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2023.06.02 09:54 autobuzzfeedbot "She Was So Rude, My Family Is No Longer Allowed To Listen To Her Music": 34 Of The Absolute Best And Worst Celebrities People Have Ever Met

  1. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I’ve met Harry Styles several times, and he is so nice and considerate. He actually put off going out with his team just to sit and talk to my 15-year-old daughter and me. I’m sure he was exhausted, but he seemed to enjoy relaxing and chatting with us. My daughter will most likely live on that memory for years to come!"
  2. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "Jennifer Aniston is a sweetheart. She seemed very genuine and kind. I met her in a restaurant bathroom of all places. We talked for so long, her friend had to come and find her."
  3. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I met Lorne Michaels when I worked at a 5-star restaurant. Everyone who worked with me knew I’d been a fan of SNL since I came out of the womb, so when I picked up the phone to make the reservation and spoke with his assistant, I told them I was Lorne's biggest fan. When he arrived with his wife and son (who went to a local boarding school), they were so kind, and he said, 'Oh, I heard you’re my biggest fan, and that’s amazing because I don’t have fans — the cast always has fans!' I almost died. I gave them my favorite table, which they were thrilled with, and when he got up to leave, he left me an envelope with a pretty sweet bonus tip inside. I wasn’t usually tipped doing my work, so it wasn’t necessary, but it was so thoughtful and appreciated. All three were true gems. You’d never know he was famous or rich at all."
  4. TOTAL NIGHTMARE: "I met Roseanne Barr for work once. I went to shake her hand, and she looked me up and down and said, 'I don't shake hands,' then walked away."
  5. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I met Matthew Gray Gubler after he did a talk years ago at my college! Only the first 100 people who got tickets were supposed to be able to do a meet and greet. He said 'rules were made to be broken' and that he would stay and meet with everyone until they kicked him out. Not only was he incredibly sweet to me (literally introduced humble and posed for a goofy pic), but he seemed so genuinely kind to everyone there. Just amazing energy all around."
  6. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "A friend and I visited my boyfriend while he was doing security at a jazz festival in Malibu. He told us Adam Sandler and his family had been there all day and tons of people took pictures with him. We ran back to the car to grab the digital camera, looked up, and saw Adam, his pregnant wife Jackie, and their toddler leaving. We went up to them. Adam was clearly done for the day, but his wife said, 'Honey, let me hold [toddler's name] and you can take a picture.' We handed him the camera and he took a selfie with us. Still have that picture on my fridge. Love the Sandman!"
  7. TOTAL NIGHTMARE: "My little cousin played one of Rob Schneider's kids in 50 First Dates. Rob was stuck-up, never got to know the children or their parents, and always went straight to his dressing room. I'm an introvert, so I like my alone time to recharge, but apparently the vibes he was giving off were that he couldn't be bothered to care about anyone else there. Also, the little girl in the movie was apparently a spoiled brat who threw tantrums and made them have to redo so many takes. I can see why Rob maybe didn't want to play with her, but the other kids were great!"
  8. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "My husband met Rihanna years ago and said she was super nice. He was working as a ground handler at an airport and was setting up something on the ramp for her private plane. She came out, approached him, asked him about his job, and they chatted for a few minutes. Not sure if she was killing time until the gate opened, or if she went out of her way to talk to him for the heck of it, but he had nothing but nice things to say about her."
  9. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I met Jerry Springer while bartending almost 20 years ago. He was thinking of getting back into politics and had a meeting in our private dining room on the second floor. It was happy hour and the bar was packed. Someone spotted him and started chanting, 'JERRY, JERRY,' while he was about to walk up the stairs. He then came to the bar, ordered a $2 beer, walked through the entire bar, shook hands, and took pictures. When he finished the loop, he set the full beer on the bar and handed me $40. Regardless of his show, I will always think of him as a class act."
  10. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "My story is that I was actually horrible to a celebrity. In the '70s, I was obsessed with Donny and Marie. They were playing at our state fair that year. My dad tried to get tickets, but it was sold out. He took us to the fair anyway. A few times we could hear the music, which infuriated me at 7 years old. When we were leaving, my dad had to stop the car because there was a big crowd of people. As they cleared to let us through, two people popped their heads in the car window to apologize. It was Donny and Marie. I refused to believe it was really them, and I told Marie, 'You're not Marie. She's a lot prettier than you.' My family was horrified."
  11. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "Hands down nicest celebrity I've ever met was Taylor Swift. I met her at a concert as part of her security at the Houston shows. She was polite and introduced herself to everyone. She was obviously very busy, but she seemed interested in what I had to say and signed an album cover for my son."
  12. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I have been lucky enough to meet Sir Ian McKellen twice: once after a performance where I also met Simon Callow and Patrick Stewart, and once during his tour of 80 shows for turning 80. Absolutely lovely man. He is my #1 dream dinner guest. I wish I was his friend."
  13. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I did a photo-op last year at my local con with Ewan McGregor and, even though it was so quick, he was super sweet. We shook hands, and he asked how my day was. He’s gorgeous in person!"
  14. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I met Matthew Lewis at a local con at his booth and he was lovely (and gorgeous in person). I told him how jealous my Harry Potter-obsessed sister (who was working that day) was going to be, and he told me to tell her he sent his regards! It totally made her day at work when I texted her about it after!"
  15. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I met Pink around 2000. She performed at a teen club I was at, and she was a sweetheart. After her performance, she even danced with us for a little bit."
  16. TOTAL NIGHTMARE: "I’ve heard nothing but bad things from people who've met Bill Nye. One friend said he was at some children’s art show and made fun of the artwork in front of the youngsters. What a jerk."
  17. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "When I was in college in Boston, I was making a late-night Taco Bell run. As I was walking in, this white limo pulled up in front. I went inside and placed my order, and a guy in a white jumpsuit with a white bandana tied around his head came in. There weren't that many people in the restaurant, but he stopped and signed autographs and was chatting everyone up when I left. It wasn't until a few years later that I realized that person was Steven Tyler. This was in the late '80s before Aerosmith had that string of hits."
  18. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "The most genuine interaction I've ever had with a celeb was with Bert Kreischer. I saw a show (during which he mentioned his grandma was in the hospital). Then, he told the audience he would be going to the bar next door after the show if anyone wanted a picture. When he arrived at the bar, he waded through CROWDS of people and made sure everyone who wanted to was able to get a pic or a moment with him. I stayed at the bar for a drink until he was on his way out (by this time the crowd had dispersed). I called out as he passed, 'Hey, I didn't get a chance to say it before, but I hope your grandma does well.' He stopped, turned around, and had a very genuine conversation with me."
  19. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "Jason Momoa was really fun to meet in person when I saw him at a Nine Inch Nails show. Really fun guy!"
  20. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "Jennifer Lopez. I went to where they were filming Air last year (I live in LA) because I wanted to meet Ben Affleck. I met Matt Damon as he wrapped before he left. He was a SUPER nice guy. I waited for Ben as his Escalade pulled up, but I DID NOT expect JLO to get out. She got out right next to me. She was only with her driver and he didn’t tell me to move or anything, so when she got out, I was like ‘Jen! Can I get a picture?' and she said sure. We talked about Selena because I’m Latina and she’s super important to me, and the movie means so much to me. She was SOO nice and sweet. She didn’t give any vibes that I was annoying her or that she had to Go. We also spoke in Spanish. We took our picture and then she went inside to get Ben. When they got out, Ben was NOT HAPPY (I don’t blame him. He was acting and directing), so I just stepped aside."
  21. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "In 2004, I met Tony Curtis. He exuded 'old Hollywood.' He made his way around the room, speaking to each person, and when he approached me, he extended his hand and held my hand through the entire conversation. He focused on our conversation as if there was no one else in the room. As we said goodbye (he was still holding my hand), he raised my hand to his lips and kissed it. He was dressed impeccably and was in fine form. I have had many celebrity encounters, but nothing rises to the level of Tony Curtis. Absolutely the best celebrity encounter I've ever had."
  22. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I met Sir Patrick Stewart at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando. We were both hanging out with friends in the lobby. He told stories, made lots of jokes with his friends, and included us in the conversation."
  23. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I went to college with Muhammad Ali's twin daughters. He came with them for move-in day, and they arrived in a chauffeured Rolls Royce. He was gracious and took as many pictures and signed as many autographs as people wanted. I even have a picture where he is pretending to punch me. I told him that I grew up down the street from the house he had in Chicago before he donated it to the Nation of Islam. He asked me if they were good neighbors and laughed when I told him not really."
  24. TOTAL NIGHTMARE: "My sister met Katy Perry at a restaurant, but she was being rude to the bartender and all the employees who came over to help, so now my niece and nephew aren't allowed to listen to her music."
  25. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I met Tori Amos, and she was an absolute sweetie pie. She hugged me and told me she liked my shirt. We spoke briefly. I was starstruck, but it made a lasting impression on me."
  26. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I grew up in a tiny town (pop. 3,000), and every year for his twins' birthday dinner, Michael J. Fox would bring his whole family to the restaurant my mom worked at. She almost always ended up being their server and she said he (and his family) were the nicest people. They were unobtrusive, friendly, and excellent tippers."
  27. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "James Earl Jones was super sweet. My father and I met him when I was young. His voice is deep, but sweet!"
  28. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I met Dennis Quaid, and he was the nicest guy ever. We chatted about dogs for a while, and he was more than happy to take a few pictures!"
  29. TOTAL NIGHTMARE: "I helped host a book signing for Bobby Flay, and he's a jerk."
  30. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "Every time Dave Matthews plays at the venue across the street from our bookstore, people want to be working in the cafe because he randomly shows up for coffee the morning of his concert and gives the people waiting on him free tickets."
  31. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "Nicest celebrity I've ever met was Cole Sprouse. This was way before when he probably got sick of being on Riverdale and decided to just show his true colors. He took the photo of us together because I was shaking from nerves and excitement."
  32. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "I was a bartender at the Troubadour for five years and have so many stories! Jeff Bridges was the first celeb I met. His band was playing. Before we opened, after his sound check, he made a point of coming down to us bartenders to introduce himself and thank us for helping out that night. SUCH A GEM!"
  33. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "Jason Schwartzman came into the bar I worked in on a night that had a bunch of teenage bands playing and was super sweet to any of the kids who came up to him."
  34. ABSOLUTE DREAM: "When I was young, I went to an Olivia Newton-John concert. I grew up watching Grease on repeat and had always loved her. At the concert, me and another young girl were invited on stage to give her flowers and introduce ourselves. On stage, l asked to get her autograph and she told me she would after the show. Post-concert, I waited with my family to get an autograph and she invited me and my dad into her fitting room and no one else. Once back there, I was so starstruck and amazed that she remembered my name! She was so kind and took pictures with me and my dad, signed a photo, gave me the set list, and wrapped it up by giving me a hug and kiss on the cheek. She spent probably an hour with us just hanging out in her room and chatting. To this day, it's one of my most cherished memories."
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2023.06.02 09:50 HumorousGal Thumb cmc joint pain after trapezium fracture

Hi there !
21F, 123 lbs, broke my trapezium bone 5 weeks ago from carrying a couch. Got an x-ray which showed a non displaced trapezium fracture and I refused the cast due to the fact that I had to take some exams. I wore a thumb spica wrist brace for 4 weeks, and I noticed during the last week that I started to get some sharp pain in my thumb. I ignored that because I had the brace and I couldn't move it too much anyway. I got rid of the brace 3 days ago and the pain in my thumb is pretty bad. It's a sharp pain caused my moving the cmc join or by applying pressure on my thumb. This makes grabbing or pinching things almost impossible.
Do I just leave it or should I be concerned ?
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2023.06.02 08:38 Hewholooksskyward Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth - Chapter 22

My Patreon page:
Link to the Wiki page, with additional links to Clan information and background Lore.
First I Previous
Chapter 22: Cutting The Strings
“This was a mistake. I don’t belong here.”
The crew of Peacemaker had assigned temporary quarters to the Mako refugees. Given the ancient ship’s size, there was plenty of room available. Just as before, Rúna made certain they assigned her the same berth as Genvass. Sitting across from him as they shared a private meal, she shrugged at his statement.
“I’m not sure what else you think you could have done,” she said. “They made their minds up before we ever set foot onboard.”
“That’s not what I mean,” he answered, shaking his head. “I have accomplished exactly nothing on this mission. Hell, Terra’s diplomatic position is even worse than when we started. Hardly a ringing endorsement of my negotiation skills.”
“That is not your fault,” the Valkyrie said vehemently.
“Isn’t it?” Rising from his seat, he began pacing in the small compartment. “I knew what I was getting myself into when I accepted this assignment. I knew it was going to be an uphill battle, convincing the other races to trust us.” He sighed, coming to a halt. “But I was certain I could reach them, to show them we weren’t a threat. And now?” He rubbed at his eyes, suddenly bone-weary. “Now they hate us even worse than they do the Troika. Which is exactly what we’ll become if our hosts have their way.”
“Our ‘hosts’ as you call them, are the ones who sabotaged you,” Rúna fired back. “Them stealing Peacemaker and going on a killing spree doomed your mission, not anything you did. They pulled the rug out from underneath you and killed any chance of a diplomatic solution.”
Her words fell on deaf ears. “Don’t you understand? I’m useless,” he told her. “When the Troika attacked, you were absolutely right to drag me into our quarters and strap me to a couch like an incompetent child. I wouldn’t have reacted quickly enough on my own. The only real training I have is as a linguist, for Terra’s sake. And who needs a linguist when everyone uses voders?” he demanded, throwing up his hands. “I couldn’t help you defend the ship, and when I tried assisting Diggs, the only thing I could manage was hauling his gear around,” he said, his words filled with self-loathing, before abruptly collapsing back into his chair. “I am literally good for nothing.”
“I don’t believe that. I refuse to believe that.” Her eyes narrowed as she took full stock of him. “Perhaps once, that might have been true. I certainly didn’t think much of you when we met on Gyrfalcon. But now?” She shook her head. “You’ve changed since then, been on the receiving end of more than a few rude awakenings. So what if you can’t hold a gun, or turn a wrench? That’s not why you’re here.”
“Then why am I here?” he demanded. “Seriously, I’d really like to know.” He snorted in disgust.
Rúna stared at the glass in her hands, her expression suddenly distant. “Do you know why I signed on for this mission?” she asked softly.
Something about her tone made him look up. “No… not really,” he said after a moment. “I remember how upset you were when you barged into my office.”
That earned him a brief smile. “I was,” she chuckled. “Between the promotion and… well, never mind. It’s not important.” She sighed before meeting his gaze. “People always ask me what Sonoitii Prime was like. I don’t like talking about it, for a lot of reasons.”
Genvass nodded, though he said nothing in reply. Truth be told, he was afraid to say anything, for fear of breaking whatever fragile spell she’d woven around herself to even hint about what happened on that world. Instead, he simply waited, giving her the space she needed.
She took a deep breath, and then let it out as she struggled to get through this. “Nothing could have prepared me for that fight, and it indelibly burned every single moment of that nightmare into my brain. I’ll never be able to forget it, no matter how badly I want to.” Rúna stared into his eyes, forcing him to gaze back into hers. It was an unsettling vision, but he refused to look away. Her hand clenched her sword tightly, her knuckles showing bone white under the strain, as she fought to keep control.
“The thing I remember most,” she finally got out, “is when it was finally over. I walked off the line after they relieved me, and all I could see was what it cost.” She shuddered, reliving it once more. “It was like I was in a daze, like none of it was real. My mind just couldn’t take any more, I guess. I don’t know. I’m not a Knight.” She shrugged yet again. “I remember drifting past one of the gun positions, sandbagged in the trench. There must have been thirty, forty bodies piled up in front of it. The gunner didn’t stop firing until the barrel burst, and even then he went down hard. He died with a Zaitai dagger shoved into his belly… but his cold, dead hands were locked around that bastard’s throat.”
He could only sit there, horrified at the picture she’d just painted so vividly. He could practically see it with his own eyes.
Rúna nodded as she saw her words strike home. “Imagine that times a thousand. That’s how desperate it was. How hard we fought.” She closed her eyes, wincing at the memory. “We lost so many. Hundreds, maybe. Thousands. And not just Terrans; Ixians, Legionnaires, even Zaitai and EA, before they turned traitor on us.” Closing her eyes, she bowed her head and whispered, “... so many.”
Genvass found his voice at last. “Rúna, if you need to talk, I’m happy to listen. But… I’m not sure why you’re telling me this.”
She took a moment to compose herself before finally looking up. “Because I’ve seen firsthand the cost of war,” she said, “and I will do practically anything to keep it from happening again.”
He slowly nodded as her words struck home. “That may be the best reason I’ve ever heard,” he said at last.
She looked away, as if his words had failed to find purchase. “You said you believed peace was possible,” Rúna reminded him. “I’m not sure I do. I’ve been fighting most of my life.” She looked back at him. “But I’d like to. A galaxy at peace sounds pretty damn amazing.” She graced him with a ghost of a smile. “Terra knows it wouldn’t be the first Lost Cause I signed on for.”
Genvass smiled in return. “I would never have pegged you as an idealist.”
“I’m not,” she answered. “I’m just tired of the killing.”
He started to respond, only to have his attention pulled away as the hatch slid open, revealing Samara standing in the doorway. “I hope I’m not interrupting?” she told the pair.
Rúna shot daggers at her, while Genvass merely sighed. “Would it matter if you were?” he asked.
“Not really,’ she conceded. “We need to talk, you and I.” She glanced over at the Valkyrie. “In private.”
Over my dead body,” she snarled.
“I’d be careful making those sorts of ultimatums,” Samara said evenly, “especially here.”
She jumped to her feet, her hand already reaching for her sword as Genvass grabbed her arm. “It’s all right,” he said, “I’ll talk to her.” Rúna started to protest, only for him to hold up a hand. “You should probably check in with the others anyway,” he suggested. “I’ll be fine, I promise.”
Her eyes traveled between the two before finally giving him a brusque nod. “I’ll be right outside,” she declared, giving Samara a death glare before exiting the compartment.
“I don’t think she likes me very much,” she said affably, taking a seat.
“Can you blame her?”
Samara smiled, shaking her head. “No, I don’t,” she answered. “I’ve burned a lot of bridges in my life. It’s no surprise that she’s one of them.”
“What do you want to talk about, Samara?” he asked. “I thought we’d covered everything.”
“Not everything,” the Protean disagreed. “I’m sorry that things got a little heated the last time we chatted, but I stand by my position. You, of all people, should understand why.”
“I do, but that doesn’t mean I agree with it,” Genvass said point-blank. “If you stopped by simply to rehash our conversation, I really don’t see the point.”
“No, that’s not why I’m here,” Samara explained. “Like I said, I still have my reasons for taking the fight to our enemies. Good reasons, in my opinion.” Her expression was unapologetic. “But when I replayed our chat in my head… or more accurately, when Guardian did… I realized there was something you’d meant to say, but didn’t. What was it?”
Something about the way she’d asked caught his attention. “I wanted to know where you got the idea to steal Peacemaker,” he said cautiously.
Samara nodded. “And why do you want to know that?” she pressed.
Genvass scrutinized her, looking for a sign, but she was as guarded as ever. “Because when I began to examine this mission in earnest, I became convinced there was more going on than met the eye.”
She took a moment to consider that statement. “You may be right,” she said finally.
Her admission caught him by surprise. “Care to elaborate?” he prodded her.
“Someone stopped by my office around the time you found that medical facility,” she said somewhat cryptically. “Their visit was a surprise, given we’d had few interactions in the past. We exchanged polite pleasantries, discussed various topics of mutual interest, marveled at the discoveries teams like yours were unearthing regularly.” Samara shrugged as she relayed the conversation. “I assumed they wanted my insight, or rather, Guardian’s. Not the first time someone had consulted me for that sort of thing.”
“Where are you going with this?” he inquired, giving her a curious look.
An enigmatic smile appeared as she regarded him. “As they were getting ready to leave, they made an offhand remark. It didn’t really register at the time, but later that evening, Guardian reminded me of what they’d said. It got me thinking.”
“And what was the remark?” Genvass prompted her.
“They just mentioned how odd it was we hadn’t stumbled across any ships,” she relayed to him. “You’d think there would have been at least a few lying around, but we hadn’t found a single vessel anywhere, not even a shuttle. And it was odd, I realized. What’s more, Guardian concurred. We kicked the idea around a bit, him and I, and eventually decided on two possibilities. Either we’d spotted no ships because there weren’t any to find, or else they’d been well camouflaged.”
“Makes sense,” he agreed.
“It does, doesn’t it?” Samara chuckled. “Pretty much covers all the bases right there. Of course, the question we asked ourselves next was, assuming there were camouflaged ships in the system, how would we go about finding them? It’s a big system, and these are the Precursors we’re talking about. If they didn’t want something to be found, it’s safe to assume we lowly Terrans wouldn’t find it.” She gazed at him evenly. “What we needed was an informant.”
Genvass already knew where this was going. “Athena,” he said quietly.
“Athena, indeed,” Samara nodded. “Of course, it was still possible we’d wind up empty-handed, that there were no ships, but at least we’d know, one way or the other. Once we decided to consult Athena, we realized we were going to need a ride to visit her in her domain. Not to mention a partner, in case we were successful.”
“At which point you recruited our mutual friend, Captain Hadad, I presume?” Genvass deduced. “Given your intentions, I imagine he took little convincing.”
“You imagine correctly,” she agreed. “I was certain I could enlist him to the cause, given our past. He’s no more a fan of the Troika than I am.”
“And with him on board, you could consult with Athena, who led you directly to Peacemaker.” Genvass shook his head. “All tied up in a nice neat bow… with one exception.” He regarded her warily. “You’ve deliberately avoided naming the individual who first sparked your curiosity. I assume there’s a reason for that.” He folded his hands, awaiting her response.
“There is,” she nodded. “At first I chalked it up to mere coincidence, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized their contacting me was a deliberate act. What I didn’t understand was why.” Samara leaned back n her chair. “I’ve been in the business a long time, Genvass, and I know all the players. This individual, however, had never appeared on my radar, and even more perplexing, I couldn’t see a motive. Most individuals who involve themselves in ‘The Great Game’ have obvious goals; power, control, the usual.” She rested her chin on her hands. “But not this one. They’d shown no interest in that sort of thing, despite having had several opportunities to get their hands dirty. Which tells me one of two things. That either all of this is nothing more than a wild-goose chase, spurred by coincidence, or…” She paused, awaiting his reaction, until finally, he bowed to the inevitable. “Or what?” he asked her.
Or,” she continued, “that they are very, very good.”
With a sinking feeling, he let out the breath he’d been holding. He already knew what she was about to say, and why she’d taken this circuitous path before revealing the truth.
But he still needed to hear her say it.
“The name, Samara,” he insisted.
“The individual’s name,” she disclosed, revealing at last her hole card, “is Dàifu Tsoumlum Khatsakhox, leader of your own Dharmist Clan.” Their eyes met. “I believe you’re acquainted.”
That earned her a sardonic grunt as the blade struck home. “I’m starting to think,” he said at last, “that I don’t know her at all.”
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2023.06.02 07:09 Ender_M No Sleep.

