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For the 2002-2007 KJ, and 2008-2012 KK.
2012.10.08 20:30 GreenEyedDemon For the 2002-2007 KJ, and 2008-2012 KK.
A subreddit for the Jeep Liberty/Cheerokee. From the 2002 KJ, all the way to the 2012 KK.
2023.03.22 06:51 Sevchenko874 [Fan Work of Fan Work] Koishi Komeiji's Heart Throbbing Adventure The Interim Chapter 12
You Matter to Her in a Way No One Else Could When you died and were reborn, you became divine. You were love, and you were violence, and you were my miracle. A God sprung forth from the decaying machinery of your broken body. Koishi, the God of Love and Hate—have mercy on us all. Down by the shore
of one of the great Lunar seas, there sat a lonely shack thatched with feathers. Inside, there was a massive wani
no less than eight leagues long… and her infant son. To that crocodile who had never known true familial love, that delicate little child—who cooed and smiled at his mother’s every move—was nothing less than a miracle. Such a delicate life in her claws, who knew nothing but unconditional love for his mother—to the crocodile, it was proof there was still good in the world.
She was tired, but the crocodile forced herself to stay awake. There was something she needed to do—a memory she wanted to share with the most important person in her life.
So, with all the caution and tenderness in the world, she picked up her child with her jaws and coaxed him into her throat pouch. The newborn child, perhaps having some shared instinct with his crocodilian mother, did not cry or struggle. Instead, he let out a giggle as he poked his head out from between his mother’s jagged teeth. With a snort, the dragon climbed out of her thatch hut, and crawled along the shore, drawing a meandering trail in the sand as she went.
When she reached the point where the water came to shore in gentle waves, the crocodile set herself down in the sand, letting the waves wash in and lick at her child in gentle sprays. Her child giggled as the Lunar sea’s tickled him with its pure waters, and as he did, his mother couldn’t help but feel at peace.
Nothing. Nothing at all would be able to take this from her.
Her miracle. Toyohime opened her eye to clear blue skies.
She flexed her fingers, and instead of feeling the cold steel of the ship she started to tear apart, she felt so many tiny pebbles, warmed by their time in the sun. Sand? She brought a fistful of the stuff into her vision, before letting it fall through her fingers and run down her face. It was too real to be a dream.
Toyohime sat up to observe her surroundings. As far as the eye could see, there were infinite stretches of sand collected into wind-swept dunes that obscured the horizon. It was hot. Unbelievably so for what was supposedly the void. She felt a gentle gust of warm wind pass by her and toss her hair. This place… this impossible place… was she dead?
She rose to her feet, fighting biting aches and pains from her battle not too long ago. No—not dead. Somehow, she had survived—there was no other explanation. And as she looked down to assess the damage she had taken, her suspicions were only confirmed. Her right arm was missing, and in its place was nothing but a healed stump. The nasty cuts and bruises she had received in the fighting had all healed over for the most part, the only evidence they happened at all being residual scars that were yet to disappear. The ground was covered in dried blood. She must’ve been laying here in this sand trap for hours.
She brought her free arm, completely healed, up to the general space where her right eye was to find an arrow still protruding from it. Wrapping her fingers around the shaft, Toyohime tore it out in a fluid motion, causing the wound to reopen and drip blood onto the sands below. But, through some miraculous action, it was mere moments before the flow of blood stopped as the wound healed shut. Her right eye was still inoperable, but this healing ability was downright uncanny, even for a god.
She flexed her fingers. It felt like there was a hole in her head from which memories and feelings poured out. The mystery of how she got here, who she killed, and whether she could even trust her own senses had no answer—Toyohime knew she herself had made sure of that. She supposed there was a good reason. The less she knew, the better. That was something she could trick herself into believing.
Though no matter how much she forced herself to forget, she had the horrible feeling she had done something unforgivable—something she would kill over. In a sea of atrocities however, she could hardly even begin to suppose what that might have been. Maybe the heat was starting to fry her brain.
After spending a few minutes snapping the arrows lodged in her body by their shafts, Toyohime looked to the horizon, and then up. Ahead, there was a massive sand dune, no less than five times her height, and beyond the crest—a black pillar of smoke. Toyohime was not alone.
As she made her way up the shifting incline, Toyohime got to thinking about her next course of action. If this wasn’t a hallucination, then it most certainly had to be some extension of Koishi's will. Land in an impossible space… the creation of something impossible like that could only be a factor of a deteriorating mind, or God. And Toyohime had no time to consider the possibility of a crumbling psyche—not when she had a duty left unfulfilled.
But then… that would mean this was the paradise of Koishi’s mind. Surely, by her side is where she would find her salvation. She had already come to terms with it—that there was nothing left for her in the old world. Koishi could pervert and corrupt reality in whatever twisted ways she wanted—as long as it was the creation of her heart, it would be sufficient. Everything beyond that was not worth saving to the former princess.
… But that also meant there would be more enemies. More people she had to kill. She was ready. Ready to kill and ready to die in the name of love.
And as she planted her boot upon the peak of that sand dune, she saw the whole world become bare before her. A fair distance away was the crashed wreck of a golden ship, releasing plumes of black smoke as it burnt away. From this distance, it was difficult to make out any finer details, but she was sure the occupants had escaped. Satori was resourceful and stubborn, if nothing else. Dying in a crash was an impossibility.
She then traced a line from the ship through the shifting sands—to a city upon the horizon. Massive towers of glass and steel pushing against the sky, half buried in the sand, bending light around them as they reflected the intense heat of the sun. It gave the sight an unnatural fuzziness, as if the city was threatening to disappear at any moment.
As she traced the decaying visage of those buildings upwards, she saw a thin line reach beyond and into the sky. The line separated into two before converging back on itself. Above the city, etched upon the sky itself, was a pitch black gap in reality, opened and filled with so many eyes. And above still, the object of Toyohime’s desires and her sole driving factor—Koishi Komeiji.
Though the God’s eye was open, as well as the myriad collection of smaller eyes and drooling jaws that had lined every square inch of her squirming appendages, it was hard to tell if she was awake or conscious. Toyohime knew Koishi best, and if she had any guess as to what Koishi had been doing in the time they spent apart, it was receding back into the numbing comfort of her own mind. Even now, Toyohime figured she was still dreaming, avoiding the cruel weight of her responsibility. What manifested outside of her mind must’ve been some sort of twisted runoff.
Down there, hidden in the dunes, Toyohime knew there were those who would take this dream from Koishi. Those who would hurt Koishi. Those people would’ve done just as well to dig their own graves and build their own coffins. Because so long as Toyohime drew breath, she would protect Koishi with everything she could muster—that was her promise and the nature of her impossible, unconditional love.
Koishi was Toyohime’s second chance.
This time, one way or another, there would be no opportunity for a third.
Mima, on the other hand, had woken up quite a bit earlier than Toyohime had.
She had not suffered any fatal wounds or debilitating strikes leading up to the point where the reality around her started to crumble and distort—but she had briefly lost consciousness regardless. She figured that might’ve been a good thing; an action so absurd and so against everything she knew, perpetrated by an impossibly powerful being… even if a mere glimpse didn’t physically tear her mind to ribbons, she had no interest in trying to understand such a nonsensical event.
Mima awoke not in a desert, but in a grand sprawling city of seemingly human construction. Though the sun still hung overhead, the impossible hills and mountains of sand that caged the city in, always seemed to shift and move in the most calculated way… such that the sun was always put out. Caught in the shade, the city looked like it was in a perpetual night, in spite of the blinding yellow of the endless desert just beyond its limits.
Though that was the case, the city was far from dark. Street lamps, blinding neon signs, blinking traffic lights, apartments and houses with windows illuminated by the fluorescent lights within… It gave the impression the city was alive. It seemed exactly as a real bustling city at night, with its breathing and blinking—but there were no people. No matter how far Mima walked, no matter how many buildings she popped in, she would encounter no souls. She would find, in those buildings, immaculate setpieces filled with lived-in charm, hints and implications of life—but not people. Not even Yukari, who she wandered the streets in search of.
She recognized this place. This city—Tokyo. It couldn’t have possibly been, but it was the same Tokyo she grew up in, back before the Moonlight Descent and before the Kaiju. Before her chance meeting with the youkai who used to be her friend. This city, trapped in the middle of the desert, caught in an artificial night that obscured the flow of time—somehow it managed to be the perfect recreation of a long lost city, as if someone had taken a scalpel to the part of Mima’s brain that held onto the precious memories of her past life. It was comforting, being back in familiar territory, but it also carried along a pervasive uneasiness. The nostalgia said it was real, but the rational mind knew better than to buy into an impossible mirage—made all the more uneasy by the deathly silence of its streets.
After wandering around for a dozen minutes or more, Mima eventually came to find Yukari in a 24-hour fast food joint. She was sitting, out of her suit and miraculously healed, on a stool that faced the street outside, with her head down and a small pool of drool collecting at the point where the corner of her mouth met the countertop. Renko always said Maribel could fall asleep anywhere.
Mima floated back and forth around the gently snoring form of Yukari for a bit, considering her options. She changed back into her Renko form for a second, and after adjusting her hat a little, she reached over to tap Yukari on the shoulder… but then shied away. Glancing at Yukari, then back to her bag, she rummaged through its bottomless contents and pulled out a whole host of items: hand mirrors, makeup kits, two liter bottles of listerine, mints and peppermint breath spray and assorted beauty products.
She stole a quick glance back at Yukari to make sure she was asleep before going at it—in one go, she dumped every minty product she could into her mouth before swishing the unholy mixture in her mouth. It was not a moment later that she coughed out all of that liquid ice with a retch and a gag. Sheepishly, she turned her head to see if Yukari had woken up in all the commotion. Luckily, she was still knocked out something fierce. Mima might’ve guessed she was dead, if it weren’t for the occasional snore.
Undeterred, she opened a hand mirror and began to apply her makeup. Carefully. There was a subtle art to it—she only needed enough to hide any unsightly blemishes she might’ve gotten from her rather shut-in lifestyle as a ghost. Anything more, and Maribel was bound to notice Mima was purposefully fixing her appearance around her. None of that. Mima was trying for a more subliminal approach… It’s what worked in the past, after all.
Well, upon further thought, Mima figured “worked” was too strong a word. She did die before she saw any results, after all. But enough of that, Mima thought—now that she regained her memories, she’s finally gotten another shot. This being the apocalypse and all, she figured she should probably make it count.
She clicked close her portable hand mirror and, along with the rest of her stuff, threw it back into her field bag. She stole one last glance at Yukari, who was still sleeping soundly, before straightening her hat and clearing her throat.
“Maribel…” she said in a quiet, sing-song voice. She placed a hand on Yukari’s shoulder and gave it a gentle shake. “Maribel, wake up.”
No response. Mima pouted as she shook her around again. “Merry? It’s so scary around here—I need someone super strong and amazing by my side. Maybe we could hold hands?”
Nothing but more snoring. Mima’s expression fell. “... Okay, seriously. Wake up.”
“Don’t make me break out the big guns, Merry,” Mima said, digging through her bag and pulling out an airhorn. “I’ll do it. You think I’m bluffing?”
A tense beat passes. Mima stows away the airhorn. “... Ah, I’m just kidding. I wouldn’t do something like that to you. You’re too cute, hehe.”
“I’m not above this, though.” She reaches back into her bag and pulls out a spray bottle filled with water… before giving Yukari’s face a couple of quick spritzes.
That quiet, tranquil expression to Mima seemed almost a timeless representation of the relationship she shared with Maribel quickly contorted into one of disgust. After a moment of being pelted with spray after spray of water droplets, Yukari finally was roused from her sleep, a squinty, grouchy mess.
“Who..? Urgh…” She mumbled with a groan. When Yukari saw Renko, immaculately constructed before her with enough accuracy to convince her she came straight from her memories, she froze. Her voice was barely above a whisper. “... Renko?”
“Hehe… Yep, it’s me! Your best friend. Best girl-friend, even. That is, a girl who is also a friend. Not a girlfriend, you know? Aha… Unless? Kidding, kidding.” Mima flashed an easy smile. “Glad you’re awake. Hey, before you say anything else—how do I look? I look cute, right? I know we’re in the middle of saving the world and everything, but I’ve actually been spending a lot of time taking care of my appearance.”
As Mima continued to ramble on and Yukari continued to wake up, her expression made a slow and gradual pivot. Where at first Yukari couldn’t hide her bemusement from her face—as well as that strange pained expression someone would have, seeing a loved one they have long since finished mourning appear upon their doorstep—she eventually came to settle on an empty stare and a neutral, apathetic expression. It hurt Mima a little, seeing such a radical turn in her demeanor.
“Oh,” Yukari muttered. “It’s just you.”
Mima didn’t think she intended it, but there was a layer of latent annoyance in her words. Or maybe it was disappointment? A thousand years or more apart did a lot to shift their relationship. That much was clear—and it hurt.
Yukari took a moment to look Mima up and down. With a scoff and a roll of her eyes, she delivered an unceremonious answer. “You look fine.”
Mima sighed in response. “Hey, I’ll take it.”
“More importantly…” As Yukari continued, she craned her neck around to absorb every detail of her surroundings: everything from the light fixtures above to the tables that were so meticulously set and prepared. “... Where are we?”
Her eyes naturally gravitated toward the front counter and the kitchen section that was just behind—meticulously wrapped burgers and fresh fries, set underneath heat lamps… it was as if they were all made recently. But that wasn’t even the strangest detail Yukari’s eyes were able to pick out. Upon one of the tables was a tray, filled with half eaten food—as if the patrons ceased to exist in the middle of their meal. This was beyond a mere liminal space, where it gave the impression of once being a place where people gathered—it was closer in relation to the scene of an ongoing disaster, where people had left in a hurry.
In that way, it didn’t carry much of the surreal quality of a place no longer meant for humans—it more so felt like a place with a cursed history, its sinister and mysterious narrative etched into its skin and flesh through the vestiges of human presence. Mima could tell, being a ghost herself, there was more to this place than the physical construction. As to what ‘more’ was, she could not place.
She could tell Yukari was thinking something similar by the way she walked around and took in the feeling of the place. Her posture was rigid and cautious, but not necessarily ready and waiting for danger. There was a quiet dread to the things that weren’t, but should’ve been.
“I’m trying to figure that out myself,” Mima replied, following Yukari around with her arms folded behind her back. “You’re going to think I’m crazy, but… I think we’re back in Tokyo.”
“I don’t think you’re crazy.” Yukari replied. She walked over to the table with the food and traced a finger across its top. No dust clung to the surface of her finger, as if the tabletop had recently been cleaned. She brought the back of her palm close to the food. It was still radiating just a little bit of heat, as if it had been freshly served. “That’s the part that scares me.”
“... Assuming this is all very much real, this must be Koishi’s doing,” Yukari declared, taking a moment to look down at herself. As she flexed her fingers, her eyes narrowed. Mima figured she might’ve just realized she had been healed and mysteriously back to her usual outfit. She still looked younger and weaker than she once was, but there was an undeniable, albeit subtle increase in the vitality she seemed to convey. As Yukari’s eyes wandered to the empty city street outside, Mima couldn’t help but notice that expression—that idle, faraway gaze that looked like Yukari had trapped herself in a vivid daydream. She couldn’t help but realize how much Maribel had changed—and yet stayed the same.
“Whatcha thinking, Merry?” Mima tried, shuffling up to Yukari’s side.
“Oh. Right. Ha, that’s my bad. My bad…”
“I’m thinking: why Tokyo specifically?” With a wave of her hand, Yukari opened a gap next to her. Through that little tear in reality was a bird’s eye view of the whole city, as well as the infinite desert that surrounded it. “... There must be some significance to this location, but I couldn’t possibly imagine what it could be. Not right now, knowing what we know.”
“Hey, I grew up in Tokyo, you know? Maybe it has something to do with that? And… y’know, we were teaching in Tokyo before…” Mima gestured vaguely around herself. “... Everything, I guess. Maybe Koishi’s reacting to our memories.”
“Could be. Could just as easily be something related to Koishi. Could be nothing at all.” The view through the gap eventually fizzled out, leaving nothing but the inky blackness of the pocket dimension Yukari held dominion over. She let out a sigh before stitching the gap closed with a wave of her hand. “I’d suggest we keep on moving. Collect as much information as we can about this place. But only what we need—the plan is still largely the same. There’s no telling when she will appear again. Best be as quick about it as we can.”
“Oh. Uh… Alright. That’s cool.”
“What’s wrong? You disagree?”
“Oh no, ah…” A sheepish grin crawled across Mima’s face. “I was just thinking about how much you’ve changed, is all. It’s just… you know, a huge city missing all of its people is pretty mysterious, huh? Don’t you want to do more exploring? Poke around a bit and take in the sights? Like we used to—just one last time?”
There was an unsettling period of silence where Yukari stared straight through Mima with that flat look. She averted her eyes for a passing moment. When Yukari returned her gaze to Mima, it was steely and cold. “No. Neither of us are kids anymore. We have duties and responsibilities that we can not abandon. Not for anything.”
Yukari brushed past Mima. The gesture wasn’t very rough at all, but Mima felt it come at her hard. As Yukari opened the door, she looked back at Mima and gestured to her to follow.
Orin did not want much from life.
There was Satori, her master, who she cared about deeply. There was Okuu, her best friend, who she loved. There was Koishi, the younger sister of her master, who she felt obligated to take care of. And of course, there was her job of transporting corpses, which she could do endlessly and without tiring. Those things more or less encompassed everything she cared about—Orin was a simple person.
So as she crawled out the emergency hatch located at the top of the ship her master had so recklessly buried into a sand dune, she couldn’t help but feel so hopelessly out of her depth. With a groan, she hoisted herself over the lip of the hatch before losing her balance and tumbling over.
As she tumbled downward, bumping her head against every little edge the ship had on her way down, the visor to her suit cracked and then shattered. But as she flopped down into the warm sand, her arms and legs spread in a state of absolute fatigue, she couldn’t really bring herself to care about the warning tones in her helmet—or the fact she was able to breathe the air here, in what used to be the void. Frankly, all she could think about was how much she wanted to go home.
“Orin! Are you okay?” A familiar voice called from somewhere outside her field of vision. It was followed by the hasty clattering of boots on metal as they no doubt clambered down the ship in a hurry.
