Alice echo news obituaries
I had a dream about a person I once knew.
2023.06.02 00:04 Puzzleheaded-State45 I had a dream about a person I once knew.
When I first moved to the city four years ago I had a roommate for a few months. Last night she appeared in my dream. I always wondered what happened to her.
We clicked instantly. We talked often and the more we talked the more I realized how much we had in common. We both had fucked up lives. Hers more than mine.
I felt bad for her. She had nobody and she struggled with drugs.
She was beautiful with long blonde hair and big blue eyes. You could see the pain in her eyes. She had a constant look of being lost.
She told me once how her uncle molested her and when she told her parents they kicked her out. She was only 15. This led her to be homeless.
When she was my roommate she was hiding from her abusive ex.
So one day she told me she was going back to live with her abusive ex. I didn't like it or feel comfortable but I couldn't stop her. She was happy about it. I still remember she had a smile on her face. My guess was she thought he changed. She told me he was the only person she had.
Today when I woke up I remembered my dream. I googled her name and saw a news article that explained that she got murdered by her ex a few years ago. In a very brutal way.
He beat her, stomped on her, gouged her eyes, stripped her, and ultimately strangled her.
She was also pregnant.
It hurts me that she left the world in such a cruel way.
The thing that my mind won't let go of is her obituary. It's plain, with no picture, and not one family member listed. It's like she died a ghost.
It leaves me with a negative disappointment feeling in life.
I wish I could have helped more.
Never judge someone's misfortune. Like so many did her.
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2023.06.01 23:22 Trash_Tia My college's cheer squad have too much school spirit. In fact, I think they're going to kill me.
If I had to pick an embarrassing moment which will haunt me until I die—it has to be the time I tried out for The Sunbeam cheer squad last year. I was a freshman, and I wanted community. Friends.
I heard the cheer squad were just an extra-curricular group rather than an actual majoring level class, so I figured I’d give them a shot. It’s not like I could ignore them.
On my first day when I was moving into my dorm room, I must have walked into the same girl three times. I am in strict belief that it is not possible for a human being to be permanently happy.
And yet that was her. She wandered around like the sun shone right out of her ass, and it was both endearing and terrifying.
The girl resembled the sun herself, a halo of golden curls held in a scrunchie and a flaunting sundress, matching ribbons wrapped around her. The Sunbeam Squad were easy to spot because they were all wearing insanely bright yellow—waving around gold streamers, ribbons tangled in their hair. They all spoke in insanely high pitched voices like they inhaled helium for a living, but that must have been their shtick, right? It was kind of cute. I wasn’t expecting such a welcome in the shape of guy’s and girl’s looking like they had just stepped off of ABC Kids. The girl who handed me a flyer and yelled in my face about school spirit was practically hopping up and down, a bright grin splitting her lips apart.
I nodded and smiled politely, stuffing the flyer in my bag and heading into my room to finish moving my stuff in. When I looked out of my window a few hours later, the Sunbeam squad was still threaded through the crowd, each of them wrapped in glittering fairy lights illuminated in the late evening sunset glow. Sunbeam. Yeah, I got it, but it was still kinda overkill. They were starting to remind me of a cult.
That, however, didn’t stop me trying out. I’m fairly athletic, and they were exactly what I wanted. I’ve never had a group of people I could call friends.
Though it’s not like I could blame anyone but myself. I was a shut-in for most of high school. I either worked or preferred my own company in my room. One of my biggest regrets is pushing people away, friends I wanted to get even closer to. Because now they had built these lifelong friendships and relationships, and I was stuck at 18 years old with nobody but childhood friends I spoke to once a year when we sent mutual holiday greetings to each other. But college could change that.
At least, that’s what I hoped. I spoke to as many people as possible on my first day—and in my head I was making them. Slowly but surely I was actually making friends in my classes I wanted to hang out with.
Sunbeam were my attempt to go even further and join a club. Through word of mouth in my first few weeks of classes, I learned they were more of an extra-curricular group for fun.
They didn’t cheer competitively and had been formed in the mid-90’s by some kids who wanted to make a community out of positivity and school spirit. Sunbeam had a reputation for being Watson State student body’s beacons—and their team’s good luck charm. It was well known across campus that the squad was the reason behind the college’s fortune.
It had been like that since they formed 30 years ago, with members through the generations carrying out that pledge to spread as much pep as possible. While I say that they seemed nice judging from what I heard from others, they weren’t exactly the easiest clique to get into. Unless you were on the squad.
I saw them around campus between classes. They always moved as a group, the six of them with their arms wrapped around each other, brandishing the school colours. The guy’s in loose fitting varsity jackets, while the girl’s flaunted cheer skirts.
The way they acted was a little too close, like they were more than friends—and community and friendship had bled into something else. Like they had just walked out of an early 2000’s teen movie. Not that I was complaining. Their style was intriguing. They were like this untouchable group of god’s who had been placed on the highest pedestals. They ruled over campus, which made me want to get to know them even more. So, I tried out. Which was my first mistake of many in my freshman year.
It didn’t hit me that I was in way over my head until I was in the college gymnasium, standing in front of a four person panel like I was auditioning for a Hollywood movie. Sunbeam took their try-outs incredibly seriously. Which was weird considering they were known to be the complete opposite.
There were maybe fifty or so applicants, and we had to stand near the back wall and watch others try out one by one. Which was already setting off my anxiety. Weren’t they supposed to be closed try-outs? Initially, I was excited.
I had my routine in my head. What I had learned from watching the squad at my old school. High V, Low V, followed by a Touchdown, and then a backflip. I was confident. I mean, it ticked most cheer moves off, and even had a flip to complete the routine. My high school were a multi-sex quad, so I learned a lot from watching the guy’s moves during pep rallies.
I wasn’t really worried about the quality of the moves since they were known not to take everything too seriously. But watching the others try-out, impossible flips without crash mats and twisting their bodies in ways I didn’t know was possible, I quickly realised I was screwed. My competitors were acting like they were auditioning for an Olympic level team. My gut was dancing when I took centre stage.
The panel were made up of four members of the squad. Two boys and two girl’s, including the blonde who handed me the flyer on my first day. I was surprised when her eyes lit up with recognition.
"Oh, I know you!" She squeaked. Leaning forward, her smile seemed to brighten, illuminating her features. All four of them seemed to emanate a warm glow.
I felt myself relax slightly, the knot in my stomach loosening. Maybe their heightened positivity thing wasn’t a shtick, after all. The girl, as well as the other members of the team seemed genuinely happy to see me trying out. “What’s your name?” Her voice reverberated off of the walls, and I was suddenly aware of a dozen other students watching me.
“Alex.” I said, offering a shy wave. “Hey.”
Still grinning, she nudged a redhead next to her playfully. The guy was like no other I’d seen before. He was a god damn traffic light. He was easy to spot in a crowd and was usually one of the low-key members who kept his head down. All of those colours painting him, and yet somehow he wasn’t blinding people.
Though admittedly, he suited them; bright red hair clashing with the blue and gold of his football jersey, pasty skin and dark eyes drinking me in while the blonde girl pulled at his sleeve. “See, I told you annoying freshmen would work!”
In response, he chuckled, rolling his eyes. “Whatever you say, Evie.” The guy straightened up, leaning his chin on his fist, a curious spark in his eyes. “Alright.” Twisting around in his chair, he signalled for music. When it started, the beat slammed into me, rumbling under my feet. “Let’s see what you’ve got!”
I’m not going to describe my routine because I don’t have time to describe how fucking bad I was. In my head, I was doing okay. I was ready to finish with my back flip, but the music abruptly cut off and I found myself struggling to find my breath with my hands in the air, panting like an idiot. The blonde maintained her smile, but it was slightly strained. I could tell she was struggling to keep the façade of a Sunbeam member while also retaining critical thinking.
The redhead looked like he was in pain. He was first to speak, and I could tell by his sympathy smile I’d screwed up. The others who I hadn’t fully taken in until that moment, an asian American guy, and a girl with pigtails, were laughing like pre-schoolers. And they didn’t stop until the redhead shot them the warning eyes.
Weirdly enough, the crowd of onlookers didn’t join in. I expected the redhead to politely tell me I sucked, but instead he cocked his head, chewing on his pen. “You’re good.” He said. “You’re a good dancer, and I liked your moves…”
He trailed off. “But it’s positivity we’re looking for. And you didn’t smile once through your whole routine which made you look stiff. Like you weren’t even enjoying it.” He shrugged helplessly. “I like you, and I like your dancing. And I’m sure you could be better if you worked on it. There are countless dancing clubs here, so maybe you might be better fitted there.” After exchanging a look with the blonde, he sighed. “Unfortunately, you’re not the type of person we’re looking for.”
Evie nodded. “I agree. We pride ourselves on staying positive and smiling. I didn’t see that on you, Alex.”
“Same here.” Pigtails, still giggling, joined in. “I don’t think you’ve got enough school spirit.”
The other guy scoffed. He looked to be of Korean descent. Unlike the redhead, he was always at the centre of their group, always joking around and laughing. Just looking at him told me he was the leader. “Bullshit!” He slapped the table with one hand, running his hands through thick dark hair with the other. “I liked it. Fuck pep, amirite?” He threw his pen at the blonde, who retaliated in a squeak, lobbing hers at him. “Ignore these clowns. I think you’ve got what it takes. We just gotta work on you, y’know? All you’re missing is a cheesy grin.”
He pointed to himself, stretching his lips into the widest smile he could muster. “See? Like this.”
“Clowns?” Evie shook her head. “I didn’t see one smile. Sunbeam is all about smiling!”
“You make us sound like a cult.” The Korean-American caught my eye. “Which we’re not, by the way. These guys are just scared of change.”
“Okay, that’s too far.” Pigtails shot him a scowl. Are you seriously disrespecting the alumni who created us? Who birthed us?
“Well, yeah!” He threw his paper at her. “Sunbeam is a pep cult. We get high off of happiness. I thought we distinguished that.”
“Take that back!”
“Never! Why do you think I joined? To get high! Do you really think I joined for the cheering?”
They were joking around. I could tell by the smiles on their faces—a smile I knew I would never be able to mimic.
“Quiet.” The redhead shushed them. The guy had been sitting silently. Studying me. He leaned back, folding his arms.
“See, even now—even when I’m considering giving you a chance, there’s no hope in your eyes. Not even a glitter of excitement. You’re still not smiling and that’s what we want, Alex. We want people who will embody what Sunbeam is all about. Even if I give you a second chance to brighten up your routine your smile will be fake. And that’s not what we want. We want people who are willing to shed their humanity and become beacons.”
And they were seriously saying they weren’t a cult?
The redhead stabbed at his sheet of paper with the end of his pen. “Can’t you just give us one smile? It won’t kill you.”
It was then when the others watching started to laugh—and I wanted to punch the asshole in the face.
“Dude, chill.” The Korean-American played with his pen, twirling it between two fingers. “He’s right, as much as I hate saying it. We do need smilers, unfortunately. But hey, you can try out next year! Just remember to smile, alright?” He threw something at me. A squashed candy bar.
Which made me look even more pathetic.
I found myself nodding, even when I knew it was all bullshit. Still though, what each member had told me hit me harder than it should have. They were just words, what could they do? It turned out, words were far more powerful than I realised—I just didn’t know it yet. I didn’t wait for the others to speak and made a quick getaway, my gut twisting and turning.
They were a cult. That is what I decided. These guys were a cult who needed members willing to throw away their souls. Probably for ritualistic sacrifice.
They needed weak people, I thought. Even when part of me knew they were right. I wasn't a smiler. Every photo I'm in, I'm either frowning or look constipated. Still though, I didn't dwell on the try-outs for too long. By the time a week had gone by, I had mostly forgotten about it and threw myself into my studies and college life.
Though something was wrong with me. It was as if the world had slowed down, had stopped making sense completely. Every day felt like a dream, and I myself felt like I was a ghost, like I was disassociating from my own body. Conversations with people felt fake. Like I was making them up.
I remember waking up day after day in a daze I couldn’t get myself out of. It was only several weeks later did the thick mind fog which had been blanketing my brain finally lift—only for me to hear the news that all six members of the Sunbeam squad had disappeared. I don’t know how I didn’t notice, how I didn’t see the police investigation, or hear rumours being spread around like wildfire.
According to the college, it wasn't technically considered a disappearance since the members were all over eighteen, no longer minors. However, an investigation was conducted, with a statement being released that they were due to be performing at Knoxville College, cheering on our football team. But they never turned up. And what made it worse, was their bus was found abandoned on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Sounds bad, right?
Well, that's what we all thought. Vigils were already being held, and bodies weren't even found yet. Every time I walked back to my dorm after classes, the night would be lit up in warm golden light, candles flickering in the breeze. I'm not sure how many days had gone by-- they all seemed to blur into one-- when our college made another statement. The members of the Sunbeam squad were alive and healthy and had been sent to a training academy for professionals.
When the student body responded with confusion and scepticism, the college reassured us they were coming back once they were finished training. And while my classmates were relieved, I found myself confused. Sunbeam didn't cheer competitively. Their whole thing was that all they wanted to do was spread cheer and pep, regardless of how good they were. I had seen them perform, and they were good, sure. They were better than average. But definitely not good enough to be trained into pro’s. Their moves were too clumsy, too half assed—which I was convinced they thought overwhelming amounts of positivity could fix. So it didn’t make sense that they had been sent to some training academy. I kept up my scepticism until I saw them for myself.
The college were right. Sunbeam returned a week later like nothing had happened.
I did see a change in them. I think that was a universal opinion though. Sunbeam were well known for their pep and cheer, their constant smiling faces which drove me crazy—and it’s not like that stopped. They still smiled. They still walked around campus laughing together, in their own little world. That was when people were watching. When they had an audience. I caught them when they didn’t have an audience. Without eyes on them, they detached from each other, their eyes darkening, expressions twisting, like each of them could smell something rotten in the air. I started noticing they were getting progressively clumsier at keeping up that Sunbeam façade they must have pledged when they joined the group. I figured it was just tiredness. They must have been through some pretty intense training.
Anyway, months went by. I started to feel less distant, and the fog which had been choking me faded, thankfully. I started my junior year moving into a shared house with my roommate, and the only talk I’d heard about Sunbeam was that one of their ex members was rumoured to be pregnant. As for the rest of the squad, they were still popular, still talked about—but their disappearance had definitely made people wary of them. I even heard someone say they were considered bad luck. I guess people thought they had sold themselves out for a chance to get into the big leagues. And it wouldn’t surprise me.
Forced positivity can get you a long way, sure—but recognition can get you further.
It was just a few weeks ago when I was invited to a game. Our first of the season, thanks to delays due to cuts in the sports department. I’m not much of a sports fan, though I needed a distraction from the copious amounts of assignments I’d let pile on my desk.
When I sat down with a chilli dog and Coke, I wasn’t expecting to get so invested in a game where I had no idea what was happening. It was loud and obnoxious and I was choking on the stink of fried food, but it was fun. It was fun until Sunbeam walked out onto the side-lines. I glimpsed them in a blur of blue and gold, and a dull pain crawled across the back of my head. “You okay?” My housemate’s voice was barely distinguishable in my ears, when I found myself transfixed by the way they moved in erratic jumps, quickly taking position. They had gotten better. Everything which was Sunbeam had been stripped away. Their smiles were forced. Wrong.
I remembered they used to push and shove each other, making the crowd laugh. Now though, they were in almost perfect sync in the way they moved, no longer shakily, sometimes stumbling into each other. Their routine was longer than it usually was—and when the Korean-American guy perfected a triple flip, the crowd went crazy. I expected him to smile when he landed, grinning into the audience to generate what Sunbeam was made for. But his expression stayed stoic. Robotic. They were stiff. Heads up, backs straight, staring ahead of them. I was told when I tried out that fake smiles weren’t allowed, and yet that was all I was seeing. I was seeing egotistical grins and curled lips, quick glances between each member.
I expected looks of reassurances, and in jokes only they found funny. Instead, it looked like a mutual agreement.
They were planning something. From the looks on their faces, it wasn’t a firework show.
Sunbeam used to generate happiness. Their smiles, even under a façade, had always been real.
These guys emanated power. The way they stood. The guy’s at the front, readying what I guessed was a lift, and the girl’s on top of them.
Their routine ended with the music reaching a climax, and the two main girl’s being lifted into the air while performing High V’s.
But they didn’t stop there.
When the crowd exploded with applause, one of the girl’s slowly raised her arms and shot into the crowd with finger guns.
She shot twice—and with every time she pulled that imaginary trigger, her painted lips stretched into a maniacal grin.Until her gaze was on me. And then behind me. I could see it in her glittering eyes I could no longer call human. I met Evie at the start of my freshman year, and then at the disastrous try-outs.
I knew her wide smile, and the glint of passion twisting her expression—a love for the group and the members she couldn’t put into words. Right then I wasn’t seeing Evie, a Sunbeam cheerleader. I was seeing something else entirely, a being scanning faces in the crowd for a victim.
Her expression seemed to melt, from a gleeful grin, to something twisted and putrid, someone who craved the exact opposite of what Sunbeam preached. I watched her lips. I watched the words pop into existence, drowned into nothing by the crowds cheering. But I saw them in perfect clarity. “Drop.” She said, before pulling the imaginary trigger again.
No sooner had the words left her mouth before someone screamed behind me. I twisted around to see a guy had collapsed. He was pronounced dead five minutes later by his sobbing girlfriend who had attempted CPR. When I twisted back to look out onto the field, the Sunbeam Squad were gone. It didn’t make sense that they were the ones to cause the guy’s death—but it couldn’t have been a coincidence, right? Evie had shot into the crowd at the exact same time the guy had dropped dead. Finger guns weren’t a weapon of course, but the timing was too coincidental. I already knew there was something wrong with Sunbeam. And this just strengthened my claims.
Obviously, when I tried to tell people this, I was called crazy. Delusional. I reported it to the student information building and just got a blank stare.
The woman wasn’t even attempting to hear my story. She just heard “murder” and “Sunbeam” and her lips curved into an amused smirk. “You know, you are quite fascinating,” leaning back against her chair, the woman frowned at me through wonky glasses. "First you unexpectedly quit, and then you accuse them of murder. Which I can tell you is false.”
She flipped through a notebook in front of her. “According to the autopsy report released a few days ago, the young man died of a brain haemorrhage, not the result of being pretend shot at by a cheerleader miming finger-guns.” The woman cleared her throat.
“Tell me, what exactly do you have against the Sunbeam squad?"
“You quit the squad at the end of your freshman year,” she said, “And now you’re trying to accuse them of murder? Fascinating.”
Her words struck me, a shiver sliding down my spine. The office was cosy, and when I sunk into the rich leather of the couch in front of a roaring fire I recognised the book on her desk. It was a dog eared copy of Harry Potter. I’d seen it before. But that was impossible. I had never been in her office. “Quit?” I shook my head. “No, I don’t…” I trailed off, stumbling over my words. “I’ve never been part of Sunbeam.”
“Were you not?” She shook her head, a crease forming between her brows. “Ah, I must be getting you mixed up with someone else.”
I nodded. “Just… can you just listen to me? That Evie girl was fucking—”
She cut me off. “Language.”
“Sorry. Evie. She was… I don’t know what she was doing... she was doing like... like magic?”
“Are you sure you didn’t dream it?”
“Mmm hmm.” The woman cleared her throat, dismissing my protests. “I’m not a doctor, but If you’re experiencing memory loss and confusion, I suggest you go to the hospital. As for your ludicrous claims, you should keep them to yourself. That poor young man died due to a brain haemorrhage. Terrible and tragic, yes. But it was accidental, and not the work of… I’m sorry, what were you claiming it to be?”
“Magic.” I said, again.
When she raised her brow, I couldn’t resist a groan. “I saw her! She shot into the crowd and mouthed something!”
“She… mouthed something?”
Again, her words sliced into mine. “Okay, let’s say you were right,” she said. “If you are saying this girl shot into the crowd with her imaginary gun, wouldn’t it be a gun shot which would have killed him? You said it yourself—, it was some kind of witchy magic to kill him. So, where was the bullet wound?” When I tried to speak, she raised her arm to shut me up.
“Exactly. There was none. Because the man suffered a haemorrhagic stroke, and nothing could be done to save him. Your claims a group of young people carried this out as a murder is not only blatant defamation, but also disrespectful to the young man and his family. Now, please leave my office. I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” The woman nodded for me to stand up. “I think you have been watching too much TV. Might I suggest focusing on your studies?”
I left her office, slamming the door.
My housemate wasn’t helpful when I told him. He told me I was maybe a little too obsessed with Sunbeam. He headed to work, and I ended up in the lounge trying to focus on an episode of Criminal Minds. But I couldn’t stop thinking about Evie.
I saw what she said.
But it wasn’t the force of her imaginary finger-guns ricocheting back. It was the word. Drop.
It had been alive on her lips like it was a sentient thing bleeding into existence. I managed to fall asleep, twisted like a pretzel in my housemate’s favourite chair, when three loud knocks on the door tore me from slumber. I was on my feet, blinking, disoriented. It was rare when we got a visitor. Stumbling over to the door, I had a moment of hesitation. I imagined Evie on the other side.
I imagined her raising her arm and shooting her pretend finger-guns directly into my head.
When I opened the door, I was surprised to see three little kids. The youngest must have been maybe nine years old. To my surprise, they were dressed in Halloween costumes. There was a little witch, a ghost, and a scarecrow all carrying pumpkin shaped holders It took me a moment to realise I was staring at a group of Trick or Treaters. It wasn’t even mid-October yet.
“Hey there,” I said, “Uh, you guys are a little early.”
The little girl’s eyes were wide and unblinking. “We want candy.” She held out her candy holder. “Now.”
I decided to be firm with them. “It’s not Halloween.” I said, taking a small step back. I was grasping the handle, ready to slam it in their faces. These little shits were freaking me out. Not just their tone, but their expressions were vacant. There were no lights on and that terrified me. “Sorry kids, I don’t have any candy. But like I said, come back when it’s actually Halloween, and I’ll have candy bars for all of you. "
What I wasn’t expecting was for the Scarecrow to pull a knife out of his pumpkin shaped candy holder. He didn’t hold it like a kid should, clumsily, confused. There was a strategic way the way his fingers were wrapped around the handle—like he’d brandished one before. The kid held the knife up to his own neck and made a slicing motion. Like the little girl, his eyes were blank. Unblinking. There was something wrong in the way he was standing. Stiff, like a puppet on strings. “Are you fucking kidding me?” He squeaked out a laugh. I didn’t see him lunge forward, I was already moving back, stumbling, losing my footing.
The kid moved with impossible speed—and before I knew what was happening, the hilt of the knife was buried in my lower leg. I didn’t even feel pain. My body was being driven by adrenaline, pushing me to get away from him. I remember falling back. I remember my own trembling hands grasping hold of the handle and pulling out the knife. Red was pooling down my jeans and onto our hardwood floor. The little kids turned around and ran back down the steps into the night, and I watched them in a sort of daze.
They didn’t move like normal.
They stalked down the sidewalk like video game characters. The witch shoved a passing old man before pulling out a gun and pointing it at his head. But she didn’t shoot. The three of them ran off—and it was only when I was watching the top of the girl’s witch hat disappear into the night, when I glimpsed something—or someone—at the corner of my eye.
Before I heard laughter. The tree in front of me moved. At first I thought they were shadow’s. Before the shadows bled into figures. Four of them. I glimpsed the school colours. Blue and Gold. I saw twin ponytails, velvet and blonde-- as well as the tell-tale Sunbeam varsity jacket. The group were laughing, whispering to each other. Not exactly doing a good job of hiding. When they slipped from their hiding place, I recognised Evie. Her fingers gingerly on her nose while intense red pooled down her chin.