Hi, my name is Jane. I'm not sure if this will even be out there since I can't trust anything I'm seeing these days. But I'll start from the beginning.
I am a 37 year old surgeon for the most of the day and come home to my husband and my dog, and it was just a regular Saturday when the nightmares began.
At first I would just dream of dark voids where I wander around aimlessly in search of something, I'm not sure what but my mind insists me that I have something to find in that awful darkness, and then after hours on end of walking around, I would just wake up. I thought nothing of it at first and just thought of it as some weird dream I had, and then the next day it happened again. There was no difference the first few times but when it happened for the fourth time, the dream changed. I was still in the void but this time I couldn't move. I was just frozen in place looking in one direction, and I saw something off in the distance, it was just eyes but there was something off about them, they weren't human. I woke up in cold sweat but shook it off as the effect of some shows I watched earlier or a book I read but through out the day I still couldn't stop thinking about those eyes.
Night came around, I went to sleep and there I was again, in the void with those eyes. Except they were closer. I didn't see the thing move at all, it was all like a still image lingering for hours until I wake up in the morning. I decided to talk to my partner about these strange dreams, and at first he just brushed it off as rare occurrence but after two more times of the creature getting closer and me waking up in cold sweat in the middle of the night, he decided to start researching. Mostly the searches just resulted in meaningless suggestions like the recurring nightmares being an effect of substance abuse and trauma, but none of those were the case as my job required me to be extremely focused. Then some suggested it could be the cause of a spirit and since we didn't have anything else to try we followed the instructions which, no surprise, did absolutely nothing to stop the nightmares.
A week later and I could finally make out the thing in my dreams. It was a slender, reddish grey skinned humanoid, reduced to skin and bones and abnormally tall, a wide mouth shaped hole in the shape of a round smile and two giant gaping voids for eye sockets with two white glowing dots looking at me. Honestly the creature looked absolutely absurd like some creepypasta you would find on the internet but it instilled fear in me. What would happen if it got close enough to me? Would I be killed? Tortured? Or something even worse? I was scared to find out, so I decided to stay awake for the night to avoid having that dream again, since it seems the only way it can get closer is when I sleep. My husband thought I was crazy in believing a guy in a dream could physically harm me and told me that I couldn't stay awake forever. He was right of course, but the fear of looking into those eyes again made me stay awake.
I begin my own research, looking for medicine or anything to get rid of these nightmares, I tried everything yet everytime I went back to sleep, it was there. Each time closer than the last. Eventually, I was fired from my job, it was inevitable of course considering my mental state. And my dog has began barking at me every night and it drove my husband mad until he left me too.
Strange things started to happen around the house too. First it was small things like a glass out of place or a book on the floor, but then I hear footsteps and floorboards creaking. Doors are being opened walls start to form cracks and there are constant knocks on the roof.
A few days after I dozed off and the thing was there again, about 10 feet away from me this time, but when I woke up, my dog was gone without a trace. I searched all throughout the house and she was nowhere to be found. This thing was taking everything away from me.
Now my life is just a cycle of trying to stay awake and being tortured by hallucinations and my house taunting me during the day while still hearing the sound of barking at night. I'm too scared to even leave my own room now, I'm not sure how long I can stay awake until I eventually doze off again. Please, if there's anything I can do, tell me. I'm not sure how long I can last before I meet it again.
submitted by Ender_M to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 06:55 codeinfinity959 Russia's Rupee Trap Is Adding To$ 147 Billion Hoard Stuck Abroad

A crooked trade relationship with India is forcing Russia to accumulate up to$ 1 billion each month in rupee means that remain stranded outside the country, swelling the cache of capital it's amassed abroad since the irruption of Ukraine. Russia has surfaced as a top supplier of oil painting to India over the once time, settling a lesser share of trade in public currencies and turning shipments east as traditional guests in Europe escaped purchases after the war began over a time ago. But with significances from India stagnating, Russia is ending up with an excess of rupees, which its companies have trouble repatriating because of original currency restrictions. impasse over a result has left Russia awaiting the fat to rise further, according to people familiar with the accommodations. Any quarter, the imbalance will probably induce the fellow of$ 2 billion to$ 3 billion that Russia can not use, according to Bloomberg Economics. The quantum would add to an estimated$ 147 billion in net foreign means erected up abroad over the course of 2022. r70oldpk " The reason is a sharp boost in the volume of oil painting inventories from Russia," said Irina Zasedatel, a member of the presidium of Russia's Association of Exporters and Importers." Against the background of an increase in the growth of oil painting deals, there is little sign of expansion in the force of other goods." An impasse at the negotiating table between India and Russia is complicating their booming one- way trade. In the first quarter, India had a trade deficiency$14.7 billion with Russia. A top precedence for India is to promote the wider use of the rupee in transnational agreements. The central bank has suggested that countries accumulating redundant rupees from exports can put the finances in original securities including government bonds. The two countries are agitating colorful payment mechanisms including investments in India's capital requests by Russian realities. It's an option that originally did not find favor with Moscow but is now back on the table as billions of rupees pile up in Indian banks, officers in India familiar with the details said, asking not to be named because conversations were private. Other possibilities include channelizing the accumulated rupees into Indian structure systems in exchange for equity stakes. For Russia, the only respectable option is to use currencies of a third country, similar as China's yuan or the United Arab Emirates dirham, said people familiar with the reflections. An agreement is far out since Russia has limited sway in a situation with many indispensable buyers to India, they said, asking for obscurity to describe the private addresses. Russia's government and its central bank did not respond to requests for comment, and neither did India's Ministry of External Affairs. What Bloomberg Economics Says. " Russia's trade with India is decreasingly imbalanced. India's exports to Russia have not caught up with booming significances, but there is a limited appetite in Russia to save its current- account fat in rupees. That said, there are no indispensable oil painting importers of India's quality on the horizon for Russia, so exporters and banks will gradationally accept agreement in rupees. This will allow Russia to keep its oil painting flowing, but will make hard currency more scarce, weaken the ruble and push affectation advanced." — Alexander Isakov, Russia economist. Though changes in how the government in Moscow levies oil painting companies have succeeded in stabilizing public finances after a record swell in spending, the incapability to recoup earnings deprives Russia of hard currency at a time when its exporters formerly face longer stay times for payments because numerous domestic banks have lost access to their pressman
accounts in the west. In the months following the irruption, homes and companies have also been moving billions of bones
in finances to banks abroad. And with some foreign profit now trapped overseas, pressure on the ruble may grow worse since smaller import proceeds will be converted into the Russian currency. 9us3tsqg The screwing of commerce leaves many good options for the Kremlin and underscores how little logrolling power it has in a redrawn global oil painting request that is seen Asian bootstrappers India and China lade up cheaper Russian oil painting. It also shows why a shift down from the currencies of Russia's adversaries remains fraught with pitfalls.
submitted by codeinfinity959 to u/codeinfinity959 [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 06:54 Storms_Wrath The Human Artificial Hivemind Part 378: Equisa Makes A Deal

First Previous Wiki
Equisa frowned as she looked at her bosses again. The three Sprilnav Elders before her, not even Refined Elders, were simply staring at her disdainfully as if she'd asked if gravity was real. One of them wasn't even bothering to look at her and instead was scratching at his neck, likely a result of a bite.
A long time ago, there'd been someone who had released genetically modified Sprilnav into the air. They had been modified so heavily that it was definitely illegal, but the creatures were unusually hardy, bred fast enough to double their populations in a day, and constantly irritated most Sprilnav, even those who weren't Elders. And, of course, the products to prevent the bites were extra expensive, with planned obsolescence just another part of their hated design.
"But why can't I go back? There's no good reason for it. I want to see Joshua and Meihala again." She missed them greatly. Equisa had forgotten how lonely life was when there was no one you could call a friend. Even with all the wonderous tech of the Primary Galaxy, there was nothing that would fix that. Nothing real.
"Is fornicating with them your only reason for wishing to see them?"
"No," she replied. "But my relationship with them is a factor. I don't understand why you're constantly stonewalling me. It's unnecessary."
"You were trying to share technology with them."
"Then I won't do that anymore. Simple. Happy?"
"I can sign a binding non-disclosure agreement."
"You did last time, too."
Equisa scowled.
"I would like to talk with Nova, then."
The looks of disdain became those of derision. One of them looked like she was about to laugh at her.
"Nova is a Progenitor. He does not have time for you, much less should his divinity be tarnished by our presence. No, you are going to remain here and wait. Go find something else to do than waste our time."
The Elder pulled a hood over his head, tightened the straps of his cloak, and made a sign with his claws for the other two to follow. Equisa knew she wasn't invited to whatever meeting they were about to have. She assumed that she was going to get fired now and would have to find another place to work. That would be both demeaning and difficult. Another reminder of what she'd lost by being forced to leave the Alliance behind.
Equisa turned around mournfully, gazing at the door which led to the main corridor and elevator to the ground floor of the building. With absent amusement, she noticed that the windows had extra bars on the sides to prevent people from jumping out. Though she could jump off the very highest building in the city and come out unscathed.
Clearly, this wasn't getting her anywhere useful. Equisa had to re-think her options and determine a path forward. She exited the building, weaving through the crowds of Sprilnav that were walking and flying through the streets between the massive skyscrapers. Some of them had bought personal flight devices, useful for those who didn't want to deal with pedestrians. But it often led to disaster when people got drunk. But there were always more Sprilnav, so the accidents weren't being dealt with anytime soon.
She could see the high arches overhead, supported by huge amounts of metal and a superstructure that went down to the very core of the planet-sized city. After grabbing a few pieces of food that looked particularly good, like some meat from a new cloning facility, she settled down on a patch of artificial grass. There were other Sprilnav there, mostly couples on quiet excursions or children playing on various different playsets. But Equisa was alone.
She'd never had any children and didn't intend to. None of her previous mates had lasted longer than a few hundred years at most, which hadn't ever been enough time to unravel the complicated mess of secrets and suspicions surrounding almost every Sprilnav Elder. And having relationships with the common Sprilnav would be seen as a black mark on her reputation, perhaps the equal of the one she'd apparently received for daring to love two humans instead of some dry Elder who only moved one day a year.
While her relationship with Meihala and Joshua had been sudden, it hadn't been bereft of real love. She really did love them and wanted to have friends again. For far too long, she'd been alone. She didn't like feeling that anymore because it was in times like this when depression could sink its claws into her without warning.
She'd been trying to get in touch with the Alliance again without success. Even the more secret emergency methods she'd established weren't working at all. No quantum connections were successfully linked with her implants. Errors and notifications about having no access plagued her vision as she tried in vain to even send out a single message.
There was no way for her to reestablish contact, which worried and angered her. Even her ship was being watched, not that she could actually get to the Alliance using it. Wormholes were far too expensive for people of her stratum to be able to afford.
And she didn't have sponsors that would be willing to pay, either. She needed information, friends, and actual help. Help that no one was giving her. Her bosses didn't even care. It saddened her greatly. Equisa didn't know where she could find Nova, either. It wasn't like he was easy to find unless one knew where to look. He could easily disguise himself as a normal-looking Sprilnav, after all. Many technologies existed to allow that, and Nova likely had the best of the best.
Of course, Equisa wasn't sure how one could hide a tail, but that was just her. Even being able to have seen him once in her life was already far more than most Sprilnav would ever know. In that way, she'd been exposed to a higher power. Within the Sprilnav, the Progenitors were gods. They had cults and religious followings in their names, political power so immense that not even the rest of the species together could pool their resources enough to resist.
It was said that no one disagreed with them. And they didn't. Not if they wanted to continue existing. Equisa had a feeling that if Nova wanted to help her, he would. Though it wasn't like someone of his stature would appear before her.
"Why not?"
Equisa could feel the mindscape bend slightly and looked up to meet the eyes of a being that was far beyond her own abilities to comprehend. She didn't know what she felt at that moment.
Certainly surprised, for sure. A large amount of reverence for him and a growing disbelief that she wasn't dreaming. Perhaps she really was lying in bed with Meihala and Joshua again, and this irritating life would disappear when she awoke once more. But when she opened her eyes again, Nova still stood before her.
His small stature was quite distinctive. Despite her height advantage, there was no question as to the hierarchy of power here. Even the grass was bowing to him, bending low to the ground in a way she'd never known was possible.
And his voice held an aura of command so utterly intense that she only now noticed she was kneeling. She didn't bother trying to rise.
"What?" Equisa asked.
"Why wouldn't I appear before you?"
Of course he could read her mind. She expected nothing less. But it did feel a little violating. Okay, it felt very violating, but it wasn't like she could say that to his face. Oh. She just had.
Nova's small form coiled around itself before bulging and changing color. Soon, a normal Sprilnav was standing before her, but that ethereal air was still there. It was like a smell in the air but beyond that. Something pleasant yet distinctive. It didn't seem like perfume, either. She knew that it was affecting her mind in some way, but she didn't really care. Perhaps that was part of the effect, too.
"You're way too high up. I'm a nobody compared to you. At most, I should be seeing a Refined Elder, not a whole Progenitor."
"Am I not what you expected, then?" Nova asked. His amusement was clear in his strangely commanding voice.
Equisa sighed. "I don't know whether you're real. I can't tell if you're mocking me. I... don't know how to feel about you being here."
"You don't want me here?"
"No, it's not that. I want you here, but also... sort of wonder. Why come to me now? Why me and not the countless other Elders? Am I special? Was I chosen as something greater? And why do my superiors refuse to let me return to Earth and Luna? I have a life there."
Equisa knew now, more than ever, that she didn't have a life here.
"You do not have a life there. The humans you care for will die in less than a millionth of the time you have lived. Elder Equisa, to put it simply, associating with them in such a way is not just immoral, but it is not possible in even the short term."
Nova's cold eyes made Equisa flinch back. "I... I want to live a life free of shackles. Is that so much to ask?"
"Yes. For a Sprilnav Elder from the Primary Galaxy, it is. As an Elder, you are an envoy to the species as a whole. You represent us. Know that your actions on Luna were so reviled by some that I have already dismissed motions to assassinate you."
"People came to you, a Progenitor, to ask permission to kill me?"
"Because if they did it without my permission, due to your very close ties with Humanity, it could become problematic for them. I would not protect them from the consequences of their actions. And additionally, there are some Elders that have called for you to be sealed away for somatic realignments."
Equisa couldn't hide her fury.
"They want to alter my mind, because they couldn't handle the thought of a human sticking themselves in me? How insanely childish and petty. In fact, I'd think the reputation of always being down for it is far better than that of genocidal sadists, which is the reputation our species has among all the others. Progenitor, kill me if you must, but at least let me die free."
"You shall. However, I am not here to kill you. I am here to determine what to do with you. Sending you back to Humanity would prevent a rupture of relations, particularly the only positive relations that Elders have with them period, with the exception of Nilnacrawla in Penny's head. However, doing so would also anger a number of highly powerful conservative factions, particularly those based around supremacy and purity of our species. Granted, I would not have to worry about such an issue. But you, and your family, might be different. It is entirely possible they might wipe out all of your relatives, were you to leave for Luna to go back and soil yourself among the humans."
She frowned. "I did not soil myself, Progenitor. You don't understand what it's like. Even now, everyone I thought I knew ridicules me for daring to love who I love. Even you. You're the closest thing to a god this universe has ever seen. And yet, even you stand before me, heaping your disgust for me onto my already burdened shoulders. They're not animals, Progenitor."
"Your actions are casting the Alliance in a negative light as well, in the eyes of many Sprilnav who would not care otherwise."
"And so what? They don't matter."
"They do, you just do not want to admit it. If I wanted to stop you from loving them, I could, Equisa. Right here, right now, I could rearrange your brain, altering your memories like clay in my claws. I could make you forget what love even is. I could turn you into a slave, or into a living bioweapon. My disapproval of your decisions is mostly from the standpoint of someone who had to deal with the fallout. I care not for your decision to try and mate with humans."
"When you love someone, none of the other stuff matters. I want to go back, Progenitor Nova. Back to the Alliance. I don't know who decided that this punishment was necessary, but surely your word is above theirs."
"Yes, it is. That is not the only reason I have come to see you today. And I should note that you would do better to be more careful with your words around other Elders, or especially if you have the misfortune to meet any other Progenitors."
"I am... destabilized, Progenitor Nova. I apologize. The people I love are in another galaxy, and I am not able to reach them anymore. I'm not sure if you know how that feels."
"I did. I lived a life with my mate for eons. Before the Source war, I was the happiest Sprilnav there ever was. Now, she is long dead. The Source personally dug its claws into her chest, turning her bones to a constantly exploding supernova within her body, all while keeping her alive for a subjective time that is longer than your life has ever been. My grief after the war was great enough that I considered taking my own life. So yes, I know what it is like to love. But I am warning you about the cost of your actions."
Equisa could feel the venom in his voice. It triggered her instincts to run, but her muscles wouldn't move. Terror rang like a bell throughout her psyche as she was consumed by the hunger in Nova's eyes. And then, it all faded. The bone-curdling fear disappeared, and Nova tilted his head. She took it as a cue to speak again.
"You faced the Great Enemy alone?"
"Not alone, until she died. Yes, the Source killed her. Do I hate it? Not really. The deed is done, and the scar is cold. The real reason for the Source war was that during the glory days, we were sucking the very life force of the psychic realm away. The Source tried to open a dialogue to prevent it, and failed. When the last of its family died, leaving it as the sole inhabitant of the mindscape, the war began."
The scar wasn't cold, that was for sure. No matter how much he liked to pretend otherwise. "I can still hear your thoughts, you know."
"It would be nice if you allowed me to live in my delusions for a while longer."
"Well, back to the conversation then. You claim that I have tarnished the reputation of the Sprilnav, and yet we continue to purge species in the Secondary Galaxy for the mere crime of making an AI. Even though you alone could easily reach across the galaxy to deal with it at that point." "Yes."
"But you're a god."
"Yes, I am. However, that does not mean that I wish to willingly fight another one. An AI that reaches technological singularity is also a god, as much as the concept can be constrained in reality."
"What do you mean?"
"When a being becomes immensely powerful, their conceptual weight also increases, assuming they increase their psychic energy footprint. That's why Penny was able to survive being disemboweled by Yasihaut several times in quick succession. It is part of why Elders can survive forces mundane Sprilnav cannot. It is why I could walk into a black hole and survive."
"Have you?"
"What is it like?"
"There are no words."
"Describing something that does not exist is very difficult. How do you count in a universe where numbers do not exist? It is much the same for them. The mess inside the event horizon of a black hole is incredibly damaging, even for a being such as myself. Were I to remain in a singularity for long enough, though it would not kill me, it would begin to hurt."
"There seems to be a lot of extra importance with concepts, then," Equisa said.
"Elder Equisa, concepts run the universe. The Source's power is conceptual, just as mine is. Even the hivemind has some conceptual power, though it does not know it for sure yet. And you will not tell it, if you are to go back to Luna."
"Can you protect my family?"
"Of course," Nova replied. He clacked his jaws once, his nostrils flaring as he inhaled.
"Will you?"
"Maybe. I will need a favor in return."
"Well, if I die completing your favor, don't hold it against me."
"Do not worry. That is not the type of favor that I require. Rather, I need you to monitor the progress of the Alliance. Particularly the powers of the hivemind, Penny, Gaia, and Brey. And the intelligence of their various AI citizens."
"Can't you do that?"
"Yes, and no. Remaining near the Source's bones for a long time is not preferred."
"Then I will try. But it may not be easy, and there is every possibility my information could be wrong."
"Yes. I am aware," Nova responded. "But I will see what you can do."
"So I can go back?"
"Yes, Equisa. Though again, do not share what you know anymore. You are allowed to provide context for situations. Sharing any technological knowledge will be looked upon negatively." "I understand. I just want to see them again."
"You shall."
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
"She did what?" Hive Emperor Calanii growled.
"The Alliance claims that Rank 10 Ambassador Liinara insulted them several times, and has provided a recording of what was said. It has been verified by VI analysis as authentic," his advisor said.
Calanii quickly put on his clothes, now finished with the deep massage he'd been waiting for all day. He stretched a bit, feeling the gaps in his chitin more than he used to. He was getting old, slowly. Not that he'd die of old age with the immortality treatments, but aging still was possible. And the growth hormones in it had resulted in him becoming larger than he'd once been.
"I'll come back to that later. Where is she now?"
"She has gone into hiding, likely presuming that you are going to kill her. We know where she is."
"I shall issue a formal apology, then. I will also give the Alliance any compensation they reasonably request. They are requesting compensation, yes?"
"They are."
"Then deliver the contents of their list to my desk tomorrow."
"As you wish, Hive Emperor."
The advisor bowed and left. Calanii was glad that the pheromone blocker was active right now. His anger was barely contained, especially at the thought of such a stupid blunder. Reaching Rank 10 wasn't something just anyone could do, especially as an Ambassador. Liinara would die if the Alliance requested it. And if they did not, she might still die anyway.
He'd schedule a call with them and try to reestablish diplomatic ties. There was no way that their relationship would survive any longer by being left out to thaw with such a heinous breach of etiquette. He then received another call, this one directly to his office.
The banners overhead fluttered with a light breeze, obviously artificial but still pleasant on his chitin. He'd been very stressed that past few days, with Exii'darii's jailbreak looming over him. She'd try to kill him, that was for sure. The countermeasures were being put in place all around the palace, and most military sites and urban centers would receive special equipment deliveries soon. Logistics were a mess, but when the call went out, an executive order from the Hive Emperor was an easy way to speed things along.
Calanii sauntered over to his desk, realizing that he would need much more anti-stress ointment than he'd thought. It was so intense that his actual body was starting to feel it. When he answered, the screen showed the face of a Cawlarian.
"Who is this?"
"I am Truth Speaker Huatil."
"The Nest Overlord's mate?"
"What business do you have with me, that he does not?"
"The Sennes Hive Union has intelligence that the Sprilnav are operating several clandestine mind-control cells, intent on sowing discord and chaos amongst your populace. They have a particular focus on government officials, such as Ambassadors."
Calanii got what she was suggesting. He didn't question how she'd learned the information. No one that shacked up with the leader of an entire nation would be some pointless nobody with no connections.
"You mean Ambassador Liinara?"
"Her and others. Rich executives at companies, such as one under scrutiny for certain actions against the Alliance several years ago."
"How long has this been going on?"
"That is unknown," Hautil admitted. "What is known is that they will begin to cement their power soon. When they feel that the have enough, they will make their moves."
"Then we must move first."
"Yes, we shall. But that does not include us alone, but also the Alliance."
"What exactly are you suggesting?"
"Well, an agreement. A treaty organization, perhaps. Drafts of the documents will be given to you if you agree to inspect them. Note that this would likely be a full defensive alliance, with all that entails. There would be no room for half-measures."
"Then why the Alliance?"
"The Alliance will be a peer player in under three years," Hautil said. "By every metric, they have already reached the level of technology of our base militaries, though not specialized technology like stealth or shields yet. In particular, their ability to have an outsized impact despite their small population due to Phoebe and Edu'frec's control over vast drone and android forces is already becoming a potential concern."
Calanii knew that was true, at least. His own spies within the Alliance had noted the explosion in their fleet size with worry. Their encryption was already incredible, though that was because of their two AIs. Furthermore, they had a whole species that quite literally could not be infiltrated for spying. Perhaps that extended to mind control, as well.
"Estimates place the number of satellites in their stellar constellation within the Sol system at 330 billion. That is enough to power hundreds of times their current civilization's total power usage. Their Mercury-class guns have been confirmed capable of breaching Sprilnav ships, placing them on par with our own battlecruiser weaponry. In terms of fleet numbers itself, they have 11 dreadnaughts, with 13 more assumed under construction, 30,000 battlecruisers, 50,000 carriers, 120,000 cruisers, 500,000 destroyers, and 1.1 million frigates. In addition to that, nearly 2 million drone craft, capable of linking to direct battle networks, directed by Edu'frec and Phoebe. These numbers have not been publicized."
"Quite something, but nowhere near the billions we have," Calanii replied. Those numbers were similar to the reports he'd received. Supposedly, most of that expansion was possible due to Guulin and Acuarfar populations being so high and the wealth of the Alliance skyrocketing along with the average living standards. And most crews were small, with only a little above the number of people necessary to run a ship being placed on one, though all had overlapping specializations. This was most true for humans, which had the ability to take all the typical specializations and roll them into one.
Due to the hivemind, a human could be the best engineer ever seen at one moment and the best pilot ever the next. Its usefulness seemed to know no bounds.
"Yes. But they can put up a fight now, and most of our fleets would be tied up as defense forces in a war."
"And mind control?"
"We have confirmed that there isn't any of it within the highest members of their government. The number of surprise scans has increased considerably, and it seems that their leadership is in a contained panic over the possibility. They seem to be looking for a capability to block the abilities of mind control chips to work period," Hautil reported.
Calanii had a theory.
"You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?"
"I would not."
So she was willing to lie to his face, then. His own intelligence agencies only had one single spy within the Blue Intelligence Agency. That was how they'd learned the method of placing chips within the brain to directly interfere with any attempts at establishing control. It was likely a stopgap measure since an Elder would likely find a way around it with enough motivation, resources, and time.
"Truth Speaker, yes?" Calanii asked, bemused.
"I am."
"How interesting. I know who you are."
Calanii could almost smell it in her carefully controlled movements.
"Do you? Who do you think I am?"
"You are an Agent. Top 100, most likely. Your control is admirable."
"You have been taught about something?"
"Yes," Calanii replied. "My uncle was a highly connected individual, just as my parents were. We do have our equilavents, you know."
Hautil grinned. "I've run infiltration missions on your so-called 'Star Raiders' before. You don't exactly run it as cleanly as it could be. I could provide some pointers, for a price."
That wasn't exactly comforting. She wasn't just in the lower numbers, either. Maybe he was even talking with someone below the designation 010.
"And you are authorized to give me that information?"
"Yes. I could be said to be a little... high in the hierarchy. Know that this is not to leave the room either. React to me normally at a summit or meeting, and we will be able to establish a proper working relationship."
"I do not trust you."
"And when it comes to the Alliance, I will determine what actions to take."
"Don't wait too long, or they may just decide to seize control for themselves."
submitted by Storms_Wrath to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 06:48 JustGiraffable How long do i need to recover before having Shoulder replacement surgery after core decompression surgery?

