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LEGACY: From the Book of SAW (CHAPTER 26, 27, & 28) Converging Paths
2023.05.29 23:08 ohhidied LEGACY: From the Book of SAW (CHAPTER 26, 27, & 28) Converging Paths
Read Chapter 25 Here: https://www.reddit.com/saw/comments/13kih9q/legacy_from_the_book_of_saw_chapter_25_the_final/
____________________________________________________ *** CHAPTER 26 **\
Traveling to the warehouse, Logan felt relieved knowing Melissa was in good hands, but his momentary comfort was quickly replaced with apprehension when he arrived at Hoffman’s lair. Checking his surroundings, Logan was unfamiliar with this place, despite living here for over a decade. Stopping the car, he tilted the visor down and looked at the photo of his wife.
Through the security camera positioned outside, Hoffman watched Logan enter the parking lot and smiled. He grabbed the bottle of chloroform that sat next to the aqua green box and a cloth from the table, then switched on the furnace. Walking towards the entrance, he turned off all the lights except the one shining on Elanor, who sat unconscious beneath the aluminum dispenser.
Walking towards the entrance, Logan removed a tactical knife from his pocket and held it surreptitiously. Finding the door unlocked, he breached the doorway and stepped into the building, his chest full of anxiety. Logan shuffled through the inoperable machines, boxes, and various tools until he found Elanor under the strobe light. On the floor, he noticed the chrome pool of aluminum that had dried and discovered the dispenser above her. Quickly pulling the chair out of reach, he removed the gag from her mouth just as the liquid started to pour.
Slipping out of the darkness, Hoffman watched as Logan attempted to cut through the ropes that bound Elanor, and while he was distracted, Hoffman slammed the grip of his gun into the back of Logan’s head with traumatic force. Falling to the floor, rattled and disoriented, Hoffman used this moment to render him unconscious with a considerable dose of chloroform.
Seth’s body is brought to the triage center, where the on-call doctors get to work. They extract the bullet from his neck and clean the wound. Then, fill several vials with his coagulating blood and immediately begin several tests. It doesn’t take long for them to find something unusual in his blood. The pathologist examines the results and calls the precinct.
Waiting to hear from Agent Kullen, Lincoln left a message for Autumn and contacted the patrol unit, which was watching over her. They spoke briefly and assured him she would be brought to the station as soon as possible.
With her safety guaranteed, he reached out to the crew sent to Gavin Beck’s residence. They informed him that an officer was found in the garage with his arms, legs, and mouth wrapped in duct tape, but he was still alive, suffering from a major contusion on his head. He was currently being transported to the hospital for evaluation.
Fixing his posture, Lincoln loosened the cilice, providing a moment of comfort, and sank into his chair. Through the window, he caught another glimpse of the remaining survivors. Obstructing his view and thoughts, Marlow entered his office.
“Linc,” he says, “I’ve been in touch with Agent Webb. She’s in recovery and would like updates on the case. Additionally, I’ve been in contact with Dr. Steward’s wife and son. They’re both okay. Presumably an empty threat. The same for Renee’s family.”
Lincoln squints his eyes, contemplating, and suggests, “They didn’t fit the code.”
Marlow shrugs and is about to speak when a call comes through, “Detective,” the pathologist says, “Please come to the triage center at once. There’s something you should see.”
Taking his jacket from the chair, they leave the room hastily and head next door, cutting a path through the other corpses, beelining for Seth’s cadaver. The site of the body hits Lincoln in the gut. They shared a long history, and this wasn’t how he imagined their friendship would end. Saddened by the loss, Lincoln backed away and placed his hands in his pockets.
Inside, he found the last canister of Nitrous Oxide, which he had forgotten about. Already inserted into the cracker, it was taunting him. With the pain of losing another friend, Lincoln’s urge to use was returning, and he felt he would never escape its grasp. Checking for an exit, Lincoln was about to give in to his compulsion when he caught sight of the pathologist using a centrifuge.
Detailing her findings into a computer, she greets Lincoln, “Thank you for coming.”
“What did you find?”
Moving around the device, she grabs a portfolio and takes a blood-filled vial from the rack. She hands the vial to Lincoln and says, “When we ran the first test, I found Seth’s blood was contaminated with some sort of bacteria.”
Holding up the vial and looking closely, “Agent Kullen said he was sick….” Lincoln explains.
Her expression is one of doubt, “I checked that too, but these cells reacted differently than a common cold. It’s microbial.”
Turning a page in the portfolio, she removes another vial from the rack that is filled with green fluid.
“Do you recognize this?” She asks.
Swapping vials, Lincoln shakes the cylinder and watches the fluid splash against the walls.
The pathologist elaborates, “It was confiscated from Dr. Gordon’s apartment.”
“Well, Detective, my theory is that poison not dissimilar to this was injected into Seth’s body. I’m certain we will find an entry point with a little more time.”
Handing the vial back to the pathologist, Lincoln displays concern.
He says, “Have Logan assist you with the autopsy. Find the entry point and get back to me.”
Confusion drapes the pathologist, “Logan isn’t here, Detective. I thought you knew that.”
“Fine, get Elanor on it immediately.”
“I’m sorry, Lincoln, but she’s not here either.”
Marlow looks worried, and Lincoln says, “What are you talking about?”
“The on-call Doctors are here because Logan and Elanor never came in. I assumed they requested a break….”
Lincoln pushes past the physician, and Marlow tries to keep up. “Get a unit to Logan and Elanor’s addresses.” He says, “If you can’t get in touch with anyone, I want an APB out within the hour.”
“My orders, just do it.”
They enter the precinct, and Lincoln breaks off from Marlow, heading to his office while Marlow requests the attention of the other officers. Perched in the seats, eyes fixed, they await instructions. He explains, “Two of our colleagues are missing, Logan Nelson and Elanor Bonneville. Logan was last seen leaving the precinct between 7 pm and 8 pm last night. We must track them down as soon as possible.”
Listening to Marlow in the distance, Lincoln paces his office, trying to call Autumn. He leaves another message and fidgets with the Nitrous Oxide in his pocket. Needing a distraction, he contacts Agent Kullen. **\
Outside the Convention Center, Agent Kullen acquired an identical parking slip to the one they procured from Seth. He stood beside his vehicle, surveying the surroundings, taking mental notes of the area, including the security cameras and the construction site for the museum across the street then headed inside.
At the front desk, he finds two staff members and security personnel. Flashing his badge, he requests to see the surveillance footage taken from the last forty-eight hours. They informed him that a power outage corrupted the data, and the footage was essentially erased. Incensed by the revelation, Kullen shows them a picture of Seth Steward and asks if they’ve seen him on the property. The security guard holds the photo close to his face and recognizes the man. He saw him the night before, smoking in the parking lot, but he never entered the building.
Kullen’s stomach churned, and his hand twitched as he exited the convention center. Retrieving his medication from the car, Kullen consumed two pills and evaluated his surroundings once more. Walking towards the street, he looked up and down the road diligently.
Near the shoulder, across the street, he saw something glistening off the sun. About to head over, a call rang through his cell, “Kullen,” he said, still curious about the object.
Hearing the Detective's unsettled tone, Agent Kullen asks, “Lincoln, what’s going on?”
“Elanor and Logan are missing. Marlow is pursuing leads. Where are you?”
Crossing the street, Kullen discovers the reflective object to be a broken padlock. He carries the item towards the gate and says, “I’m near the Convention Center.”
He stops at the entrance and discovers that a new padlock has replaced the broken one. Suspicious, he looks to the Convention Center and then back to the gate.
Overwhelmed by his sudden emotions, Lincoln pushes through a fog of anxiety and asks, “Have you found anything?”
Kullen tilts the new lock in his direction and discovers a keyhole. “Send a team to the museum, now.”
Quickly returning to his vehicle, Kullen starts the ignition and drives towards the parking lot's exit. He waits anxiously for the road to clear before pulling out onto the street. When he reaches the gate, he makes a sharp turn and slams his foot into the accelerator. Crashing through the barrier, he speeds toward the construction site.
Pedestrians outside the Community Center observe the unexpected breach and appear excited and perplexed, with at least one individual phoning 9-1-1. *** CHAPTER 27 **\
Sitting at his workstation, watching the news, Hoffman can hear Elanor’s muffled cries for help. In front of her, she could see the limp body of Logan, handcuffed to a metal fixture that Hoffman bolted to the floor below the aluminum faucet. Pleading for him to wake up, she quivered in fear.
Unaffected, Hoffman increased the volume of the television. Showing footage of the National History Museum from a helicopter, it was reported that a new game had been discovered. In the video, Hoffman saw several cop cars and news vans positioned outside the building. They revealed that triggers and tripwires had been placed throughout the museum, preventing safe entry.
Photos of the victims flash on the screen, and Hoffman sees Renee Walsh, a test subject of John Kramer, who he had captured over a decade ago. For her game, John requested an eye for an eye, forcing her to remove the organ with a sharpened spoon. Unbeknownst to Jigsaw, Dr. Gordon provided a numbing agent for Renee that would aid her in the endeavor.
Hoffman’s eyes glazed over, and the memories of previous games rushed to his mind. Staring through the television, he heard a voice.
Hovering over his shoulder was the rotting corpse of Amanda Young, who said, “Hello, Mark….”
“You’re dead,” he replied calmly.
Watching the news, Amanda folded her pale arms and said, “I know it’s hard to concentrate.”
Having been haunted by these hallucinations since he escaped the bathroom, Hoffman felt exhausted and tortured, “Why?” He said, his voice drained of emotion. “Why are you still here?”
Amanda stared out the window while Hoffman watched the blood ooze from her neck, and she said, “By creating a legacy, by living a life worth remembering, you become immortal.”
“When this is over, you’ll be gone….”
Smiling, Amanda responds defiantly, “Somehow, I doubt that.”
Photos of John Kramer are displayed on the television, followed by images of Dr. Gordon.
Seeing the pictures, Hoffman remembered sending letters to various news stations, hospitals, and local law enforcement, implicating Lawrence Gordon as an accomplice. For many years, he had planned his revenge on the Doctor, which started by exposing his true identity. However, with Gordon’s upstanding reputation, the implications were deemed a slanderous rumor, and nothing ever came of it.
Now with Gordon gone, only one obstacle remained; there was only one accomplice left; Logan Nelson. *** CHAPTER 28 **\
The sun is chased out of the sky by a flurry of dark clouds, creating a reddish-black horizon. An aft beautiful sight, if not for the crowd that has formed outside the precinct. Families of the deceased Jigsaw victims have led a throng of supporters to the parking lot, where they demand an end to Jigsaw’s legacy and the police department that has allowed this to go on for so long.
Among the swarm of bodies are the ex-husband and children of Sarah Harper.
Inside, Chief Savino preps a SWAT team on the situation at the museum, reminding them to be wary of traps, and displays a picture of Hoffman on the television for each of them to memorize. He insists that no one enter the museum until all the traps have been disarmed.
After the speech, Lincoln is informed that Autumn has arrived at her house and is collecting her belongings. The officer estimates that they will reach the precinct within the hour. With one problem solved, Lincoln allows himself a moment of comfort. When he is about to leave, Marlow approaches with more good news.
“We just spoke to Cameron, Logan’s Mother-in-Law,” He says, “She has Melissa, they’re fine, and Logan left around 7 am this morning.”
“Did she say where he was going?”
“He said he was going to work but to contact you if there’s trouble. Chances are he’s inside the museum with the others.”
Lincoln considers the possibilities and says, “Let’s retrace his steps. He took his vehicle, right? I don’t care how long it takes, pull CCTV, check gas stations in the vicinity, schools, everything. If we can triangulate his phone, do it. Find him."
“I will, sir,” Marlow says, without moving, "What about him?"
Lincoln glances at Daniel inside the Infirmary, “He doesn't leave my sight," he says.
“What other options do we have? I'm not losing anyone else."
Forgoing his apprehension, Marlow said, “It’s your call, Lincoln.”
Within twenty minutes, Lincoln arrives at the museum with a SWAT team. Staring at the building, he feels a sudden surge of anxiety, dread, and a strange sense of relief, knowing this will all be over soon.
“Are you okay?” a voice asks.
His eyes move to the rearview mirror, and Lincoln can see Daniel Matthews in the back seat. Still awaiting a response from Autumn, Lincoln checks his cellphone and re-reads his message to Lynn.
“I'm ready for this to be over,” he said, tightening the cilice around his waist.
Looking through the window at the commotion outside the museum, Daniel responds, “This isn't your fault, Detective.”
Reminded of his conversation with Seth Steward, Lincoln ignores the words, "Let's go."
Both men exit the vehicle, and Marlow joins them.
"Kullen is sending in a bomb squad," Marlow said, "We've set up an observation terminal towards the south entrance. I'll move the witness there."
As the men separate, Daniel, notices the news crews positioned themselves just outside the parking lot. He stares at them approvingly.
Lincoln waded through his grief and reached Agent Marlow, who was relaying a message via radio.
“Get it done,” Kullen said.
Standing with the Agent, Lincoln asks for a breakdown of the situation.
“Come with me.”
Lincoln follows Kullen towards a police car, and the Agent removes the museum floor plans from his pocket. He lays the map on the car's hood and specifies the trap locations.
“The entrances are blocked off,” he said, “There’s no way through. Now, I’ve got a team working to deactivate the traps, but it’s going to take some time.”
“Have you had any communication with the survivors?”
Drawing a line on the map with his finger, Kullen says, “Not yet, but I’ve spoken with the construction crew, and they’re building an expansion right over here.”
TO BE CONTINUED
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2023.05.29 20:34 UnusualBet8331 Reapplicant App Review and School List
Hi all, I'll be reapplying to medical school and was hoping for some guidance on a school list/ any potential deficits in my application. From the feedback I received my MCAT and timing of my application were the primary reasons I was unsuccessful. I have tried to address both and now want to properly curate my school list.
- cGPA: 3.86, sGPA: 3.77
- MCAT: 498 (1st take after mother passed away), 515 retake
- State: Texas resident
- Ethnicity/Race: URM black female, South African born and raised, came to the U.S to finish high school and pursue college. First to graduate college in the U.S and first to pursue medicine in my family. English is my second language, so I apologize in advance for any typos.
- Undergraduate Institution: T-20 private school.
- Clinical Experience: 1200 hours as a Chief Scribe in an ED, 200 hrs as an EMS volunteer with my school, 300 hrs developing and implementing HIV initiatives in rural communities in Soweto.
- Research: ~1300 hrs in clinical research lab developing haptic alarms for use in the ICU (no publications, did present virtually via zoom to our international team), 240 hrs of wet lab research on neurodegenerative diseases at Baylor College of Medicine (no publications), 200 hrs of psychology research in human navigation, currently doing 2 years of full time epidemiology research based in South Africa at Harvard ( 1 co-author publication).
- Shadowing: ~ 240hrs family med, 100 hrs sports medicine, 100 hrs OR shadowing, 100 hrs shadowing rural medicine physicians at Bara hospital in Soweto.
- Non-clinical Volunteering: ~400 hrs suicide hotline volunteer (taking calls), 1400 hrs founded a tutoring and mentorship program for black and brown youth interested in STEM in my city, 400 hrs teaching ESL and health literacy to immigrants and refugees through a curriculum I created.
- Other: President of Global health club at college, President of NSCS chapter at college, served as a Head Resident Advisor for 3 years. Was a TA for a higher level neuroscience course at college.
- Work experience wise I've been a personal trainer for 6 months in my gap year primarily working in the 5th ward, worked at a janitor to make ends meet throughout my gap years, and started my own small business braiding hair on campus.
- Hobbies: Fitness. I grew up overweight due to inadequate access to nutritious food nor excercise, this majorly affected my self-confidence so in my later teens I began to take up weightlifting and was able to build my self-confidence. I also training to be an MMA fighter, and do small local fights on the weekends.
Other: I qualify for FAP, and will be applying via both TMDAS and AMCAS. My narrative centers around growing up disadvantaged in a rural community, and navigating a new life in the U.S/ how I hope to advocate for black/brown communities as a physician.
I appreciate any advice on my app/ school list suggestions! Have a great day!
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2023.05.29 20:18 MatoroTBS Kaiserreich Beta 0.25 - ‘On the Wide Steppe’
After several years, the Eastern Europe Rework is complete, as the release of the Ukraine rework signals the end of an era for Kaiserreich. We learned a lot from the development process, with the Eastern Europe Rework being released incrementally, unlike the single large update that gave much of the China rework. With each successive release, we try our best to reach new heights with the mod, and to build on the work that was done beforehand, and both of these aims particularly apply to the Eastern Europe Rework. Our efforts remain ongoing on the reworks of all European majors, and the team members who worked on Ukraine have already moved on to work on Russia, Spain and Austria-Hungary. But for now, we are pleased to bring you our latest release, and we hope you enjoy it! Changes
- Updated the format of the Country Selection screen.
- Added new introduction screens for several countries, including the majors and notable minors.
- Removed the cap on the war support debuffs that is present in vanilla HOI4, applied by casualties, bombing and lost convoys, and decreased the rate of the war support decay.
- Countries now will lose 20% war support if at war, regardless of it being a defensive or offensive war.
- Reduced the Chinese “Unequal Treaties” resource export malus to 60%.
Reworked/Expanded Focus Trees
Tweaked Focus Trees
- Lebanon - overhauled political and military trees
- Ottoman Empire - added four new national foci for NatPops
- Added new alerts informing the player of impending declarations of war.
- Added events alerting the player when the AI has given them land in annexation events.
- Added annexation events for the Northern Caucasus, Corsica, the Kuban, Nice, Savoy and Syrmia.
- Added a new “Ostpolitik” decision category for Germany, detailing their relations with their eastern allies.
New Custom Country Paths
- Cuba (expanded current options)
- West Indies Federation (expanded current options)
- New portraits
- American Union State: Robert Melville Danford
- Australasia: Henry Douglas Wynter
- Bharatiya Commune: Madhav Sadashivrao Golwalkar, Madan Mohan Malaviya, Sarojini Naidu, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
- Union of Britain: George Nathan
- Bulgaria: Manol Vasev
- Cambodia: Son Ngoc Thanh
- Chile: Oscar Escudero Otárola
- Cuba: Juan Blas Hernández
- Combined Syndicates of America: Edward Allen Carter Jr., William Edward Foster, Daniel Webster Hoan, Campbell Carrington Johnson, James Kelly Parsons, Hyman Godalia Rickover, David Monroe Shoup
- Commune of France: Henri Adeline, Florimond Bonte, Jean-Édouard Verneau
- El Salvador: Salvador Castañeda Castro, Maximiliano Hernández Martínez
- French Republic: Paul Reynaud
- Germany: Wilhelm II, Wilhelm III (civilian & military)
- Greece: Georgios Papandreou
- Illyria: Stjepan Radić
- Latvia: Constitutional Assembly
- Lebanon: Anthony Peter Arida
- Kurdistan: Bakr Sidqi
- Malaya: Zhuang Mingli
- Mountain Republic: Ali Mitayev
- Ottoman Empire: Abdülmecid II
- Papua New Guinea: Sumsuma
- Paraguay: Higinio Morínigo Martínez
- Russia: Pavel Milyukov
- Serbia: Petar Zivkovic
- Shandong: Wu Huawen, Lu Jin
- Siam: Phraya Phaholponpayuhasena, Rama IX, Paribatra Sukhumbhand, Sarit Thanarat
- Slovenia: Leon Rupnik
- Kingdom of Spain: Emilio Mola Vidal
- Taiwan: Lin Xiantang, Lin Xiongzheng, Xie Xuehong
- Tripolitania: Ahmad Faqih Hasan
- Ukraine: Marko Bezruchko, Roman Dashkeyvch, Petro Diachenko, Opanas Fedenko, Oleksii Federov, Vasyl Fylonovych, Nykyfir Hryhoriiv, Yevhen Konovalets, Isaak Mazepa, Mykhailo Omelianovych-Pavlenko, Vsevolod Petriv, Kostiantyn Prisovskyi, Sviatoslav Shramchenko, Oleksandr Shulhyn, Oleksandr Shumskyi, Leonid Stupnytskyi, Mykola Stsiborskyi, Yurii Svirskyi, Yurii Tiutiunnyk, Oleksandr Udovychenko, Omelian Volokh, Vasyl Vyshyvanyi, Oleksandr Zahrodskyi
- Tweaked portraits
- Argentina: Pedro Eugenio Aramburu, Isaac Francisco Rojas
- Bohemia: Viktor Hoppe
- Commune of France: Aubert Frère
- Galicia & Lodomeria: Hnat Stefaniv, Dmytro Vitovskyi
- Liangguang: Li Zongren (changed uniform)
- New advisor portraits
- Germany: Reichskolonialamt
- Lebanon: Khayreddine al-Ahdab, Rashid Baydoun, Michel Chiha, Philibert Collet, Jacob of Ghazir, Selim el Khoury, Rose Shahfa
- Princely Federation: Council of Princes
- Russia: Aleksandr Novikov, Mikhail Yangel
- Somalia: Assembly of Clans
- Syria: Army Air Command / Army Naval Arm
- Taiwan: Chen Fengyuan, Lan Gaochuan, Jian Ji, Cai Peihuo, Riad el-Solh, Jiang Weishui, Liao Wenkui, Liao Wenyi, Lin Xiantang, Lin Xiongzheng, Xie Xuehong
- Ukraine: Asan Sabri Aivazov, Rostyslav Bereziuk-Voloshyn, Petro Bolbochan, Mykola Boretskyi, Mykhailo Bilynskyi, Volodymyr Chekhivskyi, Ivan Cherniakhovskyi, Dmytro Dontsov, Dmytro Doroshenko, Oleksandr Dovzhenko, Solomon Goldelman, Oleksandr Hadd, Borys Homzyn, Oleksandr Hrekiv, Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, Hryhorii Hrynko, Borys Huber, Andrii Hulyi-Hulenko, Dzhambulat Kanukov, Pavlo Khrystiuk, Andrii Khvylia, Mykola Khvyliovyi, Ihor Kistiakovskyi, Volodymyr Kedrovskyi, Mykola Kochubei, Vasyl Kochubei, Serhii Koroliov, Volodymyr Korostovets, Mykola Kovalevskyi, Levko Kovaliv, Oleksii Kozlovskyi, Ahatanhel Krymskyi, Andrii Livytskyi, Yurii Lypa, Ivan Lytvynenko, Mykola Maksymov, Arnold Margolin, Borys Martos, Andrii Melnyk, Mykola Mikhnovskyi, Zinaida Mirna, Yakiv Moraleyvch, Kyrylo Moskalenko, Vasyl Murashko, Andrii Nikovskyi, Oleh Olzhych & Olena Teliha, Kyrylo Osmak, Serhii Ostrovidov, Yurii Otmarshtain, Viktor Pavlenko, Anatolii Pisotskyi, Andrii Pokrovskyi, Mykhailo Poloz, Viacheslav Prokopovych, Serhii Rudenko, Volodymyr Salskyi, Volodymyr Savchenko-Bilskyi, Fedosii Shchus, Pavlo Shandruk, Oleksandr Shapoval, Serhii Shemet, Oleksandr Skoropys-Yoltukhovskyi, Zakhar Sliusarenko, Olena Stepaniv, Fedir & Mykhailo Tereshchenko, Vasyl Tiutiunnyk, Stepan Tymoshenko, Metropolitan Vasyl, Mykhailo Volobuiev, Serhii Yefremov, Maik Yokhansen, Vsevolod Zmiienko
- United Baltic Duchy: Baltische Landeswehrkommission
- Added some new generic American, British and German general portraits.
- Added a generic “Council of Advisors” advisor portrait.
- Added new national spirit icons for Chinese splinters, Ethiopia and Ukraine.
- Updated the Irish national focus icons for their army, navy and air force.
- Updated several Indian national focus icons.
- Added new national focus icons for Ukraine.
- Added new flags for the Bharatiya Commune, RadSoc Centroamerica, Hindustan, Madagascar, socialist Ukraine, Taiwan, Transamur and native-led Zimbabwe.
- Tweaked the flag for the West Indies Federation.
- Updated the flag render of Kolchak-led Transamur
- Fixed NatPop Egypt using the wrong flag.
- Updated the icons for the Artillery traits for commanders.
- Moved and resized the paper clip icon used in all event pictures.
- Added and tweaked the icons, names and models for the tanks and planes used by multiple countries across the mod.
- Added some custom infantry weapon icons for Austro-Hungarian constituents and White Ruthenia.
- Fixed a Mongolian leader being used as a generic leader portrait.
- Removed the Blackshirt insignia from a vanilla division icon.
- Updated Ireland’s event pictures.
- Updated the resolution and colouring on an old loading screen.
- Reconfigured the Music user interface and reformatted the track titles to ensure they fit into the interface properly.
- Added “Mars Genderang Kemenangan (March to the Sound of Victory)” for Insulindia.
- Removed “Rayuan Pulau Kelapa (Love of the Coconut Island)” for Insulindia.
- Added “Two Brothers Were Going There” for Russia.
- Added “Black Clouds Cover Over the Ruins”, "Cossacks Were Riding", “Ked my pryishla karta (This is the Map)”, "Long Live, Free Ukraine", "Oh, Grow You Dry Oak“, “Oh, On the Mountain the Reapers are Harvesting”, “Oi, vydno selo (Oh, You Can See the Village)”, "There's a Willow in the Field" for Ukraine.
- Fixed music not playing correctly for Azerbaijan, Madagascar, Mali and Zanzibar.
- Fixed “Protect the Yellow River” playing for non-Chinese countries.
- Fixed several tracks from vanilla HOI4 not playing, tweaked when some tracks from vanilla are likely to play, and renamed several vanilla tracks to more Kaiserreich-appropriate titles.
- Added more naval bases to the Bharatiya Commune and Princely Federation.
- Added Bastogne as a victory point.
- Fixed the French city of Verdun being too close to the German border.
- Adjusted the shapes of Dalmatia and Syrmia.
- Tweaked Morocco’s provinces.
- Fixed an invalid Moroccan railway.
- Added Terneuzen as a victory point.
- Increased the Infrastructure level in India.
- Updated the eastern Ottoman railway around Kars.
- Re-added the Sea of Marmara as a strategic region, to fix issues with AI pathfinding in the Aegean due to the blocked straits.
- Fixed Iquitos’ location to Peru from Ecuador.
- Improved supply situation in and around Transamur.
- Increased the supply availability between Crimea and Kherson.
- Removed the strait between Courland and Saaremaa.
- North America
- Rebalanced American war support and stability.
- Reduced the amount of military factories given by the factory conversion decisions, to avoid hobbling the AI.
- Increased the priority given by American civil war participants to building military factories during the Second American Civil War.
- Revised the combat AI for the participants of the Second American Civil War.
- Replaced the American Union State general Jacob Devers with Robert Danford.
- Buffed Canada’s starting army and war support.
- Canada’s NatPops no longer make John Diefenbaker their leader, as Henry Herbert Stevens stays in the position.
- Adjusted several Canadian and Combined Syndicate character names to include the nicknames they are most commonly known as.
- Renamed William Zebulon Foster to William Edward Foster, as he was never actually named Zebulon.
- Nerfed the Combined Syndicates of America commanders Robert Sharon Allen, Smedley Darlington Butler, Evans Fordyce Carlson, Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr, Herbert Charles Heitke, Campbell Carrington Johnson, Robert Hale Merriman, Maurice Rose and David Monroe Shoup, each by one skill level.
- Nerfed the military advisor traits of the Combined Syndicates of America’s Smedley Darlington Butler, Evans Fordyce Carlson, Bessie Coleman, William Rea Furlong, Eddie August Henry Schneider and David Monroe Shoup.
- Added Jacob Loucks Devers, from the American Union State, and Campbell Carrington Johnson, as generals for the Combined Syndicates of America.
- Removed George H. Cannon as a general for the Combined Syndicates of America.
- Added a Chief of Army role to the Combined Syndicates of America’s commander James Kelly Parsons.
- Removed Robert Sharon Allen’s Chief of Army role for the Combined Syndicates of America.
- Added the Armour Officer trait to Robert Sharon Allen, the Organiser trait to Robert Hale Merriman, the Cavalry Officer trait to Benjamin Oliver Davis Sr and the Chief Engineer trait to Hyman Godolia Rickover.
- Removed the Reckless trait from the Combined Syndicates of America’s Maurice Rose.
- The Combined Syndicates of America’s naval advisors are now available from either of the “American People's Navy” or “New Naval Plan” national foci, instead of just the former.
- Nerfed the initial “Red Guards” national spirit for the Combined Syndicates of America.
- Improved the effect of the Combined Syndicates of America’s “Roll Out The AO-2” and “The Red Dragon” national foci.
- Increased the duration of the “New European Military Schools” national focus for the Combined Syndicates of America.
- Revised the AI’s logic in supporting or abandoning Hawaii.
- Hawaii’s faction-joining decisions are now quicker.
- The American Union State now leaves any factions if couped by Pelley, and a player-led leader of the Entente can choose to attack him in return.
- The United States now starts with medium tank designs.
- Player-controlled United States can now decide whether or not the assassination attempt on Huey Long or Jack Reed is successful.
- Removed “Canberra” from the America ship name lists, due to its presence being an OTL reference.
- Central America & the Caribbean
- Added a unique flag for Augusto César Sandino’s Centroamerica.
- Removed “Fulgencio Batista” from Cuba’s ship name lists.
- Added party descriptions to Cuba.
- The Dominican Republic’s Trujillo now loses his advisor roles after being fired.
- South America
- Demoted Argentina’s Pedro Eugenio Aramburu from Field Marshal to General.
- Tweaked the map colour of NatPop Brazil.
- Brazilian puppet Patagonia (the Kingdom of Araucania) now starts with a core on Neuquén.
- Releasing Brazil now retains Acre and the borderlands for separate decisions.
- Added a Head of Army role to Brazilian Field Marshal Eurico Gaspar Dutra.
- Nerfed the Head of Army trait belonged to Brazil’s Euclides de Oliveira Figueiredo.
- Removed the option to create a puppet Ecuador on the Galapagos Islands, as it resulted in Ecuador getting too many volunteers in subsequent wars.
- Updated and standardised the names of many Paraguayan characters.
- Western & Southern Europe
- Added Breton endonyms.
- Replaced the Union of Britain’s George Sutherland Aitken with George Nathan.
- Decreased the skill level of the Union of Britain’s Thomas Jacob Hutton.
- Added Henri Adeline, Florimond Bonte, Georges Revers and Jean-Édouard Verneau as generals to the Commune of France.
- Added Henri Adeline as a military advisor to the Commune of France.
- The Commune of France’s Maurice Gamelin is improved to a level 3 field marshal, with a different Chief of Army trait, but now has the Old Guard trait.
- The Commune of France’s Clement Blanc now has the Artillery Officer trait, Charles Delestraint now has the Armour Officer trait, Diego Brosset has swapped Infantry Officer for Engineer, and Raoul Magrin Vernerey has swapped Adaptable and Infantry Officer for Commando and Harsh Leader.
- The Commune of France’s Marie-Pierre Koenig now has a Chief of Army role.
- Increased the army experience reward given to the Commune of France’s “Communal Army” and “Grand Army Reform” national spirits.
- Countries can no longer choose not to attend the Internationale Congresses.
- Moved the general Aubert Frère to the Commune of France, from the French Republic.
- The Commune of France’s Jacques Sadoul is changed from a general to a political advisor.
- Removed colonial names from the Commune of France’s submarine name list.
- Added Alessandro Sardi as a general for the Italian Republic.
- AI-controlled Socialist Republic of Italy will now attempt to perform naval invasions on the Republic of Italy.
- The Canadian decision to support the Orange Order in socialist-controlled Ireland now spawns Northern Irish units rather than Irish ones.
- Portugal will now actively try to annex the Congo in peace conferences.
- Portugal can now intervene in the Third Boer War.
- Halved the political power cost in the United Kingdom’s reconstruction decisions.
- The United Kingdom can now ask for the return of Canadian and Australasian fleets.
- The United Kingdom’s naval national foci have been considerably nerfed.
- Added the option for a player to refuse handing over the leadership of the Entente to the United Kingdom, while playing a country other than Canada.
- Central & Northern Europe
- Revised the frequencies at which Austria goes each of its three paths.
- Pluralist Austria can no longer integrate any parts of Germany.
- Non-pluralist Austria can now core all of Germany.
- Austria can no longer potentially integrate the German-speaking part of Switzerland, unless they have reformed the German Empire.
- Austria and Germany now start with medium tank designs.
- Austria now retains south Germany when releasing the German Empire, to be decided in its own annexation event.
- The Austrian-led German Empire, and German splinters, can now integrate German border regions, and no longer get instant cores.
- Added new descriptions to the late infantry technology for Austria-Hungary and its constituents.
- Denmark now starts with a core on Greenland, which no longer causes resistance for any other occupying power.