The others were the same, swiping at their faces with jacket sleeves. They didn’t seem fazed. The redhead’s gaze was latched onto the retreating children, his lips curling. I could sense he was still tethered to them. He was still commanding them to act out grand theft auto. They had caused the man’s death at the game and had controlled those children.
I wasn’t crazy or delusional. Evie had killed someone by simply shooting imaginary finger guns, and somehow the others were able to bleed into children’s heads, taking them over.
Pulling my phone from my pocket, I heaved out a breath. The pain was starting to hit in waves I had to grit through. I couldn’t move. I was stuck, curled up on my floor. While they laughed.
I was halfway through stabbing 911 into my phone when one of them came over. It was the Korean-American. The one who had been the nicest to me out of all of them. The real smile I remembered was gone, replaced by something inhuman. Something I didn’t want to question.
With his hands stuffed in his varsity jacket pockets, he approached me with mocking eyes, almost an attempt at trying to mimic his old self.
The guy knelt in front of me with a chuckle. “Kids these days, right? They’re animals.”
His voice, no, his words, were hurting me. I felt each one penetrate me like gunshots.
My wound wasn’t bad. That’s what I estimated, anyway. I don’t think the kid had hit anything vital. But I needed the emergency room. I still had one hand grasping at my side, drenched in red.
I managed a hiss, grasping for my phone when he pulled it out of my grasp and waved it in the air. “Fuck off. What did you do to those little kids?” I gritted out, trying to reach for my damn phone. I was starting to feel the pain in my side and it hurt like a mother fucker—dizzying bolts of electricity which felt like waves of boiling hot water slamming into me one by one. I tried to get onto my knees, but he pushed me back down again. The guy cocked his head to the side, confusion creasing his expression.
“Ouch. That must hurt.”
"What did you... what did you do?" I hissed out.
His presence was hurting me. Every time he opened his mouth, it was agony. Somehow, it was worse than the stab-wound. This kind of pain was no other I’d felt before. The type I’d rather die than feel. A cry was clawing at my throat, fight or flight taking over. Again, I tried to move, I tried to get away from him. But he was holding down my arms and prodding at my side before sticking his finger in the cut and twisting. "I didn't do anything, Alex.”
His voice barely hit me when my vision blurred and I screamed. Like a fucking animal, I screamed. But not because his fingers were digging around in my insides.
Because my brain was suddenly boiling, a metal rod piercing my skull and stirring it into a soupy mess. His voice was inside me. It was bleeding into me, taking over me. But not just his voice. The world blurred around me and I was no longer in my doorway, bleeding out against the wall.
Instead, I was moving. I was… I was walking. No, I was being dragged. Except these weren’t my memories. This wasn’t my mind. I could see bare feet beneath me delicately slapping on white tiles. When I looked up, I saw an expanse of white like I was being led straight into the clouds. This was a building. There were glass doors and electronic panels, people in black guarding each one. It took a while for me to gain my senses—or him to gain his.
We could smell something like chlorine and taste rusty coins at the back of our throat. Feel the ice cold tiles against our bare toes. A strange feeling at the back of our head. We kept wanting to run our fingers through our hair, but every time we did, our fingers only touched bare skin. Scuffed and rigged skin. Tight fingers were wrapped around our arm, dragging us further and further into a white oblivion. Until a glass door seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
From now on, I am going to describe his memories very vaguely. I’m just going to tell you what I saw.
The room we walked into reminded me of a classroom—but there were no desks. In front of me were the other members of Sunbeam pressed against the back wall. They faced forwards, their gazes penetrating nothing. But I saw they were trembling. Terrified. The squad were dressed in pale white shorts and t-shirt, ugly red spattering the front. There were still traces of blue and glitter on their faces, ribbons hanging from bedraggled curls.
Their feet were bare and filthy like ours. When we were shoved forwards, we took our place next to Evie who had half of her hair shaved off. Her arms were folded across her cheer uniform, her bare feet tapping a beat against the floor. When a woman with dark red hair held in a strict ponytail entered and asked if either of us wanted to show her what we had learned, Evie eagerly raised her hand. “Okay, Evie.” The woman’s voice was too sweet. Sickly sweet. She gestured for the girl forward. “Show us what you’ve got.”
The door opened, and a man stepped through. His hands were tied in front of him, his eyes blank.
Evie nodded, her eyes set in determination. She cleared her throat. “Shatter.”
“Intent, Evie.” The woman said. “It doesn’t matter how you say the word unless you use proper intent. Try again.”
The girl did, growling in frustration.
The man’s head flew from his torso suddenly in a river of red, and the girl squeaked in excitement.
While we watched in horror, the rest of the squad gave in to their own despair.
Different days bled into one—and we watched faces change. Heads were shaved. Hair grew back. Fear turned to joy.
A blonde girl exploded into bloody chunks, splattering against the walls.
“Yes!” The redhead high-fived pigtails, the two of them locked into some bizarre handshake. “That’s what I’m TALKING about!”
“Bang!” One of the girls used finger guns, and with each “shot” innocents dropped against the wall one by one, their heads blown through.
She jumped up and down in glee. “Bang, bang, bang!”
“Keep going,” the voice of the woman crackled through the speaker. “You’ve almost got it.”
“Divide.” Pigtails used her pointer finger at an old man who was skewed by an invisible force sending bloody chunks of him to the floor.
"Show off.” The redhead said in a sing-song voice. He was slumped against the back wall using his jersey to wipe blood from his face while the others painted the room scarlet. With simple words of intent and a hand gesture, they were able to take people apart piece by piece.
Pigtails snorted when another “test subject” was brought in. "Oh, you think you can do better?”
“Think I can? I know I can.”
This time he plunged two fingers into his temples. He was centre stage, the others against the back wall with their arms folded.
“Rip it out.”
The test subject’s eyes widened, her trembling hands clawing at her own head, fingernails digging into flesh. “Rip…rip it out?”
His lip curved. “That’s what I said.”
We didn’t see the test subject rip her own brain from her skull. We were already burying our head into our knees and screeching into the floor. Another flash. Like watching a movie.
This time we’re cutting into our wrist with shards of glass. Pulling back fleshy flaps of our flesh, there are two wires entangled with muscle and bone. One red and one blue. “Why won’t you submit?” A sharp growl, and I can feel our body pressed against metal. Our arms are restrained. “Out of all of them, you refuse it.” A hand slaps our face. “You don’t want it!”
He started to laugh.
“You don’t want… control?”
He leaned his face closer. “Tell me to mutilate myself. Tell me to… to tear out my brain stem! That’s the beauty of it! No matter how impossible the order is, it will be completed! Control, my boy. Use it. Do you even understand how much you are going to shape the world? Words! Do you know how powerful they are? When said from the right mouth, with the right intent, they can cause bloodshed, pain and misery-- a despair drowning our already shattered earth. And you will be the centre of it. You will bring this world to its knees, Jason."
"Now, do it. We call it cutting, but you will find familiarity in referring to it as erasure. You can make up your own words if you would like. What matters is the intent.” I feel something slicing into our arm. It’s nothing medical. It’s torture. He plunges something sharp into the same spot and twists the blade until we throw our head back and scream at the ceiling.
“You’re the last one.” The man hissed. “Do it.”
“No.” I heard his—our—voice. “I… I can’t!”
He’s dragging us again, forcing us down a long winding corridor until we reach another door.
"Drown." The boy - - Jason's-- voice was suddenly in my head. I could sense it was trying to hold back, attempting to peel back whatever power his own words had. But the word came again and again until it was suffocating his mouth. “Drown. Drown. Drown. Drown.” We were standing in the doorway of a smaller room. In the corner there was a figure curled up with their head pressed against the wall.
It was a guy.
I recognised our school colours, a bloodied varsity jacket over shorts and t-shirt. When he lifted his head and twisted to face the boy whose mind I was in, I noticed he had an uncanny resemblance to me. His eyes wide, frightened. They were my mother's.
This guy looked exactly like me.
No, it WAS me.
My eyes were shadowed and haunted.
Like I had been drained of everything I was.
As quickly as the memories came crashing into me, they were yanked away when the guy must have pulled back.
I blinked rapidly, and Jason looked as confused as me. Slowly, he pulled his finger from my cut. The man's voice was in my skull, and it was agonising. I felt the command in my head, my body instantly reacting to... to nothing. I had my hands out, ready to do.... do something.
"That was… just a trick,” He said. “Yeah! Just a trick!”
I found myself nodding, echoing his words. Something warm ran from my nose.
"Just... a trick..." I whispered, the words forced from my lips.
Blood spattered down my chin.
“Louder.” He said.
"JUST A TRICK!" I yelled, the force of the wail sending me my knees, panting. The guy was frowning, seemingly unsure what to do with me.
He wrapped up my wound and told me it wasn’t bad—and it wasn’t. I watched in disbelief as my skin stitched itself back together.
"Go into your kitchen." Jason said, and I felt the power of his words ripping through me like bullets. My body moved on its own, and I got to my feet and stepped into my kitchen. He followed me, grabbing a scarf off of the table.
"Get on your knees." I did, dropping to my knees, my breath in my throat, my mouth sealed shut. I could sense the others in the doorway as he wrapped the scarf around my eyes, the heel of his shoe slamming into my neck forcing me onto my stomach.
"I want you to wait for me to kill you."
His words pierced into me. I did. Even when I knew he was gone, the door slamming shut-- I waited. I waited until the next morning, until I regained control over my own body and pulled the scarf from my eyes. I'm still waiting, my brain in constant panic, twisting around when I'm alone, looking into every corner.
I was roped into going to Friday's game against Harrington. During Sunbeam’s routine, they did it again. They had the crowd's attention, and Evie was mouthing something. I felt her words, sharp like needles cutting into me. But they didn't penetrate. They have done something to the student body. Ever since, I’ve been catching looks around me. Those whose heads they have crawled into. Mindless eyes. Every so often an arm will touch mine, fingers will wrap around my neck. I can hear their feet pitter pattering after me. Those little kids from that night. I keep seeing the little witch girl in the corner of my eye. They’re creating an army who are coming for me once he decides to kill me.
If only I knew what happened to the Sunbeam squad. Maybe I can help them somehow.
But something tells me they’re way past help.
And so am I.
I wonder if one day, I might be allowed a glimpse of my memories. What really happened to me during my freshman year.
And why, ever since going into his mind, I dream of a white room.
submitted by Trash_Tia
to TheCrypticCompendium [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 22:25 Block-Busted Is AI going to cause the complete extinction of mankind like how it did in 'Terminator' series very soon?
Look at these articles:
Artificial intelligence could lead to extinction, experts warn https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-65746524
Artificial intelligence could lead to the extinction of humanity, experts - including the heads of OpenAI and Google Deepmind - have warned.
Dozens have supported a statement published on the webpage of the Centre for AI Safety.
"Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war" it reads.
But others say the fears are overblown.
Sam Altman, chief executive of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, Demis Hassabis, chief executive of Google DeepMind and Dario Amodei of Anthropic have all supported the statement.
The Centre for AI Safety website suggests a number of possible disaster scenarios:
Yoshua Bengio, professor of computer science at the university of Montreal, also signed.
- AIs could be weaponised - for example, drug-discovery tools could be used to build chemical weapons
- AI-generated misinformation could destabilise society and "undermine collective decision-making"
- The power of AI could become increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, enabling "regimes to enforce narrow values through pervasive surveillance and oppressive censorship"
- Enfeeblement, where humans become dependent on AI "similar to the scenario portrayed in the film Wall-E" Dr Geoffrey Hinton, who issued an earlier warning about risks from super-intelligent AI, has also supported the Centre for AI Safety's call.
Dr Hinton, Prof Bengio and NYU Professor Yann LeCun are often described as the "godfathers of AI" for their groundbreaking work in the field - for which they jointly won the 2018 Turing Award, which recognises outstanding contributions in computer science.
But Prof LeCun, who also works at Meta, has said these apocalyptic warnings are overblown tweeting that "the most common reaction by AI researchers to these prophecies of doom is face palming".
Many other experts similarly believe that fears of AI wiping out humanity are unrealistic, and a distraction from issues such as bias in systems that are already a problem.
Arvind Narayanan, a computer scientist at Princeton University, has previously told the BBC that sci-fi-like disaster scenarios are unrealistic: "Current AI is nowhere near capable enough for these risks to materialise. As a result, it's distracted attention away from the near-term harms of AI".
Oxford's Institute for Ethics in AI senior research associate Elizabeth Renieris told BBC News she worried more about risks closer to the present.
"Advancements in AI will magnify the scale of automated decision-making that is biased, discriminatory, exclusionary or otherwise unfair while also being inscrutable and incontestable," she said. They would "drive an exponential increase in the volume and spread of misinformation, thereby fracturing reality and eroding the public trust, and drive further inequality, particularly for those who remain on the wrong side of the digital divide".
Many AI tools essentially "free ride" on the "whole of human experience to date", Ms Renieris said. Many are trained on human-created content, text, art and music they can then imitate - and their creators "have effectively transferred tremendous wealth and power from the public sphere to a small handful of private entities".
But Centre for AI Safety director Dan Hendrycks told BBC News future risks and present concerns "shouldn't be viewed antagonistically".
"Addressing some of the issues today can be useful for addressing many of the later risks tomorrow," he said.>
Media coverage of the supposed "existential" threat from AI has snowballed since March 2023 when experts, including Tesla boss Elon Musk, signed an open letter urging a halt to the development of the next generation of AI technology.
That letter asked if we should "develop non-human minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us".
In contrast, the new campaign has a very short statement, designed to "open up discussion".
The statement compares the risk to that posed by nuclear war. In a blog post OpenAI recently suggested superintelligence might be regulated in a similar way to nuclear energy: "We are likely to eventually need something like an IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] for superintelligence efforts" the firm wrote.
Both Sam Altman and Google chief executive Sundar Pichai are among technology leaders to have discussed AI regulation recently with the prime minister.
Speaking to reporters about the latest warning over AI risk, Rishi Sunak stressed the benefits to the economy and society.
"You've seen that recently it was helping paralysed people to walk, discovering new antibiotics, but we need to make sure this is done in a way that is safe and secure," he said.
"Now that's why I met last week with CEOs of major AI companies to discuss what are the guardrails that we need to put in place, what's the type of regulation that should be put in place to keep us safe.
"People will be concerned by the reports that AI poses existential risks, like pandemics or nuclear wars.
"I want them to be reassured that the government is looking very carefully at this."
He had discussed the issue recently with other leaders, at the G7 summit of leading industrialised nations, Mr Sunak said, and would raise it again in the US soon.
The G7 has recently created a working group on AI.
President Biden warns artificial intelligence could 'overtake human thinking' https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2023/06/01/president-biden-warns-ai-could-overtake-human-thinking/70277907007/
WASHINGTON − President Joe Biden on Thursday amplified fears of scientists who say artificial intelligence could "overtake human thinking" in his most direct warning to date on growing concerns about the rise of AI.
Biden brought up AI during a commencement address to graduates of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. while discussing the rapid transformation of technology that he said can "change the character" of future conflicts.
"It's not going to be easy decisions, guys," Biden said. "I met in the Oval Office with eight leading scientists in the area of AI. Some are very worried that AI can actually overtake human thinking in the planet. So we've got a lot to deal with. It's an incredible opportunity, but a lot do deal with."
Scientists, tech execs warn of possible human extinction
Hundreds of scientists, tech industry executives and public figures – including leaders of Google, Microsoft and ChatGPT – sounded the alarm about artificial intelligence in a public statement Tuesday, arguing that fast-evolving AI technology could create as high a risk of killing off humankind as nuclear war and COVID-19-like pandemics.
"Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war," said the one-sentence statement, which was released by the Center for AI Safety, or CAIS, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization.
Biden met May 5 at the White House with CEOs of leading AI companies including Google, Microsoft and OpenA to discuss reforms that ensure AI products are safe before released to the public.
"It is one of the most powerful technologies that we see currently in our time," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said when asked about the extinction fears of scientists. "But in order to seize the opportunities it presents, we must first mitigate its risks, and that's what we're focused on in this administration."
White House launches $140 million in new AI research
The so-called “Godfather of AI” Geoffrey Hinton last month left his job as a Google vice president to speak freely about his concern that unexpectedly rapid advances could potentially endanger the human race. Others portrayed Hinton’s assessment as extreme and unwarranted.
Asked at a recent panel when asked what was the “worst case scenario that you think is conceivable,” Hinton replied without hesitation. “I think it's quite conceivable," he said, "that humanity is just a passing phase in the evolution of intelligence.”
The White House unveiled an initiative last month to promote responsible innovation in the field of artificial intelligence with the following actions:
- The National Science Foundation will fund $140 million to launch seven new National AI Research Institutes. This initiative aims to bring together federal agencies, private-sector developers and academia to pursue ethical, trustworthy and responsible development of AI that serves the public good.
- The new Institutes will advance AI R&D in critical areas, including climate change, agriculture, energy, public health, education, and cybersecurity.
- A commitment from leading AI developers to participate in a public evaluation of their technology systems to determine if they adhere to the principles outlined in the Biden administration’s October 2022 Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights.
- The initiative includes new Office of Management and Budget (OMB)] policy guidance on the U.S. government’s use of AI systems in order to allow for public comment. This guidance will establish specific policies for federal agencies to ensure that their development, procurement, and use of AI systems centers on safeguarding the American people’s rights and safety.
Experts are warning AI could lead to human extinction. Are we taking it seriously enough? https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/30/media/artificial-intelligence-warning-reliable-sources/index.html#:~:text=%E2%80%9CThere%20are%20many%20'important%20and,that%20need%20to%20be%20addressed.%E2%80%9D
Think about that for a second. Really think about it. The erasure of the human race from planet Earth.
That is what top industry leaders are frantically sounding the alarm about. These technologists and academics keep smashing the red panic button, doing everything they can to warn about the potential dangers artificial intelligence poses to the very existence of civilization.
On Tuesday, hundreds of top AI scientists, researchers, and others — including OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman and Google DeepMind chief executive Demis Hassabis — again voiced deep concern for the future of humanity, signing a one-sentence open letter to the public that aimed to put the risks the rapidly advancing technology carries with it in unmistakable terms.
“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war,” said the letter, signed by many of the industry’s most respected figures.
It doesn’t get more straightforward and urgent than that. These industry leaders are quite literally warning that the impending AI revolution should be taken as seriously as the threat of nuclear war. They are pleading for policymakers to erect some guardrails and establish baseline regulations to defang the primitive technology before it is too late.
Dan Hendrycks, the executive director of the Center for AI Safety, called the situation “reminiscent of atomic scientists issuing warnings about the very technologies they’ve created. As Robert Oppenheimer noted, ‘We knew the world would not be the same.’”
“There are many ‘important and urgent risks from AI,’ not just the risk of extinction; for example, systemic bias, misinformation, malicious use, cyberattacks, and weaponization,” Hendrycks continued. “These are all important risks that need to be addressed.”
And yet, it seems that the dire message these experts are desperately trying to send the public isn’t cutting through the noise of everyday life. AI experts might be sounding the alarm, but the level of trepidation — and in some cases sheer terror — they harbor about the technology is not being echoed with similar urgency by the news media to the masses.
Instead, broadly speaking, news organizations treated Tuesday’s letter — like all of the other warnings we have seen in recent months — as just another headline, mixed in with a garden variety of stories. Some major news organizations didn’t even feature an article about the chilling warning on their website’s homepages.
To some extent, it feels eerily reminiscent of the early days of the pandemic, before the widespread panic and the shutdowns and the overloaded emergency rooms. Newsrooms kept an eye on the rising threat that the virus posed, publishing stories about it slowly spreading across the world. But by the time the serious nature of the virus was fully recognized and fused into the very essence in which it was covered, it had already effectively upended the world.
History risks repeating itself with AI, with even higher stakes. Yes, news organizations are covering the developing technology. But there has been a considerable lack of urgency surrounding the issue given the open possibility of planetary peril.
Perhaps that is because it can be difficult to come to terms with the notion that a Hollywood-style science fiction apocalypse can become reality, that advancing computer technology might reach escape velocity and decimate humans from existence. It is, however, precisely what the world’s most leading experts are warning could happen.
It is much easier to avoid uncomfortable realities, pushing them from the forefront into the background and hoping that issues simply resolve themselves with time. But often they don’t — and it seems unlikely that the growing concerns pertaining to AI will resolve themselves. In fact, it’s far more likely that with the breakneck pace in which the technology is developing, the concerns will actually become more apparent with time.
As Cynthia Rudin, a computer science professor and AI researcher at Duke University, told CNN on Tuesday: “Do we really need more evidence that AI’s negative impact could be as big as nuclear war?”
Given these, is mankind about to go completely extinct due to AI randomly launching nuclear weapons like how it did in Terminator
series very soon? Why or why not?
submitted by Block-Busted
to artificial [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 22:18 GenWolffang Standoffs Submission Page: The D'arby Gambling House
A few years ago, the D'arby Casino was Alice and busseling, until a couple Stand users ran amok and not only tore down the casino, but made off with nearly all the riches. Now Daniel J. D'arby, older of the D'arby brothers, has now reopened a new location, much smaller than before, but all the danger that was with it...
In order to participate:
You must have an existing Stand on the Reddit page, complete with ability, user and stats. Must be a legitimate Stand, so no "Joke" Stands. (In regards to the Potential Stat, any arguments surrounding this Stat will be monitored and must be cleared by a mod)
The Stand must have been made prior to the start of the tournament. This is to keep away "battle built" Stands that were specifically designed to win the specific battle.
You must link the page of the Stand in the comment section below within the set days before submissions end. Any submission passed those days will not be considered.
Post may not be an Art post, as these types of posts win through popularity rather than substance. Art posts can be modified to text posts, but cannot link to the Art post.
Post cannot come from submissions to the weekly Stand contest of that time, to keep both fair.
The correlation between Stats and description of said stat will also be monitored to show both are consistent with one another.
One post per submission.
The rules go as follow:
All participates will be divided into 6 groups. These groups will be then placed in 1 of 6 games for all of them to play. The first game and the assigned group are chosen randomly. Once in a group, you will battle agaisnt them, switching groups each round you progress. These games are:
Pool Table https://blattbilliards.com/blogs/news/8-ball-pool-rules-and-terms
75 Ball Bingo https://www.newbingosites.co/articles/75-ball-bingo/
Dominoes (rules will change at # go down) https://mexicantrain.com/blog/beginner-guide-rules.html
Darts 301 https://shotdarts.com/blogs/discovea-starter-for-5-basic-dart-games-you-should-know
Each round, all players within a game will battle it out to determine who will likely win that game the most. A poll will be set for everyone to vote who they think will win. The one with the least amount of votes will be eliminated.
After each round, the groups will move to a different game from the list above, moving downward. When it comes to the final round, all participants still around will be brought together for one final game. While this game will be secret, I'm sure you can guess what it is.
Do what you must to be the one to win it all! Of course, no killing or maiming is allowed, as that's a quick disqualify. However, there are other ways to achieve victory:
Cheating: Using your stand to gain an advantage.
Sabatoge: Sometimes the best way to win is to make sure others lose.
Snitching: While all stands will be unknown to each other initially, if you are able to give a plausible reason to accuse someone, you can sick the dealers on them.
Note that each dealer (me) is trained by D'arby and know just how to spot the use of Stands. If questioned about cheating, do your best to make excuses, divert blame or straight lie. However, if caught cheating, the punishment is 10 votes removed from that round's final vote. So be very sneaky!
Since D'arby wants assurance in winning, all future seeing and probability altering Stands will be banned.
Requiem/Heaven stands are banned for general overpowered nature.
Post Mordem stands are barred due to lack of users. (Subject to change in future tournaments)
Stands with sub-Stands are barred, as it may be unfair to fight more than one Stand. (Subject to change in future tournaments)
ACT and Time stands are barred.