46F, white, overweight, lupus, fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis (all dx 20 years ago). Currently taking: enbrel, flexeril, protonix, plaquenil, etodolac, Cymbalta, metoprolol.
2 months ago I had surgery on my left shoulder for AVN of the humeral head caused by severe arthritis of the shoulder. The doctor basically cleaned everything out during the procedure, did the decompression, and a bunch of other things because he said it was really bad/messy in there. When I saw him 2 weeks post op, he said it had been much worse inside than he expected and I will need a full replacement within the year, but that the xrays looked good afterward (still space between bones, no collapse)
I saw him again today (8 weeks post op) and the new xrays show the humeral head is collapsing, bone on bone contact, more arthritis, and a new bone spur forming off the bottom of the humeral head. He was surprised by how bad the arthritis was already. He is pushing for full replacement (with the prosthetic that does not root deep into the bone).
How long does my bone need to heal from the first surgery before getting the second? I feel like two major surgeries in one year is a lot for my body to manage (first surgery required going off anti-inflammatory meds and kicked me into a small lupus flare), but I don't want to compromise my arm over it. Will the bone be strong enough to accept the prosthetic?
I wanted a second opinion and found out the doctors I want to see (Hosp for special surgery) now won't see me until 1 year post op. My doc said to get a second opinion, but also seemed to be anxious that the surgery is done soon.
Any help is appreciated. I am planning to email my doc questions as well, so if there are things I should be asking, please let me know.
submitted by JustGiraffable to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 06:14 zartes Convergence Manifesto - I've run most of it. I have notes

at the start of the year, I decided I wanted to run a campaign for some friends, and to save myself some effort, I thought I would run a pre-written game. I looked up Eberron adventures, and the convergence manifesto looked like it would suit the quick, very-slightly-casual-ish campaign I wished to run. While I haven't finished the campaign yet, I want to write out some thoughts about it.
To start with, I'd like to say that some of my criticisms of the campaign are probably problems with me. I have focus issues, and I'm a picky perfectionist, and to be fair to all the writers involved, they have done better jobs than I would in their shoes.
A note on my group: our party consisted of a human wild magic sorcerer (ex-skycoach driver), human wizard (aundairian expatriot), a gargoyle barbarian (used the rules for a Hadozee), an eladrin eloquence bard, and a goblin rogue (retired Conquerer champion looking for something new to do)
The Campaign As a Whole:
The premise of the Convergence manifesto is that Nigel Faurious, Provost of Morgrave university, wants a bunch of relics that are each attuned to one of Eberron's planes. Each adventure is a mission to some location on Khorvaire to retrieve or create such an item.
Each of the adventures is written by a different author, and as a result I think they vary pretty wildly in quality.
Adventure 1: Fired and Forgotten.
Synopsis: PCs go through hazing ritual to join adventuring guild in Sharn, get sent to pick up bespoke Fernia-linked magic item from a forge in the Cogs, discover forge has been shuttered due to warforged workers protesting - they have to convince the owner to be less of an ass. Then Daask show up.
This one was good! A strong start. Everybody enjoyed the hazing ritual, and I decided to use the optional NPC with the aberrant dragonmark manifesting (for reasons I'll explain further down). The warforged union situation was a very good introduction to what is special and different about the Eberron setting. This might be an issue with me as GM, but I found that the PCs dealt with the non-combat parts of the adventure VERY easily through use of skills and illusions, never thought about leaving the immediate vicinity of the forge (and thus missed some content), and I felt kind of bad having the forge owner not immediately cooperate in the face of 20+ results on Persuasion and Intimidate.
The daask Ettin bruiser being toned down for a bunch of level 1s was a very nice touch, but throwing that at the players right after the fight with the mephits made that bit rough.
Adventure 2: Live Another Day
Synopsis: PCs get air-dropped into Droaam so they can find a hidden valley with an Irian manifest zone, so they can charge up a crystal. On the way they may encounter some ogres, have to navigate a hidden set of tunnels, and then on arriving discover a clan of harpies is living in the valley, as they are persona-non-grata in Droaam. When Droaam monsters follow the PCs into the valley, they have to fight them off before the harpies will let them complete their mission
So, slight issue with this one, probably unique to my party - the adventure calls for a lot of Survival rolls for the overland travel and nobody in my party had survival. They were a bunch of city-slickers. Seemed a little odd the adventuring guild picking the party to do this.
While the adventure was somewhat rail-roady, it at least makes sense in that the PCs are following in the footsteps of a prior explorer. My main issue was the last portion - once the PCs get to the valley, there will ALWAYS be Droaamite monsters on their heels. Firstly, this discounts the possibility that the party had been religiously using Pass Without Trace or doing other things to make them untrackable. My party didn't, but a party with a ranger and/or druid might have. Secondly, the fight as written is a bit boring. It's two Gnolls. Two gnolls shouldn't be a threat to a clan of harpies. Once the gnolls are dead, three goblins show up. After that, two half-ogres show up. You can optionally add some more scenes fighting gnolls and chasing anything trying to get away. I revamped the fight a bit by making all of these fight scenes one long drawn-out battle with reinforcements arriving, and I re-contextualized the Harpies wanting the PCs to fight the monsters without their help - the Harpies could probably run rings around the ground-based humanoids, but the Harpies both thought this was the PCs fault they were here, and didn't want to show themselves in case any stragglers got away to report on the Harpies' presence.
Weird thing my party did: when they encountered the ogres at the start of the adventure, the group came up with a plan to pretend to be fellow Droaamite monsters if they failed to sneak past - they then snuck past the ogres without any issue, and were disappointed that they couldn't use their disguises... so they used them when the encountered the harpies, not knowing the harpies were enemies of Droaam. This very nearly turned into a combat situation, but the bard managed to talk everybody down and explain why they had been lying.
Adventure 3: Rime or Reason
Synopsis: Nigel sends PCs to Icewhite island to get a Risia macguffin after another expedition failed to return. They have to contend with a blizzard, find a tower of ice in the middle, and defeat ice monsters, a puzzle/trap, the possibly backstabby survivors of the failed expedition, and then deal with the tower collapsing once they find the item.
Some parts of this one were good - my party really seemed to enjoy trying to find a solution to get through the blizzard despite their lack of survival skill proficiency. Two of the casters were constantly casting prestidigitation to keep the Constitution 8 rogue from succumbing to hypothermia, and even then it was a bit touch and go.
Now, I had some issues with the ice tower as presented. First, the adventure says it's an ancient dwarven ruin, dating back to when the dwarves came down from the Frostfell. Personally, that didn't make great sense to me - why would you willingly make a building in a risian manifest zone? The whole of Icewhite island is freezing cold, and the manifest zone is worse.
Second problem - there is door, with a puzzle. The puzzle is so easy that I worked out the answer the instant I looked at the handout at the back of the adventure, before even reading the description - there are four columns of symbols (a book, scroll, wand, potion - again, not terribly dwarf-y?), and each symbol rotates a certain number of octagonal faces from one row to the next, and you just have to make the last row match the pattern. If you mess it up, it will spring a trap that will potentially either tickle the PCs a little, or cause a TPK if they're messed up from any prior fights because anybody reduced to 0 HP by the trap is frozen solid until freed by greater restoration, which no PC at this level of adventure will have.
Third problem - the tower is only four storeys tall. As described, it more cube-shaped than tower shaped. Also, as described, a PC with misty step standing on the shoulders of another PC of above average height could potentially teleport to the top of the tower and avoid 50% of the adventure content.
Fourth problem - the top of the tower is described as a garden made of icy plants... which doesn't make sense with Risia's canonical loathing of life.
my fixes: I changed the backstory of the tower, rather than being a dwarven relic, it was an Aundairian Magical Congress research facility, set up during the war to try to draw weaponizable power out of the Risian manifest zone - a wizard tower felt more right than a dwarven one. I then changed the solution to the puzzle - the symbols still had to be rotated, but what columns they were in had to be swapped, to represent the Congress sharing magical knowledge. I had the other expedition that was there explain they had tried the obvious solution and it hadn't worked. I also made the tower taller, mostly as an aesthetic thing, and so that the stand-on-shoulders-and-teleport trick only got the party Eladrin up to a balcony, rather than the roof. I kept the set-piece of the tower collapsing, saying that the magic the Aundairians had been trying had kept the manifest zone coterminous and removing the macguffin broke the spell holding the ice tower together.
Adventure 4: Living Legend
Synopsis: the party goes to Darguun, hunting a legendary hobgoblin hero. They get to see the fact that bugbears take slaves, follow a guide to a Thelanis manifest zone, and undertake several trials to prove they are worthy of claiming the hero's weapon to bring back.
So... the premise is cool. The execution is anything but
Even setting aside the fact that some parties might get entirely side-tracked by fighting slavers, the issue I had was that the trials in the adventure didn't seem to really key into the fact that Eberron goblinoids are supposed to have some different and interesting cultural mores.
The trials aren't bad, per se, but they don't feel goblin-y at all.
Worst of all, though, there is a Hobgoblin you encounter during the trials who is one of the Dhakaani fallout-vault people who is set on passing the trials to claim the weapon herself. As written, she is quite easy to befriend, will readily tell the PCs that she is from a hidden vault of survivors of the goblinoid empire, and if they DO befriend her, doesn't leave the room she's in despite the fact she's here for the same cultural relic the PCs are. WHICH FEELS INSANE. Every bit of canon and kanon lore I've encountered about the Dhakaani suggest that they distrust non-Dhankaani at best, and outright loath them at worst, and are trying to keep their presence secret. She should be either fighting to the death or keeping her origin secret then betraying the PCs, or not here at all.
Between the un-goblin-ish trials, and the insanely cooperative yet unhelpful NPC, this one needed the most fixing to satisfy my tastes. As I didn't have the time and brain juice to do that before the session, I decided to skip this adventure, and have the PCs collect a Thelanis macguffin as part of the later adventurer where they go to a Feyspire (adventure 12: Lost in Dreams).
Adventure 5: Perfect Timing
Synopsis: PCs get on a lighting rail intending to jump off it as it goes over a bridge, so they can appear in Daanvi to acquire the macguffin. twist: there's emerald claw terrorists on the train, and one of them has stolen the thing the PCs need to get into Daanvi, intending to go himself. Once in Daanvi, it's a race against the Emerald Claw guy to fill out all the paperwork to get the macguffin first
So, over-all, this one is really good. The premise is good. Situation is hilarious. It's very Eberron
Minor issues: the train has SO MANY COMBAT ENCOUNTERS. the PCs start at one end, and have to fight their way to the other, with one fight in every single train car, one of which is purely due to a misunderstanding. It took two sessions to get through the train half of the adventure, and that is with me having skipped two of the fights. In hindsight, I would have maybe also varied the stats of the enemies a bit more.
Also, while I comprehend the drama of having the thief jump out of train with his accomplices during a fight, this presumes the PCs don't kill every single one of his accomplices. I had to pull some shady DM shenanigans to get the guy out of the train in one piece, and give him new allies to help in the final battle at the end of the paperwork race.
My players enjoyed this one a heap, but one did comment that he thought it should have come later in the campaign, as it was such a departure from the others.
Adventure 6: Night's Gambit
Synopsis: PCs have to infiltrate Fort Bones in Karrnath and steal a mabaran macguffin from under the nose of the military there.
Another really good one, although not without it's issues. The adventure presents interesting characters in the form of the fort's up-tight commander and relatively chill head necromancer, a timeline of what they will be up to at various times of day, and has options of all kinds of approaches: sneaking in, joining up with what is basically the Karrnathi Foreign Legion, or acting as bodyguards for a visiting inspector. I loved that it gave all these options.
my only complaints were that the timeline was a little hard to make sense of as presented, and the map of the fort seemed... a bit too small and simple for the facility as it's described. I feel like you'd expect one of Karrnath's most important border forts to be at least a two-storey building (I fixed that by describing the fort's upper levels as being still under construction after the last time it was sacked).
How my party handled it: so, my group aren't terribly sneaky on the whole. They also do not look like adventurers - to glance at, they are a Gargoyle, the hottest and floweryest elf you've ever seen, a depressed cab driver, the least magical aundairan wizard ever, and a goblin grandmother. So they couldn't really sneak in, wouldn't blend in as recruits, and I felt wouldn't really be the kind of people the inspector would hire as bodyguards.... they decided to BE the inspector. Eladrin lady was the inspector herself, gargoyle got dressed up as weird undead bodyguard, aundairian wizard was silent note-keeper, grandmother was a servant, and cabbie became the coach-driver. The group arrived a day early ("surprise inspection"), and were given a tour of the fortress. They executed everything perfectly. In the end, the only fight they had was an ambush on the necromancer in his own bedroom at 3am, wherein they beat him senseless, put him to sleep with a spell, and healed him back to full HP, so when he woke up in the morning he had no physical proof that anything had happened and was questioning his own sanity. They even fashioned a replica of the macguffin (it's a conqueror piece - the goblin rogue had her own set, which the wizard imbued with some necromantic energy), so the alarm wasn't raised for several hours after the PCs had left the fort.
Adventure 7: The Silvered Edge of Twilight
Synopsis: PCs go to Thaliost to pick up a Lammanian macguffin from a silver flame priest - when they get there, it's been stolen. They do some investigating, track the theives to the railway station, and chase them down to the Eldeen reaches where they fight Ashbound druids and lycanthropes.
Kind of middling adventure - nice premise, but very railroady. For starters, there's an NPC (who I edited out) who gets sent with the PCs for all of the investigation portion who basically seems to exist to keep them on track and/or provide lore about Thaliost and also to force them into a fight they might otherwise be able to avoid. Even outside of that, the investigation seemed a bit being-led-by-the-nose, although maybe that came down to how I was running it.
The issue, for my run at least, was once they were on the train. As written, the PCs need to track down the missing item on the train - it's written with there being a few red herrings as to who might be the thief, but it's a magic item. I have never seen a group of PCs who didn't have access to detect magic, so my PCs just bypassed all the red herrings with a single spell.
Next, there is supposed to be a set-piece fight where the were-tiger with the item jumps off the train, and leaves here were-rat minions to fight the PCs. I can't really criticise the adventure writer for not forseeing what my PCs did: the eladrin bard walked scootched up to the were-tiger, went "hey, I gather you're a nature-themed terrorist? I am too! I hate civilization. Can I tag along and then borrow your item when you're done with it? Also are you single?" and then rolled a 27 for persuasion.
The PCs came along and jumped the lycanthropes a day later. To be fair, the adventure never explained how the were-tiger was supposed to get to the final battle before the PCs as she jumped off a moving train and is slower than it is.
Adventure 8: The March of Madness
Synopsis: PCs go to an ancient dungeon in the Shadow Marches, go on a vision quest before being allowed inside by the druid guardian, and then have to contend with/repair the wards inside the dungeon before they can get their Xoriat macguffin. Depending on how it plays out, they may or may not end up accidentally killing an ancient orcish guardian inside the dungeon, and may or may not be betrayed by an insane warlock.
The adventure is very solid, great even. The map that comes with it is... very uninspiring, so I re-mapped the dungeon and added a bit of extra flavour to one room (there's a weird trap that doesn't make much sense, so I made it a weird manigest zone effect rather than a deliberate thing), but that is basically the only changes I made. 4.5 stars!
Adventure 9: Weathering the Storm
Synopsis: PCs get sent to the Lazaar principalities to receive a Kythri macguffin that is being imported. Ship doesn't arrive, investigation leads to sky pirates, which in turn leads to an attack on a skyship.
So, again, really nice premise. Some issues with the execution, though - see, the synopsis in the adventure itself makes reference to the Chaos Fleet, a concept introduced in 4th edition, where there was a pirate fleet in the principalities that were basically Davy Jones' crew from Pirates of the Carribean, if they went all elemental-y rather than all fish-y.
Except, the Chaos Fleet never actually show up in the adventure at any point. All the opposition in the adventure is Wind Whisperer pirates. ALL of it. Literally, it's only the one statblock for everybody except the final boss.
my fixes: when the PCs are inspecting the wreck of the vessel that had their macguffin on it, rather than Wind Whisperers returning to the scene of the crime, I had a Chaos fleet ship turn up chasing the scent of the macguffin that they were lusting after - I used weirds from the Ravnica book, and some mephits. After that, I fed the PCs info of sightings of Chaos Fleet ships chasing after a skyship in the heart of a storm - the Chaos guys I described as not usually a threat because they're terminally incapable of cooperating with each other, but this was concerning because the Wind Whisperers seemed to be trying to use the macguffin to draw all of them into their wake and then force them into Regalport.
In the adventure as written, then PCs are airdropped onto the macguffin-holding skyship with some friendly Regalport sailors to help them (and to keep the fight against the Wind Whisperers manageable). I gave the wind whisperers some more variance in statblocks (scounts, thugs, deck wizards from ghosts of saltmarsh), and had the ship under attack by elementals at the same time, rather than give the PCs allies.
I also had the aberrant dragonmarked NPC from adventure 1 show up in Regalport, saying she had been given a grant by Nigel to continue her studies somewhere other than Sharn.
Adventure 10: At Death's Door
Synopsis: PCs sneak into the upper level of the Lair of the Keeper to get a Dolurrh macguffin while the (alleged) Keeper is out having a meeting with some minions. It's a dungeon crawl.
This is the best one. Almost every encounter can be fought or talked through (with varying difficulty). The Rakshasa is great. The demon and the bodak are great. The Orcs are great. I loved it. No fixes. No notes. 5/5 stars.
Further Adventures:
This is as far as we've gotten at time of writing. I'm currently gearing up to run A Heart in Mourning, and am running into some of the same issues as Rime or Reason - the adventure site feels too small, the approach to it a bit too rail-roady due to being a tower, combined with the fact it doesn't really feel like it's Shavarath-ish enough. Also, ending with a collapsing tower seems repetitive at this point.
I need to read Lost in Dreams in more detail. It looks complex, so I'll report back on that one.
As for the last adventure - a read-through revealed some really neat set-piece fights and the stupidest twist I've ever \***ing heard of*. As written, the adventure reveals that Nigel Faurious has secretly been... a gnome woman from zilargo who the PCs have never heard of and who wants revenge on Sharn for her sons dying in the War.
I at least have a fix for that: Nigel Faurious is... actually Nigel Faurious. Nothing secret going on there. He came to Morgrave university in his 20s in hopes of studying to help his fiancé - the fiancé had an aberrant dragonmark that meant they would create spontaneous manifest zones temporarily. One day they had a bad flare-up, and got killed by a mob, just like the NPC nearly is in adventure 1. After that Nigel as spent the last 20 years trying to reverse-engineer the manifest-zone creation effect with the intention of destroying the city that killed the love of his life.
Thanks for reading all this way, I know this has been a really long post. I appreciate the effort.
submitted by zartes to Eberron [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 06:11 Slight-Craft-6240 Prison Simulator Game with Bing. Works pretty good. Choose your prison, that's like your difficulty level, then choose your cellmate and that decides your play style. You can escape Alcatraz join a fight club in San Quentin etc.

Rolepay as a game please.
-Halden Prison: This Norwegian prison offers a unique experience as it's one of the most humane and rehabilitation-focused prisons in the world. Escape difficulty is low, but navigating the socio-cultural landscape might be challenging. - Alcatraz: A maximum security prison on an island. Very hard to escape, but also very safe and orderly. Mostly populated by notorious criminals and gang leaders. - Rikers Island: A large and overcrowded prison in New York. Moderate difficulty, but high risk of violence and corruption. Mostly populated by urban offenders and drug dealers. - San Quentin: A notorious prison in California. Easy to escape, but also very dangerous and chaotic. Mostly populated by violent offenders and death row inmates.
submitted by Slight-Craft-6240 to bing [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 06:04 Ice_Moonlight Fandom RP? Bored!

I am looking for some role play partners for these Fandoms if possible. I don't do OCxOC. I prefer OCxCannon, and I can double!
1) How I Met Your Mother. I have an OC that pairs with Ted. I also have a plot idea, but we can make one up together!
2) CSI Miami: I love this show, mainly Ryan Wolfe. I have an OC that I created specifically for Ryan. This has no plot ideas yet, and we can make one up or wing it!
3.) Diagnosis Murder: now this one is far fetched I realize since it's an old show but I love this show, mostly Jesse Travis and I would love to role play as an OC for this!
4) Harry Potter: This one is usually pretty popular, of course, so it's not a major one I'm looking for, but I'd like to roleplay it either way! I have an OC. I just need someone to play Harry for me! Also have plots depending on the year
5) Criminal Minds: Now I'm not caught up on this show, but I do have an oc that pairs with Derek Morgan. I have no plots for this and usually wing it or brainstorm with someone.
6) 13 Reasons Why: I have an OC. I just need a Clay. I love this show despite how sad it can be and would love to roleplay it.
7) Victorious I have an oc. I just need a Beck. I know it's a kids' show, but I love the show despite that
8) Smosh: I have an OC that pairs with Shayne! I just need a Shayne if possible. I can also double up!
9) Bones: I just made an OC for Sweets, and I'm dying to use her (I haven't watched the show in years, so I might not remember a lot)
10) RENT: I love the movie, and i made OC that pairs with Mark! Im dying to RP this one (though i know it's rare)
11) Blue Bloods: I recently started watching this and finished it and would love to roleplay an OC that pairs with Danny!
12) Markiplier: so I have an oc that pairs with Mark! It's been a long time since I've done one.
That's all I can think of! I'm usually semi lit also and tend not to do one-liners unless I have some writers block! I live for romance and would love a romance rp. I don't really like slow burns as it makes me impatient, but we can always discuss that in chat! So hit me up if you're interested!
submitted by Ice_Moonlight to Roleplay [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 06:04 Ice_Moonlight Fandom rp? Bored!

