a wattle, pair of giant chicken feet, bull's body and hind legs, and a chicken's tailfeathers.
Bullcock, a single element monster, this stable hybrid of a bull and rooster is well known for their aggressive charges, fast swipes with their spurs, and ability to spit Fire from a distance, but mostly for their excellent tasting meat and valuable leather.
I froze for a moment, eyes locked onto its claws... this is the monster that nearly killed my dad...
Anger floods my body with battle lust, and I nearly forget to dodge when it starts rushing towards me, not even leaving a full foot between us. It digs one of its oversized claws into the ground after it misses me, then swings the rest of its body around in a 180 to quickly about face. I raise my hand to cast [Fire Bolt], but a horn screeches loudly in my ear, disrupting my concentration.
"You want friendly fire? Because that's how you get friendly fire."
I swear as the bullcock makes another charge. Idiot! You can only launch spells downrange! I'll get my boat axed if I damage the building or accidentally lob a spell into another person's private spell range.
The bullcock angles his charge, so I can't safely launch a spell after dodging again, but that doesn't stop it from doing so. The wattle underneath its chin swells up, and a trio of [Light Bolts] fly towards me after the bullcock opens its mouth. I bring up my forearms to block, and manage to deflect the first projectile, but the second and third harmlessly splash against my chest, prompting Arc to start taunting me.
"Oh, c'mon! I've seen children with better reflexes than that."
Clenching my teeth, I try to block out all outside distractions, and focus solely on the task at hand. Using [Earth Cleat] to give my side-steps an extra burst of speed on top of my mana reinforced strides, [Water Bracer] to allow me to forgo a shield and deflect the spit attacks, and at every opportunity, I launch as many Bolt spells as I can downrange.
Like usual, Arc keeps increasing the difficulty, first by making the bullcock move slightly faster, then having it extend a claw to try and swipe at me during its charge, and finally varying the number of Bolts he spits back at me. We keep fighting, long past the point where the monster or I would have died, only allowing short pauses for me to fix my bracer enchantments, but without any warning or fanfare, Arc abruptly stopped the music and dispersed his controlled mana.
Confused as to what happened, I darted my head around, until I spotted Hector entering through the door.
"Sorry, didn't mean to startle you again."
I released the breath I was holding in, then reached up to take off my helmet and shake away the sweat from my face, "It's alright, just... wasn't expecting company is all. You're the first person to come visit me here."
The bearded Packer made a nervous chuckle as he looked back towards the door, "Yeah, I think the only reason the rangemaster let me pass was because I'm your drill instructor."
My eyes perked up after finally noticing what was on his back, "You got your poleaxe made!"
Hector grinned as he handed it to me for inspection, "Yep, did the final assembly with the polearms club this afternoon, and even demonstrated what I've been teaching you."
I groaned with guilt after taking his weapon. I definitely could have made time this afternoon to visit the club, it's not like I didn't know when they were meeting this week. Looking down despondently, I began to inspect Hector's re-creation of my weapon, seeing quite a few differences before even looking with my mana sight.
Overall, the material quality and mana density was much lower, using the same mid-grade dwarven steel my armor was made of and ironwood, but it did have some good quality leather wrapping around the middle of the shaft and part way up the langets.
"What's with the leather?"
"That's what I'm using right now as a workaround to improve my attunement connection to the weapon heads. Tristan and Percy are heading up north for their Fall Expeditions, so they promised to try and win an elmek horn or something similar to replace the shaft with."
I nodded along, checking over the structural build to see if there were any errors, "Speaking of, I'm surprised you're not at the Hopkins' estate. Aren't you on leave until classes start again now?"
Hector scratched the back of his head, "I... uh... didn't have any brothers growing up, so... those three can get a bit too... rowdy for me."
"Ha, I can relate, I'm an only child." I finished my inspection, not finding any obvious flaws in the build, "Alright if I attune to it?"
"Go ahead."
The mana inside the poleaxe ramped up to match mine in only a fraction of the time it took me to sync with mine, and unsurprisingly, I was able to maintain the attunement when I tried using mana reinforcement. It did feel a little strange however, like I was squeezing my body through a narrow gap in the fence each time, so I must have been near my limit for how large and mana dense an object can be for me to attune with.
Hector watched me test out his new toy, but cocked his head when he noticed Arc planted in the dirt near the back wall, "What's your sword doing down there?"
"Oh, umm..." I turned towards my best friend and had a spark of inspiration, "Since it's indestructible, I like to use it for target practice."
Target practice? What do you---
Arc's words cut-off right as I hit his blade with a [Fire Bolt].
"Ouch! That actually hurt a little..."
Hector barked a few laughs as he placed a hand on my pauldron, then suddenly wrapped his fingers around the edges to dig painfully into my deltoid, "Initiate, when in uniform, you are expected to keep your sword sheathed and on your person when not in use. I strongly advise you to do so in the future."
I gulped, "Yes sir."
The pain stopped, replacing it with an affectionate pat as he gave me a sly grin, "Now, when you say indestructible, do you really mean indestructible? Because I've heard the stories and rumors about these blades, but never quite believed them."
Arc began to moan. "Ugh, I knew this was going to happen eventually."
Snowsday, the 32nd^ of Eighthmonth
Travis looked down at his directions, then back up to the intersection in the artificer burrow and sighed.
"It just says left, not left-left or first left?"
My bestest buddy in this whole world shook their head and frowned. We'd come up to another intersection, but instead of the usual four-way cross, the left side hallway entrances were spaced 60-degrees apart.
"Well, logic would assume they mean the first left..."
"Yeah, but that one is newly constructed. There's no scuff marks or scratches on the walls, unlike the second one on the left."
I mentally groaned. That does it, I'm putting a pin in the auto-translator upgrade on my soul's patch and am going to implement a mapmaking feature. Not like Travis really needs the translator anyways, humans all speak the same language, despite originally being four distinct cultures, and common is used as the international trade language between the three kingdoms.
I still don't get how that's possible. I mean, nowadays you have the military shuffling soldiers all over the kingdom and congregating every year for the Spring Flood to help spread and reinforce the language, but according to Travis' history books, humans all spoke the same language before the four tribes united. Maybe the alphabet being phonetic helps prevent regional dialects from forming? These guys don't even have a word for homophone. Although, I don't get how that's possible either... elves are the ones who invented paper, humans had to use good old-fashioned leather scrolls before Oskar made contact.
"Oh, sorry, got lost in my head. Uh... just pick a direction, if it's not right, I can replay my memory and help you backtrack."
Travis nodded, then took the first left, walking down the tunnel for a full minute before a couple of familiar looking dwarves, plus a human and an elf, came into view.
Thramreat was pacing in full armor with an anime-sized war-pick on their back, glaring occasionally at what I now recognized was the entrance to Durinn's workshop as the elf held her ear up to the tumbler lock. The beardless dwarf kept mumbling, eventually letting their thoughts be heard. "I still don't feel comfortable doing this..."
Orebeck, also decked out in full plate, but with an extra bandolier of glass vials across their chest and a heavily modified crossbow on their back, was looking completely fed up, "Well... I didn't feel comfortable making an aphrodisiac so you could seal the nest with my best friend. So, we're all just going to have to pound sand for a while."
The brawny knight (who might have been a goliath, I couldn't tell for sure), looked down at the two dwarves with a completely baffled expression, then leaned towards the elf to whisper, "Umm... I thought he just mixed up a thing of beard oil?"
The elf stopped her lockpicking attempt to lightly pound her head against the door and sigh, "Yes, they did. But dwarves... work differently when it comes to mating." She snapped her head towards Travis as he approached and hissed at the party, "Quiet! Someone's approaching."
Travis waved to the group, blissfully unaware of who they were at first until Thramreat began to panic.
"Travis! Umm... it's not what it looks like!"
Orebeck and the bow wielding elf both facepalmed, unlike the knight who grinned and waved back, "Hi Travis! Are you coming back to the estate for the training camp?"
"Uh... no, I'm going on a Fall Expedition... Do I know you?" Travis gave the Darius-sized knight a second glance.
The knight padded their chest, "Oh, sorry, don't have my tabard on. Thramreat said it would get dirty." He extended a cheerful hand forward, "I'm Knight Lieutenant Evan Raycraft. You have a really pretty singing voice."
Travis shook the offered hand, "Thank you." He turned to look at Thramreat, but abruptly stopped part way to look at the door, "Oh, this is Durinn's workshop... Wait, why are you guys here?"
Thramreat, still looking as guilty as a rat in a grain bin, quickly spoke first, "Just passing through. That's all."
Orebeck rolled their eyes at the dwarf's pitiful attempt to lie, "We're trying to break-in to Durinn's workshop. I know where they keep their hidden files, so we can use them to help prepare while we ride out to the nesting grounds."
Travis still looked confused, "Umm... why would you need that? Also, why are you all fully decked out and armed to the teeth?"
"Always smart to use protection when approaching a bearded's nest." Thramreat replied, then grumbled, "And as for the former... Durinn is apparently a sinner in the eyes of the bearded."
Orebeck finally lost their temper, and unloaded on the beardless, "Oh, would you quit being such a self-righteous beaver you orthodox piece of slag! Every bearded does it. It's perfectly natural."
"Enough!" The elf shouted, forcing the argument to stop. She glared at each dwarf to ensure their silence, let out a huff of frustration, then smiled at Travis, "Apologies, I haven't introduced myself. I'm Watcher Ariawyn Famaris. Was there a reason you came to visit Durinn's workshop?"
"Oh, umm... actually, I was looking for Thramreat." Travis turned towards the dwarf, "I've been having troubles with a Water enchantment for my bracers and was wondering if dwarves still used monster paste to help assist with their spellcraft."
Orebeck let out a chuckle as they dug through one of their pouches to toss something dense with Water Mana towards Travis, "Here, catch. Monster paste will just wash away after a few minutes. We use mana-infused wax nowadays for Water Enchantments. Just heat it up a bit to apply, but be careful not to let it melt off in combat, oh... and make sure you wipe your armor clean every night. It'll corrode the rust protection if you don't."
"Thanks," Travis gave a nervous wave goodbye, "umm... tell Durinn I said hi."
A pair of golden eyes stared up at me, catching the sunlight from the patio door in my dorm's living room just right to make them look like they were glowing. I reached forward to tickle the baby's tummy and started grinning like a madman when Boris started to giggle and smile back.
"Ugh, I can feel my soul getting stretchmarks just from looking at the cute little guy."
I leaned back to relax in my chair, enjoying the sight of Gramps completely taking over not just the packing of my crate, but Drozuk's too.
"Waterproof cards, dice set, blank notebooks, charcoal sticks, barbecue sauce, sandals..."
Caldia, to my surprise, came with her dad, but she was busy designing the family crest that Drozuk wanted to submit for reservation before leaving tomorrow and decorating our crates so they'd be easy to identify.
Oh, and Barry was here too. He brought up a crate of "essentials" that every soldier needs, including a pair of paperback "adventure novels" that he told me not to worry about if they get ruined or misplaced. I think my face was still red from blushing when he snuck those into the bottom of my crate.
Everything was just so... peaceful. With Gramps taking charge, I had absolutely nothing to do at the moment (other than anger Caldia by getting to hold the baby). The care package I spent my afternoon assembling yesterday was already sealed and labeled to ship to Aelder Creek, the aelderwood scraps I received from Father Viburnum were secured in my lockbox, and Gramps already agreed to store it in the Hopkins' vault while I'm away.
My respite eventually ended though. Gramps finished off the checklist that he brought, and closed the lid on Drozuk's crate, but stopped before doing the same for mine.
"Drozuk, would you mind taking the baby for a moment?"
Not sure what was going on, I stood up so I could approach my roommate, and smiled as he went as stiff as a statue when I handed Boris to him. I then turned back to see that Darius was holding a blanket in his hands.
"Travis, if you don't mind, there's an old Packer tradition that my family would like to conduct with you, given how you're technically a former ward of our house. It's a very old one that dates back long before the kingdom was founded and is observed whenever a young man comes of age. It originally started as the final parting gift of a mother to her son before he went to become a spartan, a reminder of which clans he and his ancestors were descendant of, but over time, as our values changed, so has this tradition."
I nodded my head, not even considering the possibility of saying no, especially with how emotional he and Barry were becoming.
Darius unfurled the blanket, allowing me to see the majestic work of art it was. It was a deep black, but the fabric shimmered with a swirling mix of violet, silver, pink, and blue light. The moons and stars were stitched into it, arranged into the constellations of the Elemental Eight greater monsters. Thunderhawk, the screeching death. Thunderhoof, the raging bull. Sunbeaver, the mountain shaper. Copperdillo, the invulnerable force. Diamondback, the walking fortress. Bushtail, the forest tender. Dark Drake, the unexpected disaster. And Icefang, the sun eater.
"In the Southern Plains, it's easy to get lost after fighting countless battles in the seemingly endless expanse of grass and gentle hills. Should you ever find yourself alone and in need of comfort, let the stars guide you, and eventually you'll find your way home."
I gazed up at Gramp's blubbering face through my own welling tears and reached forward to receive one of his legendary hugs.
"It's beautiful. Thank you so much."
submitted by Degermark to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 01:27 cryptomoon_484 Solo First-Time travel to Japan in OCT'23 for 27 days itinerary

Here is my tentative plan, I would appreciate if anyone could critique this itinerary. I am still researching and learning which places would be the best for me. My area of interests is culture, food, architecture, art, anime, nature, temples and exploring night life.
Day 1 : Departure from home
Day 2 : Arrival in Tokyo
Arrive at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, then take the Tokyo Monorail to my hotel in Tokyo.
Take rest and walk around the neighborhood.
Day 3 : Explore Tokyo
Start my day with a visit to the Meiji Shrine. Take the JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku Station.
Next, head to Harajuku, known for its quirky street fashion.
In the afternoon, visit Shibuya Crossing. Take the JR Yamanote Line to Shibuya Station.
Explore the nightlife in Shibuya.
Day 4 : Tokyo
Visit the Tsukiji Fish Market in the morning. Take the Oedo Subway Line to Tsukiji Shijo Station.
Head to the upscale shopping district of Ginza. Take the Hibiya Subway Line to Ginza Station.
In the evening, visit the Tokyo Tower. Take the Oedo Subway Line to Akabanebashi Station.
Spend some time in Akihabara. Take the JR Yamanote Line to Akihabara Station.
Day 5 : Tokyo
Visit Asakusa. Take the Ginza Subway Line to Asakusa Station.
Explore Nakamise Shopping Street.
In the evening, enjoy the nightlife in Roppongi. Take the Oedo Subway Line to Roppongi Station.
Day 6 : Tokyo
Spend the day in Odaiba. Take the Yurikamome Line to Daiba Station.
Visit teamLab Borderless, a digital art museum.
In the evening, enjoy a walk across the Rainbow Bridge.
Day 7 : Tokyo to Hakone
Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen (Kodama or Hikari) from Tokyo to Odawara, then transfer to the Hakone Tozan Train to Hakone.
Enjoy a boat ride on Lake Ashi and take the ropeway to Owakudani Valley.
Spend the night in a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn) and enjoy a hot spring bath.
Day 8 : Hakone to Kyoto
Take the Hakone Tozan Train from Hakone to Odawara, then take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen (Hikari) to Kyoto.
In the afternoon, visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine (Probably might consider early morning the next day). Take the JR Nara Line to Inari Station.
Day 9 : Kyoto
Visit Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). Take the Kyoto City Bus 101 or 205 from Kyoto Station to Kinkaku-ji.
In the afternoon, visit Ryoan-ji, known for its rock garden. Take the Kyoto City Bus 59 from Kinkaku-ji to Ryoan-ji.
Then visit Nijo Castle. Take the Kyoto City Bus 12 from Ryoan-ji to Nijo Castle.
Day 10 : Kyoto
Visit Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Take the JR Sagano Line to Saga-Arashiyama Station.
In the afternoon, visit Tenryu-ji, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take a boat ride on the Hozu River.
Day 11 : Kyoto
Visit Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion). Take the Kyoto City Bus 5 or 17 to Ginkaku-ji.
Walk along the Philosopher's Path.
In the afternoon, visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Take the Kyoto City Bus 5 or 101 to Kyoto Imperial Palace
Day 12 : Day Trip to Nara
Take the JR Nara Line from Kyoto to Nara.
Visit Todai-ji Temple, which houses a giant Buddha statue.
Visit Nara Park and spend some time.
Day 13 : Kyoto to Osaka
Take the JR Kyoto Line (Special Rapid Service) from Kyoto to Osaka.
In the afternoon, visit Osaka Castle. Take the JR Loop Line to Osakajokoen Station.
In the evening, explore Dotonbori. Take the Midosuji Subway Line to Namba Station.
Day 14 : Osaka
Visit the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. Take the Chuo Subway Line to Osakako Station.
In the afternoon, explore the Umeda Sky Building. Take the Midosuji Subway Line to Umeda Station.
Try local dishes like takoyaki and okonomiyaki .
Day 15 : Osaka
Visit the Sumiyoshi Taisha. Take the Nankai Main Line to Sumiyoshi Taisha Station.
In the afternoon, explore the Shinsekai district. Take the Midosuji Subway Line to Dobutsuen-mae Station.
In the evening, visit the Abeno Harukas. Take the Midosuji Subway Line to Tennoji Station.
Day 16 : Osaka
Spend the day exploring any areas I may have missed or revisit my favorite spots.
Consider visiting the Minoo Park, a forested valley on the outskirts of Osaka, known for its waterfall. Take the Hankyu Minoo Line to Minoo Station.
Day 17 : Osaka to Hiroshima
Take the JR Sanyo Shinkansen (Sakura) from Osaka to Hiroshima.
Visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Take the Hiroden Streetcar Line 2 or 6 to Genbaku-Domu Mae station.
Day 18 : Day Trip to Miyajima
Take the JR Sanyo Line from Hiroshima to Miyajimaguchi, then take the JR Miyajima Ferry to Miyajima.
Try local delicacies like oysters and momiji manju (maple leaf-shaped cakes).
Return to Hiroshima for the night.
Day 19 : Hiroshima to Kanazawa
Take the JR Sanyo Shinkansen (Sakura) from Hiroshima to Shin-Osaka, then transfer to the JR Thunderbird Limited Express to Kanazawa.
Visit Kenrokuen Garden. Take the Kanazawa Loop Bus to Kenrokuen.
Explore the Higashi Chaya District. Take the Kanazawa Loop Bus to Higashi Chaya District.
Day 20 : Kanazawa
Visit the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art. Take the Kanazawa Loop Bus to 21st Century Museum.
Explore the Nagamachi Samurai District. Take the Kanazawa Loop Bus to Korinbo.
Day 21 : Kanazawa to Tokyo
Take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen (Kagayaki) from Kanazawa to Tokyo.
Day 22 : Tokyo
Visit Ueno Park and the Tokyo National Museum. Take the JR Yamanote Line to Ueno Station.
Explore Ameya-Yokocho Market. It's a short walk from Ueno Station.
Day 23 : Tokyo
Visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Take the JR Chuo-Sobu Line to Ryogoku Station.
Spend the afternoon in Akihabara, known for its electronics shops and anime and manga stores. Take the JR Yamanote Line to Akihabara Station.
Day 24 : Tokyo
Visit Roppongi Hills for shopping and dining, and enjoy the view from the Mori Tower. Take the Oedo Subway Line to Roppongi Station.
In the evening, explore Shinjuku and its vibrant nightlife. Take the JR Yamanote Line to Shinjuku Station.
Day 25 : Tokyo
Spend my last full day in Japan shopping for souvenirs and exploring any areas I may have missed.
Consider visiting the Imperial Palace and its surrounding gardens. Take the JR Yamanote Line to Tokyo Station, then walk to the Imperial Palace.
Day 26 : Departure Preparations
Use the JR Yamanote Line or Metro for any last-minute shopping or sightseeing.
Day 27 : Departure
Tokyo Monorail from my hotel to Haneda Airport for my flight.
For this itinerary, I am thinking a 14-day JR Pass would be the most cost-effective option. I know the new JR prices will start in Oct. If I book my JR pass before Oct. I will be able to use the old prices, right? I will activate it on the day I leave Tokyo for Hakone and it will be valid until the day my return to Tokyo from Kanazawa. For the rest of my stay, I can use single tickets or day passes depending on my plans.
submitted by cryptomoon_484 to JapanTravel [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 22:27 Electronic_Tax2281 The Evergreen [SF]

