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(Ragnarok: Pandora) Chapter 41: Become myself

2023.06.10 15:40 Craftex101 (Ragnarok: Pandora) Chapter 41: Become myself

Ra looks at the screen in front of him, sitting back with his head resting against his fist as Wukong flies off to go… fishing. Tyr playing with human children. He is not reacting in any way it seems. Osiris gulps a little. “Lord Ra?”
“Osiris,” Ra replies almost instantaneously, an eerie calmness in his voice. “I would like you to not speak,” He stands and begins walking down his steps. “I will be back soon,” He says, stepping out of the gates to the temple.
Osiris winces a little as the doors shut behind Ra and he dares not even move until a few minutes when the guards from outside come sprinting inside, closing the doors in a panic. “What are you doing?! Are we being invaded?!” Osiris asks before he’s hit by a brief heatwave before the doors are shut. “Ngh!?”
“We were… going to melt, lord Osiris.”
“... Understandable.”
Meanwhile out in the desert, Ra sits down on a giant glass sheet spread over the sand of the desert in a circle with him in the exact center, biting his lip until it draws blood. “I will kill Tyr… even after he wins. How dare he mock the pride of the gods with such… frivolous activity. And with HUMAN children no less… he ought to slaughter them, to get the fight finished… grrr…” Ra takes a deep breath before standing, running a hand through his hair. He looks around at the glass spreading quite far around him. “Perhaps they will bore him too much,” He mutters, heading back to the palace. As he steps back into the throneroom Osiris and the guards all step back a little. “Osiris. I will go eat. I would like you to inform me, when the battle comes underway once more. I have no interest in their friendly drivel.”
Osiris bows as Ra walks away. “Understood, Lord Ra,”
-Valhalla Arena-
Wukong comes back from a quick fishing trip, holding a gigantic magic dead koi fish over his shoulder, dwarfing his own size quite a few times over. As he lands and drops the fish onto his cloud he looks around a little. “Where’s Tyr gone?” He asks some of the kids running around tossing snow at each other.
One of them points. “He’s over there!” Wukong looks over and gets a laugh caught in his throat as he sees him. Fully encased in snow. A perfect three-section snowman with only his face being visible.
Tyr spots Wukong and rather stoically stares at him while three children happily smooth out the shape. “... … Do not ask. I have no answer,”
Wukong suddenly bursts out laughing, falling on his back with a mocking point. “BHHAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAA! AHAHHAHAHAHA! Oh WOW you said you were bad with kids but AHAHAHA! What did you let them do!? How did they even get this done!?” He says, crying from laughter as Tyr merely looks stoically annoyed.
“... I already said I have no answer… why must you disregard it?”
Wukong sits up. “Well anyway I found some-” He says only to stop talking, seeing Tyr again as the kids shove a stick into the side of the snowman. One of them even picked up his cloak to throw around his neck again. “I… I found- AHAHA!!! Oh I’m so sorry. Kids. Kiiiiids. Time to let him out alright? If he weren’t so strong he’d be in big trouble you know?” He says patting the three kids on their heads and they all pout.
“Awwww… but it was almost finished, mister Wukong!”
“Alright alright… what’s missing?”
“A picture!”
Wukong happily smiles. “A picture indeed!” Wukong walks up next to Tyr and holds up a peace-sign to look like rabbit-ears on Tyr as one of the kids has a little old-timey camera and she snaps a polaroid. “Woooow. You could be a photographer, you know that? It’s PERFECT. Can you get a copy made? I’d love to have one. Now… can the nice patient mister Tyr come out? I got a fish we can cook and listen to some stories?”
“Okaaaaaay. Mister Tyyyyyr! Thanks a lot for playing with us!”
Tyr flexes briefly and the entire snowman explodes around him, Wukong spinning Ruyi Jingu Bang around to block it from hitting them. “... you are welcome,” He says trying to force a smile but it doesn’t become him at all.
Wukong points to the fish. “Hungry?” He asks as the kids look shocked at the sheer size of that fish.
“Fuwaaaa! It’s HUGE!”
Tyr crosses his arms. “Do you even know how to prepare such a fish?”
Wukong shakes his hand dismissively. “How hard can it be? I can do it better than you anyway!”
Tyr raises an eyebrow. “Doubtful.”
Wukong smirks. “Yeah? You learn some cooking on your trip too or what?” He says as the kids run around the giant fish.
Tyr scoffs. “Some. Not much.”
“Heh. Sounds good to me. Imma keep the kids entertained, don't you worry,” He says, winding his arm back and he stabs Ruyi Jingu Bang into the ground. “Alright boys and girls! Who’s up for some stories?” He says sitting down, swiftly making a campfire while the kids eagerly listen to him talk, Tyr preparing the fish.
At this point all the gods have left in sheer spite except a few. Thor is still watching silently, Yu Huang is sitting in his seat, softly smiling, Izanagi and Izanami looking rather disinterested and Tsukuyomi standing silently behind them. “Truly pointless,” Izanagi mutters.
Yu Huang nods. “Indeed. I, for one, do not mind. They express their battle how they wish.”
“This is no battle. When men are upon the battlefield they do not lay down their arms until their opponent is defeated!” Izanagi counters, slamming his fist into the armrest of his chair.
Tsukuyomi fixes his mask a little. “Hm…”
Wukong sits down around the fire having speared a giant piece of fish on his staff, roasting it on the fire rather comedically. “Alright boys and girls. Who wants to tell a story? I got PLENTY about those shi- … stupid gods we all hate.”
“Hate is a strong word, mister Wukong. Mommy said that you shouldn’t say it all the time,” A little girl says looking at Tyr who has made five large ‘sticks’ with his shield of the Vanir roasting some pieces of fish as well.
“...” He looks up seeing everyone is staring. “...”
Wukong claps. “Right! Who wants to go first then!? What abooooout you?” He points at the little boy who helped make Tyr into a snowman and the boy thinks for a little, before another voice practically pierces through everyone.
“I have a story to tell,” Wukong’s eyes widen looking at Tyr who solemnly sits looking into the fire. “... if that is alright.”
Suddenly, as if they all teleported into position, everyone is turned towards him, Wukong laying on his stomach, excitedly swinging his legs behind him. “Tell tell! Didn’t think you’d be the type to open up!”
“... My guard rarely drops. I never leave myself open,” He pauses. “Wukong… a word?” He stands and grabs Wukong and drags him aside making a little bubble out of the shield.
Thor leans on his hammer. “Hmm…”
“What could they be talking about?” The voice from the hallway chimes.
“... Interpretation I imagine.”
The bubble bursts and Tyr sits back down with Wukong. “... … alright kids. This is the story about… what it means to be a friend,” He starts a light blush appearing on his cheeks.
-Once Upon A Time-
“Once upon a time, there was… a bear,” Tyr narrates. “This bear was mighty. Large. Strong. Respected. The bear had a good friend. A best friend. A fierce Buck. It was unlike any buck you humans will ever see. It was immense in size, rivaling the bear with ease and once it charged it was unstoppable.”
A young Tyr walks into Asgard. At this time he has both of his arms and eyes. He smiles and waves at the people. A man walks beside him, long red locks and a massive hammer slung over his shoulder. “Pretty good fight today eh Thor!?” Tyr says happily and Thor nods.
“Quite. I am glad you were there to experience it with me,” The two head into the main hall of Asgard applause from all around.
“There they are! The Destruction Duo! The Thunder Berserker and The Monster Slayer!” “Yeah! Quick! Get a painter here dammit!”
Tyr laughs, while Thor merely smiles at the cheers the two of them waving. They get into the hall and sit down for a feast. “Next time Thor. Wanna ACTUALLY keep count of who takes out the most?”
Thor smirks. “You are welcome to try it. I fear you will be disappointed by the results.”
“Haaaaah? Tough talk for someone in stabbing range,” Tyr pulls out his sword, a different blade than the one he has in the present day. This one has a pure black blade and more ornate hilt.
Thor reaches over. “Just try it,” He says with a slightly raised eyebrow and smirk across his lips. The two leap over the table to clash, knocking the feast off the table.
“Despite the bear and buck being friends, they fought a lot for fun. However while the buck was diligent and sturdy, the bear knew he would always be strong. He was a god of war… … a Bear after all.”
“Mister Tyr? We know you’re talking about yo-” “Sssssh… let him speak, kiddo.”
“... The bear and the buck slowly but surely stopped going on trips together.”
Tyr is standing at the gates of Asgard as Thor walks down the path leading to it. “Heeeey bud! How was the fight? Bet you didn’t even need me huh?” He says laughing and Thor walks past him.
“Of course I didn’t…” He says, sounding a little disappointed. “Not for the fighting…”
“Hey shall we grab some food together? Perhaps we can ask a few of the shieldmaidens to join us eh?” Tyr says, jumping over Thor’s shoulder with his arm.
“... I will pass for the day, Tyr.”
“The bear did not realize what was happening. Not until the… Hunters arrived.” Tyr sighs, a clear trace of regret and frustration in a simple sigh.
“Asgard… I mean… the valley in which the animals lived was surrounded by enormous walls. This was in order to defend against the giant… hunters. Enemy of the animals.”
An angel standing atop the walls on guard stretches and yawns. “Damn, this is boring.”
Another angels looks at him angrily. “Hey! What do you mean by that!?”
“Caption, I became a guardian angel to fight giants! Not to sit on a wall all day! Isn’t it a bit too peaceful here?” The first angel retorts.
“Idiot!” His captain interjects. “That peace is only because we’re out here defending the wall every day. Geez… don’t be so stupid when you haven’t even seen real combat.”
“But that’s just it. I’d be able to do my job if there was some actual combat,” The first angel says. Mere moments the ground suddenly seems to stir and shake. “Tremors…? An Earthquake?” He says looking up into the distance. “Huh…?”
“However…”
In the distance a HORDE of enormous blue-skinned men come rumbling at immense speeds. A complete blindside despite Asgard’s position of elevation! “The enemy!!! They’re here!! They’ve come to knock down the walls!!” The captain yells out
“That year, the hunters launched an offensive, with numbers larger than anything the animals had ever seen before. They flooded the valley of animals.”
The giants clash with the guards on the walls. One such guard was Tyr himself. However as one of the giants strikes him he blocks it with his sword being pushed back. “Hold fast! Defend the gate with your lives!!” He calls out but he is shocked. How is a simple GIANT pushing HIM back!? He’s the strongest god of war!!! This… can’t be right! Tyr is launched off the wall into Asgard falling on his back. “This… can’t be…”
“The hunters did not care for the large walls built by the animals and within what felt like mere moments, the gia- the hunters had entered the valley and began to… capture the animals without any regard. What did the bear do? He trembled. His confidence in his innate strength as a bear had left him… weak. He was not the bear he once was.”
“T-this is bad! W-what did the bear do!? I-it can’t end here!”
“... The bear did nothing.”
Tyr lies on the ground trembling. “No… I’ll… I should stop them. But… just the one… he sent me flying. What happened to me!?” Suddenly the gates of the main hall open up. A familiar figure walks out. “Thor!” Tyr exclaims. “B-be careful! They’re WAY stronger than they lo-” He starts before Thor swings Mjolnir at one of the giants, knocking the giant clean in half with ease. “W-what!?” Tyr crawls to safety as Thor looks to the sky, blood pouring down onto his face.
“But the buck. The bear’s old friend. He had not gotten lazy. He had kept fighting. But without the bear to keep him company and challenge him. He had grown bored of his strength. In no time at all the buck, simply and effectively kil- drove the hunters out of the valley. He was a hero in the valley, nay… all the animal kingdom. However… none speak of his boredom. Only his glory. And that was when the bear realized what a terrible friend it had been. The bear felt ashamed. He could no longer stand with his friend as equals.”
Tyr walks up to Thor as he is walking back to the hall after slaughtering the giants. “Thor that was… Amazing! Wow! I knew I could count on my old pal!” He says as Thor walks straight past him without so much as a glance.
“... who are you?” He simply asks and Tyr pauses.
“Who am I? I’m-!” His voice is caught in his throat as he realizes the simplest of truths… Who WAS he anymore!? He surely was no longer the Monster Slayer. He wasn’t Thor’s friend. He was… no one. Obviously Thor recognized him as Tyr… but not as the Tyr he knows. The Tyr who’s a stranger.
“However in that same moment, the bear decided that his friend, the buck, would not be lonely forever. He would become a bear again. A real one. Not this poor excuse, which may as well be a cub.”
Tyr walks out of the gates of Asgard, the guardian angels calling out to him. “Captain Tyr!? You can’t just LEAVE! We need a protector!”
Tyr scoffs. “You have a protector, you idiots. His name’s Thor, The Thunder Berserker.”
“And so… the bear sought out any animals he could find who could teach him how to become strong again. Both physically, but also to strengthen his mind and resolve. He met Freya… A nice fairy-woman who taught the bear the basics of… making tea.”
“Why’d the fairy teach the bear how to make tea?” “This fairytale is getting weird…”
“Kikiki. I think ‘tea’ is like ‘magic’. He’s trying his best to make it fun. Sssssh,”
Tyr stands in a dense forest, panting as he holds out his arm gritting his teeth. “Come on! Shield of the Vanir!” He calls out as a beautiful woman sits and looks at him, long blonde hair braided with vines, wearing clothing made of various plants weaved into a dress. Tyr manages to make a tiny bubble of the shield and the woman claps.
“That’s good Tyr,” She claps. “Normally it takes thousands of years to learn how to create magic from the ground up. But you learned it in just 800 years. Good job! Keep working at it.”
“Later the bear met… a fish. A wise fish who lived… in a well. The fish taught him… wisdom. And after he had studied under the fish… the fish gave him… a… bubble, filled with knowledge,” Tyr gently holds a hand over his runic eye as he tells the story.
A young Tyr walks away from a large well with a bag slung over his shoulder. “Thank you for all you’ve taught me, Mimir. And for this eye. I’ll use it well!” Tyr calls out and a voice echoes from the well.
“It is no issue young man! I wish you luck in your quest and may you bring glory to Asgard and Heaven itself!”
“The bear went to visit a mountain. A grand mountain. The grandest mountain full of powerful… animals like himself. He sought the king of the mountain, an el-” “A Lion!?” “... yes. Ahem… a lion. He wished to learn the hunting technique of the lion.”
Young Tyr approaches Svarga seeing the gods standing out front. “Who the hell’re you?” One of them asks, stepping in front of him.
“I’m here to see lord Shiva. I want to learn from him,”
“Like we’re going to just let you through without proving yourself!?” The god responds aggressively.
“I hear Svarga is a place for fist-fights…” Tyr says, winding back his shoulder. He slams his fists together forming spherical shields around them, before leaping at the gods.
“The bear had to battle many, many lions to get to the king. But he made it. His determination was strong!” Tyr seems to be getting more excited in his telling of the story. “But the king was not so welcoming of his suggestion.”
Shiva lays atop the mountain, picking his ear. “Teach you the Tandarva dance? Fat chance kiddo!” He says through gritted teeth, showing his extra pair of eyes. “You take me for a moron, teaching my strongest techniques out to strangers?”
Tyr feels his sweat drop. “No… of course not. I understand. May I stay here to train?”
Shiva waves his hand dismissively. “Do whatcha want man. If you make too big a ruckus I’ll kick your ass though!”
Tyr bows and stands. “Then excuse me, lord Shiva.”
“The bear would stay at the lion’s mountain for many years, fighting the lions and getting stronger. And a particular lioness took notice of his hard work.”
Tyr falls onto his back after what feels like a full week of fighting the gods of Svarga. Suddenly a large bosom appears in his field of view, standing over him. “Exhausted? Hoping Shiva’ll teach you if you stay long enough. It’s not happening I’m just gonna tell you!”
“Greetings, lady Durga. I am well aware, but the gods of Svarga are no weaklings. It is good training.”
Durga smirks and claps her hands, as several arms of light appear from her back. “I may not know the Tandarva dance. Nor am I nearly as strong as Shiva. But I appreciate a hard-working man. So shall I teach you the Holy Hands of Durga?”
Tyr’s eyes widen and he rolls over into a sitting bow. “I would be honored!”
“And so the bear learned the power of the… Hunt. From the lioness.”
“The bear really learned lots! But… did he ever get strong!?”
“Heh… that he did. Not from just anyone. From the greatest of the great… a dragon.”
“Fuwaaaa!” “A dragon!?”
Tyr pants as he crawls up the side of a mountain. He now has his runic eye. As he falls over the top of the mountain, way past the clouds his backpack falls to the side as he pants. “Shinto is so… tall,” He mutters when suddenly he feels a sword against his throat.
“State your purpose intruder,” A familiar voice says. Tyr looks up seeing Hachiman pointing his katana down at him.
“My purpose! I’m here to learn to fight! From the most capable warrior in all of Heaven! Is that really you?” Tyr gets to his feet looking rather unimpressed at the old man.
Hachiman sheaths his blade. “I am Hachiman no Mikoto. And I have no time to train a rookie such as you,” He says, stepping into a large circle he’s drawn on the ground. “But if you wish to gauge my skill, you may watch my match.”
“Match?” Tyr asks as Hachiman stands in the middle as suddenly a giant wind blows over, knocking Tyr clean off his feet. “Gaaah!” He looks around for what is causing this wind. “W-what is going on!?”
Hachiman takes a deep breath. “A storm. The powerful force of nature, stronger than the most powerful warrior, fastest than the swiftest enemy, intangible like a spirit. The perfect opponent.”
Tyr’s eyes widen. “You’re going to fight… A STORM!?”
Hachiman’s eyes glint with excitement. “HAI!”
“The dragon was old. Quite old. He looked frail and weak on the outside, however the bear saw something unbelievable. The dragon battled… a storm. The bear was helplessly knocked around, the winds too powerful for it to resist. However the dragon, old as it was… stood its ground. And won. That was when the bear knew…”
Tyr falls to the ground, covered in dust and debris as the trees around have been knocked over, the stones shattered from the winds and lightning. However in the middle of the circle stands Hachiman, holding his blade as the wind stops. “No way… That’s impossible…” Tyr pants as he crawls up and bows deeply. “PLEASE! Great god Hachiman! If… if you take me as your disciple! I promise you I will one day repay you with a battle as great as this one!”
Hachiman strokes his mustache. “Bah! You say that you, a frail young CHILD will not only stand up to ME? But you will become as powerful as a storm?” He says smirking. “Interesting… Then I will allow you to join me. Show me what you can do, boy!”
“Yes sir! I am Tyr! God of War from Asgard!”
“You are ‘boy’ until you can land a hit on me.”
Tyr’s eyes practically well with tears. “YESSIR!”
-Present day-
“Woooooah. The dragon taught the bear how to fight!? That’s so cool, mister Tyr!”
Tyr nods. “Indeed. The dragon's moves were foreign to the bear. Practically impossible to replicate. However the bear managed to pick up a few tricks,” He looks towards Wukong who smirks and wipes under his nose.
“I thought I felt something familiar when you fought me with a sword. Kikiki,”
One of the children gets all up in Tyr’s face. “But but but mister Tyyyyr! It can’t end there right!? It just can’t! What happened next!?”
Tyr sighs, gripping at his arm-stump. “The bear learned a few additional lessons… he even lost a paw along the way, from a dear friend he met,” He glances up to Thor, but Thor can tell he's looking past him at the hallway behind him.
“Wooooah. But what’s the ending!? Did he ever make up with the buck!? Are they friends again?! Tell us tell us!” The children excitedly stand and almost beg.
Tyr glances up at Thor who looks straight in his eyes as well. “The ending? It is a work in progress. If all goes to plan… it will be satisfactory,”
submitted by Craftex101 to ShuumatsuNoValkyrie [link] [comments]


2023.06.10 12:38 AbbreviationsReal560 [WP] Write a story about a Necromancer who doesn't realize they're a Necromancer, but instead thinks they're a gifted Doctor.

