Plano overnight warming station

RIVN next Sh*t Co to see bullish momentum?

2023.06.09 20:44 Not_name_u_lookin_4 RIVN next Sh*t Co to see bullish momentum?

RIVN is presenting at DB Auto Conference on 6/15/23.
Recent news last night was GM and TSLA with charging stations, thats why TSLA gaped up huge overnight.
Past few days have been seeing large amounts of volume on RIVN 7/21 17.5c. The OI is currently at 85,687 now. With a whopping volume of over 46,000 right now! Will see on Monday morning how much translates over to OI. For you TA crayon eaters, RIVN has been stuck is a range at lows here, and chopping around, could be basing and forming a bottom? Many other companies that were seeing pure bearish momentum have finally started to see some change in trends to the bull side. Is RIVN next? Well the options movement certainly may point to it?
I am guessing it may be some news catalyst at the conference with charging stations if so.
submitted by Not_name_u_lookin_4 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 20:23 TripleNerdScore1 Trip Report: Tokyo Kyoto Osaka Hakone (30s couple, traveling while visibly trans)

Hi everyone! This sub was so incredibly helpful to me in the planning process - I was deeply grateful for everything I learned, so I thought I'd post a trip report now that we're back!
About us: We're a 30s couple from the Midwest US. We're pretty experienced travelers (South America, UK/Ireland, Europe, lots of places in the US), but this was our first visit to Asia and first visit to Japan. As travelers, we love getting out on foot, local food/drink (especially street food), live music, nerd shit, weird art/vending machines. Also, my partner is a cis guy, but I am a trans masc person who is visibly trans (post-op in a few ways, but not passing/not stealth).
Dates: May 13 - May 29
What we did: Tokyo Kyoto Osaka Hakone Back to Tokyo
Tips and tricks:
Because I'm a nerd, here's the actual breakdown!
DAY 1 ARRIVAL 📍 Flew into Haneda; made it to our hotel (lovely experience at Hotel Plaza Sunroute); had our first world-famous konbini 7/11 experience; walked around Shinjuku; went out for dinner at Ryu no Miyako Inshokugai - talk about jumping in the deep end 🍣 Onigiri and vending machine green tea; little whipped cream treats; Nagahama ramen and sesame mackerel donburi 👣 10,400 steps 🏁 4.8 miles
DAY 2 SHIBUYA 📍 Meiji Shrine and Gardens - got goshuin and omamori; Harajuku, went to 7/11; back to the hotel for a nap; Shibuya, including Don Quijote, Center Gai and Dogenzaka Street; Nonbei Yokocho for late night 🍣 7/11 (plum onigiri and corn/mayo sandwich, some kind of spam musubi situation, matcha roll); Ichiran coin-op ramen with extra chashu and a matcha tofu custard thing; banana shock smoothie at Shibuya109 in Center Gai; chicken and pork belly yakitori with beers at Morimoto; brown sugar shoju and shoju-infused Oolong tea cocktails at Tight Bar (strong recommend for this joint!); grilled squid, octopus, and okonomiyaki for afters at Tsukishima Monja Kuuya Shibuya 👣 32,000 steps 🏁 14.5 miles 😮‍💨
DAY 3 SHINJUKU 📍 Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden; Shinjuku area (including Disk Union, Disney, Onitsuka); Kabukicho and Kabukicho Tower; GODZ metal bar; Golden Gai; Omoide Yokocho 🍣 7/11 (onigiri, matcha filled roll thing, royal milk tea, tomago sushi, strawberry donut, cafe latte); many types of dango (sesame oil, soy sauce, and apricot mochi were our favs); McDonald's (weirdly good chicken sandwich with yuzu radish topping, vanilla custard chocolate pie, white grape soda); yummy little warm imagawayaki filled with adzuki bean paste + royal milk from depachika); a couple of Asahis at GODZ; simple yakitori snacks at Golden Gai (including some… mystery offal items); back to 7/11 for drunk matcha ice cream and waffle snacks 👣 28,800 steps 🏁 13.0 miles
DAY 4 ASAKUSA 📍 Went out for coffee; walked around Kinarimon Gate and Nakamise; toured Asakusa Shrine, Senso-ji Temple, surrounding Shinto and Buddhist shrines; stopped for sushi and mochi; went for a walk up Sumida River; dipped into Shoden and Imado shrines; crossed Kototoi Bridge to Tokyo Skytree; went up Tokyo Skytree; back to Senso-ji for night photos; capped off evening with gyoza 🍣 Lattes at cute puppet theater coffeeshop (espresso, dandelion tea); 7/11 for breakfast-y fuel; strawberries from a street stall at Nakamise; sushi lunch; beautiful mochi + tea dessert; grilled gyoza, soup dumpling gyoza, shoujo Oolong tea cocktail for afters 👣 25,500 steps 🏁 11.66 miles
DAY 5 JIMBŌCHŌ, AKIHABARA 📍 Train to Ichigaya - notable French-inspired neighborhood; breakfast at local French café; Yasakuni Shrine; Kanda River walk by Hosei University; Tokyo Daijingu Shrine; Jimbōchō Old Book Town; walked from there to Akihibara; hit up noodles, arcade, nerd shops (comics, TCGs/CCGs, retro video games systems, TTRPGS, etc); gachapons; hit up the bizarre rare vending machines 🍣 Vending machine coffee and milk tea; yummy French pastries (bacon and sour cream roll, quiche, sour cream raisin custard thing); had to try some avocado and cheese Doritos; cold udon with duck broth soup, curry rice for Chris; fish-shaped taiyaki with custard cream dessert treat; dope gyoza place ("weekday" version with pork and cabbage, shrimp and chili mayo, yakitori with tare, and shogayaki with onions) 👣 Forgot watch at hotel - we’ll say 10,000 steps 🏁 Guessing about 5 or 6?
DAY 6 TEAMLAB PLANETS, TRAVEL TO KYOTO 📍 Hit up teamLabs, had an amazing time exploring the exhibits - the infinite light crystal room was our fav; train to Tokyo Station; lunch at underground Ramen Street restaurants under the station - went with Soranoiro, one of the few veg/vegan ramen shops in Japan - delicious; shinkansen to Kyoto; out for nightlife in Kiyamachi-Dori and Pontocho 🍣 Quick 7/11 snacks; train snacks (pocky, coffee, little teriyaki cutlet sandwich); Soranoiro ramen bowls; killer yakitori we fried right at our table in izakaya in Pontocho (honestly probably a meal highlight of the whole trip); brown sugar shoujo; 7/11 for ice cream on the way back 👣 18,900 steps 🏁 8.63 miles
DAY 7 KINKAKUJI, NISHIKI, GION 📍 Kinkakuji Temple; bus back to Kiyamachi-dori; spent whole afternoon walking and eating street food at Nishiki Market; back to hotel for rest, laundry, rooftop drink; out for nightlife in Gion 🍣 Family Mart for coffee and doughnuts; Nishiki Market Street street food delights - seared yakitori style crab stick, little octopus chuka idako on skewers, kara-age on skewers, sea squid croquettes and beer, strawberry and adzuki bean mochi balls; mimosas and red wine; Kyoto Gion Okaru - geisha-decorated izakaya with insane curry udon bowls and beers; picked up box of mochi dango for dessert 👣 20,200 steps 🏁 9.07 miles
DAY 8 SHRINE DAY 📍 OK, this is a lot:
🍣 Hotel coffee, tea, cream puffs; adzuki bean buns with tea made from the actual hydrangeas of the tea garden at the shrine; dope bento box lunch; got takeout fast food donburi and fizzy lemonade 👣 22,800 steps 🏁 10.39 miles
DAY 9 FUSHIMI-INARI 📍 Fushimi Inari, the famous shrine of over 1,000 torii gates - super amazing (and intense!) summit of Mt Inari! Back to Nishiki Market for reward street food and drinks; back to hotel for a rooftop drink and soak; finally out for soba at Kawamichiya Ginka in Pontocho. 🍣 Snack pack on our hike (sausages, cheese, some kind of fish meat/cheese stick, and surume - sweet chewy dried squid stuff); orange smoothie; conveyor belt sushi; strawberry mochi roll; whisky highball and red wine; massive soba spreads (chicken seared with wasabi/yuzu/horseradish dipped in ponzu sauce, fried soba noodles in a rich soup, cold soba noodles dipped tsukemen-style in a really amazing umami soy sauce soup, tempura shrimp and veggies, a hot soba noodles in a clear broth soup) 👣 27,600 steps 🏁 Supposedly 12.3 miles, but that hike to summit Mt Inari was something else 😤
DAY 10 TRAVEL TO OSAKA, SHINSABASHISUJI, AMEMURA, DOTONBURI 📍 Beautiful brunch on the bank of the canal in Kyoto; local train to Osaka-Umeda; checked into Osaka hotel; walked around Shinsaibashisuji and Dotonburi a little bit; scoped out Amemura ("Ameri-mura") for dope American-inspired Japanese streetwear; wandered up and down street food stalls in Dotonbori; swung by Namba Hips (mostly pachinko); found a couple of fun little hole-in-the-wall places (little Japanese craft beer brewery, retro video games bar) 🍣 Brunch at Kawa Cafe (croque monsieur, ramen, tea and delicious apple tart); takoyaki, cheesy waffle shaped like a massive 10yen coin, sweet chili hotdogs from stands in Dotonbori; dashi gose craft beer (by Derailleur Brew Works) from Umineko, shots at Space Station bar 👣 19,500 steps 🏁 9.01 miles
DAY 11 NAMBAYASAKIJINA, DOTONBURI 📍 Morning Japanese breakfast at a wonderful little 24-hour diner; Hozen-ji (moss shrine); Kamigata Ukiyo-e Museum across the street (focusing on Osaka woodcuts celebrating Dotonburi's kabuki and entertainment history); Nambayasaka-jinja (lion head shrine); Den Den Town (Osaka's Akihabara); ended up at a cozy little kushikatsu bar which actually was playing the Tigers game (away game vs the Swallows at Tokyo); street food waffles for dessert; hit up a late-night batting cage - ended up at Round1 (a big multi-floor arcade complex) and did the rooftop batting cage! My partner won a giant plushie for me from a claw machine! 🍣 Dope traditional japanese omelette and fish breakfast; cute macarons from market stand; Family Mart for snacks before nightlife; skewers, beer, and highballs from Dotonbori kushikatsu place; ridiculous nutella, whip, and strawberry stuffed waffle from Waffle Khan 👣 29,100 steps 🏁 13.31 miles
DAY 12 KUROMON ICHIBA, OSAKA CASTLE, DOTONBURI 📍 Kuromon Ichiba Market for street food; Osaka Castle Park and Nishinomaru Gardens; toured Osaka Castle and museum all the way up to the top; subway to Tanimachi-9-chome subway station for amazing live jazz at Sub Jazz Cafe. (This was amazing! Akira "Ro" Hasegawa (sax) and Yukie Fujikawa (keys) - Ro is also the owner and was bartending on this particular night too.) Out to Don Don for killer yakiniku and beer; found our way to Oboradaren, an Tokunoshima-themed island vibes bar and music spot where there was a great live band playing fun island vibes beach rock - big crowd of 40s+ Japanese women who knew all the songs, wound up drinking passionfruit chuhai and joining them in the conga line around the bar 🍣 Oden hot pot, wagyu skewer, otoro sashimi, crab gratin in the half-shell, bracken green tea soy cakes at Kuromon Market; ice cream sandwiches at Osaka Castle; milk tea, little roast beef sandwich, and cheesecake at Sub Jazz Cafe; yakiniku-style wagyu, ribs, ox tongue, assorted mushrooms; passionfruit chuhai and red wine at the island vibes spot; taro and brown sugar boba teas 👣 23,000 steps 🏁 10.42 miles
DAY 13 KAIYUKAN, SHINSEKAI, DOTONBURI 📍 Fun trip to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan; quick pass through Shinsekai; lunch at spot where you can fish your own catch from an indoor fishing boat pool; out for one last Dotonburi night - wound up getting konbini snacks and sitting on the waterfront talking and people-watching for hours 🍣 Not a banger food-wise, but interesting little spread at the fish-your-own place - huge prawn for grilling, kara-age, and fatty tuna nigiri for Max, tempura veggies and whitefish with doteyaki for Chris; from Family Mart, fruit smoothie, ice cup, and KitKat for Max, onigiri and lemonade for Chris 👣 19,100 steps 🏁 8.64 miles
DAY 14 TRAVEL TO HAKONE, HAKONE SHRINE 📍 Bombed to Shin-Osaka for an early shinkansen to Odawara; trained to Odawara to Hakone; dropped luggage off at ryokan, then bus to Motohakone; saw Hakone Shrine and Onshi-Hakone Park (as well as a segment of the actual Old Tokaido!); returned to ryokan for the night, where we were treated to a gorgeous 1:1 kaiseki from a Michelin-star chef, private hot spring onsen, and private in-room hot spring bath 🍣 Konbini snacks before shinkansen; snacks and coffee on train; late lunch in Motohakone (curry and soba, pork cutlet); incredible, massive multi-course kaiseki and sake for dinner, plus strawberry cake, champagne, and more sake for dessert 👣 13,900 steps 🏁 6.26 miles
DAY 15 HAKONE OPEN AIR MUSEUM, TRAVEL TO TOKYO, LAST NIGHT IN SHINJUKU 📍 Woke up in gorgeous ryokan; leisurely kaiseki breakfast with leftover cake; final soak in the private onsen; Hakone Open Air Museum - very cool; had kind of a challenging trip back but finally made it from Museum back to ryokan to bus stop to Hakone-Yumoto to Odawara to Shinjuku to the hotel 😮‍💨 Considering the last night as our real "last night" of the trip, our final night out in Tokyo was all just extra icing on the cake - went out for yakitori skewers and Asahi Superdrys in cozy alley in Omoide Yokocho, found really wonderful cake and tea dessert open late also in Omoide, hit up 🎵 Donki! 🎵 for a final round of bulk snacks and souvenirs, ended up on a late-night excursion to find Park Hyatt Hotel (featured in Lost in Translation); finished night at hotel watching the city go to sleep from our balcony 👣 22,700 steps 🏁 10.3 miles
FINAL SCORE 📸 Pics: 1,929 👣 Steps: 337,700 🏁 Miles: 153.78 (we averaged 9.6 miles per day, every day, for 16 days) 🇯🇵 “Nihongo jōzu!”: 4 (I know more proficient Japanese speakers are insulted, but it's honestly a pretty nice comment when you're at my level) 👶 Comments on how young we look/how we can’t possibly be celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary: 3 ✨ Gratitude: Infinite.
submitted by TripleNerdScore1 to JapanTravel [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 20:19 dogisbark [TOMT] [tv show] An early-mid 2000s cgi show with circular robots