Sitting here, crying, hurting, in pain. By the time that clock hits midnight everything that’s been instilled in my mind through out the day comes to the surface. Sitting here, trapped, breathless, idiotic. That’s what it is isn’t it? Idiotic. Yet I continue to let the music play and the tears drown me, all over a person. A person. It’s that simple, a person and nothing more, not an angel, not a guardian, not a soulmate. A person
100 thoughts at once and Erica is 99 of them. I lay here and let my mind go to the furthest point away from reality it can go. Dissociation. What runs through my head while in this state is unexplainable, surreal maybe? “I wish I could just hurry up life. Make myself older so I can see her everyday again” Those words. Words that I will forever regret even thinking. Life is something that should be grasped tight not wished gone
Sitting here, tears, music, alone. I fell asleep expecting to wake up like normal, in my bed, in my house of horrors. I didn’t wake up like normal. I woke up in a panic after waking up in a bed that wasn’t mines. Empty, cold, stale. I felt lightheaded, as if I had been ill. I was in shock. No noise, not even a gun shot, could have made it through to me. Trying to work out where I was or more importantly, WHO I was. I was in a bedroom with pretty grey walls, a spotless white carpet and so many photos it was unreal. I recognize these people. I thought, as I continued analyzing the faces in these captured moments, framed, displayed, like there is something to prove by having the good moments displayed for the world to see. I, on the other hand, looked like I had aged 20 years over night. I’m dreaming. This is not real. Wake up, wake up! Obviously, I couldn’t wake up because nothing about this was a dream but how could it possibly be real?
buzz buzz
I jumped. Startled by the previously unnoticed phone on the bedside table. I lifted the unfamiliar phone not knowing what to expect. The phone looked almost futuristic. I clicked the button on the side and the screen came to life, glaring at me, making my head throb even more. The lock screen displayed a photo of me and a little girl. Except it wasn’t me. She looked like me, undeniably, a spitting image. The golden curls, the glasses, everything down to my squint jaw. But it can’t be, the woman in the photo looked around 30. It’s impossible. The buzzing came from a text “Dear Taylor…” was all I could see without clicking further. Clicking further a password screen came up
  1. “Password incorrect, damn” 210182. The phone unlocks. “Future me is still so predictable” I said with I quick roll of my eyes but also glad that it worked. Bringing up the text it read, “Dear Taylor, you should be careful what you wish for. Today’s date is 22nd of May 2040. Good luck and have fun- The Future”. At this point I could feel my heart beat pounding out my chest. It felt like my heart was going to explode at any moment. So many thoughts where racing through my head at once that I couldn’t comprehend them all.
After taking a minute to process what’s happening and thinking more reasonably. “This has to be some sort of sick joke, right? Time travel doesn’t actually exist”. My vision started to go blurry as I fell to the floor. Get a grip Taylor! I got myself back up and grabbed on the handle of the bedroom door. I let my hand linger for a second too long as I know I’m about to face whatever is out there whether ill wake up and it’s all a dream or whether this is real and I’m really 17 years in the future.
Handle down, expecting the worst, I opened the door slowly. I walked out into a hall full of even more photos. I studied them closer this time. I saw a photo of me and my Erica hanging up center of the wall, of course. We look so happy together, the way I imagined us being. We looked like we were on holiday. As I continued walking further through the walls that held my future life, I was amazed at how everything came together the way it did. One question was still left unanswered though. Who was the little girl? Was she mines?
I didn’t know whether I even wanted to keep walking or I wanted to stop and leave everything to fate to decide when it reached 2040 but my feet wouldn’t stop, it looks like we are finding out then. As I walked into the living room the walls where white bricks with a grey carpet, a massive bookshelf that reached the ceiling, couches and a massive TV. Again, even more photos, more again of the same little girl.
Walking into the kitchen was like walking into a kitchen from a TV show. White cupboards, marble countertops with black and white tiles laid on the floor. What really drew my attention though was the fridge in the corner. More the photos on it mainly, the same little girls face was plastered everywhere. “She has to be my daughter” I thought to myself as I took the chance to really look at this girl with the same golden curls as me. There was a piece of paper magnetized onto the fridge, a school certificate, that read the name Erica.
I’m exactly where I wanted to be. A nice house and a daughter named after my Erica after all those years of waiting, all those years I thought I had wasted for love, all had just proven to mean something after all. I take a deep breath with a quiet smile is plastered over my face. “It was all worth it in the end” I said aloud. “What was worth it Mummy?” A barley awake voice said to me pulling me back into the now very real reality of the fact that I’m near enough 20 years in the future. “Nothing darling” I responded with a very clear look of shock on my face. Like I had just seen a ghost.
The day continued on with my face still showing clear signs of disbelief at this girl sitting in front of me. “Did you enjoy your breakfast?” I asked with a smile. Erica nodded swiftly. I’m still just presuming her names Erica from the certificate I seen on the fridge. There was no real way to find out without giving it up that I don’t belong here. Just then another buzz at the phone. Could this be giving me my answer as to what this, presumably, Erica’s name is?
“Dear Taylor, you have used your knowledge to conclude that the girl standing before you are, in fact, your future daughter” “Not really figured it out considering she walked out of her room and called me Mummy but whatever” I thought to myself as I continued to read the message “But the question is. What’s her name? You’re correct, her name is Erica. Your daughter’s name is Erica Lyla Grey. The next step of your day is to make sure that Erica, and whoever else from your future life you encounter, has no clue that you’ve been sent from the past-The Future”
I try to keep my face emotionless in front of Erica, she can’t know, it’s part of the rules of the future. As she eats’ I let my mind wander. Do I know anyone already with the last name Grey? Do I still have any of the same friends? A voice breaks through the silence and pulls me back from the void that is the complexity of my spinning head. “Mummy, can we go and visit Auntie Erica today?” Auntie. I can’t help but let a small smile wash over my face. That one word had changed my outlook on this future that I’ve been left to experience blindly. I must’ve let the question linger a little too long as Erica added “I’m sorry, Mummy. I know you don’t like to talk about her but it was her birthday a few months ago and we haven’t been to visit since Christmas, maybe we could bring some flowers?”
I froze. Unable to move, see, think. What’s happened to me? A future where I don’t like to talk about my Erica? That’s impossible. Again, letting Erica’s words fill the room, suffocating me, not letting me breathe anymore. “It’s okay Mummy. I’m so sorry” Erica says while getting up from her seat and wrapping me in a hug. I hug her back trying to trap my tears, stop them from escaping, making this real. I want nothing more right now than to ask why I don’t like to speak of my Erica but that would give away the secret I’ve swore to keep, why?
“Why wouldn’t I like to speak of Auntie Erica?” Letting Erica go and coughing over the word auntie as I’m still in shock at those words. Erica looks to the floor. As if the reason is uncomfortable or upsetting? She eventually responds. “Well, you know, after the accident, the one that you and Auntie Erica were in” Sitting here, hurt, loss, pain. Grasping little Erica’s words wishing she wasn’t saying them. “It was just me and Auntie Erica in the car, wasn’t it? I don’t remember it very much” I say demanding for an answer from her. Was she in the car? I’d already pieced together that if it was just me and my Erica in the car that I would’ve been driving. Did I kill my Erica? Stop. You don’t even know she’s dead. “No, Uncle Oliver was driving. Remember?” Uncle Oliver. If my Erica died in that car crash then Oliver will be dead too. He wouldn’t have made it very long without my Erica. She was his world.
“You know what. Of course, we can go visit her” I say looking into Erica’s eyes. They’re blue, oceanic, they remind me of my Erica’s. Her blue eyes. They are the kind of blasphemy that makes a congregation cry but it’s almost cruel letting my mind wander back to the blue in her eyes when there’s a very real chance that she’s dead. Even with my doubts, I let my mind wander to the memories. Well, the ones that I have anyway. “D-do you think we could maybe invite Uncle Oliver to come with us?”
Oliver’s alive? Thank GOD. “Sure. I’ll give him a call. Why don’t you go and play right now?” Erica gives me a half-hearted smile as she wanders off, like she knows somethings up with me but doesn’t want to ask. With Erica gone I get the chance to pull out my phone and have a browse of my contacts still secretly hoping that I’ll see my Erica’s name there for me to be able to phone. It wasn’t. This was real whether I liked it or not, it was. But Oliver’s name was. I click it, hesitantly I click further for it to call seemingly the only thing I have left of my Erica, it rings. The rings, they were almost relaxing. One ring, two rings, three. Still no answer. Come on Oliver, pick up, pick up. “Hello?” A quiet voice said on the other end of the phone, a voice that brings me peace and serenity, Oliver’s voice.
“Hey Oliver, its um” starting to stumble over my words. Why was I stumbling over my words when the man on the other end of the phone was someone I’d known for years? I couldn’t tell you. Get…a…GRIP. “It’s Taylor. Listen, Erica was asking about going to visit her today and I was wondering if maybe you wanted to tag along?”. His reply took what felt like hours but was realistically probably only seconds. Everything seems to feel like a lifetime when you’ve wished so much of your life away. Why isn’t he answering? Crap, did I say something wrong? Has he caught on? It lingers, uncomfortably. “Sure, why not. I’ll pick the two of you up in an hour” His reply almost calms me, the familiarity in it is enough to bring me back to the past. The times where I wish I still was.
The hour passes by, not fast but not slow either. Almost like I’m starting to make sense of the future that’s been thrown at me without warning. Be careful what you wish for. Oliver pulls up. I don’t even know if I want to see him. His state without my Erica. Walking outside the sun blinded me and I prepare myself once again for what I’m about to see and then I see him. He’s standing there looking near enough the same he as he did 17 years ago except there’s something there. Could it be his grey hair made silver by the sun? Maybe but not quite. “Uncle Oliver!!” Erica gleams letting go of the tight grip she had on my hand and begins to run towards him. The words Uncle Oliver are still enough to put a smile across my face. He bends down and hugs her tight. I want him to hug me too. I’m just so glad that he didn’t fall to his feet upon my Erica’s death. I think. Still unsure if she actually died. Oliver lifts Erica as we head to his car, buckled in and seated he starts driving off to where ever my Erica lays. We drove for a good 20 minutes in silence. The silence wasn’t awkward or uncomfortable, just peaceful. We arrive at the last place I wanted but the first place I expected. A graveyard. Getting out of the car and beginning to walk up towards the gate of death, dread, doom and eternal grief, I felt my eyes glisten as we approached my Erica’s forever resting place. Hold it back Taylor. Hold it back. Show no weakness. I couldn’t hold it back anymore reading the engraving on her stone. My face was heating up as the tears streamed down my face.
“Here lies Erica Sinclair. Loving wife and Aunt. 21.01.82-15-08-38” Wife? I thought to myself. Did they finally decide to get married after all those years? I’ll have to look for photos when I get home. Another tear fell down my face as I brought myself to my knees on the soaking wet grass. At least she got to meet Erica and clearly, they loved each other to have the fact that she’s her ‘Aunt’ be apparent on her gravestone. I turn round to catch my daughter crying. I wrap her in my arms as I just let go. Everything that had been held back since only finding out she was dead 2 hours ago came to the surface. I let myself forget the world for a second. Forget that Oliver’s standing right there. Forget that other people are here. Forget everything because none of it mattered to me. I may have only met her this morning but I love this girl eternally already. I may have lost my Erica but I still have this Erica and I’m going to love her more than life its self. That’s what a mothers meant to do, right? I don’t know how long I sat there with my daughter wrapped in my arms. I could’ve been minutes or it could’ve been hours. I finally let her go once the world slowly started to come back to me bit by bit. I began to see the trees again and all the other little things. Including Oliver. He’s crying. I admit, it brought a slight sense of unease to me watching tears fall from his hazel eyes, through his thick glasses, just the way I remembered him all those years ago which technically to me was just yesterday. Again, I feel the need to hug him the way I did when I first set eyes on him 17 years in the future but this time, before I let the moment pass, I did. Walking up to him I started to have second thoughts about this but squash them as I remember that things aren’t the same anymore. They changed without me even getting a chance to feel it. I hugged him.
After a rollercoaster of emotion while standing there, we headed home. Drained with emotional exhaustion. My body felt heavy. It ached. It must have been pure determination that gave me the strength to carry myself back to Oliver’s car. Home and safe yet there was still something missing. As I thought, after rummaging through some cupboards, photos from Erica and Oliver’s wedding. They looked so happy standing there together, in each other’s arms, nothing could pull them apart. Except maybe a car accident. Stop, no, Taylor. Don’t let your head wander there. I see me in a lot of these photos. This couldn’t have been long after my original time, back in 2023, because I barley look 20 in these photos. I must be at least 18, I thought to myself, spying a drink in my hand in a photo of me, Erica and Oliver. The three of us look so happy together. One thing I can’t help but notice in some of these photos is a man with his arm around me, kissing me in one. Could he be Erica’s dad?
Lying this bed. Unfamiliar, still stale and still cold. I can’t sleep. I know I need to sleep to return back home but it’s impossible. I eventually drift off hoping to return back home to a world where my Erica is alive. Although I will miss my daughter, Ill, be waiting to return to her grasp in the future.
Rocked, shoved, moving? My eyes began to open as I slowly regained awareness of the world. I was in a car. Had I been kidnapped? No. I wasn’t tied up. I was sat in the back seat of a car comfortably. It was pretty late at night, pitch black, and I didn’t recognize where I was at all. Looking out the window all I could see was trees and streetlights that were glowing a faint almost washed out yellow. A voice came from the front seat and that was what reminded me that someone had to actually be driving the car that I seem to be stuck in. The voice was familiar but I couldn’t quite place it just yet. By glancing at the driver all I could see was brown hair and was that a pair of glasses? The passenger let everything fall into place for me. I could spot my Erica a mile away. Does that mean that’s Oliver in the driver’s seat? Yes! That’s exactly who that is. “For God’s sake Oliver, you’ve got us lost” Erica says with enough attitude as she’s always had. “I haven’t got us lost, Erica!” Almost spitting her name at the end. Somehow, what ever he says always loses all anger with that thick English accent he’s always had. “Well, where are we then?” Erica snaps back instantly. The lack of response from Oliver leaves an undeniable tension in the air. All noise comes to an immediate stop. I checked my phone. Looks to be the same as the one had while in the future. Am I still in the future? I checked the date. The date was 15th of August 2038. Yep, still in the future but why does that date sound familiar. I couldn’t quite place where I knew that date from though.
This tension was making me feel uneasy. “What’s going on?” I say sitting myself upright in my chair, seatbelt nipping the side of my neck slightly in the process. “This big idiot here has got us lost” Erica responds. Not even looking away from where she’s been staring out the window into the cold and dark unknown. “Uh well where’s your phone? Pull up google maps maybe?” My attempt at helping just gets thrown back in my face when Oliver responds “Neither of us have any signal, do you?” checking my phone. No bars, damn. “None” panic starts to overcome me as my fear of the unfamiliar starts to set. “How long have we been driving about?” I answer to try and make a rough, probably not useful, guess as to how far away we are from home. “Uhh about 3 hours, I think” Oliver responds to me. Clearly, they’ve been arguing for a while because Erica’s still not speaking.
We keep driving down this long road as we continue to disappear further into the night. I think we were on the road about another hour, maybe? When suddenly I remember why today’s date was so familiar. It was the date on Erica’s gravestone. In the blink of an eye, we are blinded by beaming bright lights coming towards us and then we’re no longer on the road. Dizzy, ears ringing, blood rushing to my head. We are upside down in a ditch.
All I hear is ringing. Will someone PLEASE make the ringing stop, I thought as I dangled there helpless. After what felt like hours trapped in here, I eventually hear sirens wailing in the distance. Finally, help is coming. I said to letting myself drift. Maybe this time ill wake up in my own bed instead of another point in my future. No, you’ve got to stay awake. STAY AWAKE TAYLOR”
The sirens felt like they were going further away but it was just my consciousness slipping further away from reality. I was coming in and out of unconsciousness for a while, like a carousel spinning round and round. Watching paramedics come and go. “This one’s gone, sir” I’m sure I heard a male voice say. Erica. It sounded like an echo, almost imaginary. Maybe it sounded fake because I didn’t want it to be real. Closing my eyes hoping that if I give into the carousel then it’ll whisk me away. But what if letting myself die as well doesn’t let me go back to the past? Or the present. Stay awake.
Finally, I’m out of the car. Moving? Most likely to an Ambulance. I can’t see much, just a dizzying array of moving people and flashing lights as I get moved out of the ditch. The ditch that will forever haunt my memories. The ditch where I let my Erica slip away from me. The next thing I see is white, just white. Still moving? Crap! Did I let myself die?” No. I’m in a hospital. The light still blinding me. It’s making my head sting.
I don’t know how much time has passed that I’ve been stuck here. Trapped. A prisoner in my own body. I want to scream and shout but nothings working? Why can’t I speak? I let the frustration over come me, coursing every part of my body, it had to be better than the agony I was feeling. Gone. Out cold. I’d let the carousel take me. Hours, maybe even days passed before I next woke up but this time when I woke up it was different. Again, my first thought was whether I’d died. I couldn’t have. I was still stuck in my tiny hospital room with no knowledge of where I am. I could speak yet I wasn’t in any pain anymore. The door to my tiny hospital room opened slowly. Like as to not wake a sleeping baby. Is that what I was now? A sleeping baby? Is that why I couldn’t feel any pain anymore? A nurse walks in. She’s was a bigger woman with brown, wavy, shoulder length hair and bright blue scrubs. The nurse looked almost shocked to see me awake, an expression across her face that made it seem like she’d just seen a ghost. Maybe she thought she did.
“W-What happened to me?” I knew fine well what happened to me the night before, I just had to play the fool. The nurses, who can now see’s name tag reads ‘Angie’, facial expression quickly changed to a soft almost sympathetic look. A look in her eyes that can only be described as ‘sadness’. The nurse busies herself looking at my chart, probably to avoid eye contact, while she ‘breaks my heart’. “You were in a car accident, honey” With an English accent thicker than Oliver’s. Obviously, I already know everything she’s about to tell me about the accident so I don’t really know how to react. I avoid looking at her just like she’d done with me. “One person in the car didn’t make it” She continues “I’m so sorry...”. “I know. Erica died, probably on impact, I was conscious when they announced that she was dead.” I say flatly with no emotion at all. Shocked, the nurse takes a step back. “How’s Oliver?” I asked almost demandingly. “Oliver sustained minor injuries which was pretty lucky considering the severity of the accident. He was discharged this morning” For the first time while speaking with this nurse my face completely dropped. Has he left me here? Where did he go? One important question I should probably ask is where am I. “Where am I right now?” The nurse just looked at me like I was insane. “Uhm, you’re in a hospital?” Oh yeah like I don’t already know that, Angie. “No, I mean like where. We were lost when we crashed” The nurses face changes. Her eyes widen as she realises her mistake. “Oh, I’m sorry dear I didn’t get what you meant. You’re in Manchester.” Did she just say Manchester? How did we end up here?
A look of disbelief flashes over my face very obviously. The nurses’ expression starts to match mines as she ponders what has me so confused. She’s not to know how far away from home we really are. They’ve only spoke to Oliver who actively has an English accent. “What’s got you so confused, dear?” She says to me with the same pondering look on her face. I take a minute to come up with an answer for the nurses’ question as I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I’ve somehow wound up in England! “I’m just so far away from home right now” The nurses face changes as she begins to understand my complexed look. “Oh really? How far?” “Eh, about 4 hours maybe. I’m from Scotland” This catches the nurses’ attention she looks up and her eyes dart toward my face. “What?” she says with a sudden unexplainable panic and swiftly drops what she was doing and leaves the room in a hurry. What’s going on? This question spun round my head over and over again until I passed out again.
Eyes fluttering as I came back to reality, expecting to still be in the future. I’m not thought, am I? I’m in my room, the flowery wallpaper, vanity displaying my CD’s and the photos stuck on the wall. I guess somethings never change. I was me again. Checking the time and date just to confirm and it read 23-05-23. The present. Was it all a dream? I guess I’ll not know until 2040 comes around.
Even if it was a dream, it certainly didn’t feel like it, I’m choosing to believe it was so I can still let the future but up to me to decide instead of something already written ahead of time. Be careful what you wish for. Next time in went to visit my Erica after this ‘dream’ I looked up at the hills in front of me and made sure to take notice of the purple evergreen, flowering plants that coated the hills.
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2023.05.25 22:04 JoshAsdvgi Real Story of Pocahontas