Cpl Cooper's eyes opened, very, very slowly. Faint sounds of M-16's chattered softly in his ears as his platoon returned fire against the late afternoon N.V.A ambush. His face hurt, no doubt due to the impact of Private Henley's skull into his own. Private Henley lay silently over Cooper, or at least what was left of him did. Henley was missing his right arm and most of his face was now a charred mangle of flesh. His U.S. Marines fatigues were now black and smoldering were they hadn't just disappeared after the grenade went off and knocked both the men back. Cpl Cooper pushed the larger man off of him, requiring more strength than he thought he'd need. He eyed his former brother in arms for a moment, the usual feelings of terror and disgust threatening to overwhelm, as friends met their end in the jungle around him. A familiar voice could be heard now yelling something, drawing Cooper's attention. Lt. Murdock was pointing at him for some reason, before turning and barking orders in between bursts of his rifle.
Strong arms grasped Cooper and yanked him to his feet. He steadied himself and attempted to clear his mind. Another familiar face stared back at him, looking suspiciously like Private Harris motioning for him to duck. Dirt and blood speckled his dark skin as he rapped his knuckles against Cooper's helmet and shouted, "YOU GOOD DOC?"
Cooper immediately ducked and then nodded his head, unsure if he was answering truthfully.
Private Harris unslung an M-16 and pressed into Cooper's hands and shouted, "YOU DROPPED THIS!"
"THANKS!", Cooper yelled as he gripped his weapon and quickly checked to see its functionality. No sooner than he had done so, Harris's eyes went wide and began yelling, "CHARLIE! 6 O'CLO.." before two rounds pierced his throat and forehead and dropped him. Cooper pointed and fired blindly. Emotion flowed from him through every round he dispensed. He emptied his entire magazine into the forest behind the main group of soldiers and repeated Harris's announcement.
"6 O'CLOCK, 6 O'CLOCK!!"
Cooper ripped the grenade off his belt, put the pin in his teeth and pulled it out with great satisfaction. He cooked the grenade for a second before tossing it out with a hearty "FUCK YOU!" Cries of surprise and screams of pain followed the explosion. Cooper ejected his magazine and replaced it as the sound of dozens of Viet Cong infantry screamed towards him. Sgt. Phillip's massive bulk stepped into view with a scream of his own. Phillips leveled his flamethrower and began dousing the forest with flame. Cooper had learned to admire the big man, as this hadn't been the first time he'd stepped in to save him. The terrible acrid stench of fuel, fire and burning flesh assaulted his senses. Body after body fell in flames. Phillips had his typical wide eyed, maniacal grin he usually had when he was killing. Cooper started firing alongside him. Five more Marines stepped in beside them and unleashed hell at the enemy. The ambushes had been coming now for days, whittling down Cooper's platoon and exhausting everyone who survived. He was tired, he had seen far too many friends die, and he just wanted to go home. Incoming fire eventually stopped coming from the platoon's rear now, and the fireteam began fanning out to clear the area.
Cooper quickly sprinted towards Lt. Murdock who was now yelling coordinates into a radio. Two Marines lay next to him, one convulsing and one lying still. Cooper slid down next to the convulsing one and checked him for extra holes, for which he had one in his gut. He pulled out a shot of morphine and dosed the man, which slowed his shaking. Checking the wound, he saw what was clearly a large amount of blood loss and began putting pressure on the wound with his right hand.
"Shit, Shit, Shit, come on man don't fucking die!"
With his left hand he checked the soldier's pulse, finding it extremely weak and thready. The man's eyes rolled up towards his eyebrows and his breaths began to slow. Not again, Cooper thought. Too many. He'd seen too many friends die, he couldn't watch another one. He buried his head into the man's chest and began to sob as he felt the rise and fall of his chest quickly begin to cease. Cooper grasped the agate stone that hung on a necklace alongside his dogtags, and cursed the mystic shop owner who had sold it to him. The guys in his troop had laughed at him when he bought it back in Saigon, telling him that no magic stone would protect him when he was out in the shit. He hadn't cared, thinking that any superstition that gave you hope, was as good as another.
He ripped the stone off and placed it over the man's chest as he began compressions. After two intervals he checked the pulse. Nothing. He was gone. Emotion filled Cooper. He couldn't tell what he felt, but he was sure it wasn't sadness. This was more like determination. He funneled all of his thought and consciousness into the ball that was his fist and slammed it into the chest of the corpse. Nothing. Cooper hit him again. And again. Rage pouring out of him with each strike. Rage for this God forsaken jungle. Rage for this God forsaken war. Rage for his failure.
The still body twitched. Cooper nearly fell back in amazement. Fingers straightened out and eyelids burst opened wide. The man sat up impossibly fast with a pale, surprised look on his face and drew in a deep, loud breath. Cooper nearly pissed himself. The once dead soldier looked around in bewilderment and pulled up his shirt to expose his bullet entry wound. Blood still pooled around him, but the wound had apparently already clotted. In fact, color even began returning to the man's face.
"Uhhh Doc?...." the bewildered man asked.
"What's your name soldier?" Cooper asked.
"Private Ortiz."
"Well Ortiz, it seems you just had an out of body experience."
Ortiz gave a half-hearted chuckle, "No Shit?"
The sounds of battle had begun to fade to the outskirts of the valley that the ambush had been launched. Laughs and cheers could be heard as Murdock called out to his men that air-support was coming and the N.V.A. was falling back.
Cooper stared incredulously at the necklace in his hand for a moment. Could the knick knack have done it? Ortiz broke his concentration by asking,
"Doc, are you religous?"
Cooper didn't know what to believe in this moment. He shook his head.
"No, Agnostic apparently."
Ortiz stared uncomfortably into Cooper's eyes, grabbed him by collar and said,
"I fucking met him Doc. The guy who takes you to hell. He was all teeth, and fucking eyes all over him. And he smiled.... That fucking smile. I can't unsee it!" Ortiz rubbed his face, "He says your name and tells you he's been waiting." A tear rolled down Ortiz's face. "Then, I felt a pounding on my chest and suddenly I see you."
Cooper knew that some people claim to have seen things when they come back from Cardiac arrest. He remembered his trainer telling him an anecdote of something similar during medic school.
"Well you're back with us now Ortiz. Try not to move too much, I gave you morphine so you'll have trouble walking."
Lt. Murdock approached the two men and said in his customary confident manner,
"Cooper, Ortiz, glad to see you're still with us. Let's get everyone mobile in ten, we're heading home."
Back in Saigon, Cooper and Ortiz stood facing a small shop, nestled comfortably within a busy market near the outskirts of town. Ortiz had a puzzled look on his face.
"You got it here?"
Cooper half shrugged,
"Told you, nothing special."
Cooper led Ortiz into the shop. Shop was a generous name, as it was little more than the a hovel that was converted into a shop during the day. A Vietnamese man, small in stature but beaming with pride, stood in the middle of the store and graciously invited the men inside. He spoke very limited English so conversation was, interesting. Cooper held out his necklace to the shorter man.
"You sold me this, remember?"
The shop owner stared for a moment at the necklace before he shook his head.
"No refund."
Cooper shook his own head in response,
"No no, I don't want a refund. I want to thank you!"
The shopowner looked perplexed. Cooper spread out his arms and motioned for a hug. The shopowner took a careful step back. Ortiz laughed and held out his hand toward Cooper.
"Doc, I don't think he's a hugger."
Ortiz pointed at the necklace and slowly asked the shopowner,
"Do you have more of these?"
The shopowner smiled and motioned them towards a small bamboo box full of the things. The two soldiers stood in awe.
"Bring good fortune." The shopowner spoke the words in a practiced fashion. "Ten Cent."
Cooper scoffed. "You charged me a quarter last time."
The shopowner switched to his native tongue and spoke in a much louder fashion now. It was clear whatever the smaller man thought he had heard was insulting. Cooper put his hands up.
"Ok, OK, fine."
Ortiz reached into his pocket and pulled out a dime, then presented it for payment. The shopkeeper picked up the coin and stuffed it into a pocket. Then he held up one finger, indicating how many they were welcomed to. The two soldiers selected one and left.
Tran Văn Ngo stood in his shop, his usual beaming pride awash on his face. Liem, his wife, tapped him on the shoulder after the two soldiers had been clearly seen rounding the corner out of their market.
"What the fuck was their deal?" She asked her husband.
"Fuck if I know?" He gestured at the recycled treasures that had been salvaged off dead soldiers. "They crowed about how much they liked that useless crap we got." Liem giggled. "Fucking seriously?" Tran giggled himself. "Fucking seriously."
submitted by AbbreviationsReal560 to u/AbbreviationsReal560 [link] [comments]


2023.06.10 11:46 AdamDrawzz Lies of P REALLY needs some work on in the SFX department.

So far the demo has been exceptional. Up there with some of the best Soulsborne inspired games.
One thing I’ve noticed however is that there’s a heavy lack of SFX. Feels like a layer of the game has been stripped.
Running and rolling feels really unnatural and light because of the lack of SFX, parries aren’t indicated so well, etc. Some large enemies feel really quiet too for the threat they pose, I want to hear the WHIRRRR sound when they’re charging their attacks.
That’s all I feel the game actually needs for the moment.
Actions need some extra weight to them.
Devs, if you’re reading this, please look into it!
submitted by AdamDrawzz to LiesOfP [link] [comments]


2023.06.10 06:02 Flatfoot_Actual [WTS] ifaks with free pouches , canda made lv119 clone with free 3a inserts , safrialand mounts less then half Msrp

Timestamp: https://imgur.com/a/rIbjw3u .
Condor emt rip away pouch $80 obo add cat or SOF tourniquets $22 or tmt tqs for $12 add combat gauze $28 add celox $30 (both 3x4 yards)
2 extra large emergency dressings
1 battle bandage
1 triangle bandage
5 compressed gauze
1 cobain bandage roll
Full size hyfin vented chest seals
Combat nasopharyngeal airway
Needle decompression
Eye shield
2 sets of medical gloves
Roll of duct tape
Emergency blanket
Trex arms style ifak pouch with pullout insert $60 obo
1 new in plastic cotcc approved tmt tourniquet.
1 H&H emergency bandage
2 H&H compressed gauze
2 hyfin compact chest seals
1 Combat nasopharyngeal airway
1 flat fold frog tape
1 set of medical gloves
Compact entry level ifak in sord admin pouch
2 compressed gauze 1 flat fold ace wrap 1 triangle bandage 1 emergency bandage 1 flat fold frog tape 1 set of medical gloves. and 2 petroleum gauzes for chest seals $25
Aussie peel back apb carrier , battle steel 3a inserts includes cummerbund , universal elastic and molle placard , swift clips ,sack pouch tq sidekick/dangler and radio side wing $150 obo
Safrialand single leg shroud and qls kit $55 obo
submitted by Flatfoot_Actual to GunAccessoriesForSale [link] [comments]


2023.06.10 05:49 Wakefulcrane01 Made my own Vestige of Divergence and just want a second opinion.

As the title says, I have created my own Vestige of Divergence (as seen from Critical Role) for campaign im running and I just want to get a second opinion from people to see if its at least well balanced for a vestige and not completely OP.
The Lore:
The name of the Vestige is the the "Arch-Smith Legacy" The story behind the armor is that two warring kingdoms where given these powerful cursed weapons to use against each other by a trickster god (my campaign uses our own lore). One of the other gods caught onto it and helped an arch-smith (highest rank for a blacksmith in our campaign) create a set of armor that had the power to destroy a cursed object while protecting it from the effects of it.
the armor originally took the form of a gauntlet but over time it began to grow into a full set of heavy armor and gain more power. Over time the vestige was lost.

Appearance:
For the armor I used Guts Berserk Armor from the manga Berserk and as a little detail I made it that, as it goes through its states, the armor grows and becomes more like a set of heavy armor (similar with how Tony Stark has that nanite armor from Infinity War and Endgame).
In its Dormant state the armor is just a single gauntlet that covers the users lower dominant arm but when it achieves Awakened the armor covers the wearers entire dominant arm and gives them shoulder guards as well. When it finally achieves its Exalted stage it becomes a full set of Heavy Armor that covers the wearers entire body (and yes, it has a cape).

Stats:
The vestige does require attunement and the user becomes part of a neutral alignment (for example if they are Lawful Good then they become Lawful Neutral or if they are Chaotic Evil then they become Chaotic Neutral etc.).
In its Dormant state the Vestige has a AC of 13, in its Awakened State its a AC of 15 and finally in its Exalted state its a AC of 18.
As an extra too I also added a class bonus if the wearer is a cleric, Fighter or Paladin (will be explained down below) which I call Exalted +.

Dormant:
- The wearer gains a +1 bonus to their AC while wearing this armor
- The wearer can add either their Dexterity or Constitution bonus to attack and damage rolls for unarmed strikes
- The wearer has advantage for unarmed strike rolls and if successful can cause bludgeoning
- If the armor has achieved its Exalted State, the wearer can say a command word and revert the armor back to its Awakened or Exalted appearance

Awakened:
- The wearer gains a +2 to AC while wearing the armor
- The wearer gains a +1 to their Strength and Constitution stats.
- The wearer can roll an additional D8 to hit and damage when wielding a weapon, they are proficient in.
- The wearer has six charge slots where they can expand one to roll an additional D8 for either a to hit or damage roll for weapons they are proficient with.
- If the armor has achieved its Exalted State, the wearer can say a command word and revert the armor back to its Dormant or Exalted State

Exalted:
- The wearer gains a +3 bonus to their AC while wearing this armor
- The wearer can destroy cursed items, ignoring their destruction conditions
- As bonus action the wearer can say a command word, in battle, for the armor and one the following feats for the duration of the battle. The wearer cannot use the feats until they have taken a long rest

o As an action, the wearer can target a creature within 20-feet of them and frightened them. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw of 15 or continue to be frightened until their next turn.
o Able to use Fireball, Blade Ward and Chill Touch as Cantrips.
o Can add either their Constitution or Strength bonus to the wearers AC.
o The wearer grows large, black and red draconic wings that grant a flying speed of 50.
o The wearer gains a resistance to a damage type of their choice. Fire, Cold, Acid or Necrotic
o When struck by a melee weapon and the wearer can see the attacker, the wearer can use their reaction to cause the attack to suffer 1d6 points of fire damage.

- If the armor has achieved its Exalted State, the wearer can say a command word and revert the armor back to its Dormant or Awakened appearance.

Exalted +: The wearer can use one of the following traits depending on their class.
- Fighter: The wearer gains an additional action and bonus action.
- Cleric: The wearer gains an additional spell slot for each of their spell levels.
- Paladin: When the armor has achieved Exalted state, the wearer no longer has to use a spell slot for their Channel Divinity. The wearer can use lay on hands as bonus action.

As I said above I just want to know if this Vestige is too OP even by Artifact Standards, Is the Class Bonus a little too much and/or should I reduce some of the Exalted battle features?
Cheers.
submitted by Wakefulcrane01 to DnDHomebrew [link] [comments]


2023.06.10 04:47 Blkcube One shot I made

Soooo I had a group of newer players and I wanted to make up something to fit the group sooo I used CoC system and made a kids on bikes esque storyline…thought people might enjoy it here. Tell me what ya think?
I made the scenario with pregen characters. It’s super bare bones and has some missing parts but feel free to use this if you’d like:
Title: Polybius Panic
Scene: Kid's memories riding a bike to the arcade after school. The crew meets up in front, where Ace has already arrived with his sister. Here: - Introduce the members of the gang. - Discuss the rumors circulating at school. - Develop the town's atmosphere. - One of the kids attempts to achieve the top score on a game, attracting a crowd, but falls short by 109 points.
Scene: The next day, the team gathers at the local comic shop before heading to the arcade. ** There, Zoe discovers a strange comic book about aliens taking over the town by shapeshifting into its residents.
Scene: The gang arrives at the arcade, encountering a long line of teenagers and a few adults. A new game is being released, and a kid they've never seen before (who doesn't attend their school) manages to set the highest score. The mysterious kid departs with a bodyguard in a black suit.
Scene: Monday at school, a few kids are acting strangely. The affected kids: - Answer every question with ease and efficiency. - Display muted emotions, distant behavior, or deep contemplation. - Struggle to act normal but constantly think about the game and how to beat it. - One kid becomes violent and brutally assaults another student. - School is dismissed early, and everyone is sent home.
Scene: At home, the main character receives a phone call. Should they sneak out or stay in? If they: - Choose to sneak out, they can gather more information about the entity collecting data from the game. If caught by their parents, they will be forbidden from going out over the weekend. (More kids become infected, and adults start getting affected faster.) - Decide to stay at home, they receive extra allowance and access to tools and gear. (They lose the opportunity to gather information.)
Weekend: - Visit the arcade to search for clues. If anyone plays the game, they must make constant rolls to resist becoming obsessive about it. - Plan a strategy to break or beat the game. - Men in black show up and chase the kids, resulting in one of them getting a severe scratch on their eye. - The kids manage to escape with evidence of the video game's extraordinary powers. They share the evidence with their families, but the next morning, they wake up as if nothing happened; memories wiped. However, they still meet up at the arcade as usual and decide to take a group picture when a traveling photographer offers to capture their lucky day.
We pan out and Zoe is looking at the photograph sitting on the floor of the closet she was just searching finds a joint in the same box as the photograph and sparks it.
submitted by Blkcube to callofcthulhu [link] [comments]


2023.06.10 04:09 UncleCeiling Writing on the Wall, Chapter 16

First Chapter Here
Previous Chapter Here
My other story, Going Native Here
Hey look, a chapter released in a somewhat reasonable timeframe! As always, thank you for reading and let me know what you think!
*****
Faye hadn’t noticed right away that Meechie missed her regular stop. The pair had been standing in relative silence, Faye’s thoughts drifting off to debate whether or not she would go to the next movie night at the Library, and it was several stops before she realized that she hadn’t said goodbye to the Rakiri. It was in a bit of a brain fog that Faye half-turned, figuring she should hurry and say it now before Meechie got too far away, but instead she jerked her head to find the brown-furred woman staring directly at her.
“I am still here,” Meechie said quietly, a small smile causing the fur on her cheeks to bristle.
“You are,” Faye agreed. “I thought I missed seeing you off.”
“I am accompanying you to the library,” the young woman declared. Faye tried not to read too much into vocal cues, especially when she had little-to-no experience with the species in question, but there still seemed to be something nervous in Meechie’s voice. Nervous and pleading.
“I don’t need a bodyguard,” Faye said cautiously. “And I definitely don’t need someone making a decision like that for me.”
That seemed to strike a nerve. Meechie slunk back as if hit, causing some grumbles from the other passengers. The Rakiri took a moment to smooth out the fur on her face with one hand before replying.
“I did not express myself well. I wished to visit a library after work, and as you work at one I thought it would be nice to travel alongside you.” Meechie’s eyes lowered. “I should not have presumed.”
As if on cue, the bus slowed to its next stop and Meechie moved to leave. It would put the furry young woman at a corporate business park near absolutely nothing of interest. Faye shot out a hand and grabbed Meechie by the shoulder. The Rakiri froze mid-step as if turned to stone.
“Don’t!” She tugged gently and Meechie shifted back to Faye’s side. “No need to run off. Sorry. I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions.”
“I…” Meechie seemed to be glancing everywhere except at Faye. “It’s alright?”
God damn was this poor girl shy. “Yes, you can ride to the library with me. I just wish you had mentioned it earlier; we don’t have a lot of time to talk shop now.” Faye considered Meechie again, clothes that looked brand new and not a speck of grease to be seen. “Is that why you got all dressed up?”
Meechie nodded, still keeping her eyes somewhere to the left of Faye’s face. “I normally go straight home, but it wouldn’t do to soil any of the books.”
“The books and I both appreciate it.” That earned Faye a smile, at least. “What are you looking for? I didn’t take you for much of a reader.”
“I like adventure stories,” Meechie replied.
“Hmm…” Faye tapped a fingertip to her lips as she thought. “Historical? Big battles?”
“The fighting isn’t what’s important.” Meechie stopped, eyes drawn to the motion of Faye’s finger, and she self-consciously brought her hands back down to her sides. “It is more about the people the hero meets on his travels.”
His travels?
The pronoun threw Faye for a bit of a loop; she was so used to hearing the feminine form used as the general that it stood out. It only took a moment for her to understand. Faye grinned.
Romantic stories?” She asked the question in a faux whisper, slightly teasing, and Meechie immediately went wide-eyed. Her freshly-cleaned fur puffed up in what could only be panic. Faye reached over and gave Meechie a couple quick pats on the shoulder before leaning in.
“Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.”

“...should have what you’re looking for. I’m going to be upstairs at Archives, but the help desk can find what you’re looking for if you get lost. And remember, no judgment.”
Mahnti glanced across the lobby more out of instinct than anything else. Hearing Faye’s voice simply drew his attention, especially considering he didn’t think her shift had started yet. His eyes quickly picked her out as Faye turned away from the entrance and towards the hall that led towards the employee lounge. He also took note of who she had been talking to.
Rakiri weren’t uncommon in University City, but the way this one stood in place, staring at Faye’s back with an unnerving intensity, was setting off alarms all down Mahnti’s rather sizeable spine. He began to make his way on an intercept course towards Faye, trying to imprint the furry girl’s look into his memory just in case. Brand new clothing, still showing the creases of packaging. Not quite the right fit for the woman’s frame, and she moved like she was profoundly uncomfortable in them. Dark brown fur that seemed to puff up as she stared at Faye, then flattened as she noticed Mahnti watching her.
The Senthe flared his hood slightly, emphasizing his size instinctively as he narrowed his eyes. The Rakiri stared at him unblinking for a moment, then turned and wandered off towards the main stacks. It only took another moment for him to catch up to Faye.
“Who was that?”
Faye jerked slightly, then stopped and turned with a small smile decorating her lips. “Good morning to you too.”
“Yeah, yeah, good morning and all that. Was that your bus Rakiri?”
Faye nodded, the smile fading as she picked up on Mahnti’s unease. “Yeah. Why, do you know her?”
“No, nothing like that.” Mahnti sighed. He didn’t want to cause problems, but he also had some serious bad vibes going. “She was just standing there staring at you. It was pretty creepy.”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed her doing that a lot. I think it might be a Rakiri thing? Meechie seems to have latched on for whatever reason.” Faye shrugged. “I don’t think she has any friends.”
“I’m not surprised if that’s her way of making them. She seriously looked like she was about to attack you or something.”
“Doesn’t know anybody, trying to figure out how to socialize with people…” Faye shrugged again, adding a lopsided smile. “I can relate. She seems harmless enough, even helped protect me the other day.”
Mahnti slumped a little. “I suppose. I just… be careful, okay? I don’t want to have to frame another dent in a wall.”
He also didn’t want to have to worry about Faye bleeding out in some dark corner somewhere. She could outrun a Shil, but a Rakiri with ill intentions would be a far more dangerous proposition.
“After what happened before, I’m not taking chances.” Faye patted the side of her purse conspiratorially and Mahnti could see the outline of a cylinder. It seemed to be a fair bit larger than the grinshaw spray he carried in a vest pocket, but that could have just been a trick of the bag it was in. Regardless, he felt a little better knowing she had something. It wasn’t until he saw the fear she was tucking down behind her smile that he suddenly realized just how vulnerable Faye must feel.
She was smaller and weaker than a Shil’vati, easy to pick out of a crowd and easier to pick on, and with the way she dressed and styled herself Faye really was priming the pump for trouble. A random attack at her place of work had nearly killed her and, less than a week later, here she was trying to take it in stride. All while knowing that the chance of it happening again was approaching certainty.
“Come on,” Mahnti said quietly. He took one of Faye’s hands and pulled her deeper into the hallway, away from prying eyes and towards the break room. He almost told her that she was safe here, but that was a lie. Nowhere was safe if you stood out, and he knew that better than anyone.

Ib’aest Jamia, chronic layabout and day manager at the Jamia Library, hoped he didn’t look too guilty when Faye’s face poked through his office doorway and interrupted the scandal rag he was reading on his pad. He slipped his pad face-down into his desk drawer in a single smooth motion and slapped on his second-best friendly but not flirtatious smile.
“Hey Ibby.” Faye seemed suddenly nervous herself, glancing around the room as if to ensure that it was just him in his office. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Is it work related?” Faye shook her head in the negative. “Then of course! Come on in and shut the door.”
Faye followed his lead, latching the door and stepping gracefully to the chair he indicated on the other side of his desk. It was odd, watching the way she moved. Too graceful for most women he knew, but still nervous. Faye sometimes seemed to approach the world as if everything was made of glass. Or perhaps that she was.
Ibby looked the girl up and down, trying for a “kind older friend” vibe. The Human was dressed simply in one of the outfits she seemed to have a knack for throwing together. He knew he had seen at least some of it before, the tights and the skirt at least, but the overall effect was new to him. She struck such an odd balance, clearly a woman but throwing off such a distractingly masculine vibe. In this one person Ibby had a real empirical example of the strange dichotomy that made Humanity so interesting. That said, there was really only one reason for a young woman to ask to speak to an older man in private. At least, only one he figured Faye would be up for.
“Boy troubles?”
Faye blinked at Ibby, confused for a moment. “Kind of, yeah. I guess you could call it that.”
Ibby ran through the list in his head. Mahnti was the obvious first choice, but the way that pair seemed to be getting along he didn’t think there would be any trouble he’d have to intervene with. Besides, the Senthe had said they weren’t doing the perpendicular poke. At least not yet. Faye also knew Tevor, but Ibby had yet to see anyone aside from Sade who could pull that poor kid out of his shell. Maybe Iora over in Digital Media. Did Faye even know Iora?
“Have you ever been to any fancy dress parties?”
Ibby’s racing mind slammed into a drift, changed gears, and nearly ran headlong into the answer. “You’re going on a date with that reporter!”
“It’s NOT a date. I have gone to great lengths to make that clear to both of us.” Faye’s voice was firm. The girl was apparently a better liar than Ibby thought. “He invited me out to go see a play being performed in English at a fancy theater.” Faye pulled out her pad and showed Ibby a copy of the playbill.
“Ooh, the Icosahedral Garden. That’s a great venue.” Ibby considered. “I assume he’s dragging you out to dinner first?”
“I guess? I didn’t really think that far ahead. I just realized that I have no idea what’s culturally acceptable to wear to an event like this.” Faye blushed prettily. “I don’t want to show up in a ball gown and have it turn out to be more of a spikes and corpse paint thing.”
“I… what?”
“Nevermind. Just making a joke.” Faye shrugged, eyes drooping as her expression soured. “It seems like I make a scene no matter where I go. It would be nice to blend in for a change.”
Fat chance of that, Ibby thought. Still, he could be of some help. “What would you say to another shopping excursion? I wouldn’t mind helping you out.”
Faye nodded, relief washing over her. “I would appreciate that. I have an errand to run tonight and plans for tomorrow, but how about the day after? I’m free all day and that will still give me plenty of time before the show.”
“It’s a…” Don’t say date, you idiot. Poor girl is nervous enough as it is. “..plan. Truth be told, it’ll be nice to show you the sights properly. Most of your new friends seem to be more of the indoor sort.”
Faye snorted back a laugh. “Ain’t that the truth.”