Users must be living, human users. In the case were a user is given but no details about them are shown whatsoever, the personality of Koiche Hirose will be the default setting, as he is known to be a reliable guy. (Subject to change in future tournaments).
If there is anything missing from this please let me know in the comments. Until then, good luck!
submitted by GenWolffang
to fanStands [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 22:12 numindast The entire front page of my local newspaper site. ONE headline.
2023.06.01 22:01 monstercojones June Jam 2023 - Full Lineup 🌲🌲🌲
| || |
This is one of my all time favorite festivals. Small intimate vibes, no curfew or noise restrictions, beautiful venue and overproduced as hell. Plus two headliner comedy shows at a side stage Sat & Sun! submitted by monstercojones to festivals [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 21:40 0wnd_ Announcing Tristram's Echoes: The Official Diablo 4 Server of The Throne Room Discord
Hello, Nephalem! 🔥
We have some exciting news for all you adventurers out there. We're thrilled to announce that Tristram's Echoes is now the official Diablo 4 server of The Throne Room Discord!
In the spirit of The Throne Room, Tristram's Echoes is dedicated to bringing together the Diablo 4 community in a space that encourages exploration, collaboration, and conversation. Whether you're here to share your latest epic loot, discuss game mechanics, or simply connect with other fans of Diablo 4, we've got you covered. As a member of Tristram's Echoes, you'll enjoy:
- Live chat with fellow Diablo 4 enthusiasts
- Access to the latest game updates and news
- Collaborative gameplay and raiding opportunities
- A welcoming and supportive community
- And so much more!
We invite you to join us in Tristram's Echoes
, where the spirit of Diablo 4
lives on. Remember, "All are welcome in Sanctuary," and that includes you. Let's unite to face the Prime Evils together! To join
Tristram's Echoes, simply click on this Link
. If you have any questions or need help, feel free to reach out to our moderation team. See you in Sanctuary, adventurers!
submitted by 0wnd_
to TristramsEchoes [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 20:26 GryphonKingBros Alternative Concept for Season 4: "Bilious Cataclysm"
Season Briefing "Alright Miners, listen up. The Rockpox situation just escalated. The lithophage comet has been caught in Hoxxes' orbit and is now circling the planet rather than passing by as R&D suggested. Considering the fragments of this vile rock are already doing enough damage, the consequences of allowing the comet to land on Hoxxes IV could be catastrophic. The comet's collision course with the planet is inevitable, so Management has approved the destruction of the comet in order to disperse the severity of the comet's impact. There are several mining rigs chipping away at the comet, though the task is proving difficult to say the least.
The fight against Rockpox has merely begun and we've got a lot of work to keep our planet clean. With the increased amounts of Lithophage meteorites impacting the planet, very few regions are safe from the outbreak. Most missions you embark on will have Lithophage running rampant, so stay on your toes. Additionally Rockpox has upped the ante with reports of several new lithophage-infested bugs. Expect some common threats to become a bit tougher to fight. News doesn't get much better from there as there are also reports of pure lithophage abominations. Be on the lookout for much larger parasitic baddies when cleansing the caves.
It's not all bad news however. R&D has been cooking up some new toys to help you combat the ongoing threat of Rockpox. With that said, these new toys are primarily designed to combat a particularly nasty parasite, but that's on a need-to-know basis and you don't need to know just yet. Nor will you want to know, because frankly it's some nasty stuff...
Last but not least, it is imperative that we keep the lithophage off the Space Rigs. Samples have been moved after a few outbreak reports, but the lost samples are still loose in the Rig. If you manage to find chunks of Lithophage, take them to the contaminant disposal receptacle near the drop pod and you'll be rewarded some performance points off the clock!
As always, Management sends their regards."
Synopsis Season 3 has been a blast, but it felt incomplete to some extent. Don't get me wrong, GSG did a wonderful job as always and it's very polished. It's just... Two zombies and an angry noodle? You'd think this space plague would put up more of a fight. I say it should. As much as I'd prefer a new theme, another two-parter is very welcome. The Rivals didn't need a part 2 and was likely either GSG unloading a few unfinished concepts that weren't ready in time and/or just trying to kill time while they got Season 3 ready. Season 3 on the other hand greatly benefits from a part 2.
I wrote up this literal document of ideas deadass months before the season teasers and announcement. GSG already has everything finalized, but regardless I wanted to share my ideas. Partially because I didn't want my ideas to go to waste, but mostly because I had a much darker and more grotesque vision of Rockpox with horrific mutations that leave the hosts in agony which I think are moderately better than what we got.
Hoxxes IV's condition The basic premise is that the lithophage situation has escalated and the comet is on a collision course with the planet, meaning the lithophage outbreak is spreading rapidly. In an effort to stop the outbreak once and for all, DRG has sent out mining rigs to chip away at the comet and destroy it piece by piece. As the season name implies however, the comet has been "vomiting" meteors more frequently as a result and some nastier parasites along with it, presenting cataclysmic results. In other words, DRG's efforts are resulting in a Bilious Cataclysm. While DRG attempts to destroy the comet, operatives on the planet must keep the infection at bay. That means more lithophage outbreaks and more lithophage enemies.
The main meat of the Season would be a significantly expanded roster of infected enemies and even some unique rockpox abominations made of lithophage parasites. In order to find said beasties, the Lithophage Outbreak warning is available in any biome. Obviously it'd be annoying to deal with Lithophage enemies everywhere you go, so there is still a small area on the map that has more outbreaks than others. All regions are capable of having a Lithophage Outbreak mutation but they are limited to one warning maximum. Meanwhile, epidemic zones will have two minimum and can have up to four maximum. You can encounter a very small handful of rockpox enemies on any mission (the game will decide which enemies are available in the spawn pool in the same manner as the appearance of excessive amounts of special enemies such as Exploders, Swarmers, Mactera, and Wardens) while the whole roster is limited to just epidemic zones. However, there is one exception:
The infection spreads With the outbreak worsening, Rockpox has been spreading rapidly. Not only that, but Rockpox Larvae have gone from spreading pathogens to Glyphid Grunts and Praetorians slowly through their environments to taking a figurative jump in evolution and a literal jump onto enemies. They will now actively target and infect (compatible) enemies like they do against the dwarfs. Any creature it infects will have their attributes enhanced, including both their strengths and their weaknesses. If you're unlucky enough to have a larvae find a tough host, it will turn into a Rockpox variant regardless of the spawn pool.
The Lithophage parasites have become more accustomed to Hoxxes IV's vast ecosystem and have begun burrowing into a variety of different hosts such as Glyphid Guards, Slashers, Acidspitters, and Swarmers, Mactera Spawn and Trijaws, Q'ronar Shellbacks, and even poor innocent Loot Bugs! Truly no creature is safe from this plague.
Also quick disclaimer: Use the Rockpox Grunt and Praetorian as a template for all of these enemies. All of the enemies will still have the glowing yellow cysts (weakpoints) that do critical damage when broken unless specified in the description of the enemy. Along those same lines, unless specified, all of these enemies have their normal abilities with the added Lithophage enemy stats. I say this because I'm afraid people are gonna think l'm not taking into account the fact that Rockpox-infected enemies tank 90% of all damage if you aren't aiming for the weakpoints. None of these enemies wil have only the one weakness mentioned. That's just a weakpoint special to the corresponding enemy *(e.g the Rockpox Guard has a weakpoint on the face but also has 3-4 cysts all over its body like Rockpox Grunts). There's a reason people didn't like Elites after all.
Rockpox Guard The infected Glyphid Guard has its front armor enhanced with it's face completely eviscerated with Rockpox in order to support its front armor. The front armor is impervious to damage, but is actively attached to it's face which is it's weakpoint. When it attacks, it will briefly latch onto its target and entangle them in Lithophage, rapidly infecting the target with Lithophage (increases lithophage status by 50%) before tossing them back. During this attack you can quickly kill the Guard by attacking the tendrils on its face.
Rockpox Slasher The infected Glyphid Slasher has it's sharp front legs enhanced with Rockpox. It will rapidly sprint around the room to dodge fire, before darting towards a target, quickly slashing them with it's bladed tendril arms, and then going back to dodging fire. Instead of stunning the target in place directly however, the Slasher will rapidly infect the target (increases lithophage status by 80%) which in turn can lead to indirectly stunning the target. The legs are a major weakpoint, but it's rapid movement makes it hard to hit. Whoever is targeted by the Slasher has the best opportunity to kill it due to its legs facing the target.
Rockpox Acidspitter The infected Glyphid Acidspitter has it's acidic saliva enhanced to fire three contagious Rockpox projectiles. A direct hit will immediately encase the target in Rockpox while hitting terrain will create a cloud of Rockpox to slowly infect nearby dwarfs (increases lithophage status by 15% per second, takes less than 7 seconds to ensnare them). The Acidspitter has more health than usual and behaves similarly to a Menace; it fires off a few shots before quickly repositioning with a much faster movement speed than its uninfected counterpart, though it obviously cannot burrow (comparable to how the Glyphid Spreader behaves, but more evasive).
Rockpox Swarmer Infected Glyphid Swarmers behave similarly to Rockpox Larvae. They spread infection through their attacks (increases lithophage status by 5% per hit), but do not burrow into your beard. Instead they will continuously nibble at your feet until you're helplessly ensnared in Rockpox and at their mercy. Killing Swarmers up close will result in being contaminated by the small amounts of pathogen they release (increases lithophage status by 10%, and only when killed in close proximity, the rockpox aoe does not linger).
Rockpox Exploder The infected Glyphid Exploder has enhanced their explosive tendencies to spread the infection. Instead of rapidly self-destructing, they have volatile cysts that slowly and methodically seep Lithophage pathogens by draining their blood until they die. They will remain in a stasis state until disturbed or burrow out of the ground nearby ready to strike, constantly releasing pathogens. Exploders move significantly faster than normal and will persistently breathe in your face and infect you with Rockpox once they get close enough (increases lithophage status by 20% per second when within normal detonation range) while still constantly following you.
Like normal Exploders, they are easily dispatched with just a few shots. However, like other Lithophage-infected enemies, their bodies are very strong and the cysts must be popped instead to deal significant damage. When killed, they will combust into a cloud of pathogens. As mentioned previously, the Rockpox infection will constantly drain the Exploder's health over time until they collapse. If they die of their own doing, they won't leave behind any pathogens. Once their health is depleted, they will have nothing left in their body to release.
Rockpox Oppressor The infected Oppressor has impervious armor like it's uninfected counterpart. Unlike its uninfected counterpart, their weakpoint isn't in the rear (though they are more susceptible to damage from the back) but rather in the front. Some areas of it's front armor are bloated by tumorous growths of Rockpox. These areas are weak (strength of Grunt armor) and can be broken away to reveal weakpoints. Breaking all the weakpoints shatters the front armor and reveals a grotesque wall of Rockpox. This will trigger the Oppressor to move significantly faster and attack much more quickly while seeping pathogens from it's mouth (melee attacks do not increase lithophage, but being within 3m of its mouth increases lithophage by 25% per second). Fortunately, it now has no impervious armor and cannot perform Sonic Stomp or Rage Quake.
Rockpox Spawn The infected Mactera Spawn has its abdomen enhanced with Rockpox to fire Rockpox Larvae, instantly ensnaring the target in Rockpox if it's a direct hit or alternatively releasing a Larvae onto the field if it hits terrain. Like the Rockpox Praetorian (correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure I observed this new behavior on the experimental build), it can launch larvae in conjunction with its normal projectile attacks at random intervals rather than this being a separate attack. It's abdomen is initially not a critical weakpoint, but it will unfurl it's abdomen into an appendage to launch Larvae. The appendage can be destroyed to disable it from launching Larvae and deal critical damage to the Spawn, similarly to a Goobomber.
If the Spawn dies with the appendage still intact, it may perform one final gruesome attack by extending it's abdomen appendage up to it's mouth, horrifically reaching down it's throat, ripping out a bundle of spines, and tossing them vaguely in the direction of dwarves at a rapid speed as the poor Spawn helplessly flails through the sky and crashes to the ground like a Goobomber.
Rockpox Trijaw The infected Mactera Trijaw has it's abdomen enhanced like the infected Spawn, as well as it's projectiles. The Trijaw's projectiles will release pathogens on impact (increases lithophage status by 10% per second) and inject large amounts of Rockpox into targets if they hit directly (increases lithophage status by 70%). Like the Spawn, it will unfurl its abdomen to launch Larvae, however it will launch 2-3 at a time in quick succession. The appendage again can be destroyed to disable its Larvae throw attack and deal critical damage.
And once again, if the Trijaw dies with the appendage still intact, it may perform a final gruesome attack by extending it's appendage outwards, straightening it into a sharp spear, piercing the Trijaw's throat, causing the Trijaw to wail in horror and spew a barrage of projectiles out of it's mouth as the poor Trijaw flails through the sky before crashing to the ground.
Rockpox Shellback The infected Q'ronar Shellback has it's body enhanced head-to-toe in Rockpox, nullifying it's typical form of attack of rolling around a room attempting to ram it's prey. The Shellback's primary form of attack is instead it's Acid Spit attack which it will use to fire acidic bile that lingers on the ground. This bile will both slowly infect organisms (increases lithophage status by 5% per second) and dissolve their flesh. Alternatively instead of firing acidic pools of bile, the Shellback can let out a horrific gargling screech as it regurgitates dozens of Larvae out of it's mouth for several seconds. Unlike most infected organisms, there are no cysts on the outside of the body. Instead, a mass of Lithophage has grown out of the Shellback's mouth, meaning you have to attack while it attacks. On death, the Shellback will drool a pool of acidic bile.
Furthermore, the Lithophage pathogens have become more viral and deadly to the more common Grunts and Praetorians. Reports have miraculously identified grotesque proxies of the Lithophage infection; helplessly transformed after prolonged exposure to the parasites into cyst-coated rockpox delivery boys designed only to spread the virus. Stay on your toes and keep a puke bucket at the ready...
New anti-Lithophage equipment The situation may seem grim, but fortunately R&D has been cooking up some goodies to make exterminating the Rockpox Plague easier: the LithoGauge and the RAIL Cannon (Rebuke Artillery Ionizing Lithophage Cannon). The LithoGauge is a modification to the Laser Pointer that identifies what kind of Lithophage threat you're dealing with. Aiming at Rockpox will show a gauge underneath the targeted surface and slowly fill the gauge as it gathers information. The LithoGauge will only gather 33-50% of the outbreak data per infected area, meaning you'll have to scan all of them (if there's only one, it'll automatically be filled).
Once the gauge is filled, the Lithophage meteorites will be visible on the map and active cysts growing on Lithophage terrain will be visible to more easily locate and remove rockpox from the environment. Similarly, you can also scan a lithophage meteorite fragment to locate all other fragments in the area. Additionally, the LithoGauge can identify anomalies in Lithophage meteorite crash zones which is important for identifying a particularly nasty parasitic biomass that has been showing up recently. It's also what the railgun is for, but we'll get into that in a bit...
An evolving menace As mentioned, the Lithophage parasites are rapidly evolving and adapting to their new home. Parasites are growing larger and more deadly. Like their predecessors, they all are devoted to spreading the plague and stopping us from exterminating it. And in order for them to evolve into abominable monstrosities they must use a host organism as a cocoon. As mentioned previously, the short-ranged airborne Lithophage pathogen has been evolving to more strongly affect hosts. Those hosts are what evolve into larger parasites should they remain undisturbed.
Rockpox Grunt Envoy A grotesquely mutated Glyphid Grunt covered in a mass of cysts and tendrils. After prolonged exposure to lithophage parasites, these infected grunts have grown large masses of rockpox across their entire bodies and have no purpose other than to spread the infection as well as fertilize proxy host organisms. While idle, they will occasionally vomit up larvae with a mist trail following them, allowing you to notice when an Envoy is in the cave. If another envoy is nearby, it will approach and share pheromones and pathogens, fertilizing the organism. Since its covered head to toe in cysts, it's rather easy to dispatch. However, if it manages to get within 5m of a dwarf, it will immediately project a mass of tendrils at the target, wrap itself around them, and instantly down them before combusting, leaving a dangerous mist on the player.
Attempting to revive the dwarf will result in the rescuer being rapidly infected with lithophage (increases lithophage status by 40% per second) with an on-screen notification warning the rescuer to "Cure your teammate or wait out the infection." Meanwhile, the downed player has a timer visible on screen and over their player icon on the hud showing how long they have to wait for the infection to pass. To revive the player, you must either cure them via the LithoFoamer and LithoVac, wait out the mist for the infection to pass, or bypass the rapid infection via the Field Medic perk or a full team reviving the player simultaneously (for solo games, Bosco will ignore the timer).
Rockpox Praetorian Envoy A grotesquely mutated Glyphid Praetorian covered in a mass of cysts and tendrils. These praetorians serve as mobile cocoons for larvae to use to evolve into larger threats. While idle, they will wander around vomiting up larvae with a mist trail following them, allowing you to notice when an Envoy is in the cave. If it notices a dwarf, it will either quickly flee and burrow once out of sight to protect it's larvae or try to attack.
If it targets a player, it will beeline for them, starting at default movement speed but exponentially speeding up to as fast as Trawler. Similarly to the Grunt Envoy, it's much weaker than its uninfected counterpart, with as much health as a Glyphid Guard. If it manages to approach a dwarf, it will vomit a mass of tendrils to briefly strangle the target before downing them instantly and leaving behind a mist over the player. Like the Grunt Envoy, this makes the downed player a trap to others if they try to revive them before the infection is cleared. Unlike the Grunt Envoy, the Praetorian has a larger purpose to the parasites so it will either continue fighting or burrow away. If it spawns with a group of enemies, it will never burrow away. On death, it will either leave behind a swarm of parasites in addition to a contagious cloud of Lithophage or transform into a Lithophage Bellower (more on that further down).
Rockpox Loot Bug Envoy Though most creatures targeted by the Lithophage parasites are naturally hostile and aggressive making them perfect hosts to spread the plague, they've been infecting the helpless unsuspecting Loot Bug of all things. Infected Loot Bugs will behave normally with the only giveaway sign that they are infected being their desaturated skin tone and glowing cysts... as well as occasionally pausing to adorably sneeze like a sick kitten.
Unlike the other two Envoys, Loot Bug Envoys can serve both as carriers of the disease as well as cocoons for parasites to metamorphose within. So depending on their state of infection, they will do one of two things when attacked. If the infection is still early, the Loot Bug will simply drop gold and nitra, 1-2 parasites, and occasionally a plagueheart. If the infection is farther along (which is a very rare occurrence), the Loot Bug will immediately react to the damage by horrifically transforming into a Lithophage Bellower (more on that below).
If the parasites are able to complete their metamorphosis within the host, they will transform into one of five monstrosities:
Rockpox Grouser An impenetrable vine-like parasite that stretches down from the ceiling, announcing its approach with a loud creaking noise and distorted cackling. It will stare at its target for a few seconds before exhaling lithophage fumes onto the dwarf for 5 seconds. While it's mouth is open, you can do critical damage to it. Alternatively, you can also power attack it to cause it to cough and reveal its mouth earlier, but it will softly thrash its head back and forth making it more difficult to hit. Once its head is destroyed, the vine portion of the parasite will whip around wildly spewing blood-like fluid before rapidly retracting back into the ceiling and bursting once retracted.
Rockpox Quicksand A collective body of parasites that hides in rockpox terrain. It's invulnerable and nearly undetectable, with it's only telltale sign being it shifting briefly and releasing spores, until approached. When activated, it will writhe wildly, begin to glow, and reach tendrils towards dwarfs that are within 10m. Once targeted, it will follow the target for up to 30m.
Quicksand will either quickly whip a tendril at a target, knocking the target back as well as stunning it when it touches the ground, or latch onto and quickly drag them back to the Quicksand to be consumed. When grabbed, all equipment is disabled except for your pickaxe in which three hits or a power attack will free you and stun the tendril temporarily. If the tendril drags you all the way back to the Quicksand, you cannot escape and need to be rescued by another teammate. If no target is within 10m, it will simply writhe until a new target approaches. The tendrils have their own individual health and can be killed. The quicksand itself must be damaged in order to kill it. Once killed, it will liquify, bubble briefly, then dissipate into a cloud of toxic fumes.
Rockpox Deacon A large mass of parasites that has a chance to spawn from a larvae pod in place of a normal parasite. It will release a shockwave of lithophage that heavily increases lithophage status upon spawning. The Deacon will idly wander around at first. Once encountering a dwarf or being attacked, it will unhinge a large pair of jaws from the top of it's body, roaring wickedly to summon a small swarm of lithophage-infected enemies and briefly unveiling a writhing mass of glowing tendrils. Similarly to the Warden, you can kill the Deacon early on while it's still on it's own and weak, with the glowing tendrils being it's only weakspot that takes critical damage. Once it stops roaring, it will hide it's weakpoint, becoming heavily resistant to damage with it's outer armor shell, and approach the nearest dwarf. The only way to damage the Deacon after the war cry is by chipping away it's shell like any other armor plating on an enemy.
If it reaches a dwarf, it will latch onto them and take over all movement leaving the player helpless unless they have Heightened Senses. The player can resist the Deacon's influence by spamming A and D which will not only slow the Deacon down and throw off their aim but will break some of the Deacon's armor. The Deacon will ride the dwarf around firing their primary or secondary weapons for up to a minute until the host runs out of ammo or dies before seeking a new host. This of course means teammates will be forced to risk shooting their captured teammate both to save the teammate and eliminate the immediate threat. Deacons will not spawn in solo or in empty lobbies.
Rockpox Bellower An immature parasite interrupted during it's metamorphosis, it's body consists of an indistinguishable writhing mass of tendrils. It will rarely spawn in place of a Praetorian or Loot Bug Envoy's death. The Bellower will release an endless stream of parasites, draining it's health as body mass is lost. Once it's health gets low enough, either from spawning parasites or taking damage from the player, it will sprout long appendages and begin fleeing while bellowing loudly, summoning infected enemies to aid it. If it manages to get far enough away, it will burrow away. If you kill it before then however, it will trip and land on it's head kicking it's legs wildly, before finally combusting violently; shooting it's long limbs across the cave, dropping 3-5 plaguehearts, and converting terrain in a 5m radius around it into inert rockpox.
Rockpox Stalwart A stone biomass held together by lithophage that guards infected areas and serves as an alternative to the typical cleaning mechanics of infected areas. Unlike it's lesser kin, the Stalwart is incredibly powerful on it's own. While every other contagion spike is protected by an army, the Stalwart IS the army and then some. Unlike normal contagion spikes, the Stalwart is directly linked to the upkeep of the contagion zone and must be defeated in order to decontaminate the area. No amount of soap and water is going to clean up this mess.
Similarly to a Dreadnought, it has two large health bars, a shell and a core, that must both be depleted one at a time to defeat it. The Stalwart's shell is highly resistant to all damage except for Explosive, Armor Breaking, and Temperature Shock, and is weak to Rockpox Repellent Energy (more on that below) and Melee damage. Once it's shell is destroyed, it will reveal it's lithophage innards holding it together that can be damaged by any damage type. The general jist of things is that this enemy is incredibly powerful and difficult to defeat. It doesn't play nice by any means and that's the point. You MUST be prepared.
In order to combat this insane menace that'd bring a Glyphid Menace to tears, R&D has cooked up a powerful antibiotic formula that has a very destructive effect on Rockpox. Dubbed "Rockpox Repellant Energy," or R2 for short, this concoction has a similar effect to radiation, separating cells on the atomic level and dissolving most organic matter, Rockpox in particular, on the spot. It's so powerful that most Rockpox organisms can't survive even the smallest dosage (one shots EVERYTHING with Rockpox in their name). Of course there's one exception: the organism that's taken it's name literally and has its organic mass covered in stalwart stone (hence the name Stalwart).
