Carrie underwood at grand ole opry

fanfic pathway

2023.06.05 15:56 keos398 fanfic pathway

This is my take on creating a pathway since everyone making one right now. You are welcome criticizing. Sequence 9: The special one They obtain a lot of knowledge about mysticism and sixth sense the make them heasee things, which make them feel special. Sequence 8: Erudite They obtain massive knowledge about mysticism and about anything they realy ever needs to know, which boost their arrogance even more. Sequence 7: Joker They gain 4 new spells 1. Joke : they can tell almost any joke and force the enemy to laugh which can be very distracting 2. Balloon substitution : they can carry up to 4 balloon and use them as substitute ( balloon limited by their spirituality ) 3. Mask : they can put on masks or paint on their face to hide their identity from the like of sheriff and divination. 4. Prank : they can make small tools and toys for varying effect such as a box with smoke bomb or a doll with a sedative sprayed on ( the pranks has an anti divination quality) Sequence 6 : Enchanter They gain massive boost to their spirituality. They have to add another characteristic, one of four ( wind blessed, Conspirer, Pleasure,notary) To their potion to select their main attribute element ( wind,fire,ice,light) and the extra characteristic in the potion will materialize as an Enchanted accessory, they can use the other abilities of the characteristic but they will lose control for using them unless they have most of their spirituality which they can fight back, but they recommended to never use them Alongside the Enchanter characteristic and with their massive knowledge they can Enchant all sort of things for varying effect such as enchanted bullets enchanted cannon balls etc. Sequence 5 : Herculean Superhuman strength ( can destroy a wall with one punch) Superhuman speed ( can run at 300km/h at maximum) Superhuman stamina ( can run at maximum speed for 8 hours) Superhuman durability ( can withstand a revolver bullet up for 5 at the same spot and 2 shotgun at same spot) Sequence 4 : Spiritual being They gain massive boost to their spirituality. They can transform to Spiritual being impervious to all physical attack for 15 minutes. They are impervious to all Spiritual attack such as Spiritual threads controlling and possessing. They can make a domain of spirituality that can affect the surrounding, prevent divination and prophetic abilities They can make Spiritual storm attacks. Their enchanting ability is massively enhanced. With their vast knowledge and massive spirituality they can create all types of spells. Their mythical form is a giant emperor with overshadowing cap with blurred face, he overflow with dominance that you can’t rise your head from the pressure. Sequence 3 : Connoisseur New abilities: Testing : they can transform into Spiritual being and infiltrate a person mind and everything is a buffet in front them ( memories,abilities,skils), a Connoisseur can test only one thing at a time after testing they can replicat the ability or skill without time limit. *They can’t test anyone with higher spirituality. They can emit a sense of hunger with their spirituality to scare other creatures. Spiritual vortex : They can create or transform into a vortex with their spirituality that attract other things and trap or shred them with the vortex They have a higher sense of danger and other beyonders. Sequence 2 : Juggernaut They have unstoppable force that cannot be abstracted by any physical thing. They can brut force into anything that is not deity level. They can’t be harmed by anything of a fire power of nuke or less ( anything above nuke can hurt them) They have a speed of half the speed of light. They can drew stamina from their massive spirituality. They can teleport by punching the space and direct the space vortex with their spirituality to teleport to anywhere. Their complete mythical form is a dominant humanoid emperor that emit a feeling of unstoppable force. Sequence 1 : Secret schemer They gain partial control of spirituality authority. They gain massive boost in spirituality. They gain massive boost in intellect. New abilities Grand design : They can cast a net spirituality of that can encompass a city, the net will cast millions of small threads of spirituality that will infiltrate the people and affect their daily choices to enforce a grand design of the secret schemer. The grand design threads can be felt by any demigods so they can’t affect them. Behind the scene : the secret schemer can hide in different dimension that can’t be accessed by any other person except other secret schemer. They secret schemers can’t do ant ability Behind the scene except The grand design. The secret schemer can utilize the spirituality like no other, they can apply spirituality defensively and offensively. For example they can transform spirituality into any enchanted object by condensing spirituality to the limit and make very potent tools that have nuke like fire power. Sequence 0 : Overlord All previous ability is massively boosted They have authority over dominance Dominance : they can dominate anything on conceptual level ( basically massive suppressive ability over anything) They have authority over spirituality. They have authority over raw strength.
Notes : 1. I realy wanted to name sequence 0 tyrant but cuttlefish have taken all the freaking cool names 2. This pathway have no boost in previous sequence when advanced until sequence 0 to avoid being overpowered 3. This pathway might look overpowered on the first look but it’s not , it’s kinda week on the haxy pathways 4. I didn’t put ant rituals because creating pathway is a freaking tiresome thing
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2023.06.05 15:19 AMETSFAN England's New Order Cromwell's Commonwealth

England's New Order Cromwell's Commonwealth
After the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended to the thrones of England and Ireland, becoming James I of both realms. After James's death, his second son Charles took over as Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland. King Charles quickly tried to assert royal prerogatives but faced opposition from various factions in England and Scotland. Charles dealt with various financial, religious, and foriegn issues. A failed attempt to capture Spanish land in the New World, combined with lackluster finances, due to outdated methods of revenue collecting, left England in a financially unstable state. Charles attempted to have Parliament approve taxation to fill the Royal coffers but quickly ran into trouble with the independently-minded Parliament. Thus, the King dissolved Parliament and ran the country solely from Royal Prerogative. To deal with the aforementioned financial issues, Charles implemented various tax schemes to raise revenue and keep the nation afloat. Although the revenue raised was sufficient, Charles’s barely legal programs were widely hated. Nonetheless, most of the nation was fervently loyal to the King, meaning he would be able to keep up Personal Rule, as Charles’s reign was called, as long as expenses did not increase. However, Charles’s religious policies would begin the destruction of his tenuous grasp.

King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland
Despite the deposition of Mary, Queen of Scots by Presbyterian nobles, in favor of her young son James, the House of Stuart remained apprehensive of radicals in the reformation, with James VI/I and Charles I both supporting the “High-Church Anglicans” (who believed in greater Church authority & were more compatible to Catholics), at the expense of Presbyterians in Scotland and Protestant “Dissents” (such as Puritans) in England. While James declined to attempt to impose his brand of Anglicanism upon the Scots, Charles took a different approach. Egged on by his chief religious advisor, Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud, Charles attempted to impose The Book of Common Prayer, the prayer book for the Anglican Church in England, on the Scottish Church. However, the Scots would fiercely resist any incursions upon their Presbyterianism, while some of Charles’s English subjects would oppose his attempts to enforce, what they saw as, crypto-Catholicism. Thus, the Scottish would rise in rebellion, with the sole goal of protecting the Presbyterian Church. While England undoubtedly had a greater fighting capacity in a vacuum, various factors ranging from internal apathy to Scottish determination would see Charles’s forces fall to a humiliating defeat, ending attempts at religious uniformity. Under the terms of the Treaty of Ripon, which ended the war, England had to pay minor reparations to Scotland for the trouble. But, Charles’s thinly-stretched revenue structure would collapse, as he would have no choice but to call a Parliament to raise the necessary revenue.

Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud, Charles's chief religious advisor & hardline High-Church Anglican
But, calling the new Parliament would raise its issues. Many Radicals and Puritans in the Parliament would strongly oppose the King’s actions. With various complaints about the religious, financial, and political changes ushered in by Charles’s Personal Rule, those most hostile to the King would issue the Grand Remonstrance, which listed their issues with the King. As tensions continued rising to the surface, a rebellion in Ireland would blow up the situation. While both the Parliament and the King wanted to send troops to suppress the rebellion, neither was willing to let the other take reign of the Army. This culminated in King Charles sending in troops to arrest 5 MPs who he had particular contempt for. However, all 5 were tipped off, allowing them to escape, embarrassing Charles. With Parliament ardently against him, Charles I had no choice but to escape, setting off the English Civil War.

Painting of Charles I's storming into Parliament & seeking the arrest of 5 MPs.
The First English Civil War would see the Scots and English Parliamentarians (with their ranks filled by political & religious radicals, Protestant Dissenters, most merchants, and those in the gentry who opposed the King’s taxes) ally to fight Royalists. Although the Scots and Parliamentarians would be fragmented at first, their combined force (along with the creation of the New Model Army) gave them the upper hand, particularly at the Battles of Marston Moor & Naseby, the latter of which proved to be a decisive defeat. After the capture of the King, there were debates about what to do with the King, and the new political system of the Three Kingdoms, with a consensus to keep the King around with moderate political reforms, while ignoring many social reforms.

Painting of the Battle of Marston Moor, the first big victory for the Parliamentarian Forces.
However, the settlement was not enough for Charles. Reversing his prior religious policies and personal scruples, Charles settled into an alliance with the Scots, starting the Second English Civil War, with an alliance of Royalists, Scots, and those within England disaffected from the Parliamentarian cause. Although it seemed that the Parliamentary cause was under threat, the supreme generalships of Oliver Cromwell and his deputy John Lambert would carry the day at the Battle of Preston, ending the 2nd English Civil War.

General John Lambert, who would rise through the New Model Army ranks and Cromwell's esteem during the 2nd Civil War
While the defeat of the Scots secured Parliament’s victory and enshrined Parliamentary rule over the 3 realms, the issue of what to do with the King would dominate political discussion. Parliament was willing to keep the King around, continuing negotiations on the Treaty of Newport with the King, despite his continued reluctance to compromise away any of his powers. However, the New Model Army would have no tolerance for any settlement. Hardened by years of conflict, and outraged at the King’s continued plotting and schemes, the New Model Army was firmly convinced that the King had to go. Thus, with the assumed permission of the Commander of the New Model Army Thomas Fairfax, and his deputy Cromwell, Colonel Thomas Pride forcibly expelled members of Parliament, whom the New Model Army found objectionable, thus ensuring that the monarchy would be abolished.

Colonel Thomas Pride's Purge of Parliament paved the way for the abolition of Monarchy in Britain.
But, this did not settle the question of what to do with the King. While the Army Grandees (leaders) opposed, at least at first, trying the King, growing radical sentiment fueled support for a trial of Charles I. But, the King’s continued refusal to compromise under any circumstances led most of the Army leaders, most importantly Oliver Cromwell, to support putting the King on trial. Although this was opposed by Fairfax and other old Parliamentarians, the New Model Army largely got on board with the idea. Their puppet Parliament, now called the Rump (meaning smaller offshoot) Parliament, which while still being an extension of the Long Parliament that dated back to after the Bishops’ Wars, did as the Army said. Thus, Parliament established a “High Court of Justice” to try the King, and, despite the Court’s unpopularity, the High Court decided to execute the King for abusing his mandate. While Fairfax refused to sign the death warrant, Cromwell and his allies, such as Henry Ireton, Edmund Ludlow, and Thomas Harrison all signed the warrant, while John Lambert was a supporter. This reflected the new reality that while Fairfax was still the leader, Cromwell was becoming the political voice of the Army. Thus, as King Charles’s reign came to a definitive end, the former 3 Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland would begin a new course - one without the King…

General Oliver Cromwell was quickly becoming the dominant force of the New Model Army and has been thrust into a position of power after Pride's Purge & the Execution of Charles.
Explanation of the Series -
Alright so, as you can probably see, the series will start soon after the death of King Charles. While Charles the 2nd was still running around France and Spain, for the sake of simplicity, we'll only have events from the point of view of the Commonwealth. The series will have something of an end-state, stopping when either some force in the Commonwealth or King Charles II secures power after the death of Cromwell. Obviously, this first post was for background, to help set the stage for the series. The next post will start off with the Levellers and it will go up until someone takes over for good. Not every post will have a poll to it, as some will obviously be lore posts, (ie a military decision or dissolving a parliament), but most of them will be polls. The questions posed for the poll are going to be from someone's perspective, usually either a person like Cromwell or an institution like the New Model Army. Since a series hasn't been done like this, to my knowledge, I'm excited to see where this goes. Please let me know if you want to be pinged for the series.
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2023.06.05 15:19 Tjmoores [Retropost] Heirposting™

General note: This post (along with the next in this series) should have come out last week. All posts in the series take place within a 40 or so year period. Note to Callum: The bulk of this post was written before spelling reform. Please do not moan about my æ, ŋ, č etc.