- Added English translations of Finland’s party names.
- Lwow is now not automatically given to Poland in the latter’s annexation event, unless its controller chooses to give all of Galicia & Lodomeria to Poland.
- Updated the events surrounding the division of Galicia to Poland and Ukraine.
- Germany’s integration of Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland is now compliance-based.
- Improved Manfred von Richtofen’s unique trait.
- Added air bases as rewards to German aviation national foci.
- Improved Germany’s AI at defending from naval invasions.
- Expanded the release of the North German Federation to match the standard of the other three German splinters.
- Germany now starts with interwar anti-tank technology.
- Germany’s “Anti-Russian Foreign Policy” national spirit is now removed from countries that join Russia’s faction.
- Replaced the news event picture from the “Fall of Amsterdam” event.
- The Netherlands’ integration of Flanders is now compliance-based.
- Decreased the war-related stability debuff given to the Nordic Federation by the “Nordic Neutrality” national spirit.
- The Nordic Federation will now send volunteers to Finland and Germany in the Weltkrieg.
- Reichspakt Poland will now get kicked from their faction, should they declare war on a Habsburg-led Austria during the Weltkrieg.
- Republican Poland having a failed nationalist coup will now prevent the nationalist uprising from occurring.
- AI-controlled Republican Poland will now have a nationalist coup less often.
- Increased Poland’s priorities in completing its economic decisions.
- Poland can now only complete Operation Parasol if it has less than 20% surrender progress.
- Poland will now lose some monarchy influence when the King appoints Studnicki after the election, even if the Circle won the election.
- Tweaked the AI’s event choice priority in Poland’s Clover Revolution.
- Changed the icon for Poland’s “20th Century Cavalry Tactics” national spirit.
- Releasing the Rhenish German splinter state now requires control of Cologne or Essen.
- Added Bogumil Vošnjak as the NatPop leader of Slovenia.
- Added Leon Rupnik as a general for Slovenia.
- Increased the amount of steel that Sweden gains in Kiruna.
- Updated several of Switzerland’s national focus icons.
- The Kingdom of Two Sicilies Confederation now gives annexed territory to its Italian puppets.
- Added two starting military factories to the Kingdom of Two Sicilies.
- Eastern & Southeast Europe
- The AI will now prioritise giving lands in the Balkans to an ally, rather than releasing puppets.
- Added an alternate description Bulgaria’s “Anti-Belgrade Pact”, should the Belgrade Pact be already defeated.
- The Estonian admiral Johan Pitka no longer starts in the United Baltic Duchy.
- Added party descriptions to Latvia.
- Latvia can now organise a state visit to NatPop Russia, so long as the latter is Realpolitik.
- Buffed several Latvia traits, national spirits and national foci.
- Added more trains to Latvia’s starting stockpiles.
- Added air bases to decisions and national foci rewards for Lithuania and the United Baltic Duchy.
- Added option in Macedonia’s annexation event, for it to be offered to Bulgaria or Serbia in exchange for an alliance.
- Increased the amount of war support drain that Romania receives from integration of Transylvania.
- Halved the maluses incurred by Romania’s “Great Game”.
- Romania can now attack Austria immediately if Austria is at war, ignoring normal revolt preparations in Transylvania.
- Romania is now able to core Bucovina without owning Transylvania.
- Romania will now no longer try to join Russia’s faction if they previously were at war.
- Russia’s annexation event can now result in the release of the Mountain Republic, made up of part of the Northern Caucasus under Russian control
- Made multiple tweaks to Russia’s political power, stability, and war support situation.
- Expansionist Russia can now invite Romania to the Moscow Accord, so long as Germany has been beaten and Serbia is also in the faction.
- Moved Russian military advisors Sergey Korolyov and Sergey Rudenko to Ukraine, replacing them with Aleksandr Novikov and Mikhail Yangel.
- Added a volunteer limit bonus to the “Twilight Struggle” national spirit, associated with the Russian/Entente event against the Internationale.
- Imperial Russia can now choose to just empower the Hohenzollerns for a puppet German Empire, instead of a Romanov.
- Socialist Russia now uses a slightly different green.
- Socialist Russia will now declare war on Central Asia before joining the Internationale.
- Nerfed Socialist Russia’s war support and starting stability.
- Added more AutDem party popularity for Russia’s Wrangel path.
- Serbia will now keep its core on Montenegro, if it loses the Fourth Balkan War.
- Added a two year truce and non-aggression pact to the Belgrade Pact’s Treaty of Budapest with Austria.
- Added generic Ukrainian name lists.
- Tweaked costs of several Eastern European Defence Cooperation decisions.
- Replaced the consumer goods cost from Eastern European Defence Cooperation contributions, with a political power cost.
- The United Baltic Duchy’s integration of Latgale is now compliance-based.
- Decreased the weekly stability loss from White Ruthenia’s “Solidifying Our Identity” national spirit.
- Added a new description a White Ruthenian upgrade to the infantry weapon technology, featuring Najman’s hand mortar.
- Adamawa and Cameroon can now claim and integrate Ubangi-Shari on their own during the annexation event, not just when granted by their overlord or ally.
- Removed Cape Verde-Guinea as a releasable puppet, as Cape Verde remains an integral part of Portugal.
- Adjusted the starting borders of the Manikongo’s secession from Mittelafrika.
- Added additional outcomes for Ethiopia’s DKAEB event chain.
- Changed some Ethiopian national spirit icons.
- The French Republic’s “Indestructible Bonds” national focus now gives claims on the states changed between the French Republic and the United Kingdom.
- The French Republic’s “Expand Communications in the Colonies” national focus now gives a bonus to the Psychological Warfare agency upgrade, if the “La Résistance” DLC is enabled.
- Changed the French Republic’s starting occupation laws, to match the in-game lore.
- The French Republic now gets a compliance bonus on Chad, after the completion of the “Fate of Equatorial Africa” national focus, and the merging of the area’s administration with French West Africa.
- The French Republic can now no longer call its allies in to help with the native revolts, unless facing three or more at once.
- The French Republic no longer uses African-style generic commanders.
- Increased the weekly stability debuff and decreased the party popularity stability modifier applied to the German Government in Exile’s “On Borrowed Time” national spirit.
- Removed Katanga’s national focus to integrate itself into Südwestafrika.
- Tweaked the visibility of some Katanagan national foci dependent on availability.
- Adjusted the conditions for Mittelafrika’s collapse. It will now only happen as a result of von Göring’s failure to quell the revolts against his rule, and for the German Government in Exile.
- Added leader descriptions to Mittelafrika.
- Replaced the stability bonus in Mittelafrika’s “Spirit of von Lettow-Vorbeck” national spirit with a war support bonus.
- Kenya and Nigeria are now allowed to secede during the Mittelafrikan collapse, if not previously subjugated.
- Von Göring’s Mittelafrika can no longer become free before dealing with its revolts.
- Added a tooltip for Mittelafika’s von Göring resigning, so that it's clearer this is what is happening, and removed its associated extensive stability and political power penalties.
- Rewrote several Mittelafrikan events, including the setup for the Kikuyu uprising. Also removed several outdated events.
- Removed Ludwig Bockholt and Theodor von Hassel as potential replacement leaders of Mittelafrika.
- Added party names and leaders to Nyasaland.
- South Africa’s Third Boer War peace now only requires a 180 day stalemate, instead of an entire year.
- Added bypasses to two of South Africa’s Nuweveld national foci.
- Rebalanced much of the Third Boer War.
- Caucasus & Middle-East
- Alash Orda, Bukhara, Khiva, and Turkestan can now claim and core Ashkhabad.
- Tweaked the map colours for Alash Orda and Khiva, and updated it entirely to Turkestan.
- Georgia can join the Reichspakt when World Tension is over 75%.
- Iraq’s Yusuf Salman Yusuf no longer uses a picture of a living person.
- Added several new political advisors to Lebanon.
- Tweaked multiple Lebanese events, modifiers and traits.
- Added more content to Lebanon’s war with Syria, and its build-up.
- Added an option for player-controlled Najd & Hasa to leave the Cairo Pact.
- Removed a reference referring to Mustafa Kemal as “Atatürk”, which he would not be called in the Kaiserreich timeline.
- Decreased some of the political power gain for the late-game Ottoman Empire.
- NatPop Ottomans will now also have Azerbaijan rebel against them, during their large revolt.
- Removed the ability of the NatPop Ottomans to join the Moscow Accord after defeating their large revolt.
- Added Turkish endonyms for Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Greece, Western Persia and Tunisia.
- Decreased the cost of several of Turkey’s expansion decisions.
- Updated the icon of Turkey’s “Turkish-Iraqi Economic Accord” national spirit.
- Tweaked the effect of a few of Yemen’s national foci.
- East Asia
- Added a description to Anqing’s Sun Liren.
- AI China will now always annex Mongolia, Tibet and Xinjiang.
- Removed the “Autonomy” puppets of the above Chinese conquests.
- Chinese concessions will always be returned by socialist countries, if they are requested.
- China can no longer declare unification if a neighbouring country is still hostile.
- Clarified the requirement of the Northwest War being over, for China’s decisions to ally with the Kumul Khatate, Ma Clique and Xinjiang.
- Wuhan now merges from its constituent parts, should it be made the capital of China.
- An AI-controlled Chinese splinter that controls Beijing will never now accept a submission demand.
- Adjusted East Turkestan’s national foci to account for potentially being a puppet.
- Fengtian can now be invited to the Japanese economic sphere.
- Japan’s “Operation Ichi-Gou” now bypasses if the strongest Chinese splinter is defeated.
- Japan’s peace with Germany will now result in all German allies being removed from the Legation Council.
- Japan’s “Fading Sun” mission will autocomplete if Japan is directly invaded successfully.
- Japan will now remove countries from the Co-Prosperity Sphere economic bloc if they are puppeted by another country.
- Japan will now add non-aggression pacts and truces upon peacing out with European countries, and mutual wargoals will be removed.
- Removed land-based carrier planes from Japan’s starting air force.
- Renamed Liangguang’s HH Kung to Kong Xiangxi.
- The Nanjing clique now doesn’t lose the “Conspicuous Kleptocracy” national spirit until it completes the “Government by Coercion” national focus.
- Manchu Qing will lose the general Sun Liren, if he is with them and they adopt a pro-German outlook.
- Merged Qing’s “Demand Warlords Bend the Knee” national focus into the “Pacify the Nation” national focus, to avoid them having a focus with potentially no effect.
- Russia can now choose whether to retain Port Arthur or not when releasing Manchuria.
- Added Wu Huawen and Lu Jin to Shandong as generals and Military High Command advisors.
- Changed the Military High Command trait of Shandong’s Jin Yune.
- Shanghai now turns PatAut or NatPop if puppeted.
- Rebalanced some of Shanxi’s Balance of Power mechanics to have a more even outcome.
- Sichuan is now set as a potential government when Chen Jiongming arrives.
- Sichuan’s Tian Songyao is now retired if Liu Wenhui loses the “Two Lius' War”.
- Added descriptions to Taiwan’s new puppet leaders, and changed the name given to the island depending on its ideology.
- Added seconds-in-command and political advisors to Taiwan.
- Added a division limit bonus to Transamur’s “Greater Transamur Ambitions” national spirit.
- Yunnan’s Zhu De can now align with Chen Mingshu, if the Left Kuomintang are defeated in the League Collapse War.
- South Asia & Oceania
- AI Afghanistan will now always accept Russia's demand of subjugation if isolated.
- Added Henry Douglas Wynter as a general for Australasia.
- Increased the level of Australasian generals Horace Clement Hugh Robertson and Iven Giffard Mackay, adding the “Desert Fox” trait to the former.
- Renamed the Bharatiya Commune’s Sardar Patel to Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel.
- Renamed several of the Bharatiya’s political parties.
- Removed the delay in uprisings involving the Bharatiya Commune and Princely Federation.
- Increased the starting stability and war support for the Bharatiya Commune.
- Moved the commanders Kodandera Madappa Cariappa, Jayanto Nath Chaudhuri and Satyawant Mallanna Shrinagesh to the Bharatiya Commune, from the Princely Federation, Madras and Mysore, respectively.
- Removed the Bharatiya Commune’s commanders Naseem Haider and Mahendra Pratap.
- Burma now starts the game with cores on Kachin, Upper and Lower Shan.
- Expanded Cambodia’s annexation event options to now include the country being released as a republic, or a kingdom with one of two different dynasties.
- The Dutch East Indies accepting the Congress of Batavia now causes them to be instantly annexed by the Netherlands.
- Fiji is no longer given back to Australasia, if puppeted.
- The Dominion of India is now known as the “Republic of India” if it leaves the Entente, rather than just “India”.
- The Dominion of India no longer renames itself to just "India" after reunifying India.
- Increased the starting army and stockpiles of the Dominion of India and Princely Federation.
- Improved the starting “Rifle Division” template for the Dominion of India.
- Added three starting offmap military factories to the Dominion of India.
- Added a tooltip to let the player know which states will be transferred upon India seizing Ceylon.
- Added an option for India to be declared on by Germany, should the former seize Ceylon.
- Replaced the manpower requirement in Indian national focuses with a World Tension level requirement.
- Added Hindustan as its own releasable, separate to the Bharatiya Commune.
- Indian splinters now get a claim on Sikkim upon releasing Bhutan or Nepal.
- Each Indian splinter will now try not to pursue territorial claims until after reunification.
- Renamed several Indian national foci.
- Added Sarojini Naidu as SocLib, Madan Mohan Malaviya as SocCon, Madhav Sadashivrao Golwalkar as AutDem/PatAut and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar as NatPop puppet leaders of India, respectively.
- Replaced Chin Peng with Zhuang Mingli as the leader of socialist Malaya, due to the former only starting secondary education in 1936.
- Moved the commander Akbar Khan to Pakistan, from the Bharatiya Commune.
- Added party descriptions to Papua New Guinea, and a socialist leader and second-in-command.
- Increased the Consumer Goods debuff for the Princely Federations’ “Backwards Economy” national spirit.
- Replaced the free unit spawn from a Princely Federations’ event, with a minor war support bonus.
- Removed the Princely Federations’ “Pact with the North” national focus, since that will now always happen by necessity.
- Removed the initial division recovery rate bonus in the Princely Federation’s “Decentralised Rule” national spirit.
- Replaced the division recovery rate malus with an organisational malus in the Princely Federation’s “Rebellious Princes” national spirit.
- Improved the AI for the revolters against the Princely Federation.
- Nerfed the Princely Federation’s starting stability and equipment.
- Added some Operation names to Siam.
Change notes continue in the comments due to Reddit's character limit.
- Added an option to the in-game start menu, linking to the page where a player can report a bug directly to the Devs, allowing them to be fixed more quickly.
- Enabling integration mid-game now applies the correct resistance and occupation law.
- Increased baseline unit limit bonus to +8 from +5.
- Added two new Ukrainian quotes for the loading screen.
- Replaced a Boris Savinkov quote with one that was said by Boris himself, instead of a character in a book he had written.
- Renamed the “Artillery Specialist” trait to “Artillery Leader”. Made “Fortress Buster” trait now available to commanders holding either “Artillery Leader” or “Engineer” traits, and the Artillery Military High Command role is now unlocked by “Artillery Leader” instead of “Fortress Buster”.
- Buffed the effects of several political advisor traits.
- Overhauled the tank design templates and armour division composition, and number of tank divisions that the AI will try to research and create.
- Tweaked the AI’s air production priority between close air support and fighters.
- Decreased the cost of awarding medals to division commanders by 50%.
- Increased the AI’s priority in circumstantially defending their allies’ borders.
- Generic advisors no longer have the “Ideological Crusader” or “Quartermaster General” traits.
- Increased the AI’s priority in hiring a Chief of Army, in comparison to Chiefs of Navy and Air Force.
- Improved the AI’s decisions in choosing the Army Academy spirits.
- Added generic Arab name lists.
- Increased the AI’s willingness to perform naval invasions against enemies with a larger navy.
- Multiple typo corrections and text inconsistency removals.
We hope you enjoy playing Kaiserreich as much as we did making it! - The KR4 Team: 84F8D8, Alpinia, Arvidus, Augenis, Blackfalcon501, Carmain, Chazem, Chiang Kai-shrek, Chiron29, Cody, Conchobhar, DuoDex, El Daddy, Fedex, Flamefang, Gaboemi, Gideones, Hamfast, hildagrim, Ido, Igor050301, JazzyHugh, Jeankedezeehond, Jonny BL, Juliet Wehrwolf, Kano, katieluka, Kennedy, kergely, KFateweaver, Klyntar King, Krčo, Luwofe, Matoro, McOmghall, ~mw~ // miwaco, NukeGaming, Owenomaly, PPsyrius, Pelmen, RagnoStrangeros, Rnk, Shiroe, Sonny O’Cad, SuperGreenBeans, suzuha, The Alpha Dog, The Irredentista, The Italian Jojo, Vidyaország, and Zimbabwe Salt Co.
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2023.05.29 18:36 No_Competition4897 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in TX Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings , feel free to comment here if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
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2023.05.29 18:34 Frank_Leroux Molossus, Chapter Fourteen
First Chapter Chapter Thirteen
Corporal McCoy had figured out the best reason for getting in good with an udhyr. They had four arms, therefore the hugs were twice as nice. They now lay in her room, with him lying on her bed and her lying on top of him, with her ensconced in the aforementioned hug-squared. She’d been able to get ahold of her Switch, and at the moment was in the midst of some happy early-morning gaming. Takh’s head rested upon hers with a gentle and welcome pressure while he watched her play. By now she was so used to him that even the little random clicks of his mandibles didn’t cause her any fear.
She was still trying to figure out if she and the alien XO were an ‘item’ or not. Zawahir had, with his usual enthusiasm, explained to her that both the udhyr and knuall-toua were pretty much like humans, with equal numbers of both males and females who reproduced sexually. He hadn’t gone into details on how exactly Tab A fit into Slot B, but the overall idea was clear. The auhn were a little more complicated; the ratio of females to males was more like seven or eight to one, plus there was the added wrinkle that the males were non-sapient and about as smart as the average pet dog. That had resulted in a very matriarchal society, of course, one based around clans of females protecting their stable of fertile males with appropriately auhn-like ferocity. The spider-like xyrax were…well, both. Completely hermaphroditic; there was quite a complicated social dance before they reproduced as to who was going to bear the resulting egg. McCoy was sure that, however it worked out, it would look adorable.
“So this Kirby can eat anything?” asked Takh, breaking into her ruminations.
McCoy tapped at her controls on autopilot, hoping that the damned thumbsticks wouldn’t break. Again. “Yep. Fun fact, waaay back in the 80s, Nintendo got sued by Universal Studios, who claimed that Donkey Kong was a ripoff of King Kong. John Kirby was the attorney who successfully defended them in court, and in gratitude they named this character Kirby.” She continued her tapping. “I think they gave him a sailboat as well.”
“Mmm, I must admit a sailboat sounds nice right about now. This place is very nice, but it’s a bit too cold.”
She wriggled against him. “You said it. You and me, off the coast near Nice? Floating in the warm azure waters of the Mediterranean? I can wear a nice little bikini I’ve got saved up for just such an occasion.”
“Oh! Uh, well, yes. That does indeed sound quite nice…”
She grinned. Takh was a dork, but a giant lovable dork and it was always great to get a reaction like this out of him. Even if it didn’t lead anywhere there
. As far as she knew, the udhyr reproduced like frogs. Maybe she should discreetly quiz Zawahir on the whole Tab-A into Slot-B thing, just to make sure she wasn’t setting herself up for disappointment.
Of course, she’d just managed to get to the final boss of this particular level when the siren howl of the alarm went off. Haley McCoy blinked as she went from supine four-armed cuddling to standing in an instant, placed upon the floor by Takh’s upper arms.
“The unholy hell?” she muttered, but she was already in motion as she sprinted towards her gear, laid out so as to ensure maximum efficiency in getting it all put on. “Takh?” she called out as she started strapping her armored vest on.
“Yes? What do I do?”
“Simple. Anyone comes through that door who you don’t recognize, kill ‘em.”
“I…I don’t know, I’m still understanding how different humans look from each other, I don’t want to make a mistake.”
“You’ll know,” she said with finality as she picked up her carbine and racked the slide. “Okay. Follow me…”
The door to her room smashed in as a figure clad in black armor came through screaming “Earth belongs to HUMANS!...”
That was all he got out before Takh grabbed the man’s head and simply hurled the offending figure over McCoy and into the far wall. The window set in that wall shattered with the resulting impact, making the corporal duck.
“Fuck me, Takh.” She looked at the broken figure of the oh-so-very dead intruder, then back up to the worried-looking XO. “I mean, not literally. Okay, well you can if you want to, and I for sure would like you to…you know what? Let’s put that whole discussion off to the side for now until we can sit down and have ourselves a nice long chat, okay?”
“That sounds like a very wise strategy, Haley. What do you need from me?”
She finished putting on her headset and helmet. “Right now? You need to stick right behind me while I get you to the bunker.”
“You want me behind you?” Takh’s mandibles quirked in a grin. “That sounds like a very nice place to be.”
“Stop distracting me, you giant dork.” McCoy moved towards the door with a grim set to her shoulders, ignoring the lovely fact that her alien maybe-boyfriend was now checking out her ass. She swept the outside hallway….nothing visible. Then she heard some commotion from off towards the kitchen area.
Martinez surged to his feet upon hearing the alarm, his half-eaten horizontal-cut pimento sandwich now forgotten. “What the fuck…?”
Matt was on his feet as well, with a strange look in his eyes that the corporal had never seen before. “You two. Corner. Now.” He pointed at the corner farthest from the two entrances to the kitchen.
The corporal was on the smaller side, even amongst his fellow humans, but something in the Marine’s tone made him turn and tackle the huge alien. Kexal, to his credit, somehow knew that Something Was Up and accepted the tackle, otherwise there was no way in hell that Martinez could have moved the giant creature.
Just as he did so, he caught a glimpse of a dark form, clad in full armor, holding a rifle, gliding around one of the entrances to the kitchen. In a panic, he fumbled for the pistol at his hip.
Martinez prized himself on his reflexes. But still, he had time for one blink of astonishment as Toke all but teleported himself across the ten feet of intervening space, pushing the intruder’s rifle up towards the ceiling and out of battery as his own arm flashed in a wicked arc. The corporal caught the merest glint of a small but cruelly-curved knife, like a predator’s claw, in the Marine’s fist.
There followed quite the epic spray of blood from underneath the attacker’s armpit, followed up by a few more cruel swipes which made sure that the tendons in that shoulder were destroyed and useless. Toke pulled the rifle away from the now-dangling limb.
Somehow, the black-armored attacker managed to speak in spite of what must be massive pain. “Earth will NEVER submit to…”
Toke’s voice was as hard as granite. “Tell your shit to someone who cares.”
Two more vicious swipes across the man’s throat resulted in a cascade of crimson down his black-armored front, and the would-be assassin toppled to the wooden floor.
“Martinez.” Toke’s robotic voice shocked him back into awareness.
“Got a pistol?”
“Of course.” He checked to make sure that he had it in his hand. Huh, that was strange. He didn’t remember drawing it, but there it was.
“Good.” The lean man tossed the purloined rifle towards Martinez, who caught it automatically in his off-hand. “Take this. Check this dead motherfucker for extra mags, and take ‘em. You’re on Kexal, understand? Get him safe to the bunker. Anyone you don’t know personally comes at you, you shoot ‘em.” His black, mechanical gaze shifted towards the alien. “Kexal? If Martinez goes down and someone attacks you, you have my permission to yank their arms off.”
The giant planetologist stared in horror at the bleeding and probably-dead sapient before him, then shook himself. “Of course. Yes. I’ll protect myself.”
“No need,” said Martinez as he looked back at his newly-christened charge. He racked the action on his just-acquired rifle, which looked to be a standard AR-platform civilian carbine. The corporal wished for something full-auto, but this was at least better than a pistol in terms of range and punch. “I’ll get you to safety, sir.”
He turned back to ask Matt just what the fuck was going on…but he only saw empty air.
Cécile Savoie was not having a good day. She’d accepted the position of overall chief of security at Camp David with delight…at first. Dealing with the day-to-day of protecting one of the most targeted people on the planet, that she could deal with no problem. Because it was one person. It was an unspoken agreement between all of the agents that SAILOR was the priority. Even the First Husband could be sacrificed if need be.
But then she’d had a bunch of damn aliens dropped in her lap, along with an equally weird group of special-forces types. The latter were what really ground her gears; the aliens were genuinely nice and apologetic about being such a bother, but the human soldiers were the types who would crash on your couch, drink all your beer, and then steal your sweetheart when you weren’t looking.
She crouched behind a little berm to the west of Camp David, the other members of her patrol stretched out alongside her in a roughly north-to-south line.
“Moseby! Report!” she yelled.
She heard a few thumps, then a few cracks in her earpiece which were followed up by echoing reports from the building behind her. Thankfully she heard her agent’s voice in her earpiece. “Shit! Wow, um, you’re really good with that knife…”
She then heard a muffled phrase that sounded a bit like ‘give it to me, son’, and the next voice in her ear was one she was unfamiliar with. “This is Captain Matthew Tocco, USMC, whom am I speaking with?”
The voice sounded as if generated by an AI.
“I’m Agent Savoie,” she responded. “I’m in charge of the Camp David security detail, who are you?” “I just told you who I am, Agent Savoie. And I just saved the life of one of your agents. Now. Let’s cut through any sort of jurisdictional bullshit. We have at least two confirmed active hostiles in the complex, two more are confirmed down. We’re sweeping the compound to make sure there are no others, plus making sure that our esteemed guests are safe inside the bunker. Where are you located? We need to coordinate our defenses.”
The information made her see literal red. The attackers had made it into the compound? How? There must be some angle, some safe passage made by somebody. She was going to find out who had made that safe passage, and those people would burn. Oh yes, they were all going to burn…
“West of the complex,” she snapped. “We’ve set up a perimeter along the ridge there.” “Got it, Agent Savoie. Oh, and please don’t shoot me when I show up.”
She ran through various scenarios for the next few minutes, trying to figure out who on the team had betrayed them. And there must have been such a betrayal in order to get armed hostiles into the actual buildings. Her further musing upon vengeance was cut short as a tall, lean man seemed to all but materialize next to her. He held a small, curved blade in a reverse grip in his right hand; that blade dripped red blood. She almost pointed her gun at him, then relaxed. “Captain Tocco, I presume?”
“Call me Toke.” The guy sounded like he was out for a day on the beach.
“Who the hell are you…wait, you’re with the group in there, right?”
Matt nodded. “Yep. The rest of us are in there bundling up our guests and making sure they’re all safe and sound. Actually, by now Corporal McCoy should be…”
Agent Savoie flinched again as a small but very stacked woman seemed to suddenly appear like condensing smoke at her other side, out of the brush. “Speak of the Devil, and she shall appear.”
The tall man grinned at her. “You are pretty damn good, corporal.”
“Hell that means a lot coming from you, Toke. By the way, that’s a nice kerambit. Anyways, everybody on Team Alien is tucked in and unharmed. I got Takh in there fine. Martinez even tagged a couple more bad guys while he was escorting Grakosh to the bunker. Fair warning to everybody listening on this channel, he’s gonna be aaaall sorts of smug about that and it’s gonna turn into a story of taking out four dudes before this week is out. But, right now, it looks like only four of the OPFOR made into the complex…however they did that…so the rest must be out there.” She pointed towards the leafless woods beyond the little rise.
“Any word from Shaw?” asked Toke.
Savoie narrowed her eyes. “Something bad happened in DC. Sounds like an artillery or mortar attack.”
“Shit.” McCoy looked troubled. “This is serious business, then. State player?”
“Maybe,” said Toke. “But it could be some private group with some proper funding behind ‘em. Agent Savoie, do you have any word of a helicopter or plane going down nearby?”
“A Chinook,” she replied, “Went down about thirty minutes ago thataways.” She motioned to the west, out into the wintry forest. “Then we had one of our patrols out in that direction go silent. That’s what triggered the alarm.”
Matt grunted. “Yeah, that’s how I’d do it. Make it look like a crash and infiltrate that way. Right.” He touched his ear to make sure his earpiece was seated. “You just keep this channel open, right?”
“Where are you going?” asked McCoy.
“Out there. You need eyes on assholes, and I’m gonna give that to you.”
McCoy tossed him her carbine. “At least have a gun on you, dude.”
He caught it with his off-hand, since his main hand still held the dripping-red kerambit. He grinned at her. “All right. You got a pistol?”
“Of course.” She pulled it out and racked the slide.
He tossed the rifle back to her. “Give me that instead. We’re gonna need to concentrate some proper firepower here. This might be a proper light-infantry invasion in progress. We need to organize ourselves into a skirmish line running along this ridge, south-southwest to north-northeast. Get whoever you can on your team in there out here to bolster our firepower, understand? Dig in.”
“Got it.” The little corporal’s eyes blazed with purpose as she handed her pistol to Matt. “Now go get you some.”
“Believe me, I will.”
Savoie blinked in astonishment as the tall man vanished again.
“Yeah, he kinda does that,” said McCoy. “Dude could give sneaking-around lessons to fucking Batman.” She pulled a map out of one of the pockets on her cargo pants. “Now, Agent Savoie, how many people do we have available? Let’s get ourselves properly set up.”
Wade stepped carefully over a fallen branch, his boots making almost no noise at they met the soft mulch covering the forest floor. From the curt statements in his headset, it sounded like the four heroes who’d been infiltrated into the devil’s nest had been cut down. There was no word yet if any of the alien menace had been eliminated. That was a shame, but hopefully it drew attention away from his own unit. He and his comrades made up the secondary and much more armored thrust, one which not even the vaunted Secret Service could counter. The latter were armored, yes, but only armored against pistols and they only wielded pistols themselves. He and his team had rifles, level-four body armor, helmets, and most importantly proper communications.
A voice crackled in his ear. “Hold position. The security detail is forming into a defensive line. It looks like they know we’re here.”
“Set timer?” Wade whispered into his headset. His team had a set time to accomplish their mission, before the entirety of the United States military-industrial complex landed upon their heads like the proverbial Wrath Of God. “Yes, set timer. Twenty minutes.”
There was a soft chorus of “Twenty minutes, aye,”
in Wade’s ear as he tapped his own smart-watch to start the timer. “Twenty minutes, aye,” he murmured. As he made to step over another downed branch, he paused.
Something was off. He couldn’t say why, but the air itself seemed a little more still than it should be. He turned to his left and saw a blur heading for him…he tried to raise his rifle, but it was too late…
Cécile Savoie’s head snapped up as she heard a few cracks from the treeline which could only be the sound of firearms. “Anyone see anything?” she whispered into her earpiece.
There followed a myriad of “No, ma’ams”
in her ear. “Keep a sharp eye,” she murmured. “Don’t fire on anyone not in black. We do have a friendly out there, he’s supposed to be giving us intel…”
Matt’s voice sounded in her ear. “Indeed. Bagged one of ‘em, on the outer edge of the advancing force. Looks like civvie gear, carbine is only semi-auto. This is a well-funded civilian effort, not a state actor.”
She checked her watch. “Got it. Fifteen minutes until we get backup in place, what do you need from us?” “Hmm, that explains the ‘twenty minutes’ thing. Right, they know they’re on a timetable. You all need to be, and I hate to put it this way, the meat shield. It looks like they’re going for a solid push towards you, no stealth. Fourteen hostiles all told, and if this guy’s gear is any indication they’re all up-armored. Class Four. Center of mass is no good, go for head or limbs.”
Savoie’s mouth was now dry. “Understood.” “Don’t worry, Agent. I’ll be behind them, and I’ll do what I can to sow some dissention in the ranks.”
“Wade, report!” hissed Horace into his microphone.
He took in a breath to issue another demand when a voice sounded in his ear. Horace had once gone swimming in the ocean off of Florida, and had by pure chance come across a great white shark. He still remembered the vacant gaze of the giant predator, who was probably idly wondering if Horace would make a good snack for today.
This voice brought up once again that dread; it was the voice of a pure predator. “Who is this?”
“Who the fuck are you?” “The one who just took down…Wade, was it?”
“Sidney, get eyes on Wade!” “Will do…”
There followed a long, long silence before that shark-like voice spoke again. “You just got Sidney killed too, asshole. Care to keep going? I got no problem with that. Or do you all want to call this a day? You can do that too, you know.”
“Everybody down!” Horace snapped before going prone himself. That taunting voice still sounded in his ear. “Okay, now you’re all down and less of a target. What now, genius? You got…hmmm…about twelve more minutes before all of the backup in the world arrives. And they will find you. You know what? You’d better hope they find you instead of me. Because I give less than two shits about that whole ‘Geneva Convention’ crap.”