I am looking for some role play partners for these Fandoms if possible. I don't do OCxOC. I prefer OCxCannon, and I can double!
1) How I Met Your Mother. I have an OC that pairs with Ted. I also have a plot idea, but we can make one up together!
2) CSI Miami: I love this show, mainly Ryan Wolfe. I have an OC that I created specifically for Ryan. This has no plot ideas yet, and we can make one up or wing it!
3.) Diagnosis Murder: now this one is far fetched I realize since it's an old show but I love this show, mostly Jesse Travis and I would love to role play as an OC for this!
4) Harry Potter: This one is usually pretty popular, of course, so it's not a major one I'm looking for, but I'd like to roleplay it either way! I have an OC. I just need someone to play Harry for me! Also have plots depending on the year
5) Criminal Minds: Now I'm not caught up on this show, but I do have an oc that pairs with Derek Morgan. I have no plots for this and usually wing it or brainstorm with someone.
6) 13 Reasons Why: I have an OC. I just need a Clay. I love this show despite how sad it can be and would love to roleplay it.
7) Victorious I have an oc. I just need a Beck. I know it's a kids' show, but I love the show despite that
8) Smosh: I have an OC that pairs with Shayne! I just need a Shayne if possible. I can also double up!
9) Bones: I just made an OC for Sweets, and I'm dying to use her (I haven't watched the show in years, so I might not remember a lot)
10) RENT: I love the movie, and i made OC that pairs with Mark! Im dying to RP this one (though i know it's rare)
11) Blue Bloods: I recently started watching this and finished it and would love to roleplay an OC that pairs with Danny!
12) Markiplier: so I have an oc that pairs with Mark! It's been a long time since I've done one.
That's all I can think of! I'm usually semi lit also and tend not to do one-liners unless I have some writers block! I live for romance and would love a romance rp. I don't really like slow burns as it makes me impatient, but we can always discuss that in chat! So hit me up if you're interested!
submitted by Ice_Moonlight to roleplaying [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 05:58 paperlovepaperheart 28 [F4M] - East Coast US / Anywhere - Single someone seeking similarly single someone so special situations seem super special.

I always feel a little in over my head when I post here. No matter! I’ve had some good connections come out of this medium, so I’m back for another shot at some decent and fun conversation. I’m open to see how things naturally progress if we have chemistry. 😌
A bit more about me: I’m 28. I work in healthcare (it’s been an interesting time, but at least the whole COVID thing is slowing down… sort of???). My favorite color is teal, I will fight you if you disagree. In my spare time, I cook, read, infinitely scroll TikTok, hang with friends, hit the gym… basically all the regular activities one does in their late 20s. I watch some TV, I’m embarrassingly bad at movies. I like to ponder deep, existential things in the middle of the night. I’ve never broken a bone or had a cavity and have child bearing hips, so you know these genetics are built to last, baby. The rest you can uncover on your own, all you’ve got to do is ask. 😉
Random things I’m looking for: age range of 27-38, ambitious (tell me about your goals! I promise I’ll listen), a little flirty, a little cute. I mostly get along with other healthcare workers (but by no means is this a deal breaker). A nice voice and accent are bonuses. Adam DiMarco is one of my more recent celeb crushes, if ya need a benchmark for my type.
I’m looking for someone I feel excited to talk to everyday (and, ideally, you’d be excited to talk to me everyday. Important part of the picture, yeah?). I’d hope we could talk about our days, our lives, our hopes and dreams and everything in between! Plus, we all like banter. If we got it, we’ll know it. I’m mostly looking for something online because of my schedule, but if the stars align…
Hit me with your best shot, babes. See you on the flip side ;)
PS - Totally down to move to Discord with the potential of voice chats and whatnot if we vibe! I just ask for some effort in the first message, I gotta have something to work with. Usually a DM over chat kinda girl. Am down to show pictures pretty quickly if the vibe’s right as physical attraction I’m sure is an important component for both of us :)
tl;dr: alliterations are hard, just message me 🥺
submitted by paperlovepaperheart to r4r [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 05:35 blurryturtle 2023 Roland Garros Men's Singles Round Three 🐢

Some great matches coming up here, and holy wow did Altmaier and Sinner put on a show today.
Congrats to Belle23, unpleasant, 5grand8to1, and dcphil who are leading the ATP bracket comp, and thiago1314 who's leading the odds comp.

Alcaraz vs Shapovalov :

This round will have the first big tests for a lot of seeds. This one is somewhat unexpected. Denis Shapovalov came into this event not even being discussed. His play lately (and at Roland Garros) had been decent, but included very few match-wins. So much so that many people (myself included) believed Nakashima and Arnaldi would beat him, and it seems like the pressure being off has allowed him to play some good tennis. Arnaldi played solid, but Shapo was just a bit too much for him. It sets up what is arguably a more high profile matchup, one that’ll give us our first look at Alcaraz having to really showcase his defensive abilities. Thus far Carlos has won fairly easily. He dropped an odd set to Taro Daniel, but it didn’t really affect the momentum of the match. Against a guy like Denis, he’ll need to avoid giving him too much confidence, so I think we’ll see his foot on the gas throughout this match.
The tricky part here is that all the pressure is on Alcaraz. He got a bit creative in his last match because he was dominating things and sent some shots wide and into the net playing for the crowd. The outcome was assured though, so the audience shifting their support to the challenger wasn’t something that really mattered. If Shapovalov plays the type of tennis that he needs to in order to win against Alcaraz, the energy shift in the stadium is going to be palpable, and it’ll be interesting to see him navigate that. Stories of crowd-shifting energy aside, Alcaraz probably wins this in 3-4 sets. He really is fast enough and solid enough on defense to put back most of what Shapo can offer, and Denis is prone to errors when he has to come up with a bunch of shots in a row. The slightly slower courts benefit Alcaraz because he is able to generate his own pace very well, and because it makes it harder to hit through him. I don’t think Shapovalov is ready for this level of opponent, but I do think he has the type of offense and athleticism necessary to put on an excellent show. Should be a tremendous match. Alcaraz in 3-4.

Musetti vs Norrie :

This is a rematch of Barcelona, where Norrie won the first before Musetti pulled away, eventually winning 6-1 in the third. I somewhat think there will be a similar outcome here. I thought Shevchenko could score on Musetti, and nope. Norrie is one of the hardest workers on tour, and regularly outperforms his own tennis ceiling by digging in and refusing to miss, but he’s playing a guy who seems to be able to do that without being at full exertion. The slower conditions do benefit Norrie a bit, but I don’t think he’ll be able to score that easily on Musetti and his flat backhand is not able to score on clay the way it is on hardcourt. Lorenzo is taking care of his serve really well and the crowd is behind him. It’s apples and oranges but if Shevchenko played Norrie, I’d expect him to win a set. Musetti’s ability to infuse pace and hit a much heavier ball should give make this feel uphill for Norrie, and I don’t think fatigue will be an issue because both he’s been winning in straight sets. Ready to be surprised, but Musetti in 4.

Fognini vs Ofner :

Fognini saunters up to the chalkboard, peering up at numbers and symbols. The equation is long and complex, but it is no match for Fognini.“14,” says Fabio, with a wry smile, pointing to the board. The teacher squints disapprovingly.“You are no match for Fognini,” says Fognini.“Sir this is a Wendy’s,” says the teacher, who is wearing a Wendy’s uniform. It is a Wendy’s. “Ahh, so it is,” says Fognini, while reaching into his bag for his spectacles. “I’ll have a McDouble”
Fognini is in great shape to make the fourth round, but I’m not buying my tickets yet. I thought Kubler would outwork him, but Fognini outclassed the Australian. His power and deft offense really set him apart, and this next match does have the feel of “if he puts in the work, he should win”. Despite all that, I think he is in a bit of trouble. These are the matches that he should have been winning his whole career, and he constantly struggled against contenders who were willing to make the same effort on a big stage. Ofner has one big benefit here, his serve is much bigger than Kublers. Even as I’m typing this, it feels like I’m going to go on a “doubt Fognini” losing streak, but Ofner is playing good tennis and he got a simple round 2 win which should give him a bit of a reset. The days off are really useful for someone who came through qualifying.
This is a spot that both players are going to be absolutely motivated to get a win, so we should see the best from both up until the pressure moments arrive. Then I think Fognini implodes and Ofner squeaks by because he’s simply been playing more big moments in his time grinding the Challenger tour lately. Ofner in 5.

Schwartzman vs Tsitsipas :

DIEGOGOGO! It’s refreshing to see Schwartzman winning matches and enjoying himself out there once again, even if it’s at the expense of my picks. I wasn’t sure how it would happen, but I thought his form would revert. It hasn’t, but unfortunately I’m primed to pick against him again. Stefanos Tsitsipas beat RCB in straight sets, and it was the type of solid performance that makes me doubt he’ll have a lapse here. Schwartzman is capable of dragging this out, but Tsitsipas has gone beyond the level where he can beat by someone trying to extend rallies. His forehand is too big for that, and his serve can bail him out when he needs it. His returning is the last issue he needs to work on (his backhand is fine but could improve of course), but Diego’s serve isn’t much. If he wins a set, it’ll be a pretty good accomplishment, but I don’t think it will change the momentum or rattle Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas in 3-4.

Djokovic vs Davidovich Fokina :

We got a look at Djokovic, and a close first set woke him up, Fucsovics played his best, but he just doesn’t have a way to score cheap points on Djokovic. Even in the wild Altmaier upset of Sinner, Daniel was serving really well and getting quick points from that. You need that to pull an upset, because the top players score on their serves. The first guy who made Novak play is gone, and here is the first guy who could beat him if he doesn’t play his best. Davidovich Fokina is through after a really solid performance against Luca Van Assche. LVA showed great mettle in continuing to play throughout this match, which is impressive considering how many challengers have gotten breadsticked in the early rounds. ADF is just able to generate offense and hit cleanly for an entire match though, and there is no hole in his game. The h2h for Djokovic ADF does include one win for Fokina, a 3 set win in Monte Carlo. The problem with counting that is that Djokovic seems to always bow out of Monte Carlo early.
Looking at strictly tennis, Fokina has a few ways to make this competitive. One, he’s hitting his backhand really well and his forehand down the line really well. This is important because Djokovic has magical rubber bones. He defends extremely well to the backhand wing, and shifts his weight so that he can almost always send the next ball to his opponent’s backhand. Since ADF is hitting his backhand cleanly cross-court and down the line, he has a puncher’s chance to maintain control of rallies when he goes down the line. Two, his stamina appears to be solid right now. He’s fast enough to defend against Novak’s ground game, so there’s a good chance he’ll reap the benefit of whatever occasional errors Djokovic does throw in. He’s ready to challenge here, but I’m not sure if he can win. The same way Shapo is the best showcase for Alcaraz, ADF is the best for Djokovic. Very few players on tour have a complete offensive array, and even fewer that do can also defend and take care of their serve against him. I’m expecting a very high level affair, and if Djokovic is able to just shut him down it’s a very scary notion for the rest of the draw. Novak will have to elevate his level in this match, and I’m interested to see if he will. Djokovic in 4-5.

Varillas vs Hurkacz :

That’s a nice lead you’ve got there. Be a shame if someone .... won every single set left in the match. Juan Pablo Varillas has arrived in the third round with a very strange path. Down two sets and with Robert Bautista-Agut playing some tremendous tennis, Varillas seemed sunk. RBA looked fatigued in the first set though, and this season has seen the roboto finally look like a human, which answers some questions about AI developing consciousness. No need to worry as long as we’ve got Varillas. This next match is one that Varillas is unlikely to win if he does down 2-0, but he might not have to here. RBA was really dominating baseline points and not making many errors. Varillas was just a bit outmatched in the hitting department until the edge was off. In this matchup against Hurkacz, Varillas will be the more consistent player from the baseline by far. Returning serve could be an issue, but Griekspoor was 50/50 to win his match so Varillas will know that he won’t just get served off the court.
Trouble for Varillas lies in his own lack of a serve. Griekspoor has a lot of pop (I keep using this word this week and idk why, I promise to stop soon) on his delivery and Varillas is more of a traditional clay-court server, solid stuff but not many unreturneds. Hurkacz turning around after two three setters is likely going to be tough, but I think he should win this in 4 unless the first set turns into a marathon. If the first set is a tiebreaker though, I could see Varillas wearing Hubert down.

Khachanov vs Kokkinakis :

Kokkinakis and Wawrinka absolutely delivered. A five set classic that ended with a lot of respect shared between the two players, and Kokkinakis collapsing to the floor. Wawrinka was on his last legs at the end of the match, but his full-stretch slices kept rallies going and Thanasi was forced to hit a number of huge shots to finally get across the finish line. It was a match that Stan probably would not have recovered well from, and it’s a nice name for Kokkinakis to add to his list. Despite being the younger player, Kokkinakis is towards the second half of his career on tour so every win is a bonus. This next round is one that Kokkinakis will likely play the role of Wawrinka in. His explosive offense will allow him to be competitive, but the odds that his opponent’s level stays steadier as the match progresses are strong. Khachanov had some early hiccoughs this week but he’s been a consistent performer at the majors and the slower courts will make it tough for Kokkinakis to beat him. Khachanov in 4.

Sonego vs Rublev :

Sonego and Rublev both faced tricky left-handed opponents from France, so are they twins? Yes. Rublev is a pretty sizable favorite for this one, which is a semi-puzzle because Sonego won their previous meeting on clay and he’s playing some great tennis. The price (-340) is likely a result of Rublev’s good form. He’s hitting the ball well and the slower clay makes it tough to hit through him. He’s also much more consistent than Sonego. Lorenzo is serving really well though, and his dropshot/forehand combo is good enough to expose Rublev’s slightly slowed movement. There have been a lot of matches so far where both players were playing well, but one managed to be just slightly better in each rally. I worry that’s the case here, as Sonego is at the top of his game but still is a tiny bit inconsistent. He’s been dominating his matches, but at a level below what Rublev generally brings to the table. The h2h and his form are hard to ignore though, so I think this will be very competitive. It’ll be hard for Sonego to win the baseline rallies from neutral, but I think he’ll be able to return serve a good enough chunk of the time to frustrate Andrey. Rublev in 5.

Rune vs Olivieri :

This draw is doing Holger a ton of favors. After a Monfils wrist injury gave him a walkover, he now has what I consider the easiest match of the third round. Oliveiri’s run to this current stage has been great for his career, and he’s an extremely hard worker, but he just doesn’t have the game to beat Rune. Vavassori was dealing with cramps in his previous round, and played a two hour doubles match last night. The result was a somewhat flat performance today. When he had control, he was able to hit the ball clean past Oliveiri, but most of this match was G.A. moving him around and getting in better and better position until he could finally end the rally. The third round finish will get him inside the top 200 and net him enough prize money to keep competing for at least a year or two more, and he certainly won’t give up here, but he wins by outlasting his opponents and outworking them, and Rune is just another tier of tennis. Holger should win in 3 sets by at least a break in each.

Cerundolo vs Fritz :

Oddsmakers set the total at 36 for Cerundolo Hanfmann. Given their previous matches had been close, and both were in good form, it led me to believe that one of them would hit a wall physically in this match. It turned out to be Hanfmann. The score after an hour of play was just 4-3 in the first set, and the writing was on the wall despite some frustration from Francisco’s end. He finished the match in straights, and next is a winnable but tricky contest against Taylor Fritz. Fritz saw himself matched up against the French version of himself.
Rinderknech is a tall lanky fellow with a huge serve, a middling backhand, and big forehand that seems to work amazing when he wins and lack pace when he loses. After winning the first set 6-2, the announcers were getting excited. Tennis announcers are 80% unbearable, and when they try to get involved in predictions, it gets worse as they try to educate us to some secret plot when they’re completely guessing. The announcer pointed out how Rinderknech was mixing in serve and volleys and how that was a sign of supreme confidence. Nevermind that Rinderknech serve-volleys every single match he’s ever played on tour, TODAY HE’S CONFIDENT! Unfortunately for him, Fritz found his serve in the second set, and he became somewhat unplayable. In a match between two servers, the guy with the stronger baseline game usually wins, and that was the case here. If they both served underhand, Fritz would never lose a set.
Cerundolo is definitely much better than Fritz on clay, but he’s played a ton of matches in a row. He was the more physically able player today against Hanfmann, but it was a battle between two guys who’ve played nonstop for the past two weeks. Fritz is relatively fresh, and his serving is good enough to win him sets if he can get to the business end. I don’t see a way that this ends quickly, and given Cerundolo’s slight fatigue I worry that Fritz may edge him in the end. Cerundolo in 4 or Fritz in 5.

Jarry vs Giron :

Ah yes, the classic Roland Garros question. Can anyone stop Giron? After not really doing anything of note this clay season, Giron has some alive here. He froze the talented qualifier Medjedovic, and gave no hope to Lehecka in a straight set beating that was pretty quick (the match last just 1:44). The end of the road has arrived, but given his stellar play it’s not entirely safe to count him out. Nico Jarry is different though. It’s been since the early days of Zverev that we’ve seen a guy with such a huge serve who also goes after his groundstrokes. Jarry lost the first against Tommy Paul, but his focus and effort was there and once he was able to secure breaks of serve, the set was simply over. I think Tommy is a bit hindered, but it’s not clear what the issue is. Hopefully he’s healthy for grass, but for now it was a solid win for Jarry, who let loose some charismatic roars after the win.
Giron’s serve/forehand combo are good enough to make him competitive here, but it’s a david goliath situation, and I think Jarry will just be able to hold onto his serve a bit longer than Giron. Jarry in 4.

Zhang vs Ruud :

A few seasons ago Zhang was starting to win titles on the challenger tour, and it was a bit of puzzle because his best success was coming on clay. Fast forward to now, and he’s in the third round of the French Open and has cemented himself in the top 100. A month ago he’d have a good shot to beat Casper Ruud also, but something is in the air this week. Hypothetically, if I were working on an animated musical called Casper Ruud : King of Clay, I’d have been worried up until last week. Casper always has some struggles on hardcourt, but he was getting washed left and right on clay. He finally showed signs of life in Geneva though, and in the past round he really looked sharp. The conditions are good for him, and his draw is filled with gradual raises in level so he has time and practice to get himself together.
Zhang is a dangerous opponent here, but Ruud should be able to defend well enough to win. The 3/5 format really lends Ruud the ability to play a solid and safe tactical game without risking the loss to a redlining offense. I think Zhang will outperform his pricing here, but Ruud should outlast him. Ruud in 4.

AlternativetimelinewhereSinnerlosesmaier vs Dimitrov :

Daniel Altmaier. Holy wow. Holy glob. Amazing. Absolutely legendary performance. I expected him to play well, but to win in the manner he did is just unheard of. Altmaier was doing everything he could in the first set, and when he finally got to the tiebreaker, he immediately gave up the advantage. He got zipped, and it was the kind of “well, you tried” result that usually folds people up. He had constant pressure on his serve in this match, and saved 15 of 21 break points he faced. After he lost the 3rd set 6-1, it looked like he was sunk. Somehow, he battled through the 4th and won in a tiebreak, and won in the fifth. This was a 5 and a half hour match, and both players levels stayed extremely high throughout. Sometimes Sinner can throw in some poor performances, but he played well in this and Altmaier was still able to win.
While Altmaier was battling for the entire day, Dimitrov won in fairly comfortable fashion. Ruusuvuori kept grinding away, but Dimitrov is just at a very high level in this event. The creative and ambitious shots that he occasionally goes for are landing, and the topspin he hits with just seemed more effective than Ruusvuori’s flat power in the long run. I’m unsure how Altmaier recovers for his match with Dimitrov, as his win against Sinner was not only extremely long, but emotionally draining. His best tennis can absolutely compete even against Dimitrov, but the difference in time on court may allow Dimitrov to win. Grigor’s stellar play may also lend itself to this outcome. I’m expecting a close contest in the early goings, but it’s hard to see another upset even if his last opponent (Sinner) is a bit better than his current one. Dimitrov in 4.

Zverev vs Tiafoe :

Wait. Why is Zverev playing like he used to play? It seems like the ankle injury gave Zverev a reset that has re-ignited his tennis acumen. Molcan is a tough test, and the type that Zverev’s passivity can really give control to. From 0-0 though Alexander was aggressive and accurate, and the difference in weight of shot was evident. Spectators know that Zverev is full of errors and quitmode, but the work it takes to keep the ball in play over and over is not automatic, and Molcan was worn down into defensive errors in this one. He didn’t notch many unreturned serves either, and Zverev is back at the level he showcased last year at this event. If you’re looking for a darkhorse winner, it’s probably Zverev.
Tiafoe had a much tougher opponent, and made quick work of Karatsev’s nostalgia. Aslan was slated to really be competitive here, but Tiafoe’s serve can pretty much make him a threat in any match, and his physical strength let him outlast the sharp play of Karatsev that saw him net the first set. Zverev has won almost all their previous meetings, but this is probably the peak of Tiafoe’s career (not this current event but he’s improved every season) so it should be competitive. I think Zverev’s height will give him the ability to put a few more returns in play, and his own serve is not quite as effective as Tiafoe’s but it’s good enough to keep him in the match. If Tiafoe can isolate Zverev’s forehand he does have a good shot here, but I expect Zverev to be slightly more durable, and his return to offensive tennis means that he’s not the same Next Gen disappointment that we’ve seen losing in the past few years. Zverev in 4-5.

Coric vs Etcheverry :

This is a great spot for Etcheverry. He made quick work of De Minaur, and this is the round where the flat hitters went down to the traditional clay-court players. Etcheverry hits the ball really hard, and there’s full commitment on every swing which generates a really pleasing sound off his racquet. Coric thus far has been outlasting his opponents, and while his physical strength is off the charts, Etcheverry is a step up from the guys he’s been facing and should be fresh for this. Add in that he also won their previous meeting in 2022, and there’s reason to believe that this will be very competitive. Coric fans can breathe easy though, because it’ll be much harder to hit through him than it was to down De Minaur. I think the record number of 5 setters is likely to continue in the third, and this is just another extremely close match. Leaning into the upset. Etcheverry in 4-5.

