Chirping smoke detector sound

Unlocking The Fastest Way To Grow Hair

2023.06.06 13:39 fytikahealthcare Unlocking The Fastest Way To Grow Hair

Hair growth is a topic of great interest and concern for many people. Whether you're dealing with hair loss, trying to grow your hair longer, or simply aiming for healthier and more vibrant locks, understanding the factors that contribute to hair growth is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the science behind hair growth, explore effective strategies to promote healthy hair growth and debunk common myths along the way. So, let's dive in and unlock the secrets to achieving luscious, long-lasting hair growth.
Understanding the Hair Growth Cycle:
To comprehend how hair growth works, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with the hair growth cycle. Hair follicles, the tiny structures in the skin that produce hair, go through three primary stages: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting phase). The length of each phase and the overall duration of the hair growth cycle can vary among individuals, influencing hair thickness and growth patterns.
Factors Affecting Hair Growth:
Several factors impact hair growth, and understanding them can help you develop a holistic approach to promoting healthy hair. Here are some key factors to consider:
  1. Genetics: Hair growth patterns are largely determined by your genetic makeup. Some people naturally have faster-growing and thicker hair, while others may have slower-growing or thinner hair.
  2. Diet and Nutrition: A well-balanced diet plays a vital role in maintaining healthy hair growth. Essential nutrients like protein, vitamins (particularly biotin and vitamin E), minerals (such as iron and zinc), and omega-3 fatty acids contribute to hair health and growth.
  3. Scalp Health: A healthy scalp provides a conducive environment for hair growth. Proper scalp care, regular cleansing, and avoiding excessive use of styling products can help maintain a balanced scalp and promote optimal hair growth.
  4. Lifestyle Factors: Lifestyle choices, such as stress levels, smoking, alcohol consumption, and sleep patterns, can impact the overall health of your hair. Managing stress, adopting healthy habits, and ensuring adequate sleep are beneficial for hair growth.
Promoting Hair Growth:
While the rate of hair growth is largely determined by genetics, there are various strategies you can incorporate into your routine to encourage healthy hair growth. Here are some tips:
  1. Balanced Diet: Ensure your diet includes a variety of foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Leafy greens, fruits, nuts, fish, eggs, and lean meats are excellent choices for promoting hair growth.
  2. Scalp Care: Keep your scalp clean by using a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Regularly massage your scalp to stimulate blood circulation and promote hair follicle health.
  3. Avoid Heat and Chemical Damage: Limit the use of heat styling tools and minimize chemical treatments like coloring, perming, and straightening. Excessive heat and chemicals can damage the hair shaft, hindering growth.
  4. Regular Trims: Although it may sound counterintuitive, getting regular trims can help prevent split ends and breakage, ensuring your hair grows longer and healthier.
  5. Be Gentle: Treat your hair with care, especially when wet. Avoid aggressive towel drying or brushing, as wet hair is more susceptible to damage.
Understanding the factors influencing hair growth and adopting healthy hair care practices can contribute to achieving the luscious locks you desire. While genetics and individual factors play a role, a balanced diet, proper scalp care, and gentle treatment of your hair can promote optimal growth. Remember, consistency and patience are key when it comes to achieving long-lasting results. Embrace your unique hair journey, and with a little care and attention, you can unlock the secrets to healthy and vibrant hair growth.
submitted by fytikahealthcare to fytikaproducts [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 13:36 josaphlara Birds as Emotional Support Animals: Feathered Companions for Mental Well-being

We often hear about dogs and cats being ESAs, but did you know that birds can also provide immense comfort and support to individuals with emotional or mental health challenges?
Birds, with their unique personalities and captivating beauty, have the potential to form deep bonds with their human companions. Just like dogs and cats, they can provide a sense of companionship, love, and emotional stability. Here are a few reasons why birds can be excellent ESAs:
  1. Calming presence: Birds, with their melodious songs and graceful movements, can create a calming environment. Their rhythmic chirping and soothing sounds can help reduce anxiety and stress, promoting a sense of tranquility.
  2. Social interaction: Many bird species are highly sociable and thrive on interaction. Owning a bird as an ESA can help individuals combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. Birds can provide companionship, engaging in play, and even learning tricks, creating moments of joy and connection.
  3. Mindfulness and focus: Caring for a bird requires attention and focus, which can be beneficial for individuals dealing with conditions such as depression or attention deficit disorders. The responsibility of tending to a bird's needs can help shift one's focus away from negative thoughts and promote a sense of purpose.
  4. Unconditional love: Birds, just like any other ESA, offer unconditional love and non-judgmental support. They are sensitive to human emotions and can sense when their human companions are feeling down or distressed. Their presence can provide comfort during challenging times.
To learn more about this topic, you can visit this blog.
submitted by josaphlara to u/josaphlara [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 13:29 Tyler-Demian Quick Pro Tip for those of you that feel like MDD gets in the way of their life (TL;DR below)

Without getting into details, I'll just say that my experience with MDD over the last few years has been part of the reason why my life has gotten a bit off the rails. However, MDD didn't use to be that way for me, it didn't really turn into a coping mechanism up until my late teenage years. Before that, it was sort of a mixture between wishful thinking and an ability I used to plan ahead by picturing how I wanted future events or conversations to go. And when it served those purposes it didn't seem to hurt my life but actually enhance it and make me happier. But like I said, these last few years since the pandemic my daydreaming did turn into a coping mechanism due to a mixture of stress, anxiety, procrastination, depression, escapism, heartbreak, loneliness, a chronic Internet addiction... you get the point, we're all here together for a reason (I promise I get to the point).
So like a lot of us here, I've tried to get rid of my daydreaming by doing all sorts of self-improvement trends, but even when I was temporarily happy and fulfilled, I noticed my daydreaming was something i still had to purposefully punch down in a way that felt awkward and emotionally taxing. It wasn't quite like quitting smoking or drinking, those were actually surprisingly simple to do, I just stopped buying those products for a while and the urge went away in a few weeks. On the other hand, putting away my daydreaming felt like denying an entire side of my feelings and existence in a way that didn't make me feel healthier, just emptier. Sure, a lot of that must be attributed to the fact that it was my coping mechanism for stress, but I was also under the impression that I was missing out on some important piece of my feelings. And this past week I've finally understood why. It's because my daydreaming is something that is inherent to my existence. It is a part of me that I've been constantly telling myself is wrong and one that must be destroyed. And I realized that because this past week I've noticed how I seem to do that to most of my feelings and desires. It is okay to want things, to yearn for things, to wish to be better. It is okay to want to feel pretty or loved. It is okay to want to feel like you're capable of taking on your life's challenges. It is okay to sometimes be mad at things. It is okay to be scared. It is okay to feel lost or bored. It is okay to sometimes not have a single thought in your head. It is okay to sometimes enjoy music for what it is and to sometimes pretend I'm super strong or cool. It is okay to want some people's attention, not everyone's, or maybe everyone's sometimes, both are okay as long as you acknowldge them and not do it out of insecurity but out of desire or passion. That's what my daydreams are. My feelings and my passions. They are the way I experience the world and process my emotions. It's okay to feel them this way. And by thinking this, I don't feel an urge to daydream, but rather, I do it like I used to, to express myself and my thoughts whenever I have them. And by not feeling this urge, life is starting to feel colourful again. Sure this past week has been kind of crazy with exams and stress, but after having this realization I've constantly felt like I had my own back like I haven't done in years, or maybe ever.
And finally, after that needed rant (I did say I sometimes wish for everyone's attention), I wish to grant you the tip I promised you at the beggining (that did not read as well as it sounded in my head):
Whatever sort of daydreams you have, as long as you accept them as a natural part of you which only reflects your inner self, can be paused willingly. Don't tell yourself your daydreams aren't real, they are to you. You're not insane, you know what you are doing. They're not real in the sense that they are tangible, but they're very real in the sense that they are just a manifestation of your emotions. They are basically your imagination giving a more detailed shape to your inner monologue, so like I said before, there's nothing wrong with having them. But sometimes we have stuff to do, and we know we are distracting ourselves by having whatever heated mental debate with an imaginary person/audience we feel is extremely important right now. And up until last week I would have told you that there's no way to stop it, but by acknowledging it as something real to me, it stopped feeling like a coping mechanism and started feeling more like me procrastinating by talking to a friend (if that makes sense?). Immediately I thought to myself "Wait, I know I have to cram a year's worth of chemistry lessons into the next 24 hours, what am I doing?lol" and instead of feeling bad about it I just told my imaginary audience "Hold on, I have to focus today, let's finish this some other time". And instead of feeling awful about it I simply stopped walking around the house talking to myself and just sat down to study. To be fair, I didn't do a whole lotta studying before I felt the need to tell someone how easy this felt, but hey, it is also okay to get distracted sometimes, as long as you just get back to working eventually. Or that's what I'm telling myself instead of studying haha.
TL;DR: the maladaptive side of your daydreaming is just you obsessing over the fact that your emotions are in some way wrong or too much to deal with. Your daydreaming is just trying to help you process all of that, that's why you can't let it go, because it's your mind's natural way of understanding itself, the good and the bad parts. As long as you don't think there's something wrong with you or your emotions, it should just be a natural tool that helps you get back on track. Seriously, everything you are is very human and totally normal and fine. You can pause your daydream like a game and just continue later when you don't have work to do. And remember that getting distracted sometimes is normal.
submitted by Tyler-Demian to MaladaptiveDreaming [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 13:16 Cluny__The__Scourge A True Story, Unfortunately.