Part 2

Gyias ran his fingers through his thick, weathered hair, a habit he had developed over the years since moving to Bæn. He glanced at Mwač, his eyes filled with a mixture of gratitude and concern. "Do you remember the night of the storm, Mwač? It must have been a lifetime ago."
Mwač nodded, her face forming a reflection of her fear of the memories of that night. "Yes...", she solemnly replied. "It was a night of chaos, but look how far we've come. Bæn is our home, a place so much greater than Pribd ever was."
Gyias sighed, his gaze drifting towards the bustling town of Bæn beyond their home. The town had grown significantly in the past ten years, its once humble beginnings expanding into a thriving community. New houses stood where ruins once lay, and fields new and old sustained the growing population, through the crops which were cultivated within them. Life in Bæn had indeed flourished in recent years.
"Mwač, do you remember when we first arrived in Bæn?" Gyias continued, his voice thick with nostalgia.
Mwač smiled, a hint of sadness in her eyes. "Of course I do, Gyias. We were young, hopeful, terrified and passionate. But as the town grew, so arose new problems."
Gyias nodded, his eyes fixed in a gaze beyond the wall behind Mwač. "We were grateful to Vraiŋ for leading us to salvation, stepping into a role we could never fill, and for for providing us with a new home. He took control of the resources, the labour, he made sure everyone contributed to the rebuilding efforts, and we all had everything we needed to survive. We truly are blessed to have a leader as wise as he is."
Mwač leaned in closer, her voice filled with a mix of appreciation and concern. "Yes, Gyias, we are thankful for Vraiŋ's skilled leadership. He interpreted the wise old stars to ensure we had enough food, even during the harshest times. We all love him and we look up to him as our saviour."
Their conversation was interrupted by a crowd murmouring outside, seemingly with with great purpose. Gyias and Mwač exchanged curious glances, the tingling in their spines telling them that something significant was about to unfold.
"I wonder what this could be about," Gyias pondered aloud, releasing Mwač's hand and rising to his feet. "Let us head outside to find out." They had not seen so much commotion since the year the aphids invaded and took over all their beans, causing great hardship.
Gyias and Mwač stepped outside their home, joining the growing crowd that had gathered in the center of Bæn. The air was thick with whispers of anticipation and speculation. As the crowd flowed through the houses towards the centre of the town, and the grand residence of Vraiŋ, they exchanged curious glances with their neighbors, all sharing the same sense of curiosity and concern.
In the heart of the gathering, a small platform had been erected, and standing atop it was a man that neither Gyias or Mwač recognised - a newcomer. His presence alone commanded attention, with his tall stature and regal demeanor inherited from his father. The crowd fell into a hushed silence as he began to speak.
"People of Bæn," the man's voice rang out, carrying a mix of authority and detachment. "It is with a heavy heart that I must deliver somber news. My father, your Marvuč, Vraiŋ, has fallen into ill health and has departed this world to join our ancestors in the celestial realm."
A collective gasp rippled through the crowd, and Gyias felt a lump of sorrow move down from his throat and into his chest. Vraiŋ had been a central figure in their lives, and the news of his passing weighed heavily on their hearts.
"That's strange", Gyias whispered to Mwač; "I saw Vraiŋ making his way away from the fires of the city to his stargazing shelter just a few days ago". The man continued his speech before Mwač could respond, and Mwač's grip on Gyias' arm tightened as they listened intently to his words.
"As the chosen heir of Vraiŋ," Dviiþ continued, his tone devoid of emotion, "I, Dviiþ, have ascended to the position of your Marvuč. I stand before you today to assure you that I will uphold the traditions, customs, and wisdom of our ancestors. The stars have spoken, and I shall interpret their messages to guide us in these challenging times."
"But, my Pufspuj," Dviiþ's voice carried on, "change is upon us. The stars have whispered of new paths to tread, new challenges to overcome. It is through my interpretation that we shall find our way. We must adapt and evolve to thrive in and amongst the challenges of this new world."
Gyias glanced at Mwač, concern etched on his face. Dviiþ's words seemed distant, lacking the warmth and kinship that Vraiŋ had once embodied. This man called him, his wife, his friends his Pufspuj, but they had barely even seen him before now. It appeared that the community had lost a cherished leader and gained a distant ruler. He was clearly not alone in this sentiment - notes of skepticism echoed silently through the crowd, a deserved suspicion of their new Marvuč. There was an unspoken question lingering in their minds: would Dviiþ be able to fill his father's shoes? Could the people teach him to possess the same dedication and compassion for the community, as Vraiŋ had taught him to interpret the will of the stars?
Mwač leaned closer to Gyias, her voice barely above a whisper. "Gyias, do you trust Dviiþ? Can he truly guide us as his father did?"
Gyias remained silent, eventually stating: "We should go - we have much to do". Mwač nodded, her eyes focused on Dviiþ, searching for any signs of the compassion that Vraiŋ had once possessed. "It is indeed too soon to tell how Dviiþ may lead, Gyias."
As the crowd dispersed, Gyias and Mwač returned to their home, their thoughts consumed by the news of Vraiŋ's passing and Dviiþ's ascension. The weight of uncertainty hung in the air, and they couldn't shake off the feeling that their lives were entering a new chapter - one filled with both apprehension and hope.

Part 2.5

Gyias and Mwač were once again in their home, having returned after a tough day working the fields. "Months have passed since we lost our beloved Vraiŋ, Gyias", stated Mwač.
Gyias nodded solemnly, his gaze returning to Mwač. "Vraiŋ's control over the food, the resources, the labour... it all felt like it was for a higher purpose. He brought stability, but in the hands of Dviiþ it feels as if everything he brought comes at a price. We are dependent on him for everything. He demands for our lives to revolve around his."
Mwač's face grew thoughtful, lines of worry creasing her brow. "It is not only a continuation of the control Vraiŋ once held... the control has become stricter, hasn't it? The rules he imposes on us, it's almost like he doesn't trust us to make any of our own decisions, like we are under his watchful eye every waking second."
Gyias let out a frustrated sigh, his fingers tapping on his knee. "Who people can marry, where we may travel, what we may own. It's suffocating."
Mwač reached out, placing her hand on Gyias' arm in a comforting gesture. "But we must remember that he also holds our safety and well-being in his hands. When disaster strikes or when times are tough, he will surely ensure we have enough to survive, as Vraiŋ always did. The town would have perished without his father; he must remember this?"
Gyias nodded, his expression softening. "You're right, Mwač. We must be grateful for his provision and protection. I still do feel that Vraiŋ held the interests of the people closer to heart. He used to interact with us, listen to our concerns. Dviiþ acts solely based on what he is looking for within the stars and our ancestors, without reading their strongest wishes on how to solve our present struggles, or what the stars or ancestors are asking for the loudest."
Mwač squeezed Gyias' arm gently, her voice filled with empathy. "I understand, Gyias. The person we hoped we would see as a leader is seemingly not in touch with our realities. But we must have faith that he still has our best interests at heart." "And we must trust him", Mwač added, "for it is what the stars have willed."
Gyias nodded, his eyes distant as he contemplated the weight of their beliefs. "Yes, we must trust in the stars and the destiny they have laid out for us. But sometimes, I wonder if there is room for change, for a different path to emerge."
Mwač's brows furrowed slightly, concern evident in her voice. "Gyias, you know questioning the will of the stars is unwise. They have guided us for generations, and Vraiŋ has been their interpreter, and now the baton has been passed on to Dwiiþ. It is not for us to challenge."
Gyias looked into Mwač's eyes, appreciating her unwavering faith in Dwiiþ, clearly as an extension of Vraiŋ. He reached over and gently held her hand, intertwining their fingers. "I hope you're right, Mwač. We have built a life here, and Vraiŋ has played a significant role in our journey. He has chosen Dwiiþ as his heir, and I shouldn't let my doubts overshadow the progress we've made."
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2023.06.05 15:18 ChrisDWrites STARLIGHT (The Z Team Book 2) Chapter 48: Arrival

Read THE Z TEAM: Book 1 on Amazon in ebook/print/Unlimited here!
Reading Links: Royal Road ScribbleHub
Book 1 Sample Start Book 2 Start Previous
The space station Ascension passed through the terminator to bathe in the sun-kissed face of Preemona. It was one of the newer Commonwealth-sponsored designs; a fat cylinder that tapered to a cluster of comms towers. Spire arms lined with airlocks and shiplocks sprouted out of the hull like branches reaching for sunlight.
Beneath it, the thick puffy clouds of a monstrous spring storm swirled on the planetscape. It had gathered its power over the Great Northern Ocean before unleashing its fury a few hundred kilometers from the Royal estate. Projections had it traveling northward, sparring the Provenance grounds from the worst of the wind and rain. Even with the benefit of forewarning and technology, hundreds would perish and billions of damage would be left in its destructive wake.
But the storm wasn’t the focus of Imperatrix Rragustus’s gaze. He sat on his throne in his observation chamber, observing the twinkle of approaching lights out of the expansive viewport. The unassuming luminance of his greatest enemy.
Councilor Traveska and his diplomatic fleet had arrived, carrying with him the wretched collection of opportunists, dissidents, traitors, and Sisters Celescia, the troublesome troupe nestled in a cocoon of blasphemy, seducing malleable minds with their salacious propaganda.
He viewed the ships in the station’s scopes. Colorful icons highlighted each of the approaching vessels. Knife-like Fleet warships lurked on the periphery in defensive positions, with the carrier positioned near the center. Though its hull bristled with weaponry, its innards carried a far more destructive assortment of arms. Days prior, one of its drones had destroyed a freighter who refused to veer off an intercept course with the diplomatic fleet. None of the ministries had ordered the aggressive act, and the Kosmogenic liaison had denied involvement, leaving the likely culprits as religious zealots or third-party saboteurs.
But the incident served as a further distraction to the Commonwealth’s mission, something Rragustus was fine with. It also made him envious and longing for the day when the Pree would build a comparable vessel of their own. The Provenance, after all, would have to ensure that pirates or raiders wouldn’t dare cause trouble in Tyrcellus again when the Commonwealth was booted from the system.
Directly in the center of the formation were the diplomatic ships. His eyes were drawn to the Eternal Spirits, his stomach sick at the thought of the Acculturation rot who hijacked the beautiful vessel. The graceful hull lines reminded him of the songbirds that swooped among the trees of the Royal grounds.
Rragustus had the pleasure of traveling aboard the cruise liner once. Having Acculturation steal it was an embarrassing failure on the part of the Provenance. Enough where capital punishment was levied against the security supervisor who botched the operation. Ghehandris had already made plans for the traitorous crew, with the rogue Captain Leross at the top of the list. When the ship was back in the hands of the Provenance, Rragustus would travel to Tyrcellus with the ministers and the loyal regents. A goodwill tour to promote civility and reunification to smother the divisiveness of the charter controversy.
He had yet to lay eyes upon the Commonwealth’s diplomatic flagship, though he’d seen plenty of media coverage as Councilor Traveska paraded it around the galaxy. Unlike the sculpted grace of the Eternal Spirits, the Good Omen had a beauty derived from its utility and function rather than aesthetics. Rragustus could appreciate the ship’s purity and capability despite loathing what it stood for.
The ship’s diplomatic tours had kept the Commonwealth together, bombarding members with all manners of incentives and promises for buying into the grand bureaucracy. It worked, until the still-unresolved destruction of Auturia had the Commonwealth teetering on the brink of dissolution.
“I wonder what will come of it once the Commonwealth unravels,” Rragustus pondered.
“What does your instinct tell you, Imperatrix?” Ghehandris said. He stood beside Rragustus, scrolling through a datapad, monitoring the storm and other matters.
“My guess is one of the member states will hijack it and claim it as rightfully theirs. Knowing the exorbitant cost, they will likely end up selling it for parts.”
“That is a valid theory, Imperatrix.”
“And what is yours?”
“I believe the ship will be converted to a habitat. Trade and docking fees should make it economically viable.”
“That…sounds promising.” Rragustus opened the ship’s specs from its public hub. “We should discuss this with our Kosmogenic friend. That would be an avenue to continue our mutually beneficial relationship.”
“An excellent idea, Imperatrix.”
Rragustus stood from his throne and went to the window. His gaze swept over the endless stars as he thought of the channel network. Used all advanced races, yet their true nature remained a mystery. Many claimed a long-lost elder race created them before they either perished or ascended to another dimension. Rragustus knew the truth; the channels were a gift from the Spirits, and such a blessing wasn’t meant to be left to the oppressive oversight of the Commonwealth.
He still harbored a small fear that the charter vote would pass. Acculturation had proven to be more formidable than expected. Regent Anncellis and her ruthlessly loyal coalition bribed, coerced, and even threatened other regents into joining with them, rendering the voting margin now too close for comfort.
Though the Provenance held an advantage on Preemona, outside its boundaries it was on the defensive. Every non-native entity operating in Tyrcellus wanted the vote to pass so they could keep the status quo. And the Commonwealth still claimed presumptuous neutrality in the whole affair. Councilor Traveska even addressed the matter publically: the Commonwealth was simply there to run the vote and honor the results whatever they may be. Behind the scenes was another story, as Commonwealth agents pushed every boundary to support Acculturation.
The success of the singers was an unpleasant surprise that grew in magnitude over many cycles. Strategically they shouldn’t be such a threat. They were entertainers. But their captivating presence was a force multiplier, a more potent weapon than even the carrier bearing down upon Preemona under the guise of peace and protection.
No matter what the Provenance did, the singers couldn’t be stopped. Disinformation and smear campaigns only seemed to empower them. There was no denying the troupe had become a cultural powerhouse and surpassed their predecessor, Lady Starlight, whose voice had lost its influence with her pullback from the public eye.
Yes, Acculturation was strong, but the Provenance had the odds in their favor.
The loose ends around Project Fidelity had been all but taken care of. The Kosmogenic liaison reported that the stolen equipment aboard the Eternal Spirits had been destroyed. Without it, the Commonwealth had little chance of unraveling the secrets of Project Fidelity.
The joint operative team now worked to implement the project’s final phase. They would clean up the remaining loose end in the chaotic aftermath of the failed vote. And when Sisters Celescia was taken into custody and the stolen compound retrieved, they would have one chance at changing their allegiance. If they chose Acculturation, then they seal their fates.
Rrghatutus smiled. Even with the star power of Councilor Traveska, Regent Anncellis, and Sisters Celescia, the Commonwealth and Acculturation would fail.
Still, there would be challenges following the charter’s defeat. Removed of a unifying cause, his political enemies would set their sights on him. Tryssnym in particular would be a major thorn in Rragustus’s side. He’d been continually hostile since his kin had gone missing from Sanctum station. Rrghatutus directed Ghehandris to have the Ministry of Security look into the matter, knowing full well the answer: Tryssnym’s kin was a project asset that went rogue. The operative team addressed the problem. Permanently. The investigation would go nowhere.
The Imperatriz suspected Tryssnym knew this but didn’t have evidence to prove it. Not even his politically savvy mind could contain his emotions roiling beneath.
“Imperatrix,” Ghehandris said, “I’ve received confirmation that the shuttle carrying your distinguished guest has just launched. The storm changed course and gave them an opening.”
“Excellent,” Rrghatutus said, still gazing upon the fleet.
Ghehandris came to Rrghatutus’s side. “Let the image burn into your memory, Imperatrix. This is a historic day. One that will be etched on stone on the palace walls. The Commonwealth comes upon us in the pride of their existence, escorted by pawns of their subjugation. They are so blind in their arrogance that they cannot see the trap they are about to step in.”
“I thank the Spirits for that daily. Otherwise, our victory wouldn’t be possible.” Rragustus stood there with his advisor. He watched the approaching fleet, observed the few orbital cargo operations in sight, then gazed upon the stars.
“It is time to prepare for the ceremony, Imperatrix,” Ghehandris said.
Imperatrix Rragustus took one last look at the stars, then faced his chief advisor, flooded with the thrill of imminent victory. “We will need to discuss which wall to etch once this is over.”
Ghehandris smiled. “I’ve already scheduled a meeting.”
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2023.06.05 13:55 nero21san Ukiyo Ace: The Destruction led by sadness and The Creation led by happiness