…Really?
Faye tilted her head to one side just to give her eyeroll a running start. The sign hanging above the shop door was written in a rounded style made to emulate the shape of English letters despite being Shil’vati script. Through the window she could see an assortment of Human snacks, assorted tchotchkes that somehow made her feel victimized on behalf of every race and culture involved, and an embarrassingly large amount of soft-core pornography.
"Chad Nova’s Human Emporium" was probably the single cringiest store that Faye had ever seen, and she distinctly remembered hanging out at the mall back when you could get jeans with pockets big enough to hold a CD player. It didn’t help that, while Faye was standing in the mall concourse staring at the store, the clerk inside was staring right back. That girl seemed to consider blinking an afterthought.
After a moment to square her shoulders and pat the side pocket on her purse reassuringly, Faye entered the store. It was a riot of mismatched goods, poorly made display swords and replica firearms tucked alongside “authentic” Polynesian nose flutes and decks of playing cards. After accidentally locking eyes with what she was fairly certain was an Abraham Lincoln body pillow, she decided to simply accept that this was what her species boiled down to.
“Can I help you, miss?” The voice was high and cracked around the edges. Faye turned to look at the clerk, a Shil’vati girl barely out of school with a face still lightly dusted with acne. The girl seemed to be about ten seconds from exploding in excitement.
“Actually, yeah. I was wondering if you do special orders.” Faye pulled out her pad and started tapping at the screen. “I brought some sundries when I moved out here and I don't know what I’m going to do when I run out.”
“Moved, like from Earth?” Make it five seconds.
“Yes, and to answer your next question, yes, I’m a Human. Nobody decided to bleach a Helkam or anything like that.”
Four… three… two…
The Shil girl turned away and ran to the back of the store, sliding to a stop in front of a rather tacky looking beaded curtain hanging next to an “Employees Only” sign. She shoved her head through the beads.
“MOOOOOOOOOOM!!! HUMAN!!”
Faye took a moment to collect herself. She glanced around, cataloging the strange array of goods. There were some things that clearly fell into similar themes, like the large snack section or the graphic novels (emphasis on graphic), but much of the place was simply a cacophony of crap. She noticed a stuffed doll of the Statue of Liberty fallen over into a container of brightly colored, thumb-sized plastic crucifixes. All the little Jesuses seemed to be staring in mute, cross-eyed horror at the plushie green giant.
“Oh! It’s you!”
Faye turned away from the plastic Jesusai and saw that the young Shil’vati clerk was now accompanied by another woman. Definitely not old enough to be the clerk’s biological mom, but with how things tended to go with Shil families and how long lifespans could get it wasn’t the most surprising. If the clerk was a Human seventeen, she’d put this new one at twenty three or twenty four.
“Yeah, it’s me,” Faye replied to the stranger with a shrug.
“We saw you on the news, but…” the young woman trailed off, her black and gold eyes focused on the still-fading bruises on Faye’s face.
“Lost a fight,” she said curtly. Anything to move this along. “Some friends of mine recommended this place to get Human snacks, and I figured if you’re getting regular imports you might be able to get me some other stuff.”
“..Ah. Oh! Yes!” The woman blinked, then looked at her daughter. “Can you go grab my order book?” Turning back to Faye, she continued, “What sort of things did you need? We have quite a collection here.”
“You certainly do.” Faye tried to focus on the woman, but her eyes kept getting drawn off to the side. An anime-style wall scroll of a mostly-naked, hugely muscled brown-skinned man was staring at her, and she couldn’t place who it was supposed to be. Bob Sapp maybe?
“Mostly I was thinking about makeup, maybe some comfort food. Stuff you probably don’t stock but I can’t afford to import on my own.”
The young woman nodded, her dark hair bouncing. “I’m sure we can work something out. You’re lucky; most Human stores are part of a chain, but we’re independent. We’re not confined to ordering from just one catalog.”
As if she was just waiting for her cue, the Shil kid arrived and plopped an oversized binder into her mom’s open arms. She placed it on a table and flipped it open with a thump.
It was like someone tried to print the Internet. The woman quickly fingered her way through hard-copy recreations of digital storefronts while Faye groaned inwardly. She liked paper more than most but this just seemed so awkward. An alien luddite.
“My brother-in-law’s cousin-in-law works on Earth at one of those new superconductor factories. They ship a lot of materials here, so I was able to negotiate a good deal to take up their extra mass allotment for cheap.” The woman stopped on a page, then pointed. “Something like this?”
Faye leaned over the book and looked. It was the digital storefront of one of those corner store and pharmacy chains that sells makeup on top of everything else. Not exactly top of the line, but better than the dollar store.
“Perfect.” Faye started noting individual things she’d like and the woman dutifully started marking things down on a scrap of paper. The big items on Faye’s shopping list were more foundation and concealer, but she picked out some blush, lipstick, and eyeliner pencils too; she was leery about trusting Shil makeup in general. It was hard enough to find brands that didn’t make her skin break out into an oily mess without getting alien biochemistry involved.
“We can order whatever you like, but the fewer stores you have to pick from the better. I would hate for our buyer to get pissy because she has to run too many errands on the hot guy planet.” The clerk paused for an eye roll. “Also, keep in mind that these prices aren’t what you’ll pay; there will be an additional convenience fee.”
Faye nodded. “Of course. What are you thinking?”
“Hmm…” The woman looked Faye up and down in a way that suddenly made her feel a lot smaller and more vulnerable. While this stranger wasn’t particularly tall for a Shil, that still made for a five or six inch height difference. “You are pretty cute…”
“Dad said no more cute discounts!” Faye’s attention was drawn to the younger girl, who had been watching the whole exchange from a few steps back. The darkening purple blush on her face matched Faye’s own red one.
“You’re no fun!” The Shil mock glared at her (step?)daughter, then turned back to Faye. “Seriously, though, as long as the mass and volume are small the cost to get this sort of thing here isn’t too bad. Say twenty percent. It'll be more if you want anything big or our buyer has to go to a specialty store, but we can do that too. It will still be a lot cheaper than trying to import anything yourself.”
“Twenty percent isn’t bad.” It was a great deal, honestly. Faye doubted they’d be doing much more than breaking even on her little orders. She closed her eyes for a second, clearing her mind. She could feel the spray canister in her bag, pressing against the inside of her arm. Its presence was reassuring. “Can I add an absolutely no flirting policy to our agreement?”
The woman nodded, suddenly looking abashed. “Sorry, I forgot Human women aren’t normally into other girls. I didn’t mean to upset you.”
Whether or not Faye was into girls was irrelevant, but she wasn’t about to get into an argument about it. Instead, she turned a few pages back and forth, adding a few more odds and ends to the list that she hadn’t been able to find in University City. Much of the list consisted of condiments and seasonings that might help make the Shil instant meals Faye had been purchasing a little more palatable.
By the time they were done, Faye had an order totaling a couple hundred credits and a promise that she would have her goods in three to four weeks. Before she left she made a point of stocking up on junk food and picked up a few English-language graphic novels that looked interesting. She rounded out the visit with a couple decks of playing cards. Tomorrow was game night, after all. She should be at least somewhat prepared.
****
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This is a fanfic that takes place in the “Between Worlds” universe (aka Sexy Space Babes), created and owned by u/BlueFishcake. No ownership of the settings or core concepts is expressed or implied by myself.
This is for fun. Can’t you just have fun?
submitted by UncleCeiling to Sexyspacebabes [link] [comments]


2023.06.10 04:02 Blkcube A One shot I made

Soooo I had a group of newer players and I wanted to make up something to fit the group sooo I used CoC system and made a kids on bikes esque storyline…thought people might enjoy it here. Tell me what ya think?
I made the scenario with pregen characters. It’s super bare bones and has some missing parts but feel free to use this if you’d like:
Title: Polybius Panic
Scene: Kid's memories riding a bike to the arcade after school. The crew meets up in front, where Ace has already arrived with his sister. Here: - Introduce the members of the gang. - Discuss the rumors circulating at school. - Develop the town's atmosphere. - One of the kids attempts to achieve the top score on a game, attracting a crowd, but falls short by 109 points.
Scene: The next day, the team gathers at the local comic shop before heading to the arcade. ** There, Zoe discovers a strange comic book about aliens taking over the town by shapeshifting into its residents.
Scene: The gang arrives at the arcade, encountering a long line of teenagers and a few adults. A new game is being released, and a kid they've never seen before (who doesn't attend their school) manages to set the highest score. The mysterious kid departs with a bodyguard in a black suit.
Scene: Monday at school, a few kids are acting strangely. The affected kids: - Answer every question with ease and efficiency. - Display muted emotions, distant behavior, or deep contemplation. - Struggle to act normal but constantly think about the game and how to beat it. - One kid becomes violent and brutally assaults another student. - School is dismissed early, and everyone is sent home.
Scene: At home, the main character receives a phone call. Should they sneak out or stay in? If they: - Choose to sneak out, they can gather more information about the entity collecting data from the game. If caught by their parents, they will be forbidden from going out over the weekend. (More kids become infected, and adults start getting affected faster.) - Decide to stay at home, they receive extra allowance and access to tools and gear. (They lose the opportunity to gather information.)
Weekend: - Visit the arcade to search for clues. If anyone plays the game, they must make constant rolls to resist becoming obsessive about it. - Plan a strategy to break or beat the game. - Men in black show up and chase the kids, resulting in one of them getting a severe scratch on their eye. - The kids manage to escape with evidence of the video game's extraordinary powers. They share the evidence with their families, but the next morning, they wake up as if nothing happened; memories wiped. However, they still meet up at the arcade as usual and decide to take a group picture when a traveling photographer offers to capture their lucky day.
We pan out and Zoe is looking at the photograph sitting on the floor of the closet she was just searching finds a joint in the same box as the photograph and sparks it.
submitted by Blkcube to Kidsonbikesrpg [link] [comments]


2023.06.10 03:27 Zrab10 Speed forth towards the enemy! Interceptor Guide

Interceptors! The front line defense unit that has higher evasion to provide a defensive wall along the front. These here are my thoughts on the various units within this role
Strengths:
Higher Evasion: On a point per point basis your evasion will be higher then most.
Generalist: Like it’s close role Battler most Interceptors are along the lines of generalists. You’ll be able to shoot and fight decently enough
Actions: There is a surprisingly high number of lower cost units that have 2+ actions enabling interesting strategies.
Weaknesses:
Generalist: Unlike Battler this is worse off for Interceptor. For their better evasion they tend to give something up whether armor, weaker weapon or less weapons, or weaker melee.
Shields: The high evasion comes at cost. Most units here do not have shields or free blocks.
Federation:
GM Light Armor: 90 points with a Tier 1 pilot. The GM light armor is a bite sized interceptor with a few weaknesses. Armed with a Stripped Beam Rifle and Beam Saber it is a rather close range GM. The Stripped beam rifle only has a max range of 16” but with overwatch II and a nice shot rate and above average armor pen it does quite well for itself though beware it only has accuracy 7. With 4d10 Melee dice the Beam Saber can threaten a variety of battlers and others especially if you get the charge off. While it does have a +4 evade it only has 400 HP so be wary about getting within auto hit weapon ranges or else you’ll be torn down by Machine Gun fire. It’s a delicate balancing act with how short your own range is, but thanks to Untouchable and its free blocks and higher Skill Defense shots it can ensure your survival.
GM Intercept Custom: 150 points with a Tier 1 pilot. The Intercept is the big brother to the line armor in upgrades. Armed with Beam Spray Gun and a Beam Saber the Intercept is an upgrade on the Light armor in most ways. The Beam Spray Gun is a classic GM weapon, but comes out with average Pen compared to the SBR and at 5d10 Melee dice the Beam Saber is optimal for dealing with close threats. However the Intercept is more of a bully with Practiced Professional, dealing free hits against Tier 0 pilots. This does make it even more fragile then the light armor as without untouchable you’ll have to spend more precious momentum dealing with auto-hit weaponry and at 400 HP you’ll feel the heat soon enough even with Evade+5.
GM Custom: 200 points with a Tier 1 pilot. The stats keep climbing. Armed with Assault Rifle, Shield, and Beam Saber this one has some good upgrades on the Intercept. With Accuracy 9 and 900 HP the assault rifle is put to good use either in RF range or from range. The Shield provides an excellent defensive bonus and with the Immortal trait you gain your team more M and have better defenses against those within 16”. The Immortal 4th team is aptly named and it will take a bit to put this one down.
Ace GM Custom (Lt South Burning): 250 points with Tier 2 pilot: Not too much to say. It has Pilot Instructor and an Ace Pilot on top of the GM Custom’s other things.
GM Custom RGM-79-N-Fb: 200 points with a Tier 0 pilot. Almost the same stats as the GM Custom, however trading in a skilled pilot for pure speed with a movement of 18” and a Beam Rifle instead of an Assault Rifle. The enhanced range and speed of the RGM lets it pick battles it wants to choose easier. The Beam Rifles higher damage and above average gives it an overall more powerful output of power.
GM Intercept Custom (FB) [S]: 240 points with a Tier 1 Pilot. This thing is a beast of firepower. Armed with TL Hyper Bazooka, 2 TL Micromissiles, a Beam Spray Gun, and a Beam Saber. The output of this GM is not to be denied coming in with 2 actions to fire two weapons per turn. With Hyper Bazooka outputting high damage and the BSG providing good Pen up close it’s got a weapon for every occasion especially with the Practiced Professional letting you destroy grunt units even better. However with +5 evade you’ll learn that all of that power comes at a cost of only 400HP. Autohit weapons and melee will quickly become a bane as without the chance to dodge you’ll falter quickly without spending momentum.
G-Line Light Armor (Hughes Courand): 250 points with a Tier 1 pilot. A surprisingly durable model from the Interceptors. Armed with Heavy Beam Rifle (U) 2 TL Missile Pods, a Shield, and Beam Saber. This is a surprisingly durable interceptor. 1500 health, +1 Arm saves, and shield with a +4 evade means that this unit can shrug off effects far easier then one would expect. It’s range lets it pepper enemies from afar with Missiles and its rifle shots are quite effective against all models. With Entwined with Tragedy it makes it a more effective pilot hunter going after more skilled pilots. Good speed and durability makes the Light G-Line quite powerful.
GM Night Seeker II: 250 points with a Tier 2 pilot. This unit is fast! Armed with a Stripped Beam Rifle (U) and Beam Saber its a very sparsely armed unit. Between its traits Dynamic Entrance and Ambusher you’ll quickly get on top of someone to do quite a bit of damage. With Practiced Professional on top of that you’ll be striking with +3 hits against a Tier 0/1 pilot without even firing a shot already! However it’s short range combined with Elusive means that in optimal damage range for it makes it become more threatened by those it wants to hunt.
Full Armor 7th Gundam (Hughes Courand): 350 points with a Tier 2 pilot. You could be mistaken for thinking this was a Firepower unit. Armed with Beam Cannon (U), 7th Beam rifle (U), TL missile pods, Grenade Launchers, Shield, and Beam Saber. With 5000 HP and +2 Evade its surprising this is an interceptor, but with two actions you’ll quickly overwhelm the enemy with long range firepower. With Entwined with Tragedy letting you deal free hits to Tier 1+ pilots and Driven giving you stronger return fire and M+1 when attacking with melee the enemy will learn to fear this units power. The Beam Cannon will provide good long range fire while the Rifle provides powerful consistency.
Zephyranthes GP01 (Kou Uraki): 350 points with a Tier 1 pilot. This unit is a beast. Armed with Assault Rifle, Beam Rifle, Shield and Beam Saber this unit has a tool for every situation. It’s stats are quite powerful for what you’d expect. 8D10 means most units will fear its melee, and with +2 Save, 4500 HP, and +5 Evade and 14” movement means you’ll have a tough time taking it down or even evading its speed. Between the Assault Rifle providing auto hits up close and the beam rifles penetration you’ll have a decent toolkit for dealing with others and with Mechanic Expert you’ll even be able to give Assault Rifle Penetration to avoid shields and otherwise give it and the saber more power for what you need.
Zephyranthes GP01 -Fb (Kou Uraki): (Shouldn’t this unit be space only?) 450 points with Tier 2 pilot. The unit is mostly similar to the standard model but removes the Assault Rifle. However it adds +4 movement and several new traits. With Fuel hungry giving even more speed to the unit it means that it will be able to traverse most boards without issue, though later on it’ll lose the power. Sudden Decoupling gives a very powerful melee attack as it can now avoid shields and gain crits in melee combat against its rival units. With Hunting for a Rival on top of that it now gains free hits against Tier 1+ so it has become quite deadlier then before. You won’t be able to outrace the GP01.
7th Gundam (Hughes Courand): 400 points with Tier 2 pilot. The 7th Gundam is a true generalist. Armed with a 7th Beam Rifle (U), Shield, and Beam Saber. The unit has strong stats for its cost. Powerful 7d10 melee, 10 accuracy, +1 Save, and 4000 HP with Evade +5 means its got strong melee and shooting capability. With the Rifles long range you’ll be able to shoot across the board as needed and its melee capability means that it’ll do quite well, and with Driven and Entwined with Tragedy means you’ll want to put both effects to good use.
Gundam Alex (Chobham) (Chris Mackenzie): 650 points with Tier 0 pilot. Thanks to it’s rule Custom Newtype unit you can never raise this units pilot skill. A relatively slow moving Interceptor, but the only Federation one with +2 Save. Armed with the Alex Beam Rifle (P) and Beam Saber it’s a relatively versatile unit. Good shooting and melee ensures that you can deal well with things, but the most important aspect to this is when you reach 1500 and below.
Gundam Alex: 250 points with Tier 0 pilot: Upon reaching this form the armor is stripped and the Alex gains a TL Gatling Gun and amazing speed at an impressive +6 evade. While much more fragile now the movement is boosted by a good +7 and the evasion shoots up. With the Gatling providing good auto hits and the Rifle good range you’ll have something for everyone you fight.
Zeon:
Recon Zaku: 60 points with Tier 0 pilot. A Zaku built for long range support. Armed only with the Long Barrel M.Gun (U) the Recon is meant for long range support but its main benefit comes from it Camera Gun trait. It’s effect basically gives every unit shooting at the target +1 accuracy, making them much easier to deal with. You don’t want to be close up with the Recon and thanks to its long barrel and Sensor range it can do its job effectively from a distance.
Acguy: 70 points with Tier 0 pilot. Everyone’s favorite adorable amphibious suit. Armed with Mega Particle Gun, Large Rocket Barrage and Iron Nail. A surprisingly large range with the Rocket Barrage, but one needs to remember it only has Accuracy 7 so against high evade suits it will have problems. With Stealth and Amphibious it has a lot of options for approaching the enemy and choosing when it will be targeted early on, but its best at closer range as the MPC gets a powerful 6 shots up close, and it’s Iron Nail is one of the more amazing melee weapons, the ability to blindside another unit is not to be taken lightly given the free Critical hit and ability to bypass shields just allows for a lot more power then one expects even for the M+1 cost.
Zaku Flipper: 80 points with Tier 0 pilot. The Recon Zaku’s big brother suit. With a better shooting accuracy, melee, and instead armed with the Giant Bazooka the Flipper is a much more dangerous foe on the field. It is also much more difficult to deal with on the first turn thanks to the Stealth Trait though you will want to use it earlier so that its useful Camera Gun can provide its benefits to your team. The Giant Bazooka is an effective damage tool that could even defeat most low level Zakus in one shot.
Act Zaku: 170 points with Tier 0 pilot. The advance of the Zaku line. The Act Zaku is armed with Quad Machine Gun (P) and Beam Saber. With a higher hp and evade the Act Zaku provides a hefty amount of close range damage. The Quad Machine gun loses out on range but with an amazing 8 shots base and boosts up to +4 autohits in 8” range means that you can do quite well, and with the Beam Saber and above average melee dice means that it can hold its own when it comes to close range. It’s a surprisingly well rounded suit that overall will do you fine so long as you can get in range.
Cima Gelgoog Marine (Cima Garahau): 280 points with Tier 2 pilot. The Custom Commander Cima. Armed with Repeating Beam Rifle (P), shield, and Beam Saber the Gelgoog is a dangerous long range threat. With a 40” beam rifle it does not matter you’ll be able to match most threats and with a speed of 13” you will likely dictate many matchups in your own favor early on. With Ambusher and Headhunter you’ll have a free +1 crit and +1 hit on any Tier 1 pilot of your choice on the first round and if any gets into your range you become even more of a threat thanks to Overconfident giving you a boost to defenses and the +4 to your shots will ensure that most threats disappear.
Act Zaku (Mallet Sanguine): 300 points with Tier 2 pilot. The Same statline as the Act Zaku. Whie the stateline has changed the loadout certainly has. Armed with Beam Rifle and Double Heat Hawk it becomes a much more generalist with its much longer range. The power has risen thanks to the Beam Rifles above average penetration and with the DHH giving a free hit in melee and rerolls it allows for much more effective power. Though it does best it gradually evolves towards melee with its Limiter Release, and should it become half health or a tier 1+ pilot falls in combat it becomes a massive powerhouse in melee as it now gets 3 autohits and blocks 2 hits per M as it’s strength becomes a berserker rage, but do not forget its Beam Rifle as it’ll still provide effective power no matter what your skill in melee is.
Gundam Wing:
Wing Gundam: (Heero Yuy): 500 Points with Tier 2 pilot. Everyone’s favorite Voltorb. The Wing Gundam is a powerful ranged suit armed with Buster Rifle, Great Shield, and Beam Saber. None of his weapons are below Pen 8 and he starts with an amazing 64” range. The Buster Rifle is a 64” 3 shot weapon that in RF range grows to 8 shots at 500 damage. This weapon is powerful, and with a high investment of M-3 it becomes a 3” line shot for clearing hordes, terrain, and whatever you point it at. Don’t think you can avoid it first turn either as thanks to Neo Bird Mode it gains +5” and ignore elevation in the first turn, and defensively it has a +2 Save, high HP, and it doesn’t even need to roll saves for Pen7 and below attacks as it just ignores them outright. Getting a free focus for being on its own and increasing M for activating it can gain M+2 per turn. Melee won’t save you from it either as it has a 7d10 melee with its beam saber still being able to cut through others. Be wary if you spot Heero on the field as you’ll need to keep an eye out where it’ll be able to shoot you from.
G Gundam: A bit of a mention is that a shared trait is the Mobile Trace System. For those without the higher tier version they lose -1 action if they fail an armour save.
Rising Gundam (Rain Mikamura): 450 points with Tier 1 pilot. A long ranged suit. Armed with the Heat Naginata (U) and Rising Arrow (U). The Rising Arrow is a long range weapon of destruction at 48”. Though its best to treat it as a sniper weapon as when in RF range it loses attacks its high Pen of 8 makes it deadly when it hits. Though one shouldn’t count out her melee ability as the Naginata gives +1 hit and +1 block in melee with defensive rerolls and an average pen. Though once per game she can enhance her [CC] with This Hand of mine like Domon to get +3 hits and +3000 finisher that increases its penetration with each hit. Overall she does best in either range, but her weakness is midrange as she does not want to be in RF range so she wants to either be close for melee or long for best shooting.
Neros Gundam (Michelo Chariot): 500 points with Tier 2 pilot. A lot of range! Armed with TL Beam Cannon, Silver Legs, 2 Satyricon Beams (P), and Killer Knuckle. A ranged attack for every occasion, giving yourself more actions through pilot actions gives you amazing power as you only have one action to start with. All your ranged is at least 32” so don’t be afraid to use what you need to. Whether you need to clear crowds with Silver legs, the overall power of the TL beam cannon and the rapid fire attacks of the beams means you can do quite well especially with Gunner Expert giving you a free hit or even longer range. Melee range with the Killer Knuckle gives blindside, which given the high melee means you’ll bypass any free shield blocks and gives an additional crit. You can’t go wrong at any range with the Neros.
Neros Gundam DG (Michelo Chariot Neros infested with the DG cells. The only changes here are traits. Gaining Headhunter for dealing with Tier 1+ pilots, and Menancing Visage which now gives M+1 for additional use. Along with Spectrum Beam Kick which now gets an additional +3 hits with Silver Legs for increased power. Overall take whatever you desire as both are good.
Cobra Gundam (Chandra Shijema): 500 points with Tier 2 pilot. A subtly suitable short ranged suit. Armed with TL Flamethrower, Constrict and Immobilize and Assassin Beam Saber (P) this suit is best fitted for short range. With Constrict being able to immobilize suits from afar you have the variety on attack thanks to its autohits. The Flamethrower provides a lot of aggression against grunt suits with it coming with AoE naturally, and having 5 autohits in RF range makes it even deadlier even against evasive suits. The suit itself comes with 3 free focus actions per turn and a M+1 if far enough away from allies, and you’ll likely be using that for its powerful ability to blindside on any melee it chooses with its decoupling. It’s assassin saber comes with an additional +2 finishing blow so managing to get finishing blows with it will be as strong as two full pens so go for it if you can. The Cobra will sneak up on any that it can to finish them off in a subtle way.
Pacific Rim:
Otachi: 500 points with Tier 1 Kaiju. An effective, fast flyer with some powerful tricks! Armed with a Deadly Tail and Torrent of Acid Otachi is our first Super Heavy unit on the lit. Otachi’s main defense is a bunch of health that allows it to tank a lot of firepower, it wants to be within close range to fire off its acid for good pen before charging in with its deadly tail. The tail itself is a very powerful weapon as it gives +2 hits and for every crit it gains +1 pen, making its Pen 4 a Pen 5 by default. It’s most powerful trait is its Stratosphere drop which requires it to transform into winged mode which gives it more movement & ignore elevation but makes its melee defense worse. After dealing damage you are allowed a disengage and a 10d10 on 5+ that does 300 damage, potentially finishing off enemies. With the new Havoc abilities you can cause extra damage through Impact to force them through terrain or units, or fight two units in one turn and with how Stratosphere is worded you can do it two units in one turn and Kaiju throw lets you fling an enemy into another for a proper ranged attack instead of torrent of acid.
Evangelion, Gaogaigar, Mazinger, Getter Robo, Big O, Escaflowne: Nothing yet!
This one took a bit longer thanks to GBO2 and other things pulling me away! Good to see Gaogaigar and a new edition going on well.
submitted by Zrab10 to MechaStellar [link] [comments]