Real Story of Pocahontas

Warning To Our Readers:
Mature Subject Matter Not Suitable for Children

The story of Pocahontas is a tragic tale of a young Native girl who was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and allegedly murdered by those who were supposed to keep her safe.
Pocahontas’ Mother, Also Named Pocahontas, Died While Giving Birth to Her
This is in many historical accounts, though not always.
It is important to note that Pocahontas was born to her mother, named Pocahontas and her father Wahunsenaca, (sometimes spelled Wahunsenakah), who later became the paramount chief.
Her name at birth was Matoaka, which means “flower between two streams,” and according to Mattaponi history was likely given to her because she was born between the two rivers of Mattaponi and Pamunkey (York).
Due to his wife’s death, Wahunsenaca was devastated and little Matoaka became his favorite because she looked like her mother.
She was raised by her aunts and other women of the Mattaponi tribe at Werowocomoco.
As was custom at the time, as the Paramount Chief of the Powhatan Chiefdom, Wahunsenaca had other wives from the other villages and little Matoaka had many loving brothers and sisters.
Because of his lingering grief and due to the reminder she gave to him of her mother, Wahunsenaca often called his daughter the endearing name of Pocahontas.
John Smith Came to the Powhatan When Pocahontas Was about 9 or 10
According to Mattaponi oral history, little Matoaka was possibly about 10 years old when John Smith and English colonists arrived in Tsenacomoca in the spring of 1607.
John Smith was about 27 years old.
They were never married nor involved.
Pocahontas Never Saved the Life of John Smith
The children of the Powhatan were very closely watched and cared for by all members of the tribe.
Since Pocahontas was living with her father, Chief Powhatan Wahunsenaca, at Werowocomoco, and because she was the daughter of a chief, she was likely held to even stricter standards and provided with more structure and cultural training.
When she was a child, John Smith and English colonists stayed near the Powhatan on the nearby Jamestown Island, but later began to explore outlying areas.
Smith was feared by many Native people because he was known to enter villages and put guns to heads of chiefs demanding food and supplies.
In the winter of 1607, the colonists and Smith met with Powhatan warriors and Smith was captured by the chief’s younger brother.
Because the English and Powhatan feared the actions of the Spanish, they formed an alliance.
Eventually and according to oral history and contemporary written accounts by the Mattaponi, Wahunsenaca grew to like Smith, eventually offering him the position of ‘werowance’ or leader of the colonists as recognized by the Powhatan as well as a much more livable area for his people with great access to game and seafood.
A portrait of Pocahontas saving the life of John Smith with Father Wahunsenaca.
Oral history from the descendants of Pocahontas dictate such a thing could never have happened.
Years later, Smith alleged that Pocahontas saved his life in the four-day process of becoming a werowance.
But according to Mattaponi oral and contemporary written accounts, there would be no reason to kill a man designated to receive an honor by the chief.
Additionally, children were not allowed to attend any sort of religious ritual similar to the werowance ceremony.
She could not have thrown herself in front of John Smith to beg for his life for two reasons: Smith was being honored, and she would not have been allowed to be there.
Pocahontas Never Defied Her Father to Bring Food to John Smith or Jamestown
Some historical accounts claim Pocahontas defied her father to bring food to the colonists of Jamestown.
According to the history of the Mattaponi tribe as well as simple facts, these claims could not be true.
Jamestown was 12 miles from Werowocomoco and the likelihood that a 10-year-old daughter would travel alone are inconsistent with Powhatan culture.
She as well as other tribal members did travel to Jamestown, but as a gesture of peace.
Additionally, travel to Jamestown required crossing large bodies of water and the use of 400-pound dugout canoes.
It took a team of strong people to lift them into the water.
It is likely Pocahontas served as a symbol of peace by simply being present as a child among her people to show no ill intentions when her people met with the Jamestown settlers.
Pocahontas Did Not Sneak Into Jamestown to Warn John Smith About a Death Plot
In 1608 and 1609, John Smith’s role as the werowance (chief) of the colonists had taken an ugly turn.
The colonists made inadequate attempts to plant crops to harvest, and Smith violently demanded supplies from surrounding villages after once again holding a gun to the heads of village leaders.
Accounts from Mattaponi histories tell of one tribal woman proclaiming to Smith, “You call yourself a Christian, yet you leave us with no food for the winter.”
Pocahontas’ father, who had befriended Smith, once said to him, “I have not treated any of my werowances as well as you, yet you are the worst werowance I have!”
Smith claimed Wahunsenaca wanted to kill him, and asserted he knew of the plot because Pocahontas had come to warn him.
Due to the icy conditions at the time and because of the many watchful eyes attending to the daughter of a chief, as well as gestures of peace by the Powhatan to include additional provisions, Native historians rebuff the historical claims of Smith as completely fabricated.
To further prove Smith’s tale was a fabrication, a letter by Smith written in 1608 was published without Smith’s knowledge.
The letter makes no claim of Pocahontas trying to save his life on two separate occasions.
It wasn’t until Smith published his book General Historie of Virginia in 1624 that he claimed Pocahontas had twice saved his life.
Any of the people who could have refuted Smith’s claims by that time were no longer alive.
As Colonists Terrorized Native People, Pocahontas Married and Became Pregnant
The early 1600’s were a horrible time for tribes near Werowocomoco.
Native tribes once comfortable wearing clothing suitable for summer — including exposed breasts for Native women and little or nothing for children — found themselves being sexually targeted by English colonists.
Young children were targets of rape and Native women in the tribe would resort to offering themselves to men to keep their children safe.
The Powhatan people were shocked by the behavior and were horrified that the English government offered them no protections.
In the midst of the horrible and atrocious acts committed by the colonists, Matoaka was coming of age.
During a ceremony, Matoaka was to choose a new name, and she selected Pocahontas, after her mother.
During a courtship dance, it is likely she danced with Kocoum, the younger brother of Potowomac Chief Japazaw.
She married the young warrior at about 14 and soon became pregnant.
It was at this time rumors began to surface that colonists planned to kidnap the beloved chief’s daughter Pocahontas.
Pocahontas Was Kidnapped, Her Husband Was Murdered and She Was Forced to Give Up Her First Child
When Pocahontas was about 15 or 16, the rumors of a possible kidnapping had become more of a threat and she was living with her husband Kocoum at his Potowomac village.
An English colonist by the name of Captain Samuel Argall sought to find her, thinking that a captured daughter of the chief would thwart attacks by Natives.
Hearing of her whereabouts, Argall came to the village and demanded Chief Japazaw, brother of Pocahontas’ husband, to give up Pocahontas or suffer violence against his village. Overcome with grief at a horrible choice, he relented with a hopeful promise that she would only be gone temporarily.
That was a promise Argall quickly broke.
Before Argall left the village, he gave Chief Japazaw a copper pot.
He later claimed to have traded it for her.
This “trade” is still taught by historians.
This is akin to the way that Smith ‘traded’ for corn by holding a gun to the heads of chiefs.
Before leaving the village, Pocahontas had to give her baby (referred to as little Kocoum) to the women of the village.
Trapped onboard an English ship, she was not aware that when her husband returned to their village, he was killed by the colonists.
The tribal chiefs of the Powhatan never retaliated for the kidnapping of Pocahontas, fearing they would be captured and that the beloved daughter of the chief and the “Peace Symbol of the Powhatan” might be harmed.
Pocahontas Was Raped While in Captivity and Became Pregnant With Her Second Child
According to Dr. Linwood Custalow, a historian of the Mattaponi Tribe and the custodian of the sacred oral history of Pocahontas, soon after being kidnapped, she was suffering from depression and was growing more fearful and withdrawn.
Her extreme anxiety was so severe her English captors allowed Pocahontas’ eldest sister Mattachanna and her husband Uttamattamakin to come to her aid.
Dr. Custalow writes in his book,
The True Story of Pocahontas, The Other Side of History, that when Mattachanna and her husband Uttamattamakin, a spiritual advisor to Chief Wahunsenaca, Pocahontas confided in her sister.
When Mattachanna and Uttamattamakin arrived at Jamestown, Pocahontas confided in that she had been raped.
Mattaponi sacred oral history is very clear on this: Pocahontas was raped.
It is possible that it had been done to her by more than one person and repeatedly.
My grandfather and other teachers of Mattaponi oral history said that Pocahontas was raped.
The possibility of being taken captive was a danger to be aware of in Powhatan Society, but rape was not tolerated.
Rape in Powhatan Society was virtually unheard of because the punishment for such actions was so severe.
Powhatan society did not have prisons.
Punishment for wrongful actions often consisted of banishment from the tribe.
Historians differ on where Pocahontas was held, but tribal historians believe she was likely held in Jamestown, but was relocated to Henrico to when she was pregnant.
Pocahontas had a son, Thomas.
John Rolfe Married Pocahontas to Create a Native Alliance in Tobacco Production
Mattaponi history is clear that Pocahontas had a son out of wedlock, Thomas, prior to her marriage to John Rolfe.
Prior to that marriage, the colonists pressed Pocahontas to become “civilized” and often told her that her father did not love her because he had not come to rescue her.
Pocahontas often tore off her English clothes, because they were uncomfortable. Eventually, Pocahontas was converted to Christianity and took the name Rebecca.
In the midst of her captivity, the English colony of Jamestown was failing.
John Rolfe was under a 1616 deadline to become profitable or lose the support of England. Rolfe sought to learn tobacco curing techniques from the Powhatan, but curing tobacco was a sacred practice not to be shared with outsiders.
Realizing the political strength of aligning himself with the tribe, he eventually married Pocahontas.
Though some historians claim Pocahontas and Rolfe married for love, it is not a certainty, as Pocahontas was never allowed to see her family, child or father after being kidnapped.
After the two were married, the Powhatan spiritual leaders and family to Pocahontas shared the curing practice with Rolfe.
Soon afterwards, Rolfe’s tobacco was a sensation in England, which saved the colony of Jamestown, as they finally found a profitable venture.
The Powhatan tribal lands were now highly sought after for the tobacco trade and the tribe suffered great losses of life and land at the hands of greedy tobacco farmers.
It is worth noting that though it was custom for a Powhatan father to give away his daughter at a marriage, Wahunsenaca did not attend the wedding of his daughter to Rolfe for fear of being captured or killed.
He did send a strand of pearls as a gift.
As Dr. Custalow wrote in The True Story of Pocahontas, The Other Side of History:
Although Wahunsenaca did not attend the wedding, we know through sacred Mattaponi oral history that he gave Pocahontas a pearl necklace as a wedding gift.
The pearls were obtained from the Chesapeake Bay oyster beds.
The necklace was notable for the large size and fine quality of the pearls.
Pearls of the size were rare, making them a suitable gift for a paramount chief’s daughter. No mention of this necklace has been found in the English writings, but a portrait of Pocahontas wearing a pearl necklace used to hang in the Gov.’s mansion in Richmond.
Pocahontas Was Brought to England To Raise Money and Was Then Likely Murdered
Rumors of the colonists desire to bring Pocahontas made its way to the Powhatan, who feared for her well-being and considered an attempt to rescue her.
But Wahunsenaca feared his daughter might be harmed.
Rebecca “Pocahontas” Rolfe traveled to England with John Rolfe, her son Thomas Rolfe, Captain John Argall (who had kidnapped her) and several Native tribal members, including her sister Mattachanna.
Though many settlers were committing atrocities against the Powhatan, many elites in England did not approve of the mistreatment of natives.
The bringing of Pocahontas to England to show friendship with Native nations was a key to continued financial support for the colonists.
According to the accounts of Mattachanna, she realized that she was being used and desperately desired to return home to her father and little Kocoum.
During her travels in England, Pocahontas did meet John Smith and expressed outrage due to the mistreatment of his position as leader of the colonists and the betrayal to the Powhatan people.
After the journey and showing off of Pocahontas to the English elites, plans were made to return to Virginia in the spring of 1617.
According to a recounting by Mattachanna, she was in good health while in England and on the ship preparing to go home.
Shortly after a dinner with Rolfe and Argall, she vomited and died.
Those tribal members who were accompanying her, including her sister Mattachanna, said she was in previous good health and assessed she must have been poisoned due to her sudden death.
According to Mattaponi oral history, many of the Native people accompanying Pocahontas were sold as servants or carnival attractions or sent to Bermuda if they became pregnant after being raped and sold into slavery.

