Internet dating jest

The Price of Attrition, Chapter II

2020.11.04 03:03 Maddox_Hendrick_Lake The Price of Attrition, Chapter II

“Get off my leg, dude.” I said, trying to pull myself out of bed. I had shoved it under Matt the night before in an attempt to make him uncomfortable enough to move over a little... he was such a bed hog. Apparently, he was perfectly comfortable sleeping with his back arched, so I slept at the edge of the bed with my leg being crushed, and now it was asleep.
He moaned a little bit as I pushed him, trying to force him to roll over, but he eventually did. As I sat up on the edge of the bed, looking at my surroundings, I noticed my stepbrother on the floor, and I was all of the sudden jealous. I had initially proposed sleeping on the floor, a sort of self-sacrifice I was willing to make as the minority in the group. The four of us were still at that awkward stage in our friendship after I had come out that the boundaries were still not yet fully established. It had been a few months now, but we were still fumbling around questions of whether or not it was appropriate for us to change together, shower together, or sleep together in the same bed... the way we had been for years, but the new dynamic of my sexuality had called all of these things that for so long had just been normal, everyday things between best friends into question. Now that the cat was out of the bag, I felt like I had to accommodate my friends in whatever way possible, because in a society where boys sitting too close to each other could be misconstrued as “gay”, I was terrified of losing them. On the other hand, they felt like they needed to accommodate me, because I was the one who was all of the sudden a part of a minority, and they didn't want to offend me, for fear of losing me as a friend should something that they said or did come off the wrong way.
So, instead of sleeping on the floor, Matt had insisted that I share the bed with him. He even said, I know what you're thinking, and it's not like that. So we shared the bed, and he'd kept me on the edge of it all night, and now I was looking at Derek all comfortably splayed on the floor wrapped up in his blankets wishing I was in his place. My leg was tingling fiercely as it came back to life, so fiercely that I knew I wouldn't be able to squeeze into my skinnies for another minute or two. Which was fine, really. I knew that once I started getting dressed, everyone else would start waking up too, and at that point I wouldn't have any time to myself, and I needed to think. What the fuck had happened last night?
I had had the most horrible set of dreams. A dream within a dream even, but a lot more terrifying than anything featured in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, and the contents of which SHOULD have been obviously unreal. Little girl, bloody hands, weird temple. I’d obviously been watching too much TV or reading some weird shit, and it had made its way into my subconscious. I didn’t really read a lot of fiction at the time though, or at least not the kind that had that kind of material in it. What’s more, I could literally remember every detail. You know when you wake up, and your dreams are a haze? This one, or perhaps more properly these two, weren’t. Nope! They were pretty damn clear.
“Dude...” Matt's hand brushed down my back. The feeling tickled a bit, and it made me shudder, “... what time is it?”
Good question. I leaned over and fumbled through my pants to find my phone.
“9:00 AM.”
“Fuck...” he snapped up, “Fuck dude! We were supposed to be up at seven.”
So... what's two hours?
“We have plenty of time, man.” I reminded him. It was only another five or so hours to Salt Lake in this weather.
“Dude, it's gonna be like four o'clock by the time we get there!” He said as he hurriedly put his pants on.
“So? Aren't we stopping in Salt Lake for the night life anyways?”
“Yeah... but I kinda wanted to see it, you know?”
Was that part of the trip? I didn't realize.
“Other than Temple Square, there's not a whole lot to see, dude. Trust me.” I'd been there before, I knew.
“Exactly.” Wait, what? “I wanna see Temple Square.”
“Why?”
“Cuz I wanna see the epicenter of Mormonism, dude. I wanna see what you guys believe.”
“I'm not Mormon anymore, man.” The words still stung in my mouth, it had been such a fundamental part of my identity for so long. Plus, my mom was still making me attend sacrament meeting every Sunday.
“I know.” He shrugged, “I just wanna see, though.”
“We have all of tomorrow to see too, man. Chill out. Lay back down. I hardly slept. You're a fucking bed hog.”
“Dude, no. Let's go. Come on!” He pleaded.
“Fine, but if we're going now, don't you need to shower first?” I kind of wanted an excuse to see him naked. He was really good looking. I'd seen it a million times before, but it never got old to me. All of my friends were Adonises. I had made a point of that being the case.
He tilted his head in acknowledgment and then before I knew it, his pants and boxers were at his ankles, and he was working to pull them off. That wasn't exactly my plan – I had thought that maybe while he was showering I might make the excuse that I needed to shave, even though I really didn't grow a lot of facial hair at that age. But ,who was I to complain?
“Ok... dude.” I said awkwardly.
“Like you haven't seen it all before.” He tossed his clothes on my head and walked across the room to the bathroom door. His skin was golden under the light coming in from the window.
“What the hell? Is Matt naked?” Jack said as he stretched, still half asleep.
“Yes, Matt is naked.” Matt declared.
He was standing over my step brother's head.
“Dude, what the fuck man?” Derek jerked out from under Matt, almost tripping him, “What the hell?”
Everyone who was awake laughed. We were all pretty comfortable around each other, despite the new dynamics, what with all the days spent in the locker rooms after soccer practice. Derek was the only one in the room who hadn't been a part of all that. He had come along at my mom's request as our “chaperone”. Ha! Fat fucking chance. Even though I was 15, and recently come out as gay, my mom was still clinging to that image of the innocent little boy she had left behind in Ellensburg. But, it was 2012, and we were godless boys from the rural USA. Innocence, a commodity none of us had in short supply, was something we were intent on losing this summer, and my stepbrother was probably the last person on Earth who was going to stop us.
Mom’s second marriage had been outside of the Church you see, so Derek was not only not Mormon and therefore not keen on protecting our innocence, but in fact had helped us all get fake IDs for 18+ clubs. He had also been coaching Jack, Connor, and Matt the entire way from Richland to Boise about what to do with a girl when you had her in bed, so I had certainly learned more than I cared to know about my stepbrother just in the first twenty minutes. This led to my spending most of the road trip with my headphones in my ears watching dowloaded movies on my stepdad’s tablet. Not that I didn't want to interact with my friends. I was just a 15-year-old boy whose last interest was talking with his stepbrother about how to… dine at the downstairs deli. None of us really had a lot of girl experience, you see. I hadn't for obvious reasons; Connor, despite his sharp good looks had this weird thing where he froze up around girls; Jack... well, Jack thought he was too ugly, and Matt... I wasn't sure if Matt even liked girls that much.
I mean, he definitely dated and girls and bragged about fooling around with them and such, but when I had come out, he all of the sudden was really, really fascinated with my sexuality and constantly probed me with question after question about what my preferences were. Was I the catcher, or the pitcher? Why? What kind of porn was I into? What was it about x thing that turned me on? The other guys were interested too, but not quite as much as Matt. He did make sure to contrast it every time with how he felt about girls, but honestly I felt like he was over compensating sometimes. He also had this odd need to be naked in my presence whenever possible... we'd even been showering together lately at his house cuz he said that there was a problem with the water heater, and that it was to “save hot water”. Smelled like a line of bullshit to me, but again, I wasn't complaining. Was he signaling, or did he just like displaying? I wasn't really sure. I just made sure to be as business oriented as possible with him in the shower, even when he asked me to do wash his back and he’d wash mine. As awkward as I felt being open about being gay though, I kind of hoped that Matt felt the same way about me that I did about him... about all of them, really. Still, I was NOT about to make the first move. As far as I was concerned, all other men were straight unless they explicitly stated otherwise, which was how I was able to still be “one of the guys” while being attracted to guys.
“Are you coming?” Matt asked me.
My heart was in my throat. It had never been stated outright, but I had kind of assumed that that last bit would stay between us.
“What do you mean?” Connor had rolled over and was looking at Matt, who didn't even have his hand over his junk to cover up.
I looked around, nervous.
“Nah, I'm ok dude. Just hurry up.” I told him.
“Suit yourself, man.” Matt closed the door behind him.
Connor looked at me, confused.
“Are you two...?”
“No.” I smiled, “It's just a thing I guess.”
“You two might as well just fuck and complete your relationship, man.” He laughed.
I wish...
“It's not even like that...”
“Oh yeah, it's not even like that... come join me in the shower, Trynian, it's not gay at all...”
Everyone laughed just a bit...
“We shower together all the time!” Even as it came out of my mouth I knew it was a stupid comparison.
“Yeah...” Connor laughed, “In the locker room. You know... where we don't have any other choice? I don't invite you to come shower with me in a motel. That's totally different, dude.”
“I don't think that's how he sees it.”
“But you do...” He was smiling.
I smiled, a little uncomfortable. He laughed again.
After Matt was done in the shower, we all took our 'turns', which involved one person in the shower, the other shaving and combing copious amounts of pomade through their hair, which all and all took about another hour. I was of course able to catch some not-so-discrete peeks at my friends, and then we were off. We caught some cheap Chinese 'to go' for breakfast before heading out. The road through Southern Idaho isn't exactly the most scenic. About the only thing to see is the Snake River Gorge, and having grown up not too far from the Columbia River Gorge, it wasn't really that impressive to any of us. Most of it is either farm country, where destructive methods of agriculture have ravaged the landscape, or degraded scrub country. The real scenery doesn't start until you hit the Wasatch Mountains around Brigham City. The Wasatch Mountains, despite being one of the seemingly few things in Utah with a Native American name (at least, compared to Washington), are actually kind of impressive... if you didn't grow up around mountains.
I had grown up in Ellensburg, so the Cascades had never been far until I moved to the Tri Cities in the 7th grade. But my friends had grown up in the flat scrublands of Eastern Washington, and so, of course, were pretty mesmerized by them... the Wasatch Mountains, I mean. Most people raised in the flat country are. I remember that all of the talk of girls and hunting and soccer and who we hated at school died down once we got into the mountains. There was still the occasional conversation here and there, but everyone seemed to be perfectly content staring out the window at the landscape. The woods that cloaked the mountains were really quite the contrast to the coniferous forests that dominate the Cascades. These woods were deciduous, and a lot of the trees I wasn't at all familiar with. The only real deciduous forest I knew was the riparian woodland that was the Kurek Family Playground, otherwise known as W.E. Johnson Park, to people who read the upside down sign where the trails meet inside it. Poplars, cottonwoods, black locust, Russian olive, wild roses and giant raspberry and blackberry bushes dominated that little flood zone. The vast majority of the trees here I just couldn't name, which was something that had always fascinated me, really. People back then tended to think of the United States as one big homogenous nation, but it really wasn't. Both the land and the people were very different wherever you went.
We arrived in Salt Lake around six in the evening, much to Matt's disappointment. I remember on the way in that Matt seemingly couldn’t contain himself, and kept asking if we were there yet every time you could see a Mormon temple from the highway. “How many temples do these people have? Shit…” He said in disappointment after I told him the Bountiful temple wasn’t the one we were going to either. I had to laugh a little, cuz it definitely reminded me of my first time going to Utah with my parents. In Washington Mormons were a minority, but in Utah I could literally see a church from a church.
Once we actually got to Salt Lake though, nobody else was really all that interested in seeing all of the religious attractions at first. Just about everybody actually wanted to go downtown and eat, especially now that we all had signals on our phones and could look places up. Once we set foot on Temple Square however, with tourists and sister missionaries bustling in and out of the Old Tabernacle and the Visitors Centers, it all of the sudden became very engaging... for everyone but me, really.
Jack, Connor, and Matt all pranced through the gates, ready to meet some girls and flirt with the young, and overwhelmingly foreign sister missionaries. You could almost hear MIMS' 'This is Why I'm Hot' playing in the background as they made their entrance. I never really thought of Temple Square as a place to pick up girls until then, since I had been brought up in the LDS Church and the place had a very different meaning for me growing up. But as soon as we got there, I could see how it was a good place for three young bucks ready for the rut to sniff out some does. I mean, the place was packed with foreign tourists, a surprising number of which were female. And the sister missionaries were no slouches either. In fact, almost immediately Matt was pestering me to start a conversation with a couple of them after noticing that one had a Polish flag pin on her chest.
“You’re NOT gonna hit on sister missionaries, dude.”
“Who says I’m hitting on ‘em, dickface? Maybe I just wanna hear you speak Polish!”
He was putting me on the spot, and I didn’t like it. Despite the fact that I might as well have worn a Polish flag on my chest as well the way I gallivanted around school talking about how “Polish” I was all the time, I had actually learned to speak it online, and the only person I spoke it with at all was my great-grandmother.
“Come on, man! Don’t be such a bitch.”
“I’m not being a bitch, shitsack. They’re OFF LIMITS. Period.”
“Please?” He cracked his half smile that he would give me when he wanted something that he knew I couldn’t say no to.
“Fine.”
“Excuse me! Hey!” He was bellowing at them like they were sheep, or something.
“Dude!” I smacked his arm, but he didn’t stop.
The two sister missionaries looked at us a little funny for a second, and the Canadian one shot back, “Are you talking to us?”
“Yep! Yeah, my Polish friend here has some questions about the Church.”
Nice…
The two of them walked up to us, the Polish one looking all giddy. Granted, she probably hadn’t had the chance to speak her own language in months.
“Well hello!” One Sister Widder said, “What brings you guys here today?”
“Oh… you know. We’re in town for a couple of days, and thought we’d check it out.”
“That’s great! We’re glad you came! Are your parents nearby?”
Ha!
“We’re 18. It’s our senior vacation…” He said, almost stern.
“That’s great! Where’re you guys from?”
“Washington.” I said, before Matt could say anything ridiculous, “We’re from Washington.”
“But… you are Polish?” Sister Žabinski almost stuttered.
“Polsko-amerykański, tak.” I said.
“Aaaaw! Mówisz po polsku! Gdzie się uczyłeś?”
I had never told anybody at school the truth about how I learned to speak the language, cuz it sounded stupid… or at least I thought. I couldn’t lie to a sister missionary, though. That would be… wrong.
“Nauczyłem się w Internecie.” I was sort of embarrassed, because I could tell that Matt caught the word “internet”.
“W Internecie? Ale mówisz jak Ślązak!”
What the fuck does Ślązak mean?
“Dziękuję.” I thanked her, “Is that… bad?”
She laughed.
“To wcale nie jest takie złe. Właściwie, to naprawdę urocze.” She answered back in Polish, even though I had switched over to English.
I could see why though. Telling me the way I talked was 'adorable' (uroczy) wasn't exactly the kind of thing she would have wanted her Canadian companion to understand, since it left me unsure as to whether or not she was flirting.
“Jesteście sami? Gdzie są wasi dziewcyny?”
Ok, NOW she was flirting...
“Nie mamy dziewczyn.” I said, taking Matt's hand.
He looked uncomfortable for a second, and then he went along with it.
“Oh, cool. Ok...” Sister Žabinski lifted an eyebrow.
Her and her companion made some sort of an excuse to leave that I can't remember, and then Matt asked me what my holding his hand was all about.
“She asked where our girlfriends were...” I said.
“Ooooooh...” He laughed, “I see.”
“Hey Trynian! What’s this thing that looks like a giant turtle shell?” Jack called from across the courtyard.
“That’s the Old Tabernacle.”
“Would you like us to show you?” Sister Žabinski offered, having only moved a few yards away.
“Sure.” Jack shrugged, a smile spread across his face.
I knew that look. He was up to no good, so I needed to make sure he didn’t do anything overly inappropriate.
“I’m coming!” I shouted, making my way over as fast as possible.
“No, no! It’s alright! We can show them.” She didn’t like me, I could tell.
“Naprawdę siostra, jest ok. Będę twoim opiekunem.”
I made sure to put just the right amount of venom in that last word, chaperone (opiekun). I guess I kinda wanted to rub it in her face, a little.
“Chcesz powiedzieć nasz ‘przyzvoitka’? Nie ma potrzeby.” She said with a sort of amicable disdain dripping from every word.
I felt a little dumb, because I had been very confident in my use of the word opiekun just a minute ago, but come to think of it, it came off to me more as having the sense of a babysitter than a chaperone.
“Dude, let ‘em go. Let’s go see the Visitors’ Center.” Matt told me.
“Excuse me! Hey, sisters!” Derek swung his arm around Matt, “My buddy here would like you to show him the Visitors’ Center. He’s French, and he’d really appreciate being able to hear the whole tour in his own language.”
Matt looked at me sharply, but my stepbrother just winked.
“Vraiment? Quelle chance!” One Sister Canard gasped, looking over at Matt.
My family’s from France, but we don’t speak French, I could hear his words in my head. It was true too. I had heard him speaking a sort of a pseudo-Spanish-French thing with his dad that they both called Llemosi, and while they were careful to speak English around me 98% of the time, I had heard enough of it to be able to tell it was neither. Whatever though, right? My hat was off to Derek for giving him a taste of his own medicine.
“I insist…” I said, catching up to sisters Žabinski and Widder.
Sister Žabinski rolled her eyes.
I remember sneaking a glance back at Matt and Derek as we went inside. Matt was already getting annoyed, which made me laugh to myself just a little, since he had already embarrassed me twice that day. On the other hand, Sister Widder was scolding Sister Žabinski in a low whisper on the way in. I didn’t catch much, but I heard the words “everyone is a child of god”, and so I presumed that she was reminding her that, even though Matt and I seemed to be a gay couple, it was still worth a shot at proselytizing to us. I wondered what she would think if she knew I was a dissident member, though…
“Ok guys! So, this is the Salt Lake Tabernacle.” Sister Widder began, “I know your friend here called it the ‘Old Tabernacle’, but the Old Tabernacle was actually demolished in 1877 and replaced by the Salt Lake Assembly Hall. That’s the building a lot of people say looks like a Catholic Church just next door. This is actually just called the Salt Lake Tabernacle, because the building that we now use to host General Conference twice a year is called the LDS Conference Center, across the street.”
“Foreskin…” Jack whispered in my ear.
“What?” I said, trying to stifle a laugh.
“I fucking dare you to get her to say it.”
He was referring to a game the four of us would play either at school or with other kids our age in which we would give each other a word to trick somebody else, usually a stranger, into saying. The only rule was that you couldn’t ask them to say it outright, but instead they had to say it spontaneously cuz you had already said it several times, or you had put them in a situation where that word had to be said aloud. We had been playing it since the 8th grade, and thus far the only official name we’d been able to come up with was “The Word Game”.
“No.”
“I’m sorry?” Sister Widder said.
I had spoken at an audible volume.
“Nothing, sorry. What were you saying?” I said.
She was picking up that something was wrong, but she continued.
“So, this tabernacle was started in 1863, but it wasn’t finished until 1875. It’s still used sometimes for overflow during General Conference…”
Blah, blah, fucking blah. I know…
“Pussy.” Jack whispered.
“Stop it, man.”
“Fine. I’ll do it then.”
After Sister Widder had concluded her explanation of the building’s history and what it was used for, she asked if any of us had any questions.
“I do!” Jack said, gleefully, “What’s your church’s stance on circumcision?”
Sister Widder blinked, apparently taken aback, but Sister Žabinski didn’t appear to understand the question.
“Well,” Sister Widder let out an awkward sigh, “I’m not sure we really have a stance on it. My understanding is that it was part of the law in the Old Testament, but it’s not something that’s required anymore.”
“So, you’re against it?”
“I’m not sure the church is against it per se, but I personally don’t agree with it.”
“I’m sorry,” Sister Žabinski interjected, “what is this… circon-”
“It’s the removal of the-”
If we’re doing this, he’s not getting off that easy..
“Obrzezanie.” I interrupted Sister Widder. Don’t ask me how I knew how to say that.
Jack looked at me with a wide-eyed sort of “wtf” look, but I just bit my lip and smiled.
“Oooooh…” She let out an embarrassed laugh, “I have heard Americans do this. In Poland this is something that is… for the Jews.”
“So, why are you personally against it?” Jack asked.
“Well, we don’t really do it that much in Canada, cuz it’s not really necessary, I guess?” Sister Widder said.
“Why not?” He said, “I mean, I’m not circumcised. None of us are actually… but, I’ve just always wondered why some people are so for it and some people are so against it.”
“Right, well… it’s not something the church has a hard stance on. At least, not to my knowledge, anyways.”
“Yeah, but it’s kind of an issue, right? Like, a lot of people actually talk about this. Don’t you think that if your priests or whatever are communicating directly with god, that he’d tell them that cutting babies’ foreskins off is wrong?”
“I think that’s more of a matter of medicine, than religion, right?” She said, “I mean, god doesn’t always tell us what medication is right for the right person.”
Nope. This is going off topic. She’s not gonna say it.
“Ok, but your church does have something to say about gays, right?”
I wasn’t sure what he was doing here. Was he veering into an actual religious debate, or was he just trying to get her to say “foreskin”?
“I’m not sure I see the connection?” She said, squinting skeptically.
“Well, most Christian churches think homosexuality is wrong, but you guys stay quiet about babies having their junk cut up for what you yourself acknowledge is no good reason? Cuz, if there’s no good reason to do it, that’s kind of like… sexual abuse, right?”
“More medical malpractice, but I see what you’re getting at.” She said, “You have a good point. I grew up in the Church and never heard any official stance on it, but my sister is actually a physician’s assistant for a urologist, and so she sees the damage all the time. It can get pretty bad.”
“So… if you don’t think it’s necessary now, do you think it was necessary in the Old Testament?”
“Hmmmm…. I don’t know. There’s a lot of things that God might tell us to do in the moment that we don’t really understand but it ends up making sense to us later. That’s kind of what having faith is all about, right?”
“I guess…” he shrugged, “but even if God that tells you to cut up your baby boy’s… man parts?”
“Well actually, now that I think about it…” She nodded, “… circumcision in the Old Testament is different from what people do today. At the time, only the tip of the foreskin was removed. The current method wasn’t devised until later, after there had been some cultural contact between Jews and Greeks.”
Connor and I both giggled.
How the fuck does he do that? He always does that…
Jack was truly a master at The Word Game. We usually gave each other clumsy or crass words to say, but somehow or other this shameless motherfucker was always able to coax literally anybody into saying them.
“Oh, wow… I didn’t know that. That’s still kind of messed up though, don’t you think?”
“Maybe.” She shrugged, “Or maybe there was a certain genetic condition that was prominent in Jewish people at the time that God was trying to help them with? I don’t know. None of us do. God asks us to follow in faith, but he doesn’t always tell us why.”
“Definitely, yeah.” He nodded.
This time, it was US making an excuse to leave, since the conversation had now outlived its purpose. I was forced to give credit where credit was due, so I gave him a high-five as we walked to the other side of the building.
“Was that what I thought it was?” Connor asked.
“Damn straight.” Jack adjusted his gym sack with his thumbs, “Trynian here pussied out.”
“Yeah?” Connor looked at me, but I wasn’t having it.
“Alright, give me a word.” I said, looking at Connor.
“Phallus.” Jack said.
“You picked the last word, dude. It’s HIS turn.” I reminded him.
“Yeah, faggot!” Connor smacked Jack on the arm before looking back at me with a sly smile, “Scrotum.”
“Who’s my mark?”
He took a moment to scan the building. There were a couple of different pairs of sister missionaries talking to tourists, including sisters Widder and Žabinski, and then one standing alone at one of the doorways. So, who did he pick?
“That guy.” He said, bouncing his eyebrows forward to indicate someone behind me. There were was an elderly couple of ushers at one of the entrances.
My heart sank. There was no way in hell I could pull any of the usual shenanigans with someone like that. He’d kick us all out in two seconds.
“No way.”
“Pussy.” He said.
“Dude, we’re gonna get kicked out!”
“P-p-ppppussy!” He said again, making the raspberry sound with his lips.
Just then, an idea popped into my head.
“Ok, fine.” I turned around and got walking.
I made sure to bite my lip and smile, the way I always did when I was feeling confident in myself, but the reality was that I could practically hear my heart pounding in my ears. Come on, dude. All you gotta do, is convince a religious old man to say ‘scrotum’ in a religious building. How hard could that be? Not nearly as hard as he thought it was, if my plan panned out.
“Excuse me, sir?” I almost stuttered as I tapped on his shoulder.
“Hello there!” He smiled, “What can I do for you,, bud?”
“Ummm…” I looked back at my friends, then back at him, “… is there a hospital around here?”
Primary Children’s, of course. Everyone from Washington to Colorado knows that…
“Yes there is! Is everything ok?”
“Not really…” I looked at the ground, trying to act embarrassed.
“What’s the matter, son?”
“Ummm…” I gave the other usher a nervous look, like I was uncomfortable saying it in front of her. She was obviously his wife after all, seeing as they had the same surname on their badges.
“Just a moment, Linda…” He told her, putting his arm lightly around my shoulder so we could step away.
“I… I think I’d rather talk to a doctor about it.” I said.
“Well, there’s a hospital right up at The U if you need to go. Should we get your parents?”
“They’re not here, and I haven’t told them. I don’t know how too…” I looked at the ground again, ashamed… but not really.
“Well, if you’re gonna go to the hospital you’re gonna have to. I assume you’re on their insurance, right?”
“I guess…” I shrugged, “… it’s just… well, a) it’s kind of private, and b) I don’t know how they’d react.”
He looked confused.
“Well, what’s the matter?”
Time to drop the bomb…
“I have this lump…” I told him, “… like…”
“Oh…” he said, more concerned than embarrassed, “… pardon me for asking, but… is it in your scrotum?”
Ding! Bitches! Fuck yes…
“Yeah…”
“Well, I’m actually an oncologist. My wife and I just do shifts here as a service for the Church sometimes. Do you… want me to take a look?”
I literally gulped. I did NOT expect that to happen. Not that I doubted the guy’s integrity for a second, but I didn’t expect him to put me on the spot like that. Jack and Connor of course were having trouble containing themselves and bursted out laughing, but Brother Arnold was having none of it.
“Hey!” He snapped his fingers at them, “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing!” Connor said, still laughing.
Brother Arnold walked right up to him. Connor and Jack might have been a year my senior, but this guy towered over both of them. I swear he was at least 6’5. Both of them almost seemed to shrink in his shadow, and any sense of fun quickly faded away.
“If nothing’s funny, what’re you still laughing about?” He demanded. They didn’t say anything, “You boys go outside, NOW.”
“Yes sir!” They said it at the same time.
He walked back over to me and put his arm around my shoulder again, and I felt a sudden rush of guilt in the pit of my stomach.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to take a look? There’s a bathroom in the North Visitors Center.”
“I think I’m ok.” I told him, “What’s the name of that hospital?”
“You’re gonna need to see a primary care doctor first, and they’ll give you a referral for a specialist. Do you live around here?”
“Nope.”
“Then, you’re probably better off waiting until you get home, unless you think it’s an emergency.”
“It isn’t.”
“Right. Where are you coming from?”
“Washington.”
“Seattle?”
“No…” I laughed, “… the Tri Cities.”
“Well, you’re in luck. I happen to know an oncologist who works up at Kadlec, one Dr. Lychfield.”
That’s kinda weird…
“Can you remember that name?”
“Yeah,” I nodded, “yeah I can. Definitely.”
“Alright then.” He patted me hard on the back, “You’d better get going. Your friends’ll be waiting for you outside. What was your name, son?”
“Trynian. Trynian Winslow.”
“Well then, Trynian?” He was holding his hand out, so I gave it a nervous shake. I felt like a little kid, his hands were enormous, and surprisingly rough for a doctor. At the same time though, I felt a certain sense of relief while shaking his hand. He was a good guy. I’m not really sure how I knew it, but I did. I’m not sure whether it was his smile, his strong handshake, or the soothing sound of his deep voice, but I could just tell. A man in the wrong time, it seemed. As he quietly showed me out, I found myself feeling ashamed for having even started the conversation with him in the first place, especially when I saw my friends waiting for me outside, mischievously giggling to themselves as I came out.
“Brother Arnold?” I said, before I walked through the door.
“Yes sir?”
“I’m sorry for leading you on, man. My friends and I have this game, and I —”
“Say no more… I already know.” He said.
“Wait, what?”
“Nobody comes up to a random stranger on Temple Square and tells them they have testicular cancer, bud.”
“Then… why did you —”
He laughed.
“You boys have a nice day.”
submitted by Maddox_Hendrick_Lake to GayShortStories [link] [comments]


2020.10.25 14:16 demon_gunmaker_666 How to deal with my brothers selfishness, and my moms and step-dads favoritism.

I am 13, my brother is 17.
since from what i can remember, he was the favorite one, be broke something, be blamed it on me, bc he was older, my mom believed him and i was punished.
Later on, he started beating me up, my mom only punished me, bc he was older and "he could be more trusted", and she kept saying that i was lying about him beating me up.
When I was big enough to defend myself from him, he started to disconnect internet from me, my mom didnt believe me that he was disconnecting me, and i got a bunch of bad grades in school bc i had homework online, after i showed evidence to my mom and step-dad, they finally believed my and told him nicely to turn on the wifi for me, 11days of no wifi and i was in trouble for getting bad grades.
My step-dad also favors him more than me, my step-dad yells at me, bc i dont like eating mushrooms and beans, but my brothers diet is coffee, and junk food with pasta, he doesnt give him shit for that, his diet is coffee and trash for 5years, how is he still alive is a mystery.
And the chores are divided with me and my brother, but he kept complaining about him doing more chores than me, so we made a list of the chores, on the trash list, he kept putting random dates when he didn't threw out the trash, it was pretty blatant, bc he wrote that the threw out the trash on the 21, when it was the 17.
Other chores like cleaning, he also wasn't fair with those, the same situation like with the trash one.
I told my mom and step-dad about how unfair it was, he wrote down random dates, and i had to make up the differents by cleaning the kitchen 5times in a row, while he sat on his ass playing league and complaining like a old babushka, but they only said that we should deal with this ourselves "like adults".
I want to know, what to do in this situation, my brother has done a lot more, like constantly stealing from me, and when i tell my mom about it, she jest jokes around about it, i got angry once, bc he stole 10EUR from me, i told my mom, she did nothing, and my step-dad started to yell at me and call me spoiled.
I am jest thinking what the fuck to do here, to tell the things my brother has done to me, and how my mom and step-dad favores my brother more.
I have better grades than him, 1 bad grade and i have my electronics taken away, but he skips school, gets failing grades always, and they don't do anything to him, this has going on for 6years, EVERYTHING that i mentioned here.
submitted by demon_gunmaker_666 to Advice [link] [comments]


2020.10.15 10:45 PointMan97 [The Jackal Guards] - Chapter 4 (Beta Reader Test)