A True Story, Unfortunately. submitted by Cluny__The__Scourge to NewGreentexts [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 12:33 lilaclies_310 Are you looking for cheap rent to own in Metro Manila?

pwedeng paupahan/ airbnb/ staycation 💰💸
—fresh unit —fully finished —painted walls —white tiles —sink and cabinet with granite countertop —toilet and bath with lavatory —free window blinds —free light bulbs —provision for window type aircon —with smoke detectors and sprinkler —with water reservoir and power generator —complete cctv, roving guards and police outpost for safety —wide parking space —Laundry shop
📌Amenities: —Own Mall —Swimming pool —Basketball court —Clubhouse / Function Hall —Children's playground —Landscape garden —Jogging path
✔️Nearby Places: NLEX, Ugbo, Pritil, Divisoria, Tutuban, UBELT, LRT Tayuman, SM San Lazaro
✔️Location: URBAN DECA HOMES MANILA Vitas St. Tondo, Manila
Tara PM na ! Tutulungan kita 😎
PM/SMS 📞09661878979
FB ACC: Kaeleigh Tera (add and pm para maassist agad)
submitted by lilaclies_310 to phclassifieds [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 12:12 Milkymilfandcookies I need help with tips for cleaning

I am a single mom with Elhers Danos. I don't talk about it much because I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, but everything is so painful to do. I was in an accident in January and the pain only became worse. Dcs nearly removed my child because I hadn't cleaned in a week and it was very messy. Whats worse is that I dont have a car and live in an apartment, which means I have to take the bus to do laundry. Ive been cleaning consistently lately, but my body hurts so much its hard to interact with my toddler (16 mo) now. I used to play with him a lot instead of cleaning, but now he's very fussy because my energy is too low to play as much now. I don't know what to do. I feel like an unfit mother for not being able to keep up with everything. I cut as many corners as possible already, but after doing the dishes tonight my hands hurt so much. Without weed, I wouldn't be functioning but everyone criticizes me for smoking it. I don't have the time or energy for physical therapy so I do pilates at home. I feel like we don't hear as much about poor people with these illnesses because most of us can't afford the trip to the Dr. Please if anyone can give me advice, I don't want to hurt so much..
TLDR; I'm a single mother of a toddler and teen with EDs asking for cleaning tips to make it easier and less painful. My income is low and I have no car.
submitted by Milkymilfandcookies to ehlersdanlos [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 12:11 h-musicfr Share your stoner playlists. Here are mine!

I curate a bouquet of playlists filled with gems of chill downtempo, calm music, ambient, atmospheric and peaceful soundscapes, cool jazz, nu-jazz, mellow lofi beats, soothing and deep vibes, alternative and underground pop and rock, rap, hip-hop, ... that offer the various sound backdrop for smoking and chilling. Listen and have a good trip!
Thanks to share yours
submitted by h-musicfr to StonerThoughts [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 11:35 ColdBlackWater A Boston haunting! Yay, finally! > Bad New England Old Lady Polterghost Said to Overwhelm HVAC, Injure Family Repeatedly

Family's Mysterious HAUNTING: "What Are We Dealing With?"

This incident occurred in 2014 in Boston, MA. I was never asked to help this family, though I did offer some advice. I never heard back from the woman, so I have no idea if this was ever resolved.
Let's start off with my granddaughter, "A," who is a toddler with "sensitive" abilities. I understand if it seems unbelievable, but it is basically being more tuned to unnatural occurrences. I am also "sensitive." "A" began not wanting to be in her room from about 1 month of age. This has severely escalated, she has been waking up anywhere from 2-3 am each night, screaming as if she is terrified and will not go back to sleep until 8-9 am. Her parents can not put her back in her room, she is so terrified. They take her to the main level and attempt to get her back to sleep.When I was watching her about a month ago, I was changing her diaper in her room. She kept looking at the closet door, terrified, and was pointing and trying to tell me something. This has continued. I started to wonder if the "old woman" who died in this condo may still be around. A little background on her, she was the only woman who died in that home and had a gay son, so she had no grandchildren. I dealt with this myself as a toddler, I had a woman who came out of the closet and stood by my crib, and I know I wasn't the only one to have seen her.
I am not sensing anything abnormal or paranormal. I decided to invite the "old woman" to move on, if it was her.
I reassured her that the home and its members in it were taking good care of the home and the adults and the baby. I did this 3 weeks ago after baby "A" showed up with superficial scratches. They were on the inside of her arm and looked like a bird's foot. There was a point with 3 lines fanning from it. I questioned my daughter and she did not know how she got it. She later had the same scratch marks on the side of her neck. "A" only slept through the first 3 nights after I invited the "old lady" to move on.
Well, let me say all hell has broke loose since I invited the "old lady" to move on.
I had a horrible nightmare that involved someone from beneath the earth's surface grabbing my lower legs and attempting to pull me under the surface. I woke up terrified. My husband asked me how I got the horrible bruises on my lower legs. I looked behind my legs, it looked like someone grabbed them. There were finger bruising and other bruises. It weirded me out. I appeared with some odd scratches inside my arms. Then my daughter, then "A" with a perfectly straight superficial scratch between her eyebrows. As if that weren't bad enough, my other daughter, the youngest, now has started getting bruises. She and I live in the same house, and my other daughter with "A" lives across town.
This last weekend my daughter showed up with the same bruising on her lower legs. I again asked the "old lady" to move on. Maybe not my best move.
They started having issues with their hot water heater not working. After a plumber and electrician did some digging, they discovered the breaker was flipped not only inside but also outside at the box for the whole condo complex. Nobody in that condo unit touched it, and nobody can just walk into my daughter's complex. They had the electric company out 3 times within 12 hrs. Well, my daughter took on replacing the upper and lower heating elements with no results. The plumber came out yesterday and thought it was the upper and lower thermostat. He replaced them and still nothing, he thought it was the breakers.
The electrician came out and discovered it was not the breakers, but frayed and arching wires that were no longer grounded. He could see there were charred marks on top of the hot water heater. The location of this is under the stairs to the second level. The only interior 2nd-floor escape. I discovered there was only 1 smoke detector on the upper level, located in the hall. The HW heater is under the doorway of "A" room, basically at the landing at the top of the stairs. Her parents would not have been able to reach her safely. The electrician and we are questioning how the electrical wires could have become burned.
I now am worried that we are not dealing with the "old lady", but maybe something else. We are now having stuff happening at both homes.
submitted by ColdBlackWater to ChurchOfCharlesFort [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 11:26 Lurkermommy How to deal with poor hygiene in the workplace?

I work for a very popular bar on the Las Vegas Strip. I was with this company for 3 years before quitting last May and coming back this past May. This company apparently has no problem hiring people with hygiene issues. I can think of 3 people off hand who reek up the entire area we work in, especially when we’re crowded into the back of the bar or back office. I’ve complained about this to management before with no changes. The newest employee I’ve met with these issues is the worst of them all. She smells homeless (no offense but those who are living outside have a distinct smell [unwashed clothes, dirt, cigarette smoke, musty]), her breath and teeth are rancid (ask me why she was so close that I could smell it), and she leaves behind a smell that is truly unfair to bear when she leaves. How do I go about getting help for us employees who clearly smell the issue but are unheard in our complaints? We work in food and beverage at the end of the day and I think it’s unacceptable that people with these issues are handling beverages. I hate to sound harsh in this post but 3 years of smelling other people’s feet, dandruff, and bodily fluids while going to work to make drinks has me fed up. Advice?
submitted by Lurkermommy to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 11:22 TwoSetViolaLol My first true "trip"

My first true
This is an old story from a while back, at the time I was about 13 and had a gram of 10x. I had smoked some before but never really got very far. This time was a bit different.
I had made a fairly small pipe, fashioned from tin foil, a metal straw, and some lace (and yes, I know, smoking out of tinfoil is a bad idea, I was a stupid kid). I had put just about 0.3g of the nearly black dark green flakes in the small pipe, filling it to its brim.
I had my phone on the coffe table, proped up on a cup. There was a discord call on it with a couple of freinds, there to watch me and talk me through it somewhat.
I held the steady jet of fire from my elaborately decorated lighter near the pipe with straw in mouth. The leaves glow red as I draw a large toke from them, and hold the smoke in for about 10 seconds.
I exhaled, I felt nothing so I repeated the process again, leaving the bowl of leaves expended.
I picked my phone up and sat back on my couch as I was looking at it. I lifted my head up and suddenly felt a profound sense of movement downward as the room in front of me seemed to section off and start rolling. I looked down at my phone, the keyboard was open on a text channel and I decided to type some of my extatic thoughts to the server. As I did this it seemed as if my phone was a stone tablet of intricate composition. The screen gained depth and as I pressed the keys they seemed to slide down, further adding to the mechanical feeling. This all happened so quickly, and briefly in my mind I invisioned the mechanisim I was inhabiting. It was as if my phone were the tablet mou ted in front of me, responsible for guiding my rolling aperatus (Pictured above with labels). As soon as these thoughts came to be I shot up out of my seat and began laughing. First a cackle quickly escalating into deranged and extatic yelps that I had seemingly no control over. The sound of my laughing was like thunder, and they resonated though my entire being, beyond my body and into my very soul.
Then just as this all came about, it went, leaving me with a mild buzz, and a crunchy feeling somewhere in the back of my throat. To cure this odd sensation I decided to eat something.
I went to my fridge, saw some jam and though "yes, this will work". I then grabbed peanut butter, and some white bread. I assembled my creation. Behold, peanut butter and jelly, sitting upon a paper plate.
I took it to my coffe table, sat down with it placed in front of me, and ate it with haste but diligence, still being sure to enjoy the taste, with the lingering fear that if I smoked just a bit more, I would not be here to eat my snacks.
What do you think, can anyone relate? I would be interested to see interpretations on the mechanisims I experienced, I have posted those illustrations beofr but figured I should accompany them with a story.
submitted by TwoSetViolaLol to Salvia [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 10:53 PinkKnapsack Need to terminate lease in Hawaii. It has been less than 7 days.

Hi Reddit.
Moved into a rental pretty quickly in Honolulu. After being here for 3 days the place feels uninhabitable. I’ll do my best with the timeline of events. I’m hoping to get my security deposit back and at least a partial refund for my first month rent.
Tuesday was showing. Place looked fine but not the greatest. Wednesday sign the lease agreement. Thursday moved in.
Upon arrival on Thursday, the place is riddled with roaches. The problem is increasingly worse and it’s like living in a nightmare.
Lease is 6 months. But since being here less than 7 days, I’m hoping there’s something I can do.
I’m not sure what options I have for retracting my lease with less than a week. Besides the roaches, air conditioning unit has caused breathing problems, smoke detector seems to not work and never has indicated any power. One of the closets is sealed, and the unit wasn’t fully cleaned before arrival (roaches in oven and dead ones behind the stove).
Rental agreement says exterminator is tenant responsibility. Also no walkthrough was done indicating quality, no receipt for check, and landlord hasn’t notified how trash disposal services work.
Rental agreement says landlord must notify 2 days before entering apartment with approval. She did drop of my mail key with only a few minutes notice while I was gone. (I asked her to leave it in front of my door.)
Many aspects are in disrepair. Water damage. Cupboards are incomplete and some are not assembled. Cracks in the tile. Etc.
Is there any chance of legally terminating this lease? Thank you I’m desperate.
submitted by PinkKnapsack to legaladvice [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 10:25 tyforvenom Questioning my own dp/dr is this even what it is anymore?