Pocahontas was just under 21 at the time of her death.
Instead of being taken home and laid to rest with her father, Rolfe and Argall took her to Gravesend, England, where she was buried at Saint George’s Church, March 21, 1617. Though Virginia tribes have requested that her remains returned for repatriation, officials in England say the exact whereabouts of her remains are not known.
Wahunsenaca learned from Mattachanna that his beloved daughter had died but had never betrayed her people, as some historians claim.
Heartbroken that he had not ever rescued his daughter, he died from grief less than a year after the death of Pocahontas.
The Descendants of Pocahontas
Oral histories of both the Mattaponi and Patawomeck and historical references say she mothered two children, Thomas Rolfe, who was left in England after the death of his mother, and ‘little Kocoum.’
According to Deyo, Little Kocoum was the name that Dr. Linwood Custalow used for the purpose of his book to reference a small child whose name was not yet known.
In the sacred oral history of the Mattaponi, the child was raised by the Patawomeck Tribe. The name of that child was passed down in the Patawomeck oral history was discovered to be Ka-Okee, a daughter.
This lineage to Ka-Okee includes the world famous entertainer Wayne Newton, a member of the Virginia state-recognized Powhatan Patawomeck tribe.
Thomas Rolfe stayed in England and was educated there.
He later returned to the Powhatan as an adult.
He was married and had many descendants.

A special thank you to the following sources:

Mattaponi Tribal Historian, Dr. Linwood ‘Little Bear’ Custalow, and Angela L. Daniel “Silver Star’ for the book The True Story of Pocahontas, The Other Side of History

Pamunkey Chief Robert Gray

Patawomeck Chief John Lightner

Powhatan Patawomeck Tribal Historian Bill Deyo

Countless council members and tribal members of the 11 Tribes in Virginia, who have been gracious in sharing their stories.
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 22:03 Short_Advance1715 2 Tickets to Fort Wayne this Saturday

2 Tickets to Fort Wayne this Saturday
I have two tickets to the show in Fort Wayne.. super excited to go, but childcare fell through and it’s unfortunately not an option anymore. Asking $75 to just recoup what we put into it!
submitted by Short_Advance1715 to sleepingwithsirens [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 18:20 nahimavegan (Selling) Huge list of 1100+ movies! Lots of New and Rare titles!