All Orin could offer in response was a weak grunt and the extension of a thumbs up.
“Are… are you insane?” Another voice called soon after, all breathless and hoarse. It cracked with exertion, as if it had already been worn out by so much screaming. “Satori, what form of devil possessed you to do that? We could’ve all died!”
Satori, of course, didn’t respond. Not before she entered Orin’s field of view, her own helmet long since thrown away. Her face was etched with a rare look of concern, and she breathed a deep sigh of relief when she saw Orin manage a weak smile. Wordlessly, Satori jostled off the smashed helmet from Orin’s suit and brushed away any remaining debris… before pulling her into a tight embrace.
Orin, dazed and shocked from the crash, could manage little else than to rest her head upon her master’s shoulders as she was pulled in. But through whatever stores of energy she had left, she managed to raise her arms and wrap them around in loose reciprocation.
“I’m okay,” she whispered. “I’m okay.”
Satori pulled back from the hug, but stayed kneeling by Orin’s side. Cautiously, she looked to the horizon, as if she had caught a vanishing glimpse of something stalking them from behind the shifting sands. She extended an elbow for Orin to grab on to. “Let’s go. Can you stand?”
“I… I think so,” Orin mumbled, hooking one of her arms around Satori’s elbow and placing a hand on her shoulder for support. Her master lifted, and in response Orin tried her best to stumble onto her feet, with mixed results. As she straightened herself out with the help of Satori, she heard her bones shift and crackle in strange ways—followed by an absolute lightning strike of localized pain in the leg and the fuzzy static that came to replace it.
After a sharp intake of breath and a pained wince, Orin settled into a decidedly unconvincing posture—she plastered a smile on her face and shifted all of her weight onto the other leg in a poor imitation of nonchalance, but Satori’s face only got graver. It broke Orin’s heart. For a moment, Orin tried to separate herself from her master so she could stand on her own—but Satori only squeezed her in closer, as if she would’ve lost Orin the second she let go.
That didn’t surprise Orin much. She knew better than anyone that the events one year ago were still fresh in her master’s mind. Even now, it haunted her every action, and now the consequences were starting to catch up with everyone involved. But to Orin, that didn’t matter. It never did—not so long as Satori was her master, and Orin was her pet. Satori could march to the deepest pit of Hell, pick a fight with a God, oppose reality itself… and Orin would march along right beside her, no matter what.
Patchouli, on the other hand, did not share the same sentiment. She marched up to the two, at least temporarily uncaring of the fantastical environment they found themselves in, and went straight to airing out her grievances.
“Recklessly engaging with Toyohime like that, against all better logic… one day, and this day might very well come sooner than you think, your obsession with that cursed woman will hurt someone you care about,” Patchouli snapped. As she looked to Orin, whose body was riddled with evidence of blunt trauma, her expression softened. “... It already has.”
“As if we had any other choice. It was our best shot to kill her, once and for all,” Satori replied, stone-faced and cold. “... Besides, let Orin speak for herself. As if you know what she does and doesn’t wish for.”
“... Orin wasn’t the only person who got hurt. Or killed.”
“It just so happens that Eirin conveniently falls outside my definition of ‘people I care about.’ I fail to see the issue.” Satori snorted with disgust, as if offended by the mere implication. Orin wanted to speak up and cut between the fighting, but couldn’t find the strength to oppose her own master. “That aside, who says I was the one who got her killed? She got herself killed, following her own incomprehensible mess of half-baked ideas and strategies. What are you coming at me for?”
“How could you be so cold toward someone like her? Especially since we were all fighting out there together, as comrades? Have you no shame?”
“I’ve no love for her. Not after what she did to my sister.” Satori stared straight into Patchouli’s eyes. Sometimes her master was like this—staring straight ahead through a person, as if judging the content of their soul itself. Sometimes, this was literally the case, given that she made liberal use of her opened third eye. “We might be fighting beside each other, but we’re fighting for completely different things. Yukari, Eirin, Kaguya, even you and I—we’re all fighting for something different. Those are just the facts. Just as it was a fact that Koakuma had darkness in her heart. It’s that kind of fact.”
“How cynical. Aren’t we friends?”
Satori fixed Patchouli with a steady glare as she thought through her answer. Even with an open eye, Orin found her master’s thought process difficult to parse.
“... No. We aren’t,” Satori settled. “It’s not a secret—I’m fighting to get my sister back. I’m fighting to kill the person who turned her into a monster. I’m fighting to protect my family. You are doing none of those things—you’re fighting for a more abstract reason: protecting the world, or preventing human suffering, or whatever other justification you assign to your actions. It’s admirable, but recognize that It’s only by convenience that we’re here, helping each other out.”
“... Is that right?” Patchouli muttered under her breath. “Then if it came between Yukari, or Eirin, or me, or anyone else… and your family. Who would you choose?”
“It’s best to be honest with ourselves. It saves us the heartache.”
In the silence that came after, the atmosphere seemed to become heavier. Orin spent each passing beat being suffocated by the pressure. Her eyes darted from Patchouli to her master, and then back again.
“Er…” Orin started. “Let’s ah… could we just figure out what we’re going to do next, maybe? Without fighting—that would be nice.”
“Good plan, Orin,” Satori said. Though strangely enough, she wouldn’t take her eyes off of Patchouli. “I’m not quite sure what we would do without you.”
Patchouli looked away. Orin couldn’t help but feel vaguely responsible—though the second the thought even popped into mind, Satori squeezed a little tighter, as if in reassurance.
“... There’s no use in arguing,” Patchouli said with a heavy sigh. “Or rather, it’s a subject for later, when we aren’t all in danger. For now, I agree—we should figure out our next steps.”
The guns had long since run quiet.
Those satellites—their powerful bodies forged by the greatest minds, cast in the strongest metals, and mounted with the fiercest weapons humanity could muster—how could they have possibly matched the horror of God’s wrath? They could never, and for their hubris, their bodies and their souls were scattered and broken as a million glittering lights upon the ocean.
Those were the kinds of things Kaguya Houraisan thought about as she sat beside a flickering fire, her only source of light deep in the darkness of a desert night, not a few meters from the turned and battered wreckage of the CNS Beyond the Sun. In the void, It was battered by unseen force, turned three times—and upon the fourth, struck down and consumed by the void, as was the divine will of God. To its crew, it might have seemed like nothing less than a castigation of divine nature—but Kaguya knew it was nothing more than the temper tantrum of a child. As infant children must necessarily cry, Koishi must necessarily kill—it was her unconscious will.
Woe upon humanity, as its greatest accomplishment was brought low and made worthless before a child. Her own child. What a dubious honor it was—being the mother of such a terrifying, omnipresent killer.
Kaguya was on the ship when it was attacked by Toyohime. She was there to see Eirin march on to meet her. And she was there to see her die. It didn’t bother Kaguya too much—after all, she had watched Eirin die countless times. She will likely watch her die countless more, before all is said and done. But it was there, seized by the temporary shock, that Kaguya lost consciousness. When she woke up, she was deep within the fresh wreckage of humanity’s greatest weapon—alone. On what happened to her crew, and why Kaguya was spared, she could only make guesses.
With no direction and no plan, Kaguya spent what felt like hours wandering the claustrophobic halls of that great metal cage of a ship. But she was alone. Alone in such a way that not even the impression of humanity remained. Even the spot where she saw three men become atomized by Toyohime’s attack, which had burnt dark impressions of their silhouettes into the steel, was mysteriously void of any sign they were killed at all. The damage remained, but the people were gone—erased from existence in a way only God could manage.
When she eventually emerged from the dark recesses of the ship into a darker night, with nothing but the stars above and the inexplicable ground below, she could do nothing but start a simple fire. The night was cold, and she had a feeling it would be long. Warmth would be needed.
This, alone and huddled by a dying fire, must have been the end. Kaguya shifted closer to the flame, and held her knees closer to her chest. She didn’t know what to do. When her own daughter had sought her out, she didn’t know what to say. All she could do was recognize—that in pursuit of an easy life, she had made things so much worse. She wondered if it was too late to make things right between herself and Koishi. If Kaguya had looked up to her daughter now, and said sorry, would she hear? Would she care?
She wasn’t sure. And she wasn’t sure if she wanted to find out.
As she stared at the stars above, Kaguya heard the shuffling of boots displacing the sand. The sounds came in an irregular, halting motion. When it came to a stop, Kaguya lowered her gaze to the figure who stood at the edge of her fire’s light.
A moon rabbit in a pilot suit, all ripped up, tattered, and blackened by combat. In the gaps of her suit, her skin had melted away from severe burns—and froze in place, creating large patches of gangrenous tissue that covered her body. As Kaguya’s eyes drifted downward, she noticed a patch of body that had a view to the other side. Somehow, by some miracle of medicine, the wound remained stable and closed.
Her face was concealed by her helmet, tinted and patterned by a spider web of cracks, but by the way she stood, so still and lopsided, Kaguya had the impression of an empty gaze just behind the facade.
The moon rabbit carried in her left hand a revolver, its chambers empty and on display as the mechanism that connected the grip to the top half of the hung loose. In her other hand, was an ax, splintered in half at the handle from excessive use and its blade caked in a thick layer of blood.
Without a word, the moon rabbit collapsed into a heap by the fire.
Kaguya rushed to the moon rabbit’s side and, upon removing her helmet, froze.
Atonement—she wondered if it was even possible.
Interim Chapter 11
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2023.03.22 05:36 ZackGolden18 The Customer Is Always Right: FLASH FICTION Drama
Kit had not felt well when the morning blurred with his yesterday, he made sure to sip his pill before 8 but had found no motivation to move out of his bed patiently and make his way over for his daily coffee while his mother got ready for work in her bedroom, slightly ignoring his presence when she walked by him in the hall.
Kit sat mostly on the couch watching T.V, embracing the laziness that came on the weekend before school started up again, and the towering uneasiness but exciting unknown that came to be filled with imaginary friends and hangouts that he knew couldn't be possible with his mother's existence still be as overly irritable, and passive as usual. Surely she made sure her growls were heard throughout the house each morning. And by that, when the time, as surreal as it seems, reached past five in the afternoon and melting into the evening he started his shower once a day and got into it, trying his best to focus on the smooth vibrant steam that came from it before his shift starts at work. And with uncertainty, after drying himself, he passed his mother the same way she did that morning, but unfortunately, this time she went ahead and grabbed his arm strength, and by that moment, all Kit could remember was the dark burning bubbles that came within his stomach when right after, he walked out of his home and down the street towards the bus to get to work, and passionately think of getting away from his mother, and by night be home to probably see her not there. By 7, she leaves and never comes back until 4 in the morning. This however became an enjoyment rather than an insecurity, when he realized the freedom that came was not surely an embarrassment of his image of a neat home, or a perfect family, but instead an outsider who waited for the perfect time to strike, and the strike did he indeed five weeks ago. While sitting on the bus feeling the bus rumble, he recalled his father leaving their house one night and never returning, and when he once did to grab the rest of his belongings, he slipped on his little brother's toy and broke his neck on the stairs. Whether it was on purpose for his little brother to leave that on the exact edge of the stairwell is unknown, but surely wasn’t in the hands of Kit, who gave a cookie to him that very same day and said, “sometimes fathers don’t last long, it's okay. I'm sure he would be proud you're still going strong”.
Around halfway through his shift, Kit was recollecting the go-backs that were brought by customers who either changed their minds about buying the product or simply wanted to return one. And while wondering what to do next for the rest of his shift, since he didn’t expect to finish so early, standing down the aisle filled with kitchen products, a mother and her daughter glance at him strongly. The mother had her hair tied up and her figure looking well shaped, her makeup looking well put, she glanced one more time at Kit and said, “Are you making sure we don’t steal?”.
Kit's confusion takes over, but Kit remembers to stay neutral. “Oh no, this is just my department. Sorry If you think so”, he says with a smile. Thinking she wouldn’t say more, he went back to daydreaming about home.
“Oh okay”, the mother says, then adds passively, “it's just that that's a good way to scare people off because we saw you standing in the corner over there, not doing anything and I think, if anything, is a bit weird”.
“I'm sorry”, Kit says strongly. Not knowing if it's a question or a defense.
The mother moves closer with a strong stance, as her daughter giggles lightly with her phone in hand watching in pride how her mother is speaking, “I'm just saying that's a good way to scare people off. You're just being a little weird around me and my daughter in the store. And can I just say, you're making me and my daughter not feel good in the store because I know you're watching us”, the mother says proudly.
With the mother waiting for a response, and the daughter grinning at him, Kit remembered why he felt so lonely at home, and anywhere else. From the growing anger, he still kept about his overpowering father, to the growing fantasy of just him and his little brother against the whole world, he turned when he thought he felt a grip on his arm and slapped the mother harshly causing her to fall down and smack her head against the floor. The daughter gasped, and the mother looked overly astonished.
Kit quickly told his boss what happened, grabbed his coat, clocked out, and directly left the store as everyone piled near the mother and daughter. Into the night, in the dark, alone walking back to his home, where he knew his mother wouldn't be waiting or anyone else that he could fully trust other than his own little brother. Just him and him alone, and with that, he giggled the rest of the way down the street. “Poor thing”, he whispers, “I'm pretty sure she was just drunk and just trying to have fun with her daughter”. He chuckles and continues to walk.
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2023.03.22 04:24 soul_search_26 Ghost Passenger or Guardian Angel?
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I was 16 when i got my first suv. It was a white 1989 Jeep Cherokee. I knew nothing about repairing cars. A friend from high school used to help me fix it up. Soon we were four-wheeling and exploring whatever hills we could find. Whenever my friend wasn't around and it had a problem, my sisters BF's brother would come over to fix it.
He loved working on Cars, and always got it back up and running. It
wasn't long after i got the Jeep, that Billy died in a roll over car wreck, in a truck he had built with his family. Anytime after that, when my jeep had a problem i would park it overnight and complain to family it wouldn't start, or had electrical issues, or locking issues. I would wake up and the problems would mysteriously be gone.As
if someone fixed it overnight. The problems never came back.It
was like Billy, was still fixing things. Even after he had left us on Halloween night October 31st 2009. One
day i was headed over to a friend's house Alone, on the dirt road that cut through 7 miles of the woods to his place. The dirt roads were slick after the rain, i was going to fast 35mph as i came around a corner i felt the bottom part of the seatbelt being yanked on. Like when you were a kid, and you pulled the belt to mess with the person in front of you.It
kept tugging on my waist, except this jeep had no seatbelt pre tensioner.. 3 hard yanks, i began to slide into the dirt ditch..
as the jeep went up the right side of the 15ft embankment just before striking a 16'' Pine tree. A man in a white shirt, sitting in the passenger seat Yelled out " duck" . Right as I struck the pine tree the jeep began to overturn at 30 mph as the front right crumpled in. I hunched my body, hands under the steering wheel ducking my head down, just as the roof above my head collapsed. A speaker box weighing 25 lbs disconnected from the floorboard in the back. Flew right past my head and smashed out the windshield, bouncing back and going out my driver's window right by my head. Glass flying everywhere.
Im now upside-down sliding , to my left out the window was the ground, right by my left arm. It all felt like a movie, a dream it happened so fast. I feared my arm would pop out and get crushed under the car as it slid. The jeep caught traction and rolled 180 degrees back onto its wheel facing the other direction i was traveling. Jeep still running. I was in shock, as i got out, turned off the engine as the blades were smacking engine parts making a loud metal noise. I looked at the speaker box laying 100ft away. the crumpled roof right above my head, which surely would have broken my neck had i not ducked. Just mere cuts from flying glass on my arms and face.
I remembered the face in the passenger seat. It was Billy Funk. Accept he was already dead. the cause of death was determined to be a Broken neck, he died instantly on impact when his roof collapsed over his head after he went up an embankment rolling his truck. Maybe it was that he worked on that truck, that he never left it. Either way, that day. a Guardian Angel saved my life. I never told a Soul who knew him..I didn't want to upset anyone.
Link to his Obituary below. RIP Billy funk. Age 24. Thanks for the warning..You will NEVER be forgotten. https://www.tributearchive.com/obituaries/2893421/William-Lee-Funk https://preview.redd.it/y9jfp9u8n7pa1.jpg?width=145&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=e01b93bed50e23bb9cb9a61255eb433a73c92fa5
2023.03.22 04:01 TheManwithaNoPlan The Rogue Chronicles: A Nature of Predators Story (Ch. 13)
Thanks to u/SpacePaladin15
for the universe!
I'm deeply appreciative of u/Acceptable_Egg5560
for their help with editing! Prev First
Next Chapter 13: Bohemian
——————————————————————————————————————— Memory transcription subject: Vekna, Venlil Investigative Journalist Date [standardized human time]: December 7th, 07:24, 2136
It’s a longer drive to the hangars than it was to the museum, mainly because of the “airfield’s” elevated position. From what I understood, this was to make it easier for show pilots to gain speed for their stunts. For us, however, it serves only as a hindrance for our Jeep to overcome. Jeep, Jeep. Such a funny word.
That’s what Chase calls his car. Well, technically, it’s the company that made his car. He explained that the name was derived from that of an ancient car that was used at the same time as those Tiger tanks. It even had a gas motor! Well, to be fair, most vehicles at that time did, but after growing up surrounded by fusion-electric engines and plasma thrusters, it was still breaking new ground for my engineering side.
I’m still brimming with excitement as we finally make it up to the airfield. I look out the window as it enters my line of vision. I’m sorely let down. Standing opposed to the grand spaceports of Venlil Prime, this place consists of a row of metal, semi-circular structures lining the side of a long, wide strip of concrete. How plain…
The data dump had said that most terran vehicles before 2047 didn’t have VTOL capabilities, so a long run of space to build sideways speed was necessary for their flight. Function before form, I guess. Can’t complain about that.
As we drive by the structures, I spot letters and numbers above the wide doors on each one. I assume they correspond to the planes inside, as I recognize a few of them. PBY-5, BF-109, YAK-15, and a few more that I didn’t care to read pass us by as we make our way down the strip of tarmac. Translators always did struggle with such naming conventions, but I’ve gotten used to it by now. Still, too many can give you a terrible
The one we come to a stop in front of, though, has a simple designation upon it; F-14. I tilt my head slightly. I don’t recall ever seeing an “F-14” on display, and if Chase had a model of it, it wasn’t one that I was allowed to touch. As we disembark from our trusty land vehicle, I have no idea what to expect. That’s the most exciting part!