i first experienced DP/DR when i was around 15~ years old. i’m 22 now. it was originally triggered by weed, this was my experience.
(TW details of DP/DR experience)
after school i smoked weed with my friends and at the time bf. this was a normal occurrence for us and had never had any problems. until this one day, we smoked weed hung out in the woods for a bit and then eventually my friends went there own ways and my bf walked me home. it was quite a long walk home probably about an hour give or take. i’d say about 5 minutes into the walk home something happened. idk what but my vibe switched from relaxed to absolute fear and panic. this was obviously years ago i don’t remember too much of the details but i do remember as we were walking i started staring at my feet as i walked, i looked up and remembered seeing we had passed this smoke shop, i looked back down at my feet a little more, looked back up and saw we in fact did not yet pass the smoke shop. this was the tipping point for me where i had completely lost it freaking out crying feeling like i was stuck in a loop not feeling real kept looking down at my hands all of that. when i finally got home i crawled right into bed and took a nap. when i woke up i did feel significantly better but was still scared and confused by the whole thing. i still felt slightly off. i called my friend and explained to them what happened. that’s when they told me about dp/dr and i felt like yeah it fit. anyways over the years i’ve never had a dp/dr episode that was that bad again, thank god. but i still experience dp/dr here and there, more frequently as of lately, not sure why. it’s always the same, it feels like a wave washing over me and fear strikes in, i start getting panicky and just think “oh no not again” i’ll feel disconnected and like i’m looking through glass, heart starts racing and suddenly i need to start tapping my body to feel that yes i’m real, everything will suddenly be familiar as if i’ve been here done this before and will start fearing that i’ll get stuck in a loop like i did that time in high school. it’s scary and the original super bad feeling seems to only last less than a minute but then will still feel minor symptoms/ the same symptoms just with less intensity for hours afterwards. i’ve always thought this was my dp/dr and my therapist has said that’s what it sounds like as well. until recently i read online that sometimes temporal lobe epilepsy is mistaken for DPDR. now i’m worried that i don’t have dpdr and instead am having seizures… i have bad health anxiety as it is so always think something is wrong with me why’s why i don’t wanna just go run to the dr because it’s hard to get them to believe me. i guess i just want to know if this sounds like dp/dr to anyone else? sorry for the long post
submitted by tyforvenom to dpdr [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 10:12 DriverSubstantial304 just wanna share the very interesting way i found out i have adhd.

so before this, i never knew what adhd was and just thought it was moving around too much like a lot of people did at first, but i “Felt” it or felt that i wasn’t normal my entire life (i’m 17). I started smoking wed and trying a bunch of drugs once a week all on my own while my life falls apart from every aspect, until i got to the worst, “cocine” tried my first time and didn’t feel it, kept trying it and didn’t get to feel the supposed “euphoric” and energetic effects. well after doing some research it turns out ADHD people feel this substance differently because of their lack of dopamine, i started researching adhd for months and holy shit it could not explain my life more accurately i can relate to every symptom and i am trying to get a psychiatrist appointment for months it’s all very complicated but i’m 99% sure but don’t want to self diagnose.
eventually got really into it and addicted for 4 months but now im coming out of that and trying to start fixing up the damages in the life lesson i’m going through. i never thought i would go this far but at least a major breakthrough and an explanation my problems which are similar came out of it?
just to prove: writing this took 30 minutes hyperfocusing (this is probably the longest i held enough attention to type including school) fixing and removing the extra words trying to make it sound different so no one think i sound like a dumbass
submitted by DriverSubstantial304 to ADHD [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 10:08 Thot_P0cket I Could Use a Hug

Tonight was pretty rough.
In the past several days I've gone searching for PvP content, wandering throughout null seeing who I can fight. I'm getting better with dscan, I've unlocked a bunch of the advanced level 2 modules/weapons, I'm expecting to die but ready for combat.
Most systems are either empty or they have a single player in an Ishtar who is probably semi-AFK ratting. Any systems with more than three players I issue a 1v1 t1 cruiser challenge in local. Nobody responds. Finally, over 40 jumps later, I come upon a system with over a dozen people, and I invite them to duel me 1v1 in t1 cruisers. After initially greeting me with suspicion, I'm politely told to get lost because they're busy. Tired of jumping from system to system I fly to their ESS and initiate a robbery, only to have an advanced BC land on me, vaporize me, then offer unsolicited advice about ESS fits.
After that experience I decided to dive in and try faction warfare. The first few sites I ran were devoid of other players, so I decided to be proactive and put some kind of group together via the militia channel. What followed were a few pretty enjoyable nights of gaming, although people are dying so damn fast in PvP it feels like nobody is learning much. Either some poor schmuck shows up solo and gets mobbed by our group of 4 - 6 pilots, or some super-soldier in a Navy ship shows up and deletes everyone.
I saved every last LP and decided that tonight was the night - I was going to trade my LP in for implants, then sell the implants. The implants cost me over half my liquid funds and all my LP. I use the EVE Gate Camp Check website, check my map for average ships destroyed, average number of pilots, etc. My shuttle's tiny cargohold is filled to capacity with implants that I just dropped hundreds of millions of ISK and all of my LP on. The first 24 jumps go well, I barely see a soul, and then as I'm warping to a gate in some system I hear the sound of my ship issuing a warning, and suddenly I'm staring at my lifeless clone floating in space.
Most of my liquid ISK went up in smoke in a second. I'm not even sure how they were able to target lock and kill me so quickly, since I was using a shuttle and the "jump" command to go from gate to gate - whenever I'm trying to target someone as they warp into a gate, they're always invulnerable for about 5 seconds, then I get one second of target lock time, then they're through the gate.
I thought I was prepared for this game but this is making me feel like it's one step forward, two steps back, and a kick in the balls.
How long did it take before you found your stride in EVE? How long did you play the game before you found fun activities, and how are you able to overcome setbacks. Finally, for those of you into PvP, how long did it take you before you started to see/notice progress in your own skills?
TLDR: Writing is cathartic. I am bad at EVE. I want to be good at EVE. I can't sleep.
submitted by Thot_P0cket to Eve [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 09:37 LordofDarkness51 I finally wrote my Superman & Lois Fanfic: Echoes of Desolation (also trigger warnings talks of abusive relationships are here)