As we now gone through episode 38, it's the best time for me to give my interpretation and analysis on our Stars of the Stars of the Stars, Ukiyo Ace so far.
Yuya Takahashi, the writer of Geats, aims at presenting a strong main character that defines confidence and the ability to never give up. This is so that kids can feel inspired by that character to be as determined as them. There comes Ukiyo Ace, a confident and experienced rider who has gone through multiple battles before, with a good understanding and acceptance over people's goals and desires, while being wise enough to guide and help his friends to lead to victory and to never give up. He is the best archetype or character that Yuya Takahashi has written to give the audience an inspiration to overcome the troubling times of the world we live in.
However, to effectively achieve this, the writer must give Ace a strong reason to never give up. Something that gives him enough will and determination to ensure that he moves forward until he achieves that goal.
Thus, Ace's reason comes down to saving his mom who becomes a tool of a villain organization. Ace's mom, Mitsume and the need to meet her again is his strongest will and determination.
Imagine going through 2000 years trying to see your beloved mother because you just can't forget about her. Even if she wants you to forget about her because she feels it will make you happy, it just doesn't. It's too painful and you never want to forget about her. The pain and suffering of that caused Ace to drive forward to see her again.
Even though we don't know the specifics of his past lives and what he has gone through, we at least know all the events that Ace has gone through the current era. Not only does Ace have more experience, but his determination and will is stronger than others and makes him wiser. He even carries out a lot of plans, back up plans, smart tactics, cunningness, showing how he is an excellent strategist throughout the show. This allows us to imagine the countless hard work or growth he has developed to be with Mitsume even if a little.
But still, Yuya Takahashi shows the vulnerability of Ace as his experience, strategist, and skills aren't enough to win. Ace needs people such as Keiwa, Neon, and Ziin to survive and gain new growth to move forward. It's one reason why I love Ace as it shows how Ace still needs help from his friends and comrades to win such as Keiwa helping him fight against Giroli and Ziin giving him LaserBoost. However, what stands out is Ace's interactions with others.
You can see that Ace has some level of need for acceptance and sense of belongings. From creating a family of his own through the DGP to getting accepted by Keiwa as he treats Ace as the same regardless of his past. Not only does he need a reason to know why he lives this way, but Ace also wants people who can accept him as comrades. People who can give love to Ace as similar to what a mom gives for his son.
This lead to Ace's intent and reasoning for his mom to be enough to overcome all hurdles.....until the reveal of Mitsume being used as a tool. Ace not only knew that Mitsume is the Goddess of Miracle but he was devastated to know that Shuel and the DGP made her absorbed all the lives and happiness losts just for the selfish entertainment of Shuel and the future audience members.
This reveal even caused Keiwa, a friend who accepted Ace for who he is and helped him throughout the show, to believe so much that Mitsume is the villain. Ace shows frustration and sadness over Keiwa repeatedly saying that Mitsume must atone for her sins of taking away the lives and happiness of people involved in the DGP. This is even felt by Mitsume herself as she believed its all her fault that all the lives and happiness are lost.
However, Ace won't give up here. He doesn't let his mom be used as a tool by Shuel. He fights so hard to stop the Grand End and his mom's death that he transforms into Boost Mark III Form which led him to face his other self wearing a fox mask.
I interpret this as Ace overcoming his negative self that challenges or doubts what Ace accomplishes and what he wants to accomplish. Ace's other self criticizes him on whether he wants the power to destroy everything just so that he wants to save his mother. Ace deciding on using the power to destroy and create the world represents the need to overcome tragedies and forming happiness.
Ace meeting his mom and realizing how much she loved Ace, Ace believed that it wasn't his mom's intention to cause horrible tragedies in the DGP games. Ace now knew that his mom holding him when he was a baby was the happiest moments that his mom has felt. Thus, when Mitsume passes away, she entrusts and strengthen Ace's determination to make everyone happy. He wants to destroy and create a world where his friends and comrades can live the happiest lives as Ace will be happy that way. With Mitsume's love and the friends he has built and go through together, he charges up and becomes Geats IX to destroy Shuel and create the world he desired by his own hands.
My conclusion and interpretation is that Ace represents the hero or person that Yuya Takahashi wants to strive for. For us to care and love our parents while supporting those who supports us but also, to be confident, skilled, and cunning to overcome all odds. But also, Yuya wants Ace to be a role model to children. In some episodes, you can see his activeness in helping the kids and saving their lives but also giving them courage to overcome fear and danger.
His personality to never give up and confront the hurdles head on is enough for those kids to feel stronger in the end. Even if it seems impossible, Ace still pulls through and achieves his full desire to meet his mom again. It's his will and determination and the need to depend on Keiwa and his friends is what makes him the strongest Kamen Rider and i really loved it.
Ace is so far my favourite Kamen Rider. His actions and personality feels inspiring and admirable but also his smart and cool moves reminds me of Kujo Kiriya. He is overall the main Kamen Rider that satisfies me and I loved to see what his story will be next.
submitted by nero21san to KamenRider [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 13:44 ashcashx33 My mother [70F] is mad at me [26F] for saying I don't have anything in common with my siblings.

Over the weekend I was invited to my nephews graduation party in another state. The invite was sent via E-invite, and I couldn't check who else was coming. The day arrives and I realize that my sister and her two daughters and grand daughters came. For a little back story, I dont really speak with my sister, or her daughters, because their father SA me as a child, and they didn't believe me, and instead kind of shunned me out of the family. I recieved a call from one of the daughters, and she basically cursed me out knowing I was only 12 at the time. It's something I carried for a while.
Also because of that the two daughters kind of shunted my mom out as well. I've always felt guilty because of it, but obviously it wasnt my fault. In 2018 while I was at work I received a message from the same one who cursed me out when I was 12, blaming me that because of her she couldn't have a relationship with my mother. I tried speaking with her and explaining my side, but of course she wasn't buying it, so I let it be. I cried in the bathroom at work and moved on.
Seeing them this weekend just made me uncomfortable and I wanted to speed up the process to go back home. They were trying to be cordial with me, but obviously due to a lot of stuff and trauma, I wasn't willing to even form a decent conversation with them. I guess others noticed and questioned my mom what was wrong, but it's obvious when the whole family knows my situation with them.
My other sister, my brother, and their mother, and respective partners, and the man who SA me are all in a family group chat which they use to make plans with. My mom is in the group chat as well, but since she doesn't really go on it, she's not up to speed with what they're talking about. They were planning on going bowling and doing all of these things, but I found it rude because I was staying there as well, and no one invited me or my parents to come with them. I also noticed that when they were there, my family seemed to fawn over them, and their two daughters which made me feel more uncomfortable because I felt like I was being placed on the back burner.
I told my mom on our way home on Sunday how I felt, and how I didn't have anything in common with my siblings. I explained to her that I just felt like an addition as they're way older than me, and grew up together. They were making plans all together, and basically forgot that I was even around. I told her that I also noticed something that I didn't like about my other sister and her husband, and my mom basically told me " oh my God, it isnt that serious". She told me basically that I was ungrateful because I was given " everything" and they grew up with nothing. I dont know where she got that from, because I never said anything like that. She took it the wrong way, and I told her she was victimizing herself because she told me " I'm the worst mother in the world". Huh???. In conclusion, she's giving me the cold shoulder, and I'm stuck here wondering if I said the wrong thing.
submitted by ashcashx33 to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 13:14 snowboarding420 Visiting NYC tips - First time advice(almost)

Hello! My family son(9) , daughter(15), and wife will be visiting NYC July 7th. I have not been to NYC since the mid 90s and I need advice. We were planning on going to the yankees/cubs game that Friday night and leaving the next evening.
submitted by snowboarding420 to AskNYC [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 12:39 icestormstickstone Grand Ole Opry Tickets StubHub Coupon Code

Follow this link for Grand Ole Opry Tickets StubHub Coupon Code. Access the latest deals and promotions by visiting the link, featuring a constantly updated list of coupons, promo codes, and discounts.
submitted by icestormstickstone to IrisedOffers [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 12:34 upbstock Elon Musk's brain implant startup Neuralink, which was valued at close to $2 billion

Elon Musk's brain implant startup Neuralink, which was valued at close to $2 billion in a private fundraising round two years ago, is now worth around $5 billion based on privately executed stock trades described to Reuters by five sources with knowledge of the matter.
Some purchases by bullish investors boosted the valuation in recent months, ahead of Neuralink's May 25 announcement that U.S. regulators had approved a human trial on its brain chip, the sources said.
Experts have said it could take several years for Neuralink to secure commercial use clearance. Kip Ludwig, former program director for neural engineering at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), said he "optimistically" expected Neuralink to take at least 10 more years to commercialize its brain implant. The company also faces other challenges that include federal probes into its handling of animal research.
Following the trial's approval, however, Neuralink shares were marketed privately to investors in recent days at a $7 billion valuation, equivalent to $55 per share, according to an email seen by Reuters. Reuters could not establish whether the seller found buyers for that price. The email cited the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of the clinical trial as grounds for the deal being "sweeter."
Neuralink executives and Musk did not respond to requests for comment.
Musk has expressed grand ambitions for Neuralink, saying its chip would allow healthy and disabled people alike to pop into neighborhood facilities for speedy surgical insertions of devices to treat obesity, autism, depression and schizophrenia. He even sees them being used for web-surfing and telepathy. A Neuralink executive recently gave more modest short-term objectives, such as helping paralyzed patients communicate through computerized text without typing.
The stock transactions at a valuation of around $5 billion have been carried out by shareholders such as employees and the company's early backers, rather than Neuralink selling new shares to investors. Such so-called secondary trades are an imperfect gauge of a company's value; their volume is thin and they lack the wider market consensus of a fundraising round or initial public offering (IPO).
Neuralink's valuation jump in secondary trades is in sharp contrast to other startups. About 85% of pre-IPO companies are currently valued in secondary trades at an average discount of 47% to their last funding round, according to data provider Caplight.
In Neuralink's last known fundraising in 2021, it raised $205 million at an approximately $2 billion valuation, according to data provider Pitchbook.
Many of the recent stock sales have been to relatively small investors, who typically focus more on getting a slice of a company owned by Musk than scrutinizing its valuation. The maximum amount sought for the Neuralink shares marketed for sale at a $7 billion valuation was just $500,000, according to the email seen by Reuters.
Sim Desai, chief executive of Hiive, an online platform where the shares are traded, said demand for Neuralink stock has been "tremendous." He pegged the valuation that buyers are willing to pay at around $4.5 billion.
Some biomedical experts are skeptical. Arun Sridhar, a scientist and entrepreneur who specializes in neuromodulation, called Neuralink's valuation "bonkers" based on how early the brain implant is in its clinical development.
"A study to assess safety and tolerability is in no shape or form valid to justify a $5 billion valuation," said Sridhar, who helped launch Galvani Bioelectronics, a developer of implants backed by GSK Plc and Alphabet Inc's Verily Life Sciences. Galvani is not a competitor of Neuralink because its implants under development will be installed in an artery to the spleen to help treat rheumatoid arthritis, rather than the brain.
The FDA initially rejected Neuralink's request for a human trial last year, citing safety reasons, Reuters has reported. Even after securing approval, the company faces several challenges.
Neuralink has come under scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers after Reuters reported in May that its animal-research board may have violated conflict-of-interest regulations. Neuralink employees who sat on that board, which oversees the welfare of the animals that were being tested, also stood to benefit from the implant's quick development. Neuralink stock that some of the employees hold has jumped around 150% in value in just two years, based on the secondary trades.
The law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been investigating Neuralink for potential animal-welfare violations. Neuralink staff told Reuters last year that the company was rushing and botching surgeries on monkeys, pigs and sheep, resulting in far more animal deaths than necessary, as Musk pressured staff to receive FDA approval.
The Department of Transportation is separately probing whether Neuralink illegally transported dangerous pathogens on chips removed from monkey brains without proper containment measures.
submitted by upbstock to Optionmillionaires [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 12:15 qUxUp (OC) Old-school text review of the NYXI Wizard controller for the Nintendo Switch OLED, accompanied with photos (imgur album). Based on 27 days of testing. More than 3220 words. I was bloody surprised by the A/B/X/Y buttons.