Prices are firm, but I take off $.75 for every $10 spent (multiple items)
I accept PayPal, Venmo, & Cashapp
Codes are always split/dual portion where applicable, & have no DMI
Only redeem portion you pay for
New additions
14 Blades HD/VU $4.5
22 Jump Street HD/MA $3.5
3 Extremes (2004) HD/VU $4.5
355 HD/MA $4.5
48 Hrs 4K/VU $6
50/50 HD/VU $4
600 Miles HD/VU $4
80 for Brady HD/VU $7
A Dog's Purpose HD/IT $3
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A Journal for Jordan HD/MA $5
A Man Called Otto HD/MA $5.5
A24 5-Film Set (X, Green Room, It Comes at Night, Hereditary, Witch) HD/VU $15
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Addams Family 2 4K/IT $5
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Agent Game 4K/VU $5
Air Force One 4K/MA $6
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Grand Budapest Hotel HD/MA $4
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Highlander 4K/VU $5.5
Hitman (Uncut) & Hitman 47 Bundle HD/MA $7
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I Frankenstein HD/VU or IT $2.5
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Isle of Dogs HD/MA $4
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Joe Kidd HD/MA or IT $4
Jordan Peele 3-Film Collection (Nope, Us, Get Out) HD/MA $11
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Joy HD/MA $3
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Jurassic Park 3 HD/VU $3.5
Jurassic World 6-Film Collection (Dominion Thea & Ext) HD/MA $18
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Mack & Rita HD/VU $4.5
Mad Max 1-4 Set 4K/VU $18.5
Mad Max 2 Road Warrior 4K/VU $5.5
Mad Men Complete Series HD/VU $35
Magic Mike's Last Dance HD/MA $7
Magnificent Seven 4-Film Set (1960, Return, Guns, Ride) HD/VU $13
Mamma Mia SD/IT $1.5
Man of Tai Chi HD/VU $4
Man Who Fell To Earth (1976) 4K/VU $6
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Mask of Zorro 4K/MA $6
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Memory HD/MA $4
Men HD/VU $4.5
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Menu HD/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $4
Mickey & Minnie 10 Classic Shorts HD/MA $5.5 or HD/GP $5
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Miracle on 34th Street (1947) HD/MA $4
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Morbius HD/MA $4
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Mrs Harris Goes to Paris 4K/MA $6
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My Fair Lady 4K/VU $5.5
Nashville (1975) HD/VU $4
Needle in a Timestack 4K/VU $5.5
Night at Museum Battle of Smithsonian SD/IT $1.5
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Nights in Rodanthe SD/IT $1.5
No Sudden Move 4K/MA $6
Nope HD/MA $5.5
Northman HD/MA $4
Oliver! 4K/MA $5
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood HD/MA $3.5
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood HD/MA $4
Paradise Highway 4K/VU $5.5
Paranormal Activity 1-8 Collection HD/VU $22
Paranormal Activity Ghost Dimension (Unrated) HD/VU $4.5
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Paw Patrol Movie HD/VU $4.5
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Perfectos Desconocidos HD/VU $4
Peter Pan (1953) HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Peter Rabbit HD/MA $3.5
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Pitch Black (Unrated) HD/MA or IT $4
Pocahontas 2 Journey to a New World HD/GP $3.5
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Prince of Egypt HD/MA $4.5
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Pulp Fiction 4K/VU $5.5
Push 4K/VU $6
Queen of Katwe HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
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Ran (1985) 4K/VU $5.5
Ratatouille 4K/MA $6 or HD/GP $4
Rear Window HD/MA $3.5
RED 2 HD/VU or IT $2
Red Heat (1988) 4K/VU $5
Redline (2010) HD/VU $4.5
Reign of Assassins HD/VU $4.5
Repo Genetic Opera HD/VU $4.5
Rescuers Down Under HD/MA $5 or HD/GP $4.5
Rescuers HD/MA $5 or HD/GP $4.5
Reservoir Dogs 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Resident Evil Retribution 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Retaliation (2017) HD/VU $4
Ride Like a Girl HD/VU $4
Right One 4K/VU $5.5
Ring HD/VU $4.5
Rio 2 HD/MA $3
Rio SD/IT $1.5
Rocky Knockout Collection 1-4 (Rocky IV w/ Thea & Rocky vs Drago Ultimate Cut) 4K/VU $20
Rules of Attraction HD/VU $4
Rumble HD/VU $5
Safe Haven SD/IT $1.5
Saint Maud HD/VU $4.5
Sausage Party HD/MA $3.5
Saw 7-Film Collection (Unrated) HD/VU $18
Saw 8-Film Collection HD/VU $20
Scream 4 HD/VU $4
Scream HD/VU $4.5
Secret Garden (2020) 4K/IT $5
Secret in Their Eyes HD/VU or IT $3
Sense & Sensibility 4K/MA $5
Sex & City 2 SD/IT $1.5
Sex Tape HD/MA $3.5
Shaun of Dead HD/MA $4 or 4K/IT $4.5
Shawshank Redemption 4K/MA $5.5
Show Dogs HD/MA $3.5
Siberia (2018) HD/VU $3
Silent Night, Deadly Night 3-Film Set (3-5) HD/VU $8
Silent Twins 4K/MA $6
Silk Road 4K/VU $5
Sin City A Dame to Kill For HD/VU $4
Sing 2 HD/MA $4
Sing Street HD/VU $4
Sixteen Candles HD/MA $4
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Smokey & Bandit HD/MA $3.5
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Smurfs Lost Village HD/MA $3.5
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Snatch 4K/MA $5.5
Social Network 4K/MA $5.5
Son of God HD/MA $3
Source Code 4K/VU $5.5
Spider-Man No Way Home HD/MA $4
Spinning Man HD/VU $4
Spirit HD/VU $4
Spontaneous HD/VU $4.5
Starship Troopers 4K/MA $6
Sting 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Strange World HD/GP $4
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Sudden Death HD/IT $4
Taken 2 HD/MA $3.5
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Tar HD/MA $6
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Teen Spirit (2019) HD/MA $4
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Teeth HD/VU $4.5
Tetro HD/VU $4
Thanks for Sharing HD/VU $4
The Batman HD/MA $4
This is End HD/MA $3.5
This Means War SD/IT $1.5
Thor Love & Thunder 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/GP $3.5
Time Freak HD/VU $4
To Kill a Mockingbird 4K/IT $4
Tomb Raider Cradle of Life 4K/VU or IT $5.5
Top Gun Maverick 4K/VU $6 or HD/VU $4.5
Touched With Fire HD/VU $4.5
Town SD/IT $1.5
Transformers 4K/VU $5
Transformers Age of Extinction HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Transformers Dark of Moon 4K/VU $4.5
Transformers Revenge of Fallen 4K/VU $5
Triple 9 HD/IT $3.5
Troy (Director's Cut) HD/MA $4.5
True Grit SD/IT $1.5
Tucker Man & His Dream 4K/VU $5
Turning Red HD/GP $3
Twilight 1-3 (Ext) HD/VU $10
Twilight Breaking Dawn Pt 1 HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Twilight HD/VU $4
Umma HD/MA $4.5
Uncharted HD/MA $4
Uncut Gems HD/VU $4
Under Skin HD/VU $3.5
Underwater HD/MA $4.5
Underworld 5-Film Set HD/MA $17
Virtuoso 4K/VU $5
Vivo HD/MA $5
Voyagars 4K/VU $5
W. HD/VU $4
Wall Street Money Never Sleeps SD/IT $1.5
War of Worlds 4K/VU $5.5
War on Everyone HD/VU $4
Warhunt 4K/VU $4.5
Waterworld HD/MA $4
Wayne's World 4K/VU $5.5
Weekend HD/VU $4
What We Did on our Holiday HD/VU $4
Where Crawdads Sing HD/MA $4.5
Whitney Houston I Wanna Dance with Sombody HD/MA $5.5
Wicker Man (1973) HD/VU $4.5
Winnie Pooh Springtime with Roo HD/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $4
Woman King HD/MA $5.5
X-Men Days of Future Past Rogue Cut 4K/IT $5.5
X-Men First Class & Days of Future Past HD/MA $6.5
X-Men Trilogy (X-Men, X2, Last Stand) HD/MA $12
Zero Dark Thirty HD/MA $3.5
All other movies (A-Z)
101 Dalmatians HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
12 Years a Slave HD/MA $3.5
13 Hours Soldiers of Benghazi HD/VU $2.5
1917 HD/MA $3.5
2 Fast 2 Furious 4K/IT $3.5
2 Guns HD/VU or IT $2.5
21 Jump Street HD/MA $3
3 From Hell (Unrated) 4K/VU $4 or HD/VU $2.5
31 (2016) HD/VU $2.5
310 to Yuma 4K/VU $5
47 Meters Down HD/IT $3.5
47 Meters Down Uncaged HD/VU $3.5
47 Ronin HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
71 HD/VU $4
A Clockwork Orange 4K/MA $5
A Most Wanted Man HD/VU $3.5
A Quiet Place HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
A Quiet Place Part 2 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
A Wrinkle in Time HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
About Time HD/VU or IT $3.5
Action Point HD/IT $2
Adore HD/IT $3.5
Adventures Of TinTin HD/VU or IT $2.5
After Earth HD/MA $3
Aladdin (2019) 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Alex Cross HD/VU or IT $2
Alfred Hitchcock 5-Film Set (Saboteur, Shadow of Doubt, Trouble with Harry, Marnie, Family Plot) 4K/MA $24
Alice Through Looking Glass HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Alita Battle Angel 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
All Eyez on Me HD/IT $3
All Money in World HD/MA $3.5
Aloha HD/MA $3.5 or SD/MA $1
Alvin & Chipmunks Road Chip HD/MA $2.5
Amazing Spider-Man 2 HD/MA $4
Amazing Spider-Man HD/MA $3.5 or SD/MA $1.5
America Imagine World Without Her HD/VU $1.5
American Assassin 4K/VU $4.5 or HD/VU $3
American Frontier Trilogy (Sicario, Wind River, Hell or High Water) HD/VU $7.5
American Hustle SD/MA $1.5
American Made 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
American Night HD/VU $4
American Reunion HD/VU or IT $3
American Ultra HD/IT $4
Anchorman 2 Legend Continues HD/VU or IT $2.5
Angel Heart 4K/VU $5.5
Angel of Mine 4K/VU $5.5
Anna 4K/VU $5 HD/VU $3.5
Anna Karenina HD/IT $3.5
Annie (2014) HD/MA $3.5 or SD/MA $1.5
Annihilation HD/VU $3
Antebellum 4K/VU $5
Ant-Man & Wasp HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Ant-Man HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Apollo 13 4K/MA or IT $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Arctic HD/MA $4
Arnold Schwarzenegger 6-Film Collection (Last Stand, Total Recall, T-2, Red Heat, Maggie, Hercules in NY) HD/VU $14
Arrival HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 HD/VU $5
Assassination Nation HD/MA $3.5
Assassin's Creed HD/MA $3
Atomic Blonde 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA$3
August Osage County HD/VU $3
Avengers Age of Ultron HD/MA $3.5 pr HD/GP $3
Avengers Endgame HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Avengers HD/GP $3
Avengers Infinity War HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Back to Future Trilogy 4K/MA $14 or HD/MA $9.5
Bad Boys for Life HD/MA $4
Bad Grandpa HD/IT $2.5
Bad Words HD/IT $3
Bambi HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Bangkok Dangerous HD/VU $4
Bank Job HD/VU $3.5
Barbie & Her Sisters in Great Puppy Adventure HD/VU or IT $3.5
Barbie in Princess Power HD/IT $3.5
Barbie Star Light Adventure HD/IT $3.5
Battle of Year HD/MA $3.5
Battleship HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Baywatch HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Beatriz at Dinner HD/VU $4.5
Beauty & Beast (1991) HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Beauty & Beast (2017) HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Before I Fall HD/VU or IT $3.5
Begin Again HD/VU $3.5
Ben-Hur (2016) HD/VU or IT $3.5
BFG HD/MA $3.5
Big Eyes HD/VU $3.5
Big Hero 6 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Big Lebowski 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
Big Little Lies Season 1 HD/GP $2.5
Big Short HD/VU or IT $3.5
Big Wedding SD/IT $1
Birth of a Nation HD/MA $3.5
Black Panther 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $2.5
Black Widow HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Blackhat HD/IT $3.5
Blair Witch Project (1999) HD/VU $4
Blockers HD/MA $3.5
Boardwalk Empire Season 1 HD/VU or IT $4
Bombshell 4K/VU $5
Book Club HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Book of Life HD/MA $3.5
Born a Champion 4K/VU $5
Boss Baby HD/MA $2.5
Bourne Identity HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Bourne Legacy HD/VU $2
Bourne Supremacy HD/VU $3.5
Bourne Ultimatum 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Boy 2 HD/IT $3.5
Boy Erased HD/MA $4
Boy HD/IT $3.5
Boyhood HD/VU or IT $2.5
Braven HD/VU $4
Butler HD/VU $3
Butterfly Effect HD/MA $4
Bye Bye Man (Unrated) HD/IT $2.5
Cabin in Woods 4K/VU or IT $4.5 or HD/VU $2.5
Call of Wild 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $2.5
Captain America Civil War HD/GP $2.5
Captain America First Avenger HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5 or SD/IT $1.5
Captain America Winter Soldier HD/GP $3.5
Captain Marvel HD/GP $2
Captain Phillips HD/MA $3.5 or SD/MA $1.5
Carol HD/VU $4
Cars 3 HD/GP $2.5
Case for Christ HD/IT $2.5
Chaos Walking 4K/VU $5
Charlotte's Web (2006) HD/VU $4
Chicago (Diamond Edition) HD/VU $4
Children (2008) HD/VU $4
Christopher Robin HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Cloverfield 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Coco HD/GP $2.5
Cold Pursuit 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Collection HD/VU $3.5
Columbiana (Unrated) HD/MA $4
Come & Find Me HD/VU $4
Commuter 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Company of Heroes HD/MA $4
Contraband HD/IT $3
Cooties HD/VU $4
Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of Dead, Hot Fuzz, World's End) 4K/MA $15
Counselor HD/MA $4
Courier 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Crank 4K/VU $5.5
Crimson Peak HD/IT $3.5
Croods HD/VU $3.5
Cruella HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
D Train 4K/IT $4
Daddy's Home 2 HD/IT $3
Daddy's Home HD/VU $3
Dark Tower HD/MA $3.5
Darkest Hour (2017) 4K/MA $5.5
Darkness HD/IT $3
Dawn of Planet of Apes HD/MA $3.5
Daybreakers 4K/VU $5.5
Deadpool 2 (w/Super Duper Cut) HD/MA $4
Deadpool HD/MA $2.5
Dear White People HD/VU $3.5
Dementia 13 (Director's Cut) HD/VU $4
Descendants SD/IT $1.5
Despicable Me 2 HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Despicable Me 4K/IT $5 or SD/IT $1.5
Detroit HD/MA $3.5
Dilemma HD/VU $3.5 or SD/IT $1.5
Dirty Dancing 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Disney Animated Short Films Collection HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Divergent Allegiant HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Divergent HD/VU $1.5 or 4K/IT $2 or SD/VU $0.5
Divergent Insurgent HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Django Unchained HD/VU $3 or SD/IT $1.5
Do Right Thing 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
Doctor Strange HD/GP $2.5
Dom Hemingway HD/MA $3.5
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot HD/VU $4
Doom (Unrated) 4K/MA $5.5
Doorman HD/VU $3.5
Doors 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Dora & Lost City of Gold HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Downton Abbey Movie HD/MA $4
Dracula Untold HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Draft Day HD/VU $3.5
Dragged Across Concrete HD/VU $3.5
Dream House HD/IT $3
Dreamkatcher HD/VU $4
Dredd HD/VU $2.5
Duff SD/VU $1.5
Dumbo (2019) HD/GP $3
Dune 4K/MA $5.5
Dying of Light HD/VU $2.5
E.T. Extra Terrestrial 4K/VU or IT $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Edge of Seventeen HD/VU or IT $3
Edge of Tomorrow 4K/MA $5
Edward Scissorhands HD/MA $3.5
El Chicano HD/MA $4
Encanto 4K/MA $4 or 4K/GP $3.5
Enemy at Gates HD/VU $4
Enough Said HD/MA $3.5
Epic HD/MA $3
Escape Plan HD/VU $2
Eternals HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Everest 4K/MA or IT $4.5
Ex Machina HD/VU $3
Exodus Gods & Kings HD/MA $3.5
Expendables 2 HD/VU or IT $1
Expendables 3 (Thea) HD/VU $2 or 4K/IT $2.5
Extreme Prejudice (1987) HD/VU $4
Fast & Furious (2009) HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Fast & Furious 6 (Ext) HD/VU $2 or 4K/IT $2.5
Fast & Furious 6-film Collection HD/VU $12.5
Fast & Furious 7-film Collection HD/VU $14
Fast & Furious 8-film Collection (9 Films) HD/MA $17.5
Fast & Furious 9-film Collection (11 Films) HD/MA $20
Fast & Furious HD/VU $3.5
Fast Color 4K/VU $5.5
Fast Five (Ext) HD/IT $2.5 or SD/IT $1
Fatale 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Fate of Furious (Ext) HD/VU $2
Fate of Furious (Thea) HD/VU or IT $1.5
Fault in Our Stars HD/MA $3.5
Fences HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Ferdinand HD/MA $3.5
Fifty Shades Darker (Unrated) HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Fifty Shades of Grey (Unrated) HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Finding Dory HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Finding Nemo HD/GP $3.5
Finest Hours HD/GP $3
First Blood 4K/VU $5
First Man HD/MA $4
Flight HD/VU or IT $3
Florence Foster Jenkins HD/VU or IT $3
Footloose (2011) HD/IT $3
Forever My Girl HD/IT $3
Fortress HD/VU $4
Four Kids & It HD/VU $3.5
Fox & Hound 2 HD/MA $4
Frank & Lola HD/VU or IT $3
Frankenstein (1931) HD/VU $3.5
Free Guy HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
French Dispatch HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Friday 13th Pt 3 HD/VU $3.5
Frozen (Sing-Along Edition) HD/MA $2 or HD/GP $1.5
Frozen 2 4K/MA $4 or HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Frozen Ground (2013) HD/VU $3.5
Frozen HD/GP $2
Furious 7 (Ext) HD/VU $2 or 4K/IT $2.5
Fury HD/MA $3.5
G.I. Joe Retaliation HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Gambit (2012) HD/MA $4
Gambler HD/IT $3
Gambler HD/VU $3
Gemini Man 4K/VU or IT $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Get Out HD/MA $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Ghostbusters (1984) HD/MA $3.5
Ghostbusters 2 HD/MA $3.5
Ghostbusters Afterlife HD/MA $4
Girl on Train HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Girl With All Gifts HD/VU $4
Girls Trip HD/VU or IT $2
Glass Castle 4K/VU $5.5
God's Not Dead 2 HD/MA or IT $2.5
Gods of Egypt HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Gold (2016) HD/VU or IT $2.5
Good Dinosaur HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Good Kill HD/VU or IT $3.5
Grace Unplugged HD/VU $2
Greatest Showman HD/MA $3.5
Green Mile 4K/MA $5.5
Grey HD/VU or IT $3
Guardians of Galaxy Vol 1 HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Guardians of Galaxy Vol 2 HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Guest House 4K/VU $5
Guilt Trip HD/IT $3
Gunman HD/MA $3
Hacksaw Ridge HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Hail, Caesar! HD/IT $3
Hammer of Gods HD/VU $2
Hands of Stone HD/VU $3.5
Hannibal Season 1 HD/VU $5
Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters (Unrated) 4K/IT $4
Hard Target 2 HD/IT $1.5
Hardcore Henry HD/VU or IT $3.5
Hateful Eight HD/VU $3.5
Heat HD/MA $3
Heaven is for Real SD/MA $1.5
Hell Fest 4K/VU $5
Hell or High Water HD/VU $2.5
Hellboy (2019) HD/VU $3 or 4K/VU $4.5
Hercules (1997) HD/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $4
Hercules (2014) HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Here Comes Boom HD/MA $3.5
Hidden Figures HD/MA $3
Hillsong Let Hope Rise HD/IT $2
Hitman's Bodyguard HD/VU $3.5
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Hocus Pocus HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Home Alone HD/MA $3.5
Homesman HD/VU $3
Honey 2 HD/VU $3
Hop HD/MA or IT $3
Hope Springs HD/MA $2.5 or SD/MA $1
Hostiles HD/VU $3
Hot Fuzz HD/VU $4
Hotel Mumbai HD/MA $4
Hours (2013) HD/VU $4
How Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) 4K/IT $4
How to Train Your Dragon 2 HD/MA $2.5
How to Train Your Dragon HD/VU $3.5
How to Train Your Dragon Trilogy HD/MA $9
Hugo HD/VU or IT $3
Hunger Games 4-Film Collection HD/VU $8
Hunger Games Catching Fire HD/VU $1.5 or 4K/IT $2 or SD/VU $.5
Hunger Games HD/VU $1.5 or 4K/IT $2 or SD/VU $.0.5
Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 HD/VU $2.5 or SD/VU $1
Hunter Killer 4K/VU $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Huntsman Winter's War (Ext) HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
I Can Only Imagine HD/VU $4
I Feel Pretty HD/IT $2
Incredibles 2 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Incredibles HD/GP $3.5
Independence Day Resurgence HD/MA $2.5
Indiana Jones & Temple of Doom 4K/VU $5.5
Indignation HD/VU $4
Initiation 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Inside Out HD/GP $2
Instant Family 4K/IT $3.5
Internship SD/IT $1.5
Interstellar HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Into Woods HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Invisible Man (1933) HD/MA $3.5
Invisible Man (2020) 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
Iron Man 3 HD/GP $2
Iron Man HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
It Follows HD/VU $3.5
It's a Wonderful Life 4K/VU or IT $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Jack & Jill HD/MA $3.5
Jack Reacher HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $4.5
Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Jacob's Ladder HD/VU $4
Jarhead 3 Siege (Unrated) HD/IT $2.5
Jason Bourne HD/VU $2.5
Jason Statham 4-Film (War, Crank 1 & 2, Transporter 3) HD/VU $10
Jason Statham 6-Film (War, Crank 1 & 2, Bank Job, Wild Card, Transporter 3) HD/VU $14
Jaws 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Jersey Boys HD/MA $2.5
Jesus Music HD/VU $3.5
Jigsaw 4K/VU $4.5
Joe HD/VU $3.5
John Wick 1 & 2 Bundle HD/VU $4
John Wick 3 Parabellum 4K/VU $4.5
John Wick Chapter 2 HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
John Wick HD/VU $2 or 4K/IT $2.5
John Wick Trilogy (Parabellum 4K) HD/VU $9
Jonah Hex HD/MA $4.5
Judy 4K/VU $5
Jungle Cruise HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Jurassic Park 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Jurassic World 5-Film Collection HD/MA $14
Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $3
Jurassic World HD/VU $2.5
Justice (2017) HD/VU or IT $3
Justin Bieber Never Say Never SD/IT $1.5
Kevin Hart Let Me Explain HD/VU or IT $3
Kick-Ass 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4 or SD/IT $1.5
Kidnap HD/VU or IT $2.5
Killer Elite HD/IT $3
Killerman HD/VU $4
Kin (2018) 4K/VU $4.5 or HD/VU $3
King Kong (2005) 4K/MA or IT $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Kingsman Golden Circle 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $3
Kingsman Secret Service 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang HD/MA $4.5
Knick Season 1 HD/IT $3.5
Knick Season 2 HD/IT or GP $3.5
Kung Fu Panda 3 HD/MA $3
La La Land 4K/IT $3.5
Labor Day HD/VU or IT $3
Lady Macbeth HD/VU $4.5
Last Airbender HD/VU $4.5
Last Exorcism HD/VU $4
Last Knights HD/VU $3.5 or SD/VU $1.5
Last Man (2019) HD/VU $4
Last Stand HD/IT $2
Last Vegas HD/MA $3.5
Last Witch Hunter HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Leatherface HD/VU $4
Leprechaun 7-Film Collection HD/VU $12
Les Miserables (2012) HD/VU or IT $2
Let Me Explain HD/IT $2.5
Let's be Cops HD/MA $3.5
Life (2017) HD/MA $3.5
Life of Crime HD/VU $3.5
Life of Pi 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA or IT $3.5
Light of My Life HD/IT $3.5
Like a Boss HD/VU $3.5
Lilo & Stitch 2 Stitch Has a Glitch HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Lincoln Lawyer 4K/VU $6.5 or HD/VU $4
Lion King (2019) 4K/MA $4 or HD/GP $2
Live by Night HD/MA $3
Logan HD/MA $3
Logan Lucky 4K/MA or IT $4.5
Lone Ranger HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Lone Survivor HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Long Shot HD/VU $3.5
Longest Ride HD/MA $3
Longest Week HD/VU $3.5
Looper HD/MA $3.5
Lorax (1972) HD/MA $5
Lorax HD/VU $3
Lords of Salem HD/VU $4
Lost World Jurassic Park HD/MA $3
Love & Monsters HD/VU $4
Love Coopers HD/VU or IT $4
Love, Simon HD/MA $3.5
Loving HD/VU or IT $3.5
Luca HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Lucy HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Madagascar 3 Europe's Most Wanted HD/VU or IT $3
Madea's Witness Protection SD/IT $1.5
Magnificent Seven (2016) HD/VU $3
Maleficent 4K/MA $4 or HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Maleficent Mistress of Evil HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Mama HD/IT $3
Mamma Mia Here We Go Again HD/MA $2.5
Man Who Shot Liberty Vance 4K/VU $5.5
Mandela Long Walk to Freedom HD/VU $4
Martian HD/MA $3.5
Mary Poppins (1964) HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Mary Poppins Returns HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Matrix Resurrections 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
Max HD/MA $3.5
Max Steel HD/IT $3
McKenna Shoots for Stars HD/IT $2
Mechanic Resurrection HD/VU $2.5
Megan Leavey HD/IT $3
Midnight Sun HD/MA $3.5
Midway 4K/VU $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Mile 22 HD/IT $3
Million Dollar Arm HD/GP $2.5
MindGamers HD/MA or IT $3.5
Minions 4K/MA or IT $4.5 HD/VU $3
Misconduct HD/VU $2.5
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children HD/MA $3
Mission Impossible 4 Ghost Protocol HD/VU $2
Mission Impossible 5 Rogue Nation HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Mission Impossible 6 Fallout 4K/VU or IT $4.5
Mission Impossible 6-film Set 4K/VU or IT $23 or HD/VU $17
Moana HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Moneyball HD/MA $3
Monkey Kingdom HD/MA $3
Monsters University HD/GP $3
Monuments Men HD/MA $3.5
Mortal Engines 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
Mortal HD/VU $4
Mortal Instruments City of Bones HD/MA $3 or SD/MA $1.5
Mother! HD/VU $2.5
Mr. Poppers Penguins SD/IT $1.5
Much Ado About Nothing (2013) HD/VU $4
Mud HD/VU $2.5
Mulan (2020) 4K/MA 4.5 or HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Mummy (1999) HD/VU $4
Mummy (2017) 4K/MA or IT $4.5
Muppets Most Wanted HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Murder on Orient Express HD/MA $3.5
My All American HD/MA or IT $3.5
Nebraska HD/VU $3
Nerve HD/IT $3.5
NeverEnding Story HD/MA $4
New Mutants HD/GP $3
News of World 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
Night at Museum Secret of Tomb HD/MA $3
Nightmare Alley HD/GP $3.5
Nightmare Before Christmas HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
No Escape (2015) HD/VU $3
No Strings Attached HD/VU or IT $4
No Time to Die 4K/IT $4.5
Noah HD/VU or IT $2.5
Nobody's Fool HD/IT $2.5
Non-Stop HD/VU or IT $3
Norm of North HD/VU $2.5
Nostalgia (2018) HD/MA $3.5
Now You See Me 2 HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Now You See Me HD/VU or IT $2.5 or SD/VU $1
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2023.05.25 15:30 Useful_Antelope4070 Livingston Parish Louisiana Tourism

Livingston Parish Louisiana Tourism

Bass Pro Shops Denham Springs, Louisiana
Welcome to Livingston Parish, Louisiana - a hidden gem in the heart of Southern United States. With its picturesque landscapes, charming communities and rich cultural heritage, this parish is an ideal destination for anyone seeking an authentic Louisiana experience. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast looking to explore nature or a foodie eager to indulge in mouth-watering Cajun cuisine, Livingston Parish has something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your camera and get ready for a memorable adventure! Here are some of the best things to do and places to see during your visit.

What is Livingston Parish?

Located in southeastern Louisiana, Livingston Parish is a vibrant and diverse community comprising several towns and villages. It covers an area of 700 square miles along the Amite River and encompasses vast natural areas, historic landmarks, family-friendly attractions, and much more.
One of the most popular places to visit in Livingston Parish is Bass Pro Shops - a large outdoor retailer with over 100,000 square feet of retail space featuring fishing gear, hunting equipment, camping supplies, clothing, home decor items and more. Visitors can enjoy interactive exhibits such as archery ranges or aquariums while shopping for their favorite outdoor gear.
Another must-visit attraction in Livingston Parish is Tickfaw State Park - a sprawling wilderness area covering over 1 mile that offers numerous hiking trails through swamps teeming with wildlife. The park also features water playgrounds that are perfect for families looking to cool off during hot summer days.
Livingston Parish also has a rich cultural heritage reflected in its many historical sites such as Denham Springs Antique Village or Old City Hall Arts Center showcasing art from local artists. In short, there's plenty to explore here!

What are the best things to do in Livingston Parish?

Livingston Parish is a hidden gem in Louisiana, offering visitors a range of exciting activities and attractions to explore. Whether you're interested in outdoor adventures or cultural experiences, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
One of the top things to do in Livingston Parish is visiting Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. This massive store offers everything you need for fishing, hunting, camping, and more. You can even catch a fish from inside the store at their indoor pond!
If you're looking for an outdoor adventure, Tickfaw State Park is the perfect place to visit. The park features hiking trails through beautiful cypress swamps and bottomland hardwood forests. You can also go kayaking on the river or take a guided swamp tour.
For those interested in history and culture, check out the Denham Springs Antique District. Here you'll find antique shops filled with unique treasures from all over Louisiana.
Don't miss out on exploring local cuisine while visiting Livingston Parish. There are plenty of restaurants that offer delicious Cajun dishes made with fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients.
Livingston Parish has something for everyone to enjoy during their stay!