2023.06.10 01:28 JustAnotherTRALol I just finished Persona 3 for the first time. Here are my thoughts on what I'd like for Reloaded.

Hello everybody, hope you're all doing well.
Today I finished Persona 3 for the first time. Not in celebration of Reloaded being 'announced' (or, rather, leaked on Instagram); it's entirely coincidental. In fact I crossed the 100 hour threshold when I first was notified of the trailer's leakage on Twitter. (Learning that the game I just poured 115 hours into is soon going to be (presumably) obsolete is certainly a feeling!)
As Persona 3 is therefore pretty fresh in my mind, and I have no nostalgia or years-long cemented ideas about what makes it work or what doesn't, and as I also have absolutely firm idea about the content in P3P or P3:FES (I have only played the basic vanilla version, although know some vague stuff about content in FES and Portable), I figured I might have an interesting perspective on the whole Reloaded business that your average Persona 3 fan might not have (given I have only just become one as of... today). I'm sure I'm not alone, but I imagine there aren't too many people out there who played & finished Persona 3 for the first time this month.

Please understand this is only my personal opinion and I am only intending to present this as my personal opinion. If you have disagreements, or want to share your own opinions, then I fully invite you to do so!

Well, that's just about everything I think I'd want from Reloaded. I really hope it's a lot of fun. Having just played Persona 3 myself, I doubt I'll get it any time soon personally unless it has The Answer or a really large amount of exclusive content... but honestly, even on the day of playing the original, I'm genuinely kind of interested in it already.
What do you think? What do you want to see out of Reloaded? Do you think anything I suggested would be bad for the game or is just nitpicky? Do you agree with everything on the list and have additional ideas? Do you just want to share your own thoughts? Thanks for reading and have a great day everyone.
(P.S., if you're wondering what my impressions of Persona 3 are now that I've completed it for the first time, I liked it.)
submitted by JustAnotherTRALol to PERSoNA [link] [comments]


2023.06.10 01:04 Hedgehog_5150 Janissary: The Joy Ride Ch8

Credit to u/bluefishcake for writing the original SSB story and building the sandbox for us to play in.
And a big thanks to the authors and their stories that inspired to get off my ass and put my fingers to keyboard. RandomTinkerer (City Slickers and Hayseeds), Punnynfunny (Denied Operations), CompassWithHat (Top Lasgun), Rhion-618 (Just One Drop), UncleCieling(Going Native), RobotStatic (Far Away), Kazevenikov (The Cryptid Chronicle), Also to the editor # Fan Beta Readers and KLiCkonthat .
As always comments, complaints, and suggestions are welcome.
This is a fair use notice. Any and all aspects of this may be used on and within this subreddit only, with attribution. All other uses are exclusive to the author.
/*******************************/
Nanorix took the news from the advocates in stride, better than Linda. They had spent the night mutually venting at the injustice of the situation while putting away bottles of gin. Max sounded almost broken by the news while Nora the optimist in the family, firmly held to the belief that things would work out. Rufus was, well, Rufus. Intuitively compassionate, which is why he was laying in the front seat of the truck with his head on Linda's lap as they drove up to Flagstaff.
Linda was trying to sleep off her hangover, her eyes closed but not asleep. Alila had been honest that the only reason Garquile was not tied up in this was that he had her direct protection as a territorial governess. Tommy did not have that level of security and without it, he was in more danger than Robert. From what Alila had said, elements in the Interior wanted Robert dead, other interested parties wanted him alive because of his potential. The situation was so bad the Planetary Governess had stepped in and ordered the house arrest of six high-ranking members of the Interior and let it be known that if anything happened to young Mr. Pierce they would die publicly.
Neither Alila nor the planetary governess knew why the Interior wanted Robert dead, she did. After she heard that the pod found the children and what was being done to them. Her lieutenant had completely lost it, she rounded everyone operating the orphanage and lined them against the wall, and had them shot. The Interior had come in and had done what they always did, cleaned up the mess, and protected those who were important and connected. Before the interior got there one of the girls found a large data server and they made copies. There were four full copies still on Earth and one that she knew was off-world, and she had one of them. It had been too dangerous to keep at home so she had setup a remote server that would once a week send out a heartbeat signal. There were major safety measures in place to prevent access.
She had managed to go to Flagstaff for brunch about once a month to establish a pattern of behavior. Those trips with Robert and sometimes Tommy had always been good, nothing special just good days. She and Linda would have brunch and she would trigger a download to her server buried under the barn. When they had spoken with Alila, Max, and Nora, Max had commented that if anybody could stack the deck and pull inside straight now was the time to do it. She did not tell Linda why they had to come, just that she needed to come up and check on something.
She and Linda had a quiet brunch on the patio of the restaurant to allow Rufus to join them. As they ate she triggered the data transfer. The data transfer would take at least thirty minutes to complete, so they would have a nice long brunch and talk about anything but the boys, she even took a couple of selfies of the two of them to cover what she was doing. Rufus camped out under the table but never relaxed, she was not sure if he sensed her unease or something else was going on that she could not see.
They stayed and chit-chatted until Linda finished her third cup of coffee. She did not want the third cup but they needed the extra time to let the data transfer complete, and by that time Linda's hangover had started to subside. The drive home was uneventful, but traffic was horrible due to the festival of colors going on, it was the 4th of July after all.
/*******************************/
Ishani was tired and hungry but had little interest in eating. She and Ensign Tha'xur had been up half the night working to translate the new equations that Robert had created yesterday, with a new understanding of how the translation needed to work. Thoughts of Robert consumed her mind, and she had to fight the urge to look over and watch him, the singular human male. His name seemed to roll off her tongue, lingering from her dreams the previous night as she drifted off to sleep. Those dreams had been far from innocent, filled with exotic and seductive images of him, even in his baggy exercise clothing.
Returning her attention to her food, Ishani shifted uncomfortably. She would need to change her underclothes if she continued dwelling on him like this. Taking another bite of the fruit, nut, and sauce mixture, she tried to enjoy it, but it did little to distract her from watching him. He moved slowly, almost as if dancing, though she couldn't grasp the purpose behind his movements. Ensign Tha'xur's timely arrival saved her from making an obvious fool of herself by staring at a boy nearly two years her junior. It always felt like she was the only one looking.
Ensign Tha'xur sat down with a tray of food and jokingly said, "Ground control to Crewwoman Vevreix, are you awake?" Ishani returned her gaze to her food and responded, "Yes, ma'am, I am awake, just..." Before she could finish her sentence, Ensign Tha'xur interrupted, "Distracted?"
Signing without looking up and absentmindedly playing with her food, Ishani replied, "Yes, ma'am, horribly. It's just... he's just one boy. I have enough common sense to know that there is no way I should even consider... why couldn't he be old, wrinkled, and fat..."
Ensign Tha'xur completed Ishani's thought, saying, "Instead, he's young, fit, and I would even go as far as to say he's attractive in a very unmasculine way, with that wounded, sad boy aura."
Looking up, Ishani was taken aback and asked, "What do you mean 'you could call him attractive'? Are you blind? I mean, he may be a little short, but other than that, he is..." She trailed off, unable to find the right words.
Smiling and taking a bite of her burrito, Ensign Tha'xur replied, "He is desirable, and deep down, I believe you could take away all his pain and sadness... but please don't go there." Shifting into a serious tone, she continued, "I overheard Cmdr Norroe and Lt Cmdr Ashix talking about him the day we arrived. What caught my attention was Cmdr Norroe mentioning his thousand-yard stare that is measured in miles. There are significant parts of his life that we don't have access to because they've been redacted by the interior."
Ishani looked over at Robert, who appeared to have finished his morning workout and was heading towards the mobile kitchen. She murmured, "No one is ever so lost in the deepest of caves that they cannot be found by the beating of their heart. There is always hope and always a way out."
Ensign Tha'xur wiped her face clean of the red sauce that had dripped from her burrito and commented, "You, Crewwoman, are an optimist."
"With all due respect, ma'am, have you looked?" Ishani responded quizzically.
With a wry smile En. Tha'xur replied smoothly "I am technically a married woman and my husband and kho wives are going to be here in three days. I am hoping that my leave request will be honored, we were supposed to go to Tel Aviv for 14 days." Frowning slightly with the last statement.
Ishani gave an understanding smile "Well, that explains why you are not interested. You know, if you want to get the time off then ask for help. What is the worst he can do to say no?"
En. Tha'xur almost laughed at that, "So what should I do ask him over here for you to ogle him and for me to get a chance to go on leave, I do not think he would like that, being that he is here under guard."
Ishani took another bite of her food, ‘alright girl put up or shut up’ she thought to herself, before standing. "Ma'am if you never ask for help you will never get any." This is not a good idea, turning to find Robert who was looking for an open table to eat at. "Robert, can you join us over here, please?" Blessed Nest mother, that sounded so bad she inwardly cringed.
/************************/
Robert had gotten his food-laden tray and was looking for an empty place to sit. It felt a little weird not having a personal shadow always with him. The petty officers had told him last night that he would be given some space and an opportunity to interact with the people here. "Go out, mingle, talk to people, that's a winning idea," he thought sarcastically. Yup, everything was normal again. Alone in a room full of people and completely clueless about how to do the most basic of things, like talking to anybody.
Now, the people he could talk to were a problem. Being the only male and the only human, he received looks. The looks could be categorized into three groups: lust, curiosity, and pity. Dealing with lust was easy; he just chose not to care, and thankfully, they were discreet about it for now. Pity, on the other hand, infuriated him because most of the time, it was fake. Whenever someone expressed their sympathy for all the things he had been through, he wanted to scream. At best, it was a polite social convention, and at worst, it was a selfish and internalized burden of guilt that had nothing to do with him.
Just as he spotted an empty table at the far end, somebody called out his name. "Can you join us over here, please?" Shit, it was Ishani, the one person in the whole damned place who had a very unsettling effect on him. She was the only one here who scared the shit out of him. Taking a breath to collect himself, he acknowledged her with a nod and proceeded to join her and the Ensign at their table.
He noticed that when he acknowledged her, she just beamed and got all bubbly. That was the best word for it. Her glowing tattoos seemed to brighten for just a moment before she sat down, leaving him to wonder what those tattoos looked like on the rest of her body. He made it to the table and sat down on autopilot while his mind indulged in a little fantastical daydream, leaving him noticeably flushed and uncomfortable in ways that only men could be.
Setting his tray and bottle of maple syrup down on the table and taking a seat, Robert tried to say thank you, but neither Ishani nor the Ensign had their translators running.
En. Tha'xur noticed him stop trying to use hand speak and realized that they had just messed up a little. "I am sorry, that was rude of us," she said as she tried to get her translation app up and running. Meanwhile, Ishani was no help; she was head down in her food, blushing and trying very hard not to be noticed. "There, we're set."
Robert was relieved when En. Tha'xur got her translation app running, so he wouldn't have to stare at Ishani across the round table from him. He returned his attention to En. Tha'xur. "I was trying to say thank you for asking me to join you, and it's okay. You at least figured it out."
Ishani looked up from her half-eaten food when En. Tha'xur's translator started speaking. Fuck, she thought, this is so embarrassing. Inviting a boy to come over and eat with you only to ignore him when he gets here. Idiot. Turning to face him, her brain failed as she smiled stupidly and took another bite. "Hungry?"
En. Tha'xur couldn't help but cringe. The situation unfolding before she seemed straight out of a cliché "coming of age" story, where a girl meets a boy and the universe seems to pause just for them. It reminded her of the sentimental videos her older brother and his friends would tear up over. Poor Ishani, the other girls around her would roast her mercilessly, yet she remained oblivious to the fact that she was being watched. En. Tha'xur couldn't decide if it was cute or tragic. Determined to intervene and save Ishani from herself, she spoke up, "Robert, the reason Crewwoman Vevreix invited you over is that I need your help."
"Hungry?" Robert was caught off guard by Ishani's question. Did she even understand what she was doing? He found her confusing, and he just wanted to finish his meal quickly and GTFO. En. Tha'xur was speaking, but he had missed what she said. He decided to play dumb and replied, "OK."
En. Tha'xur thought to herself, "This is good." She then explained, "Well, my husband and my three kho wives are going to be arriving on Earth in three days. I had scheduled a 14-day leave, but then I received an emergency assignment here, and I don't know if they will honor my leave request."
Robert had managed to pay enough attention to understand that she needed a favor. He had two basic choices: give a hard no and explain that the advocates wouldn't allow him to help until they gave the go-ahead, or try to answer her questions. His best option was to listen and see if he could offer some hints. "I am quite restricted by what my advocates have told me to do, but I will try to point you in the right direction."
Finally, Ishani managed to gather her thoughts and interjected, "See, I told you, all you need to do is ask."
En. Tha'xur rolled her eyes, silently expressing her frustration towards Ishani. She replied, "Thank you, can you help?"
Talking with his mouth full wasn't polite and attempting to gesture while eating proved to be a challenge. Robert sighed as he reluctantly set down his fork, his stomach growling in protest. "Yes, I will genuinely help you. And if you're wondering why," Robert paused, trying to understand his willingness to assist, "it's because you asked. Now, the big question is, do you even know what you want to ask?"
Ishani eagerly jumped in, unknowingly giving En. Tha'xur some time to formulate a proper question to ask. "Okay, if I can ask one too, please?"
Robert held up one finger as he obeyed the demands of his stomach and shoved a load of runny fried eggs and hash browns in his mouth. "Sure, since you saved me from eating alone." Robert swallowed hard after he finished speaking, realizing he had just unintentionally flirted with her. Thinking inwardly, "Shut up, dumb ass. You are going to get yourself in trouble."
Ishani sputtered like Joe Pesci for just a couple of seconds before getting to her real question. "Ok, ok, ok, ok." Pointing to the work area where the Charger was, she asked, "Why is the car so important? Why did you build it?"
Robert shoveled another load of eggs and hash browns into his mouth. "Why would a human boy on Earth, living in North America, want to build a fast car and one that could fly?" Pausing to inhale the bite of his eggs and hash browns, he continued, "Because it was fun, and it would have been cool to have a hotrod and be the only one to fly. Well, that would be a show-off, a little, and to have a shitload of fun flying around in it."
En. Tha'xur cluelessly responded, "What is a 'hotrod,' and why would a flying car be 'cool'? I guess that means good?"
Robert had to roll his head back before responding, to the idea of attempting to explain custom car and motorcycle cultures. "Humans like to personalize cars and other things as expressions of their personalities and rolling pieces of art in some cases. For a human boy to be able to build a car and go fast is a dream. Hotrods are the result of those builds."
Taking another break to move the French toast in front of him and pour on the maple syrup, he continued, "Back to the first part of your question, 'Why is it important?' Other than a personal attachment to the memories connected to it... it is not, in the grand scheme of things, it was a mistake. A very valuable mistake, it disproved one of my approaches to a bigger challenge."
En. Tha'xur and Crewwoman Vevreix just looked at each other and mouthed the same words, "It was a fucking mistake!!"
Robert tried to hide his smug satisfaction. Nobody ever considered just how much of his work was critical and applied to his big challenge. Ishani looked at Robert as he dug into his French toast. "If that was a mistake, what is the prize?" Robert just smiled and shrugged in response to the question. En. Tha'xur sat dejected, "Well, that did answer one of the big questions. The car is a stepping stone to the bigger thing."
Watching the Ensign sit dejected and look a little lost made Robert feel like a little shit. Flipping the bird to the bureaucratic machine that was the Imperium always felt like a "fuck yes," but trolling a person was different. She had asked him for help, and he had used it to be petty and spiteful. "You don't need to ask right now, and if you loan me your data slate, I will give you a couple of hints," he said, reaching out for the device.
En. Tha'xur handed over the data slate wordlessly. Robert opened a new document and wrote:
"If you have 'The Right Stuff,' you can connect the dots."
"Space-Time Gravity is not the same as Gravity Space-Time."
When he finished, he handed the data slate back to the ensign and returned to his food. En. Tha'xur picked up the data slate, read the hints, and found the first line to be of no use other than some devotional wisdom that would be preached in a temple. However, the second line held interesting possibilities. Grabbing the data slate, Ishani quickly scanned the text and handed it back to En. Tha'xur. "Thank you, I think we can work with this," she said. Turning to En. Tha'xur, she added, "Ma'am, I think we need to work in conference room 2 today. It has the other digital whiteboard, and I think we need the space."
En. Tha'xur picked up the data slate and looked right at Robert. "I don't get the first one. The second one could be applied in a dozen or more places."
Finishing his first piece of French toast, Robert tried to remember the order of the equations to point her in the right direction. "Show me my work from last night, and I will show you the one to work against. Don't try to finish it, just try to understand it."
En. Tha'xur handed the translated copy of Robert's work back to him, and he looked at it with a mixture of fascination and difficulty. It was strange to see his work presented so neatly, but it was also challenging to read. He had to mentally retranslate it to the original version he had written. Working through the problem brought his headache back in full force, making the surroundings too bright and diminishing his appetite. Robert tried to hide his discomfort, squinting his eyes and taking deep breaths.
Concerned, Ishani noticed his strained expression and asked, "Are you alright? You don't look well."
With a weak smile, Robert replied, "I shouldn't have done that. I usually take a couple of days off after my little flying trips. It's like working out too hard and feeling extremely sore the next day, then trying to work out again. Not fun."
En. Tha'xur felt uneasy knowing that Robert was enduring pain to help her. She thought of her father and how he would be disappointed in her. "Are you sure you don't need a doctor?" she asked, genuinely concerned.
"I'll be fine, I just need some sleep," Robert reassured them, pushing his plate of food away. "If either of you wants to finish this, go for it. At the very least, don't waste the bacon."
Ishani reached for the plate and admitted, "I've heard about bacon, but I'm a little afraid to try new foods. I don't want to be disappointed."
En. Tha'xur reached for a piece of bacon, saying, "I love bacon. I'll even taste-test it to make sure it's okay." She smiled at Ishani and took a bite.
Robert observed as En. Tha'xur's eyes widened in shock. Oops, he remembered that he had coated the bacon in maple syrup. However, she didn't spit it out, which was a good sign. His mom loved crispy bacon dipped in maple syrup. Sometimes, she would devour an entire package of bacon if there was maple syrup in the house, and then she would try to conceal the fact that a pound of bacon had disappeared. She would even do her dishes, a chore that was usually Robert's.
En. Tha'xur bit into the bacon, expecting a salty taste but experiencing the combination of sweet and salty. The flavor was incredible. She paused to savor the taste before chewing again. "You have to try this!" she exclaimed.
Ishani, with anticipation in her eyes, sniffed the remaining piece of bacon. "Here goes nothing." She cherished this moment, as it was the closest she had come to tasting her nest mother's nectar. Grabbing the plate, she declared, "I'm finishing this!" and devoured the last piece of French toast without bothering with utensils.
Despite his throbbing headache, Robert couldn't help but smile as he rose from the table. "Enjoy. I need some sleep."
/*******************************/
Tommy had to roll his eyes at Valenlina's latest attempt to "improve" his wardrobe with a purple satin shirt with a matching sea green scarf. No matter how many times Valenlina tried to have Tommy dress like a proper male, Tommy always simply said no. Early on in the dating, Valenlina had gotten so frustrated that she also broke up with him, not that she ever told him. Her father and kho mother Tearhart had stepped in and explained that she could not make a human be like a Shil. The Imperium still tried, and the Humans resisted more. There were several semi-celebrities on the data-net that advised Shil’vai women on dating human males and females. The most common rule for dating a human male is not to try and change them to be acceptable in your circle because they will resent you for it. You have attracted a human male for a reason, embrace it.
Their walk through downtown Prescott was a moment the Tommy did not have to think about the meeting tomorrow. Early this morning he and his mother had gotten almost an hour of one on one time with Advocate Roskin and she was able to explain in greater detail what was expected of him tomorrow and how things could go right or wrong. Withholding information was one of the worse things he could do. After the meeting, Valenlina noticed the additional stress in Tommy. It was so bad that physical affection had no effect. There was only one thing other than sex that could distraction, window shopping.
Their window shopping trip started as a serious attempt to make him presentable in Shil’vati society, ow her attempts to help him look more presentable were just something they did to have fun. In many ways, it was closer to foreplay now, as Tommy now attempts to have Valenlina dress like a human girl. Tommy did have one big win, a pair of 4-inch-high heels, he had said they improved the view coming and going. Her big win last year was a shirt and tie set for his tailored charcoal suit, he was finally willing to wear formal attire with a splash color.
Valenlina could see her best effort to pull Tommy out of what his mother called a 'funk' were not working. He was still not willing to talk to her about it, she could understand that he was pissed but his silence bothered her. While he had not pushed her away, he still felt distant. Last year's fireworks had been the warmup act for what had followed. She could never look at Mr. Scott's old Ford pickup without blushing just a little bit.
Tommy smiled with a wicked little smile, "Thinking dirty thoughts again I see." he said holding up a pair of women's cowboy boots in hot pink.
Playfully Valenlina put on her pouty face, "What would you wear with them?"
Taking his turn to think dirty thoughts and hoping to see her turn dark blue Tommy put on his most innocent face, "First this is a girl's color, and they would be for you, but what would I wear if you wanted me to try them on? Nothing?" Emphasizing the last word.
With a facade of indignation, "Why Mr. Sandoval, are you implying that the Governess's daughter would be involved in anything so uncouth as to make a respectable male present himself for inspection with only what the Goddess endowed him with?"
Tommy returned the boots to the display and stepped forward to steal a kiss."My Dear Miss Seskie, you know dammed well that you would take full advantage of that situation."
Returning the kiss, Valenlina smiled. "Yes, Mr. Sandoval I would." She bent down to whisper into his ear. "I think we both need to cool off or we will never make it to the fireworks show."
Tommy took her by the hand." Looks like I'll have to settle for mint chocolate chip ice cream."
Valenlina put on a hurt expression. "You are so cruel."
They left the window shopping and continued walking back to the courthouse square. The roads around the court were closed for three days for Frontier Days and the Festive of Colors. This opened the court square up for a giant art show and sales venue. This was the change for local artisans to show off their wares in the hopes of making one or selling to a noble patron and then getting follow-up commission work. The north side of the courthouse was dedicated to custom motorcycles and the east side was for classic custom cars. The west side, known as "Whiskey Row" is where the food vendors and their destination Jacksons Ice Cream was set up right in front of the Palace Restaurant and Saloon.
Turning the corner to walk up Whiskey Row Tommy could not help but feel he was being watched. Tommy had to keep Valenlina from heading off to go look at this or that. He had to remind her, that ice cream was first or he would have to give her a spanking. Valenlina would always retort with, "Promises, promises".
When they were getting their ice cream Valenlina nudged Tommy and told him to look across the street. Standing in front of a face painting booth was a short portly balding human male with a puggy round face. He wearing a well-made black suit, the only thing missing from the 1930s gangster getup was a fedora hat.
Taking their ice cream and heading off to a wood sculptor's booth Tommy kicked himself mentally for not seeing him earlier, he was the only person wearing a business suit. He should have stood out like a sore thumb, but he just seemed to blend in. The booth was impressive, boasting several pieces commissioned by various members of the nobility. Tommy ate his ice cream and kept an eye on the gangster while Valenlina inspected the various pieces and got sticker shock.
Tommy tried to get Valenlina's attention when the gangster entered the booth and proceeded to the cane rack. By the time Valenlina noticed, the gangster was already paying for the cane he had selected.
When the gangster finished his transaction, he turned to Tommy and Valenlina." Well if it isn't the young man of the hour, Thomas Sandoval. It's a pleasure to meet you. As well as you, Miss Seskie."
Flustered, Tommy stuttered out, "Who the fuck are you? Have you been watching me?"
The man smiled, but it felt unnerving, maybe a little malicious, too., "My name is Mr. Rojo and I watch everybody. It's my calling, but I will admit that you and your brother have piqued my interest. I go through life watching the world go by, I enjoy the shifting mosaic of peoples' lives, and how they interconnect. For example, the car that you and your brother build was a 69 or 70 I could not tell with what is out on the news media.”
Tommy waited to tell this to go pound sand, but he need to talk and tell Mr. Rojo what even he needed, Tommy forgot Valenlina was listening as he spoke.” It is a 69, why is that important?”
The gangster slowly dropped part of his smile as he replied, ”It is not important, it is merely a curiosity just like why not use the Confederate battle flag and why the name Valkirey?”
Eagerly Tommy responded, “The Betsy Ross over the Stars and Bars, because it is more appropriate at this time and the Shil’vati Imperium has no idea what it means, instead of erasing human history maybe the Shil’vati could try learning from it.” almost quoting Sean Connery about goose stopping morons and burning books. “ Now for Valkire over General Lee, that is easy, Valkire’s are sexy and cool. and General Lee would get us in trouble, just like the Stars and Bars.”
The gangster's smile was completely gone, and his expression and tone had changed to serious but neutral almost professorial, “But I have a simple question for you, and I'd greatly appreciate it if you would give me an honest answer, Thomas what is gravity?"
Thomas could not stop himself and replied without hesitation. "Gravity is a higher dimensional construct. When projected from a higher dimension it appears to be a force, but to use it as a dimensional construct the space-time gravity interpretation must be inverted to be the first-dimensional construct so that space-time gravity becomes gravitational space-time with an indeterminate number of dimensional constructs between gravity and space."
The gangster looked surprised, while Valenlina looked utterly confused. "Is that your brother Robert's words or yours?"
Thomas hesitated only slightly before he replied. "Mostly Robert's, I can't dream up the shit he does but once he explains it, I can see it. He uses me as a sounding board." Tommy suddenly realized what he was saying. "Who the fuck are you?"
The gangster took Tommy's hand to shake it. "Mr. Sandoval, I told you I am a watcher and now I get to watch you. Have a glorious life Mr. Sandoval" nodding to Valenlina, "and you too, Miss Seskie."
Tommy watched as the gangster walked out of the booth noting that nobody noticed his passing.
Valenlina had been too engrossed in Mr. Rojo and Tommy's conversation to say or do anything, but now that Mr. Rojo was no longer there she angrily turned to face Tommy."Thomas, you have some explaining to do!"
Tommy would not realize until much later, that the gangster had placed the cane in his has as he left.
/*******************************/
First:
Janissary: The Joy Ride Ch1 : Sexyspacebabes (reddit.com)
Previous:
Janissary: The Joy Ride Ch7 : Sexyspacebabes (reddit.com)
Next:
Chapter 8
Extra:
Janissary: The Son Of War : Sexyspacebabes (reddit.com)
Janissary: Vision from Zy'Verila : Sexyspacebabes (reddit.com)
submitted by Hedgehog_5150 to Sexyspacebabes [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 23:59 GreatRecipeCollctr29 Fantasia Confections & Bakery