As we approach a side door, Chase gives me a bit of history regarding this F-14. “This bad boy was pulled from active service after an air confrontation in the 1970s.” Chase began commenting, taking the familiar tone of museum guides the galaxy over. “The Pilot lived, his copilot didn’t, and it was inactive for the rest of the Cold War. Eventually, it got abandoned in a scrapyard for a century or so as part of the usual retirement of such craft. When the previous staff found her, she was apparently in pretty bad shape, but they managed to fix her up and get her airworthy again. She flew shows for the museum for about 20 years until the F-22s and F-45s were up and ready to go. Then it was back to the scrap heap for her. Or at least, that's what was supposed
to happen.” Chase winks at me, a human gesture meant to convey slyness or deception. Any other Venlil would have been horrified by that, but it goes without saying I’m not any other Venlil.
“I came across her a month or so after they sold her off and got pennies on the dollar!” My translator didn’t even attempt to make the currency conversion. “I’ve been keeping it here ever since. It’s in much better condition than at the scrapyard, and I intend to keep that way. I’ve made it my personal pet project to keep her ready to fly at a moment’s notice, but I haven’t had the chance to for a while. But we have time now! You wanna see?”
I don’t even need to talk to answer, my tail doing all the work for me. I’m going to get a personal air show, of course I want to see!
I can barely contain my excitement as we approach the access door. We soon reach it, Chase opening it slowly so as not to break the frostbitten hinges. It’s pitch black inside, with only the silhouette of a landing gear visible thanks to the limited morning light. It’s only when Chase flicks on the lights that I’m truly floored. In front of me stands a massive aircraft, sleek in design and wide in stature. The wings of the vehicle stretched for what must be tens of meters, with two massive jet turbine engines in the rear of the plane. Even its very aesthetic is almost predatory in nature, its elongated nose and thin physique almost reminding me of a Krakotl. It's primitive but… brahk it, it’s beautiful!
From what I can see, there are two seats in the cockpit, a thought forming in the back of my mind at that sight. Reason tells me otherwise, but…what if I got to fly in this thing?
I’m brought out of my mind by the loud thunk and the sound of liquid flowing. I look over to see Chase connecting the plane to a large metal tank. Ah, that must be the fuel.
“Fueling it up, Chase?”
“Yeah, what else? We can’t fly on an empty tank, after all!” …We?!
I nearly pass out as I realize my wildest hopes Are coming true. I was going to get to fly in this thing!!
It’s honestly hard to remember what happened between then and now as I’m being helped into the rearmost seat by Chase. Something about safety checks, I think? Who cares?! I’M GOING TO FLY!!
As I’m being strapped in, I notice something. There are a sphekload of gauges, switches and buttons back here!
I assumed they all had a purpose, but I remember Chase telling me that I wouldn’t need to press them at some point. Thank the Herd, my translator is killing itself trying to translate all this!
One thing I would have to just deal with is the seat not being built for someone with a tail, but that’s not too big a deal. If I’m remembering my physics correctly, most of the g-forces would be directed downwards, and given Venlilian skeletal structure, I should be a-okay. Our only weak points are our knees!
Eventually, Chase disconnects the fueling line once we have enough and he climbs into the cockpit, a special helmet on his head. I’m also wearing a similar helmet with a small microphone extended close to my snout. I have to keep my ears pressed against my head for it to fit, but an ear piece allows us to communicate freely. Chase opens the humongous hangar door with a remote, the entire front section of the massive building parting to admit us into the cool, Canadian air. Chase toggles something up front, as I soon hear the combustion-powered jet engines whine to life. It sounds almost like a malfunctioning fusion engine, but Chase assures me that sound is normal. Did we say that? I can’t tell over the whining!
Suddenly, I see something I didn’t even know this plane could do. The wings of the aircraft pull back like a bird before we start to taxi out to the start of the runway. The automated air traffic control system verbally informs us that we’re clear to go, with a set flight range for him to fly about within.
He extends the wings back out as he looks back at me. “Ready to have some fun, Vekna?” OH BRAHK YES!!!
I can’t help but give an excited bleat as my heart races in my chest. I’m glad that it’s from excitement this time, though Chase has given me my own inhaler in case a shortlung attack happens during the flight. I give a thumbs-up, another human gesture, as Chase grabs the throttle and pushes it all the way forward. I’m quickly pressed into the back of my seat as we quickly accelerate up to flight speed. Okay, forgot about forward momentum! Readjusting tail!
I can hear the usually whiny engines roaring through my headset, making it clear as to why I was given it in the first place despite my head shape. It only takes a few seconds before I feel the vehicle lifting up, the ground receding from view below us as I feel the landing gear pull in. This is incredible! I’m flying! I’M FLYING!!!
I can see the peaks of snowy mountains all around us as we fly higher and higher. I can’t help but giddily giggle at the thrill of this flight.
Hearing my excited chittering, it seems Chase gets an idea. “You like that, eh? Try this on for size!”
The entire planet then rolls along our plane’s central axis, and before I know it, the ground is above me. It’s a surreal sight, but before I can process it fully, I feel myself getting pushed down into my seat once again as we pitch down into a canyon. Flying! In the air! Look at the ground speed past!
I scream in joy a little as Chase masterfully maneuvers the aircraft so low to the ground I can practically lick
the snow! I was flying myself above the chasm! How can I even describe these feelings? These wonderful feelings that I would like to feel forever! They’re too great for words to possibly do justice! Listen to yourself ramble! You’re flying!!!
We continue doing tricks for an incredible while longer until we hear an alert in the cockpit. Chase looks over to the blinking red light, presses a button, and after a moment both sound and sight stop. He then says words that I never want to hear again. “Alright, looks like we’re low on fuel. I only filled her up enough for a short flight, anyways. Let’s get down and give this old bird a rest, eh?” I don’t want to.
I want to stay up here and keep flying where the realities of my existence can’t touch me! Where I am free from the bounds of the world! But, tragically, I’m not in control. I can only watch as we slow our airspeed, adjust our heading, and come in for a gentle landing. The gears screech in protest underneath us as they decelerate the plane to a stop, bringing an end to the best moment of my life. It felt like the best kind of forever, but was …already over.
We taxi back into the hangar, coming to a stop as Chase powers down the plane. It takes a while to go through the shutdown process, and I remain in the cockpit for most of it. Anything to allow me to replay the flight in my mind as many times as I can. Eventually, though, that too came to an end as Chase moved the ladder to retrieve me. I hold out my arms as he unbuckles me and lifts me out of the seat, removing my helmet lastly.
“So, how did you like all that, Vekna?”
I don’t have the words to express my enjoyment. I was in the air, away from all my problems and with one of the few people to have treated me like an actual person. I’m unfortunately reminded of my strife by this happy thought, and I come down from my flying high enough to respond.
“Y-Yeah, it was great! Can we do that again soon??”
He laughs as we sit on a bench in the hangar. I lean against him as he wipes the sweat from his brow from having cleaned and prepared the F-14 for another stint of inactivity.
“Sure, but how about we try another plane next time, yeah?” Next time!
I’m about to affirm when a loud alert sounds from Chase’s pad. He mutters something under his breath and checks what it is. Curiously, I look too. There’s a small, top-down silhouette of the airstrip in the middle with rings coming off of it. A ways away, a red dot is shown approaching. Unlike some of the other aircraft, each with their own designations above them, this one is unmarked. It isn’t heading towards us, but it is going in the direction of Vancouver. I don’t see anything particularly wrong with that, but Chase is a different story altogether. He says something about poop under his breath as he hastily stands and starts donning his winter gear once again. I’m left confused on the bench at Chase’s concern.
“Chase? What’s wrong? Why did that alert sound?”
He looks over at me as he’s getting dressed. His eyes are dilated far past their usual. Whatever he knows must be really scaring him. What does that mean for me?
“No transponder. I know what that means all too well. Black Ops”
Oh, that’s what that means for me. Speh.
——————————————————————————————————————— Memory transcription subject: Elijah Morrisson, UN Pilot Ace Date [standardized human time]: December 7th, 05:00, 2136
I stand outside on the pad as I wait for the two bucketheads General Meiers assigned to this mission to arrive. I had already gotten the shuttle prepped for flight an hour ago, its Venlil-tech fusion engines purring like a contented cat. Though how a fusion engine can purr, I can’t begin to speculate. They didn’t have the most thrust, and were very civilian oriented, but I had to admit their lack of sound was useful for practical concealment, far outperforming the quietest craft we had that weren’t helicopters. It was a far departure from the F-55 I flew in the Satelite Wars, but that’s by design. I kind of missed that old bird.
I bet I could probably kick a rookie pilot’s ass in one if I were given the chance. They think they’re all hotshots in their F/A-72s, pah! What was I going to do again? Oh, yeah, bitch about those good-for-nothing NCOs.
I look at my watch, seeing that it’s already 05:02. Where are they?
As soon as I think that, I see the door to the pad’s gantryway open, flashing me with the blinding white fluorescent light from the airlock. There they are! About damn time!
I wave the pair down as they approach at a steady pace, careful not to slip on the ice coating the catwalk.
“Glad y’all could finally join me. Any longer and the general’d have us court-martialed!”
I receive a couple of groans from the two as they lug their bug-out bags into the cargo storage area. “Yeah, you try packing up all your shit without anyone noticing you’re going! We couldn’t even say we’re transferring even if we were asked! That secrecy takes a while.”
“I did. That ain’t no excuse for tardiness, Anderson. And what about you, Xhen? What took you so long?”
He stands quiet for a moment, looking between me and the backside of Anderson as he struggles to get his oversized bag to fit in the cramped personal cargo compartments. He soon succeeds, patting the compressed luggage pridefully before turning back to me.
“Waiting for Lieutenant Anderson, sir!”
I can’t help but laugh at that, earning me a scornful look from the now-standing lieutenant.
“Ah hah. Ah hah hah.
Let’s just get going before we’re caught and tried for treason or some other trumped-up charge.”
Xhen and I both salute our current commanding officer as we load into the shuttle. Thankfully, there are four seats up front. Anderson taking the co-pilot position and Xhen taking the co-pilot-passenger position behind him. We strap in, and I ready the shuttle for flight. Unlike the fighters I was used to flying pre-contact, this shuttle did almost everything for me including flying the damn thing, and I could still make it do that, too! Once we were firmly in the air, I could set autopilot and comfortably do whatever while in route. Those Venlil pilots must be some spoiled sons-of-bitches.
After making sure everybody is strapped in, I activate the VTOL functionality as we quickly rise above the treeline.
The two boots gripped their seats in fear. Heh, I forgot that they didn’t have their sky-legs yet! Well, who was I to deny them their first proper Morrisson flight experience?
I shove the throttle forward and switch to frontal propulsion. The shuttle lurches forward, quickly surpassing the sound barrier with a passing boom. Once we’re supercruising, I slip the shuttle into autopilot and lean back, the other two still scared stiff from our departure. Calm down you babies,
I hope that once we arrive, we won’t have to stay for long. I wanna be home in time for Christmas, dammit! But…I can’t cover up my grievances with jokes forever. Besides, I might Jinx it if I say it aloud.
“Some warning next time would be nice, Morrison!” I hear Anderson sputter next to me.
I just chuckle a little and turn my flight seat towards him. “I thought you had flight experience too, Lieutenant! What, can’t handle a little jolt?”
“That was more than a little jolt, Morrisson! If you’re going to keep flying like a crackhead, I’m going to take those controls from you and fly us all there myself!”
I chuckle at that as I prepare one of my signature Air Force quips. “Good luck with that! You can barely find your own flight stick!” At that, he gives me a side eye that could level mountains. Mountains, maybe, but not me.
“You’re lucky we’re stuck in this suicide squad together, or I’d have you dishonorably discharged for that.” Xhen snickers behind him. “I’m not- you know what? Screw you guys. I’m going to go to the back and finish my night’s rest.” He then unbuckles himself from his seat and makes his way to the back of the shuttle. I watch to see if Xhen will follow suit, and sure enough, he also yawns.
I sigh, deciding that he needs his rest too. “You sleepy, private?”
He snaps to attention, though there’s a noticeable lag to his actions. “No sir! Just recovering from the unexpected awa-”
“Just go. Only two people are required in the cockpit at all times. With how advanced this computer is, I’d count it as one. You’re dismissed.”
Xhen blinks at me in confusion. “So…I can go to sleep?” Oh for God’s sake, these privates.
“I said dismissed!”
I turn back around to face forward, hearing Xen hurriedly march into the back of the shuttle behind me. Which leaves me alone. Again..
. With nothing to do but wait, my mind turns to Vekna. I don’t know why she ran, and I don’t know where she went. If Beech has her, I’m going to do what I should’ve done years ago. I’m going to complete my mission, I’m going to get some answers, and I’m going to find that damn Venlil, whether she wants me to or not. I’m coming, Vekna, and hell nor high water's gona fuckin’ stop me. … Oh Lord, when did I get so dramatic?
——————————————————————————————————————— Prev First
It's been a while since one of these footers, hasn't it? Well, that's because there's some news to share! If you followed this story in the MCP, you'd know that this is where it previously ended. But no more! In the works are two extra chapters for you all on Reddit, along with an exciting announcement or two under the last chapter! I won't spoil anything now, but I'd just like to say that I'm incredibly excited for the future of the Rouge Chronicles and the NOPCU as a whole! Thank you all for reading, and I look forward to sharing the next chapter as soon as it's complete!
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2023.03.22 02:52 dogs0z How bad does a (already) sore back hurt during a Pap smear??
So long story short, I booked my first Pap smear on Thursday at age 29 (yeah yeah I know -do not lecture me about the age, I will block you
) with my primary practice provider. So it's like the same doctor I've seen for eight years for my yearly physical, she said she's able to do like the basic Pap smear and pelvic exam, etc.
So I have lower back pain that's been on and off for like the past year and a half. I've seen chiropractors, I was in physical therapy, and my primary care doctor. PPP put me on meloxicam. For the most part, my back has improved, but it's flaring up again and it really hurts. Like it literally hurts to do anything aside from just laying on my stomach in bed.
My doctor did verbally walk me through what they would do for the pap.
Right now my main concern is back pain having to hold up my pelvis and my legs in they're stirrups.
Because my doctor has the sorts of stirrups that you actually have to put your heels in just rather than the types of armrest, looking things that hold your legs up on your behalf.
Like the ones that are at my doctors, office won't hold my legs up for me. Like I actually have to use my body to balance myself, and to support the weight to not slide off of the exam table..
So I am extremely worried about having back pain.
do not tell me to book an appointment with a new doc/gyno cause I'm not about to show someone who I've never met my vagina. It took me fucking 7 years to even get the bravery to do it now so don't tell me just to find a new doctor.
words for haters^
my PPP stirrups https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/obstetricsgynecology-medical-office-stirrup-winter-2020-1725547948
arm rest stirrups https://www.giopelle.com/store/stirrup-kit
my ppp does not have
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2023.03.21 22:48 Top_Transportation64 Picking up this 1 of 1 56,000 mile Chop top jeep Cherokee!
2023.03.21 20:51 endersgame69 Adopted By Humans VI C38
We lay together that night. It seemed that this act was the ultimate stress reliever and comfort between bonded pairs, we’d done the same in our time together in Chi’cagoa Rea. Though we had little enough time together thanks to her ship obligations in the immediate time after that, as she’d engaged in a few extremely profitable trade runs from Earth to a Dlamias outlying colony that conveniently enough had no patrol ships around to ask any nosy questions about arrests or charges…
We made up for the lost time when we could.
Lisa always took full advantage of that absence, though as for what she thought of the Captain’s absences, [Redacted]. The homeworld did not get around to properly securing the colony where the liquor flowed from, until after the Earth government asked that she be pardoned as a show of good faith given her ‘exemplary services rendered in the pursuit of harmony between worlds’.
Which was a fancy way of saying she had a fanbase and it would look good if she were in favor again. I wag my tail sometimes, thinking of the apocalyptic fury that must have run through some bureaucrat’s veins when they had to process that request for an outlier turned infamous pirate. Even if she didn’t target the Dlamias fleet, her ability to wreak merry havoc must have presented all kinds of headaches back home. Not to mention stealing the ‘official envoy’s’ place.
That one did eventually arrive and now made occasional trade runs in a triangle shape between Earth, Dlamias, and the Maxiki home moon.
But I digress.
Our laying together proved relaxing to us both, and when she was nestled against me in the bed we shared, I would be lying if I said I could easily return to my former existence in general isolation.
The more I thought about it, the more the concept of human ‘pack like’ families appealed to me.
And I had a lot of time to think about it.
Unsurprisingly, a few days later a small team of six grief therapists arrived, three of them with experience dealing with what humans referred to as PTSD or, ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’ or what Dlamias referred to as WIOS or ‘War Induced Outlier Syndrome’. In the past I would not have recognized it, but I cannot unsee what I have seen. And that is that the term ‘outlier’ in there is not just a medical identification for a traumatized soldier, but a deeply embedded mistrust of nonlinear thought and a noncompliance with the common cultural framework our government has approved.
In short, it helped make outliers appear inherently untrustworthy, though to their credit they recognized that soldiers were victims of this rather than internally flawed in some way.
I wasn’t present when the exerts arrived, but was present when the engineers on loan from Earth were assisting the Red Spark’s engineers with the installation of several virtual reality systems akin to what Bonny Red described as experiencing on board Captain Archer’s ship fifty years earlier.
Of course the new models were far more versatile and realistic, or so their chatter said.
“Yeah these things are great.” The skinny engineer in plain white overalls said as he tapped it, “There aren’t many like this one out there, the sense data is a lot more immersive, and the time dilation software is such that these Arachnae 9000 models can give you almost anything you want, thanks to their embedded creation kits. Now you can modify your games and customize them to your liking, and with Genesis mode, you can create your own world and games within it, and jump to other peoples designs on the network in the same way as long as they’ve either made it ‘public’ or given you a passkey access code.”
“That’ll make a good training system.” The engineer, Scotty, remarked. “Do we get to keep these after the mission?”