I hope I can post this here. I couldn't get an ao3 account and it won't allow me to post this the fanfic subreddit. Tell me what you think.
Jonathan Kent, burdened with a dark resentment, traversed the twisted streets of Metropolis. His heart seethed with anger as he watched his brother and Clark, wield their superhuman abilities with ease while he remained powerless. This bitter reality gnawed at Jonathan's soul, tainting his once-innocent spirit.
In his quest for solace, Jon stumbled upon a forbidden gathering, a congregation of lost souls seeking refuge from their own torments. Amidst the chaotic frenzy, he encountered Ellen, a fellow student drenched in a tempest of her own making. She sensed Jonathan's vulnerability and lured him into her world of decay.
Ellen introduced Jonathan to a deadly elixir, blue crystal drugs. In a haze of intoxication, Jon consumed the drug, surrendering himself to its intoxicating power.
Awakening with newfound abilities, Jonathan donned a sinister persona—the Z-Strap. Cloaked in crimson, his mask bore a scarlet Z, a symbol of the rage coursing through his veins. Swathed in anger and despair, Z-Strap embraced his alter ego, vowing to extinguish the light that had forsaken him.
Metropolis trembled beneath Z-Strap's wrath. He unleashed his powers with reckless abandon, a tempest of destruction that spared no villain. The city's criminals quaked in fear, while its citizens cowered behind locked doors, praying for the end of this vengeful storm.
But amidst the chaos, Z-Strap discovered a despicable truth lurking in the shadows—a vile villain named Marcus Dalton. Dalton trafficked women, enslaving them in a web of cruelty and exploitation. Jonathan's anger ignited into a fiery resolve to put an end to this abomination.
Tracking Dalton to an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of the city, Z-Strap confronted the villain and his henchmen. The air crackled with tension as the clash of powers echoed through the dilapidated halls.
With a roar of fury, Z-Strap unleashed his super strength, pummeling Dalton's henchmen with unforgiving force. Each blow resonated with the weight of Jonathan's anguish, a testament to his own tortured existence. His powers allowed him to move with lightning speed, evading their desperate strikes while retaliating with brutal efficiency.
As the henchmen fell, Z-Strap finally stood face-to-face with Marcus Dalton, a despicable man exuding malevolence. Jonathan's eyes burned with an intensity that matched the flames of his superheated rage. In a moment of cold resolve, he unleashed his energy projection, obliterating Dalton in a blaze of red fury.
The warehouse erupted in a storm of debris and anguish, smoke billowing into the night sky. The women Dalton had enslaved emerged from their cages, their eyes filled with a mix of fear and gratitude. They saw in Z-Strap a savior, albeit one cloaked in shadows.
But even as he liberated the innocent, Jonathan's heart remained heavy. The satisfaction of justice was fleeting, drowned by the pervasive darkness that had consumed him. Z-Strap's actions were born not out of heroism, but from his own anguished desire for retribution.
As he stood amidst the wreckage, Z-Strap realized that the cycle of violence had become his calling. Metropolis continued to tremble beneath his wrath, caught in the crossfire of his relentless pursuit of justice laced with a vengeance.
As Z-Strap surveyed the aftermath of his brutal encounter with Dalton and his henchmen, a twisted smile curled beneath his scarlet mask. The scent of blood and victory hung heavy in the air, intoxicating his senses with a perverse pleasure. The liberated women trembled in fear, their gratitude overshadowed by the looming presence of the fallen anti-hero.
"Remember, you owe me," Z-Strap hissed, his voice dripping with a venomous satisfaction. "Tell others what happens to those who cross me."
The women, silenced by a mix of awe and terror, nodded obediently. They could sense the darkness that consumed him, the void of empathy and remorse that propelled him further down his malevolent path.
Z-Strap, emboldened by his reign of terror, sought to solidify his dominance over the criminal underbelly of Metropolis. He hunted down the vilest of villains, his superpowers employed without mercy or hesitation. Each life he took, each act of depravity he committed, fueled his insatiable hunger for power and control.
As the city quaked beneath his wrath, Z-Strap encountered Ellen once more. Their toxic relationship intensified, feeding off each other's malevolence. Her manipulations and emotional abuse became weapons in their sinister dance of dominance and destruction.
Metropolis, once a beacon of hope, now trembled in fear. Its citizens whispered of the monster that stalked their streets, praying for a hero who could stand against the darkness that had consumed their once-beloved son of Superman.
But Z-Strap cared not for their pleas. He reveled in his newfound power, his heart pumping with exhilaration as he continued his descent into the abyss. The boundaries of morality became blurred, shattered by his insidious actions.
With each vile act, Jonathan Kent embraced the darkness within, discarding the remnants of his former self. He became one with the shadows, a figure that struck fear into the hearts of even the most hardened criminals. The city had birthed a monster, and it would reap the consequences of its own creation.
As Z-Strap's power grew, the city's heroes, including his own father, Superman, mobilized to stop his rampage. But they were met with a force unlike any they had encountered before—a twisted reflection of the hero they once knew, an embodiment of their own failures.
The clash between Z-Strap and the forces of good ignited a cataclysmic battle, shaking the foundations of Metropolis. Lives were lost, the innocent caught in the crossfire of a war they never asked for. Z-Strap reveled in the chaos, savoring the taste of victory as he left heroes broken and defeated in his wake.
The once-bright spirit of Jonathan Kent had succumbed entirely to the darkness, embracing his role as a harbinger of pain and destruction. There would be no redemption for him, no flicker of light to guide him from his path. Z-Strap had become the embodiment of Metropolis' darkest nightmares, and he reveled in every moment of it.
As Z-Strap delved deeper into the abyss, Ellen reveled in her role as the puppeteer, pulling Jonathan's strings with sadistic pleasure. Her toxicity knew no bounds, inflicting pain upon him that cut deep into his already shattered soul.
She tormented Jonathan both mentally and physically, using his vulnerability as a weapon against him. In fits of rage, she unleashed her wrath upon him, leaving bruises and scars as souvenirs of her sickening dominance. The torment she inflicted upon him was an embodiment of pure evil, shattering any remnants of hope or humanity within him.
In one chilling scenario, Ellen manipulated Jonathan into participating in a series of twisted games that left him broken and demoralized. She forced him to confront his deepest fears, exploiting them to further crush his spirit. The psychological torment became a daily ritual, designed to strip away any remnants of self-worth Jonathan clung to.
But the abuse didn't stop there. Ellen reveled in her sadistic tendencies, using her power over Jonathan to control every aspect of his life. She isolated him from his loved ones, weaving a web of manipulation that left him utterly dependent on her toxic presence. With each passing day, she reveled in her ability to break him down further, relishing the control she held over his shattered existence.
One particularly haunting episode saw Ellen use her influence to exploit Jonathan's weaknesses for her own gain. She orchestrated a scenario where she pretended to be in danger, manipulating him into committing heinous acts against innocent people. Jonathan, consumed by his love for her, was trapped in her web of manipulation, the weight of his actions bearing down on his conscience.
Ellen's cruelty knew no bounds. She reveled in the pain she inflicted upon Jonathan, emotionally and physically, pushing him further into the abyss of darkness. She tore away any semblance of love or compassion he once held, replacing them with twisted loyalty and an insatiable desire to please her at any cost.
As Z-Strap embraced his malevolent path, he carried the scars of Ellen's abuse, both visible and invisible. The torment she subjected him to became the fuel for his relentless pursuit of destruction, channeling his anger and despair into acts of unspeakable violence.
While the world saw Z-Strap as a formidable force of darkness, little did they know that his true tormentor lurked in the shadows, disguised as a lover. Ellen, the embodiment of sadism, reveled in the power she held over him, forever ensuring his descent into the depths of his own personal hell.
Jonathan Kent, once a beacon of hope, now danced upon the strings of his abuser, his soul forever marked by her insidious touch. The darkness within him was no longer just a product of his own anguish; it had become an extension of Ellen's twisted influence, a symbiotic relationship bound by pain and destruction.
As Z-Strap delved further into the depths of darkness, his actions grew increasingly ruthless and morally ambiguous. He reveled in his newfound powers, relishing in the fear he struck into the hearts of criminals and villains alike.
Metropolis became his playground, a canvas upon which he painted his own twisted version of justice. Z-Strap operated outside the boundaries of conventional heroism, unafraid to get his hands dirty to achieve his goals. While his methods were questionable at best, he justified them as necessary means to an end.
Z-Strap's encounters with the criminal underworld were brutal and unyielding. He interrogated suspects with a merciless tenacity, often resorting to intimidation and violence to extract information. His reputation grew, spreading like wildfire among the city's criminals, instilling a sense of terror that even the most hardened among them couldn't ignore.
With each mission, Z-Strap pushed the limits of his powers, exploring their full potential without any restraint. His super strength crushed steel, his energy projection reduced buildings to rubble, and his enhanced senses allowed him to track down even the most elusive targets. The city's criminals learned to fear the sound of his footsteps, for it meant that justice, in its most severe and unyielding form, was about to be delivered.
Though Jonathan's intentions remained clouded by anger and resentment, a small part of him questioned the path he had chosen. He could no longer recognize himself in the mirror, his reflection distorted by the darkness that consumed him. But the satisfaction he derived from dismantling the criminal empire outweighed any flicker of remorse that threatened to surface.
Amidst the chaos of his vigilante crusade, Jonathan's relationships with his loved ones grew strained. He distanced himself from his family, convinced that they could never understand the turmoil that burned within him. His mother, Lois, desperately tried to reach out, to remind him of his inherent goodness, but he pushed her away with a cold and bitter resolve.
Ellen, a fleeting presence in Jonathan's life, remained on the periphery of his existence. While she provided temporary solace from the darkness that consumed him, she couldn't penetrate the armor he had erected around his heart. Their interactions were marked by brief moments of twisted affection, but Jonathan's singular focus on his antiheroic pursuits left little room for genuine connection.
As Z-Strap's reign of terror continued, the city of Metropolis teetered on the edge of anarchy. The line between hero and villain blurred, as the once-savior of the city became a figure feared by both the innocent and the guilty. Jonathan's actions, driven by anger and a sense of abandonment, cast a dark shadow over the very ideals he once believed in.
The path of the antihero was a treacherous one, and Jonathan found himself sinking deeper into the abyss with each passing day. The cost of his actions weighed heavily upon his soul, but the allure of power and the desire for retribution fueled his relentless pursuit. The darkness within him grew stronger, threatening to consume the last vestiges of his humanity.
Jonathan Kent, once a beacon of hope, now embodied the contradictions of a tormented soul. His antiheroic journey took him down a path of destruction and moral ambiguity, challenging the very essence of what it meant to be a hero. Whether he would find redemption or be forever lost in the depths of his own darkness remained uncertain, but the consequences of his actions would leave an indelible mark upon the city he sought to protect.
submitted by LordofDarkness51 to writers [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 08:54 Zethras28 The Dwarven riddle in Eldest.

The Dwarven riddle in Eldest.
The answer has to be a volcano, right?
Morgothal’s forge is obviously something fiery. Helzvog created the first dwarf from stone, and “new stone” erupts from a volcano, thus “making the world anew”.
The only one I’m drawing a blank on is “Nordvig’s Daughter”, but often a volcanic eruption will spew a bunch of ash and smoke, obscuring the sun for an extended period, which can kill plants.
That sounds correct, yes?
submitted by Zethras28 to Eragon [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 08:22 KrampusTellsTheTruth Its ok to be sorry