NYXI Wizard is unique due to it's Gamecube controller inspired design and A/B/X/Y button layout. It's ergonomic for medium or large hands. The D-pad could be improved upon. Currently there is no way to turn off the blinding indicator lights, hopefully it's something that will be fixed in a firmware update. The shape, combined with mechanical triggers, mappable back-paddles, turbo and gyro make the NYXI Wizard a versatile primary or secondary controller. Lastly, the NYXI Wizard's conductive adhesive switches used in the A/B/X/Y buttons are just smashing. They are responsive and pressing them feels perfectly weighty. Whether it's GRID, Crysis, Super Smash Bros or something else NYXI Wizard has got you covered (as long as it fits in your hands).
Here are the photos that are part of the review (imgur link).
This is my second Nintendo Switch related text review in our community. The previous review was received quite well and people asked if I could do a joy-con comparison and so I asked NYXI if they are interested in providing me with their NYXI Wizard controller with the purpose of writing an exclusive review intended for the /Nintendo, /Switch/ & /NintendoSwitch/ subreddits. They were. My condition was that the review would be a pure oldschool text review with eight photos taken by me. I get to keep the controller. I won't be receiving additional compensation in any form (no commission fees, affiliate marketing or ad-revenue etc). As my Nintendo Switch controller collection grows, I might write more reviews for our Switch-related subreddits. This review is based solely on my experiences with NYXI Wizard and 27 days of testing.
About me.
Born in 80s. I've been playing videogames since the early 90s. A NES clone was my first console followed by GameBoy and a PC etc. I'm a freelance copywriter. Professionally I've been a part of the gaming tech field & tech journalism for about two decades (Europe/Estonia). It's a interesting field, but it can have an affect on how you view or enjoy videogames.
On PC my favorite videogames were Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Rainbow6: Siege & DayZ. On Nintendo Switch it's either Mario Kart 8 or Door Kickers: Action Squad. Now comes the "heartbreaking" story. I lost the ability to enjoy PC gaming about five years ago. A few years ago I wanted to buy a Christmas gift for my fiancee. She was getting burnt out at university. The users of /switch and /nintendoswitch were kind enough to answer all sorts of questions I had regarding the Switch console. So I bought her a Nintendo Switch OLED. She loved it (once she got used to the controls) and it helped with the stress. At some point I thought that I'd try one of her switch games with no expectations. Fell in love with the ability to play on a couch and less serious tone many Nintendo games have (GameBoy flashbacks). And here we are, I don't have to "borrow" her switch anymore. I have my own Nintendo Switch and too many games and controllers :)
Cheers :)
What this review is and is not.
The NYXI Wizard will be reviewed as a Nintendo Switch joycon and compared to other Switch joycons that I own. A major portion of the review will be dedicated to real life use scenarios. A limited amount of technical details will be included. This review will not cover every detail about the NYXI Wizard (such as how to change all of the settings, pair, turbo etc). The manual has all that information and can be found online.
What's a NYXI Wizard and what do I think about certain marketing?
According to some a major selling point of the NYXI Wizard you will never buy another Nintendo Switch controller again and it will never develop joycon drift. We should always be skeptical when it comes to claims that cannot be backed up by any testing or examples. How do you prove the part of "forever"? While I was never sold on the promise of forever, the NYXI Wizard intrigued me enough with its unique button layout.
The box & what's in the box?
The box for the controller itself is a sturdy blue cardboard box. Inside there is the controller, a small manual, a 127 cm regular plastic charging cable and an extra set of interchangeable joystick rings. Maybe I'm spoiled by past experiences, but I would really have wished to see some sets of interchangable joysticks inside the box (more on these later).
How's the manual?
The NYXI Wizard's manual is decently written, but it's one of those rather small manuals.
Luckily you can find the manual from NYXI's website
Lets talk about the interchangeable joystick rings & potential for modding.
The controller comes with round and octagonal rings. Octagonal rings can be helpful in 2D or fighting games for example (Mortal Kombat). The round rings are suitable for all games but octagonal rings have more limited use. It's a nice extra to have, but it is an extra. It can be tricky to change the joystick rings for the first time. Once you replace the rings about five or more times it gets easier.
I personally perform better in games with the more modern round joystick rings. Obviously it's a matter of preference here. However I made more errors in movement with octagonal rings. The difference was about 7%, but to me the difference was there. Currently I have round rings installed and I don't see myself switching back to octagonal rings.
When it comes to modding the NYXI Wizard the interchangeable joystick rings make it easier to replace the thumbsticks. You can even install original GameCube thumbsticks with some effort. A youtube video explaining the process is titled "I Made The NYXI Wizard Better..." (shoutout to 128KB).
The NYXI Wizard has A/B/X/Y buttons that are backlit and it's possible to change their brightness. Even if you turn the background light off, it only has an affect on the A/B/X/Y buttons. There are two indicator lights on top of both joycons and those cannot be turned off. It would have been a nice feature to have where the indicator lights turn off or at the very least are slightly less bright.
Note: I reached out to NYXI about the indicator lights. They informed me that while currently there aren't any such plans they might be able to fix this issue in a future firmware update.
Lets talk about the A/B/X/Y buttons.
In comparison to Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, joycons or Hori Split Pad Pro, the NYXI Wizards buttons feel more responsive. They require a bit more force to push and it's a pleasant feeling. The 8BitDo SN30Pro has similar buttons but still not quite as good. Overall the buttons have a solid feel to them and are on the heavier side when it comes to the amount of pressure you have to apply. Among the Nintendo Switch joycons and controllers the NYXI Wizards A/B/X/Y buttons have a unique place.
Note: I reached out to NYXI for more information about the A/B/X/Y buttons. Here's the reply:
"The A/B/X/Y buttons on our controller use the conductive adhesive switches. We chose these switches for their durability and responsiveness. As for the force required to press the buttons, we wanted to create a tactile and responsive experience for our users."
The layout of A/B/X/Y buttons.
One thing is for sure. The button layout of NYXI Wizard is different. My favorite feature of this layout is the massive A button right in the middle. In the games I play often, A button is one of my most commonly used buttons. Because the buttons are largehave a different layout, it also brings a small challenge to re-learn the locations. It took me about 2 or 3 days. If you end up wanting to use the controller but want to make the layout a bit closer to traditional Swtich joycons then there are a few ways to approach this.
  1. Remap the buttons in the game.
  2. Remap the buttons in Switch.
  3. Assign one of the A/B/X/Y buttons to the remappable back-paddle.
What about the D-pad?
I really like the looks of hard plastic they have used to make the D-pad. But pressing the D-pad really isn't very enjoyable. The edges feel a bit too sharp, so to speak. I'm not a fan of the D-pads position either. The D-pad is the hardest to reach out of all the Switch controllers I own.
Note: I think that a potential upgrade here could be to make the D-pad edges just a tiny bit rounder and move it slightly closer to the left stick.
Lets talk about joycon drift and thumbsticks.
Joycon drift is an issue where the thumbstick starts to give false signals to your console and move your character in a direction that you didn't intend. It happens due to dust getting into joycons or joycon wear. NYXI Wizard has addressed this by using a hall effect joysticks which is a technology that is supposed to never get joycon drift. Setting the technology itself aside, the thumbsticks feel good to use. Their movement is smooth and responsive. The Wizards thumbsticks are similar in size to Hori Splitpad Pro but bigger than the regular Nintendo Switch joycons. A standout of these thumbsticks is the rubbery finish which is very pleasant to hold. It has a nice grip and has a slightly soft feel to it. Out of all the Switch joycons and controllers I own, this is the best thumbstick finish.
With confidence I can say that NYXI missed an opportunity by not including extra thumbsticks that are taller or shorter. In the end a thumbstick is a rather cheap component but it can add extra value to the gamer. My hope here is that NYXI might release additional thumbsticks of different sizes as optional accessories. The good news is that I got confirmation from NYXI that they plan to release accessories like thumbsticks with various sizes soon.
The triggers.
This controller uses mechanical triggers. These are responsive if you compare them to joycons or controllers that use non-mechanical triggers (such as the official Nintendo Switch joycons or the Hori Split Pad pro). It takes very little force to press these triggers which may be beneficial for longer gameplay sessions. The travel distance of the triggers is pleasantly short and the trigger makes an audiable click when its activated. The short travel distance makes it easier to rapidly press the trigger. The Mobapad M6 Gemini has similar triggers. Hori Split Pad Pro, official Nintendo Switch Joycons & Pro Controller have slightly less responsive triggers in comparison.
If your hands are big enough then the Wizard is an ergonomic controller. One of the main advantages of NYXI Wizard is that while holding it, your finger position is different than when holding a Hori Split Pad Pro or the official Nintendo Switch joycon. Using different styles of controllers can be one little thing that you can do to take care of your hands and fingers. I've used it as my main controller for 27 days and am happy with the ergonomics. This means that it's my main joycon for now. At some point I will go back to Mobapad M6 and then something else or return NYXI Wizard.
Gyro, mappable back-paddles.
Gyro works well, even in FPS games such as Crysis. There are also mappable back-paddles present on the the Nyxi Wizard. The paddles themselves aren't very well placed in my opinion as they are a bit hard to reach, but they have a nice texture on them and a responsive feel. Among other buttons, you are able to map the back-paddles to triggers (which isn't possible on all joycon back-paddles).
The vibration motor.
The vibration motor is decent. It isn't HD-rumble, but in a way that's to be expected as the only joycons that have HD-rumble are the official Nintendo Switch joycons. All vibration settings work well, I personally liked playing on low or medium setting. The highest vibration setting was nice when the Switch's volume was louder, otherwise sound of the motor broke gameplay immersion.
Bonus content: what may people with smaller hands think of NYXI Wizard?
As a new part of the review I asked my fiancee (who has small hands) to test the NYXI Wizard and share her impressions. She was fond of how the triggers felt. The amount of force you had to apply and click of the triggers appealed to her. Another one of her favorite features was the way joysticks were textured. Obviously the yellow one got more praise due to its cute color. NYXI Wizard was wa-a-ay too big for her hands. She pointed out that if she had to play something that requires faster reactions, it would be nearly impossible with this controller. The size of the controller, the distance between buttons is just too great. For games like Picross it was okay, but after some gameplay time the NYXI Wizard made her hands hurt. So what's the verdict here when it comes to the NYXI Wizard if you have smaller hands? Try it before you buy it. It's likely that controller might just be a too big.
Most common questions:
Can the NYXI Wizard be used to wake up your Nintendo Switch? Yes it can.
Will it fit inside a carry case that's meant for Nintendo Switch OLED + Hori Split Pad Pro/Mobapad M6 Gemini? No it won't. NYXI offers a case for the Wizard on their website:
Can it be used as a controller? Yes it can.
Final thoughts.
The NYXI Wizard is a Gamecube inspired joycon/controller that is executed well with room for some improvement. The asking price of $69.99 seems to be fitting. It doesn't have a direct controller to compare to due to the unique features such as the layout and interesting A/B/X/Y buttons. In my opinion the A/B/X/Y buttons are among one of the best features of the Wizard. Yes, these four buttons aren't mechanical but they have a very pleasant resistance and travel distance. The price is worth it to those who like the size & layout of the controller and value features such as mechanical buttons, triggers & unique A/B/X/Y buttons.
Will a gamer benefit from the features that come with the pricetag? Yes, we will (most of them).
Will a newecasual gamer benefit from the features? Yes, some of the features (like the mechanical buttons and different layout with good ergonomics).
And here is a comparison table. Rating 1-5 (5 being the best).
I did my best to rate various features of the Switch joycons that I own. Keep in mind that such comparisons are subjective and ratings might vary from person to person (mostly depending on shape & size of your hands). All of these are rated as joycons and are not rated as a controller.
The price is for the regular model of any controller and is based on the official pricing I found/received. This does not include sales or limited edition color schemes that may cost more.
Model Nintendo Joycons Mobapad M6 Gemini Hori Split Pad Pro NYXI Wizard
D-Pad 3 4 4 3.5
Thumbsticks 3 4 4 4.5
Triggers 3 4 3.5 4.5
Buttons 3 4.5 4 4.5
Build 5 4 4 4
Ergonomics 3 5 5 4.5
Features 3.5 3.5 3 4
Included accessories 4 3 3 4.5
Vibration 4 3 - 3.5
Price $79.99 $55.99 $49.99 $69.99
Weight 99g - 152g 229g
What could be improved upon:
  1. The interchangeable joystick rings are a novelty item for most users. I would recommend them as an additional extra item/accessory that you can add to your order.
  2. It would be beneficial to have thumbsticks of various sizes. The groundwork is already done and NYXI has made it very easy to swap the sticks. Adding short/medium/tall stick options in the store would make sense.
  3. Nintendo Switch has a dedicated fanbase and a decent amount of them really enjoy changing the way their console looks. The ability to order sticks of various colors (such as yellow, pink etc) would be a treat to those who like modding their Nintendo Switch and the joycons.
  4. Additional color schemes and designs/transparent or semi-transparent casings for the controller might appeal to gamers. For example the recently released Zelda themed Nintendo Switch Pro Controller proved out to be a massive hit. Bonus: I got confirmation by NYXI that more colors will be released soon.
  5. Adding a way to lower or turn off indicator lights would be a welcome change. It's possible to turn off the A/B/X/Y lights but you cannot disable the indicator lights. Be warned: the indicator lights are BRIGHT! If you are gaming in a darker room and have turned down your Switch brightness to preserve your eyes, the indicator lights will stick out like flashlights. There is an easy fix: put a sticker on your NYXI Wizard and cover the indicator lights. However most people don't want to put stickers on their joycons for basic functions.
  6. Outside of the colors themselves, the plastic used in the controller is a major factor in how the controller feels in the users hands and if users consider it to be "premium". It's worth looking into different kinds of casing materials. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller has a premium semi-glossy finish and the plastic smooth. Another good example is the 8BitDo SN30Pro which uses a matte plastic casing and also feels solid.
  7. Making the D-pad edges just slightly more rounder would make it more pleasant to use.
  8. Moving the D-pad closer to the left stick would make it more ergonomic.
  9. Placement of the back-paddles could be improved on in terms of ergonomics.
  10. A compact version of the NYXI Wizard might appeal to many.
  11. Adding adjustable analog triggers might be considered.
  12. HD-rumble would make gameplay more enjoyable.
  13. A larger manual would benefit many customers.
  14. If interchangeable joystick rings ever become sold as accessories then increasing the color and finish options would be a welcome addition to the NYXI selection.
Photography equipment used: Fujifilm X-T4 mirrorless camera, Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR lens, Fujifilm MCEX-11 macro extension tube, Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon f/2.4 35mm lens. helicoid extension tube.
Closing notes:
I hope you liked the review :) Congratulations to everyone who made it to the end! Any and all thoughts about the controller are welcome. NYXI employees will read this post and the comments. So you can use it as a easy way of giving your own personal thoughts regarding this controller (and features you would like to see).
Mods if you need me to remove anything from the post that is against the rules, please message me. I will edit as needed.
What are your impressions of this controller if you already own one?
My personal thanks to Lyra & the entire NYXI team!
submitted by qUxUp to nintendo [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 09:32 class-e-human I asked ChatGPT to generate a copypasta to hype me up for a job interview on Wednesday.