“Maintain radio silence,” said Horace, as he tried to wriggle his way forward. “Oh, you’re still trying, Mister Leader? How cute. Let me put it this way to you fourteen…sorry, thirteen, assholes. You’re done. Nailed. The best you can hope for is to get some lawyers who want to make a name for themselves. Worst case? You get put in a room with me, and if you have any sense in what passes for your brains you will spill your guts. If I’m honest, I kinda hope you put up a brave front and don’t say anything. It’s been a very long time since I got to cut loose. Gotta keep up that certain set of skills, yanno what I mean?”
“Maintain radio silence,” grated Horace, as he continued to wriggle forward.
Then, all of a sudden, he realized he was looking at boots. A pair of boots, planted in front of him like a goddamn World War Two commando movie. He glanced upwards, hoping against hope that it would turn out to be a gag like that one comedy where it was just boots…
It wasn’t just boots.
Horace looked up into a man with the eyes of a shark, as well as the quite threatening muzzle of a pistol.
“Hey there, my Little Buddy-O,” said Matt. “Whatcha doin out here?”
Milton came to with a gasp. “Shaw…”
A gentle hand laid upon his shoulder. “Shh, dear. He’s fine, everyone’s fine.”
He gazed up at the white-tiled ceiling above him. “But…” He turned to look into the face of the one person he loved above all else…well, her and Johnny. “He’s okay?”
“He’ll live. Just like you. You big doofus.” Teresa leaned forward to kiss his forehead. “I saw the footage. You threw yourself at all of those senior citizens, which might just count as assault with a deadly weapon. Then you went and managed to get all the way across the stage towards Sadaf. You really don’t know when to give up, do you?”
“Guess I don’t”, he chuckled, then glanced down at his arm. His former arm. “Whoof. That medic was really quick with the tourniquet, I’ll give him that.”
“With you and with Sergeant Shaw,” said Teresa. By now she was pretty much clambered on top of him, tucking his big head into the nape of her neck; it was his favorite place to be. He inhaled her scent with relish, before suddenly realizing someone was missing.
“Johnny?” he asked.
“Oh, right,” she said, before making an imperious snap of her fingers to someone out of his line of sight…right before a little ball of energy burst its way into his room.
“DADDY!” yelled the little firebrand, before smacking into his side. Milton hugged them both to himself, realizing that, no matter what happened next, he was right now in the best place possible.
“Keep it all down to a dull roar, okay?” said a voice off to his left. A very recognizable voice.
He picked his head up to stare in that direction. “Shaw?”
The sergeant gave him a casual wave from his own hospital bed. “Hey, slick. Good ta see ya up and about.”
Milton grinned. “You too, you old fart.”
“Aw hell, I ain’t that old. So. Just out of curiosity. Did that torniquet on your arm hurt like hell?”
The agent cuddled his son closer. “You better believe it.”
“Okay, got it. Just for reference, if you get one on your leg it also hurts like a motherfu…uh, hurts like crazy.”
Milton winked at Shaw. “Don’t worry, my son has heard worse. Why are you here?”
“They put you both in one room,” said Teresa. “Something about it being easier to guard. There was an assault on Camp David too, from what I’ve heard.”
“What?” Milton tried to pry himself up off of the bed before getting a mutual shove-down from his wife and son.
“Relax, my man,” said Shaw. “Toke was there. He and my peeps took care of it.” The sergeant looked at the acoustic tiles above him. “Gonna have to promote McCoy and Martinez. They both really stepped up to the plate.”
President Correa rubbed at her temple. “This ‘Toke’ is a menace.” She was seated behind the famed ‘Resolute’ desk while still trying to show the appropriate deference to the barrel-chested man in front of her, clad in a crisp dark-blue dress uniform.
“Let’s be fair, ma’am,” replied General De Vries, “He helped this situation become less complicated, not more. None of our alien…refugees? I suppose that’s a good a term as anything. None of them got killed, hell none of them even got injured. We collected the thirteen of those remaining while trying to assault Camp David. Overall we have ten dead, including the four who somehow made it into the complex and the Secret Service patrol. The attackers had top-of-the-line gear, civilian but first-rate.”
She slammed her fists into the desk-top, making a nearby mug filled with coffee jump. “I fucking VACATION there, General! Me and my family, understand?”
“I know, ma’am. Do you want me to do this questioning…properly?”
She somehow picked up what he was putting down. “No. You have my permission to go off the chain.”
“Then consider me and Toke off the chain, ma’am.”
“Wait…you’re going to use him?”
“He has had experience in similar matters, ma’am. If you prefer, I don’t need to use him.”
She shook her head. “No. We need intel, and fast, on how the fuck this happened. Plus not to mention we somehow had an artillery attack in the midst of goddam DC.”
“I cannot speak for the FBI,” said De Vries with deceptive calm. “But believe me, we will find out how this all happened. And it will never happen again, of that you have my solemn word.”
The president slumped in her seat. “What about those injured in the DC attack?”
“It was a precision single artillery strike, ma’am. Probably GPS or maybe laser-guided, we’re still trying to figure out which. If Sergeant Shaw hadn’t intervened as he did, Captain Sadaf would be nothing but pulverized meat right now.”
She looked up at him with a cynical quirk to her eyebrow. “Did his saving her get caught on film?”
“Oh hell yes. Footage from several phones, it’s all gone viral.”
“Good, make sure it continues to go viral. How is Shaw? And Agent…um…sorry, my brain is going twelve different ways…sorry, Agent Milton Vila, right?”
“You are right, ma’am. Both are still in the hospital, under guard of course, but both are stable. Milton lost an arm, and Shaw lost one of his legs below the knee.”
“Fuck.” It was one of the rare times that De Vries had heard the president swear. “Both can be helped with prosthetics, right?”
“Not my area of expertise, ma’am, but yes. They’ll both live, and we’ll make sure they have the very best technology available.”
President Correa suddenly grinned with an expression that the general somehow knew was going to lead to Complications in his near future.
“You mean the best human technology, don’t you?” she asked, with deceptive calm.
“Well…yes, of course. I mean, Zawahir Ibn Harith is still trying to make sense of how the aliens heal themselves. It’s true regeneration, if I understand it right. Damage to the central nervous system is still kind of hard for them to deal with, but otherwise they can pretty much heal anything.”
The president examined her fingernails. “So…growing back a limb or two should be the proverbial walk in the park, yes?”
“Um…” The general’s eyes widened. He now realized why this unassuming lady had won two terms to the highest executive office in his particular country. “Oh, yes! Of course!”
“The plans for repair efforts on the Rithro
have costs which are already pretty much alongside the Manhattan Project,” said President Correa. “Why don’t you appoint Zawahir as the lead of this particular effort? We’ll call it Manhattan-Light.” She fixed General De Vries with her eyes. “Imagine it. Two people, grievously wounded in the line of duty while protecting one of our alien refugees, an effort which was caught on multiple cameras…imagine them then walking out onto a stage with intact limbs.”
“It will make quite the photo op, ma’am.”
“Indeed. I’m glad we understand each other, General.”
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2023.05.29 18:20 Dangerous-Bag-7327 [HIRING] 16 Jobs in Dallas Hiring Now!
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in dallas. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
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2023.05.29 17:32 immacamel Defending the Draft: 2023 Green Bay Packers
A new era is under way in Green Bay, and there's a lot to cover about this offseason. First, let's set the stage.
KR Keisean Nixon- the return dynamo who renewed my will to live after watching Amari Rodgers play football. Signed again on a 1 year deal worth up to $4m. And he figures to have a larger role on defense this season. This was one of the biggest wishes for packer fans this offseason, as it finally shows a dedication to building the ST unit.
S Rudy Ford- he had himself a nice 2022 and got re-signed for his efforts. It's a one year deal, and he will compete for the starting safety spot as of now.
CB Corey Ballentine- a reserve CB who I will always have a soft spot for due to his tragic draft night story. Ballentine has been re-signed and will compete for snaps in an unsettled secondary.
S Dallin Leavitt- a Rich Bisaccia re-signing. Leavitt was a quiet killer last season as a special teams ace, and he returns in that role this season.
OT Yosh Nijman- a developmental prospect that has blossomed into an serviceable swing tackle, I thought Nijman would get more on the open market than his RFA tender price. He will be back with the Pack in a LT2 and RT2 role for 2023.
DT Dean Lowry- Lowry gave the Pack his best and we appreciate him, but his ceiling was evident and achieved. Devonte Wyatt was drafted as a high upside replacement. Lowry signed with the Vikings on a 2 year deal.
WR Allen Lazard- Aaron Rodgers's latest security blanket, Lazard is rejoining Rodgers on a 4y, 44m deal with the New York Jets. A quiet, consistent performer for the Packers throughout his tenure, Lazard will continue to be a sure-handed possession receiver in New York, transforming the slot position previously occupied by Elijah Moore into more of a big slot. He will also continue to mug people in the run game.
TE Robert Tonyan- Bobby Tonyan heads south to Chicago to be TE2 behind Cole Kmet. Packer fans love Tonyan for bringing pride back to the position in GB, and I honestly feel bad for him. He likely missed on his chance for a big pay day after tearing his ACL in 2021 and having a down year coming back. Now he's pushing 30, but he still provides excellent hands for the position and a great work ethic. Godspeed, buddy.
DL Jarran Reed- the big man returns to Seattle this season on a 2 year deal. Reed was just about what we expected in Green Bay- not great, not bad. He was a placeholder in a spot that Wyatt hopefully can take over.
Free Agents yet to be signed:
WR Randall Cobb, S Adrian Amos, TE Marcedes Lewis, K Mason Crosby
All members of the old guard. Cobb recently had surgery, and is a contender to rejoin Rodgers in NY. Amos had a down year, but could still have some left in the tank. I'm guessing he has an offer from GB and is weighing his options. Lewis also could be weighing his options between retirement, the Jets, or sailing into the sunset where it all began for him in Jacksonville. Mason Crosbys wife seemed to confirm on social media recently that the Packers have little interest in re-signing their all time leading scorer. Crosby made some clutch kicks for us over the years, and if this is the end, the Silver Fox will never have to buy a beer in Titletown again.
2022 season review: Record: 8-9 Oh man. 2022 was the year it all came crashing down. Green Bay tried to keep its veteran core together for a few years, appeasing Rodgers and navigating the salary cap reasonably well. But they never achieved that brass ring. Minus Davante Adams and working with a broken thumb, Rodgers struggled the most he has since his inaugural season as a starter. It's now time to address Rodgers in this post; I could write an entire entry solely on Rodgers and this past season, but I'll leave it at this: Aaron is my favorite football player of all time. He led the Packers to their greatest stretch of sustained excellence since Vince Lombardi roamed the sidelines, often with depleted rosters around him. In my opinion, hes the most talented QB to play the game. It seems a majority of Packer fans were ready to move on from the man and soured on him this offseason. Personally, I think he will be an MVP contender in NY next year and still love him. But it was time. The Jordan Love era needs to happen, if only for the front office itself needing to justify their faith in the Love pick. Rodgers and the Packers were operating on different timelines the past few years, stuck somewhere between going all in and resetting. The front office has put all their chips in on Jordan Love.
The defense was expected to be a top 5 unit, but regressed heavily. Joe Barry was under scrutiny all year long, seemingly incapable of putting his plethora of first rounders in positions to succeed. A late season push did just enough to save his job (apparently).
Favorite win: Dallas Most frustrating loss: Detroit, week 18
Rodgers's exit also raises an interesting thought: will we see the True Matt LaFleur Offense this season? Offensive deficiencies have been blamed on Lafleur himself or Rodgers's hesitancy at transitioning from a traditional west coast offense to a Shanahan-esque, motion based attack. The answer will be uncovered this year, with Jordan Love having 3 years of experience in the scheme and a first round pedigree. As a Love truther in the pre draft season who hated the pick for the Packers, I am fascinated. This pick will make or break Gute's and Lafleur's tenure.
Aside from the quarterback situation, there are lingering questions concerning LaFleur's ability to lead the team in general. The Packers have consistently laid an egg in one game every season of his tenure and have come up short in the playoffs, with some head scratching decisions rearing their head in crunch time of big games (the end of the Bucs NFC championship the most glaring). I also have questions on his staff hirings/retentions. LaFleur hired 2 dogshit ST coordinators before making the obvious choice of Basaccia. He also chose to retain Joe Barry, noted football terrorist, as defensive coordinator. I've read rumblings that Gute has more say over the staff than the head coach, which is unconfirmed but concerning. I don't mean to dump on LaFleur in this piece, only to emphasize how big of a year this is for him. I think his scheme is sound and the guys play hard for him. With Rodgers gone, I think we see less RPOs and inside zone handoffs to AJ Dillon out of shotgun. The offense will have more identity. But if there are 2 more years without the playoffs in Green Bay, the Cheeseheads will advocate for a new coach.
Positions of need: S, TE, WR, DT
Round 1, Pick 13: Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa With the world expecting Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Gute stuck true to his type and drafted athletic freak LVN out of Iowa. Van Ness profiles as a Rashan Gary clone, with a high RAS score and unrefined repertoire of pass rush moves. If he works out like Gary, this is a massive hit. In the pre draft process, the only guy who could have realistically been there for GB that I had above Van Ness was Peter Skoronski. He wasn't there, and there was no doubt in my mind Gute was going for LVN afterwards. He'll rotate with Gary and Preston Smith this year, and will kick inside on certain packages. He makes Smith expendable in the future.
Round 2, Pick 42: Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State Musgrave has the size and athleticism to be a game changer at tight end. His tape was short but encouraging. His biggest questions are durability and how he will develop, given his late breakout and immediate injury afterwards. My comparison to his playstyle was Travis Kelce, and if he can approach even 70% of Kelce's production in a season, this is a great pick. The biggest hole on the roster was TE, and I have a feeling Gute got the top one on his board.
Round 2, Pick 50: Jayden Reed, WR, Michigan State The process of this pick was nerve wracking. I was one of many fans pounding the table for Brian Branch, the S out of Alabama. When Gute traded down instead, I was telling friends I hoped he took Jayden Reed, and that's what happened. Reed is smaller receiver who plays bigger than his size on contested catches. He carried the Michigan State offense last year after Kenneth Walker jumped to the NFL. My comparison for him is Tyler Lockett. In Green Bay, Reed will take over the slot role, and I expect him to see around 60% of offensive snaps.
Round 3, Pick 78: Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State Another tight end added to a barren room. The former Jackrabbit is similar to Musgrave in a lot of ways- big, athletic, and a willing albeit unrefined blocker. Kraft's addition along with Musgraves could push the Packers into more 22 personal this season, something LaFleur wants to run but hasnt had the personnel for, and I would not be surprised to see him outsnap Musgrave if he develops quickly. I'm really hoping this is the pick that breaks Green Bays 3rd round curse (seriously look it up its so bad).
Round 4, Pick 116: Colby Wooden, Edge, Auburn A former 4 star recruit at Auburn, Wooden collected 17 sacks as a 3 year starter in the SEC and showed inside/outside versatility. He shows an ability to rush with speed and power, but is inconsistent in his pad level and technique. He anchors well in the run game and showed great gap discipline. I don't see him getting many snaps this year, but if he does I think he takes Kingsley Engabare's role on run downs.
Round 5, Pick 149: Sean Clifford, QB, Penn State A perplexing pick until I saw this man somehow has a 9 RAS. Clifford is an experienced college starter who plays with a clear understanding of his role and a passion for the game. My issues with him were accuracy, arm strength, pocket presence, and decision making. You know, playing quarterback. I did not give Clifford a draftable grade and would have preferred Jaren Hall or Max Duggan. But this is really nit picking over a 5th round pick who was drafted to be a career backup. If the staff sees something in him, I'll give it a chance.
Round 5, Pick 159: Dontayvion Wicks, WR, Virginia A 6'1, 206 lb vertical threat, Wicks was inconsistent in his career at Virginia. If he replicated his 2021 production last year, he might have found himself as a day 2 pick. Alas, a new offense and drops led to his availability at this spot. Wicks has a good release package and the ability to stack DBs and get vertical. His tendencies as a body catcher led to drops last year, and he doesn't provide much after the catch. With his profile, he'll be a WR4/5, but could be a special teams ace very early in his career.
Round 6, Pick 179: Karl Brooks, DL, Bowling Green A bit of a tweener, Brooks is a high motor, high effort pass rusher. He flashes great technique and seems to rush with a plan. He can get washed out in the run game, and will need to commit one way or another to defensive end or defensive tackle. He graded very high from PFF, so that's something. To get on the field, he'll have to show more consistency and ability when anchoring down in the run game.
Round 6, Pick 207: Anders Carlson, K, Auburn Apparently, Mason Crosby's replacement. Anders is the brother of Las Vegas kicker Daniel Carlson, who's pretty damn good. There is a connection with Basaccia there, who's known Anders since high school. I wasn't encouraged by his stats at Auburn, but I'm not going to pretend to be an expert in scouting kickers. If Basaccia says he's that dude, then that dude he is.
Round 7, Pick 232: Carrington Valentine, CB, Kentucky Valentine is a WR convert with a long, slender frame. He is at his best in press man, where he has a variety of ways to get hands on the receiver and reroute him. Unfortunately for Vallentine, Joe Barry hates press man and will kill my family if I suggest it again. Valentine's frame can lead him to get bullied by bigger WRs at times, but he is physical at the catch point. He also brings experience as a productive kick returner, something that could be helpful in the future or even this season if the staff wants to keep Nixon fresh for defensive snaps.
Round 7, Pick 235: Lew Nichols, RB, Central Michigan A big back with some intriguing traits, Nichols enjoyed a very productive 2021 before injuries hampered his 2022. Nichols has good vision, contact balance, and power as a north-south runner. He was productive catching out of the backfield, but wasn't asked to run many routes beyond that. His biggest hurdles in the NFL are going to be elusiveness and speed. He lacks both, but should be a decent backup. For the Packers, they used their RB3 less than maybe any team in the league last year. This will be the Jones&Dillon show again in 2023.
Round 7, Pick 242: Anthony Johnson Jr, S, Iowa State Johnson Jr is a converted cornerback who plays with rare physicality for someone of that description. He did his best work in the box or in the slot at Iowa State, and that may be where the Pack will try to get him some snaps this year. He can be over aggressive in his pursuits at times and take bad angles, but that is coachable. Given the state of the safety room, the 7th round rookie may find himself starting some games this season.
Round 7, Pick 256: Grant DuBose, WR, Charlotte DuBose comes from UNC Charlotte, where there apparently is a football team, and he was 2nd team all C-USA last season. DuBose has excellent size at 6'2, and I love his agility on in-breaking routes crossing the face of safeties. He has experience both outside and in the slot, and is an interesting addition to the WR battle at the bottom of the roster, which is going to be highly competitive. It may come down to how good he can be on special teams. Coaches and teammates rave about his work ethic and love of football, and he worked at Walmart while keeping himself in shape during the Covid year. I'm optimistic he can carve out a role for himself and make the team.
Overall, Gutekunst drafted for need at times in this draft, but still stuck to picking guys that fit his type: big, athletic, and versatile. My biggest shock was not taking a safety until the 7th round, but I think it just never lined up with his board. There was an obvious effort to surround Love with talented pass catchers, which is a breath of fresh air from this team. I was surprised that they didn't take a single offensive linemen, given this is almost certainly Bakh's last year in the green and gold and question marks surrounding some of our young guys, but we drafted 3 linemen last year and the staff may have high hopes for Zach Tom to be the next left tackle. The franchise has earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to scouting and developing OL.
All told, 2023 is the most excited I've been for a Packer season in a few years. There are so many unknown variables surrounding the team, from Jordan Loves development to LaFleur's offense to Joe Barry's pending glue eating scandal. Media pundits have them ranked somewhere between 20 & 26 in the league hierarchy heading into the year. Personally, I'm a little higher on the Pack, and they will shoot up these rankings if Jordan Love delivers. There's a lot on Love's shoulders. This is the season we've been waiting for with baited breath for 3 years, the post-Rodgers era, and now it's here, for better or worse.
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2023.05.29 15:00 stonescoldtakes NFL Update: 05/22/2023 - 05/28/2023 - OTAs are Back!!!
— Individual Team News + Stone’s Cold Takes
— Miscellaneous/Other NFL News
— Restaurant of the Week - Washington D.C. Arizona Cardinals:
- Released WR DeAndre Hopkins and he listed out info about what he wants in his next team:
- Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert
- He wants stable management and a great defense
- Some folks in AZ were upset with Hopkins because he sat out the last couple of games
- S Budda Baker says he will be at camp when its time for him to be there
After some decent news the last couple weeks for this organization there wasn’t really anything great from this week besides maybe the fact that if WR DeAndre Hopkins was a distraction to the team he now no longer is one. It will be interesting to see how things play out this year. Atlanta Falcons:
- FB Keith Smith was arrested on traffic charges
- Driving with a suspended license he claims was a misunderstanding
- K Younghoe Koo didn’t ask for money from RB Bijan Robinson to give him his number but asked him to pick a charity at some point down the road to donate to
- Will have joint practices with the Dolphins
It sounds like the situation with Keith Smith should get resolved rather quickly and was more of a misunderstanding than anything else. It will be fun for this young team to have joint practices with Miami and it will be a good way for their defense to get an initial test from an elite offense. I am sure the Dolphins won’t reveal all of their tricks but either way they will have to worry about guarding an elite offense with elite playmakers. Baltimore Ravens:
- QB Lamar Jackson expects a more pass-heavy offense under new OC Todd Monken
- WR Michael Thomas separate his shoulder and could require labrum surgery
- WR Rashod Bateman who just played just 6 games was on the field for OTAs on Monday
- Waived Daelin Hayes
- S Kyle Hamilton excited for expanded role with the team
- Tony Jefferson is retiring and joining the team as a scout
- DL Angelo Blackson
- QB Josh Johnson
It is crazy to think about how just about a month ago the news around the Ravens was all negative and that it seemed like the relationship with Lamar was fractured. Now here we are and Lamar seems about as happy as can be and is excited about the offense that is being installed under new OC Todd Monken. It will be exciting for him as well to have WR Rashod Bateman back who I still think can be a key playmaker on the team. It appears the Ravens could be set for big things even in a tough division. Buffalo Bills:
- No surprise, QB Josh Allen is hyper-focused and wants to win a Super Bowl
- S Damar Hamlin is back out working out on the field
- WR Stefon Diggs did not attend OTAs
- EDGE Von Miller guarantees he will play by week 6 but is not rushing anything
- S Dean Marlowe
- Joel Wilson
Great to see the that S Damar Hamlin was back out practicing. I know it has been some time since his collapse on the field but it still feels like yesterday that I was watching that game in complete shock at what I had witnessed and worry for him and his family. WR Stefon Diggs being absent at OTAs is not a big deal to me. QB Josh Allen has a lot of other guys he needs to get familiar and work in with anyways and a lot of star players don’t attend OTAs to either get rest/recovery or to do their own workouts with their private coaches. I imagine he and Kincaid will be deadly this year and who knows they may even have WR DeAndre Hopkins joining them as the Bills were one of two teams that inquired and had talks about a trade for him. Carolina Panthers:
- TE Hayden Hurst is recovering from sports hernia surgery
- QB Bryce Young is taking most of the first team reps
Not too much news here other than what we saw and heard from OTAs about Bryce Young getting to take most of the 1st team reps. It appears that he looked good and his teammates were saying great things about him. It is tough to judge any quarterback though in the offseason because no matter what folks always say their young or new quarterback is looking amazing and things are progressing nicely. I will say though I have heard the most good things coming out from camps about him and Anthony Richardson of the Colts. Chicago Bears:
- QB Justin Fields excited about the growth WR Chase Claypool had over offseason
- Got permission to begin demolition of Arlington Park racetrack
Good news for Chicago fans who are excited for their move. It seems that things are proceeding nicely with the process of moving to a new stadium. Also, great to hear that Chase Claypool may be able to make more of a difference this year. It would be hard to be less effective than what he was last year for this team. I still believe he can be a major impact player like many expected him to be when he entered the league. It will be key for him to become Fields’ go to receiver over some of the other talent they have on the team. Cincinnati Bengals:
- Want to sign WR Tee Higgins and LB Logan Wilson to long term extensions
- Have made their initial push for QB Joe Burrow
This team has a lot to do in terms of contracts that they need to get figured out. The team view Tee Higgins in very high regard and so does Joe Burrow as they should. They also really want to get Logan Wilson signed. However, what will come out to being the biggest of the contracts they do this offseason is that of Joe Burrow. What will continue to make things tough here is the longer it takes for Justin Hebert to get his deal done because Burrow will likely be the last of the 4 quarterbacks to sign his because it is presumed he will get the most money and has an agent who like to wait til the last minute. Cleveland Browns:
- WR Elijah Moore feels good now that he feels wanted with his new team
- EDGE Za’Darius Smith is excited to be facing the Ravens this year
All good news for Browns fans so far. The team is looking good and their appears to be a lot of good vibes coming out of practice. WR DeAndre Hopkins is even considering coming to Cleveland for the chance to play with his old QB. Also, WR Elijah Moore is looking crisp and at least for the moment it appears he is much happier. It will all depend on if he actually gets the ball thrown to him during the season though. Dallas Cowboys:
- HC Mike McCarthy is keeping offense in Dak’s language despite the changeup in play callers
Not too much news here which is good for this franchise because they are almost always the center of attention. The main thing I took away from this week was just that things seems to be going well with McCarthy and Dak working together on the offense but that there have been some growing pains at least initially getting used to new systems as expected. Denver Broncos:
- Waived Hunter Thedford with injury settlement
- Released K Brandon McManus
- K Brett Maher worked out for the team
- QB Russell Wilson has lost a lot of weight this offseason
- HC Sean Payton excited about what S Kareem Jackson can do to help team
- RB Javonte Williams was limited in OTAs starting on Thursday
- T Cam Fleming to a 1-year $4m deal
- DT Tyler Lancaster
It appeared to shock just about everyone when the news broke about K Brandon McManus getting released because he had become a fan favorite over the years in Denver. QB Russell Wilson has lost a lot of weight and it is evident just from seeing him this offseason. I didn’t think his weight was the issue hindering him last year but hopefully he can feel he is playing at a healthier weight. What I think most Denver fans were excited to see was RB Javonte Williams back on the practice field. He is going to end up being the real difference maker this year and whether this team competes with the top of the AFC or not will largely depend on him making the rest of the offense’s life easy or not. Detroit Lions:
- Former WR Calvin Johnson was at OTAs this week after having been away from the organization following a rough falling out post-retirement
- RB David Montgomery said that losing with the Bears “sucked the fun out of the game”
- WR Jameson Williams says that he didn’t know about the gambling policy; HC Dan Campbell feels he is miles ahead in terms of his talent already
- Traded an undisclosed draft pick for K Riley Patterson
- Signed a 1-year $2.35m deal
- RB David Montgomery and LB Malcolm Rodriguez left practice due to injury
- Team has done their homework on free agent WR DeAndre Hopkins
- NFL is investigation another Lions player about league gambling rules violations
- OL Germain Ifedi
- Max Pircher through international player pathway program
A lot of news here. Let’s start with the bad news. It appears that they may be having more penalties come down on their team/players due to the league’s gambling policy as their is an ongoing investigation into a 5th player from the team. Also, David Montgomery and Malcolm Rodriguez left the field with injuries. It is still early though and they appear to be minor injuries so hopefully it won’t affect them in the long term. Now some good news. It sounds like WR Jameson Williams is progressing nicely and the team got a new kicker in Riley Patterson from the Jaguars who should help the improve there. Lastly and maybe the biggest news is that Calvin “Megatron” Johnson was at OTAs hanging out with coaches and players. Many are hoping those good vibes carry over into the season. Green Bay Packers:
- Cut TE Nick Guggemos
- Will host the 2025 NFL Draft
- HC Matt LaFleur is please with Jordan Love but still need to work on a lot of things
Exciting news that Green Bay will get the draft in 2025! I was thinking they would try and stick to more southern states but they clearly are willing to go North with Detroit and now Green Bay being the hosts of the next two. HC Matt LaFleur appears to be being honest with everything and trying to temper expectations a bit with Jordan Love taking over. This could be to help take pressure off of Love and also just be the flat out truth that with any young quarterback it is going to take some time. Houston Texans:
- Appears DeMeco Ryans may not be too sure about pursuing Jadeveon Clowney
- HC DeMeco Ryans expects the o-line to be a strength for this team
- Currently it is a QB competition between Davis Mills and CJ Stroud
- Other teams have been inquiring about QB Davis Mills
I am not surprised about DeMeco Ryans hesitancy about pursuing Jadeveon Clowney. First of all he just may not want to reveal his cards to others in the league about what he is thinking. The other thing is that he is one that likes for his defense to have an identity and a really good work ethic. I am not saying that Clowney can’t fit that mold but it just makes the selection process for what Ryans wants on defense that much more thorough. The other news that surprised some but something I mentioned a couple of weeks ago is that QB Davis Mills will compete with Stroud for the starting job and is viewed as a desirable QB to other teams around the league. I know his stats haven’t been the best but I am not sure any of the young quarterbacks would have done well with what the Texans organization has been the last couple years. At the end of the day CJ Stroud will end up being the team’s starter due to draft status and probably will be the more talented, better option. Indianapolis Colts:
- No timetable for Shaquille Leonard to resume practicing
- QB Anthony Richardson was running a similar offense to what Jalen Hurts has run in Philly and was very impressive (splitting 1st team reps)
Overall things seems to be good for the organization. The main thing we are all waiting on is when Shaq Leonard will be able to get back out there and start practicing. It makes sense not to have him practicing now since things are optional anyways. The hype has been there for QB Anthony Richardson thus far and it appears he may be closer to starting right away than a lot of people thought. Jacksonville Jaguars:
- Traded K Riley Patterson to the Lions for an undisclosed draft pick
- RB Travis Etienne looking forward to doing some fine-tuning this year
- Signed Brandon McManus
Not too much news out of Jacksonville other than the change at the kicker position. Things got busy and they were able to trade K Riley Patterson to the Lions rather than release like the reports had said prior. Then they went out and got a proven veteran in K Brandon McManus who had just been released from the Broncos squad. This team is going to be interesting this year and will go as far QB Trevor Lawrence can take them. Does not hurt to have the veteran kicker for the big moments that could be coming for this organization. Kansas City Chiefs:
- HC Andy Reid is not a fan of the kickoff rule change hinting at the NFL getting closer to being flag football
- TE Travis Kelce is not happy about it either
- QB Patrick Mahomes addressed contract saying he cares more about Super Bowls
- LB Nick Bolton doesn’t think the defense gets enough credit
- QB Patrick Mahomes says that it has been a smooth transition to new OC Matt Nagy
- HC Andy Reid feels fullbacks have been phased out of the NFL and that the Chiefs will not be using one
HC Andy Reid who normally is pretty quiet and doesn’t get too involved was in front of the media a lot this week it felt like. First, he is not a fan of the new kickoff rule and it appears most coaches are not. Second, he talked about how the team will not be using a FB because they are being phased out of the NFL and he feels that the TEs they have on the team can play the role when needed. Overall it seems things are going well for the Chiefs and things could be a going a lot better here soon as they appear to be a top option for WR DeAndre Hopkins and one the few teams that had trade talks before he was released. Las Vegas Raiders:
- Former QB Tom Brady reached an agreement to be a minority owner of the team
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo had to have foot surgery after signing with the team and there is not timetable for his return - believe he should return before the season
- Things could get interesting depending on how situation with Jimmy G works out
- WR Davante Adams is not happy about the current QB situation with the Raiders
- Adams and team have been sued by the photographer he shoved last year
- Will have joint practices with the 49ers
It appears there is never a dull week with the Raiders. The news this week about Jimmy seem to add context potentially to what Davante Adams’ comments were about recently. With Tom Brady recently joining the ownership group here it makes us all wonder if the injury is not cleared up is there a way for him to un-retire once again…only time will tell. Los Angeles Chargers:
- RB Austin Ekeler to a new deal for this final year that added on up to $2m in incentives
Big news here getting the deal done with Austin Ekeler even if it still only keeps him around for 1 year. Thankfully now he should be semi-happy for that one year before he can go out and chase a big contract if he wants to. Los Angeles Rams:
Not much news here really. Sounds like Matthew Stafford has taken Stetson Bennett under his wing and started to work with him and help him learn more about the transition to the NFL compared to college. Miami Dolphins:
- WR DK Metcalf challenged WR Tyreek Hill
- Will have joint practices with the Falcons
- QB Tua Tagavailoa is wearing a camera on his helmet to help HC Mike McDaniel see what he sees on the field
I loved seeing Tua wearing the helmet cam. I had not thought about it before but it should be great for him to be able to show McDaniel exactly what he is/was seeing out on the field to add context and allow McDaniel to better coach him and understand what is going on. I think this should be something all quarterbacks do and especially the top ones because it could gives coaches that much more information and a better understanding of how to help young quarterbacks in the future. Minnesota Vikings:
- WR from the XFL Lucky Jackson
- DC Brian Flores wants defense to develop an aggressive identity but not reckless
- RB Dalvin Cook could be a June 1st cut
All signs appear to be pointing towards RB Dalvin Cook getting released. In other news it will be good for the defense to develop the aggressive mindset that Brian Flores wants and should bring in the attitude from Miami that wad established during his time there that was so effective and led to them winning games. New England Patriots:
- Got docked 2 days of OTA workouts for violating offseason rules and HC Bill Belichick was fined $50,000 dollars
- Placed LB Raekwon McMillan on injured reserve due to partially torn ACL
The Patriots seems to always be up to something. It sounds like they were penalized the 2 days of OTAs and fined because of a meeting that Joe Judge held that lasted more than the permitted amount of time. Other tough news came when Raekwon McMillan got injured. New Orleans Saints:
- TE Foster Moreau is participating in OTAs
- Being in New Orleans has given QB Derek Carr a breath of fresh air
- Former HC Jon Gruden is working with the team and Derek Carr
What a story. TE Foster Moreau finds out he has cancer in a physical with the team a couple months and gets ahead of things and is now practicing with them at OTAs. Interesting story here about former HC Jon Gruden working with the team because during his time with the Raiders many said that he and Carr did not get along. This team has a big opportunity to take over the NFC South and is probably the bet setup to do it with the team they have. New York Giants:
- Rookie WR Jalin Hyatt wants to get to 190lbs as his playing weight
- TE Darren Waller is happy to somewhere where his opinions are valued
- QB Daniel Jones is enjoying working with TE Darren Waller
- HC Brian Daboll will not speak on contract situations despite currently Barkley situation
It seems that everything is going great except the Saquon Barkley situation. There isn’t much new insight into it either after HC Daboll refused to speak on anything contract related. In good news it seems like TE Darren Waller is really enjoying being with the team and working with QB Daniel Jones. This is a team to me that is going to play inspired football like they did last year no matter what is going on because their HC. New York Jets:
- QB Aaron Rodgers had minor calf strain
- WR Allen Lazard went down during OTAs but supposedly was just a shot to the groin
- Worked out P Matt Araiza
- Chuck Clark was happy to be traded because felt disrespected by the Ravens
- HC Robert Saleh is confident a deal will get done with Quinnen Williams
- Will have joint practices with the Buccaneers
I imagine Jets fans held their breath when they saw Aaron Rodgers get injured as well as Allen Lazard. The good news is that those are not going to be issues in the long run. However, it reminded us all that QB Aaron Rodgers is not a young guy anymore and there is always the possibility that he like any other player in the NFL can get hurt. Hopefully the deal with Quinnen Williams can get done sooner rather than later. I am looking forward to the joint practices with the Bucs because they have a solid defense and it will be fun to hear how they fare in the early phases of implementing a lot of things from both Nathaniel Hackett and Aaron Rodgers. Philadelphia Eagles:
- OL D.J. Fluker worked out for the Eagles
- DL Jordan Davis has made major strides this offseason will take on a larger role
Jordan Davis is going to be a key piece for the team this year in my opinion so it is great to hear he has made major strides. He is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to his sheer size and the more he can be weaponized the better. Pittsburgh Steelers:
- EDGE Markus Golden to 1-year deal
- LB Toby Ndukwe
- Easy decision for QB Mitch Trubisky to sign extension
- Started contract talks with OLB Alex Highsmith
- Released Tae Crowder
- Want to play a regular season game in Ireland
- WR Allen Robinson has been very impressed so far by QB Kenny Pickett
- QB Kenny Pickett had his car stolen with his playbook inside of it
Great move to get Markus Golden. He can be dangerous in this defense and is only one season removed from a double digit sack year. Also, good to see that Robinson and Pickett appear to be getting along. I am curious to see who shakes out to be the #1 receiver on this team but have a feeling it will end up being Pickens because of how good he was last year and the chemistry he and Pickett already have. A QB likes it when his receiver makes life easier and bails him out. Pickens has already done that on multiple occasions for him. San Francisco 49ers:
- QB Trey Lance just wants a chance to compete and never considered being traded
- Raved about this time working with QB Patrick Mahomes
- QB Brock Purdy expected to start throwing next week, be able to go from gripping a towel to an actual football
- QB Sam Darnold will push to start come week 1
- Levi’s will officially get the Super Bowl in 2026
- LB Dre Greenlaw has a thumb procedure and will miss most of the OTAs this offseason
- Will have joint practices with the Raiders
It is official the 49ers will host the 2026 Super Bowl! After speculations and rumors it finally became official this past week. Also, there was a lot of good QB news this week with all 3 of the QBs on the roster. Sounds like Brock Purdy is healing properly and as expected, Trey Lance is looking really good in OTAs along with Sam Darnold. Once again this offseason no one is sure who will be starting for the team come week 1. Seattle Seahawks:
- WR DK Metcalf challenged WR Tyreek Hill
- CB Tariq Woolen had arthroscopic knee surgery and it out til training camp
Good news for Seahawks fan that Tariq Woolen will be back around training camp time after his procedure. Other than that there was not much news here. They got a solid rotational/depth player in Artie Burns though. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
- Video of QB Baker Mayfield making an overthrow went viral on social media
- Will have joint practices with the Jets
- WR Chris Godwin feels like he has a lot of his explosion back
- Team wants to see more consistency out of LB Devin White before offering him the contract he wants
Great to see that Tampa has joint practices with the Jets. They have a tough defense and it will be good for Baker and the offense to get some work against that defense early on. The Bucs have some great weapons on the offensive side of the ball to really compete with those top defenses and if they can all stay healthy this team could be a dark horse team to watch. Overall this should be a good all around team. Tennessee Titans:
- QB Will Levis is putting pressure on Tannehil and Willis in OTAs this far
- S Kevin Byard is skipping OTAs
Interesting to see that S Kevin Byard was not at OTAs after earlier this offseason it was rumored he was asked to take a pay cut. Definitely a situation to watch. The main news that came from OTAs is that QB Will Levis appears to be looking good and some folks think he could be putting pressure on Tannehill early on and moving himself up the depth chart. Washington Commanders:
- HC Ron Rivera said that DE Chase Young understands them not picking up his 5th year option
- New OC Eric Bieniemy has been getting on young QB Sam Howell holding him accountable
- Trademark application was denied due to someone else already having pending applications for the name but the team is confident this issue will get resolved
- It has been good for QB Sam Howell that QB Jacoby Brissett has been in the building
- TE Amani Rodgers tore his ACL and is out indefinitely
- Released Nathan Gerry
- Jamin Davis limited in OTAs after knee procedure
- Financing needs to be adjusted in order for the Josh Harris bid to be accepted
Feels like a lot happened with the Commanders. First off, I think QB Sam Howell is in a great spot to learn and develop this year with mentors like Jacoby Brissett and then his OC Eric Bieniemy. They will hold him accountable like has already been happening and help bring out the best in him. Now it definitely is an organization surrounded by distractions. First off the trademark application for the team’s name was denied and they hope to get something figured out but could lead to another name change. Also, the team is still working through the Josh Harris bid and there need to be some adjustments in order for it to get accepted by the other NFL Owners and the league. These distractions even though they may not always be good for the team they probably do help a young quarterback because he is not the only thing to talk about at this point in the offseason. Miscellaneous/Other NFL News:
- Many believe that Thursday Night Flexing is to cater to Amazon but really could be the future of how deals get done
- Teams have to have 28 days notice and this is currently just a 1 year move
- RB Jeremy Hill who has not played for the past 5 seasons officially retired siting injury issues leading to his retirement
- NFL injury data shows that turf fields are significantly worse for players than grass fields
- The Pat McAfee Show will be taking over Max Kellerman’s the time slot on ESPN
- Commissioner Roger Goodell’s lobbying convinced teams to vote in favor of the new kickoff rules
- Dr. Timoth Kremchek, the Cincinnati Reds' physician since 1996, says he sees an "epidemic" of youth injuries on artificial turf
- RB Adrian Peterson will be hanging it up if he’s not back in the NFL this season
- After Goodell’s retirement the NFL could change the structure of management for the NFL combining a traditional CEO with a Commissioner of Football
- Possible a team will play 3 back to back games in Europe in the future
- Devin McCourty will be joining NBC’s Sunday Night Football crew as an analyst
- Officially approved emergency 3rd QB rule
- Investigating further violations potentially of league gambling policy
- DirecTV will still distribute Sunday Ticket to bars and restaurants
- S Tony Jefferson announced his retirement
- Announced growth of global market program
Restaurant of the Week: (Washington D.C. - TACOS 5 DE MAYO)
Don’t really have a great picture of this place but that may be a good thing. Often times I find that the places least advertised and that are holes in the wall is typically where you get the best Mexican food. This place is about a 10 minute drive from the stadium and probably closer to 15-20 minutes on game days depending on the time you go. Personally I recommend the Tacos Al Pastor. Those are basically a marinated pork taco that is slightly spicy with some sweet pineapple flavor in it. You cannot go wrong with Tacos Al Pastor and are by far my favorite. The other thing to keep an eye on is the Pupusas. While Pupusas are from El Salvador this place actually does a pretty dang good job of making them. For those that don’t know what Pupusas are they kind of resemble a stuffed pancake but are made of corn in most cases stuffed with either just cheese, cheese and beans, or cheese and pork. My order here would be 3 tacos al pastor and a cheese and bean pupusa. Enjoy!