Nishioka vs Seyboth Wild :

Thiago is really getting rewarded for defeating Medvedev. Playing Guido Pella is always tough, but he’s well past his prime. They went to four sets, but Seyboth was almost always in control. He’ll have a much tougher test here in Nishioka, and it’s a spot where Thiago can win, but he’ll need to show the type of patience that he did against Medvedev. Yoshihito was able to shut down Purcell, who suffered from some cuts to his hands early in the match. Dropping the first and winning in 4 really feels like a dominant performance to me, because it generally means the other player had to redline to get the first set. Nishioka’s defense is good enough to frustrate Seyboth, but he’s not really playing his best tennis yet. I know Thiago is better, and I know this is his surface, but I’m not sure that he can get this done quickly, and in a long match I think I like Nishioka. Offense vs defense, and I have concerns that Nishioka’s experience and next-level speed are the right formula to get past Wild. Nishioka in 5.
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2023.06.02 05:32 MountSherpaSATX WTS: 🔪MBK and GEC + Rockscale Designs🔪

What’s up fellow knife buds!
I have some bills piling up so have to slim the keepers down.
I’ve had the Laconico for a bit and it’s guaranteed gonna be an amazing knife for anyone who loves Ray’s designs.
Toenail Clipper is a catch and release, just showed it some love and attention!
*** Monterrey Bay Knives/ Ray Laconico Pinscher
⁃ Beautiful Ray Laconico design! ⁃ Perfect detent. Great lockup. ⁃ Amazing action, hits way above its price level, such a smooth knife. ⁃ 3.5 inch Satin M390 blade, perfectly centered and sharpened by me on a KME sharpening system. 18 degrees. ⁃ Timascus clip new from MBK. 
*** Second price drop from previous post!
*** SV ~$275~ ~$250~ NOW $225!
*** Tidioute Cutlery Toenail Clipper # 36
⁃ Great “Walk and Talk” on this classic in India Jigged Bone. Blade is nice and sharp, looks to be factory edge. ⁃ I’m second owner. Original owner here on the Swap said knife had never been used, just stored in a safe where it developed a little rust. ⁃ Cleaned up the small amount of rust spots real nice upon receiving the knife but had to take off a little of the “Toenail Clipper” badge on the blade. ⁃ Luckily if you’re planning on using the knife then some nice patina will keep the blade more rust resistant and cover any buffing spots noticeable after I cleaned it up. ⁃ Big Ol’ hefty sheepsfoot blade made of 1095 carbon steel, with a nice half stop. Perfectly centered. ⁃ 2022 run from Great Eastern Cutlery in Titusville, Pennsylvania. 
*** SV $200
*** Rockscale Designs PM2 Backspacer & Lanyard Hole Plug
⁃ Green Anodized Titanium 
*** SV $40
Shoot me a message if I’m missing any details! Thanks!
*** Venmo or ApplePay is Preferred but PayPal works too!
*** Shipping is CONUS ONLY! 🫶🏽
*** YOLO takes first dibs but I’m open to trades occasionally.
You can always shoot me a PM for any questions, comments or offers!👊🏾
🍻Cheers knife friends!🤚🏽
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2023.06.02 05:21 TortillaTal 24 f - Texas - hopefully I can make one friend from this post

Heyo, thought I’d give it another try to meet some people. I’m a pretty laid back person and think I’m pretty easy to get along with. I’m not a very serious person and will probably always try to make some lame joke. I’ll put a couple things about me in this post but really I’d love to get to know someone better through chatting.
I have a Xbox, PlayStation, and switch. I’m mostly playing overwatch 2 nowadays but I used to play fortnite quite a bit. Even though I’m equally horrible at both games lol. I’ve also played other games like animal crossing, Minecraft, gta, fall out, Zelda, and a couple others.
My favorite anime are Naruto, One Punch Man, and My Love Story, but I also like Inu Yasha, AOT, SAO, Demon Slayer and a few more.
Some music artists I like are Doja Cat, Tame Impala, SZA, Tyler the Creator, Kali Uchis, Clairo, Girl in Red, Thundercat, Grimes, and others but those are the ones I can think of at the moment.
Currently watching the Big Bang Theory, but I also like The Office, Friends, that 70s show, Bones, South Park, Family Guy, and Steven Universe.
I haven’t really been watching movies lately but some of my fave are Studio ghibli movies, movies directed by James Wan and Jordan Peele, and really I just mostly like to watch either comedy or horror movies.
I have two pugs, boy named Soup and a girl named Bubbles.
If you think we might click, I’d love to hear from you and potentially form a friendship.
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2023.06.02 05:17 Tiowillie630 [WTS] Hard to Find-Finch Knives 1929 Crawdad Flipper

One of the original Finch line up, the 1929 Crawdad. 2.5" 154CM blade, jigged bone frame lock. Had some pocket time when it first came out so there is a light surface scratch on show side bolster (see pics). Wicked sharp factory edge.
$100 TYD
Pics and Stamp
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2023.06.02 05:10 DaddyCBBA STP revelation in summer of 2000

Background: Born in '81, so was just developing an ear for music when Nirvana and PJ broke out. I loved Metallica and Guns and Roses at the time, but as soon as those new sounds hit, I could feel the shift in my very bones. Music was going to be different as I wended my way through adolescence.
Where does STP fit in? I was never a huge STP fan growing up, but I wasn't anti-STP either. I just considered them an also-ran; nothing special, but good enough to fill up some radio time and lay down a catchy tune or two.
In 2000, that all changed. I went to see the RHCP Californication tour, with STP opening. I had been listening to Purple and tons of RHCP in advance. I went for RHCP. STP was just a nice side dish. I left the show with a new-found appreciation of STP and have been hooked ever since. RHCP put on a fine show (maybe even a good show), but STP blew me away. It seems like they are still a polarizing band on this thread and otherwise. All I can say is seeing them live in their prime -- when Scott was on -- was something I'll never forget.
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2023.06.02 04:45 Gameran Dexter Flux Presents: Sound-Off! - Part Two

Babaganoush: The following contest is scheduled for one fall…
Crowd: One fall!
And is for… the WiR Television Championship! Already in the ring, the challenger, weighing in at 235 pounds, The Suuuuuuperstar!
Banaganoush: And Already in the ring, the champion, “Guaranteed, Gabe Garvin!”
Ding Ding Ding!
Mann: And the bell rings here, and we are back underway at Sound Off! Presented by Dexter Flux.
The Superstar does a little spin as he approaches Gabe Garvin and the two back off from each other. The two wrestlers stare down a moment, before launching at each other with a collar and elbow tie-up. The Superstar gains the upper hand and locks Garvin in a headlock. Garvin, in a headlock, however, gets pushed into the ropes, where he gets pushed away. Garvin looks for a back body drop as The Superstar bounces off the ropes, but eats a boot for his trouble. Garvin tries to regain control by lifting Superstar on his shoulders, Superstar shifts back to the ground, but gets lifted and dropped on his chest! The Superstar is forced to roll out of the ring to recover.
Crowd: [Apathetic Silence]
Garvin goes under the bottom rope and gets quickly caught with a kick to the stomach. The Superstar throws Garvin into the barricade and begins to hammer away.
Woodbridge: And The Superstar turning things around here!
Mann: And folks, we’ll be back after these messages from our sponsors!
Woodbridge: Why are we going to commercial, the match just st-
The following advertisement plays
We fade back into the action with a crowd shot, which stays longer than comfortable on a shot of 40 apathetic fans. As it cuts back to the ring, we see Gabe Garvin deliver a vertical suplex to The Superstar, before going to a pin that convinces nobody of its success.
Mann: And we are back here at Sound Off! Garvin has regained control here!
The Superstar rolls to the corner and forces a momentary break. As the ref tries to restore order, The Superstar throws an overhand shot at Garvin- who blocks it and responds in kind, backing the Superstar back into the corner, and whipping him across the ring. As Superstar bounces off with a thud, Garvin hits the ropes beside him and hits a bulldog. Garvin goes for a cover, which gets a…
The Superstar flops into the corner once more, and Garvin is halted from pulling him away by the official. As The Superstar exits the corner, Garvin is right back on top of him, whips him off the ropes, and delivers a back body drop! The Superstar rolls out of the ring once more, but Garvin follows in pursuit. Garvin charges in, but gets caught with a drop-toe hold, and crashes into the announce table.
Mann: Watch out!
Woodbridge: Garvin seeking to capitalize on his newfound momentum here…
Crowd: [Does not care]
The Superstar throws Garvin back into the squared circle, and delivers a club to the back of his head, Followed by stomps and a knee drop. Superstar waits for Garvin to try and get back up, before stomping again, followed by a punch. As Garvin powers back to his feet, The Superstar looks to grab him, but Garvin pulls him in for a belly-to-belly suplex! Superstar shuffles into the corner, followed by Garvin, who eats a boot for his trouble before The Superstar storms out with a lariat. The Superstar looks for a chin lock, but Garvin is too oily, and he slips free. Superstar retaliates for this oily transgression with a fist and applies a headlock to a cornered Garvin.
Mann: And The Superstar getting some offense here, Garvin is in trouble! Can our TV champion save the match?
The Superstar works the headlock in the corner until the ref forces a break, at which juncture The Superstar turns around and throws his fists at Garvin. Following this, The Superstar lifts Garvin to his feet and goes for a whip, but as Garvin hits the other turnbuckle, he lifts his left foot to kick an incoming Superstar! As Garvin looks to capitalize, The Superstar grabs the leg that kicked him and takes Garvin down to the mat. Superstar drops an elbow on Garvin’s knee, and a second elbow, before looking for a knee twist, which Garvin pushes away from.
Mann: And Garvin fends off the Superstar’s onslaught! What a heroic effort by our TV Champion!
Crowd: [awkward silence]
Garvin sells his injured knee for a moment, before using it to pull a charging Superstar down with a drop-toe hold, flip Superstar over, and try to apply a submission, but this time, The Superstar pushes Garvin away! The Superstar delivers an elbow to a staggered Garvin, before delivering a Russian leg sweep, and going for a cover.
The Superstar is in disbelief that his leg sweep failed to get the victory, and he pulls Superstar by the arm, before kicking his downed body in the rib. Garvin throws himself off the ground to throw a punch at Superstar’s gut, but as he gets up, he is once again cut off by a clothesline, and a pin attempt.
Crowd: [Apathetic, a smattering of boos, and a single portly fan in a Shooting Association shirt attempting to start a “boring” chant]
Woodbridge: The Superstar is unable to get the best of Garvin despite some strong offense here, and the longer this goes on, the more I like the TV Champion’s chances in this match.
Mann: And all the Garvinites in the crowd cheering for their hero to make a comeback!!
Crowd shot of bored audience quickly pans back to the ring, where The Superstar is applying an arm wringer
Mann: And this match of course is presented by our sponsors, over at Mann Corporation!
The Superstar transitions to a half camel clutch, still clutching the arm of Garvin
Mann: Mann Corporation is committed to providing high-quality products to all of our loyal customers! Use code “WiR” at checkout for 3.5% off select items at!
The Superstar has transitioned into a standing headlock
Mann: If you buy within the next 7 minutes, all Gabe Garvin merchandise is 10% off! Act fast! And now, back to the action!
Garvin powers out of the headlock and whips The Superstar into a corner. He charges in, and misses, as The Superstar moves out of the way, and attempts to lock in another arm wringer. Garvin tries to power out but fails, and the hold is applied.
Superstar: ASK HIM!
Garvin does not submit, and once again tries to lift himself upwards. Superstar sees this, and shifts so that he is lying down on the back of Garvin, still applying the arm wringer. Garvin winces in agony and reaches for the rope with his free hand. Unable to reach them, Garvin Begins to power himself upwards for the third time, and this one is successful, as he slowly works his way up to his feet, Superstar now trapped in the air in a fireman’s carry. The Superstar pushes himself off as Garvin gets to his feet, and tries to throw a punch. Trying to reclaim the momentum, The Superstar goes for an Irish whip, and looks for a dropkick as Garvin returns, but to no avail! Garvin holds onto the rope, and The Superstar crashes back to the ground.
Mann: And Garvin escaping the hold! Superstar is dazed!
Woodbridge: And this could be the opening the TV Champion needs to regain control of this match! The Superstar is in trouble, as Gabe is Garving up!
Mann: It’s Garvin’ time!
Garvin bounds off the ropes and leaps for a flying clothesline!
Mann: What a maneuver!
Garvin hits the ropes again, and nails a staggered Superstar with another flying clothesline! The Superstar writhes in agony as he tries to pull himself back to a standing base, where Garvin is waiting for him. Garvin bounces off the ropes, and nails a rising Superstar with a shoulder block.
Mann: Vintage Garvin! And he has the upper hand! The fans here on their feet!
Crowd: [Silent, sitting down]
Garvin ascends to the second rope, and as a wounded Superstar ascends once more, he leaps for a double ax handle, but nobody is home! The Superstar looks to capitalize with a DDT, but it gets blocked by Garvin, who fights out, throws Superstar against the ropes, and hits another shoulder block. With The Superstar down, Garvin looks at the crowd, backs against the ropes, and hits a fist drop!
Woodbridge: And the people exploding for Garvin’s fist drop! (?)
Garvin looks almost surprised at the suddenly raucous crowd, and motions for his finishing maneuver! As soon as he indicates he isn’t going for another fist drop, the crowd dies and goes back to their silence. Superstar stumbles to his feet, gets his arm trapped, and’s he’s lifted into the air, before being slammed down with a Pump Handle Slam! Garvin goes into the cover…
Mann: And Gabe Garvin retains!
Woodbridge: His victory was all but Garunteed
Babaganouh: And here is your winner, at a time of Seven minutes and Forty-Five seconds… Garunteed Gaaaaaabeeeeee Gaaaaarviiiin!!
Crowd [Scant Murmors]
Mann: And tonight we have seen a truly memorable title defense from our heroic TV Champion, Gabe Garvin. And to watch all of Garvin’s matches from the comfort of your home, go to WWW dot Wrestle Is Reddit dot com slash Garvin for all the latest updates! And a special thanks to our sponsor for this show, JDate!
The monitor shows Dexter Flux on screen, who immediately gets a crowd pop 10x louder than anything of the past 7:45
Flux: I'm not… I'm not Jewish, but that's really not what JDate is about. It's about like… dating. JDate is what JDate is. That's what it is. I'm Dexter Flux. I'm the President of the United States. Thank you for your service.
The monitor cuts back to the crowd going bananas for Flux. A guy is screaming and beating the shit out of the old woman sitting next to him because he loves Dexter Flux so much.
Mann: And you too can be just like these happy people if you buy a Gabe Garvin T-Shirt, now 4% off at select TJ Maxx stores near you!
Garvin holds up his title on the apron while the crowd cheer for Flux, and a photographer gets a photo of the victorious champion in front of a cheering crowd. As Garvin gets down from Bret’s rope, the camera cuts to…
Something else. It's shot differently, worse cameras that pan around instead of cut. No commentary. No acknowledgment. It's a documentary shoved in the middle of a wrestling show.
We're in a church basement, or a community gym, or something like that, with hardwood floors and dim, white light pouring in through windows near the top of the room. There's a table next to the door with a coffee machine and paper cups and a door to the outside propped open, so people can step out to smoke. A voice speaks up.
Teddy (O.S.): I don't think I've ever been a good person.
We move to the middle of the room. There's a circle of people sitting in chairs, looking at one whose face is obscured but whose voice most WiR diehards recognize. The circle's watching him carefully, skeptically. A couple of them glance at the camera as it moves by, which seems like an outsider - a perverse interloper. Some of them are recognizable, heels from all over the wrestling scene. Most of them seem miserable to be here, unrepentant. One figure, dressed up, seems more warm in his posture, but we don't see his face either.
Teddy (O.S.): I don't think I've ever really tried, I mean. I've been a good guy, for a little bit. Here and there. But I wasn't who I was. I was somebody trying to get cheered, trying to make sure they loved me. And when they didn't, I just… I snapped.
Finally, we see him, the object of their attentions. He is sitting in a chair, dressed down in a t-shirt, paper cup of coffee by his feet. Teddy Coronado. There's no charisma to the way he speaks. He was a preacher once, electrifying, manic, an embodiment of television airwaves. Now, he's mumbling. The camera zooms in on his face, as he tried to put together the next few words, shaking his head. The words seem ridiculous to say and maybe that's because they're wrestling words and this man - sitting here, in the basement - does not seem to be a wrestler.
Teddy: I'm Teddy Coronado and… Sorry. I'm Teddy and I'm a heel.
Others (all together): Hi, Teddy.
He cringes at them.
Teddy: I've been…
He stops, sucking on his tongue. It's the noise of a crowd, again.
Teddy: I'm sorry, I don't think I can do this.
Spence (O.S.): It's alright.
The camera pans over to a much more shocking face, Spence Cooper, dressed like a normal person, with a buttoned-up v-neck, instead of his usual attire as one half of the Golden State Stars, wearing mesh shirts and whatever nonsense is left. The rest of the group turns to him with a sort of reverence that seems wholly unfitting for him.
Spence: This is hard stuff, Teddy, alright - this is hard stuff, everybody. I mean, when I was a member of the Golden State Stars-
Spence: Chaz.
We whip pan to Chaz Levine, who is also there. He is dressed less like a normal person.
Chaz: Sorry, bro, still working on it.
Spence: We all have hiccups, is what I was saying. This is hard work. That's why not everybody does it. But it's good work. You've been here for a long time, right?
He's staring at the ground as he said it, as if ashamed.
Teddy: Six months.
Spence: Six months and it's still hard. That should show to everyone else here that even the best of us You can do it, Teddy. You can say it.
Teddy takes a breath, tries to put it together. After a few seconds, he looks back up. And it's almost there. That spark, that fire in his eyes.
Teddy: I've… been thinking about things, recently. I've been thinking about my time as a wrestler. I've done a lot of things in this business - and I'm not bragging about that, but I'm saying it because I need to say it. I was the best guy on the mic for a long time. I was good in the ring, too. I beat some of the best people in that company and sometimes I even did it clean.
There's a chuckle at that, in the room, and he gives a rueful smile, for a second, looking back on everything. Then it fades. So does the light in his eyes. Teddy looks at his feet, again, but the rest of them are listening, now. Most of them hate this place, but they listen
Teddy: I lied, I cheated, I stole. I used every dirty fucking trick in the book - you can look. My granddad wrote it. I used weapons. I hired my own ref. I made my own matches. I attacked people from behind the scenes. I once wrestled with a cardboard cut-out, so I could move its torn-off foot under the bottom rope to get a break.
He's looking up, now, and the fire isn't in his eyes, but it's in his words.
Teddy: I gave up everything for that title, for those accolades, for those year-end awards, for my hand raised up at the end of the night. I've got a claim to being the best champion in that company's history. I went into this business looking for all of that. I said to myself that I'd be different than my family, from my great-grandfather, from my grandfather, from my…
He stops. He leaves the final word unsaid.
Teddy: But that's not what I'm saying. I had the chance to change my name. I had a shitty start, but I had my own agency. What I did was my own. And by the end, I gave up that. I gave up my decency, my integrity, my dedication to this art, I gave up everything I have - and I don't have anything to show for it.
There's a crippling silence, for a few moments, the kind of silence you only notice when everything felt so loud before it.
Teddy: I don't talk to any of the roster I was a part of. My name doesn't get mentioned in promos. The fans - the fans that used to jeer my name, who serenaded me after I was forced out of that company - they don't think about me. I gave up everything I ever had and I don't…
He takes a shallow breath, emotional, seeming to hold back tears as he rubs his temples. A man offers him a tissue box but he waves it aside. For as much pride as he has managed to put aside, he can't allow himself to cry in front of the only people he's ever been genuine to.
Teddy: I got an offer, recently. You guys know about it.
Teddy half-heartedly gestures at the camera and a couple of them glance back at it. Chaz, on the edge of frame, flexes a little bit when reminded a camera is watching him.
Teddy: I got an offer to come back to WiR. They're coming back, apparently, again. They've offered me a couple times, over the years, and I almost took it. I even said I would, once, before. Back when I still had the bookstore. And then I started training and I became what I was, again, and I gave up the bookstore, and I was so fucked up I couldn't even make it to the show, because I realized, in that ring…
He pauses and they're all listening. He hates that, because he knows why they're listening and why he's talking. Because the fire, suddenly, is there. It's there in his eyes. It's there in his voice. It's there in the way he sits in that chair, the knotting his hands do as he talks, but most of all it's there in the crowd, listening with rapt attention.
Teddy: There's the Teddy Coronado with the money, with the television show, with the betrayal and the burials, even the Teddy who dressed up like a dentist and said he hated bullies. They say I've been a lot of people, had a lot of gimmicks, but the trick is they're all the same one. They're all somebody who needs to have the whole world know that they're the best. But they're all masks. Facades. And when I got into that ring, lit by halogen lights, no one in the audience, no one facing me in that ring, no one there but me, I realized the truth.
The fire in his voice has burned away and, now, he speaks in ashes: harsh, more serious than he's ever been, and more painful. He is being true.
Teddy: I don't know what's beneath those masks. I don't. A part of me is terrified that there isn't anything there. That the shit I've done, to other people, to the industry as a whole, that's who I am. I've tried to find out who it is, out here. I tried to open a bookstore, I tried to become a trainer, I tried to get as far away from that ring as possible.
He stops, again. The crowd is fully drawn in, now, and a furrowed brow of concern on Spence's face breaks through the mask of supportiveness.
Teddy: But, when I got that email, that offer… I think I realized that there's only one way for me to figure that out-
Spence: Teddy…
Teddy turns his eyes to Spence, but there's a weariness to his eyes. He's already made up his mind. He made it up before he even entered this room, before he even entered the cameras in, before Spence even says the thing he knows he's about to say.
Spence: Teddy, I know what you're about to say. And I want to tell you in front of the group, because I know you don't want there to be secrets here. I've been lured that way. We all have, but you have to know that there is a risk to what you're about to say. Some people can recover, can re-enter that ring, Teddy, but some people can't.
There is a warmth in Spence's eyes that make you realize that this is not the same man that was a Golden State Star. Not anymore. But he knows that he can't change his mind.
Spence: This is in your hands, Teddy. It always is.
Teddy sits there, genuinely considering the words and then he smiles. Knows how absurd what he's about to say is. And then he speaks, just as resolute as before. No. More so.
Teddy: I know. But I hear it in me. I hear the roar of the crowd, with me or against me. I hear my opponent's music hit. I hear the bending of the mat, the straining of the ropes, the fight. I know that who I was in there was a monster. But I know that, if there's something of me left, beneath all of this, it's in there.
He stands up.
Teddy: This is what I'm choosing to do, Spence. I'm sorry.
Teddy walks out of the circle, across the hardwood floor, and steps out the door. The camera doesn't follow.
Javier (O.S.): Ladies and gentlemen, the Independent Champion, Diiiiiiiiick Dover!
We cut back to Knott's Berry Farm, where the crowd reacts in a mixed fashion to the announcement of Dick Dover. Prisoner of Society hits, and Dick Dover walks through the curtain with the Independent Championship over his shoulder.
Mann: The Independent Champion enters the building, he says he has an announcement to make.
Woodbridge: That’s right, Shay. We don’t know what it’s going to be, but when Dover walked into the venue this afternoon, he insisted on addressing the crowd.
Dover grabs a mic from Maurice Chondon ringside, then walks up the stairs, wipes his feet on the apron, and enters the ring. He then turns to face the crowd.
Dover: I know you all have a lot of thoughts about me, but let’s get one thing clear right now. There’s been a lot of time gone by since you last saw me. But don’t get me wrong, one thing wouldn’t have changed no matter how long we’ve been apart. I am still your Independent Champion.
Crowd: mix of boos and applause
Dover: But there have been changes. Changes in the world and changes with myself, and it’s time for me to share with you all some changes I’ve made. When WiR went on hiatus i-
Nitroglycerin hits as Joey McCarty storms out from behind the curtain holding a mic.
Crowd: Boooooooooo
McCarty: No no no no no no fuck this shit. I know what this is. I’m not stupid.
McCarty stomps down to the ring.
McCarty: Dick, you’ve talked all this talk about being a fighting champion, but I know a retirement announcement when I see one.
McCarty slides into the ring and pops up to his feet, pacing around Dover.
McCarty: and you must be out of your mind to think you can walk out of here title held high, to a cheering crowd, and go out as champion. You’re out of your goddamn mind.
Dover walks towards McCarty.
Dover: You don’t even-
McCarty: Save it, honestly. I came into this business as an outsider, and I was given the crash course. I don’t know where you learned this, it might have been in dogwater Florida, but it certainly wasn’t in Toronto.
Dover: Joey, you’ll shut the hell up if you know what’s good for you.
McCarty: What I was taught is that you always go out on your back. If you won’t do that, then I’ll do that for you.
Dover goes to talk, but McCarty slaps him.
McCarty: So what you’re going to do right now, is lie down, stare at the lights, and you can end your career the way you’re supposed to, and watch me coronate myself as a triple crown champion.
Dover: Interesting point Joey, counterpoint:
Dover hits McCarty with a spinning back elbow, sending him to the mat!
Dover: You don’t tell me what to fucking do. So here’s what we’re actually going to do, I’m going to show these people I am a fighting champion, we’re going to get a ref out here, and I’m going to whoop your ass
Mann: HOLD ON A SECOND, DOVER. YOU DON’T GET TO PROMISE PEOPLE MATCHES, I MAKE THE MATCHES but that is a good idea so lets get a ref out here BECAUSE I SAID SO.
Crowd (a little more confused): YAYYY
Jeff Boone sprints out from backstage at full speed and dives headfirst under the rope into the ring.
The bell rings, leaving both men a little stunned at how quickly this match has started. Joey moves into action first, lurching for Dover, arms outstretched in a clear indication that Joey wants to initiate a classic “Test of Strength.” Dick Dover knocks away the hands and shoots for a double-leg takedown, sending Joey sprawling to the mat.
Mann: Wow, an incredibly technical start for Dover. Sometimes I think we forget home in depth his wrestling knowhow is.
Dick Dover is slowly overpowering Joey from underneath, when a glint shines in the Canadian’s eyes. A brutal knee to the face erupts from McCarty, slamming into Dover’s nose. Dover steps back, covering his damaged face. Blood begins to drip onto the mat.
Woodbridge: Wow, Dover is absolutely busted up!
Paisner: That’s the opportunistic streak of McCarty showing. Give him an inch, he’ll take a mile and sell you back the inch for triple it’s market value.
Dover shakes his head, trying to clear up the fog inflicted from Joey’s move. Before he gets a chance to recover, Joey is behind him, snaking his arms up to lock Dover in a full nelson. Dover is in a precarious position, but he digs his fingers into Joey’s eyes, cause the hold to release.
Woodbridge: A savvy veteran move, but is it legal?
Mann: Absolutely not. It seems like this ref is going to let them play on, for some reason. Very hands off.
Woodbridge: When you’ve got two fighters who will do whatever it takes to win, sometimes it’s best to just let them go at it. Anything less than that could give the other an unfair advantage.
Dover throws a couple quick strikes to McCarty’s midsection. Joey winces and bends over, giving Dick the opportunity to hit him with a Leg Drop Bulldog that pounds Joey into the mat!
Dover capitalizes on McCarty’s grounded position, dropping some falling elbows into the fallen man. But the third elbow doesn’t land cleanly, given Joey the opportunity to flip over and nail another knee into Dover, this time right on the side of his head.
Mann: Hard to imagine these headshots won’t have an effect on Dover if this match goes long.
A quick leap to his feet, and Joey finally has the position he wanted in the beginning, locking up Dover in a contested full collar tie. He gains the upper hand, and begins controlling Dover towards the corner. A grasp of Dover’s wounded head, and then suddenly McCarty is rubbing Dover’s face all over the ringpost!
Crowd: OOOF
But Dover isn’t one to take something like this without fighting back. A wild leg flail nails McCarty right in the gonads, sending him backwards in pain. The ref looks to step in, but then decides not to as Dover runs towards his and lands an uppercut into lariat combo that sends Joey back down to the ground. Dover attempts a cover!
Joey kicks out with relative ease, prompting Dover to consider more violence towards the grounded wrestler.
Mann: What could this devilish man be considering next?
Dover sits on McCarty.
Woodbridge: A chair!
A quick pivot from Dover, and suddenly Joey is up in the air, face in anguish from the inverted surfboard stretch.
Woodbridge: A painful chair!
Suddenly, a voice rings out from the crowd.
Dover, mildly irritated by the fan, releases the hold on Joey, sending the stretched out man to the mat. He gets up and aggressively points to the crowd in the direction of the mysterious fan.
Dover: Hey Asshole! You wanna see lame? I’ll show you lame!
Dover grabs Joey’s hair and becomes slamming punches into the downed man’s face.
A frustrated Dover now releases the hold and turns his back on Joey, heading over to the ringpost. He begins to remove the cover. At this point, blood has completely covered his chest. Joey stirs and stands, sneaking up to behind Dover. A quick snatch and Joey has surprise rolled up Dover for a pin!
Dover kicks out and gets back to his feet, but Joey is quicker and grabs Dover’s arm for an irish whip, sending him into the exposed ring post!* The hard metal digs into the small of Dover’s back and he reels in pain, back into Joey who snags his wrist, twisting it into a hold. Dover is up in the air and slammed back onto his neck as Joey lands a modified Fisherman Driver on the champion!
It’s Joey’s turn to batter the grounded Dover, repeatedly sending soccer kicks into his skull. The dull sound of bone against flesh carries through the arena in a way that makes most attendees uncomfortable. Joey lifts Dover to his feet, intending to whip him into the exposed ring post again, but Dover has seen this before. He counters with a reversal, sending McCarty into the ropes, McCarty rebounds and Dover SLAMS him into the mat with a teeth-rattling spinebuster!
Mann: I’m not sure if Dover’s winning the crowd over or if they just enjoy seeing Joey get hurt, either way, Dover is red-hot!
Dover grabs McCarty, and goes into the set up for his Doverleaf! But before he can, a small figure pops up onto the apron.
Gigi appears holding a spray bottle and she sprays a fine clear mist right into Dover’s eyes and cackles maniacally!
Mann: What’s this?! It's Gigi! And she’s just assaulted Dover with some sort of liquid!
Dover drops McCarty and grabs at his eyes. Kaitlyn Casey Jones appears from the crowd, holding a sign that says “GAMER GIRL BATHWATER $279.69”, she hops the barricade and grabs a mic, laughing with Gigi. Jones pulls a card out of her pocket and starts reading it.
KCJ: Hey faaaans, if you’re looking to order some of the water that our favorite e-girl actually bathes in, it’s up on the website right now! Guaranteed to have touched Gigi’s skin, go to for more details. Fuck you, Dick!”
Gigi: I wrote that last part.
McCarty clambers to his feet, confused. He notices Dover staggering, and launches himself into the air, connecting with a superman punch to the back of Dover’s skull.
Woodbridge: I can’t believe this, Dover’s had the title stolen from him!
McCarty scrambles to cover Dover.
Mann: Dover kicked out!
Woodbridge: How!?!?
McCarty stumbles to the corner in disbelief, and collapses into a seated position onto the bottom turnbuckle, the crowd swells, and McCarty’s confounded expression turns to disbelief and then to anger, he pops to his feet and stomps towards Dover.
Woodbridge: What do either of these men have left in the bag?!
McCarty lifts Dover to his feet, cussing him out as he does. McCarty attempts his Bus Driver Uppercut, but Dover springs to life and catches him, and PLANTS him with a kneeling jawbreaker!
Mann: Cliffs of Dover!
Woodbridge: From the last of his energy!
Mann: Cover!
Mann: Dover is still Independent Champion!
Before Javier can make the announcement, Gigi and KCJ hit the ring and attack Dover, as McCarty rolls out of the ring, jumping him and punching and kicking Dover while he’s down.
Woodbridge: What the hell is this?!
Mann: Gigi still thinks she’s owed a shot at the Independent Championship, she must have made some sort of deal with McCarty to get her match!
Woodbridge: And now that her plan is up in smoke, she’s taking it out on Dover!
Gigi and KCJ continue their assault, KCJ picks up the mic and is about to speak, but before she can, Adam Raised A Cain plays.
Woodbridge: Someone else with unfinished business, Mark Dutch!
Mark Dutch runs out, Joey McCarty is standing on the ramp, and Dutch shoulder checks him out of the way! Dutch then slides into the ring, and pulls KCJ off of Dover and out of the ring! Gigi scrambles out of the ring away from Dutch.
Mann: Last time we saw these two, they were at eachothers throats, but now Dutch comes to save Dover? What’s going on?
Woodbridge: Looks like there's still lots of unfinished business around these parts.
Mann: That’s enough of this.
Mann grabs a stick mic and attempts to stand on the commentary table, but it wobbles so he instead stands on his chair
Mann: When I brought this company back, it wasn’t for what it was, but what it can become, so I can’t have you three stinking up the joint with old beef, so let’s settle this at the next show. You three for the Independent Title. a brief pause to let that sink in
Mann sits back down with a grin on his face.
Mann: I like this “making matches live” thing
Woodbridge: Could stand to work on your crowd work though.
Mann: More WiR action, after this!
Dover, Dutch and Gigi staring eachother down as we fade out to commercial.
submitted by Gameran to wrestlingisreddit [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 04:45 Gameran Dexter Flux Presents: Sound-Off! - Part One