Chapter 4: First to Fight

Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
June 1st, 2025, 03:15 Hours
Belisarius sat inside the cargo bay of the A400M with his fellow robots, about 116 of them including himself. He looked out of the window to see the starry sky and misty cloud outside. The plane was approaching the airport of Brazzaville at low altitude for landing, each of the robots sat on their chairs on each side of the plane as it came in for landing. “Anubis, what’s our plan when we’re on the ground? Beside meeting the Gaulois and German forces that are supporting us.” Belisarius curiously questioned Anubis who sat next to him.
“We’ll be part of their offensive into the Congo to shake things up for Oriental Security. The situation on the ground is chaotic. I’m afraid.” Anubis replied before Belisarius heard a deafening artillery howl and detonation nearby. He cringed at first as the blast of the shell vibrated upwards, affecting the A400Ms that were coming down to Brazzaville’s airport. “I think I get the point, further briefing once we’re on the ground?” Belisarius asked before looking out of the plane’s porthole to the sight of a burning and smoking Brazzaville. “Exactly, once we got the situation under control, you’ll continue your hunt, and I’ll sort out the arrangements.” Anubis sighed as he looked out the porthole at the Chinese shelling of Brazzaville.
“Affirmative, sir, I’ll get it done. Any backups just in case the fight turns grossly against our favors?” Belisarius asked cautiously, to which Anubis looked over to the neighboring city of Brazzaville just on the other side of the Congo River. “We do, the Germans have already placed a brigade of their Panzergrenadiers on the ground with the French Foreign Legion 2nd REP.” The mere mention of the word Legion got Belisarius ears to perk up his eyes and seemed peaked with interests as to what this might mean. “Legion? I never thought the idea of Roman Legion would survive to this day.” Belisarius bluntly remarked.
As the plane landed on the runway, they felt the wheels skidding and slight turbulence vibrating through the fuselage before finally coming to a halt as the first A400M was on the ground before taxiing into the nearby parking lot. Its cargo ramp dropped down, and before the robots disembarked in droves, they already heard the howling howitzers shells and the tremors from the impacts. The robots quickly sprinted out with their equipment in hands, rucksacks, and magnetically attached backpacks shuffled along with their movements. Buildings around them were still standing, somewhere struck by shelling that left a permanent scar. Any structures taller than two-story were almost certain to lose at least half of their form.
They were using HK416A5s assault rifles with HK417A2s battle rifles for the most part. Some of them were carrying HK MG5 to provide suppressive fire on enemy targets behind hardened covers, while others were carrying the M27IAR as the fireteam’s Automatic Rifleman. In addition to those, some of the bots were carrying Carl Gustaf M3 Recoilless Rifles as the anti armor specialists of their respective units.
The robots ran a system diagnostic of their tactical and strategic internet system, at a fireteam level they had the PAN (Personal Area Network) wherein a handful of robots nearby can instantly exchange data at an instant. From a squad to platoon level, they had a specialist carrying a magnetically strapped backpack for modem and LAN equipment.
At the Company to Battalion level and above, the same specialist would carry a similar backpack but with a parabolic antenna link with satellite systems in geosynchronous orbit. Together these formed their ARGOS (Augmented Reality Ground Operations System), the pinnacle of digital military information systems. Most of the robot wolves made their ways to the riverbanks of Brazzaville with their mortars and machine gun teams. There, they set up a base of fires and defilade positions while mortar crews rain precision fire on Chinese defenders by the docks of Kinshasa.
Belisarius double-timed with Anubis towards a jeep and boarded it. Other robots were either busy disembarking from their planes or assisting human evacuations from the city. In the chaos of the moment, the French Foreign Legionnaire who drove the jeep for Anubis and Belisarius kept his eyes on the road. No time for pleasantries, let alone introduction even when he was the chauffeur for a being beyond his wildest imaginations.
"Back in 2023, Europa began their Second Rush to Africa. They aim to overthrow pro-China satellite states in the region and reform the long corrupt regimes of the continent to a more, shall we say, stable and open democracy. Spearheading this is France, one of the most significant colonial owners of the region in the last century." Said Anubis as they passed through the streets of Brazzaville.
Belisarius listened to Anubis while looking around him, seeing the sight of civilians battered by shells, surviving infants and toddlers crying incessantly at their dead parents, half-buried under the rubbles, their cries attracted relief aid workers coming to their rescue. "Our job is to help open the path into Congo, start by taking Kinshasa. That's where you come in." Anubis spoke in a steady tone as they arrived at the Ile M'Bamou, a massive island in the middle of the Congo River where the French Foreign Legion and German Panzergrenadiers were busy with building pontoon bridges to ford across the river to assault Kinshasa's N'djili International Airport.
As they were coming close to the construction site of the pontoon bridge, mortar bombardments began to intensify with the loud bang and booms of mortar shells hitting the dirt, kicking up debris and soil into the air. Occasionally, a human flew into the air with their limbs decapitated. The worst cases were the complete obliteration of their bodies, leaving nothing to identify. One such shell exploded next to the PVP armored car, knocking them over instantly. The shock of the blast left Belisarius dazed along with Anubis. The driver was unconscious, with his arms resting on the wheel and window of the PVP.
Belisarius grunted as his thigh compartment switched open. He reached his hand in and grabbed the hilt of the Gladius saber. Acting quickly and decisively, Belisarius slashed off the seatbelts that were holding him back. He then cut the belts for Anubis and the driver, allowing the Jackal to escape. "Thanks, old friend. I'll take the driver to the treeline, you get to the pontoon bridge and help them." Anubis grabbed the knocked out driver by his wrist and pulled him out of his car seat. The Jackal jumped out of the vehicle, Belisarius followed suit and sprinted towards the pontoon bridge under the unremitting mortar barrage.
Shells howled through the sky, tearing down trees and digging up soils, forcing soldiers and civilians to run for cover, hiding underground, in foxholes, or just under a treeline. As Belisarius came to the Pontoon Bridge construction site, he saw the German Pioneers and French Army Engineers were busy with bridge layer vehicles to set down a proper bridge on the Congo River. The troops there were shelled incessantly by the Chinese on the other side of the rivers.
"Who's in command here?" Belisarius instinctively asked one of the German Panzergrenadiers there. The Efreitor hastily pointed Belisarius to an observation post sitting on an elevated position of the isle. "Es ist Kapitän Kleinenberg! Er ist im Beobachtungsposten versuchen, für Gegenbatterie zu rufen. Wer bist du?" The Efreitor asked confusedly looking, at the seven feet tall Belisarius.
The translation software in Belisarius quickly provided the wolf with a rough translation of the Bundeswehr saying. His voice then received a synthesized version to communicate with the soldier in German, albeit lacking a distinctive dialect or accent. "Your reinforcement." He uttered tersely before sprinting up the hill towards the Observation Post much to the shock of the combined Panzergrenadiers and French Foreign Legionnaires. The robot werewolf opened the door and entered the OP before crouching down to avoid being sniped by a Chinese marksman or trained sniper. "Are you Captain Kleinenberg? I'm told you could use a hand." Said the wolf who caught the captain and his aides off-guard.
"Who the hell are you? And who permitted you to participate in this operation?" Captain Kleinenberg asked confusedly to Belisarius as he cringed under the shock and pressure of sustained mortar bombardment. "Introductions are for later. What do you need help with right now?" Belisarius insisted to the Captain, who then relented as he felt the barrage pressuring on his head. "I need some sharpshooters to take out those fucking mortar crews. They live, the bridge collapses. Get me?" The Captain ordered Belisarius, who nodded in acknowledgment, "I don't care how many, only where." He replied tersely, impressing the Captain with his can-do and no-nonsense attitude. "Alright, our scouts reported the mortars are firing from the marshes next to the airport."
Taking a moment to study the map, Belisarius saw that he could expect tree lines obstructing his views and dispersed mortar positions hiding in the shrubs. Perhaps some snipers to spot targets as well. "I need a weapon," Belisarius stated, prompting a Lieutenant to guide him out to the weapon rack. "Right this way." The Lieutenant gave Belisarius an MSG-90A2 sniper rifle with a bipod. "We're a bit short on ammo here. Radio jamming is making it difficult for us to get resupplied in time. Hopefully, our runner isn't dead before delivering his message." Said the Lieutenant as he handed Belisarius some spare magazines for his MSG-90 rifle. The robot wolf took the magazines and a plate carrier vest to carry the ammo.
"What's your name?" Belisarius asked the Lieutenant before following him out to the battlefield. "Anton, Leutnant Anton Gruber. Whatever you do out there, do it fast. We need the bridge consolidated before the tides pick up." Anton spoke urgently to Belisarius, prompting him to nod before sprinting out and took up a position near a French Foreign Legion's Pioneer foxhole. He laid down on his stomach and scanned the opposite bank with the MSG's scope.
He spotted the first mortar crew wearing camouflage from top to bottom with their weapon lobbing shells over the water. The robot wolf aimed down sight and began to calculate variables such as distance, gravity, rotation of the Earth, and so on. He fired once the calculation concluded, with the bullet landed on the mortar shell's wooden crate. The following detonation killed the entire mortar crew and their weapon.
Belisarius quickly switched on his thermal vision and aimed down the MSG's scope. He scanned the riverbank and opened fire on the enemy mortar crews and snipers. One by one, the Chinese dropped like flies before they began to fall back under a hail of automatic lead from NATO forces. "They are retreating. The bridge is safe now, time to move across and take the airport." The Lieutenant declared eagerly as the French Foreign Legion began to cross the pontoon bridge with German Leopard 2A7+ tanks to support them. Belisarius accompanied the Legionnaire as their shock trooper. He received a FAMAS FELIN rifle with fourteen magazines from one of the Legionnaire.
His curiosity grew as he held the bullpup assault rifle in his hand. The robot wolf managed to identify the cocking handle on the top side of the FAMAS and pulled the bolt down to check his ammo. His HUD ran a scan of the weapon and fed him information on its effective range, rate of fire, ammo capacity, fire modes. Once he had digested the technical performance and instructions, he cocked his head aside and began to head out with the humans. "Sledgehammer here, we have eyes on an enemy short-range SAM system. Engaging now." The Leopard 2A7+ Commander reported on the coms network. The crew loaded the 120mm Rheinmetal's L44 gun with a SABOT round as the main gun aimed at the HQ-12 missile truck.
With a booming thump sound, the gun muzzle breathed out a gust of flame, and the SABOT round flew towards the missile truck, and the vehicle exploded into a flaming wreck. However, the victory was short-lived, for the defending Chinese troops began to retaliate with machine-gun fire at the assaulting troops, and ATGMs flew towards the Leopard tank. "Leopard Zwei under attack! Request immediate assistant, over!" The commander called over the coms as the French Legionnaire took up firing positions and assaulted the ATGM nests.
"Lieutenant Gruber, where is the enemy jammer?" Belisarius asked while propped up against a tree. "About two 500 meters from where we are, the Chinese set up their jammers near the airport to mess with our coms." Hearing this while under a hail of enemy machine gun fires and the constant pressure of their automatic grenade launcher made Belisarius cagey.
The sooner they got rid of that jammer, the sooner they can call in Artillery from German howitzers. "Alright, Lt. Gruber, I'll destroy the jammer, and you call in artillery on the enemy position. Understood?" With only a single nod from Gruber, Belisarius sprinted away towards the edge of the airport. His robot wolf mobility and the digitigrade legs made his rapid advance incredibly fast, passing through the thick foliage and treelines. The Chinese were left bewildered by the lighting movement. He came barreling through the treelines and fell into a Chinese trench with his foot planted into one of their faces. His feet generated crunching sounds as they crushed a Chinese skull. Belisarius swiveled his body over to spray on the Chinese manning the HJ missile system.
As the Chinese defending that particular trench died a brutal and swift death, Belisarius grabbed their ATGM system and rotated around to aim at the Oriental Security operated Type-90 APC. The wolf fired the missile while keeping the weapon sight fixed firmly on the vehicle to guide the ATGM. The result was a violent penetration of the vehicle's hull and concluded with a fiery fireball with the crew screaming inside their steel coffin.
"Did you take out an enemy APC with their ATGM?" Gruber asked excitedly over their coms. However, the message came through garbled by the jammer. "Say again, Gruber. I can't hear you." Belisarius asked as he moved forward ahead of the others. The French Foreign Legionnaire followed up with their VABs and VBLs supporting the assault.
The Leopard 2A7 tank had another HJ-12 missile flown at it. This one came close only to be swatted down by the vehicle's APS system intercepting it. The French Foreign Legionnaire reacted quickly and opened fire furiously at the hiding position of the AT crew. M2 machine guns opened fire furiously to suppress the AT crew while the main gun fired an HE shell that blew away the vegetation of the riverbank.
As Belisarius led the assault further towards the airport, the vegetation gave way to a clear sightline of the airport's runway filled with J-11B jets with PLAAF markings. But what concerned Belisarius the most was the lack of cover from where he was towards the Jammer near the tarmac building.
As the Leopard 2 tank crept up to the edge of the forestry with the French Foreign Legionnaire following to support it, Lt. Gruber came up behind Belisarius, looking exhausted by the constant stress and running from before. "Hey, you have a way with charging ahead, don't you? Anyway, you got eyes on that enemy jammer?" Gruber asked while looking through his binoculars at the Chinese made Electronic Jammer. "I do. Resistance is light so far, but that doesn't seem right." Belisarius remarked as he laid down on his stomach, scanning the runway ahead of him. "Nein, they're moving reinforcements in to knock us back. We must take the tarmac. I can call in artillery support from there."
"Well, consider it done. I'll clear the way for you. Just rain fire at first sight of the enemy." Belisarius replied and stood up. The Legionnaire formed up behind him with additional troops moving in to back them up. These being German Panzergrenadiers with their Puma IFVs. The Chinese defending the airport ran behind their sandbags and barricades to set up firing positions. With machine guns and grenade launchers, they waited patiently for the NATO assault to inevitably come at them. Belisarius came over to the Leopard 2 and climbed aboard it to get the commander's attention. "Don't waste your shot on infantry. Aim for the jammer first. Leave the infantry to me." Belisarius instructed the commander, who acknowledged the coordination and relayed the instruction to his crew.
Sledgehammer's loader put an APFSDS round into the chamber. The gunner trained his sight on the mobile jammer array, and the commander permitted them to fire. The shell flew out of the 120mm main gun and slammed into the PLA's jammer array. The Electronic Jammer violently erupted into flame and burned down. Panicked, the Oriental Security troops were scrambling to douse the fire before it spread to the J-11s.
The defenders on impulse fired desperately at the attackers behind the treelines, cutting down branches, twigs. Some bullets ricochet and hit the French Foreign Legionnaire, either killing or wounding them. Gruber, on instinct, ducked down and held his helmet with both hands, groaning and gritting his teeth under the machine gunfire.
At the very least, communication for NATO troops had become much less arduous. Belisarius quickly called Anubis on their cyber coms to get a situation report. "Sir, we've destroyed the enemy's Jammer. Assault at the airport is on-going. What support do you have for us?" Anubis, on the other end of the line, quickly responded to the report with great urgency in his tone.
"Belisarius! The Chinese are sending reinforcements towards the airport. I'm sending the 108th to assist you now, but they need time to get across the Congo River. ETA: 10 minutes." He knew that it was too easy for their initial assault. Why didn't the Chinese scramble their J-11s jet remained unknown, but he could infer one possible reason being to avoid escalation. Even then, it was a rather flimsy excuse, even on the Chinese part.
Being the ever punctual robot, Belisarius quickly took potshots at the Chinese machine gunners. Before the MG crew could resume fire, he fired some more accurate shots at their heads, knocking them down one by one while the Foreign Legionnaire crept up. They opened fire at the Chinese defenders of the Airport and made flanking maneuvers with support from German Puma IFVs laying down suppressive fire. Belisarius sprinted with one such squad, making a beeline towards the tarmac and gunning down the defenders effortlessly. Lt. Gruber quickly ran up the tarmac with his spotter team before eventually arriving at the top to set up an OP.
"Hammer, this is Muninn. We have eyes on a large concentration of enemy armored forces situated on the clearing to the south of the airport. Request immediate Anti-Armor barrage on my coordinates over." Gruber urgently called on the PzH2000s while peering through his binoculars to the sight of the incoming enemy armor. As they watched Chinese Type-96 tanks rolling towards them with various APCs support, Gruber felt like he was about to be run over by armored treads.
Belisarius, on the ground with other French Foreign Legionnaires, was digging into fighting positions. They parked their tanks and IFVs by the choke points into the airport's runway. "Verstanden Muninn, feuern Sie dichtes Artilleriefeuer auf Ihre Zielkoordinaten ab." Gruber then transmitted the coordinates to the crew using a stylus pen on a command tablet he had with a few taps and swipes.
Once the crew received their target coordinates, they fired off barrages of 155mm guided Anti Armor rounds at the incoming Type-96 tanks. The artillery roared a thunderous bellow, with their shells soaring through the sky, tearing through clouds like Thor's Mjolnir hammer. They soon came down on the Type-96 tanks and knocked out a large portion of the Chinese tank platoon, sending turrets flying into the air like Lego pieces. Vehicle components smashed to smithereens. The following APCs met the same fate, with the Leopard 2s scoring direct hits upon direct hits. Some of the Leopard 2s even scored a double kill with their shells penetrating through multiple APCs that happened to line up.
“Muninn, das ist Hammer. Können wir eine KBE?” The artillery crew asked the now much more invigorated Lt. Gruber as he watched the artillery shells raining death and destruction on the Chinese tank formations. "Hammer, das ist Muninn. Feindliche Panzer nahmen schwere Verluste, mehr Fahrzeuge zerstört." Additional infantry struggled to wade forward, only to curl up in a fetal position under the constant barrage. Others tossed up smoke grenades to cover themselves, then pushed forward under the cover, only for them to be cut down by machine gunfire. The dug in, Panzergrenadiers, and French Foreign Legion had the benefits of thermal optics to pierce through the thick smokescreen and dust clouds kicked up by the artillery shells.
Even Belisarius could do little other than to pick off enemy stragglers as they came close to his position. The French Foreign Legionnaire and German Panzergrenadiers around him kept up their fire. Occasionally, they pass over a spare magazine to keep him in the fight. Constantly pressuring their enemies and breaking their will to fight.
Their method, while seems excessive and brutal, was efficient since the enemies broke and ran for their dear life. For a moment, Gruber felt exhilarating, a thrill, and high of victory rushing over him as he watched the Chinese breaking off and ran as far as possible. But as Gruber and his Forward Observer team celebrated their victory, a mortar shell came crashing down on the tarmac.
Belisarius had a knee jerk reaction as he recoiled under pressure and shock by the barrage. The Chinese mortar barrage came like a downpour of steel and explosives on NATO troops holding the Airport. Many of them have to duck down and wait for the mortar barrage to die down. The howitzers from the German side of the battlefield soon counter-battery the Chinese mortars, silencing them with a steel rain down on the slums south of the Airport.
"Damn it, Gruber? Gruber? Gruber!" Belisarius called out to the Lieutenant as he ran out to search for him under the rubbles. What the robot wolf found after digging through the debris was a gnarly and disfigured remains of the Lieutenant. His right arm and leg were no more, just fleshy remains with a pool of his blood. His head and torso remained intact. But no hope for the man to regain conscient. He had gone to God in Heaven now.
"Requiescat in Pace," Belisarius uttered before closing Gruber's eyes and continued his search around the place for the remains of the Forward Observer Team. Save for the twisted and scattered bits of flesh and blood. Their helmets and body armor saved a good deal of their corpses for identification. As the French Foreign Legionnaire and German Panzergrenadiers pushed up with their reinforcements, they began to clear through the surrounding building blocks in quick and dirty firefights with pockets of Chinese defenders.
The Oriental Security mercenaries, however, were less than thrilled with the idea of facing a trained and well-equipped hostile force. Many of them surrendered without a fight, while some others fired sporadically before falling back. Belisarius participated in the action, chasing the enemies up to the bridge over the river dividing the city's downtown area from its western suburbs and slums.
As the day wore on, Belisarius returned to the airport with the 108th Regiment to rest. The latter was busy with rescuing civilians in Brazzaville and keeping the enemies occupied in the harbor areas of Kinshasa, feigning preparation for an amphibious landing. Belisarius went into a casualties collection tent, counting the dead and wounded they had sustained so far. He estimated their casualties in the area of 20 KIAs and an additional 25 WIAs. While far from unacceptable casualties figures, Belisarius could tell from the looks on the survivor's faces, each loss was a toll on the survivors. On the front and at home.
The 108th Regiment, in the meantime, proceeded to convert the Airport into their base of operation in the Congo. The A400Ms from subsequent flights began to land on the runway with various reinforcements, supplies, vehicles, and infrastructure support. As they worked and toiled around the clock, Anubis came to Belisarius, accompanied by the German General and a French Colonel, alongside them was a robot wolf with a rod of Aescelpius symbol painted on his pauldrons. Belisarius took notice and glanced over, noticing the German officer appeared to be a Brigadier General Hans Holzer. And the French Colonel to be Colonel DuBoise, French Foreign Legion 2e REP. "You must be Belisarius, the one who saved the crew of the Calypso?" Holzer asked as he extended a hand out to Belisarius.
"Yes, that I am. You must be the commanding officer of the expeditionary force." Belisarius inferred, to which Holzer burst into a chuckle at the robot's observation ability. "Ja, I am appointed by Berlin to lead the Bundeswehr contingent. He is Colonel DuBoise, leader of the French Foreign Legion 2nd Parachute Regiment." Holzer introduced DuBoise to Belisarius. The French colonel was wearing his green-covered helmet of the 2nd Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment. His insignia and rank were kept low-key by design to avoid being a sniper bullseye. "Monsieur, Paris is in your debt for your selfless service today." Colonel DuBoise stated to Belisarius as he shook the robot's hand. "It was nothing, just doing my job," Belisarius replied humbly.
"He's quite humble, it seems. Is this normal for the robots you made?" Holzer asked Anubis, to which the Jackal seems to make a rather reserved expression and attitude. "Not really. Some are more boisterous and boastful. Others like Belisarius are soft-spoken gentlemen. Their personalities varied from unit to unit, especially after deployments and accruing personal experiences." Anubis calmly explained to the bewildered NATO officers, who could not believe their ears.
"They develop personalities? Is it possible for A.Is to do so? I thought they were only far-flung future fantasies." Holzer exclaimed, confusedly to Anubis. He saw Anubis nonchalantly nodded to him, "Indeed, they can. How are they supposed to perform half as good as human soldiers if they can't gain experiences and develop personalities?" Anubis asked rhetorically, to which neither Holzer nor DuBoise had an answer.
"But how do you create these A.Is and program them?" Holzer asked curiously, to which Anubis glanced his eye over to the corpses of the dead German Panzergrenadiers and French Foreign Legionnaire. "A human soul's fragments and an A.I symbiosis. A method that no current human-computer algorithm or programming technique can catch up." The jackal deity spoke coldly, his hand reaching out to the body bag of Lt. Gruber and unzipping it to inspect the corpse. "A human soul? Surely, you can't be serious?" Holzer nervously inquired. Anubis didn't seem at all jesting with the NATO officer when he turned to them. His robot jackal face and optics shot them a glare that said it all. "Never was. I can demonstrate if you are willing to see."
To both Holzer and DuBoise, it sounded like a morbid invitation, the childlike curiosity with the desire to learn more of these robots. And yet, in the back of their minds, they could not help but feel something gnawing at them. A feeling that whatever they might learn would not look or sound so well to the public. "How long do you think it will take for this one?" Anubis asked the Physician robot. The white wolf with the blue rod of Aescelpius then bent over to inspect the corpse, putting his palm on Gruber's chest and head. "A day of work, no more, no less. I can salvage his brains and vital organs like the heart, lungs, digestive and reproductive organs." The doctor spoke bluntly. Holzer and DuBoise were shocked to hear of the process's specific details sounding like organ harvesting.
"Is this organ harvesting? Are you going to dissect his remains to take his organs out? How does that have anything to do with your robots?" DuBoise protested, being rather outraged by the grotesque idea Anubis had in mind. The Jackal deity didn't seem to care much for the Frenchman's fuming rage and simply crossed his arms before his chest. "Synthetic organ components. The Nanites I developed will assimilate them into robot components. Get it done." Anubis ordered the physician, who then zipped up the body bag and picked him up, carrying him away to a mobile lab module at the airport's east side. "I do not consent to this. The German public and government do not consent to this. How are you- am I supposed to explain to them?" Holzer furiously asked as he followed Anubis and the physician while Belisarius accompanied them to witness the process.
"Let me handle the public outrage and banana journalists." Anubis sternly remarked before seeing the corpse of Gruber being placed on an operating table by the physician. "You may want to step back." The physician suggested to Belisarius, who sighed out but conceded. They spectated from a shielded section of the lab module.
Inside the operating room, automated medical arms dissect his body, carefully scalped his head, and open his skull to extract his human brains. Each organ was placed inside a canopic jar-like container by the physician. Filled with preservative liquid, he continued his work vigorously as he began to open a large cylinder container, revealing a robot wolf frame on standby. Holzer and DuBoise saw it was a seven feet tall robot body, with chrome grey and silver armor plates top to bottom.
The physician then tapped the buttons on nearby keyboards to open the cylinder, letting cold liquid nitrogen hissing out. They saw the cranial unit open up several flaps. The human brain and organs, in turn, were injected by the physician with a strange liquid metal substance. The grey and silver metal goo once made contact with the preservative liquid, began to fill up the containers, and began the assimilation process.
The brain and organs began to turn synthetic with green circuit boards outlines. The physician then picked up the brains before inserted it into the cranial unit, and the flaps closed in, sealing the morphing brain tightly inside the cranial space. The mechanical arms surgically removed the robot armor plates and cut open the stomach region, allowing the physician to graft the organs into the body, with the Nanites inside moving them into position with the endoskeleton.
With that done, they saw a tendril latched into the back of the robot wolf's head, where his neck and head met. The tendril lodged itself deeply into the neural outlet port. Holzer and DuBoise saw a computer monitor displaying a text reading "Programming process: 0%". "Phase 1 is complete. This unit will be ready by tomorrow for review. Till then, there won't be much to report. I'll let you know what I managed to salvage from Lieutenant Gruber." The physician summarized to Anubis, who nodded to the robot.
"Thank you. Keep me posted." Holzer and DuBoise were less than thrilled. They were both disgusted by the surgery and the idea of robotizing their dead. It was effectively giving Gruber, a dead man, no rest from life. For now, they retired to have a meal until reports of the process stream in.
Horus was in the cafeteria attending lunch with the troops on board the Tartarus. The falcon crown prince sat at a table with Temujin and an odd red robot wolf. The red one looked almost identical to Temujin in build, if it weren’t for the red armor plates with the gold eagle emblem on his pauldron with a pair of crossed swords. His serial number and code appeared to be CLU-00591 GUNTER. They saw a news report from the Congo, showing Anubis and the robot wolves were in combat with the Chinese Oriental Security troops. “Will ya look at that. Anubis is having a field day with the press if he likes to be caught on cam as you.” Gunter stated in a gruff Texan voice and smirked while eating his meal.
“Yeah, only he never does like the attention. Always the dark knight, he is. Get in then get out, leaving no traces behind.” Horus remarked to Gunter as the crown prince ate his bird seeds from a small bowl and some hot meal on the navy tray. “I can’t fault him on that. But I think he could still use some publicities, might help bring in the cold hard cash to spend on the boys.” Said Gunter with a chortle as he ate the meal in his tray. Horus turned over to the red robot wolf and asked him.
“So what are you going to do once we’re on the ground? Ground pounder or Airwolf?” Gunter took notice of Horus’s question and tossed up a coin he had in a leather pouch. The coin spun in the air, flipping between Head and Tail before landing in Earl’s palm and it’s a Head. “Well, ground pounder it is. At least they gave me infantry training. In my lifetime, a pilot got basic firearm training and SERE. But man, when ya a robot with a robot brain, learning is as easy as shoving installing a software.”
Horus nodded to Gunter and patted his back in a friendly manner. “Even then, we still play it safe. You watch my back, I’ll watch yours. Catch you later Earl.” Horus commented before getting up and returned the lunch tray to the cafeteria, before heading back to his cabin on the Tartarus. He was afforded the officer quarters with a fairly spacious room on a ship. The room had an old analog clock hung on the wall, with a board for Horus to pin a world map, and photos of relevant individuals like Kong, Faisal, LeMonde, and the Nordwyrm Virus into place.
Horus pinned Kong's photo on Ethiopia with red strings connecting him to the Nordwyrm Virus, LeMonde, and Faisal. The extra photos were in the HVIs category so he can quickly keep track of them. He sat down and marked the days left before arriving in Somalia when He suddenly received a call from Anubis on their communication nexus and quickly answered.
“Hey bro, what’s up? Looks like you got one helluva press media storm in Kinshasa, huh? Any plans for press coverage and publicity stunts?” Horus asked in a playfully friendly manner, adding in his taste of jests. “Besides the usual phrase of no comments, and some trophy displays, not much. Besides, I got something I need to go over with Belisarius. He did well today, at least."
“Yeah, about that, go easy on him Anubis, if anything it’s my fault that got us all into this. He’s trying to fix the problem before it gets worse. But are you sure that I have to be there? I’ll be out in the open with zero deniability.” Horus inquired with a sigh as he laid down on the bed. “Trust me, you’ll need it. If you want to be a king, learn the concept of consequences first. Otherwise, we’ll have a bastard son on the throne, and I’m sure that neither you nor anyone else sees that as a good sign.” Anubis sternly stated, prompting Horus to make a thick gulp and nodded to Anubis’s harsh words.
“I understand, I won’t let you down Anubis.” Horus, however, heard Anubis made a quick comeback to his promise. “No, Horus, don’t disappoint yourself. May the Hidden One guide your path to the throne.” Anubis replied with Horus nodding to the statement. “You too, Anubis. I love you, take care of yourself and Belisarius as well.” Horus then hung up the call to contemplate the information he had, by now he was roughly two days away from arriving in Somalia.
But before he took a slumber, he pulled out a drawer and grabbed his onyx black tablet computer, and switched on the screen. The screen had a photo of Horus and Anubis standing by their chariot, a prized family possession. The vehicle had an azure blue color with gold ornate Isis figure on the front. The wheels were wooden and reinforced by iron hubcaps, a rarity for what was once a bronze civilization.
Horus stroked at the screen gently, trying his best not to scratch or dent it. He sighed out melancholy, looking at a simpler time when they had time for fun and games. Back then, he would race wildly around the Hippodrome as the champion of Egypt against others like Greeks, Romans, Goths, Gaulois, and Thracian. The Crown Prince then entered the password of his device and went into a file folder to go over intel reports about Somalia.
The first report that came to his attention was timestamped September 5th, 2022, by the Information Warfare Command of the Jackal Guards. This one had an attached photo of a red banner with a yellow hammer and sickle symbol in the middle. The report's headline pronounced, "Somali People's Liberation Front, a Chinese footprint in East Africa, and possible strategic targets." Horus then began to read through the report, going over paragraphs and sections outlying what these factions were.
"Formed by unknown and never before seen leftist provocateur and activist, who goes by the name Mohamed Burhaan. The SPLF champions a cause of Somali unity against perceived 'Imperialist aggressors.' Their method of recruitment lately has been to align elements in the country's society under their Socialist umbrella. Mainly the DAESH linked Al-Shabaab militants, clan militias, and pirates to intimidate the populace from accepting aids from AMISOM III Coalition."
The report read, and Horus grew more and more intrigued by the information it had to offer. He began to go through the various details like the supposed alliance of religiously motivated militants like Al-Shabaab would align with the supposedly Socialist SPLF coalition. One adjective was highlighted in yellow by the IWC Inquisitors for him to notice. "Tenuous." A word that gave insight into the nature of the alliance in question, Horus himself could surmise that one had the gunmen, and the other had the heavy weapons for the prolonged insurgency.
"Al-Shabaab militants have entertained the thought of acquiring up-to-date weaponry, modern flak jackets, equipment as well as an arsenal of heavy weapons and vehicles. The SPLF, through their connections to Oriental Securities in Ethiopia, provides such weapons. Along with technical expertise to train and maintain those weapons as well as the growing crop of Type-59 tanks. While woefully outdated, it would make for terrifying encounters for the AMISOM III troops who did not expect such weapons in Somalia."
Horus grew more and more intrigued by the report as he went through the highlighted words and paragraphs. "A debt-trap diplomacy move. Too bad Al-Shabaab is a useful idiot, so are the SPLF." Anubis commented while reading the report. He stroked his worriedly, however, knowing that Al-Shabaab's fanatical militants would not go down without a fight even if it meant suicide vests against one robot wolf. "Better keep an eye on Temujin and Earl, no telling what those savages would do to them." Horus murmured cautiously before putting the tablet back into the drawer and dozed off.
submitted by PointMan97 to redditserials [link] [comments]