Before you suggest, no it wasn’t Bakugan but I did watch that show sometimes too, I know the difference. Also wasn’t Code Lykko, it was purely 3d.
I remember watching this show when I was a kid with robots that were circular in design. They might have actually been spheres but it’s too fuzzy in my mind to be certain. It would have been mid 2000s. Show was cgi, I remember the background sometimes being kinda warm coloured with lots of browns. Everything was very cybernetic, no humans I believe. I can’t remember any plot but I’m pretty sure it was action based with there being villains and such. One specific shot that has always remained in my head is where one robot was checking the back of another robot. It had something on it, either a switch or some kind of device. If it helps, I’m Canadian. I don’t remember what station but my guesses are Teletoon, YTV, or PBS. Doubt it was tree house, looked like it was meant for an older demographic.
submitted by dogisbark to tipofmytongue [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 20:19 Fffrisco Looking for a job in retail, or restaurant FOH, kitchen, or working with pets. Not seeming to land many interviews or make it past the first round

submitted by Fffrisco to resumes [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 19:37 DariusWolfe Story Time: The Trip to Moder

This may be a bit of a longer post, so bear with me, but it was a helluva adventure.
I have not yet taken down Bonemass, but I've done some poking into the mountains, and had finished off what appeared to be the only frost cave in the nearby mountains. I remembered the relatively massive mountain near spawn, so I traveled there to set up an outpost for exploration. I managed to find a silver vein immediately below a mostly intact castle (with one little pseudopod poking out of the ground) so decided that this would be my home-away-from-home during this adventure. I went all over this large mountain, rock-hopping my way up the relatively sheer side to the top, thinking a mountain this big was bound to have a Moder spawn, but alas, it was not to be; I didn't even find a Frost Cave until I cheated and looked at the map on the map viewer; turns out they were on rocky shelves invisible from below and hard to see from above. In the first I explore, I find a Vegvisir pointing me toward Moder, finally!
Now, since I hadn't even taken down Bonemass I wasn't planning on summoning Moder yet, but I was looking to build a new base and figured near Moder would be a good start, but the Moder spawn was WELL to the north, beyond any of my current explorations. So I gather up some okay foods (I have a lot of outdated foods, and I wasn't planning on fighting ANYTHING) the ingredients for a Portal, and I set off on my trusty Karve.
It's harrowing; The wind is non-favorable for a big chunk of the trip, and I find myself wending my way between islands of Swamp and Plains; I'm not afraid of Swamps anymore, but I don't want to take my boat too close, anyway. Finally, I reach the island and find that the only safe landing spot is a narrow bit of Black Forest between Plains to the north and Swamp to the south. Okay, so I carefully manever in, park the boat near a rock, and hop to ground and set up a crafting table and the Portal, which I creatively dub Motherhunt. The marker for Moder doesn't appear to be far, so I go to check it out; turns out it's in a tiny cleft on the side of a steep, rocky slope. Curiosity sated, I go take a cautious look at the Plains and return to the boat.
It's afternoon, but I figure I'll be okay to return; I've done lots of overnight boat trips, with few incidents. The wind has shifted tho', so I'm doing my best to keep it out of my face, when the weather darkens and the waves get choppy. I'm chased by a serpent, so I turn out of the wind and run hard, looking for the nearest bit of safe land, when fog rolls in. With my boat already damaged from the serpent, I cautiously head toward what the map shows as a bit of Meadow between two patches of Plains, figuring I'll wait the night out there... but no, the wind turns again as a passel of goblin-looking creature start swimming for my boat! I'm trying to turn the boat out of the wind and run, as they begin hacking at my hull. Finally I pull away and cautiously take a look at my boat's condition; a sliver, maybe 5-10% health. I see the glowing bits of the serpent still out at sea, so I skirt cautiously along the coastline, past the plains until I find another bit of Black Forest between the Plains and Swamps (seems to be the theme this far north...) and pull ashore to plant a crafting station and repair my boat.
By this time, it's morning and I head out cross-sea toward a large, mostly featureless island I've already circumnavigated, knowing I'll soon be home. As I near it, I see a Leviathan nearby, and turn to approach so I can mark its location for later exploitation... and despite the seas not being especially rough, I suddenly find myself upside down, my boat capsized.
Of course I pause the game and quickly Google if there's a way to set my boat to rights, but aside from some advice on how to deal with a real-world capsize, I'm out of luck. I watch my boat take damage and eventually break, and I'm treading water in the Ocean. Now, I have the Better Diving mod, but I've got the settings so swimming isn't notably easier than vanilla; the only real concession is a tiny amount of regen while resting in the water, literally 1 point or less per tick. So I decide to painfully, slowly start swimming toward a small island to the south, pausing to rest, wondering if I could possibly make it by nightfall. The island is growing closer ever-so-slowly, and mid-day has come and gone. At this rate, I'll probably make it by morning.
I said, in my head, too soon... The weather turns again, and the waves grow. I start taking a few more risks with swimming with shorter rests... and my concern is borne out as I hear that damned roar behind me (seriously, I've never seen this many serpents!) I start swimming; I'm either gonna drown or get eaten, but here it comes; The bite shoots me forward in the water, and I get a mad bit of hope. Another bite, another shot forward, and I slam a healing mead. There's delays between the bites that give the mead time to work, and the rock is much closer now.
Bam! I catch a rock in the face and jump back, just to get bit and shoot forward again. Greydwarves on the rock. Okay, well, no way out but through. Another bite, and I'm able to swim up onto the rock. Kill one Greydwarf, then realize they're attacking the serpent now. I start shooting at the serpent, then eventually jump down onto the bit of land and start slashing it, eventually killing my very first serpent, and finishing off the Greydwarves shortly after.
I've never been to this island, so I have no infrastructure. It's not a vast distance from my Portal Hub or home, but nor do I have a boat. So I run south as darkness slowly fades into light, eating into the last bits of my food, and consider my options. It's Black Forest and I recovered the Fine Wood when my Karve broke, so I could potentially build up a whole mining and smelting operation and rebuild a Karve, but until I do, I have no way to repair my iron and silver weapons and tools. I decide on a raft, despite the risks of even short Ocean voyages on such a rickety boat. There is a small patch of Meadows, so I head there to kill the boars I need for the raft, and sleep in the small cabin I built while I was considering my plan. In the morning, I dump all my valuables in a chest, board my raft and set sail. I decide last minute to head directly home as I would have the wind behind me; This was a nerve-wracking decision given my luck, and when the sky darkened, I was sure I'd made the wrong one... But fortunately, it was just a fog, and I was able to skim my dinky raft into my small bay.
I was home, safe but exhausted. Building a new boat (Longship, this time!) and recovering my gear would wait for another day.
submitted by DariusWolfe to valheim [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 19:30 DisneyAddict2021 I have realized I’m old!

I’m in my 30s, so it shouldn’t be an issue, but wow, it really is to me and now I feel like I’ve completely changed. I’m not my usual teenage/20 something easy going “can sleep anywhere and will stay up all night and overnight” kind of gal! When did this happen!!? 😭😭 Anyway, I just needed to vent about the following:
On my last trip, I just couldn’t stand the bathrooms. When did toilets get so low!? Why won’t Disney upgrade the sinks and paper towel dispensers? I felt like I have to be a ballerina to use the toilet (the back problems really sneak up on you fast 😂) and I was so grossed out by having to touch all the faucets to get them to turn on! And when you press the push thing, it only gives you water for 5 seconds! I can’t wash my hands with soap that quick. So then I need to keep pushing the dirty thing that everyone touches, which kind of defeats the point of washing my hands. Ninety percent of the time, the paper towel dispensers didn’t work. Luckily, a few times it was warm outside so I just shook my hands off in the sink and let them air dry outside. However, California weather has been a true weirdo lately, so a couple days it was incredibly cold outside….not ideal for air drying.
Okay, that’s my rant! Disney needs to upgrade their bathrooms and I’m old!!!
If anyone is like me…I love the new toon town bathrooms because they have motion sensor sinks! 😂😂
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2023.06.09 19:25 Aldoro69765 Hearts on Fire - 001 New Orders

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This fanfiction is based on The Nature of Predators. Thanks to u/SpacePaladin15 for creating this amazing universe. Please read and support the original work!
It was also inspired by u/YakiTapioca’s Recipe for Disaster and u/Acceptable_Egg5560’s Nature of a Giant. Please give them a read as well, they’re amazing!
Memory transcription subject: Alexander Wolff, Human firefighter
Date [standardized human time]: September 13th, 2136
“Absolutely fucking not!” My frustration with my station commander is almost visibly, but definitely audibly, bubbling out of me while I furiously pace back and forth in her small office. The situation is going splendidly. She called me into her office not even three minutes ago, and we are already almost shouting at each other. “I’m not running away!”
Nicole lets out an equally frustrated sigh. “Alex, you’re not running away. You have to listen to me. I wouldn’t be asking this of you if I wasn’t certain it was the best for you.”
“The best for me?” I stop dead in my tracks and stare at her, a lone tear slowly running down my cheek. “Leaving my family, my colleagues, my friends, my city, my country, and my planet behind?”
She wants to get a word in, but I simply talk over her. “And why me? Karl or Peter or Julia are more deserving of that spot than I am! All three have more experience on the job than me. Karl has been squad leader for years before I even looked at the training manual. Julia’s an actual mechanic and her material knowledge saves our collective asses on pretty much every other call, and Peter has-”
“And they all have their own families here. Partners. Children. In Karl’s case even a grandchild.” Now she interrupts me, her voice carrying a very familiar tone. Our boss spoke like this only when she was making announcements and I learned the hard way that it was always a bad idea to interrupt her at such a moment.
She continues, visibly straining to calm herself down to not escalate our differences into a proper volume contest. “I’ve already asked them and they’ve all refused.”
Nicole stands with her arms crossed in front of her chest, fingers nervously wiggling against the fabric of her black shirt. It is obvious that she’s still fired up from our mutual outbursts as she leans back against the piece of wall next to the tall windows of her office. She turns her head to look outside, watching the fire station’s courtyard where two of our colleagues are doing a routine check on some equipment of one of our fire engines.
After a few more long seconds she forces her gaze away from the window and focuses her aging pale blue eyes on me again. “Look, I know how you feel. I don’t like this entire situation either. But these instructions are signed by senator of the interior Manning himself. Each fire station has to send one member with the preliminary evacuation group. And for our station, that can only be you. You’re the only viable option left.”
“No, you’ll hear me out!” She cuts me off before I manage to get out a second word. “I’ve talked with everyone else who meets the requirements stated in the order. Karl, Peter, Julia, Tascha, Ivan, Markus, Günther, Anisa, and Bernd. They all want to stay with their families, no matter what. And the rest of the unit is missing one qualification or another, or hasn’t been on the job long enough.”
Her arms drop and she shuffles around her crowded desk to stand in front of me. The late afternoon autumn sun filters through the half-lowered blinds, making her slightly graying blonde hair glisten like strands of gold. Her days of duty on a fire engine are years in the past, but she is just as passionate and dedicated in her position as our station commander.
Nicole draws in a deep breath. “All of them told me in no uncertain terms that they would only go if they could take their families with them. But since that’s not possible…”
Her voice trails off for a moment before she continues. “Alex, I’ve heard the discussions and rumors as well as everyone else here. If nothing happens then you can simply mark this down as a fancy extended vacation paid for by the government and then tell us how Venlil Prime was. But in the worst case… we will need people with your knowledge, your heart, and your passion to rebuild.”
I’m biting my cheek while listening to my boss, whether out of frustration or nervousness I can’t tell. A moment later I breathe a defeated sigh and nod my assent with my gaze cast at the ground. “Okay, I’ll do it. But for the record, it still feels like running away. I will be gone for so many months, and you’ll be down one crew for all my shifts. It just doesn’t feel right for me to leave you guys hanging like this.”
Hearing my response a warm and caring smile appears on Nicole’s lips. “Thank you. And you’re not leaving us hanging, Alex. I know only very few other firefighters that are as engaged as you are. You put in so much effort and passion even outside your shifts.”
She continues, rattling down the list of things I do as if it was anything special. It doesn’t feel special to me, I’m just doing what felt necessary to help out my colleagues and the fire department.
“Don’t think I wouldn’t notice!” She teases me with a smirk. “You put in several hours with the youth brigade every other weekend, you’re first in line to volunteer for PR work at schools and universities and sports competitions, and when there’s a festival or any other event you always show up for at least one shift of EMS.”
I jump a little when she places her hands on my shoulders, but her now calm and almost soothing voice quickly puts me at ease. I lift my eyes and meet her gaze. “Whether or not you see it that way, you’re one of our best. I know you won’t let us down. And when this whole thing has blown over, you’ll come back to us and tell us about the aliens you met and how you showed them how firefighting is done properly. Okay?”
“Okay, boss.” I force a weak smile.
“Good. The shuttle for your group will leave Tuesday at 0800 from terminal 3, so be there at 0700.” Nicole releases my shoulders before she turns and grabs a stack of papers from her desk. “Here’s the details, the boarding gate, how much baggage you can bring along, what the shelter on Venlil Prime will be like, and so on.”
She huffs apologetically. “I know it’s on rather short notice, but the entire government is basically in emergency mode, from our Senate here all the way to the big guys in Berlin, and they wanted this evacuation happening yesterday.”
Still feeling dejected, I take the documents from her. “Thanks, boss. And… sorry for getting loud.”
She waves her hands. “Eh, don’t worry about it. I know you only mean well, and these times are difficult for all of us. You know I’ll never hold it against you that you basically wear your heart on your sleeves.”
I turn to leave but stop when she suddenly continues.
“Oh, one more thing. I’ve already cleared you from work for your remaining stay on Earth. You’ll probably need the next few days to prepare your things for the trip.”
I nod and reply softly. “Thank you. I appreciate it, really.”
Without any further words I quietly slip out of her office, closing the door behind me with a sigh. After closing my eyes for a second and taking a deep breath to help me calm down, I turn left, the direction of our locker room.
You can do this, Alex. You heard your boss, it’s just a precaution ordered by our government. Once the panic settles you’ll come back and tell some great stories.
My walk to the locker room only lasts a handful of moments and I absentmindedly key in the combination to my personal compartment. Before putting the documents away I give them a quick browse.
Let’s see… boarding via gate F5, baggage is a locked box with two sets of my personal protective gear provided by the station, plus a total of 150 liters of luggage in any form… Okay, that’s quite a lot. Not sure I’ll need that much.
Then I get to the pages about the camp. The buildings look simple and functional, and the units inside appear to be clean and good enough for human habitation. Depending on your needs you’d get differently sized rooms with an appropriate number of beds and other furniture, plus a small attached bathroom.
No communal showers and I get to shit in peace. Okay, that sounds better than I expected.
Automated laundry service like in a hotel. That was nice, the last thing I’ll be needing on an alien planet is having to worry about the reserves in my underwear drawer. Seems that whoever runs this shelter really did their homework. It definitely could have been much worse. But we’ll see how well the actual location manages to hold up to the promises made on the flier.
The following pages are a description of the general area and the local attractions. Small town, quite rural surroundings.
Oh well, let’s hope their rural folks are a bit less judgemental than some of the backwater villages on Earth.
I finally put the documents away, not wanting to waste my precious downtime staring at some paper. You never know when the next call comes in, and once it does we have to be on the road within the next 90 seconds. You learn pretty quickly to be very aware of your time management, especially regarding the toilet. Nobody wants to be in an audience with the porcelain god when the alarm goes off.
After closing my locker, I make my way to the break room. I get barely a single step into the room when I see the heads of the six colleagues sitting on the couch turn at me in perfect sync.
“And?” Karl’s slightly graying buzzcut combined with his stupid, wide, shit eating grin immediately stands out from the crowd. “How was your chat with the boss?”
I quirk a brow. “What do you mean?”
“Yeah, how did it go?” Julia quips, her auburn hair dangling from her head in two thick braids perfectly framing her pale freckled face. “We could hear your little shouting match all the way to here. We even had to pump up the volume on the TV to not accidentally eavesdrop!”
Aw crap. Well, time to rip off the bandaid.
I take a deep breath, and after a short moment of hesitation I spill the beans. “I’m leaving for Venlil Prime on Tuesday. I’m sorry.”
Julia and the other five all but jump to their feet. She rushes me and grabs me in a tight embrace. “What do you mean, you’re sorry? That’s great news! Especially since Nicole really didn’t have much choice left. Glad you picked up her offer before she had to order you to go.”
“Uh huh. She told me you all said no to her already.” I reply, returning the embrace which is getting even more stuffy now with the others eventually joining in.
“Yep. No way we’re leaving our growing families behind.” Günther speaks out, hinting at his daughter due to be born in two months. When I see his lips curl into that grin I already know something incredibly silly will be coming out of his mouth in the next few seconds. “We all have our roots settled here already, but you’re still young and can fly like a teeny tiny birb across the galaxy.”
“I’ll give you ‘tiny birb’ once I get out of this group hug!” I tease in return, earning a laugh from everyone around. “But seriously guys, it’s getting hot in here.”
Eventually they relent and release me, moving to stand in a circle around and peppering me with countless questions and comments.
“You’ll have to send us a message when you get there, okay?”
“Don’t forget to exercise, would be a shame if you came back all withered away.”
“You do realize that Venlil Prime has like 20 percent higher gravity than Earth? Tiny birb here will have problems walking around… ouch!”
“Do you think they have a proper fire brigade over there? I somehow can’t imagine people so skittish and easily frightened being able to put up with this stuff.”
Everyone was laughing and joking, especially Günther whose deep rumbling but jovial voice easily carries through the corridors of the station, when suddenly the all too familiar alarm klaxon sounds and the incident announcement echoes around us.
All joking and laughing is instantly forgotten while everyone runs towards their assigned vehicles and quickly changes into the heavy duty clothes. Barely a minute later the gates of Station 23 open, and my unit’s vehicles rush towards the accident with sirens blaring and lights flashing. Inside HLF 2 I went through my mental checklist while putting on my gear.
Heavy RTC, probably some leaking liquids, chance of compromised battery cells. With that many involved vehicles we have to prepare at least two squads for fire suppression and prevention, while the rest will work on getting the trapped people out. Okay, gear check: hood… mask… air tank… respirator… data uplink… radio… IR… ELoc…
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2023.06.09 19:16 EllaSharpey How long will the concert be??