It all began with a burning passion within me—a desire to conquer the art of udon preparation like no one ever had before. The mere thought of those silky noodles swimming in a flavorful broth ignited a fire within my soul. I was determined to surpass all expectations and become one with the very essence of udon. I delved into the world of udon with unmatched fervor. Every waking moment was dedicated to studying its history, exploring its flavors, and mastering the techniques required to achieve udon perfection. But my ambition knew no bounds. I yearned to go beyond just mastering the recipe—I wanted to become udon itself, from the bowl to the soup and even the noodles that graced it. And so, my grand transformation began. I found myself sculpting a vessel, a udon bowl, from a humble lump of clay. With my hands trembling in anticipation, I carefully shaped it, pouring my heart and soul into every curve and contour. As the bowl took form, it became an extension of my being, a vessel that held not only udon but also my unwavering determination. With the bowl complete, I turned my attention to the soul of udon—the soup. Hours upon hours were spent simmering broth, balancing flavors, and infusing it with my boundless passion. Every ingredient I added carried a piece of my essence, a taste of my relentless pursuit of success. And when that broth cascaded into the clay bowl, a symphony of flavors unfolded, a blend that mingled my very spirit with the essence of udon. Yet, my transformation had only just begun. I embarked on the most audacious part of my journey—I would become the noodles themselves. Kneading and rolling the dough with unwavering focus, I marveled at the transformation taking place. As the dough embraced me, I could feel my very being intertwining with the strands of udon. With every delicate cut and slice, I became one with the long, luscious noodles that would carry my essence to the very depths of udon lovers' palates. But my transformation wasn't complete until I had experienced udon from the kitchen to the customer's mouth. I built a bustling udon restaurant from the ground up, meticulously crafting an environment that mirrored my dedication and authenticity. As patrons entered, they were greeted by the warmth of my smile, unaware of the fantastical journey they were about to embark upon. And so, I stood before a customer, a true embodiment of udon. With a heart pounding in my chest, I took a leap of faith. As they savored each mouthful, little did they know that they were ingesting not only the physical udon but a part of my soul. The flavors danced on their taste buds, and I reveled in the knowledge that I had achieved the impossible—I had become udon itself. Dear readers, this is my story—the tale of the Class E Human. Let it serve as a reminder that with unyielding determination and a touch of culinary magic, we can surpass the ordinary and achieve greatness in the most extraordinary ways. May my journey inspire you to immerse yourselves fully in your passions, to embrace the fantastical, and to transform the world around you with the sheer force of your unwavering dedication.
tl;dr: Becoming an employee isn't enough, I must become the udon itself.
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2023.06.05 08:59 That-Ad1099 Tanya Tucker Makes Grand Ole Opry History By Riding A Horse Onto Stage

Tanya Tucker Makes Grand Ole Opry History By Riding A Horse Onto Stage submitted by That-Ad1099 to altcountry [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 08:59 That-Ad1099 Tanya Tucker Makes Grand Ole Opry History By Riding A Horse Onto Stage

Tanya Tucker Makes Grand Ole Opry History By Riding A Horse Onto Stage submitted by That-Ad1099 to ladiesofcountrymusic [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 08:59 That-Ad1099 Tanya Tucker Makes Grand Ole Opry History By Riding A Horse Onto Stage

Tanya Tucker Makes Grand Ole Opry History By Riding A Horse Onto Stage submitted by That-Ad1099 to country [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 08:42 the_angus_khan I recently finished rewatching Season 9 and I gotta say…

This season was awesome!!!
I understand that the toxicity within the red team (cough cough ELISE) can make the season hard to watch for some people, but the dynamic within the blue team was a fantastic contrast for me.
Like the blue team isn’t really any better than the red team competitively speaking (blue winning 7 challenges + 3 services vs red winning 5 challenges + 5 services for a grand total of 10 wins for each team, making the win count surprisingly even), but they were a lot more fun to watch. That team may have started out a hot mess with the likes of Steven, Brendan, and especially Chino; but I gotta say Natalie totally belonged on that blue team. I mean, the Three Stooges in Paul, Will, and Tommy (often ft Natalie) is a legendary group — especially during a punishment or reward — and while it did feel weird seeing Tommy in a black jacket given his performance, I’m not complaining whatsoever.
Now for the big talking point of the season: Elise. She was obnoxious on many occasions, but she clearly had talent that we see many times throughout the season. Also, she was freaking hilarious! It is worth mentioning that the infamous feud between her and Carrie essentially, dare I say, carried the latter to 8th place given the generally awful cooking skills we saw from her.
As for the finalists, Paul and his awesome growth arc made for an amazing rivalry between him and his bromance Will, who showed incredible consistency that sadly did not translate to his finale.
This might be a hot take, but I think Season 9 is a top 5 season. You’ve got the red team’s drama contrasting with the blue team’s chaotic good energy that just work in absolute harmony, the wild services, drama that feels real but not in a particularly disgusting way (looking at you, Season 10), and of course Paul popping off for his win.
Also, “I am zen. You cannot penetrate me.” My friend and I were laughing our asses off (istg I was laughing for about 2 minutes straight after hearing that quote) to that quote and others that are hilarious out of context.
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2023.06.05 08:26 Fearadhach [OC] Turning on the Oven (PRVerse 24.6)

Prev wiki
Eldia sat in the reporter’s booth of the Council, behind a window, with the journalists from several species. All of them sat and talked, but somewhat pointedly avoided speaking to – or even looking at – her. A few had tried, indelicately, to pump her for information and she’d politely deflected them, but most just resented the fact that they knew she was here because she was the Human Ambassador’s Consort, or Lover, or Fiancée, or…something. To their minds she should have been in the ‘visiting dignitaries’ booth, not taking up one of the most sought-after reporting chairs in the entire bloody League.
She studiously ignored them. The Venter reporters are even more upset about the whole thing than any of you, I promise, but they can at least be civil about it! Besides, for all that any of you know this is just a standard General Session of the Council. Heavens and Hells, they haven’t even closed the window on our observation booth. She had to suppress a small smile. Though some will probably wish they had before the day is done.
She took a moment to count heads inside the Chamber. So few Ambassadors in attendance: Just a few of the Human allies, really, and a few neutral parties. Can’t say I blame the rest of the Ambassadors: with all of the hours they have been cooped up in this Chamber lately having to listen to one another prattle on, it is no wonder they aren’t here when it isn’t strictly required. She shook her head as the Rooksa Ambassador spoke at some length about some tarrif dispute between his government and the Gorfal. Even the Ambassadors who are here can’t be bothered to so much as feign interest. Nearly a third of them are openly asleep, some of them even laying on their floors with a pillow! At least we are almost to the good part.
A snipt of conversation from the other reporters reached her: apparently they were arguing whether they should invite her into whatever card game they were playing secretely on their pads. Those in favor seemed to feel that they should forgive her for taking a reporter spot, since she’d obviously chosen a do-nothing session of the Council to come watch her Lover Boy. Those against her seemed to feel that she wouldn’t be here if something wasn’t going to happen. A quick glance told her that those arguing against her were paying at least some attention to the actual Council meeting.
At last the Rooksa wound his words down, said something about the documents which had been forwarded, and requested that the voting on whatever measure it was he wanted – or didn’t want, she couldn’t tell – could be voted on by members not currently present. No one objected, and the Rooksa returned his podium to its appointed place on the wall.
Then Kazlor, who kept the Venter platform by the Prime Minister’s podium, spoke. “That is the end of the scheduled items for this General Session of the Council. Does anyone have any…
Several of the reporters looked over at her as Henry called for attention. Eldia allowed herself a small smile and sent a message out to the reporters who had been taking her side earlier. The message contained a single word: ‘Showtime.’ With that she looked over at them, gave a sly smile, and winked.
At the same time Kazlor frowned down at Henry and spoke. “Ambassador Archer, do you not feel that you have monopolized enough of this Council’s time the last few months, pushing us into Full Quorum meetings as fast as the computers will allow them?”
Kaz is laying it on thick. She saw Henry speak in answer, then look up at Kazlor with a baleful glare.
Kaz spoke again. “The question was intended to be rehetorical, Ambassador.” Kazlor shook his head and sighed. “However, the rules under which we are operating mean that I must allow you to speak. Please be brief.”
Henry drew himself up to his full height and shot Kaz an indignant look. “Ambassador Feldarin, I have always done my best to be as brief as I can be when speaking. The fact that circumstances, of late, have forced me to bloviate are hardly something for which I should be blamed… I would think that we could reach agreement on that?”
A chuckle went through the chamber, and Kaz made a face like he found the remarks both distasteful and amusing at the same time. The board which counted votes from the Ambassadors lit up with several ‘yay’ votes, followed quickly by three votes against. Eldia expected grumbling at the ‘nay’ votes, but heard rueful chuckles instead.
Henry flashed a large smile at the chamber and pushed buttons to have his image projected on the Chamber’s back wall. “In the interests of brevity, I am going to go ahead and speak from here, and start by thanking most of you for your support.
“Also, Ambassador Feldarin, I thank you for recognizing me and allowing me to speak, and for introducing just thesubject I wish to disucss; these frequent full-quorum meetings we are all being forced to endure because the Pinigra love the past more than the present, and are more afraid of change than they are the ire of this entire Council.
“Please stop trying to interrupt, Ambassador Detara. I am sure that our fair-minded Master of Ceremonies will give the Pinigra Kingdom plenty of chance to speak. Now, as I was saying, I wish to address these meetings we keep having to hold, the rules around them, and the point-of-order tokens which the esteemed Pinigran Ambassador is using to hold this Council hostage.
Kazlor interrupted. “Ambassador Archer, that came very close to an accusation, and I will remind you that the open-floor period at the end of a General Session is not the time to air grievences.”
Henry held up a hand and nodded. If I didn’t know better I’d think that this was all real, or heavily rehearsed. Damn my man is good. She smiled down, even as she dutifully did the job for which she ostensibly sat in her seat.
Henry spoke. “You are correct, of course. My apologies. I am not attempting to air a grievence, though I can understand why my remarks could be seen that way. No, my fellow sapients, I am trying to suggest a way out of the senseless deadlock we are in, or – at the least – a way that we can move forward without having… a single Ambassador force us to all endure these tireless sessions just so that he can shut us down.
“The Confederation’s legal scholars have been studying the particular rules which govern these Point Of Order tokens, and discovered some interesting precedents: It seems that a vote can be held to make a future session immune to the use of those tokens.”
Mutters floated up through the Chamber, and Henry suddenly had the riveted attention of every sapient in the room. Even the ones who had been hard asleep seemed to realized that something had happened and roused themselves to pay attention. The Pinigra was waving his hand through his buttons so hard that Eldia feared the bird might actually take flight, of course, but no one seemed to want to pay him any mind.
Henry continued, a sly half-grin on his face acknowledged the attention. “There are a few rules about this, of course, but among the most interesting are the fact that the session to be made immune must be a special single-purpose session, and that purpose must be stated as part of the vote. The date of the session does not have to be specified, however. In fact, there is nothing which requires the session to take place if the vote to make it immune fails. The vote would not be repeatable in the same session if it does fail, of course, basic Council rules and dictates still apply.”
Henry drew himself up and favored the Council with a broad smile, allowing them to mutter among themselves and digest the news. When did that particular Human get so damned… handsome. I mean, he was always nice to look at, in a strange sort of way, but now… Wait, something is wrong. What is that damned Pinigra doing? He should have interrupted already!
Henry allowed the muttering to continue for longer than he normally would have. He looked the picture of amused stability, and a ready plan, but she could read him better than that, and knew the plan. The Pinigra isn’t taking the bait, and that is bothering him. It took a lot of effort for her to keep her eyes on Henry and not glance up at Kaz or the Pinigra.
Before the silence could begin to look like Henry was waiting for something, he opened his mouth to continue. Then the Pinigra interrupted. The bastard bird is trying to knock Henry off his game. He did succeed a little, I guess, though not for the reason he thinks. She kept her annoyed harrumph entirely to herself.
The Pinigran Ambassador, Detara, spoke in officious tones. “The esteemed Human Ambassador is correct, to a point. Such a vote is allowed, and can take place. However, such a vote also requires a Grand Session of the Council, even if it does not require a super-majority.” The Ambassador looked down at Henry and smirked.
No it doesn’t you over-grown downy pillow, and you know it… and you are going to pay for that.
Henry looked up at the Pinigra and shrugged. “No, it does not Ambassador Detara, and you know it.” Henry held up a hand before the bird could interrupt. “However, I’m not going to argue the point at this time. I have evidence I could present, of course… but then you would stand there and present counter-evidence, and we’d have shouting matches in this chamber for days between us over precedents and examples and counter-examples, not to mention how many others might want to chime in. Then, of course, there would be the need for everyone to go off and carefully study all of the evidence presented and… well… no, I think you all know what this would look like.
“No, I think it will be far simpler to proceede just as you suggest.” Henry hit several buttons and issued an immediate Call To Quroum, using his decleration and the Pinigra’s counter as the video to accompany the call. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Detara!
“The Call To Quorum has been issued, and I believe the Pinigran’s words count as an Honarary third, which means we only need a second for the Call to come to a vote. Do I have a…”
Eldia held her breath as the board lit up with seconds from nearly half of the Ambassadors present. She looked at the lights and saw the Rooksa had, indeed, held his hand. Good, he has been looking far to much like a tacit ally rather than a neutral party. As if the number of his kind who have joined the Confederation to fight the Xaltan isn’t bad enough. At least he has seen sense in this.
The vote to issue the Call carried easily, and runners were sent. Eldia allowed herself to look at the Pinigra – everyone else seemed to be doing so as well – and saw the man sitting, arms folded over crossed legs, giving every appearance of being at ease. She suppressed a chuckle. Oh, you think you know what is coming, and think you will be able to counter it, don’t you? You think yourself so clever, because of how well you play The PastTime back home, huh? Welcome to the new court and the new rules, boy-o. My boyfriend going to have himself some fried bird legs for dinner.
When the Council came back from recesses Eldia couldn’t suppress her smile. I haven’t seen this much life in this Chamber in months. Indeed, the place seemed to have an almost festive air, but also an undercurrent of irritation at being called away from whatever ‘important’ business the various Ambassadors had been engaged in.
Links are minimal, still. Am I the only one having having trouble with the links in markdown mode? Used to be I could copy the 'wiki' and 'patreon' links from another page, and they'd work.... at least the tool doesn't require me to scroll down a half-dozen times past the bottom of the page anymore...
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2023.06.05 08:17 BRACE-IV-IMPACT An Example from Fiction – Star Wars Bad Batch.