2020.10.15 10:44 PointMan97 The Jackal Guards (Beta Reader) Chapter 4

Chapter 4: First to Fight

Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
June 1st, 2025, 03:15 Hours
Belisarius sat inside the cargo bay of the A400M with his fellow robots, about 116 of them including himself. He looked out of the window to see the starry sky and misty cloud outside. The plane was approaching the airport of Brazzaville at low altitude for landing, each of the robots sat on their chairs on each side of the plane as it came in for landing. “Anubis, what’s our plan when we’re on the ground? Beside meeting the Gaulois and German forces that are supporting us.” Belisarius curiously questioned Anubis who sat next to him.
“We’ll be part of their offensive into the Congo to shake things up for Oriental Security. The situation on the ground is chaotic. I’m afraid.” Anubis replied before Belisarius heard a deafening artillery howl and detonation nearby. He cringed at first as the blast of the shell vibrated upwards, affecting the A400Ms that were coming down to Brazzaville’s airport. “I think I get the point, further briefing once we’re on the ground?” Belisarius asked before looking out of the plane’s porthole to the sight of a burning and smoking Brazzaville. “Exactly, once we got the situation under control, you’ll continue your hunt, and I’ll sort out the arrangements.” Anubis sighed as he looked out the porthole at the Chinese shelling of Brazzaville.
“Affirmative, sir, I’ll get it done. Any backups just in case the fight turns grossly against our favors?” Belisarius asked cautiously, to which Anubis looked over to the neighboring city of Brazzaville just on the other side of the Congo River. “We do, the Germans have already placed a brigade of their Panzergrenadiers on the ground with the French Foreign Legion 2nd REP.” The mere mention of the word Legion got Belisarius ears to perk up his eyes and seemed peaked with interests as to what this might mean. “Legion? I never thought the idea of Roman Legion would survive to this day.” Belisarius bluntly remarked.
As the plane landed on the runway, they felt the wheels skidding and slight turbulence vibrating through the fuselage before finally coming to a halt as the first A400M was on the ground before taxiing into the nearby parking lot. Its cargo ramp dropped down, and before the robots disembarked in droves, they already heard the howling howitzers shells and the tremors from the impacts. The robots quickly sprinted out with their equipment in hands, rucksacks, and magnetically attached backpacks shuffled along with their movements. Buildings around them were still standing, somewhere struck by shelling that left a permanent scar. Any structures taller than two-story were almost certain to lose at least half of their form.
They were using HK416A5s assault rifles with HK417A2s battle rifles for the most part. Some of them were carrying HK MG5 to provide suppressive fire on enemy targets behind hardened covers, while others were carrying the M27IAR as the fireteam’s Automatic Rifleman. In addition to those, some of the bots were carrying Carl Gustaf M3 Recoilless Rifles as the anti armor specialists of their respective units.
The robots ran a system diagnostic of their tactical and strategic internet system, at a fireteam level they had the PAN (Personal Area Network) wherein a handful of robots nearby can instantly exchange data at an instant. From a squad to platoon level, they had a specialist carrying a magnetically strapped backpack for modem and LAN equipment.
At the Company to Battalion level and above, the same specialist would carry a similar backpack but with a parabolic antenna link with satellite systems in geosynchronous orbit. Together these formed their ARGOS (Augmented Reality Ground Operations System), the pinnacle of digital military information systems. Most of the robot wolves made their ways to the riverbanks of Brazzaville with their mortars and machine gun teams. There, they set up a base of fires and defilade positions while mortar crews rain precision fire on Chinese defenders by the docks of Kinshasa.
Belisarius double-timed with Anubis towards a jeep and boarded it. Other robots were either busy disembarking from their planes or assisting human evacuations from the city. In the chaos of the moment, the French Foreign Legionnaire who drove the jeep for Anubis and Belisarius kept his eyes on the road. No time for pleasantries, let alone introduction even when he was the chauffeur for a being beyond his wildest imaginations.
"Back in 2023, Europa began their Second Rush to Africa. They aim to overthrow pro-China satellite states in the region and reform the long corrupt regimes of the continent to a more, shall we say, stable and open democracy. Spearheading this is France, one of the most significant colonial owners of the region in the last century." Said Anubis as they passed through the streets of Brazzaville.
Belisarius listened to Anubis while looking around him, seeing the sight of civilians battered by shells, surviving infants and toddlers crying incessantly at their dead parents, half-buried under the rubbles, their cries attracted relief aid workers coming to their rescue. "Our job is to help open the path into Congo, start by taking Kinshasa. That's where you come in." Anubis spoke in a steady tone as they arrived at the Ile M'Bamou, a massive island in the middle of the Congo River where the French Foreign Legion and German Panzergrenadiers were busy with building pontoon bridges to ford across the river to assault Kinshasa's N'djili International Airport.
As they were coming close to the construction site of the pontoon bridge, mortar bombardments began to intensify with the loud bang and booms of mortar shells hitting the dirt, kicking up debris and soil into the air. Occasionally, a human flew into the air with their limbs decapitated. The worst cases were the complete obliteration of their bodies, leaving nothing to identify. One such shell exploded next to the PVP armored car, knocking them over instantly. The shock of the blast left Belisarius dazed along with Anubis. The driver was unconscious, with his arms resting on the wheel and window of the PVP.
Belisarius grunted as his thigh compartment switched open. He reached his hand in and grabbed the hilt of the Gladius saber. Acting quickly and decisively, Belisarius slashed off the seatbelts that were holding him back. He then cut the belts for Anubis and the driver, allowing the Jackal to escape. "Thanks, old friend. I'll take the driver to the treeline, you get to the pontoon bridge and help them." Anubis grabbed the knocked out driver by his wrist and pulled him out of his car seat. The Jackal jumped out of the vehicle, Belisarius followed suit and sprinted towards the pontoon bridge under the unremitting mortar barrage.
Shells howled through the sky, tearing down trees and digging up soils, forcing soldiers and civilians to run for cover, hiding underground, in foxholes, or just under a treeline. As Belisarius came to the Pontoon Bridge construction site, he saw the German Pioneers and French Army Engineers were busy with bridge layer vehicles to set down a proper bridge on the Congo River. The troops there were shelled incessantly by the Chinese on the other side of the rivers.
"Who's in command here?" Belisarius instinctively asked one of the German Panzergrenadiers there. The Efreitor hastily pointed Belisarius to an observation post sitting on an elevated position of the isle. "Es ist Kapitän Kleinenberg! Er ist im Beobachtungsposten versuchen, für Gegenbatterie zu rufen. Wer bist du?" The Efreitor asked confusedly looking, at the seven feet tall Belisarius.
The translation software in Belisarius quickly provided the wolf with a rough translation of the Bundeswehr saying. His voice then received a synthesized version to communicate with the soldier in German, albeit lacking a distinctive dialect or accent. "Your reinforcement." He uttered tersely before sprinting up the hill towards the Observation Post much to the shock of the combined Panzergrenadiers and French Foreign Legionnaires. The robot werewolf opened the door and entered the OP before crouching down to avoid being sniped by a Chinese marksman or trained sniper. "Are you Captain Kleinenberg? I'm told you could use a hand." Said the wolf who caught the captain and his aides off-guard.
"Who the hell are you? And who permitted you to participate in this operation?" Captain Kleinenberg asked confusedly to Belisarius as he cringed under the shock and pressure of sustained mortar bombardment. "Introductions are for later. What do you need help with right now?" Belisarius insisted to the Captain, who then relented as he felt the barrage pressuring on his head. "I need some sharpshooters to take out those fucking mortar crews. They live, the bridge collapses. Get me?" The Captain ordered Belisarius, who nodded in acknowledgment, "I don't care how many, only where." He replied tersely, impressing the Captain with his can-do and no-nonsense attitude. "Alright, our scouts reported the mortars are firing from the marshes next to the airport."
Taking a moment to study the map, Belisarius saw that he could expect tree lines obstructing his views and dispersed mortar positions hiding in the shrubs. Perhaps some snipers to spot targets as well. "I need a weapon," Belisarius stated, prompting a Lieutenant to guide him out to the weapon rack. "Right this way." The Lieutenant gave Belisarius an MSG-90A2 sniper rifle with a bipod. "We're a bit short on ammo here. Radio jamming is making it difficult for us to get resupplied in time. Hopefully, our runner isn't dead before delivering his message." Said the Lieutenant as he handed Belisarius some spare magazines for his MSG-90 rifle. The robot wolf took the magazines and a plate carrier vest to carry the ammo.
"What's your name?" Belisarius asked the Lieutenant before following him out to the battlefield. "Anton, Leutnant Anton Gruber. Whatever you do out there, do it fast. We need the bridge consolidated before the tides pick up." Anton spoke urgently to Belisarius, prompting him to nod before sprinting out and took up a position near a French Foreign Legion's Pioneer foxhole. He laid down on his stomach and scanned the opposite bank with the MSG's scope.
He spotted the first mortar crew wearing camouflage from top to bottom with their weapon lobbing shells over the water. The robot wolf aimed down sight and began to calculate variables such as distance, gravity, rotation of the Earth, and so on. He fired once the calculation concluded, with the bullet landed on the mortar shell's wooden crate. The following detonation killed the entire mortar crew and their weapon.
Belisarius quickly switched on his thermal vision and aimed down the MSG's scope. He scanned the riverbank and opened fire on the enemy mortar crews and snipers. One by one, the Chinese dropped like flies before they began to fall back under a hail of automatic lead from NATO forces. "They are retreating. The bridge is safe now, time to move across and take the airport." The Lieutenant declared eagerly as the French Foreign Legion began to cross the pontoon bridge with German Leopard 2A7+ tanks to support them. Belisarius accompanied the Legionnaire as their shock trooper. He received a FAMAS FELIN rifle with fourteen magazines from one of the Legionnaire.
His curiosity grew as he held the bullpup assault rifle in his hand. The robot wolf managed to identify the cocking handle on the top side of the FAMAS and pulled the bolt down to check his ammo. His HUD ran a scan of the weapon and fed him information on its effective range, rate of fire, ammo capacity, fire modes. Once he had digested the technical performance and instructions, he cocked his head aside and began to head out with the humans. "Sledgehammer here, we have eyes on an enemy short-range SAM system. Engaging now." The Leopard 2A7+ Commander reported on the coms network. The crew loaded the 120mm Rheinmetal's L44 gun with a SABOT round as the main gun aimed at the HQ-12 missile truck.
With a booming thump sound, the gun muzzle breathed out a gust of flame, and the SABOT round flew towards the missile truck, and the vehicle exploded into a flaming wreck. However, the victory was short-lived, for the defending Chinese troops began to retaliate with machine-gun fire at the assaulting troops, and ATGMs flew towards the Leopard tank. "Leopard Zwei under attack! Request immediate assistant, over!" The commander called over the coms as the French Legionnaire took up firing positions and assaulted the ATGM nests.
"Lieutenant Gruber, where is the enemy jammer?" Belisarius asked while propped up against a tree. "About two 500 meters from where we are, the Chinese set up their jammers near the airport to mess with our coms." Hearing this while under a hail of enemy machine gun fires and the constant pressure of their automatic grenade launcher made Belisarius cagey.
The sooner they got rid of that jammer, the sooner they can call in Artillery from German howitzers. "Alright, Lt. Gruber, I'll destroy the jammer, and you call in artillery on the enemy position. Understood?" With only a single nod from Gruber, Belisarius sprinted away towards the edge of the airport. His robot wolf mobility and the digitigrade legs made his rapid advance incredibly fast, passing through the thick foliage and treelines. The Chinese were left bewildered by the lighting movement. He came barreling through the treelines and fell into a Chinese trench with his foot planted into one of their faces. His feet generated crunching sounds as they crushed a Chinese skull. Belisarius swiveled his body over to spray on the Chinese manning the HJ missile system.
As the Chinese defending that particular trench died a brutal and swift death, Belisarius grabbed their ATGM system and rotated around to aim at the Oriental Security operated Type-90 APC. The wolf fired the missile while keeping the weapon sight fixed firmly on the vehicle to guide the ATGM. The result was a violent penetration of the vehicle's hull and concluded with a fiery fireball with the crew screaming inside their steel coffin.
"Did you take out an enemy APC with their ATGM?" Gruber asked excitedly over their coms. However, the message came through garbled by the jammer. "Say again, Gruber. I can't hear you." Belisarius asked as he moved forward ahead of the others. The French Foreign Legionnaire followed up with their VABs and VBLs supporting the assault.
The Leopard 2A7 tank had another HJ-12 missile flown at it. This one came close only to be swatted down by the vehicle's APS system intercepting it. The French Foreign Legionnaire reacted quickly and opened fire furiously at the hiding position of the AT crew. M2 machine guns opened fire furiously to suppress the AT crew while the main gun fired an HE shell that blew away the vegetation of the riverbank.
As Belisarius led the assault further towards the airport, the vegetation gave way to a clear sightline of the airport's runway filled with J-11B jets with PLAAF markings. But what concerned Belisarius the most was the lack of cover from where he was towards the Jammer near the tarmac building.
As the Leopard 2 tank crept up to the edge of the forestry with the French Foreign Legionnaire following to support it, Lt. Gruber came up behind Belisarius, looking exhausted by the constant stress and running from before. "Hey, you have a way with charging ahead, don't you? Anyway, you got eyes on that enemy jammer?" Gruber asked while looking through his binoculars at the Chinese made Electronic Jammer. "I do. Resistance is light so far, but that doesn't seem right." Belisarius remarked as he laid down on his stomach, scanning the runway ahead of him. "Nein, they're moving reinforcements in to knock us back. We must take the tarmac. I can call in artillery support from there."
"Well, consider it done. I'll clear the way for you. Just rain fire at first sight of the enemy." Belisarius replied and stood up. The Legionnaire formed up behind him with additional troops moving in to back them up. These being German Panzergrenadiers with their Puma IFVs. The Chinese defending the airport ran behind their sandbags and barricades to set up firing positions. With machine guns and grenade launchers, they waited patiently for the NATO assault to inevitably come at them. Belisarius came over to the Leopard 2 and climbed aboard it to get the commander's attention. "Don't waste your shot on infantry. Aim for the jammer first. Leave the infantry to me." Belisarius instructed the commander, who acknowledged the coordination and relayed the instruction to his crew.
Sledgehammer's loader put an APFSDS round into the chamber. The gunner trained his sight on the mobile jammer array, and the commander permitted them to fire. The shell flew out of the 120mm main gun and slammed into the PLA's jammer array. The Electronic Jammer violently erupted into flame and burned down. Panicked, the Oriental Security troops were scrambling to douse the fire before it spread to the J-11s.
The defenders on impulse fired desperately at the attackers behind the treelines, cutting down branches, twigs. Some bullets ricochet and hit the French Foreign Legionnaire, either killing or wounding them. Gruber, on instinct, ducked down and held his helmet with both hands, groaning and gritting his teeth under the machine gunfire.
At the very least, communication for NATO troops had become much less arduous. Belisarius quickly called Anubis on their cyber coms to get a situation report. "Sir, we've destroyed the enemy's Jammer. Assault at the airport is on-going. What support do you have for us?" Anubis, on the other end of the line, quickly responded to the report with great urgency in his tone.
"Belisarius! The Chinese are sending reinforcements towards the airport. I'm sending the 108th to assist you now, but they need time to get across the Congo River. ETA: 10 minutes." He knew that it was too easy for their initial assault. Why didn't the Chinese scramble their J-11s jet remained unknown, but he could infer one possible reason being to avoid escalation. Even then, it was a rather flimsy excuse, even on the Chinese part.
Being the ever punctual robot, Belisarius quickly took potshots at the Chinese machine gunners. Before the MG crew could resume fire, he fired some more accurate shots at their heads, knocking them down one by one while the Foreign Legionnaire crept up. They opened fire at the Chinese defenders of the Airport and made flanking maneuvers with support from German Puma IFVs laying down suppressive fire. Belisarius sprinted with one such squad, making a beeline towards the tarmac and gunning down the defenders effortlessly. Lt. Gruber quickly ran up the tarmac with his spotter team before eventually arriving at the top to set up an OP.
"Hammer, this is Muninn. We have eyes on a large concentration of enemy armored forces situated on the clearing to the south of the airport. Request immediate Anti-Armor barrage on my coordinates over." Gruber urgently called on the PzH2000s while peering through his binoculars to the sight of the incoming enemy armor. As they watched Chinese Type-96 tanks rolling towards them with various APCs support, Gruber felt like he was about to be run over by armored treads.
Belisarius, on the ground with other French Foreign Legionnaires, was digging into fighting positions. They parked their tanks and IFVs by the choke points into the airport's runway. "Verstanden Muninn, feuern Sie dichtes Artilleriefeuer auf Ihre Zielkoordinaten ab." Gruber then transmitted the coordinates to the crew using a stylus pen on a command tablet he had with a few taps and swipes.
Once the crew received their target coordinates, they fired off barrages of 155mm guided Anti Armor rounds at the incoming Type-96 tanks. The artillery roared a thunderous bellow, with their shells soaring through the sky, tearing through clouds like Thor's Mjolnir hammer. They soon came down on the Type-96 tanks and knocked out a large portion of the Chinese tank platoon, sending turrets flying into the air like Lego pieces. Vehicle components smashed to smithereens. The following APCs met the same fate, with the Leopard 2s scoring direct hits upon direct hits. Some of the Leopard 2s even scored a double kill with their shells penetrating through multiple APCs that happened to line up.
“Muninn, das ist Hammer. Können wir eine KBE?” The artillery crew asked the now much more invigorated Lt. Gruber as he watched the artillery shells raining death and destruction on the Chinese tank formations. "Hammer, das ist Muninn. Feindliche Panzer nahmen schwere Verluste, mehr Fahrzeuge zerstört." Additional infantry struggled to wade forward, only to curl up in a fetal position under the constant barrage. Others tossed up smoke grenades to cover themselves, then pushed forward under the cover, only for them to be cut down by machine gunfire. The dug in, Panzergrenadiers, and French Foreign Legion had the benefits of thermal optics to pierce through the thick smokescreen and dust clouds kicked up by the artillery shells.
Even Belisarius could do little other than to pick off enemy stragglers as they came close to his position. The French Foreign Legionnaire and German Panzergrenadiers around him kept up their fire. Occasionally, they pass over a spare magazine to keep him in the fight. Constantly pressuring their enemies and breaking their will to fight.
Their method, while seems excessive and brutal, was efficient since the enemies broke and ran for their dear life. For a moment, Gruber felt exhilarating, a thrill, and high of victory rushing over him as he watched the Chinese breaking off and ran as far as possible. But as Gruber and his Forward Observer team celebrated their victory, a mortar shell came crashing down on the tarmac.
Belisarius had a knee jerk reaction as he recoiled under pressure and shock by the barrage. The Chinese mortar barrage came like a downpour of steel and explosives on NATO troops holding the Airport. Many of them have to duck down and wait for the mortar barrage to die down. The howitzers from the German side of the battlefield soon counter-battery the Chinese mortars, silencing them with a steel rain down on the slums south of the Airport.
"Damn it, Gruber? Gruber? Gruber!" Belisarius called out to the Lieutenant as he ran out to search for him under the rubbles. What the robot wolf found after digging through the debris was a gnarly and disfigured remains of the Lieutenant. His right arm and leg were no more, just fleshy remains with a pool of his blood. His head and torso remained intact. But no hope for the man to regain conscient. He had gone to God in Heaven now.
"Requiescat in Pace," Belisarius uttered before closing Gruber's eyes and continued his search around the place for the remains of the Forward Observer Team. Save for the twisted and scattered bits of flesh and blood. Their helmets and body armor saved a good deal of their corpses for identification. As the French Foreign Legionnaire and German Panzergrenadiers pushed up with their reinforcements, they began to clear through the surrounding building blocks in quick and dirty firefights with pockets of Chinese defenders.
The Oriental Security mercenaries, however, were less than thrilled with the idea of facing a trained and well-equipped hostile force. Many of them surrendered without a fight, while some others fired sporadically before falling back. Belisarius participated in the action, chasing the enemies up to the bridge over the river dividing the city's downtown area from its western suburbs and slums.
As the day wore on, Belisarius returned to the airport with the 108th Regiment to rest. The latter was busy with rescuing civilians in Brazzaville and keeping the enemies occupied in the harbor areas of Kinshasa, feigning preparation for an amphibious landing. Belisarius went into a casualties collection tent, counting the dead and wounded they had sustained so far. He estimated their casualties in the area of 20 KIAs and an additional 25 WIAs. While far from unacceptable casualties figures, Belisarius could tell from the looks on the survivor's faces, each loss was a toll on the survivors. On the front and at home.
The 108th Regiment, in the meantime, proceeded to convert the Airport into their base of operation in the Congo. The A400Ms from subsequent flights began to land on the runway with various reinforcements, supplies, vehicles, and infrastructure support. As they worked and toiled around the clock, Anubis came to Belisarius, accompanied by the German General and a French Colonel, alongside them was a robot wolf with a rod of Aescelpius symbol painted on his pauldrons. Belisarius took notice and glanced over, noticing the German officer appeared to be a Brigadier General Hans Holzer. And the French Colonel to be Colonel DuBoise, French Foreign Legion 2e REP. "You must be Belisarius, the one who saved the crew of the Calypso?" Holzer asked as he extended a hand out to Belisarius.
"Yes, that I am. You must be the commanding officer of the expeditionary force." Belisarius inferred, to which Holzer burst into a chuckle at the robot's observation ability. "Ja, I am appointed by Berlin to lead the Bundeswehr contingent. He is Colonel DuBoise, leader of the French Foreign Legion 2nd Parachute Regiment." Holzer introduced DuBoise to Belisarius. The French colonel was wearing his green-covered helmet of the 2nd Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment. His insignia and rank were kept low-key by design to avoid being a sniper bullseye. "Monsieur, Paris is in your debt for your selfless service today." Colonel DuBoise stated to Belisarius as he shook the robot's hand. "It was nothing, just doing my job," Belisarius replied humbly.
"He's quite humble, it seems. Is this normal for the robots you made?" Holzer asked Anubis, to which the Jackal seems to make a rather reserved expression and attitude. "Not really. Some are more boisterous and boastful. Others like Belisarius are soft-spoken gentlemen. Their personalities varied from unit to unit, especially after deployments and accruing personal experiences." Anubis calmly explained to the bewildered NATO officers, who could not believe their ears.
"They develop personalities? Is it possible for A.Is to do so? I thought they were only far-flung future fantasies." Holzer exclaimed, confusedly to Anubis. He saw Anubis nonchalantly nodded to him, "Indeed, they can. How are they supposed to perform half as good as human soldiers if they can't gain experiences and develop personalities?" Anubis asked rhetorically, to which neither Holzer nor DuBoise had an answer.
"But how do you create these A.Is and program them?" Holzer asked curiously, to which Anubis glanced his eye over to the corpses of the dead German Panzergrenadiers and French Foreign Legionnaire. "A human soul's fragments and an A.I symbiosis. A method that no current human-computer algorithm or programming technique can catch up." The jackal deity spoke coldly, his hand reaching out to the body bag of Lt. Gruber and unzipping it to inspect the corpse. "A human soul? Surely, you can't be serious?" Holzer nervously inquired. Anubis didn't seem at all jesting with the NATO officer when he turned to them. His robot jackal face and optics shot them a glare that said it all. "Never was. I can demonstrate if you are willing to see."
To both Holzer and DuBoise, it sounded like a morbid invitation, the childlike curiosity with the desire to learn more of these robots. And yet, in the back of their minds, they could not help but feel something gnawing at them. A feeling that whatever they might learn would not look or sound so well to the public. "How long do you think it will take for this one?" Anubis asked the Physician robot. The white wolf with the blue rod of Aescelpius then bent over to inspect the corpse, putting his palm on Gruber's chest and head. "A day of work, no more, no less. I can salvage his brains and vital organs like the heart, lungs, digestive and reproductive organs." The doctor spoke bluntly. Holzer and DuBoise were shocked to hear of the process's specific details sounding like organ harvesting.
"Is this organ harvesting? Are you going to dissect his remains to take his organs out? How does that have anything to do with your robots?" DuBoise protested, being rather outraged by the grotesque idea Anubis had in mind. The Jackal deity didn't seem to care much for the Frenchman's fuming rage and simply crossed his arms before his chest. "Synthetic organ components. The Nanites I developed will assimilate them into robot components. Get it done." Anubis ordered the physician, who then zipped up the body bag and picked him up, carrying him away to a mobile lab module at the airport's east side. "I do not consent to this. The German public and government do not consent to this. How are you- am I supposed to explain to them?" Holzer furiously asked as he followed Anubis and the physician while Belisarius accompanied them to witness the process.
"Let me handle the public outrage and banana journalists." Anubis sternly remarked before seeing the corpse of Gruber being placed on an operating table by the physician. "You may want to step back." The physician suggested to Belisarius, who sighed out but conceded. They spectated from a shielded section of the lab module.
Inside the operating room, automated medical arms dissect his body, carefully scalped his head, and open his skull to extract his human brains. Each organ was placed inside a canopic jar-like container by the physician. Filled with preservative liquid, he continued his work vigorously as he began to open a large cylinder container, revealing a robot wolf frame on standby. Holzer and DuBoise saw it was a seven feet tall robot body, with chrome grey and silver armor plates top to bottom.
The physician then tapped the buttons on nearby keyboards to open the cylinder, letting cold liquid nitrogen hissing out. They saw the cranial unit open up several flaps. The human brain and organs, in turn, were injected by the physician with a strange liquid metal substance. The grey and silver metal goo once made contact with the preservative liquid, began to fill up the containers, and began the assimilation process.
The brain and organs began to turn synthetic with green circuit boards outlines. The physician then picked up the brains before inserted it into the cranial unit, and the flaps closed in, sealing the morphing brain tightly inside the cranial space. The mechanical arms surgically removed the robot armor plates and cut open the stomach region, allowing the physician to graft the organs into the body, with the Nanites inside moving them into position with the endoskeleton.
With that done, they saw a tendril latched into the back of the robot wolf's head, where his neck and head met. The tendril lodged itself deeply into the neural outlet port. Holzer and DuBoise saw a computer monitor displaying a text reading "Programming process: 0%". "Phase 1 is complete. This unit will be ready by tomorrow for review. Till then, there won't be much to report. I'll let you know what I managed to salvage from Lieutenant Gruber." The physician summarized to Anubis, who nodded to the robot.
"Thank you. Keep me posted." Holzer and DuBoise were less than thrilled. They were both disgusted by the surgery and the idea of robotizing their dead. It was effectively giving Gruber, a dead man, no rest from life. For now, they retired to have a meal until reports of the process stream in.
Horus was in the cafeteria attending lunch with the troops on board the Tartarus. The falcon crown prince sat at a table with Temujin and an odd red robot wolf. The red one looked almost identical to Temujin in build, if it weren’t for the red armor plates with the gold eagle emblem on his pauldron with a pair of crossed swords. His serial number and code appeared to be CLU-00591 GUNTER. They saw a news report from the Congo, showing Anubis and the robot wolves were in combat with the Chinese Oriental Security troops. “Will ya look at that. Anubis is having a field day with the press if he likes to be caught on cam as you.” Gunter stated in a gruff Texan voice and smirked while eating his meal.
“Yeah, only he never does like the attention. Always the dark knight, he is. Get in then get out, leaving no traces behind.” Horus remarked to Gunter as the crown prince ate his bird seeds from a small bowl and some hot meal on the navy tray. “I can’t fault him on that. But I think he could still use some publicities, might help bring in the cold hard cash to spend on the boys.” Said Gunter with a chortle as he ate the meal in his tray. Horus turned over to the red robot wolf and asked him.
“So what are you going to do once we’re on the ground? Ground pounder or Airwolf?” Gunter took notice of Horus’s question and tossed up a coin he had in a leather pouch. The coin spun in the air, flipping between Head and Tail before landing in Earl’s palm and it’s a Head. “Well, ground pounder it is. At least they gave me infantry training. In my lifetime, a pilot got basic firearm training and SERE. But man, when ya a robot with a robot brain, learning is as easy as shoving installing a software.”
Horus nodded to Gunter and patted his back in a friendly manner. “Even then, we still play it safe. You watch my back, I’ll watch yours. Catch you later Earl.” Horus commented before getting up and returned the lunch tray to the cafeteria, before heading back to his cabin on the Tartarus. He was afforded the officer quarters with a fairly spacious room on a ship. The room had an old analog clock hung on the wall, with a board for Horus to pin a world map, and photos of relevant individuals like Kong, Faisal, LeMonde, and the Nordwyrm Virus into place.
Horus pinned Kong's photo on Ethiopia with red strings connecting him to the Nordwyrm Virus, LeMonde, and Faisal. The extra photos were in the HVIs category so he can quickly keep track of them. He sat down and marked the days left before arriving in Somalia when He suddenly received a call from Anubis on their communication nexus and quickly answered.
“Hey bro, what’s up? Looks like you got one helluva press media storm in Kinshasa, huh? Any plans for press coverage and publicity stunts?” Horus asked in a playfully friendly manner, adding in his taste of jests. “Besides the usual phrase of no comments, and some trophy displays, not much. Besides, I got something I need to go over with Belisarius. He did well today, at least."
“Yeah, about that, go easy on him Anubis, if anything it’s my fault that got us all into this. He’s trying to fix the problem before it gets worse. But are you sure that I have to be there? I’ll be out in the open with zero deniability.” Horus inquired with a sigh as he laid down on the bed. “Trust me, you’ll need it. If you want to be a king, learn the concept of consequences first. Otherwise, we’ll have a bastard son on the throne, and I’m sure that neither you nor anyone else sees that as a good sign.” Anubis sternly stated, prompting Horus to make a thick gulp and nodded to Anubis’s harsh words.
“I understand, I won’t let you down Anubis.” Horus, however, heard Anubis made a quick comeback to his promise. “No, Horus, don’t disappoint yourself. May the Hidden One guide your path to the throne.” Anubis replied with Horus nodding to the statement. “You too, Anubis. I love you, take care of yourself and Belisarius as well.” Horus then hung up the call to contemplate the information he had, by now he was roughly two days away from arriving in Somalia.
But before he took a slumber, he pulled out a drawer and grabbed his onyx black tablet computer, and switched on the screen. The screen had a photo of Horus and Anubis standing by their chariot, a prized family possession. The vehicle had an azure blue color with gold ornate Isis figure on the front. The wheels were wooden and reinforced by iron hubcaps, a rarity for what was once a bronze civilization.
Horus stroked at the screen gently, trying his best not to scratch or dent it. He sighed out melancholy, looking at a simpler time when they had time for fun and games. Back then, he would race wildly around the Hippodrome as the champion of Egypt against others like Greeks, Romans, Goths, Gaulois, and Thracian. The Crown Prince then entered the password of his device and went into a file folder to go over intel reports about Somalia.
The first report that came to his attention was timestamped September 5th, 2022, by the Information Warfare Command of the Jackal Guards. This one had an attached photo of a red banner with a yellow hammer and sickle symbol in the middle. The report's headline pronounced, "Somali People's Liberation Front, a Chinese footprint in East Africa, and possible strategic targets." Horus then began to read through the report, going over paragraphs and sections outlying what these factions were.
"Formed by unknown and never before seen leftist provocateur and activist, who goes by the name Mohamed Burhaan. The SPLF champions a cause of Somali unity against perceived 'Imperialist aggressors.' Their method of recruitment lately has been to align elements in the country's society under their Socialist umbrella. Mainly the DAESH linked Al-Shabaab militants, clan militias, and pirates to intimidate the populace from accepting aids from AMISOM III Coalition."
The report read, and Horus grew more and more intrigued by the information it had to offer. He began to go through the various details like the supposed alliance of religiously motivated militants like Al-Shabaab would align with the supposedly Socialist SPLF coalition. One adjective was highlighted in yellow by the IWC Inquisitors for him to notice. "Tenuous." A word that gave insight into the nature of the alliance in question, Horus himself could surmise that one had the gunmen, and the other had the heavy weapons for the prolonged insurgency.
"Al-Shabaab militants have entertained the thought of acquiring up-to-date weaponry, modern flak jackets, equipment as well as an arsenal of heavy weapons and vehicles. The SPLF, through their connections to Oriental Securities in Ethiopia, provides such weapons. Along with technical expertise to train and maintain those weapons as well as the growing crop of Type-59 tanks. While woefully outdated, it would make for terrifying encounters for the AMISOM III troops who did not expect such weapons in Somalia."
Horus grew more and more intrigued by the report as he went through the highlighted words and paragraphs. "A debt-trap diplomacy move. Too bad Al-Shabaab is a useful idiot, so are the SPLF." Anubis commented while reading the report. He stroked his worriedly, however, knowing that Al-Shabaab's fanatical militants would not go down without a fight even if it meant suicide vests against one robot wolf. "Better keep an eye on Temujin and Earl, no telling what those savages would do to them." Horus murmured cautiously before putting the tablet back into the drawer and dozed off.
submitted by PointMan97 to HFY [link] [comments]


2020.10.09 01:59 millymichelle 12 Signs, 12 Murderers and What May Have Compelled Them to Kill

This is a re-post from an analysis I did last year. Wanted to share it again for our larger audience and because October is SPOOOOOOOOOOKY SEASONNNNNNNN.
(TRIGGER WARNING: THE EVENTS TALKED ABOUT BELOW ARE EXTREMELY DARK AND DISTURBING. PLEASE ONLY READ IF YOU HAVE A STURDY MIND. THESE ARE BRIEF ASTROLOGICAL VIGNETTES MEANT IN PART FOR ENTERTAINMENT BUT ALSO FOR EDUCATION. FULL CHART READINGS ARE LABORIOUS, SO THESE ARE TRUNCATED. IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THESE PLACEMENTS LIKE I DO, PLEASE DO NOT DESPAIR. THERE ARE MANY MANIFESTATIONS OF PLANETARY ALIGNMENTS, AND MANY ARE POSITIVE OR NEUTRAL.)
You’ve seen the meme going around. The one that tallies up infamous serial killers and their Sun signs. The result? A heap of mutable signs. Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. I’m tired of the slander! Jokes aside, it does seem to perpetuate harmful stereotypes, especially for Gemini and Sagittarius (or Sagiterrorist as Twitter says---yikes) ,that there is something inherently dubious, untrustworthy or sinister about these signs. So here is a brief examination of all 12 signs, the infamous killers who belong to them, and the planetary conditions that can compel heinous acts. That’s right, murdering is equal-opportunity and doesn’t discriminate based on sign. Leggo!
Aries: Donald Harvey, born 4/15/1952. Killed 37-57 people while working as an orderly. Method: mostly poison. RX Mars in Scorpio square Pluto in Leo. Mars in the 8th, Pluto in the 5th. Poison, a rather passive way of killing someone, can belong to a RX Mars in Scorpio, and the perverse pleasure from such acts can belong to Pluto in the 5th. ASC ruled by this Mars, out of aspect to the ASC—suggesting a hidden, unwieldy martial nature. Tense aspects between Mars and Pluto can manifest…darkly. He also had Neptune opposite his Sun-Jupiter conjunction in the 1st. Neptune can destabilize the ego, create low self esteem, and produce disturbing fantasies, especially here with a sextile to Pluto. Uranus in the 4th in Cancer is the apex of a T-square, with the opposition between his Sun-Jupiter and Neptune, both of which square Uranus. Acting out in erratic and disturbing ways whilst taking care of people in a place they call home (Uranus-Cancer-4th). Harvey said he killed out of empathy, wanting to end others’ suffering, or out of anger. Jupiter conj Sun in the 1st in Aries can create a hot-head whose anger gets out of order (Jupiter expands) very fast. Harvey also had tense aspects from his Venus to his Moon and from his Venus and Mercury to Saturn. Unloved, a hardened love, loss of confidence. Moon in detriment in Capricorn.
Taurus: Albert Fish, born 5/19/1870. Killed 3, confirmed. A suspected 9-100 others. Method: variable, but sexual in nature. No time of birth and therefore no rising sign. Mars conjunct Pluto in Taurus. So we are sensing a Mars-Pluto theme. In the fleshy sign of Taurus, this conjunction unfortunately manifested as a fascination with genitals and sexual mutilation. Mars can be our sex drive, and Taurus is a carnal and physical sign, concerned with the body and physical pleasures. Pluto adds the darkness and obsession. Fish also mutilated himself, sticking several needles into his, uh, pelvic region. Mars in Taurus cuts into the flesh. Fish said that he felt God was compelling him to torture children. His Capricorn Moon was opposite his Uranus in Cancer, disturbed rationale on the idea of taking care of children. Here, Venus was also square the Moon, conjunct Neptune, and square Uranus. His prevailing sense of value and love was disillusioned by Neptune (feeling directed by God, a higher force) and completely abnormal (Venus sq Uranus). He was apparently nicknamed The Moon Maniac because he struck at night. Weirdly enough, the Moon exalts in Taurus. Not astrologically relevant but ironic.
Gemini: I feel like I should skip this re: the meme alluded to above. So many to choose from…
Uh—David, “Son of Sam” Berkowitz, born 6/1/1953. Killed 6. Method: stabbing and shooting. I know you’re wondering by now: what are Mars and Pluto doing in his chart? Well, they’re in a softer sextile, Mars in Gemini and Pluto in Leo. But Mars is conjunct Mercury in the 8th and trine Neptune in Libra in his 12th. He famously suggested that he was under the influence of a demon dog while at the time of the murders, feeling compelled to carry out these terrible acts because of this voice in his head. This is the seamless conversation of Mars (aggression) Mercury (your mental processing) and Neptune. He made up a fantastical lie, probably to be declared mentally incompetent. The 8th and 12th houses are also a fitting arena for stories of demons, possession, killing and other otherworldly phenomena. Berkowitz enjoyed the publicity he got from his crimes, perfect for an 8th house Gemini stellium and for a Leo MC. He also enjoyed writing letters to the police, taunting them. Gemini loves a cat and mouse game. Sadly, this was a disgusting one. He mostly victimized women, perhaps owing to a fallen Venus in Aries opposite his ascendant, Neptune and Saturn. This is also the 3rd serial killer in a row to have Moon square Venus, an infelt tension between his emotional gratification and the principle of femininity.
Cancer: Genene Jones, born 7/13/1950. Killed 2. A suspected 60 others. Method: poison. No birth time. Jones was a nurse in the pediatric unit of a hospital. And so yes, all of her victims were infants and children, fitting for a Cancer Sun. She also had her Moon, Mercury and Uranus in Cancer, with Uranus in a tight conjunction to her Moon. This goes without saying by now but pretty erratic emotional nature. Mars was conj Neptune in beauty-loving Libra, and Jones worked for a time as a beautician before becoming a nurse. This combination later ended up producing a woman who murdered (Mars) but injecting lethal amounts of drugs (Neptune) into her patients.
Leo: Luka Magnotta, born 7/24/1982. Killed 1 human, several animals. Method: suffocation, decapitation, severing and stabbing. No birth time. Subject of the new Netflix docu-series: Don’t Fuck With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer. Magnotta had Sun conjunct Mercury in attention-seeking Leo. He tried out for many reality shows, was a porn actor, and portrayed his life online as a jet-setting model and socialite. He had several fan pages on Facebook, with almost all the comments praising how beautiful he was. It later surfaced that he created all these fan pages, wrote all the comments, and doctored images with his face on other people’s bodies to give the illusion of a glamourous life (His Sun-Mercury conjunction is square boastful Jupiter). His Moon was in shy, calculated and sometimes cold Virgo, square Neptune, embedding within his emotional life a perverse kind of dreaming and wanting. His emotional nature was at odds with his Leo Sun, setting the ground for a person who needed to find attention in a less obvious way. Oh and yes, here he had a Mars-Pluto-Saturn conjunction in relationship oriented Libra, sextile his Neptune in Sagittarius. Mars and Pluto square his Sun—a magnetic, forceful, lustful, and aggressive personality, an ego bent on control and perverse desire. All 3 malefics in Libra show that relationships would never be easy for him, owing also to his Virgo Moon, which can view emotional satisfaction as a struggle. Magnotta uploaded videos on YouTube of him murdering kittens, never showing his face (Virgo). This is how he ended up filling the dark desire of his Leo Sun: he got A LOT of attention. Later on, he also uploaded a video of him killing a Chinese man studying abroad in Canada. He had Uranus trine his Sun-Mercury conjunction in Leo. That he used the Internet to display the attention-seeking needs of his Leo Sun is no surprise.
Virgo: Paul Bernardo, born 8/27/1964. Killed 4. Raped 13. Bernardo was known as The School Girl Killer which off the bat is an eerie coincidence for a Virgo Sun and Rising. If there is anything that conjures up the innocence and purity known (kind of stereotypically) for Virgo, it is the archetype of the school-girl. He has Mars exactly conjunct Venus in Cancer, and trine Neptune in Scorpio. His first rape was against his sister in law and aided by his wife. So, grossly, it was a family affair, the domain of Cancer. Neptune brought in the element of drugs and alcohol—Bernardo drugged his wife’s (Karla) little sister with rum and sleeping pills, and took advantage of her when she passed out. Mars conjunct Venus can indicate violence against women. But strangely, in Bernardo’s case, it also represented that he carried out many of his crimes with his wife by his side. This theme continued—where Karla would bait the victim and drug them, and Bernardo would assault them. Bernardo’s Mercury, Pluto and Uranus were involved in a tight conjunction in Virgo in the 1st, opposite Saturn in Pisces in his 7th. His identity to the world and within relationships was wrought with control, obsession, restriction, and darkness. He frequently boasted about his sexual prowess, experience and preferences—a signpost of compulsive Pluto defining the personality from the 1st. His wife Karla (Taurus) had the same Mars conjunct Venus aspect in her chart and Pluto conjunct Bernardo’s ascendant, fueling his sexual appetite. Bernardo’s Mars conjunct Venus fell in Karla’s 7th house of relationship. They also both had Moon in Aries conjunct, solidifying the sordid theme of Mars in both of their charts. This is the story of a fated relationship intertwined with the ominous themes of death, sexual gratification and predation.
Libra: Angelo Buono, born 10/5/1934. Killed: 9. Raped: 1. Method: strangulation. Buono and his cousin Kenneth Biachi were known as the Hillside Stranglers. They’d pretend to be police officers to lure young women into their car, and would subsequently torture, rape and kill them. While committing these atrocities, Buono’s cousin was actually in the process of applying to be part of the LAPD. Gross. But back to Buono—there are several troubling things to note. He had Neptune conjunct his Virgo ascendant in an applying square to his Gemini midheaven. That he played pretend in order to carry out his crimes fits this planetary narrative, not to mention that Gemini can be a dubious trickster and so let’s introduce ruler of his ascendant and midheaven: Mercury. Jester of the solar system. Mercury was placed in Scorpio in his 3rd house and opposite Uranus. Deceptive communication, unwieldy and dark behaviors all placed in the arena of immediate community (also: cousins are a 3rd house theme). It is also sad to note that Buono would “experiment” with different ways to kill and torture young women. And such is the dark nature of mad scientist Uranus. Among those methods were lethal-injection (Neptune), electric shock (Uranus), and carbon monoxide poisoning (Neptune). Name a more terrifying duo. His Uranus was also in an applying trine to his Neptune. Buono was self-proclaimed “ladies man”, with Venus, Sun and Jupiter in Libra. Jupiter is clearly where we can boast, Venus where we want to feel valued, and the Sun there added a disproportionate amount of spotlight on what would fuel sordid acts. His Jupiter in Libra squared his Pluto in Cancer, a trigger point for exaggerated violence against women. Pluto was the apex of an out-of-sign T-square. Relief from inner-felt tension could only find catharsis through Plutonian behavior. The most apropos signature in his chart, to me, is his Mars in Leo in the 12th opposite Saturn in Aquarius in the 6th. Tense aspects between Mars and Saturn can make one ripe for aggressive or violent behavior, a person who can act out on rage (Mars) and then meticulously reals it in and plans the next event (Saturn). Buono’s chosen method of seduction via pretending to be a police-officer is a Saturn in the 6th theme: service and duty to the community. Only here, there was a hidden motive (Mars in the 12th) that ultimately led him to commit terrible acts.
Scorpio: We’re skipping Charles Manson, ok? Instead: Nannie Doss, born 11/4/1905. (We need more women represented here, amirite?) Killed: 11. Method: Poison. Doss was known as the “Lonely Hearts Killer” and called herself a “self-made widow”. Big Scorpio Energy. But she was also known as the “Giggling Granny” and “Giggling Nanny”. Two juxtaposed archetypes that can be seen in her chart. She does not have a birth time, so here I will dive into planetary conditions and archetypes and leave out the houses. There can still be rich information without a verified time of birth. Doss has an aspect that is dime-a-dozen in the charts of people who commit atrocious acts: Saturn in hard aspect to the Moon, and here they were conjunct in Aquarius. Saturn is a deadening agent when it comes to emotion, and Doss reportedly suffered from depression. She also had an extremely controlling father (Saturn) that forbade her from wearing nice clothing, make up and from going to social events. Instead, he forced Doss and her siblings to work on their farm, even preventing them from going to school (Saturn also squares Doss’s Mercury, the planet responsible for learning). In her childhood, likely because her real life was so restricted, Doss became obsessed with romance magazines and disappeared into daydreams about her own future love-life: Venus in romantic Libra square Neptune in Cancer, Sun in obsessive Scorpio trine Neptune in Cancer—signposts of delusional ideas of love, escapism, and an ever-elusive state of stability for her ego. Married at 16, Doss fell into alcohol and nicotine addiction to cope with her unsatisfactory relationship. The Neptune signatures mentioned above can cause one to go overboard with numbing substances, but Doss also had Mars opposite Neptune. Her actions were governed, in part, by Neptune. Poison is the domain of Neptune, and Doss admitted to killing several family members and her four husbands via deadly tinctures like rat poison and arsenic. As mentioned in part one, Scorpio-like killings tend to be passive versus overt. Why was family her primary target? Neptune in Cancer encouraged the deeds to be taken out on family (in one instance, she poisoned a sweet potato pie and fed it to her then-husband). Despite her horrific actions, Doss had a certain charm distinguished by her Venus trine Moon signature. She continued to find various lovers through her participation in dating services. She was said to have a habit of laughing and giggling while on trial describing her murders. In prison, she was also said to have remained “cheerful”, making jokes about her case. Even before sentencing, she responded in jest to reporters questioning her about the various murder allegations and enjoyed the press. Jupiter in Gemini (news) formed an out-of-sign opposition with her Mercury, perhaps allowing for a larger-than-life outlook and optimism despite her circumstances. Owing also to a strong Neptune, she never quite grasped the gravity of her actions. Lastly, Venus was involved in a tense square with Mars (intermarital violence, domestic aggression) and a trine with Pluto, giving her a loving nature that was combative, controlling, and dangerous. Her first husband called her “frightening,” and fled abruptly after the suspicious deaths of their two children due to “food poisoning”.
Sagittarius: Dennis Nilsen. Born 11/23/1945. Killed: 12-15. Method: strangulation, drowning. Nilsen had a massive conjunction between Moon, Pluto, Mars, Saturn and MC. All three malefices bearing down on his emotional core (Moon) created a dark and twisted individual. He lured young homosexual men with high-risk lifestyles back to his home in exchange for shelter or alcohol. It goes without saying that Neptune is involved—sextiling his Mars-Pluto conjunction. I’ll stop here to say that the sextile, known as the “lesser” trine, is an aspect of ease that, when taken advantage of consciously, presents tremendous opportunity. Nilsen took advantage of this by employing “guile” to lure and seduce his victims. It also helped that he had Jupiter tightly conjunct his Libra ascendant, fueling an image of congeniality, care, and warmth that his sometimes homeless and otherwise downtrodden victims found comforting. As a child, Nilsen was an excellent student. He enlisted in the armed services, and enjoyed his time travelling—an apt intellectual and cultural appetite for a Sagittarius Sun and Mercury in the 3rd. Nilsen noticed his homosexual desires first as a child, and then in the British Army, began trying to enact those desires, albeit shyly. He drank to excess (Jupiter), both to override his shyness and in the hopes that a fellow cadet would take advantage of his stupored state. But generally, Nilsen went to great lengths to suppress his sexuality, even refusing to shower with his fellow soldiers. Nilsen had Venus in Scorpio square a retrograde Pluto in Leo, an aspect that can repress sexual desires, or even pervert them. The perversion here is NOT homosexuality, but the necrophilia that ensued, a manifestation of his sexual attraction to unconscious men. Venus in hard aspect to Pluto can certainly bring in the element of death, even in a literal way. But it also adds in the complete need for control over others, and easier to do so if they are unconscious or aren’t even alive. He described this time of his life as starting down “the avenue of death and possession.” Nilsen’s Moon was in trine to his Venus, adding an insatiable emotional component to his murders. His Venus in Scorpio was also the ruler of his 8th house, Taurus, perhaps accounting with the obsession with death. His Moon in Cancer also places an emphasis on the mom: when his grandfather passed away, Nilsen, a child at the time, recalled his mother encouraging him to see the dead body as it laid in wake. This sowed the seed for what would later become necrophilia. As time progressed, Nilsen would come to resent his mother’s attention on his siblings, a rejection that would later turn his desire to be with other men into an obsession—he needed them “at all costs” and “whether [they] wanted to or not.” His Moon was squared by Jupiter, over-exaggerating the initial insecurity and the subsequent aberrations. The Cancer moon can also explain why he lured and buried all of his victims at his home.
Capricorn: William Bonin, born 1/8/1947. Killed: 21-36+. Method: torture, blunt force trauma, stabbing, strangulation. Bonin has eerily similar placements to our Sagittarius entry above. His Moon was also conjunct Saturn and Pluto, but his Mars was forming an opposition to this trio from the bottom of his chart. His Mars, in Capricorn in the 4th, was also involved in a tight conjunction to his Sun. Bonin’s father was an abusive drunk. The archetype of Mars, violence, and the Sun, father, is apparent here. Mars is also particularly strong in Capricorn, but here ended up exacerbating on the worst of Capricorn archetypes: restriction, isolation, and sheer discipline. Bonin’s father neglected him and his siblings, forcing them to rely on the kindness of strangers for food and clothes. In an attempt to protect her children from her husband, Bonin’s mother sent he and his siblings to an orphanage known for its backwards punishments for break of conduct. There, Bonin was subject to beatings, stress positions, partial drowning, bondage, and sexual abuse. This is the darkest of the dark for Saturn. Bonin fought in Vietnam, the carnage he saw there inuring him to human suffering, later remarking that human life is “overvalued.” His Saturn, Pluto and Moon conjunction played out in his 11th house of humanity at large, and his Mars squared his ascendant, amplifying the stress of fighting and combat (first seen at home, then seen in war). Mars exalted, conjunct the Sun in the 4th, the seat of the soul in a chart, and in aspect to the ascendant, made Mars the strongest player in his life. It ruled his 7th house of Aries, further amplifying the potential for violence against others and with others. Bonin would drive around in an olive van and look for hitchhikers, schoolboys, and male prostitutes. He overpowered and restrained them, taking atrocities once enacted against him and doing them to others. He also removed all the door handles from the inside of his van. His Venus was in the 3rd house in Sagittarius, bringing in themes of short-distance travel, highways, roads, and early schooling. Venus in a Jupiter-ruled sign can be unwieldy, with an insatiable appetite for what it wants, especially so since it was also trine his Leo Moon. In one instance, Bonin committed a murder and was “horny” to commit another one just five minutes after discarding the body. He later said that he was “excited” when looking for victims, with the violence escalating in order sustain his “euphoria,” much like increasing the dose of a drug one has built a tolerance for. His Jupiter was in Scorpio in the 2nd, making a great case for the expansion of dark, sexual acts as it relates to one’s physical sustenance and pleasure. He also had Neptune conjunct his ascendant in an applying square to his Mars and Sun, making his personality one that needed to feel high, that needed to escape, and/or needed to numb. In addition to strangulation and blunt force trauma, Bonin also toyed with chemicals like hydrochloric acid, rounding out the Neptunian narrative at work. Bonin died via lethal injection, a final goodbye from Neptune.
Aquarius: Robert Hansen, born 2/15/1939. Killed: 17-21+. Method: stabbing, various. I want to jump right into the most stunningly symbolic astrological occurrence I’ve encountered while writing these. Hansen had his Mars in Sagittarius, and while behaviorally this can manifest as someone who behaves without any limit (Mars in a Jupiter sign can go beyond any established parameter, which can manifest darkly) as most serial murders tend to do, it also happens to explain Hansen’s interest in…archery. Sagittarius is the archer, and its glyph is the arrow. Hansen escaped into archery and hunting to avoid his domineering father. He was skinny, shy, riddled with acne and icepick scars, and shunned by the opposite sex. As a result, he harbored violent fantasies of revenge on them. Hansen had Moon conjunct Venus in Capricorn. Here, the Moon is in detriment, struggling to realize emotions healthfully. With a conjunction to Venus, there was a deep emotional need to bond through relationship with women, but this desire was stifled by Saturnian energy (notoriously late blooming, awkward). Saturn also squared his Venus and Moon from the sign of its detriment—Aries. Saturn placing restriction on the self-assured sign of Aries can make one particularly shy in expression, and here, it also aggravated the loneliness of his Venus-Moon combo. When the yin nature of one is repressed, out comes the yang. Hansen enacted his Mars in Sagittarius by hunting young women with a knife or rifle in the wilderness of Alaska. His Mars was squared by Jupiter in Pisces, exacerbating the excess of his martial desires. Saturn in trine to Mars in explosive fire signs, Hansen’s criminal records started with him burning down a school bus garage. In prison, he was diagnosed as bipolar. The depression perhaps owed to Saturn square Moon, and the mania perhaps owed to his Jupiter-Mars square in mutable signs. The psychiatrist who made the diagnoses observed Hansen as being hellbent on “revenge” for those who even slightly wronged him and with an “infantile personality” to boot. Hansen’s Aquarius Sun was involved in a stressful quincunx with Pluto, an aspect that can make one extremely suspectable to obsession, power plays, self-hatred, and crime. The power he felt (or needed to feel) with Pluto was not recognized or accepted by his Sun, his core ego, and thus Hansen may have went above and beyond to try and integrate these stressors more harmoniously, and seemed to have done so using violence. Thus, his infantile, unintegrated Sun shone through in some situations, and his brooding and violent Pluto in others. I also opine that since his Sun (and Mercury) were ruled by a debilitated Saturn in sometimes rash and selfish Aries (trined by a sometimes rash and selfish Mars in Sag), that Hansen had no reliable structure on which on build a more mature persona.
Pisces: Aileen Wuornos, born 2/29/1959. Killed 7. Method: shooting. Wuornos became a prostitute at a fairly young age, having been repeatedly sexually assaulted and then thrown out of her home for getting pregnant. With a Venus in detriment in Aries, prostitution fits, as it is a self-sustaining way to make money and seemingly be in control of your sexual agency. Opposite her Moon in Libra, though, prostitution always came at the expense of Wuornos’s well-being, as we might expect. Her Venus was ruled by an exalted Mars at 0 Capricorn, and not surprisingly, all of her victims were men. Venus in a Mars sign is deeply uncomfortable, and brings about an air of violence and anger to ones love life and sense of femininity. Wuornos was certainly besieged by anger issues, lashing out on men as a way to cope with a tremendous amount of sexual trauma. Wuornos would claim she only killed in self-defense, but this story would wax and wane throughout the years, with Wuornos recanting her testimony and then recommitting to it many times over. Her Libra Moon was tightly conjunct Neptune, so lies, the inability to get her story straight, and general disillusionment were all embedded into her emotional nature. At its extreme, Neptune can create so much delusion as to render one completely psychotic—out of touch with reality, out of touch with human nature. Wuornos scored a 32 out of 40 on a psychopathy checklist, with a score of 25 or above indicating severely aberrative psychopathy. Neptune here also saw Wuornos descend into alcoholism, having been pulled over for DUIs several times, and with several of her brawls taking place inside of bars. Her anger was worsened by Pluto, which was in trine with her Mars. This is a person obsessed (Pluto) with getting their way (Mars), and can truly produce a ceaseless ambition that sometimes manifests horribly. She had a cold (and, admittedly, deeply intelligent) Mercury in Aquarius forming an opposition to her Pluto and Jupiter, creating a conversation and confrontation style that was forceful and debaucherously loud (she was arrested often for disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace.) While working on a documentary of her life, director Nick Bloomfield recalled she would “get into a screaming black temper” yet, when not in an extreme mood, had an “incredible humanity to her.” Such is the Pisces Sun, a benevolence and care always latent, no matter how obfuscated. This Sun was square Saturn, producing a person with insecurity and fears, one that never feels quite good enough. Having the two father figures of the chart in tense aspect is also symbolic of her relationship to her father and grandfather—the former a child rapist who committed suicide in prison, and the latter a caretaker who beat her, sexually assaulted her, and allowed her to be raped by a friend. Wuornos’s Venus and Moon were involved in a T-square with Uranus as the apex. That her anger boiled over into erratic, random and sloppy crimes that only spanned one year (far less than the normal sequence killer) was unfortunate cosmic sentence. In the end, Wuornos did not bemoan her death sentence: “I’m okay, I’m okay. God is going to be there. Jesus Christ is going to be there, all the angels and everything.” She thought the afterlife would be good and like Star Trek, that she’d be beamed up. As haunting as her crimes and life were, her ability to hold on to a sense of hope and transcendence is characteristic of her Piscean nature.
Unrelated, but here is Wuornos’s final interview, a day before she would be killed. In her affect, you can see the blending of all the planetary positions in her chart. And if you scroll down to the comments, many were in awe of her composure (Moon in Libra), intelligence (Mercury in Aquarius) and felt sorry for her. A Pisces martyr or monster? Who’s to say. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFBcjII3QAE
(In the video, she also weirdly predicted the current crisis and growing tension we have with Iran.)
Thanks for reading this. I’m done talking about murderers for now, but do believe that their charts offer striking insight into the accuracy and patterning of Astrology, as heinous things are often easier to isolate and examine than the benign goings-on of normal life.
Be well. And don’t kill people.
submitted by millymichelle to astrology [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 04:24 creatureofreason Third World Countries