“MOM!” I screamed till my lungs held no air and my throat bled, I raced across the field and grasped the sheet metal roof with my entire palm, cutting my flesh and shredding my skin against the hot sharp edges. I pulled with all my might, raising the roof barely an inch before I collapsed in tears and reached for my moms hand. Her eyes were cloudy and tears ran down her face. “Its ok my son, its all gonna be ok, you need to find your father now” I nodded and wrapped my arms around her head “Ill be right back mama, dad can get this off of you, im sure of it” A jeep raced by and stopped with a screech as the tires left small skids along the tarmac, the base captain stood up from the drivers seat and screamed to me “Lets go! We gotta get you outta here” I leapt into the back sat and clung to the pole, standing atop the back seat as the captain slammed his foot against the pedal and raced across the runway. “No good on the escape cap, I gotta get my dad, my moms trapped under the barracks” He looked back at me for a second and I looked down to him, my hair flowing in the wind and sweat pouring down, mixing with the blood that ran down my cheek. “Good god kid how are you even standing right now?” I veered and scanned the horizon, my eyes falling upon a set of distant lights dancing across the sky. I pointed up to the darker of the two massive vehicles that were locked in mid air combat “Up there, thats dads machine, whos he fighting?” The base captain looked up and leaned forward squinting his eyes and falling silent as he did. He stopped the jeep and sat there, mouth open, eyes glued to the sky. I shook him and repeated the question. “Yo, theres no time for this, who is that?” The captain shook his head and spoke calmly “Theres plenty of time kid, none of us are surviving this…here” He reached down and grabbed a folder from the passenger glovebox, the wind flipping the top as he handed me the bundle of papers. I flipped through until I recognized a file photo. It was almost the exact same design as my fathers machine, the most powerful in the world, but it was darker, and there had been a skull painted on the visor of the mechs gigantic head. It held a long flat edged blade and from the look of the picture, it was taken only seconds before the gory demise of whoever took it. “So the reapers made his way to american shores. So what? This changes nothing. Dad can take him” I leapt out of the jeep and made a beeline for the nearest hangar as the captain shouted from behind me “Hey kid! Get back here, what the hell do you think youre doing?” I barreled into the hangar doors, taking no time to feel the pain my shoulder was now in from having smacked the thick metal door. I wrenched with all my might and threw open the rolling entrance shutter. The lights flickered on as the eyes of my own machine stared back at me, offline and still in desparate need of repair “Im getting in, no time for chitchat captain I need you to give me startup” He shook his head as he leapt out of the jeep and walked toward me “Youre only 11, getting in that machine could kill you, or worse it could actually start up and become a big ass metal coffin. Do you think your parents would want that?” I spoke under my breath for a moment “Better a metal coffin covered in weapons then a wooden one covered in bullshit” He huffed at me “God where do you get this nerve…Oh wait…right…son of the admiral…Alright screw it, were dead either way, get up in the cockpit” I smiled at him and pulled myself into the chest high compartment, sitting in the seat and buckling the main cross belt. “Strapped in captain, starting sequence, can you disconnect me?” He nodded and sprinted around the back of the machines tall legs, pulling the various diagnostic cables and wrenching the stilts from its knees. I looked at the gaff tape I had put inside, following the sequence I had mapped out when i first got the machine, switching the core on and letting the fans spin up. The captain yelled over the noise as the machine whirred to life and stood up. I heard his voice come through the internal speakers “Damn, guess your repairs actually got somewhere. Listen, your internal batteries only good for about 15 minutes, get your mom and then swing back here, if you want any semblance of a chance then youre gonna need a rechar-” I pushed the gears forward and exploded out of the hangar, banking right and hitting the air brakes. The machine flipped forward and threw the wings into gear, sending me rocketing across the tarmac, now 100 tons heavier and 2000 times stronger. I slid to a stop next to my home barracks and knelt down, letting the scanners pinpoint my mother and allowing the hydraulics ample time to adjust before gently grabbing the roof of the building, and pulling up slowly. The captains jeep screeched to a halt next to me as he raced from the car and knelt down beside my mother. He inspected her body for a moment before falling to his knees entirely. I threw the roof and opened the hatchway, launching out of the cockpit and hitting the ground hard next to them. “Shes ok right?” The captain shook his head and put his hand on my shoulder, the smoke stung my eyes as the various fires filled the air with toxic fumes. “There wouldnt have been anything to do, she took too much force from the collapse, im sorry” I shook my head as tears flowed from my eyes “Shes just fucking with us. Mom! Wake up! Youre funny like this but nows not the time weve gotta go and help dad” I shook her shoulders, first gently, then more forcefully as I tried to wake her. I flipped her and her glossy lifeless eyes stared at the sky, still crying. “Shes gone kid, im so sorry” I let out a sob as I knelt down and put my head on her chest “Its not your fault, its mine, I shouldnt have left her, we should have never been attacked” He put a hand on my shoulder and gently rubbed my back “I should have been more aware, im the captain here, its my job to be aware” I rose and gently put my palm over her eyes, closing them with my hand and taking a deep breath through stifled sobs. “You do your best, all the time, its why we respect you. I need you to watch after my mom now, I need to go help dad make sure this doesnt happen to anyone else” He stood up and put his hands up, pushing me back softly and speaking in a low tone “No way kid, you need to grieve, i cant let you back in there in the condition youre in, Ill pilot, or ill call reinforcements, youll be no match” I smiled and moved past him “Id rather bite it in the sky with my dad then sit here and stare at my mom, I cant idle captain” He nodded and bit his lip in thought “Ok…ok…then maybe I can help better. Here, face me” I turned toward him and took a deep breath “We dont have time for this man come o-” He yelled “Face me soldier” I turned fully and stood at attention, my face inquisitive “Ok, ok, what” He brought his hand up to his torso “Ensign Rath, repeat after me and follow suit” I brought my hand up to my own torso and made a fist just as he did “Yes sir” He smiled wide and spoke with authority “I, Ensign Rath” I nodded and repeated “I Ensign Rath” “Accept the rank of Lieutenant O3” I smiled wide and nodded “Accept the rank of Lieutenant O3” He nodded and continued “And vow to use the weapons this rank has been assigned to take on the greatest of threats” The plan clicked in my mind and I continued to follow suit “And vow to use the weapons this rank has been assigned to take on the greatest of threats” As I finished he saluted me and spoke solemnly “It is with great honor and harrowing guilt that I now present you the rank of Lieutenant O3 in the united states naval defense office. I present you with temporary access to the associated weapons in upgrades, and I now release you into the arms of whichever god you so worship, Suit up, and fight like the warrior spirits that have fallen before you” I shook his hand and nodded, feeling pride replace my guilt as I saluted and turned toward my machine. I leapt into the cockpit and stood tall, the captains voice came over my internal speaker “Im heading to valhalla, Hit the skies and get in the fight, ill send a support pack in 2 minutes with 2 hours of extended run time and all the other things youll need to throw down alongside your father. This bases continued operation now relies on the two of you, I know youve had limited training, and some of the controls might even be too far for you to operate properly, but youre a warrior now” I took off into the air, engaging my thrusters and cutting through the clouds like a fiery razor. As rain hit my screen and the distant clap of thunder rolled through, I scanned the surroundings for my father and his machine. I didnt have to look long till he barreled into me while recovering from a glancing blow. “RATH WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING UP HERE” My fathers booming voice shook my brain and rattled my core “Im here to support” He raised his shield and deflected another swing from the reaper, filling the sky with sparks as the flat blade cut across his defense “Get out of here now, where is your mother?” I fell silent as he grabbed my machine with his own and jetted away “Rath! Answer me, why isnt she watc-” I heard him realize, I could feel his heart sink as we stopped in the midst of an anvil cloud, and i could barely see his form in front of me. When a pilot takes his hands off the controls, the machine typically centers its arms to avoid unintended movement, and I could only see the silhouette of his wings as a deep breath came over my intercom “Im so sorry my son, I should have been down there” I shook my head and spoke softly “Then wed all be dead pops, just like the captain you were doing your job as best as you could. Weve got all the time in the world to mourn later, but right now weve gotta make sure this bastard cant pave the way for his friends” I felt the support pack collide with my machine and the cockpit lit up bright as I watched my uptime increase “You make a fair point son, alright, normally id tell you to hit the ground but today I suppose we'll make an exception. Did you receive proper clearance?” The packs armor crawled along my frame and locked in, covering the various dents and scrapes that had been so characteristic of my mech. The improved wings swung into place and I heard the lift fans spin to max. I moved my throttles forward and emerged from the cloud, the full shroud of my machine now dispersed and the new world open to me. “0-3 lieutenant Rath reporting for duty sir, happy to serve alongside you” He spoke calmly “Congratulations my son, your mother would be beyond proud” I reached behind me and remove the tall mace that came standard with almost all lieutenant support packages, but as the flat bulky blade came into view, I noticed a strange sigil on the shielding of the weapon. “Hey dad, any clue what this thing is?” I turned the mace toward him and he flew close “A gift from your mother, you werent supposed to see it for several years but it seems she finished it early. It was a sort of bug that used to be all over the place around here…called a butterfly. You loved them as a baby” I nodded and smiled “Ok, I wanna use this gift for a long time, you think we can beat this guy?” He huffed “Me and you? Were gonna turn him into a monument and stick his armor on display for the world to see” The sky split with lightning as the reaper crossed our paths and came to a stop just a few hundred yards away. As his machines deadly red eyes glowed antithesis to the bright morning sky, a foreign voice filled my cockpit. It held a thick baltic accent, and I knew it could only belong to one man. “You armor is shiny, new, you are young, inexperienced. I let you live, you escape, you till your friends, I kill you later, once you make others fear me” When I had built my machine, I had done so from scratch. I had added and removed things I felt would make me stronger then others, and while I was no heavier due to improved armor, I had still clocked in as the fastest machine in history. The rotors in my arms couldnt survive more then a few hits, the joints in my wrist werent durable enough to deliver full power trikes, but the engines that drove me could surpass all known aircraft and every recorded vehicle in land or air. “Come kill me now, I wanna see your face when I cut your armor in two” He grunted loudly and screamed at me as he flashed across the sky, drawing his blade and splitting the sunlight with speed. I held still and took a deep breath, before swinging, making contact with his arm and spinning mid air. I watched as the skull icon shattered beneath my mace and the sword glanced well below my feet. My father followd the strike with his own mace and drove his engines forward, propelling them both back into the lower sky. I tailed close behind, remembering the eyes of my mother as life escaped her body. With tears in my eye I screamed back “Youl pay today, and youll go broke!” I swung again and again as my father drove the two mechs faster and faster. I pulled the head from the reaper as my father pummeled it. I held it by a braid of cables and met my father in the air over and over. We blocked blows and chipped away, moving faster and faster as my arms grew sore and my voice grew hoarse.I felt my fathers full strength meet my own as we punched at the same time. My mechanical fist shattered inside the reapers torso and I heard a scream as his comms went silent. We watched together as his armor fell from the sky and exploded upon impact, sending a shockwave across the surface as the sound of the boom finally reached us. “Son, take her in for a landing, I know that seemed quick but youre most likely nearing your suits limit” I looked at my counter and noticed a dark red second screen, I had 1 minute and 45 seconds so I turned the engines off and entered a freefall, plummeting toward the earth before pulling them full plast and hovering just above the bases concrete landing pads. I watched my father gracefully swing downward and rocket toward the ground, spinning his feet once he hit the grass and disengaging his wings. His machine came to a halt just a few feet from his designated hanger and I dropped my own armor the ground, kneeling and leaping from the cockpit as i did so. I collapsed as I hit the pavement and my father came running over. He caught me before I could hit the ground and held me up by my arm. He was bloodier then I was but still moving with unparalleled strength. I coughed as he helped me hobble toward the runway before the captain parked next to us in his jeep and helped get me into the seat. My father sat in the passenger seat and leaned his head back, closing his eyes as I did the same. “You did good today son, get some rest and well take care of everything, youre too young for all of this, I'm so sorry” I took a deep breath and curled up in the back seat “Me too dad…me too”
submitted by KrampusTellsTheTruth to Wholesomenosleep [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 08:21 Repulsive-blace Harbour

I find it hard to harbour hope/
the stars elope and capture eyes on larger scopes/
the metaphors, entendres, and the bars are dope/
Ive bent at knee point and Ive seen farther smoke/
Ive bartered but karma is a bastard so I scar my throat/
we're all martyrs for the largest companies, Balenciaga's, audiences are the targets though/
I can hardly garner attention from my fathe
without tension straining harde
without mention of my mama I can harbour ill resentment/
I can feel my soul descending/
into hell but still befriending demons/
tempting, but these beats all needed mending/
so I spit the needles, disinfecting, clear the beetles/
is it ending?/
I might have to re-live it/
Id try but I'm grief stricken/
with these writtens I clean visions/
the scene wishes I'd leave, bitches/
I heave stitches and breathe witches/
still falling off each of these bridges/
I try to burn them down/
but the curtains draw and leave uncertain crowds in awe/
sounds that roar through the boundless maw/
and I'm bounded to the showers floo
if I can just reach for the countless doors/
I could seep through the cracks and all/
I'm on track for seeing what my soul of blackness bore/
submitted by Repulsive-blace to raplyrics [link] [comments]

2023.06.06 07:48 throwawayforariel Review of The Little Mermaid, Society, and Culture (part 1)