“Hell if I know. But…disconnecting them would be damn tough. And I don’t have a disconnect schedule date. So…probably?” The human remarked, “I’ve got to say, I envy you these things. Even the capital ships don’t all have these yet.”
I pretty quickly figured out that some of the humans on board the ship had pulled a few strings to get some entertainment on board the Red Spark. And probably done it quickly too, using the therapist costs as a late rider on a bill or something.
It was a guess, but I suspect, a good one.
As for the therapists themselves, as these systems were hooked up, the humans tested them and began installing the programs they would need. You might find this strange given that time dilating virtual simulators were used in the human confinement system of justice, as well as it simple games and the older models were used as toys to play games.
But as it turned out, virtual reality was also used in therapy.
I was able to briefly try one out while the therapists explained.
A therapist named ‘Carl’ went over it while the program ‘World of Healing’ loaded.
What began as a silent black world in which I stood, neither falling nor flying, nor seemingly standing on anything at all, stars came into view first, billions of tiny lights twinkling in the darkness. The sorts of things that inspired the dreams of generations.
Then there was grassland, rolling hills, and I was standing on soft earthen and green.
Then the hills loaded terraces with yet more greenery, and around them appeared little babbling brooks, creeks of water with the occasional small fish leaping through the water from one place to the next.
Then, young men and women clad in the outfits of human nurses, the traditional red and white shades.
The therapist appeared beside me a moment later, stepping out of the darkness as his avatar loaded. “Let there be light.” He said with a wave of his hand, and the sun began to rise in the distance. There was a strange warming sensation, like I’d stepped out into an early summer day, as well as the feel of a breeze, I looked down at my body, my hairs were moving.
“That’s good.” He said and cracked a little smile, he pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “Environments like this one are popular.” He said, “I actually worked on the development of some of these. The nurses,” he gestured to the unmoving simulations, “are designed to appear as nonthreatening as possible. Mostly female, but there is some demand for males as well. Do you know why?” He asked.
“No?” I didn’t, and as he began to walk down a trail of smooth stones that appeared beneath our feet, he explained.
“Do you know what the most common word among the wounded on the battlefield is?” He asked, and as we walked, I watched the scene continue to generate, the path leading to small islands of trees that swayed in the simulated breeze. I shook my head.
“Mother.” He replied. “Followed closely by ‘I’ and ‘want’ and ‘my’. In every language, the wounded scream for their mothers, even the fiercest, hardest, and most savage of men in their most painful hours, call for the one who provided care and comfort in their childhood. Usually, that is still the mother. Not always, mind you, but commonly.”
He smiled at the simulated nurse, and even without being activated, it made a radiant smile in return. “So we program the nurses of both sexes with simulated parental care and attention personalities. Ideally the personalities of the wounded based on known interview data are loaded beforehand to provide the best possible experience, thus allowing the AI to tailor itself to the needs of the wounded.”
I couldn’t deny I was impressed.
“And the environment?” I asked.
“A garden.” Carl replied, “Someone once said, ‘If any man has ever heard the voice of god, it was in a garden on a cool day.’ Our myths and legends often begin our existence in idyllic gardens. Of course we know those are just myths, stories. But it says something about our nature that when we need to create a paradise, ‘this’ is what we make.” He held his arms out as if to embrace the simulation.
“Running water has a calming effect, the feel of the ground and the breeze, the sun and the caring attendants, all serve to create the ideal environments for a group of wounded soldiers. The nurses,” he added, “can be taken over by real qualified people like myself to properly diagnose and help guide the healing of others. The truth is, we don’t heal anybody.”
“No?” I was surprised at his admission, and Carl stroked his russet beard and chuckled as he replied.
“No. A doctor of the body can claim he healed a disease or an injury. But people who deal with the mind, we are guides. That is all. PTSD isn’t something you ‘get over’. It doesn’t go away, it just goes from an open wound to a scar. It may hurt sometimes, like a scar, but it doesn’t have to dominate someone’s life. All we do, is try to make it easier for that scar to form. Environments like this?” He said rhetorically, “These are just ultra modern hospital beds.”
“Couldn’t you just, I don’t know, leave somebody in here for what feels like a hundred years until they’re a whole lot better?” I asked, and his head hung just a little.
“If we could do that, we would. But studies of simulation use show that long term continuous use makes it difficult to adapt to the real world again. In the distant past, astronauts who spent only a few weeks in space, took several days on Earth to remember that things they let go of wouldn’t just ‘float’ if they let go of them. I can only imagine how much coffee was wasted.”
He let out a mock gasp as we got to the little tree cluster where willow leaves hung in long strands to create a kind of gentle shadow casting barrier to the trunk within.
“If we leave somebody in a superhero game for what feels like a hundred years, they’ll try to use those powers in the real world. If we leave somebody here in paradise for a hundred years, they’ll no longer be able to function in reality. And time dilation in a simulation isn’t exactly the same as actually lived reality either. Even the best AI is predictable to a degree. The real world, not so much.”
That was unfortunate, but even so, I could see the use.
“So, an hour per day drawn out to a few days at a time for the grieving, the wounded, and whoever we need. We have simulations for almost everything. From the wounded veterans, to those who grieve the dead in a thousand times a thousand ways.” Carl seemed to me to be equal parts proud of, and saddened by, the existence of this simulated world.
“It gets really bad, doesn’t it?” I asked and out of curiosity, when we crossed a hill to find ourselves amidst an apple orchard, I reached up to pluck a bright red fruit from a branch. It felt so real in my hands. And there was even a real scent to it. ‘I wonder, can I taste it?’
“It does.” Carl replied. “A few decades ago there were some xenophobes who were protesting… something. I don’t remember what it was, I was a child at the time, but some of them managed to get a bunch of guns somewhere and took over a bridge and blocked a road. They brought out their wives and children to use as human shields, trying to force the government to kill them to create sympathy for their cause.”
The apple tasted fantastic, but at his words I coughed and spat and he slapped me several times on the back. This ran entirely counter to everything I’d studied in human society. My work showed that humans valued their offspring and mates to such an extreme degree that harming them was akin to suicide if the survivor got a chance to exact revenge.
“I see that sounds strange to you.” He affirmed and asked, “Are you alright?”
“Yes, yes but…” He slapped my back a few more times and then finished.
“There’s a subset of humans for whom mates and children are property, this is a dying cultural remnant of the past, but it dies hard. Xenophobes wouldn’t hesitate to use those they’re supposed to protect, as pawns for their vicious causes. My father actually worked with both the people who confronted them, and the unarmed people that were rescued.”
“How did it come out?” I asked.
“I was just a kid, I don’t know all the details. But the media stories that spun about it accused the xenophobes of every kind of abuse on their spouses and children, thousands of people were ‘doxxed’ when they posted support for the xenophobes actions. It’s like somebody was out to get them. It got messy, they were a laughing stock, referred to as maniacal cowards, and there were a lot of cartoons and comics where people whose faces and names were out there, became villains to be laughed at and despised. I guess pretty much any evil thing is easy to believe if you’ll put your own kid or your own spouse between you and a bullet just so other people will feel sad for you.” “I mean, were there deaths or…?” I wished I hadn’t asked, but he shook his head.
“No, not exactly. Some clever bastard came up with the idea of walling them in. They pushed these big metal walls into place to surround them, then tightened it up. Slid a roof overhead, and then gassed the lot of them with something to knock them out. There was a lot of gunfire, it made the news, but seeing them shooting at giant metal walls while hiding behind their families did nothing to help their cause. But there were a lot of people who needed mental healthcare to recover from that incident. That’s why I do what I do. My father did it, and I saw how badly it was needed. It’s kind of my purpose, I guess you could say.” Carl said and reached up to take a bite of an apple for himself.
“Tastes like reality.” He said, and then asked, “Have you seen enough?”
“Yes. But… thank you for coming, I think you can do a lot of good up here.” I said and he quickly recited the exit code.
“Admin Red Spark Arachnae nine thousand. Exit simulation.” He said, and the world faded away to nothing.
I was sure of one thing at least.
The wounded hearts were in good hands.
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2023.03.21 19:34 feetfirstclinic Foot Arch Pain: Causes and Treatment
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Foot Arch Pain: Causes and Treatment
Are you experiencing foot arch pain? You’re not alone.
The arches of our feet support our weight when we’re upright, providing a critical function for the body. Your arch also influences how you move, making it essential to keep them healthy and supported. But, sometimes, pain can creep up.
We’re here to help. This blog post outlines how foot arch pain develops and how to nip foot arch discomfort early to prevent long-term effects.
What is foot arch pain? https://preview.redd.it/mbw34i39z4pa1.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b3ff5cf2e369245636a57eae300dfdfb556ead91
Foot arch pain can be a subtle or intense discomfort in the curved, raised area along the bottom of the foot (the arch). The arch is the midpoint of the foot between the ball and the heel of the foot. It comprises bones, ligaments, and tendons in the foot, which support the body’s weight and help absorb shock during walking and other activities.
A person’s arch is unique. The height and shape of the arch vary from person to person. Genetics, age, and the type of shoes a person wears all play a role in the arch’s shape. Foot arch pain is a common source of discomfort and may occur for various reasons. You may experience pain in different parts of the arch: the medial arch (inside edge), the lateral arch (outer edge), and the transverse arch (middle).
Next, we get into the causes of foot arch pain.
What causes foot arch pain? https://preview.redd.it/uj7kzvq9z4pa1.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=5e39fe548d7ab32b1ad172aa0c6149e6a63aab7f
Foot arch pain can be acute or chronic, typically stemming from inflammation
. Pain can also range from a dull soreness to an intense sensation. Below, we outline the various causes of foot arch pain. Overuse or repetitive stress
Foot arch pain can be simply the result of doing too much in too short a period. Repeated stress or overuse of the feet can lead to inflammation and pain in the arches. Overuse is especially prevalent in sports, with running, jumping, or even standing for long periods (like at work
or if you stand at your desk while working from home
). Flat feet Flat feet
occur when the arch comes in complete contact with the ground due to weakened tendons and ligaments that can no longer hold up the arch. While flat feet may not always cause problems, individuals with fallen arches may require treatment such as supportive shoes or custom orthotics to alleviate symptoms and prevent further damage. Plantar fasciitis Plantar fasciitis
affects the bottom of the foot and causes heel pain. This foot condition occurs when the band of tissue between your heel and toes becomes irritated. Plantar fasciitis can happen for various reasons, such as overuse, repetitive strain, or injury to the foot.
People who are overweight
, have flat feet or high arches, or engage in activities that stress the feet, such as running or standing for long periods, are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. You may experience pain and stiffness in the heel or arch of the foot, especially in the morning or after walking, running, or standing. Arthritis
Arthritis describes conditions that cause inflammation and damage to the joints. Various forms of arthritis can lead to arch pain. Types of arthritis that cause arch pain include osteoarthritis
, rheumatoid arthritis
, and psoriatic arthritis
You may experience foot arch pain because of past trauma or injury. Conditions like sprains, strains, or falls can cause arch pain due to acute muscle damage, ligament, and tendon damage.
Now that you know the various causes of arch pain, let’s get into treatment methods.
How can foot arch pain be treated?
Foot arch pain treatment can sometimes be frustrating due to our reliance on our arch. Staying off our feet to reduce stress on the arch can be challenging, but fortunately, there are several effective treatment options for foot arch pain. Depending on the intensity of the pain, you may choose a DIY treatment method. If your arch pain is persistent or severe, we recommend seeing a foot specialist to discuss treatment options and create a treatment plan. Rest and ice
A mix of rest and ice is an effective treatment method for foot arch pain. First, temporarily reduce impactful activities and allow your feet to rest. Supplement rest with icing to keep swelling and inflammation down. (You can even use a frozen water bottle as an icy massage tool by rolling your feet on the bottle.) Then, when you feel like you’re on the upswing, ease slowly
back into physical activity. Avoid returning to strenuous activity to allow your body to readjust from rest to being active. Stretching
Stretching exercises can help improve flexibility and relieve tension in the arches. Here are a few effective stretching and strengthening exercises
for arch pain:
Shockwave Therapy https://preview.redd.it/3vncariaz4pa1.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=630b3916b806e8af037f25a0bee6ff9eef0f324d
- Place a towel on the floor, and grab the towel with your toes pulling it towards you.
- Grasp your toes (while seated), and scrunch them towards you to feel a stretch in your arch.
- Lean against a wall with your arms extended, and move your hips forward to stretch your calves.
This non-invasive innovative treatment delivers high-energy sound wave pulses to the affected area. Shockwave therapy
triggers your body’s natural healing response to repair the damaged tissue in the arch area and reduce pain. Shockwave therapy is scientifically proven to be a highly effective treatment for chronic arch pain caused by plantar fasciitis. It is an excellent supplement to other treatments like orthotics and supportive footwear. Orthotics Custom-made orthotics
can provide additional support and cushioning to the arches, which can help reduce pain and discomfort. Orthotics work to correct or accommodate biomechanical abnormalities, foot deformities, and other conditions to improve your gait and manage pain. The purpose of orthotics is to redistribute the force and pressure placed on our muscles and joints when we move. Equal distribution across your feet means fewer aches and pains as your muscles work better in tandem instead of select groups overworking. Supportive footwear
Shoes with good arch support can alleviate arch pain, much like orthotics can. Wearing the proper footwear for your feet and the purpose is the least we can do for our feet. Supportive footwear acts to provide both the correct cushioning and Physical therapy https://preview.redd.it/zwe50p6bz4pa1.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a664df8a65b2a1fee9fce25ce0457a09373fdaf4
Physical therapy can help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the feet and ankles. Keeping your feet strong and balanced is vital to proper arch support. Over time, the tendons and ligaments of the arch tend to weaken. Physical therapy can help combat age and fallen arches. Medications
You may supplement the above treatment methods with over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce inflammation. Consult a doctor if you have intense pain or have questions about dosage or the recommended medication.
Your foot arch treatment solutions live here
Don’t let foot arch pain slow you down. Call us at 416-769-3338
or book your assessment online for solutions to foot arch pain. We’ll help walk you through a diagnosis and treatment plan and advise on preventative measures, so your feet stay healthy.
2023.03.21 17:07 MjolnirPants Jerry and the Apocalypse: Part 53
Part 52 Glenda Wilmington, Kinda Digging This Whole Cop Gig
"If you hear anything else, give me a call," Glenda said, handing the woman a business card with her cellphone number on it. The woman accepted it and then squinted skeptically at it.
"Cooperation with an investigation is the sort of thing that parole boards like to hear about," Glenda said in response to the woman's look. That seemed to do the trick. The woman slipped the card into her ample cleavage and met Glenda's eyes.
"I will call. I have no loyalty to that man." Her sing-song Norwegian accent, as well as her tall, thick frame and bright, yellow-blonde hair contrasted with the environment; a run-down housing project in the heart of Compton. But housing for convicted felons on parole was limited, and she'd had few choices in this area. Glenda wondered idly why the woman hadn't elected to return to Norway, where they tended to be a bit more sympathetic to ex-cons. The woman, Duke's one-time head channeler, didn't seem prepared to answer any more questions, however.
Glenda nodded and stepped back. The woman took a step outside, careful to keep the foot with the ankle monitor inside the door and took a look around before withdrawing back into the house. Glenda turned and walked down the steps off the creaky wooden porch and back to the rental car, where Jack dozed lightly in the passenger seat, his cowboy hat pulled low over his eyes. She climbed behind the wheel, trying not to wake him, and started the engine.
He woke anyways. Jack had always been a very light sleeper. He turned his head slightly towards her, not adjusting the hat at all.
"Anything?" he asked. Glenda shook her head. "Nobody's heard from him. I think it's safe to say he's not looking to connect with any of his old associates, at this point."
"Ayup," Jack agreed. Glenda pulled away, heading north, towards the 105 that would take them back to the airport. They were done here. As she drove, she couldn't help but note the scowling, suspicious faces that turned to watch them. She took in the low, chain-link fences that separated yards, the equally low concrete block walls that surrounded paved driveways. The odd mix of Spanish colonial and more traditional American architecture was like a sign. It told her that she could find a bag of the white lady, a bag of weed, or a bag of something more exotic here. She could find a gang, beefing with another gang, and maybe convince one side to pay her to make someone on the other side vanish.
It was almost nostalgic.
They passed a tan-painted Spanish colonial house with a faux wrought-iron fence, and she knew right away that a dealer lived there. The child's play set in the front had never been touched by anything more careless than the wind and rain. The SUV in the driveway might have belonged to a small family, except for the large speakers she could see through the rear window. The tint on the windows of both car and home added to the effect. The kicker, though, was the white-haired, middle-aged man stepping out the front door to squint suspiciously around before heading back up the street in the direction of the channeler's home, where Glenda had spotted him walking this way just a few minutes ago.
Without bothering to ask anyone, she could say with confidence that whoever lived there sold mainly cocaine, but he also had cheap weed for those who couldn't afford the prices at the dispensary. He'd have rocks too, but he probably wouldn't sell them to you if you knew where he lived. He'd sell them on the weekends, manning a street corner, alongside a thug from whatever gang he ran with or paid tribute to.
Everyone knew they were cops, of course. Years of living in rural Canada had faded Glenda's tan and affected her fashion choices. Once, she'd have moved through an area like this in gym shorts, sneakers and a faded old t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. Showing off enough muscle to make the usual idiots think twice about harassing her, but not showing off so much skin than people might take her for a street worker with a schtick. Today, she drove in blue jeans, hiking boots and a flannel shirt. Next to her, Jack wore the same, complimented with a denim jacket. Only a couple of cops would dress like that in this neighborhood.
Though that wasn't strictly true -Jack's jurisdiction ended many hundreds of miles north of here- it might as well be. They were private investigators, working on behalf of the federal government, who was footing the bill for Dylan's recapture. Whether or not they were technically considered law enforcement officers depended entirely upon their needs and some paperwork. So far, they hadn't needed any LEO powers.
As she turned onto the 105 and marginally sped up in the dense traffic of the highway, Jack's phone rang. He begrudgingly lifted the brim of his hat up, squinting in the bright daylight at his screen. Apparently satisfied with what he saw there, he hit the accept button and pressed the phone to his ear.
"S'Jack," he said, then he listened for a bit.