being born kenyan, is the only thing, i'll live to regret
and upto date, my biggest mistake, is losing that bet
that i never staked, that is a checkmate, i can never forget
while in context, i'm not saying in jest, fuck this president
the internet is the place, that i have set, my eyes on a corvette
if i was a wizard, with a magical pen, i'd rewind this cassette
and get out, of this shithole country, that's ridden in debt
pre-pandemic unemployment, of the youth, was at 40%
these leaders, are driving the country, with the engine light on check
change the presets, of this country, or hit the reset
higher education, isnt the key, i passed my tests
5 five years on, and i'm still jobless, requirements i have met
so much sweat, and still fucking yet, my survival's under threat
be an entrepreneur, with no capital, how won't i get upset
this is a state, with no safety nets, no unemployment cheques
is there something i don't get, what do you expect, me to do next??
https://www.reddit.com/OCPoetry/comments/ixwmzp/sex/g6a2fwu?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share
https://www.reddit.com/OCPoetry/comments/ixtxo1/destroy_me/g6a2nyj?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share
submitted by creatureofreason to OCPoetry [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 15:39 cdf21882 I Find Things (Part 2)

( Note: This story was originally titled 'I Found a Healthy Respect for the Outdoors')
My name is Jack. I find things. Usually, I find things like keys and other random shit for people, but recently I have branched off into more unusual items. Case in point, when I helped my new GF Kara look for her grandmother’s locket. I found it alright, but I also found the pissed off, child, ghost of her Great-Aunt Patricia too.
Speaking of Kara, what a little vixen. For those of you wondering how things with her are going, they’re great. We’ve been spending lots of time together, and now that her house is free of angry spirits, she has decided that it would make an awesome B&B, and I can’t agree more. Can you believe Great-Aunt Patricia is even on board with the idea?
Let me tell you, that kid, she has really turned over a new leaf. If only someone had given her a shiny, new pretty sooner. Am I right? She and Kara are like two peas in pod now. Kara says she’s like the little sister she never had, which is weird considering she’s her aunt and a ghost, but stranger things, right?
So, enough about all that, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I mentioned at the end of my last post how I had figured out I could use my talent to find more than just everyday items. Followed by a statement about helping anyone find things, just to let me know and all that. Well to be perfectly frank, I kinda made that declaration in jest. I know, assy move. It’s not that I don’t want to help you guys, but after the locket debacle, I really just wanted to stick to finding mundane stuff. I said what I did, just trying to be nice since you put in the time and effort to read my post, but like Jeff Goldblum said, “Life finds a way.” Let’s just say it found a way to bite me in the ass for making false statements, and it used my sweetheart Kara to do it.
Apparently, she’s on reddit too, and she has a huge following. Well, long story short, Kara came across my post, and not only took my words to heart, but thought it was really sweet how I put myself out there like that to help people. Then, supportive gf and all, she went on to share my post with all of her reddit friends and followers, FB friends, and well you can see where this is going.
When Kara told me what she had done, and how proud of me she was, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was only being nice, so I sucked it up, owned my mistake, and here we are; a second post. That’s right, I have more scary shit to tell, and guess what? It’s a camping story.
I will put this out here right now, I am not an outdoors kind of guy. I respect the outdoors, and people that are outdoorsy, but it isn’t for me. As you know, I recently found out that ghosts are real, and if they are real, there is no telling what the hell else is real, especially in the outdoors.
So, a few days ago, Kara caught me in the break-room at work. She was smiling really big and looked kind of excited, so it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She has a great smile by the way. She told me she had some good news. I asked her what it was, and when she told me, let’s just say my warm fuzziness disappeared pretty damn quickly.
She told me she has a friend on reddit named Dale, and he owns a public campground a couple of hours away. Before she could go any farther, I told her no way I don’t do camping or anything else in the out of doors.
“But Babe, I love camping,” she said all doe-eyed. “Besides, Dale needs you to help him find something.” I looked at her with my best “do I have to” face, but her expression told me this was an argument I wasn’t going to win. I let out a big sigh. “Okay, what does he need me to find?” Victorious, she smiled wryly. “He said he would fill us in when we got there this weekend.”
Word of advice for all of you guys out there, stay single, women can be trouble.
I stuck my tongue out her and went back to my desk.
In all honesty though, I wasn’t mad at Kara for pushing me to help Dale. She is one of the best people I know, and as I’ve said before, I would do anything for her. Besides, who could stay mad with that amazing smile of hers, I’m just saying.
Saturday morning, I pulled up in front of Kara’s house. As I got out of the car, I noticed Aunt Patricia looking down at me from one of the second-floor windows. We waved to one another, and I headed up the walk and went inside.
Kara was in the kitchen making coffee, and she was in full blown camping mode. She wore a pair of khaki shorts that were rolled up at the legs, and what I can say was the most disturbingly, appropriate t-shirt I could have imagined for a camping trip; a Camp Crystal Lake counselor shirt.
She greeted me with a kiss. “Morning handsome. You ready for your first camping trip?” she asked.
“Not particularly,” I told her. “Interesting wardrobe choice by the way.” She grinned maliciously. “I thought you would appreciate the humor of my shirt.” I rolled my eyes. “I swear, if your friend mentions anything about looking for missing campers in the deep, dark woods, I’m out.” “Poor guy,” Kara said with a pouty face. “I’ll protect you from the big, bad monsters in the woods.” She busted out laughing. I just stood there mentally updating the list of deal breakers for my next girlfriend.
Before long, we had the car loaded and were on our way to Dale’s campground. It was our first extended car ride, and it was a blast. We spent a while playing Guess That Tune. For anyone that has seen Twilight Zone: The Movie, just know, our game at least, didn’t end with a horrible death, just Kara winning nearly every round. Besides playing car games, we found we both have a passion for car karaoke, and just so you know, I’m the better singer.
Around noon, we arrived at our destination. I took one look at the sign and shook my head; it read Crazy Acres Camping. Kara, on the other hand, was amused and said she thought it was a cute name. The thing ladies think are cute, I swear.
We drove down a winding, tree-lined road and parked in front of a rustic looking building. The sign hanging above the door read Camp Office. Kara and I were just getting out of the car, when a man rode up on a four-wheeler.
He was in his early to mid-fifties, and he wore the quintessential camp uniform: boonie hat, khaki shorts, and olive drab polo with the camp name on the pocket. “If this wasn’t Dale,” I thought. “I would eat tree bark.” The man dismounted and held out his hand. “Afternoon folks. Thanks for coming. I’m Dale.”
Nailed it.
We both shook hands with him, and then he showed us into the office. The inside was just as rustic as the outside, and the walls were adorned with all sorts of woodsy items, the grandest of all being a massive moose head mounted above the desk.
Being a reddit friend, Kara and Dale only had a passing acquaintance, so we spent the first little while making general chitchat. Dale was obviously a nice guy, and he exuded a sort of crazy uncle vibe. Who doesn’t love a crazy uncle?
The property had been in Dale’s family for a long time, but it wasn’t until he took it over, that it became a public campground.
“I grew up loving the woods, and loving camping,” he told us. “It was only natural for me to share that love with as many people as I could.” Kara said she understood completely, but I didn’t get it at all. I guess I was just too fond of AC and indoor plumbing. There was a little small talk, then we got down to brass tacks.
Over the last couple of months, Dale had received numerous reports from campers who had things come up missing from campsites in a certain area of the grounds. It started out as food, which wasn’t too out of the ordinary due to the amount of wildlife in the surrounding woods. “Raccoons can be some damn crafty SOBs,” Dale told us. Then things escalated. Entire coolers filled with food, drinks, etc. started disappearing, and after that, everything from hammocks, sleeping bags, water containers, and even tents themselves joined the growing list of missing things.
“Beat any damned thing I ever saw,” Dale finished, leaning back in his chair. “But that’s still not the worst of it. There used to be rumors of a hermit living in the deep woods around here. Well about a week ago, I made the mistake of mentioning this to my assistant manager, Rick, and being the great woodsman, he sees himself as, the damned fool decided he would go looking for the ole bastard. Ricks an okay guy, but he’s young and full of himself, and he knows about as much about surviving in the woods, as I do about being a brain surgeon.” “Did he find anything?” Kara asked Dale. The man took off his hat and rubbed the top of his head. “Well let’s just say Rick’s been added to that list of things that have gone missing around here,” he said wringing his hat in his hands. “And if I don’t find him, who knows what will happen to this place.
Kara and I looked at each other. I was getting a sinking suspicion that I knew what it was I was here to find.
“What exactly is it you want me to find Dale?” I asked him hesitantly.
He laid his hat on the desk. “If you can, I would like for you to find my missing employee, and maybe while you’re at it, find where all the missing stuff is going.” I looked at the man then looked at Kara. Her eyes told me she understood exactly what I was thinking. This was far beyond anything I had ever done with my talent, and I had to be honest with Dale.
“Look Dale, I want to help you, but I don’t think you really understand what it is I do,” I told him. “I find lost wallets, misplaced jewelry, or other random items for people, and the only time I have ever looked for anything outside, was when my cousin lost his wedding ring in the back yard while he was ogling the neighbor’s wife while she was sunbathing, which is a whole story in and of itself by the way. The point is, I think this is a job for law enforcement, not an office worker with a talent that is probably more luck than anything.”
The poor man still just sat there looking at me with his hopeless expression. “That’s the thing Jack, the cops are just as baffled as I am, and some of them are better in the woods than me. I’m at the end of my rope here, and if you say your talent is just luck, well I can use a little bit of that right now.”
I didn’t really know what else to say. I felt for the guy. I really did, but I wasn’t sure if I could help him, and God only knows I wanted to. In the end, it came down to two things. One, there was a person lost in the woods, or worse dead. Not only did Dale need to know where Rick was and if he was ok, but the same went for Rick’s family. The second this was I didn’t want to disappoint Kara. She had thought enough of me and my talent, to shout it to the extremes of the internet, and I had step up for her.
“Alright Dale, I’ll give it a shot, but I can’t promise you anything,” I told him. He considered this for a moment. “Fair enough,” he said finally. “I can live with that.”
He pulled out a map of the grounds and showed us where everything had been happening. The vastness of the area only added to my despair, but I pushed the thought out of my mind. After we finished studying the map, Dale mentioned that it would probably be a good idea for us to setup camp in the affected area, so that maybe the thief would make an appearance, being that we would be the only campers in the vicinity.
With a game plan made, Kara and I headed back to the car, and drove to the site Dale had picked out for us. “I’m sorry I got you into this,” she told me. “If I had known what this was all about, I would never have let it get this far.” I smiled at her. “Don’t worry about it, Kara,” I said to her squeezing her hand. “There’s nothing for you to be sorry about. Besides, it’s not that I don’t mind helping Dale, I am just unsure of my ability to do it.” “I believe in you Jack,” she reassured me. “I know you’ll do your best.”
We arrived at the campsite a few minutes later, and I was surprised to see something at least was in my favor. Instead of a tent, Dale had set us up with a small cabin. We parked the car, and got out to inspect our accommodations for the night.
The structure wasn’t much bigger than a large tent, but it was hardened on three sides, with the fourth side being mostly screen. Inside were two cots and hanging from the ceiling, was a gas lantern. “This doesn’t look so bad,” I said looking around the cabin. Kara grinned, “I’ll remember that statement when you need to use the bathroom tonight and have to walk out into the woods.” I looked at her with disdain while she laughed like a mad woman.
We finished unpacking the car and setup a late picnic lunch. Once we were done eating, we began searching the woods in the immediate vicinity of camp.
I tried to be thorough, but there was just too much area, and everything looked the same. After a couple of hours, I was beginning to feel like all I was doing was wasting time. I sat down on a fallen long.
“This is no use,” I told Kara exasperated. She sat down next to me. “You can do this Babe,” she said putting her arm around me. “Trust me and believe in yourself. I believe in you.” She leaned in to kiss me, and as I leaned in to meet her, I saw it.
It was a faint trail beaten into the forest floor. “I think I have something,” I said excited. “Look.
I pointed to the trail. “Jack you did it,” she said kissing me. I have said before that I feel like my talent is more luck than anything, this was why. I would have never seen the trail if I hadn’t sat down on the log.
We inspected the trail for a few minutes. In one direction, it led back towards camp, and we were both fairly confident that this was the trail the thief had been using to get to the campground.
We followed the trail deeper into the woods. After another little while, we came to a massive cliff face.
“Looks like the end of the road,” Kara said looking up at the top of the cliff. It went off in both directions for as far as we could see, and rose above of us at least sixty feet straight up. There didn’t look to be many handholds, so climbing it was out of the question. “Let’s look around,” I said. “Maybe we’ll get lucky again.”
We started down one direction, finding nothing but sheer rock on one side, and forest on the other. After a while, we went back the other direction and it wasn’t much better. My lifted spirits from my discovery of the trail, were starting to crash and burn.
I picked up a stone. “Damnit,” I yelled as I hurled it at the rocky face of the cliff. It hit with a loud report. “Is someone out there?” a faint voice called.
Kara and I looked at each other with wide eyes. “Did you hear that?” we both asked in unison. “Hello out there,” came the voice again. “I need help.” The voice was coming from a little further up the way. “Hold tight,” I called back. “We’re coming.”
We followed the sound of the voice, and after a couple of minutes, we arrived at a large group of boulders, bunched at the foot of the cliff. “Hello, we’re here,” Kara called out. “Where are you?” “In the cave,” the voice replied. “You have to climb up and over the boulders. The entrance is behind them.”
“Maybe you should wait right here,” I told Kara. “That way, if someone really does live here, you can keep a lookout for them.” She shook her head. “What if you need me?” she asked. “I’ll call you, but until then, stay here and keep watch. I would hate to be blindsided by some creepy ass mountain man.” She sighed, disappointed. “Alright, but be careful.” I kissed her, then climbed up the boulders.
Once on top, I saw that there was a hollow space behind the rocks along with the entrance to the cave. It was almost like someone placed the boulders there to purposely hide the cave from passers-by. I climbed back down and approached the entrance. It was dark as shit in there, and I hadn’t even thought to bring a flashlight. The light on my crappy iPhone would just have to do. I turned it on and entered the darkness.
I walked for about a minute when I started to come across empty food wrappers, then as I entered a large chamber, I found the rest of the missing hoard of camping items. “Holy shit!” I exclaimed looking at it all. Dale sure wasn’t kidding when he said a lot of stuff had went missing. “Hey over there,” the voice said. “Get me out of here.”
I walked to where the voice was. There was another chamber, but the entrance was blocked off by a large rock. “Please tell me you’re Rick?” I said to the man behind the rock. “Yeah,” he said. “It’s me. You search and rescue?” I grinned. “Something like that. How in the hell did you get in there?” “Damned bitch grabbed me while I was in the woods, then trapped me in here. Look man, if I were you, I would make this quick. If she comes back and finds you here, there’s no telling what she’ll do.”
I used the phone’s light to survey the rock. While I did this, I wondered who the “she” was that had brought Rick here. “I might be able to tip this rock over, but I am going to need help,” I told him. “Hold on.”
I dialed Kara. Considering I was in a cave, the call surprisingly connected. I told her the situation, and she said she was on her way. In the meantime, I would try to get some more answers from Rick.
“So, you’re telling me some lady abducted you and trapped you in this cave? You sound like a pretty big guy based on Dale’s description of you. She must have been some woman.” Rick chuckled. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. How much longer till your friend gets here. I really would like to be gone before she comes back.” “She should be here soon,” I told him.
Shortly, I heard footsteps coming from the entrance of the cave. “I’d say you found the missing stuff.” Kara’s voice said from behind us. Look at all this shit. Is that Rick?” “Yes it’s me,” the voice on the other side of the rock said impatiently. “Now can we move this thing? I’m telling you guys, we do not want to be here when she comes back.” Kara looked at me with one eyebrow raised. “She? Who is she?” I shrugged. “That’s what I’ve been trying to find out.” “Guys please. Can we do this already?” “Right,” I said. “We need some rope or something to put around the top of the rock.” “I got you,” Kara said.
In a moment she returned with a length of tie down strap. I positioned it around the top of the rock and Kara and I pulled both ends tight. “Okay, we’ll pull, and you push Rick,” I called. “Hopefully this works. On the count of three, one, two, three.” We pulled hard. At first there didn’t seem to be any movement, but then it started to tip. “It’s going,” Rick shouted. “Hope you guys are out of the way.” We let go of the strap and moved out of the way of the falling rock.
Rick’s large frame crawled out of the opening and joined us. In the light from the phones, I could see his clothes were fairly ragged, and he looked like he’d had his ass kicked. “A woman did that to you?” Kara asked him. “Later,” Rick told her. “Let’s go ASAP.”
We turned to leave the cave, but were stopped dead in our tracks. Rick’s mystery “she” stood there blocking our way.
Rick had said I wouldn’t believe him about his captor, and as I stood there looking at the huge, hair covered, seven foot tall figure, I wasn’t sure to feel disbelief, or just be plain scared shitless. “Are you fucking kidding me?” Kara said from beside me. “It’s an effin sasquatch.” It was an effin sasquatch, and she looked pissed off. “Oh shit,” Rick said. The creature roared with rage. Yep, she was definitely pissed.
I didn’t have a clue what to do here. I had just barely found out ghosts were real, and at least there was a way to reason with a ghost, but there didn’t appear to be any reasoning with this thing. She just stood there roaring. “Rick, you’ve spent some time with her, what do we do?” Kara asked him. Rick scoffed. “Look at me. Does it look like we had afternoon tea and shit?” Rick was right. He looked more like he’d been worked over by madam big-foot.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, the thought of a big burly guy like Rick getting man handled by a female sasquatch, was kinda funny. She probably just wanted some loving, and he was the closest thing she could find to mister big-foot, but before I could ponder on the image any further, the lady of the hour picked up a cooler and hurled it at us. The three of us scrambled out of the way of it, and beer, lunch meat, pickles, etc. went everywhere.
“She’s acting like a crazy ex-girlfriend,” Kara yelled. “What’s her problem?” I looked in Kara’s direction. I have always heard women see things that men don’t sometimes, and what she had just said, made me return to my previous thought. I had thought it a funny joke that Rick had been the victim of a lonely, amorous lady-squatch, but what if that was exactly the case?
“Rick,” I yelled at him. “Was she violent with you from the beginning?” He didn’t answer at first. “You know,” he said. “She started off nice, hugging on me and rubbing me like I was a damned dog or something, but it was when I tried to leave, that she got mad and locked me up. I figured she was trying to keep me as a pet.” I shook my head. Dale was right about Rick. He didn’t know crap about the outdoors, but apparently he didn’t know crap about women either. “She wasn’t trying to make you her pet you nimrod,” I yelled at him. “She was trying to mate with you.”
It must have taken a moment for this to sink in for Rick, because it was a good bit before he responded. “You mean she wanted to screw me?” he asked shocked. “That’s exactly what he’s saying,” Kara told him. “And apparently she didn’t take rejection very well.” “That’s the understatement of the year,” he said.
I couldn’t believe we were having this conversation right now. A pissed off ape lady was about to rip us all to pieces, and we were discussing domestic issues, but something was coming to me. “I think I have a plan,” I said. “Rick, since she sees you as her boy toy, we’ll try and get her attention long enough for you to get by her. Then once you do it, get her attention and see if she will follow you out. After that, we’ll leave. Once everyone’s out of the cave, maybe we can all make a run for it.”
“I don’t know if I like that idea,” he said. “She’s pretty quick.” “Well hopefully your desire to not play sugar daddy for a sexually frustrated big-foot for the rest of your life, will cause you to be quicker,” I told him. “It’s all I got so take it or leave it.” Rick thought on it. “Fine,” he said finally. “Let’s do it.”
I found Kara’s hand, and squeezed it. “Ready?” I asked her. She laughed nervously. “Not really,” she said. “But what can you do?”
Together we approached the creature, yelling and screaming at her. I hoped the creature wouldn’t kill us, but luck was on our side. She turned her full attention on us and moved to meet our approach. As planned, this opened up things up for Rick to be able to get around her, but that’s where the plan went to shit.
Instead of getting around the creature and gaining her attention so that he could lead the sasquatch away from us, Rick just bolted. The big-foot took one passing glance at him, and returned her focus on us, me in particular. “What the hell?” I asked Kara. “Why isn’t she following him?” “I think we screwed up,” she replied. “She saw Rick run away like a coward, and because you showed aggression to her, she’s decided you’re the better mate.”
I just stared at her, jaw on the floor. “What can I say?” she said to me. “She has good taste.” I personally didn’t see any humor in the situation, but we had to get away, and I think I knew what to do. “Kara, you said she was acting like a crazy ex, well let’s play that up. I’ll give her what she wants, and then you play crazy new girlfriend and confront her.” She looked at me skeptically. “How is that supposed to work?” she asked. “She could use me as a toothpick. How am I going to intimidate her?” I smiled at her. “You’ve been possessed by an angry ghost, and let me tell you, if you had any cognizance during that, you know how to be intimidating.” Kara rolled her eyes. “I’m not too sure about this, but I’ll try.” I smiled at her. “You can do it, besides the worst case scenario is I live in a cave for the rest of my life and learn to braid sasquatch hair.” Kara was still not amused. “Well here goes,” I said.
I approached the creature. “Hey sweetheart, I’m Jack. Aren’t you a gorgeous lady?” The big-foot looked at me confused, then she looked back at Kara and uttered a warning grunt. I motioned for Kara to stay back. “Don’t worry about her darling, you’re the one I want.” I was now standing within arm’s reach of the sasquatch. She looked at me, still unsure. “Come on, it’s okay. I just want to give you a big ole hug.” I reached out and put my arms around her. She stiffened at first, but then she relaxed and put her arms around me. She started making a cooing sound as she stroked my back. I patted her back in return. “You’re so sweet,” I told her with my best lovey voice.
For all of you that have seen Harry and the Hendersons, this must sound funny as hell, but it was freaking terrifying. One wrong move, and this furry lady could squash me like a bad zit, but I kept up the act. I should have gotten an Oscar for my performance. I had her eating out of my hand. Now it was time for Kara to join the show. I gave her a thumbs up.
“Get your hands off of him you hairy BITCH,” she yelled from behind me. The lady-squatch raised her head in Kara’s direction, making a confused sound. “You heard me,” she yelled at us. “He’s mine.”
Something whizzed over my head, hit the creature between the eyes, and fell to the floor. It was an unopened beer. The creature touched its head, looked down at the can, then looked back at Kara. She roared as she threw me aside, then stormed off towards my girlfriend. I looked at Kara. I could see the terror in her eyes, but there was also determination. She threw another beer at the sasquatch. It hit her in the chest and fell to the floor, exploding from impact with the ground. The sudden bursting of the beer surprised the creature and she stumbled backwards, falling over the scattered camping gear. I used the opportunity to grab Kara and we started for the cave exit.
The big-foot roared with fury, got to its feet, and began to come after us. As hard as she could, Kara threw her last beer at the creature’s feet. Its explosion drove the sasquatch back once again as we made the exit. Without even skipping a beat, we scaled the boulders and jumped off the other side.
We continued running in the direction of the campground, but I took a moment to look back. I know, this goes against everything they teach you in horror movies, but I had to.
She stood on top of the rocks watching our escape, and I swear she had a look of sorrow on her face. I have to admit, I felt bad for her. She was just a lonely creature who wanted a companion. I felt the same way before I started dating Kara, although I would have never abducted someone, but hey I’m not a sasquatch either.
Needless to say, she didn’t follow, and when we eventually got back to the campground, Dale and Rick were waiting on us.
“Glad to see you guys got out,” Rick said to us grinning. “No thanks to you,” Kara told him. She looked at Dale. “Your assistant here took the first chance he got, to escape, rather than help us all get away. We could’ve been killed by her.” Dale turned to Rick. “What’s she talking about?” he asked him. Rick shook his head. “They’re just mad I made it out before they did.” I couldn’t believe this guy. “No, we’re mad because we saved your ass from being a lifetime concubine to a horny ape woman, then left us there to deal with her once you had your chance to bolt.”
Rick scoffed. “Whatever,” he said. “You weren’t the ones that spent days trapped in a cave by a damned monster. What did you expect me to do?”
“That’s enough,” Dale said before I or Kara could say anything in response. “Rick, get your shit together and leave my property. These good folks put their lives on the line to help me, not to mention save your ass, and you didn’t even have the decency to stick by them when they needed you. I want you gone now.” Rick threw his hands up. “Fine, I didn’t need this job anyway,” he said.
We watched as he walked to his truck and sped off, slinging gravel. After a minute, we went with Dale back to his office and told him the whole story. “I just can’t believe it,” he said. “My daddy always said they were real, but we all just thought he was about halfway crazy. Question is, what am I going to do about her?” I looked at Kara, who shrugged. She wouldn’t be any help with this, so I stepped out on a limb.
“I don’t think she wants to hurt anyone,” I said. “She’s just lonely. Maybe you should make friends with her.” They both looked at me like I was crazy, but I pushed on. “For whatever reason, she’s alone in this area, and being alone sucks for anyone, man or sasquatch. I think she started taking things out of hunger at first, then out of curiosity. As far as Rick goes, he’s a big hairy guy, she just mistook him for one of her own kind. So take her a gift once in a while and make friends with her. Eventually, maybe she can become a valuable asset to your campground.” Dale thought it over for a moment. “Well I guess it’s worth a shot,” he said. “Anything is better than having to close this place down.”
With things settled, Kara and I left the office to go back to our campsite. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the great outdoors, and that night we did a fair amount of star gazing. Other than our brush with the lady-squatch, I could see what Kara loved so much about camping. There’s a lot of beauty out there.
On the ride home the next morning, we played more car games, sang, and laughed about our time with the hairy woman of Crazy Acres Camping. Kara said she was looking forward to the next camping trip, and that with my talent, there was no telling what we would find next time. I laughed and told her I planned to stick to finding the easy stuff from here on out, but as I have said in the past, I think my days of finding the easy things, are over.
My name is Jack, and I find things. Key’s, jewelry, the occasional ghost, even a sasquatch, I find it all, but this time I found out I kinda like camping. Yeah I know, who would have thought.
submitted by cdf21882 to realhorrifying [link] [comments]


2020.09.08 23:09 cdf21882 I Found a Healthy Respect for the Outdoors.