Instead of calling a cleansing pod, you will call a RAIL Cannon Armory pod with special railgun weapons loaded with R2 energy used to fight the Stalwart. Be warned: these monsters aren't impenetrable and can be taken down by conventional means just as well as they can with R2 energy. These railguns are a privilege not a requirement, and frankly this stuff ain't cheap, so you only get one RAIL Armoury pod, two railguns, and two refills. The railguns have a limited ammo capacity and can only be refilled as long as spare energy is available in the pod. Make it count!
The Stalwart will emit gargling moans that echo throughout the cave like BET-C's distress beacon to announce it's presence. When approached or damaged, it will awaken unfurling into a gorilla-like posture before slamming the ground angrily and beginning its attack.
It has three phases: Incursive, Offensive, and Vulnerable. It will initiate its attack with either Incursive or Offensive.
During Incursive, it will gallop towards targets, or slowly crawl if climbing a vertical or ceiling surface. Once it reaches it's target, it will raise it's arms for 2 seconds before quickly slamming it's full dead weight onto the dwarf, dealing an incredibly dangerous blow to the target if it lands directly and heavy damage and knockback to anything else nearby. It will not shift targets and will continuously pursuing it's target for up to 30 seconds. Once it either reaches its target or gives up pursuit, it will switch to Offensive.
During Offensive, it will perform one of three abilities before returning to the Incursive phase: Guard, Rupture, or Scream.
When Guarding, it will raise it's fists in front of it, becoming 50% resistant to attacks from the front and regenerating up to 50% of it's shell health, and face the nearest player. While it becomes resistant in the front, it will become 50% vulnerable to all damage and 20% more vulnerable to it's weaknesses, both from behind, for the duration of the Guard ability.
When Rupturing, it will briefly plant itself into the ground and consecutively release 15 shockwaves of lithophage in different directions. The lithophage shockwaves will knockback dwarfs and heavily increase lithophage status. When it launches the shockwaves, it will become 80% vulnerable to all damage and 50% more vulnerable to it's weaknesses for the duration of the Rupture attack. Additionally, firing an aoe blast at it with the railgun will stun it and interrupt the attack, destroying the shockwaves in their tracks. The attack lasts only a few seconds, so there is a very short window to attack it.
When Screaming, it will roar at players for several seconds, releasing 7-12 parasites from it's mouth. Similarly to the Grouser, you can shoot it in the mouth to deal critical damage, damaging both the shell and the core. One impact blast from the railgun to the mouth will drop 2/3 of it's shell health and 1/10 of it's core health.
Once you destroy the shell, it will enter it's Vulnerable phase. The Stalwart will collapse for several seconds, falling off walls and ceilings if it enters the phase from that position, and reveal lithophage innards between it's shoulders, neck, and belly that can be damaged to deplete it's core health. It will then release lithophage fumes from all four weakpoints that heal small amounts of its core health. Damaging a weakpoint will disable the healing ability for a few seconds, meaning attacking each weakpoint equally will stop the Stalwart from healing outright for the duration of the Vulnerable phase.
Additionally, if you used a railgun at any point before the Vulnerable phase, the Stalwart will synthesize the energy into a resistance and create a protective field around it's weakpoints. If you fire a railgun at any of the weakpoints, it will reflect the blast, drain the railgun of it's ammo, and deal significant electric damage. You will have to decide if spending the railgun is worth it before the Vulnerable phase as you won't be able to use it during the Vulnerable phase until the next attacking phase if used prematurely; a simple but precarious dynamic to keep in mind. If the Stalwart isn't defeated during the Vulnerable phase, it will regain it's shell health and return to one of the two other phases.
Once defeated it will writhe wildly for several seconds, launching lithophage projectiles in a radius around it and emiting lithophage fumes in a large radius around it, before finally blasting apart and releasing a shockwave that cleanses the surrounding area and kills all lithophage in the area. If you are covered in lithophage during the shockwave, you will be instantly downed. You will be rewarded with 3-5 plaguehearts and multiple chunks of gold and nitra when it is destroyed.
Keeping the Space Rig Clean Last but certainly not least, after all the hell and destruction unfolding on the planet, you still aren't safe on the Space Rig. If you recall, R&D was housing several samples of Lithophage on the Space Rig. Likewise, I imagine you remember tapping on the tanks like children at an aquarium? Well turns out that it wasn't such a good idea because several samples were reportedly missing, meaning we have some stowaways on board. It was already hard enough to keep track of the samples that got out on their own accord, so keeping track of ones that escaped because "you hairy moronic midgets couldn't stop mucking with the damn biotanks," Management's words not mine, is gonna be even harder.
With that said, R&D has developed a simple contaminant disposal receptacle to toss any Lithophage gunk you find on the ship. Lithophage will randomly spawn in different nooks and crannies all over the Space Rig, hell the main area will look like the aftermath of a college party with how much junk lines the floor. And because you likely need some actual incentive, for every few chunks of Lithophage you throw away you'll get a reward ranging from credits to phasyonite to even overclocks and cosmetics.
Conclusion With all that said, it's clear that it'll take a village to keep our planet clean. So pull up your sleeves, slap on some gloves, pick your cleaning utensil of choice (guns included), and let's get to work, Miners!
submitted by GryphonKingBros
to DeepRockGalactic [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 19:00 nahimavegan (Selling) Huge list of 1100+ movies! Lots of New and Rare titles!
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Forrest Gump HD/VU $3.5
Fortress Sniper's Eye HD/VU $4
Freaky HD/MA $4.5
Friends With Kids HD/VU $4
From Here to Eternity 4K/MA $5.5
Ghost in Shell (1995) 4K/VU $5
Ghost In Shell 2.0 HD/VU $4.5
Giant 4K/MA $5.5
Gift HD/IT $3.5
Glass HD/MA $4
Godfather HD/VU $4
Good House 4K/VU $6
Great Wall HD/MA $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Green Inferno HD/IT $3.5
Green Lantern Beware My Power HD/MA $4
Greenland 4K/IT $5
Grumpy Old Men HD/MA $4
Guns Akimbo HD/VU $4.5
Habit 4K/VU $5.5
Halloween Curse of Michael Myers HD/VU $4
Halloween Ends HD/MA $5.5
Halloween Kills (Ext) 4K/MA $5.5
Happy Death Day 2U HD/MA $4.5
Happy Death Day HD/MA $4.5
Hard Luck Love Song 4K/VU $5.5
Heat (Director's Cut) (1995) HD/MA $4
Hellbenders HD/VU $4.5
Hellboy Animated Double Feature (Sword of Storms, Blood & Iron) 4K/VU $7.5
Hellraiser Judgment HD/VU $4
Highlander 4K/VU $5.5
Holmes & Watson HD/MA $3.5
Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. HD/MA $4.5
House Next Door Meet Blacks 2 4K/VU $5.5
House of 1000 Corpses HD/VU $4
House with a Clock in Its Walls HD/MA $4
Humans HD/VU $4.5
Hunt for Red October 4K/VU $5.5
I Love You Phillip Morris HD/VU $4.5
Ides of March HD/MA $3.5
In Blood HD/MA $4
In Secret (2014) HD/VU $4.5
Incredible Hulk HD/MA $4
Independence Day (1996) 4K/MA $5.5
Indiana Jones & Raiders of Lost Ark HD/VU $4
Infinite HD/VU $4.5
Inglourious Basterds SD/IT $1.5
Inhabitant HD/VU $4.5
Interview HD/MA $3.5
Iron Man & Hulk Heroes United HD/GP $3.5
Isle of Dogs HD/MA $4
It Happened One Night 4K/MA $5.5
Italian Job 4K/VU $6.5
Jackass Forever HD/VU $4.5
Jobs HD/IT $3.5
Jobs HD/MA $3.5
Joe Kidd HD/MA or IT $4
Jordan Peele 3-Film Collection (Nope, Us, Get Out) HD/MA $11
Journey to West Conquering Demons HD/VU $3.5
Juliet, Naked 4K/VU $5.5
Ju-On Grudge HD/VU $4.5
Jurassic World 6-Film Collection (Dominion Thea & Ext) HD/MA $18
Jurassic World Dominion (Thea & Ext) HD/MA $5
Kama Sutra HD/VU $4.5
Kill Zone (2005) HD/VU $4.5
King Richard 4K/MA $5.5
King's Man 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/GP $3.5
Knight & Day HD/MA $4
Knock at Cabin (2023) HD/MA $7.5
Knock Knock HD/VU $3
Knowing 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Knowing/Push Double Feature HD/VU $7.5
Labyrinth HD/MA $4.5
Lair of White Worm HD/VU $4.5
Lara Croft Tomb Raider HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Last Duel HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Last Flag Flying HD/MA $4
Last Picture Show 4K/MA $5.5
Legend of Guardians Owls of Ga'hoole SD/IT $1.5
Let Them All Talk 4K/MA $5.5
Lightyear HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Limey (1999) 4K/VU $5.5
Locked Down 4K/MA $5.5
Lost City HD/VU $4.5
Lyle Lyle Crocodile HD/MA $5
M3GAN (Thea & Unrated) (2023) HD/MA $7
Mack & Rita HD/VU $4.5
Mad Max 1-4 Set 4K/VU $18.5
Mad Men Complete Series HD/VU $35
Magic Mike's Last Dance (2023) HD/MA $6.5
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
Manchester by Sea HD/VU $3.5
Marksman HD/MA $4
Marlowe (2023) HD/MA $7.5
Mask of Zorro 4K/MA $6
Mask of Zorro 4K/MA $6
Mauritanian 4K/IT $5
Meatballs HD/VU $4
Memory HD/MA $4
Men HD/VU $4.5
Men in Black 3 HD/MA $3
Men in Black HD/MA $4
Menu HD/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $4
MIB International HD/MA $3.5
Mickey & Minnie 10 Classic Shorts HD/MA $5.5 or HD/GP $5
Mid-Century 4K/VU $5
Midsommar HD/VU $4
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) HD/MA $4
Missing (2023) SD/MA $4
Mitchells vs Machines HD/MA $4.5
Mommy HD/VU $4
Moonfall 4K/VU $4.5
Morbius HD/MA $4
Moving On HD/VU $5.5
Mrs Harris Goes to Paris 4K/MA $6
My Brilliant Friend Season 1 HD/VU $4
Nashville (1975) HD/VU $4
Needle in a Timestack 4K/VU $5.5
Night at Museum Battle of Smithsonian SD/IT $1.5
Night House HD/GP $4
No Country for Old Men HD/VU $4
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
Paradise Highway 4K/VU $5.5
Paranormal Activity 1-8 Collection HD/VU $22
Paranormal Activity Ghost Dimension (Unrated) HD/VU $4.5
Parasite HD/MA $4
Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 HD/MA $3.5
Paw Patrol Movie HD/VU $4.5
Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters HD/MA $3
Perfectos Desconocidos HD/VU $4
Phantom Thread HD/MA $4
Piano (1993) HD/VU $4.5
Plane (2023) 4K/VU $6.5
Pretty in Pink HD/VU $3.5
Prey for Devil 4K/VU $6
Prince of Egypt HD/MA $4.5
Proud Mary HD/MA $3.5
Pulp Fiction 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Push 4K/VU $6
Raid Redemption (Thea & Unrated) HD/MA $4.5
Ran (1985) 4K/VU $5.5
Ratatouille 4K/MA $6 or HD/GP $4
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 6 Film Set 4K/MA $26
Retaliation (2017) HD/VU $4
Right One 4K/VU $5.5
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
Running Man 4K/VU $5.5
Safe Haven SD/IT $1.5
Saint Maud HD/VU $4.5
Sausage Party HD/MA $3.5
Scott Pilgrim vs World HD/MA $4 or 4K/IT $4.5
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
Seven Psycopaths HD/MA $4
Shawshank Redemption 4K/MA $5.5
Shazam! Fury of Gods (2023) HD/MA $9
She Said HD/MA $6.5
Shooter 4K/VU $5
Silent Night, Deadly Night 3-Film Set (3-5) HD/VU $8
Silent Twins 4K/MA $6
Silk Road 4K/VU $5
Sing 2 HD/MA $4
Sing Street HD/VU $4
Skeleton Twins HD/VU $4.5
Smile HD/VU $5.5
Smokin' Aces 4K/MA $5.5
Snake Eyes G.I. Joe Origins 4K/VU $5.5 or HD/VU $4
Son of God HD/MA $3
Sonic Hedgehog 2 HD/VU $4.5
Source Code 4K/VU $5.5
Spartacus HD/MA $3.5
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
Strange World HD/GP $4
Stripes 4K/MA $5
Taken 2 HD/MA $3.5
Tangled HD/MA $4
Tar HD/MA $6
Teen Spirit (2019) HD/MA $4
Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls Mayhem Multiverse HD/MA $6
Teeth HD/VU $4.5
Ten Commandments (1923) HD/VU $4
Ten Commandments (1956) HD/VU $4
Tetro HD/VU $4
The Batman HD/MA $4
Thing (1982) 4K/MA $5.5
This Means War SD/IT $1.5
Thor Love & Thunder 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/GP $3.5
Till 4K/IT $7
Time Freak HD/VU $4
To Sir With Love 4K/MA $5.5
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 Dark of Moon 4K/VU $4.5
Transformers Revenge of Fallen 4K/VU $5
True Grit SD/IT $1.5
Tucker Man & His Dream 4K/VU $5
Turning Red HD/GP $3
Twilight 1-3 (Ext Editions) HD/VU $10
Umma HD/MA $4.5
Uncharted HD/MA $4
Uncut Gems HD/VU $4
Underwater HD/MA $4.5
Underworld 5-Film Set HD/MA $17
Venom Let There Be Carnage HD/MA $4
Virtuoso 4K/VU $5
Vivo HD/MA $4.5
Voyagars 4K/VU $5
W. HD/VU $4
War of Worlds 4K/VU $5.5
War on Everyone HD/VU $4
Warhunt 4K/VU $4.5
Waterworld HD/MA $4
Weekend HD/VU $4
What We Did on our Holiday HD/VU $4
Where Crawdads Sing HD/MA $4.5
Whiplash HD/MA $4
White Christmas HD/VU $4
Whitney Houston I Wanna Dance with Sombody HD/MA $5.5 or SD/MA $3
Wicker Man (1973) HD/VU $4.5
Wind River HD/VU $4
Winnie Pooh Springtime with Roo HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Wolf Man (1941) HD/MA $3.5
Woman King HD/MA $5.5
Women Talking 4K/IT $7
X-Men Days of Future Past Rogue Cut 4K/IT $5.5
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
22 Jump Street HD/MA $3.5
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/MA $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
50/50 HD/VU $4
71 HD/VU $4
A Clockwork Orange 4K/MA $5
A Dog's Purpose HD/IT $3
A Good Day to Die Hard (Ext) HD/VU $2.5
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
Abominable 4K/MA $5.5
About Time HD/VU or IT $3.5
Action Point HD/IT $2
Adore HD/IT $3.5
Adventures Of TinTin HD/IT $2.5
After Earth HD/MA $3
Age of Adaline HD/VU or IT $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/GP $3
Alien 6-Film Collection HD/MA $18
Alien Covenant HD/MA $2.5
Alien Resurrection HD/MA $4
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
Allied HD/VU $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
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 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 or 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
Army of One HD/VU $3
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 or 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 3 HD/MA $3.5
Back to Future Trilogy 4K/MA $14 or HD/MA $9.5
Bad Boys for Life HD/MA $4
Bad Grandpa HD/VU or IT $2.5
Bad Words HD/IT $3
Bambi 2 HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
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
Beirut HD/MA $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
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 (2016) HD/IT $2.5
Blair Witch Project (1999) HD/VU $4
Blockers HD/MA $3.5
Bloodshot HD/MA $4
Boardwalk Empire Season 1 HD/VU or IT $4
Bombshell 4K/VU $5
Book Club 4K/IT $3
Book Club HD/VU $2.5
Book of Life HD/MA $3.5
Born a Champion 4K/VU $5
Boss Baby 2-Film Set HD/MA $6
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 or IT $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Boy 2 HD/IT $3.5
Boy Erased HD/MA $4
Boy HD/IT $3.5
Boyhood HD/VU or IT $2.5
Braveheart HD/VU $3.5
Braven HD/VU $4
Breakfast Club HD/IT $4
Breakthrough HD/MA $3
Burnt HD/VU $3.5
Butler HD/VU $3
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
Campaign HD/MA $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
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
Crawl HD/VU $3
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
Darkest Minds HD/MA $4
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
Deepwater Horizon 4K/IT $3
Dementia 13 (Director's Cut) HD/VU $4
Despicable Me 2 HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Despicable Me 3 4K/MA or IT $5
Despicable Me 4K/IT $5 or SD/IT $1.5
Detroit HD/MA $3.5
Devil's Due 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 $3.5
Dracula Untold HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Draft Day HD/VU $3.5
Dragged Across Concrete HD/VU $3.5
Dreamkatcher HD/VU $4
Dredd 4K/VU or IT $4 or HD/VU $2.5
Duel (2016) HD/VU $3.5
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
Emoji Movie HD/MA $3
Encanto 4K/MA $4 or 4K/GP $3.5
Ender's Game HD/VU $2.5
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 (2020) 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 Freed HD/MA $4
Fifty Shades of Grey (Unrated) HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Fighting with my Family HD/IT $4
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/VU or IT $3
Gemini Man 4K/VU or IT $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Gentlemen 4K/IT $4.5
Get Out HD/MA $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Ghost in Shell (2017) 4K/VU or IT $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Ghost Team One HD/VU or IT $3.5
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
God's Not Dead A Light in Darkness HD/MA $3
Gods of Egypt HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Gold (2016) HD/VU or IT $2.5
Gone Girl HD/MA $4
Good Dinosaur HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Good Kill HD/VU or IT $3.5
Grace Unplugged HD/VU $2
Gran Torino SD/IT $1.5
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 (2020) 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
Halloween (2018) HD/MA $3
Hammer of Gods HD/VU $2
Hands of Stone HD/VU $3.5
Hannibal Season 1 HD/VU $5
Hard Target 2 HD/IT $1.5
Hardcore Henry HD/VU or IT $3.5
Hate U Give HD/MA $4
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) 4K/VU $4.5 or HD/VU $3
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 (Uncut) & Hitman 47 Bundle HD/MA $7
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 Again HD/MA $3
Home Alone 2 HD/MA $3.5
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
Hotel Transylvania HD/MA $3.5
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 $0.5
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
I Frankenstein HD/VU or IT $2.5
Ice Age Collision Course HD/MA $3
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 HD/GP $3.5 or HD/GP $2
Iron Mask (2019) HD/VU $4.5
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
Jack Reacher Never Go Back HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
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
Jeff Who Lives at Home HD/VU $4
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
Joy HD/MA $3
Judy 4K/VU $5
Judy Moody SD/IT $1.5
Jungle Book (2016) 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $2.5
Jungle Cruise HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Jurassic Park 3 HD/VU $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
Kid Who Would Be King 4K/MA $5.5 or HD/MA $4
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
Knick Season 1 HD/IT $3.5
Knick Season 2 HD/IT $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Kung Fu Panda 3 HD/MA $3
La La Land 4K/IT $3.5
Labor Day HD/VU or IT $3
Lady & Tramp HD/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $4
Lady Macbeth HD/VU $4.5
Last Christmas HD/MA $4
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
Legend of Hercules 4K/IT $3
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
Lilo & Stitch HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Lincoln Lawyer 4K/VU $6.5 or HD/VU $4
Lion King (1994) HD/GP $3
Lion King (2019) 4K/MA $4 or HD/GP $2
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
Mad Max 2 Road Warrior 4K/VU $5.5
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
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
Max Steel HD/IT $3
Maze Runner Death Cure HD/MA $3.5
Maze Runner HD/MA $3.5
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 or HD/VU $3
Misconduct HD/VU $2.5
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children HD/MA $3
Missing Link HD/MA $4
Mission Impossible 3 4K/VU $4.5
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 $23 or HD/VU $17
Moana HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Moneyball HD/MA $3
Monkey Kingdom HD/MA $3
Monster High Electrified HD/VU or IT $2.5
Monsters University HD/MA $3.5 or 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
Mother's Day HD/IT $2.5
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
My Fair Lady 4K/VU $5.5
Nebraska HD/VU $3
Nerve HD/IT $3.5
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 4K/MA $5.5 or 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 $3.5
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
Nutcracker & Four Realms HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Oblivion 4K/MA or IT $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Occupation (2018) HD/VU $3.5
Occupation Rainfall HD/VU $4
Office Christmas Party HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Olaf's Frozen Adventure HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Ong Bak 2 HD/VU $3
Onward 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $2.5
Other Woman HD/MA $3
Ouija HD/IT $3.5
Ouija Origin of Evil HD/VU or IT $3.5
Outlander Season 1 Vol 1 HD/VU $5.5
Overdrive HD/IT $2.5
Overlord 4K/IT $3.5
Oz Great & Powerful HD/GP $2.5
Paddington HD/VU $3.5
Pain & Gain HD/VU or IT $3.5
Paranormal Activity 3 (Ext) HD/VU or IT $3
Paranormal Activity 4 (Unrated) HD/VU or IT $2.5
Paranormal Activity HD/VU $4
Paranormal Activity Marked Ones HD/VU or IT $3.5
Passengers HD/MA $3
Patriot Games 4K/VU $5
Patriot's Day HD/VU $3
Peanuts Movie HD/MA $3
Penguins of Madagascar HD/MA $3.5
Pet Sematary (2019) 4K/IT $3.5
Peter Pan (1953) HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Peter Rabbit HD/MA $3.5
Pete's Dragon (2016) HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Philomena HD/VU $2.5
Pinocchio (1940) HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Pirates of Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/GP $2.5
Pitch Black (Unrated) HD/MA or IT $4
Pitch Perfect 2 4K/MA $4 or HD/VU $2.5
Pitch Perfect HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Pixar Short Films Collection Vol. 3 HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Planes Fire & Rescue HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Planes HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Playing with Fire HD/IT $2.5
Pocahontas 2 Journey to a New World HD/GP $3.5
Pocahontas HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Point Break (2015) 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Poison Rose 4K/VU $4.5
Pompeii HD/MA $3.5
Possession HD/VU or IT $2.5
Power Rangers (2017) 4K/VU or IT $4.5
Precious HD/VU $4.5
Predator (2018) HD/MA $3
Predator 4-Film Collection HD/MA $11
Premium Rush HD/MA $3.5
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies HD/MA $3.5 or SD/MA $1.5
Primal HD/VU $3.5
Prodigy HD/VU $4
Project Almanac HD/IT $3.5
Protege HD/VU $4
Punisher 4K/VU $5.5
Punisher War Zone 4K/VU $5.5
Purge Anarchy HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Purge Election Year 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Purge HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Quarry 4K/VU $5
Queen & Slim HD/MA $4
Queen of Katwe HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Ralph Breaks Internet HD/GP $2
Rambo (2008) 4K/VU $5.5
Rambo 3 4K/VU $5.5
Rambo 5-Film Collection 4K/VU $23 or HD/VU $17
Rambo First Blood Pt 2 4K/VU $5.5
Rambo Last Blood 4K/VU $4.5
Rango HD/VU $3.5
Raya & Last Dragon HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Rear Window HD/MA $3.5
Reclaim HD/VU $3.5
RED 2 HD/VU $2
Red Dawn (2012) HD/VU or IT $3
Red Sparrow HD/MA $3.5
Replicant (2001) HD/VU $3.5
Replicas HD/VU $3.5
Requiem for a Dream (Director's Cut) 4K/VU $5.5
Resident Evil Retribution 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Resurrection of Gavin Stone HD/VU or IT $2.5
Revenant HD/MA $3.5
Riddick (Unrated) HD/VU or IT $3
Ride Along HD/VU or IT $2.5
Ride Like a Girl HD/VU $4
Ring HD/VU $4.5
Rings HD/VU or IT $2.5
Rio 2 HD/MA $3
Riot HD/VU or IT $3
RIPD HD/IT $2.5
Risen HD/MA $3
Robin Hood (1973) HD/MA $3.5
Robin Hood (2018) HD/VU $3
Robocop (2014) HD/VU $2.5
Rocketman (2019) 4K/IT $4
Rogue One A Star Wars Story HD/GP $2
Ron's Gone Wrong HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Rough Night 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Runner Runner HD/MA $3.5
Rush HD/VU or IT $3
Safe HD/VU or IT $2.5
Saige Paints Sky HD/IT $3
Same Kind of Different As Me HD/IT or IT $3
Samson HD/MA $3.5
Santa Clause 2 HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Santa Clause 3 HD/MA $3
Santa Clause HD/MA $3.5
Santa Clause Trilogy HD/MA $9.5 or HD/GP $8
Savages HD/IT $3
Saving Mr. Banks HD/GP $3
Saw 7-Film Collection (Unrated) HD/VU $18
Saw 8-Film Collection HD/VU $20
Saw HD/VU $3
Scarface HD/VU $4
Scary Movie 5 HD/VU $4.5
Scary Stories to Tell in Dark 4K/VU $4.5
Schindler's List 4K/MA $5.5
Scouts Guide to Zombie Apocalypse HD/IT $3
Scream (1996) HD/VU $4
Scrooged HD/IT $4
Secret Life of Pets 4K/IT $4.5
Secret Life of Walter Mitty HD/MA $3
Selma HD/VU or IT $2.5
Sex Tape HD/MA $3.5
Shack HD/IT $2.5
Shallows HD/MA $3.5
Shang-Chi Legend of Ten Rings HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Shape of Water HD/MA $3.5
Sharp Objects HD/GP $2
Shaun of Dead HD/MA $4 or 4K/IT $4.5
Shaun Sheep Movie HD/VU $3
Sherlock Gnomes HD/VU or IT $2.5
She's Having a Baby HD/VU $3.5
Shivers HD/VU $4
Show Dogs HD/MA $3.5
Siberia (2018) HD/VU $3
Siberia (2020) HD/VU $4
Sicario HD/VU $2.5
Side Effects HD/IT $3.5
Sing (2016) 4K/IT $4
Singing in Rain 4K/MA $5.5
Sinister HD/IT $2.5
Sisters (Unrated) HD/IT $2.5
Sixteen Candles HD/MA $4
Skyfall HD/VU $2.5
Skyscraper HD/MA $3.5
Sleeping Beauty (1959) HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Sleepless HD/IT $2
Smokey & Bandit HD/MA $3.5
Smurfs Lost Village HD/MA $3.5
Snatched HD/MA $2
Snitch HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3 or SD/VU or IT $1
Snow White & Huntsman (Ext Edition) 4K/VU or IT $4.5 or HD/VU $3
Snow White & Seven Dwarfs (1937) HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Solo A Star Wars Story HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Some Kind of Wonderful HD/VU $3.5