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2023.05.29 13:06 TELMxWILSON NEW MUSIC from En:vy, Fred V, LSB, J:Kenzo, The Upbeats, fresh Noisia & London Electricity remix and more.. With a heavy Hidden Gem in review [+weekly updated Spotify playlist] New Music Monday! (Week 22)
1. Frannabik - The Savage Kingdom LP 💎 [Expedite Records] Recommended if you like: HighThere, Absu_NTQL, Cyntax
Let's continue the Hidden Gem™️ weeks with another name I have been meaning to talk about for quite some time now: Frannabik!
Straight outta the Almerían province in Spain, Francisco Garcia Herrada has been building up his musical muscles (his Frannabiceps) from an early age. First by attending various underground Hip-Hop events, before making a smooth transition over to DnB, with him first entering the gladiatorial DJ arenas himself in 2014, as part of the Brain Holes group. Word of his dancefloor-destroying (Frann-)abilities got out quickly and by 2015, he also became a core part of the Private Room event series and gathered all sorts of accolades from the International Breaks Awards. Soon enough, you could also (Gar-)see him wreak havoc all over the continent, from Granada to Bristol, from Seville to Bratislava, from Prague to Valencia. It wasn't just enough to cause panic at the Frandiscos all over Europe though, he wanted to create some banging beats himself!
In 2019, the first of many fruits of his labour saw the light of day: Liqua! The following year saw him not just expanding on this freshly cusping flowery arrangement of gratis downloads, he also entered a couple of remix competitions, eventually even winning the one hosted by fellow Spaniards Save The Rave. It was at that point that he had firmly planted himself onto my and, considering the timing of it all, maybe even Expedite Records's radar. I'm of course referring to Francisco joining the Expeditian family of sick Neurofunk producers with his smasher Corruptions at the tail end of 2020! From there on, he would keep oscillating between the expertly done Neuro and the dastardly Deep stuff, with releases on Close2Death, South Yard and Zer0'2 Soul Collective, but Expedite would remain his favourite place to release on. Which is also why his debut album, The Savage Kingdom, is dropping on there!
But wait, we gotta catch up on the latest Expedite developments first. Surely you will remember the Bristol-based label from me raving on about label bossman XAETIS' banging double single or me falling in love with Niallo's bleeps and bloops, but it has been a good two years or so since then, so, what have we got? Their first label takeover, their first remix competition (for Frannabik's Down!), the rather huge PARAGONS compilation, the equally large REVISIONS remix project and releases by KRYOS, SYNE, XAETIS and TREMR. Okay, Tremr is usually not in all caps, but it just looked better in the sequence of events, alright?
With that out of the way, let's finally take a look at what our franntastically fresh friend has cooked up on this 10-tracker, the first solo artist album on the label! We make our way into this realm of the Neuro with the title track, The Savage Kingdom, with great atmospheric work and all sorts of ferocious animals creating a rather cinematic auditory jungle thicket, before the savage bass cuts through it to lay waste to them all. Our boy Keeps Em coming on the followup, with fast-paced nightmarish melodies infiltrating our brains while their accomplices, the distorted basses and the bonky snare, keep us on our toes, and even if you don't Believe me, you'll still be quickly met with Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson introducing the next fonky-flowing back-and-forth between the chonkiest of basslines and a flurriest of stabby stabs. Watch out for the second drop on that one!
It seems like we have strayed too far from the beaten path, as we have completely Lost The Way we intended to follow, and after a while of keeping up the pace thanks to the distant tribal, rolling drums and fighting off the ever-present and quite aggressive biting bass snakes, we simply Must Stop. Why? Because of the humongous, hostile, big bad evil bass completely steamrolling everything in its way! One by one, the trees just snap over, and before we meet the same fate, we run away as fast as possible, into the next best opening we find. In our rush, however, we didn't realise we were running straight into an Ambush! Machine gun fire everywhere, several of them coming very close to ending our mission here, fired off from the infamous A Coruña based Neuro veteran Loop Stepwalker, only giving our group the tiniest of breaks in between each salve. While mostly focused on the speed of it all, this one still retains a solid sense of rhythm and flow, even going into a little 4x4 excursion in the second half! One could say we stole one of their 4x4 trucks to get away. Yes, I like that.
With the added horse power of our escape vehicle, we finally make our way to our next destination, the Dealer. What does he deal in? Hefty basslines and hard-hitting snares, of course! While we have been supplied with a more than healthy dose of both so far, Frannabik luckily doesn't make the Dumb Assumption that we have had enough and takes us on another newschool-inspired, distortion-overflowing joyride, on which MC Kenna (who he met at a Zer02Soul Collective event!) provides an additional infusion of sick lyrical fuel to stoke the flames, resulting in a proper bonfire of a tune.
Before we get to the grand finale, we take one more breather, in the relative sense, on Only U, which ironically enough doesn't only feature Fran himself, but also his fellow Spaniard, Helium! With some more four to the floor action, some distorted bits and bops and the drums whipping us into shape, we ride through the beautiful guitar-laden scenery, until we finally arrive at our destination: The Prophet. Not just any old one though, the Prophet, one could even say the VIP of prophets! With Caliban's precise-as-ever lyricism, but nitroboosted, relentlessly rolling drums and all-around heavier instrumentation, we end our trip through the Neuro jungle on a high note. But what will come of the prophecies? Will we get out of the kingdom in one piece? What a cliffhanger!
Distortion en masse, chonky basslines out the wazoo, phat drums, a frannkly frannabig album.
General DnB / Mixed
- Armodine, Georgie Riot - Light Inside EP [Viper] [Beatport]
- Dan Guidance - The Artist 06 LP [Liquid Drops] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Deekline, AIRGLO - It's A Jazz Thing [Jungle Cakes] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Genesis Elijah - Undeniable (Command Strange Remixes) EP [V] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Kultivate - I Don't Need You (feat. Blasé) [Dim Mak] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- London Elektricity, Liane Carroll, Robert Owens - Billion Dollar Remixes LP [Hospital] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- Noisia - The Resonance VI LP [Vision] [Beatport], [Bandcamp], [Label Store], [Spotify]
- Shiny Radio, Overdozen - Aliens EP [For Real] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Sola - Stars Realigned LP [Grand Theft Audio] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Various Artists - 3 Years Anniversary LP [Ozriderz] [Beatport], [Spotify]
- Various Artists - 3YEARS LP [High Resistance] [Beatport], [Spotify]
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submitted by TELMxWILSON
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2023.05.29 12:57 Finzombie The Thing in the Cracks - Part 1
“Holy crap.” James Talbot stepped back from his handiwork. It was beautiful. It made him want to scream.
Talbot was a chemist, the modern form of an alchemist, and he’d discovered something as wondrous and terrible as the most extreme postulations of his forbearers.
This was it. The culmination of all his works. This is what he’d fought for decades for, why he’d abandoned connections with everyone he’d ever known. But now it was all worth it. He would reveal the Masterwork at the Grand Chemistry Convention. It would steal the show, and he would be revered beyond every other human being who had ever lived.
It had taken Talbot long enough to assemble the Masterwork that he’d shed the title of ‘young’, not to mention most of his non-gray hair. Although it was hard to tell whether that was from aging or from what he’d beheld in his long sojourn. He was only 45, after all, and the rest of his body still held firm from decades of outdoorsmanship.
Talbot stood before a wall, upon which was painted the most intricate design any human had ever seen. It was a diagram of… unknown things. A chart of runes, maps, and artfully painted lines. There was no text in any living language on the diagram, but the harmony within the full tapestry visually sang, imparting something unfathomable in a way that Talbot could somehow fathom. The man who’d made it, who’d studied it for 15 years, barely understood it himself. But he knew that it was the ultimate solution to the entirety of philosophy, containing the answers to every question humanity had ever seen fit to ask. It had existed in his notebook for a while, in bits and pieces, but today had been its first full assembly, and it was magnificent.
He had to keep it hidden, or someone would take it from him.
He retrieved a tarp and threw it over the wall, nailing it in at the top so it hung down to cover his designs. Just to be sure, he moved his desk to block the wall, then locked the door to his office when he left for the day. James Talbot was more excited than he had ever been, and he celebrated that night with a fireplace and a large bottle of whiskey.
Of all the people at his office to commit espionage, Talbot never would’ve suspected the night janitor. This may stem from the fact that he also never suspected the night janitor to be part of a massive secret organization dedicated to keeping humanity as ignorant as possible in matters of the Higher Order.
But no matter what Talbot suspected, Tim Willis was indeed part of this society, and after he’d entered Talbot’s office with his master key to do some routine cleaning, the obvious secrecy surrounding the wall at the back of the room worried him. So he moved the desk out of the way, lifted the tarp, and inhaled sharply.
This was bad. A tapestry of the Higher Order more complete than any he’d seen before, or any reported by the other Censors of the Agency for the Preservation of Humanity.
Willis quickly replaced the tarp and desk. As soon as he’d locked the room, he pulled out his phone and dialed the number for an Alexander Talc.
Talbot arrived the next morning with a song in his heart and a latte in his hand. The former died horribly as soon as he entered his office only to find someone sitting in his chair, and the latter died horribly as it fell from his fingers, limp in shock.
The person in question was a short, slight man who wore thick glasses and a dark gray suit. He was sitting on Talbot’s office chair, facing the now uncovered back wall with all of its eldritch calculations. Talbot’s desk had been moved to the side of the room, left askew with the tarp crumpled up on top.
As Talbot entered, the stranger spun the chair around so he was facing the chemist, a broad smile on his face. He was undeniably attractive, in a delicate sort of way.
“Ah! You must be the aspiring alchemist?” He spoke softly and cheerily, but with an unnerving edge. Talbot couldn’t identify any specific aspect of his voice that disturbed him, but upon further consideration he concluded that it was the incongruity of the situation, the warm friendliness of his tone grating against Talbot’s unease.
Talbot took a step back, shaken. “I don’t… what-”
“Quite an impressive display here. You’ve managed to glean a quite large amount of knowledge about the Higher Order, especially considering you’ve never consulted us at the APH.” He pronounced it phonetically, like Aff.
“What are you-”
Talbot heard a click from behind him, and turned to see Tim Willis, the night janitor, closing and locking his door. He could barely register the betrayal.
“Ah, yes. Tim is working for me. For us. The Agency for the Protection of Humankind really frowns upon anyone attempting to learn the Higher Order.”
Talbot, finally able to form a full sentence, asked, “What’s the Higher Order?”
“You know what it is, of course, although you may not have heard the term. It’s what we call the mechanics of the very fabric of the universe itself. The questions about ‘why are we here?’ and ‘is there a god?’ and all the stuff like that. All theoretical philosophy, basically. And you, apparently through sheer dumb luck,” He turned to admire the mural again, “have managed to find more of it than any human being ever, including us! Quite impressive. Big hand.” The man slow-clapped for Talbot. The small sweet-looking man being sarcastically condescending was jarringly incongruous.
Talbot felt a surge of anger, and it helped him produce a full sentence. “Dumb luck?!?” He advanced on the man. “My Masterwork is the product of 20 years of research and experience! This is the greatest thing anyone has ever done, and how dare you say I achieved it through dumb luck!”
The man raised his hands placatingly. “Okay, okay!” He chuckled. “Years of research, whatever. You found the Higher Order. That’s where we come in.”
“Ah. Well, you see, the reason that no one’s found the entire Higher Order is simple. It’s because we stop them.”
Talbot was incredulous. “What?! Why would you stand in the way of progress like that?!” As a scientist, the possibility that there could be anyone actively against gaining knowledge was incomprehensible to him.
The man grimaced, as though he was about to break some terrible news. “Well… there are some parts of this tapestry you’ve assembled, specifically here...” The man pointed at a small segment of the diagram, a thick horizontal line with four thin lines crossing perpendicularly that turned into five lines on the other side, “That grants access to some other planes of existence. Planes of existence that are home to some very dangerous things. And due to some logistical aspects of the Higher Order,” He gestured at another segment of the diagram entirely composed of square symbols, “if you muck about in their domain, they are able to muck about in ours. The Law of Equivalent Interference.”
“But… how would our finding answers count as ‘mucking about in their domain’? If we knew the danger, we just wouldn’t go there.”
The man was silent, then answered Talbot’s question with a question. “Tell me, Talbot. If humans discovered another dimension, do you really think they’d be able to stay out of it?”
“Fine. But then why do you have to censor the whole thing? Why not give them the benign parts that would still forward human progress by centuries?”
“Because the Higher Order is like Algebra. Or a logic puzzle from Highlights magazine. If you give someone smart enough just a few clues, they’ll eventually assemble the whole picture. Which we desperately want to avoid.”
There was a long and heavy silence.
“Ok.” Said Talbot, wrapping his head around the new information. “So the APH stops people from finding the answers to these questions so our world isn’t destroyed by Fourth Dimensional entities?”
“Exactly!” The man nodded, delighted at Talbot’s comprehension. “Well, they’re technically Fifth Dimensional. The existence of time in our reality means that this is the Fourth Dimension.”
There was another silence.
“Sorry, what was your name again?” Talbot asked.
The man looked utterly devastated. “Oh no! I can’t believe I was so rude!” He vaulted the desk and approached Talbot, stopping just short and shaking his hand. “Alexander Talc, Class 2 Censor Operative for the APH.”
“Censor as in… ?”
“Yes, I censor things. People too, if necessary.”
“So what,” Talbot asked, “You’re here to kill me?”
Talc gasped. “What?!?! No! As if we’d be so barbaric! We’re here to recruit you.”
Talbot’s eyes widened. “Wait, really?”
“Of course! You know more about the Higher Order than any human outside of the APH, and probably more than a majority of those inside of the APH. Your expertise could be vital in preventing a breach in our reality!”
“What would this job entail?”
“Well, we’d need you to fake your death, change your name, burn your research-”
“Now I know that sounds like a lot,” Talc backpedaled, “But allow me to let you in on a little secret.” He leaned in conspiratorially, then glanced around as though to make sure nobody was listening. Satisfied, he whispered, “The dental is off-the-charts.”
Talbot shook his head. “What happens if I don’t take the job?”
Talc winced. “Things get considerably less pleasant. I have to call in a Class 3 Purge Operative, and that’s always a hassle.”
Talbot chose not to inquire into the purpose of a ‘Purge Operative’.
Talc gently laid a hand on Talbot’s shoulder. “It’s a lot to take in, I know. How about we move to some place more hospitable and you can think it over?”
Talbot nodded, his mind elsewhere. Talc gently guided him out of the room, Willis following and closing the door behind them.
Talbot stared down into his conical paper cup, filled with water that tasted plasticy. The three men were in the lobby of Talbot’s workplace, leaning against a table adorned with donuts and a water cooler.
Talc bit into a day-old bear claw as Talbot swirled his water and considered the situation.
If he accepted the offer, he would be shipped off to another state, away from his home in Bedford, where he would join whatever on earth APH was. Talbot hated the idea of working for an agency whose entire purpose was to destroy knowledge. On the other hand, if he didn’t accept the offer, they’d likely kill him.
Would working for the APH really be so bad? Talbot liked Talc enough. Maybe they could be friends. Or… more than friends. And if the APH truly wanted Talbot to be able to suppress the Higher Order, he’d have to know the Higher Order. Which meant research. He could essentially continue on exactly as he was.
Except he would never be recognized as the genius he was. Talbot involuntarily crushed his paper cup as he realized that, if he took the offer, he’d never win a Nobel prize. He’d never present at the Grand Chemistry Convention. He’d never write a revolutionary scientific paper. He would be forgotten.
He knew what he had to do. He couldn’t say no, or he would be killed. He couldn’t accept, or he would be forgotten, which was worse. He had to escape.
But how? This was some sort of world-ruling secret agency. They probably had eyes everywhere. What could he possibly do to get away?
His eyes wandered towards the stairs. The stairs that led to his office, which held the key to every single natural law.
Talbot tossed his cup in the trash, then approached Talc.
“I think I’m ready to make my decision. But first, can I go to the restroom?”
Talc nodded. “Of course! Take all the time you need!”
Talbot nodded and jogged toward the restroom. In the tiled floor under him, he saw Willis’s warped reflection following him discreetly.
He entered the single restroom and quietly opened the window. He could see Willis’s shadow under the door as the man hovered just outside.
Talbot waited a couple seconds, then flushed the toilet, turned on the sink, and silently crept through the window. He fell a few feet to the alley below, and had to suppress a grunt.
Now what? He needed to escape, but his notebook was still upstairs. All his research was in there, and he couldn’t leave it to the APH.
The only ground level entrance to the building was the main lobby door, which was directly in Talc’s sightline. However, who said he had to enter on ground level?
Talbot’s gaze rose to the old fire escape above him. The bottom of the structure was a platform that lined up with the second floor. A ladder was folded up on the platform, an old rusty latch keeping it from reaching ground level. Talbot couldn’t reach the latch from where he was on the ground, so he looked around for a solution.
He had a bum throwing arm, so he couldn’t toss anything up to break it. Unless…
Talbot considered Talc’s words. The very mechanics of the universe itself... He felt a flare of pride as he realized how little Talc truly understood.
The sigil that granted access to the Fifth Dimension was just one of several such Seals. Over all Talbot’s years of study, those portions of the Higher Order were the most applicable. They did not just show universal aspects of reality. They represented those aspects. They were symbolic, and like all symbols, they were powerful.
They were simulacra of natural laws, and could be manipulated in order to manipulate those laws themselves. It allowed anyone who knew the Seals to weave a sort of magic, ignoring the laws of time, space, or gravity by sketching and then destroying the corresponding runes, temporarily destroying that Law’s influence over oneself. Talbot’s hypothesis was that there was a single Greater Seal for each law that controlled that law anywhere and everywhere. If that one was found and destroyed, the laws of reality would change forever.
For greater, wide-scale application, Talbot had scrawled in his notebook, The Greater Aspects must be located and manipulated.
Talbot dropped to the ground and dragged his finger through the alley gravel. He assembled the rocks into a facsimile of a tiny part of the Higher Order, one that he’d experimented with a lot. He looked around for a suitable vessel, settling on a rock. He poured all his mental energy into the stone, and used his hands to scatter the pebbles that made up the Seal of Velocity.
The rock sprang from the ground and soared upwards, clanging against the ladder before anticlimactically falling into a dumpster. From inside, Willis banged on the bathroom door and said something indistinct. Talbot’s second telekinetic toss hit the ladder before falling onto the platform itself. He broke another Seal, and his third throw smacked into the latch, splitting the rusted thing and shooting the ladder downwards.
It made a lot of noise, and Talbot could hear Willis pounding on the bathroom door inside. He seemed to be breaking it down, as Talbot heard wood split with a crunch. Talbot quickly mounted the ladder and climbed up to the platform, trying not to think about the alarming creaking sounds the old construction was making. From there, he took the stairs two at a time, spiraling up and up until he reached the sixth floor.
Six flights of stairs only had him a bit winded by the time he reached his floor. He tried the door to the inside, and found it unlocked.
Talbot entered the hallway outside his office quietly. He considered how this would play out. Willis and Talc would be storming up here at any moment. He had to move quickly.
Talbot entered his workroom, dragging his desk over to block the door. He took a moment to gaze forlornly at his Masterwork, because he would never be able to take it with him. All the same pieces and diagrams were in his notebook, but the full Masterwork was a thing of beauty, one that he would never behold again.
He snapped a picture of it with his phone. It wasn’t the same, but it’d have to do.
Talbot grabbed his notebook, its leather-bound pages bulging with decades of research. Some of the sheaves of paper stuck out at odd angles, newspaper snippets and glossy photographs glued into the most faithful companion Talbot had ever had.
Was there anything else he needed?
The door began to rattle.
Talbot grabbed a sheet of blank paper from his desk and rapidly sketched as many Seals as he could. He had an idea of how he could escape, but he needed to harness his work to do it. Using the Masterwork as a reference, he scrawled the Seal of Time, the Seal of Space, the Seal of Gravity, and, after considering it, the Seal of the Fifth Dimension.
Just in case. He thought.
With a crack, his door burst open, shoving the desk out of the way. Talc and Willis stood there, the latter looking enraged, the former strangely calm.
“Talbot, this doesn’t have to happen this way.” Talc appealed, but Talbot was done listening. He would not be forgotten. He would be immortalized, through his work.
Talbot ripped a corner off of his Seal sheet, and glanced down at the Seal of Time. With a glare at Talc, he stuck it in his mouth and began to chew.
Talbot disappeared with a pop, as Willis lunged towards where he’d just been.
Willis stopped short, then turned to Talc. He was noticeably upset at losing their quarry.
“What do we do now?”
“Well, we follow him.”
Talc approached the Masterwork. “It’s simple. I’m sure Talbot understood that time travel doesn’t work the way everyone thinks it does. Cause and Effect are inextricably linked, and cannot be put out of order. Traveling through time actually just creates another dimension, a splintered facsimile of your original where things play out differently.”
“So… to follow him do we just use the Time Sigil?”
“Seal, Willis. And no. That will just create another splinter plane. Now that the reality has already been established, we need to follow him. Using this.”
Talc’s thin fingers traced the outline of another Seal, one Talbot hadn’t thought to inscribe.
“There are many ways to traverse the Multiverse.” Talc said, “Using Seals to rip open the barriers between planes is one of the simplest.”
Talc sketched down two copies of the seal, then separated the two and handed one to Willis. The two locked eyes and nodded in unison. They both rent their sheets in half and disappeared.
Talbot didn’t ‘land’, per se, but he still felt off-balance when he blinked into existence in his office. He staggered, but caught himself before he could fall. The world felt… different here.
Out of everything Talbot had discovered, Multiversal travel was his least considered. He’d been too cowardly to experiment with anything but the Space, Gravity, and Velocity Seals, so this experience was new to him. Naturally, as any scientist does when faced with something unfamiliar, he started taking notes.
Effects of Time/Universe Traversal:
–Slight nausea. Somewhat noticeable. Temporary?
–World overall feels discordant. Silence sounds different than back home. My tinnitus is in another key. Feels like I don’t belong.
–Different frequency hard-coded into every reality?
Before he could assemble an entire thesis on the underlying resonance within the multiverse, he realized with a start that he had to get out of here. Talc and WIllis were likely following him, and even if they weren’t, there were copies of them in this dimension.
Talbot had willed himself about 10 minutes back in time, and it seemed like that’d worked. His Masterwork was complete and the desk and tarp were off to the side. The trio were likely downstairs in the lobby, where Past-Talbot was thinking over the pros and cons of their offer. At least, he thought so. Time travel seemed to create a splintering reality, one that maintained consistency with his original up until the point where he showed up. There were plenty of unfamiliar worlds out there, but the Seal of Time created one quite familiar. Right now Past-Talbot-
Past-Talbot doesn’t sound right. Pretty soon it’ll be my present, then my future. How about Talbot-2?
After settling upon a name to call his double, Talbot exited his office and left through the door that led to the fire escape, in too much of a hurry to close it. He scrambled down the stairs, knocked the latch off the ladder, climbed to the ground, popped open the bathroom window, and climbed inside. Right as he got his arms through, the door opened.
Talbot-2 walked in, then stopped short as he saw himself dangling halfway through the window. Talbot put a finger to his lips, and indicated Willis-2 with his eyes. Talbot-2 silently shut the door, locking Willis-2 outside.
Talbot-2 opened his mouth to speak, but barely got out one word. “What-”
“I’m you, from the future. Well, not from your future, but from a future.”