"Ayup," he said. He glanced out the window, then covered the tiny mic at the bottom of the phone. "Get off the highway," he said to Glenda. She nodded and put on her turn signal, eyes searching for a chance to get over. A minivan in the next lane, slightly ahead of them, promptly slowed down to pace them.
"Awwright," he drawled into the phone. "We'll check it out. 'Preciate the heads up. Take care, now."
He pulled the phone away from his ear and tapped the screen again before slipping it back into his pocket jacket.
"That was intel. Said that a bank account belonging to one Dylan Boucher just got emptied by a wire transfer to one Derek Garcia. Just a hair over ten grand. Transfer woulda taken place about a week ago, intel didn't pick up on it until it cleared."
"Garcia, that's the one that calls himself the 'Planewalker', right?"
"Ayup," Jack said. Glenda finally got tired of trying to get behind the minivan and sped up to cut him off, instead. Jack could see that it was being driven by a heavily tattooed white kid with dredlocks. He honked and flipped them off, but she ignored him. She'd had her turn signal on, and tried to get behind him, but he had slowed down and sped up to block her.
Out of pure spite, she tapped the brakes a few times.
Jack bounced forward against his seatbelt as she did and gave her a dirty look. She smiled sweetly at him. "What? That's how you drive around here. You used to live in Atlanta, you've got to know this by now."
"We didn't generally make an effort to piss people off in Atlanta," he grumbled. Glenda turned onto the ramp to get off on Crenshaw, heading south.
Glenda scoffed. "Now you're just lying. I've been to Atlanta. Worst drivers in the bottom half of the country by far."
"You sure about that?" Jack said, eyeing the rear-view mirror. Glenda glanced up to see the minivan still behind them, the driver jabbing his finger at them and ranting.
"Huh," she said. "Maybe this fucker's about to prove me wrong."
"Well, we need to get gas anyways, if we're driving all the way down to San Clemente," Jack said. "Might as well pull over at the first station we see and get it over with."
Glenda chuckled, mostly at what the angry man behind her was about to experience and kept her eyes peeled for a gas station.
The minivan never wavered, staying behind her through multiple lane changes, all the way down to Artesia Boulevard, where she finally found a Shell station. She pulled in and pulled up to a pump.
"You wanna have a white knight moment, or is today an 'equality of the sexes' day?" Glenda asked as the minivan pulled in behind them and stopped, blocking the entrance.
"Sheeeit," Jack drawled. "I mean, I guess I'll handle him if ya want..." He unbuckled his seatbelt and opened his door as the irate young metalhead stomped towards them. He made sure to be outside the car by the time the kid got within angry dick-measuring distance.
"What the fuck is your bitch's problem, asshole?!" the young man demanded. Jack didn't answer, he simply strode forward, within striking distance. Normally, Jack liked to deliver a good, bone-chilling threat, followed up by taking a more reasonable tone as he continued to stare through whomever was causing problems and imagine himself blowing their head off as he de-escalated the situation. It was a tactic that had served him well, many times. But today, Jack was tired.
He'd been hunting Dylan down for weeks now, and only just got their first promising lead as this little shit had gone out of his way to stop them from changing lanes for no discernible reason. So Jack simply slugged the kid right in the nose. He caught him off guard and sent the kid sprawling onto his ass. Before he could gather himself back up, Jack kicked him in the chest with the sole of his boot and drew his large revolver. He crouched down, boot still pinning the kid to the ground, and held the gun casually where the kid could see it.
"You know what a turn signal means?" he asked calmly. The kid's eyes went wide as he spotted the gun.
"Y-y-yeah," he stammered.
"Good. Ya had a little lapse of judgement there. Ya might wanna see to that." Jack stood, holstering his gun and walked back over to open the gas cover and insert the company credit card into the pump. He picked the mid-grade and inserted the fuel handle, locking the valve open before he turned back.
The kid was still sitting there, wiping blood from his mouth where his nose was bleeding. "They oughta have napkins inside," Jack told him mildly. "They're usually by the hot dogs."
Jack filled the tank while the kid picked himself up and went inside. A cop arrived a few minutes later, stopping in the entrance that the kid was blocking and turning his lights on. The cop stepped out and walked around the minivan and into the gas station.
Jack waited for the tank to fill, then replaced the nozzle and climbed back in the car.
"You wanna stick around?" Glenda asked. "Shoot the shit with the locals, make sure the kid gets the short end?"
"Naw," Jack said. "Read about the LA cops. Not exactly whom I'd like to consider comrades-in-arms, if you catch my meaning."
Glenda shrugged and they pulled out right as the kid and the cop both emerged back into the parking lot. Glenda thought the cop look pissed and the kid looked dejected.
They got on the 405 and drove it down to California 73, then took that south to Interstate 5, which brought them to San Clemente an hour later. Glenda got off the highway and turned into a neighborhood full of upscale, tightly-packed Spanish colonial homes. Unlike Compton, most of the yards weren't fenced, and those that were tended towards white picket fences. The lawns were universally well-cared for and nobody looked twice at them as they drove through the neighborhood and up to the address highlighted on the GPS.
It was a small, modest-looking home with a distinctly 70's asthetic. It didn't match most of the tile-roofed, square walled homes around it, but it hardly stood out, either. A BMW sat in the driveway, framed by a pair of shaped topiary trees. It looked like something off the cover of some homemaking magazine, Glenda thought.
They parked on the street and climbed out.
"The air is crackling with magic," Glenda said. "He's in there, doing something right now."
Jack walked up and pounded on the door. Glenda held up a hand, fingers splayed. Jack would understand what she meant. The magic was currently at a five, and she'd let him know if it diminished, and by approximately how much.
She kept her hand still for a while as nobody answered the door. Five minutes passed before Jack turned to her.
"Okay, this is your gig, now," he said. He walked back to the car, opening the trunk to reveal the bound, squirming and sweating Caliope there. He yanked her gag down and fed her from a water bottle.
"Been a long drive, ain't it?" he asked, conversationally. Caliope sucked greedily at the bottle, managing to drink every drop that didn't get splashed into the trunk.
"Fuck you," she muttered weakly. Jack smiled. "Looks to me like you're the one what's fucked, darlin'. Guess you shouldn'ta gone and fucked with your sister's collar like that. I mean, if you'd played by the rules, we'd have overlooked the whole issue of you not actually being any help whatsoever, and taken your good faith efforts as enough to fill your end. But ya had to go behind our backs, causing trouble. So now you're stuck in a trunk until we get back to the airport."
"Fuck you," she gasped again.
"'Scuse me," Jack said, reaching past her for an armored vest. He pulled it out and tugged it over his head, getting the flaps velcroed in place and adjusting it. When he was done, he pulled Caliope's gag back up.
"Awright, girl, you jes sit tight while we check this out. Won't be but a little bit, then we'll be heading to the airport."
She tried to say something, but the gag turned it into a muffled wail. Jack smiled as he closed the trunk and returned to the front door. Glenda stood there, watching him, fully kitted up with her armor and a carbine in her hands.
"Ready," Jack said. Glenda turned and, without preamble, kicked the door open with a thunderous blow. She rushed inside, rifle up and leading the way, Jack hot on her heels. Neither made it very far, though.
The living room had been converted into a ritual chamber. The walls were festooned with runes and the twisting lines that connected them. The floor had a large, ornate circle in the middle, runes etched into it and twisting, spiral designs encasing the whole thing. But that wasn't what gave them pause.
In the middle of the circle hovered a shimmering mirage, through which Glenda could see a city. It looked like something out of a sci-fi film, all rounded corners and smooth, off-white concrete. The windows in the buildings were mirrored, or else none of them had lights on inside, because they all reflected a sunrise coming from behind the view.
"What the hell's that?" Jack asked. Glenda carefully felt the magic around the apparition. "I think it's a portal."
"Okay, so where does it go, do ya think?"
"I haven't got a clue. I don't recognize that city."
"Kinda looks like Mos Eisley, a hundred years after they found oil or something," Glenda said.
"Think that's what Dylan was paying for? A trip to wherever that is?"
"Looks like," Glenda mused. "We're gonna need to call this in."
"Ayup. Let's clear the house, first."
They did just that. They found a den set up in one of the bedrooms, an obviously-lived-in kitchen and a master bedroom used for its intended purposes. In the last bedroom, they found an arsenal and storage space. It was full of survival and camping gear, weapons and ammo.
"Missing rifle," Jack said, peering at a gun rack.
"Yup," Glenda agreed. She opened an ammo tin. It was only half full.
"Somebody geared up here," she said.
Jack sighed. "Let's call it in, then. We'll hand over our little helper when the backup gets here."
It took two hours to get a team there, mostly because the LA regional office was all the way up in Burbank. But they eventually arrived. Two security officers took Caliope off their hands, to bring her back to prison. They brought another collar, to replace the modified wet blanket spell Glenda had been holding since the riot. It hadn't seemed like a lot of effort to hold the spell in place, but as soon as she finally let it go, she felt a wave of relief.
"Julie sent some extras along," the leader of the relief force told Glenda once Caliope had been seen to. She'd already spotted the two middle-eastern men in different uniforms than the rest. She thought she recognized the older one.
"We'll take all the help we can get. Any of you boys willing to go jaunting across reality with us?" The man chuckled. "No, thanks. Besides, we've got orders to secure this building and wait for the feds. Gonna see if there's anything illegal here, so we can nab this Garcia fellow as soon as he gets back."
Glenda nodded, then looked at the two middle-eastern men. She jerked her head in a 'come here' gesture and they stepped forward.
"Glenda, right?" the older one asked, holding out a hand.
"Yup," she said as she took it. He shook firmly, then let go. "I am Aqib, and this is my assistant, Mateen. We've been running around, helping out where we can for months now. It seems it is your turn to accept our assistance."
"Either of you got any magic?" Glenda asked. Mateen hefted his rifle and then tapped his body armor. "All of our gear is enchanted. We have rings, as well," he held up a hand bedecked with silver bands. "They will help us heal from injuries and allow us to see in the dark and other such useful things."
"Good, good," she said, then stopped. Aqib. That name rang a bell. She squinted at the middle-aged man.
"You were at the Wyrm facility when we took it," she said. "About six years ago." He nodded.
"I was with your friend when she fell. She saved my life," he said. Glenda nodded. "I remember that. I'm glad you're still here, then. Glad you're with us. I, uh..." She stopped speaking before she got choked up and cleared her throat.
"Are you two ready?" she asked.
"We have our gear," Aqib said, nodding at a pair of large backpacks leaning against one of the DCM branded trucks. "Camping gear, food and water for three days. Spare ammo, tools. We were told you had much more supplies yourself."
"Yup. I've got fresh food, enough for a couple of weeks for the four of us. Plus a couple months worth of dehydrated foods, MRE's and other food that'll keep for a while. I've got water and other shit to drink, camping gear, etcetera, etcetera. As long as you guys brought your own tents, we're golden."
"That is good," Aqib said.
"Do you have battery packs?" Mateen asked.
"Battery packs?" Glenda responded.
"Yes, for phones and other electronics. To keep them charged. I have a solar recharger, but it takes a long time, and it isn't always convenient to set it up."
Glenda shook her head. "Nope. Never been much for carrying a bunch of electronics around. Besides, I doubt our phones will work, where we're going."
Aqib grinned at his companion. "No video games until we're done, Mateen," he said. Mateen rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah."
"Mateen is still a child at heart, even though he has children of his own," Aqib explained as he stepped forward to get a good look at the portal, still hovering in the middle of the room.
"As long as he can fight," Glenda said. Jack approached, finished with the field paperwork. He had a backpack slung over one shoulder, and a rifle slung over the other. He still wore his armor.
"He fights like a cornered dog," Aqib said mildly. At Glenda's quirked eyebrow, he clarified. "He is very fierce."
"Good," Glenda said. She turned to Jack and gave him a quick kiss. "We ready?"
"Ayup," Jack confirmed. "All the paperwork's done, we're good to go."
Glenda pushed past Mateen and Aqib as they moved to pick up their packs. "I'll take them," she said. Mateen frowned, but Aqib simply nodded and stood back. She grabbed both packs and sent them to hammerspace, accepting Jack's pack and giving it the same treatment. Mateen shook his head slowly, but Aqib seemed unimpressed.
"Okay, let's boogie," Glenda said and strode through the portal before she could work up any doubts.
"None of 'em rotted," Jack said. "They're all mummified. All the plants are dead, but none of them are rotted, either." He stood in what seemed like a small park, a few trees growing in clusters at the four corners, and an open field of dead grass in the middle. Bodies lay strewn about, adults and children alike. Many lay draped over the benches, or slumped in a pile in front of them. One cluster of small bodies had a large, rubber-ish ball laying next to them, as if they'd died in the middle of some sort of game.
Glenda eyed the surroundings. They hadn't encountered a single living being in the hours they'd been moving through this city. "What do you think happened here?" she asked.
"I'll be honest, I ain't got a fucking clue, darlin'," Jack said. They stood in silence for a bit, reflecting on what they'd seen and wondering about it. An entire city, dead. No signs of decay, except for rusted metal. Glenda had seen large piles of rust that she took to be cars, based on the plastic and ceramic components still in them, along with the bodies. An entire city, dead. And yet the bodies remained. They'd held up better than the metal, for sure.
Mateen came around a corner at a jog and made a beeline for them. "Aqib has found something, a fresh body. Recently killed."
"Lead the way," Glenda told him. They followed him back around the corner, two blocks down and then around another corner, where they found Aqib standing over a bloody, headless corpse, resting against a building under a sign written in a language Glenda didn't recognize.
"Sheeit," Jack said as they drew up. "That's certainly out of place. Wonder where his head got to."
"Over here," Mateen said. He gestured to what looked like a bus stop with a trash can next to it. There, fetched up against the trash can was a severed head. A sparse trail of blood led from the body to it. Glenda walked over and crouched down, peering at the head.
"I think this is Garcia," she said. She pulled the photo she had of the man from hammerspace, checking it against the head.
"I think you're right," Jack said, peering over her shoulder. "And the chopped off head. That sounds like something Dylan would do."
"I think we're on the right track then," Glenda said. "But how do we know what direction he went?"
She straightened up as they all looked around. Nothing stood out to them.
A moment later, a terrifying roar sounded from off in the distance. They all turned towards it, weapons rising.
"I do not like that, but I think we know what direction to check now," Aqib said.
"'Fraid I gotta agree with ya," Jack said.
submitted by MjolnirPants
to JerryandtheGoddesses [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 15:42 coolingnow A “Proof of Concept” Action On Adding Bluetooth Support to the Xiegu G90 HF Transceiver
(Shared by Ed Durrant's blog. View more details: https://www.radioddity.com/blogs/all/adding-bluetooth-support-to-the-xiegu-g90-hf-transciever
A “proof of concept” action.
First, it is important to define what we are doing here. Some modern radios have Bluetooth built-in so that they can be operated remotely. The G-90 does not.
I want to add such control to the XIEGU G90 (this may also work with the X5105 model as well, but this has not been tested). I do not intend to open the radio case, rather I will add standard external modules that are available over eBay and other online retailer sites. There are two parts to this action.
Audio via Bluetooth.
The first stage is to get audio to and from the radio from some Bluetooth enabled headset or earpiece, as used with many Smartphones these days. I expected this should be the easy part of the solution while there are many standard solutions available for this that can be purchased for a few dollars/Euros/pounds. Unfortunately, this part of the solution caused me the greatest problems as the issue with the common units is that they operate as a transmitter or a receiver needing to be manually switched between the modes or even they only operate one mode at a time by a cable being inserted into one or other socket. This is not going to work with a Bluetooth Headset (note we need to use a Headset
, not Headphones – a Headset is Headphones with a microphone). The Bluetooth electronics in Smartphones have this “duplex” capability but to find an external adapter with the same capabilities is not easy. Investigation showed that “aptX” support can supply what is required to handle audio going to and coming from the headset at the same time but even an adapter that says it has aptX (often one that also has NFC) isn’t always one that will handle two-way audio! The alternative using two BT adapters, one running as TX and the other as Rx path, will not work as the headset is designed for use with a smartphone and hence a single (duplex) channel.
The audio connections (ought) to be the simpler part of this project – it seems not to be the case!
I gave up looking at the direct adapter solution when I saw that an audio plus PTT solution is already available for HTs. These kits include adapter, earphone/headset and PTT button are not cheap, so shop around but make sure you are buying the complete kit and not just the earphone at the advertised price, which is not always clear!
The ideal would be just to buy the “HB-6A” adapter in the middle of the picture above and I did eventually find one company selling just that at $25 plus P&P after I had ordered a complete kit. Prices for the same kit can vary from €29 to €90! The headset alone costs €13.95. Shop around and the “kit price” from several AliExpress and eBay sellers is around €40 including tax and shipping. Of course, if you don’t already have a Bluetooth headset that you wish to use, then the one in the kit might be fine as it’s supplied to use with the adapter in a communications mode. I already had an over the ears BT headset, so now I have both Headset and earpiece/microphone.
After wiring this set via 2.5mm and 3.5mm stereo jacks to the ACC socket mini-DIN plug, pairing the headset to the unit and testing, I found two problems.
- I had no audio coming out to by Bluetooth headset or earphone. This was simply solved by switching the output from the Internal speaker in the G90 to the ACC socket in the system menu. This is reached by pressing the button once so that the orange light comes on and then the button on the right-hand side of the radio, twice and then using the main tuning knob to change the setting from SPKR to LINE. You can also access the levels of the line input and output in these menus and I suggest you set both of these to their top value of 15.
- Then the microphone level was far too low. As I have wired to the ACC socket – it expects computer level (1v peak-to-peak) audio, whereas the HT, where this BT adapter would normally connect to, would be expecting electret microphone level audio. Now I could wire up an inline RJ45 connector and feed the audio into the microphone socket of the G90 but I decided rather than doing that I would add a small €3 LM386 amplifier module that is normally used with Arduino projects.
This has the advantage of having a volume control, so I can set the audio input level correctly.