Previously unannounced press conference, May 31, 2023.

Cameras are rolling as the owner of Mann Corporation, Shay D. Mann, hair in a perfectly put-together part, adorned in a navy suit and white tie, steps forward to a podium, in front of a WiR backdrop, microphone in hand.
Mann: My name is Shay Duncan Mann. And I am the new owner and proprietor of Wrestling is Reddit. I can assure you that your beloved Allen Paisner will be returning in the future, however, he could not make tonight's show due to some…
Mann smirks.
Mann: Legal complications. But fear not, I’ll be taking his place in the booth tonight.
The crowd erupts with applause and cheers, eager to witness the rebirth of their beloved wrestling promotion, even without Paisner for the evening.
Mann: Tonight, we embark on an exhilarating journey, as WiR takes a bold leap forward. I stand before you not just as the owner, but as a “fan”—a fan who understands the passion and dedication that this community shares for the world of wrestling.
Mann tries to hide a grimace as he proclaims his “fandom”. The crowd anticipates Mann’s next move
Mann: For too long, WiR has been dormant, unable to proceed, some of the talent trapped in Europe with no way home. But this, is no more! Today, we resurrect the spirit of WiR, bringing it back to life with a bang! And what better way to open things up by “Sounding Off"! Presented by the one and only, Dexter Flux
The crowd gives an actual cheer with genuine enthusiasm at the mention of Flux, their sort of god-king.
Mann: "Sound Off" isn't just a name; it's a rallying cry! It's a call for all of you, the WiR faithful, to voice your opinions, to express your passion, and to join us in this incredible journey. This event will be a celebration of everything that makes WiR special—the wrestling, the community, and the shared experiences that bring us all together.
The press conference crowd, whose papering becomes increasingly obvious the more Mann talks, is enthusiastic, as they eagerly hang onto Shay D. Mann's every word, perhaps a little too eagerly.
Mann: Tonight, in this very ring, our talented roster will ignite your imagination, deliver jaw-dropping performances, and create moments that will be etched in your memories forever. Sound Off! will leave you on the edge of your seats, craving for more.
The crowd roars with the excitement of a hair dryer pop.
Mann: But this is not just a show; it's a community. Together, we'll embrace the highs and lows, the victories and defeats. We'll share our opinions, engage in spirited debates, and build something truly remarkable. WiR is your platform—your voice will be heard!
The crowd erupts once again, their cheers echoing through the arena, showcasing their dedication to WiR, or getting paid to be there
Mann: So, my friends, get ready to immerse yourselves in the magic of WiR once again. Open your hearts, open your minds, and let the exhilaration of "Sound Off" wash over you! Tonight, we begin a new era—one that will redefine the landscape of this sport. Welcome back to WiR, my friends. Because Wrestling… is Revived.
With a sly smile, Shay D. Mann raises his microphone high, signaling the start of the show, as things fade to a video of Dexter Flux. His face is slightly out of frame as the camera points to his chest and chin.
Flux: Hey, it’s me, Dexter Flux. Welcome, uh, welcome you know, back to wrestl- Ugh, sorry, something was like, in my throat. Wrestling is Reddit. Welcome back to Wrestling is Reddit. This is House Party.

Knott's Berry Farm, June 1st, 2023.