Talbot-2’s confused expression was replaced with excitement. “So the Time Seal Worked?! Fantastic! What’s it like?!”
“I’d tell you all about it, but I’m currently stuck in a bathroom window and being hunted down by two government agents. Although I don’t actually know if they work for the government…”
Talbot-2 pulled him through the window into the bathroom. “Sorry.”
Once he was in, Talbot glanced at the door behind Talbot-2.
“Okay. Here’s the thing. Some version of Talc and Willis will be here any minute. Whether mine followed me from the future or not, yours will catch on soon. We need to get out of here, and get the Masterwork to somebody else.”
“Wait, which Talc and Willis will show up?”
“One of them… or both of them. It doesn’t really matter! Do we know anybody we can send our notes to?”
Talbot-2 considered it. “Davis?”
Talbot frowned, and opened his notebook to an early page.
Dr. Wilson Davis
–Spineless fool. He calls himself a chemist, but refuses to venture outside the conventions of the industry. No true scientist works a cushy chemical production job! We journey! We endeavor!
Talbot shook his head. “He’d never publish something like this. If they tracked him down, he’d probably take their oppressive offer.”
Dr Monica Johnson
—Chemist and conspiracy nut. Super gullible, but generally a good person.
“She’ll believe anything.” Talbot said. “...Which is actually probably a good thing in this case. If she thinks it’s real, she’ll distribute it, and she’s earnest enough to leave my- our name on it.”
Talbot-2 nodded. “Sounds like a plan. Actually, it sounds like an idea, not a plan. What is our plan?”
Talbot thought for several seconds. “Here’s what we do. You pretend to accept their offer, and do whatever they tell you. If all else fails, you’ll get a cushy job working for the government. Meanwhile, I get this,” Talbot indicated his notebook. “To Johnson, and then…” He paused.
Someone knocked on the door.
“And then?” Talbot-2 prompted in a whisper, glancing behind him.
“Then… I’ll figure something out.”
Talbot-2 nodded. “Alright. Are we ready to go?”
“I think so.” Talbot replied.
Talbot slipped out of the window, and Talbot-2 opened the door to greet Willis-2.
The man peered around him. “Who were you talking to in there?”
Talbot-2 shrugged. “Myself. You know, crazy scientist stuff.”
Talbot dropped to the ground, then produced his sheet of Seals. He picked out one specific design, a circle bisected by a thin line. On one side of the line, a stylized forest thrived, and on the other a pictographic city loomed. Talbot ripped the Seal of Space from his paper and stuck it in his mouth, once again disappearing with a pop.
Talc and Willis appeared in Talbot-2’s workroom, and quickly exited. Both spun in the hallway outside, and both spotted the wide-open door to the fire escape. They both moved down the rickety metal construction and found themselves in an alley behind the building.
“See that?” Talc pointed at the window.
“Yeah. Did he go in through it?” Willis asked.
“Of course. But if he used the Seal of Time to try to come back and alert himself, I’m guessing he came through here to talk to him…self, but he couldn’t have left. The only point at which he was in the bathroom, you were right outside. He popped in, popped out, popped another Seal.”
“Is there any guarantee that he came back to alert himself? He could’ve gone to any point in time.”
“I know his type. The out-there intellectual. He’s been burned by everyone but himself. He’ll only trust himself. And if he came to himself before we’d arrived, he wouldn’t believe him.”
“Sorry, who wouldn’t believe him?”
“Him! Aren’t you-” Talc took a moment to consider the context. “You know what, nevermind. The point is that this reality’s Talbot is now in league with our Talbot, and that’s not good.”
“What do we do?”
“Well firstly, we need to cut it down to one Talbot. Two is too many to deal with.” Talc pushed on his earpiece, then spoke. “Hello? Can you hear me, Talc?” There was silence, until something dawned on him. “Ah, dammit. I can’t call my own earpiece.” He adjusted something on his earpiece. “Willis! Do you copy?” Willis heard Talc both from right next to him and through his earpiece. He didn’t hear the reply, but his earpiece buzzed as its exact copy broadcast something. Willis took his earpiece out and squinted at it, curious about the exact Multiversal properties that bonded it to its clone.
“Yes, this is Talc. But not your Talc. Listen, Talbot ran off to this dimension, and we believe he’s working with your Talbot. We need to meet up, then dispose of the dupe.”
Talc listened for a response, and Willis’s earpiece vibrated as his double presumably replied.
Talc turned to Willis. “Alright. They’ll meet us back in Talbot’s office. There we can get rid of the redundant one and track our quarry.”
Their quarry was currently depositing a large package of brown paper in a big blue mailbox.
Talbot paused as he lowered the boxy parcel. This was his life’s work, his notebook and all his scattered papers, and was the second-most important thing he owned, next to the wall that contained the Masterwork itself, which was likely being dismantled by his enemies at that very moment. This was the last 20 years of his life, and he was about to gamble it away to a crazy woman on the off-chance that his legacy might live on. Talbot wished he’d spent more time with reasonable scientists, if only to expand the pool of people he could mail his book to.
With a deep breath, Talbot released the book, wincing at the gentle ‘paff’ sound it made when it fell onto the envelopes at the bottom of the box.
His job complete, Talbot slipped the hood of his sweatshirt over his head and disappeared into the afternoon.
Guns are inelegant, Talc told his subordinate often. They’re loud, messy. Tools of thugs and soldiers, not agents of a higher purpose.
But there’s a downside to not carrying a gun, Willis countered silently. The difference between shooting a person and being forced to kill them more intimately is palpable, and not often a positive.
Willis considered this as Talbot-2 stopped struggling and finally went limp in his arms. Willis released the garotte from around the man’s throat, then lowered him to the floor of the office.
An irritated sigh came from behind him. Willis turned to see Talc shaking his head and walking toward him.
“No, you need to finish the job.” The man said. He kneeled, took Talbot-2’s forehead in one hand, his chin in the other, then jerked his head to the side, snapping his neck.
“If you stop garrotting when he goes limp, he’s just unconscious.” The other Talc, Talc-2, stated.
Willis nodded, numbly. He didn’t really hear the man.
“I know this is hard,” Talc said, shifting into a gentler tone, “But this is all for the good of humanity. If we let these ideas run wild, we’d all be dead.”
“Worse than dead.” Talc-2 added helpfully. “Our very essences would be consumed by dark beings from beyond our world.”
Willis nodded again. He’d heard it all before. So why did he still find it so hard to hurt people?
“So where’s the other one?” Willis-2 asked, seemingly unaware of his double’s predicament.
“That’s the big question, isn’t it.” Talc-2 mused, “However, before we can ponder it, first things first. We need to get a CC team in here to handle that wall.”
All four men were familiar with the APH Cognito Containment Teams, mysterious individuals in surgical masks that took away artifacts of forbidden knowledge to be stored or disposed of.
Talc-2 clicked his earpiece, then said a series of numbers and codes that were unintelligible to either Willis. He finished by saying, “Please send a Class-4 CC team. Over.”
He turned to the others. “They’re on their way. We need to secure Talbot’s place of residence.”
“Do we know that’s where he’ll go next?” Willis-2 asked.
“Not necessarily,” Talc-1 responded, “But it’s quite likely he’ll at least stop there to retrieve personal effects before going somewhere else.”
Both Willises nodded, almost in sync. The logic made sense. They would lock down Talbot’s house first.
All was silent in the small house several miles outside of town that Talbot called his abode. Then frantic footsteps sounded from outside, as someone ran up the footpath leading to the front door. Then, a faint scratching as Talbot scrambled to fit his key into the lock. A quiet clacking came next, as Talbot’s cat descended his cat-tree and approached the door to see what was happening.
Talbot swung the door open and gently pushed the cat out of his way with his foot.
“Sorry Ozzy,” he muttered.
He produced his debit card and snapped it in half, having extracted all the money from his account before arriving here. He pulled several thousand dollars from his pockets and shoved them in his wallet, his backpack, the pocket on the inside of his jacket, and his shoes.
He grabbed a spare toothbrush and tube of toothpaste from the master bathroom, shoving them into the backpack as well. He was going on the run, for god knows how long.
He paused as his eyes fell on his set of keys. He wouldn’t be taking his car or his house, so they’d likely not be necessary.
But I might as well just in case. Talbot grabbed the jangling key ring and slipped it into the inside pocket of his pants.
His cat mewed at his feet. After a moment’s hesitation, he grabbed his carrier and bowl, both monogrammed with a matching ‘Ozymandius’.
He knew bringing Ozzy was objectively a bad choice. It was impractical and stupid. The cat was loud, and would slow him down. But Talbot couldn’t bear leaving his baby here to be subjected to whatever evil ideas Talc and Willis had in mind.
Talbot coaxed Ozzy into his crate, then picked up the cat and donned his backpack. He took one last look around his house before he opened the front door and was immediately grabbed by both Willises, one of which held a chloroform rag over his mouth until he went limp.
Talbot awoke with a start. He glanced around, disoriented, and immediately registered that he was in some sort of interrogation room. His chair was metal, and bolted to the floor. Before him was a table, and above that table a blinding light mounted on the ceiling shone directly into his eyes. On the wall across from him, very much breaking the theme, was a ‘Hang in there!’ poster and a wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispenser.
Talbot tried to stand, only to find that his wrists and ankles were strapped into the chair. He strained against the bonds, cursing as the straps held strong.
He thought he heard faint snickering.
He turned to glare at the mirror to his right. “What are you planning to do to me?!”
“What are you planning to do to my cat?!?”
The Talcs and the Willi were standing behind the one-way mirror on Talbot’s left, looking at the back of his head as he shouted at no one. Talc looked mildly amused at Talbot’s complete misunderstanding of the room’s orientation.
Willis-2 glanced at Talc-2, who shrugged and motioned for Talc-1 to enter the larger room. Talc-1 did as asked.
The door at the front of the room opened, and Talc stepped out. He took a seat across from Talbot, and cleared his throat.
“First off, the most important thing. Your cat will be well-cared for, no matter the outcome of this conversation. Great name, by the way.”
Talbot refused to thank him for the compliment.
Talc cleared his throat, and there was a long silence.
“What about my first question?” Talbot asked, his voice trembling.
Talc sighed, then reached below the table.
Several seconds later, he came back up, notably with some difficulty. He slammed Talbot’s notebook down on the table. Next to it, he laid the sheet of seals Talbot had used to traverse space and time.
Talbot was stricken. “How did you-!?”
“Find this? Simple deduction. I’m frankly insulted that you didn’t consider that we’ve been tailing everyone you know for months. Johnson was the only person you could send this to.”
“What did you do to her?!”
“Nothing! We’re not the bad guys here, Talbot. We pulled the package from her porch before she ever got involved. We’d never hurt anyone.”
“Then where am I?” Talbot spat, then rephrased. “I mean… where is the version of me from here? Wait, are you from here or there?”
“I’m from there, assuming you mean your original reality. And Talbot-2 is fine. He’s in the next room.”
Willis winced behind the mirror.
“You never actually answered my question.” Talbot said quietly.
Talc pursed his lips regrettably.
“Well… here’s the thing, Talbot. What I’d like to do is offer you a chance to redeem yourself. I’d like to let you join the APH and help us protect humanity. But you’ve made it clear that that’s not what you want, and if we let you into our fold now, we’d forever be looking over our shoulders, wondering whose side you were truly on. And we can’t just let you go, no no. Your theories would largely be regarded as crackpot, but there are ways to prove these things, and you would certainly find them.”
Talbot swallowed. “Couldn’t you just… you know… erase my memory?”
Talc stifled a laugh. “Unfortunately, this is not Men In Black. Actions have consequences. There are no take-backs. And I’m sorry, Talbot, but this is it for you.” Talc stood, turned on his heel, and left.
“Why the hell’d you wake him up just to tell him that?” Willis muttered behind the glass.
“Hey, wait!” Talbot screamed at him as he departed, but there was no response.
Talbot tried to stand again, but slammed back into his chair as the bonds held.
Willis entered a few minutes later, holding a syringe. He winced at the sight before him. Talbot was hunched over, resting his head on the table. His shoulders were bobbing as though he was sobbing quietly.
Willis approached Talbot and tightened the strap on his right wrist. He moved around him and reached for his left hand, only to see that the strap had been sawed apart, and Talbot’s hand was free.
Willis grabbed his elbow, but Talbot struggled against the man’s grasp. The scientist was trying to keep it firmly on the table under his face.
Frustrated, Willis grabbed Talbot’s head and lifted it back, so he was sitting up straight.
As he beheld Talbot’s face, Willis felt a bolt of fear lance through him. The man was smiling, but it was not a happy smile.
It was the smile of a trapped animal that knew it would take a limb before it went down. With his eyes, Talbot indicated downwards. Willis slowly lowered his vision to the stainless steel tabletop. In Talbot’s hand was a housekey, the teeth worn down from sawing through the leather strap and scratching a symbol into the table. Right under his hand, the surface was pockmarked with the Seal of the Fifth Dimension.
Willis lunged for Talbot’s wrist, but it was too late. The alchemist brought the key across the symbol, carving another scratch to break the Seal and the boundaries between their reality and one far darker. Neither man had time to scream.
Talbot felt himself slip free of the chair, and out of the leather strap around his wrist.
Willis’s grip loosened, and it felt like he was flung across whatever intermediary pathway connected the fourth and fifth dimensions.
Part Two posted promptly!
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2023.05.29 08:47 imagesalon09 Ladies salons in Kolhapur
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Ladies salons in Kolhapur
When it comes to pampering oneself, the city of Kolhapur has no shortage of options for women seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. With an array of ladies salons scattered across the city, women can indulge in a variety of beauty and grooming services. These salons offer a serene and inviting atmosphere, designed to provide a blissful escape from the daily grind. From soothing facials to luxurious massages, these establishments cater to every woman's desire to look and feel her best.
One of the key features that sets ladies salon in Kolhapur
apart is the wide range of services they offer. Whether it's a trendy haircut, a stylish hair color, or a stunning makeover, these salons have skilled professionals who are adept at transforming a woman's appearance. They stay up-to-date with the latest beauty trends and techniques, ensuring that their clients leave feeling satisfied and confident.
Moreover, these salons prioritize hygiene and cleanliness, maintaining a sterile environment to ensure the well-being of their customers. From sanitized equipment to strict adherence to hygiene protocols, every effort is made to create a safe space for women to unwind and indulge in self-care.
The staff at ladies salons in Kolhapur
is known for their warmth and hospitality. They create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, making every visit a pleasant experience. Their expertise in personalized consultations enables them to understand each client's unique needs and preferences, allowing for tailored services that enhance natural beauty and individual style.
Not only do these salons provide exceptional beauty services, but they also offer a range of wellness treatments. Relaxing massages, soothing spa therapies, and invigorating body treatments are just a few examples of the indulgent options available. These holistic offerings promote both physical and mental well-being, allowing women to unwind and escape the pressures of everyday life.
The ladies salons in Kolhapur also serve as a hub for women to connect and share experiences. With their cozy waiting areas and friendly staff, these salons foster a sense of community among their clientele. Women can bond over shared beauty rituals, exchange recommendations, and build lasting friendships in these inviting spaces.
In conclusion, the ladies salons in Kolhapur
offer a haven for women to indulge in self-care, beauty, and wellness. With their comprehensive services, welcoming ambiance, and emphasis on hygiene, these salons have become essential destinations for women seeking a rejuvenating experience. Whether it's a simple touch-up or a complete makeover, these salons cater to every woman's desire to look and feel her best, leaving them refreshed, confident, and ready to take on the world.
2023.05.29 04:46 scarlet2248 Recommended Wedding Venues by State Part I
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California Wedding Venues
Carneros Resort and Spa
Located at 4048 Sonoma Hwy, Napa. It has a rustic charm where you can see vineyard views and rolling hills. Also offers a hilltop restaurant with an outdoor venue that can accommodate up to 300 people. Catering, wedding planning, floral arrangements, photography, and other services are available. And the starting price is $200 per person. https://preview.redd.it/hsuvufj35q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=7dde25aaa6c10d5ec27f3693f1307d8e3d152e36
Located at 27850 County Road 26, Winters. This is a five-star wedding venue and estate located in the middle of a farmland. There is a historic inn and event barn. This would be perfect for those who love a natural outdoor wedding surrounded by the beauty of the Blue Mountains. Catering, wedding planning, floral arrangements, photography, and more are available. Prices start at $150 per person and can accommodate up to 200 guests.
Montage Laguna Beach
The address is 30801 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. This romantic waterfront venue offers a lush grassy setting looking out over the coastline and blue sky. The largest ballroom has 7,500 square feet of space and can accommodate up to 500 people. Prices start at $250 per person. Services offered include catering, wedding planning, spa, music, and much more.
Oregon Wedding Venues
Located at 614 SW 11th Ave, Portland. This hotel is housed in a historic downtown building dating back to 1909. There are several exquisite banquet rooms to choose from, ranging from 50 to accommodate up to 900 people. The ballrooms are ornately decorated with elaborate carvings and elegant chandeliers. Prices start at $150 per person. Necessary wedding services are also available.
Mt. Hood Oregon Resort
The location is 68010 East Fairway Avenue, Welches. Which can give you a dream forest wedding surrounded by lush forests and the majestic mountains of Mt. Hood National Forest. Unlike other wedding venues, guided hikes and rafting excursions are available here. There is also a golf course for your use. The largest venue can accommodate up to 400 people. Prices start at $100 per person.
Located at 16211 SE Foster Rd Portland, Lakeside Gardens offers essential vendors for photography, videography, flowers, DJs, and hair and makeup services. It is surrounded by a lake and offers a natural view of the garden. The largest hospitality venue can accommodate up to 300 people. Prices start at $100 per person.
Washington Wedding Venues
The Edgewater Hotel
The luxury hotel at 2411 Alaskan Way, Seattle, was named "Best Classic Hospitality Venue in the Seattle Area" by Seattle Bride magazine. With views of Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains, and the Seattle skyline. The ballroom can accommodate up to 220 guests and prices start at around $200 per person.
Located at 3200 1st Avenue South, Suite 100 in Seattle. This is a century-old building factory with a different style that makes it very popular in Seattle. The high beams and steamy ceilings make it unique. The entire venue can accommodate up to 300 guests and costs around $150 per person. https://preview.redd.it/7pydpxau5q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=6bb68468589b0b0fd4001d5f0fd9bba8b87ecc81
The address is 18525 36th Ave S, Seattle. Here you will find a lush garden setting and luxurious accommodations. Indoor and outdoor hospitality venues are available to choose from, starting at $150 per person.
Arizona Wedding Venues
Boulders Resort & Spa
The address is 34631 N Tom Darlington Dr, Scottsdale. This resort has a fantastic desert and rocky landscape. With open views and the vibrant colors of the desert sky at sunset. Offers a luxurious spa, and outdoor ceremony space. Prices start at $200 per person and can accommodate up to 300 guests.
Located at 6000 East Camelback Road Scottsdale. There are various styles of venues to choose from, whether it be lush green gardens, sparkling waterfalls, or breathtaking valley views. There are also several sizes of banquet rooms to choose from. Prices start at $250 per person.
The resort is located at 2400 E. Missouri Ave Phoenix. Nestled among palm trees and mountains. A magical oasis forms at the base of the Phoenix Mountain Reserve, enjoying a tranquil desert setting. There are also two pools available and a total of six wedding venue options for up to 400 people. Starting at $150 per person.
Nevada Wedding Venues
An old-school luxury hotel located at 3355 South Las Vegas Boulevard, it can bring you the most traditional and unique Las Vegas-style wedding. Here you can admire the Italian style of architecture. Featuring indoor and outdoor ceremony spaces, and luxury accommodations. Starting at $200 per person.
Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
Located at 11011 W Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas. Unlike other luxury hotels, here you have a view of the Red Rock Canyon. The hotel offers five ballrooms and wedding venues that can accommodate up to 300 people. Prices start at $150 per person.
Want to try something different for your wedding venue? Choose the Neon Museum at 770 Las Vegas Boulevard North, Las Vegas, with its vintage neon signage, outdoor ceremony space, and unique atmosphere. You can take very vintage and fun photos. Prices are $2,500 for a two-hour rental, perfect for smaller weddings. https://preview.redd.it/y81lp1mw5q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=9c2444c8bee3e004a0d33ecaa3a0b3e063374816
Idaho Wedding Venues
Located at 2603 W Eastover Terrace, Boise. This is a historic Spanish-style building that was once used as a waiting room with the building. 8-hour rental is $1,455 and can accommodate a minimum of 165 people. It is important to note that government-owned venues like this have strict rules of use. So it is best to check carefully before renting. https://preview.redd.it/ltd94bwy5q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=ccee5ac0e7cc98df66eb8b42662c597758bd8339
Chateau des Fleur
The French-style building at 176 S. Rosebud Ln, Eagle. The largest ballroom features ivory walls, beautiful windows, an outdoor exit to the garden, gold chandeliers, and delicate gold wall sconces. Seating for up to 240 guests starts at $100 per person.
Still Water Hollow
Located at 18120 Dean Ln, Nampa. Has a rustic style and offers brand new indoor barn facilities. Tables and chairs for 150 people, pond with waterfall, fountain, and bridge. Rustic and elegant style venues can be designed for different styles of weddings. 12-hour rentals start at $5,500.
Utah Wedding Venues
A full-service event venue located at 110 South Main Street Lindon. Featuring an old castle-style building with outdoor ceremony space. Starting at $5,500 for a 12-hour rental. Catering, wedding planning, and other services are also available.
Red Butte Garden
Magnificent gardens at 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City. With expansive views of mountains, valleys, and gardens, offering a beautiful backdrop of plants. There are also waterfalls, ponds, and many more beautiful spaces. We recommend coming during the growing season of the plants which is the warmer months. This allows for a ceremony to be held in the stunning rose garden. Four-hour rentals from $2,500.
Located at 6451 E. Millcreek Canyon Road Salt Lake City has a spectacular mountain wedding and reception venue. With countless natural features and waterfalls, the area also offers activities including skiing, hiking, biking, and golfing. Prices are affordable, with menu pricing starting at $32 per person.
Montana Wedding Venues
Chico Hot Springs
Located at 163 Chico Road Pray, Montana, this is a great year-round destination for weddings in Montana. Offering a variety of natural beauty and architectural features. Besides the historic stone houses, there are also mountain views. You can also soak in the hot springs to relieve the fatigue from the ceremony after a long day. Four-hour rentals start at $2,000.
Rockin' TJ Ranch
The address is 651 Lynx Ln, Bozeman, with unparalleled views of the Bridger Mountains and open meadows. This wedding venue has been a professional wedding service for 20 years and offers full-service planning. Basic venue packages start at $9,495.
The Ranch at Rock Creek
Located at 79 Carriage House Ln, Philipsburg, this large ranch allows the exploration of five mountain peaks. Find nature's rest and inspiration in the peaceful, storied West. It is also the world's first Forbes Travel Guide 5-star ranch. With ten square miles of rivers, forests, valleys, and vistas.
Of course, this luxury experience comes with a hefty price tag. Charters start at $90,000 per night for groups of 21 or more, plus 23% of the ranch fee.
Wyoming Wedding Venues
Jackson Lake Lodge
Located in Moran, Grand Teton National Park, this is a beautiful lodge less than five minutes from Jackson Lake. Known for its iconic views of the Teton Mountains. It is a must-see venue for couples who love nature. Because of its location within the National Park, Jackson Lake Lodge is open seasonally from mid-May to early October. Rates start at $150 per person.
Shooting Star Jackson Hole Golf Club
The address is Shooting Star, 6765 Crystal Springs Rd, Teton Village. In addition to the golf course view, a pond, lake, or stream is one of the beautiful views. Starting price is $200 per person.
Are you an astronomy enthusiast? Check out the Stargazing Agency located at 1135 Maple Way G1, Jackson. Their wedding packages include the opportunity to learn about the constellations, planets, and the fascinating stories behind them. Stargazing tour leaders will guide the group through the night sky, answering questions and gaining insight into the beauty of the stars. This will be one of the most unique themed weddings guests have ever attended. Prices start at $175 a person.
Colorado Wedding Venues
Located at 900 Colorow Rd, Golden's premier historic event venue, the Boettcher Mansion offers unparalleled service in a meticulously maintained estate. Along with the beautiful mansion, there are mountain views for you to enjoy. The ballroom can accommodate up to 150 people with six-hour rentals starting at $3,500.
The Butterfly Pavilion at 6252 W 104th Ave, Westminster can turn your wedding into a fairy tale. Offering outdoor venues such as gazebos, gardens, and a theater. There is also a popular and unique butterfly release ceremony. It is important to note that there are a variety of butterflies and plants, so please treat them with care. The minimum venue rental is $1,800.
Great Divide Brewing Company
Great Divide Brewing Company, located at 1812 35th St, Denver, allows you to host a beer wedding. Up to 75 guests can be accommodated so they will be in the middle of a keg. The atmosphere will be more relaxed and enjoyable, and a bar and drinks, planning, equipment, and servers will be provided. Rentals are for 6 hours and start at $3000.
New Mexico Wedding Venues
La Fonda on the Plaza
The hotel at 100 E San Francisco St, Santa Fe has a long history as well as a cultural background. It can provide an elegant atmosphere for your wedding, with unique hand-carved furniture in each room. There are four ballrooms to choose from, with authentic New Mexican décor. This includes charming fireplaces, hand-punched pewter chandeliers, and traditional terracotta tiles. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $4,000.
Located at 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe's Museum of Historic Places is perfect for weddings. Accommodating 139 guests, the interior of the chapel features original stained glass windows and an ornate altar. In particular, the church's famous spiral staircase is the star of many articles and is worth a look. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $2,500 and services include the use of the church and wedding coordinator. https://preview.redd.it/fe6dx2916q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=8d2e10702746d6b6c978cc0149f31cda7e68b97b
Albuquerque Balloon Museum
This is the hot air balloon museum located at 9201 Balloon Museum Dr. NE, Albuquerque. It offers soaring spaces and panoramic views of the Rio Grande Valley and the Sandia Mountains. The museum features displays of hot air balloons of all colors and eras, including a weather lab. The price to rent the entire museum and North Plaza for six hours is $6,000.
North Dakota Wedding Venues
Red River Zoo
The Zoo at 4255 23rd Ave S, Fargo will be the most interesting wedding venue. The zoo is home to animals such as red pandas, gray wolves, and Pallas cats. There is plenty of space for outdoor weddings as well as indoor receptions, and a carousel is available in one of the venues. Saturday weddings start at $1,500 and services include tables, chairs, and access to the zoo exhibits.
The North Dakota Heritage Center
The address is 612 E Boulevard Ave, Bismarck. The museum showcases the state's rich history from its earliest geological formations to the present day. Offering a variety of indoor spaces, including galleries and a theater, it provides a unique and educational wedding experience. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $1,500. https://preview.redd.it/9xgracm66q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=1a93e0d6f2377d2b555f63c47fb381ff5a8cf3db
Avalon Events Center
Prefer a more modern style wedding? The Event Center at 2525 9th Ave S, Fargo, while historic, offers five function rooms and new audio technology. Five ballrooms offer seating for up to 700 people and a full bar. Saturday weddings start at $2,000.
South Dakota Wedding Venues
Chapel in the Hills
The church at 3788 Chapel Ln, Rapid City is a place of beauty and inspiration. There are museums, trails, and hillsides to host services. Weddings are performed by the Chapel's pastor and it is open for weddings from May 1 to September 30 each year. The price is $400 for the use of the chapel and courtyard area. This includes a $100 minister's fee. https://preview.redd.it/1cq5faw76q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=ef16d548f88cab604b857a372daa7e803b756fbf
The Lodge at Deadwood
The address is 100 Pine Crest Lane, Deadwood and the backdrop will be the beautiful Black Hills. With four adjoining event rooms and the main ballroom, it provides the perfect space for weddings of any size. Wedding packages are available at a variety of prices, with the least expensive buffet package starting at $65 per person for a minimum of 100 people.
Buffalo Ridge Resort
A rustic resort located at 1312 Coteau St, Gary. Offers charming and historic wedding venues including a restored barn and beautiful chapel. The venue can accommodate up to 300 people and prices start at $4,500 for a Saturday wedding.
Nebraska Wedding Venues
The Ballroom at 2027 Dodge St, Omaha, is located just minutes from downtown. Located in the historic Scoular building, from the grand Italian marble floors of the atrium to the romantic balcony overlooking the spacious and inviting ballroom. Offering a modern and elegant wedding venue with a grand ballroom and beautiful outdoor terrace. Accommodates up to 300 guests and starts at $4,000 for a Saturday wedding.
The theater at 140 N 13th St, Lincoln can give you a movie-like wedding. The theater has seating for up to 500 guests. The bride and groom can get married on stage while the guests sit in the first few rows of seats. Saturday weddings start at $2,500.
The Barn at the Ackerhurst Dairy Farm
Located at 15220 Military Rd, Bennington, this is an Omaha landmark and a historic site in the area. This wedding venue can accommodate up to 450 guests and includes an outdoor ceremony space and a large terrace with a fireplace. Off-season wedding rental rates start at $2,500.
Kansas Wedding Venues
Madison Avenue Central Park
Central Park at 512 E Madison Ave, Derby features a lawn, theater, and playground. And in the southwest corner, there is an event center including an indoor reception and outdoor patio. Accommodating up to 370 people, rates start at $800 for an 8-hour rental.
Petroleum Club of Wichita
The address is 100 N Broadway St 900, Wichita. this is a rooftop wedding venue located on top of the iconic Ruffin Building. With views of the skyline and city, it offers personalized service and beautiful décor. Wedding venue fees start at $4500.
The Oread Hotel
Located at 1200 Oread Ave, Lawrence, the hotel has two large outdoor patios. The patio overlooks the city and the Kansas River. There are nine different banquet rooms to choose from, the largest of which can seat up to 275 people. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $4,000.
Oklahoma Wedding Venues
The Dominion House
The main house is located at 602 E. College, Guthrie. The boutique hotel offers both intimate and grand wedding packages, including romantic indoor and outdoor venues. The outdoors includes a wedding garden and a four-season chapel, while the grand ballroom is designed in the opulent style of the 1920s. Wedding packages start at $2,000.
This is an intimate wedding venue located at 1401 West Washington St S, Broken Arrow. This chapel offers a unique and romantic wedding venue with a beautiful glass chapel and outdoor garden. The triangular roof and all-glass walls will make you feel like you are in a fairy tale world. Outside, the gardens and woods complement the modern design. The church can accommodate up to 100 guests and wedding packages start from $2450.
The Springs Event Venue
This is a wedding planning company that offers multiple venues. Event venues are located in various cities throughout Oklahoma, including Edmond, Norman, and Tulsa. Versatile and affordable wedding venues are available with a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $3,950.
Texas Wedding Venues
This is a historic hotel located at 2024 Seawall Blvd, Galveston. The hotel is surrounded by lush gardens, expansive green spaces, and sparkling beaches. An indoor ballroom and terrace are included, and the ballroom features floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the bay. Up to 200 guests can be accommodated for a great wedding service. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $10,000.
The Bell Tower on 34th
This beautiful clock tower is located at 901 W 34th St, Houston, and has a castle-like interior with a magnificent grand staircase, arches, and marble floors. Every aspect of the building is luxurious. Wedding packages are available on an all-inclusive basis, with prices starting at $10,000 for a Saturday wedding.
The Oasis on Lake Travis
This restaurant is located at 6550 Comanche Trail, Austin.Along with an event center located 450 feet above Lake Travis, offering unparalleled views. An outdoor patio overlooking the lake is available. Up to 400 guests can be accommodated and prices start at $5,000 for Saturday weddings.
Minnesota Wedding Venues
The Gale Mansion
This mansion at 2115 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis is also a very popular wedding venue. With a warm atmosphere and inviting decor, it offers an elegant and convenient space to host the wedding of your choice. 12 hours of rental costs a total of $5,700 including the rental of the mansion and ballroom.
The Outpost Center
The address is 6053 US-212, Chaska. Built on 32 acres of rolling hills and woodlands, it is a beautiful and peaceful venue close to the city. The main venue's red facade and green roof create an oil painting-like backdrop. It has the ambiance of a barn wedding with all the amenities and gorgeous rustic grounds. Wedding packages start at $4675 for 50 guests.
Nicollet Island Pavilion
The event venue at 40 Power Street, Minneapolis is full of unique charm and style. Exposed brick walls and tall industrial ceilings create an open atmosphere full of character. You can have the best views of the Minneapolis bridges and skyline at this venue. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $3,500.
Iowa Wedding Venues
This is a botanical garden located at 25141 260th St, Dallas Center. It has approximately 2,500 plants representing more than 500 different species, cultivars, and hybrids. Offers great outdoor views and can accommodate up to 300 people. Saturday weddings start at $2,500 and services include access to the gardens and a wedding coordinator.