My name is Jack. I find things. Usually, I find things like keys and other random shit for people, but recently I have branched off into more unusual items. Case in point, when I helped my new GF Kara look for her grandmother’s locket. I found it alright, but I also found the pissed off, child, ghost of her Great-Aunt Patricia too.
Speaking of Kara, what a little vixen. For those of you wondering how things with her are going, they’re great. We’ve been spending lots of time together, and now that her house is free of angry spirits, she has decided that it would make an awesome B&B, and I can’t agree more. Can you believe Great-Aunt Patricia is even on board with the idea?
Let me tell you, that kid, she has really turned over a new leaf. If only someone had given her a shiny, new pretty sooner. Am I right? She and Kara are like two peas in pod now. Kara says she’s like the little sister she never had, which is weird considering she’s her aunt and a ghost, but stranger things, right?
So, enough about all that, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I mentioned at the end of my last post how I had figured out I could use my talent to find more than just everyday items. Followed by a statement about helping anyone find things, just to let me know and all that. Well to be perfectly frank, I kinda made that declaration in jest. I know, assy move. It’s not that I don’t want to help you guys, but after the locket debacle, I really just wanted to stick to finding mundane stuff. I said what I did, just trying to be nice since you put in the time and effort to read my post, but like Jeff Goldblum said, “Life finds a way.” Let’s just say it found a way to bite me in the ass for making false statements, and it used my sweetheart Kara to do it.
Apparently, she’s on reddit too, and she has a huge following. Well, long story short, Kara came across my post, and not only took my words to heart, but thought it was really sweet how I put myself out there like that to help people. Then, supportive gf and all, she went on to share my post with all of her reddit friends and followers, FB friends, and well you can see where this is going.
When Kara told me what she had done, and how proud of me she was, I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was only being nice, so I sucked it up, owned my mistake, and here we are; a second post. That’s right, I have more scary shit to tell, and guess what? It’s a camping story.
I will put this out here right now, I am not an outdoors kind of guy. I respect the outdoors, and people that are outdoorsy, but it isn’t for me. As you know, I recently found out that ghosts are real, and if they are real, there is no telling what the hell else is real, especially in the outdoors.
So, a few days ago, Kara caught me in the break-room at work. She was smiling really big and looked kind of excited, so it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She has a great smile by the way. She told me she had some good news. I asked her what it was, and when she told me, let’s just say my warm fuzziness disappeared pretty damn quickly.
She told me she has a friend on reddit named Dale, and he owns a public campground a couple of hours away. Before she could go any farther, I told her no way I don’t do camping or anything else in the out of doors.
“But Babe, I love camping,” she said all doe-eyed. “Besides, Dale needs you to help him find something.” I looked at her with my best “do I have to” face, but her expression told me this was an argument I wasn’t going to win. I let out a big sigh. “Okay, what does he need me to find?” Victorious, she smiled wryly. “He said he would fill us in when we got there this weekend.”
Word of advice for all of you guys out there, stay single, women can be trouble.
I stuck my tongue out her and went back to my desk.
In all honesty though, I wasn’t mad at Kara for pushing me to help Dale. She is one of the best people I know, and as I’ve said before, I would do anything for her. Besides, who could stay mad with that amazing smile of hers, I’m just saying.
Saturday morning, I pulled up in front of Kara’s house. As I got out of the car, I noticed Aunt Patricia looking down at me from one of the second-floor windows. We waved to one another, and I headed up the walk and went inside.
Kara was in the kitchen making coffee, and she was in full blown camping mode. She wore a pair of khaki shorts that were rolled up at the legs, and what I can say was the most disturbingly, appropriate t-shirt I could have imagined for a camping trip; a Camp Crystal Lake counselor shirt.
She greeted me with a kiss. “Morning handsome. You ready for your first camping trip?” she asked.
“Not particularly,” I told her. “Interesting wardrobe choice by the way.” She grinned maliciously. “I thought you would appreciate the humor of my shirt.” I rolled my eyes. “I swear, if your friend mentions anything about looking for missing campers in the deep, dark woods, I’m out.” “Poor guy,” Kara said with a pouty face. “I’ll protect you from the big, bad monsters in the woods.” She busted out laughing. I just stood there mentally updating the list of deal breakers for my next girlfriend.
Before long, we had the car loaded and were on our way to Dale’s campground. It was our first extended car ride, and it was a blast. We spent a while playing Guess That Tune. For anyone that has seen Twilight Zone: The Movie, just know, our game at least, didn’t end with a horrible death, just Kara winning nearly every round. Besides playing car games, we found we both have a passion for car karaoke, and just so you know, I’m the better singer.
Around noon, we arrived at our destination. I took one look at the sign and shook my head; it read Crazy Acres Camping. Kara, on the other hand, was amused and said she thought it was a cute name. The thing ladies think are cute, I swear.
We drove down a winding, tree-lined road and parked in front of a rustic looking building. The sign hanging above the door read Camp Office. Kara and I were just getting out of the car, when a man rode up on a four-wheeler.
He was in his early to mid-fifties, and he wore the quintessential camp uniform: boonie hat, khaki shorts, and olive drab polo with the camp name on the pocket. “If this wasn’t Dale,” I thought. “I would eat tree bark.” The man dismounted and held out his hand. “Afternoon folks. Thanks for coming. I’m Dale.”
Nailed it.
We both shook hands with him, and then he showed us into the office. The inside was just as rustic as the outside, and the walls were adorned with all sorts of woodsy items, the grandest of all being a massive moose head mounted above the desk.
Being a reddit friend, Kara and Dale only had a passing acquaintance, so we spent the first little while making general chitchat. Dale was obviously a nice guy, and he exuded a sort of crazy uncle vibe. Who doesn’t love a crazy uncle?
The property had been in Dale’s family for a long time, but it wasn’t until he took it over, that it became a public campground.
“I grew up loving the woods, and loving camping,” he told us. “It was only natural for me to share that love with as many people as I could.” Kara said she understood completely, but I didn’t get it at all. I guess I was just too fond of AC and indoor plumbing. There was a little small talk, then we got down to brass tacks.
Over the last couple of months, Dale had received numerous reports from campers who had things come up missing from campsites in a certain area of the grounds. It started out as food, which wasn’t too out of the ordinary due to the amount of wildlife in the surrounding woods. “Raccoons can be some damn crafty SOBs,” Dale told us. Then things escalated. Entire coolers filled with food, drinks, etc. started disappearing, and after that, everything from hammocks, sleeping bags, water containers, and even tents themselves joined the growing list of missing things.
“Beat any damned thing I ever saw,” Dale finished, leaning back in his chair. “But that’s still not the worst of it. There used to be rumors of a hermit living in the deep woods around here. Well about a week ago, I made the mistake of mentioning this to my assistant manager, Rick, and being the great woodsman, he sees himself as, the damned fool decided he would go looking for the ole bastard. Ricks an okay guy, but he’s young and full of himself, and he knows about as much about surviving in the woods, as I do about being a brain surgeon.” “Did he find anything?” Kara asked Dale. The man took off his hat and rubbed the top of his head. “Well let’s just say Rick’s been added to that list of things that have gone missing around here,” he said wringing his hat in his hands. “And if I don’t find him, who knows what will happen to this place.
Kara and I looked at each other. I was getting a sinking suspicion that I knew what it was I was here to find.
“What exactly is it you want me to find Dale?” I asked him hesitantly.
He laid his hat on the desk. “If you can, I would like for you to find my missing employee, and maybe while you’re at it, find where all the missing stuff is going.” I looked at the man then looked at Kara. Her eyes told me she understood exactly what I was thinking. This was far beyond anything I had ever done with my talent, and I had to be honest with Dale.
“Look Dale, I want to help you, but I don’t think you really understand what it is I do,” I told him. “I find lost wallets, misplaced jewelry, or other random items for people, and the only time I have ever looked for anything outside, was when my cousin lost his wedding ring in the back yard while he was ogling the neighbor’s wife while she was sunbathing, which is a whole story in and of itself by the way. The point is, I think this is a job for law enforcement, not an office worker with a talent that is probably more luck than anything.”
The poor man still just sat there looking at me with his hopeless expression. “That’s the thing Jack, the cops are just as baffled as I am, and some of them are better in the woods than me. I’m at the end of my rope here, and if you say your talent is just luck, well I can use a little bit of that right now.”
I didn’t really know what else to say. I felt for the guy. I really did, but I wasn’t sure if I could help him, and God only knows I wanted to. In the end, it came down to two things. One, there was a person lost in the woods, or worse dead. Not only did Dale need to know where Rick was and if he was ok, but the same went for Rick’s family. The second this was I didn’t want to disappoint Kara. She had thought enough of me and my talent, to shout it to the extremes of the internet, and I had step up for her.
“Alright Dale, I’ll give it a shot, but I can’t promise you anything,” I told him. He considered this for a moment. “Fair enough,” he said finally. “I can live with that.”
He pulled out a map of the grounds and showed us where everything had been happening. The vastness of the area only added to my despair, but I pushed the thought out of my mind. After we finished studying the map, Dale mentioned that it would probably be a good idea for us to setup camp in the affected area, so that maybe the thief would make an appearance, being that we would be the only campers in the vicinity.
With a game plan made, Kara and I headed back to the car, and drove to the site Dale had picked out for us. “I’m sorry I got you into this,” she told me. “If I had known what this was all about, I would never have let it get this far.” I smiled at her. “Don’t worry about it, Kara,” I said to her squeezing her hand. “There’s nothing for you to be sorry about. Besides, it’s not that I don’t mind helping Dale, I am just unsure of my ability to do it.” “I believe in you Jack,” she reassured me. “I know you’ll do your best.”
We arrived at the campsite a few minutes later, and I was surprised to see something at least was in my favor. Instead of a tent, Dale had set us up with a small cabin. We parked the car, and got out to inspect our accommodations for the night.
The structure wasn’t much bigger than a large tent, but it was hardened on three sides, with the fourth side being mostly screen. Inside were two cots and hanging from the ceiling, was a gas lantern. “This doesn’t look so bad,” I said looking around the cabin. Kara grinned, “I’ll remember that statement when you need to use the bathroom tonight and have to walk out into the woods.” I looked at her with disdain while she laughed like a mad woman.
We finished unpacking the car and setup a late picnic lunch. Once we were done eating, we began searching the woods in the immediate vicinity of camp.
I tried to be thorough, but there was just too much area, and everything looked the same. After a couple of hours, I was beginning to feel like all I was doing was wasting time. I sat down on a fallen long.
“This is no use,” I told Kara exasperated. She sat down next to me. “You can do this Babe,” she said putting her arm around me. “Trust me and believe in yourself. I believe in you.” She leaned in to kiss me, and as I leaned in to meet her, I saw it.
It was a faint trail beaten into the forest floor. “I think I have something,” I said excited. “Look.
I pointed to the trail. “Jack you did it,” she said kissing me. I have said before that I feel like my talent is more luck than anything, this was why. I would have never seen the trail if I hadn’t sat down on the log.
We inspected the trail for a few minutes. In one direction, it led back towards camp, and we were both fairly confident that this was the trail the thief had been using to get to the campground.
We followed the trail deeper into the woods. After another little while, we came to a massive cliff face.
“Looks like the end of the road,” Kara said looking up at the top of the cliff. It went off in both directions for as far as we could see, and rose above of us at least sixty feet straight up. There didn’t look to be many handholds, so climbing it was out of the question. “Let’s look around,” I said. “Maybe we’ll get lucky again.”
We started down one direction, finding nothing but sheer rock on one side, and forest on the other. After a while, we went back the other direction and it wasn’t much better. My lifted spirits from my discovery of the trail, were starting to crash and burn.
I picked up a stone. “Damnit,” I yelled as I hurled it at the rocky face of the cliff. It hit with a loud report. “Is someone out there?” a faint voice called.
Kara and I looked at each other with wide eyes. “Did you hear that?” we both asked in unison. “Hello out there,” came the voice again. “I need help.” The voice was coming from a little further up the way. “Hold tight,” I called back. “We’re coming.”
We followed the sound of the voice, and after a couple of minutes, we arrived at a large group of boulders, bunched at the foot of the cliff. “Hello, we’re here,” Kara called out. “Where are you?” “In the cave,” the voice replied. “You have to climb up and over the boulders. The entrance is behind them.”
“Maybe you should wait right here,” I told Kara. “That way, if someone really does live here, you can keep a lookout for them.” She shook her head. “What if you need me?” she asked. “I’ll call you, but until then, stay here and keep watch. I would hate to be blindsided by some creepy ass mountain man.” She sighed, disappointed. “Alright, but be careful.” I kissed her, then climbed up the boulders.
Once on top, I saw that there was a hollow space behind the rocks along with the entrance to the cave. It was almost like someone placed the boulders there to purposely hide the cave from passers-by. I climbed back down and approached the entrance. It was dark as shit in there, and I hadn’t even thought to bring a flashlight. The light on my crappy iPhone would just have to do. I turned it on and entered the darkness.
I walked for about a minute when I started to come across empty food wrappers, then as I entered a large chamber, I found the rest of the missing hoard of camping items. “Holy shit!” I exclaimed looking at it all. Dale sure wasn’t kidding when he said a lot of stuff had went missing. “Hey over there,” the voice said. “Get me out of here.”
I walked to where the voice was. There was another chamber, but the entrance was blocked off by a large rock. “Please tell me you’re Rick?” I said to the man behind the rock. “Yeah,” he said. “It’s me. You search and rescue?” I grinned. “Something like that. How in the hell did you get in there?” “Damned bitch grabbed me while I was in the woods, then trapped me in here. Look man, if I were you, I would make this quick. If she comes back and finds you here, there’s no telling what she’ll do.”
I used the phone’s light to survey the rock. While I did this, I wondered who the “she” was that had brought Rick here. “I might be able to tip this rock over, but I am going to need help,” I told him. “Hold on.”
I dialed Kara. Considering I was in a cave, the call surprisingly connected. I told her the situation, and she said she was on her way. In the meantime, I would try to get some more answers from Rick.
“So, you’re telling me some lady abducted you and trapped you in this cave? You sound like a pretty big guy based on Dale’s description of you. She must have been some woman.” Rick chuckled. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. How much longer till your friend gets here. I really would like to be gone before she comes back.” “She should be here soon,” I told him.
Shortly, I heard footsteps coming from the entrance of the cave. “I’d say you found the missing stuff.” Kara’s voice said from behind us. Look at all this shit. Is that Rick?” “Yes it’s me,” the voice on the other side of the rock said impatiently. “Now can we move this thing? I’m telling you guys, we do not want to be here when she comes back.” Kara looked at me with one eyebrow raised. “She? Who is she?” I shrugged. “That’s what I’ve been trying to find out.” “Guys please. Can we do this already?” “Right,” I said. “We need some rope or something to put around the top of the rock.” “I got you,” Kara said.
In a moment she returned with a length of tie down strap. I positioned it around the top of the rock and Kara and I pulled both ends tight. “Okay, we’ll pull, and you push Rick,” I called. “Hopefully this works. On the count of three, one, two, three.” We pulled hard. At first there didn’t seem to be any movement, but then it started to tip. “It’s going,” Rick shouted. “Hope you guys are out of the way.” We let go of the strap and moved out of the way of the falling rock.
Rick’s large frame crawled out of the opening and joined us. In the light from the phones, I could see his clothes were fairly ragged, and he looked like he’d had his ass kicked. “A woman did that to you?” Kara asked him. “Later,” Rick told her. “Let’s go ASAP.”
We turned to leave the cave, but were stopped dead in our tracks. Rick’s mystery “she” stood there blocking our way.
Rick had said I wouldn’t believe him about his captor, and as I stood there looking at the huge, hair covered, seven foot tall figure, I wasn’t sure to feel disbelief, or just be plain scared shitless. “Are you fucking kidding me?” Kara said from beside me. “It’s an effin sasquatch.” It was an effin sasquatch, and she looked pissed off. “Oh shit,” Rick said. The creature roared with rage. Yep, she was definitely pissed.
I didn’t have a clue what to do here. I had just barely found out ghosts were real, and at least there was a way to reason with a ghost, but there didn’t appear to be any reasoning with this thing. She just stood there roaring. “Rick, you’ve spent some time with her, what do we do?” Kara asked him. Rick scoffed. “Look at me. Does it look like we had afternoon tea and shit?” Rick was right. He looked more like he’d been worked over by madam big-foot.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, the thought of a big burly guy like Rick getting man handled by a female sasquatch, was kinda funny. She probably just wanted some loving, and he was the closest thing she could find to mister big-foot, but before I could ponder on the image any further, the lady of the hour picked up a cooler and hurled it at us. The three of us scrambled out of the way of it, and beer, lunch meat, pickles, etc. went everywhere.
“She’s acting like a crazy ex-girlfriend,” Kara yelled. “What’s her problem?” I looked in Kara’s direction. I have always heard women see things that men don’t sometimes, and what she had just said, made me return to my previous thought. I had thought it a funny joke that Rick had been the victim of a lonely, amorous lady-squatch, but what if that was exactly the case?
“Rick,” I yelled at him. “Was she violent with you from the beginning?” He didn’t answer at first. “You know,” he said. “She started off nice, hugging on me and rubbing me like I was a damned dog or something, but it was when I tried to leave, that she got mad and locked me up. I figured she was trying to keep me as a pet.” I shook my head. Dale was right about Rick. He didn’t know crap about the outdoors, but apparently he didn’t know crap about women either. “She wasn’t trying to make you her pet you nimrod,” I yelled at him. “She was trying to mate with you.”
It must have taken a moment for this to sink in for Rick, because it was a good bit before he responded. “You mean she wanted to screw me?” he asked shocked. “That’s exactly what he’s saying,” Kara told him. “And apparently she didn’t take rejection very well.” “That’s the understatement of the year,” he said.
I couldn’t believe we were having this conversation right now. A pissed off ape lady was about to rip us all to pieces, and we were discussing domestic issues, but something was coming to me. “I think I have a plan,” I said. “Rick, since she sees you as her boy toy, we’ll try and get her attention long enough for you to get by her. Then once you do it, get her attention and see if she will follow you out. After that, we’ll leave. Once everyone’s out of the cave, maybe we can all make a run for it.”
“I don’t know if I like that idea,” he said. “She’s pretty quick.” “Well hopefully your desire to not play sugar daddy for a sexually frustrated big-foot for the rest of your life, will cause you to be quicker,” I told him. “It’s all I got so take it or leave it.” Rick thought on it. “Fine,” he said finally. “Let’s do it.”
I found Kara’s hand, and squeezed it. “Ready?” I asked her. She laughed nervously. “Not really,” she said. “But what can you do?”
Together we approached the creature, yelling and screaming at her. I hoped the creature wouldn’t kill us, but luck was on our side. She turned her full attention on us and moved to meet our approach. As planned, this opened up things up for Rick to be able to get around her, but that’s where the plan went to shit.
Instead of getting around the creature and gaining her attention so that he could lead the sasquatch away from us, Rick just bolted. The big-foot took one passing glance at him, and returned her focus on us, me in particular. “What the hell?” I asked Kara. “Why isn’t she following him?” “I think we screwed up,” she replied. “She saw Rick run away like a coward, and because you showed aggression to her, she’s decided you’re the better mate.”
I just stared at her, jaw on the floor. “What can I say?” she said to me. “She has good taste.” I personally didn’t see any humor in the situation, but we had to get away, and I think I knew what to do. “Kara, you said she was acting like a crazy ex, well let’s play that up. I’ll give her what she wants, and then you play crazy new girlfriend and confront her.” She looked at me skeptically. “How is that supposed to work?” she asked. “She could use me as a toothpick. How am I going to intimidate her?” I smiled at her. “You’ve been possessed by an angry ghost, and let me tell you, if you had any cognizance during that, you know how to be intimidating.” Kara rolled her eyes. “I’m not too sure about this, but I’ll try.” I smiled at her. “You can do it, besides the worst case scenario is I live in a cave for the rest of my life and learn to braid sasquatch hair.” Kara was still not amused. “Well here goes,” I said.
I approached the creature. “Hey sweetheart, I’m Jack. Aren’t you a gorgeous lady?” The big-foot looked at me confused, then she looked back at Kara and uttered a warning grunt. I motioned for Kara to stay back. “Don’t worry about her darling, you’re the one I want.” I was now standing within arm’s reach of the sasquatch. She looked at me, still unsure. “Come on, it’s okay. I just want to give you a big ole hug.” I reached out and put my arms around her. She stiffened at first, but then she relaxed and put her arms around me. She started making a cooing sound as she stroked my back. I patted her back in return. “You’re so sweet,” I told her with my best lovey voice.
For all of you that have seen Harry and the Hendersons, this must sound funny as hell, but it was freaking terrifying. One wrong move, and this furry lady could squash me like a bad zit, but I kept up the act. I should have gotten an Oscar for my performance. I had her eating out of my hand. Now it was time for Kara to join the show. I gave her a thumbs up.
“Get your hands off of him you hairy BITCH,” she yelled from behind me. The lady-squatch raised her head in Kara’s direction, making a confused sound. “You heard me,” she yelled at us. “He’s mine.”
Something whizzed over my head, hit the creature between the eyes, and fell to the floor. It was an unopened beer. The creature touched its head, looked down at the can, then looked back at Kara. She roared as she threw me aside, then stormed off towards my girlfriend. I looked at Kara. I could see the terror in her eyes, but there was also determination. She threw another beer at the sasquatch. It hit her in the chest and fell to the floor, exploding from impact with the ground. The sudden bursting of the beer surprised the creature and she stumbled backwards, falling over the scattered camping gear. I used the opportunity to grab Kara and we started for the cave exit.
The big-foot roared with fury, got to its feet, and began to come after us. As hard as she could, Kara threw her last beer at the creature’s feet. Its explosion drove the sasquatch back once again as we made the exit. Without even skipping a beat, we scaled the boulders and jumped off the other side.
We continued running in the direction of the campground, but I took a moment to look back. I know, this goes against everything they teach you in horror movies, but I had to.
She stood on top of the rocks watching our escape, and I swear she had a look of sorrow on her face. I have to admit, I felt bad for her. She was just a lonely creature who wanted a companion. I felt the same way before I started dating Kara, although I would have never abducted someone, but hey I’m not a sasquatch either.
Needless to say, she didn’t follow, and when we eventually got back to the campground, Dale and Rick were waiting on us.
“Glad to see you guys got out,” Rick said to us grinning. “No thanks to you,” Kara told him. She looked at Dale. “Your assistant here took the first chance he got, to escape, rather than help us all get away. We could’ve been killed by her.” Dale turned to Rick. “What’s she talking about?” he asked him. Rick shook his head. “They’re just mad I made it out before they did.” I couldn’t believe this guy. “No, we’re mad because we saved your ass from being a lifetime concubine to a horny ape woman, then left us there to deal with her once you had your chance to bolt.”
Rick scoffed. “Whatever,” he said. “You weren’t the ones that spent days trapped in a cave by a damned monster. What did you expect me to do?”
“That’s enough,” Dale said before I or Kara could say anything in response. “Rick, get your shit together and leave my property. These good folks put their lives on the line to help me, not to mention save your ass, and you didn’t even have the decency to stick by them when they needed you. I want you gone now.” Rick threw his hands up. “Fine, I didn’t need this job anyway,” he said.
We watched as he walked to his truck and sped off, slinging gravel. After a minute, we went with Dale back to his office and told him the whole story. “I just can’t believe it,” he said. “My daddy always said they were real, but we all just thought he was about halfway crazy. Question is, what am I going to do about her?” I looked at Kara, who shrugged. She wouldn’t be any help with this, so I stepped out on a limb.
“I don’t think she wants to hurt anyone,” I said. “She’s just lonely. Maybe you should make friends with her.” They both looked at me like I was crazy, but I pushed on. “For whatever reason, she’s alone in this area, and being alone sucks for anyone, man or sasquatch. I think she started taking things out of hunger at first, then out of curiosity. As far as Rick goes, he’s a big hairy guy, she just mistook him for one of her own kind. So take her a gift once in a while and make friends with her. Eventually, maybe she can become a valuable asset to your campground.” Dale thought it over for a moment. “Well I guess it’s worth a shot,” he said. “Anything is better than having to close this place down.”
With things settled, Kara and I left the office to go back to our campsite. We spent the rest of the evening enjoying the great outdoors, and that night we did a fair amount of star gazing. Other than our brush with the lady-squatch, I could see what Kara loved so much about camping. There’s a lot of beauty out there.
On the ride home the next morning, we played more car games, sang, and laughed about our time with the hairy woman of Crazy Acres Camping. Kara said she was looking forward to the next camping trip, and that with my talent, there was no telling what we would find next time. I laughed and told her I planned to stick to finding the easy stuff from here on out, but as I have said in the past, I think my days of finding the easy things, are over.
My name is Jack, and I find things. Key’s, jewelry, the occasional ghost, even a sasquatch, I find it all, but this time I found out I kinda like camping. Yeah I know, who would have thought.X
submitted by cdf21882 to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.08.25 03:03 domainkiller Nomie 5.4 progress update

Better Search
Search will now support “AND’ and “OR” operators - for searching like "mom or dad", or "dad and beer". It also will search those funky Latin characters.
Offline Queue
If you use Blockstack, and you’re internet drops, logs will now be saved to an offline queue, that you can sync to Blockstack when you come back online.
New Dashboard Widgets - Line Chart, Min/Max, Map View
The dashboard also now supports picking from sm,md,lg sizes. (Note, md is converted to a lg when on mobile devices).
Other Improvements
submitted by domainkiller to nomie [link] [comments]


2020.08.18 04:58 kwpluckett Kwpluckett #47 : Wrinkles the Clown (2019)

Challenge started: 5/18/2020
Date Watched: 8/17/2020
Runtime: 1h18m
Rating: n/a
Watched on: Hulu
Rotten Tomatoes: %71
Imdb rating: 4.8
Genre: Documentary/ Horror Comdey
Directed by: Christopher K. Walker, Michael Beach Nichols
Google synopsis:
Mysterious videos appear on the Internet of a dangerous clown who likes to scare misbehaving children in Florida.
My thoughts:
Fuck this guy. Whoever thinks it's cool to go around dressed up as a freaky clown has some shit loose somewhere. Lol. I jest, a little, but seriously, this is nutty.
I thought this is a horror movie... it kind of is... but it's more a Documentary about a guy who likes to dress up like a scary clown... I think... the movie kind of plays games with you throughout, it makes you question it's integrity.
I like the movie's take on modern folklore, the internet and myth making, but the rest of it is just ok.
Not much to say here beyond this is just ok...
I'll give it a 2.5/5.
submitted by kwpluckett to 100movies365days [link] [comments]


2020.08.04 12:59 MobileVulgusaurusSex The Timeless Art of Seduction: My Modest Content List

"My List". So, Infinite Jest is amazing, it's a thousand pages though, and it's not going to do a lot for you in the seduction racket. The Stranger by Camus, philosophy is kinda my bag, but I am certain that throwing out most exi's quotes in talking a girl up will not help me. I can't tell you the none times I've attempted to throw out some witty Moby Dick quote in the club. I prefer movies for my fiction and honestly don't think you have to "read the classics" to be a well rounded man these days. So here's a simplified Seduction and seduction adjacent list I've found, actionable.
12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson (Everyone should begin here, really, I am not a fan of his politics per se, but he is intelligent and from the standpoint of analytical psych he's simply right, like completely correctly right. His ethics and philosophy debate performances are also great but this book is a modern young male oriented self help book that is a first read for anyone first entering this sub)
Anthony Robbins - Personal Power 2 (this is the Big Poppa of them all you will endlessly hear pickup coaches talk this guy up and this is the original 30 day hourish a day audio program, it's so great that when typing this I put it back on my phone to start it up again this week), Awaken the Giant Within (This is basically a condensed version of Personal Power with a bit more of the aspirational mantra speak, it's good as an audiobook listen over 90 mins or on YouTube), Get the Edge (This is like an updated buy condensed Personal Power 2 with some more recent additions but it's not going to give you the same step by step stuff that the first one here will)
Fashion - Art of Manliness blog for building an overall wardrobe, streetwear (subreddit), GQ Seasonal fashion trends articles, googling “Summer 2020” etc on google images and look at the common trends you see there.
Movies - Tao of Steve, Van Wilder; those are just a couple that popped into my head while typing.
RSD Julien - He flew too close to the sun and singed his wings, but the pickup work here is solid. He has twoish "programs" (Shift and TenGame). Start with Shift.
The Game by Neil Strauss - Yeah, it's a great history book/ introduction into the world of Pickup circa the 2000's. There's useful stuff, but only when understood in a greater context.
Venusian Arts by Mystery - It's the Mystery Method rebranded after Nick Savoy essentially stole his work and made a real company out of it as per the end of Strauss's book. Not really anything earth shatteringly different or useful out of it though. It's B grade pickup literature.
Real Social Dynamics by Tyler Durden - The OTHER guy besides Nick Savoy that turned Mystery Method into a real venture. He made a couple worthwhile products such as Blueprint Decoded and his company had it's own super conference put to video, I recommend Transformations. Tyler Durden now has a very boring YouTube channel since he has pivoted/ rebranded himself as a 21st century self help guru type, just like Mark Manson only with success and experience. I only recommend that as a YouTube subscribe random viewing thing.
Love Systems - In my opinion, it's the gold standard of Pickup as corporation in coaching and product development. Magic Bullets by Nick Savoy (Mystery Method rebranded and improved), Text and Phone Game by Braddock, Day Game by Soul, Social Circle Theory (video) and Beyond Words (video) and Guide to Online Dating by Derek Cajun (now the boss at that company I believe) , Routines Manuals. I recommend ALL of them honestly. I also recommend the Super Conference video, and The Interview Series audios. There's a lot here to digest and internalize. You could probably be considered 85%-95% knowledgable of this entire subculture based only on their products. They also have a YouTube channel I haven't looked at much. Seems like standard click bait video articles driving traffic to their products.
Fitness - Kris Gethin's 12 Week Trainer (it used to be free on bodybuildingdotcom until they became a paywall content site), Greg Plitt MFT28 (is also on bodybuildingdotcom and he's dead now because he tried to outrun a train, for real, but awesome motivational guy), BUFF Dudes (probably the nicest, most honest guys in the fitness YouTube game), Starting Strength 3rd edition (I have it, haven't read it but it's like a bible for strongman types so if that's your taste then that's your book), Swoley Bible by Dom Mazzetti (It's a joke, he's a joke, but the Brofessor is awesome and his YouTube channel (BroScienceLife) is just great and the book is great, "It's not that fuckin' hard, it's not rocket science, it's broscience, which is harder")
Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick (I never got into it but it may appeal to some of you more than Anthony Robbins, as in some younger readers, especially gamers as he angles self help from a game you're playing of your life perspective which may be useful to some as really a lot of the concepts you'll see in self help are not that different)
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (along with his show Master of None and comedy specials i think they are good examples of modern honest intentioned win/ win dating advice provided in comical fashion)
Richest Man In Babylon by George Clason (this is probably the only finance book most of you will need until you get involved in the stock market, it's simple stuff and it's not glamorous or sexy or baller, because it's being responsible which is unsexy and boring)
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (This is basically stoicism applied in autobiography, it's inspo)
Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (This looked good and I was planning on getting into it so I'm including it here)
So here's the thing about this list of content. It's not mostly books. It's really some books, some videos and some audio, since ya know, this isn't 1832 and we can consume more forms of data than just print nowadays. I don't do books made of paper anymore unless it's some archaic textbook i'm required to buy for school. I always see these book lists and we are all expected to champion reading Catcher In the Rye, but where's the list that says we should all listen to Kendrick Lamar's DAMN? Which I would argue is a lot more applicable in dating right now than A Confederacy of Dunces. Just because something is old does not mean it is eternal or universally applicable. Every single piece of content I have listed can be found in one corner of the internet or another. I don't generally believe that helping another man become better at socializing should be a "for profit venture". And while this is about seduction, seduction isn't just for sex or romance, it's applicable in all aspects of life which is why this content draws on all aspects of life. All this is just to make you better at operating in the social world we live in.
The Timeless Art of Seduction
submitted by MobileVulgusaurusSex to seduction [link] [comments]