The first test of this modified set-up was fine up to about 3 watts but after then there was constant output indicated even when I wasn’t talking – RF Ingress
! So I added a parallel pair of a 0.1 (104) and 0.01 (103) µF ceramic capacitors across the input and output of this pre-amp module and a 0.1 (104) µF capacitor directly on the mic connector on the 3.5mm jack socket, to the ground (earth) connection on the 2.5mm jack socket and with my next test… No RF Ingress
– all levels were quiet until I spoke then the output meter indicated full scale on 20 watts. I suspect I will need to back the gain off a little now H.I.
A total surprise was that after pairing the little PTT button that also came with the audio adapter set, it worked straight away with no issues at all, meaning I can use this rather than the PTT option in the remote-control app (more about that app below).
To avoid always having to unplug the module to charge its internal battery via a micro-USB cable, I added a regulator board designed for the Raspberry Pi to take the 8 or 9v coming from the G90 ACC socket down to 5v for the mini-USB socket so that the Bluetooth audio module is constantly being trickle charged while in use. This supply also has a spare micro-USB plug to charge the PTT button unit when needed.
CAT Control via BT.
The second part of the solution is to get CAT (Computer Aided Transceiver) remote control commands over a Bluetooth serial connection to the radio from the remote device.
Only by having a separate “remote control console” with the Bluetooth headset can the G90 radio be operated fully “cordless”.
The remote device and software to do the control work is not discussed in this article. You may have your own choices but my choice is to use an Android Smart Phone and the PocketRxTx software ($5/5 Euro/5 pound for the full version – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ro.yo3ggx.rxtxpro
). The software handles the CAT side of this project. In addition, the phone itself could also handle the BT Audio but I prefer to use a BT headset.
Background – ICOM has used a 3.5mm jack for their CiV CAT connections on their rigs for some time. Xiegu on models other than the X108G (which uses a micro-USB port) has also adopted the 3.5mm stereo jack along with a subset of the ICOM CiV command set for remote control of the radio. There is one important difference, however – the ICOM radios although fitted with a stereo jack, have Tx and Rx on the tip of the plug shorted together and don’t need a connection to the ring. The case is earth. Xiegu keeps Tx and Rx signals separate and uses therefore all three connections.
There are already BT comms adapters that plug into the ICOM rigs on the market and cost around 15 Euros from China.
Using the graphic for the HC-05 module and tracing the lines back, it is clear these are the Rx and Tx data input lines which both go to the 3.5mm plug, so this bridge needs to be removed so that we have TxD and RxD separate as supplied and needed by the G90.
As the voltage is regulated down to 3.3v by the carrier board, a supply of 5-9v DC is fine to power the dongle. Of course, I had to remove the full-sized DIN plug from the lead and fit a suitable mini-DIN plug and wire to the available supply pin from the G90s accessory socket. Later for the combined BT CAT and BT audio solution, the audio in and out wires was also connected through to the mini-DIN plug.
All good so far – now comes the tricky part. The G90’s serial port ONLY works at 19200 bps, so the module needs to be re-programmed from 9600 to 19200 bps before it will work. For this, you will need another small par-dollar interface board and some free software to do the speed programming change. Full details can be found on pages 4 & 5 of this document: https://www.yo3ggx.ro/btcat/FT8x7\_DIY\_Bluetootth\_CAT\_interface\_v1.pdf
Credit: Dan Toma YO3GGX.
After updating the serial speed of the dongle, I was able to control several useful functions of the G90 radio from the PocketRxTx App running on my Android phone. The final combined design using modules for adding Bluetooth Audio and CAT connectivity to the XIEGU G90 and possibly other radios.
In line with using modules, as the Handy Talkie, BT audio unit runs from an internal battery that has to be regularly charged up and the BT-Cat module needs to be powered, we need to supply their required DC voltages. While the BT-CAT module is happy with the 8/9v that the G90 can supply over its ACC socket – the Audio interface only expects 5v onto its micro-USB charging port.
In theory, a very simple solution might be to insert a resistor from the G90’s 9v DC supply however as the load will change depending upon how charged or uncharged the internal battery is, it’s best to use a proper regulator.
Looking around I found the small board below, that is used to power a Raspberry Pi with 5v to its USB connector, so this should suit our needs quite well. The charging cable supplied with the HT-BT audio unit has one USB-A connector and two micro-USB connectors so one will be connected permanently to the HT-BT unit and the other I will leave available and accessible to charge whichever Bluetooth headset is in use or the PTT button.
The cable with the mini-DIN plug from this box plugs into the ACC socket on the rear of the G90 and the stereo 3.5mm jack into the data socket on the side of the head unit.
Note: do not plug the data connection in until the radio is operating as otherwise, the presence of a cable in this socket can cause the radio to think it is in the middle of a firmware upgrade and to set it back into normal operation can be difficult should this occur.
When starting the use of the Bluetooth adapters, the HT module needs to be turned on by a long press on its button – this is inconvenient as it means the clear plastic box has to be opened. Once devices have been paired to the HT-BT unit once however they automatically pair again when they are turned on. (for the first time pairing procedure, refer to the HT BT-adapter documentation that it is supplied with (a magnifying glass may be needed).
The intention of building everything into the clear plastic box was always going to be a temporary solution. The use of the 2.5 & 3.5mm sockets on the HT-BT unit and its need to be turned on manually every time it is needed are two non-ideal situations. In a hope to resolve this into a better final solution, I have ordered an inline cable connector that has the stereo sockets in the correct spacing for the HT-BT unit and I have decided not to trickle change the BT-HT unit but rather have it accessible in an elongated cable harness with plus one end into the ACC socket and the other into the G90s data-port so that adding Bluetooth to the G-90 will then be the addition of just one cable with a small box in its middle housing the audio pre-amp and the BT serial board.
The main thing is that the solution has been proven here – it is possible to add Bluetooth support externally to a Xiegu G90 using easily available modules and without any changes to the radio being needed.
View more details with images: https://www.radioddity.com/blogs/all/adding-bluetooth-support-to-the-xiegu-g90-hf-transciever
submitted by coolingnow
to Radioddity [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 13:56 Plane-Sun9973 I'll be euthanizing my reactive dog today
I need to get this off my chest because I will forever be wondering if I'm making the right decision for my dog, Bungee, even though I know in my heart what I have decided was the most humane choice I was able to offer.
Many of my family members and friends have agreed that behavioural euthanasia is the best choice, but I know that there will always be those out there who humanize dogs to the extent that they would go to the ends of the earth for them.
I commend these people.
I respect their love and dedication to animals, but not every dog is able to be rehabilitated and not everything is the fault of the owner. Maybe I'm justifying it to myself, but dogs are much like people: Some are just not wired correctly and pose a danger to themselves, other people, animals and to their own quality of life.
I want to share my story about Bungee to help prepare myself for my decision, and to also help others who may be at their wits end or who feel guilty for having to make the most gut wrenching decision on their lives: To euthanize a young, healthy and beautiful dog due to behavioural issues.
Bungee is a two year old cattle dog X collie. A dog like Bungee requires an experiences owner who can put his mind to work and allow him to run off some of that energy. A dog like Bungee requires a huge yard, lots of training, socialization, money and effort.
Bungee received all of these things.
My family brought Bungee home as a replacement for my late dog, Tina, who was also a cattle dog and who lived a long and happy life. Tina made for an excellent pet, but also lived with us on our tree farm and nursery. Her job was to protect the saplings from the deer that would come for the all you could eat salad bar that was my property.
Tina was quick to train, but she had spunk and passion and she wasn't afraid to let me know when she needed something. She was also great with people for a cattle dog, and would bark welcomes to guests of the nursery. She was an amazing dog and was spoiled rotten as a pet and treated generously as an employee.
I expected Bungee to be very similar to Tina. My family and I took a risk with him. Where Tina came from a reputable breeder, we got Bungee from down the street when a neighbor's dogs had puppies.
We didn't think twice bringing Bungee home. At the time I was of the mentality that a dog's temperament was all in the breed, all in the socialization, training and commitment of the owner.
I was wrong.
I was very very wrong.
We brought Bungee home at 10 weeks and we immediately noticed something was off about him. Unlike all the other puppies we have had in the past, Bungee wasn't very social. He spent a lot of time in his kennel, hiding from us. We thought perhaps he needed a little bit more time to get acclimated, and so we didn't push him much. We just encouraged and rewarded.
Yet Bungee remained reluctant. When he did finally come out of his kennel, he didn't seem interested in engaging with us. Instead, he spent a great deal of time wandering around his surroundings and he would only eat if his food was in a specific place in the room.
We catered to him and soothed him, and after about a week and a half it was almost as if puppy mode finally kicked in and he finally connected with us. We could finally pet him and carry him, and best of all, train the commands he would hear for the rest of his long life.
He would be our working dog. He would take the torch and be the protector of our tree farm.
We began socializing him. People, dogs, cats, squirrels, cars, tractors, loud noises, quiet noises, fireworks, cities, farms. We introduced him to snow, rain, sun, mud, water and forest.
This dog came everywhere with us and saw everything. I believed whole heartedly that a socialized dog is a safe dog.
I was wrong.
His nervousness began to bleed through. He would cry all the time. We thought this was puppy frustration and so we tried to get him to self sooth by ignoring him and then rewarding him for when he calmed down, but he never calmed down. Instead he would throw tantrums. If we ignored him - even if we were in the same room - he would begin destroying anything he could get his hands on, or even in some cases coming up and biting or scratching us. As a puppy, this may have been understandable - cute even - but despite our efforts, he never grew out of this.
He would cry, pant and pace all through the night and most of the day, but then he would suddenly switch and be calm like a lake with no wind.
Sometimes when we left the house, he would be fine, lazily blinking his goodbyes to us. Other times we would come home to utter destruction: Claw marks engraved in the door, toys, pillows and furniture destroyed.
We thought this to be separation anxiety, which was easy to deal with. Luckily, the dog was able to come with us in most cases, and he did so.
Yet this is when the phobias started.
It began with one of our vehicles. Bungee - despite having no bad experiences - one day just couldn't tolerate our Jeep. He had ridden in it hundreds of times up until that point, but then when we tried having him go for a car ride one day, he bucked against his leash, screaming and withering and howling until we relented and took our truck instead.
It took us months to retrain him to be okay with the Jeep again. We thought maybe it was a bad experience that caused it and that we failed to realize, but then the phobia of his food bowl started just like he was a puppy. He was terrified of the silver bowl and would only eat out of the rubber bowl we left out on the porch. Even just placing the silver bowl down would have him fleeing in terror.
This eventually led up to his first bite.
A customer came in with his wife to pay for their package. Up until this point Bungee hadn't reacted warmly to strangers, but not aggressively either. Most of the time he would stare at them intently, or scamper off to somewhere that was more interesting or soothing.
Yet this time he stayed with me in the office as I took the couple's payment. Bungee was next to the husband who was speaking, the wife was listening in when suddenly Bungee bolted forward and grabbed her by the arm. Luckily she was wearing a baggy sweater and so he clasped on to the fabric of shook his head like he was killing some prey.
I intervened immediately. I apologized to the customers, telling them that he never had reacted this way to people before. The couple - though shaken and hugely unimpressed - were farmers and seemed to understand. They said something along the lines of "he must smell our dog in heat" or something like that.
I felt comforted, but I knew in my heart it was wrong. I knew my dog would spiral from there, and he did.
After the incident I took him to the vet. I explained my plight, and my vet agreed that something had to be done, but that unfortunately all she could really prescribe for me was sedatives and put me in touch with a behaviouralist in a different state.
I wanted to try everything, but after filling out the survey and papers to have this behaviouralist work with us, she came to the conclusion she wouldn't be able to help without being present with the dog and working with him in person.
I was just going to have to take her advice and work harder for Bungee.
As the months went by Bungee got worse. He's bitten at least twenty people and those are just the ones we can name. Most of these individuals are family members or from our close knit community, though some of them were strangers or customers.
Even locking him up has failed, as he's dug out of his outside enclosure once which caused him to bite a man. Another time he blew through the screen door of my garage to bite a friend who had come to visit us for a BBQ.
More jarringly, we tried to muzzle train him which didn't go well. He would lash about and claw at the muzzle, rendering any training useless. We slowed it down a bit. First by getting him used to the muzzle being in the same room as him, then to have it next to him. We never got further than that, as once day Bungee ripped it down from the coat wrack where we keep his harness and leash, and he ripped it to shreds.
By this point Bungee was confined to our on property house. My family and I set up cameras in the office and off our phones just so we could monitor his activity. He wasn't able to go outside except for after hours when no one else would be present.
It was working for awhile, though it was becoming too much of a strain on me and the rest of our family to be constantly vigilant.
The last nail in the coffin was when my BIL, who Bungee has known and pretty much seen everyday (the nursery is a family business), went into my house to grab some lunch. Bungee greeted him at the door as usual and my BIL pet him like usual. Bungee followed him to the kitchen when he was given a treat before he laid down in his usual spot. My BIL grabbed a plate of leftovers and out them in the microwave and that's when Bungee snapped.
We don't know what made him do it, but suddenly he clamped on to my BIL's hand and he wouldn't let go. My BIL had to take his collar with his other hand and twist until Bungee just about lost consciousness.
It was a horrible and vicious attack and my BIL bled a lot. He wanted to downplay it, but I saw his hand and knew that it would be a close call whether or not he needed stitches (and whether or not my BIL would go to the doctor at all).
My BIL is a big man and an animal lover who has worked with all kinds including dogs, horses, cattle, sheep and chickens. He knows how to react to animals and he knows there tells. He told me that Bungee didn't throw up any signs that he was uncomfortable before the attack, and from personal experience with witnessing Bungee's attacks, I know that to be true.
What scares me is what would have happened if it was my sister, or my mother, or one of my nieces and nephews...Someone who wouldn't have the tact and calmness to deal with Bungee the way my BIL did.
It also got me to thinking: What if it was a customer?
Could I stand to lose this entire family business by being sued? To have someone seriously injured?
I decided that it was time to make the worst decision of my life and put Bungee to rest. I decided that I wasn't going to wait to see the day where I am compelled by the courts to take action against him. I owed it to my family, my friends, my guests and my dog to put everyone's safety first.
I did the best I could. I keep telling myself that. For days I wondered if I could just rehome him, but flashback and flashback of all the bites, destruction and anxiety came back to me, all while I listened to Bungee pant and pace and cry as his nightly routine had been for the last two years.
And so I made the call. Bungee will be able to do all his favorite things today, but come this evening myself and my family will be dogless.
It will take us a long time to get through this, and I feel sick to my stomach.
I love dogs, but I don't know if I will ever want another one after this experience.
Thank you and good luck. May you never have to make this difficult choice.
submitted by Plane-Sun9973
to reactivedogs [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 12:33 PutridBite Last of the Defenders - Ch 27
Welcome new readers. Please start with chapter one https://www.reddit.com/HFY/comments/11ai7iv/last_of_the_defenders_ch_01/
It took hours. Allah realized the sun was walking away when they finally stepped out of the great quorum hall. Ada’key’hamda and Allah’hem’nrah walked to either side of Li, a group of elders and tradesmen flocking behind. They carried charcoal and papers, hastily drawn maps and long scrolls of lists--names of the future displaced, materials to be salvaged, and more workers than she could count--as they jostled to be heard over each other.
Allah glanced over her shoulder as the wide double doors began to close, ears twitching frustratingly at Marn’charlie’weh who stood on the dais still, amber eyes glowing with barely contained fury. She had been the most vocal of the group surrounding her now, the Detractors Allah called them in her mind. Most of their arguments had been weighed and addressed--even bringing forth solutions to unforeseen problems as the idea of extending the roads had progressed from Li’s ultimatum into cooperative planning.
Both sides had compromised. The southern Smithhall and much more of the buildings between the outpost and the outer wall would be torn down. The proposed road to the north would be almost doubled in width too, to accommodate the increase in traffic. More importantly, to Allah’s way of thinking, were the inclusion of U’knock work crews into Li’s plan. Her people would oversee the construction of the roads and tearing down the city’s outer wall to make rapidly usable materials.
It had been that last point that nearly set Allah’hem’nrah and Marn’charlie’weh to blows. This had only been the second quorum she had been honored to sit in, neither of them as a member, but the vociferousness and vitriol that passed from mouth to ear had startled her.
“You claim a need to protect our people!” Allah could still remember Marn’charlie’weh shout. It had woken her from her dozing. “And with the other paw you rip down the very walls that shelter us! Holes in the inner ring? Dismantling the outer? Will you take all of our warrior caste with you to fight the bullies too? If they are
Li had risen from the floor to confront the black elder, Marn’charlie’weh almost twice the height of the human even then, but a spotted paw thrust between them and Allah’hem’nrah walked to block her.
“I will not be shamed,” she roared, the only time the stalwart pride mother raised her voice, “by this council as to cower and hide while a cub fights for our lives!”
She had pointed to Allah who, at the time, was shamelessly curled up on a cushion. The cub, roused from her dozing, sat up, licked a forepaw and made a show of grooming her fur. It was not Allah’s fault she had fallen asleep; they would not stop talking! On and on they went, arguing over the most minute details only to circle back on a once settled matter and point out how doing one thing would somehow upset two others. Even when it did not. Especially
when it did not!
“The warriors will
fight in this war!” and the proclamation from Allah’hem’nrah had elicited a scattered cheer from half the quorum.
Li had spent much of the quorum kneeling on a Nameday cushion--anything larger than the small pad used to carry kits to the quorum when they opened their eyes would have swallowed her--sipping water from a clay cup and only put in suggestions when directly asked. Which became less and less frequent as the day dragged on toward night. Allah only realized how long they had been there when Jung reminded her to take her pill!
“I think,” Li had said, rising from her cushion and stretching, “we’ve settled what we can in one day.” Allah rose to follow, eager to be away from these screaming, argumentative adults. “If you have something of substance to add, I’ll be outside the south gate at sunrise,” and the last of her words had a hint of warning, “about an hour before the first tank is scheduled to roll out.”
With that, Li rose, bowed to the throne dais, and strode purposely from the great hall.
And now they walked, not as unwelcomed outlanders who should be chased off, but as people of importance whose presence was harkened by quorum members begging attention.
Or, at the least, Li did. Allah found herself carefully shuffled further and further away from her friend, carefully avoiding elders who jostled past her and ever more dangerously close to the taser belt’s kiss. They did not seem to care, even knowing what the belt could do after Li explained its workings and Guard Captain Fen’ja--belatedly arrived, washed and no longer twitching--had confirmed.