1 . Compared to the original, this is an unwatchable travesty on every level.
2 . Compared to the live-action remakes of this generation, it is pretty good, and the '89 songs are obviously still great...
  1. . . . But, the nuances in change and inflection, as well as the dramatic high notes added to change what were already perfect songs into what are now try-hard ballads, can be jarring and/or feel dense in your ears.
  2. The three new songs are shockingly, offensively bad. Terribly written cheap cliches, horribly sung, and unnecessarily character-bending; low-hangy-fruity metaphors about "uncharted water" vs "gravity" like wtf bitches, I know this was a kid's film but it wasn't some like "goo-goo-ga-ga teletubbies dumb-dumb spoonfeed me and beat me over the head" level infant show you assholes, what is this: a. Ariel's new song is so awful it's actually hurtful and degrading to viewers everywhere- fans and nonfans alike. And referring to herself using the third person is not an Ariel thing, it's a loser thing;b. Eric's strangely effeminate, emasculating, and desperate plea to be rescued by his fantasy girl in the form of his song is just unbelievable. Unbelievable what they did to that man, what a pansy they reduced him to.c. Scuttle's song ironically seems the most appropriate, at least in that it's short and funny enough without altering the character or tone much at all.
  3. Eric is emasculated on various levels (and he is wearing Aladdin's vest, why). He doesn't ever get to prove himself, he doesn't get to annihilate Ursula and save Ariel, and they've even given him a mother who basically keeps his balls in her purse: why?
  4. That's not Ariel. Not physically, not energetically. If this girl is confused/offended to find that people don't think she looks like Ariel, then she obviously needs mental help. And, she often sounds like JLo, as in weirdly nasal and shrill. She doesn't fit the bill, stop trying to pretend she does. We have fucking eyes lol the jig is up wtf are you doing. Be embarrassed already and go delete this movie from history right now. The dinglehopper, the iconic hair flip breaking the surface? This shit wasn't written for dreadlocks, neither could be practically accomplished in dreadlocks. Singing longingly at him from the rock, hair flowing wildly and brightly in the wind? Now we have some heavy head of a mop struggling humiliatingly and painfully to prop itself on a rock in some grim display despite it being broad fucking daylight somehow? wtf you clowns. You would have at least made the sea surface fucking sparkle and stuff if it didn't only overemphasize how drab your mermaid inherently is.
Those aren't her sisters, what with their random new names. That's not Ursula, and Ursula is not Ariel's auntie. That's not Triton, mainly because Triton was never before alluded to as a total zeus-gigolo king-bigelow collecting daughters from every culture the way Ariel collects endless thingamabobs from the surface.
  1. Those are not Sebastian, Scuttle, and Flounder, but they are endearing enough for this film, and they're a likable trio.
  2. The girl who plays Vanessa is the best part of this film and the best actor here: her screen time is like a total of 60-90 seconds in all, and yet she has the most intense and fulfilling resemblance to the energy of the cartoon character she is portraying. She for me made this remake worth it over anything else here.
  3. The graphics are not superb if you care about that stuff. I don't really so it didn't bug me, but nobody looks like they're underwater during dialogues and there are no bubbles ever. The distant shots of her swimming through the water are lovely.
  4. The dresses. The world's most iconic dresses: the blue town dress with the blue bouncy bow, the pink dining gown, the shimmering purple gown, even the white shipwreck thingy with ropes that Scuttle designed. Not a single one of them anywhere to be found in the remake, how dare they...?
Instead, we get this cheap, dull frump of a frilly tulle nightmare from some hell dimension where tears are the only currency, paired with some dirty rag of a headband...? wtf man. They didn't even try. They literally kidnapped a Knott's Berry Farm employee in the midst of her jam-making shift, beat her up, stole her smock, and threw it at this random black kid, and then rolled cameras like "here- you be ariel i guess. we have no time, this much so far has already cost $17 billion, hurry, the goal was to launder money not actually spend any, quiCK!"
And what is that weird tube top she wears as a mermaid? WTF is that? A piece of her own fin that she skinned off and plastered across her chest...? Why does it have scales dude it still looks alive and what the fuck is wrong with ALL of you sisters and your skin looking like your fins in the form of fancy tops? Is this how your skin just grows, like those are your tits? Because if not, then you found fish that look exactly like yourselves and harvested them for fashion, if not self-mutilated.
  1. Two-hour run time = too long.
  2. It'll make you nostalgic over the original so you'll likely rewatch the '89 classic to wash this one out of your mouth.
I ended it there.

And then a new wave started forming so I continued lol.
  1. There is a painful recurring issue in this movie: some moments and lines are nearly identical to a point that is almost so fulfilling to relive ... and then there's this slight yet awkward change in the delivery or the word inflection or something that creates this huge THUD in energy, like it just FALLS so LIMP on your head. They invite the comparison and use it to hook your engagement for a second, manipulating you through a nostalgia-mimic-tease, then they immediately drop the ball and make it SUCK and force you to just bo0m DISSOCIATE so hard. I can't explain what a gross, violating feeling it is. It's like, do something way different, OR keep everything the exact same, DON'T meander about somewhere in the middle where there is zero meaning, and DON'T embark upon recreating a scene or a line only to deviate from it mid-sequence or mid-sentence.
  2. It's creepy any time she pops her head above water lurking to secretly observe Eric. It's like horrifying. Why is it always dark, why is she always wriggling her fingers like an excited witch over the rocks, and why does her hair look like the girl's from The Ring.
  3. In Aladdin, they do this weird thing where "the help" gets involved in the background like in a Shakespearean play, to aid in the young lovers' love, which I thought was annoying. Then they photocopied that general subplot into this remake too, shamelessly, carelessly, as not-Grimsby and some random new lady nobody asked for are to be some unsung heroes now.
  4. Also, they morphed Eric into Princess Jasmine in this remake, what with his "but i don't wanna be a prince, i wanna go beyond the palace walls, oppressive parent-figure!" just to complete his character transformation into a woman, I guess?
  5. Ariel is the valiant knight who kills Ursula, and she doesn't wed Erica in the end, just to complete her character transformation into a man, I guess?
  6. Ariel suddenly chiming in passionately during "Under the Sea" is a humiliating misunderstanding of the whole plot.
  7. Scuttle was honestly okay. Of all the horrible things of this movie, she's not among them. Obnoxious, slapsticky, raspy, blunt ass: she's not Scuttle, but she's a good enough rendition of his general energy. Most importantly, kids will likely enjoy Scuttle and Sebastian more than anything else over the grueling two hours.
  8. There's nothing to say about Triton, because there was nothing there. Just the low monotone echoes of some hispanic dude in the distance? He was like a ghost, played by a ghost.
There's nothing to say about Ursula, because there was nothing there. She was almost exactly like the cartoon one for the most part, only like the general skeleton form or outline of her with nothing inside. Or like a cardboard cutout of her that somebody apathetically toted about the scenery as if just to get a reference the way they do in pre-shoots and rehearsals and shit. The parts where she should be intensely belting or spitting shit out, she is muted; the parts where she should be calm, she is belting shit out and making a spectacle out of her confused, talentless self.
  1. There's no grand orchestral opening scene introducing the sisters- huge letdown from the film's onset. But at least it plummets your expectations to a safe below ground haven from which you might endure the rest of the, like I said, grueling hours.
  2. The glittery sparkling ocean surface and dreamy land/seascapes: nowhere to be found. The gorgeous glistening seaside castle: fucking gone man. There are just zero shimmers, sparkles, bubbles, or color pops in this bleak abysmal damp cave of a fucking movie, people, when that was like 94% of the freaking aesthetic, energy, spirit, function, lullaby, and purpose of the goddamn original. I'll kill you all for this shit.
  3. In the end, all the wealthy black fisherman in broken down boats (?) within a blink of an eye suddenly find themselves surrounded by terrifying sci-fi fish-people-aliens, some just chilling there in their own personal boats like this is their uncle's lagoon, five seconds away from murdering this entire village if they so choose, nonchalantly flapping their gigantic slimy fins all over the place with such a sense of belonging somehow like this is their comfort zone, rubbing their titty-scales on everybody's personal property, making out with the locals and shit- like holy smokes they came together pretty quick, no shock, no nothing, fucking none of these humans are scared, confused, or even like squeamish? BUT the only other time you saw this shit was when that gigantic octopus almost ate all of your babies at the last wedding: why are you so calm that being your only other association to these creatures...?! And if you're this calm and unfazed by sea-people, then what the fuck was even the main conflict of this entire film? Ariel could have been flapping her way through the city streets emasculating Eric in public instead of just in private this whole time, obviously nobody here cares, fish, human, pegasus, black queen, what have you, they're all within the realm of possibility- nay, probability. In the cartoon, the mermaids respect fucking boundaries in the end, they're just waving goodbye from their ocean border, they're not crawling into the people's fucking houses at high tide wagging their fish genitals at humanity looking to breed a new species in the name of a wedding nobody invited them to wtf is this.
  4. The original's a father-daughter story before it's a boy-girl-love story. Anybody who gives a shit about that movie knows that. Doing things like giving Erica extra songs/story pieces as if he's co-star of the narrative is such a mortifyingly dense misconception of such an otherwise uniquely gorgeous, deep story singing a whole other tune entirely. Legitimately shameful.
. . . AND THEN rewriting the "love story" so that Ariel's "a more empowered female" as if to admit you mislabeled the original Ariel "unempowered," as in, you obviously oppressed her by overlooking everything beautiful and true about her, projecting all of this shit "to fix" that didn't even exist, and by "fixing it" as you have, you only stripped the girl of her voice. Your movie makes it clear you have no idea what the film you're "recreating" is even about, and your capacity to grasp the basic symbolism, themes, and meanings of even children's films is below a third-grade level.