2020.07.14 02:48 PhillipRayne [Fantasy World Epsilon 30-10] - 6.1 Entry, Duh

CoverStartPreviousNext
They approached Elgelica from the northeast the next day on two giant Mor’Orc warhorses and the other three in tow. It took most of the evening to retrieve them. Kay was much better than he at calming and coaxing them, so he gave the tracking to her while he mopped up the campsite.
With Jon currently sitting in the roughshod leather saddle, everything felt a little too big, like he was a kid getting a pony ride. Having to hike up the saddle stirrups did not allay small-man complex he was getting, and I’m not a small man!
The beasts themselves handled quite well. For such massive creatures, they were surprisingly tame. He supposed being around Orcs all the time, little was likely to unsettle them.
Four of the dead Orcs made the trip with them; finding linen body bags large enough to fit them was a notable challenge. Giant old-timey linen body bags wouldn’t be the craziest thing he’d bought, but Jon couldn’t rightly source them online since their story needed continuity.
Instead, they found a small village on their trek south using the HAS. There they bartered for the sacks by selling off a weapon and some of the orc clothing. Each bread crumb was essential, like fabricating an Internet history.
One orc, he chose Baugh, was now stuck in his macabre freezer of the dead. He’d taken the time to cordon off and sterilise a large portion of his walk-in freezer over the last few weeks, sadly nothing was edible in there, but the autopsies would be worth their weight in gold. That was likely a literal analogy, but gold had depreciated a fair amount since it kept on getting mined in new worlds. Still, few currencies translated across the multiverse quite like precious metals and real coinage had once again become vogue.
Lugging the dead around and onto the horses had ‘mysteriously’ fallen to the elf. She was not happy, but Jon’s back was ecstatic. He hadn’t the heart to kill any of the majestic beasts, so he settled for taking a blood sample. Once more, the task fell inexplicably to the elf, who could nonchalantly dismount metres away from a gigantic bucking horse after sticking a syringe in its hindquarters.
Olympic gymnasts would envy how she stuck the landing. Giving rigorous applause, he scored her at nine-point-four-five and told her as much. She did not appear gratified.
Bullets had been fished out, and cases retrieved. All the orcs’ gear had been stowed with them, tied to the saddles and in the bags. The duo and their caravan were obviously conspicuous as they made their way toward a stone bridge. Travellers along the path gave them a wide berth and stared aplenty; mainly elves but a few humans milled by as well. The smell was pretty kak; he didn’t blame them.
The River Lea, it was called back home. Jon didn’t know its name here, and Kay was also fuzzy on the details. Naturally, there were soldiers at a bridge checkpoint long before they would get to Elgelica proper. As such, they were immediately commanded to halt. Kay was ahead; the next stage of the plan depended heavily on her.
“Halt, in the name of the Elgelican Council! You two on those large horses, what business do you have in Elgelica. And what are you transporting?” He spoke in Common, likely for Jon’s sake, but he addressed Kay. She responded in Elven, and Evy gave Jon subtitles.
“Good day, sir. My name is Kay Luren. We have news of great import to the Elgelican Council. As you see we come bearing the remains of a Mor’Orc scouting party we encountered to the northeast. I suspect these worrisome tidings to perhaps be of import to the Thousand-Year City and surrounding Elven lands.”
It was well-rehearsed. Jon’s role required acting like a blithe idiot, something that came naturally. “A thousand fucking years!” Jon muttered absently
“You there human! Is he your servant Luren-sun?” The guard remained speaking Common.
“Why yes, he is.”
“Please, tell him to open the sacks.”
“Jon, do as the honourable guardsman says.”
She did not so much as turn around to make eye contact. Jon dismounted with a bit of effort, waddling on saddle-sore limbs. Minutes of drudgery passed as he opened each bag in succession and showed the contents to an armed and armoured Elven inspector.
All the while, steely-eyed soldiers stood with halberds on either side of the bridge. On the other side of the river, he spied Elven archers upon humble but sturdy-looking crenelations. This was a clear choke point for any approaching military force.
Finished with inspection the guard nodded to him and returned to address Kay.
“Thank you for your patience, Luren-sun. Our commander will likely wish to speak with you. Please wait here while we send word.”
A runner was sent. Jon dawdled with the horses for a while before being escorted across the bridge and into the nearby fort. Fully dismounting, they were guided on foot indoors. Meanwhile, the horses and their burdens were attended to by guards in the courtyard.
The stonework was finely maintained, and there was an aesthetic touch to it that one might not find in most medieval castles: minimalist in its simplicity and beauty. A flower or shrub here, an elegantly carved flourish across a door or plinth there. They made their way through internal corridors until entering a chamber overlooking the central courtyard and saw the horses being fed and drinking below. Their escorts took positions at either side of the door.
An Elf showing the fine wrinkles of a middle-aged man sat at a desk. Jon guessed he was probably approaching his five-hundreds, but he knew fuck all about elf ageing, so he wondered why he bothered. Guards also attended the chamber to either side.
“Welcome Luren-sun, your servant is welcome to wait outside.” He said in Elven gesturing to Jon.
“He attends to me and goes where I go, if that is not too much to ask. Commander, I presume?”
“You presume correctly, my name is Commander Virion Shalen. I am in charge of the Len River Keep. Your attendant may stay if you so wish. Please, sit.”
She found a chair across from him, Jon waited, standing by the entrance just ahead of the guards. There was parchment, ink, and quills arrayed on the desk, but the commander had cleared enough space to offer some tea which he poured without asking into a prepared cup.
“Luren-sun, I must say, the men and I are quite mystified as to how a young female elf and her human servant came upon the remains of a Mor’Orc scouting party and their mounts.” His sharp eyes betrayed his casual tone.
“I believe you are mistaken Shalen-sena. We did not come upon them. We slew them.”
“Please, ‘sun’ is more than sufficient.” Virion politely waved it down.
“Very well, Shalen-sun.”
“So, slew them, you say? I should very much like to know how.”
“Your disbelief is quite understandable, Commander. I shall elucidate. My aide and I are travelling adventurers from the mainland. We hoped to enter Elgelica to seek knowledge of my family’s past. As with all Wood Elves, all roads eventually lead to Elgelica. We are, of course, no mere peasants, and I have the luxury of a Fire Mage in my employ. Might I allow him to demonstrate?”
“Oh, a fire mage! Why it has been quite some time! Mores the pity he is human: their lives are so ephemeral.”
Jon watched Kay’s face in profile carefully, and she didn’t quite manage to avoid the frown. It came off in a manner that could be construed as detached pity, so it was probably fine.
Virion continued, “Please use the hearth in that corner.”
“Jon, demonstrate your power for Shalen-sun.” She kept her commands clipped, as they had practised.
Virion pointed to a stone fireplace in the corner away from the balcony. It was not particularly majestic but pragmatically made to heat the room with a high chimney and excellent draw. The flames practically pulled back and up. Virion strolled over and stoked a bunch of coals, giving them a healthy radiance and raising the flames further; it was something Jon could work with.
Gently, he found the slivers and pockets of ionization in the hottest parts of the crucible and began to churn them together in a vortex the resulting flames followed suit eventually contorting the convective flow as well. The upward convolution pulled more air from below, feeding the combustion and the fire rose a metre in a matter of seconds. Any more massive and the conflagration would threaten to burst from the grating to nearby wood and furniture. Jon felt the heat radiating on his face. The guards tensed for a moment eyes on Virion, who remained placid.
“My, my, he is quite skilled. I’ve not seen a fire whipped into a frenzy so quickly before. Your servant is blessed with potency! A fortunate find indeed, Luren-sun! My earth magic is somewhat more mundane by comparison, good for pulling bows but little else.”
“You jest Shalen-sun, I’m sure your prowess with an Elven Earth Bow is formidable. My earth affinity, by comparison, is less than that of a paltry minor mage.”
Jon held her recurve bow, slung about his chest. She had handed it off to him when they dismounted, though the quiver remained with the horses. It was a stand-in quiver with very mundane looking arrows. Virion gave a polite laugh, the kind that was honed over many years and utterly humourless.
“Is that your bow?” He gestured to the item in question, and Jon wordlessly brought it forward in hand, bending at the hip, head down, and eyes to the ground.
“May I?” Asked Virion.
“Of course.” Replied Kay as she took a deliberate sip of tea. Virion stood and deftly reached out, plucking the bow from Jon’s hands. He inspected it for a minute before continuing.
“Absolutely exquisite workmanship! The detailing and how these materials have been plied together, just what are they?! Is it wood? Perhaps a new metal? But it is light and shines like glass. Where did you receive such an artefact? Am I to assume this is your Seykho Bow?”
“Yes, it is indeed my first true bow. The draw weight is meagre as you no doubt realise. Still, it is a great honour to be bestowed such an item. Regarding the origin of its craft, however, I must remain deferential of for the moment. Should matters in Elgelica proceed smoothly, I would be happy to discuss more at a future date.”
Virion tried his hand at drawing it a few times scrutinising the details of its fabrication and assembly, clearly as enraptured as Kay initially had been. That bow was likely better than any amount of gold he could have lugged through the gates.
“Of course, I completely understand.” He reluctantly gave the bow back to Jon and proceeded to sit. “Let us conclude matters at hand then, so you may be on your way.”
Kay then spun the tale of how they had happened upon the Orcs during their trek from the coast. Waiting until night, they prepared a trap. Swiftly with the use of Jon’s fire magic, they spread a ring of flame in the half-light encircling the camp. The horses had been grazing a little ways off and bolted as the fire began. Then using the same method he had used on the hearth he had whipped the flames into a torrent, the orcs could not escape, and the air within rapidly grew poisonous.
Indecision cost them their lives as they suffocated before trying to brave the blaze. Virion appeared to understand the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation even if unaware of the specifics. One body was burnt entirely to ash, and the others suffered partial burns marking their demise.
Kay pinpointed the site on a map, should they wish to verify the area of charred trees and ground. True to all accounts, the earth and trees had been burnt just as described. The corpses were also singed, they were just dead already. Jon had had a merry time pretending to be a fire god the previous evening.
Next, she explained that the Orcs were verified to be dead with the use of a thin armour piercing pike fashioned from a stiletto dagger. Jon conveniently produced the weapon for inspection. This had not been the first time he needed to explain away bullet wounds and the blade had a handy hollowed hilt with fastening holes to insert any old stick. He’d tried boar hunting with it once; now that was good meat! Jon resisted the urge to salivate.
Virion took this all in without much inquiry, he appeared in thought but not disbelieving. Afterwards, he sent them on their way. Kay graciously left the horses and their burdens in Virion’s hands as a show of good faith. Good horses, especially Mor Horses, were hard to come by. The gifts left a few smiles on guards’ faces as the pair moved off to Elgelica with only their packs and personal items.
Virion recommended a good tavern where they were to mention his name upon arrival. He watched them go from his balcony, waving at Kay and bowing before moving out of sight. Jon just hoped the dominos had been given enough of a nudge.
PreviousNext

Comments & Calculations

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is no joke, it can kill people faster than it takes for them to realise they are dying. With the onset of a headache, it is already too late to escape as muscles have no oxygen to move. It binds better to haemoglobin than oxygen, so with every breath, CO levels in the blood accumulate. Hours to days are required on an O2 respirator to slowly purge it from the bloodstream. With large industrial furnaces, CO gas pockets are silent and swift killers accounting for many workplace fatalities.
Amazon Patreon Cover I'm a Brave Creator too. An easy decentralised ad revenue based way to support me, costing you nothing and fully integrated into Reddit. If you have the Brave Browser just click the triangular BAT icon labelled 'Tip' below.
submitted by PhillipRayne to redditserials [link] [comments]


2020.07.05 08:43 ninjasaiyan777 A historian's blog posts after reading an alien's pre and post contact journal.

When the CIA gave the public access to all the records at area 51 regarding UFO's and aliens I was ecstatic. Rarely did a civilian get to read pre-contact records like this, and reading about documents found at UFO crash sites, fully uncensored, was like a dream for a historian like me. But I while I thought my favorites were gonna be the government's documents regarding said UFO's, mostly to see just how many textbooks were gonna have to be rewritten, I found a little document that really drew my attention.
"f̸͍̲̍͐̃͂̑͊ǹ̴̮̬̟̰̳̳̗̃̂̄͝͝ͅŭ̷̡̺̹͓̪̗̗̦̬͈̬̰̣̯̉̊̔̈́͠c̵͕̱̼̤̅̏b̶̢̧̤̏̌̉͂͝v̷̡̨̧̧̹̟̘̯̪̎͋̉̉͆͑́̆͝h̷̡̡̤͉͙͕̰͍̲͎͖͍̆̽ũ̶̲̳̜͔͉͕̻͊'s Journal, 1600-2100 in Local System's calendar." 0 downloads.
The name was an untranslated mess, probably from the Old Axyrlian language, given that I can read some of those old runes. It was rather interesting that there's different translation rates on it though; it's the only document that has that. This must've been during their major transition period, like that old pre-unification country Turkey had at around the same time.
I mostly skimmed through it at first. It was a lot of dry history lessons about Earth, and I had plenty of that back in class. But as the entries passed, and the language became more recognizable, I saw that the author had become more attached to the subject. He wrote more personally, and more freely. Like he was talking about a friend in his diary, except that those friends numbered from a couple to 20 billion.
But the last entry was by far the most interesting. This one was post contact, and it was dated in the old Gregorian Calendar. The one used for daily life on Earth alongside the Galaxian Calendar. It used a mixture of old Human English and the New Axyrlian language, but the writer still wrote that mess of a name in the old runes. It was dated 2160, Gregorian Calendar. Proof that he became emotionally attached beyond his duty. And it was, well, I had to connect to that old system the world government uses. Sucks too. Had to get an analog computer and everything for that piece of crap internet to work, but it was definitely worth it. Here goes:
"Before I write further, I must apologize if I mixed up ocurrences in this entry. This is not a chronological summary. This is just my opinion on the Human Observation mission.
As one of only a few carbon based sentient species, my people had an advantage when observing the relative newcomers that called themselves "humans." They seemed rather superstitious, and when one of my observer drones went too deep into the atmosphere at a rather misadjusted angle and burned up, they seemed to take it as a sign of something. In one continent a war raged on for three decades soon after I arrived, and in another millions were slaughtered by disease and warfare. Countless religions and cultures disappeared from the planet while others took their place.
But as time passed, these savage warmongers kept advancing. In what felt like a single blink they went from killing each other with sharp sticks and big pyrotechnic cannons to killing themselves with handheld "guns." They did not perform wars with the same weapons every other species did. Our maximum payloads were meant to painlessly end a planet and they were never used. They left countless amounts of pain and devastation with their maximums, only truly destroying a few hundred "miles."
But they moved on. They quickly came to the wider space, and after that false alarm with one of their fission bombs sending a projectile too close to my main craft, it was a surprise. These barbarians were advancing mentally and technologically faster than any other recorded species. And it was beautiful. I believe I may have been recorded passing by one of their many ships near the turn of the century. But I could not help it. They are fascinating, and seeing them join the wider galactic community makes me feel like a proud ancestor watching their progeny succeed from across the Spectral Bridge.
These superstitious warmongers were just as good at creation as they were with destruction. And when I saw members of other species fall into the planet and be captured I was worried. Learning they were still alive after and lived full lives for their kinds was quite the relief however. In fact, one of many human missions to space sent a few of them back to their homes.
Regardless, I began contact with seemingly the most welcoming government on the planet, against Galactic Leadership's orders. Our kind can breathe rather nicely in earth's atmosphere, maybe even better than at home. I quickly learned the English language, although I was unable to bake some sounds without an implant. We did not trade technology, but I did ask them to influence media to attempt to familiarize the common people with peaceful aliens. It seemed to work, and a lot of scientists sent signals into deep space which I sadly was to ignore. But when the world government United in order to fix the damage done to their world, we made contact and assisted their mission. We learned quite a bit from them. A lot of culture and languages were exchanged.
Interestingly, a large subset of humans are sexually interested in other species, and some species are genetically compatible with them. It must be their barbarism at work. I only say this in jest, of course. I simply find these creatures fascinating.
Sadly, due to my rule breaking when I made contact, I was not allowed to be an official ambassador to the human species. However I was allowed to join as a civilian. And when I did, I had some of the best, most wild years of my long life.
I do not regret spending all of my prime watching another species advance. If the multiverse theory they introduced to the Galactic leadership truly exists, as it remains unproven, I do not believe that there is a timeline where I gave up on their advancement. For these fascinating humans truly are my second, more wild family."
submitted by ninjasaiyan777 to humansarespaceorcs [link] [comments]


2020.07.01 17:16 shaddoe_of_truth The Social Network or How to Lose Friends and Make Enemies Without Even Trying by Bobby Shaddoe

There is no question that Mark Zuckerberg while not a very likeable person is still a very successful and influential revolutionary.
Facebook changed the way we socialize and the way we connect to people both nearby and across the globe. For good and for ill, it has changed the face of what it means to have access to information and to know about what is going on in the world as well as the lives of individuals.
The 2010 film, adapted from the 2009 book 'The Accidental Billionaires' by Ben Mezrich, was directed by the exceptional David Fincher (Seven, The Game, Fight Club, Gone Girl, etc.) and written by the always amazing Aaron Sorkin (West Wing, Sports Night, Studio 60, The Newsroom, etc.), and stars Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake and Armie Hammer.
The film itself is absolutely incredible and more than deserving of its critical accolades.
Having recently rewatched it, I was just as enthralled the first few times I watched it.
I know I am just the latest rather than the first to review this film and explore its various ideas and central themes, but so what?
One of the most central aspects of the story are relationships, and how they change based on our circumstances. In viewing the sort of bromantic triangle of Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin and Sean Parker, there are a lot of nearly homoerotic undertones that are very subtextual in their encounters with each other.
Mark and Eduardo are the married couple, possibly newlyweds. Mark os the guy that still wants to have fun and do all the cool things he did when they were dating, Eduardo is the one that is serious minded, hard working and is the one ready to settle down and build a life with his significant other. Sean Parker is the third wheel, the one that is still cool and hip and having fun. He comes along and entices Mark with big dreams and visions of being successful and still doing cool things and living a life that is just one big party.
Throughout the film you can see Eduardo having his misgivings about Parker, while we see Mark just entranced by Parker. The scene when Eduardo comes to the house in California and finds Sean living there, and the way Sean treats Eduardo with contempt, its priceless. Eduardo can clearly see that Sean wants to take his place at Mark's side even if Mark doesnt see it or even want to admit it.
The scene at the new HQ just as they were about to hit a million members, where Eduardo was hit with an ambush regarding his ownership being diluted to next to nothing, its absolutely brilliant. If i were to make an analogy, its like being told by your spouse that you were invited for a ceremony to renew your vows, only to find out you're being served divorce papers by your spouse's lover.
Even the scenes of the depositions being given feel more like the sort of meetings that initiate divorce proceedings and trying to agree of how much of what assets are allocated to the other person as their marriage is dissolved.
Hell, you could even say that Facebook was literally their child and the deposition stuff could be viewed regarding who would have custody of their 'baby'.
And the scenes where Mark gets that call from Sean who had gotten arrested for disturbing the peace, drug possession and with consorting with minors, you can clearly see it on Mark's face the realization of what just happened. in his effort to have his cake and eat it too, he ended sacrificing the best and most solid relationship he ever had to the one person that cared about him the most.
The stuff involving the Winklevoss twins and Narendra is a bit more straightforward, but also highly indicative of that whole overblown sense of entitlement so very common amongst rich millennials. This is especially true with that scene when they meet with the Harvard President who pretty much tells them that they should not expect special treatment nor do they deserve special treatment, and pretty much tells them they should put more effort and energy into something new and move on. Sounds like good and sound advice, right? Of course it does. But not to a trio of egotistical, self important, narcissistic douche nozzles like these guys.
The deposition meetings with them are just as awesome, one, because of Mark's defensiveness and how he lays it out that he does not appreciate being harassed and being made to kowtow by a bunch of smug, rich, dumb jocks that do not possess the intelligence, the imagination, the creativity nor the originality to create what he himself created. And two, the presence of soap opera legend David Selby as the Winklevoss' lawyer.
Something else that seems also to be a bit of a driving force in the narrative for Mark is to try and atone for what he had done in a fit of drunken anger to his ex girlfriend, Erica Albright. This is very indicative of how we try and fail to make amends to people in this social media age, and is punctuated by Albright's comment about how the internet isnt written in pencil, its written in pen. This is very indicative of the phrase that is all too common nowadays, 'the internet never forgets'. The minute you post something, even if it was meant as a joke or in jest or made while one was inebriated or angry, no matter what you do it wont go away, nor will the damage those words can cause to others. And despite your best efforts, the other party is under no obligation to forgive or forget. This is very evident in the final moments of the film where we see Mark all alone with his laptop sending a friend request to Erica, and repeatedly refreshing the page in the vain hopes that she will notice it and accept the friend request, even though we all know she won't.
This film is absolutely brilliant not just as a piece of cinema but as an examination of a profound moment in history that changed the way we communicate and connect to one other, for good and for ill, forever.
submitted by shaddoe_of_truth to movies [link] [comments]


2020.06.27 17:00 Panley01 MadCat mods, here to address community concerns.

Before reading this thread please keep in mind:
EDIT In replying to and reading the comments in this thread, I've come to a personal decision. At this time, I've decided to step down from the MadCat moderation team and I'd like to set out a personal foreword. Moderating for MadCat has personally been a fresh hell at times. Imagine working for a creator who is their own worst enemy, staying despite for the community. I'm incredibly tired of it. As many before me were. I still support the remaining mod team, but I'm done. The point of this post still stands, these things need to be discussed. I do really hope this post can be productive within the community.
EDIT MadCat has responded and is no longer part of the Yogscast
I'd also like to thank everyone that has come forwards regarding this, everyone who has made an effort to hold creators accountable for their actions and inactions. For a time, I'm sure you felt ignored, unheard, unimportant. For what it's worth, we're going to make sure you're heard now. All the evidence below is exactly that, evidence. There is no debating whether it happened, it did. We aim to add context that previously wasn't public, not to refute anything, or downplay anything.
Those caveats aside, it would be apt to start by addressing existing community concerns, which have been put forward rather aptly here.
We'll start with the Imgur threads addressing sexist behaviour. (1 2 3 4 5 6 7)
1 - The line "Are you a girl?" has been coined a few times in regards to this situation. The mod team and the community at large at the time saw this as a joke. In 2018 more was deemed publically acceptable, in retrospect, it's not the kind of welcome a girl would want. It plays in an objectifying fashion. Combined with the in joke of the "quota" it carries sexist overtones. This has been brought to the attention of the moderation team and we addressed MadCat previously. We can all agree that, if you were greeted in this manner, or any other inappropiate way and felt victimised, objectified or anything of the like, we're sorry. After this was brought to the attention of the mod team around late 2019, we discussed this internally, we knew we could do better and we strived to.
2 - The screenshots in this next thread show MadCat in a way that comes off predatory. We understand this. We agree that without context, these statements look worse but within context, they are still questionable at best. On this, I feel it's apt to make a distinciton between intent and presentation. As before, we have been made aware of, and discussed these screenshots prior to this post. In that discussion, we breached the disparity between intent and presentation. The intent of the messages, was playing on the "There are no girls on the internet" ploy, a rather dated joke if I (as a woman on the internet) may say so myself. The presentation however... Does not come across with much humour at all. We understand how problematic these statements are, how they come across and how they have made individuals on and off the server feel. Culture doesn't excuse content. And this isn't excusable. Any defense of these actions under the fallacy of intent isn't worth the time of day.
3 - This one has more contention... Sparkie (@bumbeeleebee), Sienna & Skyla are moderators. The statements towards them weren't made maliciously. They were made endearingy, because MadCat appreciated the work they did. We understand that they read badly without an internal context, one we failed to give at the time as we only saw it as endearing appreciation. We also understand that just because those directly involved don't take immediate offense, that doesn't mean others might not. To address the rest, Belle has spoken publically about her distaste for her treatment. I applaud her for speaking out and urge you to read her thread here. The messages come across very badly with or without context. Again, this is something we breached and discussed around late 2019. And again, if you have ever been made to feel unsafe on the MadChat server by anybody, we apologize.
4 - The idealology of girly things being girly and boyish things being boyish is dated. As are social and societal constructs thusly. The commentary you see in these screenshots is intended to be ironic, satire humour. Naturally, that humour has fallen flat and aged about as well as Surströmming. I will say, MadCat held his female mods in high regard, and hugely respected the work we did. While we understand that again, the intent differs from the presentation, his comments on female mods were generally taken in our stride. Maybe we could've seen this and said something eariler, but at the time we didn't see past the immediate, socially inept praise. This is the only set of screenshots I personally appear in. I played along with the joke of marrying into wealth in irony, as a bisexual woman with a strong preference for other women I played it off in jest with ease. I realize that if it wasn't me there, that if it was someone who wasn't as secure, confident or as familliar with MadCat as me, I would feel really profiled and I'd want to leave that situation as fast as possible. In retrospect, I shouldn't have played along with that joke. While it's a minor thing in the context of this post and something you can probably forgive me for more easily, I want to expressedly say jokes at the expense of your gender aren't ok. Don't play along. If I'd have seen past my immediate context and made a stand there and then, maybe much of this could've been avoided. Heindsight is 2020. As for the rest, it's dated humour falling short. We can't provide anything more on them, it really is as it reads.
5 - The jokes were again, made in irony. The mod you see engaged in a conversation here is Doggg. He is an incredibly good mod and a huge asset to our team, as well as a generally nice person. In that situation he joked along as the context was for a trip he was taking to poland, and he explicitly asked if he could stay with MadCat within the frame of a joke (this time about him getting stuck in the EU). I do urge you to read full context on this one here. The unapologetic stance is a point of contention. We agree it's problematic, and while historically we have urged people who feel victimised or objectified by statements made by anyone in the server, we understand it's also our responsibility to proactively ensure these statements aren't made in bad faith, are looked at properly etc. and as with the above, we discussed this internally around late 2019. The moderator issue is a larger issue, one we intend to discuss a little down this thread.
6 - There is lots to discuss here... Everything here is a problem. It's something that shouldn't have been said. There are repeats of prior screenshots within this thread, as such we're addressing it last for that overlap. MediumPanbeanSweet is an ex-moderator of the MadChat Discord server. I cannot speak for her, neither can the mod team. I can personally say I found her company pleasant. And while I wasn't around for the context of these screenshots, I wish I had done more to support her. She has spoken out about this and asked her screenshots not be used within this context, as such, we're respecting that wish. She has made a statement here you are all free to read. Many of the users you see in these screenshots later left or were removed from MadChat, these images truly are from a bygone era of the server. That doesn't invalidate them, but it shows how far we've come as a community in just a couple years, from a place where sexism was funny to one where it's actually handled properly and seriously. As it should be.
6.1 - To address the comments made towards yogs women; they mirror gross, inappropriate comments made by other fans towards them. Ones that victimise these female creators, objectify them. As a mod team, we had very little control over what MadCat said to other creators, and we operated under the assumption that his relationship with them was amenable enough to allow for these jokes. That assumption was wrong. On the off chance any yogs women are reading this, we're sorry we didn't intervene sooner. We're sorry you were made to feel uncomfortable, objectified, harrassed even. Thankyou for voicing your concerns. Speaking personally, I have a huge amount of respect for Bouphe, Gee and Narissa as people and as creators, and I'm so sorry you have to deal with the comments you have.
6.2 - To address the comments made to server members, some of it comes across in an abrasive way if not a sexist way. This doesn't mean it isn't problematic. For example his comment on cat calling. In 2018, the server's running was rather... Haphazard. Things were more edgy, more was allowed. Time doesn't excuse actions, we understand this. There was contention within the staff team and things didn't run all too well at all. This will be addressed properly a bit further down. MadCat came across in a very creepy way in some of these screenshots. If you have ever had a message like this, regardless of who it's from, I urge you to say something about it. Intent doesn't excuse content in these cases, and if you are in these screenshots, if you were victimised, objectified, we are so sorry for that. The attitiude MadCat took to this historical content is best summed up by the man himself:
"a lot of times I just stay in opposition just to argue with people"
7 - The clip of the 2018 JingleJam... This one aged awfully. At the time, it was generally seen as a funny thing, it was dealt with in the moment, and while embarrassing, played rather comedically. At the time. there were issues raised about the clip when it was first aired. The sentiment at the time was that it was a fallacy to talk on behalf of either party. However, after the fact with the context being altered by certain members, it was definitely more problematic. The mod team have little control over what MadCat says or creates, but we did address this with him and came to the general consensus that the videos should be taken down, and he agree that if Leo requested, they would without issue.
He isn't one to back down. All of the above content has been shown to and discussed by our moderation team before. We acted to make sure these problems wouldn't arise in fervour again. We discussed, in a very serious manner, the ramifications of MadCat's unapologetic ironic humour for his own public image and the people the humour was directed at. We know these things aren't objectively ok and that to argue they are is fallacy. Context and time are irrelevent in this conversation at this point. We worked to stem these issues, but by the time our current mod team came into place and started ensuring things on the server were appropriate, most of the damage was done.
The moderation team and our struggles. (cite)
The moderation team you'll see in ThatMadChat now, isn't the one it started with. The original mod team had a plethora of issues internally and externally, hence many were demoted from their positions or left. Others were genuinely good staff members that left due to the environment festered by the less good staff. The ex-member who made the thread cited above was disgruntled from their ban from the community. Staff were critical at that time, and if that sentiment was heard earlier, I'm confident that this situation would never have come to fruition, instead concerns were met with swift silencing. However we believe that the post was not made in good faith, but rather unequivocally to cause damage to MadCat's image. At that time we dismissed the concerns thusly. We realize posthumously that we should've discussed this more. And while we did later discuss these issues internally, and discuss them with MadCat in a productive way, it feels as though it may be too litte, too late. We tried to make sure this woudn't happen again, that the community and its members would feel safe, but as the staff team had burned through so many iterations, we didn't have all the context. We stepped into a situation where some of us had to learn about these historical problematic messages as the community reported them. Some of MadCat's staff have previously been demoted or left because he didn't listen to them. He rectified this when the current staff team stepped in. But again, too little, too late.
The staff team as it stands now is great. I am honoured to work with the people I do. However the historical issues with staffing have led to issues from ex-staff members who had little to no communication going unseen for way too long. We're sorry it took until now for us to step forwards, we're sorry you didn't get treated properly by some members of the older staff teams, and I personally am sorry to old staff members who really tried to help the community, but got drowned out.
Regarding ex-yogs. (1 2)
I would like to preface this section. The entire MadChat moderation team agree that Sjin, Caff & Turps abused their positions within the yogscast. We have never had any say or control over what MadCat makes videos on, or what footage he uses in them.
1 - MadCat was rather invested in Turps on a personal level. We can't speak for that context. You'll see two staff members in this thread, Skyla & Ghost. Skyla avoided the situation, and none of us can really fault her for that. It's not pleasant. It's not within the normal scope of moderation. And the channel the conversation took place in specifically allowed for controversial discussion of real topics (more on that channel later). Ghost, while not explicitly stopping the conversation, tried to divert. He knew the conversation wasn't going to be productive, was going to harm relationships and he stepped in. I applaud him for that, as do the rest of the staff team. We tried to keep things civil within the community, but we still feel these things should be discussed, and that all opinions should be heard if they are posed productively. This doesn't mean we agree with anything either way, and as stated above, our stance is solidly with the decisions made by the Yogscast.
2 - MadCat was forgiving, and wanted to use the content containing Sjin as some of it was objectively funny. He made the decision to differentiate Paul Sykes from Sjin. He refuted evidence as many people in the community did. To him, Sjin was a friend. This view, from a professional perspective is wrong. Our staff team was made aware of this thread when it occurred. We talked things over with MadCat and this was the first time we had a real discussion on "Should his content be used?" Which as you can see from recent updates, is a firm no. MadCat came to that conclusion rather progressively, but he did reach it, recent content being a large catalyst to that.
Sjin has been a large point of contention within the MadChat community. We have a channel within the server, called #real-talk. Within that channel we encourage people to talk about real life things in a serious and productive way. Sjin cropped up there a good few times. As mods we made sure discussion stayed civil. We felt and feel that these things need to be talked about. That discussion should be civil and productive and that things shouldn't just be buried with no comment. That's also why we haven't gone back and deleted the messages that are in these screenshots. We don't line with MadCat's previous statements at this avenue, nor do we feel he does.
His latest statement on ex-yogs
Our stance on MadCat.
As a team, we've been friendly with MadCat as most mod teams are with the creators they work with. Naturally, we all have different and individual opinions on him as a person.
Finally, an afterword from the perspective of myself.
When I signed up to moderate for MadCat, I knew I was stepping into some pretty big boots. All I have ever wanted to do, as is the same for the mods I work with in MadChat, is to keep the community safe. To help people, and to keep the internet a bit nicer to be on. The turmoil of my time thus far moderating for MadChat has presented so many challenges and stresses on me and many other members of our team. I wish I was there eariler to deal with the historical issues. I hope to take the things I've learned from this and help prevent these issues from ever happening again.
Thankyou for reading this thread. I'm sorry you had to, I'm sorry these issues came to fruition, I'm sorry we didn't do more sooner. I adore this community with all my heart and hope we can all come out of this stronger, more learned and aware. I hope to do more with the platform I have as a moderator to help the Yogscast and its community approach these issues, to hear victims and to prevent anything like this from ever happening again. Regardless of what's in the future for MadCat. The fact alone that there are so many imgur threads and reddit posts I had to address in this post shows that there's clearly a problem here, and we need to talk about it.
I do not condone anything MadCat has said or done in regards to anything above. I think he should be held accountable for everything he has said. I think he should be held accountable for the affect he has had on the image of the Yogscast. I think he should be held accountable for the people he has affected in a negative way in his actions. We all have a platform. I'm using mine, you should use yours. THAT is my opinion, not that of the MadChat mod team as a whole who all have opinions of their own.

TL;DR

The moderation team of ThatMadCat were aware. We tried to push MadCat in the right direction for his, and the communities sake but we aren't his boss. He's ours. We did discuss these things, but we kept them internal. We don't condone sexism, predatory behaviour, anything of the like. We're sorry things happened in our server that aren't ok. We never want to see things like this happen again, and made efforts to ensure that.
If you were personally affected by this, anything similar to this or know someone who was, I urge you to reach out to me. My Discord handle is Panley#8008. You can find me on most yogs servers. I intend to do all I can to address any concerns. No-one should ever feel unsafe in any yogs community, period.
I invite you all to ask any questions you may have for us. I'll be active in the comments here as may a few other mods. We want to be open about this stuff and hope we can address community concerns for the betterment of the community. I'm spearheading this post as I feel this needs to be discussed in open forum, that the community's concerns are valid and they need to be heard, investigated and addressed properly.
I highly doubt you'll get an apology from MadCat. That's his choice. This is ours.
submitted by Panley01 to Yogscast [link] [comments]


2020.05.23 19:10 Abtohnec David Foster Wallace, A Discussion, and Moving Forward

Since January of last year, the works of DFW have always struck a novel emotional chord with me that I've been struggling to find in other authors. I like how he uses irony, humor, and a savory amount of soulful talk to describe the highs and lows of the human condition. Whenever I listen to an audio recording or read (or sometimes re-read) one of works, it never fails to strike and entertain me. I can spend a lot of time reading Wikipedia, so his encyclopedia-like diction has always felt homey to me. His writing style has had such a huge impact on my own.
Yet, I know it's time to move on. For one, DFW's reputation in the literary world seems incredibly polarized. For one. his abusive relationship with the author Mary Karr can't be ignored. Because of the dark weight of this, it can be hard talking to some people about the significance of his work. The same is true for inward thought (should you really be commending the work of someone who stalked, harassed, and assaulted another human being?)
DFW is also typed as the typical overthinking, privileged white guy author, and is popular with that demographic, which I may or may not be a member of. A joke I see on the Internet every now and then is that if you're dating a guy and he has a copy of Infinite Jest on his bookshelf, run away immediately.
So, does anyone have any good book recommendations that have similar writing styles to him? I would prefer something a bit more contemporary than not. DFW did a great job narrating the television addiction culture, consumerism, and Clinton & Bush-era America, but those days are over; is there anyone who could speak the same about social media, post-truth, or the state of the world today?
submitted by Abtohnec to suggestmeabook [link] [comments]


2020.03.24 00:32 Syrian_Cynic 25 [M4F] Even Though This Will Fail Because I'm a Guy and I Live in Syria, but I Love Cynicism

SO... yeah you read that right. I'm Syrian living in Syria (The Assad side) currently (Yeah war and stuff, yeah), yet I still try to find a mate here. Tried Facebook groups but that didn't work since the partners I'm looking for are slightly different than your average Syrian girl, so I figured why not try the most trusted place on the internet, Reddit! (Hurray smart me!) And judging by how this sub down votes males, I'm not placing much hope on that; still I'm a cynic, and I love irony.
So, let's get down to the jest of it: As stated I'm in Syria, and I'm looking for a unique partner.
Myself: I'm 25yo male, who works online (so I get paid in dollars, not S.P.), I have a Caucasian fair skin and a tall body, I'm an aspiring programmer, I'm into tech, cybersecurity & open-source, science, and Cyberpunk & near future sci-fi works (which are actually based on real science... looking at you Star Trek), including sci-fi anime. I'm called by everyone around me to be nice, open, warm, understanding, lively, and funny. I have graduated collage, I speak several languages. I believe in equality of all humans, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, culture, etc. I'm non religious myself, but I have no issue dating anyone from any different religion as long as they meet my conditions. I'm cynic, and I love darkly laughing at my pain, and enjoy dark humor.
OK What I'm looking for: A girl around my age (23-27), preferably also into the same stuff as I am, especially technology, cybersecurity, anime, languages, and science. Hopefully, she's OK also dating a non-religious person, and though I'm no hook-up person, I kinda expect at some stage we are gonna have sex (not having sex till marriage, unless you absolutely provide immense materialistic proof that you're gonna get married, is just a crazy demand!). I hope to find a partner that is loyal, understanding, open, warm, loving, pretty (love tall girls with fair skin), knowledgeable, quicky, and enjoys some irony and dark humor.
I know nothing is gonna come out of this post, but I'm enjoying writing this watching how it will sink to the bottom. Man, life is good for a cynic.Still, if by a miracle a Syrian girl in Syria sees this and is interested, send me a message.
submitted by Syrian_Cynic to ForeverAloneDating [link] [comments]


2020.03.09 10:00 subredditsummarybot Your weekly /r/javascript recap

Monday, March 02 - Sunday, March 08

Top Posts

score comments title & link
856 76 comments I made a discord bot for current coronavirus cases around the world!
599 20 comments I created a browser extension that puts masks on faces on the internet for a safer browsing experience in times of the corona virus
354 12 comments The JavaScript Beginner's Handbook (2020 Edition)
271 21 comments Docker Essentials for Javascript and Front End Developers
156 11 comments How I made a 3D game in only 2KB of JavaScript
137 7 comments Show Reddit: An OpenAPI compliance Proxy that ensures your data really matches your swagger.json
112 52 comments Bring some structure to your file and directory names with ls-lint
109 7 comments Gentle introduction into compilers. Part 1: Lexical analysis and Scanner in TypeScript (JavaScript)
100 27 comments Now you can use shallow rendering for testing React components with hooks
73 7 comments Hey javascript! Autocode (in-browser IDE) team here. We just launched a new feature called "Maker Mode" -- generate Node.js API code via visual interface, then switch into code immediately. Would love feedback!
 

Top Discussions

score comments title & link
36 37 comments "do" expressions
49 31 comments I made a lightweight and performant alternative for the Firebase JS SDK
22 29 comments Webpack 5: Module Federation. A Game-changer to Javascript architecture.
64 26 comments A new version of Goxygen is released with the support of all three Angular, React, and Vue.
7 20 comments [Showoff Saturday] Showoff Saturday (March 07, 2020)
 

Top Ask JS

score comments title & link
13 13 comments [AskJS] [AskJS] How strict should JS teams be about adding new npm dependencies?
8 20 comments [AskJS] [AskJS] What excite you the most about Javascript future ? new frameworks ? new syntax or javascript version ? new ide / tools ?
6 7 comments [AskJS] [AskJS] Are there any JS date/time formatting packages that support higher resolution than milliseconds? i.e. microseconds or nanoseconds?
 