Fantasia Confections & Bakery
The spiced cookies that I could find are the Gingerbread cut out cookies & the pfefferneuse cookies. Also the royal icing recipe is on the 1st recipe that says "Danish pastry...".
submitted by GreatRecipeCollctr29 to Old_Recipes [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 23:32 BrobaFett Math-hammer: Tyranid anti-vehicle options

Cross posting from the other warhammer community for my fellow Bugs!
But here is a spreadsheet I put together detailing a few weapon profiles against vehicles as well as some statistics for when you take the Hyper-Aggression adaptation.
Just a few take-aways from my estimation:
* Hormigaunts also do some surprising damage if you can get a large enough group. With the lethal-hits adaptation, they really can toss 7-9 wounds towards even very high toughness tanks. Not sure what the points investment for 20 of these little guys will be. I messed up the math on these. Accidentally calculated them as AP -2. This about halves their effective wounds against T9 and greater. Scratch that.
Obviously, I just kind of winged this. My math might be off here. Feel free to point out any errors in my calculations that you notice, especially if they tangibly affect the outcomes here. I hope the formatting is somewhat legible.
submitted by BrobaFett to Tyranids [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 23:23 BrobaFett Math-hammer: Tyranids vs Vehicles

I'm not able to post this as an image (it's a picture of a spreadsheet)
But here is a spreadsheet I put together detailing a few weapon profiles against vehicles as well as some statistics for when you take the Hyper-Aggression adaptation.
Just a few take-aways from my estimation:
* Hormigaunts also do some surprising damage if you can get a large enough group. With the lethal-hits adaptation, they really can toss 7-9 wounds towards even very high toughness tanks. Not sure what the points investment for 20 of these little guys will be. I messed up the math on these. Accidentally calculated them as AP -2. This about halves their effective wounds against T9 and greater. Scratch that.
Obviously, I just kind of winged this. My math might be off here. Feel free to point out any errors in my calculations that you notice, especially if they tangibly affect the outcomes here. I hope the formatting is somewhat legible.
submitted by BrobaFett to WarhammerCompetitive [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 23:03 xtremexavier15 TSROTI 8 (pt 2)

The episode resumed on the giant octopus with its spiked tentacle held menacingly over the Maggots. It growled and reared the appendage back, prompting Geoff to quickly jump to the back with his teammates just before the front was slammed down upon, launching all four into the air.
They flew screaming across the lake, their shadows passing over the swimming Rats, and finally they crashed down onto the rocky beach of Wawanakwa. They groaned in pain, and Anne Maria was the first to lift her head and look around.
"Hey," she said, "we're in first place!"
"Rad," Geoff weakly groaned.
"The Maggots win," Chris called down from above, leaning out the open door of the helicopter, "and get these as a reward!"
He dropped down two objects, which Molly quickly caught – one was a compass, and the other fell open to reveal a map of the island. "A map and compass," the indie chick said flatly as her teammates looked at their reward.
"I'll keep those so I can navigate us better," Scarlett said, swiping the objects away from Molly.
"Weellll, look who just washed up!" Chris said, turning his attention to the edge of the water as the Rats finally swam ashore.
"I blame the octopus for leaving us like this," Sierra said.
"You can say that again," Scott responded.
"Put a sock in it!" Chris called down to them. "Now, the second part of today's challenge started off as a practical joke involving classic Total Drama competitor Amy. Buuuut, it's turned into more of a rescue mission," he said, pointing a remote down at the beach and pressing the button.
The shot cut to both teams on shore as they turned and looked at a television cart that had just been wheeled over by a long-haired white male intern. The screen cut from static to none other than Amy trapped inside what appeared to be a somewhat spacious wooden coffin. She woke up and bumped her head on the lid. "What? Where am I?" she asked, looking around in confusion. "I'm buried alive?!" she exclaimed and pounded on the low ceiling with her fist in a rather panicked fashion. "GET ME OUT OF HERE!"
"Burying someone alive is super dangerous," Trent scolded, "even by your standards."
"That's why we're using the buddy system," Chris told them. "And instead of letting last year's losers have all the fun, we brought in one of this year's duds!"
The cast's direction moved back to live feed of Amy as the sound of snoring was heard coming from within her prison. The camera zoomed out to show Katie curled up and asleep in the coffin with her.
"Katie! She's back!" DJ exclaimed excitedly. "What happened to her?"
"She ate a lot of Chef's buttolini," Chris explained as the focus cut back to the beach, "so she's gonna be out for a couple more minutes," he laughed.
"That is just messed up for you to do!" DJ scowled.
Confessional: Sammy
"Is it just me, or does Chris become more and more deranged with each passing season?" Sammy talked to the camera.
Confessional Ends
Chris carried on. "Maggots! You've got your compass and your map to the general vicinity of the chests at the other side of the island. First team to rescue the girls wins the challenge. Now go!"
Geoff, Molly, Anne Maria, and Scarlett ran off into the woods without another word, but as the Rats moved to follow, Chris landed his helicopter on the sand in front of them. "Uh-tu-tut-tut," he said, "not so fast. To the losers go the penalty belts. Chef," he turned to his grinning assistant, "lock 'em in!"
The cook stepped out of the pilot's seat and walked over to the five Rats, and the footage skipped ahead to him locking a metal belt around Trent's waist, with handcuffs attached to each side to keep his arms in place. The camera zoomed out and revealed that identical belts had already been locked onto his teammates.
"These things must weigh a hundred pounds!" Trent complained.
"120 pounds to be exact," Chris replied before slotting a metal detector onto his back.
"How is a metal detector supposed to help us find a chest?" Sierra asked in confusion.
"It's not," Chris smiled, taking out a red megaphone and shouting "Now GO! GO-GO-GO-GO-GO-GO!"
The Rats promptly ran off into the woods.
Confessional: Scott
"We're behind the Maggots and disadvantaged, and I'm going to keep it that way," Scott grinned.
Confessional Ends
The camera moved to a nondescript patch of ground somewhere, a muffled pounding sound coming from below it. Amy was then heard grunting in annoyance, and the scene cut inside her chest as she frantically pulled out a cellphone. "Chris and his crummy show can just burn to the ground," she complained as she started dialing.
A ringing came over the phone, and the screen split down the middle to show Chris answering on the left. "Hello~?" he opened with an almost mocking singsong voice.
"You've gone too far," Amy said. "You can't just-"
She was interrupted by a loud snore coming from within the coffin.
"Was that you?" Chris asked.
"No it wasn't," Amy responded. "This girl's a heavy snorer, and it's driving me nuts."
Chris shrugged as he stowed his phone back in his pocket. "I'm sure she's fine," he said to himself.
\
The scene moved to the Maggots, the four of them arriving at the edge of what the camera soon panned over to show was a massive swamp with smelly, bubbling green water dotted with toxic waste barrels.
Immediately the four began to cough. "This smells like gym socks and skunks in one big burrito," Molly griped.
"According to the map, there's a path around the swamp," Scarlett said, looking at the map in her hands, "but it'll take too long, though."
"We'll just have to go through the stink," Geoff shrugged.
"As long as the Rats don't follow us, I'll go along with it," Anne Maria said before they ran into the swamp.
\
A large purple dragonfly landed atop a stump in another part of the swamp. A pale purple frog sitting on a lilypad nearby promptly shot its tongue out at the dragonfly, only to yelp as the insect caught the tongue in its mouth and bit down hard.
The camera panned to the left, showing the edge of the swamp again as the Toxic Rats arrived.
"Ugh," Sierra immediately complained, her face scrunched up in disgust. "That smell is disgusting!"
"Smells like home," Scott sighed happily.
"We have no other choice. We have to go through here," Trent said.
"Now you're speaking my language," Scott smiled before the two ran through the swamp.
DJ and Sierra were about to jump in, but were stopped by Sammy holding them. "Why did you stop us, Sammy?" Sierra asked.
"You may or may not believe me before, but I need to tell you to vote Scott off if we lose," Sammy begged.
"Why do you want Scott gone?" DJ wondered.
"I've been thinking about it, and I eventually realized that Scott's the one who framed Leshawna," Sammy said. "And I also realized he's the one who paralyzed me with the seagull."
"Why would Scott do that?" DJ asked curiously.
"I don't know, but he's probably trying to sabotage us and pick us off one by one," Sammy replied.
"Scott did try to leave during the trivia challenge," Sierra remembered.
"Are you sure you're telling the truth?" DJ asked the cheerleader. "I wasn't on this team to start with."
"If you don't believe me when I say he's throwing the challenges, then just help me vote him off," Sammy pleaded.
"To be fair, he's super obnoxious and rude," Sierra considered. "I'll definitely vote for him next."
"So will I," DJ agreed. "Mama always taught me to stay away from negative influences." The three jumped into the swamp when their conversation ended.
The camera lingered after they left, just long enough to catch the the dragonfly from earlier buzzing out of the swamp still carrying the frog by its tongue.
\
The scene moved back to the Maggots, Molly and Geoff trailing behind their teammates.
"I say we dispose of Molly should we lose this round," Scarlett said to Anne Maria. "She's not the most supportive player here, and I know you don't want to separate from Geoff."
"Well, Molly hasn't left us behind again, and I'm not going to hold that over her," Anne Maria said, looking back at her map...and unwittingly walking up onto something rough and green and scaly.
She was cut off by an ominous growling below her, and looked down and ahead just as the small, beady eyes of an alligator rose above the surface of the swamp.
The mutant beast promptly reared up, revealing its long tusks, spines, and tentacle-like forelimbs and tossing both Anne Maria and the map into the water. She and Scarlett quickly went back and regrouped with Geoff and Molly, and all four screamed and ran forward just before the mutant alligator pounced onto the spot they'd just been standing in.
"We can hide in that tree!" Molly exclaimed, the camera following to a large tree in the swamp ahead of them. The four quickly ran over to it, Molly giving Scarlett a boost into it before scrambling into the branches herself.
"It's coming back!" Scarlett told them as Geoff pulled Anne Maria up into the tree next. The tanned girl looked back over her shoulder and gasped in fear as the shot quickly cut to the massive mutant swimming towards them, then roaring and pouncing. Anne Maria was pulled up just in time and the alligator slammed head-first into the tree's protruding roots. The whole tree shook, but the camera panned up to show that the Maggots had managed to hang on.
"You're a lifesaver, Party Hat," Anne Maria told the boy who'd pulled her up.
Confessional: Anne Maria
Whenever we're together, Geoff tends to act cool or dumb around me," Anne Maria stated to the camera. "And who can blame him? Check me out. The tan, the hair. Look at me, I'm hot!"
Confessional Ends
"We better leave before that thing wakes up," Anne Maria said, the camera panning up from a shot of the stunned mutant alligator lying at the base of the tree.
"Good idea," Geoff told her before dropping back down into the water. His teammates joined him, and the shot quickly focused on Anne Maria as she pulled out the tattered remains of the map.
"The map's ripped," she spoke.
"That's not a big deal," Molly told her. "We still have our compass, so we'll know where we're going."
"And lucky for us, I kept a hold of the compass," Scarlett said as she held up the object.
Confessional: Scarlett
"I let Anne Maria hold the map for us so if it got ripped, it'll give Molly a reason to try and convince Geoff to vote for me," Scarlett confessed. "Irresponsibility is a big factor as to why previous players got eliminated."
Confessional Ends
The static cut to the five Rats watching the alligator looking around from behind a tree.
"Okay," DJ said, "if we circle around a bit, we can avoid the alligator."
"I don't think we can avoid all of them," Sammy spoke nervously, drawing the team's attention behind the group to a pair of smaller, paler alligators that were swimming towards.
Sierra turned around and smiled confidently. "Don't worry, I'll take care of them," she said. "You guys go get that chest!"
"But-" Sammy said.
"Just go!" Sierra demanded, prompting her teammates to leave.
The two smaller alligators hissed menacingly while Sierra stood her ground and said "I'm not going out without a fight!" The two alligators pounced on her as she let out a scream.
\
"So which way do we go next?" Geoff asked his team.
Scarlett walked ahead a bit. "Moss grows on the northern side of trees and Chris said our goal is to the north, so we need to go that way," the brainiac pointed to the right.
The camera cut to the outskirts of a massive forest of thorn bushes. "We have to go through a thorn bush forest?" Geoff asked in shock and horror.
"Of course not. We go through there," Scarlett pointed to a route closer to the camera and around the thorns.
The Maggots shared a look of wide-eyed shock. "Okay, that's better," Anne Maria nodded.
She, Scarlett, Molly, and Geoff quickly ran off to the right.
\
A flash took the scene to the edge of a clearing with the thick thorn bush forest visible a little ways in the background. The Maggots arrived from the left, and immediately looked around.
"This clearing is just like the one on the map," Anne Maria said as the group moved further into the clearing and started digging.
The Rats were shown arriving later. "The Rats are already digging!" Scott complained.
"And where's Sierra?" Trent asked.
As if of cue, the obsessive uberfan -now sporting a black eye and tattered attire - arrived. "I told you I could fend them off," she woozily bragged. "They gave up after I lost most of my blood." She then passed out and fell near a rock that caused her metal detector to go off. DJ smiled and kicked the rock away to reveal a ring with two keys.
"Two keys?" DJ mused. "The small one must be for the cuffs!"
\
The footage skipped ahead to an unlocked penalty belt falling around DJ's feet. The camera panned up to show him and Sammy examining the other key.
"This one must be for the treasure chest," DJ said.
"Hey guys, I can feel Amy pounding below me!" Scott lied to his team. "We must dig here!"
"Got it," Sammy nodded.
As Sammy and DJ used their metal detectors to dig through the dirt, and Sierra still looking passed out, Scott dragged Trent to a distance away from the team.
"If I tell you something, do you promise to keep it a secret?" Scott whispered.
"Of course. What is it?" Trent pondered, to which Scott took out the invincibility statue. "The invincibility statue?"
"I still can't believe I found it," Scott said. "I looked up a tree and the statue was hidden in the leaves."
"And why are you showing me the statue now?" Trent wondered.
"I just wanted you to trust me," Scott followed up. "Our teammates are obviously going to vote for me, and if I use this, it'll cancel out the votes against me."
"I'm not ready for you to leave yet," Trent smiled. "Thanks for letting me know you'll be safe."
The shot cut to the Maggots digging their hole with Scarlett poking her head out. "The Rats are here, so we need to hurry!" she called out. "How deep did Chris bury them?"
"You don't need to worry about that anymore, because we just found the chest!" Molly said as the lid swung open and Amy quickly hopped out.
"That was insufferable to go through!" Amy panted before walking away from the scene.
"And the Maggots win," Chris called down to them all as he arrived in the helicopter.
With the exception of Scott, the Rats gasped in disappointment while in their hole. "You said you heard them here!" Sammy told the devious boy.
DJ pulled himself out of the hole and ran over to where the Maggots were standing. "Don't worry, Katie! I'll get you out of there!"
He jumped into the Maggots' hole and held Katie in his arms. "Katie! Are you fine? Please wake up!" he told her.
Katie's eyes began to open up, and when she saw DJ holding her, she smiled joyfully. "DJ? Is that you?"
Confessional: Katie
"If eating a lot of turkey makes me fall asleep and wake up into the arms of a really cute guy, I'm ordering 100 packs of turkey when I get home!" Katie confessed.
Confessional: Trent
"Scott told me to vote off DJ with him so we wouldn't be dealing with a threat," Trent admitted. "I don't want to do this to a past and current teammate, but Scott does bring up a good point."
Confessionals End
It was now night time, and after a brief focus on the moon accompanied by a hooting owl, the camera panned down to DJ and Katie sitting together on the steps of the Rats' cabin.
"Sorry you had to go through being buried underground like that," DJ talked to the perky influencer.
"Chris is very underhanded. I'll tell you that," Katie responded.
"I remember you telling me you liked me the day you got hurled out of the island," DJ smiled awkwardly.
"You do?!" Katie's eyebrows raised up.
"Yep, and I never got to respond to you about that," DJ said.
"Well, if you feel differently about what I-" Katie tried to say, but got cut off by DJ touching her lips with his own.
They kissed for a few seconds before they stopped, the two of them looking awkwardly happy.
"That was my way of saying I love you too," DJ said. "I'll have to talk to Mama about this, but once she approves, we can begin our relationship."
"Oh, definitely. I have to go now, but I want you to know I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines," Katie eagerly replied back before they hugged each other affectionately.
\
The scene flashed to a long-distance shot of the island. Another flash, and the camera cut to the campfire pit where the Rats - except for Sierra - were waiting nervously. Chris was in his oil drum podium bearing not a tray of marshmallows, but four slips of small, yellowed paper.
"Okay, players," Chris opened. "The votes are tallied. And by a tied vote, tonight's losers are none other than..."
"Wait," Trent interrupted. "Where are the marshmallows? And more importantly, where's Sierra."
"The marshmallows were eaten by a hungry me," Chris bragged, "and Sierra was deemed too injured and woozy from the alligator attack, so we had her evacuated from the game for good."
"Really?!" Sammy's eyes widened. "Aw. I hope she gets better soon."
"Regardless, I'm still carrying on with the ceremony," Chris continued and read from his slip. "The people with the same amount of votes are…"
Sammy looked at DJ nervously, and DJ took a look at Scott narrowing his eyes at them, to which Trent started feeling worried.
"DJ and Scott."
Trent gasped at the news while Scott looked taken back at first. The dirt farmer soon composed himself and said "Sorry. But I ain't going nowhere." Scott pulled out the statue and flipped it on his hand.
"What!?" Sammy yelped in surprise with DJ gaping as well.
"The invincibility statue! Nice! That means Scott is safe," Chris announced jovially. "This also means that the tiebreaker will be avoided, because tonight, thanks to Trent and Scott, DJ is going home!"
DJ was stunned to hear the news and looked down in disappointment.
"But... no hard feelings, dude. You will be missed," Chris reminded the eliminated contestant.
Trent stood up from his seat. "Sorry for eliminating you, but maybe a group hug can sort things out."
Scott and Sammy followed suit, and eventually, DJ, Sammy, Scott, and Trent were all embracing each other and hugging happily.
\
The scene cut to the docks, where DJ was on the Hurl of Shame as Chris and Chef watched on.
"Ready to fly, DJ?" Chris asked the gentle giant.
"The sooner I'm out of here, the sooner I can talk to Mama about Katie," DJ confirmed, and then, without warning, he was sent flying into the night with a scream.
The camera panned to Chris as he faced the camera with his usual smiling demeanor as the usual cymbal beats opened the series' capstone theme. "And that's another loser out of the game. Come back for even more painful awesomeness, next time, on Total! Drama! Revenge, of the Island!"
(Roll the Credits)
submitted by xtremexavier15 to u/xtremexavier15 [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 22:48 KyleKKent Out of Cruel Space, Part 708