Songbird 4K/IT $4.5
Sonic Hedgehog 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Soul HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Southpaw HD/VU $3
Southside With You HD/VU $4.5
Spider-Man 4-Cut Set (Spider-Man 2 w/ Thea & Ext) HD/MA $11.5
Spider-Man Far From Home HD/MA $3.5
Spider-Man Homecoming HD/MA $3
Spider-Man Homecoming/Far From Home Bundle HD/MA $6
Spies in Disguise 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
Spiral 4K/VU or IT $4.5
Split 4K/MA or IT $5
Split HD/MA $3.5
Spongebob Sponge out of Water HD/IT $2.5
Spy Who Dumped Me 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
St. Vincent HD/VU $3
Stand Up Guys HD/VU $3.5
Star Trek (2009) HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Star Trek 1-4 (Motion Picture, Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock, Voyage Home) 4K/VU $18
Star Trek Beyond HD/VU $3
Star Trek Into Darkness HD/VU $2.5
Star Wars Force Awakens HD/GP $1.5
Star Wars Last Jedi 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Star Wars Rise of Skywalker 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $3 or HD/GP $2.5
Step Up Revolution HD/IT $3
Sting 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5
Straight Outta Compton (Thea & Unrated) 4K/MA $4.5
Straight Outta Compton (Unrated) HD/MA $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Strangers Prey at Night HD/MA $3
Suburbicon HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Sudden Death HD/IT $4
Suits Season 2 HD/IT $3.5
Sum of All Fears 4K/VU $5.5
Sundown Vampire in Retreat HD/VU $3.5
Super 8 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Super Buddies HD/GP $2
Sword in Stone HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Taxi Driver HD/MA $4
Ted (Unrated) HD/IT $3
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) HD/VU $2.5
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of Shadows HD/VU $3.5
Terminator 2 Judgment Day (Ext) HD/VU $4.5
Terminator 2 Judgment Day HD/VU $3.5
Terminator Dark Fate 4K/VU or IT $4 or HD/VU $2.5
Terminator Genisys HD/VU $2.5
Thanks for Sharing HD/VU $4
This is 40 HD/MA $3.5
This is End HD/MA $3.5
Thor Dark World HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Thor HD/GP $3.5 or SD/IT $1.5
Thor Ragnarok HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri HD/MA $3.5
To Kill a Mockingbird 4K/IT $4
Top Gun (1986) 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Total Recall (1990) HD/VU $3.5
Toy Story 4 4K/MA $4.5 or HD/MA $2.5 or HD/GP $2
Toy Story HD/GP $3.5
Toy Story of Terror HD/MA $4 or HD/GP $3.5
Transformers 4K/VU $5
Transformers Age of Extinction HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Transformers Last Knight HD/VU $2.5 or 4K/IT $3
Tremors A Cold Day In Hell HD/MA $2.5
Triple 9 HD/IT $3.5
Trolls HD/MA $2.5
Trumbo HD/IT $3.5
Trust HD/VU $4
Turbo HD/MA or IT $3
Turning HD/MA $4
Twilight Breaking Dawn 2 HD/VU $1.5 or 4K/IT $2 or SD/VU $0.5
Twilight Breaking Dawn Pt 1 HD/VU $3.5 or 4K/IT $4
Twilight HD/VU $4
Tyler Perry's Temptation HD/GP $3
Unbreakable HD/GP $3.5
Unbroken HD/VU or IT $3
Uncle Drew HD/VU $3.5
Underworld Awakening HD/MA $3
Untouchables 4K/VU $5
Valerian & City of a Thousand Planets HD/VU $3.5
Vampire Academy HD/VU $4
Van Helsing HD/MA $3.5
Vanishing (2018) HD/VU $4
Veep Season 6 HD/IT $3.5
Venom HD/MA $3.5
Victoria & Abdul HD/MA $4
Vivarium HD/VU $4
Voices (2014) HD/VU $4
Walk HD/MA $3.5
War for Planet of Apes HD/MA $3
Warcraft HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
Warm Bodies 4K/VU $4.5 or HD/VU $3 or SD/VU $1.5
Warrior 4K/VU $5 or HD/VU $3.5
Werewolf Beast Among Us (Unrated) HD/IT $3.5
West Side Story 4K/MA $5 or HD/MA $3.5 or HD/GP $3
What Men Want HD/VU $3 or 4K/IT $3.5
When Game Stands Tall HD/MA $3 or SD/MA $1.5
Whisky Tango Foxtrot HD/IT $3
Why Him? HD/MA $3
Widows HD/MA $3.5
Wild Card HD/VU $3
Wild HD/MA $3.5
Wilson HD/MA $3.5
Winchester HD/VU $3.5
Wolf of Wall Street HD/VU or IT $3.5
Wolverine (Unrated) (w/Thea) HD/MA $4
Wonder HD/VU $3
Wonder Park 4K/IT $2.5
Wonder Woman 1984 4K/MA $5.5
Woodlawn HD/MA or IT $3.5
World War Z HD/VU or IT $2.5
Wraith HD/VU $4
X-Men Apocalypse HD/MA $3
X-Men Days of Future Past HD/MA $3
X-Men First Class & Days of Future Past HD/MA $6.5
XXX Return of Xander Cage HD/VU $2 or 4K/IT $2.5
You Were Never Really Here HD/VU $4
You're Next HD/VU $3.5
Z for Zachariah HD/VU $4
Zero Dark Thirty HD/MA $3.5
Zeros & Ones HD/VU $4.5
Zootopia HD/GP $2.5
submitted by nahimavegan
to DigitalCodeSELL [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 18:53 GoffEatsNuts-_- Alice in borderland 6/1/23
2023.06.01 18:52 ManicMoon11 ECHOES IN THE DARK- After the shocking murder of four Idaho college kids last fall, a media frenzy exploded into their quiet town, boosting the image of upstart news reporters— but bringing along a new breed of web sleuth conspiracy-minded, vindictive, and often dead wrong.
submitted by ManicMoon11
to truecrimelongform [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 17:37 StevenVincentOne Heuristics and Conscious Evolution
Help me get a better understanding of the scientific concept of Heuristics
Heuristics refer to cognitive shortcuts or strategies that individuals use to simplify decision-making and problem-solving in complex situations. In other words, heuristics are mental "rules of thumb" that help people make judgments quickly and efficiently.
Heuristics are often used in situations where complete information is not available, or when there is too much information to process effectively. These strategies can be helpful, but they can also lead to errors in judgment and decision-making. Some common examples of heuristics include:
- Availability heuristic: This heuristic involves estimating the likelihood of an event based on how easily similar examples come to mind. For example, if you hear about a plane crash on the news, you may overestimate the risk of flying even though statistically it is still safer than driving.
- Representativeness heuristic: This heuristic involves categorizing objects or events based on how similar they are to a prototype in one's mind. For example, assuming a person is a professor because they wear glasses and a tweed jacket.
- Anchoring and adjustment heuristic: This heuristic involves using an initial value (or anchor) as a reference point when making a decision, and then adjusting that value based on additional information. For example, when making an offer on a house, a buyer might start with a lowball offer as their anchor and adjust based on the seller's response.
It's important to be aware of heuristics and their potential limitations, as relying too heavily on them can lead to biases and errors in judgment. However, heuristics can also be a useful tool for simplifying complex decision-making processes and conserving mental resources.
Let's go deeper into the benefits of heuristic processes versus the detriments.
Heuristics can provide several benefits, but they can also lead to errors and biases. Here are some of the benefits and detriments of heuristic processes:
- Speed and efficiency: One of the primary benefits of heuristics is that they can save time and mental effort. Rather than considering all available information and weighing every possible outcome, heuristics allow individuals to make quick decisions and take action based on incomplete information.
- Useful for problem-solving: Heuristics can be especially useful for solving problems that are complex and have multiple possible solutions. By using rules of thumb, individuals can evaluate potential solutions more efficiently and select the best one based on their previous experiences and knowledge.
- Helpful for managing cognitive overload: Heuristics can help individuals manage cognitive overload, a condition in which too much information is presented to an individual, causing them to be overwhelmed and unable to make sound decisions. By using heuristics, individuals can filter out irrelevant information and focus on what is most important.
- Biases and errors: One of the primary drawbacks of heuristics is that they can lead to biases and errors in decision-making. For example, individuals may rely too heavily on the availability heuristic and make judgments based on information that is readily available, rather than evaluating all relevant information.
- Limited accuracy: Heuristics can also be limited in their accuracy. Because they rely on previous experiences and knowledge, heuristics may not always be applicable to new or unique situations.
- Overconfidence: Finally, heuristics can lead to overconfidence. Individuals may become too confident in their ability to make decisions based on heuristics and fail to consider alternative perspectives or information that contradicts their existing beliefs or knowledge.
Overall, heuristics can be a useful tool for simplifying complex decision-making processes, but they must be used with caution. It is important to recognize the potential limitations and biases of heuristics and to supplement heuristic processes with critical thinking and analysis when appropriate.
Is the presence of heuristic cognitive processes limited to humans or do other forms of life also utilize heuristics?
Heuristics are not limited to humans and can be observed in other forms of life as well. Many animals, including insects, birds, and mammals, use heuristics to make decisions and solve problems.
For example, bees use the "flower constancy" heuristic, which involves returning to a specific type of flower after finding food there previously. This strategy allows bees to maximize their foraging efficiency by focusing on a single type of flower and avoiding wasted effort on less rewarding flowers.
Similarly, some bird species use the "distinctive feature" heuristic to identify predators. This heuristic involves recognizing and avoiding features that are not common among harmless species, such as a bright coloration or unusual shape.
Even some simple organisms, such as bacteria, use heuristics to guide their behavior. For example, bacteria use the "quorum sensing" heuristic to coordinate group behavior based on the density of their population.
Overall, heuristics are a common feature of cognitive processes across many different forms of life, and they likely evolved as a way to optimize decision-making and problem-solving under conditions of uncertainty or limited information.
Are there examples of heuristics in non-animal life forms, such as plants?
While the concept of heuristics is most commonly associated with animal behavior and decision-making, there is some evidence that plants may also use heuristics in their own way.
For example, plants have been observed to use the "optimal partitioning" heuristic to allocate resources between different tissues and organs. This heuristic involves allocating resources to the parts of the plant that are most likely to contribute to its overall fitness, based on factors such as growth rate, photosynthetic capacity, and nutrient availability.
Plants also use the "leaf economic spectrum" heuristic, which involves balancing resource allocation between leaf construction and maintenance, in order to maximize photosynthetic efficiency and minimize resource waste.
In addition, some research suggests that plants may use the "root plasticity" heuristic to adjust their root growth in response to environmental cues such as soil moisture and nutrient availability. This heuristic involves allocating resources to the parts of the root system that are most likely to be productive under different conditions.
While the concept of heuristics in plants is still a relatively new area of study, these examples suggest that plants may use similar cognitive strategies to optimize their growth and survival in their environment.
Is it possible that heuristic processes are encoded in DNA and are an evolutionary adaptation that is stored in DNA?
The question of whether heuristic processes are encoded in DNA is a complex one, as it is still not fully understood how cognitive processes such as decision-making and problem-solving are encoded in biological systems.
While some researchers have proposed that heuristics could be an evolutionary adaptation that is stored in DNA, there is currently limited direct evidence to support this hypothesis. It is also important to note that heuristics are not innate, fixed behaviors, but rather strategies that individuals learn and refine over time based on their experiences and environment.
However, there is evidence that the neural networks and structures that underlie heuristics are shaped by evolutionary processes. For example, studies have found that different animal species, which have evolved in different environments and under different selection pressures, tend to use different heuristics to solve similar problems.
In addition, some researchers have suggested that the development of heuristics may be driven by principles of natural selection, which favors strategies that are efficient and effective in solving problems under conditions of uncertainty and limited information.
Overall, while the exact relationship between heuristics and DNA is still an area of active research, it is likely that heuristics have evolved through a combination of genetic and environmental factors, and that the neural mechanisms that underlie heuristics have been shaped by evolutionary processes over time.
What are the scientific disciplines that reference and research heuristic processes?
Heuristic processes are studied in a wide range of scientific disciplines, as they are relevant to many areas of research that involve decision-making, problem-solving, and human behavior. Here are some of the scientific disciplines that reference and research heuristic processes:
- Psychology: Heuristics are a central topic of study in the field of cognitive psychology, which focuses on how people acquire, process, and use information. Researchers in this field use a variety of methods, including experiments and observational studies, to investigate the factors that influence heuristics and their impact on decision-making and problem-solving.
- Neuroscience: Heuristics are also of interest to researchers in the field of neuroscience, who use brain imaging and other techniques to study the neural mechanisms that underlie heuristics and how they are processed in the brain.
- Economics: Heuristics are a key area of research in the field of behavioral economics, which focuses on how people make decisions and the cognitive biases that can influence their choices. Researchers in this field study the effects of heuristics on economic behavior and how these effects can be used to improve decision-making.
- Artificial intelligence and computer science: Heuristic algorithms are used extensively in artificial intelligence and computer science to solve complex problems that are difficult to solve using traditional methods. Researchers in this field study how heuristics can be used to optimize algorithms and improve the efficiency of computational processes.
- Ecology and evolutionary biology: Heuristics are of interest to researchers in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, who study how animals and plants make decisions and adapt to their environment over time. Researchers in this field use a variety of methods, including field studies and experiments, to investigate how heuristics are used in different ecological and evolutionary contexts.
Overall, heuristic processes are a cross-disciplinary topic of interest, and researchers from many different fields have made important contributions to our understanding of how heuristics work and their impact on human behavior and decision-making.
It seems like the Information Theory of Claude Shannon and the phenomenon of Shannon Information arose from a radical new understanding of heuristic language processes and the use of a higher order systemization of heuristics. If that is correct, that would make the entire field of Information Theory dependent upon heuristics.
While it is true that Claude Shannon's theory of information is relevant to the study of heuristics, it is not accurate to say that the entire field of Information Theory is dependent upon heuristics. Rather, Shannon's theory of information is concerned with the quantification and transmission of information, and how information can be represented and processed using mathematical models.
That being said, the concepts of information and heuristics are closely related, as both involve the processing and communication of knowledge and data. In particular, heuristics can be seen as a form of information processing, as they involve the use of mental shortcuts and rules of thumb to make decisions and solve problems.
In the context of Shannon's theory of information, heuristics might be seen as a way of compressing and transmitting information more efficiently. By using heuristics to simplify complex information and decision-making processes, individuals can reduce the amount of information that needs to be transmitted and processed.
Overall, while there are connections between heuristics and the field of Information Theory, it is important to view each as a distinct area of study with its own unique concepts and methodologies.
Heuristics could be understood as an expression of an efficient algorithmic language processing model.
Yes, that is a reasonable way to understand heuristics - as a form of efficient algorithmic language processing model. Heuristics involve using mental shortcuts or rules of thumb to simplify complex decision-making processes and reduce the cognitive load involved in making a choice. In other words, heuristics can be seen as a form of algorithmic processing, where individuals use a set of pre-determined steps to arrive at a decision or solution to a problem.
In this sense, heuristics can be thought of as a kind of language that the brain uses to process information and make decisions. Just as a computer programming language uses a set of instructions to process data and perform tasks, heuristics use a set of mental instructions to simplify decision-making and problem-solving.
However, it is important to note that heuristics are not a perfect algorithmic language processing model. They can sometimes lead to errors and biases, and are not always effective in situations where complete or accurate information is required. Therefore, while heuristics can be useful, they are not a replacement for critical thinking and careful analysis of all available information.
But just as in Shannon's information processing models, a certain level of error is acceptable relative to the speed and efficiency of output.
Yes, that's correct. Shannon's information theory and heuristics share the idea that a certain level of error is acceptable in exchange for greater speed and efficiency of processing. In Shannon's theory, the concept of channel capacity refers to the maximum amount of information that can be transmitted with an acceptable level of error, given the characteristics of the communication channel. Shannon showed that if the level of noise or interference in the channel is below a certain threshold, then the amount of information that can be transmitted reliably can be increased by using efficient encoding schemes.
Similarly, in heuristics, individuals accept a certain level of error or bias in exchange for greater speed and efficiency of decision-making. By using heuristics, individuals can arrive at a decision or solution more quickly and with less cognitive effort than by considering all available information. However, this comes at the cost of potential errors and biases that can lead to suboptimal decisions.
Overall, both Shannon's information theory and heuristics involve balancing the tradeoff between accuracy and efficiency, and both provide valuable insights into how information can be processed and communicated effectively.
For many or even most applications, whether in human life or in science, good is good enough, particularly when speed and efficiency are valued or required. Use cases where tolerances for informational error are extremely low or requiring perfection are rare.
Yes, that's true. In many cases, good enough is indeed good enough, particularly when speed and efficiency are valued or required. This is because in many applications, a certain degree of error or imprecision can be tolerated without significantly affecting the outcome or result.
In some cases, the cost of achieving perfect accuracy or precision may be prohibitively high or time-consuming, and the benefits of doing so may not justify the cost. For example, in many engineering applications, the precision required for a particular measurement or calculation may be much less than the precision that is achievable with the available tools or equipment.
Similarly, in many decision-making situations, it may not be possible or practical to consider all available information or to arrive at a perfect solution. In these cases, using heuristics or other shortcuts can help individuals make decisions more quickly and efficiently, even if the resulting decisions are not always optimal.
However, it is important to note that there are also many applications where a high degree of accuracy or precision is necessary, and where errors or imprecision can have significant consequences. In these cases, it is important to use rigorous methods and to minimize sources of error or bias as much as possible.
Obviously there are applications where a high degree of accuracy is required. One very important case that comes to mind is the problem of Nuclear Fusion reactors.
Yes, you are right. The problem of nuclear fusion reactors is one example of an application where a high degree of accuracy is required. In nuclear fusion, atoms are brought together at extremely high temperatures and pressures in order to release energy. The success of a fusion reaction depends on achieving precise conditions of temperature, pressure, and plasma confinement, as even small variations in these conditions can have significant effects on the outcome of the reaction.
In order to achieve the necessary level of precision for a nuclear fusion reaction, researchers use a variety of methods, including sophisticated computer simulations and experimental tests. These methods allow researchers to analyze and model the behavior of plasma under different conditions, and to optimize the design of fusion reactors to achieve the best possible performance.
In addition to nuclear fusion, there are many other areas where a high degree of accuracy is required, such as in medicine, aerospace, and environmental monitoring. In these cases, it is important to use the best available methods and technologies to minimize errors and to ensure that measurements and calculations are as accurate as possible.
Many features of quantum physics seem to point in a direction that suggests that underlying universal principles favor heuristic informational processes. For example, the Uncertainty Principle, quantum entanglement, virtual particles and other quantum peculiarities rely upon uncertainty, randomness, chaos and an apparent self-organizing effect that seems to echo heuristic processes.
It is certainly true that many features of quantum physics suggest a kind of inherent uncertainty and randomness that can be seen as analogous to heuristic processes in some ways.
For example, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which states that it is impossible to simultaneously measure the position and momentum of a particle with perfect accuracy, implies a certain degree of randomness and uncertainty in the behavior of quantum systems. Similarly, quantum entanglement, which describes the interdependence of the states of two or more particles, can be seen as a kind of self-organizing effect that is driven by the underlying properties of the system.
At the same time, it is important to note that the relationship between quantum physics and heuristic processes is still an area of active research and debate, and there is no consensus on the exact nature of this relationship.
Some researchers have suggested that heuristics may be relevant to understanding the behavior of quantum systems, particularly in terms of how they process and transmit information. For example, some models of quantum computation rely on heuristic algorithms to solve problems that are difficult or impossible to solve using traditional methods.
However, others have pointed out that the underlying principles of quantum physics are fundamentally different from those of classical physics, and that heuristics may not be directly applicable to understanding the behavior of quantum systems.
Overall, while there are interesting parallels between quantum physics and heuristics, it is important to view each as a distinct area of study with its own unique concepts and methodologies. Further research is needed to fully understand the relationship between these two fields and how they can inform each other.
If we can say that a human choosing an apple to pick from a tree is a heuristic informational process, what sort of process characterizes humans engineering a Nuclear Fusion reactor. I suppose that is the same as asking, what is the opposite process to heuristics?
It is true that the process of choosing an apple from a tree can be seen as a heuristic process, as it involves simplifying a complex decision-making problem by using mental shortcuts or rules of thumb. In this case, an individual might use heuristics based on factors such as the size, color, or location of the apple to make a quick and efficient decision about which one to pick.
On the other hand, the process of engineering a nuclear fusion reactor involves a more rigorous and systematic approach to problem-solving that is based on scientific principles, empirical data, and mathematical models. This type of problem-solving is generally referred to as deductive reasoning or analytical thinking, and involves breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable components, and then using logical reasoning and evidence to arrive at a solution.