The Temple for Performing Arts
Located at 1011 Locust Street, Des Moines, it offers a large auditorium, recital hall, and suites for weddings. The Grand Hall can accommodate up to 450 people and features a tinted glass skylight and a magnificent original light fixture and a sculpted ceiling. High-season wedding receptions start at $4000 for the venue.
Figge Art Museum
The Art Museum at 225 W 2nd St, Davenport. The museum's lobby can accommodate 200 guests and has a modern design with high ceilings and terrazzo floors. The striking river view offers countless possibilities. The outdoor terrace provided also offers a magnificent view of the Mississippi River. The rental fee for the lobby is $2,500. https://preview.redd.it/te5pv8ra6q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=68745b1cccd5193021cfeb6108307d8fb38bf103
Missouri Wedding Venues
Located at 3322 Demenil Pl, St. Louis, this mansion was once the home of a beer magnate but was the site of three suicides. It has since been turned into a restaurant and hotel, offering historical and ghost tours. The mansion has four sites, including a mansion, terrace, auditorium, and loft. Ceremony fees range from $950-$1900 and meals start at roughly $47 per person.
The public gardening facility in Saint Louis is made of glass plates and copper frames. It has a variety of flowers and plants and is filled with bright sunlight perfect for wedding photography. It can accommodate up to 250 people as a ceremony venue and costs $1,000. https://preview.redd.it/l3moosqd6q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=7e8d682eee85284df8fd428719fcfa6269dd602b
Located at 3901 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, with indoor hospitality space and loft and terrace. Includes renovated industrial building and outdoor patio. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $4,000 and can accommodate up to 200 people.
Arkansas Wedding Venues
Castle on Stagecoach
This is an old castle located at 6601 Stagecoach Rd, Little Rock. Offering intimate indoor spaces, the castle's unique architecture and décor provide an elegant and luxurious setting. The venue includes a lawn, barn, and stables. Prices start at $6,673 for 50 guests.
The Brick Ballroom
The event space at 119 B S Broadway St, Siloam Springs, was formerly a Chevrolet dealership. The building is 100 years old. Inside are black walls and original tin ceilings, vintage glass chandeliers, blue benches, and a built-in bar with a sink. There are also 5,000 square feet of covered balconies and gardens. The starting venue fee for a high-season wedding is $3,000.
Located at 243 Pace Ln, Cave Springs, offers a beautiful and modern wedding venue. The venue is suitable for couples seeking minimalism, with architectural designs mostly in black and white. A chapel will be located a short distance from the lobby and included in the wedding package. With a maximum capacity of 428 people, wedding venue rentals start at $2800 in high season.
Louisiana Wedding Venues
The Elms Mansion
Located at 3029 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, the mansion is a typical Italianate-style building. It features an imported hand-carved marble mantel, decorative cornices, 24-carat gold sconces, and a 48-foot ballroom. Accommodates up to 400 people and starts at $4,500 for a Saturday wedding.
This museum is located at 751 Chartres St, New Orleans, and has a rich history. A collection of elaborate carnival artifacts and memorabilia. You can hold a ceremony among the beautiful exhibits and rich artifacts and enjoy a fun evening with your family. Accommodates up to 500 guests, starting at $6,590 for 50 guests.
Race + Religious
It is located at 510 Race Street, New Orleans, and has three buildings with brick courtyards filled with greenery. The hotel has 4,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space on the ground floor. Dinner parties can accommodate up to 90 people, and prices start at $7,500 for Saturday weddings.
Alaska Wedding Venues
This is a leisurely resort located at 1000 Arlberg Ave, Girdwood. is Alaska's premier year-round destination. Featuring more than 300 guest rooms, many fine dining experiences, a saltwater pool, a ski hill, and bike park, and a brand-new Nordic Spa. The ballroom can accommodate up to 220 guests. Reception rentals range from $500 to $1,000 and include five hours of event time.
The Alaska Zoo
The Alaska Zoo is located at 4731 O'Malley Rd, Anchorage. Inside are animals such as polar bears, wolves, snow leopards, and other rare species. The zoo has very spacious halls and lawns and a bright greenhouse. Hospitality hall rentals start at $800. Lawn rentals start at $1,450. Greenhouse rentals start at $675.
Hotel Captain Cook
Old fashioned hotel located at 939 W 5th Ave, Anchorage. One of the meeting and function rooms has a stunning panoramic view and fireplace. Panoramic views of the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet. Accommodates up to 600 guests and Saturday weddings start at approximately $5,000.
Hawaii Wedding Venues
The address is 250 Haiku Rd, Haiku, a unique European-style building amid Maui's lush surroundings. With over 150 years of history, it is an important landmark. A quaint and beautiful ceremony can be created. The venue can accommodate up to 100 people and prices start at $6,500 for a Saturday wedding.
Also known as Secret Beach, has a 3,000-foot-long North Shore beach. Enjoy a sparsely populated stretch of beach with breathtaking views of Moquawe Island and Kilauea Lighthouse. Perfect for your seaside wedding venue. You can look for the right wedding contractor to prepare everything for you and prices will probably range from $800 to $1500.
The resort is located at 2365 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu. First opened in 1901, it is just steps from the perfect shores of legendary Waikiki Beach and within walking distance of Honolulu's most popular shopping, dining, and entertainment attractions. There are seven event rooms in total, and the ballroom can accommodate up to 300 people. Wedding packages range in price from $3,500 to $9,500.
To be continued
After introducing the most popular and unique wedding venues in the western and central states, we will continue to cover the wedding venues in the eastern states. Stay tuned for part two of our wedding venue recommendations. In the meantime, if you choose an outdoor wedding venue, check out our multi-sized, stylized wedding tent
. it will ensure that your outdoor wedding is not disturbed by the weather.
2023.05.29 03:34 MakeItHomemade Weekend Anniversary Trip Suggestions: update and thank you Waco!
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After an extraordinarily busy week which included a grandparent in the hospital and my daughters last day of school- I kept my husband in the dark about everything until about an hour into our drive. I do not recommend. submitted by MakeItHomemade to u/MakeItHomemade [link] [comments]
It was basically a comedy of errors. Took us a bit to get out of the funk- and it was a shortened trip because I hadn’t really covered all the bases like I thought.
Mostly, while he was off of work that doesn’t mean he can go dark- he last minute grabbed his work phone and that’s the only reason we didn’t turn around once he knew all the details.
Not only did I bring his waterproof (much warmer) running shoes.. I failed to notice they didn’t have insoles because he has special ones.
I also tweaked by back which left me unable to walk long distances.
Hotel check in was a debacle (my husband has high status- but to keep it a secret I didn’t use his account and our service was not as smooth and enjoyable as usual).
On to the details. We cut our trip down to one night.
We stayed at the Element Waco. Decent hotel. Staff seemed a little flustered but manager seemed to be on top of it all. The worse pillows (down) we have ever experienced and I feel like the bed was hard as a rock. Breakfast was decent and included. Pool was nice.
We did the Texas Rangers museum which was really pleasant and interesting.
Our trip really took a swing up after we hit up Pivovar for dinner. Since it was Thursday it was really slow and we enjoyed fried cheeses, braised beef and goulash, crème brûlée cheesecake and a flight of beer and Shirley temple. Service was awesome. Live music was great too.
Since we couldn’t do the Cameron park hike, we opted to do magnolia on the morning. Not my typical cup of tea but a nice way to spend a morning.
We skipped alpha omega / Moroso mostly because Pivovar was so good we didn’t want to forget that experience and both weren’t feeling “bougie” for lunch. We both slept horrible and we’re just looking for comfort.
We hit up Andy’s frozen custard. Drove around the city and enjoyed the homes by the cotton mansion. Check out some fixer upper houses. Drove around Baylor.
Then we hit up the Dr Pepper extreme tour. It was private so we had a lot of questions answered and got to make our own soda and had Dr Pepper floats. My husband is a big fan and we found the cost acceptable ($75 each) but on the high end. We did get souvenir cups, and a glass bottle of DP.
So while it was a bit of mess to get to the trip we both learned some things about each other, shared a nice long meal (something we don’t get often with a toddler).
We opted to head through Corsicana on our way home to East Dallas and it was a beautiful drive.
So it absolutely didnt go as planned… but overall it was a nice visit. Husband appreciated it- especially the tour I booked for DP and said next time I want things to be a surprise just give some basic details like duration of stay and maybe let him pack his bag… and to use his hotel account 🙃
Thanks for the help! We will be back with our daughter!
2023.05.29 02:26 throwstuff165 Here's a long analysis of what it might take to trade for a second lottery pick.
So, as a lot of us expected, a recent report
says that the Spurs have interest in making a rather unusual move by their standards to pick up a second first-rounder in the draft next month, presumably to acquire a PG that they hope can start next to Victor Wembanyama for the next decade-plus. It’s an idea that had been gaining traction with fans even before the real whispers started because of how much sense it seemed to make - this is seen as a relatively deep draft, with a lot of intriguing options at a position of need that are currently being mocked in the mid-to-late lottery. I'm sure most people have seen plenty of discussion about it on this sub over the past few days, and in every thread, people are asking the smart first question: "Okay, but what would it take?"
There's a lot of things that factor into that answer, and I'm just some internet dork who watches and reads about and talks about and thinks about basketball too much so I obviously have no idea what kind of discussions GMs are actually having on that front. But I thought it would at least help to look at what the positions we'd presumably be targeting have brought back in trade in the past decade, and then try to approximate value with the Spurs' assets. Firstly, though... Why would San Antonio do this?
There's two ways to answer that question, and the first is to look at it from the perspective of what the Spurs don't
have: a long-term starting Point Guard. I like Tre Jones a lot - he's everything we could've hoped for as a second-round pick and then some - but he's not a player that's going to feasibly run the offense for a contending team. He'd make a fantastic backup, and the Spurs are obviously hoping that Sochan and Victor and to a lesser extent Branham evolve into above-average playmakers, especially as the organization makes strides to get closer to their positionless basketball philosophy. But I don't think any of that is going to supersede a desire to bring a more traditional lead guard into the fold, especially considering what the team does
And what San Antonio has right now is a lot of picks. Maybe not as many as OKC or Utah, but a lot nonetheless. Six first-rounders that aren't our own, to be exact, plus the swap rights to Atlanta's 2026 first-rounder and over twenty second-rounders. Simply put, I can guarantee you that the team won't be making all of those picks, because it's not smart roster building to be quite so overloaded with very young players when the idea is to start being competitive again. Having a lot of young talent with promise is a good problem to have until you hit the point of having so many mouths to feed that it starts stunting their development, and we're already looking at a potential slight roster crunch this year. As an example, the Pacers, who are arguably behind us in terms of the rebuilding process now since we won the Wemby sweepstakes, have 5 picks in this year's draft, 3 of them first-rounders, and Kevin Pritchard has already come out and said they're not making all of them.
The Spurs, by comparison, could potentially have FIVE first-rounders in 2025 depending on league standings over the next couple years. Eventually, some of these picks will be used as a package to get one better pick or a star player. And there's a good argument that, if it's going to be the former, now is the time, because again, this is a strong draft. So what specific assets do we have?
I'll go ahead and rank them in descending order by my perception of their value, excluding Wemby because he's obviously the most untouchable of untouchables.
- Sochan and Vassell: Very clearly big parts of this team moving forward and likely starters when our theoretical championship window opens
- Atlanta 2027 unprotected FRP: The Hawks are such a dumpster fire right now in some ways that this could easily end up being a Top 5 pick - notably, the last year of Trae's current contract is 2026-27
- Keldon Johnson: Anyone else tired of talking about him? I'll have a more in-depth look at why trading him might make sense later in this post, but he's still just 23 years old with room to grow and even with his deficiencies, he's got a lot of attractive qualities even if his long-term ceiling might be "good sixth man."
- Atlanta 2025 unprotected FRP
- Atlanta 2026 pick swap: There's an argument that this should be above the 2025 unprotected pick because the 2025 class is looking kinda rough and 2026 includes Cameron Boozer and Cooper Flagg, but ultimately having an extra pick in an individual future draft is, I think, more valuable than a swap because it allows for a move-up package
- Toronto 2024 FRP protected 1-6: Masai Ujiri and the Raptors are a little hard to read right now, even more than usual, but I think there's a good chance this could convey next year and still be in the top 10 somewhere.
- Zach Collins: A good starting center on a bad team or a very good backup center on a better team. He's got the Pop endorsement and trading him would leave our C rotation very light unless we've got something else cooking (not a good thing with Victor coming in), but I wouldn't want him to be the sticking point that holds up a potential good deal.
- Malaki Branham: I might be overrating him a bit here because I'm personally very high on Branham, but I think it's close enough. He's shown very promising flashes at the NBA level already, and if he can get more consistent from 3 it'll be very hard to stop him from scoring. Becoming even a passable defender on top of it would give him 6MOTY-level upside.
- Chicago 2025 FRP protected 1-10: I think Chicago's gonna be forced to blow it up soon. Multiple teams below them in the standings last year should be markedly improved already this season and they might even lose Vooch. So this may not convey for a while, if at all.
- Boston 2028 pick swap, protected for 1st overall: This is probably about even with the Chicago pick, really. Things can change quick in the NBA but I don't expect Boston to be bad for a while, and again, it's just a swap.
- Charlotte 2024 pick, lottery protected: This will almost definitely not convey next year. Maaaaybe in 2025, but I'm really starting to doubt LaMelo's ability to stay on the floor. And a pick outside of the lottery in a bad draft class won't be worth all that much.
- Blake Wesley: I've never been a Wesley believer and he didn't show anything last year to convince me I might be wrong, but maybe some team likes his upside enough that he could work as a sweetener.
- Doug McDermott: A knockdown perimeter movement shooter who isn't worth much on his own, but could be attractive as a veteran piece for a team that can't otherwise hit 3s.
- All of our 20+ SRPs
We also, again, have all of our own FRPs, but there's too many unknowns across the next couple years for me to try and predict their value. Suffice it to say that I wouldn't trade next year's under any circumstances, would only let go of 2025's if it was protected for the lottery, and would probably be willing to have talks about any of them in or after 2026. Potential Trade Analysis
Before anything else, I want to be clear that I'm not advocating for all or even most of these trades. I'm simply doing my best to demonstrate what we might have to give up based on history.
And again, there are a lot of mitigating factors to these other recent trades. Draft class strength, roster makeup, financial situation, etc. - it's impossible to ever get 1-to-1 comparisons for something like this. But I think they work pretty well as rough examples.
Oh, and here's an aggregation of the current "professional" mock drafts out there
in case anyone wants an idea of what prospects we'd be talking about in each position.
One last thing: When I'm talking about trades that have been made for these picks historically, I'm only including ones that were made between the lottery and draft day or on draft night specifically, since obviously the slots for future picks in other trades wouldn't have been known at the time of the deal. Pick #5 (Detroit)
- 2018: DAL trades w/lightly-protected 2019 1st for pick 3 (the now-famous Luka/Trae trade)
We don't have a great comparison point to open with here, but this feels about right to me. No one, media or fans, can agree on Keldon's trade value, and there's some teams I think he very much would not fit on, but I think it makes a lot of sense on Detroit’s end for the reasons Edwards laid out - he opens up a ton of options for the Pistons to experiment with assuming that they actually get a full year of Cade this season and, in the best-case scenario, can become a very good sixth man for them long-term. They really need a young wing, and after the gut punch of falling to #5 where they’re in the unenviable position of having to decide between a bunch of low-floor, high-ceiling guys, they might be tempted to take out the guesswork and go with someone who’s already shown what he can do for a couple years. I'll return to this comparison later, but if Detroit takes Cam Whitmore in this spot, for example, and he becomes what Keldon is now, I think they'd call it a successful pick.
MY EVALUATION: Spurs say no. I think Keldon has more value to SAS than anyone they could be targeting in this spot unless Amen Thompson is still there and the FO is supremely confident in him becoming a decent off-ball player. Pick #6 (Orlando)
- 2013: NOP trades to PHI with protected 2014 first for Jrue Holiday and pick 42
PROPOSAL: SAS trades Devin Vassell, CHI 1st and pick 33 for picks 6 and 36
I’ve seen rumors that ORL might want to package this and their #11 pick to move up, but I don’t know where that comes from. Can’t see Charlotte taking a deal like that, Portland and allegedly Houston want immediate help instead of two more rookies, and the #5 from Detroit wouldn’t really be worth it from the Magic’s standpoint. Maybe they can send #6 and #11 plus Suggs to the Rockets? Either way, the Magic are another of those teams I was talking about earlier that already has a lot of young players that they want to get touches, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they move one of their two picks for something else.
Holiday was coming off an all-star season, and though Vassell is obviously not an all-star (at least not yet), I do think he's a pretty decent approximation of 2013 Jrue Holiday. Same age, and the best players on their respective teams. Good defense, good outside shot and still some room to grow as a self-creator. I think he was probably looking at some MIP votes last year if he hadn’t gotten hurt.
MY EVALUATION: Spurs say no, obviously. They're not trading Devin. I think they could theoretically get this slot just by giving up a big package of picks, but at that point the evaluation becomes too difficult to really be worth it for this exercise IMO. Pick #7 (Indiana)
- 2017: MIN trades pick 7 with Kris Dunn and LaVine to CHI for Jimmy Butler and pick 16
Obviously there’s no real similar deal to be found here - if we had a Jimmy Butler we’d be in a wildly different situation in the first place. I could try to put together a big picks package, but IND is guaranteed a very promising prospect at this spot and, in my opinion, they have too many holes in their team right now (or at least a very large defense-shaped hole) to move it for futures when they're already looking at more picks than they want to make.
MY EVAULATION: They'd ask for Vassell and they won't get him; this pick won't be ours. Moving on. Pick #8 (Washington)
- 2016: SAC trades to PHX for picks 13 and 28, a future 2, and rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic
PROPOSAL: SAS trades Malaki Branham, Tre Jones, TOR 1st, CHA 1st for pick 8 and Delon Wright
Here’s where things start getting a little interesting, because this is the first slot where I can see one of the presumptive primary targets for the Spurs enter the mix in Anthony Black. Indiana might give him a look if they really value his defense and versatility, but I think Walker and Hendricks are more likely directions. So that brings us to Washington. That organization makes my head hurt but I have a hard time seeing a universe where they don’t make this pick. Either they keep smashing their head against the wall of irrelevance or they finally decide to tear it down, and either way it doesn’t make much sense for this pick to find its way to us.
But if the Wizards were to trade this pick, I imagine it'd be because they’re getting a young and high-upside prospect who’s already shown legit NBA flashes in Branham, which they’re sorely lacking and could reasonably be thought of as equivalent to or probably even a little bit better than Bogdanovic in 2016. This also gets them an uber-reliable young backup PG that can be had for a few cheap years (something you'd be pretty happy to get with a #28 pick) and the Spurs take back Wright for salary purposes and to have a veteran PG option of their own, though it’s entirely possible WAS values Wright more highly anyway for defensive purposes.
MY EVALUATION: Both teams say no, although if we put Wesley in there instead of Branham I think things get interesting from the Spurs' point of view. You can never predict the Wizards, but I think Michael Winger would have to be given an offer they can’t refuse to tempt them not to just stay here and pick Black or Hendricks or Whitmore or whoever else has fallen to them. Reportedly, he has the blessing to finally rebuild if he so chooses, and it’s hard to see them not starting the process off here. Not for nothing, but Winger used to work under Presti.
I do wonder what would happen if the Spurs offered Keldon for this pick straight-up, though. If Kuzma leaves, the Washington wing situation suddenly looks completely ghastly. Returning to the "Whitmore-Johnson test," if the Wizards picked Cam up here and he turned into Keldon, I think they'd be quite pleased. Not "all-time draft victory" pleased, but a huge win for a team that's mangled their draft a couple times recently. Pick #9 (Utah)
- 2013: MIN trades to UTA for picks 14 and 21
PROPOSAL: SAS trades CHA 1st and CHI 1st for pick 9
Pretty simple here. If a team thinks that Chicago pick will convey, late lottery seems like a reasonable place to expect it to land. If the Charlotte pick conveys, it'll be in that 15-20 range.
MY EVALUATION: Utah says no because there's a good chance those picks don't convey, because picks in future drafts are always treated as less valuable than those in the same draft, and because Ainge doesn't make trades when he's not fleecing the other team for all their worth. Also, Utah doesn't really need more future picks either.
You know what? That was boring. How about another option?
PROPOSAL: SAS trades Keldon for pick 9
The Ainge factor remains, but in a vacuum I do think this is pretty fair value straight up. Let’s talk about the SAS rotation for a minute assuming they do indeed make SOME trade for a PG prospect. Wemby and Vassell are starting, no question. Collins got the Pop endorsement at the end of last season, so he’s in there too. That leaves four players fighting for two starting spots: Keldon, Sochan, Tre Jones, and the newly drafted PG. Sochan started 53 of the 56 games he played last year, and with the excellent upside he has, I have a hard time imagining he’s not getting the nod at the 3; even if he’s not, he’ll be getting tons of minutes. I and others have supported the Point Sochan experiment, but if we’re bringing in a real PG, I doubt we’ll see a whole lot more of that and they certainly won’t start a Sochan/Vassell/Keldon/Wemby/Collins lineup. So Keldon’s probably sliding to the sixth man role. And that’s fine - if he has a role on this team when they’re ready to contend again, it’ll be that one - but trading a sixth man for the right to select the guy you theoretically think can be Victor’s running mate for a decade, especially when there’s plenty of other guys off the bench that you want to keep giving minutes to, is more than reasonable all things considered.
As far as UTA goes, they need a PG prospect all on their own but I think they can get Kobe Bufkin with their #16 pick and I kinda love the fit there for him. If you’re the Jazz, would you rather have Keldon and Bufkin or, say, Wallace and Leonard Miller? I don’t know the answer to that, but I think there’s at least a chance they’d prefer the latter, as even with a pretty lean roster I don’t know how badly they want to find playing time for three first rounders this year. Keldon and Markkanen don’t even step on each other’s toes in the UTA system, and though they’ll definitely continue the tank this year to avoid losing their 2024 pick, Keldon could easily still be around on a very team-friendly deal by the time they’re ready to start pushing for the playoffs again.
MY EVALUATION: Utah says no strictly because Ainge gonna Ainge. I'm not sure I'd do it if I was the Spurs, either, because injuries will happen and Victor might get more DNPs for load management this year than any of us want to see. But it’s a conversation worth having and I can’t say I’d be falling to my knees in an HEB if it happened on draft night. Pick #10 (Dallas)
- 2018: PHI trades to PHX for pick 16 and a Miami first in 2021
- 2017: SAC trades to POR for picks 15 and 20
- 2014: PHI trades to ORL for pick 12, 2015 second, and 2017 first*
Strap in, this is a fun one.
This is the pick in the lottery that I think is most likely to move, outside of maaaybe #3. That’s kind of awkward, because Dallas wants (needs) talent to help them win now and we don’t have much of that. Specifically, they need defense and a real starting center - if they can get both of those in one guy, so much the better. Keldon doesn’t move the needle for them IMO and we’re obviously not gonna give up Vassell at this slot. The OTHER thing Dallas needs, though, is something we do have in spades: cap room. Our old friend Davis Bertans has one of the worst contracts in the league for next season - $17m for a guy whose defense deficiencies make him unplayable - and while he only has $5m guaranteed in 2024, I think Dallas needs help right now to keep from running a real risk of fracturing their relationship with their best player since Dirk.
I think it’s POSSIBLE Dallas just trades this pick with Bertans and, say, McGee for, the TOR 1st + CHA 1st + a bucket of SRPs or something, then tries their luck in free agency (to go for Jakob or Brook etc.) before using their new draft capital to seek another trade if need be, but I think it’s more likely that we’d be looking at a full-on three-teamer here. There’s a lot of options there depending on which teams are panicking or not, and most of them I don’t find overly likely. Does Boston overreact and give up Robert Williams in a psychotic episode? Does Atlanta move Capela? Eh. Maybe, I guess, but I doubt it. How about Cleveland, though?
This is a pretty skeletal framework of what a deal could look like so don’t take it as absolute gospel. Three-team trades are often complicated enough that there could easily be a few more moving pieces were such a trade to happen.
MY EVALUATION: This could be a winner. I don’t think CLE has
to trade Allen yet, but if they’re not exploring the option and asking themselves some tough questions about whether the pairing with Mobley is the real long-term answer after what happened against the Knicks, they’re not doing their job. THJ shot almost the same percentage on 3s as Caris Levert did last year on over three more attempts per game, and his defense, while not amazing by any means, is better than it gets credit for. Getting rid of Rubio also gives them a little extra salary to play with in free agency - it’s not much, and it’s not a great class, but I think there’s enough there for Cleveland to find a way to make themselves a better playoff team than they were last year. This also lets them recoup some draft capital that is basically nonexistent for them right now after the Mitchell trade.
On the Spurs side, even if Rubio is basically washed, he’s an incredibly smart and experienced PG who could do a lot to mentor the young guy that we’d be bringing in at the position, and if he needs to come in for a few minutes here and there to hold down the fort, that’s fine too - we’re not trying to be good yet. I’d be surprised if we don’t bring in a vet guard in some fashion this offseason regardless. Plus, we have to get to the salary floor before the season starts anyway; why not kill three birds with one stone on this trade?
still says no. I don't know if they're quite ready to pull the plug on Allen. But I don't think it's that far off. Pick #11 (Orlando)
- 2022: NYK trades to OKC for 3 protected first-rounders (DET (protected), WAS (protected), DEN, all 2023)
- 2018: CHA trades to LAC for pick 12 and two 2s
- 2016: ORL trades with Oladipo and Ilyasova to OKC in return for Ibaka
PROPOSAL: SAS trades TOR 1st, CHI 1st, and Doug McDermott for pick 11
Last year's trade is the easiest comparison to make on this list. Not perfect, still, but with the added context of what other trades in this range have brought back, I think it still works. The DET and WAS picks were fairly heavily protected (top 18 and lottery, respectively) and I don’t think it surprised anyone that the Nuggets pick is as late as it is, so despite it being three first rounders the overall value OKC traded wasn’t huge. Even with the Knicks having financial incentive to move off the pick, the package was pretty well in line with historical trades in this range. That said, I think people are viewing the talent around this slot higher than 2022’s at the time, so the offer might need to still be a tiny bit stronger. But one could reasonably
argue the TOR pick alone is more valuable than anything else that's been given for this slot in the last 10 years.
Let's talk about the Magic a little more. Let’s say Orlando is pretty happy with what they’ve got right now, which I think they should be. Banchero was a very deserving ROTY, Franz is a bucket, and they’ve got a lot of promising supplemental pieces. They looked pretty dangerous at times last year, especially in the second half of the season when they were healthy. What they DON’T have is a lot of excess draft capital. They own Denver’s pick in 2025 which isn’t likely to be very valuable, and other than that they have only their own firsts. A trade like this allows them the chance to keep adding lottery talent into the future even if they expectedly become a consistent playoff team, and since they also have #6 this year they don’t even have to completely go without a shiny new rookie to do it. Doug is included because the return still felt a tad light to me and because Orlando was 25th in the league in 3PT% last year - it’ll help if they get a full season of Gary Harris, but if they want to make a strong run at the play-in, they might need a little more. Lots of mocks like them to take Gradey Dick here, and while McDermott obviously wouldn’t figure into their long term plans, if they’re making to look a little noise this year, McDermott is almost definitely giving them more than what Dick would as a rookie.
MY EVALUATION: This is my favorite slot to target and I think it's a fair trade for both teams. Orlando doesn't necessarily need
to add two more lottery guys to their roster this year when they can conceivably make a push for the play-in with what they already have, even while still getting touches for their foundational pieces. The Spurs like McDermott and I'm sure would love to keep him around all else being equal, but I don't think they'd let him stand in the way of getting their PG of the future. It might take the CHA pick as well or maybe a bunch of seconds or something, but I think we have something here all things considered. Pick #12 (Oklahoma City)
- 2016: ATL acquires from UTA in three-team trade (sends Jeff Teague to IND who sends George Hill to UTA)
Now this spot on the other hand... There's nothing to be done here. There’s nothing to be done here. Teague averaged 15pts and 6ast per game as a starter for 5 years in ATL with an all-star season in ‘15. Hill had slightly worse stats in 4 years as a starter in Indiana. Tre Jones plus the TOR 1st might be comparable value, but OKC doesn’t need a PG even at the backup position and they already have more future picks than they know what to do with. The scuttlebutt seems to be saying OKC will trade up if anything, which makes sense, and they certainly don’t need to do anything drastic after the improvement they showed last year and Holmgren still waiting in the wings. I’ve done plenty of looking for an angle on this pick and I just don’t see one. They’ve even got plenty of cap room and no bad salary to begin with. We’ll just move on. Pick #13 (Toronto)
- 2022: CHA trades to NYK for a Denver 1st and four 2nds, who then trade to DET after the draft with Kemba for a Milwaukee 1st in 2025
- 2017: DEN trades to UTA for pick 24 and Trey Lyles
- 2013: DAL trades to BOS for pick 16 and two future seconds
This one needs some intro first. I have no idea what the Raps are planning to do and allegedly the team doesn’t either.
Reportedly, Masai still thinks they have the ability to win now - I don’t know if that means actually winning a championship or just getting to the playoffs, but I think he’s wrong either way. Regardless, he’s such a bizarre trader that it feels impossible to predict what may or may not get a deal done. He overvalues his own players to an absurd degree, but he seems to do the same with Spurs players too. How we ever got a first rounder (that became Branham) for Thad Young and Drew Eubanks I’ll never know. So yeah, there’s certainly a recent history of swaps between us and them, one of which famously worked out amazingly and a couple others that very much didn’t.
Whatever direction Toronto does decide to go in, I think they’d be best served just making this pick. Keldon doesn’t make sense for them and we’re way past the part of the lottery where we’d even consider trading him anyway. But how about another direction?
PROPOSAL: SAS trades CHA 1st and pick 44, plus more future SRPs, and extends protection on 2024 TOR 1st to top-12 in 2024, top 10 in 2025. In return, SAS receives pick 13.
I wonder if something this simple gets it done. Maybe what we can best offer Toronto is flexibility. Maybe they carry this whole “I dunno” mentality into the season and then they’re a completely mediocre team at the trade deadline again staring down the barrel of a lost season where they probably still have to give up a pick to us that could easily fall into the 7-10 range. Would they give up #13 this year to ensure they can’t lose, say, pick #8 next year if their season falls apart? I don’t know, but maybe. With this offer, they even still get to make a couple other picks this year, and they’ve had success with late firsts and early seconds recently on drafts that looked a good deal thinner. Hell, looking at recent swaps for this slot, this even feels almost like an overpay - I think PATFO would have to be very sure about the guy they’re picking to give up a top-6 protected selection from a team in TOR’s current position.
This is the pick right now that I think is the most up in the air as far as availability - it could change dramatically over the next month depending on what sorts of conversations are happening in Raptors HQ. They could move up, they could move down, they could stand pat. I have no idea. It’s also the deal that I think has the most potential to come together extremely quickly on draft night; I could see Toronto having a couple specific guys in mind here and then scrambling to make a deal if they’re suddenly off the board.
MY EVALUATION: Raptors say no, but they think long and hard about it first. Pick #14 (New Orleans) Has not been traded in the last decade.
Sorry to end with a whimper, but yeah, I don’t see a deal to be made here. If they’re healthy they’ll be a team no one wants to see in the playoffs, and if they’re not, there’s nothing much they can do about it at this juncture. They’ve got plenty of future picks, they won’t want anyone on the SAS squad that we’d give up for pick 14, and there will absolutely be talent here that can help them immediately; they’re keeping this. I GUESS they might look for someone to dump Valanciunas in favor of one of the free agent Centers, but that would be kinda risky on their part and they’d probably want a return that’s less abstract than just the cap room and a few second rounders or whatever.
JUST-FOR-FUN PROPOSAL: This hilariousness.
I expect PHX to have better offers on the table for Ayton, but after his disappearing act in the playoffs I wouldn’t say it’s a certainty. Maybe they’re so tired of him that this feels like an okay return, and maybe New Orleans thinks they can unlock whatever potential might be left. This also gets the Spurs the veteran C they reportedly want; JoVal isn’t exactly an elite rim protector but he’s a heck of a rebounder and can stretch the floor on the other end.
Like I said, though, this is just for kicks anyway for the people who want a wild idea; I don’t think the Pels want Ayton and I don’t think they should.
MY EVALUATION: New Orleans says no because they're not insane and Phoenix probably does too. But it was a fun time in the trade machine. So, just to recap...