First
Capes and Conundrums
Pavel stretches in the stillness. The tapping of the keyboard and swearing under the breath makes Pavel consider his new partner a bit. Silicon Blake has an interesting background. Pavel made a point of looking into it. The man was... genetically human, currently. But he had been born of a brain scan of a Tret man. Sionis Blake. The man’s father. Legally.
Silicon had made the jump from a fully synthetic body to a human clone body with dataports about two weeks ago. Freshly after his training as an Undaunted. Legally he was considered to still be both a Tret and a synthetic. But for all practical purposes, he was a human cyborg.
One who wasn’t used to the sheer requirements of his body. Pavel suspected a good chunk of his bad attitude was the fact the man was only eating once a day and only small portions.
The morning shift started shortly after breakfast and went right to lunch. So when Pavel went for lunch, he went alone at first before doubling back.
“Hey, we’re supposed to be together. Like it or not you’re coming with me to the mess hall.” Pavel says and the man groans in frustration and closes his computer.
“Fine, but I’m taking my damn work with me.” Silicon states as he stands.
“Fair enough.” Pavel states and the walk goes in silence. There’s a small, out of the way table near the edge of things and Silicon starts working again, only to be interrupted when Pavel comes back with two trays. “You’re not eating enough.”
“What? The hell is going on?” Silicon demands as Pavel forces him to take the laptop off the table and puts a tray full of food down in front of him.
“I looked up your medical profile...”
“Why?”
“Because humans can eat what other beings consider biohazards, and if we were going to have forced contact I didn’t want to accidentally kill you with onion breath. Which is something that can make a Feli very sick and cause a standard Tret to vomit.” Pavel explains.
“Okay...”
“However, I noted that you volunteered for the Endurance Program. An initiative to give other races more staying power akin to humans.”
“Yes, and it’s worked very well. I’ve nearly doubled my productivity.” Silicon says and Pavel nods.
“It did, however, you’re not feeding yourself enough. Your breakfast is big enough, for a breakfast. You need Lunch and Dinner too.”
“What?” Silicon demands.
“To put it in mechanical terms, you’re operating on emergency power. This cripples many major systems. You need to fuel up more consistently.” Pavel states before pointing to the loaded plate. “What I grabbed you is called a ham and cheese sandwich. To it’s side is kettle chips with sea salt, opposite is a garden salad and the cup of brown substance is a dessert called chocolate pudding. It’s a small lunch, but a decent one. Consider this the minimal intake.”
He then pulls out a pair of large water bottles and places them on the table. “You also need to hydrate more. Water is converted into the lubricant of your physicality and without it the whole system will fail.”
As Pavel had been speaking Silicon had pulled out a bioscanner and gone over everything before pausing on the salad. “Why is there an acid here?”
“You’ve got stronger stuff in your stomach. Turn that scanner on yourself.” Pavel says dismissively as he grabs his larger and much more loaded sandwich off his own plate. Three types of meat, hot mustard, lettuce of some kind and tomato with swiss cheese. Good stuff.
“Look, if this is some kind of ill conceived peace offering...”
“Peace nothing, you’re hangry half the time. Humans get aggressive in times of desperation. Basic instinct. You have that instinct now so even if you aren’t consciously looking for a fight, you’re ready to haul off on someone because you need food.”
“Really?”
“Yes, really. Now eat for god’s sake.”
“I’ve had breakfast. Two of those pancakes, a fruit cup and a glass of water. That’s plenty.”
“Nowhere near enough for breakfast. Let alone breakfast for someone in a high stress job. Besides, breakfast in only one of three meals.” Pavel counters and Silicon glares at him. “Seriously eat, it will help.”
Silicon gives him an odd look before grabbing his sandwich and taking a bite out of it. Pavel concentrates on eating his own much larger meal and he finishes within ten minutes. The spice in the mustard forced him to slow a little and he sits back to watch as Silicon goes at the pudding cup. For what the man claimed of not needing the food he outright inhaled it.
“So?” Pavel asks as Silicon finishes up taking a swig of his water. “Feel better?”
“... yes.” Silicon admits with his eyes screwed shut in frustration. “... I just thought it was Apex aggression not...”
“Hunger and desperation? You need thousands of calories a day. Also, don’t forget to use the bathroom when you need it. Our digestive tracts are powerful but not perfect. You will need to let it out.”
“really? You’re telling me to excrete? How simple do you think I am?” Silicon asks tartly.
“I think that you’re used to living in a body that required only energy and only have memories of a body that needed very little in the form of physical nourishment. So I’m not making any assumptions and telling you everything.” Pavel says as he finishes off his own water. “Now, I’ve got something to do. Our lunch break ends in a half hour and I’ll see you back at the test chamber for the remainder of that shift. Then we’re moving onto mine. I hope you’re ready to play spotter.”
“Oh goody. Using chemically propelled murder tools to NOT actually kill.”
“You have a problem with your orders?” Pavel asks him and he sighs.
“No. I’ll see you in a half hour.” Silicon says and Pavel nods before taking his own tray, then grabbing Silicon’s depleted one and taking them both out. “... Damnit, I hadn’t thought that humans would require so much damn food. I’m pulling in Axiom to feed, so why aren’t I being sustained?”
•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•×•
And it was back to the programming. Silicon was working faster and actually humming to himself a bit so that seemed alright. But not ideal. Pavel was really starting to get bored though. After yesterday’s test of things the drones had not been reactivated as Silicon seemed to be of the belief that things were a purely programming issue. If they were great, the problem is that there was no way of telling if things were just a programming issue or something mechanical.
Pavel pulls out his communicator and brings up the specs of the drones. They were basic, off the shelf prosthetic bodies designed to be piloted by a person, but a program in it’s place instead. They had been reinforced and upgraded a few times, but none of it seemed too egregious.
Similar codes and programming had been used in travelling shows and other such bits of entertainment to serve in the role that a minimum wage worker would slowly have their soul worn away doing. The repetitive, thankless tasks that need to be done over and over and over again.
Providing a low level opponent to be beaten in a fistfight or outsmarted by someone sneaking around shouldn’t be too hard. A videogame AI could get the behaviours down and then it was controlling the body.
Which was where Silicon and several other people were stuck. There was something wrong with their sense of balance and often they struggled to stay standing at all. All of them. Despite the code.
“If it was a gun I’d be checking it for cracks.” Pavel mutters to himself.
“What was that?” Silicon asks looking up from his laptop.
“All the drones are failing in the same way. You think it’s coding but... if it was a gun I’d be checking for structural damage.”
“These aren’t guns.”
“But both are machines. I think the hardware should be tested a bit. The coding has a lot of eyes on it. But the hardware?’
“The hardware was bought from a reputable source and passed their safety inspections.”
“Safety means that my necklace breaks if someone tries to strangle me with it.” Pavel says and Silicon pauses and looks up at him. Opens his mouth to say something then reconsiders and giving the nearest drone a look.
“Grab a toolkit. We’re taking it apart.” He says as he closes the laptop.
It takes five minutes to carefully take apart the chest of the drone and start examining the internal components.
“Here. These little gyroscopes are all over the place in the drone to give it a kinesthetic location sense. If you’re mentally linked to it then you can feel the direction of down from both gravity and the internal scope.” Silicon explains and Pavel gives one a tap. It does not move. “You have got to be kidding me.”
“Is this jammed?” Pavel asks as he pokes it again before reaching in with his fingers and feels... “There are metal filings in here. A dirty production line?”
When he removes his finger from thy gyroscope it moves easily in response. He brushes out a few shavings and Silicon is muttering something foul under his breath as he tests the other gyroscopes. One in every five of them are jammed in someway and after they clear out the chest they put the plating back on and move to the other limbs.
The pattern holds. One stuck internal gyroscope in every batch of five. It takes a full hour to clean out them all and give the internals of the drone some extra cleaning. It’s sealed back up again and Pavel is tightening the last screw as Silicon is tapping away at his laptop again.
“Okay! Take a step back. Let’s see if that helped.”
“If nothing else it’ll fail faster with it knowing which way to fall.” Pavel notes as he steps away and the drone activates. It sits upright the same as it could before and then turns over and stands upright. There was markedly less wobble this time and Silicon sends a command. It snaps it’s arms out and begins to turn.”
“Hey! That did it... shit. We need to clean out all the drones.” Silicon curses.
“We report this in and get fifty other guys to help, this is not a two man mission.” Pavel says wryly. “Not to mention the quartermaster is going to be looking to kill someone for having shit product forced on us. They do not take this shit lying down.”
“The sale’s rep will either be looking for a new job or finding a new fetish by the time those monsters are done with her.” Silicon notes. “Hey, think you’re ready to test it for fighting ability?”
“Sure thing.” Pavel says closing up the toolbox and then sliding it away with a foot. “Send it.”
“Alright, let’s test it’s tracking and offence. I need to dodge the attacks and move around the drone. Get it to follow you.” Silicon says sending the command and the Drone suddenly snaps it’s head towards Pavel and then turns as one. “That was a little stiff, I’m going to have to iron things out a little...”
The drone opens with an attempted haymaker and Pavel hops to the side and keeps going until he’s standing behind the drone. It follows him the whole time and then tries a cross. He fades back and takes a few steps away and it keeps pace as best it can.
As the drone goes for a grab he uses Axiom to leap clean over it and land on the other side then weaves to the side to avoid the snap kick as the logic tree self updates and the drone gets a fraction better at fighting.
“There we go! Living code! Finally!” Silicon cheers! “Start deflecting it’s attacks. Block and parry, I need to see how it responds to that.”
“Sure thing.” Pavel says and he swats away the next attempted haymaker.
“Interesting, okay, it’s correlating with that code chunk...” Silicon says as Pavel blocks two jabs boxer style and prevents it from grabbing onto him. “Hey that’s weird! Can you hit it back? Don’t break it or nothing, but see how it responds...”
“This good?” Pavel asks as he palm thrusts it in the middle of the chest and Silicon lets out a confused sound. The drone stumbles back in response to the light blow and regains it balance.
“Well how the hell did that happen? Do it again!” Silicon says as he squints at his screen.
Pavel rushes the drone and then gives it another, slightly firmer, smack in the middle of the chest. Silicon swears under his breath.
“This is weird! Alright, I’m deactivating the drone. Can you drop it off in it’s charging port?”
“Easy enough.” Pavel says as he catches the suddenly powered off robot and hefts it over his shoulder. It slots into it’s place easily and he walks over to where Silicon is squinting at the screen. “So what’s it look like?”
“There was a weird bit of...” Silicon says before looking up at Pavel. “Right, okay, basically every step of the program is like a huge tree right? You start at the tip and by evaluating a situation you go down one of the branches. Basically it’s like a plan flowchart, is this happening? If yes, go this way, if no then go down to the next question. A computer’s processing speed lets it go through this fast so it can keep up with reality.”
“But only if you’ve got enough questions for all the things that happen.”
“Right, well that’s where the Virtual Intelligence comes in. Where it compares situations and while likely not understanding them, it does know how to mimic them. This is where you get things like chat-bots or a video game enemy that seems to learn. It’s almost learning, but it’s not. Not really. That’s what we’re trying to get to, and we have the start of it.”
“Did something go weird?”
“I’m not sure yet? I think... maybe yes? Maybe no?” Silicon says as he turns the laptop to let Pavel see the lines up on lines of code. “This is literally the drone’s brain here. The thing is about an evolving program is that it can cause itself to bloat. That was the issue I was having yesterday and still today. Although it’s not as big as it was yesterday now that we know there’s hardware problems too. We put a lot of code into making these things balance and now that we’ve solved the problem... how much of that can be taken out and how much has to be left in is going to be the work of weeks.”
“Ah got it.”
“You do?”
“I’m a sniper. I have to focus on not only aiming for the target, but I have to accommodate for the wind drag at different temperatures and humidity levels, particles in the air like ash or dust, the gravity of the world I’m on, the movement of the target and the things around them. To say nothing of the make of the weapon firing the bullet and the make of the bullet itself. It’s very much a science.” Pavel says pulling out his little book and handing it to Silicon.
The formally synthetic man looks through the small black book and sees rows upon rows of calculations without any answers written he lets out a little hum before closing it and handing it back.
“I think I understand. Still. There’s more to do... and not much more time to do it. This shift is about to end.”
“It is. Which means it’s time for you to see all that dread math in motion.”
“Oh no! Not the dread math!” Silicon’s sarcasm could peel paint.

First Last
submitted by KyleKKent to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 22:41 __Salvarius__ Beans in XL

Beans in XL
We started with 4 pounds each of dry black beans, large red kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, great northern beans, and 15 bean stew (not pictured). They were rinsed and soaked in water for 11-12 hours. We then cooked them in an instant pot for 12 hours. Then filled(ish) the trays with as much as they would hold. The small beans took almost all of the 4 pounds of beans. The larger beans I am guessing is about 3 1/2 pounds. I put them in the freezer over night. Not because I wanted to prefreeze them but more because I didn’t want to put super hot beans in the freeze dryer.
Next morning we put them in the freeze dryer. -10 initial freeze, 110 drying temp. I added 10 hours extra dry like I always do. The freeze dryer said it was done at 70 hours but my mtorrs were still in the 400 range which I knew that the batch wasn’t done yet based on the mtorrs. Over the next 9 hours the mtorrs dropped to about 330 which I knew it could still do better so I added 2 more hours of extra dry time and the mtorrs finished right at 300.
24 pounds of dried beans. Each one did 6 quart jars.
submitted by __Salvarius__ to HarvestRight [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 21:48 AfterAshCreator Introducing a Comprehensive Character Creation Rework for 5E Called Paths of Power

Hi there everyone, I'm announcing a project I've been working on for some time. It is a rework of all those systems used in character creation including Race, Background, Class, Skill, Etc. This rework spawned from an attempt to address all the small and large things that were causing issues in my home games for the past decade or so. Eventually, that compendium got long enough that formatting it as a book was ideal.
The goals of this project are multifold:
I wanted to resolve some of the sameness I've felt in 5E. No class should be an inferior version of another and dead levels, whether they be truly dead like Monk's Timeless Body, an insignificant statistical increase like Barbarian's Brutal Critical or what I call filler like ASIs and Extra Attack that often don't meaningfully differentiate your character. In this rework, there should be no more of that, as every level contains a unique feature and the things everyone gets scale based on character level, instead of class level, the same way cantrips already scaled in 5e.
I wanted to resolve classes feeling underpowered compared to others. I am not going into this with the intention of keeping some classes grounded while others are shooting balls of fire and teleporting. My baseline for "Overpowered" is "Is it more powerful than a 5e Wizard of the same level". The answer to that is almost always no. This increase in power and diversity comes about by way of changes in the Skill System as well as ensuring features at higher levels are more powerful than features at lower levels, which isn't the case for most classes in 5e due to a rush to ship when the game was initially being tested.
In fact, I believe "Is this balanced" is the wrong question to start. More important questions are:
Explicitly, my goal is not to make things equal. It is not realism for the sake of realism or simulationist. The game is better when everyone has their corner of the space to feel powerful. Instead of equality, my goal is to achieve parity in what I call "Narrative Impact", or the ability for a character to impact the story. Every Ancestry, Background, Culture, Class and Subclass should have distinct ability to drive the game forward while having similar impact when they do so. Some are uniquely effective in combat, while others gain features focused on coercing others or navigating. All of them should feel invaluable though. Whether you're in a dungeon, town or other dimension all the players should want everyone to attend because they add meaningfully to the table.
It is my belief that I've achieved these goals. You may disagree on that, or even disagree on the problems I've addressed. That's fine and I appreciate you reading this far at all. For those of you who have noticed these problems, I'd like you to take what you can. The book works best when all the content is used together but that may be a hard sell for a whole table. If you're enamored by my ABC approach to character creation you can take it and build on it. If you love the subclasses but want to leave the classes, that's feasible too. The game is backwards compatible (though untested when used in this way), so take what makes sense for you.
I'm a fan of consumers making informed purchases so to celebrate the launch and give you a chance to evaluate if it is for you, I'll be letting you check out the entire unredacted book for a week, from 06/09 til 06/16, to see if it's your cup of tea. And if you do decide to purchase it, you'll be entered into a raffle to win a hardcover copy of the campaign book I've given to my own players, with drawings happening midnight EST 06/16. It's an early copy of this but the quality of it is more than high enough to be something interesting to share with friends.
Thank you for your support and I can't wait to see what you think. Feel free to add feedback here. Let's roll some dice.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cnqtM9Cw7qCZbJXdkItdhdd3bWnb6QrE/view?usp=sharing
https://www.etsy.com/AfterAshGames/listing/1453845767/paths-of-power-5e-character-supplement
submitted by AfterAshCreator to DnD [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 21:47 AfterAshCreator Introducing a Comprehensive Character Creation Supplement for 5E Called Paths of Power

Hi there everyone, I'm announcing a project I've been working on for some time. It is a rework of all those systems used in character creation including Race, Background, Class, Skill, Etc. This rework spawned from an attempt to address all the small and large things that were causing issues in my home games for the past decade or so. Eventually, that compendium got long enough that formatting it as a book was ideal.
The goals of this project are multifold:
I wanted to resolve some of the sameness I've felt in 5E. No class should be an inferior version of another and dead levels, whether they be truly dead like Monk's Timeless Body, an insignificant statistical increase like Barbarian's Brutal Critical or what I call filler like ASIs and Extra Attack that often don't meaningfully differentiate your character. In this rework, there should be no more of that, as every level contains a unique feature and the things everyone gets scale based on character level, instead of class level, the same way cantrips already scaled in 5e.
I wanted to resolve classes feeling underpowered compared to others. I am not going into this with the intention of keeping some classes grounded while others are shooting balls of fire and teleporting. My baseline for "Overpowered" is "Is it more powerful than a 5e Wizard of the same level". The answer to that is almost always no. This increase in power and diversity comes about by way of changes in the Skill System as well as ensuring features at higher levels are more powerful than features at lower levels, which isn't the case for most classes in 5e due to a rush to ship when the game was initially being tested.
In fact, I believe "Is this balanced" is the wrong question to start. More important questions are:
Explicitly, my goal is not to make things equal. It is not realism for the sake of realism or simulationist. The game is better when everyone has their corner of the space to feel powerful. Instead of equality, my goal is to achieve parity in what I call "Narrative Impact", or the ability for a character to impact the story. Every Ancestry, Background, Culture, Class and Subclass should have distinct ability to drive the game forward while having similar impact when they do so. Some are uniquely effective in combat, while others gain features focused on coercing others or navigating. All of them should feel invaluable though. Whether you're in a dungeon, town or other dimension all the players should want everyone to attend because they add meaningfully to the table.
It is my belief that I've achieved these goals. You may disagree on that, or even disagree on the problems I've addressed. That's fine and I appreciate you reading this far at all. For those of you who have noticed these problems, I'd like you to take what you can. The book works best when all the content is used together but that may be a hard sell for a whole table. If you're enamored by my ABC approach to character creation you can take it and build on it. If you love the subclasses but want to leave the classes, that's feasible too. The game is backwards compatible (though untested when used in this way), so take what makes sense for you.
I'm a fan of consumers making informed purchases so to celebrate the launch and give you a chance to evaluate if it is for you, I'll be letting you check out the entire unredacted book for a week, from 06/09 til 06/16, to see if it's your cup of tea. And if you do decide to purchase it, you'll be entered into a raffle to win a hardcover copy of the campaign book I've given to my own players, with drawings happening midnight EST 06/16. It's an early copy of this but the quality of it is more than high enough to be something interesting to share with friends.
Thank you for your support and I can't wait to see what you think. Feel free to add feedback here. Let's roll some dice.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cnqtM9Cw7qCZbJXdkItdhdd3bWnb6QrE/view?usp=sharing
https://www.etsy.com/AfterAshGames/listing/1453845767/paths-of-power-5e-character-supplement
submitted by AfterAshCreator to dndnext [link] [comments]