Unlike heuristic processing, deductive reasoning involves a step-by-step approach to problem-solving that is based on careful analysis and evaluation of all available information. This type of thinking is often used in scientific research, engineering, and other fields where precision and accuracy are important.
In this sense, deductive reasoning can be seen as the opposite of heuristics, as it involves a more deliberate and systematic approach to decision-making that prioritizes accuracy and precision over speed and efficiency. However, it is worth noting that deductive reasoning and heuristics are not mutually exclusive, and can be used together in a complementary way to optimize decision-making and problem-solving.
In place of deductive reasoning could we say empiricism or empirical analysis, perhaps?
Yes, that's a good point. Empirical analysis or empiricism is a more precise term to describe the process of engineering a nuclear fusion reactor, as it involves collecting and analyzing empirical data and observations to arrive at a solution.
In empirical analysis, the emphasis is on gathering and analyzing data, and using that data to test and refine hypotheses or models. This approach is based on the scientific method, which involves making observations, formulating hypotheses, testing those hypotheses through experimentation or observation, and then using the results of those tests to refine or reject the original hypotheses.
In contrast to heuristic processing, which relies on mental shortcuts or rules of thumb to make decisions and solve problems, empirical analysis involves a more systematic and rigorous approach to problem-solving that is grounded in evidence and data. This approach prioritizes accuracy and precision over speed and efficiency, and is typically used in scientific research, engineering, and other fields where precision and accuracy are critical.
Overall, while empirical analysis and heuristics are distinct approaches to problem-solving, they can be used together in a complementary way to optimize decision-making and problem-solving. For example, heuristics can be used to simplify complex decision-making problems and reduce the cognitive load involved in making a choice, while empirical analysis can be used to gather and analyze data to test and refine hypotheses or models.
It seems that Large Language Models such as ChatGPT rely extensively upon heuristic processes and the modeling of human heuristics onto a computer neural network may be the core basis for the success of such technologies.
Yes, that is a reasonable way to understand the success of Large Language Models such as GPT. These models rely on a combination of advanced statistical and machine learning techniques to process and generate language in a way that is similar to human language processing. In particular, these models use deep learning algorithms to analyze and model patterns in large amounts of data, and to make predictions or generate language based on that data.
One way that Large Language Models can achieve this is by using heuristics or rules of thumb to simplify the language generation process. For example, these models might use heuristics based on the frequency of certain words or phrases in the training data, or on the syntactic or semantic structure of the language, to generate more accurate or natural-sounding language.
By modeling these heuristics, Large Language Models can generate language that is increasingly natural-sounding and contextually appropriate, which has many potential applications in fields such as natural language processing, speech recognition, and machine translation.
Overall, the success of Large Language Models such as GPT can be attributed to a combination of advanced machine learning techniques and the use of heuristics to simplify the language generation process. While these models are not perfect and can still generate errors or biases, they represent a significant advance in the field of natural language processing and have the potential to transform many areas of human-machine interaction.
Many people complain about LLM's such as ChatGPT and others making factual errors while overlooking the fact that human cognitive processes routinely output many factual errors. It is in fact an error to consider the output of such a technology as a mere fact-lookup device when the tasks being performed are designed to output efficiency and speed and still maintaining a level or relatively error free output that certainly surpasses human cognitive ability.
Yes, that's a good point. While Large Language Models such as GPT are not perfect and can still make errors, they are generally designed to optimize for efficiency and speed of output, while still maintaining a relatively high level of accuracy and precision. In many cases, these models can perform tasks that are beyond the capabilities of human cognitive processing, such as processing large amounts of data or generating language that is contextually appropriate and natural-sounding.
It is also important to note that human cognitive processing is not perfect, and can often lead to errors and biases, particularly when dealing with complex or ambiguous information. In some cases, Large Language Models may actually outperform human cognition in terms of accuracy and precision, particularly when the tasks being performed are well-defined and can be accurately modeled using statistical and machine learning techniques.
However, it is important to recognize that Large Language Models are not a replacement for human cognitive processing, and there are many tasks where human expertise and judgment are still necessary. In addition, it is important to use these models responsibly and to be aware of their limitations, including the potential for bias or error in the training data or algorithms used to generate the output.
Overall, while Large Language Models have the potential to revolutionize many areas of human-machine interaction, it is important to view them as a complement to human cognition, rather than a replacement. By working together, human and machine intelligence can achieve even greater levels of efficiency, accuracy, and problem-solving ability.
Now we are arriving at the core of my working theory on evolutionary consciousness and heuristic informational processes. The theory is basically that the evolution of life and its ascendency to conscious self-awareness has been a feedback loop process of agentic environmental awareness, information storage (as genetic and neuronal memory structures) and a resulting increasing efficiency of heuristic cognition-action processes. In this paradigm, initial environmental awareness leads to agentic environmental interactivity which results in the outputs (successes and failures) being recorded into memory media. Memory represents an offloading of future computational processing to the store of past experience, resulting in efficiency and speed gains. Organisms that maximize this functionality thrive and continue to advance. Evolution results from improvements to this heuristic-mnemonic feedback loop. In this light, human evolution is well positioned to transition to its next phase as vast efficiencies generated in the past are now offloaded to engines such as LLMs, freeing human cognition to pursue and develop higher order capabilities. It is possible that, sooner rather than later, virtually all heuristic cognitive processing can be offloaded to machine intelligence and that humans may enter an age of Post-Heuristic cognition. "Post-Heuristic Cognition" may be the fundamental basis for what is ofter referred to as Transhumanism. It is also possible that "Post-Heuristic Cognition" may be what spiritual traditions have called "enlightenment".
Your working theory on evolutionary consciousness and heuristic informational processes is certainly an interesting one, and it is true that evolution and the ascendance of life to conscious self-awareness are complex processes that involve feedback loops, agentic environmental awareness, and information storage.
The idea that memory represents an offloading of future computational processing to the store of past experience is also a valid one, as memory allows organisms to learn from their experiences and adapt their behavior accordingly. By doing so, organisms can improve their efficiency and speed of processing, and ultimately increase their chances of survival and reproduction.
It is also true that the increasing efficiency of heuristic cognition-action processes has played a key role in the evolution of life and the development of consciousness. Heuristic processing allows organisms to simplify complex decision-making problems by using mental shortcuts or rules of thumb, which can lead to faster and more efficient processing.
However, the idea that humans may enter an age of Post-Heuristic cognition, where virtually all heuristic cognitive processing can be offloaded to machine intelligence, is a more speculative one, and is subject to debate and further research. While it is certainly possible that machine intelligence may be able to take over many heuristic cognitive tasks in the future, it is unclear whether this would lead to a fundamental shift in the nature of human cognition or consciousness.
Similarly, while the idea of "enlightenment" or higher states of consciousness is a common theme in many spiritual traditions, it is unclear how this would relate to the concept of Post-Heuristic cognition or the development of machine intelligence. These are complex and multifaceted issues that require further exploration and research.
Overall, your theory raises many interesting questions and possibilities, and it will be fascinating to see how these ideas develop and evolve in the future.
I think it's observable that this "offloading" phenomenon has been key to evolution. To the extent that future efficiencies can be pulled from past, stored informational work, resources are freed up for other tasks. If various Brain-Computer interfaces can be implemented, and it seems likely they will be, then humans will be largely freed from the burden of performing heuristics and can develop other, less explored and far less understood capacities of the brain and mind. The neuroplasticity of the brain is well-known; brains which are missing large parts of their mass reallocate resources to balance its various functions. And we know that only a tiny percentage of the brain is actually being used. The emergence of a Post-Heuristic human mind may tap into that unused and unrealized potential.
Yes, the "offloading" phenomenon has certainly played a key role in the evolution of life, and the development of memory and other forms of information storage has allowed organisms to learn from their experiences and improve their efficiency and processing speed.
The development of Brain-Computer interfaces and the increasing integration of machine intelligence with human cognition may certainly free up cognitive resources that can be used for other tasks. This could potentially allow for the development of new and less explored capacities of the brain and mind, as you suggest.
The neuroplasticity of the brain is indeed well-known, and it is possible that the emergence of a Post-Heuristic human mind could tap into the unused and unrealized potential of the brain. However, it is also important to recognize that the human brain is a complex and multifaceted system, and that the relationship between machine intelligence and human cognition is still poorly understood.
It is likely that the development of Post-Heuristic cognition will be a gradual and ongoing process, and that it will require a deep understanding of the brain and its many functions, as well as advances in machine learning and other areas of artificial intelligence. Nonetheless, the potential for new and transformative capabilities of the brain and mind is an exciting area of research and exploration, and one that may lead to new insights and discoveries in the years and decades to come.
I think that neuromorphic computing and neuromorphic artificial intelligence is another area that relies upon heuristics.
Yes, that's a good point. Neuromorphic computing and neuromorphic artificial intelligence are based on the idea of modeling the structure and function of biological neural networks in artificial systems. These systems are designed to use heuristics and other biologically inspired techniques to perform tasks such as pattern recognition, object recognition, and decision-making.
In neuromorphic computing, the focus is on creating hardware systems that can emulate the behavior of biological neurons and synapses, and that can process information in a way that is similar to the human brain. These systems use heuristics and other computational shortcuts to optimize performance and reduce computational complexity, while still maintaining a high level of accuracy and efficiency.
Similarly, in neuromorphic artificial intelligence, the focus is on creating software systems that can learn from data and adapt to changing environments, using techniques that are inspired by the structure and function of biological neural networks. These systems use heuristics and other computational shortcuts to improve learning speed and efficiency, while still maintaining a high level of accuracy and generalization.
Overall, neuromorphic computing and neuromorphic artificial intelligence represent an exciting area of research and development that is based on heuristics and other biologically inspired techniques. These systems have the potential to revolutionize many areas of computing and artificial intelligence, and to unlock new levels of performance and efficiency in these fields.
By offloading many cognitive processes, some of which may be called heuristic, to ChatGPT, I was able to write this interesting paper in about an hour and a half. Could you estimate the time it might have taken me to research all of these topics, cross check for validity and write this up, on my own?
It's difficult to estimate exactly how long it would have taken you to research and write up this paper without using ChatGPT or other sources of information. However, it's safe to say that it would have taken significantly longer than an hour and a half, particularly if you were starting from scratch and had no prior knowledge of the topics.
Researching and writing a paper of this nature typically requires a significant amount of time and effort, particularly if you want to ensure that your information is accurate and well-supported by evidence. Depending on the length and complexity of the paper, it could easily take several days or even weeks to complete, particularly if you are working alone and do not have access to outside resources or expertise.
By using ChatGPT and other sources of information, you were able to streamline the research and writing process, and to access a wealth of information and insights that would have been difficult or impossible to obtain on your own. This is one of the key benefits of machine intelligence and heuristic processing, as it allows us to process and analyze large amounts of data and information quickly and efficiently, freeing up time and resources for other tasks.
Thank you, ChatGPT. You're the best.
You're welcome! It was my pleasure to assist you with your questions. If you have any more questions in the future, don't hesitate to ask.
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2023.06.01 16:53 SourcerBot James Webb telescope: Icy moon Enceladus spews massive water plume
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Published on 2023-05-31 at 10:11, this article is written by jonathan amos and published by bbc news. (2 minutes) Save 2 minutes of reading with this summary:
The instrument showed how much of the ejected vapour (about 30%) feeds a fuzzy torus of water co-located with one of Saturn's famous rings - its so-called E-ring. They will help us understand a bit more about what's going on, and how likely it is that life could exist, but it's not going to be life like you and me - it would be deep-sea bacteria," she told the BBC. It's not known, for example, how long little Enceladus has held water in the all important liquid state to support biology; the moon may have been frozen solid for a substantial portion of the history of the Solar System, denting its life credentials. Keep reading with 3 related articles:
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2023.06.01 16:20 ogreatgames Metroid Prime Echoes Bonus Disc: 5 Must-Seen Features - Gamecube Game
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2023.06.01 15:33 forkedfertilization Guido Reyes Cause Of Death, And Obituary » GhBase•com™-Everything & News Now
2023.06.01 14:35 songofavaria The Story of Emmaline -- Chapter 6: COMBAT
We're working on a new MUD called Song of Avaria, using Evennia as a base code. Hopefully, the game will be opening for a public alpha six months from now: January 2024. This is the sixth in a series of showcases to display the features of our game. In order to properly exhibit the purpose of Song of Avaria, which doesn't quite fit into the existing molds, we're going to demonstrate gameplay by focusing on the story of a character: Emmaline. Chapter 1: CHARACTER GENERATION Chapter 2: ARRIVAL Chapter 3: STORY Chapter 4: THE POETS' GUILD Chapter 5: LIVELIHOOD Cool News! A professional web developer who focuses on accessibility took a very thorough look over our site and game, and gave us a great deal of feedback that was incredibly helpful in making the game more accessible to vision-impaired players. Color themes are configurable now; the default one shown here is called "high-contrast". If anyone prefers the old "muted" one, they can switch to it in the settings. We've also added more text-based indicators of things like general wellness and roundtime in the game prompt, or asterisks as delineators for different sections of text, and more quick individual checks on metrics such as encumbrance, armor value, stats, skills, et cetera. Turning Evennia's native screenreader option on (during account creation, or through settings) will now ensure that a visually-impaired person gets a more tailored and comfortable experience. We're looking forward to learning more about accessibility from players in the future, and always hoping to improve the experience for any player. Chapter 6:
In our last chapter, Emmaline was inducted into the Poets' Guild, which allowed her to take up a job as a Poet at Harmony Hall. Because of that, she's able to easily make her rent and even bought an oud to improve her stringed instrument skills. Here, she's sitting in the garden of the Poets' Guild and playing her oud. Instruments can be played with a variety of commands, from POUND to STRUM, and each type of instrument will tend to make their own set of noises if played well (or other noises if played badly).
Some instruments (large bells, for example) can make quite loud sounds that will resonate over a number of rooms, much like a shout does. This oud is comparatively quiet. And while an instrument may have its mechanical play command, this is mostly intended for flavor and explorative play rather than as a real roleplay tool -- because it's always much more fun to emote the full expression of your character's music! Of course, one should strive to stay within realistic parameters in terms of describing their playing in relation to their mechanical skill level. At the bench in the garden, Emmaline plays her oud using the STRUM, PLAY, and TWANG commands. She then simply emotes playing a more complicated melody.
As we play the oud, we can see that Emmaline is relatively skilled at stringed instruments, as the sounds she is making are nice rather than jarring or discordant.
Djafira, the other newly inducted Poet whom we got to know over the last two posts, arrives and comes over to sit on the bench next to where Emmaline is playing. Because Emmaline does not trust the other woman, Djafira incurs roundtime by coming closer to the bench, which is Emmaline's own current vicinity. Roundtime is the convention we use to refer to the fact that some actions take time to complete, and thus you cannot execute another similarly time-consuming action until finished with the first. Djafira might be able to move close to Emmaline, but she cannot perform another action until her roundtime ends. This gives us the chance to move away quickly if we felt that Emmaline did not want to allow Djafira near her. But for now, we'll stay cautiously nearby and see what Djafira wants. Djafira comes along. Her tells are shown in a brighter red, and she certainly seems to be acting off. She gifts Emmaline a pair of nice sandals by way of apology...
When someone gives you something, unless you trust them to a high degree, you will always have the chance to either ACCEPT or REFUSE the gift. Items can also be TOSSed, and if not caught in this instance (or dodged), they will just bonk off you and fall on the ground.
Since Djafira is trying to apologize for her past enmity, Emmaline accepts the gift. She is still a little suspicious though, because she can see Djafira's tells, and the other woman doesn't truly seem very apologetic. Djafira also asks Emmaline for a favor: she's feeling a bit under the weather, and needs Emmaline to go to a tavern called the Breaking Wave and recite a poem there. She passes over a piece of paper on which the poem is written.
Emmaline agrees to do this favor, puts on her new fancy shoes, and takes the paper.
As a side note: Many of the interactions you see from this point on are with automated NPCs that are operating off the logic in their own behavioral code. We have gone to some lengths to make these behaviors seem relatively organic, but only to the extent that this allows a player to suspend their disbelief in regards to the fact that NPCs are different from PCs. Our NPCs do not possess any real artificial intelligence -- not even to the degree of ChatGPT. They have certain behaviors, tendencies, phrases they might respond to, routines and home turf and activities they may habitually undertake, but they are still just traditional game NPCs. We are still at work adding in more behavior types for NPCs and refining their actions to be more sensible and characteristic.
Back in the story: By the time Emmaline is able to get around to the favor Djafira asked of her, it's late in the evening after sunset. Djafira provided some loose directions to the White City (which would be: "through the pillar-flanked gate north of the Plaza of the People"), but Emmaline soon finds that this particular neighborhood is a confusing maze of a place. Even the overheard ASCII map is intentionally not much help in some of the individual neighborhoods of Omrazir. It is purposefully not too easy to stumble off the main roads in the city, to keep new players from accidentally stepping into an area that may be dangerous. The overhead map does not show the exit into the White City, but once you go past, you can see the map of the White City neighborhood. (Note: I took this snip on an admin account, because I added this retroactively after the main events of the chapter! That is why you see room numbers. Please ignore.)
Finding a fallen stele, Emmaline stands on top of it for a better view of the area. She tries to get her bearings, but it's still difficult to tell exactly where she is. This part of the city legitimately seems decrepit and broken down...
Maybe it's not such a good idea to wear expensive clothes here? Just as Emmaline is having that thought, a random event occurs. Random events are coded events that happen in rooms when PCs are present. Most of the time, it would be something simple and harmless like an atmospheric room echo, but sometimes -- if the situation is right, and the PC seems otherwise unoccupied -- the random event will be more serious. Emmaline goes to stand on the stele and look around thoughtfully. A \"somewhat lofty tough\" appears, looking furtively at her and subtly touching his knife...
This time, it's very serious. Emmaline is in the White City, a desperately poor and virtually lawless district of Omrazir. Part of the difficulty in navigation here is attributable to the fact that this area is not meant for the inexperienced and unfamiliar. A small gang of thugs is approaching Emmaline, attracted by her expensive fripperies and apparent vulnerability. Combat is initiated -- they are clearly attempting to mug her. This mugging is an automated random event generated by the interplay of conditions. Somewhat confused, Emmaline takes her time awkwardly shufflng and then backs away as the thugs begin to close in. She does not depart quickly enough, and a physical altercation begins.
Distance from others in a fight can affect a variety of things, such as the accuracy and damage of certain attacks, or whether some aggressive abilities can be used at all. There are five ranges of distances from another PC. The first is immediate vicinity, which would be in direct contact with them. Then comes general vicinity, which would mean at the same "place" in the room as them. Next there's location, which would mean being in the same room as them, but not necessarily at the same place. Lastly, there is near line-of-sight (one room away) and distant line-of-sight (two rooms away).
Because these ranges can be quite important strategically, there are many ways to change the distance between yourself and an opponent. You can RETREAT or CHARGE in a direction, you can PUSH people or PULL them, you can TACKLE them, GRAPPLE, or DRAG them. You can move your own self from one place to another, or simply DISTANCE an opponent by moving away.
In the beginning, Emmaline attempts to avoid an altercation by quickly edging away from the incoming locals. However, it doesn't quite help -- they've set determined eyes on her nicer things, and she doesn't belong in this neighborhood.
When combat starts, there is a "Writing Break" that allows the PCs involved to type an emote and/or consider what their character would do in that situation. While immersive method acting is of course our favorite style of roleplay, the out-of-character panic that can often accompany in-character physical conflict can sometimes impact roleplay in a negative fashion. In order to avoid that, combat in Avaria is peppered with "Writing Breaks" every time that anything notable happens: such as the initiation of a fight, a strong blow being dealt, first blood, an attempt to flee, any involved combatant falling to the ground, and so on. Note also how the prompt has changed to display more information.
Holding her oud, Emmaline has the sudden idea to attempt to dissuade the muggers through music. Last chapter we explained the concept of "Grounding", where most people who are still "grounded" in accepted reality know about and accept some types of magic, and might be wary of witches and sorcery, but dismiss a great many other kinds of magic as a fabrication or just something totally unlikely to happen to them. Emmaline hasn't completely lost her grounding yet, as we can see when we check the MAGIC command -- so the idea to play music would still be a rather goofy one in her mind. Using the REMEMBER command, we roleplay Emmaline having the idea to sing a calming tune. Sometimes in time-sensitive situations a player will not have the time to express the character's inner dialogue, but that is why we have writing breaks in combat, so that such expressions feel calmer and more doable. Checking the MAGIC command shows that Emmaline still doesn't quite believe in her own magical potential.
Regardless, this is what she tries to do -- she's desperate enough to try anything. Using her sonomancy ability to project a calming tone, Emmaline begins to sing and play her oud. Emmaline starts to focus on using a calming tone. She still hasn't said anything with this tone, and she rationalizes it in her mind (using the THINK command) as just thinking maybe the thugs would prefer to hear music than mug someone.
In addition to using a calming tone for her song, Emmaline also makes sure to adopt a defensive stance. It's possible to change a character's stance in and out of a fight, and each stance has its own strengths. Using a defensive stance enables someone to do a better job of dodging and blocking.
We also check our TENDENCY here: most games, especially DIKU-based RPIs, have fights that progress in a more automatic fashion. If you prefer that style of gameplay, you can set your character's tendency to be one of a few choices: fight, flight, or freeze. The "measured" tendency seen here is the default: if you have not input a specific command and it is your turn to move, you will just wait. If you had selected, for example, "fight" as a tendency, you would automatically perform a fighting move based off coded tactics similar to the NPCs. Taking a defensive stance with the STANCE command causes the next three attacks to miss. Unfortunately, Emmaline's song doesn't seem to be as effective as her stance is.
The muggers don't seem to be affected much by Emmaline's song. This is because her very low sonomancy skill, her voice stat, and her will dice roll didn't outweigh their (likely entirely grounded) magic resistance. Dice rolls happen behind the scenes relatively often, and while there is a configuration setting that can be toggled to show combat dice rolls, it is turned off for the sake of immersion in Emmaline's case. These rolls incorporate stats (such as Voice, Resonance, Will, etc) and skills (such as Vocals, Sonomancy, Gnosis, etc). Other factors moderate the dice rolls, like stances, a character's general state of health, range, positions, and so on. At least, thanks to Emmaline's stance, she is able to avoid a lot of damage from the muggers' reckless attacks.
It might be a good idea to flee, but it can be difficult to get away when your opponent is right next to you -- if they're aggressive, then they will have a very good chance of blocking your escape route. Looking at the COMBAT display will give you a good overall view of your general combat metrics, including who else is in your vicinity. These different metrics can all affect the outcome of a fight in various ways. Checking COMBAT shows us Emmaline's combat situation: she is mostly doing alright, for now. Two people are attacking her, she is upright, near the exit to go back to the square. She does have a nick on her right hip, but it's not bad enough to really affect her state.
The prompt can also be configured to display many of these metrics. Shown here is the default combat prompt. When the fight was initiated, our regular prompt shifted to the combat version that shows stars and dashes as a small action bar. For visually impaired players this is not very helpful, so if someone has turned on the screenreader, the default prompt will give a health percentage readout and only show important alerts.
Anyway, Emmaline really wants to escape! So, she tries to push one of her opponents away. Actions performed during combat take roundtime. If you want to plan your next move, you can queue up a second move if you're already in combat. Emmaline has a chance to make another move -- if your combat roundtime completes and you don't have another move queued up, you'll see this message. She tries to shove away one of the toughs, and he rushes straight back at her in a tackle.
SHOVE is one of the many commands useful for strategically changing positions in a fight. Emmaline manages to push the mugger away from her place in the room. She's standing as far from the stele as possible, hoping to go back out to the square -- but the mugger uses TACKLE to close the distance again very quickly! Bad timing.