Top Showoffs

score comment
2 baumannq said I made a vue.js app from scratch using Diablo 3 APIs : https://diablo3.netlify.com/#/ If you don't have an account you can use mine "SuperRambo#2613"
2 xiscode said I created a library to deal with timeouts and intervals with a string identifier instead the typical generated number. I named it "timer-creator" [https://www.npmjs.com/package/timer-creator]...
2 muggy8 said I've recently finished a front end framework/library. the goal is to make a simple, easy to use, easy to learn, fast and flexiable UI library to do build UIs and this is what it ended up being. it's i...
 

Top Comments

score comment
61 Infiniteh said If you read this don't forget there are alpine versions of the node base images which can take your docker images from 500+ MBs to like 100+ MB. Also, instead of using npm install you can use `n...
47 moklick said You can find a little demo here: [https://twitter.com/moklick/status/1234421465287680000](https://twitter.com/moklick/status/1234421465287680000)
38 acemarke said Last year I had to teach a bunch of Java and C++ devs how to use JavaScript. As part of that, I put together a large presentation that I titled [JavaScript for Java Devs](https://blog.isq...
36 Mr_Schnapps said It would be great if I could try it without creating an account.
35 ewliang said How did you approach generating that nicely formatted text response made by the robot? Like.. The columns and the highlights for each command, etc during start of the program?
 
submitted by subredditsummarybot to javascript [link] [comments]


2020.03.03 21:31 Oily_Messiah Bloomberg's online tactics test the boundary of disinformation

His advisers say doctored videos and fake quotes were meant in jest. Others argue they risk leading Democrats into perilous territory.
First came the heavily edited video of Democratic candidates looking speechless at a debate when Mike Bloomberg points out he’s the only one of them who’s started a business. That was followed by tweets of fake quotes last week attributed to Bernie Sanders praising dictators.
And shortly before that came news that the Bloomberg campaign was paying social media influencers to hype the billionaire, a novel move by a presidential candidate that was never contemplated by election law...
of course it’s tongue in cheek humor intended to make a point. There is no nefarious intent, the campaign said.
"Unlike Donald Trump and the [Republican National Committee], our campaign will not be using disinformation tactics to engage voters," said Sabrina Singh, a spokesperson for Bloomberg...
“This is absolutely dangerous for the fair functioning of our political process,” Dipayan Ghosh, co-director of digital platforms and the Democracy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School, said of the video and tweets posted by Bloomberg. “And it could very well send the Democrats down the slippery slope of disinformation.”
That would further erode discourse online and contribute to an already distrustful electorate, he added.
Republicans including President Donald Trump have increasingly used disinformation online. One glaring example was a doctored video of a stammering Speaker Nancy Pelosi that President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Guliani circulated in May on his Twitter account and then deleted...
Only two candidates — Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren — have issued official pledges to not use illicit tactics. In June, Biden promised no bots, deep fakes or disinformation. Warren has openly feuded with Facebook over its standards for allowing false statements in political advertising, and she released a policy proposal to crack down on disinformation...
The influencers don’t fall under the disinformation debate, at least to date, but they’ve reignited a separate one about government regulation of campaigns’ use of social media. Bloomberg’s campaign said it follows Federal Trade Commission guidelines, telling the influencers it pays to disclose that Bloomberg paid for the content they're posting...
the FEC is charged with enforcing regulations that were last changed in 2006. Facebook was two years old then, Twitter had yet to develop a retweet function, and Instagram didn’t exist.
Moreover, “commission regulations do not explicitly address social media influencers,...”
But, the FEC can’t change its 2006 regulations on “internet activity” because the agency is gutted, lacking a working quorum. The FEC is not only “immobilized,” said Weiner, but completely unable to effectively act as a watchdog over the 2020 election.
submitted by Oily_Messiah to atlanticdiscussions [link] [comments]


2020.02.22 15:45 Glass-Significance Badly need HELP: How do I keep him interested and convert from non-serious to serious?

DISCLAIMER: I came to this sub to seek your advice, support and understanding. Please dont judge. This is a developing story so if your advise works, ill keep you posted on what happens next if youre interested. Sorry if this is way too long.
INTRODUCTION I’m new to this sub and I’ve been learning more about RPW dating. About me and my dating history (or lack thereof): I’m a 28 year old female who had just gotten out of a 12 year serious long distance relationship (broke it off when I found out he has a live in partner of 24 yrs). My ex is 20 years older.I find that I’m more attracted to men who are smart and are much older than me. I’ve never really experienced dating before as that was the only relationship I’ve ever had. Of course, I was heartbroken as this was the only guy I’ve ever really known and am used to my entire life.
I live a busy life mostly spending long hours at work and with family. Now that I’m newly single (9 months and counting), I wanted to experience what it feels like to date, be outging, meet new people and eventually land into a serious and committed relationship. As I venture into the dating world, I realized that it can be daunting, exhausting and frustrating. I scroll,swipe pictures here and there, read bios and find things interesting about the men, some casual chat messages and a few phone calls which really lead to nothing (didn’t meet anyone). I thought that these dating sites/apps don’t work for me as most of the guys are not really honest about their intentions. To weed out the men who are just looking to play, I decided to join this dating service where you come to seek arrangement based on what works for both parties. This I thought, could give me a higher chance at landing a more honest man who will be clear about his boundaries, desires and intentions. With the experience I had from previous dating sites, I came to the new one with lower expectations that I’ll find anyone interesting.
Fast forward to a week, I finally felt like I found a connection. Guy in his mid 40s, divorced with 2 boys (19 & 15) a sr executive in this big company. We corresponded and finally had our first phone call. In his profile hes only looking for fun and something discreet. He was upfront about what he wanted. Hes not looking for a 1 night stand either but he finds that the women hes dated were too clingy and were revolving their lives around him. He didnt like that. He was clear about having his own space and that he would cancel any plans or date if it meant he had to be there for his kids or something important at work came up. The women would be ok with it at first but would resent him for it later on and then leave. He talked about his previous marriage and why it didnt work out. He said that his priorities are his kids and that his ex wife and him had made a pack to be discreet about who they will date to protect them. And that when the kids are mature enough to understand and have finished school, then both will be open about introducing new partners to the them. I completely understood this and I couldnt agree more. I listened to him and asked a few follow up questions. He was also honest about his feelings and vulnerability. That hes a man who has needs and also feels lonely and longs for someone to hold at night etc but right now not looking for anything serious.
Now, maybe this is a flaw of mine but him being straightforward about what he wants, his situation and his vulnerability made me feel connected. It felt like it was a challenge. I have this urge to prove Im different from the previous women. I assured him that I get where hes coming from and that Im on the site to look for fun and excitement as well since Im newly single. I also talked about my previous relationship. I had a few naughty convos with him for the first week and 1 steamy hot video call which only happened once. I realized that the guy isnt a big texter and caller and Im the type who would send gmorning/evening texts which he barely responds to. Id start a convo to get him to text me more, he would reply sometimes and would get it going then leaves me hanging and stops responding later on. This gets me frustrated but I keep it cool.
THE BUILD UP.. Three months into us talking, we agreed to meet and go over for coffee a week after.The build up was giving me extreme excitement. On the week we were supposed to meet, he stopped responding and texting. I could stil see him online but he doesnt read my messages nor answer my calls. I was worried and kept sending concerned messages. I kept my cool and was cautious about the words I used to not sound frustrated. I asked for closure and expressed that Id appreciate if he could tell me upfront that he didnt want to be bothered me anymore and Ill respect his wished instead of going silent. Still there was no sign of life from him. A week later, he texted and apologized for going ghost. He explained that he went over our convo and felt (assumed) that I was looking for something serious and he didnt want to misrepresent himself to me. He didnt want to be in a situation he cant handle since he has insinuated many times that hes not looking for something serious. He added that hes a very busy person and cant even probably do justice to a platonic relationship. So I tell him, if hes really that busy, how does he have time to pay for a dating membership and be even on the site. He said he joined the site 2 yrs ago but never really pursued anyone coz he didnt find a connection. Hes only accessed it again 2 weeks prior when he was at the airport but doesnt have subscription anymore. I apologized and has said that I didnt mean to make it seem like I was seeking for something more. I assured that I understand his concern. I shared that I thought he had gotten a cold feet since ill be the first woman hell meet from the internet. I kept my cool but at the same time asserted that he should give us a chance to meet over for coffee as theres no harm in having a friendly chat. After this incident, Ive learned to set my boundaries and not seem too clingy. I stopped texting daily but would make sure to check in from time to time. I mirrored the same effort he was putting towards. Two weeks after, I brought up the subject of meeting for coffee again, so we set it up on the eve after work. I felt confident it was bound to happen this time. Evening came and received a text 3 hours before scheduled that he has to cancel because something came up at work and cant leave early. I empathized and offered to wait but he insisted it will be too late if it were to happen as we both had to work the next day. I kept my cool and said it was ok and we can reschedule for next time. My heart sank and was frustrated. I felt like crying as I had arranged for that day to happen. Excitement dropped, any bit of hope left was gone. Just when you thought I had given up, I didnt. The more he acts evasive the more I want him. I dont understand this about myself either, I seem to like guys who are this type. I let it slide this time, waiting for a perfect timing. We still text here and there but not much effort. A month after, December came and I made a bold move to ask to see him again before the end of the year. I expressed in jest that weve been talking for 4 months, that should be long enough to convince him Im not a serial killer. I let him know that Im not the type to easily give up but if the meet doesnt happen this year, I doubt it will ever happen. I assured that I have no expectations and that I just wanted to meet him because I like and find him attractive. Of course I was cautious with how I used my words as I didnt want it to sound like Im giving an ultimatum. At the back of my mind, I was already losing hope and interest. He replied and agreed again to meet for the 3rd time. I was already skeptical but I gave it a shot. I grew more anxious as I anticipate the days leading to our meet up, I wasnt as excited because of the previous incidents.
FIRST MEETING.. Judgement day came (Day after xmas). I arrived 30 mins early and texted him of my whereabouts. He came on time. I got in his vehicle and said our greetings and pleasantries. He didnt seem nervous but I can sense a little shyness at first. I wasnt nervous at all, we were in the vehicle for about 30mins as he was driving to our destination (Starbucks). I asked if its ok for him to hold hands as we walked to the coffee shop and he was cool with it. We Went over for coffee and had a fun and serious conversation basically about each others career, romantic and personal life. We got back in the vehicle and was parked for 30 mins waiting for my driver to pick me up. I had this assumption that our first meet would be sexually motivated given we met at that site and had done a few naughty stuff prior but turns out he was actually respectful and behaved. I was wearing a V neck dress (cleavage showing) and stilletoes. He made a comment about my outfit, asked if I was wearing a bra. So I answered yes and grabbed his hand put it under my bra so he could get a feel. I teased and said, see I told you Im wearing one. He played with my breasts without hesitation. I asked if he could suck and bite them, he obliged and suck them gently. He didnt bite coz he was concerned it might hurt me. People were passing by us so he had to stop what he was doing as we run the risk of getting seen from the inside of the vehicle. There was a bit of silence so I asked if its ok to get a kiss, he said yes. I leaned over to kiss him. A smack and a little nibble on his lips. He seemed passive about the kiss, probably wasnt sure what kind of kiss he was getting. You could hear a pin drop from the silence. I did this again and he was still passive , no tonguing though, just me nibbling on his upper and lower lips. For him to return the gesture, I asked if he could kiss me back and he did but was only a kiss on the cheek. I smiled and asked why only a kiss on the cheeks, he replied that there are cameras in the area and where we were parked had a bunch of lights directed towards us (the windshield), people outside could see us.He talked about how he has access to the cameras and can zoom in out, at his job and could hear peoples conversation if he wanted to but would never dare do it if it didnt require for his job to do so. It was getting late so both of us were tired, we held each others hands. As the clock ticks, he made a bold move to put his hand under my dress and started to carress my thighs.I was getting wet, a bit conscious and shy at this point...when my driver arrived (thank god) lol. I had to leave and we kissed each other goodbye with a promise to see each other again after the holidays. An hour later, we update each other of our whereabouts, he said he had a great time and looks forward to the next meet (he doesnt call it a date but a meet) with a blushing emoji. That evening, I didnt realize that I had forgotten a gift I had bought for my boss, in his backseat. He promised to give it once we meet again.
THE AFTERMATH + SECOND MEETING.... Having met him, I expected that maybe this time he would text or reply/communicate more. I guess there was change but only at a bare minimum. January came we both were busy with our careers. I kept my distance and would only return the effort hes giving. 2 weeks before Feb I expressed my interest in seeing him for the 2nd time, probably by Feb 13 or 14 + I needed to get the item I had forgotten in his vehicle so I can gift it to my boss. He gave assurance that hell take note of it but 14th maybe a no as its a valentine day where people are out and about causing traffic on the road. I pretended that I was oblivious to the fact that 14th was a Vday. I looked forward and waited patiently. That week came, we agreed to meet on the 13th. I planned out my schedule and made sure to look damn good even though I was a little anxious. 2 hours before scheduled I notify that Im leaving work in a few to our rendezvous. 10 mins later I get a text that he has to cancel as he cant leave work early due to an urgent matter he has to address. Its hard for me to believe this now as its becoming a theme already. I was extremely upset and frustrated but I replied with understanding and assured that I can wait and will be at the rendezvous on time. He insisted he cant make it and has an early meeting the next day. I expressed a little disappointment by saying he couldve told me at a much earlier time so I didnt have to leave work early, I cant go back since Im already on the road. I politely insisted that he doesnt have to stay long and just hand me the item so I can give it to my boss. He apologized and said that hes not the type of person who just cancels unless its a valid reason. He offered to have the item shipped the next day if it was really that urgent. I went quiet for 5mins thinking of a good reply. I responded that the item is indeed important but I also wanted to see him. He replied and offered to swing by the next day (evening) Feb 14 for a few minutes. I didnt respond and got to the rendezvous and notified him. He replied and said he cant make it. I assured that I understand and that I just felt the need to let him know and I was going to leave after I pee, with or without him. That night was horrible I felt like I was yet again rejected and dismissed. So I went on another date with a friend instead. Yes Im not putting all my eggs in one basket.
The next day, I let him know that I needed him to confirm by 6pm if the meeting is on or not. So I let him know Im already at the meeting place and hes on the way. I didnt know what was bound to happen that night since we didnt have anything planned. While I was waiting he texted and asked politely if its ok to get him a drink at SB since I was already there waiting and that hell pay me in the car, hes too tired to go outside. I gracefully said its fine and he didnt need to pay me since he paid for the drinks last time. He arrived, told me where he was parked so I went. I was a little anxious but kept my cool. Got in his car, smiled, handed him the drink and he said thank you. He handed me the item I had left in his car and I apologized for the inconvenience and thanked him for still seeing me despite his busy schedule. He may have sensed that I was upset from last night which is why he kept his distance and there was little silence for a while as we sip our own drinks. I jested and asked why I didnt get a kiss, he gave me the same reply last time, lights directed towards us and didnt want people passing by to suspect that we were doing something. I let him know that I understand then asked how much longer he can stay, said he has 30 minutes. I didnt want to bring up what happened the night before so I just looked at him and gave assurance that I wasnt mad and that Im happy he made it tonight (Friday).(He picks up the kids every Friday to stay with him during the weekends. So him making time for me on a Friday is a big deal to me since I knew the weekend is dedicated to the kids). He replied with, oh yeah Thanks. We talked for a few more minutes as we finish our drink. I told him about the problem I had at work which almost cost me to lose my job and I almost didnt know what to do. He asked what happened so I told him. He commented that I couldve come to him sooner so he couldve helped me out with how to work around it as hes been running companies for yrs and yrs and knew the due process etc. In this meeting, there was no petting or anything, I didnt ask to hold hands, I didnt attempt to seduce or do anything since he already set the tone when I arrived (not giving me a kiss coz hes concerned people could see us from the outside). I let out a cute sigh and mumbled that maybe there wont be a 3rd meeting, he reacted and made a promise that well see each other again when he gets back from out of the country for a week. Its just that hes busy right now due to a lot of movements at work (higher boss will retire end of Feb and hes next in line to take the post). Hearing this from him gave me a little hope that there will be a 3rd meeting. Time was up and we had to go. Thanked him for the time and asked for a kiss. He obliged and had his lips pouted ready to kiss me. It was a quick smack, then I went for another one..then off we left. We both update each other as soon as we arrive home and said our goodnight.
OBSERVATIONS From what Ive observed, hes careful with his words, weve had conversations but Ive never heard him say the words "love, date, fell in love, i miss etc". First week we started talking, he only asked about how Im doing 2x. Up to present, I mostly am the first one to text and ask how hes doing but like I said, I stopped over texting and only check in from time to time (maybe 2 to 3 txt per week). Hes only addressed me by my name 2x and this was in text when we first started talking. But to be fair, we havent disclosed each others complete name..yet, we only go by our nickname. Hes not complimented me yet. Id like to think that he doesnt do so coz he didnt want me to misinterpret his compliments since he is not into something serious. He has shared pics of his kids though. I dont know where he works nor does he know mine. I tried to ask his position at his job but wont share so I didnt insist coz Im tryjng to respect his boundary. So yeah theres mystery in all this. Id like to think he really is who he says he is (divorced and not cheating on his wife). I have asked if he has a live in partner and he strongly replied with no, if he did he wouldnt be out on a Vday. No other observations or red xflag other than when he cancels our meet up.
THE PLAN: HOW DO I KEEP HIM INTERESTED? I appreciate if you got to this part of my post. Please dont judge me. Im not looking to rush into things with him. I know hes not serious right now but Im hoping that over time, Ill be able to earn his trust and affection. Somehow, I have this theory that maybe hes giving me a test? Is he testing my patience and how committed and determined I am? Maybe hes purposely cancelling in the hopes that Ill go away sooner or later? I dont know. I want to show him Im different than the rest of the women hes met.
Im running out of ideas on what to do when we meet for the 3rd time. I want to keep him interested and actually spend quality time with him every time we meet. I have asked for his input on what he wanted to do from the last 2 meetings we had but he doesnt give any input and he seems to let me drive the situation.
I do my best to be as feminine as I can be. Compliment him, listen to him and show appreciation and be sexy for him. I dont want to seem aggressive and masculine as this might put him off so I try my best to be gentle and staying true to myself.
Can you please give me ideas on how to keep him interested and motivated? What should I do on our 3rd meeting? We plan to meet next week Thurs/Friday.
How do I convert him from non-serious to serious? Im not rushing things, Im giving myself 1yr to be able to convert him or at least keep him interested. Its been 6months and running since we started talking.
I have this idea for the next time we meet, where Ill express how Id like for this to move forward. I.e how often we can arrange to meet/spend time (1or2x/month), things we could do together, how often he should try to communicate/respond to texts, and maybe request for him to ring me sometimes since he doesnt ring me at all, only text, so I can hear his voice. Is this a good idea?If so, how do I go about it? Is the 3rd meet the right time to talk about this or do I wait 2 more meetings to do so? I want to use sex to keep him interested but I am not all for it as Im afraid hell ghost me right after. What am I doing wrong? What am I doing right? How do I keep my frame? I really feel a strong connection for this man. Hes so mysterious, very masculine and smart which keeps me more interested and drawn to him. Its been 6months since we started talking and I still feel strongly for him.
Please dont tell me to dump him and find somebody else coz thats not the answer I seek.
Your help is much appreciated. Thank you ladies!
submitted by Glass-Significance to RedPillWomen [link] [comments]


2020.02.10 07:24 Aerik My big fat cancelling critique

[Info]
Hear ye, Hear ye, Contrapoints stans, fans, casual consumers and detractors all, I present to you a more full critique of the video "Cancelling" than I have ever published before.
Links:
[I'm nobody's stan -- a preamble]
While I was slowly re-watching the video and writing this critique, I got accused by a Contra-stan of being an EssenceOfThought-stan. And also a lying, disingenuous piece of shit. It was in a thread that talked about this really toxic atmosphere brewing on /breadtube and /contrapoints in which anybody who makes a video about Natalie is magically responsible for a new campaign of harassment. And this has spread to Natalie's defenders. People are saying that EoT personally mounted a harassment campaign against PigPuncher (now xanderhal, @xanderhaltv) and got him mass reported off twitter. And it just doesn't ring true to me, nonetheleast b/c xanderhal said himself that the alt-right has mass reported and swatted him in waves for the last couple years.
It's a real problem that there are stans who think everybody is either a stan or a nobody right now. Look, I'm not an EoT stan, even though I'm citing two of their videos in this critique. I have made some firm criticisms of his first video, read my profile for yourselves. When I received and posted Chrisiousity's video, EoT dropped a third drama-bomb of a video and I started to watch it. I stopped after 8 minutes because I already found EoT making one big mistake, and one really shitty line.
First, EoT says that Natalie is only talking about post-Opulence backlash, and thus accuses her of lying about a timeline on some tweets. They're just wrong.
Second, EoT says "Natalie has a fragile ego."
In the very least, this line is hack. Everybody's ego is fragile. That's freshment psychology 101, it's how egos are, it's a feature. It's just saying somebody is being too fragile, and that's an attack on character.
Second, it's fucking mean. It's mean in a general sense. And it's mean in a more personal sense, and I'll tell you why.
I'll mention this later, but I was what I call a first-generation youtube skeptic/atheist. Youtube was founded in 2006, and by 2008, peaking around 2010, we had a thriving group of what the media would call "New Atheists" on youtube. I can drop you a huge list of names, and it's still at most 20% of what was out there. I never made a single video, though I did have a webcam for a short while and regularly hanged out in Stickam with a dozen members of the Rational Response Squad. At first I fell for Pat Condell's shit. I was a big fan of Thunderf00t until his feud with DawahFilms. I apologize to the world. Sincerely. Look, what I want you to take from this is that I've come to be seen as redeemed by many feminists on reddit and beyond, and I think that Natalie is even more redeemable than I. I'm not trying to be a hater. This is constructive criticism.
But also back then, there was Natalie. Under a different channel whose title contains her deadname. I've linked to three different videos on parasocial relationships. Lemme tell you, I've been through 'em. Some that have had intense influence on my daily life, many others not so much. Natalie was, until she started Contrapoints, somewhere in the middle.
From what I've seen over the last 10 years, Natalie has every reason to be sensitive. Fragile, even. I've seen Natalie make meatspace friends with a few of these fellow atheist/skeptics, and they traveled and dined and chilled with one another. They even pulled a couple New Atheist stunts that backfired. Even contributed to a musical collab, which is still funny.
I've seen the community fragment and bubble and burst and burn and mutate. Basically I've watched Natalie lose friends and get hurt, as with many others. And with 10 years of experience, I can look back at old videos where Natalie's old self can be found, and see the unhappiness that she's described.
EssenceOfThought pulling the "fragile ego" line is frankly toxic. EoT only has 2 years of very hard work to look at, and 2 years of public transformation and transition. And EoT seems to assume that the quality of work a youtuber puts out is porportional to how head-above-water they are when it comes to stress levels and strength of will, and wealth of support. And that's wrong.
It's callous. You can't just assume things about people's accumulated life trauma. Calling people fragile as an insult, I've come to find, is morally wrong, because it calls that we celebrate stoic strength as a virtue. And it's always punching down. Every time it's punching down. Looking at somebody who's feeling vulnerable, and going "gross, you're vulnerable!" And EoT has done this despite listening to Natalie talking about a lack of friends in the world. I can't actually name many meatspace acquaintences of hers, much less good friends, besides {Theryn, Olly, Lindsay Ellis, Jenny Nicholson, other people in the few photos with Lindsay and Jenny maybe, Riley and Fiona, Chelsea Manning, Dan Olson, innuendostudios, hbomb...}. Can you? And how long distance most of those are! Almost all of them are expensive-distance. It sucks.
I stopped watching EoT's third video shortly after 8 minutes when they said that, becuase I was just disgusted. And as I said in Chrisiousity's comment section, it looks like a sign to me that in EoT's focus on Natalie the past month, Natalie has evolved in their mind from a popular creator with a specific and powerfully effective flaw, to an outright Adversary, capital-A included. And that's sad. It's the wrong way to go. In early drafts, I refrenced the first two videos because there's a lot of good points made in them. But EoT grows more combative over time and by the third video steps out of line.
So no, I'm not a stan for EssenceOfThought, and I'm not a hater of Natalie Wynn. I've even removed all but one future reference to them from this critique (if I got my editing correct). Even though you'll find that some of the faults I find with the video are the same or similar to EoT's video(s), I don't attribute malice to the flaws as EoT does, now that I've looked back at it. In fact, I'm cancelling my subscription to EssenceOfThought on that alone. It's that gross. Natalie's one overriding flaw is so common and comes from such a human place of vulnerability, I just cannot stand to any further advocate somebody's who's making her such a devil. Shit on Buck angel all you want, EoT, but Natalie is not out to be the monster that jumps out of the closet to bite at enbys. If EoT could re-make his Buck Angel video so as to leave Natalie out of it, that'd be good. As it is though... yeargh.
I still don't think EoT is leading report/harassment brigades. I think the brigaders just love EoT incidentally. EoT is boosting them, but not leading them. But that's enough.
I'm just a dude who thinks this one video, Cancelling, and the cameo in Opulence, did way more harm than she thinks. Than you think. And I think she's capable of coming to understand it, and so are you.
[Reese's Theses]
I have to agree with Chrisiousity and say that when you're doing an essay, written or video, when you're making a case, an argument, you need to leave hyperbole out of the thesis. The entire introduction, even. At least the paragraph the thesis resides in. Because what you're doing is priming.
Hyperbole is lacking in clarity. You're inviting bad interpretations and you create claims you don't know you're making when you do that. It says things whether you intend to or not. Stop it. Everybody stop it.
On the guillotine metaphor specifically: I don't think Natalie meant that cancel culture is like the guillotine in that we are meaning to murder people. All she wanted to point out was the similarity in which a tool for justice became corrupted by people who want to use it purely for the spectacle (trolling) or people who come to believe in a great expansion of enumerable crimes that deserve the max punishment (improper discretization). Natalie could've used a different punishment for the juxtaposition. Prison could serve, as cancelling is nominally a form of isolation. Or perhaps a pillory? But then again, in her defense: with the example of August Ames, Cancelling has lead to death. Or at least hastened it?
Nobody's going to be satisfied with any kind of metaphor in this case because "cancel culture" is decentralized and leaderless. If it had centralization and a written manifesto, we would be better able to describe what she's talking about in existing language : "mission drift." This is a phrase that does exist in activist lexicon. Originally intended to apply to evangelical missionaries (hence the name), I've seen an amibiguated version applied to many other kinds of activism.
This is just what happens when you work without an editor and you drink while making a video. It's not that bad.
[When is cancel culture not cancel culture? When it's ajar!]
I disagree with the claim that cancel culture sprang from "Black Twitter." Though obviously it is a re-branding of "call-out culture." Frankly I don't see anything that hasn't happened before the internet and basically any boycott in American history.
Search for callout culture on any specific social justice subreddit, search it on twitter, search all reddit or just google it... raise your hand if you never heard the word "cancel culture" until a right-wing pseudo-centrist grifter was making strawmen of it (including Obama) like it's the end of the world? I remember lots talk about call-out culture before. How black is it? Did it really come from black twitter? It makese sense that it came more from women. But specifically black women? We need help verifying this.
[James Charles pt. I: Tati]
In Tati's full video, she gives more details than simply the claim, "James Charles tries to trick straight men into thinking they're gay" (with secondary implied extension, "to trick them into sex of dubious consent"):
Natatlie's short little list does mention that cancel-crowds abstract away details, but the fact is Natalie presents the case without the details herself. She makes it seem like Tati never presents these details and that the backlash against James Charles was mostly devoid of said details. Natalie says that the only appropriate claim would read, "Tati accuses Charles of 'trying to trick straight men into thinking they're gay.'"
I think we can see that Natalie is in fact omitting details herself. And that's wrong.
It may be true that every wave of backlash, whether it be black-twitter-specific "cancel culture" or generic backlashes for all kinds of beginnings, will have a dishearteningly-large proportion of people who have joined it only for the spectacle and will not bother with the details. But Natalie has presented us with the following argument.
  1. Tati never used the words "sexual predator."
  2. Cancellers are using the words "sexual predator."
  3. Therefore, the backlash against James Charles is necessarily vacuous, and
  4. It is simply Tati wanting to eliminate a competitor.
The case of, "People have heard details that they believe are aptly summed by the words 'sexual predator'" has been dismissed out of hand, out of sight, and out of mind. That's wrong.
As for the phenomenon of the outrage itself, there are many possible dots to connect into a coherent or incoherent narrative map of weighted segments, to tell what has happened This could be a little bad I admit, but let's lump the dots into starting points and end points. First, the starting points:
  • Tati has made up a tale of sexual abuse because it's the strongest weapon against another's reputation. Tati does not care about sexual abuse.
  • Tati has witnessed sexual abuse as she described, but did not care about it until she had a reason/opportunity to weaponize it, when she felt betrayed.
  • Tati has witnessed the phenomenon of an LGBT person engaging in eye-opening discussions with young men who's identities are not fully formed and may be less cis, less het, or less binary than the young men initially believed; and Tati's bias against LGBT people (and perhaps especially gay men) has lead her to rationalize changes in the young men's minds or behavior as coerced. (this point assumes she never said what she did about him making threats to ruin lives.)
  • More points
And then the endpoints, categories of cancellers that:
  • watched the video and genuinely believe Tati is honest and free of bias of a bigoted type.
  • don't care, in a general sense, about sexual abuse and also just want to eliminate a competitor of Tati.
  • have joined the outrage having heard the specific details.
  • have not heard the specific details, and would continue if they did.
  • have not heard the specific details, but would not continue if they did.
  • are only in it to attack a gay man based on the trope of gay men being hypersexual and sexual predators.
  • are right-wing bigots joining any backlash against a minority of any kind b/c they love punching down and telling their audience that minority folk are emotionally unstable.
  • Other
I say every line you draw from a starting point to an endpoint is a valid hypothesis to test, and some of them can exist simultaneously because the outrage was not monolithic. And it's simply up to yourself, reader, to ascribe percentages to each line until you think you've accounted for the whole picture. That would be an honest description. And it's not what Natalie's done.
There is a bit of ambiguity in Tati's video. What does it mean to "behave sexually in [your] favor," when she speaks to James? Does she mean that these men "performed sexual favors," as the euphemism goes, meaning they performed sexual acts with james, including things such as petting, kissing, handjobs, blowjobs, receiving or giving anal penetration, rimming, etc? Or does it mean dressing and behaving flirtatiously in a very explicit manner? The list is full of assault and rape. The other option is not. And we have to ask ourselves: would or wouldn't Tati use the word "rape"? Is Tati too flustered from the extemperaneous speaking to remember or not? But that's still besides the point, it's not specifically what's wrong or right with Natalie's video and claims.
Next up on what shouldn't have been done: Nat compares two sentences, and claims that they are contradictory.
  • "James Charles tried to trick straight men."
  • "James Charles is toxic and manipulative."
Because the first is something James' behavior, and the second is his character. Look, let's cut the bullshit, folks. Whether or not one succeeds in their attempt to abuse somebody does not have bearing on the fact that what they are doing is toxic and manipulative. This entire part of the video was bullshit. These actions do make one a bad person. This is just how the words 'toxic' and 'manipulative' fucking work. That's how using adjectives works.
When you listen to a radio personality describe a wolf failing to catch a deer this one time, do we stop describing the wolf as a predator? Was it not trying to catch prey just b/c it didn't succeed? Do we even need to hear the word "wolf" to know we're talking about a predator? Obviously, no. We know what hunting prey looks like. We can tell when two animals surprise and attack each other vs when a predator stalks and attacks.
Fuck's sake, y'all. If I swing at you and miss, do people get to say I wasn't violent towards you?! Would somebody that witnessed this happen often be wrong in describing me as violent? That's the shit you're doing with the James Charles thing!
Contrary to what Natalie says, this is not essentialism in action. An argument from essentialism would go the other way. It would begin with the belief that James Charles is a sexual predator, and then it would pick something he "would do," and transform the "would" into a "did." That is how essentialism works, and why it is problematic.
And no doubt, because so many people join outrage for the spectacle of it, b/c they just listen uncritically when dopamine says "go," there are some who went that route. But Natalie presents essentialist argumentation backwards (at this point), and gives the idea that essentialism is all we've got. Neither are correct.
Finally, Natalie brings up that we have the phrase "believe the victim" these days, and presents the James Charles cancelling as a case about why that idea is dangerous. But there's the thing: we're not talking about a backlash that was believing victims. What's been presented is cancellers believing a witness. Natalie has made the error -- and encouraged her audience to do so as well -- of disbelieving a witness and following from that, disbelieving plaintiffs (the victims) before hearing from them; in the very least, dismissing their part in the directino the outrage took, wrongfully describing the outraged as having only heard from Tati. Do I really need to explain how dangerous and unethical that is? Seems like maybe we need to have that discussion, too, by the way y'all are defending every second of this video no matter what. I mean seriously: if I had not linked to Carmie Sellitto above, would any of you stans know who he is? I just do not see a lot of you stans quoting the alleged victims and making a case of James's innocence from that. No, you just go with "I don't like the way twitterers sounded, so Tati must be lying and James is innocent." That is not good epistemology, and it's not a good way of systemic justice reform.
[James Charles pt. II]
Natalie goes on to discuss twitters that react to the un-cancellers by pointing out that they still think that JC is a racist transphobe.
First there's the issue that some of these people maybe are the type who never heard of JC before Tati's video, and have retroactively heard talk of JC saying transphobic and racist things. But I really think if one is to make the case that this is the default for people calling JC "transphobe" and "racist," that has to be shown, and not just claimed. And I think that Natalie has attributed this behavior to essentialism, when really it's at worst people who don't want to research properly.
What we're talking about here is improper discretization, or stratification, when it comes to determining when we say a person "is a transphobe" vs "has ignorant views about trans people, gender, and sexuality." There does need to be a distinction between a person who's preoccupied with their bigotry and pontificates on it by compulsion, vs a young person speaking ignorantly, albeit earnestly. If you want to name discrete steps on the journey from innocence and ignorance to full blown x-phobe, you need a lot more steps than what we're commonly presented with, which is rarely more than two. So what Natalie says 14:30 to 17:22 is good.
And she gets essentialism right this time. This is how essentialism is built. Manly men are manly, x-phobic example --> x-phobe full time. People start to affirm their bias by making an essentialist extrapolation and justifying it backwards. Not quite the same as what happened above in my review here. This is, "oh he's a transhpobe? So of course he said transphobic things, what else can you expect?" And that attitude leads to reading any other honestly ignorant statement being seen as just super hardcore fetishized bigotry Y bubbling to the surface. That is the essentialism that really does lead to trope 5. He's essentially this, so he's also essentially that. Nat nails this one.
BUT
[Fucking Ebola]
The ebola joke isn't "the same vague conceptual area as certain racist tropes." It is flat out a racist trope. Anybody remember "Ugandan Knuckles?" Yeah. The people who loved that shit also didn't give one shit that tongue-clicking languages in Africa didn't come near Uganda. There are other viruses one could associate with Africa that are much more wide spread and common, such as Malaria, and afflictions such Dysentery, but no.
The ebola joke is itself a very clear example of racist essentialism. Because for the joke to work, all of the continent of Africa is Africa, wink-wink. Like, all the different countries in it and how big it is... too-long-didn't-read. It's all the same. That's what's required for the joke to work. And it went exactly how Natalie describes it: to the most extreme example.
I really thought this is something Natalie would know better about given her wonderful video "America: Still Racist." And I sure as hell hope she's getting it by now, what with people whose heritage comes from all over the continent of Asia being attacked as suspects of coronavirus.
Even in JC's apology, he's just "traveling to Africa." Fucking where in Africa, JC?! This is definitely something you should be able to handle before you jump on the plane. The very same racist essentialism the joke is based on is still the same racist essentialism his apology stands on.
But sometimes call-out culture doesn't get it. I can't find any news stories that give a shit about thinking the whole continent of Africa is one country. Statistically 0 people so far have mentioned it, in my experience. And things like that are why I don't think cancel culture came from Black Twitter.
Again let me point out: "Two years ago James made a joke that referenes his fear of getting ebola in Africa" --> "James made a racist joke" is not abstraction. It's summary. Er... Natalie doesn't use "abstraction" the same way I ever would.
[Connecting dots: a challenger appears]
19:44 Natalie rightfully acknowledges (and is very knowledgeable about!) wolves in SJW clothing "signal-boosting" call-outs if it's against a minority person. But I think this should've been mentioned much sooner. It's really contradictory to what Natalie presented as the bulk of call-outs against JC. Suddenly there's a bit of nuance, where before there was not.
[Buck Angel]
Just read Buck Angel's twitter feed to see what a total shithouse he is. Besties with Graham Linehan and Blaire white, demanding the enby community answer for a single sex offender (Rain Dove) and accusing the whole enby community of idolizing them, all kinds of heinous shit. He's totally truscum, and the stans' defense is just inexcusable.
Why do I think Natalie keeps defending Buck when she shouldn't? The same reason stans are doing it for her: "Not my Nigel!" see link above. We all have been guilty of it and will be guilty of it for something in the future. Including me. As I said in preamble, I was a first generation atheist/skeptic youtube shitbird. Trust me. I know it when I see it. Nobody wants to believe their friend is that problematic. We all have some sort of parasocial relationship. Read links above. This is the one overriding flaw I mentioned.
But on EoT's second video, I did leave the following comment, which explains how I used to agree with Natalie more on the subject than I do now:
I've failed to understand how some of Natalie's work has harmed NB people. Mostly I've restricted my view to whether or not Natalie directly said something about NB people or the NB category. But that's not right.
A problem occurs in "The Aesthetic", in two parts. First, because it does seem like Justine wins the debate. I didn't see it that way, I just saw it as she had more to say, because that position takes longer to explain than "if we say we are then we are." But I had really forgotten something. In cinematic language, in movies, tv, the debate sphere and youtube all alike, "winning" in a debate is when you overpower your opponent. When you get to finally do your Finishing Move, the long-winded tirade that makes your adversary sit down and shut up.
It's not just Ben Shapiro that does this, it's not just the alt right and the grifters. It's often this way for lefists, too. Pwning republicans and religious zealots alike. Dan points this out in his "alt right playbook" series, Never Play Defense, 6:50 -- the clip from that tv show (West Wing) where the U.S. president makes the fundamentalist lady sit down and shut up, defeated. We like to think we don't think we see winning the way Shapiro does, when you make somebody do a 'wtf' o-face and hesitate, but often we do. more than often enough.
So, meaning to or not, Natalie had Justine do her Finishing Move and win the debate. I don't think that's winning a debate, I eventually grew out of that attitude and have not appreciated it in some time. But I let myself forget that in the real world, that's what counts for winning in people's minds, and it's very much in the cinematic language.
Part 2 is exactly like you explain, EoT, and sadly I didn't think of it. People who think that gender is performative do consistently misname, misgender, and passive/active-agressively disregard the feelings of NB people because they "don't act like the gender they claim to be, or "act like the gender they say they aren't." Performativity is, in real life, a weapon used against NB people. Binary trans people too, but it kind of never stops for NB people. It's worse.
But does that make Justine a transmedicalist? Well, no. But I'm willing to bet now that there were many more people, a greater proportion, who did not say that Justine was transmedicalist. Rather there were probably more people who said that by having the performativity advocate win the debate, Natalie glorified the most common weapon used against NB people. And when Natalie, in "Cancelling," makes it seem like the former claim is the primary or only claim, she was again either egregiously lazy in her research or outright lying. Definitely disingenuous, and definitely continuing the harm.
This even extends to Buck Angel and his attacks on his ex. Let's draw a venn diagram! Maybe not all performative theorists are trans medicalists. But all trans medicalists use it to attack NB people. And when NB people get undue skepticism thrown at them it's often in the form of "but you don't dress like the gender you say you are," which is basically to say, "So you're crossdressing? Weirdo!" So despite what I said in a reddit thread, it's pretty reasonable to extrapolate that from Buck's current truscummery, that attack too was enbyphobic.
Hey, third edit, here's some more: Maybe we should also consider three more things:
(1) that there are plenty of NB people who've never experienced an instance of being described as a crossdresser from somebody who wasn't pushing performative-theory, and
(2) What if there are more people who identify as NB who crossdress, than those who crossdress but don't.
(3) Shitty attacks on crossdressing or "incorrect performance" by default harm more NB people than not.
Dear enbys,
I formally apologize for not getting it, and for also causing harm by defending it in a couple /contrapoints threads. I will try to be better.
[Slurs Are Still Gross]
Please let's not accept "cunty" into our lexicon. Even in supposed jest like this. Ugh. It feels like this will be used unironically in the future and I don't look forward to it happily.
[I think, therefore I tran]
After she stops that, it suddenly gets good. Like, snap of the finger.
I just dealt with The Aesthetic in that youtube comment, incidentally. The video did something truly by accident in the way that I said, and it's forgivable. It's perfectly redeemable, and so is Natalie. I'm 90% with Natalie on this one. She forgot one thing about media language. Her haters forgot most things about media language.
Natalie grew out of the first tweet she apologizes for. That's awesome. She doesn't need to apologize for it, IMO, and she doesn't. Ring that bell, gorge.
[Boymode gals]
Natalie is correct that the tweet is out of context. It was part of a conversation, a narrative in which Natalie was surprised in her early exploration that some trans people not only do not dress androgynously or conventionally aligned with their self-identified pronouns, but can often have styles that seem coded entirely the other direction. Natalie is describing the experience of becoming aware of the error. The haters have completely misunderstood this.
The context was about generational differences in trans expression. What you haters need to understand is that people of Natalie's age (my age) have experienced harsher and more prevalent social attacks on trans identities, with less to none of the out reach that younger people have had access to in the 2010's. It was a lonelier experience with much less exploration and expression allowed, and it really does create different trauma and thought processes.
People are built different. Not just from the womb, but from the environment in which they grew up. Respect the build.
DING, motherfuckers.
[Leftist discord servers in spaaaaace!]
^ That's a Muppets reference. See how we're a different generation?
Good apology. noice. But not perfect. Gosh. We've listened to politicians faux-pologize for so long we aren't aware we're emulating them. Leave out the "if you felt trivialized by it" part, Natalie. They're triviliazed by it whether they're aware of the video or not.
*Less enthusiastic ding.*
[Pronoun Rodeo]
This tweet was perfectly fine. Even when one misunderstands the sarcasm and thinks Natalie was way more angry than she actually was. Pronoun circles are an adaptation to awareness of the false cis/binary hegemony. And adaptation comes with a cost. And it's fine to gripe at a skin rash. She said nothing wrong.
[Last of the Old-School Transsexuals]
I said before that I myself couldn't make sense of this line. But now I can see it's referencing the same thread from the girl-in-boymode tweet. Only she didn't really connect it to that other thread in any way, so the connective tissue is completely absent. It's only visible now because Natalie happened to juxtapose them in two contiguous video segments. I don't think she should apologize for this one.
[♪ Maybe it was me who was fucking up ♫ - "Hurt" - Oliver Tree]
53:40 -ish. "Maybe tomorrow he [Buck] will say fuck nonbinary people, and I'll have fucked up."
Well, he has gone on to practically french kiss Graham Linehan on twitter, loves Blaire White, and as I pointed out in another /contrapointsdrama thread, demanded that the enby community answer for a supposed enby icon doing a bad thing once in his young past, which is a great big trio of middle fingers to nonbinary folk.
[The Soy Luck Club]
I'll just copypaste much of what I said before about the vidcon 2017 events, but add a little too:
Natalie, there's something I really want to get through to your brain, and it just hasn't happened yet. Know that "nice to me IRL --> they're not problematic on a level worth confronting" fallacy I mentioned above? The alt-right shitlords don't reciprocate it, at least not in the same way. They just increase their own self worth and validation. If you're nice to them IRL, for any reason, they will only concede in some amount to something very specific that personally made you upset on that day on that brunch. But then they escalate everything else because you became "one of the good ones," and they get to have their extra recruitment ammo of "see? some lefty loves me! the others are just haters and their evidence made up!". and that's just what they've done if they managed to keep up a regularly active youtube channel.
please. stop. feeding. that. beast. That brunch is regrettable. A confrontational livestream is one thing. The brunch is another.
I don't know why you are so unaware, Natalie. you validated their harassment during the harassment. Their presence at vidcon, every single second of it, was harassment, and you sat with the figurative dog-whistling wolves in their zoot suits and chummed it up . And you have never bothered to listen to this fact. "because they were nice to me IRL."
* (The above imagery is derived from old cartoons the youngest here probably haven't seen.)
sargon, armoredskeptic, shoe0nhead, chris raygun, etc all, in total more than a dozen, went to they could occupy blocks of chairs so that Anita Sarkeesian couldn't ignore their presence. That's what Anita was reacting to when she referred to sargon as a "garbage human" in a live panel.
Even during the brunch, they sat together so as to create a space that Anita couldn't also occupy (or avoid seeing), to keep her out of the dining area, because everything she says and does can and will be used against her in the court of alt-right law. They travel in groups to any panel she's in or wants to watch so that they can't be ignored and make Anita upset about what new youtube/twitter harassment onslaught is about to be faced not only by her, but anybody she positively associates with at the con. And you joined them. You couldn't see through it. You bought the "nice to you irl" bait, and you harassed Anita Sarkeesian. There, that's the reality of it, why I'm still bringing this up myself after 2 years. You may have been unaware of it at the time, but you were harassing Anita Sarkeesian. It's not. ok. I just do not want for you to bring up that brunch and not be confronted about it.
Just so you readers out there understand why Natalie even mentioned Laci Green, why people have compared Natalie and Laci: it's because Laci started dating Chris Raygun, accepted a shitty fake apology from SargonOfAkkad, and changed her mind on all trans issues, and this all happened at that same vidcon.
[The Theryn Parsons Project]
Get it? Because it's Theryn, and Alan Parsons Project, the band? Fuck you, I'm funny!
Has anybody watched Shoe0nHead the last 2 years? Fuck no, she didn't evolve as a better person. Even now that she's trying to pander to the left on her "brainlet" channel, she's still a turd. And "Brainlet" is a 4chan meme. She's just grifting still. There are plenty of breadtube members who fall for this, too.
[Twitter, the clogged shitter]
Do any of these twitters understand what the difference is between grift and just asking for compensation for hard work? Doesn't seem like it.
Yes it's still a huge deal that Natalie doesn't want to see Buck for what he is. But clearly , contrary to what many alt-right concern trolls would have us believe about their baby bigots, Natalie really is a person for whom honey attracts more cooperation than vinegar. We really could've sat down with Natalie and demonstrated what's wrong with Buck Angel in a civilized manner. But instead yer jumping to this 'grifer', 'terf' & 'truscum' charges and stuff? No wonder Natalie identifies with James Charles (outside of the intern abuse). Y'all jumped straight from "She's made a mistake" to "Contrapoints is the devil, Bobby Boucher!" with no point in between.
And no wonder she wants to avoid looking into it as long as possible - giving this type of twitter an inch yields a mile more bullshit abuse. Y'all aren't just cutting your cord -- you're making a cat-and-nine-tails and whipping mutaneers.
Lindsay Ellis went into a hospital to deal with the abuse people were giving her before Opulence. And this is how you deal with her being associated with Natalie? This isn't cancelling. This is witch hunting.
What I'm doing here is legitimate critique. What twitter is doing is not.
People who do activism on Twitter inevitably turn into reactionary shitheads. We should ALL quit Twitter. I've been through this with the first-generation youtube atheists/skeptics, too! I watched at least three sub-communities crumble because they couldn't correctly put together twitter timelines, soundbites, DMs, and private facebook groups into coherent narratives, and they all drove themselves into extinction. Which I'm sure Natalie may have also watched glumly, and I don't blame her for not wanting to live through that multiple times.
1:12:10
And likewise, when a mob is at my doorstep demanding I condemn Buck Angel to save myself from Cancellation... No!
That's just it, isn't it? Y'all could just cancel your subscription, announce why, convince others to, and move on. You can make videos all about Buck Angel, that don't witch hunt any of his followers, and present it casually all over the internet until it works. If you successfully succeed in canceling her, she loses all her money, she stops making the videos, and you can move on. But you don't do that. You come to her over and over, with your carrot and stick, and demand she dance. You're not acting like she's a person in power who needs a strong public response. You're showing that you have the power and want to use it not for public good but for personal gratification. This is indeed how a mob behaves. But y'all think you're marching on Washington.
I've checked. There have never, ever been so many videos or tweets made in anger about Buck Angel until Opulence. There is no reason to make it seem like association with Natalie Wynn is inflating his influence to such a dangerous level as to warrant this. If Buck was so goddamn bad, you wouldn't need the help of bashing Contrapoints. The jump would never have happened if you thought that. Now that I know about him, I do think he's that bad. But you don't!
And I don't care that you can say that Natalie has been showing up on NPR and news outlets. Know who else has done that? Anita Sarkeesian. Anita went all the way to the fucking U.N.. And how much influence does she have on any of your lives? A hair above zero, that's what. Y'all think you're better than gamergaters or the republicans bashing Greta Thunberg? Nah. Ya ain't.
There are a few youtubers who have made some OK, good-faith critiques. But you twitter folk are garbage humans.
I don't have anything negative to say about the rest of the video.
submitted by Aerik to u/Aerik [link] [comments]