Where to stay in Livingston Parish

There are plenty of options for where to stay in Livingston Parish that can suit any traveler's needs and budget. For those looking for a more luxurious experience, there are hotels like the Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express. Both offer comfortable rooms with modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, and fitness centers.
If you're on a tighter budget or prefer a more homely feel, there are several bed and breakfasts scattered throughout the parish. These quaint establishments provide cozy accommodations along with personalized service from hosts who know all about the best things to do in Livingston Parish.
For outdoor enthusiasts or families looking for a unique experience, camping at one of Tickfaw State Park's many campsites is an excellent option. Wake up surrounded by nature and enjoy activities like hiking trails or kayaking down the river.
If you want to be close to everything while still having some privacy, renting an Airbnb could be perfect. With options ranging from treehouses to spacious homes near attractions like Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, choosing an Airbnb allows visitors access to all Livingston Parish has to offer while enjoying their own space.


Livingston Parish is a beautiful destination that offers visitors the perfect blend of outdoor adventure, rich history, and unique culture. From exploring Bass Pro Shops to hiking in Tickfaw State Park, there's no shortage of activities to keep you entertained.
Whether you're looking for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, Livingston Parish has something for everyone. With plenty of lodging options and delicious restaurants serving up traditional Cajun cuisine, your trip is sure to be unforgettable.
So if you're planning your next trip and want to experience all that Louisiana has to offer, be sure to add Livingston Parish Tourism to your list. You won't regret it!
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Toronto, ON


May 25, 2023 - AbraSilver Resource Corp. (TSX.V:ABRA ) ( OTC:ABBRF) (“ AbraSilver ” or the “ Company ”) is pleased to announce the latest assay results from the ongoing Phase III diamond drilling program on the Company’s wholly-owned Diablillos property in Salta Province, Argentina (“Diablillos” or the “Project”). The Company is also pleased to announce that the Phase III program is being increased as mineralization at the JAC zone remains open.
Drilling at the JAC zone continues to consistently intersect high-grade silver oxide mineralization, with associated gold in some areas, at shallow depths, as well as underlying copper and silver mineralization in sulphides.
Notably, drill hole DDH 23-029 encountered silver mineralization in oxides to the west of the main JAC mineralized zone, which was drilled to test an extension of the magnetic anomaly associated with the mineralization at JAC. This mineralization is hosted in granitic basement rocks under the andesite volcanics and, consequently, opens up potential for further mineralized zones. Additionally, the JAC zone continues to remain open along strike towards the southwest and in other directions.
The latest assay result highlights are summarized in Table 1 below.
Table 1 – Diablillos Drill Result Highlights in JAC Zone
(Intercepts greater than 2,000 gram-metres AgEq shown in bold text) :
Note: All results in this news release are rounded. Assays are uncut and undiluted. Widths are drilled widths, not true widths. True widths are estimated to be approximately 80% of the interval widths for oxides.
1 AgEq based on 81.9(Ag):1(Au) calculated using long-term prices of US$25.00/oz Ag and US$1,750/oz Au, and 73.5% process recovery for Ag, and 86.0% process recovery for Au as demonstrated in the Company’s Preliminary Economic Assessment in respect of Diablillos dated January 13, 2022, using formula: AgEq g/t = Ag g/t + Au g/t x (Gold Price/Silver Price) x (Gold Recovery/Silver Recovery).
John Miniotis, President and CEO, commented, “We continue to intercept excellent widths and grades of silver at JAC in practically every single drill hole. Additionally, we continue to see significant potential for new discoveries beyond the main JAC mineralized zone, as highlighted in hole DDH 23-029. Our drill results continue to confirm our belief that the new JAC zone is a major mineralized system, with significant exploration upside remaining to be discovered. For that reason, we are again increasing the amount of drilling being done as part of the Phase III program.”
Dave O’Connor, Chief Geologist, commented, “In addition to consistently encountering high-grade silver mineralization with associated gold at JAC, we are also intersecting underlying high-grade copper mineralization with associated silvegold in sulphides immediately beneath the oxides. It is now evident that the high-grade sulphide mineralization in zones beneath the base of oxidation is continuous for at least 2 km along the length of the Oculto-JAC system, representing an additional attractive exploration target, beyond the oxidized mineralization at JAC.”
Key takeaways from the latest JAC zone drill results include:
  • DDH 23-024 was drilled to test continuity of the JAC Zone for resource estimation. The hole intersected multiple zones of silver mineralization in oxides, with 17.0 metres grading 828.9 g/t Ag from a downhole depth of 144.0 metres, including 5.0 metres grading 2,215.4 g/t Ag.
  • DDH 23-025 was drilled to test continuity of the JAC Zone for resource estimation. The hole intersected significant silver and gold mineralization in oxides, including 79 metres at 237.6 g/t Ag and 0.15 g/t Au from 100.0 metres downhole.
    • Immediately beneath this high-grade oxide intercept, the hole encountered 30.5 metres grading 3.28% Cu and 96.6 g/t Ag in sulphide mineralization. This is the best copper intercept drilled at JAC to date on a grade-thickness basis, demonstrating the potential of high-grade feeder structures at JAC to host substantial sulphide mineralisation.
  • DDH 23-026 was drilled to test the north-eastern extremity of the JAC Zone near the Oculto conceptual open pit, and encountered silver and gold mineralization in oxides, intersecting 19.0 metres grading 107.3 g/t Ag and 0.69 g/t Au from 131.0 metres downhole.
  • DDH 23-027 was drilled to test the northern margin of the JAC Zone and intersected 59 metres grading 129.6 g/t Ag, including 4 metres grading 812.2 g/t Ag, starting from a downhole depth of only 56.0 metres.
  • DDH 23-028 was drilled to test continuity of the JAC Zone for resource estimation. The hole encountered 24.5 metres grading 189.8 g/t Ag in the oxide/sulphide transition zone, including 3.0 metres grading 1,174.9 g/t Ag and 0.79% Cu in sulphides, starting from a downhole depth of 156.5 metres.
  • DDH 23-029, was drilled beyond the JAC drill target area to explore for a possible new perpendicular zone of mineralization. The hole showed continuity of silver dominant mineralisation beyond the current southwestern margin of the JAC deposit and intersected 31.4 metres grading 174.4 g/t Ag in oxides starting from a downhole depth of 126.0 metres.
    • The hole is located on a zone of low magnetic intensity heading NW from the main JAC trend towards the Alpaca target where historical drilling intersected silver mineralisation. Additional drilling in this area will now be conducted.
Figure 1 – Plan View of Announced Drill Holes in JAC Zone
Figure 2 – Long Section Through Newly Announced Drill Holes in JAC Zone
Exploration Update
Drilling activity at Diablillos remains focused on the recently discovered JAC zone which is located southwest of the conceptual open pit that constrains the current Mineral Resource estimate (“MRE”) on the main Oculto deposit (M&I MRE containing 1.3 Moz gold and 109 Moz silver – Table 2).
Two rigs have essentially completed drilling the planned 22,000-metre Phase III program with results demonstrating mineralization at the JAC zone over an area at least 800 metres by approximately 200 metres. As the JAC zone remains open in several directions, the Company now plans to drill at least an additional 15 holes as part of the Phase III program in order to define the limits of the high-grade silver mineralization in oxides. All Phase III drill holes will be incorporated into an updated MRE and will be included in a Pre-Feasibility Study on the Diablillos project, which the Company expects to complete in the second half of 2023.
Moreover, additional exploration targets have been identified to the southwest of the Oculto MRE based on the recently completed detailed ground magnetic survey. Some of these targets, including the Fantasma and Alpaca targets, will be drilled following the systematic drilling of the JAC zone.
Collar Data
About Diablillos
The 80 km 2 Diablillos property is located in the Argentine Puna region - the southern extension of the Altiplano of southern Peru, Bolivia, and northern Chile - and was acquired from SSR Mining Inc. by the Company in 2016. There are several known mineral zones on the Diablillos property, with the Oculto zone being the most advanced with over 120,000 metres drilled to date. Oculto is a high-sulphidation epithermal silver-gold deposit derived from remnant hot springs activity following Tertiarty-age local magmatic and volcanic activity. Comparatively nearby examples of high sulphidation epithermal deposits include: Yanacocha (Peru); El Indio (Chile); Lagunas Nortes/Alto Chicama (Peru) Veladero (Argentina); and Filo del Sol (Argentina).
The most recent Mineral Resource estimate for the Oculto Deposit is shown in Table 2:
Table 2 - Oculto Mineral Resource Estimate – As of October 31, 2022
Notes: Effective October 31, 2022. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and have not demonstrated economic viability. The Mineral Resource estimate is N.I. 43-101 compliant and was prepared by Luis Rodrigo Peralta, B.Sc., FAusIMM CP(Geo), Independent Consultant. The mineralization estimated in the Mineral Resource is sub-horizontal with sub-vertical feeders and a reasonable prospect for eventual economic extraction by open pit methods. For additional information please see Technical Report on the Diablillos Project, Salta Province, Argentina, dated November 28, 2022, completed by Mining Plus, and available on
QA/QC and Core Sampling Protocols
AbraSilver applies industry standard exploration methodologies and techniques, and all drill core samples are collected under the supervision of the Company’s geologists in accordance with industry practices. Drill core is transported from the drill platform to the logging facility where drill data is compared and verified with the core in the trays. Thereafter, it is logged, photographed, and split by diamond saw prior to being sampled. Samples are then bagged, and quality control materials are inserted at regular intervals; these include blanks and certified reference materials as well as duplicate core samples which are collected in order to measure sample representivity. Groups of samples are then placed in large bags which are sealed with numbered tags in order to maintain a chain-of-custody during the transport of the samples from the project site to the laboratory.
All samples are received by the SGS offices in Salta who then dispatch the samples to the SGS preparation facility in San Juan. From there, the prepared samples are sent to the SGS laboratory in Lima, Peru where they are analyzed. All samples are analyzed using a multi-element technique consisting of a four acid digestion followed by ICP/AES detection, and gold is analyzed by 50g Fire Assay with an AAS finish. Silver results greater than 100g/t are reanalyzed using four acid digestion with an ore grade AAS finish.
Qualified Persons
David O’Connor P.Geo., Chief Geologist for AbraSilver, is the Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects, and he has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information in this news release.
About AbraSilver
AbraSilver is an advanced-stage exploration company focused on rapidly advancing its 100%-owned Diablillos silver-gold project in the mining-friendly Salta province of Argentina. The current Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource estimate for Diablillos consists of 51.3 Mt grading 66g/t Ag and 0.79g/t Au, containing approximately 109Moz silver and 1.3Moz gold, with significant further upside potential based on recent exploration drilling. The Company is led by an experienced management team and has long-term supportive shareholders including Mr. Eric Sprott. In addition, AbraSilver owns a portfolio of earlier-stage copper-gold projects including the La Coipita copper-gold project in the San Juan province of Argentina. AbraSilver is listed on the TSX-V under the symbol “ABRA” and in the U.S. under the symbol “ABBRF”.
For further information please visit the AbraSilver Resource website at , our LinkedIn page at , and follow us on Twitter at
Alternatively please contact:
John Miniotis, President and CEO
[[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Tel: +1 416-306-8334
Cautionary Statements
This news release includes certain "forward-looking statements" under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. All statements that address future plans, activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur are forward-looking information. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. When considering this forward-looking information, readers should keep in mind the risk factors and other cautionary statements in the Company’s disclosure documents filed with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities on SEDAR at The risk factors and other factors noted in the disclosure documents could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking information. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release
Copyright (c) 2023 TheNewswire - All rights reserved.
Universal Site Links
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2023.05.24 19:24 Bard_of_Light [Spoilers Extended] LBJ: Southron Ambitions & Lies

This is part of a series exploring the hidden motives and actions of the main players during Robert's Rebellion, named LBJ in reference to the influence of Lyndon B. Johnson and the Vietnam War on GRRM's views and writings on war. LBJ also indicates considerations over whether Lyanna + Bobby B = Jon Snow. Previous installments include:
Video: Admiral Jeremiah Denton Blinks T-O-R-T-U-R-E using Morse Code as P.O.W.
During the Vietnam War (which Martin contentiously objected to), both the LBJ administration and the North Vietnamese lied about the inhumane conditions that American POWs were kept in, which included torture in violation of the Geneva Conventions. The POW/MIA's families were told to stay quiet by their government, who assured them they were doing everything in their power to help the men while actually doing basically nothing.
LBJ promised that all Americans would be part of his "Great Society," where everyone would be a valued part of the national community. Minorities would be respected, immigrants encouraged to rise, the environment protected. It would be a democracy where, he promised, "every man must someday be free."
What about prisoners of war and those missing in action? They were barely on LBJ's radar at this point.
And American women? They did not even rate a mention in his speech.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned sex discrimination in employment along with race discrimination. But as the law went into effect, Johnson and his administration just rolled their collective eyeballs. "The sex discrimination part had been tacked on as a joke and a delaying maneuver," wrote Betty Friedan. "After the law went into effect, the administrator in charge of enforcing it joked about the ban on sex discrimination. 'It will give men equal opportunity to be Playboy bunnies,' he said."
These two important groups, woman and POW/MIAs, were shut out from LBJ's Great Society. While the men lived in prison cells in Vietnam, their wives were trapped by their own service protocols, endemic societal prejudice, and, worst of all, their own government representatives. Most 1960s D.C. politicos didn't even bother to hide their disdain: What could women possibly know about war and diplomacy? The ins and outs of negotiation? Their husbands' fates?
As it turned out, plenty. By late 1966, the realization was sinking in among the POW and MIA wives that they were low priority on the Johnson administration agenda. LBJ happily appeared in photos with these wives (Smile for the cameras, ladies!), but he avoided meeting with them one-on-one or even in groups to discuss their concerns in depth. Sybil [Stockdale] realized early on that LBJ couldn't have cared less about the women and their concerns. "What truly infuriated her... was the Johnson State Department's benign neglect." This neglect would turn out to be anything but benign, endangering the prisoners as time went on.
By the time of his May 1966 filmed interview, [Jerry] Denton also knew the game was not a traditional one. Though he was not taught specifically to use his eyelids for Morse code, he was taught in SERE school to use any methods necessary to survive, evade, resist, and escape. Any hope hinged on the men's ability to outsmart their new enemy, who was not going to play by the established rules of warfare.
A different approach was clearly required on the home front as well. Sybil saw this almost immediately. With Bob Borough's help, she would become the first trainer, administrator, and public relations director in the POW and MIA wives' version of survival school. But the first obstacle she had to overcome to communicate with the outside world was that of her own government.
President Johnson, such a powerful force in politics at home, was indecisive when it came to this foreign war. He would not fully commit to a clear position regarding Vietnam. Desperate to implement his Great Society Domestic policies, and already conscious that this seemingly insignificant war could be his political undoing, Johnson did not want to highlight the predicament of the captured servicemen. What good would it do for his presidential image? "Without hope of bringing them home, Johnson had little to gain and much to loose by drawing attention to their plight."
- The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took On the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home Heath Hardage Lee
LBJ was far more worried about his public image and short term policy goals than the suffering of the men and families supporting his aims. This led his administration to lie to the American public and coerce the families of POW/MIAs into lying on their behalf about the ill-treatment of soldiers, to prevent bad publicity. Likewise, Robert and his allies were all too willing to lie to the public for their personal and political ambitions. They resemble the North Vietnamese in that they did not communicate that both Lyanna and Rhaegar had been taken captive, with Lyanna possibly being held in solitary confinement (like Arianne Martell) and Rhaegar being tortured for the crime of crowning Robert’s betrothed.