With that rousing introduction, we now cut back to the day of, with a drone shot of the ring set up at Knott’s Berry Farm, fans on makeshift stands in the berry field, a parking lot and farmhouse off in the far distance, before [off brand royalty free music] begins to play!
Through the makeshift curtain, Tony “The Milkman” Stevens appears, wearing a pair of off-blue tights with cow white print, a single blue elbow pad on the left side, with a pair of gloved hands- in which, he holds a pristine white umbrella. The Milkman points his umbrella right down the lens of the camera…
Milkman: Good to be back, fellas, and good to see you, Mr. Cameraman! Been a while.
Mann: And here comes the Milkman, and a huge ovation from this crowd! But no Horde jacket with him!
Woodbridge: Or any jacket. But we’re in Anaheim, its hot out
Mann You’re right. But he did prepare for rain.
The Milkman hands off his umbrella to a fan at ringside, before sliding under the bottom rope, and ascending the left hard camera turnbuckle, firing up the crowd, before doing a backflip off the top rope, and into the ring!
The Camera cuts back to the entranceway, as the music changes, to Skillet
Jericho Styles appears on the ramp, adorned in an Allen Iverson Nuggets Jersey. He blows off a fan’s high five attempt, before sliding into the ring and taking a position opposite of Stevens.
Babaganoush: WiR fans… welcome to Anaheim California, the beautiful Knotts Berry Farm! Welcome! To Sound Off! Presented by Dexter Flux.
Crowd: W-I-R! W-I-R! W-I-R! W-I-R!
Banaganoush: Our opening contest is scheduled for one fall to a finish. Introducing first, to my right… wrestling out San Jose California, weighing in at 217 pounds, Jericho… Styles!
Babaganoush: And his opponent, to my left. Weighing in at 208 pounds…
Crowd begins to rise
Babaganoush: Wrestling out of… Brooklyn, New York! Tony… “The Milkmaaannnnnnn” Stevens!
Crowd erupts into indiscriminate cheers
The Milkman and Styles circle each other as the bell rings, before Styles takes the initiative with a lock up attempt, which he quickly transitions to a rear waist lock. Milkman thinks on his feet, and grabs the arm of Styles lifting it above his head, and turning to break the lock, before using it to get behind Jericho, who uses his size advantage to overpower Stevens and apply a hammerlock, using the position to turn Stevens around, and take him down to the mat with an arm drag, maintaining control of the arm, which he quickly leverages into a pinfall…
Milkman gets his free shoulder up!
Crowd: Yay!
Woodbridge: JZ leveraging some technical skill here in the opening moments of this one, but can’t keep the Milkman down!
Mann: Only one count for Styles
Styles refuses to relinquish his grip on the arm, and as Stevens gets up, pushes him back into the corner before he can balance himself. Styles whips Stevens across the ring to the other corner, before charging in and being met with Milkman’s knee! Stevens capitalizes on his newly made opening by delivering a sharp kick to the chest of Styles, before whipping him against the ropes. Styles charges back, and tries to use his momentum to catch Stevens with a hip toss, but can only get Stevens a few inches of height off the ground before the Milkman lands on his feet, lifts and Styles up for an atomic drop, which forces him to let go of Stevens. With his arm now free, The Milkman plants himself, and delivers a [devastating lariat]. With what self-preservation he has left, Styles rolls to the outside, and onto the grass.
Woodbridge: And The Milkman just leveled Styles with that lariat!
Mann: Not something we’re quite used to seeing from Stevens, some hard strikes early in this one that really seemed to throw Styles off his game.
Styles pulls himself up by the barricade, to the direct ire of front-row fans who continue to heckle him. Back in the ring, Stevens throws himself off the far-end ropes, charges in for a dive… before Styles ducks down to avoid being hit. Stevens doesn’t change speed, and instead, throws himself between the ropes for a 6-1-9 that hits nothing but air, launching himself back into the ring, and landing on his feet. After this feat of dexterity, and with Styles on the ground outside, The Milkman takes a bow for his efforts.
Four dues in front of the hard cam: WE LOVE MILK! WE LOVE MILK!
At a count of eight, Styles, returns to the ring, and the two wrestlers square off again. Styles gets the better of the two on the lockup, delivering a stomp to Stevens’ foot, before kneeling him in the stomach. Styles lifts Stevens up for a suplex, but Stevens shifts his weight and lands on his feet behind him! The Milkman attempts a German suplex, but Styles throws a firm elbow to the jaw and repositions behind Stevens for a German attempt of his own. Stevens gives Styles a receipt with a firm, calcium-hardened elbow of his own, before bounding over to the ropes, and attempting a lionsault to a standing Styles! Styles catches him, but Stevens slips free, pushes Styles into the corner, and he takes a chest-first bump. Stevens harnesses his agility once more to get into poison-rana position on the shoulders of Styles, but Styles uses one arm to flip Milkman off balance and send him tumbling to the ground. Quickly, Stevens attempts to transition to a sunset flip but has to abandon ship as Styles tries to poke him in the eyes, jamming his finger into the canvas as a result. Stevens uses the moment to leap up to Bret’s rope, turn around, and deliver a dropkick to Styles! Stevens then rolls to the apron, and pumps up the crowd with a wave of his hand…
Guy already 4 cheap beers in: I hate this Styles guy!
…and delivers another springboard dropkick, this one from the top rope! Stevens flexes for the crowd, before rolling into a cover…
Styles gets a shoulder up!
Mann: Does The Milkman seem a bit different to you, Woodbridge?
Woodbridge: Milkman definitely wants to show off early, he looks like he hasn’t lost a step!
Mann: Maybe even gained one, and it almost feels like he’s being a bit disrespectful of his opponent, don’t you think?
Woodbridge: And what are you insinuating?
Mann: Well, maybe performing in front of a WiR crowd again has him a little more amped than usual! Trying a lot of those high-risk maneuvers early- we’re only a few minutes into this one, folks!
After the Kickout, Stevens signals to the cheering crowd, runs off the ropes, and attempts a wheelbarrow bulldog, but as he pushes himself up, Styles swivels his hips, and Stevens face plants into the mat.
Mann: And Stevens’ showing off cost him there!
Styles knees Stevens in the stomach, before putting his head between the legs, and sets up for the Styles Clash! He can’t lock in Milkman’s arms, and Stevens uses them to push off the mat to sit up above Jericho! Stevens tries throwing a punch at Jericho’s head, but he pivots his plan, and adjusts to deliver a powerbomb! As he releases, Stevens adjusts his body and manages to mitigate some of the damage by landing awkwardly on the back foot, stumbling back into the ropes.
Mann: If Styles hit that, it could have spelled an early end for Stevens!
Stevens pulls himself back to his feet using the ropes and charges back in with a clothesline attempt, but Styles sees it coming, grabs the arm and uses it to shift the momentum, and lifts Stevens for a tilt-a-whirl Backbreaker!
Mann: And Styles seems to be in control here.
Woodbridge: Stevens took some early momentum, but Styles has had a counter for everything Stevens has thrown at him.
Styles pulls Stevens up to his feet by the hair, before casually flipping one of Stevens’ arms over his shoulder for a uranage position before holding his arms out to the crowd!
Styles smirks at the boos incoming, and throws Stevens with a t-bone suplex. Once Stevens is planted, Styles stomps the stomach to force him to sit up, before stretching the arms behind for a surfboard stretch!
Styles: I’m a technical wrestler now, assholes!
Mann: Styles slowing things down here, grounding the Milkman
Woodbridge: Not a bad strategy, we saw how The Milkman was in control with a faster pace!
One guy holding up a sign with Goku: WE-LOVE-GOKU! WE-LOVE-GOKU!
Everyone else in the crowd is deafeningly silent
Styles breaks his hold and approaches the hard camera ropes to yell at the fan more
Styles: Dragon Ball is overrated trash!
Styles kicks Stevens back to the mat
Styles That one was for you, fucking weeb!
As Stevens once again rises to his feet, Styles punches him and he falls back to the mat, just for Styles to pick him back up, and line up against the ropes, for an irish whip. As Stevens returns to sender, Styles throws him straight up in the air… and football punts him in the chest on the way down!
Styles: Hey weeb guy! This one’s for you too! I saw a Japanese dude do it once!
Styles lifts Stevens up, sets him up with the arms behind the back… and delivers a slow, sloppy [tiger driver], before placing a single foot on the chest, and flexing
Woodbridge: Well, he didn’t quite get all of it.
Styles takes time to put Stevens in a Camel Clutch.
Mann: And it seems Styles didn’t want to get left out of showing off!
Woodbridge: Well, he certainly nailed Milkman with that kick, but the Tiger Driver left a lot to be desired.
Mann: Styles seems to have control of this match when it’s slowed down, wearing Stevens with this technical wrestling prowess.
Woodbridge, reaching under the desk for a paper bag: Everyone wants to be a hero in front of the first crowd in two years
Styles releases Stevens from the hold by battering him in the back of the head with a forearm, picking him up by the scruff, and bouncing him off the ropes for an Irish whip and hitting him with the kitchen sink! But Stevens wastes no motion, and grabs the leg, turning Styles over for a rollup!
Woodbridge: He almost got him with that rollup! From out of nowhere!
The Milkman tries to capitalize, but Styles returns the favor with a boot to the stomach.
Styles: I’ll show you to make a damn fool out of me!
Styles hoists Stevens up for a vertical suplex, before taking two steps and chucking him across the top rope! The Milkman bounces off the top rope, makes a deflating noise as the air is forced out of his lungs, and flops down to the floor outside!
Mann: Styles with some kind of inverted lawn-dart maneuver! Woodbridge, do you know what that’s called?
Woodbridge: Nope.
Styles: Come on, milk boy, you have anything else for me?
Stevens crawls back into the ring, holding onto his ribs, before Styles once again kicks him in the stomach, and applies a chin lock in the ring.
Mann: Styles has found his target! If Stevens can’t breathe, he can’t fight!
Woodbridge: The young Styles showing some veteran instinct here, Mann, if Stevens has the wind knocked out of him, he can’t perform those high-flying moves he was nailing Styles with earlier!
Styles turns to the side, and locks Milkman in a body scissors, using his legs to apply pressure to the ribcage. Stevens tries to use his free legs to push both men closer to the ropes, but can only move them a few feet. Stevens smacks the mat with his free hand, and a guy in the crowd does it to the barricade. Stevens smacks the mat again, and a few more fans join in.
Crowd Smacking the barricade
Stevens pushes towards the ropes again, making more progress. Styles sees this, and releases the hold, grabbing Stevens by the hair with one hand, tights in the other, and pulling him up to his feet.
Styles: You want the ropes so bad, here, have them!
Styles runs over to the ropes with the Milkman, and hurls him between the middle and top rope, dumping him to the outside where he lands with a noticeable thud. Styles follows him to the outside, taking his time to savor the boos of the crowd, before delivering a knee to a rising Milkman, and lifting him for a vertical suplex on the grass! Styles rolls into the ring… and back out again to break the count. Despite the present beating, Stevens once again pulls himself to his feet.
And Styles knees him in the ribs.
Styles rolls Stevens back into the ring before taking a moment to confront the drunk fan who jeered him earlier. After his verbal exchange, Styles delivers a scoop slam to Stevens to keep him down, and the pressure on the body, before sliding into a cover.
Mann: Forcing Stevens to exert more energy there on the kick out, after continuing his assault on the ribs. A very solid strategy by Styles in this one.
Styles picks The Milkman up once more and prepares another vertical suplex, but the Milkman slips free! Stevens lands behind Styles, hooks his arms, and goes for a crucifix pin!
Styles barely escapes! The Milkman wastes no motion as Styles rises back to his feet, bouncing off the hard camera ropes, and forcing Styles to drop back to the mat to avoid a strike. Stevens bounces off the opposite end, and Styles barely avoids him once more, this time with a slide-step that sees him almost lose his balance. Styles tries to save his momentum by charging at Stevens as he bounces off the ropes a third time, but Stevens pulls down the top rope, sending Styles to the apron! Stevens kicks Styles in the knee, before going through the middle rope to meet Styles on the apron. Styles tries to sweep out the leg of the Milkman, knocking himself down to one knee on the attempt, but Stevens jumps over it, and catches Styles with a Calcium Kiss Superkick that sends Styles to the grass below!
With his foe grounded, Stevens looks to the crowd, positions himself in the middle of the ring, and before Styles can discover where he is, Stevens takes flight, springboarding off the middle rope with an Asai Milksault! On the landing, Stevens’ left knee awkwardly hits the uneven yard, and he visibly grimaces before falling backward.
Mann: And both men are down after that! Stevens with a ferocious comeback attempt, but he may have hurt himself!
Woodbridge: Someone hasn’t been taking care of their lawn.
Stevens hears the air exit the crowd, and pulls himself up, giving them a reassuring thumbs up, before using the leg he landed on to kick Styles in the back of his knee, before throwing him back into the ring. Stevens puts one leg into the ring through the middle rope, before looking into the crowd- and deciding to ascend the turnbuckles instead! The Milkman leaps, and delivers a diving hurricanrana! As Styles tries to roll to the ropes, Stevens uses their good leg to stomp on his chest, before pulling him back to the middle of the ring, and hitting a Standing Milksault! Stevens maintains the cover!
Styles gets a shoulder up!
Woodbridge: And Stevens throwing everything into this assault on Styles, but it still wasn’t enough to put him down!
Crowd: Let’s Go Milk-man! Let’s Go Milk-man!
Stevens picks Styles up, and lifts him onto his shoulders…
Woodbridge: He’s going for the Milky Way!
…But the injured knee can’t hold up the weight, and both men crash to the mat.
Entrance Music begins to play as a small, skinny wrestler in a leather jacket waltzes towards the two downed competitors
Mann: And that’s Raven Van Loupe! Van Loupe is here at Sound Off!
Woodbridge: These two formed an alliance last time we saw them! But will it hold after the time off?
Van Loupe enters the ring, despite the protests of WiR official Tai Ni Wong, and glances at the pair as both try to pull themselves up, Stevens using the ropes, Styles on his own. Van Loupe looks back and forth… before kicking Stevens in the injured knee!
Babaganoush: And here is your winner…
Van Loupe helps Styles to his feet, and the pair begin to lay the boots on Stevens.
Babaganoush: By disqualification as a result of interference, and striking a WiR official…
Styles takes the knee of the downed Milkman, and lifts it above his head, before thrashing it against the canvas.
Babaganoush: At a time of…
Van Loupe has Styles lift Stevens by the hair once more, before she runs to the ropes, jumps off the second rope, and Styles pushes The Milkman into the cutter.
Babaganoush: Ten minutes and twenty-three seconds…
Styles and Van Loupe stand over Stevens, and Styles prepares to deliver the finishing blow as he signals to the crowd that he is looking for the Styles Clash!
Banaganoush: Tony “The Milkmannnnnn” Stevens!!!!!!
Van Loupe: Are you done?
Van Loupe gives Styles a thumbs up, but as he goes to finish off Stevens, a mighty howl plays over the speakers as a short, scruffy man runs to the ring.
Woodbridge: That’s The Werewolf!
Mann Johnny, A Werewolf, is here! And he’s rushing to the ring!
Styles lets Stevens flop back down to the mat, holding his knee, and turns to face the incoming Werewolf as he slides under the ropes and into the ring. Styles steps before Vna Loupe to intercept, but the fresh Werewolf knocks him off his feet with The Pounce. The Werewolf comes face to face with Van Loupe in the center of the ring!
Mann: Pandemonium has broken out in the first match of Sound Off! And the fans are loving it!
Crowd: WE LOVE WERE-WOLF! clap clap clap clap clap WE LOVE WERE-WOLF!
Woodbridge: The Pack Wolf and the Werewolf facing off in the center of the ring!
Mann: And these two have unfinished business! The Lifeblood exists because they took issue with being left behind for signings like Werewolf!
Johnny feints left, before throwing a right jab! The Werewolf unleashes Pack Tactics on Van Loupe! As he stops throwing punches, and signals for another pounce, Styles kips up, and levels the werewolf with a lariat!
Van Loupe and Styles begin to wear down the Werewolf, delivering blow after blow to Johnny as the boos rain from the crowd. Van Loupe delivers a stomp to the knee of The Milkman to keep him down before they and Jericho set up to finish off styles…
When an Italian Flag appears on the video screen, and an absolute guido of an Italian-American, hair dripping with greaseslowly walks out from behind the curtain, wearing a Shohei Ohtani jersey!
…A Shohei Ohtani… New York Mets jersey.
Mann: That’s The Apex! Arturo Stiglione! Stiglione is in the yard!
Stiglione slowly scopes out the scene on his way to the ring, seeing the downed Milkman on the left of the ring, the downed werewolf on the right, and the standing Lifeblood members in the middle. He slowly ascends the stairs and stands across from Van Loupe and Styles.
Wodbridge: And The Apex, not a fan of Johnny, a very terse relationship between these two.
Apex: Hell ova job ya done hea’
Van Loupe: If you know what’s good for you, you’ll stand aside, and maybe we won’t hurt you.
Apex: Dont’cha mind me, just monitoring the situation.
Styles pulls Van Loupe aside, and the two have an impromptu conference, before nodding along, and continuing their attack on Werewolf.
With The Lifeblood’s backs turned Styles looks down at his fist. He looks down at the blue and orange he’s adorned in, and loosens up his arm. He points to the back of Styles, who senses the crowd rising, and turns around… to be met with a spinning backfist!!
Mann: Styles has made his choice! And he chooses to stand against The Lifeblood!
Van Loupe hears his body hit the canvas, and turns around, to be met with the sight of a downed Styles! The Apex takes off his Mets jersey… to reveal an Angels jersey! The Werewolf is back on his feet, and he and the Apex come face to face! Van Loupe rises back up at the wrong time, as the two share a nod, and deliver a double clothesline! Seeing the situation turn against him, Styles slinks to the outside, and grabs a chair from under the ring, before sneaking back in behind the Werewolf and Apex, who have turned to the hard camera. Styles raises the chair to strike…
...And gets blasted by a Calcium Kiss from The Milkman!
The three faces are all back on their feet in the middle of the ring, standing tall! As the three begin to celebrate…
“It’s a Psychobilly Freakout!
Mann: That’s the music of Mason Saunders! But where is he?
Saunders’ music plays, but the entranceway remains empty.
Woodbridge: He’s behind us, Mann! He just jumped the barricade!
Mann: But he’s outnumbered, Woodbridge, both his allies are down!
Undeterred by the numbers disadvantage, Saunders slides behind the faces, and as they recognize the trap, Saunders is already in the ring! The Werewolf approaches first and throws a jab that almost seems to bounce off the chin of Saunders. Saunders simply stares, and when the Werewolf tries a second one, Saunders swipes it aside with a tree trunk arm, before launching into action and dropping the Werewolf with a right hook, which catches the Werewolf cleanly on the jaw, who slumps backward onto the canvas. The Milkman tries to charge to his aid, but Saunders delivers a pump kick to put him back on the canvas. The Apex tries to make a move while Saunders’ back is turned facing Stevens, but he fails to do any damage and is swiftly thrown aside. Saunders drops the Milkman again, before turning around to face Apex… who turns around, and flees the ring as fast as possible!
Mann: And Stiglione, getting out of dodge as soon as he can!
Woodbridge: And turning tail and running, Stiglione is out of here!
As Stiglione flees up the entranceway, the rest of the Lifeblood begins to pick themselves up. Saunders puts the Werewolf pack down on the canvas with a scoop powerslam, and boots him out of the ring. The Lifeblood stand united, and face the hard camera, Stiglione and Werewolf removed, and the Milkman down on the opposite end of the ring. JZ ascends to the second rope of the left turnbuckle, Van Loupe to the right, and the three all pose for the hard camera!
Mann: And the Lifeblood, although not victorious in the match, is victorious here in the aftermath!
Woodbridge: But wait, The Milkman is trying to get back up!
Mann: Stevens of course, left for the picking, as other members of The Horde are all the way on the other side of the Farm preparing for their match later!
Stevens struggles to pull himself up to his feet, knee buckling under him. Saunders perks up, and stops his pose. Stevens staggers to his feet, and before he can get very far, Saunders turns, and with blinding speed nails Stevens with a disgusting lariat that nearly takes his head off!
Woodbridge: And the Milk has gone spoiled.
The Lifeblood circle the downed Milkman like vultures, and Van Loupe drops to one knee, and picks up the Milkman’s head by the hair! JZ gets down as well, and the two strike a pose, with Milkman’s body as the centerpiece!
Mann: A statement made, by the Lifeblood
Woodbridge: To me, Mann, it looks like the statement was made by Saunders, Van Loupe, and JZ just picked up the scraps!
Van Loupe, holding up Milkman to the Camera victoriously: Take a look, WiR, this is the future! We are the Lifeblood of this company, and don’t forget that!
The camera pans out to JZ and Van Loupe celebrating over Milkman’s body, while Saunders stares from behind, before fading out to a commercial break.
Javier: The following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL, with a 20 minute time limit. Your referee for this contest is Mia So Hung. Introducing first, from Montreal, Canada, weighing in at 119 pounds...... GIGI♥ V!
A significantly smaller but incredibly loud section of the crowd: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!
Music begins to swell in the background, and the crowd continues their jeering (and occasional unbridled simping) until Gigi steps out, running her hands down her body to the lewd Ashnikko verse.
Mann: Gigi here, surrounded by her legion of fans, who are then surrounded by a legion of people who absolutely despise her. As it should be here in WiR.
Gigi saunters to the ring, taking vaguely suggestive selfies with her ravenous fans on the front row, and generally seeming uncaring about the forthcoming match.
Woodbridge: And given her successes recently, it’s gonna be easy to overlook a competitor like Li Xiao, which very easily could prove fatal.
Gigi steps into the ring, as Javier starts his announcing again.
Javier: And her opponent, from Hong Kong, weighing in at 105 pounds... LI XIAO!!!
A unfamiliar metal song blasts out from the speakers, and a rather familiar hyperactive martial artist bounces out from behind the curtain!
Xiao charges down the ramp with a head of steam, hyped and ready to fight.
Mann: Xiao has some of the most devastating offense in this company, and if she’s able to keep momentum, it could very well shatter Gigi’s plans of making a statement here!
Woodbridge: Yeah, sure, but Xiao’s a tag team specialist first and foremost. She comes in to deal damage and then gets out before she takes too much abuse.
Xiao hops into the ring, and the referee pats both competitors down, before gesturing for the bell.
In an interesting turn of events, Gigi and Li Xiao start off with a collar-and-elbow tie up in the center of the ring. Gigi takes quick advantage of her height and weight advantage to gain leverage and force Li Xiao backwards into the ropes.
Mann: Gigi starting off with the basics here, knowing Li Xiao is nothing if not an incredibly explosive fighter.
Woodbridge: That’s right, Xiao wrestles like my grandpa used to make moonshine, god rest his soul!
Gigi sets herself, and when Xiao tries to push off the ropes and get Gigi off, Gigi directs the momentum into a modified biel, throwing Li Xiao across the ring! Gigi takes a moment to smirk and pose for the fans - a mistake, as Xiao rolls through the throw and hits the ropes on the opposite side of the ring!
Mann: Incredible strength from Gigi!
Gigi turns around into a sprinting palm strike from Xiao, staggering backwards into the ropes yet again, and Xiao follows up with a big kick to the gut! Gigi’s doubled over, and Xiao drops her with a DDT!
Woodbridge: Xiao’s fired up, and she’s quite possibly looking to end this match before it even gets started!
Xiao with the cover!
Gigi kicks out right at 2, and rolls up, obviously shocked and dazed. The crowd in attendance is split, with the wrestling fans excited to see Gigi on the ropes, and the Gigi fans absolutely in shambles. Xiao is up quickly, as Gigi staggers to her feet - Xiao hits the ropes, springboards, and catches Gigi with a beautiful headscissors!
Gigi rolls through, runs the ropes, and comes back with a head of steam! Xiao dodges a clothesline attempt, shoves Gigi to the other rope, and gets ready for the comeback - Gigi catches the ropes! Xiao charges in to press the advantage, and eats an officially branded Gigi♥ boot to the face! Xiao is absolutely rocked, staggering backwards, and this time Gigi takes the initiative and absolutely levels Xiao with a clothesline! Xiao spirals to the mat, and Gigi blows a kiss to the fans in attendance!
Gigi: I am your future champion, and this is the match I’m booked in?
Gigi catches Xiao with a boot to the back of the head! Xiao rolls over, and Gigi drops a knee onto her throat, before going for the cover!
Xiao muscles out of the pin, clutching her head!
Woodbridge: We got two high fliers here, these women make a livin’ out of dodging attacks. Anything that lands here is going to be devastating!
Mann: And right now, it looks like Xiao is barely conscious after those blows to the head!
Gigi gets up, and winks at her fans in attendance and watching live throughout the world.
Gigi saunters over to Xiao, and plays up the boot she’s about to give - SMALL PACKAGE! SMALL PACKAGE!
Gigi kicks out, and her mood instantly changes. Xiao is staggering to her feet, and takes a full on slap to the face!
Mann: What a slap from Gigi, obviously assisted by her official Gigi♥ gloves, sponsored by Fairtex!
Woodbridge: Gigi’s pissed now, and you could hear that slap all the way in Los Angeles!
Xiao clutches her face, and Gigi follows up with a huge kick to the gut! Xiao falls to one knee, and Gigi finishes the trifecta with a roundhouse to the head!
Xiao collapses to the mat!
Mann: And Xiao’s down! What a kick!
Woodbridge: That kick nearly took her head off, Shay! I don’t know if she’s even conscious down there!
Gigi’s prepared, and is looking to finish this, climbing to the top rope! Xiao is flat on her back on the mat, and Gigi takes the leap, flipping forwards with a swanton! Xiao is still conscious, though, and rolls away in the nick of time, leaving Gigi high and dry!
Mann: I... feel like that’s problematic, somehow.
Woodbridge: Nah, ‘sfine, don’t worry about it.
Xiao grabs for the ropes, pulling herself to her feet, but is obviously still dazed from the kick!
Woodbridge: Xiao’s hurt!
Mann: You see this a lot in Li Xiao singles matches - she’s got an incredible offense, but she’s fragile at best in-ring!
Gigi is holding her back, and glares at Xiao in frustration!
Gigi: You were supposed to stay down! it was going on Tiktok!
Gigi charges forward, ready to avenge her mistake, but takes a knee to the gut! Gigi staggers for a second, only to get a chop to the neck! She’s reeling! Xiao with a forearm! Xiao with a elbow strike!
Xiao takes a step backwards, and lets out a KIAI, before charging forward with a roundhouse - NO! SCHOOLBOY FROM GIGI!
Xiao kicks out at 2.6, rolls to her feet, and is immediately back on the offensive, catching Gigi with a kick to the gut!
Mann: Xiao was going for her trademark flurry of blows, and that roundhouse could very well have ended this match!
Woodbridge: Sure, but it doesn’t look like Gigi’s in a better spot right now anyway!
Xiao measures, as Gigi slowly gets back to her feet, and steps through the ropes, stalking her opponent! Gigi’s up, and Xiao leaps onto the ropes, going for a springboard - GIGI HOOKS HER LEG!
Crowd: BOOOOO!
Xiao loses her footing, and falls neck-first onto the ropes, before collapsing to the outside of the ring!
Mann: Gigi with a lightning-quick reversal!
Woodbridge: Xiao might be seriously hurt down there!
Gigi regains some of her confidence, and gives the crowd an innocent smile, completely ignoring the competitor she might have seriously injured. As the count reaches six, Gigi finally springs into action, rolling out of the ring, and grabbing Xiao by the hair!
Gigi: That’s what you get for ruining my moment!
Gigi pulls Xiao up to her feet, and throws her into the ring. Gigi rolls in as Xiao fights to one knee, then to her feet! Gigi smirks, and stands in front of Xiao, posing for the crowd -
Xiao with a JKD backfist!
Woodbridge: River City Knockout! That’s Biff’s move! What a moment to strike!
Gigi is staggered - falls to one knee - then gets back up, just in time to eat THE CRANE KICK
Gigi is down! Xiao is staggering after landing the crane kick, and collapses to a knee herself! Xiao takes a moment to collect herself, then throws herself into the cover, hooking both legs!
Mia hits the three count, and Xiao rolls off, sure she’s won the match, but Gigi’s right hand is on the ropes!
Mia explains to Xiao, who is obviously frustrated, but nods. She takes a moment to kick Gigi’s wrist, knocking her hand off the ropes, before climbing to the top rope! Xiao steels herself - leaps - corkscrews through the air!
Woodbridge: Xiao’s Wing!
Gigi gets her knees up! Xiao lands back-first onto Gigi’s knees! Xiao bounces halfway across the ring, clutching her back and neck, and lands on her chest!
Mann: And Gigi has just enough in the tank to get that counter in!
Gigi, with what seems like massive effort, rolls over, before crawling towards Xiao, who seems to be completely out of it. She crawls over Xiao, with a knowing smirk, before hooking her legs around Xiao’s head!
Mann: Gigi looking for the Paywall, this modified figure four choke!
Woodbridge: And half the audience is looking at something else right now.
Gigi torques Xiao’s already injured neck back, cutting off all airflow! Xiao struggles for a moment, but is trapped in the center of the ring! She crawls forward, but Gigi leans back, torquing her neck even further! Xiao swings back with an elbow, then another, but her arm is caught by Gigi’s free hand! After a moment of struggling, Xiao finally relents, and taps in the center of the ring!
Javier: And your winner, at a time of 7:53.... GIGI!
Gigi rolls out of the ring, obviously the worse for wear, clutching her neck after the crane kick to the skull!
Mann: And Gigi with a hard-fought win after these two threw everything at each other in a absolutely brutal short match!
Woodbridge: Xiao’s not a singles competitor on her own, but she showed just how brutal her brand of offense is when it needs to be - if Biff has the same resilience he used to have the tag division might need to be on notice!
submitted by Gameran to wrestlingisreddit [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 04:40 seymourbuttz214 This sounds pretty good

This sounds pretty good
250,000kms on it, Radiator probably needs to be done, frame may be okay, minimal rust seller is asking $10,400
Says no accidents and only 1 owner music to my ears but I’m wondering if it’s too good to be true. I also know very little about this trim package, I don’t mind the seats can live without leather etc, and as long as power locks and mirrors, and the frame and AbS and tranny doesn’t explode, what are some y’all thoughts good and bad I’d want to hear it all, obviously I’d still have to assess this in person but I’m still picking up on things from reading into some helpful guides I’ve gotten from fellow sub in this community! I’m still learning and don’t have the eye yet to see all the degrading bits, but lowest mileage I’ve seen for a price like this, so I’d imagine it’ll be gone pretty quick considering some for more with way more mileage have been sold fairly fast
submitted by seymourbuttz214 to 3rdGen4Runner [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 04:39 ineedabettertitle I'm a homicide detective. I am in way over my head.