I’m seeing the band in Sheffield on the 14th of next month, and am struggling to find affordable hotel/b&b options, and so am trying to figure out if there’s sufficient time to rush back to the train station/coach station after the show and head back home on the same day rather than stay overnight as I’d planned.
Anyone who’s been to any of their shows so far - how long has the show been?
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2023.06.09 19:00 gsand31415 Loop not detected but green light lit

My 115H dug up some of it's boundary wire at the top of a slope. It did not appear to have damage to the insulation. I cut new trench (with edger) and reburied the cable a little lower on the slope. The first few cutting cycles afterward worked fine, then overnight the mower stopped over a different stretch of boundary cable with some dug up dirt (the soil is powdery dry here) but no visible cable exposed.
Now it won't start from any location, giving a "Loop not detected" error. How is this possible when the base station thinks the loop is intact?
Any troubleshooting suggestions?
submitted by gsand31415 to automower [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 18:16 inkling164 fake switch dock that can brick your switch is pretending to be a best selling 3rd switch party dock

fake switch dock that can brick your switch is pretending to be a best selling 3rd switch party dock submitted by inkling164 to assholedesign [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 18:02 funki_dred cleaning prescription lenses advice

Hi, question as per title, does anyone have some advice on how to clean honsVR plano prescription lenses? I guess it would be the same as cleaning a pair of glasses without too much concern about scratching them if care is taken, so maybe just warm soapy water and then dried properly before reapplying them?....or maybe just some generic glasses wipes?
Thanks in advance :)
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2023.06.09 18:01 DoctorOfMeat Yodeck sign down again

This has happened a few times now. I have two Raspberry Pis running yodeck, but from time to time, one of them drops it's connection. This will just happen randomly in the middle of the day when I (the only person with any access to any yodeck or other network settings) haven't made any changes to anything. Power cycling it doesn't help, going in with a keyboard/mouse/ethernet cord to check network settings doesn't help. Swapping the power supply doesn't help. In my experience, it seems that about a day after I've exhausted everything I can think of and I'm ready to get a new rPi/screen, it'll start working again.
I'm also unsure as to whether it's the software/SD card, the rPi, something with the wifi or even the small knock-off rPi screen I have it driving.
The error screen lists "Error" for Internet Connectivity, DNS Resolving and Cloud Connection. It shows the Ethernet and Wifi Connections as Down and Direct Connection says Error.
So...bad rPi? Bad/corrupted software? Something else entirely?
Also, I tried to take a picture of the error screen and caught the QR code, so I may have submitted an otherwise empty bug report by accident.
Also, to clarify, this only happens with one of them, the other one has yet to have a problem that wasn't resolved by power cycling.
PS, do your bug reports show the temperature at the time the sign went down? I'm curious if the Pi is overheating? I don't think it's the case since leaving it unplugged for a few hours/overnight doesn't fix the problem, but I know it gets warm.
submitted by DoctorOfMeat to digitalsignage [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 17:55 SapphoTalk [NB 28] - [F 30] - [M 34] Housemate trouble

My 28yo housemate and I were friends before moving in together, but at this point, I'd say moving in was a mistake.Every single day they find something to complain about. Most of it is directed toward our other housemate [M 34]. While the other housemate also tends to annoy me (more so with mansplaining and general personality quirks than cleanliness), my 28yo housemate is at a point where they seem to be fuming daily about him. While their complaints are valid, they are often small and petty enough that they are things that I would completely overlook and just write off as living with housemates.
Small complaints would be fine here and there, but they are actively rude and abrasive with their delivery and nag daily. It's to the point where I've been keeping a running record by texting my friend the daily complaint. It is also hypocritical, as they have left dishes in the sink out overnight and dirty pans on the stove. One time I even came down to find a cockroach on a dish they'd left in the sink, and then they yelled at me to just go squash it when I complained about it to them. The counter is also currently cluttered with their stuff, and they've taken over the entire living room as their workspace. Dealing with the hypercriticism is affecting my mental health and quality of life and I'm almost to the point of asking them to move out if they are so unhappy.
My male housemate and I have lived together for almost two years now and have generally been fine, we've had squabbles and he can be annoying. He is messy but mostly keeps it to his room, and he has his own kitchen/bathroom in the basement and never uses ours. I've dealt with much worse from roommates than anything he's done and frankly I'd rather have a mildly sloppy roommate who occasionally forgets the trash than a daily nag. In general, I feel we are decent housemates and that they are being ungrateful and spiteful towards us for no reason. They complain that they are stressed and that we are wasting their time by not running the house smoothly enough, as they are busy studying for the bar, but my housemate and I both also have busy lives and I don't see how anything that we are doing is severely impacting our NB housemate enough for them to be so spiteful towards us. We live in a beautiful house in a great neighborhood, and if they would calm down I think our lives would be very pleasant. We got into a bit of a heated altercation yesterday and I came very close to telling them to F off. Not sure how to salvage the situation at this point. I'm being extremely mindful to be as proactively clean (sweeping, wiping down counters, never leaving dishes in the sink, etc) and respectful of their space as possible, but they still find something to complain about.

Edit: My NB housemate also has their partner over almost every day, and has not offered to pay any more in rent or utilities to cover the water she's using. They also have an extra cat in the house that they did not tell the landlord about.
submitted by SapphoTalk to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 17:45 SapphoTalk ISTJ [NB 28] - INTP [F 30] housemate trouble

My ISTJ housemate and I were friends before moving in together, but at this point, I'd say moving in was a mistake.
Every single day they find something to complain about. Most of it is directed toward our ENTP housemate [M 34]. While the ENTP also tends to drive me insane (more so with mansplaining and general ENTP rudeness than cleanliness), ISTJ is at a point where they seem to be fuming daily about him. While their complaints are valid, they are often small and petty enough that they are things that I would completely overlook and just write off as living with housemates.
Small complaints would be fine here and there, but they are actively rude and abrasive with their delivery and nag daily. It's to the point where I've been keeping a running record by texting my friend the daily complaint. It is also hypocritical, as they have left dishes in the sink out overnight and dirty pans on the stove. One time I even came down to find a cockroach on a dish they'd left in the sink, and then they yelled at me to just go squash it when I complained about it to them. The counter is also currently cluttered with their stuff, and they've taken over the entire living room as their workspace. Dealing with the hypercriticism is affecting my mental health and quality of life and I'm almost to the point of asking them to move out if they are so unhappy. ENTP and I have lived together for almost two years now and have generally been fine, we've had squabbles and he can be annoying. He is messy but mostly keeps it to his room. I've dealt with much worse from roommates than anything he's done and frankly I'd rather have a mildly sloppy roommate than a daily nag. In general, I feel we are decent housemates and that they are being ungrateful and spiteful towards us for no reason. They complain that they are stressed and that we are wasting their time by not running the house smoothly enough, as they are busy studying for the bar, but my housemate and I both also have busy lives and I don't see how anything that we are doing is severely impacting ISTJ enough for them to be so spiteful towards us. We live in a beautiful house in a great neighborhood, and if they would calm down I think our lives would be very pleasant. Is it just an ISTJ trait to be this chronically uptight about cleanliness? We got into a bit of a heated altercation yesterday and I came very close to telling them to F off.
submitted by SapphoTalk to ISTJ [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 17:42 katchoo1 What was your local kids TV show when you were a kid? Did you like it?

The janky locally-produced “hey kids!” Tv show hosted by local characters is a tradition that has disappeared. Most tv markets had their own version of the show—Bozo was the syndicated version, with a wacky host, often a supporting cast of characters and a mix of skits, audience interaction, and cheap-to-license content like black and white cartoons and movie shorts from the 1930s.
In Philadelphia we had Chief Halftown in the early time slot. He wore a feather headdress and I assumed he was a gross appropriation of Native American culture but looked him up recently and found he actually was a Native American.
Do you remember the channel test pattern picture (shown when the channel was off the air overnight) that had the Indian profile in the middle? Chief Halftown was the first thing on Saturday mornings after the test pattern went off and if you got up too early, you saw the test pattern for a few minutes. I always thought that Indian picture was kind of like a preview for Chief Halftown. I was surprised when years later I saw it (the test pattern) in an entirely different city.
Chief Halftown ran from 1950-1999 which is amazing! He died in 2003.
The big Philly show in my childhood, though, was Captain Noah. Captain and Mrs Noah were a real life married couple and I think it was the typical live bits mixed with cartoons kids show, but I couldn’t tell you what the live bits were. The only thing I remember was a segment where they showed drawings and artwork that kids sent in. Anyone who was a kid in the Philly region at the time can sing the picture song that went “Send your pictures to dear old Captain Noah”. The song would play as the camera panned along that days lineup of pictures and the segment ended with the address to mail in your letters and artwork. The other thing I remember was the closing song about “singing a rainbow”.
Captain and Mrs Noah were also station personalities for other programming like parade coverage and appearing on local news segments about toy drives and charity events. They made lots of personal appearances in the area as well. It was a big deal when he came to the annual baby parade in Ocean City!
Captain Noah and his Magical Ark ran from 1967 to 1994. Mrs Noah died in 2011 and the Captain passed away in 2016.
Your turn—tell us about the local kiddie show in your area. Did you ever appear on the show or have your art or letter shown on the air? Did you ever go to a live recording to be in the studio audience?
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2023.06.09 17:14 XplicetCrazed "Gas Station Sushi" is actually good

I know it's a long running joke that gas station sushi sucks, will tear your stomach up, etc etc.
I just totally disagree, I think it's probably one of the better food options at a gas station. No one bats an eye when some one eats canned tuna on a sandwich, or those little tuna packets as a snack, all found in most gas statuons... Why should we treat sushi any differently? Particularly the cooked rolls.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like A+ food or anything... But I think it's better than the greasy burritos or tornados that have been kept warm all day. I eat a roll every now and then, I never have stomach issues from it, and it's usually not bad!
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2023.06.09 16:02 BadlyGeneratedHuman The Field

I take the train to work every day, pretty early in the morning, and my train ride is long, so I usually sleep on that train.
I have never missed my stop- apart from once.
It was a pretty gloomy day, raining and cold, and it made me sleepy as the train was warm, and I managed to get on it before it became too busy that I wouldn’t be able to get a seat.
I fell asleep as the train left the station and woke up as we stopped.
As I woke up and lifted my head from leaning against the window, I saw vast fields of wheat around the train, in the bright blue sky, with zero clouds.
No-one was in the train.
I grabbed my suitcase and stepped out of the train, and into the field.
It was as if the train had driven over the field.
I yelled out, ‘hello?’ and received no response.
I headed back into the train and went from car to car looking for a person, but no-one was there. Looking up the entrance, it said on the screen, ‘Stopping at: The Fields’
I once again stepped out into the field, and walked for about 2 meters, when the train closed its doors, started moving.
I rushed back to the train, but it already started to leave.
Through the windows, I saw the announcement change from ‘Stopping at: The Fields’ to ‘Stopping at: Home’. Panicking, I started running after the train, but it started picking up speed, and soon it was gone.
I stood there on the tracks started following them, in the direction of the train, and walked for about a mile, but somehow, they just ended. The rust had gotten to them.
Where’d the train go then?’ I wondered.
I slouched down at the end of the tracks, stood up, and yelled ‘FUUUUCK’ while throwing my suitcase into the field.
I loosened my tie and kept walking.
About a meter into my walk, I heard a rustle behind me. Turning around, I saw my suitcase fly from the top of the field, back onto the track.
I stood there, frozen.
‘W-Who’s there?’ I said.
I turned back around to the sound of another rustle in the field, then back at where my suitcase SHOULD have been, but it was gone.
I started running as fast as possible down the tracks.
I heard a rustle again as I was running on either side of the field, like something was chasing me on both sides.
I stopped suddenly, and for a moment, the movement in the wheat kept going, then readjusted to where I was.
I stood frozen there as I realized an index finger was slowly revealing itself in front of me through the wheat.
I couldn’t stop staring at it.
Then it's open hand revealed itself slowly as I felt cold and dirty hands grasping my face and body, pulling me into the field with the rest of them.
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2023.06.09 14:47 Rhion-618 Just One Drop - Ch 89