TL;DR: I examin how the Star Wars villain, Darth Sidious, utilized a Cat's Paw and then once discovered, turns a wouldbe setback into a major victory. In doing, appearing confident and in control.
First, a brief preamble – Albert Camus once wrote "Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth." To the spirit of that quote, much of my analysis into power comes from good fiction. These patterns and themes I've seen in history, reflected again and again, regardless of setting or wider context. In these analysis, I hope to present these present these themes. To some, these may appear elementary. To those, I say congratulations. To others, this may still prove a some benefit.
Today, let's discuss a speech by the pan-ultimate Star Wars villain – Emperor Palpatine, otherwise known as Darth Sidious.
LAW 26: Keep Your Hands Clean.
Observance – Darth Sidious, now Emperor of a burgeoning new empire has ended the Clone Wars, all but eradicated his enemy, the jedi, and now must eliminate the clones. But how? He spent years undermining the Jedi, sowing resentment and doubt. The Separatist too, by Lord Vader's hand have been crushed. The clones however, they're looked on as capable and loyal soldiers faithful to... the republic. Hm... yes, the do need to go. So how to deal with them?
First, the Emperor had to bring the cloning facilities under the control of the galactic empire. In the era of the Galactic Republic, these facilities were operated by the Kaminoins, who sold the clones to the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) for credits. So, through Grand Moff Wilim Tarkin, Darth Sidious ordered Admiral Rampart to evacuate clones and essential personnel (who could be of later use). Then destroy Tipoca city and the cloning facilities therein.
Vice Admiral Rampart, was a loyal officer to the Empire. He was eager to show his loyalty and was often the Hatchet man for their agenda. Prior to the destruction of Tipoca city, he was tasked with the subjugation of Ryloth – a planet still skeptical about the Empire.
He was also an initial proponent for the "Imperial Defense Recruitment Bill," stating "The galaxy is at peace, but our work is never done. A new military comprised of our own citizens, will usher in a new era of safety and security. A vote for the Defense Recruitment Bill is a vote for the future."
The bill was rejected twice before reaching the stage of preliminary hearings, where it faced critique from Senators Bail Organa of Alderaan and Tynnra Pamlo of Taris due to them believing the discussion for a new army to be unnecessary at the time, as well as Riyo Chuchi of Pantora, who called for more fair representation for the clones who would be directly impacted by the bill. The vote was eventually postponed.
Later, Senator Riyo Chuchi, with help from a resistance group, obtained evidence of Vice Admiral Rampart's involvement in the destruction of Tipoca city, presenting her findings before the Senate Floor.
Theme Squeeze Opportunities Out of Desaster. It will make you appear more capable and in control.
The Emperor quickly thought of a way to spin this would be disaster to his advantage. In the middle of their debate, The Emperor, would hold and impromptu address. (LAW 17: Keep Others in Suspended Terror. // LAW 28: Enter Action With Boldness).
The Speach:
"I am deeply troubled by this recent revelation.
My gratitude to Senator Chuchi for exposing a rogue element within our ranks.
Many lives have been lost, but I assure you, Admiral Rampart will face the consequences for his treachery.
However, he did not act alone. The fact that the clones under his command so blindly followed orders, inflicting such carnage without hesitation ... gives me pause.
Perhaps, it's time for a change. Now, more than ever, building a strong galaxy requires protection and security.
Due to the nefarious actions of Admiral Rampart and the immediacy of the bill on the floor today – it is my opinion that this legislation is our future.
With this momentous act, we shall usher in a new era, heralded by the Imperial Stormtrooper."
Now, let's break apart this speach.
First, he creates distance from the atrocities committed. "I am troubled by this recent Revelation."
Second, he tries to build bridges between opposition by praising a Senator opposed to the bill he supports.
Third, he decries the actions of Vice Admiral Rampart.
Forth, now here's where it gets good. The Emperor, further decrying Rampart, then twists the blame onto the clones. While Republic propaganda claimed that the clones were soldiers loyal to the Republic, they were in practice, loyal to their Generals and the Jedi, (whom the galaxy had recently seen destroyed by their hand). There was a large controversy regarding subjugation and rights abuses carried out by the clones throughout the war. This lead to the average citizen seeing them as a useful "other." Following the end of the war, Vice Admiral Rampart remarked that "Clone loyalty does not seem to be as advertised anymore." Now the Emperor was going to drive home that wedge of fear felt by the Galactic citizenry.
Now, he introduced the call to action. Having the galaxy fear the "other" that are the clones, yet further enforce the calls for protection and security, he let's the audience infer who better to protect the galaxy, then by the citizens thereof?
So there we have it, how the Emperor has turned a minor loss into an absolute victory.
Are there points I neglected? Is my analysis off base? Please, respectufully discuss your thoughts in comments. Thank you!
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2023.06.05 08:09 sadnesslaughs An immortal warrior with centuries of combat experience settles down to run an orphanage. Slave traders kidnap some of the children.... Big mistake.

“Miss Alexandria?” The child called out, tugging on the warrior’s dress. She had been asleep in her rocking chair, enjoying the small amount of rest she got from the chaotic orphanage. She opened her one good eye, staring down at Bronson.
“Did Lucy hit you with her training sword again? Honestly, she’s going to make a feisty warrior someday.” Alexandria chuckled, only to squint when she noticed the look of fear on Bronson’s face. She immediately stood up from her chair, staggering a little as the chair violently rocked from the sudden movement. “What happened?”
“Robed people. Lots of them! They came out of the woods and grabbed Lucy and the others. I… I wanted to help, but…” Bronson teared up, wiping his snotty nose on the edge of her dress.
“No, no, dear. You did good. Now I can rescue them. If you didn’t tell me, I might never have known. Now, where did they go?”
“T-towards the waterfall. The one near the big dumb dumb rock.”
“The dumb dumb rock? Oh, right, the one you all drew a face on. Never thought the dumb dumb rock would become a marker. Stay here and keep quiet. If anyone comes to the door that isn’t me, hide. If they find you, stab em with something pointy.” Alexandria instructed.
Alexandria went and found her sword, sliding it into its sheath. As she was about to leave, she heard Bronson call out. The child was already rummaging through the kitchen, looking for something sharp to hide with.
“Are they monsters?”
“Worse.” She headed out, following the path the kids took, finding her way quickly towards the dumb dumb rock. From the rock, she followed the water, seeing bloodstains along the way. As she continued to follow the stains, she finally came to the slavers’ camp, noticing that the blood hadn’t come from a child. Instead, it came from a slaver who was holding his shoulder.
“She stabbed me. The little brat stabbed me with my dagger. What sort of kid does that?” The slaver whined to his unsympathetic friend. “Not to mention she was biting my arm the whole time I carried her, calling me all sorts of names. Who raised that monster?” Alexandria smirked, unable to help feeling a little proud of what she was hearing. “Good job, Lucy.” She whispered to herself as she pushed past the nearby trees, stepping out into the clearing. As soon as she stepped out, she drew her blade.
She swiftly beheaded the wounded slaver, not bothering with a grand entrance. The slavers’ friend too stunned to move after the strike. With the first slaver down, she went straight for the other man, driving the blade into his knee before he could even think about getting up. Alexandria leaned her weight onto the handle of the blade, pushing it deeper.
“Where are they?”
“Where are who?”
“My kids.” She put more of her weight onto the handle, staring into his eyes as she did. “Where are they?”
“Boss has them. I’m only the one that grabs them. I don’t have any other role in the-“ She swung her fist, cracking it against his jaw. After the hit, she pulled her blade free and held the sword to their chest.
“And the boss is?”
“Right behind you.” A grizzled voice laughed. A hand went to wrap around her throat, only to miss as she ducked and sent an elbow flying into the man’s stomach. Alexandria glanced back at the man, noticing a dagger in the man’s scabbard. She pinched the dagger and drove it into his stomach.
“Attack before speaking. That would be my advice to you if you weren’t a dead man. Now I’ll ask once this only once. Where are my kids? The answer will determine how quick this all is.” Her attention was pulled away from the common slaver, focusing on their boss. She shoved the man to the ground and placed her foot on the wound, applying unhelpful pressure, digging the hell of her shoe against it.
“Go to hell.” He said, coughing up blood. Trying to keep some bravado in this situation.
Alexandria saw something strange on the man’s face. That split second smirk. She knew what was coming. Her back was turned and that idiot behind her had found a weapon. She could easily kill him before he attacked, but she wanted to give them a brief glimpse of hell before they went there. As the sword pierced her toned body, she didn’t even flinch, feeling the hot pain that she had felt hundreds of times. The confident grin of the boss fading as the grey-haired warrior still stood over him.
He couldn’t speak, but there was something about his look that amused her. The boss’s eyes were wide, filled with fear as he squirmed beneath her foot. Alexandria turned her head, peering over her shoulder at the slaver behind her. They had already released the sword and were fleeing back towards the dumb dumb rock. As they were about to escape, a small child jumped out wielding a sword nearly as big as herself. She swung it, almost taking her own arm off with the weapon. The blade collided with the slaver, hitting their side, throwing them to the floor.
“I… hah.. heard your voice, so I escaped from the rope they tied us up with.” She hunched over, panting, trying to get her breath back.
“Look away for a moment, dear.” She said as she placed her foot over the boss’s mouth, trying to muffle his screams as she killed him. Once she was done with the boss, she went over to the other slaver. Alexandria making quick work of them, too. When she turned back to Lucy, she could see her peeking through her fingers.
“Wow, you were so cool. You were like. Swing! Woosh, bang.” Lucy cheered.
“I was not like swing, whoosh and bang. It was swing, slash, chop.”
“Whatever, it was cool. When are you going to teach me that?”
“Aren’t you a little scared? You were just being held by slavers?”
Lucy placed a finger to her lip, thinking about it. Before responding with a loud.
“NOPE. I knew you would save me. Plus, Bronson escaped. It was only a matter of time before you got here.”
“Your confidence in me is charming. Now, where are the others?”
Alexandria followed Lucy to a tent, helping to free the others. When she finished freeing the last child, she found herself a little confused. Why did they all look so afraid of her? Had they heard the screams? Alexandria couldn’t help but feel a little self conscious about her warrior ways. She was trying so hard to be a good caretaker. Sadly, a scarred and one-eyed warrior didn’t make the most motherly figure.
“Um, Mom?” Lucy said.
“Yes, dear?” Alexandria felt her heart jump for joy at being called mom, those worries leaving her for a moment, as she crouched before Lucy. “What is it, dear?”
“You have a sword stuck in you… Wait, I’ll get it.”
“Wait, Lucy!”
Without wasting a moment, Lucy tugged on the sword, pulling it out, much to the horror of the other children. The others assuming they had just watched their caretaker get brutally killed in front of them. When the sword was pulled free, the wound closed.
“I’m ok. I promise. It’s a magic trick. Please stop crying.” Alexandria gave Lucy a cold, motherly stare. The child guiltily looking away, pretending not to notice it.
Eventually Alexandria calmed the children down, guiding them all home. As they neared the orphanage, she noticed someone had forced the door open. She released her grip on the children’s hands, rushing into the orphanage.
“WHO THE HELL IS IN HERE? I’M IN A BAD MOOD, SO UNLESS YOU WISH TO SEE YOUR OWN INSIDES I WOULD SUGGEST LEAVING.” She screamed, hoping she was out of earshot of the children. As she glanced around the room, she would notice a rather proud Bronson holding a fork while a man sat in her rocking chair, nursing his shoulder.
“Trent? What are you doing here?”
“Oh, hey. I just heard some slavers were in the area and wanted to warn you. When I noticed the door was locked, I assumed the worst and broke it open to offer my support. Well, seems you didn’t need my help. Your guard valiantly stabbed me with a fork.” Alexandria turned to Bronson, who triumphantly held his fork up, showing her. She let out a giggle as she walked over to Bronson, ruffling his hair before turning to her friend.
“You let yourself get stabbed by a fork? Your reflexes have gotten slow. Were all my years of training you for nothing? Also, what is with that beard? How do you ever expect to find a nice wife if you can’t keep yourself looking tidy? Oh, is that mud on your shoes, too?” Alexandria grinned, giving him a lecture. She could see him sliding down deeper into the chair, in more pain from the lecture than the fork wound. When she finished tormenting him, she finished it with. “It’s good to see you again, friend. I’ll be right back.”
“I kept him here all by myself.” Bronson smiled.
“Yes, you did. Now be a good boy and make sure the others are ok when they get inside.”
The rest of the children entered, Lucy still holding the sword that she had pulled from her mother. When she saw Trent, she threw the sword aside, jumping onto him, wrapping her arms around his neck.
“Uncle Trent, it’s so good to see you again. I stabbed someone today.”
“Huh? Oh, um. That’s nice.” He said, patting her back, before giving the other kids a smile.
“Uncle Trent? Where?” Bronson muttered, staring at the man.
“Right here. How could you not tell it was him? He’s Mom’s friend. He used to travel with her a lot. She said he was hopeless. Remember?”
“Ouch, you didn’t have to repeat that part. I’m more of a historian than a fighter. It’s not my fault I’m a little hopeless with a weapon. I can carry my own in a fight, though.” He tried to defend himself. Wanting to remind them that being an adventurer was secondary to his work as a historian.
“Uncle Trent? You’ve gotten fatter.” Bronson said with a harsh, unfiltered bit of childish honesty.
“Oh, um.”
“I didn’t know you had a beard.” Bronson joined the hug, getting on the other side of Trent.
“I thought it made me look more sophisticated. Don’t you agree?”
“It makes you look old.” Bronson responded.
“Ah. Maybe I should shave it.” He laughed, only to see Alexandria watching him, a smile on her face as she threw the bandages on his lap.
Aren’t you going to fix me up?”
“It’s just a scratch. You can handle it. I have to make sure the kids are alright, anyway. You can stay for dinner if you would like to, Uncle Trent.”
“Don’t you start calling me that, too.”
“You should be happy. It means they think of you as family. I guess you spend a lot of time around here. “
“Of course I do. I record history and you’re the best source of it I can find. No one else has lived-“
“Oh, right. Sorry. I should be going. I just wanted to make sure you’re safe.”
“Make sure I’m safe? I appreciate it, even if it’s unneeded.”
“Aww, you’re going already, Uncle Trent. I was hoping you would spar with me. Mom’s too strong.” Lucy whined.
“Next time. I promise. I’ll bring some presents too.”
“Yay. I want a castle.”
“A little out of my budget. How about a replica sword?”
“Yes. Make sure it looks dangerous.”
“What do I get?” Bronson asked.
“A new fork.”
“Aww, I don’t want a fork.”
“Fine, maybe I’ll find you something else. If you promise to behave.”
“Ok.” Trent stood up and made his way to the door, giving them a wave. “I’ll see you later. Maybe next week if I’m not busy.”
“Ok, bye Uncle Trent, sorry about stabbing you.” Bronson said.
“It’s ok. I appreciate the apology.”
When he left, Alexandria gathered the children, making sure they were all ok. When she was certain they weren’t hurt, she asked them what they would like to help cheer them up. Lucy tried to get the group to agree on a new sword, but she was outnumbered by the vote for cookies. A vote she wasn’t upset about losing. The kids went to play as Alexandria went to the kitchen, preparing the treats.
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2023.06.05 07:55 allovertheplaceusr I'm at a crossroad and I'm not sure what I need to do..