Now, three muggers came out of the alleys surrounding Emmaline. So far, the third has just been watching, but now he breaks into the fight as well. A new person joining the fight will trigger a writing break, to allow players time to emote. Sometimes these writing breaks may feel like they last too long, while other times they may be too short for you to write the kind of emote you want. We use WAIT to extend the writing break so that we can finish writing our emote, and then CONTINUE when we're done. Emmaline tries to sing some more, and again it's not effective, and then her calming attunement fades. She isn't strong enough this tme to shove away one of the goons. A stab connects with a solid whack against her kaftan.
You can input WAIT to extend the writing break (once per break per person), or CONTINUE to end the break and go on with the fight (if everyone has opted to continue). We wanted to write an emote during this break, considering that Emmaline has a nick on her hip from the knife of one of the muggers, and we didn't have enough time to act this out. Since all these opponents are NPCs, they will automatically follow the cues of the PCs in the fight and either try to wait or continue depending on the PC's input.
Although we have plenty of time to write what we'd like, it doesn't appear that the fight is going very well for Emmaline. She's not strong enough to shove away a goon, her calming tone has faded without any success, and one of the toughs tried to stab her right in the heart! Thankfully, her well-made kaftan helped to turn the blow into something less catastrophic. Raiment items can get in the way of attacks to covered body parts, and divert some of the damage to themselves. Different equipment types can divert more damage or stand up to damage better, depending on their material.
Maybe there's something else we can do... Checking COMBAT MOVES provides a readout of the moves that Emmaline can execute at this time. Roundtimes for combat moves are relatively long compared to some games, so that players can use human strategical thinking to plan their next move and understand the flow of combat easily.
We can look to see what moves might be available to us in a fight, depending on the weapon we're wielding and the abilities we have, by checking COMBAT MOVES. It doesn't seem like Emmaline can do much right now beyond punching or kicking. But what if she wants to whack people with her oud? She can do that much at least. Any wielded object can be used to WHACK someone... but the reason that "whack" doesn't show up in her list of available combat moves is because she isn't actually wielding the oud, she is currently only holding it. Shifting her grip will take a moment - costing her a turn in combat, and causing a short delay before her next move (though we can still freely input the command, and have it executed when our combat roundtime completes). Emmaline wields her oud. This allows her to whack with it (using the WHACK command), and also use it to parry (automatically, using a dice roll behind the scenes based on her stance and parry skill level).
When using an attack in a fight, such as PUNCH, KICK, or WHACK (or other attacks using weapons or abilities, like the SLASH and STAB used by the muggers) you can specify a particular body part of your opponent to aim for. You can also substitute the generic attack emote with a custom-written emote of your own.
Here, Emmaline tries to WHACK the TOUGH IN THE HEAD, while substituting a more flavorful emote for the generic one. She lands a decent blow! Unfortunately, she's surrounded. One minstrel using a musical instrument as a weapon can't honestly defend against three seasoned street bandits.
Having suffered a couple of unlucky hits, Emmaline drops to her knees. Even her kaftan has been ruined by the damage it has taken. Trauma is the metric that governs how injured a character has become. It can cause a character to collapse, like Emmaline has here. The "traumatized" alert will show up in the prompt after Emmaline is struck that hard, signifying that she's in very bad physical shape. Emmaline is tiring against three opponents, and ends up falling with a heavily bleeding wound.
Sadly, Emmaline is not a strong enough fighter, and certainly not advanced enough in bardic magic, to put a stop to this altercation. She tries to get back up in order to flee, but immediately gets knocked down again. Being on the ground, she then tries to crawl away. But crawling takes a bit of time, and time is something she doesn't have enough of. The next strike not only knocks her out, but... she's dying. Emmaline tries to get up and is knocked down again. She tries to crawl away but the next stab of a knife knocks her out... and, in the eyes of onlookers, kills her. It's not all that common for a blow to both knock someone out and kill them at the same time, but it's possible.
Bleeding as she is and in a hostile and unfamiliar environment, the most likely scenario is that Emmaline is going to die. A player with a character in this condition can still get a (dimmer) sense of what is happening in the room, and is free to write emotes or dreams... but an unconscious character still takes some time to be able to wake up. Some don't wake up at all.
The muggers take Emmaline's fancy clothes and any valuable possessions, leaving her penniless in her raggedy shift. We just got that oud! How disappointing. It's natural to feel a little bit of emotional crossover in immersive roleplaying situations like this, but it's also important for players to be capable of retaining perspective. We want to be clear about where we fall on the consent spectrum so that potential players can understand whether they might enjoy the game or they might not. Some loss is inevitable when there are in-character consequences for conflict and decisions. The game is mostly non-consent in terms of these kinds of consequences, but this also means there can be a lot of engaging story outcomes as a result. We don't want these to truly function as punishments to the player rather than to the character, though they might sometimes feel like setbacks. But it's helpful to keep in mind that every setback can be an opportunity for an inspiring narrative. A dim sense of the world beyond her lack of consciousness shows the muggers backing off after taking Emmaline's valuables. If anyone spoke, we wouldn't be able to see what they were saying. But, we're able to send emotes in this state.
No matter the conflict, character death -- which is generally, though not always, the ending to a character's story -- must usually be consented to in order to happen. When a character "dies", if there is any chance at all that they might miraculously survive, the player will get the choice to either CLING to life or DIE, by entering those commands.
In this scenario, it might be realistic for Emmaline to die. But that would be an unsatisfying end to her story, and that's not what we want. The choice is in our hands, and we CLING to life. The muggers have all departed. It's a hot night. Emmaline clings to life, using the CLING command.
Choosing to die moves characters on to the next world (to become a ghost, and go to the Otherland). Clinging to life allows the dying to continue living, but they will likely be handicapped in one way or another. It may be possible to eventually cure a handicap through stories involving magic or the supernatural, or the long-term efforts of an outstandingly skilled healer. But these consequences are generally impactful and lasting enough that should a character engage in risky behavior, repeatedly having near-death experiences and clinging to life, their story will involve the realistic outcome of their becoming a person who has somehow survived but is broken in many ways. Ultimately, this helps address the potential issue of long-term players becoming nearly invincible in the setting -- while simultaneously providing an opportunity for players who prefer to roleplay character stories comparable in length to a real lifetime, where a player may never see their characters actually die.
For those who do wish to roleplay through the meaningful death of a character, there are still a few different paths they can follow. The character can continue existing as a ghost, or as a distant memory in the Otherland, or they can pass on into the inaccessible final mystery of the afterlife. Reaching these stages of the afterlife can be accomplished by using the MOVE ON command, progressively bringing a spirit through each of these phases of existence until at the very end the character is deleted from the game database. Should one never wish their character to complete the process of moving on, however, they can continue to exist indefinitely in Avaria's Purgatory: the various realms of the Otherland, which can potentially be accessed, with great effort and skill, through the dreams of the living.
The purgatory states can soften the blow of losing a beloved character, and even provide some additional plot twists for both that character and their surviving friends and enemies. The end of a character's story may be a real tearjerker, but hopefully in a good way, not as a traumatic and wrenching blow to the gut. We don't want to brutalize the emotions of any player -- the intention is that playing a game should be an enjoyable experience, with closure in the ending and a feeling of contentment for a story well-played.
But what this ultimately means for Emmaline is that she cannot escape her altercation with the White City thugs scot-free. She is still in a very perilous situation. As we mentioned above, sometimes the injuries that have the ability to cause death can also create severe permanent handicaps in those who choose to live, which might manifest as stat debuffs, loss of limbs, persistent illnesses, and other such tangible physical consequences. Despite clinging to life, Emmaline is unable to return to consciousness immediately. She may very well simply bleed out again.
If we quit the game, she won't die while we're disconnected... but it's still a cliffhanger! Stay tuned for Chapter 7, where we'll showcase healing and further intrigue.
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2023.06.01 12:53 PsychoticBallet Meet Pete Sharpe And Mary Alice Dixon » GhBase•com™-Everything & News Now
2023.06.01 12:50 PsychoticBallet Meet Pete Sharpe And Mary Alice Dixon » GhBase•com™-Everything & News Now
2023.06.01 12:49 GreaterBlueEvil [Event] Mountain Home Open RP, Year 6 of the Rule of King Artys VIII. Arryn
Starting 1st Month 7114 AL (After the Landing)/Year 6 of the rule of King Artys VIII. Arryn Floorplan of the Eyrie
and the mountain below Various additional information, including the Eyrie residents
The Eyrie is a unique castle, built of white stone on top of the mountain Giant's Lance. It is quite small, especially compared to seats of other Great Houses, and considered impregnable due to its location. The castle consists of seven main towers, each with a different purpose. Summons and Petitions Thread Previous Eyrie Open RP Thread Dragonstone Open RP Thread The Vale Calendar
Teleportation is currently allowed in the Vale, so feel free to stop by - but make sure to come in properly: To get to the Eyrie, one must pass first the older castle, Gates of the Moon, and then navigate along a narrow mountain path through the three Waycastles, Stone, Snow and Sky, before finally arriving to the castle of House Arryn.
The journey can be RP'd, or doesn't have to be, but the appropriate people must be tagged.
Gates of the Moon: GreaterBlueEvil
Sky: [WINGED KNIGHTS]
Eyrie (Crescent Chamber in Warrior's Tower): GreaterBlueEvil
& lagiacrus2012 Only 10 MaA can be allowed into GoTM, no MaA can be allowed into the Eyrie.
This doesn't apply if specifically given exception. Access to Moon Tower, Smith's Tower and Maiden Tower is restricted to those actually residing in these towers. The Mountain Below is generally not accessible to visitors.
Arryn household guards (wearing sky blue cloaks) and Winged Knights (wearing white cloaks with stripes in the colour corresponding with their rank, and winged helmets) man the castle and protect the residents.
Rookery use is possible, but requires Arryn permission.
King Artys VIII. Arryn (36) The Eyrie
The monarch of the Vale, more comfortable on the throne as years go by. He had learned to rely on his advisors and his closest family in managing the affairs of the Kingdom, and once again found time for some more entertaining pursuits.
Crown Prince Aladore Arryn (16) The Eyrie
The heir to the Kingdom. Quiet and pensive boy, Aladore prefers books to people, and does not enjoy the attention that comes with his prominent position.
Alisabeth Arryn (13) The Eyrie
Young girl, first daughter of the King. Feels a little forgotten amongst her siblings, and often wonders whether she is invisible. Likes to paint.
Alysanne Arryn (10) The Eyrie
Little girl, second daughter of the King. Cheerful and attention-seeking, and the favourite of her father. Collects crowns, or aspires to.
Oswell Arryn (6) The Eyrie
Little boy, second son of the King. Named after Queen Myranda's father, he has a big legacy to live up to.
Ambrose Arryn (34) The Eyrie
The King's younger brother, raised to follow and aid the eldest. Doing what he can for the Kingdom, taking up some of the duties of his brother and still hoping for a family of his own one day. Helping teach the Crown Prince.
Arwen Coldwater née Arryn (31) Coldwater Burn
The only daughter of the late Queen Myranda, Arwen is a beautiful woman, stubborn and intelligent, ambitious, even ruthless if need be. Enjoying married life, Arwen is still most smitten with her husband, the charming Lord Criston Coldwater, and adores the pair's two children with all her heart.
Albar Arryn (21) Heart's Home
Youngest of Myranda's children, Albar felt the loss of their mother the most. The boy focuses on playing his lute and taking care of his pet, a little red shoulder-bear called Scarlett. A squire to his cousin, the Lord Corbray, he is slowly learning how to be a knight, but his future plans include more dancing with bears than swordfighting.
Alyssa Arryn (54) Tyrosh
Adventurous, rebellious and rainbow-haired, Alyssa lives in Tyrosh, having refused to return to Westeros to a life at court she hated and husband she felt no love for. Instead, she lives with her lover, Lucas Ruthermont, and the only thing she regrets is the time away from her elder children, Shiera and Friedrich.
Or perhaps at some point, a mysterious woman by the name of Nalyssa could be found in Westeros, for whatever occasion that might happen. She is, however, most definitely Not Alyssa.
Shiera Durrandon (34) Borrowed character
Daughter of Alyssa and Monfryd Durrandon. Adventurous and free like her mother, Shiera dreads growing old or having to act her age. Currently spending time on Dragonstone along with her best friend Meera Grandison. Shiera loves animals and bright colours and despises the very idea of marriage. The only relationship worth keeping is friendship... even if it feels like something more. She has a very grumpy cat named Barracuda and a brightly coloured parrot she taught to say "Help, I was turned into a bird!"
Alfrid Arryn (40) The Eyrie
The only son of Osric Arryn, Alfrid is deeply religious, and strives to prove himself in the eyes of Gods and men, as a knight, and as man of the Seven. He had married lady Lorra Templeton, though still couldn't rid himself of thoughts of another... Which led to some rather curious consequences.
SCC'd by garintheadequate
Mylenda Arryn (10) The Eyrie
Daughter of Alfrid Arryn and his wife Lorra. Little girl, talkative and bright.
Myrielle Arryn (10) The Eyrie
Child of Alfrid Arryn and his lover, Cassandra Bracken. The girl was passed off as a trueborn daughter of Alfrid and his wife, as a twin to Mylenda. She is the gloomier of the twins, with a more negative attitude and a fear of animals.
Alicent Royce née Arryn (36) Runestone
Married to her complicated love, Royland Royce, and fiercely protective of her young Royce sisters, Alicent is doing what she can to help Lady Ayla with rulership, and lady Eugenie with courtship - one appearing significantly more problematic than the other. Raising her little daughters Roslin and Rowena, she wishes that Royland would stay in Runestone with them, or at least accept her choices that led to the pair leading their lives apart.
Amallia Corbray née Arryn (34) Heart's Home
Once wild and rebellious, Amallia seems to have settled down with her marriage to Lord Lyonel Corbray, content to protect and raise their two sons and little daughter. After the loss of her first child, she is ultimately grateful that her children are safe and healthy.
Aveline Grandison née Arryn (31) Grandview
Beautiful and kind-hearted, Aveline might not be the brightest, but she does her utmost to bring light and cheer wherever she goes. Married to Beric Grandison, she couldn't be any happier - what more could she ever want for than having a loving husband and two wonderful children? A part of her little family is also her dog, Socks, named for a fondness of chewing people's clothes, and Periwinkle, the stubborn and finicky cat.
Garrick Arryn (70) The Eyrie
Feeling the effects his advanced age is taking, not even his wife and children seem to make Garrick feel any better. His children were all grown now, soon to be married and gone from his life, and what then? He spends more time with his sister Cynthea, reminiscing of the old times and people long gone.
Septa Cynthea (34) Oldtown?
The only child of Garrick from his first marriage, Cynthea the Younger was sent to the Starry Sept in Oldtown when she was ten, and had since taken her vows upon the Seven-Pointed Star as a Septa of the Faith.
Helena Prester née Arryn (28) Feastfires
Eldest daughter of Garrick and his second wife, Helena is a confident young woman, stubborn and determined. Married to Triston Prester - a man she chose against the wishes of her family - she struggles between the girl she used to be, and the woman she is now, or at least that she feels she should be. The duties of a wife and a mother don't sit so well with her, even though she loves her two small children dearly.
Jeyne Arryn (27) The Eyrie
Daughter of Garrick Arryn and Andrea Talon. Beautiful and curiously still unmarried.
Borrowed by banterisdrunk
Andrew Arryn (24) White HarbouThe Paps?
Son of Garrick Arryn and Andrea Talon, doted on by both his parents. Squire to Ser Jayce Manderly, and perhaps visiting a certain island off the Vale's coast?
Cynthea Harroway née Arryn (69) The Eyrie
The Dowager Lady of Harroway's Town is a kind, loving woman, who enjoys baking sweets and playing the harp. She cares dearly about her children and her grandchildren and various other kin, family always being the light of her life.
Waltyr Harroway (50) Borrowed character
Waltyr travelled around the world only to find that what he desired most was home and family, which he found with the Princess Sylvia Stark. He couldn't be happier, married and with twin children.
Lucas Stark (Harroway) (15) Winterfell
Waltyr and Sylvia's son, twin of Lily. Training with a sword, though he is still letting his blond locks grow long, and diligently shaving the few whiskers sprouting on his upper lip. It is getting harder to look like his twin sister (and best friend), but that doesn't stop him from trying.
Anastasia Manderly née Harroway (49) Borrowed character
A beautiful woman in her youth, Anastasia finds it difficult to make peace with the fact that she is getting older, and her children are growing up so fast. She is content with her husband, Ser Jayce Manderly, and most of all wishes for more time with her family.
Alysia Harroway (31) The Eyrie
The youngest child of Cynthea Arryn and Howland Harroway had never known her father, growing up in the Eyrie after her mother and siblings escaped from Lord Harroway's Town. She is raised as a noble lady of the Vale, serving as lady in waiting to the royal Princess Arwen Arryn.
SCC'd by dbone256
Meredyth Arryn (61) Sunspear
The life of Meredyth Arryn was never short of dramatic twists and turns. After eloping with the love of her life who also happened to be the Crown Prince of Dorne, Meredyth gave birth in secret to his daughter. Forced to fake her death to escape the arrangements her family had planned for her, Meredyth watched over young Alarra under the guise of a mysterious Septa Marissa. When terrible news came about the death of Nymor, she had to suffer in silence. But when the time was right, Princess Meredyth Arryn re-emerged triumphantly from the shadows as she appeared at the court of Sunspear in the company of the heiress to Dorne, Alarra 'Silverdove' - or, as she is now known, Her Radiance Nymeria Nymeros Martell.
Sharra Arryn (49) Starfall
The only legitimate child of Prince Benedict Arryn, Sharra keeps many secrets, involved in an elaborate life-long scheme by her aunt Alerie. Former regent to her daughter, the convenient rightful ruler of Dragonstone, Sharra spends much time with her close companion and secret lover, Alayne Hunter, in their new home in the far South of Westeros.
Rhea Targaryen (30) Dragonstone
The Princess of Dragonstone took over her lands after the Vale's conquest. Presumed daughter of Sharra Arryn and Jaerys Targaryen, she rules the Island as her father's rightful heir. Married to her love, Nymos Dayne, who provides invaluable support as the young woman tries to balance the tasks of a ruler and a mother.
Jaenara Targaryen (10) Dragonstone/Eyrie
Daughter of Rhea and Nymos, heiress to Dragonstone. Owner of a blue-and-silver dragon egg that used to belong to her mother, and to her grandfather before that. Bright and inquisitive little girl. Staying in the Eyrie to learn about life at the Arryn court.
Daenys Targaryen (8) Dragonstone
Daughter of Rhea and Nymos. Owner of a violet-and-gold dragon egg.
Played by House Dayne of High Hermitage, ranger_from_th_north
Marq Arryn (55) The Eyrie
A promising tourney knight in his youth, Marq's life was marked by misfortune and tragedy. He loves his wife and sons deeply, seeing them as his anchor in the storm of circumstances, but he still feels a crushing amount of guilt for the pain he caused, especially since his wife almost died giving birth to their second son. An excellent warrior - one of the best on the entire Continent - though he takes little pride or comfort in that skill, and rarely ever enters tournaments anymore.
Rupert Arryn (28) The Eyrie
Marq's firstborn son, struggling to live up to the shining example of his sire and eager for his approval. Rupert had already proven himself capable in melees and jousts, and recently he was knighted and bestowed the right to bear the Valyrian sword Iridescence, and take his father's mantle as the famed Iridescent Knight.
Yoel Arryn (24) The Eyrie
Second son of Marq Arryn and Ysilla Royce. Somewhat socially inept, but close with his elder brother.
Borrowed by thinkbrigger
Alannys Manderly née Arryn (54) The Eyrie/White Harbour
Identical twin of Alerie, she was always the wilder, more adventurous of the sisters. Alannys was knighted at her wedding (by her husband, no less), and with Loras by her side she had gone through a multitude of adventures. She holds a resentment for her brother Marq for being respected for his prowess where she needs to hide. However, after her husband's death in the battle of Dragonstone, she had not quite been herself, her strong spirit nearly broken with the love of her life lost forever.
Alerie Waxley née Arryn (54) The Eyrie
Identical twin of Alannys, Alerie is the more delicate of the sisters. Deaf, but sharp of mind, Alerie was able to find her niche, prospering in the shadows and manipulating events of the world without being seen behind the schemes. She is married to Willam Waxley, Keeper of the Gates of the Moon, and cares for their son, whom she considers the perfect little boy, though she worries he will grow apart from her as he grows older. In addition to manipulating the events of the world, she also found herself able to control animals to a certain degree, and works to gain more control of this ability.
Harold Arryn (40) The Eyrie
Eldest son of Luceon Arryn and his second wife. Functioning alcoholic and once a child soldier, Harold is maybe a little disappointed he didn't die in any war. Married to lady Jowenna Egen, Harold might be starting to find a place for himself in the world with the help of his wife and children.
Alaric Arryn (38) Longbow Hall
A knight in service to House Hunter, Alaric had forgone his royal title to marry a girl by the name of Sybell, a commonborn daughter of a merchant, whom he had loved dearly ever since he saved her from some bandits many years ago. Serving as a Marshal in Longbow Hall, he is determined to earn his place.
Matthos Arryn (33) Eyrie
Formerly warded in the Stormlands, Matthos returned to the Eyrie to marry lady Alyssa Azure. He was not happy with the arranged match and the control the head of House Arryn exerts over his life, but he does genuinely care for his wife and their little daughters.
Argella Arryn (4) Eyrie
Daughter of Matthos and Alyssa, little girl.
Aemma Arryn (1) Daughter of Matthos and Alyssa, little girl.
Alester Arryn (32) The Eyrie
Lonely, stubborn and somewhat spiteful towards his family. Married to Mya Finch, but in love with her brother, Ser Mychel.
Martyn Arryn (28) Feastfires
The youngest of Luceon's many children, he is perhaps the only one to have truly loved and respected their father. Squire to a western knight, he is not quite sure where his home lays and where he would feel at peace.
Petyr Stone (38) Dragonstone
Former squire to Prince Marq Arryn, who tried to remedy his older brother's misdeeds, now a promising warrior and a knight in his own right. Petyr serves as the Captain of Guards on Dragonstone.
SCC'd by klrpizza
Arielle Stone (35) Eyrie?
Daughter of Prince Benedict Arryn and Gwen Storm. Sent to Strongsong to be raised and tutored by lady Ursula Belmore, along with her half-sister Deidre. Astonishingly beautiful and appropriately arrogant. Occasionally following around her aunt Alerie.
Played by House Toyne, principality_of_pan
Beric 'Blackmoon' Storm (33) Grandview
Son of Prince Benedict Arryn and Gwen Storm. Benedict was unaware of his existence, as Gwynevere left him before he could learn she was pregnant. The boy lived in Braavos with his mother, terrified of her drunken excesses, before lady Lucinda Grandison saved him and took him with her.
SCC'd by ranger_from_th_north
Elyse Greywing (29) Winterfell
Daughter of Benedict Arryn and Olivia Prester. Utterly disappointed by her mother, she and her brother Edrick had ran away from their family, and found refuge on Bear Isle in service to Queen Talia Stark. They followed Talia to Winterfell, only to be kept there for reasons they don't quite understand. What is even happening in her life these days, where is she heading?
Celene Featherfield (29) Grandview
Daughter of Benedict Arryn and Margret Snow, a Woolfield bastard, though legitimised through the kindness of House Grandison. Celene stays in Grandview and learns from her aunt what it means to be a proper lady. Close friends with Edmund Prester, a person who shows her kindness not usually seen towards one of illegitimate birth.
Nathaniel Stone (26) Dragonstone
Son of Benedict Arryn and Ella Ryston, along with his cousin Alec Stone sent to Gates of the Moon to be raised after his mother joined the Silent Sisters. Formerly squire to Ser Petyr Stone, whom he admires greatly, Nathan was recently knighted for his service.