Chapter 89 - The Angels Have Chose

Afternoon, Two days before Shel
It was getting near lunch and Tom checked his omni-pad. It seemed as good a time as any to take stock of the day.
…Miv’s right, I’ve been climbing the walls…
There was a text from Bherdin. The IOTC girls were doing well, and would hold up their part to play in the banquet.
…That’s nice. I’d feel guilty as hell if Vedeem weren’t dating a Princess. That kind of evens things up…
And his suit was going to be delivered tonight.
Tom sighed and shook his head. Bherdin was happy as a clam. Whatever it was, it couldn’t be worse than the Warden’s outfit. The little Shil could make you believe in reincarnation, because he definitely had the soul of Liberace. Still, it was only one evening. Surely a state dinner couldn’t be that bad. It was a crowd of scientists and assorted nobility, for goodness sake…
…It’s not the audience I’m worried about…
There was a message from Lamana Duvari. The Interior agent had been cooperative, though he could tell she wasn’t happy about this plan. She was deferring to her Princess, but Duvari favored playing for time. There was just something about sitting back and waiting that didn’t have any appeal…
…She wasn’t the one with a knife in her guts…
That wasn’t fair. Whatever else you could say about the woman, if she’d been asked to trade places, she wouldn’t have hesitated. The woman's dedication was frightening, the more so because she spent most of her day in her disguise as ‘Professor Duvari, Totally Normal Person.’
…Well except for the orchestra. Mel and Kas’lin say she's perfectly at home…
“The woman would probably lend a whole new terror to ‘Ode to Joy.’”
At least she’d followed through, and, gods love her, so had Kzintshki. She’d explained her ability to evade most sensors, but the last three nights she’d slipped out on campus to ‘try something new.’ She’d texted every time, and according to Duvari, the Deathsheads in the bunker missed her every time.
…Whatever she’s doing, it could make all the difference…
The women in the bunker… Like Ce’lani. Things shouldn’t go wrong, but how many times had he said that? Something wasn’t right. The feeling he was missing something loomed over him…
“Fuck it… Time to call Ce’lani.”
He’d promised, and Miv would be gone for hours. Besides, it might make him feel better…
_ _ _
Deep in the Ops room out in the bunker, Sgt Diani perked up from her station. “Captain, you’re not gonna believe this. He’s calling her now.”
“You’re putting me on.” Captain Be’ona felt her eyes grow wide. “The woman can’t string two sentences together when she wakes up.”
“Ummm we’re recording this, aren’t we?” Yala asked from the ground team console.
“She threatened to sodomize me with a lasrifle over breakfast…” Be’ona steepled her fingers and smiled guilelessly. “Oh, Deeps, we are. Document that sucker!”
_ _ _
Miv’eire was a stunning woman. Tall, even for a Shil’vati, she was statuesque, yet elegant. She had poise, and it showed. Sholea was equally striking, though lithe, slim, and feisty.
At 6’2, Tom never thought he’d end up as the short one in the family, but somehow neither woman made him feel that way, and were feminine in the way Shil’vati women usually were. Both women behaved just like Human women, with all their cares and concerns - except when they didn’t. When they didn’t, they really didn’t.
It could be disconcerting to have your attitudes reflected back when you least expected it, but that was their ‘normal.’
Shil’vati men? Well, given the social pressures put on them, they behaved like Human women. Though he’d only met a few before leaving Earth, it was a rule of thumb that worked reasonably well. It applied fairly well to the men working as cooks and waiters at Human Food, and he’d been comfortable with adapting in a way. When in Rome… and the men had made an effort to help him adapt. After all, he was on Shil - the odd man out, in the most literal sense.
That said, there were young men like Aku and Vedeem who seemed to face their worlds in understandable ways. Then again, he’d also come to know Jama. While age had slowed him down, words like ‘notorious’ and ‘brazen’ tended to find their way into his thoughts. There were even a few men about like Bherdin, where worlds like ‘florid’ tended to flounder, unequal to the task… But all of them were at home with their lives. This was their normal, and he was the outsider looking in.
He’d adapted.
Staring at his omni-pad, he punched in the number, but held off dialing. What did he know about Ce’lani? They’d shared a morning together, and Miv and Lea approved… Once, that would have been difficult to accept. Now?
…it still took getting used to.
There was also the fact that she was military. Not just a Marine, but a Deathshead Commando, and while the difference was lost on him, it mattered. You couldn’t avoid meeting Shil’vati Marines.
Young, dumb, and full of… expectations… young troops were the same everywhere. They universally tended to piss off the locals.
Taken as a whole, it reminded Tom of his time on Okinawa. The governor of the island had been aggressively against the American bases there, and rightly supported policies to stop sexual violence against local women. The most dangerous animals on the island were, after all, several thousand unaccompanied Marines… though it was also rumored his daughter had been caught with a young Airman in the back of a Chevy.
The guy had to be smuggled off the island one night with extreme prejudice.
All of that came home to roost with the Shil’vati occupation. What had gone around had come around, in the form of young, inexperienced, and hopeful girls turned loose on the ‘sex planet.’ They had gone over just as well as anyone should have expected. If anything, Humanity ought to have known better than the Shil, but it was still a shock to the system.
Once the red zones calmed enough to allow the settlement programs to kick in, families had arrived on Earth. Shil’vati, Rakiri, Helkam… by fits and starts, each had started to appear, along with the other more exotic races in the Imperium. For a while, it had turned into a hobby like train spotting, but somehow people found their niches and things got on. The galaxy came calling, and it turned out that people were just people.
The Marines were the problem. Not as individuals, but as young troops out of their depth in a situation they weren’t right for. Not that the Interior was anyone’s choice, even for the Shil, but after a while people got on…
…Well, most did. God, I’m going to miss Cat…
He banished the weight of old memories and focused.
Ce’lani was… well, not a marine, but the thought stuck in his head. Her letter had been hopeful, not young or inexperienced. The music she’d sent along had been thoughtful, expressing her longing, desire, and optimism in a way that touched the heart… presuming she’d understood the words.
Either that or she’d gotten lucky.
Still, taken as a whole, words like ‘daunting’ tried to edge their way into his thoughts. Personally, she was polite, deferential to Miv and Lea, and had already put herself on the line for him more than once. Physically, though… the woman screamed ‘military.’
Ce’lani Tonis was a beautiful woman with a defined chin and piercing gold eyes, though it was difficult not to think of her body first. Once someone threw you over their shoulder and took off at a dead run, it made a lasting impression. Athletic, in the way that you’d say Arnold Schwarzenegger was ‘well defined,’ everything about the woman said ‘focused,’ - though that seemed normal for Shil’vati women.
For better or worse, Ce’lani had focused on him, and Miv and Lea approved. That was how things stood… and he needed to call the uber-girl and make a date.
“Just when I thought it would stop feeling strange…” Tom shook his head and hit the icon to dial.
The omni-pad rang a few times, and Tom was about to give it a miss when the call connected. While he didn’t enable the feature often, she must have had video on…
“Mn… Hnogh…?”
The uber-girl lay mashed into her pillow, eyes screwed shut as she started to gently snore.
“Ummm... Hi. Ce’lani?” Somehow, her camera lay at an odd angle, barely keeping her in the frame and Tom turned his to match. “Ummm, hello? It’s Tom?”
“Tom…? Tom’zzz cute…” Ce’lani rolled back and snorted once. Part of him considered hanging up, but he lingered in bemused fascination as she carried on talking in her sleep. “All those wommm chazzing... I beat their asses… an… ’e’s cute…”
The polite thing to do would be to hang up and call back later. It wasn’t as if he was going to get anything sorted… Still, it seemed rude not to say something. Besides, if this was recording on her end the least he could do was leave a useful message. “So… would you like to go out for something to eat?”
“Nmm... nice restaurant… does wrestling…” Ce’lani rolled over, her arm flailing at the omni-pad, knocking it askew. “Builds creidszz…”
“Ah…” If she slept during the day, maybe she worked nights. “This seems to be a bad time, so maybe dinner?”
The omni-pad offered a view of the ceiling. “Dinnerz good for wrestling pages…”
“Ok, I’ll set something up.” There was no way not to make this awkward, but if there wasn’t a recording, the worst he could do was call back. “Sweet dreams.”
Shaking his head, he broke the call.
…Alright, maybe not so daunting then… A date won’t be so bad. At least we’ll have something funny to talk about, if it’s humorous from a Shil’vati perspective…
“From a Shil’vati perspective…” The thought stuck in his head, and he punched in a text to Lamana Duvari. ‘Need to meet you this afternoon. Bring cadets. Important.’
Kzintshki did things the Pesrin way. The Shil did things the Shil way… and he’d been approaching this whole banquet from a Human perspective…
And maybe that was all wrong.
_ _ _
As Pathfinder of the Natahss’ja Warband, Sunchaser had known Marakhett since she was a mere kit named M’rast. Admittedly, she was only forty-three Pesh-years older - or five, going by the local calendar - but the years were enough. When she’d started training as a Pathfinder under old Starwise, her mentor instructed her to pay attention to the young kits as well as the adults. They’d be her peers one day and as the future warriors and band mothers of the Woodspirits, knowing them was important. So it was that she remembered Marakhett being born and watched her grow from a kit.
Starwise had lived up to his name. She’d not only learned to deal with other Warbands and the art of contract law, she’d also come to appreciate her family more intimately than most. She knew their strengths and weaknesses. She’d come to appreciate their character as a whole.
She’d been the odd woman out - the social one, though that wasn’t so unusual for Pesrin. Everything back home on Pesh depended on who you knew, who you were related to, who you had or hadn’t eaten… Social ties were everything. The only remarkable thing was that she managed to remain social, coming from a family of dour, uncommunicative, introverted… Well, they were family.
At least if they found it hard to laugh at themselves, she was there to do it for them.
In that respect. Marakhett was everything a bandmother of the Natahss’ja should be. Not without a certain dark and severe sense of humor, but still…
“You’re pulling my asiak.” Sunchaser crossed her arms, her asiak swishing uncertainly.
“I have never pulled your asiak, though if you want amputation…?”
Pathfinder sighed. Naturally, it would be Kzintshki. Talk about the prodigal daughter… “So it’s a brothel? Like… really a brothel?” She pinched the bridge of her nose a moment and rallied. “Well, I suppose if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong, but Mother of Light, there’s such a thing as overcompensation!”
Marakhett stared balefully and groomed her asiak. Sunchaser took the hint.
“Alright, you’re not kidding. Scout me through this from the beginning and stop me when I’m wrong. Your daughter found a boy - a Pesrin boy - in a brothel," Sunchaser supplied helpfully. Marakhett continued grooming. The pause grew longer, but she knew how to wait. After all, Marakhett had come to her…
“You are not speaking.”
“Oh, you just noticed? Because I was hoping that was the point where you were going to stop me.”
Marakhett arched an eyebrow. “Then you must learn to live with disappointment.”
“Daily.” Sunchaser looked at her another moment. Sometimes it was good to remember you loved your family enough to eat them, and some days you wanted to eat them so you didn’t have to remember you loved them. “I see… So this ‘Parst’ is in a brothel. You think she’s getting tied to him?”
“He is the right age… and she is very much in the right season. It is possible.” Marakhett shrugged slightly. Anyone not familiar with her would have missed the gesture. From her, it was positively eloquent, but she unbent slightly. “You are just repeating what we already know. I hoped by the time I returned you’d have found out more about the Rithagian.”
“Don’t get hasty in your middle age - it’s not your style,” Sunchaser snorted. “I’m just laying the trail here. Please tell me you did some scouting? Why don’t you and the other bandmothers just break the boy out? Kzintshki can grab him by the-”
“Of course, I scouted,” Marakhett replied tartly. “That is the problem.”
“Riiiiight… Well, that’s clear as the bottom of a coal mine at midnight.” Sunchaser settled back. Being the extrovert in the family was a penance sometimes, but Marakhett gave her pause. The woman was a careful hunter, but had never been afraid to be the first to use violence. She used it as a tool. Usually as a scalpel and sometimes as a blunt object, but if she said violence wasn’t the answer, it likely wasn’t. This was going to be one of those conversations where she just had to drag the information out. “So you scouted. Are you going to tell me the problem, or just let me guess?”
“The Tide Pool is not merely a brothel. The people work there... Apparently by choice.” Marakhett paused significantly. Sunchaser appreciated the effort, as that was a lot to take in. “The men and women there… and there are more species than I have ever seen… all consider themselves employees. I spoke with four or five and the ones that don't consider themselves ‘entertainers’ for the clients are there as staff. They are all healthy, happy, and abundantly well paid.”
“Well, money can’t buy you happiness, but if that’s true, you could die trying.”
“That is humor?”
“That is an observation,” she replied a bit tartly, turning the matter over in her mind and weighing it against what she’d been able to uncover. “Look, prostitution is a filthy business everywhere we’ve been. Places like that in the Consortium are little better than slave houses, and the Alliance was worse. Men and boys beaten down into lifeless outcasts. No one looks at them as anything but toys until they’re too old or too used up, and then they just get cast aside. Sure, actual slavery is a filthy business, but it’s only illegal because otherwise no man would be safe anywhere! It’s bad enough here with the Silver Suns, but that's better than the Alliance or Consortium. At least the Imperium tries to stop it! You said this place has a lot of money rolling through - if it’s everything you’re saying, then something is going on.”
“So I surmised,” Marakhett said blithely.
Of the Woodspirit’s seven bandmothers, Marakhett was her favorite, but Sunchaser counted to eight, her patience getting thin. “Based on…?”
“The Tide Pool employs Rakiri security, but the staff were armed.” She finished grooming her asiak and let it fall free. “Discreetly, but still…”
Sunchaser parsed that over. An armed staff wouldn’t be easy to subdue. No gang would allow it… and Rakiri? Rakiri were capable fighters and should be respected, if not invited to dinner… but still. Birds flew. Fish swam. They did what they did supremely well and were both good eating. That didn’t make them interchangeable.
“Rakiri don’t make good criminals.” Sunchaser tapped a claw on a bulkhead thoughtfully “It’s just not in their nature.”
Marakhett’s fur arched and settled, displaying she was pleased with herself. “Exactly.”
“So when you say armed, do you mean ‘a little,’ ‘quite’ or ‘very?’”
“My waiter was carrying a knife on a leg strap, and the security women I saw had X-tel GP fives.”
“Flechette pistols?” Sunchaser felt herself staring, despite herself. “Light, those are nasty! Exactly how many ‘staff’ are in this place?”
“I have seen smaller fortresses,” Marakhett said flatly.
“Bigger than the-”
Sunchaser felt her stomach purge as the conversation ground to a halt again. When Marakhett got into monosyllables, that was about it for information. That made it her turn.
“I heard back from Moonwhisper. She’s wed to their bandmale, and he’s on good terms with the male in the Curmoica.” She felt a moment’s gratification as Marakhett winced slightly. As an extrovert stuck in a family of reclusive mercenaries, a little exposition was her best revenge. Still, there was no need to push it. “They confirmed the Rithagian arrived on Shil a year or so after they did… They took a contract with Duchess Elieana - our employer. Funny she’s never mentioned it.”
“I am laughing on the inside.”
“Really? I’d love to cut you open and hear what that sounds like, because thanks to your daughter we find the ‘quiet old commodities trader’ employing us lost a Warband! Not just some of them - the whole family. That means there’s something up with the Duchess on one side and a fortress on the other.” Sunchaser pulled her asiak in raw frustration. “You know what that means?!”
“You undercharged,” Marakhett said archly.
“YES!” Sunchaser wailed, slamming her fist against the wall. It was humiliating, but she had to make the best of it. “Are you and the other bandmother’s going to tell Lathkiar?”
“Our husband? Not at this point.”
“This could involve slavers, violence, kidnapping, and mayhem.”
“Naturally, but Lathkiar is still learning to use his prosthetic leg. Getting us out of Consortium space cost him dearly, and we don’t want him to think he is missing out… or that we’re out of practice.” Marakhett sighed. “Until we can afford something better, he would slow us down. We are not risking him, so the less he hears, the better.”
Somehow, Kzintshki had negotiated actual land for the Natahss’ja, but while land and herds were a fortune for posterity, until the lands were actively worked, they remained a fortune out of reach. In the meantime, every spare credit that wasn’t being put into their ship now had to be plowed into renovations. That included the money set aside to provide Lathkiar with a good prosthetic, but he’d insisted. The savings was far more than he’d earn with work from the Duchess, and Sunchaser nodded grimly, acknowledging his sacrifice. It was something he could do for the family, and no one was going to take that from him.