This past week has been the best week of my life.. I've got a solid routine and I've started working on my hobbies (Like.. I'm actually doing most them. It makes me want to cry mentally because I'm ACTUALLY doing it.).
But I've been carrying a burden for a long time.. For a long time I've been the second or third passenger in my life. I've always followed my friends or my parents. I've made my own decisions, but I'm still scared to take a leading role in my life. I want to feel like I'm in control again.
Recently I've been making moves. I've got a job with good career opportunities, I'm building a good foundation with my finances, I don't have a spouse or anyone to take care of, and overall there arn't any issues.. except me holding onto my past. Mentally I don't know what I'm doing. I've got some good friends, but there are some people I try to hold onto that I need to let go. I feel like I keep some people around because it feels like "the good ole days." It never works.
There's a bunch of other stuff, but TLDR I hold on a lot to the past like friends who don't care and non-existent issues that died long ago. The only thing holding me back is me at this point and I don't know what I should do.
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2023.06.05 07:54 grandlakerocks [EVENT][RETRO] Imperial Landsknecht Training

July 1519
Awash in the golden grandeur of an early July morning, a procession of four battle-scarred yet triumphant men had announced their arrival, their presence heralded by a procession of wagons that had groaned under the weight of war machinery. These Spanish titans of battle, carrying the scars of recent brutal confrontations against the French in Naples and the Venetians shortly after, had worn their honor and duty as effortlessly as they bore their swords. They had been a formidable ensemble, composed of Pedro Navarro, Hugo de Moncada, Fernando Francesco d'Ávalos, and Fernando de Andrade das Marinas, names that had rung with valor and glory.
Embarking on a journey rich with tales of war and wisdom, these brave men had arrived at the opulent court of Charles V, the King of the Romans. The youthful monarch, a familiar figure from his tender days amidst the vibrant lands of Castile and Aragon, had warmly welcomed these paragons of war, offering them a period of rest to replenish their strength for the formidable task ahead.
As a tranquil week passed, the grand court had begun to fill with dignitaries from across the Reich. Illustrious figures such as Götz von Berlichingen, Reinhard zu Solms, and the English monarch, Henry Tudor, had journeyed across the vast stretches of the Empire, each endeavoring to decipher the complexities of the recent Neapolitan conflict. They had sought to absorb the strategic acumen and tactical mastery that the Spanish had brandished to usurp the French control over the Kingdom.
Pedro Navarro, the audacious Commander who had steered the Spanish forces, and Hugo de Moncada, the judicious Viceroy of Sicily during the war, had taken upon themselves the charge of leading these eminent minds through the labyrinth of war strategies. They had woven together a comprehensive tapestry of military tactics, sharing this hard-earned wisdom with those who might be called upon to lead armies of their own in the future. Navarro had expertly discussed the art of selecting strategic battlefields, erecting fortifications to counteract French knights and infantry, and overarching campaign and battle maneuvers. His teachings had extended to the arena of siege warfare, where he had unveiled the forward-thinking tactics of artillery use. Highlighting the Spanish shift towards prioritizing light, mobile artillery for maximum battlefield efficacy, he had underscored the transformative power of this tactical shift, as demonstrated in the battle of 1515. Furthermore, he had unveiled the secrets of the siege from recent bouts against Venice and France, elucidating the innovative deployment of mines, Musketeers, other gunmen, and concentrated artillery use.
While the court of leaders had plunged themselves into the intricate depths of warfare strategy, the seasoned Spanish captains, D'Ávalos and das Marinas, both hardened by the forge of battle, had set out on a distinctive mission. They had endeavored to demystify Spanish combat techniques, demonstrating how their soldiers battled and how their captains commanded during the horrors conflict. To give their lessons palpable substance, a regiment of Landsknechts was assembled, transforming theory into tangible practice and sowing the seeds of novel strategies in the fertile ground of martial skill.
Simultaneously, they had unveiled the fruits of innovative armament. The most striking among these had been the Musket, a fearsome beast of war, towering over six feet in length, capable of unleashing destructive projectiles weighing more than two ounces. This beast's formidable power could pierce through two complete sets of armor in a single deafening eruption. D'Ávalos had taken the reins of this part of the training, illustrating to the captains the integration of the Musket within the Landsknechts formation and coordinating smaller, self-reliant Musketeer units. These units had operated outside the protective sphere of the pike formation, yet they had relied upon it as a safeguard against enemy combatants and knights.
Fernando de Andrade das Marinas, a virtuoso of warfare, had assumed the task of instructing the Landsknechts. His curriculum had extended beyond mere weapon usage; it had delved into the labyrinth of battle strategies, exhibiting the ruthless efficiency of Spanish swordsmen. Although the Landsknechts had not fully adopted the Spanish buckler or swords, they had substantially borrowed from these teachings, learning how to deal crippling blows to enemy formations, thus adding a potent layer to their martial capabilities.
Das Marinas had initiated them into the Spanish art of close combat, demonstrating the intricate ballet of attack and defense, the deadly interplay between sword and buckler. He had educated them on the Spanish preference for smaller, nimble swords that facilitated rapid strikes and defenses, a marked shift from the cumbersome, slow weapons preferred by many of the Landsknechts.
The core of his teachings had focused on exploiting the vulnerabilities in enemy armor, showing the Landsknechts how precise, well-targeted strikes could bring even the most armored knight to his knees. He had further emphasized the importance of cohesive teamwork on the battlefield, explaining how the terrifying prowess of the swordsmen could complement the deadly accuracy of the Musketeers and the defensive stronghold of the pikemen.
Moreover, das Marinas had stressed the importance of morale and discipline, elements often undervalued in the heat of battle. He had urged the Landsknechts to maintain their formations under the most intense duress, to strike fearlessly yet also to strategically retreat when necessary, and above all, to protect their brethren-in-arms.
The wisdom imparted by das Marinas, along with the military innovations introduced by the other Spanish commanders, had the potential to redefine the Landsknechts' approach to warfare. Inspired by the Spanish victories and their effective strategies and tactics, the Landsknechts had been ready to embrace this new epoch of military thought, to learn from their allies, and to bolster their strength in the face of shared adversaries. The infusion of Spanish martial knowledge had heralded a new dawn in the Landsknechts' military doctrine, one that promised to alter the trajectory of their future battles.
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2023.06.05 06:39 TheCurserHasntMoved (Sneakyverse) The Drums of War Chapter 9: Finding Out

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On the shipyards orbiting the forge world Exznuvva:

Laborer 12 32 1453 offered gratitude to the Priestesses, for their sight had spared the lowly such as he. If not for the beetles, his aging bones would have made his worth to the forges fall, and his worth to the alter rise. Give praise to the sight of the Priestesses, for they saw the unworthy who hoard their blood from Axzuur when worthy Axxaakk did yet draw breath. Yet, he was pleased to make worth of himself at the shipyards. Why shouldn't he? The glorious vessel would fly forth into the starfields of the unworthy to cull them from the lands which rightfully belonged to the Emperor and Empress, and their subordinates, thus sparing those of little worth who would be required to sate the thirst of Axzuur, may the stars tremble at his step, in their stead. How he hated the cowards for hiding so long from their fate, for if they had been discovered earlier, perhaps his father would yet live.
Once he had sufficiently abased himself to the local shine to the Empress, may she see where the unworthy hide, he made his way to his assigned dwelling place. Indeed, today was a very good day, as extraction ships had returned with all which is needful to his trade in even greater numbers than from the onset of the conquest, thus increasing his worth. If he could gain just a little more worth to the shipyard, he may be assigned apprentices to guide that he might make those young of little worth escape the alter. This is why he was pleased as he entered his assigned dwelling place granted him by the generosity of Initiate-Highborn Narrex-Sarvon, may his might ever increase, and was pleased to find his assigned breeding partner also present.
"Partner," she said coolly, "you look pleased."
"The war goes well, and my worth rises despite these bones," he said.
Laborer 22 15 1427 scratched the metal wall with her knuckle horns and asked, "Think you to rise to warrior?"
"Nothing so grand, partner," he laughed. "I hope to be worthy to give instruction to those of little worth as I was or may be."
"This ambition is well, for you can attain it," she said as she swayed toward him, "I too have an ambition. I desire to give birth to a warrior."
"You aim too low, partner, for you could be worthy of a name," Laborer 12 32 1453 said with a gentle smile.
"Jest not!" she snapped in reply.
"I do not," he said earnestly, "for I believe that you could raise better than the raising centers, to become a true mother."
"This you likely say beguiled by my meager beauty. I care not, leave aside your flattery and instead give to me the seed of a warrior."
Laborer 12 32 1453 lay abed in the glow of the completion of his latest task. To sire a warrior might indeed raise his worth, he could only hope that the war last long enough for the proving. He hoped indeed that if his assigned breeding partner did become pregnant from their labors together, she would have occasion to demonstrate her skill with babes, and be allowed to raise it herself, and perhaps even be selected to tend the highborn babes.