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2023.06.06 07:37 RacconDownUnder Black Smoke Trigger sound check at Galatos Bar NZ

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2023.06.06 07:32 EmbarrassedAd8549 I (25F) feel like ending things with my (27M) LDR boyfriend

I met my boyfriend during covid on dating app. He liked me and wanted to pursue me to be in a ldr relationship with him. Since he's from the US and I'm from Europe I told him that that's just not possible for me since I'm a student and I can't afford to see him (and it just sounds like an extremely emotionally difficult situation ). However he told me that it's "very easy" for him and that he'll visit me every 3 months. He freaked out and spammed my phone until I said yes. In the beginning it was very fun and fresh and after 6 months of knowing him he still hasn't come to visit. He was suddenly afraid of planes despite flying his entire life from the US to Europe and back. When I wanted to break it off since I simply can't never see him he decided to come. The first time he was here it was nice but it required of me 24/7 effort. I needed to travel to his hotel for an hour everyday and when I was there I made sure I showed him around and took care of him. He didn't need to worry about anything. Second time he came I felt like he was sorry that he even came. He came totally unprepared and spent days in the hotel room crying and feeling anxious while I tried to calm him down. It was so draining because I wanted him to have a nice time and he just wanted to get high and eat at restaurants. (I even asked him afterwards how did he like it and he said "I got to be in a nice European town and eat at restaurants... oh and smoke weed! Of course I liked it" and when I asked what about me he said "yeah, that too". Which obviously made me feel like shit. Next time I went to visit him instead. He never tried to show me around like I did with him. I'm very into art and I had to beg him to go to a gallery with me that was just a 40 minute metro drive away from his home. He was annoyed because "he saw all that already". He wanted me to stay in his room and watch tv all day. That's the same thing we do on stream. We never talk on the phone, he even hung up on me when I tried to call because "he wasn't prepared" and got very angry with me. His parents tried to take me out and show me a nice time and I'm so grateful for that. They were so kind and welcoming and they liked me a lot. I just wish that he, as 27 year old man, could plan some nice times for us on his own. Keep in mind we never had sex up until that point. I was just giving him oral. At that point he was getting high all day everyday because he had some money in passive income. I didn't mind he didn't have a job when he had ways to support himself, however when he started to lose that money the problems started. I went to see him after 6 months after the last trip which was, at this point, 1 year ago. He didn't have any money but he strongly refused to work. He didn't care how not seeing each other might affect our relationship. I tried to talk to him about working and paying off his debt and he would get extremely defensive and leash out on me. I started to get very miserable. I don't feel like he hears how I feel and he just ignores it. I tried to introduce new activities to bring fun back to our relationship and he woud say yes but never actually end up doing them. I sent him so many gifts and care packages during times we were not seeing each other and he never sent me anything. Now, suddenly, he found a job last month and plans on having me fly there to visit. He is still spending money on drugs and his debt that I doubt he will actually manage to save up for the ticket. He does tell me that he loves me and that I'm his treasure but it's hard to stay happy with that. I tried to communicate this multiple times and everytime that I did it ended up in a huge argument and he became very angry. I miss the intimacy. In the entire 2 and a half years we only were intimate once. I feel like I'm wasting away here in my room while other people experience life, can hug their partner etc. I just don't know what to do anymore.
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2023.06.06 07:31 vren55 [A Fractured Song] - Chapter 190- Fantasy, Isekai (Portal Fantasy), Adventure