2023.06.09 20:37 fistie321 Trip Report: 2 weeks in Spain/Portugal

Just got back from our trip and wanted to share my experience since leading up to this trip I found other reports here super helpful!
Trip Itinerary:
This trip included staying with a big group of friends in Portugal. Afterwards it was just my partner and I in Spain where we also went to a 4 day music festival, so I packed a bit more clothes than I normally would. Lots of sightseeing and shopping as well!
Packing List/Organization: This went through a lot of iterations every time I repacked. Not a ~true~ one bag since we had such a big mix of activities planned and I planned to shop so I wanted extra bag space. I'm small, so bags look huge on me and we were flying budget airlines that have been known to weigh at the gate at times, so in the beginning I wanted to make sure the bags looked as small as possible to avoid that.
What I learned: I thought I had a well rounded packing list given the variety of activities we had planned, but learned that I'm even more of a dress and skirts girl when traveling. Even though all my clothes got used, there were some items (i.e., satin camis and blue wide leg pants) I gravitated towards much more than others (i.e., red pants-looked great but they dragged too much, shorts-chaffing! ugh). Also, I really love shopping and had a lot of people I wanted to bring souvenirs home too so by the end of the trip my bags were stuffed! Next time I'll keep in mind how much I will probably shop and account for that. I'm pretty strong for my size, but it was still annoying to be lugging around large bags. Luckily my partner was willing to help me out lol.
Thanks for reading if you made it to the end! Happy to answer any questions about specific items on the packing list or the trip in general! :) And thank you to everyone who contributes to this sub! I found so much useful information from everyone here while I was getting ready for my trip.
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2023.06.09 20:24 Mean-Classic-7739 Something in the blizzard pt.2

Part 2
Day 11
The pain was excruciating and all over my body. A thousand knives seemed to dig into me. I lay there for a minute with the dead creature still on top of me. I was trying to muster enough strength to get up and move this horrible thing off me, but I couldn’t. Finally, after what seemed like lying there for an hour Chloe came over and helped me move its dead body off me.
She froze when she saw me. I must’ve looked horrible so much had happened to me in the last 10 minutes. I saw her eyes move to my left hand. I found my tired eyes looking over, and what I saw was horrifying. My left hand was a bloody broken mess, fingers were missing, bones were sticking out in odd places, and a huge chunk of my palm was completely gone. I puked all over myself. Chloe looked like she was trying so hard to keep herself together.
The next few minutes were tense. Chloe tied one of her layers to my arm as a makeshift tourniquet. Then we slowly made our way home with Chloe practically dragging me.
They had to stitch my wounds while I was still conscious due to us not having anesthetics, and those were the most painful moments of my life. I felt the needle go in and out of my skin, I felt the small string pull my muscle and skin back together, and I felt when they had to cut one of my fingers off. It was absolutely excruciating and after it was done I passed out.
Chloe sat on the couch feeling awful and tired. She’d just spent an hour trying to get the food that had been in the fridge into coolers, but her mind was so busy she hardly cared. She felt awful about everything. There was so much she could’ve done, so many ways she could’ve helped me. So many ways that led to me still having a hand. If only I hadn’t been a coward, she thought, if I just hadn’t stood there maybe he would still have his hand. If only she’d just shot it again. She wiped her face trying not to cry. She had to be the strong one now, she had to be brave.
She was very curious, she wanted to know what exactly had happened to Carl. Joey hadn’t had the time to tell her whether or not the man was dead. She assumed he was due to the blood and the creature, but there was a small chance. She told Gretchen and Ronda (my mom) what her plan was. They agreed and she went to get ready.
She brought two guns, the sniper and the semi-automatic. She also found an old motorcycle helmet and decided to use that as a makeshift helmet. She knew if I had been awake I wouldn’t have not in a million years let her go, so she made her process quick just in case I did wake up.
Crunch! The snow had melted slightly the night before so now it felt more like walking across huge ice sheets. As she walked she realized she didn’t even have to use the GPS because of the blood trail. She followed it for a while, the snow constantly attacking her. After a couple of minutes, she found it. Lying in the middle of the street now with a fresh layer of snow on it was the creature, the hound as she’d begun to refer to it in her head. She hadn’t gotten a good look at it like I had so her eyes went wide when she saw the body. She was struck by how much its exoskeleton looked like big chunks of rocks. She also noticed the now frozen yellow-greenish blood around the body. Chloe leaned down to examine what was left of the head. What was left was a hollow shell of the exoskeleton; the gunshot in the mouth had practically liquefied everything in its head. She remembered how everything had exploded from the mouth and eye holes. The image of the eyes getting blown out from behind disgusted her.
She found herself examining the rest of the body and she couldn’t help but keep looking at the four legs. They looked so out of place on the body. They looked so mammalian for such an insect-like creature. They literally looked like stretched-out bald dog legs. She had a feeling of deja vu as she looked at the legs, she couldn’t help but think of the black dog they’d seen the other day. She made a note in her head that she wanted to take the body with her on the way back.
Finally, she stood up and started making her way towards the store. Like before she just followed the blood. She remembered when Joey ran into her he was covered in blood, like he’d slipped into the trail. She dreaded to think what he’d found in the showers. Her trek was slow and eerie. Then as she got closer the dead silence was cut by a ticking sound. She vaguely recognized it as something those spiders had made. Specifically the stinger ones. She kept the semi-automatic raised and got ready for a fight, but the ticking sounds slowly faded and she kept moving.
The store was just as she had left it early that morning. It was still a complete wreck. She hurried past the shattered glass and toppled shelves, through the small break room, and into the bunk room. It looked even worse than before. It looked like the creature had destroyed a few more things after it caught the headlamp. She specifically noticed a new deep gash in the bunk they’d hid behind.
As she walked into the shower room she heard a faint dripping sound. She started going one stall at a time to find it. First empty, second empty, but the third she wanted to throw up. Carl lay in the back of the stall, his body a bloody mess. His torso was almost gone. Everything inside of it had been ripped out along with most of his flesh. His ribs were shattered and lying on the floor. His spine was cracked and twisted. It looked like it had been broken. She threw up and stepped away from the sight, making her start to sob. Pull yourself together, she thought to herself, now isn’t the time. She wiped the tears off her face and continued. He had a daughter and a wife. She had to know what happened to them. So with much hesitance, she continued.
Fourth room empty, fifth empty, sixth empty, seventh empty, she stood next to the eighth stall dreading what she’d find inside. She didn’t want to see what was in there, but she would never forgive herself for not looking.
Two cocoon-looking things lay in the stall. They were white and pulsating slightly. They looked like the web cocoon the stingers had wrapped around the dog, but these were too big to be dogs. Instantly she knew what had happened to his wife and daughter. Chloe stepped away so she didn’t have to see it anymore, and then she had a thought. They wouldn’t leave them unattended, would they? She became much more nervous and started cautiously making her way from the room. She started to hear the ticking noises outside again and her hands started to shake. She took a deep breath and kept walking.
She walked into the main part of the store and saw a dozen or so stingers crawling in through one of the broken windows. She gasped, then in a hurry ducked back into the breakroom. Her whole body was shaking as she stood there listening to them scurrying around the store. Then after a minute one walked into the breakroom didn’t see her and disappeared into the bunk room. Then another went through, then another, then another, then another, and soon all but one had passed through. Her whole body was trembling when finally it walked through. This one was walking more slowly and looking around much more than the others, and suddenly its small beady eyes met hers. Scre… Rat-a-tatata! Four quick bullets cut through the stinger. All four hit it right in the head. She had a small feeling of triumph then Screech! The other stingers started running into the room. She hurried out in such a rush she didn’t watch where she was stepping and slipped on a piece of glass.
Smack! Her helmet slammed into the ground and then the rest of her. She watched them hurriedly crawl towards her. She tried to get a shot but they were just too fast. Then she felt a sharp pain in her leg. One of the stingers had sunk their stinger into her calf. Another was about to sting before she made her move. She grabbed a large piece of glass and stabbed it into the one on her leg, and then quickly stuck the shard into the other one that was about to sting her. Then she quickly stood up. Her body was starting to feel heavy and she was getting a little loopy. The other stingers were screeching and running toward her. Rat-a-tatatatata! She shot 10 rounds into the remaining nine stingers. Seven exploded when the bullet made contact, another got three legs blown off, the last wasn’t hit, and before she could shoot again it had lodged its stinger in her boot. She stopped for a second realizing that the stinger hadn’t actually pierced her foot then Rat-a-tat! She shot two bullets into the thing and then pulled it off her foot.
Her adrenaline was wearing off and the venom was doing its work fast. Her eyes were starting to close and she had to concentrate just to keep them open. I need to get somewhere safe, she thought looking around, and then her eyes fell on an intact door.
She locked the door to the women's restroom and then slumped against it as she felt her consciousness begin to slip. All she could think of was me hoping that I was okay, and hoping that she’d be able to see me again. Then finally she blacked out.
Her eyes fluttered open to see she was in the same place she’d passed out. There was a small puddle of blood around her calf. She weakly reached over and touched the wound. It wasn’t bleeding any more. I must’ve been out for a while. She thought, gingerly beginning to put weight on her leg. It hurt but she could walk. Click, she unlocked the bathroom door, raised the gun, and opened the door. She was nervous, worried that maybe more of them had come while she was out. It didn’t look like too much time had passed, and even more importantly there were no stingers. She looked over and saw her footprints were still visible through the heavily falling snow. Good not much time must have passed, she thought. Then she pulled out the phone and called Gretchen.
Bzzz…
“Gretchen, I got stung and passed out. What time is it?” She asked.
Gretchen’s relieved voice cut through the phone: “Oh Chloe thank goodness, it’s 2:42. You left around 12.”
Day 13
I woke up to giggling and laughter. I sat up and looked at the doorway and on the other side I could hear the boys quietly playing together. I moved the covers and tried to move my legs, but instantly daggers of pain went up my right leg. I wanted to do it more slowly but nothing seemed to help.
“Chloe!” I called and immediately heard something clatter upstairs followed by fast footsteps into the basement.
In a second Chloe had sprinted into the room and was on top of me giving me a huge hug. She pulled away and gave me one of her pretty little smiles.
“How are you feeling?” She asked.
My stomach growled and that answered her question.
“You’ve been asleep for almost two days, no wonder you’re hungry.” She said, I froze and looked over at the clock, but nothing showed on it. It was just a blank black screen.
“When did the power go out?” I asked, turning back toward her.
“Not long after you fell asleep.” She said, “We put as much food as we could into coolers, but most of what was in the fridge and freezer has gone bad.”
Her face was sad and grim. I reached for her hand with my good hand and squeezed it.
“We’ll get through this just like everything else. We’ll make it through if we stick together.” I told her starting to realize how hoarse I sounded.
She smiled then looked up at me again: “I’ll go get you some food… and a water bottle.” She said walking back out of the room.
I lay there in deep thought when Alan poked his head in.
“Uncle, are you okay?” He asked, sitting down on the foot of the bed.
“I’ll be fine,” I said, smiling at him.
He smiled back, “Uncle you’ve got a Lego hand now.” He yelled pointing to my left hand.
I looked at my hand and saw the way they wrapped it did look like a Lego hand.
“Ha… yeah I suppose so.” I chuckled, Alan nodded and disappeared into the hallway.
A few minutes later Chloe appeared in the doorway with a plate and Mom and Gretchen tailed her.
“Sweety, are you ok?” My mom asked, walking over to the bedside and putting her hand on my forehead.
“Yes Mom I’m ok, I’m as ok as I can be right now,” I told her.
“Well I’m glad you’re ok,” She said, hugging me.
“Me too,” Gretchen added, hugging me.
After a minute they broke away and Chloe gave me my plate. It was some dry cereal and a piece of toast.
“Sorry… that’s all I could scrape together.” She said her expression was sad.
“How much is left?” I asked her.
“A few days maybe, the water situation is even worse though,” She said grimly.
I felt a crushing sense of defeat at that.
“We’re going to need to do something now,” Gretchen said, “Before we can’t do anything.”
“Agreed, but what? There is no chance of leaving without a snow plow.” I grumbled, becoming more disheartened.
“What if we had a snow plow?” Chloe asked.
“What?” Me and Gretchen asked.
“I mean, they keep it at the tractor place just a mile away. We could get the snow plow.” She suggested a hint of hope in her eyes.
“I don’t think we’ll all fit. Let alone supplies.” I told her.
“So then we bring two vehicles,” She said, “One or two of us go to the place, get the snow plow, and come back to the others in the other vehicle and follow behind.”
It was actually a pretty good plan, but it was still wishful thinking. They had a lot of variables on that.
“That might work, but it will take time and we don’t exactly have time,” I said.
“Well then let's get some more time. We might be able to find more food in other homes,” My mom said.
“Yes, in theory, that would work, but we don’t have two people to go,” I said.
“I’m out of commission, Gretchen isn’t leaving her boys, and not in a million years am I letting you go, Mom,” I argued.
“She can handle herself, she did the other day,” Mom argued back.
“What?... no I was with her…” I turned toward Chloe in confusion.
I saw a guilty look on her face and she told me that she’d gone to the store on the 11th day after they were done treating me.
I pulled her into a tight hug and whispered in her ear: “If you do that again I will use whatever force necessary to make your stay here.”
She looked at me, her eyes darkening: “Joey if I don’t go, we will starve. I’m terrified too but if that is what needs to be done I’ll do it.”
“I… I… I don’t want to lose you.” I sputtered out.
Her face turned red before she said: “I don’t want to lose you either, or any of you guys and that's why I need to go.”
I finally relented, Gretchen and my mom left the room, and Chloe sat and chatted with me while I ate my mediocre breakfast.
She perked up and said, “Joey I need to show you something.”
She got up and helped me get out of bed. Getting out wasn’t that hard unless I had to move my left leg or arm. Once I was standing she helped me over to the restroom and then helped me sit down.
“What am I supposed to be looking at?” I asked, looking around the bathroom.
“This,” She said, pulling the shower curtain open and revealing what was inside.
Lying inside the tub was the body of the dog bug creature.
“Why the heck did you bring that in?” I asked.
“Aren’t you curious what it is?” She asked, an almost crazed look in her eyes.
“Fair, I am curious,” I said. “Found anything out so far?” I then asked.
“Well a no, not yet,” She said looking disappointed now, “I just know it isn’t anything science knows of.”
“Nothing, nothing interesting?” I inquired.
“Well yes there are interesting things,” She said, “Like look at this.”
She grabbed a knife covered in yellowish-green blood and used it to open a previously cut incision into the body. I looked inside and saw something quite strange. This thing still had an endoskeleton.
“Nothing that we know of on earth has an endo and exoskeleton, and I honestly don’t know why an animal would have both.” She said looking up at me.
“Hmm… mind if I take a look?” I asked.
She nodded and I moved over and took the knife with my right hand. I used the knife to hold open the incision and I looked at the bone. It looked normal but I was suspicious so I set the knife down, reached in, and yanked the femur I’d been looking at out. The femur was the size it should’ve been for a normal dog, but for this creature, it was extremely undersized.
“Just as I thought,” I said, looking over at her.
“Can you explain to me what it is that you just figured out?” She asked, very confused.
“Look how small this femur is, it should be double the size for this creature, but it is the adequate size for a normal dog. The way I figure this is that during the metamorphosis that changed the dog into this thing the bones were not destroyed or changed. That’s why they are still there but not the right size.” I explained holding the bone up to her.
“I suppose that your theory makes sense,” She said after a short pause.
Day 14
Chloe sat on the bed strapping on the extra gear I was making her take. I knew I couldn’t stop her from going so I decided I would make her as safe as possible. I dug through old boxes and found my dad's old Kevlar vests. There were two so I cut one up to make guards for her arms and legs. Then I made her put on an extra coat to add one more layer of protection, as for other parts I agreed that the motorcycle helmet was the best helmet we had so she put that on.
Now she was sitting on the bed with the helmet sitting next to her while she was loading her weapons. She was bringing the semi-automatic and the sniper rifle with extra ammo for each. She also had a hunting knife strapped to her belt saying it would’ve come in handy last time. I looked at her and gave her a tight hug.
“If you don’t come back I’ll find you and teach you a lesson.” I jokingly threatened her.
She let out a giggle, “I’ll try my best.”
Again she made her outside into the blizzard. It raged on around her as it had been for days. She had to climb the almost four-foot-tall pile of snow before she could really start exploring. They’d assumed that the people who had left town wouldn’t have much food in their homes, so she planned to hit Carl’s house and the Garrison’s house today. Then check out a few other houses the next day, but right now she had to focus on simply taking the next step because anytime she stepped wrong she’d sink further into the snow. Slowly through the whipping wind and freezing snow, she walked. It was exhausting especially with her still being sore from a couple of days ago, but she continued despite the pain and weather. Despite it all she kept taking step after step after step, and the whole time the blizzard's icy claws were digging into her.
Eventually, she saw the destroyed store and walked past it, her eyes eyeing the shattered windows for any movement but nothing happened. She continued onward knowing that Carl’s house was now only a block away. She walked carefully and precisely trying not to step in the wrong place. Then she saw it. Carl’s house was a small colonial-style two-story home with a big wrap-around porch, but now it looked horrible. The door was ripped out of its hinges and two or three windows were shattered. She slid down a short snowy slope and onto the porch. Crack! One of the wooden planks that made the porch broke from under her foot and her foot slipped down. She pulled it out of the hole and slowly walked into his house.
There was a trail of snow leading in from the fallen door almost like a carpet leading her into this place. It was horrible on the inside. It reminded her of the store. Furniture was thrown every which way, some bearing deep gashes. The closest door to her had a hole going straight through it. She walked over a vast sea of shattered glass and turned into the kitchen. The granite countertops had been ripped from their places and shattered on the tiled floor. A large gash was in the door of the now fallen fridge. She walked over and kneeled down near the fridge, ripping open one of the doors. As she suspected, everything in there was frozen solid. Sitting in there was cheese, deli meat, assorted fruits and vegetables, shattered glasses of condiments, and two steaks. She grabbed everything and stuffed it all into one of the duffel bags she’d brought. Then she saw a loaf of bread lying on the ground near her and grabbed that too. She stood up and looked around the kitchen. She noticed a box of pasta sitting next to a pot on the stove. The box was full, so she grabbed it. The pot was partly melted onto the stove and frozen tomato sauce sat inside.
The picture of what had happened began to emerge in her head. Carl had likely been walking home from the store when it attacked. It chased him inside, breaking down the door and destroying everything in its path. His wife, Greta, had been making spaghetti for dinner when it happened. He ran into the kitchen and grabbed his wife with the beast following him. It destroyed the kitchen as it chased them.
Chloe pushed those thoughts from her head and opened their pantry to see if there was more food. There were lots of boxes but her eyes fell on the cans that lined the bottom of the pantry. There were dozens of them, probably a hundred or two cans. She kneeled and started eagerly grabbing the cans and putting them in the duffel bag. She even took out the cheese and pasta to make for more room.
She stopped her eager collecting when she heard a slight ticking noise. Stingers she thought and then pulled her knife from her belt in preparation. The ticking was slight and distant. It probably just walked in, she thought. With the ticking, she heard the slight creaking of the wood floor in the hall as it approached the kitchen. Then a scraping tapping sound as it began walking on the tiles. She gripped the knife tightly and got ready to stab the thing. Scr…! The stinger managed to give off a faint screech before the sharp hunting knife pierced its windpipe. She yanked the knife out of its neck severing the head from the body. Then she resheathed the knife and quietly got back to what she’d been doing. She didn’t stop until the bag was bulging then she zipped it closed and heaved it under her arm. It was heavy but she wasn’t weak.
She walked over to the front door and set the duffel bag next to it. She wanted to check out the rest of the house before she left.
She crept down the hall and into the master bedroom. It was intact, everything looked right and nothing was broken. She walked over to the dresser and started going through the drawers. Darn, just clothes. She thought as she dug her hands in shuffling the clothes around. She opened the drawer and start thrashing around the clothes when she felt something hard. She pulled a box of ammo out of the drawer. It was for the revolver she looked to see how much but it was empty.
Almost every stair on the way upstairs bore scratches and one or two were cracked. They creaked so loud she began to worry that the noise would get the stinger’s attention but nothing came. Then finally she arrived upstairs. The second floor of their house was composed of two rooms, a restroom, and his daughter Lacy’s bedroom. The bedroom door and a dresser lay on the room floor scratched and broken. The rest of the room was torn apart. The bed was shredded and a mirror lay shattered on the ground. Her eyes fell to the window which was propped open.
The rest of their story seemed to fall into place. Carl and Greta ran upstairs chased by the hound, and into Lacy’s room. They barricaded the door as the creature tried to get it, and then they all quickly slipped out of the window onto the porch roof and then to the ground. They ran to the store and bunkered there. The creature searched the whole shop but couldn’t find them. Then later the hound came back and Carl went to fight it. He told Greta and Lacy to hide in a stall and made his way to the main part of the shop. There he was killed and then dragged into the shower stall to be eaten, and at some point during that time the stingers and slugs got to Lacy and Greta.
She shivered, they’d tried so hard but it still got to them. Maybe if he’d had more bullets he could’ve survived. Thinking of the empty box and the two shots that had woken them that night.
She walked out of the bedroom and back downstairs. She found her eyes wandering around the destroyed first floor again, and it struck her that something bigger had to have done this. There was no way the deer-sized hound would have destroyed this much. She hurried over into the kitchen again and looked at the gash in the fridge. That’s too big. Way too big! She thought looking at the huge gash. She started to think about the store and the same inconsistencies began to appear in the memories. All the damage, the claw marks, the strength, it was all too much, too big, there was no way the hound had done this.
As she was thinking she noticed a doorway she hadn’t been through. Next to her was the doorway to the basement stairs with the door wide open. She peaked down and saw light down there, not much probably from a window, but it was something.
Creak! Her first step of descent was loud and made her worry again that something would hear her. She stopped and listened, but nothing. So as carefully as she could she continued. Every step was as loud as the first and every step made her jump in her skin and wait for something to happen. But after what seemed like ages she arrived at the bottom.
The basement was large with two spare bedrooms and a large storage room. She slowly walked down the hall looking into the bedrooms on both sides of her. They were bare with nothing much more than beds, so she walked forward and into the main storage room.
The storage room had large shelving units across the whole room. The shelves were partially filled with labeled boxes. She walked over to one shelf and started reading the labels. Christmas, no, I don't need that. Halloween, not that. Games, nope. Sports could be useful. She thought as she grabbed the heavy crate and set it out in front of her. She grabbed the latches on either side, undoing them and popping the lid off.
Suddenly a ripping sound erupted from another part of the basement. The ripping had a sort of wet sound to it. Chloe started to walk over to the sound far too curious not to. Screech! It came from the same direction as the ripping sound. She got the gun ready and then jumped from around a shelf not facing what was making the sound. She watched one of those hound things fully emerge from a cocoon and look over at her. A chill ran down her spine as its four eyes met hers; the two to the left were icy blue and the two to the right were dark brown. This one was also slightly smaller but much stockier than the other. Rat-a-tatatata! She released a quick barrage of bullets hoping to stop the disgusting thing, but it just started charging for her. Quickly she moved to the other side of the shelving and pushed it down. Her whole body was shaking, but she had to keep calm and keep fighting. The hound howled in pain and started cracking through the wooden shelf to get to her. She took this time to aim a good shot at its face. Rat-a-tat! She shot two quick bullets into its face. One sunk into its exoskeleton the other buried itself into one of its eyes. SCREECH!!!!! It broke through the shelf and made a quick dive toward her. It pinned her to the ground, knocking her gun away in the process. It sunk its jaws into the helmet and it started to break and crack. She started to cry. This thing was going to eat through her helmet then her face, but during this moment of panic she remembered something. She pulled the knife from her belt and stabbed it into the hound's semi-exposed underbelly. It screeched again in pain so she stabbed again. She then shoved the hurt thing off of her and dove for the gun. She felt one of its praying mantis talons slash her vest and then her upper leg, so she turned around and fired. Rat-a-tatata! She shot it four more times, one hitting its forehead, the second hitting its mouth, the third mouth as well, and the fourth badly damaged its lower jaw. Its face was covered in yellow-greenish blood and it was throwing up blood onto the floor. Just as she thought it might be dying it made a quick sprint toward her. It bit her right knee, its teeth sinking in and actually managing to make her bleed. But then crash! It shoved forward and caused her to fall on top of it. Not having a good shot she grabbed the knife and started stabbing anywhere she could until it finally stopped fighting.
She lay there catching her breath until finally she stood up. Her vision was disrupted by the cracks in the helmet’s visor. She tore the helmet off and threw it down onto the dying hound. Even as it lay there it still tried to get toward her and attack her. She thought about executing it but decided that would just be a waste of a bullet and in a weird way she found its attempts to attack entertaining.
The sports crate she’d opened earlier didn’t have much use. It contained a few balls and two or three different types of rackets. She continued looking through the shelves until she found a box labeled camping. She slid it off the shelf and onto the floor, undid the latches, and popped the lid off. Inside the box were all sorts of goodies. At the top of the box were two big mummy sleeping bags. She pulled those out to see fire starters, water purifiers, bug spray, sunscreen, a small tent, utensils, pots and pans, and a large hatchet. Excitedly she grabbed her other duffel bag and moved everything from the crate into it.
She heaved the duffel bag under her arm and carried it back upstairs. She set it next to the other and turned around. She wanted to check one more place before she left the house. She walked across the house and to the backdoor pushing it open and looking outside. In their backyard half buried in snow was a shed. She hurried over to the shed through the deep snow. The doors were almost completely covered in snow and she knew she wouldn't be spending the whole day shoveling. Luckily there was a small window near the top of the shed. She gave it one good kick and the window popped open. She slid through the hole and dropped down into the shed.
The shed was small with very little inside. There was a lawn mower and a few tools but that was it. The one thing that did catch her eye was a small wooden sled with a rope tied to the front. She picked it up thinking how much easier it would make carrying the bags.
Chloe carefully shoved the sled through the window frame and then squeezed through herself. She carried the sled into the house, used tape to keep the bags secure on it, and then started pulling the sled back towards home. Carl’s house was near the top of a small hill, so for a short couple of seconds, she rode the sled as it slid down the icy slope. It made her feel like a little kid and she wished it would have lasted longer.
After a long walk through the blizzard she arrived home tired and her face feeling like it was freezing off. Gretchen hugged her the moment she walked in.
“Are you ok? We thought we heard gunshots.” She said a little worried.
“You did… I had to kill another hound thing. Just like the one in the tub. The armor worked like a charm though, I hardly felt its bite.” Chloe said motioning to the rip in her pants around the knee.
“Oh shoot you bleeding,” Gretchen said looking at her leg.
Chloe looked down to see a cut on her thigh and a few small nicks on her knee.
I sat in bed. I'd just heard Chloe come in and I waited patiently for her to come down. After a couple of minutes, I heard footsteps come downstairs and start creeping down the hall. Then I saw her face poke in from around the door. She smiled and walked in when she saw I was awake.
“Hi babe, how are you feeling?” She asked, taking a seat next to me.
“I mean my hand still hurts like heck, but yeah I’m fine.” I joked.
She smiled, “Seriously though, are you feeling alright?” She asked.
“I’m feeling fine,” I lied trying to get her to stop worrying.
“I want to hear about everything that happened,” I said sitting up.
So she told me everything that happened, even her theory on what exactly happened to Carl and his family.
“Did they have a dog?” She asked me after finishing her story.
“Yeah… a pitbull I think,” I replied, trying my best to remember the odd times when Carl talked about his dog.
“That explains it, that hound was a lot stockier than the one you shot.” She said, “Also it destroyed the helmet so I need a new one before I go to the Garrison’s house.”
I gave her a worried look, “Do you need to go?” I asked.
“YES!” She insisted, “We don’t know what happened to them, and I’d like to find a little more food.”
“But do we need more food?” I asked, “You got a lot of cans.”
“Joey, this has already been going on for two weeks. Who knows how long it will last? More preparation never hurts.” She argued, sounding a little angry now.
“Ok… Ok… Just be safe,” I told her and gave her a big hug.
Gretchen found an arguably better helmet in the garage, a big metal welding helmet. It fit Chloe almost perfectly, and as a backup, she wore two thick hoods to protect the back of her head. She had a very bad feeling this time, as she stood there by the door she couldn’t help but shake. She wanted someone to come with her, and as big Herman came over to say his goodbyes she had an idea.
She marched through the deep snow with Herman atop the sled she pulled. She’d try to have him follow on foot, but the snow was just too high and he kept getting stuck. But she didn’t care that he was just extra weight because she was just happy that she wasn’t facing this alone. She slowly made her way down the street, the blizzard more relentless than ever. It seemed to her the longer the blizzard continued the stronger it was becoming. The snow continued to pound down on top of her slowly wearing down her will to continue, but it didn’t stop her. She took one step after another after another. She was starting to tire and the pain of the injuries was beginning to wear on her. But every time she seemed to slow Herman would give a little woof, and she would keep on going.
The snow had become so hard to see through that more than an outstretched hand was invisible to her. Her vision was so bad she didn’t know the group of crawlers and slugs were there until she was practically right on top of them
Meanwhile…
“Hey, we should probably start clearing the driveway now,” Gretchen said suddenly to her mom while they both sat at the kitchen table.
“That’s probably a wise idea,” Our mother said with a smile.
Gretchen and Mom began their efforts with large snow shovels. Gretchen did most of the work as Mom had to take frequent breaks. They shoveled and shoveled as the day wore on going over their work with salt so as to not let more snow accumulate. Gretchen was exhausted from the work, but she continued nonetheless. She kept digging ad digging until she heard the shovel scrape concrete then she moved to the next section. Despite the cold, they were both dripping with sweat.
I sat by the window watching them work while the boys played. I so wanted to go help but knew I couldn’t. I couldn’t do anything but sit and watch them work. I felt horrible as I watched, and then my mind started thinking of Chloe. I pulled out the walkie and pressed the button to talk.
The first thing Chloe heard was Screech! The stinger was right in front of her clearly just as surprised by her as she was of it. But it wasn’t alone from her restricted view; it looked like there were about 10 stingers and 3 or so slugs.
She tried to raise her gun but they were scattering around far too quickly. Then she heard a ripping noise as one of them drove a stinger into her boot. She pulled out the hunting knife and made quick work of the stinger. Two more stingers were charging straight for her and one was coming from her left. Before she could do anything the snow under the two erupted and they were dragged down into it. She wasn’t able to see what it was and she began to shake as it did the same thing to the one coming from her left. In a sudden panic, she turned around to see the sled empty with a hole in the snow right next to it. She let out a small cry whatever was under the snow had gotten Herman and the stingers, but there was no time for mourning as more of the stingers began coming for her. Again the snow erupted under them but this time she got a better look. Whatever was under the snow was big and white. She got the gun as the thing took out the rest of the slugs and stingers. She assumed it was coming for her next. She hurried and jumped atop the sled so it couldn’t take her down easily. She stood there ready to fight whatever monster thing had gotten everything. Horrible images of twisted spider mole creatures flew through her head. Suddenly the snow next to the sled exploded open and she saw the large white beast jump out of the snow and on top of her. She closed her eyes expecting to feel teeth begin to sink down, but after a second she heard a lapping sound. She opened her eyes to see Herman on top of her licking her helmet. She smiled and let out a laugh.
“Good boy!” She said encouragingly.
Herman was completely covered in snow; he looked more like a polar bear than a dog. She brushed some of it off but didn’t bother to do much. She helped the big dog back onto the sled and continued forward. She walked another block before she finally saw her destination to her right was the Garrison’s large house broken and beaten from obvious attacks. It stood there somehow feeling more eerie than the surrounding houses. She stepped onto the wooden porch and there was a loud creak. Ever so more carefully she and Herman crept across the porch and into the house. If only they’d known what they were about to walk into.
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2023.06.09 20:23 TripleNerdScore1 Trip Report: Tokyo Kyoto Osaka Hakone (30s couple, traveling while visibly trans)