- Picks I can’t see us getting: 6-8, 12, 14
- Probably not, but I could believe it: 5, 9, 13
- Sweet spot: 10 and 11
Pick #11 is the one I’d spend most of my time going after on the phone if I was an executive. #10 has its merits, especially because I personally like the Rubio idea a lot, but we can get a Cory Joseph or George Hill in free agency just as easily to fill that role, and the larger problem is that we’re already going to be dealing with a roster crunch that Bertans and/or McGee would exacerbate. #11 could end up costing nothing but picks that we have an excess, plus maybe McDermott, who we were perfectly willing to move at the deadline anyway and who would actually open up one of those valuable roster spots as well. I also don’t think there’s much danger in Dallas taking the guy we want if he is still on the board at 10.
Again, don’t take my proposals as any kind of hard offers; several of them I wouldn’t even support myself, as you can see. This is just meant as a quick-and-dirty (well, at least dirty) reference for what kind of value we might be looking at in these discussions.
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2023.05.29 01:57 McSlaughter (PC / US) Peter's Pure Vanilla Extract - Livonia (Z Team) 1PP / Bases / PvP&RP
Looking for a vanilla PC Livonia server?
Peter's Pure Vanilla Extract brings the vanilla experience of Official to a no-mods privately owned community server available to the public! Come and enjoy all that DayZ has to offer, from the throes of surviving the fields and forests to the depths of navigating the underground bunker on Livonia.
"Peter's pure vanilla extract - Just like momma Peter used to make!"
By popular request we have enabled the in-game map that Bohemia included with the server config files to allow our newer players an easier time orienting themselves while playing. Players will still need to rely on their survival instincts to figure out where they are, but now they can pull up the map by pressing "M" in-game.
Now with build anywhere enabled via in-game config files, you can base anywhere you please with more options to build your ideal survivor's home. Explore, build, fight, and join a group of players ranging from totally new to long-time veterans of the game to play DayZ in all its vanilla glory. Friend and foe await you!
Server name: Peter's Pure Vanilla Extract - Livonia (Z Team) 1PP / Bases / PvP&RP
Server IP: 184.108.40.206:2302
Server info: 30 player slots, no mods, build anywhere enabled via gameplay files, cheats not permitted, DALLAS, TX server location.
submitted by McSlaughter
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2023.05.29 00:40 RandomAppalachian468 Don't fly over Barron County Ohio.
The whirring blades of my MD-902 throbbed against the warm evening air, and I smiled.
From 5,000 feet, the ground flew by in a carpet of dark forests and kelly-green fields. The sun hung low on the horizon in a picturesque array of dazzling orange and gold, and I could make out the narrow strip of the Ohio River to my left, glistening in the fading daylight. This time of year, the trees would be full of the sweet aroma of fresh blossoms, and the frequent rains kept small pockets of fluffy white mist hanging in the treetops. It was a beautiful view, one that reminded me of why being a helicopter pilot trumped flying in a jumbo jet far above the clouds every day of the week. Fourteen more days, and I’m debt free.
That made me grin even more. I’d been working as a charter pilot ever since I obtained my license at age 19, and after years of keeping my nose to the grindstone, I was closing on the final payment for real-estate in western Pennsylvania. With no debt, a fixer-upper house on 30 rural acres all to myself, and a respectable wage for a 26-year-old pilot, I looked forward to the financial freedom I could now enjoy. Maybe I’d take a vacation, somewhere exotic like Venice Italy, or the Dominican Republic. Or perhaps I’d sock the money back for the day I started a family. “Remember kleineun, a real man looks after his own.”
My elderly ouma’s
voice came back from the depths of my memories, her proud, sun-tanned face rising from the darkness. She and my Rhodesian grandfather had emigrated to the US when they were newlyweds, as the violence against white Boer descendants in South Africa spiraled out of control. My mother and father both died in a car crash when I was six, and it had been my grandparents who raised me. Due to this, I’d grown up with a slight accent that many of my classmates found amusing, and I could speak both English, and Afrikaans, the Boer tongue of our former home.
I shifted in my seat, stretched my back muscles, and glanced at the picture taped to my console. Both my parents flanked a grinning, gap-toothed six-year-old me, at the last Christmas we’d spent together. My mother beamed, her dark hair and Italian features a sharp contrast to my father’s sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. Sometimes, I liked to imagine they were smiling at me with pride at how well I flew the old silver-colored bird my company had assigned to me, and that made the long, lonely flights easier to bear.
A flicker caught my eye, and I broke my gaze away from the photograph.
Perched in its small cradle above the controls, my little black Garmin fuzzed over for a few seconds, its screen shifting from brightly colored maps to a barrage of grey static. Did the power chord come loose?
I checked, ensuring the power-cable for the unit’s battery was plugged into the port on the control panel. It was a brand-new GPS unit, and I’d used it a few times already, so I knew it wasn’t defective. Granted, I could fly and navigate without it, but the Garmin made my time as a pilot so much easier that the thought of going blind was dreadful.
My fuel gauge danced, clicked to empty, then to full, in a bizarre jolt.
More of the gauges began to stutter, the entire panel seeming to develop terrets all at once, and my pulse began to race. Something was wrong, very wrong, and the sludge inside my bowels churned with sour fear.
“Come on, come on.” I flicked switches, turned dials, punched buttons, but nothing seemed to fix the spasming electronics. Every gauge failed, and without warning, I found myself plunged into inky darkness.
Outside, the sun surrendered to the pull of night, the sky darker than usual. A distant rumble of thunder reverberated above the roar of my helicopter’s engine, and I thought I glimpsed a streak of yellowish lightning on the far horizon to my left. Calm down Chris. We’re still flying, so it must just be a blown fuse. Stay in control and find a place to set her down.
My sweaty palm slid on the cyclic stick, and both feet weighed heavy on the yaw pedals. The collective stuck to my other hand with a nervous vibration, and I squinted against the abyss outside.
I jumped despite myself, as the little Garmin on my panel flared back to life, the static pulling aside to reveal a twitching display. Each time the screen glitched, it showed the colorful map detailing my flight path over the ground below, but I noticed that some of the lines changed, the names shifting, as if the device couldn’t decide between two different versions of the world.
One name jutted out at me, slate gray like most of the major county names, appearing with ghostly flickers from between two neighboring ones. Barron County.
I stared, confused. I’d flown over this section of southeastern Ohio plenty of times, and I knew the counties by heart. At this point, I should have been over the southern end of Noble County, and maybe dipping lower into Washington. There was no Barron County
in Ohio. I was sure of it.
And yet it shown back at me from the digital landscape, a strange, almost cigar-shaped chunk of terrain carved from the surrounding counties like a tumor, sometimes there, sometimes not, as my little Garmin struggled to find the correct map. Rain began to patter against my cockpit window, and the entire aircraft rattled from a strong gust of wind. Thick clouds closed over my field of vision like a sea of gray cotton.
The blood in my veins turned to ice, and I sucked in a nervous breath.
Land. I had to land. There was nothing else to do, my flight controls weren’t responding, and only my Garmin had managed to come back to life. Perhaps I’d been hit by lightning, and the electronics had been fried? Either way, it was too dark to tell, but a storm seemed to be brewing, and if I didn’t get my feet on the ground soon, I could be in real trouble.
“Better safe than sorry.” I pushed down on the collective to start my slow descent and clicked the talking button for my headset. “Any station, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, over.”
“Any station, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, requesting emergency assistance, over.”
Still nothing. If the radio’s dead, I’m really up a creek.
With my hand shaking, I clicked on the mic one more time. “Any station, this is—”
Like a curtain pulling back, the fog cleared from around my window, and the words stuck in my throat.
Without my gauges, I couldn’t tell just how far I’d descended, but I was definitely very low. Thick trees poked up from the ground, and the hills rolled into high ridges with flat valley floors, fields and pastures pockmarking them. Rain fell all around in cold, silvery sheets, a normal feature for the mid spring in this part of Ohio.
What wasn’t normal, were the fires.
At first, I thought they were forest fires for the amount of smoke and flames that bellowed from each spot, but as I swooped lower, my eyes widened in horror.
They were houses.
Farms, cottages, little clusters that barely constituted villages, all of them belched orange flames and black pillars of sooty smoke. I couldn’t hear above the helicopter blades, but I could see the flashes on the ground, along the road, in between the trees, and even coming from the burning buildings, little jets of golden light that spat into the darkness with anger. Gunfire. That’s rifle fire, a whole lot of it.
Tiny black figures darted through the shadows, barely discernable from where I sat, several hundred feet up. I couldn’t see much, but some were definitely running away, the streaks of yellow gunfire chasing them. A few dark gray vehicles rumbled down one of the gravel roads, and sprayed fire into the houses as it went. They were fighting, I realized, the people in the trucks and the locals. It was horrific, like something out of war-torn Afghanistan, but worse.
Then, I caught a glimpse of the others
They didn’t move like the rest, who either fled from the dark vehicles, or fired back from behind cover. These skinny figures loped along with haphazard gaits, many running on all fours like animals, swarming from the trees by the dozens. They threw themselves into the gales of bullets without flinching, attacking anyone within range, and something about the way they moved, so fluid, so fearless, made my heart skip a beat. What is that? “Echo Four Actual to unknown caller, please respond, over.”
Choking back a cry of shock, I fumbled at the control panel with clumsy fingers, the man’s voice sharp and stern. I hadn’t realized that I’d let go of the talking button and clicked it down again. “Hello? Hello, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot out of Pittsburgh, over.”
An excruciating moment passed, and I continued to zoom over the trees, the fires falling away behind me as more silent forest took over. “Roger that Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, we read you loud and clear. Please identify yourself and any passengers or cargo you might be carrying, over.”
Swallowing hard, I eyed the treetops, which looked much closer than they should have been. How far had I descended? “Echo Four Actual, my name is Christopher Dekker, and I am alone. I’m a charter flight from PA, carrying medical equipment for OSU in Columbus. My controls have been damaged, and I am unable to safely carry on due to the storm. Requesting permission to land, over.”
I watched the landscape slide by underneath me, once catching sight of what looked like a little white church
surrounded by smaller huts, dozens of figures in the yard staring up at me as I flew over a nearby ridgeline. “Solid copy on that Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot. Be advised, your transponder shows you to be inside a restricted zone. Please cease all radio traffic, reduce your speed, climb to 3,000 feet and proceed north. We’ll talk you in from there. How copy, over?”
My heart jumped, and I let out a sigh of relief. “Roger that Echo Four Actual, my altimeter is down, but I’ll do my best to eyeball the altitude, over.”
With that, I pulled the collective upward, and tried my best to gauge how far I was by eyesight in the gathering night, rain still coming down all around me. This had to be some kind of disaster or riot, I decided. After all, the voice over the radio sounded like military, and those vehicles seemed to have heavy weapons. Maybe there was some kind of unrest going on here that I hadn’t heard about yet? Kind of weird for it to happen in rural areas though. Spoiled college kids I get, but never saw farmers get so worked up before. They usually love the military.
Something moved in the corner of my eye, and I turned out of reflex.
My mouth fell open, and I froze, unable to scream.
In the sky beside me, a huge shadow glided along, and its leathery wings effortlessly carved through the gloom, flapping only on occasion to keep it aloft. It was too dark for me to see what color it was, but from the way it moved, I knew it wasn’t another helicopter. No, this thing was alive, easily the size of a small plane, and more than twice the length of my little McDonald Douglass. A long tail trailed behind it, and bore a distinct arrow-shaped snout, with twig-like spines fanned out around the back of its head. Whatever legs it had were drawn up under it like a bird, yet its skin appeared rough and knobby, almost resembling tree bark. Without pause, the gigantic bat-winged entity flew along beside me, as if my presence was on par with an annoying fly buzzing about its head.
Gripping the microphone switch so tight, I thought I’d crack the plastic, I whispered into my headset, forgetting all radio protocol. “T-There’s something up here.”
Static crackled. “Douglas Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, say again your last, you’re coming in weak and unreadable, over.”
“There’s something up here.” I snarled into the headset, still glued to the controls of the helicopter, afraid to deviate even an inch from my course in case the monstrosity decided to turn on me. “A freaking huge thing, right beside me. I swear, it looks like a bat or . . . I don’t know.” “Calm down.” The man on the other end of the radio broke his rigorous discipline as well, his voice deep, but level. “It won’t attack if you don’t move too fast. Slowly ease away from it and follow that course until you’re out of sight.”
I didn’t have time to think about how wrong that sounded, how the man’s strict tone had changed to one of knowledge, how he hadn’t been the least surprised by what I’d said. Instead, I slowly turned the helicopter away from the huge menace and edged the speed higher in tiny increments.
As soon as I was roughly two football fields away, I let myself relax, and clicked the mic switch. “It’s not following.” “You’re sure?”
Eyeing the huge flapping wings, I nodded, then remembered he couldn’t see me. “Yeah, I’m well clear.” “Good. Thank you, Mr. Dekker.”
Then, the radio went dead.
Something in my chest dropped, a weight that made my stomach roil. This wasn’t right, none of it. Who was that man? Why did he know about the thing I’d just seen? What was I supposed to—
A flash of light exploded from the trees to my right and shot into the air with a long finger of smoke. What the . . .
On instinct, I jerked the cyclic stick to one side, and the helicopter swung to avoid the rocket. Boom.
My world shook, metal screeched, and a dozen alarms began to go off inside the cockpit in a cacophony of beeps and sirens. Orange and red flames lit up the night sky just behind me, and the horizon started to spin wildly outside. Heat gushed from the cockpit door, and I smelled the greasy stench of burning oil. The safety belts dug into my shoulders, and with a final slip, the radio headset ripped free from my scalp. I’m hit.
Desperate, I yanked on the controls, fought the bird even as she spun toward the ground in a wreath of flames, the inky black trees hurtling up to meet me. The helicopter went into full auto-rotation, the sky blurring past outside, and the alarms blared in a screech of doom. Panic slammed through my temples, I screamed at the top of my lungs, and for one brief second, my eyes locked on the little black Garmin still perched atop my control panel.
Its screen stopped twitching and settled on a map of the mysterious Barron County, with a little red arrow at the center of the screen, a few words popping up underneath it. You are here.
Trees stabbed up into the sky, the belts crushed at my torso, glass shattered all around me, and the world went dark.
Copper, thick, warm, and tangy.
It filled my mouth, stank metallic in my nose, clogged my throat, choking me. In the murkiness, I fought for a surface, for a way out, blind and numb in the dark. This way, kleineun.
voice echoed from somewhere in the shadows. This way.
Both eyes flew open, and I gagged, spitting out a stream of red.
Pain throbbed in my ribs, and a heavy pressure sent a tingling numbness through my shoulders. Blood roared inside my temples, and stars danced before my eyes with a dizzying array. Humid night air kissed my skin, and something sticky coated my face, neck, and arms that hung straight up toward the ceiling.
Wait. Not up. Down.
I blinked at the wrinkled, torn ceiling of the cockpit, the glass all gone, the gray aluminum shredded like tissue paper. Just outside the broken windows, thick Appalachian bluegrass and stemmy underbrush swished in a feeble breeze, backlit by flashes of lightning from the thunderstorm overhead. Green and brown leaves covered everything in a wet carpet of triangles, and somewhere nearby, a cricket chirped.
Turning my head from side to side, I realized that I hung upside down inside the ruined helicopter, the top half burrowed into the mud. I could hear the hissing and crackling of flames, the pattering of rain falling on the hot aluminum, and the smaller brush fires around the downed aircraft sizzling out in the damp long grass. Charred steel and burning oil tainted the air, almost as strong as the metallic, coppery stench in my aching nose. They shot me down. That military dude shot me out of the sky.
It didn’t make sense. I’d followed their orders, done everything they’d said, and yet the instant I veered safely away from whatever that thing in the sky had been, they’d fired, not at it, but at me.
Looking down (or rather, up) at my chest, I sucked in a gasp, which was harder to do that before.
The navy-blue shirt stuck to my torso with several big splotches of dark, rusty red. Most were clean slashes, but two held bits of glass sticking out of them, one alarmingly bigger than the other. They dripped cherry red blood onto my upturned face, and a wave of nausea hit me. I gotta get down.
I flexed my arms to try and work some feeling back into them, praying nothing was broken. Half-numb from hanging so long, I palmed along my aching body until I felt the buckled for the seat belts.
“Okay.” I hissed between gritted teeth, in an effort to stave off my panic. “You can do this. Just hold on tight. Nice and tight. Here we go . . .” Click.
Everything seemed to lurch, and I slid off the seat to plummet towards the muck-filled hole in the cockpit ceiling. My fingers were slick with blood and slipped over the smooth faux-leather pilot’s seat with ease. The shoulder belt snagged on the bits of glass that lay just under the left lowest rib, and a flare of white-hot pain ripped through me. Wham.
I screamed, my right knee caught the edge of the aluminum ceiling, and both hands dove into a mound of leaf-covered glass shards on the opposite side of the hole. My head swam, being right-side-up again enough to make shadows gnaw at the corner of my eyes.
Forcing myself to breath slowly, I fought the urge to faint and slid back to sit on the smooth ceiling. I turned my hands over to see half a dozen bits of clear glass burrowed into my skin like greedy parasites, red blood weeping around the new cuts.
“Screw you.” I spat at the rubbish with angry tears in my eyes. “Screw you, screw you, screw you.”
The shards came out easy enough, and the cuts weren’t that deep, but that wasn’t what worried me. On my chest, the single piece of cockpit glass that remined was almost as big as my palm, and it really hurt. Just touching it felt like self-inflicted torture, but I knew it had to come out sooner or later. Please don’t nick a vein.
Wiping my hands dry on my jeans, I gripped the shard with both hands, and jerked.
Fire roared over my ribs, and hot blood tickled my already grimy pale skin. I clapped a hand over the wound, pressing down hard, and grunted out a string of hateful expletives that my ouma would have slapped me for.
Lying on my back, I stared around me at the messy cargo compartment of the MD-902. Most of the medical supplies had been in cardboard boxes strapped down with heavy nylon tow-straps, but several cases had ruptured with the force of the impact, spraying bandages, syringes, and pill bottles all over the cluttered interior. Orange flames chewed at the crate furthest to the rear, the tail section long gone, but the foremost part of the hold was intact. Easily a million-dollar mess, it would have made me faint on any other trip, but today it was a godsend.
Half-blind in the darkness, I crawled along with only the firelight and lightning bolts to guide me, my right knee aching. Like a crippled raccoon, I collected things as I went, conscious of the two pallets of intact supplies weighing right over my head. I’d taken several different first-aid courses with some hunting buddies of mine, and the mental reflexes kicked in to help soothe my frazzled mind. Check for bleeds, stop the worst, then move on
Aside from my battered chest and stomach, the rest of me remained mostly unharmed. I had nasty bruises from the seatbelts, my right knee swelled, my nose slightly crooked and crusted in blood, but otherwise I was intact. Dowsing every scratch and cut with a bottle of isopropyl alcohol I found, I used butterfly closures on the smaller lacerations that peppered my skin. I wrapped soft white gauze over my abused palms and probed at the big cut where the last shard had been, only stopping when I was sure there were no pieces of glass wedged inside my flesh.
“Not too bad.” I grunted to myself, trying to sound impassive like a doctor might. “Rib must have stopped it. Gonna need stitches though. That’ll be fun.”
Pawing through the broken cases, I couldn’t find any suture chord, but just as I was about to give up, I noticed a small box that read ‘medical skin stapler’. Bingo.
I tore the small white plastic stapler free from its packaging and eyeballed the device. I’d never done this before, only seen it in movies, and even though the cut in my skin hurt, I wondered if this wouldn’t be worse. You’ve gotta do it. That bleeding needs to stop. Besides, no one’s coming to rescue you, not with those rocket-launching psychos out there.
Taking a deep breath, I pinched the skin around the gash together, and pressed the mouth of the stapler to it. Click.
A sharp sting, like that of a needle bit at the skin, but it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as the cut itself. I worked my way across the two-inch laceration and gave out a sigh of relief when it was done.
“Not going to bleed to death today.” I daubed ointment around the staples before winding more bandages over the wound.
Popping a few low-grade painkillers that tumbled from the cargo, I crawled wriggled through the nearest shattered window into the wet grass.
Raindrops kissed my face, clean and cool on my sweaty skin. Despite the thick cloud cover, there was enough constant lightning strikes within the storm to let me get glimpses of the world around me. My helicopter lay on its back, the blades snapped like pencils, with bits and pieces of it burning in chunks all around the small break in the trees. Chest-high scrub brush grew all around the low-lying ground, with pockets of standing water in places. My ears still rang from the impact of the crash, but I could start to pick up more crickets, frogs, and even some nocturnal birds singing into the darkness, like they didn’t notice the huge the hulk of flaming metal that had fallen from the sky. Overhead, the thunder rumbled onward, the feeble wind whistling, and there were other flashes on the horizon, orange and red ones, with crackles that didn’t sound quite like lightning. The guns. They’re still fighting.
Instinctively, I pulled out my cellphone, and tapped the screen.
It fluttered to life, but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get through to anyone, not even with the emergency function designed to work around having no service. The complicated wonder of our modern world was little better than a glorified paperweight.
Stunned, I sat down with my back to the helicopter and rested my head against the aluminum skin of the craft. How I’d gone from a regular medical supply run to being marooned in this hellish parody of rural America, I didn’t know, but one thig was certain; I needed a plan. Whoever fired the missile could have already contacted my charter company and made up some excuse to keep them from coming to look for me. No one else knew I was here, and even though I now had six staples holding the worst of my injuries shut, I knew I needed proper medical attention. If I wanted to live, I’d have to rescue myself. My bag. I need to get my go-bag, grab some gear and then . . . head somewhere else.
It took me a while to gather my green canvas paratrooper bag from its place behind the pilot’s seat and fill it with whatever supplies I could scrounge. My knee didn’t seem to be broken, but man did it hurt, and I dreaded the thought of walking on it for miles on end. I focused instead on inventorying my gear and trying to come up with a halfway intelligent plan of action.
I had a stainless-steel canteen with one of those detachable cups on the bottom, a little fishing kit, some duct tape, a lighter, a black LED flashlight with three spare batteries, a few tattered road maps with a compass, a spare pair of socks, medical supplies from the cargo, and a simple forest green plastic rain poncho. I also managed to unearth a functioning digital camcorder my ouma had gotten me for Christmas a few years back, though I wasn’t sure I wanted to do any filming in such a miserable state. Lastly, since it was a private supply run from a warehouse area near Pittsburgh to a direct hospital pad in Ohio, I’d been able to bring my K-Bar, a sturdy, and brutally simple knife designed for the Marine Corps that I used every time I went camping. It was pitiful in comparison to the rifle I wished I had with me, but that didn’t matter now. I had what I had, and I doubted my trusty Armalite would have alleviated my sore knee anyway.
Clicking on my flashlight, I huddled with the poncho around my shoulders inside the wreck of the chopper and peered at the dusty roadmaps. A small part of me hoped that a solution would jump out from the faded paper, but none came. These were all maps of western PA and eastern Ohio. None of them had a Barron County on them anywhere. The man on the radio said to head north, right before they shot me down. That means they must be camped out to the north of here. South had that convoy and those burning houses, so that’s a no-go. Maybe I can backtrack eastward the way I came.
As if on cue, a soft pop echoed from over the eastern horizon, and I craned to look out the helicopter window, spotting more man-made flashes over the tree tops.
“Great.” I hissed between clenched teeth, aware of how the temperature dipped to a chilly 60 degrees, and how despite the conditions, my stomach had begun to growl. “Not going that way, are we? Westward it is.”
Walking away from my poor 902 proved to be harder than I’d anticipated. Despite the glass, the fizzling fires, and the darkness, it still held a familiar, human essence to it. Sitting inside it made me feel secure, safe, even calm about the situation. In any other circumstance, I would have just stayed with the downed aircraft to wait for help, but I knew the men who shot me down would likely find my crash site, and I didn’t want to be around when they did.
Unlike much of central and western Ohio, southeastern Ohio is hilly, brushy, and clogged with thick forests. Thorns snagged at my thin poncho and sliced at my pant legs. My knee throbbed, every step a form of self-inflicted torture. The rain never stopped, a steady drizzle from above just cold enough to be problematic as time went on, making me shiver. Mud slid under my tennis shoes, and every tree looked ten times bigger in the flickering beam of my cheap flashlight. Icy fear prickled at the back of my neck at some of the sounds that greeted me through the gloom. I’d been camping loads of times, both in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, but these noises were something otherworldly to me.
Strange howls, screeches, and calls permeated the rain-soaked sky, some almost roars, while others bordered on human in their intonation. The more I walked, the softer the distant gunfire became, and the more prevalent the odd sounds, until the shadows seemed to fill with them. I didn’t dare turn off my flashlight, or I’d been completely blind in the dark, but a little voice in the back of my head screamed that I was too visible, crunching through the gloomy forest with my long beam of light stabbing into the abyss. It felt as though a million eyes were on me, studying me, hunting me from the surrounding brush, and I bitterly recalled how much I’d loved the old Survivor Man TV series as a kid. Not so fun being out in the woods at night. Especially alone.
A twig snapped somewhere behind me, and I whirled on the spot, one trembling hand resting on the hilt of my K-Bar.
Nothing. Nothing but trees, bushes, and rain dripping down in the darkness.
“This is stupid.” I whispered to myself to keep my nerves in check as I slowly spun on the spot. “I should have went eastward anyway. God knows how long I’m going to have to—” Creak.
A groan of metal-on-metal echoed from somewhere to my right, and I spun to face it, yanking the knife on my belt free from its scabbard. It felt so small and useless in my hand, and I choked down a wave of nauseas fear. Ka-whump. Creak. K-whump. Creak.
Underbrush cracked and crunched, a few smaller saplings thrashed, and from deep within the gloom, two yellow orbs flared to life. They poked through the mist in the trees, forming into slender fingers of golden light that swept back and forth in the dark. The soldiers . . . they must be looking for me.
I swallowed hard and turned to slink away.
Ice jammed through my blood, and I froze on the spot, biting my tongue to stop the scream.
It stood not yards away, a huge form that towered a good twelve feet tall in the swirling shadows. Unpolished chrome blended with flash-rusted spots in the faded red paint, and grime-smeared glass shone with dull hues in the flashes of lightning. Where the wheels should have been, the rounded steel axels curved like some enormous hand had bent them, and the tires lay face-down on the muddy ground like big round feet, their hubcaps buried in the dirt. Dents, scrapes, and chips covered the battered thing, and its crooked little radio antenna pointed straight up from the old metal fender like a mast. I could barely make out the mud-coated VW on the rounded hood, and my mind reeled in shock. Is . . . is that a car?
Both yellow headlights bathed me in a circle of bright, blinding light, and neither I nor the strange vehicle moved.
Seconds ticked by, the screech-thumping in the background only growing closer. I realized that I couldn’t hear any engine noises and had yet to see any soldiers or guns pointed my way. This car looked old, really old, like one of those classic Volkswagen Beetles that collectors fought over at auctions. Try as I might, I couldn’t see a driver inside the murky, mold-smeared windows.
Because there wasn’t one.
Lightning arched across the sky overhead, and the car standing in front of me blinked.
Its headlights slid shut, as if little metal shades had crawled over the bulbs for a moment and flicked open again. Something about that movement was so primal, so real, so lifelike, that every ounce of self-control I had melted in an instant.
Cursing under my breath, I lunged into the shrubs, and the world erupted around me.
Under my shoes, the ground shook, and the car surged after me in a cacophony of ka-thumps that made my already racing heart skip several beats. A weather-beaten brown tow truck from the 50’s charged through the thorns to my left, it’s headlights ablaze, and a dilapidated yellow school bus rose from its hiding place in the weeds to stand tall on four down-turned axel-legs. They all flicked their headlights on like giants waking from their slumber, and as I dodged past them, they each blared their horn into the night in alarm.
My breaths came short and tight, my knee burned, and I crashed through thorns and briars without thought to how badly I was getting cut up.
The cheap poncho tore, and I ripped it away as it caught on a tree branch.
A purple 70’s Mustang shook off its blanket of creeping vines and bounded from a stand of trees just ahead, forcing me to swerve to avoid being run over, my adrenaline at all-time highs. This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening.
Slipping and sliding, I pushed through a stand of multiflora rose, and stumbled out into a flat, dark expanse.
I almost skidded to a stop.
What had once been a rather large field stood no taller than my shoestrings, the grass charred, and burnt. The storm above illuminated huge pieces of wreckage that lay scattered over the nearly 40-acre plot, and I could just make out the fire-blackened hulk of a fuselage resting a hundred yards away. The plane had been brought down a while ago it seemed, as there weren’t any flames left burning, and I threw myself toward it in frenzied desperation.
Burned grass and greasy brown topsoil slushed underfoot, and I could hear the squelching of the cars pursing me. Rain soaked me to the bone, and my lungs ached from sucking down the damp night air. A painful stich crept into my side, and I cursed myself for not putting in more time for cardio at the gym.
Something caught my left shoelace, and I hurtled to the ground, tasting mud and blood in between my teeth. They’ve got me now.
I clawed at the mud, rolled, and watched a tire slam down mere inches from where my head had been. The Mustang loomed over me and jostled for position with the red Volkswagen and brown tow truck, the school bus still a few yards behind them. They couldn’t seem to decide who would get the pleasure of stomping me to death, and like a herd of stampeding wildebeest, they locked bumpers in an epic shoving match.
On all fours, I scampered out from under the sparring brutes, and dashed for the crumpled airplane, a white-painted DC-3 that looked like it had been cut in half by a gargantuan knife blade. I passed a snapped wing section, the oily remains of a turbo-prop engine, and a mutilated wheel from the landing gear. Climbing over a heap of mud, I squeezed into the back of the ruined flight cabin and dropped down into the dark cargo hold. Wham.
No sooner had my sneakers hit the cold metal floor, and the entire plane rocked from the impact of something heavy ramming it just outside. I tumbled to my knees, screaming in pain as, once again, I managed to bash the sore one off a bracket in the wall.
My hand smeared in something gooey, and I scrabbled for my flashlight.
It clicked on, a wavering ball of white light in the pitch darkness, and I fought the urge to gag. “Oh man . . .”
Three people, or what was left of them, lay strewn over the narrow cargo area. Claret red blood coated the walls, caked on the floor, and clotted under my mud-spattered shoes. Bits of flesh and viscera were stuck to everything, and tatters of cloth hung from exposed sections of broken bone. An eerie set of bloody handprints adorned the walls, and the only reason I could tell it had been three people were the shoes; all of them bore anklebones sticking out above blood-soaked socks. It smelled sickly sweet, a strange, nauseas odor that crept into my nose and settled on the back of my tongue like an alien parasite.
Something glinted in the beam of my flashlight, and my pulse quickened as I pried the object loose from the severed arm that still clung to it.
“Hail Mary full of Grace.” I would have grinned if it weren’t for the fact that the plane continued to buck and roll under the assault from the cars outside.
The pistol looked old, but well-maintained, aside from the light coating of dark blood that stained its round wooden handle. It felt heavy, but good in my hand, and I turned it over to read the words, Waffenfabrik Mauser
stenciled into the frame, with a large red 9 carved into the grip. For some reason, it vaguely reminded me of the blasters from Star Wars.
I fumbled with a little switch that looked like a safety on the back of the gun and stumbled toward a gap in the plane’s dented fuselage to aim out at the surrounding headlights. Bang.
The old gun bucked reliably in my hand, its long barrel spitting a little jet of flame into the night. I had no idea if I hit anything, but the attacking cars recoiled, their horns blaring in confusion.
They turned, and scuttled for the tree line as fast as their mechanical legs could go, the entire ordeal over as fast as it had begun. Did I do that?
Perplexed, I stared down at the pistol in my hand. Whoosh.
A large, inky black shadow glided down from the clouds, and the yellow school bus moved too slow to react in time.
With a crash, the kicking nightmarish vehicle was thrown onto its side, spraying glass and chrome trim across the muddy field. Its electro-synth horn blared with wails of mechanical agony, as two huge talon-like feet clamped down on it, and the enormous head of the flying creature lowered to rip open its engine compartment.
The horn cut out, and the enormous flying entity jerked its head back to gulp down a mass of what looked like sticky black vines from the interior of the shattered bus.
At this range, I could see now that the flying creature bore two legs and had its wings half-tucked like a vulture that had descended to feed on roadkill. Its head turned slightly, and in the glow of another lightning bolt, my jaw went slack at the realization of what it was. A tree trunk. It’s a rotted tree trunk.
I couldn’t tell where the reptilian beast began, and where the organic tree components ended, the upper part of the head shaped like a log, while the lower jaw resembled something out of a dinosaur movie. Its skin looked identical to the outside of a shagbark hickory but flexed with a supple featheriness that denoted something closer to skin. Sharp branch-like spines ranged down its back, and out to the end of its tail, which bore a massive round club shaped like a diseased tree-knot. Crouched on both hind legs, it braced the hooked ends of its folded wings against the ground like a bat, towering higher than a semi-truck. Under the folds of its armored head, a bulging pair of chameleon-like eyes constantly spun in their sockets, probing the dark for threats while it ate.