Cover Art!
Just because you’re transported to another world, doesn’t mean you’ll escape from your pain.
Abused by her parents, thirteen-year-old Frances only wants to be safe and for her life not to hurt so much. And when she and her class are transported to the magical world of Durannon to fight the monsters invading the human kingdoms and defeat the self-titled Demon King, Frances is presented with a golden opportunity. If she succeeds, Frances will have the home she never had. If she fails, Frances will be summoned back to the home she escaped.
Yet, despite her newfound magic and friends, Frances finds that trauma is not so easily lost. She is dogged by her abuse and its physical and invisible scars. Not only does she have to learn magic, she has to survive the nightmares of her past, and wrestle with her feelings of doubt and self-loathing.
If she can heal from her trauma, though, she might be able to defeat the Demon King and maybe, just maybe, she can find a home for herself.
Teaser: The fall of the Traditionalists
[The Beginning] [<=Chapter 189] [Chapter Index and Blurb] [Chapter 191 on June 12 or now on patreon]
The Fractured Song Index
Discord Channel Just let me know when you arrive in the server that you’re a Patreon so you can access your special channel.
The flares had gone up, but the gates remained shut. Martin hadn’t stopped staring at them since the troops had moved into position. He’d only paused to blink.
It was unlikely they’d been betrayed. The Water Tower had fallen to their forces after all. That being said, there were always delays in military operations—
Martin blinked. The gates were swinging open.
“Alright everybody! Up and at them. Mages, smoke us up! Musketeers suppressing fire!”
Cheers rang out along the line as puffs and clouds of mist and smoke began to shroud the Lightning Battalion. Horns blared as the wave of soldiers charged.
Martin was at the head of them, shield raised. He knew his kit was a little archaic, but frankly he could use the extra protection at the moment.
As they neared the gatehouse, Martin could hear sounds of battle within. As he made it over the drawbridge and into the building he could see a ring of soldiers marked with blue and red armbands trying to defend the opened second gate against a flood of soldiers coming from the main castle building.
“For Erisdale!” Martin bellowed.
He and the Lightning Battalion plunged into the melee with troops flooding through the gatehouse,.. Martin managed to slam his shield into one of Darius’s soldiers and stab them, before stepping back to look around.
Already he had teams of soldiers rushing up to help with those fighting in the gatehouse proper. Musketeers were taking position and the mages they had were casting spells at the incoming reinforcements.
There were a lot of Darius’s troops coming, though. They were rushing out of every door, and from every tower to concentrate on the breach.
Martin grimaced. He was sure that he was going to break through at some point, but it would take time. The rest would have to be up to Jessica’s team.
“Come on! We’re nearly there,” said Elizabeth.
Leaning heavily on her, Leila limped as fast as she could. They’d healed her as much as they could but she was still exhausted from the ordeal she’d suffered.
“Why don’t you just carry me—” Leila cut herself off with a Word of Power. Several soldiers were running down road leading to the Citadel, trying to intercept the pair. A fireball erupted from in front of them and smashed into the unfortunate enemies, blasting them off their feet. Leila waved Elizabeth’s arched eyebrow off. “Nevermind. Give me a moment.”
“Yeah, hard to cast if you’re being carried.” Elizabeth paushed to look behind, down toward the city. The way the Traditionalist defense line had been structured was that it left a protected section of the city between the Citadel and the Water Tower.
Before her eyes, Erlenbergian ships were pulling into the harbour, disgorging hundreds of marines and mages that stormed into the city. The Traditionalist forces that had been attempting to retake the Water Tower were now flanked. It would take time however, until they could take control of the area and make their way to the Citadel.
But at least at this moment, the gate that led up to the Citadel proper was unguarded, the drawbridge down. The soldiers having been stripped to defend the city and the main gatehouse or try to secure the harbour.
“You ready?” Elizabeth asked, glancing at Leila.
The Otherworlder shook her head. “Nope, but I need to be at Janize’s side,” she croaked out.
Elizabeth giggled. “Well, since you are hopelessly in love with her. Let’s get you there.”
Leila rolled her eyes. “Fuck you,” she stammered, but she was unable to help herself from smiling.
Scarlet was damn good and tricky to fight against. The head of the Red Order had stored a number of spells into her magical rings, which she used to vary up her arsenal. Fireballs would be followed by vines sprouting from the ground. The earth would suddenly ice up, followed by gusts of wind that would try to knock Ayax off her feet. She was also very fast, and Ayax found herself dancing around Darius’s garden, using whatever cover she could and shields to keep herself safe.
The problem was that as the fight drew on and Scarlet continued to keep throwing spells, the outcome of the fight became clearer and clearer.
Ayax was not the head of a mage order. She didn’t quite have the extensive magical equipment that Scarlet had in her possession. Scarlet also had a powerful magical gift and the cost of it was not a mobility impairment. Leila had told Ayax that Scarlet was missing an eyeball, having replaced her missing eye with a glass replica.
That pupil-less eyeball now glimmered at Ayax as the troll returned Scarlet’s fireball with a larger fireball of her own, forcing the mage to take cover behind a statue of a knight that was blasted apart. Scarlet stepped out to cast, but Ayax was faster, she had already thrown several magical cards. They slammed into the red-robed mage, crackling and popping, smoke and sparks blinding the woman. She barely managed to get a shield up but instead of hitting her again, Ayax paused for a split second before throwing more cards.
These hit Scarlet clean again and she screamed as she staggered, firing magical bolts wildly. Ayax practically just sidled behind a tree and watched the mage pant as she gathered her own power.
No, Ayax had none of Scarlet’s money or ability, but she did have years of seeing the most intense frontline combat of the Great War. She had trained against the most powerful mages of her time, Edana and Frances Windwhistler. She was a gifted mage in her own right with unparalleled athleticism and grace. And to top it all off, she had read Scarlet’s rhythm of casting and was now very much in it and messing with her.
Oh and she’d exhausted Scarlet by making her cast all the spells she had.
So when Ayax threw Frances’s lightning spell over her shoulder, Scarlet only barely blocked it. The woman was knocked backwards and slammed into the perimeter wall of the mansion.
Ayax was soon charging after her. Scarlet managed to fire a torrent of water at her, but the troll sang, drawing up a wind that lent speed to her step and pulling up a mound of earth that blocked the jet. She ducked under the woman’s clumsy attempt to cast a slashing spell at her, and slammed her staff into Scarlet’s head.
Blood poured from the cut across her skull, and the woman crumpled to the ground. Her glass eyeball popped out from the force of the blow, rolling onto the glass. For good measure, Ayax grabbed Scarlet’s wand and pocketed it. She also cast a binding spell that would stick the woman’s arms and legs together so she couldn’t get up.
Then she stared.
One of her parent’s killers was lying in front of her, unconscious and helpless. Scarlet wouldn’t even know if Ayax cut her throat with a dagger. It was more mercy than she deserved.
Biting her lip so hard Ayax thought she was going to cut herself, she turned on her heel. The troll forced marched herself away, thinking of her dear Elizabeth and how she needed help.
Step after step turned into a run and soon Ayax was racing down the city streets for the gate leading to the Citadel.
As she rounded a corner, she saw a column of soldiers fast-marching, also towards the main castle.
“Ayax!” called out a very filthy red-haired woman.
The troll ran up to her friend. “Ginger, oh dear, that was a horrible trip wasn’t it?” Ayax asked as she took in Ginger’s odor.
“Yes. I strongly advise you don’t touch me,” said Ginger. She tilted her head to another approaching mage, whose orange dress quickly gave up her identity.
“Ophelia Voidsailor, good to see you in person!” Ayax exclaimed, clasping her fellow Erlenbergian’s deformed hand.
“Ayax Windwhistler. We never settled who won the Winter Tournament did we?” Ophelia asked.
“I conceded to you if I recall.”
“Bah! That doesn’t count! I want a rematch once this is all over!” Ophelia giggled. She coughed into her fist. “We’ve secured the harbour and the Water Tower. The Traditionalist’s remaining forces are running to the Citadel.”
“Excellent, lets hope Janize holds out long enough for us to get there,” said Ginger, starting to jog again.
It was terribly un-queenly behaviour and perhaps didn’t do the best for the morale of her soldiers, but Janize decided not to sit in her throne. Rather, she was using the very large chair as cover and had opted to sit on a simple wooden chair.
Even then she wasn’t entirely safe and despite herself, she couldn’t help but hold onto a bunch of her crimson hair, as she desperately attempted to keep her breathing level.
Erisdale’s throne room featured the standard long hallway leading up to an upraised dais and two thrones. It also had a second-level gallery meant for nobles to be able to gather and watch the proceedings. This gallery comprised of two large rooms open to the throne room itself. Sculpted stone railings kept the onlookers safe. Underneath the upper galleries were two covered hallways which functioned as ways for people to go up and down the the throneroom without just walking through the main hall.
Normally, there were ways to get to the upper galleries, but the soldiers loyal to Janize had barricaded these entrances. They could not however, barricade the stairways to the entrances that were near the throne room’s main entrance and led up to the galleries. Their defense relied on them holding the throne room’s main front.
Naturally, that had been the focus of the assault by Darius and his soldiers.
“Master George, I distinctly recall you informing me the Throne room was the safest in the Citadel?” Janize mused ass stray bullets whizzed over their heads.
Crouched down beside her behind an upturned table, George smiled wanly. “Yes. It has enough space to hold the soldiers loyal to you, and the entrances can easily be blocked off. The other barricaded entrances can also be opened if we want to make a break for it. So yes, this is the safest place when you consider the other option is your personal chambers which can’t hold all your guards.” Fluidly rising to his feet, George fired a musket down and reloaded. “Hang tight, I’m going to check on the other barricades.”
Janize nodded slowly. She was getting a bit better at not wincing at every crack and whine from the spells and bullets that were sailing through the throne room door. That had been the first to fall and followed by a charge from the Traditionalists. However, the numerous barricades of tables and furniture that had been stacked to form several lines had checked the enemy’s advance.
So a vicious melee had developed at the entrance, with both sides firing guns and spells over the tops of each other’s heads. Janize was no military tactician, but she knew that if Darius’s soldiers gained the galleries, they were in deep trouble. They were also losing those galleries.
Elizabeth arched an eyebrow at Leila. They were now in the castle proper which was unsurprisingly deserted. The non-combatants having fled or hid. “Leila, where are we going. The throne room’s front door is not this way.”
“Yes, but unless you want to get completely fucked by the mass of troops probably fighting there, we’re going to have to break in to help them—” Leila stopped so quickly, Elizabeth nearly dragged her forward.
A column of soldiers were spilling out from one of the corridors into the hall. Their boots were caked in indescribable brown stuff and from this distance, Leila and Elizabeth could smell where they had come from.
At the head of the group of soldiers was a blonde woman with a cat mask. Thier were both Alavari and human and they all had light-blue armbands or hauberks emblazoned with a silver lightning symbol.
“Jessica?” Leila whispered.
“Leila, it’s been a long time.” The masked Otherworlder’s reply was cool. Elizabeth did notice a tremor in her voice.
“Jess, I’m so sorry. I was an idiot and I—”
Tearing off her mask, Jessica took several long steps to Leila and seized her in an embrace. “I missed you.”
Leila couldn’t help but cry. “I missed you too—OW!”
Jessica had flicked Leila’s forehead with a finger. Smiling, crying and scowling at the same time. “Also, fuck you for trying to blast me, several times.”
“Sorry,” Leila croaked.
Jessica gently stroked Leila’s hair. “And I’m sorry for calling you a monster.”
Leila managed a watery giggle. “I deserved it.”
The pair laughed and let go of one another. “Right, which way to save your queen? Also, you alright? You look like a wreck,” said Jessica.
“This way.” Leila said, leaning on Jessica’s shoulder for support. “Oh wow you really did crawl through a sewer.”
“Eat shit, or did you already?”
Jessica snorted. “Fuck you.”
“Glad to see you getting along, but how are we going to make sure we take down a barricade without getting shot at?” Elizabeth asked.
“You’ll see!” warbled Leila.
After dispatching a band of Traditionalist soldiers, they’d come to a doorway that looked fairly ordinary but as Leila laid her hands on the wall it shimmered. “Yo, George! Don’t shoot! Reinforcements are here!”
A slot in the door opened up and there was quick peek. From the other side they heard a great sigh of relief.
“Thank God, get in here.” Their was some scrabbling and the door swung open to reveal the blonde-haired Otherworlder warrior. “They’re making another push. Good thing you remembered the designated escape hatch.”
“Ah, you left an emergency exit, a sally port. Good idea,” said Elizabeth. “Musketeers to the galleries and check your powder before you start shoting. Jessica, Leila, get to the queen. I want a section to guard the sally.”
There was a thunderous bellow from the outside of the throne room. Then another louder one.
“They’re hyping themselves up. This is it!” George bellowed. “Leila get to the queen!”
“Holdup.” Jessica picked Leila up and leapt off the railing. Her friend screamed as they dropped down, only slowing at the last minute due to Jessica’s spell.
George stared at the pair for a moment, but Elizabeth had grabbed onto him and was dragging him. “Let’s get to the front, hurry!”
Janize peaked behind her throne. “Leila!”
The queen was soon embraced by the shaking Otherworlder. “I’m sorry. This is um, Jessica.”
“A pleasure I’m sure, but we are in a dicey spot.” Jessica ushered the pair behind the throne and began casting. Leila soon joining her.
A flood of armored knights had forced the throne room’s entrance. The sheer mass of the column was overwhelming the defenders at the entrance. Leila could see George and Elizabeth fighting furiously back to back against the tide. Elizabeth’s war hammer taking out a knight with every swing, whilst George’s spear flickered into weakspots and gaps in enemy armor like a snake. Far above on the right gallery, the Lightning Battalion’s musketeers were raining musket and magefire down on them.
Yet Darius’s troops were forcing themselves up the staircase to the left side gallery, which didn’t have the additional Lightning Battalion troops.
“Jess! Left side!” Leila hissed.
“I know, shit!” The pair turned their attention to the gallery on the left, unleashing fireballs and bolts of magic. That kept any attackers and musketeers who wanted to shoot back pinned down, but they had a mage on the left gallery that kept shielding their attacks.
It also meant the flood of attackers pouring through the throne room doors only increased.
“Elizabeth where the fuck are your troops!” Leila screamed.
Ayax knew she wasn’t going through the front door, but after running around the throne room’s upper galleries she was wondering if there was any other way in.
As she hammered on a final door, a familiar human face peeked through the slot.
“Helen, good to see you!”
“Get in here and duck!” Ayax’s adjutant opened the door and lead the troll into the throne room. She instantly could see that things were not going well. Musketeers filled the gallery opposing them they were ducking behind a black-haired mage’s shield due to Leila and Jessica shooting at them. However, that meant Jessica and Leila weren’t casting at the knights charging through the throne room.
Ayax could glimpsed Elizabeth locked in a duel with another knight that she dispatched, another Otherworlder protecting her flanks. The pair were pulling back, though and the Lightning Battalion soldiers trying to come down the gallery stairs were forced to come in single line
And Traditionalist forces kept pushing. No matter how many were shot dead, the armored men and women were storming forward, stepping over the bodies of dead comrades with a desperate, furious pace. At the centre of the column was a man surrounded by the biggest and burliest knights Ayax had ever seen and with gold-trimmed armour.
It was Darius and he was in her sight. Ayax blinked, started forward and shook her head. He wasn’t the priority. He couldn’t be the priority. She could see black magic leaking out from her hand, but she forcefully kept her gaze on the gallery.
Taking a deep breath Ayax bellowed, “Clear the way!” Running forward, Words of Power pouring from her lips, she leapt over the railing.
Elizabeth was very nearly distracted by a glimpse of her girlfriend doing a superhero impression as she flew across the top of the Throne Room, carried by her magic. Ayax, her staff punched forward like a spear, slammed into the first musketeer she saw. The Traditonalists ran, trying to make space but that also gave space for Ayax to run after the panicked looking black haired mage.
Whirling her staff around, she slammed him so hard he crashed into the wall with a sickening thud. Then she was hitting the musketeers, sending them flying with her strikes. Even so, musket balls screeched by her, nearly missing her. More musketeers were pointing their weapons at her.
A massive fireball slammed into the railing, setting enemy uniforms aflame. Ayax glanced over the railing to see Leila give her a brief wave before turning back to keep firing at Earl Darisus’s guards. The troll blinked, but there was no time to contemplate, she had to keep fighting. Leaping forward, she sent another human soldier flying. Torquing around, she ducked under a bayonet stab and punted a human woman into a wall.
When she turned around to look for another opponent, Ayax froze. The remaining musketeers were fleeing, retrating down the gallery stairs and away from her. However, there was a blonde haired woman on the gallery with a fox-fur lined coat. She was aiming a musket, but not at Ayax. Instead, she was pointing it toward the dais of the throne.
Ayax’s eyes immediately took in the trajectory of the musket and the scowling dark-haired Otherworlder she was pointing it at. Leila, while taking cover from the bullets and bolts of magic from the main entrance’s direction, was exposed to the woman’s shot.
I could let her. It wouldn’t be me. It’d be an accident. Janize can’t blame us for a battle. We’d still have her surrender.
Besides, Leila doesn’t deserve to live. Why should she live after all the wrongs she’s committed? Why shouldn’t I just let her die.
Nobody would know. Few would care.
Ayax glanced down at her hands and at her staff. There was no black magic pooling around her. It was just her. Her decision to save or let die, the woman who killed her mother.
This was a woman who’d apologized and promised to let her do whatever she wanted to her. Who sought not her own safety but to protect the life and the child of the one she loved.
Ayax bit her lip and charged the enemy musketeer. However, her hesitation had cost her. She could see the musketeer pulling the trigger. There was no time for a Word of Power. Ayax slammed into her the musketeer. The weapon cracked, the bullet whizzing off course as Ayax pushed the woman over the railing.
But the screaming woman now grabbed onto Ayax and the troll found herself tumbling over.
Acting on instinct, the troll seized her enemy with both hands, her cat-like tail twisting to try to direct their momentum. The pair fell down, but Ayax was managing to get her legs atop the woman. Acting more on instinct, Ayax leapt off the musketeer, slammed into a Traditionalist knight and rolled clumsily over the ground.
Dazed by the impact, her sides and wrists screaming with pain, Ayax could just hear a stomach-churning thud. She chanced a glance and immediately looked away. The woman was very clearly dead, having hint the stone floor headfirst.
It was then she saw that standing over her was the heavily armoured Earl Darius halted dead in his tracks. He lifed his visor, and Ayax could see that despite the sweat that trickled down his face, his eyes remained wide with horror and rage.
“You killed her. You killed my daughter!” Roaring like a wounded animal, Darius swung down at Ayax with his sword. She managed to get her staff up, the metal chomping into the wood. Again and again the Earl brought his weapon down. Aching, exhausted and far far too close for comfort, Ayax scrabbled back, trying to escape. But the earl was possessed with grief and fury and the desperation of a cornered animal.
“Die! Die! Die and join your father and mother!”
Author’s Note: Oh dear, so Ayax has gotten over her anger, but… she pissed off Darius anyway!
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