“Why did you not marry Lathkiar as well?” Marakhett asked. The question caught Sunchaser by surprise.
“I’m a little old for that,” She pondered the idea. Starwise had negotiated well when she brought Lathkiar into the family from the Konjrel. Normally the price for a man like that would break a family for a year, but he was as laconic as Marakhett. They loved each other dearly, but the idea of sharing quarters with them all? Torture. “That's very kind. Marriage may be a wonderful institution, but I don’t want to be institutionalized.”
“Mn.” As usual, Marakhett’s asiak did the talking for her, and Sunchaser leaned in to rub shoulders with her friend.
“So this… Parst?” she asked circumspectly. The sting of undercharging was painful, but a male… on the loose… with no family charging a dowry for him? Now that was a bargain! “Good looking boy, is he?”
“I can possibly see the attraction,” the bandmother shrugged.
“You threatened him?” she asked mildly. It was an unusual situation, but there were the formalities to consider.
“Yes.” She nodded briefly, “Appropriate to his situation.”
“Good, good… and Lathkiar might like having a young male to bring into the family.” Sunchaser desperately wanted to rub her hands together, but a Pathfinder should never display greed - just embrace it. “It would be good for the family. The girls are getting older and you know Cahliss would be thrilled to have a share of him. Ptavr'ri doesn't get on well with Kzintshki, but she’ll either adjust to being third or go without.”
“I can’t say I don’t agree with you.” Coming from Marakhett, that was practically a manifesto. The woman’s asiak actually perked with joy. If she had a least favorite bandwife it was Harasf, and Ptavr’ri was her daughter. Despite her unusual choice of a Human hahackt, Kzintshki had brought the family land. If she brought home a male, her place as the next bandmother would be uncontested by her bandsisters - including Harasf and Ptavr’ri.
“Who are we to stand in the way of true love? It’s been so long since we’ve had a wedding… It will do the family good, since we’re so far from home,” Sunchaser said firmly, setting her thoughts in order. There was still a great deal to find out about the Rithagian, but they were niblifos. Not enemies, but certainly not allies… Besides, any distant branches didn’t even know about the boy! “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
Marakhett nodded thoughtfully. “If he has no family, who do we eat?”
_ _ _
Bherdin D’saari watched Jeidri Shel’ara expectantly. As a Cadet Senior Agent in the IOTC, she’d proven over the last week she could be driven, demanding, and determined. While polite and properly deferential to him, she’d battered down barriers to anything less than perfection in her troops, and was ready to face the worst things the galaxy had to offer.
He sniffed at the waste… In another life she would have made a fabulous maître d'. As it was, she made a marvelous test subject for his latest dessert!
“That is absolutely the most disgusting thing I have ever seen,” she breathed in horrid fascination as Vedeem picked up one of the rectangular mounds. Industrial brown goo discharged suggestively from the sides, but what really captured the eye was the sticky mass oozing out the sides.
Cadet Agent Vandra Elidre leaned in for a closer look before turning pale. “I’m going to be sick.”
Still, none of them made a dash for the bathroom or had the option to refuse. Bherdin appreciated that, since Vedeem was handing them out… Over the last week, his son had truly come into his own, training them day after day… And if that wasn’t enough, who cared!? He was the Princess’ boyfriend! What could they say?
“What in the sweet goddess’ name is that?” Cadet Agent Prindi Ama’dis prodded at hers with horrified fascination, moving it about on the plate, before pulling it apart. A visceral horror crept over her features as the white morass dribbling down, clinging suggestively in ropey white tendrils. “You know what this looks like?”
Vedeem D’saari grinned cheerfully and picked up his own. “Like porn on Shel morning?” One long entrail dribbled suggestively. “Don’t worry! The best things in life are a little sticky!”
Bherdin felt a warm glow of pride in his son. He’d come so far, so fast.
Vedeem smiled compassionately at the girls. Even in their distress, none of them were willing to show weakness… They watched in horror as he picked up his piece and bit deeply. Thick goo surged from the crust, coating one tusk.
Prindi Ama’dis looked like she was going to faint.
“They’re called a ‘s’mores.’ Just try a nibble, please? For me…? Surely, you’re not afraid, are you?” Vedeem tried wiping the sticking mass from his mouth. It trailed away on one fingertip. He gave them a winsome smile. “This can't be the messiest thing you’ve thought of with a boy?”
“I…” Jeidri was withering. Vandra looked at her for moral support as Prindi started to wheeze. As the senior cadet, she seemed to be fortifying herself… just as her omni-pad rang. Snatching the unit from her belt, she held it like a talisman. “I’ve got to get this! Vandra! You try it!”
Well, you couldn’t win them all over at once… A love of fine cuisine didn’t come to everyone naturally.
Jeidri’s lower lip quivered, but she picked up the square and gulped. “What… um… what's in it?”
“The brown stuff is chocolate. It’s a vegetable… sort of.” Vedeem ran a fingertip along his own. She and Prindi watched, spellbound… If some savages simply couldn’t appreciate good food, what was one to do? Still, there came a time for selling yourself, and at last Vedeem was learning!
“Umm…. sort of?” Prindi asked nervously.
“Don't worry, I’m sure big girls like you can get a handle on it…” Vedeem’s tongue snaked out and wound around the brown-coated finger suggestively.
“A-and umm… and the… the white stuff?” Vandra whispered horsely.
“Marshmallow…” Vedeem smiled sinfully at the pair… Bherdin couldn't be more proud. All his son needed was a bit more fashion counseling and nothing would stand in his way! The universe would deliver itself to him on a platter!
Of course, first they still needed a test. Some people just had inexplicable tastes.
“Alright…” Prindi and Vandra shared a look and took a bite…
Jeidri Shel’ara hung up on her omni-pad, suddenly all business. “Girls, that was a call from… umm… anyway, we have to get back to the campus at once!”
The cadets looked like they’d found their way to Shil’s own bedroom.
“Oh, thweet ghothess…” Vadra said as she gobbled it down. “Thif if the beft fing I’f ever thafted!”
“Well, of course it is!” Bherdin exclaimed before checking his reflection. As hard as it was to believe, some people just didn’t understand the things an artist had to endure!
__ _
Diani brayed like a turox when she laughed, but at least the girls enjoyed themselves. Yala was wiping tears from her eyes when Be’ona turned off Tom’s monitor. She hadn’t laughed outright…
Well, maybe a bit.
“Right. Eyes back on the job!” she rumbled. Diani was still snickering, but they had a job to do and Be’ona nodded as the sergeant ran a status check on her board. They had a sacred trust, and while breaks in the monotony kept you sharp, they couldn’t become actual distractions.
The board was clear. Princess Khelira was just settling down to lunch with her friends…
“Ma’am? Captain To’nis still has her wake-up call for four?” Diani settled back. “Same as every day, right?
“Mmhmm…” A pod leader should not laugh at their peers in front of the grunts… Be’ona stomped on the chuckle as it threatened to escape and throttled it.
Diani glanced over her shoulder. “Yala? Five credits says she doesn’t remember a thing.”
“Sergeant, that is unkind…” She pulled up the maintenance check from Pod Eight. “I’ll make it twenty. Grow a pair or go home.”
It was good for morale.
_ _ _
It was barely noon and Desi was already worn out.
The files on Earth were starting to blur together every night, but she dug in and kept careful track. Still, the late nights were taking their toll. Even lunch had taken on an aspect of grim determination over the last week, and while it had been useful, Desi missed the days when it was just the carefree banter that started the year. She wouldn't trade her friendship with Melondi for anything, but the revelation had changed everything.
Well, alright, Kzintshki would have shown up anyway, and she seemed impervious to change. She certainly wasn’t what Desi’d imagined a ‘sister’ to be. The Pesrin was seated next to her, prodding the tosip out of the baked goara from today's menu with deep suspicion.
“So, I want to bring something up…” Jax’mi cleared her throat. Desi nodded as the other girls all looked over at Melondi. They knew what was coming, and just now their Princess had her mouth full. “It’s about the calendar.”
Mel... Khelira… was good at reading body language, but Desi suspected the whole table staring at her gave it away. Well, except for Kzintshki. She’d started prying bits of fish from the sauce and took a moment to catch on… Jax didn’t waste time and dove right in.
“I know you’ve been wondering about the news on the calendars… Umm…well, that and one or two other things. I sort of rolled part of the money into another product. You know that Rubik’s thing? I sort of passed that off through my cousin, and we have an offer to market the ‘Chel’xa Block,’ but…” Melondi was trying to finish her bite, so Jax pressed ahead. “Well, anyway, taking out the seed money for the printing and my uncle’s one percent cut for the marketing… ummm… They sold out the first and second runs, and we have an offer to do another.”
“Okay…” Mel bit her lip and frowned at the attention. “How much money is that, and why are you all looking at me?”
“Wellll… We got around a credit per calendar, and my uncle said it sold nearly as well as something called a ‘sports illustrated’ edition… We got an offer from them, by the way, once he mentioned the diving team…”
Melondi had gotten used to eating through unexpected news and started picking at her pippiya. “How much?”
Jax bit her lip. “Allowing for the conversion rate?”
“Fine… allowing for that?” Mel canted her head, looking at Jax’mi warily.
“For both runs?” Jax shrugged. “Around eight hundred thousand credits.”
Melondi dropped her pippiya “What!? For… For pictures of us in bikinis!? That’s… that’s…”
Jax nonchalantly flipped a long wavy lock of silver hair over one shoulder. “The most successful school fundraiser ever!!!
Jax looked smug, but Desi decided to get things back on track, “The point is, we wanted to talk to you about the money, Mel. We’ve all talked it over, and we’re setting it aside for you.”
“I was going to say preposterous, but why for me?” Mel looked at her, as confusion replaced consternation. “Desi? I think you all know I’m… umm… ‘socially secure.’ We were going to split that... I mean, back when we thought it would just be fun money, but this? I don’t understand. Why would you give it to me?”
“It’s not giving it to you, Mel.” Pris leaned forward, “Well, not as such. It’s more like setting it aside… We need to give some to the school, but we ran it through Dihsala…”
Dihsala pushed her tray away and made a face. “What they’re trying to say is you might need money that can’t be traced.”
“I don’t understand?” Mel said flatly, though there was a defensive note in her voice and Desi suspected she understood perfectly.
“What if you have to run? What if this banquet goes badly?” Dihsala waved a hand briefly at the table, taking everyone in. “We know you don’t want to hear this, but if it’s life or death, you may need to disappear for a while.”
“It’s not like your face is known by the press, but word wouldn’t take long,” Lark pointed out with a nod. “Not if the Palace made an announcement, or your identity was blown.”
Kzintshki stabbed some tosip on one fork, examining it critically. “If the people stalking you decided it helped them flush you out, they’d do so in a minute.”
“They’re right…” Nestha nodded. “My mothers toe the line when the Palace wants something silenced, but if it got totally out in the open, even they’d try and take the lead. Every news outlet and pundit would be offering up something on the data-net.”
“We decided to create a fund to make that happen, if it needs to.” Jax’mi lowered her voice. “My family has a few ships here on Shil. We could get you off-world.”
“My family on Wilist would take you in,” Belda nodded. “There are all kinds of places you can disappear, out on the ranch.”
“Or maybe farther,” said one of the twins. “Mara and I were thinking about Earth. If we asked, maybe the Painters could take you on their ship?”
“I could fool people for a few days… At least the ones off campus,” Desi whispered as she reached out to take Melondi’s hand. “If I slept in your room and we let Vedeem in on it, maybe I could throw them off and give you a head start.”
“I appreciate it... All of you,” Mel looked down at her plate. Her hands fluttered a moment before she clasped them together. “But no, I’m not running away from this. How would this look if I ran at the first sign of danger?”
“The first sign of danger was in the library,” Pris’ voice was full of compassion, but her words made sense. Desi was about to chime in when Mel put her foot down.
“No! I know you’re thinking of me, but what kind of person cuts and runs like that?” Melondi glowered. “Kzintshki, you aren’t Shil’vati. What would it look like to your people? How could I live with myself like that?”
“Easily another fifty years... Longer if you can make money posing in skin suits.” The Pesrin girl frowned. “A Bandmother would not run, but that is different… We are surrounded by family.”
“You’re my family…” Mel said wretchedly before drawing in a long breath. “I… look, you’ve all taken risks for me, and I know you don't want that to be for nothing, but I'm not running away. I couldn't respect myself. Thank you… but no matter what happens, I am not doing that.”
“We had to offer…” the other twin… that would be Kas’lin, reached out for the bread tray. “Anyway, it wouldn’t have been so bad if you went to Earth. We want to know what a ‘rolls’ is.”
“A what?” It was a non-sequitur, but Desi grabbed it like a lifeline. Melondi was embarrassed… That was something a Princess couldn’t afford, and changing the topic was something they could all do for her. “Why don’t you ask the Painters? We’ve barely seen you since they landed… As if we didn’t know why…”
“They’re our heroes!” Mara protested, but she was turning bluer by the second.
“And it would be embarrassing!” Lin nodded. “We’re going to ask the Professor but yeah, we’ve been kept… umm…”
“We’ve had lots of… of intellectual discussions!” Mara nodded a touch frantically. “And you should see the modifications to their ship! It has a magnificent sch-”
“We get it!” The table crowed with laughter as the twins stammered into silence.
“Look, I know we’ve all been under a lot of pressure…” Melondi said tentatively. “Why don’t we have movie night tonight, then go out for a drink tomorrow?”
“What, out in town?” Let’zi spoke up. “Is that safe?”
“We all could use a break. Maybe it’s a good idea, as long as we’re careful. We’ve all been busy,” Desi offered, turning the idea over in her head. It might be good practice impersonating Mel one more time… “Even Kzintshki has been disappearing at night.”
“I have been engaged on your behalf.” Kzintshki started prodding a pippiya apart, scooping out the insides. And picking them apart with a claw. “I have tested evading the sensors. I am told it was satisfactory.”
“What, in your skin suit?” Belda started blushing as she asked.
“In... somewhat less.” Kzintshki’s asiak twitched once. “It was necessary.”
…Less? Less than a bikini? But that meant…
“But… umm… it’s cold out,” Desi stammered as a hush fell over the girls. “Didn’t you freeze your tits off?”
“Pesrin are naturally adaptable… and it’s only forty out. In the skin suit, I am virtually invisible to sensors. ‘Virtually’ may not be enough, this Shel. It required field tests.” Kzintshki’s asiak slipped out of sight and focused on her pippiya as if it was the most important thing in the universe. “It was late. I was not seen.”
“I… I have nothing for that…” Desi found herself staring back to Melondi. The entire table was a sea of blue, now.
“Um, I realize I haven’t asked…” Melondi looked back at her for help, and Desi shrugged. There was no telling with Kzintshki sometimes. “I know why everyone else is helping me. They’re Shil’vati, but you’re a Pesrin. This has to be more than just impressing Professor Warrick as your…?”
“Hahackt. That matters… particularly if I am to engage a mate…” Kzintshki drew herself up, though she glanced about furtively. “Though if you take more pictures in skin suits, I wish to join in. Pesrin are not against easy money.”
“You can have my place!” Belda offered fervently. “I’m going to be a married woman… well, eventually! Liam might not like it if I did it again.”
“There has to be more to it than that,” Melondi asked softly. “This means a great deal to me, so really… anything at all, please just name it.”
“Anything?” Kzintshki set aside the pippiya and picked up her asiak, grooming it modestly. “There is, perhaps, one thing.”
“Name it,” Melondi said. Desi knew the tone... It was her friend sitting there, but Khelira was doing the talking.
“Very well. Immunity from prosecution. From now until the end of Shel.” Kzintshki canted her head, as if issuing a challenge. “You are all nobles… I may be one now, but I am not Shil’vati. If you are caught, it is one thing. If I am caught… as improbable as that may be…”
“Done.” Melondi nodded sharply and raised her voice, “You have my word, as… what I am… before witnesses, and probably being recorded… Immunity from prosecution. A full Imperial pardon for until the end of this Shel.”
“Well, Deeps!” Dihsala breathed. “As long as you’re offering…?”
“Count me in for that!” Pris nodded. “My mother was a magistrate. If I get expelled, she’ll kill me and they’ll never find the body!”
“Alright, fine!” Khelira, Princess of the Shil’vati Imperium had spoken… but Desi saw her friend Melondi… At least until she had to stifle a yawn.
“So, movie night tonight?” Melondi offered. “We still need to pick a film for next week’s class.”
“Oh! Great Waldo’s Peeper has a cute guy named Redford in it,” Kas’lin piped up with a grin. “He’s sexy!”
“The one from Star Wars?” Let’zi cocked her head and perked up. “I like him!”
“That’s Harrison Ford. This one is Redford… though his hair isn’t red…”
Desi looked around the table at her friends as they started to talk about movies. There was no telling what the Shel would bring, but all the same? Life went on…
At least for one more day.
submitted by Rhion-618 to Sexyspacebabes [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 14:40 Acceptable_Egg5560 Nature of a Giant [51]