2019.12.07 01:59 Logic_Sandwich JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #4: R5M2 - Tunde Ó Santos and Gioia Arancini vs. ???

The epilogue is in for Match 1...
The winner is Uncivil Umbra, with a score of 87 to the Guiding Lytes’ 54!
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Uncivil Umbra 35-5 Citing their mobility and pressure, Kaito and Kris took pop by storm, ending 7-1!
Quality Tie 24-24 Reasoning
JoJolity Uncivil Umbra 28-25 Reasoning
Location — San Francisco, CA:
The halls of 「No 1 Had a Clue」 were empty. Quiet. No birds, no people, wandered through the halls. A meeting was going on, an important one.
The meeting hall, behind several layers of paintings and security, was the opposite. It was packed with people, birds squawking and conversing, over the undercurrent of nervous energy. Everyone there, focused on one topic: Lyte, and its destruction.
Niyaz stood, finishing his conversation with Hadrian, walking up to the podium in the center of the room, letting the debate wash over him. He gestured to Oscar. “Get their attention, I believe I’ve had enough time to prepare, dear Oscar.”
Oscar nodded, pulling out a machine gun from his chair. He took a deep breath and shouted to the crowd. “THESE ARE BLANKS! DON’T ATTACK ME!” He fired into the air. The sound of it discharging, if nothing else, got their attention, and in a moment, the room was as relatively silent as it was going to get.
“Thank you, Oscar.” Niyaz began, after a moment of preening in the attention. “You may have noticed that two of our number, Fucile and Yabuuchi, are not with us right now. They have gone to another mission on their initiative to take care of a loose end. For now, I have a few missions to be done. First is one from Pão….” He gracefully stepped aside as she stood on stage.
“I’ve heard of some lockdowns around some of the local water supply.” She said. “Since apparently Selleck’s taking inspiration from the movie and actually poisoning it, I’m going there, gonna beat the shit out of whoever is defending it, and go. I need one or two people to watch my gang’s back, nothing more.”
Mylo grinned. “Beatin’ this shit outta cops, right? I’m down for it.”
Pão looked at him, and nodded. She pitched her voice to everyone else. “If you want to come along, ask me after. It’s too loud to tell you what I want here and I want to get this meeting over with.” She stood down, and ‘Take Warning’ took her place.
“Meanwhile, I have discovered a few testing facilities. I’m going to destroy them, try and get more information on other locations. I don’t need anyone, but I could take one or two to keep any defenses off my back so I can focus.” They laughed. “The security isn’t too tough, so I’ll spread them out further, which should make all of your jobs easier while I do my work. That’s all.”
Niyaz smoothly retook their place. “And on my part, first up.” He paused. “There has been a few inklings of proof that our opponent, Selleck and his hordes, have been in action well ahead of schedule. While I and we have assumed that we had more than a week to prepare for the final battle and stymie our enemy. Yet, still-”
“So we have a couple less days to beat these shitheads’ face in, yeah?” Mylo interrupted.
“...More or less, if even days in plural.” Niyaz stated. “There is proof, if slightly circumstantial, esoteric proof, that our opponent is planning, scheming, has used some sort of unknown technique t- what is it now.”
「Alarm Call」 walked on stage, splitting into three to face everyone. “We will simplify. Selleck is ahead of schedule. We have isolated a time he will be inside of his San Francisco office building. He is likely to be the only person inside.” Their eyes flashed red. Niyaz grit his teeth, and relaxed his jaw, stepping off of the podium.
“This is a prime opportunity to attempt to kill him before the situation gets dire. But there is another purpose to this mission. Selleck plans to use this time to do something vital with the mission. The details have been erased from our databanks, but the location of the erased file lead us to the conclusion that it is absolutely vital to his plot.”
“We will be directing Andrew Lennox to the location, one of the main offices for the corporation. We require two others to support our efforts.” The focus of the people around went to Lennox, standing against a wall in a darkened corner. He flashed his teeth threateningly.
“Well now,” he said, tapping his fingers on the wall. “I’m quite popular, all of a sudden.” He chortled. “My 「Sweet Dreams」 is well suited to destruction of this kind, and my skillset can get me there. But we have no idea what Selleck’s Stand is.”
“I’d like some distractions. So I can get into position, and so I have time to shut whatever Selleck is planning down. Feel free to come along.”
“It appears that we’re together once again, then.” Gioia stood up, resolute, staring into his eyes. “You’re plotting something with this, surely… but that’s not important. This is a chance to take down Selleck, right?”
“I have no issue with you, if you want to kill him there.” Lennox answered. “Do it yourself, at least. You’ll be an exceptional distraction.”
“...We’re both aware I do not need your blessing.” She stated, sitting down. “I would not let this chance slip through my fingers, regardless. He needs to be brought to justice, it would be irresponsible for me not to try now.”
“You need one more, correct?” Rang out another voice. Tunde snapped closed her Stand, a happy smile on her face. Nate himself. She had thought she would be playing a bit role in this tale… but something about this called to her, a path she had almost taken. “I have to thank dear Nate for his invitation in person. I’ll be happy to assist.” She looked to 「Alarm Call」. “Express my gratitude to everyone involved.”
Gioia’s brow wrinkled in mild confusion. “If you intend to profess your gratitude to Selleck too… fervently, O’ Santos, I won’t hesitate to bring you to justice as well.”
Tunde laughed. “To betray all of you for a shallow set of tropes like that! I respect you too much to do that, Gioia.” Her face softened. “I can promise you my intentions are purely to help you and Mr. Lennox succeed.”
Gioia glanced to Lennox, who seemed interested in Tunde, and the still, silent Alarm Call. “...I will work with you, then. Let us move on, leave the rest to their planning. Oscar, if you will.”
Niyaz took the chance to muscle back up on stage, with 「Alarm Call」 retreating. “Now that that is done, the next campaign that I have planned for this continuing aggression is—”
Gioia, Tunde, and Lennox were grabbed by 「The King of Limbs」 and vanished from the room.
On an overcast morning in California, Nate Selleck stood alone in a dark room, standing over a counter. The specifics of the room were obscured by darkness, but clearly visible on Nate’s face was a grin steadily creeping across his cheeks.
“Yes… I think it’s all finally coming to fruition. What I’ve worked so long and hard on… is finally becoming a reality,” he whispered to himself. He wiped the sweat from his brow, looking down at his creation with pride. He’d finally done it.
Little did Nate know, however, a figure crept in the shadows behind him, steadily approaching. Before he could react, he was struck at once with immense pain.
The lights turned on in the kitchen of Nate Selleck’s home, causing him to wince and shut his eyes.
“Aagh! Honey, I told you to warn me before you turn those on next time! I wasn’t ready!” he yelped, rubbing his eyes.
“And I thought I told you to stop cooking in the dark, Nate! You’re going to burn yourself!” The other person clucked. When Nate’s eyes finally adjusted, he could see her, his beloved wife Maria Selleck.
“Alright… I’m all done, anyway! I think I’ve finally perfected the French Toast recipe I’ve been working on. I cut back on the cinnamon and I used not one, not two, but THREE different kinds of vanilla extract. It adds complexity and depth to the flavor…” Nate said, scooping pieces of the food onto several plates. His apron was splattered with flour and egg, “Kiss the Coder” embroidered in large letters on the front.
“I’m sure you got it this time, hon! I’ll go get the kids down from bed.” Maria said, giving Nate a light kiss on the cheek before heading out of the room and up the stairs.
Nate’s home was large, ornate, and well furnished. After the vandalization and destruction of his old mansion, he spared no expense in making sure his new home was even more comfortable and decked out than the last; he also chose to forego the traditional Californian Governor’s mansion, because it wasn’t “Smart Enough”. While not quite the McMansion that he had before, the scaled back size gave him a more… at-home feel. Although he appreciated lavishness, something about the quaintness of a suburban home appealed to him… though, quaintness to him still meant a very large two story house with more rooms than you could shake at, a full garage, and a large backyard.
“Ok, MK, turn oven and stove off and dim kitchen lights to 50%.” Nate said, speaking to a sleek looking device on the counter. After a brief moment, the device spoke: “You’ve got it, Mr. Selleck.”, and executed Nate’s commands. This was 「MKAS」, the “MK Automated Home System”, an internet synced smart device that Nate developed himself for personal use. He was adamant that the other ones on the market just weren’t enough, so set to the task of making one himself. The home was littered with many such devices.
Nate set all the plates at the various spots on the table and sat down, sighing with content. He smiled as a spindly limb reached from behind him, setting a mug down and pouring a cup of coffee. His Stand set the pot back and dispersed into the air. The sight of it put butterflies in Nate’s stomach…it reminded him of what was to happen today. The true culmination of everything he’d worked for… he shook his head, as if trying to physically shake the butterflies away, and smiled as his children ran down the stairs to greet him, Maria close behind.
They ran up to the table, Nate giving them kisses on the forehead and ruffles of the hair. “Morning, sleepyheads! Hope you’re ready for the best dang breakfast your dad’s ever made!”
“You said that yesterday, too!” His daughter giggled, sitting at the table. Diane A. Selleck was 8 years old, Nate’s first child. She eagerly cut into the french toast and took a bite, her face lighting up. “But, I think you’re right!”
Nate’s son was the next to sit down, across from Nate. He was a bit quieter than his sister, but just a year younger at 7 years old. His face lit up in quite the same way when he took a bite of his breakfast. “Woah! This is really good!”
Nate beamed, his wife coming up from behind to give him a hug. She kissed him on the cheek, smiling. “I guess you knocked it out of the park this time! That’s one for the cookbook!”
Nate nodded, pulling the chair next to him out for his wife. She sat down and began eating, and Nate sighed once more. He looked around the table and took the image in… it never got old. He loved his family very dearly.
“So, hon, anything important on the agenda today?” Maria said, taking a sip of her coffee. Nate shifted in his chair a bit, scratching the back of his head. He was uncharacteristically nervous.
“Well… I think we’re finishing up that important project at Lyte I told you about today. I know it’ll go well, and when you finally get to see what it is you’re going to love it! But… I can’t help but get the last minute jitters, you know?” Nate murmured, pushing his food around his plate with his fork.
Maria took his free hand, smiling at him. “Now Nate, you know you’ve never let big projects stop you before! I know it’s classified… but whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll turn out well. If you can pick up the governor’s seat in a surge, you can tackle this project no problem!”
Nate nodded, shaking his head as if to physically rid himself of his fears. “You’re… You’re right! It’s all worked out in the past… why wouldn’t it now? I’m going to knock it out of the park, just like breakfast!”
Nate glanced at his smart watch, eyebrows raising. “Wow, almost time for work! Let me help get the kids ready before I head out.”
Hopping up and heading over to his kids’ side of the table, he began making small adjustments to their outfits. Straightening his son’s collar, pulling his daughter’s hair up into a curly bun with a bright pink scrunchie, checking their backpacks for all the supplies. Once he was all done, he smiled, grabbing one with each arm and pulling them in tight for a hug.
“You know how much I love the two of you?” he said, smiling.
The both of them giggled, speaking back as if this were routine. “To the sun and back!”
Nate stood up, nodding. “I hope you two have a great day at school; and you too, hon!” he said, walking over to Maria and embracing her tightly.
Maria smiled. “You’re going to do great today, I know it. I hope your project goes off without a hitch!”
Nate headed for the front door, slipping his coat on. “I hope so too… thank you so much for your support, honey. I love you!”
“I love you too, Nate. Oh, and, hon?”
Nate turned around, cocking his head. “Yeah?”
“Knock ‘em dead out there today.”
He grinned widely, nodding. “I will!”
With that, he headed out the door and towards destiny.
The conspirators rode in a car, unmarked, driven by Gioia. Tunde sat in the passenger seat, and Andrew behind her. She slowed. “Here we are.” She said. “Lyte headquarters. The three examined the area around, and found little security past a few discreet policemen. “Thought Selleck would have better security.”
“It seems he’s sent most of his employees home for the day.” Tunde mentioned. “How… out of character. This must be important indeed.
“It makes my job easier.” Lennox mused, hands crossed over each other. “And if the security detail is lacking, that’s fewer possible complications to our goals.”
“We kill the playwright of this drama, and you burn the set down, as it were?” Tunde added, playing with one of her birds.
They passed through a gate to an adjoined parking garage. Lennox chuckled. “Playwright in a sense, though I assume that other impresarios have intentions for me.” His body language was relaxed, face almost kindly. A farce. Gioia could see the slightest tremor in his hands, knew that he ached to kill. “If you are unable to perform, I will merely have to take another part.”
“And yet you wear—forgive the continued torturing of this metaphor, for how little of a problem I assume you have with that business—so many masks already.” Tunde said. “It’s not just shutting down the broadcast, correct? To have your conspirator take you on, merely for this….”
“Merely, as if I were not preparing to save California. Or something as noble sounding as that.” He paused. “Well Gioia? I have been working on that bit. If you’re not convinced I can recite a speech.”
“I have no doubt.” Gioia said, flatly. “Should I mail an op-ed to the Times about your great humanitarian work? Perhaps I could get Tunde to help me out.”
Tunde chuckled. “I can certainly make a draft, though I presume I will be too busy being the antagonist to your boyfriend’s ‘story’ to refine it too much. Though—” She looked back at Andrew. “I doubt we have time for an interview.” She hummed. “For an eye-catching tagline… hero? Martyr? Terrorist?”
Andrew sneered, his quiet facade curdling. “Those dogs have the decency to not play around with their opinions.”
Tunde waved her hands in a placating gesture. “I meant no jest! Oh, if only I’d been able to help with your struggles months ago… but at least you have an ally, in your journey.” She smiled reassuringly. “If your parts are to end, you’ll have no better director.”
Gioia scoffed. “I’m surprised you... trust them enough to have agreed to this in the first place.”
Andrew rolled his eyes at the very idea. “Trust? You know ‘me’ better than that. We are just...” He looked at his hands. “Of some similar objectives. You should remember what I mean.”
Infamy. Annihilation.
“And you seek, at once, to have your masks to drop away at once.” Tunde stated. “It’s quite freeing, you know.”
Utter annihilation. Nothing left, but dark whispers curdling in the light.
“...If you insist, Mrs. O Santos.” He muttered. “In either case, we’ve wasted enough time.” He opened the car, hesitating. “O Santos, Arancini, 「Alarm Call」, since you’re so uncouth as to be listening in. We may meet again, but our acquaintanceship ends here. All of you with this, are now my ‘allies’.” He paused, and chuckled, the form of 「Sweet Dreams」 twisting the air behind him. “Goodbye.”
The door shut, Gioia looking forwards, not saying a word. Tunde tracked his progress out of the garage. “What a fascinating man.” She sighed. She turned to Gioia. “And I’m surprised myself, that you didn’t respond.”
“There’s nothing to be said to him.” She stated. “His goals, from what I understand, are to break his own bonds, of the inevitability of his existence. If he unravels himself, his very soul, in the process ...” She opened the door. “Whatever he’s planned, whatever stunt… in that way I am his ally. I’ll be there to clean up his mess.”
Gioia collected herself. “For now, I’ll wish him the best, wish 「Alarm Call」 the best, on their mission. Then hopefully I won’t have to act in what I assume he means by ally... again. And for now, I have other problems I need to focus on. Come on. We have our own job to do.”
“Working with a dead man, and a dead woman, both impudently still speaking.” Tunde mused, leaving herself, following Gioia to look up at the skyscraper. “In Tarot, the Tower represents destruction, a shaking of foundations. Something falling apart. In a sense, that’s what Selleck plans to do… shake the foundations of this very earth. Will his destruction herald his glorious rebirth, or will he fall into dust.” She chuckled. “This ‘Tower’... as boring as I find the man himself, this tower will make an interesting tale.”
Gioia scoffed. “Drama, stage, all of that metaphor…. We’re acting as executioners here. Shoot to kill.”
“Alright.” Tunde demurred, a smile on her face.
Nate was on the road, nearly to Lyte HQ. He had a high-end electric car in a vivid red color, with full self-driving features; though, sometimes he liked the feeling of driving it himself, which he was opting to do this time. Despite the pep-talk from his wife earlier, his leg still rocked rapidly with nervousness. Everything he’d worked for was coming to fruition, and if he was to really usher in the future of human evolution… then the world as he knew it would change forever. Even if it was for the better, that was an intimidating prospect.
Nonetheless, he kept going. Even if it was scary, it was something he had to do. In preparation for this event, he’d had all the employees at Lyte HQ either go home for the day, or go to one of their other offices, save for one or two security guards. Even the hard-working Ray Ban went home for the day. He needed to be alone for this… to carry this out himself.
With that, he pulled into the parking garage next to Lyte HQ.
Meanwhile, Tunde and Gioia walked down the sidewalk. They tried to keep a low profile, blending into the hustle and bustle of the other bystanders. Towering above them was Lyte HQ, a tall, sleek building that seemed to pierce the sky. These people around them going about their daily lives had no idea what was going on in there… Gioia’s stomach twisted.
Nate locked his car, making his way down the steps and down to the ground floor. Smiling, he looked up at Lyte HQ. Even with the clouds looming overhead, it was a bright bastion of hope and advancement to him. It was truly inspiring.
He made his way down the sidewalk, casually strolling through the crowds of onlookers, excited to see the governor of California. Normally, the governor would have a security detail on them, but Nate opted not to this time around. Every now and again, it was nice to appreciate getting to walk unrestricted amongst the populace.
Nate made his way to the front door at around the same time Gioia and Tunde did. Gioia’s eyes widened, and Tunde grinned.
“I… can’t believe it. Seriously… is he just, right there?” Gioia whispered.
“There’s our target… and now for a curtain call! Time to give him my thanks!” Tunde said in turn. She reached for her gun, hidden under her clothing.
Nate noticed the two standing outside the door, smiling at them. As he walked into the HQ, he held the door open for them, gesturing with a genial smile.
They both paused for a moment. Nate was a tad confused, as he looked the two of them up and down.
The reports that Riko had given him…the portraits of the people he sent the invites out to. It took him a moment to realize, but when he did, his eyes widened. “No… now?!” He muttered, swiftly trying to make his way into the building.
Tunde drew her revolver on Nate, quickly taking aim. He gasped, stammering. “S-SHE’S GOT A GUN! EVERYBODY RUN!”
There was just a moment of silence before a torrent of panicked screams. A few shots rang out, Tunde firing on Nate; the rushing bystanders bumped into her, throwing her aim off, the bullets flying into the concrete wall. One was fired at him, only for a tentacle to whip from behind him, a panel deflecting it.
A colorful piece of glass flew through the air, landing on the front door of the building. As Gioia rushed to follow Nate, the door swiftly slammed shut, locking and causing shutters to fall down from the inside.
“Oh no you don’t! 「Love Kills」, get us in there!” Gioia yelled, her Stand manifesting behind her. “ARARARARARARARARARAAAA~~~!”
A flurry of punches connected with the door and shutters, the Stand tearing through them like paper. Gioia jumped through, Tunde following close behind.
Nate rushed through the door to the stairwell, panels flying into the doors and swiftly shutting them as he ran through. “A… A GUN? SERIOUSLY?! THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS… I-I GOTTA GET THERE…”
Nate swiftly scaled the steps as he heard crashing from the lobby below him. He wasn’t used to exerting himself this much… but he had to keep going.
He opened up his phone, cycling through for any enemies. A security camera, fuzzy and indistinct. If they were there, 'that man' might be as well. He could ruin everything, all of them could ruin everything.
After scaling a few flights, he made his way through a door a solid steel door. Shutting it quickly behind him, he went through another, locked with a fingerprint scanner.
Making his way through, the further crashing sounds in the lobby made his heart race faster. He made his way to a secure looking safe… he put the code into the digital lock. 1120108. The date of his anniversary…
The lock clicked, and he opened the safe, receiving a small vial from within. This vial… a pure sample of Perfect Xplicit. This vial contained the very fate of the future of humanity…He tucked it into his jacket. He heard the sounds of the two of them draw closer, as he realized everything he put in place was broken through.
28 floors… 28 floors between him and the advent of a new age. He exited the room, making his way out to the second floor. He grasped his heart necklace in his hand, clutching it and closing his eyes. His throat choked up, and he trembled. He kissed the necklace, a tear rolling down his face.
Nate stared forward, rubbing his eyes, filled with a fiery determination.
“I’m… I’m going to do this. I have to...”
Gioia and Tunde stood prepared in the lobby, breaking through everything Nate tried to put in their way. Gioia glanced at her ally.
Tunde reloaded her gun. "The scene is set, the actors are in place… are you ready?
Gioia grimaced. "That metaphor is dead in a ditch. It's not a matter of being ready or not. We’re going to do this… we have to.”
“For the sake of humanity.” Gioia spoke. Tunde grinning in response.
“For the sake of humanity…” Nate muttered, 「MK Ultra」 manifesting fully behind him.
The two of them spoke at once, as if bound by some unknown force.
“We have to make it to the top.”
Location: The main building of Lyte Headquarters in San Francisco, CA. The company building is pretty impressive to the average tourist, but it is about average compared to other large business HQs. The building is structurally sound and completely up to code. It stands 30 stories tall and is about 50 by 50 meters per floor. The only employees currently around are security personnel. The floors are simple to navigate and have what you would expect according to their functions:
  • Floor 1: Reception Area - A normal reception area with a timeline of the company painted on the walls. The players start here.
  • Floor 2: Cafeteria and Kitchen Area. Nate starts here.
  • Floor 3: Indoor Garden and Greenroom
  • Floor 4: Gym and Massage Therapy area
  • Floor 5: Break/Lounge Area
  • Floors 6 - 10: Research and Development
  • Floors 11 - 15: Marketing
  • Floors 16 - 20: Logistics and Human Resources
  • Floors 21 - 25: Business Services and Upper Management
  • Floors 26 - 29: IT and General Programing
  • Floor 30: Server Room, linked up to the radio tower on top of the building. Andrew Lennox is located somewhere here.
Since the elevators have been mysteriously 「disabled」, you’ll have to take the stairs, which tend to alternate between one side of the floor and the opposite. This zigzagging pattern means that you’ll have to cross each floor to access the staircase leading further up the building.
Goal: Reach the Server room before your opponent does! As an aside, since the server room and Lennox are still in the building, attempting to collapse it will lead to an effective loss for either team.
Boss Information
Additional Information: There are still 100 security guards on staff, all able to see Stands and armed with kevlar vests, tasers, and earpiece communicators. The first 5 floors have have 5 security personnel each while the remaining floors have 3 guards spread evenly around the floor. Each security guard have 333 Physicals as well as a 4 in Security Professional and a 3 Tactics. They will use cover, try and surprise opponents, and generally be smart about the intruders. They will be nonlethal in tactics, but the tasers will still hurt if you get hit, and they won’t hesitate to tackle and potentially disarm you. They will not leave their floors for any reason, nor will Nate attempt to order them to.
Team Combatant JoJolity
La Horde Unie Tunde Ó Santos “Oh! Almost forgot! Gotta get it on video...won't take long to kill you, though....” Not only does this company have gigabytes of data stored on its servers, but there will be tons of it created over this match. Gather as much information as possible!
La Horde Unie Gioia Arancini “A deal like that is too good to be true for a man like you.” However fancy this company is, you know the horrors that await therein. Nobody should work here again... so make it impossible to. During your race to the top, cause as many OSHA violations as possible, and make the mere act of working in this hellhole physically unsafe!
Guiding Lytes Nate Selleck “Curiosity is the most important factor to spiritual growth.” Your path here has had many obstacles, but your experience and mental fortitude helped you grow and surpass them. Push your development further along and use as many unique methods and properties as you can!
Link to the Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to R5 Match Schedule
As always, if you would like to interact with the tournament community and be among the first to get updates for the tournament, please feel free to PM a member of our Judge staff for an invite to our Official Discord Server!
submitted by Logic_Sandwich to StardustCrusaders [link] [comments]