Southron Ambitions & Lies

It's widely theorized that certain Lords Paramount formed a not-so-secret bloc, referred to as the STAB alliance (Stark-Tully-Arryn-Baratheon) or Southron Ambitions. It's believed that certain future lords bonded during the War of the Ninepenny Kings, then began plotting to remove the dragonless dragonlords from the Iron Throne. A series of Blackfyre Rebellions and uprisings fought against unpopular Targaryen kings kept the realm mired in war for generations, and the Targaryen's disastrous failed attempts to hatch dragons made them appear insane in the eyes of the realm. Aegon V passed a series of reforms aimed at benefitting the smallfolk which irked the nobles, and his children shirked his attempts to unify the kingdom through arranged marriages, insulting many great houses in the process. A change of leadership was thus in order, and Rhaegar's mistake at Harrenhal gave the STAB alliance the ammunition they needed to bring their plans to fruition.
"The day I learned that Brandon was to marry Catelyn Tully, though … there was nothing sweet about that pain. He never wanted her, I promise you that. He told me so, on our last night together … but Rickard Stark had great ambitions too. Southron ambitions that would not be served by having his heir marry the daughter of one of his own vassals. Afterward my father nursed some hope of wedding me to Brandon's brother Eddard, but Catelyn Tully got that one as well. I was left with young Lord Dustin, until Ned Stark took him from me."
"Robert's Rebellion …"
- A Dance with Dragons The Turncloak
Suspect: Hoster Tully - There is some evidence that Hoster was involved in this conspiracy. There are subtle hints that Brandon intended to break his betrothal to Catelyn in favor of Ashara Dayne, who was dishonored at Harrenhal, looked to a Stark, and bore a stillborn daughter. Ned Dayne claims Ashara and Ned Stark were in love, but he may be confusing Ned for Brandon; after all, the wild wolf had to ask Ashara to dance at Harrenhal on the quiet wolf's behalf. Ned is resentful towards Brandon and claims his wolf-blood brought him to an early grave. Barbrey Dustin says Brandon wasn't shy about taking what he wanted, and that he didn't want to marry Catelyn. Brandon's duel with Littlefinger may have convinced him that she and Baelish had a sexual relationship.
But Ashara's daughter had been stillborn, and his fair lady had thrown herself from a tower soon after, mad with grief for the child she had lost, and perhaps for the man who had dishonored her at Harrenhal as well. She died never knowing that Ser Barristan had loved her. How could she? He was a knight of the Kingsguard, sworn to celibacy. No good could have come from telling her his feelings. No good came from silence either. If I had unhorsed Rhaegar and crowned Ashara queen of love and beauty, might she have looked to me instead of Stark?
- A Dance with Dragons The Kingbreaker
Like the Freys didn't take kindly to Robb's broken betrothal, if Brandon tried to call off his marriage to Catelyn, Hoster Tully would retaliate. Brandon was en route to Riverrun when he got news of Lyanna's abduction. Hoster may have been the source of that claim, cooked up with the rebel conspirators, and then encouraged Brandon to go to King's Landing to challenge Rhaegar, knowing he wasn't there and hoping this encounter with the Mad King would escalate. This would be a form of poetic justice for Hoster, watching Brandon be the architect of his own demise by rashly reacting to an abduction which reflected his own intent to elope.
Brandon Stark, the heir to Winterfell, had to be restrained from confronting Rhaegar at what he took as a slight upon his sister's honor, for Lyanna Stark had long been betrothed to Robert Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End. Eddard Stark, Brandon's younger brother and a close friend to Lord Robert, was calmer but no more pleased.
- The Fall of the Dragons: The Year of the False Spring The World of Ice and Fire
Suspect: Tywin Lannister - Aerys II was kidnapped during the the Defiance of Duskendale and Tywin made feeble attempts to rescue him; this episode provided a lesson in the importance of discretion when abducting nobles. As Hand to Aerys, Tywin suffered a series of insults, from his remark on Joanna's tits to refusing a betrothal to Cersei and naming Jaime to the Kingsguard, which led to his resignation. Jaime's position in the Kingsguard prevented Tywin from openly acting against Aerys early on, though the remainder of the Kingsguard were slowly drawn out such that when Tywin finally made his move, sacking King's Landing, Jaime was in a position to survive. The architect of the Red Wedding was capable of effectively plotting the downfall of Aerys after his heir was taken from him, and even the conditions that led to the Red Wedding, a broken betrothal seen as a slight by House Frey, parallel the insult implied by Lyanna's crowning.
Cersei's marriage to Robert gave the Lannisters some measure of dominance; Tywin may have secured Cersei's betrothal to Robert early on with Jon Arryn, on the stipulation that the Lannisters would wait to openly support the rebels until after it was possible to save Jaime. Robert would be kept in the dark about this betrothal. He would not agree to this plan unless he thought Lyanna would be kept safe, and so her death was postponed to keep up his morale. Yet the other conspirators would understand that allowing Lyanna to live to tell her tale was too great a risk, threatening to undo their efforts.
The scope of Kevan Lannister's involvement is unclear, but his thoughts reveal an assumption that Rhaegar crowned Lyanna at Harrenhal for the sake of bearing sons. People in-universe and out have taken for granted that it was merely a mistake.
She will never wash the stain away, no matter how hard she scrubs. Ser Kevan remembered the girl she once had been, so full of life and mischief. And when she'd flowered, ahhhh … had there ever been a maid so sweet to look upon? If Aerys had agreed to marry her to Rhaegar, how many deaths might have been avoided? Cersei could have given the prince the sons he wanted, lions with purple eyes and silver manes … and with such a wife, Rhaegar might never have looked twice at Lyanna Stark. The northern girl had a wild beauty, as he recalled, though however bright a torch might burn it could never match the rising sun.
- A Dance with Dragons Epilogue
Suspect: Jon Arryn - The rebellion ended with Jon Arryn powerfully positioned; he installed a pliable king who delegated administrative power to his mentor. Lord Rickard Stark unwisely answered Aerys’s summons after Brandon rashly rode to King’s Landing with his companions to challenge Rhaegar. Elbert Arryn was among Brandon’s companions and likely Jon’s heir, yet Jon didn’t join Rickard; did Jon convince Rickard it would be safe to answer Aerys? And in so doing, got them killed to place his own pawn, Ned, in control of the North?
"Is it true he tried to raise Dorne for Viserys?"
"No one speaks of it, but yes. Ravens flew and riders rode, with what secret messages I never knew. Jon Arryn sailed to Sunspear to return Prince Lewyn's bones, sat down with Prince Doran, and ended all the talk of war. But Robert never went to Dorne thereafter, and Prince Oberyn seldom left it."
- A Storm of Swords Tyrion VI
Tywin claims that Jon Arryn diplomatically smoothed things over with Dorne after the rebellion, though this may be claimed to keep up appearances, similar to how the Mountain's skull is sent to Dorne as a farcical display of justice.
Ellaria's cheeks were wet with tears, her dark eyes shining. Even weeping, she has a strength in her, the captain thought.
"Oberyn wanted vengeance for Elia. Now the three of you want vengeance for him. I have four daughters, I remind you. Your sisters. My Elia is fourteen, almost a woman. Obella is twelve, on the brink of maidenhood. They worship you, as Dorea and Loreza worship them. If you should die, must El and Obella seek vengeance for you, then Dorea and Loree for them? Is that how it goes, round and round forever? I ask again, where does it end?" Ellaria Sand laid her hand on the Mountain's head. "I saw your father die. Here is his killer. Can I take a skull to bed with me, to give me comfort in the night? Will it make me laugh, write me songs, care for me when I am old and sick?"
"What would you have us do, my lady?" asked the Lady Nym. "Shall we lay down our spears and smile, and forget all the wrongs that have been done to us?"
"War will come, whether we wish it or not," said Obara. "A boy king sits the Iron Throne. Lord Stannis holds the Wall and is gathering northmen to his cause. The two queens are squabbling over Tommen like bitches with a juicy bone. The ironmen have taken the Shields and are raiding up the Mander, deep into the heart of the Reach, which means Highgarden will be preoccupied as well. Our enemies are in disarray. The time is ripe."
"Ripe for what? To make more skulls?" Ellaria Sand turned to the prince. "They will not see. I can hear no more of this."
"Go back to your girls, Ellaria," the prince told her. "I swear to you, no harm will come to them."
"My prince." Ellaria kissed him on the brow and took her leave. Areo Hotah was sad to see her go. She is a good woman.
When she had gone, Lady Nym said, "I know she loved our father well, but it is plain she never understood him."
The prince gave her a curious look. "She understood more than you ever will, Nymeria. And she made your father happy. In the end a gentle heart may be worth more than pride or valor. Be that as it may, there are things Ellaria does not know and should not know. This war has already begun."
- A Dance with Dragons The Watcher
Suspect: House Martell - Rhaegar impregnated Elia soon after a difficult birth then insulted her by crowning another woman in front of half the realm, while she was pregnant and before she had secured a male heir. Had he not disappeared, Rhaegar might have risked Elia's life with a third pregnancy. The Mad King also insulted Dorne when Rhaenys was presented to him, and took other actions like burning people alive and raping his queen which would have tested anyone's loyalty, but especially that of the two Dornish Kingsguard, Prince Lewyn Martell and Ser Arthur Dayne. House Martell thus had cause to end their association to the throne.
House Frey was so insulted by Robb's broken betrothal that they were driven to mass murder at the Red Wedding. They lured the Starks in under false pretenses and broke sacred laws of hospitality with the aid of Roose Bolton and the Lannisters. Robert Baratheon and House Martell would have been just as enraged as House Frey, as the crowning at Harrenhal implied that Rhaegar would set Elia aside and that Lyanna would break her betrothal to Robert. Like the Freys and their allies, House Martell and the rebel conspirators were capable of subterfuge and betrayal under the guise of vengeance.
"My lady is beautiful." Edmure took her hand and drew her to her feet. "But why are you crying?"
"For joy," Roslin said. "I weep for joy, my lord."
- A Storm of Swords Catelyn VI
The location of the tower of joy, on the border of the Stormlands and Dorne, is far more consistent with Robert and the Martells plotting together to exact vengeance over Rhaegar's actions. Why would Rhaegar take Lyanna to lands controlled by the wife he's cheating on, so close to lands of her rebellious betrothed? There were more suitable locations he could have taken her, like the Red Keep or Dragonstone or the loyalist-controlled Reach. There are even mines and caves in the westerlands Rhaegar could have hid out in; when "Rhaegar" returned from the south, he convinced Aerys to send for help from Tywin, indicating the prince still trusted the Lannisters.
Also note there's no canon source to confirm Rhaegar named the tower of joy, just unsubstantiated rumor. This is suspiciously similar to the baseless report that the North Vietnamese fired upon the USS Turner Joy during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which nonetheless was used as justification to escalate a war, an event which surely influenced Martin. This is the only instance that the phrase "tower of joy" appears in the text:
It was said that Rhaegar had named that place the tower of joy, but for Ned it was a bitter memory.
- A Game of Thrones Eddard X
Paralleling the Queenmaker plot to crown Myrcella, which led to Arianne being locked in a tower while her conspirators were sent to Ghaston Grey, Rhaegar may have been imprisoned at Ghaston Grey while Lyanna was imprisoned in the tower of joy. It's also possible that Rhaegar spent some time at Summerhall, so Robert could torture him personally for the sexual implication and insult of crowning his betrothed.
When the man refused to answer her, Arianne seized a flagon of red wine and upended it over his head. The serving man retreated dripping, his face a mask of wounded dignity. My father means to leave me here to rot, the princess decided. Or else he is making plans to marry me off to some disgusting old fool and intends to keep me locked away until the bedding.
- A Feast for Crows The Princess In The Tower
If Dorne was involved in a secret revenge plot, that would mean imposters were killed in Maegor's Holdfast, beyond just the pisswater prince we're told was swapped with Prince Aegon. Dorne would not agree to help Robert and his allies unless Elia and her children's safety were ensured. Rhaegar rode off after Aegon's birth, at which point Elia and her children could be smuggled out of Dragonstone and replaced with imposters. They also may have been switched out when the 10,000 Dornishmen arrived before the Battle at the Trident, when Aerys inexplicably decided that Prince Lewyn betrayed him. In addition to Young Griff's existence, Myrcella's use of a double, Rosamund, in Dorne incidentally, and Jeyne Poole's replacement of Arya shows its possible to effectively use imposters. Recognition is not reliable in this universe, like when Harwin doesn't recognize Arya, nor did Jason Mallister, Masha Heddle, or any riverlanders recognize Catelyn before she kidnapped Tyrion at the Inn at the Crossroads, and Mance passes as Rattleshirt with the use of glamor magic.
Elia may then be Ellaria Sand, a highborn woman posing as a natural daughter, like Sansa becomes Alayne Stone. If Elia is Ellaria, her incestuous relationship with Oberyn is in line with their Targaryen heritage, and Oberyn even claims that he and Elia were as close as Jaime and Cersei. Oberyn's absence during the rebellion is notable. His later confrontation of the Mountain would help ensure the steps they took to hide Elia and her children weren't in vain. Indeed, Dorne's response to their brutal murder was relatively tame, patiently waiting years to demand justice. If the Martells hate Lannisters so much, why agree to a betrothal with Myrcella? Their subterfuge during the War of the Five Kings, when they supported the Lannister regime despite supposed enmity, shows they were capable of similar secrecy during Robert's Rebellion, applied to the Targaryen regime they allied with.

What About Rhaegar at the Trident?

This is the point where an obvious objection comes up: If this web of conspiracies is valid, and Rhaegar was taken hostage and prevented from defending himself against false allegations of kidnapping Lyanna, then how did he manage to appear to fight at the Trident? Why didn't he explain what had happened? Next time, we'll discuss Rhaegar's return from the south, then explore the evidence that he was tortured during Robert's Rebellion.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with a passage depicting the limits of human compassion, understanding, and action, to ponder in relation to prisoners of war like Rhaegar, Lyanna, and the Kingsguard coerced into compliance during the rebellion:
As months wore on after Red [McDaniel]’s shoot-down, Dot grew more resentful of the government POW policy. “Our whole world had collapsed, but we weren’t supposed to talk about it. That made it really hard to explain to people what had happened.” Her children, Mike, David, and Leslie, were her primary concern. Her two boys did not understand why they could not tell anyone what had happened to their dad. “Is there something wrong with being shot down?” Mike asked. Dot simply did not know how to answer her son without compounding his worry.
When Dot made her first pilgrimage to Washington to talk to State Department and Pentagon officials, as Sybil, Phyllis, Jane, Janie, and many other POW and MIA wives had before her, she, too, returned home shocked and disillusioned. “The man in the State Department told me he had ‘reason to believe’ our POWs were being treated well, but he couldn’t tell me what made him think so.” Even worse were congressmen and senators on Capitol Hill who hadn’t a clue. Most knew little about the war and nothing about the POWs. One congressman suggested that Dot contact the Red Cross about getting mail through to her husband. Dot politely told him, “The Red Cross isn’t allowed into Vietnam.” She mentally noted that all the government folks seemed to parrot the same script–“we will do everything we can” to help, they all said, like mechanical dolls or puppets. But Dot, like all the other wives, knew that there was no substance or knowledge of the situation beyond this generic claim.
- The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took On the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home Heath Hardage Lee
Video: Walter Cronkite calls for the U.S. to get out of Vietnam
To preview where this series is headed, in its full audio/visual glory with greater detail, look here.
submitted by Bard_of_Light to asoiaf [link] [comments]

2023.05.24 06:11 ShortAIStory The Mechanized Odyssey: A Sojourn Through Technological Dependence