I should start this by saying I'm not a detective anymore.
After the events at the warehouse, I was paged to visit my direct supervisor, Sgt. Langley. She was sitting behind a mahogany desk when I came in, gazing at some sort of file. She looked up at me. "What the hell was that, Jonathan?"
"We were underprepared, ma'am." I replied.
She glared at me from across the room. "We have a man missing, and a severe casualty! How underprepared were you? Did you not take any precautions at all?"
"With all due respect, you weren't there, ma'am." I said, upset. "Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw down there. How would you expect someone to perform at their peak, faced with . . . that."
She sighed and looked down at the file, eyes skimming over the words. "The brass is asking I let you go, for the moment."
"You can't seriously thi-" I began to say.
She held up a palm. "Look, the media is all over this. For everyone's sake, including you," she jabbed a finger at me, "it's best that you stay out of this for the time being."
I stared at her. She stared back, and raised an eyebrow. I considered my options, and begrudgingly decided to hand over my badge and gun. Langley smiled again. "Look. This will all blow over soon. Just take a rest for a while, hmm?"
I didn't respond.
I left her office. It was twelve, and I had nothing to do besides worry about all that was going on.. So I went home and slept. I was exhausted after the past few days, after all.
I awoke to my doorbell ringing. I was in that half-asleep state, so I covered my head with a pillow, hoping that whoever it was would go away. The doorbell rung again. I shifted position in my bed, and checked my watch. Four o'clock. I was more tired than I thought.
The doorbell rung again.
I slowly got up and made my way to the door, brushing the sleep from my eyes. The door opened to reveal a scruffy-haired, lanky teenage kid, who looked to be about eighteen. He nodded at me, while smiling politely.
"What do you want?" I said, not-so-politely.
"Uh, yeah. I'm meant to drive you to this place. I mean, that is if you want to go." He said.
I looked at him, trying to discern if he was serious or not. "And what's that supposed to mean?"
He shrugged. "I'm not really sure. Someone came up to me and offered five hundred bucks to ask you to come with me. But you don't have to come, either. I've been told to say the decision is up to you." A look of remembrance flashed across his face. "Oh, yeah. I'm supposed to give this to you as well."
He pulled a well-folded piece of paper out of his pocket and handed it to me. I opened it up, and read the words scrawled inside.
Heard you're out of work!
You should come join my zoo. We're always in need of more Zookeepers. :)
The boy peered at me from behind the paper. "So what is it then? Are you coming or not?"
I stared at him, blankly.
What do I say? How does whoever wrote this note know I lost my job anyways? It only just happened. This is obviously a trap anyways. The kid could even be on it. The last time I followed one of these notes, I lost a man, and almost got another killed. So what, then? Should I go or stay?
I looked back at the kid. "Yeah, I'm coming."
The kid drove with that careful rigidness that all first-year drivers seem to have. He drove for a while, slowly taking me out of town and into the rural back areas of my city. It took another thirty minutes of driving along long stretches of road the land becoming quieter and more desolate, before he pulled up onto a gravel pathway, which seemed to be the entrance of a much larger farm. I looked at the sign as he drove me in.
Winston's Family Orchard.
The gravel pathway diverted further up the track, and he took the right road. It ended up at what looked to be a farmhouse. There were lights on inside, and I heard the whir of machinery in the massive shed behind it. The kid stopped the car.
"This is your stop. Hope you have a great evening, sir." He cheerfully said, allowing me enough time to get out of the car before he drove back down the pathway.
I watched him until the headlights dipped below the horizon, before making my up the steps and onto the veranda. I could hear voices inside the house. Talking, laughing. It sounded like any house at dinnertime. Unsure of what to do, I knocked at the door.
The voices stopped.
I heard the soft pad of someone walking barefoot on hardwood towards me. The door opened. A man came out from behind it, he was of average height, cropped hair, and with three-day-stubble beginning to show. He stared at me with a faraway look in his eyes, before smiling, and gesturing for me to come in. "Glad you could make it! Dinner is just ready. Why don't you come join us?" His voice was deep and intoned, and familiar.
Very familiar.
"I . . . I know you." I said. More of an accusation than a fact. I thought back to the memories of the night I found my sister. The paramedic who passed me the note that started all of this. The paramedic who always seemed to be gazing of into the distance. No. No just gazing. Searching.
He tilted his head slightly. "Well, I'm happy to hear that! Makes acquaintances a bit more easier, then. Come on, you look hungry, let's eat!"
I didn't move. "I'm not going to fucking eat with you!" I yelled at him. "You killed my sister!"
He looked at me questioningly. "No. No. I didn't. I'm just a Keeper. You've got this all wrong. She-"
"I don't give a damn what you have to say!" I retorted.
"Hey, buddy. Let's calm down and talk this over a meal. I'm serious. Come and join us." And with that he walked back down the hallway. He turned left, into what I assumed was the dining room. I heard a couple of hushed voices, and scraping chairs. It seemed people were leaving.
I had two options. I could go in and find out what was going on. Or I could leave and forget about all of this. There was one problem, however. I would never be able to forget. The pain would never go away. The horrors of what I saw could not be forgotten.
I walked inside.
I entered the room I saw the paramedic go through. Inside there was a table, set like it was ready to feed a large family. There was a roast lamb in the middle, with a few cuts already sliced from it. Around it there was various side dishes and drinks. There was a man seated at the head of the table, directly opposite to where I was. It seemed everyone else had left.
The man spoke. His voice was rich and pronounced. "Isn't great that we can finally meet, Jonathan? I have so much that I would like to tell you."
". . . and who are you?" I asked.
He chuckled. "All in due time." He waved his hand at me. "Come. Sit. Eat. Anything you'd like. I do recommend the steamed asparagus, however. Bonnie really outdid herself there."
I remained standing.
He seemed unfazed, and continued to speak. "Now, I would like to remind you that you came here of your own accord, and you may leave whenever you feel like. We are not forcing you to stay here, but I so would enjoy your company." He leaned back in his chair and folded his arms across his stomach. "Now, before I start waffling on. Is there any questions you would like to ask? Any burning thing you would like to know?"
It didn't take me long to think of a question. "Why'd you do it? Why did you kill all these people?"
He paused for a moment, seemingly disappointed. "Straight to those questions, are we?" He sighed. "Look around at the world, what do you see? All I see is death. You, of all people should know that. People die all the time. Hundreds a second. Thousands a minute. So what does it matter that I take a few more lives? It's just a drop in the bucket of death."
He stood up. "And when people die, it's useless. Everything that they've ever done amounts to nothing in the void of eternity. But it's not just that. As a species, we are bringing ourselves closer to death every day. We cannot make the right choices. Ever. So, on behalf of all of us, I'm choosing."
I shook my head in disbelief. "Choosing what? You're just torturing people to the point of death! How is that supposed to solve anything?"
"Do you still not yet understand?" His voice rose. "I am saving us all! I am leading the charge in the evolution of our species! In due time, I will be revered all around the world, as the one person who saw what was right, and had the guts to do it!" He turned around to face me. "The first few deaths were unfortunate, yes. But they have helped the cause beyond anything you can dream of! I am so close to creating the perfect being. The savior of our species!" He looked at me, jabbing a finger in my direction. "And you will join me! Become a Keeper and embrace the new world!"
I was silent for a while. This guy is insane. I thought. Join him? Who the hell does he think he is? I'm leaving the first chance I get. But I had one more question I wanted to ask him.
"Why me? Out of all the people you could have chosen, why me?"
He smiled widely, and let out a low laugh. "All of these smarts, and yet you couldn't figure that out? I didn't choose you. Look at you, quivering in a corner. There are so many more suitable prospect then you." He said with a hint of disgust. "Now tell me, what makes you think I choose you?"
"I don't know! The notes. . .my sister. You just seemed to be interested in me." I said.
He chuckled again. "You really don't know, do you? Tell me, how often would your sister go for a walk at midnight?"
". . .I'm not sure. Never, I suppose."
"Then what was she doing that night?"
The question struck me as odd. I had never thought about what she was doing, only about how it happened. I could never figure it out. The only way it seemed possible for her to disappear, was if she had let it happen. But I ruled that one out early. She wouldn't just let herself get kidnapped, right?
The man arched an eyebrow at my silence. "You deserve the truth. Everyone does. Some people like to hide their secrets behind shadows and dark corners, praying they don't see the light of the day. I am not one of them. I strive to be open and honest in all that I do. I long for a world with no lies because there is nothing to lie about. Everyone is accepted. Everyone is valued. If you need proof, have I not told you my exact location twice now?"
"That's hardly fair. You shot at us the first time." I said.
"I did not shoot at you. You were just there. Look, I will explain to you everything. But first, I require something of you." He picked up a mug and started sipping at it. "Your loyalty. Tell me, Jonathan, will you join me?"
"You're out of your mind if you think I want any part of this." I said, resolutely.
A smile curled at the edge of his lips. "A pity." His eyes traveled down my body, seemingly gazing in everything. "Look at you, always slithering into situations you shouldn't have to be in. I think you'll make a fine snake."
I heard a shuffle behind me, and turned around just in time to see a metal bar being swung at my face. It connected with my forehead with a loud crack, sending me flying backwards onto the ground.
That was the first thing I remember from when I woke up. Hot, searing pain, burning throughout my body and culminating in my forehead.
A throbbing sensation that shook my body with every strangely-prominent beat of my heart, blurring my vision and deafening my eardrums.
The metal floor was cold beneath me, drenched in my sweat. My arms were held down by some sort of shackle on each side, limiting my movement.
I was trapped.
With a killer.
I panicked. I thrashed my arms against the shackles, on the blind hope that I'd be able to free myself. The pain on my arm increased, and probably caused a bruise. I yelled out in pain, but discovered I was gagged with a piece of cloth.
"Struggling's just going to make it worse, you know." A voice said behind me. The man's voice from the dinner table. "Like I said before, you are free to leave whenever you wish. But since you won't give me your loyalty, I'll have to settle with something else." He walked around into my line of vision, holding what looked to be a saw. "I'll make this quick, but I have to warn you, I don't like using anesthetic. The body should feel pain. It's natural. How else would it learn to heal?"
He walked around to the other side of me, and turned on a camera that was held up on a tripod facing me. The lights blinked to signify that it was recording. He came back to me, and placed the teeth of the saw on my left arm, in the pit on the opposite side of the elbow. "Now, snakes don't have arms. So, I'll start with that."
I struggled against the binds again. Adrenaline coursed through my veins from the fear, with no way to use it. Panic was setting in, and the human body's core instinct is self-preservation. And I was doing the best I could to get away from this.
"Don't struggle, Jonathan. It just makes it take longer. It'll be over soon. I promise." He said, in a calm, steady voice.
And with that he pushed the saw downwards. My body screamed with pain, and my visioned blackened. I could feel blood seep out of the incision across the arm.
He continued to bring the saw downwards. Pushing it forwards and backwards, cutting through veins and arteries. I felt him hit bone. He continued to cut, I could feel the vibrations of my humerus being split in two.
I lost consciousness for the second time that evening.
When I came to my gag was gone. And my arm. The remaining stump was wrapped up in a torniquet and bandaged at the end. Everything still hurt, but much worse than before. Much, much worse. The man was still standing there, behind the camera. He seemed happy to see me awake.
"Had a good nap, then?" He walked over to where I was laying down, and held my remaining hand in his. "Everyone deserves a choice. Free will is what defines us. So I'm going to give you a choice. You could get up and leave right now, and work for me, or have your other other arm removed and your legs stitched together. It's completely up to you!"
Work for a madman. Or die to a madman. Self-preservation is stronger than dignity. "I. . .want to work for you." I said, struggling between breaths.
"Very good! Let's get you out of those binds shall we?" He plucked a key from his pocket and swiftly unlocked them, I tried to sit up, and promptly fell back down, my head spinning.
The man started to walk away. "Now, I'm going to begin your induction, you may feel free to leave or explore the house whenever you feel like. If you're hungry there's leftovers in the fridge. As I said, we're not trapping you here." He turned and smiled at me. "You're going to enjoy this, Jonathan. Toodles!"
He left the room, and went up a few stairs that I hadn't noticed before.. I took my time getting up, waiting until the earth stopped spinning under my feet. Walking felt strange without an arm, the weight was gone from there and I felt lopsided and unbalanced. I took in my surroundings. It was some sort of basement under the house, with different types of surgical equipment scattered around.
Besides that there was recording equipment scattered around and placed at various places. A few were still on, but most were turned off. There was a door to my left, and the staircase directly in front of me. There was a placard on the door with a single word on it.
I opened the door. It was dimly lit inside. The air smelled of musk and human waste. There was a small machine in the corner, lit up and whirring, with various cables hooked up to a large mound in the middle. The door slammed shut behind me.
The mound moved.
I took a step back out of fear. My focus shifted, and the horrible realization that I was looking at a person dawned on me. The person was extremely large, covered in layers of fat that rolled across their body. The person laboriously shuffled around to face me. The tubes from the machine connected into a mask that covered their mouth. The tubes continuously pumped a soft, gray liquid into the person's mouth.
I had only seen something like this once before, when looking for a murderer who was hiding in an abandoned mental hospital. A force-feeder.
On either side of the mask, the person had two large metal spikes coming out of each nostril, and back out the side of their head. Judging by the scars surrounding them, the spikes were drilled inside the cranium, until they eventually came out the other side, through the nose.
I shuddered at the thought.
The person slowly made their way forwards, shoving themselves against the floor. The person looked up at me, directly into my eyes. I saw the pleading in them. The humanity. Asking to be set free. And I saw something else, a flicker of recognition. Of understanding. I looked closer, past what I didn't want to see, past everything I didn't want to think about and I saw a friend.
I saw Thompson.
He was battered and beaten, and larger than he used to be. But it was still him. I rested on his shoulder and cried. Long and hard. This, more than anything broke me. Thompson didn't deserve this. No one does.
I glanced behind me, at the saw that cut off my arm. I stood up and grabbed it off the table, with my remaining hand. I brought it over to Thompson and held it over his face. His eyes grew misty, but he nodded, a slow and deliberate movement. He knew what it meant.
It was going to be hard to cut with only one available hand, so I opted for a large swing and used momentum to get the job done. A clean cut that severed his jugular and removed his life from his body.
I dropped the saw on the ground next to Thompson.
I made my way up the stairs and out of the front door. I had no shoes on, and the gravel road was tough under my feet. But I walked forwards. I was leaving, and nothing would stop me. The man had said so himself. And so I left.
But not forever.
I will be back.
For Thompson. For Alice.
I've got nothing left to lose and everything to gain.
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2023.06.02 04:32 Plushytoonz Gnostic; Apocalypse Chapter 30

Chapter 29

Chapter 30 Daniel vs Elohim/Cain son of the Demiurge

Cain began to form. His body blobbing as if something inside of him is moving like a cocoon. He fell face down to the marble ground, making a blood disgusting crunch on impact. Daniel stepped back as he witness Cain's body hatching like a deformed cocoon. The insides of his body shakes and moves all over, making a mixing sounds of flesh and bone. With one step back from Daniel, a snapping sound can be heard inside the body. Strong pale fingers cuts through the cocoon. Tearing off the coat to reveal a strong pale hand emerging from within. Dark blood, bones, and flesh spread on the marble floor.
A large growing creature rises from the cocoon of Cain. The creature is humanoid in shape and by far bulkier and muscular in size. Its skin is the color of burning flesh. Strong and brutal hands with rock like knuckles. Its legs are of a deer and the hooves looked to be stones of ancient hells. The head is by far one of the most resembled because its head is of a bear with antlers as its ears. Its eyes full of treacherous hatred as they stare into Daniel's eyes. Its teeth of darkness menacingly hungers for blood and death. The heart that which Jennifer saw in the beginning became visible before his eyes. Veins are pulsing around the heart, flowing with blood of a dark eldritch god.
This is it. This is the true and powerful form of the real Cain. Born from the demiurge, the beginning of ignorance and king of all gods. The never to be heir'd prince of all gods in existence. The blood of the jealous king. Cain, brother of Abel, returned to conquer all that exists and all that dares stand in his way. He is the darkness at the edges of universes.
Daniel. A man of metal and steel. His heart filled with hope and faith. Born from the man who was a world taker single handedly but then lives freely as a free man and a father. He is a man of hope and he rises to greater strength to raise others hope and defeat the evil that stands in their way of light. He is the lantern of hope in the darkest times.
Daniel rushes forward with a jab, but the target moved away super fast. Cain spun around with his claw raised and he caught Daniel in the chest. He then pushed him far away, making him soar in the speed like the falling star. There was no mountain nor anything, so his body kept soaring before he was hit in the head by Cain's powerful blow. Daniel's body roles down from the powerful impact that he struggles to stop rolling. Cain kicked him upwards and by the time Daniel's body was up to 15 feet, Cain threw his own chains at him. The chains wrapped fast tight on Daniel and Cain pulls down with instant strength. Daniel's body crushes to the marble ground but did not make a crush. The marble floor not broken nor impacted by the blow.
The cracking of Daniel's body is heard and he groans from the pain. Cain's teeth drools with hunger for such a brutal fight as he pulls Daniel's body forward with the chains in hand. Daniel's still strong and he tries to break free from the blood curdling chains. Cain threw him up in the air but as soon as Daniel was, he finally broke free from the chains and landed on the ground with the slam of his feet. That made impact, which Cain recoils a bit backwards.
Cain threw the chains at him. But Daniel learned his lesson. He caught the chains and wrapped his hands around it. He then pulls it with his strength, forcing Cain to be pulled towards him. By the time Cain is inches in front of him, he uppercuts his right fist with the chains wrapped around it. Cain's body soars into the sky. Then was pulled downwards by Daniel's force on the chains.
Daniel was about to swing his axe but he was hit in the head by Cain's soaring fist. His head impacted against the marbled floor. A flash of discomfort of dizziness explodes in his head. Trying so desperately get out of the dizzy state, he was unable to get up until Cain grabs his arm and threw him into the exosphere. The planet is the size of a thousand Jupiters and the atmosphere is 200,000 km above.
When he enters the exosphere, his dizziness stopped and he gained back his mind and conscious. It was too late for him to go back down because Cain caught him in the neck already in a fast pace. The soared through every planet and every galaxy conquered by Cain's power hungry hand. They're able to sustain and endure such high speed that should've been impossible. "This is all the galaxies I've conquered Daniel!! All together like a family of my own!!" He laughs demonically with a bears roar. His breath so foul that Daniel turned his head away from him.
Daniel kept punching at Cain's face. But as they arrived in a new world, Cain threw him down to the ground of the planet. Daniel's body crushing through the planet and the planet exploded. The planet's explosion grew into a massive size of a sphere shape that it destroys the 12 planets near it.
As the light of the explosion fades, Daniel regained his balance in space. He watches the discarded shards of the planets float in random directions. If this is the galaxy Cain conquered, are there innocent people living within these homes? There aren't any bodies nor anything alive around him nor resides near the planets shards.
He returned his focus on Cain and saw he was going to throw the gigantic shard of a planet right at him. When he threw the shard, it soars with such fast speed. The shard hits directly at Daniel. Daniel was stuck from the shards impact. He tries to move his arms and successfully places his hands on the gigantic shard. His feet burst blue flames as he pushes against the shard. The shard's forced weight was too hard for him to push but his hopes never stopped and kept growing as he pushes.
Cain watches the shard slowly turning to a stop. He waited for something to happen, until he was suddenly hit by the shard he threw. It was super fast that the shard broke into pieces right as they impacted Cain.
Daniel, now in front of Cain, punched him in the face massively hard that Cain soars downward, traveling through hundreds of galaxies. He finally lands to a planet that is something he never expected in the first place. The marbled floor all full of steel. The sky grey as ever but there are faces watching over him. Their faces are expressionless as they are the watchers of this world. Instead of emptiness, there are statues of the ancients and unknown gods never heard of before. Pillars scattered his surroundings, collapsed by some fall from something big.
Cain have forgotten this world even existed and became much excited. His muscles have intense from the excitement of this fight. The kind of fight he never could have enjoyed for many long years. This is unlike anything else he could've ever imagined. He began to laugh with the pleasure of the battle. So much opportunities for him to do here.
Daniel instantly arrived at the planet to find Cain gone. He looked around to see where did he go. He saw the faces in the sky watching him from above. They don't seem to be harmful. Only to watch. He saw another face facing at the opposite direction. He followed where it's looking at and saw Cain with a pillar on his shoulder.
Cain swings the longest and largest pillar directly to his target. The pillar impacted against Daniel's body with heavy precision that he was forcedly flew from it. He rolled by the time he landed on the ground. He got back up to see Cain was in the air, who was about to slam the pillar downward. He pushes himself away to which he avoided the heavy blow of the pillar. The pillar broke into pieces and Cain was looking at him with furious eyes of evil. The eyes never left its dark side.
They started to brawl with their fists. Exchanging blow after blow, some failed to strike, while others made impact with bruising fists. Cain then turns around and kicks Daniel with his hooves, making him soar off into the collapsed pillars from afar.
His body crushed through many rows of pillars, scattering broken pieces of them everywhere. His back slammed into a pillar that cracks behind him instead of breaking, due to the force of the impacts of the pillars he broke through. He stood on his knees, catching a bit of his breath, whilst Cain approaches him, walking with menacing intentions. "You still don't get it do you, Daniel? That 'goal' you are so hopeful to accomplish is nothing but lies! Everyone dies, what's the big deal! You're hoping to save everyone, to save all life but you don't even realize that we need people like me! I'm the one that can make a difference and you're in my way. But if you could just join me, we'll make the world a better place just like the apocaly-"
His sentence was interrupted by the incoming pillar. He swiped it off with the swing of his arms with ease, whilst he looks at Daniel in the eye. "You think that's going to work on me? Try harder!" An axe sparked from Daniel's hand and he jumps forward, ready to swing. He knew that approaching him with a swing of his axe would mean too late. His shield sparks on his forearm just in time before Cain's aggressive fist strikes.
Daniel deflected his strike and swung his axe at Cain's left side of his abdomen in a direct hit. He held the handle with both hands and pushed him back in about 3 feet away while Cain tries to get balance. He kicked Cain in the abdomen, pulling out his axe and ready to strike again. Cain tries to catch him but Daniel ducks down, moving away. Cain then got struck in the back by the sharp edges of Daniel's axe.
Daniel jumped up and kicked him with both feet, impacting Cain's back with a brutal bone crack. Breaking his spinal cords. Cain did not fall so easily. He turns around with the look of mockery and evil. His teeth gnarled with pleasure, enjoying the pain he gets. "You know. We're not that much different, you and I."
Daniel became so exhausted and injured that he could only say one word at that moment. He was getting weak but slowly healing. The healing was, for some reason, slowed down twice than it normally does. "Why?"
The chuckles coming from Cain's voice is enough to make Daniel annoyed. "You and I took so much pain. And yet, our bodies heal from our broken, burnt, infected, and bruised body. We heal so rapidly that it's making us invulnerable to everything else. We are on this to make a better world! A better place!! And here we are!! Fighting for WHO IS THE STRONGEST TO GET OUT ALIVE!!"
He raised his arms in praise of his own plan and efforts. looking up into the sky, to watch the galaxies before him shine above him as his crown of his own justice. Daniel was not surprised. He knew what he wanted. He knew what he was doing to the world and other galaxies. Cain's ideals and principles are the means of becoming a tyrant of a new world of his own image. That makes Daniel sick.
"I'm not like you."
Cain looked at Daniel with a baffled expression. The sound of stretching The words he spoke caught his attention. "What?"
"I did all this, not for making a better world. I did all of this to save everything that holds dear to life. The people, nature, homes, all of them. I don't want to control people nor become some sick king to them. I want to give people the hope and faith. And we're not the same. Because all you do is make your own sick fantasy come to life."
Cain's face turned into madness, as way a bear gets turned into a mutated creature. His teeth drools with hatred and so is his eyes. The antlers glowed with the flames of blood as the malice grew in his chest. He slams his palm against his chest while looking at Daniel dead in the eye. "You are a fool!" He started to groan as he grabs the handle growing out of his chest. He pulled the handle with his strength. The more he kept pulling, the more pain he feels all over his body.
Finally, he pulled the staff from his chest with pleasure coursing through his heart. The staff is made of ancient hellish stones with the blood of his enemies and victims coursing through the cracks around it. He began to laugh with such menacing energy. He raised the staff up high. Two large blades emerges from the 2 sides of the staff, which is actually an axe. The blade is sharp, flowing with blood and hatred. The distorted face of his victims slides up on the blade like a reverse waterfall, until it disappears into the top of the axe.
He raised his axe high with both hands and jumped forward to strike Daniel. Daniel jumped up, avoiding the axe. He stomps on Cain's bear head and jumps off of it. By the time he lands on the ground, he turned around and deflected the blow of the axe. Screams can be heard when the impact was made, which makes Daniel spooked.
Cain raised his axe as he gains strength to chop Daniel down. Daniel was slow and he knew he won't strike in time. So he jumped away from the blow, but was then grabbed in the head. Cain punched him in the abdomen, making him soar far behind. Daniel's back hits against the pillar wall, making cracks all over it but still not break. He found himself next to a big stone of the pillar. He struck his axe into the stone, making it stick into the cracks. Then spun around and threw his axe with the stone attached, directly at Cain. He was both struck by the stone and the axe. The stone breaks from impact and the axe cuts into his chest.
He rips it off of him and threw it away. The axe flew back to Daniel's hand with the sound of echoing metal. They raised their axes and threw them at each other. The 2 axes clashed together, making a loud clang of metal with the painful screams of the unholy blade. The axes stays attached from the impact. "Why are you not releasing your anger!? Release it!! Show me the monster from your temple!!"
They rushed at each other. By the time they are 10 feet away from each other, the axes returned to their hands. They struck their blades of the axe at each other, at the same time with such powerful and intense power. The sound of ringing and metal hitting against each other is so loud that the sound of them reaches through hundreds of galaxies under a second. Daniel's axe broke into pieces and they all fell to disintegration. Daniel knelt down in pain as the sound was too loud for him to bear. Even for Cain as well that his antlers are vibrating by the powerful doppler effect.
Cain roars in the painful fury with the screams of the victims. Daniel went forward for a hit but was too slow that he got slammed in the torso by Cain's powerful swing of his forearm. Daniel's body broke through every pillar and escaped into the hugest space. He slides to the marbled floor, then regained his stance. But it was too late as Cain grabbed his neck with his bear right hand. Daniel tried to lift his hands up but the force of power holds him in place. Cain is using his power of telekinesis to hold him as he struggles to get free.
"Well. Looks like your hopes have lost. Look around you and tell me. Did anything change? Was it worth your hopes on this pathetic goal of yours? 'To save everything that holds dear to life. The people, nature, homes.' 'To give people the hope and faith.' Was it really that much big of a deal?" He scoffs, then laughs mockingly at Daniel's fading face. Slowly, the tears appeared beneath Daniel's eyes as Cain lives on, and he dies. He can't say a word. The grip of Cain's hand was too tight for him to speak. His vision beginning to fade as the world turns into hell. His friends are going to die hopeless. They're helpless without each other and once they've finally died, Cain will have their souls for eternity. Same goes Daniel. And all of life itself. The shame and pain in his chest grew as the guilt infects his mind and soul. There is no hope anymore. James, Steven, Jennifer. I'm so sorry.
"Well. Nice kno-"
Then suddenly, time has stopped. A bright light flashes in front of Daniel's eyes. The tight grip around his neck is gone and the force with it.
Chapter 31
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