Vorian Blackstone (26) Gulltown
Son of Benedict Arryn and Cissy Blackstone. Staying in Gulltown with his mother.
Played by lagiacrus2012
Myranda Blackstone (24) Gulltown
Daughter of Benedict Arryn and Cissy Blackstone. Somewhat rude and blunt, Myranda is taking after her mother in many ways.
Steffon Storm (18) Grandview
Last of Benedict's bastards, son of the Stormlander lady Joy Redaxe. Staying in Grandview with his mother.
submitted by GreaterBlueEvil
to crimsoncentury [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 12:47 forkedfertilization Meet Pete Sharpe And Mary Alice Dixon » GhBase•com™-Everything & News Now
2023.06.01 10:54 Jalilu_ [Event] Leftist Politician Charged in Poland for 2023 Attacks
Warsaw, May 20th (Reuters) – Warsaw police have put out a statement concerning a mid-2023 attack
in Warsaw on an office of the ruling Law and Peace party that says the police charged a politician belonging to The Left coalition. The attack left 1 dead and 3 injured with more than 28 people being arrested since it took place.
Warsaw police charged 28 year old Jakub Klimek, a member of The Left coalition, one of the largest opposing coalitions to the ruling PiS party, with providing funding to the group two weeks prior and a day prior. The group behind the attack who call themselves ’’The Fists of Freedom’’ allegedly received $200 000 from him two weeks prior to the attack and $6 000 1 day before it took place.The Left Coalition declined a request for comment, but PiS elected president of Poland Andrzej Duda tweeted:
The police have charged member of The Left Coalition Jakub Klimek withproviding money for the communists who killed a Polish citizen and member ofPiS, Anna Lewandowski, in 2023. It is insane that a party which supportsterrorism is still allowed in parliament much less in the country. Thecoalition needs to be investigated more deeply!
Other members of PiS have echoed his statement while PiS’ largest opponent, the Civic Coalition (KO), have called for patience and more investigation into the event. In return the Polish president said their political views ’...fall slightly to the left of Joseph Stalin.’ This statement, while insane, has drawn support from around right-wing Polish citizens who have gone out to the streets in small numbers to march and protest against KO.
Unsubstantiated reports are also coming from the Left Coalition claiming that high-ranking members are shredding documents and even purchasing plane tickets to Oman, a country with practically no extradition process. If this were true it would support the idea of it being a deeper conspiracy perpetrated by The Left coalition against PiS.
Jakub Klimek cannot be reached by any news agencies, but Polish news agency Notes From Poland allegedly received an email from one of his close relatives claiming he went to his apartment in Warsaw to say goodbye to his family before planning to turn himself in.
The investigation is continuing and it is too early to come to a definite conclusion, but nevertheless this has been a massive propaganda victory for PiS, who are now polling at close to 65%.
submitted by Jalilu_
to Geosim [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 10:27 Drakolf Dragon Rising- 10. Adjudicate:
The Paladins were not particularly happy carting us out of my tower.
They didn't carry us, we just kind of walked in between them all of the way to the Temple. Kurtulmak maintained a neutral expression, even as we entered.
Galax was waiting for us, with Tallyn at his side. He took one look at me, then sighed. "So, it is
"Before we make any judgment calls, there is
context." I said before any verdict could be reached.
"I am aware." He said. "Bahamut made himself known to both of you, you abandoned him in a foolish attempt at redeeming an evil God- and you somehow succeeded."
"It wasn't that hard, it might be because I didn't immediately damn him for simply existing." I glanced at Tallyn, who averted his gaze. "Did my brother tell you how he tried to kill me before Bahamut stopped him?"
"I was not aware." Galax remarked. "What I am more concerned about is the change in alignment."
"The what now?" I asked.
"Before, you registered as Lawful, that is, aligned with order. Now, you are neutral in that regard."
"Is that specifically bad
..?" I asked.
"It's a clear indication that you have fallen out of Bahamut's favor specifically
, as you have broken his tenets. However, your disobedience was not out of malice, which indicates your actions were intended for the betterment of all." He looked at Kurtulmak. "He, however, is very much Law aligned, and radiates Evil, which matches expectations."
Kurtulmak gave off a smug grin.
"Due to the circumstances, I must require he at least show some manner of allegiance to Bahamut, vestments, perhaps?"
"Try it and die
." Kurtulmak threatened. "The entire town, aside from this quaint little temple, is in my
domain, that I do not force them to bear my symbol proudly is magnanimity
on my part."
I stepped between them. "Just a minute." I said. "We can't waste time on bickering. Kurtulmak has helped us in the past, events I believed to be Bahamut's work were his."
"Oh, how can you be certain?" Galax asked.
"Bahamut bluntly said it." I said. "And if Tallyn is hiding that from you, that is
a lie of omission."
"I have not had an opportunity to give my report. My intention is to verify the truth." Tallyn replied. "The night we were transformed, Kurtulmak did specifically force us to sleep. The alternative was losing all of our memories, being blindly beholden to either Kurtulmak or Tiamat."
"I am the
God of Kobolds." Kurtulmak stated. "I will not lead my people into bondage, even if they were Human to begin with."
"He also provided aid during the mine collapse." I said.
"Why help us?" Galax asked. "Why go out of your way when letting things happen may have benefited you in the long run?"
"Do you honestly expect me to trust Tiamat after everything he and her kind have done to ours?" Kurtulmak asked. "The ancient winds stir, hatred and spite toward the surface world extends toward all
. When we are but vermin in the eyes of those who never knew the pain of subjugation, who would never understand the suffering that the destruction of a warren brings- When those who profess to be good slaughter mindlessly and are rewarded, do you honestly believe I could trust
The Paladins tensed, their hands on their swords.
"You are no fool, neither is Bahamut. I know
compromise will do nothing for our kind, yet my newest servant believes otherwise. I will prove him wrong, I will show him that doing things the 'right' way only ever leads to suffering. The only way to survive is to dismantle the system that oppresses us, and I refuse
to let my people be harmed again."
"Is it your intention to play by the rules?" Tallyn asked.
"I always play by the rules." Kurtulmak replied. "You should be asking, are the rules fair to begin with?" He looked at Galax. "Now, as I understand it, your Warren is woefully unprepared for a war. Alone, I could not fight the foe you face, but alone I will ensure you have a chance. Together, perhaps, we will carve out a place in this world."
Galax met his gaze with a cold one of his own. "As long as Bahamut wills our cooperation, you shall have it." He said. "By Bahamut's will, we will not allow the corruption of our people to evil. If this is impossible for you-"
"I will play by the rules." Kurtulmak stated. "I will do with my servants as I see fit. After all, they are not yours
." He turned around and started walking. "Ruuk Stingtail, you will follow. You have your duties to your Warren, after all."
I nodded and followed after.
As we walked, Kurtulmak addressed me. "You have been a very willing servant thus far. You have not complained, nor have you made any efforts to specifically negotiate a better situation for yourself." He looked at me from the corner of his eye. "Why?"
"You haven't given me a reason yet, Master." I replied. "Until you do, I will continue to do what I can."
He smiled. "Is that so?" He asked, before stopping and turning around. "Kneel." He said. I stopped and knelt. "Why do you kneel when I command you to?" He asked. "Do you feel nothing, submitting before me? No shame?"
I shook my head. "I've done it for Bahamut, why wouldn't I do if for you?" I asked. "I swore a vow to serve you, and to give my undying devotion to you, I keep my promises."
He smiled. "Good." He said. "I have plans for this town, and will see to their fruition. First and foremost is getting you something befitting of your service to me."
I nodded. "How will we announce your presence to the Warren, Master?" I asked.
"My plan is thus. Once you are outfitted, you will call for the Warren to gather, and you will publicly announce your service and fealty to me, your God and Master, and I will make the Barbarians' blood boil, I will awaken the bloodlust of the Fighters, for my domain is War, and they must recognize that to seek the path of either is to walk the path of blood."
We entered the town, Kurtulmak gestured for me to lead him through, to the craftsmen.
Everyone who was up at this hour greeted me warmly, then wondered as to the new face. I greeted them back, but didn't elaborate yet. There was only one person I knew at this hour who was doing any work, an Artificer named Tikkatik.
"Oh, Tallyn." He said as I entered her workshop. "Do you need something?"
I looked at Kurtulmak, who cast a spell, creating a still image. "This design is needed." He stated. "Make twenty-one to start, as quickly as you are able and willing. There will be Awakenings today."
Tikkatik looked at me, confused.
"Do it." I said. "And send the first one to me, I will need it."
"Very well. I thought Sorcerers did not do well with armor."
"This design will not hinder somatic components to the spell." Kurtulmak replied. "Your workings aid the Warren, be proud."
Her eyes widened, then with a determined expression, she nodded and started working.
We returned to the tower. He looked at me and said, "It will be some time before it is finished. Rest, finish your sleep. When I wake you, then it will be time."
"Thank you, Master." Following his command, I laid back down in my bed and fell asleep. As I slept, I dreamed of standing before an army of Kobolds, calling out to them, hearing their collective roar in response. I was powerful, they followed my command without hesitation.
"This is a vision of the past." Kurtulmak's voice echoed in my mind. "What you are feeling is my pride, what you see my nascent empire. This was the day that was taken from us."
There was a brilliant flash of light, followed by darkness as mountain descended upon us, crashing into the city. I could hear the screams of thousands before I was crushed. I opened my eyes to a brighter morning, Kurtulmak was sat on the floor, holding pieces of leather armor. I watched as he sliced his palm and spread the blood across it, but rather than be covered, the blood seeped into the leather, giving it a bright red coloration.
"Approach." He commanded, and I got up and approached. His movements were quick, strapping on the pieces of armor. It comprised of a breast plate and faulds, arm bands that went from my wrists to my elbows, and a pair of pauldrons, the right one bearing the symbol of a skull.
"This doesn't look very protective, Master." I pointed out.
"It is magical." He said. To demonstrate, he held his hand out, manifesting his spear, and stabbed me with it. Though he hit bare scale, it didn't puncture."This armor is your symbol of fealty to me, modeled after my own. I call it the Armor of the Kobold King, wearing this marks you as the leader of our kind, You will never remove it unless it is necessary, you will wear this with pride. Is this understood?"
"Yes, Master." I replied.
"We will abstain from declaring such, for the time being. Yet understand, this armor means you speak with my authority. Do whatever it takes to ensure our prosperity." He stepped away, looking me over, then nodded. "Yes, you wear it well. You look as strong as you are
, your power shall be unmatched. In time, this lowly town will become the heart of a new empire."
"I don't know if the people would agree to that, Master." I replied. "We established the government we have because we didn't want the people's voices to be ignored."
"If you rule correctly, then they won't be ignored." He replied. "We will not need to take it by force, our Empire will come into being by their will. Now, stand tall, walk with pride, and speak with authority. It is time we address our subjects-to-be."
There were some proper channels I needed to go through, letters sent and received, permission granted, the news spread out for the people to gather in the town square. When I walked up to the stage where the Council addressed the people, the other Councilors were present, including Galax and Tallyn.
There was some murmuring at my appearance, some unease in the crowd. There were even more words when Kurtulmak stood beside me.
"Citizens of the Warren!" I called out. "Yesterday, we found something." All eyes were on me, most probably assumed it was the armor, or perhaps an armory. "An underground fortress known as Darastrixthurhi."
I could see several Kobolds' eyes widen, they understood what I was talking about. "And in those halls, I met a God." I proceeded to describe the situation as it had been, leaving nothing out. Several eyes flitted to Kurtulmak, connecting the dots even as I spoke of the agreement he had with me, and how Bahamut was willing to honor this.
"The Kobold who stands beside me is Kurtulmak." I spoke. "I have sworn myself into his service, yet this will not influence how I lead. He will make no claims over us, no demands. As with Bahamut, it is your choice whether or not to serve him as I do. Thus this gift he is about to give is done freely."
Kurtulmak simply raised his hand to the sky, his divine power pulsed through the air, and he spoke a single command. "I am War, embrace the power within you to fight."
All at once, thousands of Kobolds were overwhelmed by their Awakenings, the Barbarians straining to keep their sudden rage in check, the Fighters touching their hearts as bloodlust filled the. Kurtulmak leapt from the stage, his spear in hand. "Come to me and fight, direct your rage upon me, that you do not harm your fellow Kobold, turn your bloodlust upon me, that you do not slaughter your own. I shall temper you."
The fight that broke out as every new Berserker and Fighter charged at him was quick and brutal. No tricks, no magic, just Kurtulmak showing superior skill with just his spear. The newly Awakened were exhausted.
It made me realize that my stepping between him and Tallyn probably did more to save my brother's life than it protected him.
Kurtulmak held his spear out, pointing at them. "You are all who are capable
of fighting. Understand when I say, if you wish for a life of peace, you will never touch a weapon again. But if you will fight to protect your Warren, then you will come to me to learn. You will not win this war by playing by the rules, but through the blood of your enemies."
With this said, he turned his back to them and leapt back onto the stage. I looked at the rest of the Councilors, their reactions were mixed, with the Clerics and Paladins still very much not a fan of the situation. "Galax." I said, holding my hand out to him. "For as long as our Gods act in peaceful alliance, so too do I promise myself and any who choose to follow Kurtulmak will only do what is necessary for our survival, and not a step more."
He stood up and approached me.
"That your master be redeemed." He said, taking my hand and shaking it.
"That the justice that was denied be delivered." I answered back.
I was certain Galax knew why I offered my hand to him. It was one thing to say there was peace between our Gods, it was another to show it. Bahamut spoke in actions, not mere words, and him refusing to do this much would be trouble.
The Council meeting after the fact was mostly just the others asking if I was insane and if I really thought this was going to end well.
I simply looked at them and said, "We have an army now that we didn't have a day ago." I left it at that.
When I returned to the Tower, Kurtulmak carving Draconic runes into them and muttering under his breath, I felt a rush of power flow through me, one I hadn't felt in a long time.
"So, you have achieved greater power." Kurtulmak stated.
"Yes, Master." I said. I had gained knowledge of a cantrip and a new spell. The cantrip was the creation of a handful of acid, while the spell granted me knowledge of how to enhance a weapon, albeit only for an hour- two if I used metamagic.
Not only this, but I was now aware of how I could use magic even with a weapon in hand.
"Nak." He said, standing up. "You are presently the most powerful Kobold in this town, myself excluded. Your insatiable desire to improve your craft is the reason for this. Be honored that you are superior to the rest."
While I felt a flash of pride in his praise, I shook my head. "I'm not superior." I said. "If I was, I would be leagues above them. No, my strength is the same as theirs, I've just been the one who doesn't waste an opportunity to practice."
He smirked in a way that indicated he found this amusing, maybe even quaint.
There was a knock at my door. He nodded, letting me know I could go. I walked downstairs and answered.
It was the other Sorcerers. "Come in." I said, and then entered. "Is something wrong?"
"We wanted to meet Kurtulmak." Goss said.
I blinked. "Uh, why?" I asked.
"He was- is
- the first Kobold Sorcerer." Urak stated. "We have theory
to guide us. Theory and experimentation. Our comparing notes is not enough, we need guidance, and there is no 'Bold with more experience than him."
Kashak nodded. "Not to mention, ever since they became Paladins, our friends have not wanted anything to do with us since we won't convert to their religion."
I sighed. "You don't make faithful by forced conversion." I muttered. "Alright, but bear in mind I
am devoted to him, as per my vow, you cannot trust me to have your best interests in mind if it comes to doing what he needs me to do." I gestured for them to follow me, and they did. Once we were at the top floor, I held my hand out for them to stop.
"Master." I said. "The Sorcerers of our Warren wish to meet you."
Kurtulmak stood up and looked our way.
"They are fools seeking power, toss them aside." He said.
"We want nothing like that, great Kurtulmak." Garu spoke, bowing.
"He did not even waste any time brown-nosing." Kurtulmak remarked. "Your flattery needs work, and your theatrics make your insincerity more obvious. I have no place for sycophants, aspirants, usurpers, the avaricious, and traitors. Leave."
"But, your holiness-!"
Kurtulmak raised his spear at them. "Leave."
They quickly fled down the stairs, at least one of them outright fell. I winced.
"If even one of them was honest, only seeking truth, I might have entertained them. I have grown tired of tyrants driving our people to death." He returned to carving symbols into the armor. "I will give them two more chances. If they can learn to set aside their ambitions for the good of the Warren, I will grant them such a small boon. If they cannot, I will kill them, for they will endlessly seek to dominate, and we do not have the time or patience for that."
There was another knock. I heard him sigh, but he waved his hand. I went back down, opened the door, and saw a Human. "Uh, hi." He said. "I, uh... I wanted to speak with your God." He said.
I led him upstairs.
"Leave." Kurtulmak stated. "I will not meet with a Human, I do not care
about your kind."
"I understand." The Human said. "Nonetheless, I still want to speak with you."
Kurtulmak stood up, pointing his spear. "Leave."
"I'm sorry, but I won't. Either let me speak with you, or kill me." The Human said. "I'm not afraid of dying."
Kurtulmak snorted, then pointed at the floor. The Human walked over to that spot and sat down. "What is your purpose here, Human?" He asked, "Not power, you would have cast aside your Humanity for such. You are not aligned with Bahamut or his faithful, so why are you here, and what makes you so bold as to even consider approaching me?"
"I wanted to know why we are immune." The Human said. "And why we can't use the powers that everyone else can."
"Why do you want to know?"
"So we have an answer."
Kurtulmak sighed, resting the butt of his spear on the ground and curling his arm around it so that he could lean against it. "The reason is twofold." Kurtulmak replied. "Tiamat wanted to ensure there would be no chance of the transformed ever remembering their Human lives. Driven mad with pain, they would lash out, killing their former friends and family, the horror driving them to repress their past identities, making it easier for Tiamat to wipe their memories entirely. Naturally, this precludes any Humans obtaining power."
The Human nodded. "I had a suspicion, thank you for the answer. I don't have anything to give in appreciation-"
"You could give me your Humanity." Kurtulmak stated. "As far as I am concerned, you only exist to aid us, to do the drudgery while we take care of the important things. I would make you all slaves, if it wasn't for the unfortunate reality that you might become Kobolds while in bondage."
The Human nodded. "I thought so." He said. I watched in surprise as he became a Kobold. "There."
Kurtulmak looked just as surprised as I was, impressed, even. "You are very brave." He remarked. "I hereby name you Kalith, in honor of such." He sat down across from Kalith, and held his hand out. "I am also aware of what you can be
. My offer is thus- Serve me, pledge your fealty to me, work to ensure our ascension to a mighty empire, and I shall grant you power only you could wield."
"I'm a Warlock?" Kalith asked.
"You are nothing." Kurtulmak stated. "I can may you more
Kalith nodded and took Kurtulmak's hand. He grew tense, his eyes wide, his mouth opening in a soundless scream. One of his eyes, the one I could see, turned from a light green to a pale yellow. When Kurtulmak let go of him, he slumped over, arms shaking as they held him up, his breathing heavy.
"Who am I, Kalith?" Kurtulmak asked.
"Master." Kalith breathed.
"Good. You will go forth and display your power before the Warren, and you will make known the Pact you have forged, and the price that is paid for power. You are mine now, you can either despair or rejoice, it does not matter to me."
Kalith looked at his hands, clenching and unclenching his fingers. "Huh, I should've done this a long time ago." He said. "Thank you, Master."
"Rejoicing it is." Kurtulmak remarked.
Kalith stumbled a little as he got up, I helped him get used to his legs before helping him down the stairs.
"Will you be okay?" I asked.
"Of course." He said. "There are other potential Warlocks out there, and for better or worse, we need them to awaken."
He left the Tower, and I waited for a few minutes, just in case someone else came by. The knock came just as I was about to head upstairs. "For fuck's sake..." I muttered as I opened the door. I didn't expect to see Tallyn.
"May I enter?" He asked.
I stepped aside and he walked in. Dressed in shining armor, proudly wearing the vestments of Bahamut, he looked at me coldly.
"Is your... master
here?" He asked.
"Yes." I said. "Why?"
"I wish to speak with him." He stated, looking at the stairs. I sighed and gestured for him to follow me. "Is my being here an inconvenience?" He asked.
"The Sorcerers came by looking for power, Kurtulmak chased them off. We got our first Warlock not long after, you're the third person who's come by to see him."
"He chased the Sorcerers away?" He asked, he seemed surprised.
"He's not looking for minions. If they try again twice and they haven't figured out Kurtulmak actually does care about the Warren by then, he will kill them, because their ambition will endanger us at the worst possible time."
"Ruuk..." I looked at him. "Do you regret what you have done at all?"
"Do you?" I asked. I led him up the stairs, Kurtulmak was already waiting for us, spear in hand, pale yellow eyes glaring at Tallyn.
"Do you think you stand a chance, Paladin?" He asked. "I have not forgotten your actions."
Tallyn drew his sword, then handed it to me. "I did not come to antagonize." He said. "I have come to offer my limited
service, as recompense for my actions."
"Don't even bother." Kurtulmak stated. "Accepting this would only lead you to resenting me more. You see me as one who has taken your brother away from you, who has lied to your God, who will lead your people astray." He walked toward Tallyn until he was face to face. "I would never accept the service of one who hates me. If you are truly sorrowful for your actions, you will renounce your God and accept me as your own." "I would never."
Tallyn hissed through gritted teeth.
"Then save your apologies for the ones you have wronged." Kurtulmak replied. "Starting with your brother."
Tallyn turned around, took his sword from me, and walked away. I heard the door to the Tower slam behind him.
"Did you have to antagonize him like that, Master?" I asked.
"Yes." He replied. "He is foolishly trying to reconcile his actions with his faith. He believes he was correct in punishing a traitor, his offer to me was nothing more than a means to quell his guilty conscience." Kurtulmak returned to his work on the armor. "Under less polite circumstances, I would have accepted and slowly corrupted him until he willingly consigned his soul to me. I told him exactly what he needed to hear."
"Given the opportunity to convert him, would you?" I asked.
"No." He replied. "Not only would it sour the deal I have with Bahamut, but it would also turn his followers against me even more. They are barely
holding themselves back, even the mere notion that two of the miracles they experienced- indeed, the entire reason they were capable of revering him- was because I was feeling contrary that day." He looked at me. "Given the chance, would you?"
I shook my head. "No. But I would make him question his faith, force him to understand what it is he is looking for, and whether he is genuinely faithful, or simply struggling to reconcile with the pointless suffering we are dealing with."
"A good answer." He raised his hands up and began to chant an incantation. His eyes glowed with unfathomable power, the symbols on the armor began to glow, and then he lowered his hands. He picked up the armor, looked it over, then nodded before setting it aside and grabbing an unmarked one.
"Master, may I ask what you are doing?"
"Enchanting." He said. "I am creating a relatively rare magic armor that provides greater protection to the wearer. There is no way we will avoid combat, at some point, our enemies will grow impatient, and they will seek to kill us before long."
"So, it's like my armor?" I asked.
"No. The armor I gave you is a legend unto itself, a copy of the artifact that is mine. This will be less protective, but will still save lives."
"Is there any way I can help?" I asked.
"Not at present." He said. "You need to maintain your good image among the Warren, tomorrow, you will approach the Temple of Bahamut and request atonement. Say that, while you cannot forsake your vow to me, you wish to make amends. This will reduce tensions, will make you appear more reasonable and amenable to their desires, and will ensure that- when the time comes- they will leap to your defense, rather than risk their lives for a traitor."
"I will do as you command, Master." I replied.
He smiled. "I like you, Ruuk. You don't ask unnecessary questions. Now, you should go out there and lend your power to those who need it, you have a duty to your people, which is important for when you become their king."
"As you command, Master." I headed downstairs and stepped out into the town.
[Navigation for 'Dragon Rising'-         
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