Many praises to u/SpacePaladin15 for this universe.
Credit again to u/TheManwithaNoPlan for helping edit! And u/cruisingNW for their help in this chapter as well!
Memory transcript: Tarlim, Wealthy Venbig. Date: [Standardized human time] October 4th, 2136
I set my pad on speaker and placed it on the counter so I could talk and work. “Hey, Sharnet! I was just thinking about you and thought I would call you!”
“T-Tarlim?” I heard her stutter through the speaker, “S-sorry. I was expecting another person.”
“Oh,” I replied, my ears slightly lowering, “well, I can call back later if-”
No! No, it’s actually wonderful to hear from you. Oh, Stars, so much has been happening the past [few weeks]. Lots of travel, talking to people, finding where to go next, just… whuu-eeh! Thank you so much for calling. It is so good to hear from you again.”
“Same here!” I gave an amused whistle as I pulled out my large mixing bowl. “I have some good news to share! Remember when I told you about how my landlords fired me?”
“The puddles of Speh, yes. Part of me wants to believe that if they and their corporations were raided by the Grays, nothing of value would really be lost.”
I felt my tail begin to wag and have to be careful not to hit any of the fruits. “Something of value came from them this time!”
“Oh? What?” I could hear her amused whistle. It echoed wonderfully down my ears.
I chirruped excitedly as I told Sharnet of my stroke of good fortune. “My lawsuit was settled! They paid me out!”
“Really? That’s wonderful! I had thought for sure they would have fought you hard!”
“Oh, I am sure part of them wanted to.” Okay, there’s the first set of baskets done. “My lawyer said he looked like he wanted to cry when he signed.”
“Do you want to say how much, or is that something you’re not ready for?”
“Heh. Well, I got both unemployment and a very generous severance along with the payout.” I grabbed a couple stringfruits from their crate, “I won’t say the actual amount out loud because there are other people listening,” Yeah, I see your ears pointing to me! Focus on the baskets! We gotta make sure they feel welcome! “I’m glad to say that I’ve put it to good use already!”
“Good use?” I could mentally picture her tail wagging. “There are so many things I could think of that you could do that I don’t even know where to start. So what did you settle on?”
I pushed another completed basket to the side as I grabbed another jar of Starberries. “Well, it might have been buried under all the other news where you are, but our Magistratta decided to take in a good number of refugees from The Cradle. They will be living in our apartment complex for the near future.”
“The- the refugees?” I stopped for a moment at hearing her surprise. “S-stars. The invasion. That’s right. Those poor people. Huuuh. So much has been happening lately that it just… slipped into the background.”
I set the JuiceFruit down in the basket and picked up my pad. “Don’t blame yourself for that. You have been so focused on the Overseers, and I thank you for that. Some of the people here didn’t even think about it until I told them either.”
I heard a slightly relieved sigh come from the speaker. “Thanks, Tarlim. I… wait. People? What do you mean?”
I am so glad she asked! “Well, the refugees deserve a greeting! A warm welcome! So, using a bit of the settlement money, I got myself, Jacob, and a few of the braver residents together to help make some fruit baskets for them!” I glanced over to the line of people of all different species currently standing behind their own counters assembling basket after basket. It was a small miracle that anyone in my building would willingly be in the same room as me, but it showed progress. A few neighbors, some of my previous maintenance team, and even Pharva from the pharmacy! It might not be much, but they were able to be convinced!
Of course, Jacob subtly shaming them about a predator being more willing to help those in need than the “empathetic” Venlil probably had a part in that. To think it takes a predator helping for the average person to step up. How….amusingly predictable. Sharnet made a happy noise over the phone, slightly garbled by the distance. “Oh, that’s great! When do they arrive?”
“Oh, in a couple paws,” I replied, “from what I’ve seen, they might arrive in time for news about how the UN did in their attempt to retake The Cradle.”
“Retaking a world from the Arxur… do you truly think that such a thing is possible?”
I unconsciously waved my tail in thought as I placed a jar of nightberry preserves in the basket. “Humans have surprised us before. I wouldn’t put it past them to do so again.”
“We plan to!” A shout echoed over everyone working. It was Jacob. He was holding up a particularly plump Twilight Plum JuiceFruit. “We gonna make sure that the Gojid know the feeling of their homeworld being theirs once more! And We’re all doin’ our part! Makin’ sure they know they are welcomed and around people who care! Ain’t that right, everyone?!”
Murmurs and statements of agreement came from people in the room, all tinted with varying levels of shame, though for most an earnest focus on their task overcame that tint.
I wagged in agreement and turned back to my pad. The whistle of amusement coming from it is wonderful!It would certainly seem like Jacob’s made himself at home! I was worried for a while that he might be…well, you know.”
That brought my mood down slightly, remembering the fiascos of Paws past. “Well, it wasn’t always clear weather in that department. There have been ups and downs, but we’re…we’re past that now.” I looked on as Jacob waved at one of the Venlil who had been attempting to sneak out after only having done 10 baskets. No we’re not. “All we can do is move forward and look towards the future.”
“A future full of new refugees, I presume!” Sharnet whistled in amusement again. I couldn’t help but join her. I like how she can lift my mood.
“Yes, quite a few at that! Ah, it has been great to hear your voice. I really should get back to focusing on these baskets. I hope we talk later?”
“Any time you want. I’m looking forward to it!”
My tail wagged again. By the Tenants, I hope she enjoys me telling her how the greeting goes. “I may take you up on that. For now, see you later.”
“See you later!”
I closed the connection on my pad and let out a contented sigh. I placed the jar I was holding into the basket I was working on before placing it to the side, finished. For me, that comes to 50. With 13 people doing maybe… 75 baskets per paw, there should be one for every refugee instead of just one per apartment.
Which, of course, requires people to actually make them.
“P-please! It- you don’t need me! You- you have the others!!”
The Venlil was one of my former coworkers, likely only here due to being in the same room as the rest when we found them. He acted very resistant, only going along due to the pressure of his work herd. His work was by far the slowest as he acted like he was only moments away from screaming the whole time he was here.
“C’mon,” Jacob held up another complete basket in his hands, giving it a little shake for emphasis, “don’t you want to let the refugees feel welcome?”
The single striped Venlil turned to look at Jacob, his tail swaying smugly, “I think you’ve got the welcome handled. Ten baskets is more than enough, so I’m just gonna head out.”
With a sweeping wave of his arm towards the ground, he made his leave once more. Jacob called out as the selahk turned his back on us, “Hey man, every little bit helps! Worst case, you spend a few hours making someone feel the best they had in weeks!”
The Venlil turned again, the door propped open behind him. “The worst case? No, the worst case is I spend a claw or more of my break stuck in a room with you when I could be doing literally anything else right now. The Magistratta’s already organizing and paying for it, so why should I stick around if they already have it handled? So if you’ll excuse me, I need to meet my tube so I can watch tonight’s Exterminators; and if the rest of you brasels are a smart herd, you’ll do the same.”
He held open the door after addressing the other residents, his sight scanned the room. After a few seconds, he called out again. “Well? Anyone else coming?”
I looked around at the ten others in the room. At the invitation of the man, three were hesitantly putting down the fruit in their paws. One already had their bag over their shoulder and stopped mid stride as the eyes of the herd fell on them.
A moment’s pause passed before the brasel stepped back into the room, the door closing behind him. “C’mon, I can’t be the only one who sees this for what it is. The Magistratta wants to make a good impression so the Gojid will bring their money and labor. Tale as old as time! New workforce comes in, and people like me are the first to go. Well! I’m not going to give them an extra welcome, just because some…some Giant wants to feel good about himself, so who’s with me?”
The four who had been making to follow paused in their step. It seemed that this extra appeal gave them pause for thought. From the sway of their tails, they were somewhat agreeable to him up until he mentioned his job, then they drooped almost completely when he mentioned me. Perhaps things were changing after all.
I capitalized on their hesitation and spoke up. “I’m not doing it to feel good about myself. I’m doing this so that people who have had their world ripped out from under them know there’s still a place in the galaxy they are welcome. I want to ensure that they get what I never did. I want to be there for them like I wished someone was there for me.”
Jacob, that amazing man, capitalized on the opportunity as well. “Ah heard that one of your phrases was that the herd protects and cares for its herdmates. Even if you never met them, these people are part of your herd. They’re still people who deserve a happy life. We, here, can help ensure that they know that they remain part of that herd. We can help mothers feed children, fathers find work, orphans find friends. And since all that is in the future, we can start with this.” He slid yet another finished basket to the side. He motioned to the undecideds. “If the rest of y’all want to leave, go ahead. Ah’ll pick up yer slack to ensure not a single refugee goes hungry when they arrive.”
The others who had remained seated through the brahkass’s proposal glared at those ready to leave, obviously swayed by Jacob’s speech as much as the rest of us were. The undecided’s ears and tails drooped as they slunk back to their stations to keep working, becoming decider’s in the process. The striped Venlil scoffed at them and turned again. “F-Fine, let a predator tell you what to do! At least I’ll actually be living my life!” With that, he stormed out, letting the door slam behind him.
I was about to speak up, but Pharva beat me to it. “That puddle of Speh couldn’t understand what it means to assist the Herd if an Arxur screamed it in his face!” He picked up a pair of Stringfruit from a crate and placed them in the basket he was working on. “You say no refugee will go hungry? I say that not only that, but they shall all eat their fill!”
I let my tail wag as I began my next basket. “I thank you all for being here, and moreover, for staying here after that selahk tried to convince you otherwise. What we’re doing here is going to make a lot of people happier than they’ve been in a long while, and if that isn’t worth a few break claws, I don’t know what is.”
As I watched people make their baskets, something blossomed inside me that I had thought functionally dead. The Venlil weren’t just talking amongst themselves, but with Jacob, and he talked back from behind his visor. A few even ventured a short conversation with me from time to time as we processed baskets. I finally felt a feeling that I hadn’t felt since my parents were alive.
Hope. For the future, for the galaxy. For me.
I grabbed my next basket and began to fill.

submitted by Acceptable_Egg5560 to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.06.09 14:01 Liberty-Prime76 Letter of Marque - A NoP Fanfic 12