Perhaps, Allah considered, another demonstration was in order. Let one brush up against her? And through a wall? She set such petty thoughts aside. These people were preparing as if for a great storm coming to the land. Shoring up the city for a blizzard named Li.
And the bully horde that followed.
Allah contented herself with being persistently pushed back. If she could contribute, she would try. What she was asked, she would answer. And she would not fault Li. Her friend had been as good as her word and as they stepped outside the cub saw a scribe carrying a stack of posters in her paws, could hear a crier chant “Fey’arna of Hada’neha is requested and required to make his presence known to the nearest city guard. A reward is offered for his safe return.” Surely her father would be found soon, news of him at the least and Allah would go to him.
But for now, Allah had made a promise to Li. She would stand beside her friend…if these quorum members ever got out of the way…
Allah busied her eyes and ears in learning this new place. The smell was only U’knock, a packed down scent of many bodies forced together. It reminded her of the mob. Even as the sun was setting behind the tall buildings the street was alive. Tradeswomen and males carried their goods, families shopped at stalls and cubs ran in play or just from the joy of slipping a father’s leash for a time. The buildings were all taller than any hut, packed into squares and high roofed rectangles. Only the doors and the largest structures were domed. Even the glass in the new windows had straight, with sharp unnatural edges.
That was the word Umati’clam conjured to her: unnatural. Even with so many--because
there were so many--of her people packed within, Allah felt more and more like a stranger in these confines. How long had she dreamed of walking the fabled city streets? Now she would give up her tail to curl up on her cushion in front of the fireplace, claw the rough burlap and kneed the straw inside to lay her head down and rest. To be home and safe again.
With her fa.
She was not expecting guards when they reached the wall. Four of the metal humans stepped outside the bubble as it popped, speaking in Demeter’s voice.
“Stand away from the entrance,” they said as one, raising black bowless Com’cha with those deadly tubes in their place. “This is your only warning.”
“I’ll do what I can,” Li said by way of apology as the throng of quorum members receded slowly from the opening wall, “but our timetable is going to be tight. Remember Allah’hem’nrah,” she continued, motioning Allah to step forward, “I want at least two level headed warriors per village. These people are not
beggars or simply displaced. And they may be vital to rebuilding your home.”
“I do not see how,” the spotted warrior stepped back as Allah stepped closer, “but we will do as you command, Defender.”
“Uh uh,” Li admonished, wagging a finger at the massive U’knock.
“Li,” Allah’hem’nrah corrected, her lips tightening.
Li gestured to Allah again and the two stepped through.
“Could not your ambassador,” Ada’key’hamda called but did not step past the robot guards, gray fur bristling as the first night wind chilled her, “stay with us longer, Friend Li? We still have questions she might be uniquely capable of answering.”
Li and Allah both turned back, the human grinning with a light bow. “That holds true for me too,” the human said softly. “Unfortunately, Allah’s duties at the moment will be keeping her close to me. Any questions can be relayed through these droids,” she gestured to the armed machines. “They can relay any pertinent
queries to Jung or myself through Demeter.”
The wall began to seal itself and Allah’hem’nrah raised one paw in the air, waving it back and forth. “Gud B’eye!” the spotted warrior called.
“Bài bài,” Li wiggled her fingers and the massive U’knock chuffed. As the hole in the wall sealed, the sounds of the city silenced. Allah looked up to see the bubble shimmer in place.
Li slumped her shoulders, stretched and yawned. “Now that’s over with,” she said tiredly, “you want something to eat?”
“I am honored to share your table again,” Allah nodded a bow of thanks as Li turned toward the spire, “but what ‘other’ duties do I have?”
“Mostly?” Li winked as she glanced over her shoulder, “Staying clear of Ada’key’hamda. And Marn’charlie’weh, for that matter.” The human frowned at the blank expression on Allah’s face. “Don’t get me wrong, I like that old gray ‘māo’,” Jung translated the word as a subspecies of Earth native animals with an image that explained much of Li’s previous jibes, “but I don’t trust her any further than I can throw her. Or Allah’hem’nrah if it comes to it. Not fully.”
“Why not?” Allah turned back to the closed wall gate. The pair had quickly become the most vocal supporters of Li’s side during the quorum. “They seemed to trust you.”
“Allah’hem’nrah does,” Li confessed, “or at least she believes me a ‘defender’ and understands the threat the swarmers pose. Sounds like she was breastfed war stories as a kit,” Li scratched her head, combing her hair with her fingers, “but she’s gonna do what she thinks is best for her people. And that might not be what's best for the U’knock. Or winning this war.”
Allah considered this. She wanted to say an honored elder would not be so dishonest but…Ana’nut’hana’s betrayal of her father…their exile reminded the cub that no matter how unified the U’knock love of Defenders and hate for bullies was supposed to be, a shallow cup could not hold deep water. If her own mayor could do such to her and Fey’arna then what were strangers capable of?
“And Ada’key’hamda?” she asked with interest. They had passed the landing pad and rapidly closed on the doors to the spire.
“That woman?” Li grinned lopsidedly as the double doors whoosh
ed open, “is what my people call a ‘kingmaker’,” she waved away Allah’s questions, “it means she is a pure blood politician; shrewd and devious. She only sided with us because she knew where the winds were blowing.”
“I hope,” Allah confided, stepping into the noisy chaos of the garage, “that you are wrong.” Her voice rose to a shout above the hissing, clanging commotion.
“I hope I’m not!” Li answered as they hurried past the noisy room and into the hallway. Once the noise of work had died to a dull den she explained. “We’re going to need somebody that conniving on our side to keep Marn’charlie’weh in check. Um…at bay.”
“Jung explained chess,” Allah answered the unspoken question. “And go.”
“Gooood!” Li’s smile must have been more predatory than intended, Allah assumed, as the human showed her teeth. “I’ve got a board in my quarters aboard the Stardancer. Fancy a game when he gets back?”
“I would rather know,” Allah nodded at the offer, “why you need two warriors to travel to the villages.”
“Ah,” Li turned at a crossroads in the hallway, then looked up “Demeter, where’s the nearest mess hall?”
The pleasant voice had returned as a blue beam illuminated. “Please follow the indicated footpath!” Li quickly strode onward.
“Is there any food available for carbon based consumption?”
There was no response as Li and Allah followed the glowing blue line. “Demeter, is there any food available for carbon based consumption?”
“Stores are restocked from the garden every fifty years, cooked and freeze dried for long term access! We have a selection of prepackaged meals ready to eat! Just add hot water and--”
“Demeter,” Allah interrupted as they entered a large room filled with long beaches and tables, “Please be quiet.” Then, to Li she said “You are avoiding my question.”
“I wasn’t avoiding,” Li said in a scolding tone, “I was stalling. There’s a difference. Demeter? Where’s the food!?!”
“Li,” Allah’s tone was stern and pleading at the same time, “Why?”
The human stopped in the center of the room, shoulders slumping. “I kinda wished you’d’ve been awake for that part. It didn’t go over too well with the quorum either.”
“Stop stalling,” Allah admonished, “What is wrong?”
“Allah,” Li stood in the center of the room, raised and then lowered her hands. “Allah,“ she said, “I need you to prepare yourself. What happened last night was only the opening salvo. Things are going to get worse. A lot
worse before we’re done here.”
“The U’knock are accustomed to hardship,” Allah straightened. “We will persevere.“
Li shook her head. “That’s not what I meant. I know your people are strong. I know they’re proud, and I believe they will fight for their home. But are they willing to leave their lives behind to do it?”
“Leave?” Allah pursed her lips and thought. “Why would we need to leave their lives?“
“We don’t have a full planetary shield around this rock,” Li answered. “The safest place for them is going to be in Umati’clam. They’ll have to relocate. All of the villages will have to relocate.
“And,” from the expression on the human’s face, the news she gave was worse than it sounded when she said “Some of them might not make it.”
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2023.03.21 12:30 D0WNGR4D3 Space Crusader #0 (pilot)
- Author's Note: Do not ask where this came from... it just did. My writing goblin had been nagging me to put this in writing since last night, so honestly it might have mistakes in it, the pacing and premise might be weird... but it helped my brain settle. Anyways, enjoy and please NOTE, this was written just for the sake of fun (well... it sounded funny to me)!
William Falis, born somewhere around the late 1300s or early 1400s by Earth's time, somewhere in Europe, first born son of a low ranking noble, one of many to come and go along human history. His story lost to time and unknown by his own people.
His life has been most usual from birth up until his mid twenties. The boy, like many others, had grown with knights being a main leading force in his country's lands and many around it. Looking up to the profession with a romanticized view, the young man grew upholding the views of knights of story, even being closer to something akin to a paladin in virtues. Like any person he had his moments of weakness and his vices, but his love for the meaning of the word 'knight'
and the power behind what it meant to be one, always held him closer to a righteous path, more than many others.
His unique story begins when William was about the late age of 25, already having lived half of his life. While on his way back home after participating in a siege while on the attacking side, his attention was drawn to some bright blue lights off into the distant horizon, shining from the thick depths of a near by forest.
As he was on horse back, William stopped his mount's speedy galop as he gazed confused upon the bizzare lights. "Oh, what a light of azure shines through to mine eyes from the depths of the forest. Godly and angelic, tis a sign from God Himself, surely. He must be calling for me to meet him, why else would I be graced by this miracle?"
He took a moment to find a place to loosely tie his horse to and give its head a few gentle pets. "Do not worry, Stevellion. I shall return back to you, but should danger find you, hearken onto my plea and run akin to the wind. The wood is too thick with brush and root for you to safely traverse it. I shall return, post haste, mine steed."
Dressed in a light cloth garb with some padded leather armor on top, the knight grabbed his satchel, spear, sword at the hip and shield, from the horse and he set course into the wood. With decided steps he advanced, ready to meet his God and hear Him and His orders to him.
Meanwhile, at the source of the light deep into the woods laid a metal vessel of decent size, half buried into the earth. Tossed about and broken trees confirm a crash landing. Inside the space craft of a spherical shape, Azail and Gab'el, were just coming back to conciousness. They were nearly 7 feet tall and with a light blue complexion upon their wirey frames, the impact had shook them to their cores, bruises formed on their gentle features.
Azail, pushed back silvery white strands of hair as her golden eyes blinked slowly while she got her bearings. "Oh fuck... everything hurts. Agh-... Gab'el? You alive?" She groaned as she lifted her head up from their ship's console, looking to her co-pilot who was splaied on the floor.
"Y-yeah... agh... although I wish I wasn't..." Gab'el said as he shakily pushed up on his elbows, his four digits on each of his hands, feeling his face for damage.
"W-what happened? My head-... oof..." Azail said as she put a palm to her left temple, pulling away, dark blue blood was staining it.
"We got intercepted b-by a Daemar fighting vessel while getting out of Planet-347H's atmosphere. Evasive manuevers failed and we had to make a crash landing." Gab'el continued as he struggled to his feet making his way back to the console.
"Fucking hell... ugh... check with the xenobiologists over comms and see if they are alive in the back. I will send off an Emergency Signal and a message to the outpost we have on Planet-M4/R5. W-we... we gotta be quick and pray the signal reaches them or anyone really that can come quick."
Gab'el nodded as he got to it, trying the communicator he had a shared frequency eith everyone on board. "Luken, Ashi'in. Report on your state if you can hear this message. This is Gab'el. Over."
Azail got to work as well, setting their emergency beacon online and starting to record a message. "This is pilot Azail from the Anghelon Empire, pilot for the scientific vessel, designation 'Enlightenment', the xenobiology branch. We have crash landed on Planet-347H, situated within the 7th space sector. Crash landing was caused by a surprise attack made by a Daemar combat vessel. Send reinforcements and a medical unit asap. We are not clear of danger."
As Azail finished the message she could hear Gab'el swear angrily as he went to the locker storing their only Redemption Fighting Suit, which was only for emergency cases, which it seems, this was one of those.
"Gab, t-talk to me. What happened?" Azail mumbled loudly to her co-pilot as she inched her way towards him holding onto the wall of their decently sized cockpit.
"I got a hold of Lukin! Shit! It's stuck, fuck! He said, Daemars got their hands on Ashi'in, the back left side is busted open and they grabbed her as she was near the opening. I'm trying to get the suit out, but the damn door is busted." He growled man.
"We are wasting time. I'll grab the first aid kit, check your kinetic energy handarm for damage and we've got to mobilize." Azail said as she unholstered from her hip her weapon, gave it a quick look over and then went to grab the medical kit they had in storage under the console.
"Sigh, wish they let us issue our standard Rail Rifle for this mission, SPECIFICALLY because of shit like this. These dinky things won't do shit against Daemar armor." Gab'el said as he checked his gun while opening the doors leading from the cockpit to the small hallway with doors leading to their storage closet, small accomodations and the lab at the back.
The duo advanced carefully towards the lab doors that were already partially slid open, seemingly busted from the reck. Passing through them they had found Lukin hiding behind one of their research tables, which were standard issued as bolted to the floor. The scientist's left golden eye was busted swirling with his own blue blood .
"Hah! Azail, G-Gab'el. There's four of them, h-heard them talking about coming in for a sweep." The scientist, Luken, whispered with groans of pain. "They beat up my assistant, p-please do something!" He said desperate.
"Did you see what weapons they are using? Anything higher cal-" Gab'el began questioning, but a shot from a Rail Rifle ripping a hole in a different table answered his unfinished inquiry. "Ffffuck! If we live, I will kill our whole logistic department, the greedy fucks. They give us an old first gen RF Suit and they think its enough. Pieces of shit." He swore with fury, whispering exasperated as he went into proper cover besides the scientist.
Azail crouched near them as she peeked over cover and out the hole in the side of their ship. Four Daemar, indeed, all equipped with impact body suits that harden when struck by high velocity projectiles. "Ghah... at best our pistols are distractions."
Daemars were shorter in stature than Anghelons, mainly due to their long legs being double jointed with a joint bending back while the second one bent forward, their legs had thicker toes near akin to hooves and their backs were hunched heavily. When fully sprawled out they might actually beat Anghelons in length, which wasn't encouraging as they also seemed brawnier physically than them.
"Come on fellas, you have until the count of three or we blast this bluey's brains onto this forsaken shit planet's mud." One of the Daemars yelled out.
"Agh- fuck you, you red piece of crap!" Ashi'in yelled out which got her a kick in the jaw in return.
"Feisty fucking thing." Chuckled another who administired the blow.
At about this time, William had gotten closer and closer to the flashing blue light, hearing sounds of voices he couldn't understand he became wary of danger. Sneaking up through the brush he found his eyes gazing upon a scene he had a hard time understanding.
After his mind took a moment to process what his eyes saw, he arrived to one certain conclusion. "God hath called upon me to assist one of his angels upon which demons had been set. Oh what woe for such a divine being to have been befallen by!"
he whispered angrily to himself. 'How dare they!'
He thought with a wordless gasp as he witnessed one of the demons kick the angel in the head.
Insulted by the uncalled for strike upon the already subjugated angel, William stood, an iron grip on his spear. Holding his spear for a throw, Michael rushed out of the brush in a charge. "HOW DARE YE, VILE FIENDS! GET OFF THAT ANGEL! RHA!"
He roared tossing the spear at the closest demon his eyes landed on.
Daemar's hearing the shouting turned confused seeing a human charge at them. "IS THAT A FUCKING NATIV- AGH!" The Daemar closest to William said exploding into a shriek of pain as the spear he tossed impaled his torso. "AGH! HAAAH! HA! HOW?! W-WHAT?!" It shrieked out as he grasped the spear's shaft that was stuck in him.
The reds in shock reacted really slowly, since the knight had enough time to continue his charge. He shield bashed with the edge of his shield the one who already got struck by the spear, retrieved his weapon and then shoved his spear once more into the unlucky one's throat.
"Shoot it!" Said a higher ranking Daemar as his two goons began pointing a rail rifle and a kinetic pistol at the leather armored knight.
Before they could fill the primitive native of the muddy planet with holes, the trio of Daemars got covered in a small volley of pistol fire from inside the ship.
William peered from where the flashes of light came and he could see more angels. He tossed his shield aside and using his free arm he lifted up Ashi'in onto his shoulder, which he seemed to do so with ease. "Pray forgive me your Divinity, but I must assist hastly!"
He yelled as he bolted inside, slipped on the slanted metal floor and slid on his ass all the way to the back.
Gab'el, Luken and Azail looked wide eyed at William who's eyes sparkled with awe.
"Doc, can it understand us?" Gab'el asked as he took cover back behind the desk.
"W-we've been studying them for quite a bit and no, they shouldn't... I don't understand why it came to our assistance, its kind hates one anothers i-if they wear slightly different clothes! This is insane!"
Azail groaned impatient as she kept overwatch towards the opening into the ship. "Less talking, untie Ashi'in, you morons! You can gawk at the dirt mammal after we're done with this. Gab'el shoot it if it tries to do anything stupid."
"Uhh... Az, I think it's getting up to go out there." The co-pilot said uncertain as he undid the zip tie like bindings from Ashi'in's wrists behind her back.
William had indeed set Ashi'in down, who looked in a confused awe at him as he brushed some of her longer silvery locks from her face. "By God. You are a true beauty, truly God's children."
William said gazing towards the others as he grasped his spear tighter.
He stood up confidently and began scaling the slanted floor towards the opening.
"Fucking hell, its going to kill itself." Gab'el said as he face palmed.
"M-maybe not. Despite his primite weapons he seemed like he could fight them. His species is rather sturdy and surprising. He might be able t-" before Lukin could finish his words, the group witnessed the primitive mammal go up to the opening, was about to chuck his spear which got a yelp from one of the Daemars and then promptly got shot, based on the less scary sound, by the kinetic pistol.
William groaned, fell on his back while dropping his weapon, and like a pendulum, slid downwards once more at the back of the laboratory next to his 'angels'
. "Oh God! M-my heart! Ghah!"
He said holding onto his chest.
"Oh, for the love of... the dominant species on this planet are complete idiots." Gab'el said as as he went besides Azail, at this point not caring about the fate of their unlikely helper.
"God, could you be more heartless." Ashi'in said annoyed as she grabbed one of the arms of William. "Doc, help me pull him towards the back, quick, he's losing blood. Lets give the soldiers space and go to safety."