Hi everyone! This sub was so incredibly helpful to me in the planning process - I was deeply grateful for everything I learned, so I thought I'd post a trip report now that we're back!
About us: We're a 30s couple from the Midwest US. We're pretty experienced travelers (South America, UK/Ireland, Europe, lots of places in the US), but this was our first visit to Asia and first visit to Japan. As travelers, we love getting out on foot, local food/drink (especially street food), live music, nerd shit, weird art/vending machines. Also, my partner is a cis guy, but I am a trans masc person who is visibly trans (post-op in a few ways, but not passing/not stealth).
Dates: May 13 - May 29
What we did: Tokyo Kyoto Osaka Hakone Back to Tokyo
Tips and tricks:
Because I'm a nerd, here's the actual breakdown!
DAY 1 ARRIVAL 📍 Flew into Haneda; made it to our hotel (lovely experience at Hotel Plaza Sunroute); had our first world-famous konbini 7/11 experience; walked around Shinjuku; went out for dinner at Ryu no Miyako Inshokugai - talk about jumping in the deep end 🍣 Onigiri and vending machine green tea; little whipped cream treats; Nagahama ramen and sesame mackerel donburi 👣 10,400 steps 🏁 4.8 miles
DAY 2 SHIBUYA 📍 Meiji Shrine and Gardens - got goshuin and omamori; Harajuku, went to 7/11; back to the hotel for a nap; Shibuya, including Don Quijote, Center Gai and Dogenzaka Street; Nonbei Yokocho for late night 🍣 7/11 (plum onigiri and corn/mayo sandwich, some kind of spam musubi situation, matcha roll); Ichiran coin-op ramen with extra chashu and a matcha tofu custard thing; banana shock smoothie at Shibuya109 in Center Gai; chicken and pork belly yakitori with beers at Morimoto; brown sugar shoju and shoju-infused Oolong tea cocktails at Tight Bar (strong recommend for this joint!); grilled squid, octopus, and okonomiyaki for afters at Tsukishima Monja Kuuya Shibuya 👣 32,000 steps 🏁 14.5 miles 😮‍💨
DAY 3 SHINJUKU 📍 Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden; Shinjuku area (including Disk Union, Disney, Onitsuka); Kabukicho and Kabukicho Tower; GODZ metal bar; Golden Gai; Omoide Yokocho 🍣 7/11 (onigiri, matcha filled roll thing, royal milk tea, tomago sushi, strawberry donut, cafe latte); many types of dango (sesame oil, soy sauce, and apricot mochi were our favs); McDonald's (weirdly good chicken sandwich with yuzu radish topping, vanilla custard chocolate pie, white grape soda); yummy little warm imagawayaki filled with adzuki bean paste + royal milk from depachika); a couple of Asahis at GODZ; simple yakitori snacks at Golden Gai (including some… mystery offal items); back to 7/11 for drunk matcha ice cream and waffle snacks 👣 28,800 steps 🏁 13.0 miles
DAY 4 ASAKUSA 📍 Went out for coffee; walked around Kinarimon Gate and Nakamise; toured Asakusa Shrine, Senso-ji Temple, surrounding Shinto and Buddhist shrines; stopped for sushi and mochi; went for a walk up Sumida River; dipped into Shoden and Imado shrines; crossed Kototoi Bridge to Tokyo Skytree; went up Tokyo Skytree; back to Senso-ji for night photos; capped off evening with gyoza 🍣 Lattes at cute puppet theater coffeeshop (espresso, dandelion tea); 7/11 for breakfast-y fuel; strawberries from a street stall at Nakamise; sushi lunch; beautiful mochi + tea dessert; grilled gyoza, soup dumpling gyoza, shoujo Oolong tea cocktail for afters 👣 25,500 steps 🏁 11.66 miles
DAY 5 JIMBŌCHŌ, AKIHABARA 📍 Train to Ichigaya - notable French-inspired neighborhood; breakfast at local French café; Yasakuni Shrine; Kanda River walk by Hosei University; Tokyo Daijingu Shrine; Jimbōchō Old Book Town; walked from there to Akihibara; hit up noodles, arcade, nerd shops (comics, TCGs/CCGs, retro video games systems, TTRPGS, etc); gachapons; hit up the bizarre rare vending machines 🍣 Vending machine coffee and milk tea; yummy French pastries (bacon and sour cream roll, quiche, sour cream raisin custard thing); had to try some avocado and cheese Doritos; cold udon with duck broth soup, curry rice for Chris; fish-shaped taiyaki with custard cream dessert treat; dope gyoza place ("weekday" version with pork and cabbage, shrimp and chili mayo, yakitori with tare, and shogayaki with onions) 👣 Forgot watch at hotel - we’ll say 10,000 steps 🏁 Guessing about 5 or 6?
DAY 6 TEAMLAB PLANETS, TRAVEL TO KYOTO 📍 Hit up teamLabs, had an amazing time exploring the exhibits - the infinite light crystal room was our fav; train to Tokyo Station; lunch at underground Ramen Street restaurants under the station - went with Soranoiro, one of the few veg/vegan ramen shops in Japan - delicious; shinkansen to Kyoto; out for nightlife in Kiyamachi-Dori and Pontocho 🍣 Quick 7/11 snacks; train snacks (pocky, coffee, little teriyaki cutlet sandwich); Soranoiro ramen bowls; killer yakitori we fried right at our table in izakaya in Pontocho (honestly probably a meal highlight of the whole trip); brown sugar shoujo; 7/11 for ice cream on the way back 👣 18,900 steps 🏁 8.63 miles
DAY 7 KINKAKUJI, NISHIKI, GION 📍 Kinkakuji Temple; bus back to Kiyamachi-dori; spent whole afternoon walking and eating street food at Nishiki Market; back to hotel for rest, laundry, rooftop drink; out for nightlife in Gion 🍣 Family Mart for coffee and doughnuts; Nishiki Market Street street food delights - seared yakitori style crab stick, little octopus chuka idako on skewers, kara-age on skewers, sea squid croquettes and beer, strawberry and adzuki bean mochi balls; mimosas and red wine; Kyoto Gion Okaru - geisha-decorated izakaya with insane curry udon bowls and beers; picked up box of mochi dango for dessert 👣 20,200 steps 🏁 9.07 miles
DAY 8 SHRINE DAY 📍 OK, this is a lot:
🍣 Hotel coffee, tea, cream puffs; adzuki bean buns with tea made from the actual hydrangeas of the tea garden at the shrine; dope bento box lunch; got takeout fast food donburi and fizzy lemonade 👣 22,800 steps 🏁 10.39 miles
DAY 9 FUSHIMI-INARI 📍 Fushimi Inari, the famous shrine of over 1,000 torii gates - super amazing (and intense!) summit of Mt Inari! Back to Nishiki Market for reward street food and drinks; back to hotel for a rooftop drink and soak; finally out for soba at Kawamichiya Ginka in Pontocho. 🍣 Snack pack on our hike (sausages, cheese, some kind of fish meat/cheese stick, and surume - sweet chewy dried squid stuff); orange smoothie; conveyor belt sushi; strawberry mochi roll; whisky highball and red wine; massive soba spreads (chicken seared with wasabi/yuzu/horseradish dipped in ponzu sauce, fried soba noodles in a rich soup, cold soba noodles dipped tsukemen-style in a really amazing umami soy sauce soup, tempura shrimp and veggies, a hot soba noodles in a clear broth soup) 👣 27,600 steps 🏁 Supposedly 12.3 miles, but that hike to summit Mt Inari was something else 😤
DAY 10 TRAVEL TO OSAKA, SHINSABASHISUJI, AMEMURA, DOTONBURI 📍 Beautiful brunch on the bank of the canal in Kyoto; local train to Osaka-Umeda; checked into Osaka hotel; walked around Shinsaibashisuji and Dotonburi a little bit; scoped out Amemura ("Ameri-mura") for dope American-inspired Japanese streetwear; wandered up and down street food stalls in Dotonbori; swung by Namba Hips (mostly pachinko); found a couple of fun little hole-in-the-wall places (little Japanese craft beer brewery, retro video games bar) 🍣 Brunch at Kawa Cafe (croque monsieur, ramen, tea and delicious apple tart); takoyaki, cheesy waffle shaped like a massive 10yen coin, sweet chili hotdogs from stands in Dotonbori; dashi gose craft beer (by Derailleur Brew Works) from Umineko, shots at Space Station bar 👣 19,500 steps 🏁 9.01 miles
DAY 11 NAMBAYASAKIJINA, DOTONBURI 📍 Morning Japanese breakfast at a wonderful little 24-hour diner; Hozen-ji (moss shrine); Kamigata Ukiyo-e Museum across the street (focusing on Osaka woodcuts celebrating Dotonburi's kabuki and entertainment history); Nambayasaka-jinja (lion head shrine); Den Den Town (Osaka's Akihabara); ended up at a cozy little kushikatsu bar which actually was playing the Tigers game (away game vs the Swallows at Tokyo); street food waffles for dessert; hit up a late-night batting cage - ended up at Round1 (a big multi-floor arcade complex) and did the rooftop batting cage! My partner won a giant plushie for me from a claw machine! 🍣 Dope traditional japanese omelette and fish breakfast; cute macarons from market stand; Family Mart for snacks before nightlife; skewers, beer, and highballs from Dotonbori kushikatsu place; ridiculous nutella, whip, and strawberry stuffed waffle from Waffle Khan 👣 29,100 steps 🏁 13.31 miles
DAY 12 KUROMON ICHIBA, OSAKA CASTLE, DOTONBURI 📍 Kuromon Ichiba Market for street food; Osaka Castle Park and Nishinomaru Gardens; toured Osaka Castle and museum all the way up to the top; subway to Tanimachi-9-chome subway station for amazing live jazz at Sub Jazz Cafe. (This was amazing! Akira "Ro" Hasegawa (sax) and Yukie Fujikawa (keys) - Ro is also the owner and was bartending on this particular night too.) Out to Don Don for killer yakiniku and beer; found our way to Oboradaren, an Tokunoshima-themed island vibes bar and music spot where there was a great live band playing fun island vibes beach rock - big crowd of 40s+ Japanese women who knew all the songs, wound up drinking passionfruit chuhai and joining them in the conga line around the bar 🍣 Oden hot pot, wagyu skewer, otoro sashimi, crab gratin in the half-shell, bracken green tea soy cakes at Kuromon Market; ice cream sandwiches at Osaka Castle; milk tea, little roast beef sandwich, and cheesecake at Sub Jazz Cafe; yakiniku-style wagyu, ribs, ox tongue, assorted mushrooms; passionfruit chuhai and red wine at the island vibes spot; taro and brown sugar boba teas 👣 23,000 steps 🏁 10.42 miles
DAY 13 KAIYUKAN, SHINSEKAI, DOTONBURI 📍 Fun trip to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan; quick pass through Shinsekai; lunch at spot where you can fish your own catch from an indoor fishing boat pool; out for one last Dotonburi night - wound up getting konbini snacks and sitting on the waterfront talking and people-watching for hours 🍣 Not a banger food-wise, but interesting little spread at the fish-your-own place - huge prawn for grilling, kara-age, and fatty tuna nigiri for Max, tempura veggies and whitefish with doteyaki for Chris; from Family Mart, fruit smoothie, ice cup, and KitKat for Max, onigiri and lemonade for Chris 👣 19,100 steps 🏁 8.64 miles
DAY 14 TRAVEL TO HAKONE, HAKONE SHRINE 📍 Bombed to Shin-Osaka for an early shinkansen to Odawara; trained to Odawara to Hakone; dropped luggage off at ryokan, then bus to Motohakone; saw Hakone Shrine and Onshi-Hakone Park (as well as a segment of the actual Old Tokaido!); returned to ryokan for the night, where we were treated to a gorgeous 1:1 kaiseki from a Michelin-star chef, private hot spring onsen, and private in-room hot spring bath 🍣 Konbini snacks before shinkansen; snacks and coffee on train; late lunch in Motohakone (curry and soba, pork cutlet); incredible, massive multi-course kaiseki and sake for dinner, plus strawberry cake, champagne, and more sake for dessert 👣 13,900 steps 🏁 6.26 miles
DAY 15 HAKONE OPEN AIR MUSEUM, TRAVEL TO TOKYO, LAST NIGHT IN SHINJUKU 📍 Woke up in gorgeous ryokan; leisurely kaiseki breakfast with leftover cake; final soak in the private onsen; Hakone Open Air Museum - very cool; had kind of a challenging trip back but finally made it from Museum back to ryokan to bus stop to Hakone-Yumoto to Odawara to Shinjuku to the hotel 😮‍💨 Considering the last night as our real "last night" of the trip, our final night out in Tokyo was all just extra icing on the cake - went out for yakitori skewers and Asahi Superdrys in cozy alley in Omoide Yokocho, found really wonderful cake and tea dessert open late also in Omoide, hit up 🎵 Donki! 🎵 for a final round of bulk snacks and souvenirs, ended up on a late-night excursion to find Park Hyatt Hotel (featured in Lost in Translation); finished night at hotel watching the city go to sleep from our balcony 👣 22,700 steps 🏁 10.3 miles
FINAL SCORE 📸 Pics: 1,929 👣 Steps: 337,700 🏁 Miles: 153.78 (we averaged 9.6 miles per day, every day, for 16 days) 🇯🇵 “Nihongo jōzu!”: 4 (I know more proficient Japanese speakers are insulted, but it's honestly a pretty nice comment when you're at my level) 👶 Comments on how young we look/how we can’t possibly be celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary: 3 ✨ Gratitude: Infinite.
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