As always, thank you to u/SpacePaladin15 for the wonderful universe that is NoP
Thank you to u/cruisingNW for proof reading and helping me out of some hang ups, you're the man! Honestly LoM wouldn't have gone very far without him! If you haven't you should absolutely go read Foundations of Humanity! It's very good.
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Memory Transcription Subject: Christopher A. Dewey, Human Merchant Sailor, Venlil-Human Exchange Participant
Date [Standardized Human Time]: August 29th, 2136, Very Early Morning.
We got a message an hour ago from Videk, ordering us to report to Hangar-08 to start On-Stick training; and to bring our bags! I guess the guy had wanted to get as much out of the day as he could. That or he wanted to get this over with as soon as possible.
Videk met us at the doors to the hangar, a small travel bag sitting on the floor by his side, tail swaying slowly as he watched us approach. “Good Waking, Taisa. Good Waking… Christopher.” An improvement, I’ll have to ask Taisa about that talk they had.
“This,” He continued, motioning to the shuttle parked in the hangar behind him with his tail. “Is your training shuttle: registration C1-0V3R-HR-EX.Your first On-Stick training assignment will be to follow appropriate lift off and departure procedures, plot and follow a course to The Capitol on Venlil Prime, seek permission to land from the proper authorities, and land safely and legally following those permissions. All of this, while following proper procedure and regulations. All of this will be graded.
As he speaks the door behind him slides open, revealing a broad hangar bay, heavy clamshell doors dominate the far wall. At the center of the bay sits a stout craft painted white and black, a pair of stubby wings jutting from its sides flowing into a pair of engines flanking a singular tail. Venlil script is painted at the root of the tail and on the top of the rear ramp.
“Upon arrival in the Capitol you will have some paperwork to do at the U.N. offices with regards to your habitation. I will need to pick up some equipment from the training facility at the landing fields. After our respective errands, let’s say half a claw, we will meet up back at the shuttle and from there you will be plotting an in-atmosphere route to Shadetree, Sunward of the Capitol, to drop me off and wait for me to install and calibrate the remote instructing equipment. Once that is completed, you will plot another in-atmosphere course to Heartwood River, concluding this paws evaluations. Do you have any questions?”
I shook my head, and Taisa flicked her ears, in what I believed was a negative. “Very good, load your stuff and we’ll begin immediately.”
After a few minutes of finding places to tie off our belongings and get everything situated, I sat in the pilot’s seat and ran through the pre-flight check with Taisa. We caught a pair of faults in the starboard fuel delivery units. Videk seemed pleased we had caught them, and that he hadn’t had to tell us they were there. I could feel a slight smile tug at the corner of my mouth.
Devious little bastard makes for a damn good instructor.
Once the preflight was complete I closed the rear ramp and hailed the flight control tower. “Tower this is shuttle C1-0V3R-HR-EX requesting clearance for departure, place us enroute to Venlil Prime with planned landing zone of Capitol Shuttle Field 13-Bravo.” A Human voice came back over the line, a bit of mirth in their voice. “Shuttle, Tower, you are clear for departure, opening bay doors now. Good luck and Godspeed.”
The doors to the station hangar yawned open, filling the viewport with the void and all its stars beyond as I slowly brought the shuttle off the hangar floor, easing it out through the opening. I reached over to the nearest display and opened the Nav-computer interface, plotting our course to VP, and then on to the Capitol landing fields. Once I was confident I had the proper navigation commands and sequences set I called over Videk to have him review my work.
He gave me a quick flick of his tail before saying “Looks good, Christopher. Feel free to spool and jump when you’re ready.”
Videk’s approval given, I reached over and pushed forward on the throttles, engaging the drive and hurtling the shuttle into subspace.
It. Was. Beautiful. Everything seemed to stretch, stars in the distance turning from pinpricks of light into brilliant colorful streaks, lengthening as we bounded through the void. Lines of light far off in my periphery zip past like tracers as the ones before me feel as if they’re pulling me in with their kaleidoscope of color. The hum of the shuttle fell into the background while I became entranced by the light show in front me, picturing myself on the set of one of those old sci-fi shows I would watch with Pa on the weekends. The Future my ancestors had imagined was Here, right before my eyes and at the tips of my fingers! This view was… Hypnotic. The simulator couldn’t hope to do it justice.
Two hours. That was it.
Two hours to travel what, until very recently, would have been considered an insurmountable distance for Humanity. Dropping from Sub-space into the proximity of Venlil Prime was another astoundingly brilliant view. Scorched white deserts flowing into massive swathes of golden sands cut by the occasional streak of blue before blending into a beautiful verdant mix of turquoise and green fields, with vast lakes and rivers dotting the forests, flowing into wide marshy wetlands. Before finally, the curve of the planet fell away from its star, allowing the fading sunlight to showcase glittering city lights dotting the countryside.
The thrusters burn to life, crackling and thrumming with power as they drive us forward through the void to the beautiful marble before us. I flip two switches on the overhead, tapping the leftmost display to call up the local channel list and place a hail to the Capitol’s landing fields to request clearance and pad assignment. A quick ping, signifying my hail had been acknowledged, chimed over the console speaker.
“Capitol Shuttle Field 13-Bravo this is Shuttle C1-0V3R-HR-EX requesting clearance for landing at an available pad of convenience.” “C1-0V3R-HR-EX, you are cleared for landing, 13-Bravo, direct to pad Charlie-5.”
The Flight through the Void may have had some feeling of familiarity and nostalgia to the old Sci-fi shows at home; but in-atmo had the far better view! Rolling turquoise fields and towering thick trees, with their canopies tilted greedily towards that unmoving sun, falling away to a gargantuan metropolitan area, its architecture entirely alien yet still somehow familiar. Massive skyscrapers soar to touch the sky, reflecting light in brilliant angles and colors, the space below them populated by squat sturdy buildings and deep black roads. The Venlil going about their lives below look like ants as I ease off the throttle, taking the speed down to prepare for the final approach. The display on the viewport flags my landing area with a small pip guiding me in, slow and easy.
The cabin jostles slightly as the ship settles onto its landing gear. Videk seemed impressed; his ears up as he tapped away at his data pad! Taisa’s tail sways happily back and forth as she runs through the diagnostics of the landing, checking system status reports.
“Looks like we’re all clear. Videk do you have a time we should try and be back by?” Taisa beeps, showing the flight instructor the console in front of her.
“I just need to pick up the equipment and get it linked up, that should only take about a half a claw. Walking to and from the landing field and the U.N. Offices should put you at about the right time.” Videk turned away and made for the ramp; Taisa’s talk helped, and he was clearly trying, but he was still a bundle of nerves around me. His fur was so puffed out it looked like he was holding more static than a thunderhead.
As we stepped out of the artificial gravity of the shuttle I felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. My first step faltered making me stumble down the ramp and bounce off the… soft pavement? “Oh, forgot about that.” Videk winced sympathetically, “Our gravity is about twenty percent more than earth’s, so be careful. Falls are likely to hurt a little bit more here.”
“Would’ve been nice to know first, Videk.” I groaned, rolling myself over and sitting up, luckily the visor hadn’t fallen off; I would need to add one of those new back braces and some knee compressors to that order of stuff from home. “Do you know where the U.N. Offices are? Or should we just ask around to find our way there?”
“I do not, but you should be able to get directions on your pad. I trust the two of you can figure it out, so I’m going to go get the equipment I need. I will wait for the two of you with the shuttle once I am ready.” With a parting flap of his ears, Videk turned and walked away; flicking the tip of his tail back and forth as he did.
“Alright then,” I grumbled, forcing myself up off the pavement, swaying as I found my new equilibrium. “let’s get going. Can you pull up those directions?” She nodded slightly, flicking her ears forward. “Got them up already! You alright there?”
“I’m fine.” I grunted, rolling out my shoulder a little. “Feels like I weigh a quarter ton, but I’ll get over it with time. Lead the way.”
After a few minutes of walking we were off the landing fields and into the streets of the city. My boots sinking into the pavement a little with each step, just like on the landing field. “Taisa, what is this stuff? I figured it was just to make landings a little softer on shuttles but it’s everywhere! Looks like pavement but it gives like rubber; why are your roads like this?” “Anti-stampede concrete.” She stated, matter of factly, like that meant literally anything to me. My silence must have tipped her off that I wasn’t getting it as she focused one eye on my visor. “Oh… I guess Humans wouldn’t need that. It’s to help reduce stampede fatalities, it’s the same reason the roads and buildings have gentle curves, no sharp angles.” Looking around at the way the groups of Venlil flowed through the streets I realized she was right, what I had thought was a futuristic aesthetic design was just to keep people from killing each other against walls or trampling them into the ground when they got scared. How strange… and slightly worrying.
“Weird, that sounds like some crazy wonder material. Bet we’d have a bunch of uses for it back on earth.” My eyes watched the tips of skyscrapers towering above us, “How far out does it say we are?”
“Only a little further, about one and a half kilometers.” She responded, a slight pant in her voice. I wasn’t in the best shape, cardio wise, but I couldn’t imagine getting winded after 10 minutes of walking; guess all that talk about the Venlil having less stamina than us was right.
The U.N. Office complex was a series of giant flowing buildings built on a large park area. It wasn’t any design I had ever seen so I figured it had to have been an existing complex that just got turned over to the U.N. for their uses.
Passing through the heavy glass front doors we found a wide receptionist's desk, with several Humans sitting behind it, answering questions and directing people where they needed to go. One of the receptionists, a short dark haired woman with a visor obscuring her face, beckons us over. “Hello! How can I help you today?” “H-Hi!” Taisa beeps excitedly, her tail swaying behind her confidently as she takes a deep breath and straightens her back. “We’re part of the ‘integration’ experiments, we were told we need to fill out some forms for habitation. Where do we go to do that?” “Oh! Congratulations! That would be Suite 216-B” The receptionist answered, excitement in her voice as she pointed to a room on the map infront of her.
“Thank you!” Taisa responded, turning to head up the stairs behind the receptionist's desk. Halfway up the stairs she swiveled her ears over to me before saying. “Sorry, I figure if I’m probably going to have to work with Humans other than you for this I should try and at least work on being able to talk to them.” “It’s alright,” I chuckle, patting her shoulder. “That’s a great idea and you’re doing alright!” Walking down the hallways we saw prints of landscapes from Earth, Machu Picchu, the Uyuni Salt Flats, The Grand Canyon, YellowStone, Hạ Long Bay, The Zhangye Mountains and Plitvice Lakes. I pointed out the places I had been to as we walked past them, finally stopping at suite 216-B.
The door was open so we knocked, getting a quick ‘enter’, before stepping in. A man sits behind a desk, the top covered in organized files and folders, a placard on his desk declares his name as ‘Obediah Kamara’ with a small Liberian flag stamped beside it.
His visor obscures his face as he looks between the two of us before beginning. “I presume you are…” He sorts through a couple of the files and folders before stopping on one and opening it, pulling out a document packet. “Christopher Dewey and Taisa. Correct?”
We both respond in the affirmative as he gestures for us to take the seats across from him, sliding the documents across the table as Taisa’s pad pings on her belt. “These are agreements to ensure that you,” He starts, looking at me. “Understand the rules in regards to your habitation here on Venlil Prime. I understand that part of your integration will be taking you off world to and from Earth, these rules primarily apply to your time here. We ask that you remain considerate of the provided rules and guidelines on the ship if you are carrying Venlil passengers. Taisa, those are the terms, conditions, compensations and requirements for your family to house a human when the two of you are present. Virtual signature of that document is required within the next 3 of your ‘paws’.” Taisa stiffened a little bit, likely thinking about her Mother’s response to my arrival; that was something we were probably going to have to have a talk about later. I had an idea for the short term, at least. I ran through the paperwork real quick and it was all pretty simple: don’t be without the visor or some kind of face covering in settings where you couldn’t guarantee that an unprepared Venlil wouldn’t see you, avoid aggression, speak quietly, no eating meat, animal products or byproducts, no hunting local wildlife; bit odd considering I didn’t even have a bow or a gun but rules are rules, I suppose.
“Sounds good to me,” I said, signing the indicated portions of the document. “When are my items supposed to get here?”
“We don’t expect your requested items to arrive for another week or so, for now you’ll have to make do with what you brought with you.” Obediah responded, shuffling the packet of papers back into the folder they had come from. “With that complete you are free to go. I understand you have training to complete, so I wish you good luck with your endeavor. If you have any questions or needs with regards to your habitation you can contact Sam, their details will be forwarded to your communication devices.”
I caught Taisa’s tail twitching as her ears swiveled nervously out of the corner of my eye; even with her attempts to push through it I think the amount of Humans around was starting to get to her. Still, she was doing better than I think a lot of Venlil would be able to manage. I reached over, gently tapping my hand against her paw, trying to ground her a little before motioning to go, she nodded slightly as she flicked her ears.
“Thank you, Obediah, we’ll be sure to get into touch with them once we get their contact. Have a good day!”
Taisa and I stood, exiting the room and making our way out of the building, stopping to look at another picture or two along the way. Something needed to be done about possibly not having a place to stay to put my, and more so Taisa’s, mind at ease. I figured I could sleep in the shuttle, if I had to. It wouldn’t be particularly comfortable but I could certainly do it; I’d need a mat, maybe a sleeping bag or some blankets and a pillow.
I had no clue where I was going to get my hands on those, or at least a set of them big enough for me to actually use.
Then I saw the temporary units in the field near the offices. Men and Women in U.N. fatigues were milling about the area. Barracks? That could solve the problem, if they’re willing to help out a man in need, of course.
“Hey, Taisa, I need to make a stop real quick.” I state, walking briskly towards the largest of the buildings. “What’s up?” She asks, ears focused on me as she tilts her head a little.
“Well, I was thinking, I don’t think your parents, your Mom especially, won’t, uh… won’t want me around. At least not for a little while until she gets to know me better.”
“I think you can get past it, she’s not that bad… It’ll just be tough.”
“Oh I’m sure I can get past it, but I’d rather not just sleep in the grass in the meantime.” “I don’t think she’d make you sleep in the grass…” “I like being prepared, if she doesn’t want me in her house I’m not going to push the issue.”
“I just… I hope it doesn’t come to that, I’m not going to let her toss you outside like an animal.” She sighs quietly as we push through the front door of the barrack building.
A desk manned by a napping U.N. Marine with Private ranks stuck to his shoulders filled the space beyond the doors. He stirs as the doors clank shut behind us before scrambling to throw on his Visor as he notices Taisa.
“Hello, Uh… Can I help you? This area is for active U.N. personnel only.” He starts, his voice finding its authority only about halfway through the statement.
I stand straight, trying to muster the stern demeanor I’d found in my father and his friends so often when they tried to get something on base after their retirements. “Easy, Private. It has come to my attention that my accommodations lack proper bedding.” “O-Oh, uh, I apologize…” He stammers out, searching for something to say, likely looking to find a way out of trouble for sleeping on duty.
“Sir.” I state. “What’s your name, Private?”
“A-Alvarez, Sir.”
“Alvarez. I’ll remember that, Alvarez, how about we make this quick, you get me a wrap of blankets, 3 pillows and a bedroll and I don’t find your commander to report your… lack of enthusiasm.”
The private snaps to attention before firmly stating. “Yes Sir! I’ll be right back, Sir!”
As the private turns and walks away crisply I hear Taisa whistle with laughter a little beside me. “I’m surprised that worked.”
“You’d be surprised what a hard voice, straight back and the right slacking Private can get you if you just don’t go pushin' it too far in your story.” I whispered with a wink.
After a few minutes of waiting Private Alvarez returned with a duffle bag, stuffed full with blankets and pillows, as well as an inflatable bedroll under the other arm. “Here you go, Sir. Will this be ok?” He asked, passing the items over to me.
“Perfect, thank you Private.” I took the bundle of bedding and turned to the door, before turning my head back over my shoulder, “Oh, and Private? Do try and get proper rest before duty.”
A shaking “Y-Yes, Sir.” followed Taisa and I out of the door.
The first half of the walk back to the landing field was quiet, I was scanning the skyline again, I just couldn’t get over the fact that I was on another planet. Taisa however had her ears pinned back, her paws lightly holding her tail tuft as we walked.
“What’s got ya down?” I asked, watching the herd of Venlil glide around us as we came, trying their best not to get too close to me.
“I’m… concerned.” She sighed, the tip of her tail twitching between her paws.
“My mother, what she’ll say… What she’ll do.
“I can’t exactly say I know what her reaction’ll be… But, whatever it is we’ll just have to deal with it. It’ll probably take time, but we’ll get by.” I soothed. She let go of her tail, placing the tip of it on my back, but her ears didn’t let up at all.
The rest of the walk to the shuttle was quiet as she fidgeted with her paws, trying to take her mind off of the subject. Videk was there waiting for us, a few crates secured to the cargo area of the shuttle that weren’t present before.
“You two ready?” He asked, flicking his tail at us.
“I think so.” I responded, stowing the bedding in an empty compartment as Taisa flicked her ears.
We ran through our preflight checklist again, finding another pre-placed failure from Videk waiting for us, this time in the starboard control surfaces. Once the check was done we radioed the tower for clearance to take off and set an in-atmo course for Shadetree to drop off Videk. It was a short hop, about a half hour of flying or so before I had to call ahead for clearance to land again.
Most of the flight from the Capitol to Shadetree had been rolling turquoise and green hills or open fields of produce growing in the everpresent light. A sudden dense forest rose from the fields, thick dark brown trees with fluttering golden leaves stretched as far as the eye could see in every direction. A sudden break in the forest revealed a clearing for the Landing field, much smaller than the one at the Capitol. The city was built under the canopy of the trees, giving it a constant filtered light casting down through the shifting leaves. It was certainly a beautiful town, I’d have to come back to visit some day. Maybe once Videk had warmed up to me a little bit more.
As the ramp fell ,a small cargo truck arrived alongside the shuttle to collect Videk and his equipment. I offered to help but the Venlil driver just about ran when I started talking so I figured it was probably best to just keep out of it. Once the cargo truck departed, Taisa came back up to the cockpit, plopping down in her seat, and looked through the viewscreen at the trees beyond. The soft hiss of the ramp closing marked the finality of Videk’s departure.
“So, how are you feeling about Venlil Prime so far?” She asked, one eye on my face as I finally slipped the visor off.
“I like it! Between the beautiful scenery, interesting architecture and hanging out with you and Shamrock, here I’m having a great time!” I responded, rubbing my hand on what amounted to the shuttle's dashboard.
“... Shamrock?” She asked, her tail swaying in what I figured for amusement.
“Yea! Remember how I told you Humans like looking for patterns? Well it works on words and numbers as well. The tail number for the shuttle could be taken to spell ‘Clover-HR-EX’, or just clover for short. Clovers are a type of plant on earth that a few cultures believed to be lucky, one way or another. One of the nicknames for them was a Shamrock!”
She laughed at me.
“You are such a dork.” She said, wiping a tear from her eye as her tail whipped back and forth. “It’s a good name, usually shuttles don’t get one. I think it fits.”
I chuckled, a thought crossing my mind. “Think we could get any shuttle-grade paint? Preferably green, yellow and black?” She raised an eyebrow at me as her ears cocked at different elevations. “Oh? Someone feeling a little artistic?”
“Well, I could always paint a Shamro-” I was interrupted as the ping signifying we were being hailed sounded off. “We’ll finish this later.” I said, pointing at her as I accepted the hail.
Videk’s voice bled through the speakers. “Ok, looks like the connection is secure. Let’s go ahead and run through getting you familiar with the software, it should be quick and easy.”
It was not.
It took two hours. After a lot of trial and error, stop and go flights to test the connection and a few near misses with an especially tall tree we had gotten the system setup such that Videk was confident it would work in an emergency if he needed to step in. With that all squared away Taisa and I settled in to get on our way to Heartwood River. Sleeping on the blow up mattress or on a real bed hardly mattered at this point, I just wanted to sleep.
The overall flight time was set to be about an hour and a half, not too bad and man was the view beautiful: rolling fields, roaring rivers, pristine skies and alien forests abounded across the countryside. We had just passed over Hidden Plains when Taisa and I were just settling back into talking about her parents and our best route to try and handle them, when the hail system chimed and immediately spat out a harsh tone without acknowledgement, the same one the simulator used for distress calls.
“Mayday Mayday Mayday. Report of shots fired at residence housing humans. Need immediate medical evac at The Berrypatch Farm in The Grove, 11 minutes Night-ward from Hidden Plains. Hailing all airborn craft, we need a medical evac immediately!”
I immediately returned the hail. “This is cargo shuttle C1-0V3R-HR-EX. Responding to Mayday from the Grove. We are en-route to render aid. Hold tight, we’ll be there.”
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Taisa tighten her flight harness as I reached for the throttle.
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2023.06.09 13:02 hnqn1611 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Ginger