"R-right." Lukin said as he got a grip on William, and the two dragged him towards the cockpit with the first aid kit.
"Why do you think his attack worked?" Gab'el asked his colleague clearly confused by how a primitive's weapon could hurt a Daemar.
"I don't know... the suit is supposed to harden upon high velocity... impact..." that is when Azail's golden eyes glimmered with realization. "His spear is as slow as hell by comparison to our weapons... the armor doesn't register them."
The Anghelan woman then reached and took in her hands William's spear looking at it. "Gab' take this and sneak closer to the opening. If they approach I will shoot to distract, you stab."
"Eh, good of a plan as any other." The co-pilot sighed resignated at the situation before him. He took the primitive weapon and began his sudden suicide mission.
Back inside the cockpit, Lukin and Ashi'in, had dragged their unlikely native ally inside. The lead xeno biologist began looking over the heavily bleeding William, who seemed to be slowly dying. "Damn it, i think the bullet might have ruined the heart." He said as he began grabbing a few tools and bio sealant gel packets, and basically tried to patch the hole in his chest with fast acting cell regeneration medicine. "This should works, the native cells seemed similar in make to our own and in testing it seemed effective."
Ashi'in frowned. 'It'll be too slow.' She thought as her eyes looked quickly about. As her golden gaze laid upon the locker of the RF Suit, eureka struck her. "The suit. It has cell replication properties and an in built life support, it could help." She said as she took William's sword from him and began using it to pry open the busted looking door, struggling to do so.
"The suit?! Are you crazy?! That is the equivalent of giving a nonsentient primate a Rail Rifle after putting its digits on the trigger." Lukin said while keeping on with the first aid.
"Well, that thing saved my life and I don't know about you, but I am not about to let it die. I owe it at least that!" Ashi'in said grunting as she pried open the locker doors just enough for an arm to fit in.
She stretched as best she could and pulled from inside the locker a silvery metal disc about the same size as her palm.
"Ashi'in as the lead researcher I forbid it!" Lukin said standing up with a clear furious expression on his face, which receeded quickly once he saw Ashi'in lift up the sword she wielded in one of her hands.
"You can shove your position up your ass, and if you do, please make sure you can taste it in the back of your throat." She growled as she gave Lukin a shoulder shove.
She kneeled besides William and she looked down upon the pale pink primitive who's brown eyes stared half open at her, his long brown hair spread about the floor, soaked lightly with his own blood. "O-oh... mine beautiful angel... see that mine soul reacheth the gates of Heaven... and please... go release Stevellion of his duties as mine stead... he doesn't deserve to suffer the wait of my never coming... return."
He said coughing up a few globs of blood.
Ashi'in listened, but... she couldn't understand a single grunt the damn thing was making. She just nodded her head and took his hand into hers. "Don't worry, it'll be fine... hopefully." She said nervous as she placed the metal disk at the center of his chest and gave it two finger taps.
The silvery metal disk chimed with a gentle sound after a few moments and it began saying. "The suit's pilot is in critical condition, for quicker life support assistance would you like to initiate full suit integration instead of the standard operating system?" The device declared, its monotonous voice echoing in the cockpit.
"Yes! Initatite full integration, focus on life support before booting any other systems." Ashi'in yelped impatient.
The metal disk chimed in an affirmative sound as it then shifted across the knight's chest, right over the wound. It sealed the hole with its own surface and then it started buzzing.
As William felt himself fade a spike of pain shot from his chest, more specifically his heart. It was as if something was shredding his heart apart and then it came in stabbing his inner flesh with many hot needles, it burned and stung like nothing else he ever felt. He yelled as his body convulsed and after about two minutes of this constant torture, the pain dulled and subsided.
"Biological analysis complete. Repaclement of damaged vital organs complete. Suit systems connected neurologically to host. All basic boot up functions complete." The suit stated once more monotonously.
Ashi'in sighed with relief as she sat down onto the floor. "Phew... I am so glad that worked." She said with a shakey voice and a small smile on her lips.
Lukin groaned annoyed as he looked at the suit's core now physically implanted into the native's left side of his chest. The damned thing tore through his bio clothing and just dug itself into him. Looking more closely now, the bit of it that was still exposed... it morphed... into a shape akin to the metal shield that the primitive was carrying.
William feeling himself breath fully and feeling life course through his veins proper, he looked at his chest and noticed the hole in his leather armor and the shirt below it. His eyes sparkled with a hope renewed as she looked at Ash'in. The young man scrambled onto his knees and palms and bowed his head with the forehead against the floor. "Oh! Most gentle and generous angel, thank you for your blessing, thank you for gracing me with the Lord's love and keeping me in your favor. I shall devote myself to assisting you and the Father in purging those demons."
"Oh, what the hell is it doin' now?" Ashi'in asked as she chuckled nervously, doubting her choice at this point. Her eyes wandered towards Lukin for an answer.
The lead xeno scientist stared into empty air after seeing William's display and he seemed to search for an answer in his mind's library. "I... don't... I know this has something to do with religious behaviors and rituals, but... why would it..." Lukin stuttered flustered.
William stood to his feet with a determined look upon his fair features. "God! I carry thine will as you command me, grant me thine protection and strength to end the plague that are those demons!"
"A.I. Assistant designation, God. Activating defensive protocols, enabling full access to in built nano machine weaponry." The suit's voice declared in a lpw tone monotonous voice.
"Did he just... name the suit's A.I. ... as God?! I understood what the suit said, but really, God?" Ashi'in asked confused as she stood up.
Lukin face palmed himself as he finally realized. "The unevolved idiot is mistaking us for divine creatures, oh hell... there's like fuck knows how many religions that I documented here, which one is he even part of?!" The lead scientist said stepping back.
The silver disk on William's chest began spreading over his body like mercury, enveloping him entirely. As it began taking shape, initially in the standard form of the suit, it then began changing. It morphed into a full suit of armor that looked like the full plated armor the xeno biologists have seen the natives of this planet make and wear in one region of the planet.
Despite the look akin to various metal plates strapped together, it was simply just the design choice of the user for the suit's exterior. The living metal even moved to make filigree patterns across various "edges" of the armor and in the middle of William's chest the designs merged to form a cross. His head piece took the shape of a Great Helm style helmet with a cross pattern in the middle, the eye holes being actual visors that shined a blue hue.
"Damn, these people are really into religion h-huh..." Ashi'in said as her eyes widened at how much the suit had changed from the standard look. This feature was usually used for one to lightly personalize their suit's design, but it was now unrecognisable. "God, hear my plea! Grant me a blade to cut through mine enemies with thunderous force! Let me smite them, lightning quick!"
William shouted as he reached a hand forward and from his palm, bits of his suit formed into a hilt, which grew a pummel and hand guard eventually shooting a straight edge blade that pulsed with electricity.
As Lukin observed he began tapping away at a little data pad. "I don't think the suit understands his vocal commands, but... full integration merges the suit with one's nervous system... it might actually be able to reproduce these details and follow his commands based on his brain's electric patterns which form his thoughts. Oh ho ho... this might be quite interesting. Such a basic intelligent life form operating intricate technological machinery. This'll-... agh!"
Lukin groaned as Ashi'in elbowed him in the side. "I understand this is our work, but can you not?" the assistant groaned annoyed shaking her head as she then gazed back at William. "Lets hope it'll put it to good use."
The knight stared at his new blade and down at himself as he tightened his free hand and began making his way out of the cockpit and back towards the laboratory he gor dragged from. "By the grace of God..."
He uttered zelously under his breath as he pressed onwards, his voice ringing out with a metalic tone to it and echoing. Next Issue!
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2023.03.21 11:20 webuyequipment Basic Backhoe Loader Preventative Maintenance Tips Equipment Planet Equipment
| || |What are the basic backhoe loader preventative maintenance tips? Backhoes are a must-have for every fleet. Although many larger construction businesses have specialized maintenance workers, basic daily or weekly preventative maintenance for backhoe loaders and other heavy equipment is often the duty of the operators. Even if it isn’t, it is still a good idea for job site safety and efficiency. Preventive maintenance, of course, is critical for keeping machinery working at maximum power, efficiency, and safety. It also lowers long-term operating expenses by preventing more costly problems and maintenance and increasing the life of heavy equipment. Here are the most crucial parts of basic backhoe loader preventive maintenance to keep your machine as productive and downtime-free as possible. submitted by webuyequipment to equipmentbuyandsell [link] [comments]
Taking Care of Backhoe Loaders’ Preventive Maintenance
- To acquaint yourself with all of the manufacturer-recommended maintenance and intervals, consult the backhoe owner’s manual.
- Examine the entire machine before and after use for leaks, damage, or other symptoms of malfunction.
- Check for cracks in the paint surrounding the backhoe and loader arms, which are extensively stressed; flaws in the paint could signal structural cracks, therefore they should be thoroughly inspected before continuing usage.
- Pre- and post-flight, check tire pressure and condition; backhoe loaders travel more than most other heavy equipment, making this even more important.
- Before and after each usage, inspect hoses, belts, and auxiliary connections.
- Before and after each operation, inspect all buckets and attachments to ensure they’re in good working order and correctly engaged.
- Verify sure all of the machine’s safety features are operational.
- As described in the OEM handbook, make sure the hoses are securely attached and secured near the stick and boom.
- Check the oil and hydraulic fluid levels before and after the flight to ensure proper fluid management.
- Learn about Tier 4 engine standards and how to store your ISO 22241-compliant diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) in a cool, dry, and contamination-free environment.
- If your backhoe accepts it, use organic acid technology (OAT) coolant; never mix it with conventional coolants or use a type not listed in the owner’s manual.
- Consult the machine’s handbook to be sure you’re using the right oil; with Tier 4 backhoes, use CJ-4 low-ash oil.
- Fluid testing kits should be used, and samples should be tested.
- Stretch these parts out before use and listen for grinding sounds or other noises around pins, bushings, pivot points, and bearing joints—then oil as needed.
- Idle engines should be avoided as much as possible.
- After each shift, clean off any dirt or debris so it doesn’t harden or clog the system.
- All operators should be taught in the safe and proper operation of backhoe loaders, as well as their obligations for preventative maintenance.
2023.03.21 11:19 ScoreInevitable5245 Suggestions for future updates
Having played SCUM for 815 hours, I decided to make my suggestions for future updates to the game, taking into account the ongoing work of the developers, the announced innovations and difficulties in the introduction of the proposed elements in the current game. Enemies: - Ninjas. The same average puppets. Make absolutely no sound at rest or in aggression. Probably dressed in ghillie suits or black uniforms. - Screamers. When a player is detected, emit a scream with a radius equal to a shot from a firearm. May not stop making noise while chasing the player, so that the assembled horde has a constantly renewed source of noise. Could possibly look like a kamikaze with a speaker strapped to his chest instead of explosives. - Tanks. Zombies, with enough HP to survive at least 10 hits from 9mm bullets. Maybe they could have their speed or damage reduced for balance. I think they would fit nicely in military bunkers with killboxes. For external distinction, you could make their model a little bigger and wear Altyn helmets (model is in the game).
There are also proposals for the introduction / balancing of weapons and some items: - Guns using .22LR. One of the most common cartridges in the game is the most unused, as it is used exclusively by a crappy sliding bolt rifle. But some pistols, carbines and submachine guns are also made to use this cartridge (for example, Yugoslavian mgv 176 with 176 rounds capability(!), and even .22LR version of MP5 is made). - Weapons using the 5.45. The cartridge is rare and expensive to buy, but the only one used in the game at the moment is the AKS-74u, which is not superior to the MPs available in the game. Adding to the game semi-automatic hunting carbine or assault rifles made in Eastern Europe would fuel the interest of players. - .45 caliber revolver. One of the most common cartridges in the game, which is also widely used in revolvers in the real world. At this point, revolvers seem to be underrated because of the relatively rare ammunition. However, the introduction of a revolver designed for this caliber seems quite appropriate to me. For example, the Magnum Research BFR revolver is available in .45 and .50AE caliber. - Military fanny pack\molle butt bag\warbelt. The Sporran bag isn't bad, but it's a damn sight out of place when worn by a fully packaged player in a modern uniform. Very much want to see in the game military fanny pack, molle butt bag and warbelt, which stylistically will perfectly fit both operators and "survivors of the apocalypse". - Headsets. At the moment, there are 3 options for game characters to protect their hearing: earplugs, construction earpieces, and combat helmets. But helmets don't really fit in a hot biome. Also, there is definitely a category of players who want to "lighten up" their character's appearance while remaining a tactical operator. - Please add homemade bayonets for long-barreled weapons to the game, as is done with homemade scope rails. - A HUGE request to add laser sights to the game, similar in mechanics to underbarrel flashlights. - Please add muzzle brakes that fit into the silencer slot and reduce recoil. Perhaps they could make the shot sound louder and increase the muzzle flame. - Please add forehead flashlights to the game that fit in the goggle slot. - Please add cowboy hats, just for lulz. - Please add chemical light sources to the game - silent analogues of the flares, which will light up longer.
In addition, there are suggestions and wishes for gameplay aspects: - ingest water and food while in a resting position or sitting in a chair. The same is true for the car. Tired of eating standing up like a horse all the time. - GPS. It is very inconvenient to navigate on the map while driving a car. Perhaps we should add as a lootable item GPS-navigator, consuming space and batteries. - Please allow puppets to open doors one way or another. For example, if there is a source of annoyance behind the door, the puppet strikes the door several times, and then the door opens. - Event bunker. It would be very nice if the entrance to the bunker was not just a run through the boxes and / or killbox. I propose the concept of random events: when entering the bunker, the door (or hatch, if players entered through it) closes behind the playeplayers until their death/exit from the bunker, there is a large-scale spawn of puppets inside, and players have no choice but to make their way to the bunker exit through the hatch, or to the killbox, if they have a card from it. Entering the killbox ends the event in the bunker and unlocks the entrance gate or hatch. It is possible to run a timer with poison gas all over the bunker as it expires. This will force players to prepare more carefully for the dungeons, and make them truly late-game content. Perhaps the chance of starting an event increases if more than one member of a player's squad enters the hatch. If there are other players in the bunker - the event will not start. The prize for the surviving players may be the transfer of money or gold to the participants' account, or a unique air-drop, visible only to participants on the map (but available to any player! It's SCUM, baby) - Swing. A small innovation that would bring freshness to the SCUM combat system - swinging a melee weapon when the attack button is held down, with increased damage. - M1 Garand reloading. There IS a way to retrieve an unloaded magazine from this rifle. This would be better than having to reload the rifle one round at a time. - Revolver handling. Revolvers are more of a fun weapon than a practical one at this point, but their use is frustrating. The animation of checking the drum lasts about 5 seconds, while checking the cartridges in the magazine "by feel" is significantly faster. Reloading a revolver lasts a TERRIBLE amount of time, which makes the player armed with a revolver almost more vulnerable than an opponent armed with cold steel or any other firearm. Also, aiming with a revolver takes longer than with the heavier Desert Eagle or any long-barreled weapon. Please add speed-loaders for revolvers, and one-round reloading if the number of rounds fired is less than or equal to three. - Please add an animation of unloading weapons. At the moment, when you remove the magazine by dragging it into the inventory, it magically just disappears from the weapon. - Request for a photo mode: make the camera does not physically interact with player models, and add the ability to make the camera FOV photo mode up to 15. - Bayonet on RPK. Of course, having this feature is better than not having it, but it is impossible to install a bayonet knife on an RPK, especially with a bipod. - Please add the ability to select the ammunition for reloading. Otherwise, having different types of ammunition in the inventory, I can never know what will fly into the enemy in the next shot. - Please add a function to the inventory to prohibit the character to use items specified by the player. For example, having in the inventory parts for the weapon and a cleaning kit, I want to prohibit the character to repair weapon with a cleaning kit, so he used only the parts, etc. - Sequence of loading magazines with ammo. Having three types of ammo (AP, regular, tracer) - I would like to be able to set the loading sequence (for example, a tracer, three regular, an AP), after which the character would load the magazine independently in this sequence, as long as there is ammo in the inventory and space in the magazine. - Please reduce the number and chance of sharks spawning near the players in the inner waters of the island. - A big request is to reduce the rate at which clothes get dirty during normal use. Clothes are currently getting dirty up to 100% incredibly fast. Also, clothing gets dirty quickly when traveling in cars. - Please adjust medication decomposition rate. A new blister of painkillers losing 10% per game day is wrong - Please add a special sound if when reloading there was not enough room for the magazine in the inventory and it was dropped to the ground. - Please add the dependence of weapon swing on stamina level. At the moment, a character with a heart rate of 140 and zero stamina is no more difficult to aim than a perfectly calm and rested character.
Thank you, Gamepires, for this unique and exciting game, and all the work you are doing!
submitted by ScoreInevitable5245
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2023.03.21 11:14 Cnaiur03 Made my own coffee table board game!
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I made a post a few weeks ago asking about cheap board game table.
Long story short, it doesn't exist, so I decided to make my own following a french tutorial about a guy doing the same.
I was surprisingly easier than I thought. I have no skills in manual work, but with the right tuto and the right tools/materials I had no particular problems (a bit of salt here and there when I didn't achieved exactly what I wanted but that's all).
I don't have the exact values, but it cost me around 500€ total; 200€ for the new table, ~150€ for the tools, and ~150€ for the materials.
I don't know if I can put the link to the french tuto, if I can I'll edit the post with it.
Edit: links to the tuto (two parts, tuto and 3D plan) https://boardandgamer.com/articles/diy/2021/09/05/transformer-une-table-en-table-de-jeu-de-societe/ https://boardandgamer.com/articles/diy/2022/03/09/creation-une-table-de-jeux-de-societe-les-plans/
The original \"Laneberg extendable table\" from IKEA. I added the vault bottom, and we can see the planks that will become the vault sides. The arm rest (composed of 4 oak planks) is drying out after applying wood oil. The vault side planks have been screwed to the arm rest, and \"poker like\" fabric cover the sides and the bottom. A LED band is running along the vault sides. Same in red. The table here is finished, I added another plate under the table for the boxes and stuffes, I also cut the legs to make it a coffee table. The table open with a Hero Realms campaign game set up.