On Numiind:

Jax hid in the shadows of an alley and watched the combined arms patrol trundle down the street. It had been thirteen days. Thirteen days and seven refugees laid beneath the waves. But still, they found survivors. Still, they liberated prisoners. Still, they held out. The Republic was coming, so Jax lead his cell. The Republic was coming, so Jax watched the Axxaakk tank and squad trundle down the road. They'd done a little testing, and the hover tanks, well, they didn't like being hit from below. Unsurprisingly, to be sure, but that's why they patrolled with infantry elements now. However, this was their home, not the Axxaakk's. Little did they know that there was a massive cave a mere ten feet below grade. They had learned that there were tunnels, and that the resistance was using them to get around, the consequence of another cell getting wiped out in another mining town, but Jax wasn't just some cop trying to defend his home. He was a trained RNI Drop Trooper, and so he knew how to run opsec. The tank shuddered over the proper location, and he clicked his radio twice. There were seven muted explosions, the Axxaakk infantry stopped and took aim, anticipating the coming attack.
However, they should have looked to their feet where large cracks were spreading in the plascrete in a wide oval with its longer sides kissing the buildings, until the force of the tank's grav drive finally caused the underlying stone to buckle, and the entire formation plummeted forty feet to the hard rock below.
He, Rae, Kie, and Ash popped out of their concealment and laid down supressing fire from their newly elevated positions, and quickly took out the remaining infantry, and also convinced the tankers to stay nice and buttoned up in their tank too damaged to hover anymore. Which was exactly what they needed them to do while Mei blew a nearby levy, allowing the sea to intrude upon that part of the town, and the street, and the hole in it. They waited for the water to settle, and waited some half hour more in silence and stillness. Then, Jax ordered over the radio, "Ash, go take a look."
"You got it boss," the man answered, and try as he might, Jax could not identify the shadow darting through the water which was Ash. He suspected that ash had taken an indirect route, and if he had Jax would approve. The enemy might have rudely refused to die for them. Then, Ash's whiskered face popped out of the water near the center of the new submarine sinkhole. "Looks like they drowned," he said softly into his radio.
"Good," Mei spat over the radio.
"Good work people, now let's get a move on to the next objective," Jax said.
They slipped into the waters of the newly flooded tunnels, and followed Kai to an abandoned mine shaft, where they made their exit some two hours later.
"Alright," Jax said softly, "we'll rest here for a bit."
Rae pat him on the shoulder and said, "You should sleep a little."
"I'm fine."
"Just fifteen minutes, Jax. I can keep watch."
Jax shrugged her touch off and said, "Kia and Ash, take a nap. The rest of you keep watch and eat something. We'll trade off."
"Got it," came the reply.
"Fifteen minutes, wake me up on the dot," Jax murmured to Rae.
She nodded.
One rest and recuperation later, and Ash was sent out to scout the facility. They'd gotten intel on the presence of pups being held hostage in the old school building, which has miraculously escaped bombardment. The public displays that the invaders made of plunging their wicked knives into the bellies of the elderly did not bode well for the captured pups, so Jax and his companions didn't even debate whether they would get the pups away from the invaders, but how and when. The answers to both questions would depend greatly on what Ash came back with.
"Jax," came his voice out of the shadows, "We have some company."
"What do you mean?" Jax asked as his trigger finger started feeling somewhat itchy.
Then, a sound came from the darkness that nearly made him weep, Republican Battle Cant, "Your buddy says you're a vet from the anti-piracy patrols."
"Hell yeah," he choked in return as the looming figure of an Advanced Stealth Drop Surveillance Scout stepped out of the shadows, even as his scout pattern armor shifted its coloration to blend into his surroundings.
"You came!" Rae exclaimed as tears filled her eyed.
"Of course we came. Where did you think the supply drops were coming from. We've determined this town is an ideal drop sight, as this is a main command hub for the enemy ground forces, so I've been preparing things."
"You took out the sacrificer…" Ash said with awe.
"How do you know that?"
Jax realized that the RNI ASDSS wasn't speaking RBC, or even Commercial English, but their own language, and decided to keep on with that, "Because it wasn't us, and there's nobody else holding out here."
"Just you five?"
"Us and the guards securing the refugees down below," Jax said.
"Alright, well that doesn't change anything. What's your coms?"
"Radio. The walkies for ops and HAM between cells."
"You still have HAM radios?"
"A hobby club started by a Human who moved here back just after first contact. It got popular to hear his stories."
"Huh," the RNI ASDSS grunted in a satisfactorily impressed way before he continued, "Okay, I think I'm patched into your frequency. Test test."
Jax nodded when all of the radios also said "Test test."
"I'm no sir, I'm still a corporal."
"What do we call you, then?"
"Well, you can call me Lost Boy for now. Opsec."
Jax smacked himself on the forehead and said, "Ancestors forgive me."
"We've been using our real names."
"Well, not to be mean, but you guys don't exactly have a very wide pool of names. They probably think they're code names anyway."
"Okay Lost, we're here on a rescue op. They have pups in there to do Ancestors know what with, and we're not waiting around to watch them get stabbed to death on top of some weird rock."
"Gotcha, I'll find me a good firing position and switch the APR over to quiet mode and provide overwatch."
"Aye, Lost. Signal when you're in position. Three clicks on the radio. Everyone, move out."
"One more thing," the Lost Boy said as the group started breaking up, "The drop pods will be hitting about ten klicks west in about three hours, so let's get the kiddos under cover before then, gotcha?"

In low orbit over Numiind:

Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn and Acolyte-Lord Gukea-Sarvon stood before the display screen and made their report to Priest-Lord Tiglach-Pilexer. They did not dissemble, exaggerate, or otherwise attempt to save face before their commander, as they knew how dire the position of the invasion fleet had become after the destruction of a single diplomatic vessel. They knew well that they may have to crouch before this new foe for the time being, for the High Priestess had seen that their might was great indeed, yet the Dominion of Axxaakk was also mighty. Morover, the ever thirsting Axzuur, may the stars tremble at his steps, commanded their conquest, and could therefore not falter.
However, it was up to those who obey that the triumph be as glorious as possible, lest Axzuur become displeased and demand their blood as the unworthy. Thus, while it might have been wise at another time to embellish the facts in their favor, they knew that such would be short sighted in this case.
Acolyte--Lord Narrex-Quinn was saying, "I do not expect we can begin to dominate the mammal-worms across the planet to such a degree that they resume their industry at our direction."
"Indeed," Acolyte-Lord Gukea-Sarvon agreed, "and we have gathered that which was readily available in either the raw or already processed before we took possession of it."
"Thus, unless we can send one to delay the Terrans, for at minimum two annum, we shall need to move on and raid elsewhere."
"Let it be so," the face on the screen decreed. "Carry off with you those adults who's young you have in custody. They shall make excellent serfs on these wet worlds."
"We obey, Priest-Lord," they intoned as they bowed and their superior cut the communication."
"I shall return to my flagship," Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn said, and the Initiate-Highborn present moved immediately to accommodate this.
"I was pleased to work with you, brother. Would that we had time to subjugate this world. I would think you placed at its alter, and thus find yourself raised up to Priest-Lord."
"My fate is to be covered in blood and glory, brother. Such a task and honor must fall to another."
"It troubles me that we could not crush these mammal-worms even after more than ten days," Acolyte-Lord Gueka-Sarvon grumbled.
"If it were not so, we would not have so many new serfs. It is much the same upon the other worlds infested with these lower creatures," so we have gained much for the Dominion, as have other Acolyte-Lords."
One shuttle ride later, and Acolyte Lord was in his quarters, enjoying a local delicacy, some kind of water animal with fins. Its flesh was pleasantly tender and sweet. He hoped that he would be a part of the forces who would return to this place to conquer this place for this treat alone. His pleasing reflection on future glories was Interrupted by an initiate-Highborn.
"Acolyte-Lord, your leadership is needed in the command throne," the Initiate-Highborn murmured with a proper waist deep bow.
"Return to your station, I come."
"I obey," he said and quickly shuffled away.
Acolyte-Lord was in his subordinate's heels all the way to the bridge, where alarms were blaring, "Report at stations," he commanded.
"Four incoming hyperspace exits detected in the interdiction zone!"
"Ship class estimation!"
"Unknown, Acolyte-Lord! Their shadows are somehow obscured."
"Assume the worst, order all frigates and their escorts to the exit sites!"
"They do exit now!"
"On screen!"
"I obey!"
Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn's amputated hand quaked at the sight of the sensor data rendered visually. The ships were massive, bristling with weapons platforms, communications and network arrays, and bay doors. "Battleships," he whispered in horror.
"A hail comes, Acolyte-Lord!"
"Refuse it!"
The main display screen suddenly lit up with a black banner with a yellow star at its center and what looked to Acolyte-Lord Narrex-Quinn like a glassed planet to one side accompanied by the audio, "We remember the We Sing."
"I said not to accept a hail!"
"Acolyte-Lord, they broke through our system with the hail itself as if they were from a Priest-Master's ship!"

Aboard the Destroyer Tiger Lilly:

The squadron had just exited hyperspace, and the enemy was around the space-otter planet of Numiid in force. There was even a battleship there, or at least what these genocidal scum thought was a battleship. Corporal Linus George sent up a prayer, and clambered into his drop pod. He always hated the space superiority portion of the battle, even against junker pirates, and these freaks had actual weapons. All plasma, but they had reportedly sunk a few Roma Nova ships, which was impressive for plasma only. He was going to show these murderous zealots what happens when you go fucking around and touch a Republican boat. They were in find out time.
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2023.06.05 06:26 EternalButEphemeral Tales from Tertium: Granny

Traitor Captain Ingvar was not known for being conciliatory. To the pathetic, mewling Dregs with their lackluster discipline, he was short-tempered and violent; he killed them as casually as Commissar Candlewick had killed his own comrades at the front. Candlewick, who was still alive and would remain so for as long as his cursing and sobbing amused Ingvar. To his own Scabs, the Captain was short-tempered and demanding. The front must advance. Even at terrible cost, because it had to. It had to fast.
But to Granny, Ingvar was conciliatory. Here, in the ritual chambers where she called Beasts of Nurgle from the warp, her power was unmatched. A one-time water storage silo, now knee-deep in grey sludge that writhed with yellow pustules. The vast agitation array, a three pronged beater in the center that circulated the water, was gummed in place, with tendrils stretching up the hundred meters towards the ceiling. In this room was only poxwalkers and Granny, and now Ingvar. And Ingvar, like everyone else, feared her.
“We need more Beasts of Nurgle. The front is stalled,” he spat his words, forcing them through the ragged, lumpen masses in his throat. His jaundiced skin was pallid as Granny’s ponderous bulk was rotated. “We need linebreakers for the enemy armour. We need them soon.”
Granny had been one of his soldiers once, a dangerous and competent woman. Now, her obscene bulk was carried by a dozen poxwalkers who obeyed her unspoken commands. Poxwalkers near her acted as her hands and eyes in terrible summoning rituals, and carried her wretched frame around. Poxwalkers who, in a unified, choral voice, spoke her words for her.
“Grandfather is displeased, Ingvar,” they sing-songed, white eyes blank and lips drawn back from their decaying, blackened teeth. “His beloved pets die pointlessly at the hands of the Inquisition. How can you not deal with just a few Loyalist dogs? How can you let his sweet beasts be slain? Grandfather is disappointed in you, and Grandfather’s disappointment sadness me greatly…”
The single awful mouth that split Granny’s body through the middle and earned her that terrible nickname parted enough to reveal the milky gums, the jagged triangular teeth. The barbed tongue within ran out to trace across the grotesque, ribbed lips that had once been Granny’s ribcage. Saliva oozed out, yellow and white. The heavy nostrils that had once been his subordinate’s head exhaled and the breath reeked of a decay that even Ingvar struggled to stand before. His eyes watered as he lowered his gaze, unable to look at the deformity that was once a human.
Other Captains had died demanding things of Granny. But more than other Captains, Ingvar understood the timetables involved.
“Granny,” he said, a rough hacking cough ejecting one of the nodules that grew inside his throat. It would regrow soon, but he could speak faster for a bit. “We must. The Cicatrix Maledictum only slows Astropathic messaging from Atoma. It does not stop them. We are on a timetable. We must overcome the defenders before greater reinforcements can be mustered. We must control the world before they can arrive.”
The lips closed, pursed in a grotesque mockery of thinking. Ingvar was not sure if she still thought. Ingvar was not sure if anything was still human about her, with how generously Nurgle had blessed her. A flabby arm dangled from the corner of her maw, and every now and then it clawed at the rest of the body in desperate tearing motions that peeled away layers of skin.
Ingvar hoped there was nothing human left in her.
“Grandfather,” the poxwalkers mumbled. “Thinks you do not need his pets for this. Unleash the Plague Ogryn. Send forth the Chaos Spawn. Spare his darlings.”
Ingvar, more than other Captains, hated Beasts of Nurgle. And he hated them because he understood them. “We cannot spare them from their joy,” he wheezed. The reek of her breath made his blisters swell and ooze, made his perpetual fever burn hotter. His joints ached. “They love their play. Let them chase tanks. Let them play with Loyalist dogs and gift them Nurgle’s blessings. If they die, they die doing what they love.”
The poxwalkers in the ritual chamber all turned to look at him, all stopped moving at once. His fingers twitched with the urge to go for his shotgun. He could not swallow past the dryness and lumps in his throat.
“…Grandfather agrees with you,” they hissed. “He wishes to see them caper. He wishes to see them play. I will do the rituals. But know this: I see your heart, Captain Ingvar. Grandfather loves and forgives. But he demands. Go. Oversee operations from Magistrati Oubliette TM8-707. Only your personal skills,” the poxwalkers paused and, grotesquely, seemed to snicker. Their bony, starved bodies shuddered in a mockery of laughter, their rictus-grin faces managing nothing like a smile. “Can oversee this zone. Grandfather commands it through his Grand Maw.”
Captain Ingvar bowed and backed away slowly, hand still twitching with the urge to grip his shotgun. The twitching did not stop when he left the room… rather, he drew the weapon once he was out of sight of her, finding comfort in having the power to kill back in his hands. A Dreg from his retinue approached and opened his mouth to ask an insipid question. Ingvar reassured himself of his power to kill with one quick blast into the useless Dreg’s torso.
“Alert the Major,” he snapped to his Lieutenant, voice growing stronger as the scent of Granny’s breath receded behind him. “Granny will do the rituals, and I am to take charge of TM8-707.”
“Grandfather favours you! That is a guarded and favorable position,” the Lieutenant added.
Ingvar kept the shotgun in his hands. He did not feel the power of life and death in them, even as he looked down at the rancid gore of the dead Scab’s ribs. Ribs that bowed inward around ruined organs Like a cage.
Or like teeth.
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