10 Amazing Health Benefits of Ginger
10 Amazing Health Benefits of Ginger To Improve Your Life
When you first think of ginger, you probably think of those gingerbread houses during the holiday season, or maybe ginger ale, the carbonated soft drink. But, ginger is a popular spice with some powerful medicinal properties. It’s become well known for its many health benefits and people around the world consume it for this reason. In this list, we explore 10 amazing health benefits of ginger.
Ginger has magic healing medicinal properties
Number 1 - Helps Manage Blood Sugar Levels Researchers have found that ginger can help keep blood glucose levels in check. This is very important because these levels have a direct impact on weight loss and weight gain, as well as how energetic or lethargic you feel throughout the day. If you’ve noticed that you’re feeling that mid-day crash, it’s most likely because of your blood sugar levels. Adding a little ginger to your lunch can help you stay focused and on task. Think of ginger as an all-natural alternative to those energy boosting products like 5 Hour Energy.
Number 2 - Relieves Gas Some people just let it rip, regardless of where they are or who’s around, but for most of us, gas can be embarrassing. There are many anti-gas products on the market, but it’s always best to try the natural route first. You can try Ginger tea. It’s easy to make and has been proven effective at relieving gas. Drink a cup of ginger tea before you go to sleep and the magic should happen overnight while you’re sleeping. It helps clear out your digestive system and neutralizes the problem from inside.
Number 3 - Weight Loss Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Being overweight can lead to many problems, including heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even cancer. If you’re on a mission to lose weight, adding ginger to your diet will help your weight loss efforts. Ginger is a natural ingredient that can be found in many ‘fat-burning’ supplements. It can speed up your metabolism, leading to calorie-burning. It can also help keep you feeling full, longer, reducing your overall calorie intake.
Number 4 - Boost Nutrient Absorption It may never have crossed your mind, but when you eat a healthy meal, your body doesn’t absorb all of the beneficial nutrients. While the range is quite broad, your body will absorb somewhere between 10 - 90 percent of the vitamins and minerals in your food. Nutrients help signal your hormones to let the body know when it’s full and keep your fat-burning system working at optimal levels. If you’re looking to improve your health in general and perhaps lose weight, you’ll want to absorb as many nutrients as possible, and ginger has been known to boost nutrient absorption!
Number 5 - Improves Circulation Ginger helps thin blood, improving your overall circulation. As ginger improves your blood flow, it can create a warm feeling in your body. And this is one reason why people enjoy ginger tea on those cold winter days!
Number 6 - Pain Relief Before you reach for a typical pain reliever like Advil or Aspirin, try ginger first! Regardless of the type of pain you’re suffering, ginger acts as a natural pain reliever. It even fights inflammation that can cause aches and pains, and works on a hormonal level. Consider starting your morning with a cup of ginger tea and see if you notice improvements throughout the day.
Number 7 - Improves Your Breath Maybe you have a big date coming up or maybe you don’t. Either way, ginger can help improve your breath, and having fresh breath is always a good thing. It’s best to eat ginger toward the end of your meals so it can cleanse your palate and leave your mouth feeling refreshed. You can also mix some ginger with hot water and drink it. It’s a great way to flush out your mouth and neutralize any bad taste, like the dreaded ‘coffee breath’ from drinking coffee.
Number 8 - Boosts Immune System If you seem to be battling with frequent colds, chances are that your immune system is weak. Your diet plays a large role in making your immune system strong or weak. Adding ginger to your diet will help in keeping your body’s defense system strong. Doctors say that ginger helps cleanse the lymphatic system, flush out toxins and kill bacteria.
Number 9 - Clears Sinuses Whenever possible, it’s always better to go with a natural alternative rather than over-the-counter drugs. Try ginger first. There’s an active ingredient in ginger that has proven to work wonders on the sinuses. It helps unclog your sinuses and facilitate drainage. You can brew a nice hot cup of ginger tea to reap the benefits without the use of any medications and their possible side effects.
Number 10 - Fights Cancer Chances are, you know someone who is battling cancer or maybe you’re fighting it yourself. Several studies have found ginger to be beneficial in fighting lung, prostate, ovarian, colon, breast, skin, and pancreatic cancers. According to researchers, ginger’s anti-cancer properties are a result of the compound 6-gingerol, which is found in large amounts in raw ginger. 6-gingerol has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activities.
By simply adding ginger to your diet, you can help prevent new cancer cells from forming and destroy active ones. It’s also beneficial for people who are already on cancer treatments, since ginger has been known to prevent the toxic effects of cancer drugs. After watching this video, you should have a good understanding of the many benefits that ginger offers to protect your entire body. The next time you’re at the food store, remember to pick up some ginger root and start adding it to your daily diet. Just note that while it’s rare to have an adverse reaction to ginger, herbalists suggest that you keep it under 4 grams per day.
Also, be sure to look for the following when you’re picking out your pieces of ginger. • The ginger should be firm to the touch • The bigger the piece of ginger, the older it is and the more pungent its flavor will be • Look out for discolorations or soft spots Whether you want to use it in your cooked meals, drink it as a tea, or press it into fresh juice, you’ll be able to reap all the amazing health benefits of ginger.
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2023.06.09 12:15 Lost-__-echo Successfull extraction from phalaris arundinacea

Successfull extraction from phalaris arundinacea
Because so many wanted me to Post a Detailed description of my extraction, here it is. Please dont expect a instruction to perfectly usable dmt from phalaris, there ist still some work to do Like the gramine Problem or better yields/Higher Alkaloid content. But ive managed to extract a feelable/above threshold Dose of dmt from phalaris arundinacea. I sadly forgot to Take Pictures of my final product(i'll take some after my next extraction and Post them) but the Pictures above are from my Starting Material, the stuff on the table is the amount i used to extract the dmt, i think it was about 442g. I will also Look into Posting my procedure on erowid Like Someone suggested to me. So now the Detailed description of my procedure: 1. Last year i prepeared a field of phalaris, i removed all the nettles and other stuff and cleaned it, then i waited for it to grow, this year i harvested it. 2. As soon as i harvested it i cleaned it from Bugs and everything and than Took a bundle with a diameter of about 4 to 5cm so it fit perfect in my Hand, then i shredded it with a Garden scissor to pieces with a length of Aprox. 1 to 2 cm. I did this with all the phalaris i Had. 3. My next step was to Put it in the Freezer overnight so the freezing water Would Break the cell Walls and it was easier to extract. 4. The next day i Took it Out of the Freezer and directly in a Big Pot together with 1.8L of water and 200ml 25% acetic acid. 5. Then i boiled everything for 1.5 hours. 6. After that i straind the liquid into a different Pot, it had a slightly reddish color. 7. I repeated step 4 to 6 for three additional Times. 8. Then i reduced the collected liquid(4-5 liters) to about one Liter via boiling. 9. I let it cool to room Temperature and then added about 100 Grams of Sodium Hydroxide. 10. After that i added to the still warm liquid(it heated Up to nearly boiling while adding the lye) about 200ml of lighter fluid, which is according to the Label pure naphta. I also Had a successfull evaporation Test with it. 11. I First tried shaking it in a seperatory funnel but it didnt Work because the vapor pressure of the naphta was to high so i couldn't Close the funnel. I then transfered it Back to my beaker and added a stirring bar and stirred everything on my magnetic stirrer. This also Had the additional Feature that i could keep it at 50C° while stirring it. I stirred it Strong for 3 Minutes so you could See No seperation between the layers then i let it sepereate again, i repeated this for about 5 or 6 Times. I only did one pull but i kept the aqueous Phase for more pulls. 12. Then i let it cool and sepereated it in my seperatory funnel. 13. I Put the organic Phase in the Freezer for about 24 hours, after that time it was really Cloudy and some of the stuff collected at the bittom of the beaker. Be carefull at this step, Sometimes you'll get a Bit of water along with your naphta in your beaker and itll Freeze and collect in your Filter, try to avoid this. 14. I Took it Out of the Freezer and immediatly filtered it trough a Coffee Filter. 15. I scraped the stuff Out of the Coffee Filter after it dried completely and i also Cut of the small Part of the Filter which still Had some of the stuff on it.
I then Put some dried herbs in my Bong, put the small piece of Filter i cut of on top of the herbs, then i Put the small ball of product on top and Put another layer If herbs to top it all of. I smoked it and the smoke was very harsh. I definitely felt Something, no visuals, the Dose was way to Low, but i felt a Bit lighter and Like i was floating, also the floor looked and felt Like it was warped. After about three Minutes the effects went away and after about 15 Minutes i was backt to normal.
Im planning to do more extractions and optimize my methods, i have about 5 Kilos of that stuff drying right now, it Took about 2 hours to collect and process it. I'll do also some follow Up Posts if anyone is Interested. If you have any questions feel free to ask, you can also PN me If you want.
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