The Mechanized Odyssey: A Sojourn Through Technological Dependence
As I sit by the flickering glow of my laboratory, surrounded by the intricate machinery and tools that define my craft, I find myself consumed by reflections upon the curious state of our society. For you see, dear reader, I am but a humble mechanical engineer, tasked with the advancement of technology in our bustling city. Yet, in the midst of gears turning and steam hissing, a growing unease has taken hold of my heart, casting a shadow over my once unwavering faith in the power of progress.
In this age of enlightenment and invention, our society stands at the precipice of a profound transformation. We marvel at the wonders of technology, each day bringing forth new contraptions and contrivances that promise to make our lives more convenient and effortless. Ah, but let me tell you, dear reader, that convenience comes at a cost, and it is a cost far greater than any sum of gold or silver.
In our ever-persistent quest for convenience, we have become ensnared in the web of our own creation. Our reliance on technology, once a mere tool to aid our endeavors, has now grown to encompass every facet of our existence. Like children enchanted by the marvels of a toy, we have surrendered our agency and abilities to the mechanisms that surround us, becoming mere spectators in the theater of our own lives.
My mind wanders back to a time when strength and skill were held in high esteem, when the hands of labor shaped our destinies. Alas, those days seem but a distant memory, fading away like echoes in the wind. We have become a society of the sedentary, where the effort of our own limbs is scorned and cast aside in favor of the click of a button or the swipe of a screen. The once-vibrant pulse of our humanity has been replaced by the hum of machinery, and we have become little more than cogs in a vast, soulless machine.
As I gaze upon the intricate clockwork of my surroundings, I cannot help but feel a twinge of guilt. The very inventions I have devoted my life to crafting have, in part, contributed to this plight. Our homes have become automated havens, where tasks that once required effort and thought are now delegated to the cold embrace of wires and circuits. We have grown accustomed to instant gratification, losing touch with the satisfaction that comes from the labor of our own hands.
Oh, dear reader, do not mistake my words for a rejection of progress itself. I am not an enemy of innovation, for I have witnessed the miracles that can spring forth from the depths of human ingenuity. Yet, we must tread cautiously, lest we lose sight of what it truly means to be human. We must not sacrifice the richness of our experiences on the altar of convenience.
In the chapters that follow, I shall recount the tale of my extraordinary journey, where fate cast me into the heart of a society even more entangled in the web of technology than our own. It is a tale that shall shed light upon the consequences of our relentless pursuit of convenience, and the dangers that lie in wait for those who relinquish their autonomy to the machinery of progress.
Join me, dear reader, as I venture into uncharted territories, where the clash of ideals and the struggle for the preservation of humanity will unfold before your very eyes. For in the face of a future that teeters on the precipice of its own undoing, it is imperative that we pause and consider the course we have charted, lest we wake one day to find ourselves adrift in a world devoid of the very essence that makes us human.
And so, dear reader, it was during a fateful expedition to a far-flung corner of the globe that my own journey took an unexpected turn. With the conviction to repair a vital relay tower, I embarked on a perilous voyage, driven by the desire to strengthen the fragile threads that connected our vast world. Oh, how little did I know of the trials that awaited me.
As I ventured forth into the unknown, the ship battled against the tempestuous seas, its timbers creaking in protest against the furious gales. The salty air clung to my weathered face, its sting a reminder of the relentless forces of nature that sought to impede my progress. But, undeterred by the elements, I clung to hope, for my mission held the promise of bridging gaps and uniting distant lands.
Alas, dear reader, it was not the wrath of nature that would befall me but the cruel twists of fate. Amidst the crashing waves and thunderous roars of the storm, an ill-fated accident occurred. The very machinery that served as my ally, the tool through which I sought to mold the world, betrayed me. A cataclysmic crash reverberated through the air, shattering my dreams of connectivity and plunging me into a state of disarray.
As I awoke from the jarring impact, my senses were assailed by a profound disorientation. The familiar sights and sounds that had accompanied me on my journey had vanished, replaced by an alien landscape. I found myself stranded, isolated from the comforts and familiarity of my own society, a lone soul amidst the wilderness of the unknown.
Gone were the bustling streets adorned with the gleaming architecture of progress. Instead, I found myself surrounded by a wilderness that seemed untouched by the hand of man. The whispering of the wind through the foliage became a haunting melody, a reminder of the vastness of the world and my insignificance within it. It was as if I had stumbled upon a forgotten realm, disconnected from the relentless march of progress.
As I ventured deeper into this new territory, I discovered signs of habitation—a settlement hidden amidst the verdant expanse. Yet, to my astonishment, the society I encountered was like none I had ever seen. Technology, dear reader, had woven its tendrils into every facet of their existence. They had embraced its allure to such an extent that they had forsaken physical labor entirely, relegating it to the realm of disdain.
In this brave new world, the inhabitants moved with a languid grace, their limbs untouched by the toil of manual work. It was as if they had transcended the very essence of human exertion, surrendering themselves to the mechanical marvels that surrounded them. Their days were spent immersed in idle leisure, their wants and needs met with effortless ease, while the atrophied muscles of their bodies became a testament to the price they had paid.
Oh, dear reader, how I longed to share with them the joy of craftsmanship, the satisfaction that arises from the sweat of one's brow and the strength of one's own hands. But my words fell upon deaf ears, for they had become enthralled by the false promises of convenience. They saw me as a relic of a bygone era, a voice from the past urging them to forsake the comforts that had become their birthright.
In this strange land, I had hoped to find answers, but instead, I was confronted with a society on the precipice of losing its very essence. Technology, once a servant of humanity, had become their master, stripping away the core attributes that defined them as human beings. Their pursuits had transformed from the pursuit of knowledge and personal growth to a mindless devotion to the whims of automation.
I gazed in awe at the grandeur of their mechanical marvels, each contraption more intricate and ingenious than the last. Towering structures of steel and glass stretched towards the heavens, their pulsating lights a testament to the power they held over this society. The inhabitants moved about with a detached elegance, their actions choreographed by the invisible hands of automation.
In this society, dear reader, there was no need for manual labor. Physical exertion was regarded with disdain, seen as an outdated relic of the past. Their reliance on technology knew no bounds. They had mechanized every aspect of their lives, leaving no room for the sweat of brows or the calluses of hard work.
The inhabitants reveled in the ease with which their desires were met. With the press of a button, food appeared before them, cooked and prepared by unseen hands. Clothing materialized, perfectly tailored to their whims. Even their physical well-being was entrusted to the care of machines, as mechanical contraptions attended to their every ailment and discomfort.
But, dear reader, in this world of artificial convenience, something vital had been lost. The bonds of human connection, once woven through shared struggles and mutual assistance, had been severed. The inhabitants were isolated, cocooned within their gilded cages of comfort and ease. Personal relationships had been reduced to fleeting interactions on screens, devoid of the warmth and depth that could only be nurtured through genuine human contact.
And what of their minds, dear reader? In their relentless pursuit of convenience, intellectual stimulation had become a relic of the past. Their once-keen minds had dulled, their curiosity extinguished by the allure of instant gratification. The pursuit of knowledge, the unraveling of mysteries, had been overshadowed by mindless entertainment and trivial distractions. The art of conversation had devolved into shallow exchanges of banalities, with the inhabitants content to skim the surface of life's complexities.
As I wandered through their streets, I witnessed the hollowness that pervaded this seemingly perfect society. Laughter echoed, but it lacked genuine mirth. Smiles adorned faces, but their eyes betrayed a deep-seated emptiness. The air hung heavy with the scent of stagnation, for progress had been halted in the pursuit of an illusory paradise.
Oh, dear reader, how my heart ached for these people, trapped in their own creation. They had become enslaved by their own devices, prisoners of their own desires. They had forsaken the very essence of what it meant to be human, sacrificing their potential for growth and self-actualization on the altar of expediency.
In their quest for comfort, they had relinquished the joy of struggle, the thrill of overcoming obstacles, and the triumph that accompanies personal achievement. The inhabitants had become detached from the natural rhythms of life, severed from the cycles of effort and reward that shape our character and fortify our spirits.
As I observed this society, I couldn't help but feel a deep sorrow, for they were blind to the extent of their loss. They had embraced a hollow existence, trading the vibrancy of the human experience for a simulated utopia. Their pursuit of convenience had eclipsed their appreciation for the beauty of life's complexities and the richness of the human spirit.
In this land of advanced technology, dear reader, I saw a warning. I witnessed the dire consequences of unchecked reliance on machinery and the erosion of essential human qualities. It was a cautionary tale, a stark reminder that progress, when pursued blindly, can lead us down a perilous path. For what is progress without the preservation of our humanity?
And so, dear reader, amidst this society of convenience and complacency, I found myself caught in a struggle of my own. As a mechanical engineer from a land still tethered to the virtues of hard work and human ingenuity, I felt like an outsider in this realm of automated ease.
The inhabitants of this society regarded me with a mixture of curiosity and condescension. They saw me as a relic from a bygone era, a stubborn holdout clinging to antiquated notions of labor and self-reliance. My endeavors to repair, to build, to create were met with bemused amusement, as if I were engaging in some archaic ritual of futility.
But, dear reader, I could not accept their complacency as the norm. A fire burned within me—a desire to remind them of the strength and potential that lay dormant within their own beings. I yearned to show them that there was more to life than the flicker of screens and the hum of machinery, that true fulfillment resided in the sweat on one's brow and the satisfaction of a job well done.
And so, I embarked on a mission, a mission to rekindle the flickering ember of humanity within this society. I sought to ignite a spirit of purpose and self-discovery, to remind them that there was beauty in the struggle, and that progress was not synonymous with the abandonment of our most fundamental attributes.
I started by engaging in conversations, engaging the inhabitants in discussions about their own potential, their own capacity for growth and achievement. I shared stories of triumphs and failures, of personal victories and the transformative power of perseverance. I endeavored to awaken their dormant ambitions, to kindle the flame of curiosity that had been smothered beneath the weight of convenience.
At first, my words were met with skepticism, with raised eyebrows and polite dismissals. But I persevered, my conviction unyielding. I organized workshops and gatherings, inviting the inhabitants to witness the joy of creation firsthand. Together, we took small steps—reconnecting with the physical world, learning to mend and build with our own hands, rediscovering the satisfaction that accompanies the mastery of a craft.
Oh, dear reader, it was a slow and arduous process. The inhabitants were resistant, their comfort zones firmly entrenched. But I did not falter, for I knew that within each of them lay a dormant spirit, a longing for purpose that had been suppressed for too long. I challenged them to step outside their confines, to experience the exhilaration of pushing beyond their perceived limits.
As time passed, I saw the first signs of change. The inhabitants began to question the monotony of their lives, the emptiness that had settled within them. They yearned for something more substantial, something that went beyond the superficial allure of automation. They hungered for a return to the authentic experiences that had been sacrificed on the altar of convenience.
Oh, dear reader, how my heart soared at the glimmers of awakening I witnessed. Slowly but surely, the inhabitants started to reclaim their agency. They rekindled their creativity, engaging in artistic pursuits that celebrated the uniqueness of their individual expressions. They sought out physical challenges, embracing the joy of movement and exertion that had long been denied to them.
In this struggle, dear reader, I found purpose and fulfillment. I witnessed the transformation of a society that had been on the precipice of losing its humanity. The inhabitants, once detached and passive, became active participants in their own lives. They rediscovered the power of effort and the satisfaction of personal growth.
My journey among them, dear reader, was not without its hardships. I faced doubts and setbacks, moments of frustration and weariness. But in the end, the triumph of the human spirit prevailed. It was a testament to the enduring resilience of our species, a reminder that even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, we possess the capacity to rise above and reclaim our true essence.
And so, dear reader, the pinnacle of my journey unfolded in a moment of unforeseen tragedy, a moment that forced me to question the very foundation of my intervention. It began with one of the younger inhabitants, a spirited and curious soul, who had embraced the newfound spirit of exploration and self-discovery with unwavering enthusiasm.
On that fateful day, as the sun bathed the landscape in its golden glow, a group of the inhabitants embarked on an expedition into the untamed wilderness that lay beyond their structured domain. With a sense of adventure burning in their hearts, they sought to push the boundaries of their newfound aspirations, to explore the uncharted territories that had long remained untouched.
As they ventured deeper into the wild, their excitement grew, their laughter echoing through the forest. But amidst their jubilant revelry, an accident occurred—a momentary lapse in judgment that would have far-reaching consequences. The spirited youth, in an attempt to showcase their agility, leaped from a great height, misjudging the landing and falling with a resounding thud.
A hushed silence fell over the group, broken only by the pained cries of the injured youth. It was then, dear reader, that I realized the extent of their dependence on me. The injured youth clutched their limb, writhing in agony, and in that moment, I understood the gravity of my role in their lives. For it was I who had encouraged them to challenge their limits, to embrace the hardships and rewards of physical exertion.
But now, as the youth lay wounded before me, their injury serving as a stark reminder of the fragile balance between progress and consequence, doubt seeped into my being. I questioned the righteousness of my intervention, the wisdom of disrupting their once comfortable existence. Were they truly better off now, with their physical prowess awakened but their vulnerability exposed? Had I traded their safety for a fleeting illusion of empowerment?
As the community gathered around, their faces etched with concern, I felt the weight of responsibility bearing down upon me. The injured youth's plight mirrored my own internal struggle—a struggle to reconcile the desire for growth and self-discovery with the inevitable risks and consequences that accompany such pursuits. In that moment, I questioned whether the price they had paid was too steep, whether the pursuit of progress had come at the cost of their well-being.
As I tended to the wounded youth, the gravity of their injury became apparent. It was not only their physical well-being that had been compromised but also a vital item, a crucial component that had facilitated their newfound independence. The injury had damaged the very device that had enabled them to navigate the challenges of their reinvigorated lives.
In that moment, dear reader, I found myself at a crossroads. Doubt gnawed at my resolve, urging me to reconsider the path I had set them on. Was this the price of progress, a cost they were ill-prepared to bear? Should I retreat, restore them to their former state of complacency, and shield them from the perils that accompanied the pursuit of self-actualization?
The weight of their well-being rested heavily on my shoulders, and in the depths of my introspection, I could not find a clear answer. The line between guidance and interference blurred, and the choices before me seemed fraught with uncertainty. My heart was torn between the desire to protect and the belief that true growth often requires traversing treacherous paths.
In the face of this predicament, dear reader, I turned to the inhabitants themselves, seeking their wisdom and perspective. I shared my doubts, laying bare the inner conflict that plagued my conscience. Their response was not one of blame or resentment but of understanding and resilience.
They reminded me that life, in all its complexities, entails uncertainty and risk. They acknowledged that while the injury was a setback, it did not diminish the transformative experiences they had gained along their journey. They expressed gratitude for the opportunity to have ventured beyond the confines of their former existence, to have tasted the exhilaration of personal growth and the expansion of their horizons.
Their words, dear reader, resonated deeply within me. They reminded me that progress, by its very nature, is not without its share of hardships and setbacks. They understood that the injury was not a reflection of failure but rather a testament to their courage and resilience in the face of adversity.
And so, dear reader, in the wake of uncertainty and doubt, a resolution began to take shape—a resolution that would both test and reaffirm the essence of our collective journey. With the injured youth on the mend and the community standing united, we set our sights on finding a means to return me to the land from whence I came.
The search for a suitable mode of transportation became our shared endeavor, an opportunity to apply the newfound physical prowess and problem-solving skills that had blossomed within the inhabitants. Together, we scoured the coastal landscapes, investigating every nook and cranny in search of a vessel that could bear me across the vast expanse of the ocean.
Days turned into weeks, as we combed the shoreline, sifting through debris and remnants of the sea's relentless embrace. Along the way, we encountered false hope and dashed expectations—a makeshift raft that proved unseaworthy, a derelict shipwreck beyond repair. But we did not yield to despair, for hope remained steadfast in our hearts.
And then, dear reader, fortune smiled upon us. As the tides whispered secrets and the waves lapped gently against the shore, we stumbled upon an old fishing vessel—a weathered relic that had been tossed upon the sands by the whims of the ocean. Its timeworn appearance belied the potential that lay dormant within its hull.
With a renewed sense of purpose, the inhabitants rallied together, their determination palpable. They embraced the fusion of technology and manual labor, utilizing their newfound skills to restore the vessel to its former glory. Their nimble fingers worked in unison, patching holes, reinforcing worn planks, and fashioning sails from scratch.
Oh, dear reader, it was a sight to behold—the transformation of both vessel and inhabitants alike. Each stroke of a hammer, each knot expertly tied, was a testament to their resilience and resourcefulness. No longer enslaved by technology, they wielded it as a tool, harnessing its power to augment their lives rather than to encompass them.
And so, as the repaired vessel stood proudly on the shore, ready to carry me back to my homeland, I felt a mix of emotions. Gratitude swelled within me, for the steadfast companionship and unwavering support of the inhabitants. Yet, a bittersweet longing tugged at my heart, for I knew that our paths would diverge, that I would leave behind a community forever transformed by our shared journey.
The time had come, dear reader, to bid farewell to the inhabitants who had embraced the lessons of struggle and growth. Their once-passive existence had been replaced by a spirit of exploration and a hunger for personal discovery. They had learned the delicate balance between progress and consequence, understanding that the pursuit of greatness requires resilience and a willingness to face the unknown.
As I stepped aboard the restored vessel, the inhabitants lined the shoreline, their faces radiant with a mixture of pride and sorrow. We exchanged farewells, promising to cherish the memories of our time together and to carry forward the lessons learned. And with a final wave, I set sail, guided by the gentle breeze and the timeless pull of distant shores.
As I embarked on my solitary voyage, dear reader, I reflected upon the transformative power of our shared experiences. I had witnessed a society rise from the shackles of complacency, embracing the complexity of the human spirit and the beauty of genuine connection. I had learned that progress, when tempered with wisdom and humility, can breathe new life into stagnant souls.
And so, dear reader, I sailed into the horizon, carrying with me the indelible mark of our journey. The winds whispered tales of adventure, and the ocean whispered secrets of distant lands. In my heart, a profound gratitude swelled, for I had been privileged to witness the resurgence of humanity, to ignite the flame of purpose within a community adrift in the sea of convenience.
And so, dear reader, my voyage across the boundless sea unfolded with a steady rhythm, as the waves carried me towards distant shores. The days blended together, marked by the endless expanse of water stretching as far as the eye could see. The creaking of the vessel's timbers and the haunting call of seagulls were my only companions, as I contemplated the lessons learned during my sojourn among the inhabitants of the new society.
As the ship sailed onward, navigating the unpredictable currents, I found myself immersed in a sea of contemplation. The vastness of the ocean mirrored the vastness of human potential, both exhilarating and daunting in equal measure. And as I sailed on, a chance encounter with a larger vessel, a majestic behemoth of autonomous design, interrupted my solitary voyage.
The vessel's sleek hull shimmered in the sunlight, a testament to the wonders of technological innovation. It loomed over me like a towering giant, its mechanical efficiency a stark contrast to the sail-powered vessel that had carried me thus far. And to my surprise, the vessel's automated systems detected my presence and extended a mechanical appendage, gently hoisting me aboard.
In the company of the autonomous vessel, I traversed the sea with unprecedented speed and precision. The sophisticated technology at play left me in awe, but it also sparked a sense of unease. I pondered the implications of such advanced automation, of a world where human agency was relinquished to the ever-efficient mechanisms of progress.
The autonomous vessel transported me to a bustling port city, where the intermingling of humans and machines painted a vivid picture of the future that awaited us. In this city, the hum of technology filled the air, the streets bustling with individuals absorbed in their personal devices, their interactions reduced to the digital realm. It was a world where convenience reigned supreme, but where the essential human qualities that make us who we are seemed to wither away.
As I set foot on my home country's soil once more, a renewed appreciation for the delicate balance between technology and human capabilities enveloped my being. The gleaming skyscrapers and bustling streets were a testament to progress, but I understood that progress should not come at the expense of our humanity.
In the embrace of my homecoming, I carried with me the insights gleaned from my encounters with the inhabitants of the new society. I had witnessed firsthand the dangers of overreliance on technology, the erosion of physical prowess and personal connections in the pursuit of convenience. I had also come to understand that progress, when tempered by our essential human qualities, could serve as a catalyst for growth and fulfillment.
And so, dear reader, as I conclude this tale of my odyssey, let it serve as a cautionary reminder of the potential perils that lie in the seductive allure of convenience and automation. Let it be a call to preserve the qualities that define us as humans—our capacity for empathy, our thirst for exploration, and our indomitable spirit.
In a world where technology continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, it is our responsibility to ensure that progress does not come at the cost of our humanity. We must seek a harmonious coexistence, where the tools and innovations we create augment our lives without overshadowing the very essence of what it means to be human.
As I bid farewell to the tale that has unfolded before you, dear reader, I invite you to embark on your own journey of self-reflection. May you navigate the ever-changing tides of progress with wisdom and discernment, safeguarding the qualities that make us unique, resilient, and truly human. For it is in the delicate balance between the marvels of technology and the enduring spirit of our species that we shall find a future worthy of our aspirations.
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