One black pupil locked onto the window I peered through, and my heart stopped.
The beast regarded me for a moment, making a curious, sideways sniff.
With a proud, contemptful head-toss, the shadow from the sky parted rows of razor-sharp teeth to let out a roar that shook the earth beneath my feet. It was the triumphant war cry of a creature that sat at the very top of the food chain, one that felt no threat from the fragile two-legged beings that walked the earth all around it. It hunted whenever it wanted, ate whatever it wanted, and flew wherever it wanted. It didn’t need to rip the plane apart to devour me.
Like my hunter-gatherer ancestors from thousands of years ago, I wasn’t even worth the energy it would take to pounce.
I’m hiding in the remains of the cockpit now, which is half-buried under the mud of the field, enough to shield the light from my screen so that thing doesn’t see it. My service only now came back, and it’s been over an hour since the winged beast started in on the dead bus. I don’t know when, or how I’m going to get out of here. I don’t know when anyone will even see this post, or if it will upload at all. My phone battery is almost dead, and at this point, I’m probably going to have to sleep among the corpses until daylight comes.
A dead man sleeping amongst friends.
If you live in the Noble County area in southeastern Ohio, be careful where you drive, fly, and boat. I don’t know if it’s possible to stumble into this strange place by ground, but if so, then these things are definitely headed your way.
If that happens . . . pray that they don’t find you.
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2023.05.28 22:00 1000000000000Pencils Cornell Vet/Animal Science?
(Note: I am asking this out of boredom not necessity, I am not applying anytime soon)
I haven't seen any personal discussions or descriptions on what the Cornell AnSci program is like? From what I've seen on the campus (through google maps) there are a lot of buildings in the area that involve animals (like animal hospitals and such), so I wanted to ask if anyone can describe what the program is like? Any info is appreciated.
Some other things i would want to know about is how you get to class, what classes do you take, and how easy is it to intern after undergrad?
submitted by 1000000000000Pencils
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2023.05.28 19:58 JulianSkies Field Medic Technical Exchange - A one shot
Date: December 14th, 2136 Standard Terran Time - Day One
I am Sergeant Paulo Martinez, of the United Nations’ 12th Marine Regiment, field doctor. Unfortunately for my bosses, I’m not writing this
diary for them. This one is for my sister. Yes you read that right, Maria, this one’s for you so i’m doing it the way I think you’d like it done.
So, lil’ sis the historian always talks about how the most fun historical discoveries are in mundane documents, a lot of stuff gets lost to time with just official documents, so when I told her I was going to visit Colia on official business, in fact at request of the Zurulian government, she just straight up begged me to keep a personal diary. Even if I never show her, in like a hundred years it’d be a more accurate story of what happens than any official report. So… This is it.
To explain better, in preparation for future operations the UN is trying to integrate alien advanced technology and methodology with ours, both to patch up theirs where it’s missing (as is often the case with their methods) and prop up ours (usually technical). My case, however, is a bit particular while being part of the same initiative. The government of Colia, that’s the Zurilian homeworld by the by, has requested a technical exchange with a field medic experienced in combat operations in order to help them prepare for the inevitable need for their famed medical expertise to be applied on the field, i’m not sure what my counterpart is going to be doing
back home but I bet he isn’t going to be with the marines.
Anyway, it seems like I'm to be set up with a group of first responders for a grand total of a week, see what I can learn and see what I can teach. Shuttle (which is tiny, by the way, love those teddy bears but they’re tiny and their bespoke crafts are tiny) will be arriving in another hour and after that i’m to head for a briefing.
Okay! Still the first day, or night right now. I got to meet the crew I’m to be training with and got a better grasp of what I’m actually working with here. I made a mistake previously, it’s not first responders, I’m training with a unit from the First Response Fleet. Those guys have an entire fleet
in charge of emergency response to any catastrophe, admittedly it’s not a very large one it’s just their flagship “Beacon of Hope” and a small group of support ships like two fuel barges (seriously what is their operational range to have fuel barges?) and some lander shuttles.
For a moment I thought it made sense why they sent a marine, those are military right? Nope, those are civilians as far as I can tell. I got to meet some of the people I’ll be training with though! They’re a fun bunch, and boy did they barrage me with questions. Remember the stories back early during first contact about aliens asking all sorts of stupid questions? Now picture that at quintuple speed and all of the medical variety, at some point I had to shut them all down. Not because they were annoying, mind, but because the questions started getting far
outside of my field of expertise. I’m a marine combat medic, not an endocrinologist!
Which made me curious, so when I asked it turns out they’re all proper doctors! Out of a crew of twenty, because apparently the crews train together based on which lander shuttle they’re assigned to, we had ten
surgeons of different varieties, three neurolinguists, two geneticists… I don’t even remember what the other five were but none of them with less than five years of schooling and all but one with at least eight years in the First Response Fleet, that other one was fresh out of getting his PhD, however. Date: December 15th, 2136 Standard Terran Time - Day Two, Training
Apparently the FRF has its own facilities for training and fleet maintenance. I woke up early to get a look at the place and… I admit I’m a little surprised? This doesn’t look like what I was expecting, because it feels familiar
. There were a lot of restricted areas, expected in a medical facility, but this felt different because a medical college, what I thought this was, wouldn’t have armed guards.
It also wouldn’t have a starship drydock. And it wouldn’t be designed like this. This place looks more like a federation-style military base than anything you’d see a bunch of civilian doctors in. I wonder if they’re essentially contractors to the military?
After a short tour on my own I went to have breakfast, and if this didn’t look like every military mess hall in the universe I’d throw my stripes in the trash. Boy are the teddy bears noisy, though, if there’s one thing I can say they’d beat any marine at is making a goddamn ruckus. I readied myself for some bland vegan breakfast, which don’t get me wrong I get it they’re herbivores and all but I usually I really miss my protein and the taste you know, but I was very surprised. I couldn’t tell you the name
of the plants I ate but… Just… How can vegan food be this tasty
? I thought aliens didn’t know how to cook?
Well, I was sure as hell wrong about that. I’m actually writing this at the end of the day and I’m chewing on a raw root for heavens’ sake because this thing tastes like mint and cashews? Most aliens might not know how to cook but apparently the teddy bears aren’t most aliens in this case.
Anyway, back to some chronological telling. I also learned they love tea, they can’t really start the day without tea and I don’t mean the pansy stuff from Earth (i’m a coffee drinker), oh no. I never thought steeped flower leaves would give me the caffeine jitters, but I should have when I saw they were black. Right, one of the gals in my unit is a biochemist, and she made this very weird joke to me if I could taste the poison on the tea? Humans have gotta stop the damn capsaicin hype before they think we can drink actual poison.
Surprisingly tasty breakfast over, me and the unit went for the first training of the day. As part of a disaster response team they need to keep fit, so morning is physical training. Now, you’re going to read this and think it’s weird, right? Wouldn’t it be paramedics or firefighters doing this particular piece of job instead of full blown PhDs with doctorates and all that? Yes it’s that weird.
Running, pushups, pullups, you know the whole full body training regimen? That’s how it started, I thought I was going to smoke the teddy bears but… Good heavens, I can’t in good conscience say I did. I mean, yeah, I outperformed every one of them but that was close
, I swear the only reason I outperformed them is because of mother nature because it sure wasn’t my training and I’m, not to toot my own horn too much, a goddamn marine.
Afterwards we had ‘deployment’ drills. Yes I’m calling them drills because at this point I’m certain those guys are military in some weird way. Deployment in this case refers to the simple act of exiting the lander shuttle and deploying the field hospital. Guy in charge of training said today they were going easy because of me since I’ve never done this before, to general cheer of the rest of the unit.
The basics of deployment training is, we all get inside the lander with the gear, wait a minute to simulate the landing procedures, then we unload the gear and set it up as fast as possible but prioritizing no mistakes. So off I went to start, first boarding the lander, which was the actual lander we were assigned to. When I asked I was told this was so we’d be familiarized with the idiosyncrasies of the equipment we’d actually use in the field, in fact all of the gear we were training with WAS the gear they used in the field.
My first surprise was how… Cramped the lander was. And by that I mean this was an eight-person craft carrying twenty plus enough medical equipment to set up a field hospital. This was frankly absurd, in order to create enough space for me two of them had to sit on my lap because there wasn’t enough room, half of them had to stay standing! “We don’t take up a lot of space” one of them told me.
Apparently, these lander shuttles are perfectly safe to ride standing and there were specific roles for people who were standing, they’re supposed to start moving some of the gear out the instant the landing ramp hits the ground. That’s what they’re supposed to do anyway, but that isn’t exactly what happened. The landing pad is equipped with some kind of setup to simulate the ship’s landing impact, and that was some movement discipline I haven’t ever seen before- I felt the downwards impact of the ship, but before elastic forces moved it back up as ships do when landing this hard, people were already moving.
They didn’t start moving gear when the landing ramp hit the ground. They moved so fast that the first piece of gear, the power generator, hit the ground moving into place less than a second after the tip of the ramp hit the floor.
The whole deployment training was four hours. We repeated the deployment procedures for four hours without rest, and it wasn’t simple. This isn’t a field hospital in human terms, my friends, no. One of the first things set up is a power generator, after that a communications array to call up the flagship, then they bring out the tents but those aren’t the simple bed and clean space affair. They use shielding technology to keep particulates out, the operation tent even uses that system to create an airlock to keep the air inside clean. There’s an entire miniature operation theater, there’s a rapid diagnosis rig with a whole ass ton of sensors operated with VR as well as two tents just for patient recovery.
Those are neither simple nor light pieces of kit. That’s some sci-fi supertech shit right there. The target deployment time is five minutes. Five. Fucking. Minutes. I don’t think I could set up a tent
in five minutes. Hell, when they started moving I had to reign in my instincts, it looked like I was getting ready for breaching action. Oh, they were taking it easy and instructing me all the time, took them fifteen minutes to set up the entire field hospital.
After that bit of intense training, it was dinner time. Did you know that there is a specific kind of plant here that when you mix its dried and powdered leaves with some of the local flora it induces the maillard reaction? Fucking cold-fried tubers is what I got, it’s like those slightly citric cold fries that have all the good
parts of fries but are cold? Alien food I swear, if I ever have to turn vegan I’m only eating at zurulian restaurants.
And then it was study time, gotta keep up on the latest medical science and they afford you time to do that. Pretty damn impressive library they’ve got, not just some proper paperback books mostly for historical value (did you know paper here is black
and they use a dark red ink to write in it? Weird alien trees) but an immense digital library. I was a bit at a loss of what to do , I’m at best a paramedic not a doctor needing to keep up with the latest and greatest, thankfully one of the guys on my unit showed up with some first response manuals with the basics for every species. And then promptly dragged me to the unit’s study group because apparently the entire unit also studies together.
Man I thought that was going to be annoying, it thankfully wasn’t. Damn cheerful bunch they are, real classy body horror jokes as well. I’ll be honest I never thought I’d see an alien get
dark humor, nevermind start it, but I like those teddy bears. Also none of that better-than-you crap I thought I was going to get either, they helped me out a fair bit memorizing some procedures (seriously, there’s a method
for mouth-to-mouth on a bird that works, but boy is it going to be nasty) and awkward as it was having a nearby human was plenty helpful since they were all studying human medicine.
And oh, hey, that’s the door. I got invited for a bit of a welcoming party. I’ll add more when I get back. Date: December 17th, 2136 Standard Terran Time - Day Four, Hangover
Sooo… Apparently tea brewing is a far more complex and ancient art here I guess? Did you know there’s a kind of plant that builds up alcohol inside of it here? And with the right steeping process you get this very tasty alcoholic green tea that just sneaks up
on you like a motherfucker? That’s why you’re not getting anything from yesterday, jesus fuck deployment drills, timed this time, on an ungodly hangover were not fun. Turns out this unit’s usual time is seven minutes, by the way.
Got to learn a fair bit about zurulian biology that night out, though. And clean up your mind, that’s not what I mean. Turns out they’re quite more sensitive to some chemicals than humans, or at least sensitive in different ways. They’re also WAY more open to recreational drugs, it turns out, especially in drinkable form.
One of ‘em got this thing that looked like an ashtray? And it was burning something. Dude just put it on the table and took whiffs of it now and then. I got curious and went to try and holy crap I got dizzy just getting close to it? Lum leaves, he told me, they give a nice buzz he said. Nice buzz? It’d have knocked me right out if I didn’t step back fast enough, apparently whatever’s in lum leaves at best works like a beer for them, though. And the weird part is he said it tasted good.
That was when I learned that zurulians have a damn fine sense of taste. Which, by the way, explained why they were passing by a rock and licking it at some point. I thought they were trying to weird me out but no it’s apparently some kind of palate cleanser, I tried but it just kind of tasted of rock. And, it turns out that their tongues can detect some usually-airborne chemicals as well! Including ones their noses can! They can detect some things as both taste and
And apparently after the fifth cup of tea I was asking them what all sorts of things tasted for them and I could not tell you the answers because I should have stopped at my second. Except for one thing, I think whoever I asked was high as a kite too to accept it but I asked what I tasted like. Look I was really intoxicated as well. She said I tasted like I had vitamin deficiency? And… I don’t know, I know I never ate properly but how the hell do you tell that with your tongue?
Don’t feel it’d be very decent to ask
that, though. You don’t make wise, or decent, decisions when you’re so out of your mind you get a thirty-hour hangover later.
As for the day, it’s been deployment drills and studying. But we did get to play with a few more toys between the drills and dinner, the unit got to test out (or well, make sure they were working) a bunch of fun-looking portable piston units, they also had a couple of plasma torches and a magnetic cutter (think a hydraulic cutter but instead of hydraulics it’s magnetism, looks silly but damn thing could cut through a support strut of a starship in half the time of a hydraulic). I, of course, didn’t get to play with any of those. They were built for zurulian bodies and according to the trainer if I ever were to work with the Fleet they’d just treat my body as another set of tools anyway. I mean I get it, nature gifted me a larger and stronger body than theirs, but he could have been less blunt about that. Date: December 18th, 2136 Standard Terran Time - Day Five, Emergency
Soo… See how I’m being cute with titles? Look you’re lucky I’m writing in english and not japanese or else you’d be getting triple-sized titles, I love me some good titles. I wish I was talking about emergency response training
I’m a diligent man, I haven’t been skimping on preparing my official report, in fact a third of study time I’ve spent on writing the report. Super detailed, put as much as I damn well could in those, described every last bit of tech, hell I described the seating arrangements per specialty for deployment because apparently you can shave seconds
off of deployment with the correct arrangement. Even included the fact it was faster for me to just carry the two guys on my lap out and drop them on top (yes on top) of the storage unit going to the surgery tent than to wait for there to be enough space for them to hop off.
So my official report is out. I’m going to write a second, too, about whatever else happens. I made a quick call to HQ and got the go ahead too. Earth’s gearing up to fight the feds but that doesn’t mean the rest of this old bullshit war isn’t going on. There’s been an arxur raid on a colony world, apparently a venlil colony, and we’re deploying. Sorry, I’m not going to just go back home and wait for the call to action when I can help something going on right now. Plus I know it’s been just five days but damn, I like those guys. I hope dealing with a raid aftermath isn’t going to break them.
excuseme, what. Sorry, I am currently on the lander shuttle as we make our way up to the Beacon of Hope. I was going to finish there and then but I heard it… Someone talking to the newest guy “You get used to it”. You get used to it? Did they do this that often? Or was he just trying to be nice?
Not the time to ask. Date: December 19th, 2136 Standard Terran Time - Day Six, Stalking
The trip was fast. Alarmingly fast. I can tell the Beacon of Hope has probably the best FTL drive ever created or something like that. It was two thirds through the day when we got a message that we had arrived and were now on standby. And also, that I was being called up by the captain.
The trip to the bridge was surprising in two ways, the first because I didn’t need to bend down. The Beacon of Hope is built to accommodate even a Mazic in its interiors, and be able to work with an interspecies crew. The second was because of the austerity of the place as I expected a civilian ship to make some
concessions, but any area that did not expect to see a patient was perfectly functional and wasteless in design. Only the patient areas seemed a bit more comfortable and even then, it seemed like it was more because of the patient’s needs.
The bridge was very much a spartan affair that took advantage of their species’ diminutive size, it was tucked closer to the center of the ship and was distressingly small despite the amount of staff present, though someone of a larger species (like me) could probably still do their job as an operator here but they’d probably have to do it laying down. Something that the layout of the chairs would seemingly permit. It was there that I met the captain, aliens might not be much for clothes, but they’ve right up there with us with hats. The only identifier he had was the rather classy dark blue hat which is apparently the base of the design of any air force hat in the galaxy too, I guess some pieces of design are universal. Later that day I had time to ask around, and it seems like their space military splintered off of their air force, unlike the navy back on earth.
And the captain told me some very, very impressive information. And some very distressing as well. First off, we had arrived before
the Arxur, which in itself was baffling because I thought we had responded to an attack. Nope! It was an early detection system. I asked him, then, if we were so early why wasn’t a defense fleet instead of us? “I don’t know. And I’m afraid of knowing” At that point I dropped that line of questions, I guess it got pretty obvious, huhn? Then what’d he need me for, I asked. He was blunt, me being a predator, and a trained killer at that, he wanted advice.
I might have been a bit annoyed at the wording, but the captain of the most advanced, and genuinely unarmed, hospital ship I had ever seen asking me advice like that? What even was going on? He explained to me that we were hiding in the shadow of a planet close to the colony, directly opposite of where the arrival point of the Arxur fleet should be, and showed me the map. He knew I wasn’t a naval officer but if I had anything, if anything in my training, if anything in my instincts could help, anything to make sure the mission would work more smoothly.
Were we doing an evacuation? Not with just this ship. VIP extraction? First Response doesn’t do priorities like those. Dropping support for ground troops? What ground troops. No, we had no way to aid during the actual raid, this was the direct opposite of a warship. But the very second the cannibals left they were going to start dropping shuttles, every last moment counted and if that meant arriving before
the threat it meant arriving before the threat.
I mean, I got nothing. I told him I got nothing, none of my training worked here and I couldn’t just summon some magical foresight to help. To which, he was grateful. Told me it was an assurance of a trained soldier couldn’t find flaw in the plans of ‘an old retired pediatrician’ and i’m absolutely fucking sorry?
At that point I had to ask, are they military? Oh no, they’re not. While sure the FRF was part of the military organization, it had no need for soldiers since it was basically just a large mobile hospital. Those were all civilians, including him.
Now, if any of my fellow humans catch this document when it’s still relevant or anyone at all a hundred years from now, I want you to consider what the average military competency of the federation species is like. They’d fall prey to the dumbest fucking ambush and if I remember right even the Arxur were pissing their fucking scales at a simple fighting retreat. Those people have been fighting longer than some countries have existed on earth and they got no idea how to wage war. And here was this ‘old pediatrician’ pulling some fucking grand admiral moves because his only focus was getting medical aid down on planet as fast as possible.
I waited to get back to my room to wait before I lost it. But still, we had a mission ahead of us and we’d need to prepare. Date: December 21th, 2136 Standard Terran Time - Day Eight, Fieldwork
Don’t have much time to write, there’s a lot of work to be done but I think I can skimp a few minutes of sleep for this, using voice to text for this one. I guess mumbling might help me sleep, too. We just landed, guys got deployment down to six minutes. Fuck, unit back home couldn’t move this fast with this coordination. Shit, they probably do those very often don’t they?
Each lander shuttle went to a different place, we’ve all got a huge area to cover with our shuttle’s crew. Flagship dropped a few comm buoys up there, we got a temporary planetary cover for the comms. Dunno how the fuck the shuttle slipped down when it did, last croc ship wasn’t even done taking off when we hit the ground, also the pilot’s a fucking maniac. Miles wishes he could pull a deceleration at that low height without splashing.
Fuck my feet. Fuck my legs. Fuck my back, everything hurts. Three guys stayed behind in the triage tent, two in the surgery tent, one on the radio, everyone else got to go out searching for people in pairs. They use this fancy headset thing with data feed from the flagship, scans for life signs, real advanced. Not perfect precision, though, still needs the people on the ground to cover the last hundred meters of range. “Well, that’s leftovers” fucking dark humor at this point. Fuck. We were going towards a lifesign marker when we ran into a corpse.
Right. Funny thing here, this is a federation world. Yeah I know I said it was a venlil colony but seems like not every colony split off from the feds when the republic did, makes sense. Don’t matter for those sons of bitches, someone need help they come for you. That was a venlil body, burning wreckage of a toppled building, half-eaten.
Fuck i’ve seen the worst goddamn wounds, saw people missing limbs, shit… Y’all of my unit on earth remember the Placido thing, right? So much fire. Y’all remember the smell
of the burning bodies, don’t you? Saw some sick shit in the past but this? Seeing a half-eaten person?
And teddy bear says that damn joke. Pulled me outta the shock, at least… Wasn’t the first time they had to say that, was it? Wasn’t long until we hit that lifesign, though. Venlil kid, panicking the hell out when he saw me, bleeding like a fountain from a cut on the shoulder and side. Tried to calm the kid down, and what happens? Teddy bear just comes out of no fucking where and jabs something in the kid’s neck and they’re out like a light. We called for a recovery there.
Have you ever seen a motorcycle ambulance? How about a hovercycle ambulance? Yeah, shuttle had one as part of the gear, it’s a kinda funny piece of kit. Super tight to be a normal ambulance, but a zurulian can fit in there right fine with a patient, it’s got some magical gyro-stabilization because no way it could speed off like it did and fucking fly over a pile of debris like that without killing the ride, to say nothing of the patient. But fuck, I read the specs of the thing while we were taking the shuttle down, they’re written in the cockpit. Thing could apparently hit supersonic speed with a set of secondary thrusters it has, it wouldn’t do it for long because that’d melt the engine down completely but it could. Who the fuck puts that fucking speed on an ambulance?
You can see I’m lacking adjectives at this point? Because this is all so absurd. The recovery vehicle, that’s what it’s called, grabbed the kid and sped the hell off. “No bedside manners for us, let’s go” is all my partner said when we started heading for the next life sign. We had people who’d barricaded themselves in furniture and underground and couldn’t get back out, people who’d given up a limb to hide in a tight squeeze.
The worst were the ones that… They were still begging for help, ‘unfinished meals’ the fucking teddy said. How do you get so callous? Only from seeing this too much. Fuck is that what being a veteran in this job is? Dealing with this fucking horrorshow so much you get like that? But still, if their heart is beating it’s good enough, even those ones got help. I took a ride in the recovery vehicle with one of those.
Krakotl, it was. Don’t matter how much you hate the birds, you see one like that, torn open and half eaten begging to god to have one more second in this universe… You ain’t human if you can still hate. Idiot lizard decided to have a meal mid-bombardment, it looks like, building collapsed on him and pinned his body on the bird. I pulled the stone out of the bird, my partner dragged the arxur carcass out of the way, there was so much blood. You’d think that them not bleeding red makes it feel less like blood, it doesn’t. Sealant gel applied to the open blood vessels, beautiful thing that gel, it can basically serve as a physical barrier to prevent blood loss and it can be removed safely, and we wrapped them in a sealing blanket.
Sealing blankets are amazing emergency devices. They’re stored in this plastic bag because they need to remain wet, but you warp the patient in it and it constricts with just enough pressure to do what you need it to (there’s a control for it), in this case keeping the bird’s insides on the inside, and it’s soaked in a cocktail of antiseptics and painkillers that work for just about any species. It’s more than just soaked, even, the material it’s made of actually very slowly dispenses a low dosage of the fluids it absorbed serving basically like an IV drip in this situation. When the recovery vehicle arrived I tapped out, as they say. I’d accompany the patient to the base and take a moment to refresh myself before outing again in the next recovery vehicle call.
I’d like to say it was a wild fucking ride. But I didn’t even feel it, thing must have ship-class inertial dampeners somehow. They spared no expense for this fast rescue vehicle. And by the heavens that driver, I haven’t been around the pilot and the driver much since they had some separate training but this driver? Straight. Line. He’d only make a curve if going over an obstacle would take longer than around because he was not increasing the length of the trip by a single meter.
Also, the stretcher the poor bird was in? Gravity sledge. You heard that right, you know how costly and difficult miniaturized anti-gravity is, it doesn’t work without a much higher attached computational power than an object that size can handle. I bet it was receiving assistance from the vehicle. Moving them to the triage tent was easy, didn’t think there’d be much need for triage, mind, but that was the procedure. Full sensor suite you’d find at the best hospitals with three VR control sets to be able to perform multiple operations at once, I didn’t even think those things were mobile
. The three on triage had a full readout on the bird in seconds
, hear that seconds
. So I did the last part of my job and wheeled the patient to the surgery tent with the report.
One thing I didn’t mention before is the fire. This wasn’t a farming colony, this is an extraction colony, they were pulling some manner of chemicals from the ground here and refining it. This place where we’re at mostly stored things, mind… Very flammable things. After the damn crocs were done being murderous psychopathic cannibals on the ground they decided to destroy everything just in case, of course the aftermath of dropping bombs on highly flammable storages is rampant fires. Just so you have an idea of the backdrop.
I got a bit of a chance to wash up after that patient, the boss (he’s apparently the most senior, in veterancy) ordered me to take a rest. So I took the chance to fish my soap from my personal belongings (we all got a bit of space to carry personal stuff down) and take a quick wash before sitting down here to take a nap. Date: December 25th, 2136 Standard Terran Time - Day Twelve, Fieldwork
What a christmas gift, eh? Playing heavy machinery in a nightmare. Been putting less of my first aid skills and more of my muscles to use and I don’t blame them for it, the heavy duty tools are all showing signs of wear by now, and I can replace them with my hands for some uses. They’ve got plenty of people that can stabilize a patient, they don’t have many tools.
I asked around a bit how long we were planning to stay, and whether there was a bigger relief fleet coming. “Until everyone’s saved” was the first answer and “Nobody knows” was the second. After all, this is ostensibly a Federation planet, and we were waiting on one of their relief fleets to show up. My next question was about, how long did we have supplies for, and the Beacon of Hope came geared for 30 days of operation with six ground crews. We had eighteen ground crews going, because the damage was extensive across the entire planet.
We had a third of the supplies we would normally have, and I’d be insulted if they didn’t start rationing supplies between ground crews. If the situation was this dire they’d have to make decisions about where their supplies would be best spent. Please heavens, let this place be a priority, I don’t want to teach those poor teddy bears how to do low-tech lifesaving.
So for now, we need to go easy on our tools to keep having them, and as luck would have it I’ve got enough physical capacity to replace them in about a third of their use cases. So for the last two days I’ve grown pretty accustomed to the recovery vehicle as I get moved from one place to another to move debris and carry things.
I’ve also noticed everyone seems a bit more relaxed when I’m around sometimes. Though I’ve the impression it isn’t quite my presence itself, that tends to happen right before I go take a nap. I don’t mind the weirdness, whatever helps those guys. They’re making me question the way everyone hypes up human stamina because they’re keeping right the hell up with my work shifts. Date: December 28th, 2136 Standard Terran Time - Day Fifteen, Starvation
Well, that was the call I was hoping we wouldn’t have. Right when what we’ve started finding more and more is the deeply wounded and the infected.
We’ve been on the ground for twelve days, chances of survival of anyone at this point is minimal, but minimal isn’t zero and that’s good enough to keep working. Unfortunately, there are other ground crews in bigger population areas, which means a higher volume of minimal chances, which means they get the resource allocations.
The power generator should be good, each one lasts the full month so that won’t be a problem. But most of our miracle medicine will start having to be rationed, also the hydraulic lifters gave up the ghost. Not like they were bad but it was simply from excess of use, my back knows the feeling at this point.
We’re going to run out of antiseptics in three to five days if we keep going at this rate, as well. Hopefully we should have saved everyone that we can at that point. But there was a small miracle, or rather, there was a small underestimation on my part.
I thought I’d have to teach those guys how to save a life without their spacer tech and miracle medicines when we ran out of stitch-gel. Stitch-gel is a rapid-clotting agent that effectively serves as instant stitches, it’s amazing. And we ran out of it the soonest. Then a woman with a horrifying neck wound was brought in, gal went down fucking fighting she did, don’t know how she took down her would-be killer the beast’s claws were still dangling from her neck. The fuck kind of movie hero was she? But the moment we’d remove the damn things (also did I mention her lower body was burned? She definitely wasn’t moving on her own, those legs are gone) she’d bleed to death and there’d be nothing to do about it.
And here’s where I underestimated them. She was taken out of the surgery tent and got to the next shuttle to the Beacon, she certainly bled a lot but she did not bleed to death. The surgeon had opted to, instead of bringing anything personal like me, pack additional supplies as his personal items. Like a fucking mile of biodegradable stitching string and a whole ass set of needles, plus some weaker over-the-counter painkillers.
I thought I’d have to teach them how to handle some primitive medicine, but they came readier for it than I did. They knew they’d be sitting here until they ran out of resources. They gave up any possible nicety they could have brought to buy a few more days worth of supplies.
I’d say I was ashamed of my choices but I don’t think I am. I realized why they kind of gather around me before I take a nap- It’s not the nap, it’s my soap. I brought a mint-scented one, you know, when you can bring some niceties to help your mind in the field you do. Turns out the scent is doing some wonders for their mental health.
Pfft, big muscles and smelling nice, that’s what i’m doing right now. I’m cool with it, people often forget the effect some small things missing can have on a bigger operation. Dude done did an open heart surgery in the middle of a fucking field hospital to save a life, he deserves to take a good nap.
There’s something else but i’m not sure if I should say it. I know, history and all, but do I want people to remember this happened?
--- [Part 2]
Okay so I got an immense surge of inspiration to write this one. Mostly also 'cause i'm a little tired of the only depictions of our allies out there being their failures, I mean sure it's a great narrative driver but it gets a exhausting a bit.
Plus i've also been trying to writre something in the vein of this for like two months at this point so I changed format and story while keeping the important parts. And it seems i'll have to split it in two parts because I hit Reddit's limit.
submitted by JulianSkies
to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 19:41 thisgingercake Environment - "Poison in the Air" - The EPA allows polluters to turn neighborhoods into “sacrifice zones” where residents breathe carcinogens.
please read the article in full here: https://www.propublica.org/article/toxmap-poison-in-the-air
The EPA allows polluters to turn neighborhoods into “sacrifice zones” where residents breathe carcinogens. ProPublica reveals where these places are in a first-of-its-kind map and data analysis.
by Lylla Younes
, Ava Kofman
, Al Shaw
and Lisa Song
, with additional reporting by Maya Miller
, photography by Kathleen Flynn for ProPublica
Nov. 2, 2021, 5 a.m. EDT Leer en español
From the urban sprawl of Houston to the riverways of Virginia, air pollution from industrial plants is elevating the cancer risk of an estimated quarter of a million Americans to a level the federal government considers unacceptable.
Some of these hot spots of toxic air are infamous. An 85-mile stretch of the Mississippi River in Louisiana that’s thronged with oil refineries and chemical plants has earned the nickname Cancer Alley. Many other such areas remain unknown, even to residents breathing in the contaminated air.
ProPublica undertook an analysis that has never been done before. Using advanced data processing software and a modeling tool developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, we mapped
the spread of cancer-causing chemicals from thousands of sources of hazardous air pollution across the country between 2014 and 2018. The result is an unparalleled view of how toxic air blooms around industrial facilities and spreads into nearby neighborhoods.
📷 The Most Detailed Map of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution in the U.S.
At the map’s intimate scale, it’s possible to see up close how a massive chemical plant near a high school in Port Neches, Texas, laces the air with benzene, an aromatic gas that can cause
leukemia. Or how a manufacturing facility in New Castle, Delaware, for years blanketed a day care playground with ethylene oxide, a highly toxic chemical
that can lead to lymphoma and breast cancer. Our analysis found that ethylene oxide is the biggest contributor to excess industrial cancer risk from air pollutants nationwide. Corporations across the United States, but especially in Texas and Louisiana, manufacture the colorless, odorless gas, which lingers in the air for months and is highly mutagenic, meaning it can alter DNA.
In all, ProPublica identified more than a thousand hot spots of cancer-causing air. They are not equally distributed across the country. A quarter of the 20 hot spots with the highest levels of excess risk are in Texas, and almost all of them are in Southern states known for having weaker environmental regulations. Census tracts where the majority of residents are people of color experience about 40% more cancer-causing industrial air pollution on average than tracts where the residents are mostly white. In predominantly Black census tracts, the estimated cancer risk from toxic air pollution is more than double that of majority-white tracts.
After reviewing ProPublica’s map, Wayne Davis, an environmental scientist formerly with the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said, “The public is going to learn that EPA allows a hell of a lot of pollution to occur that the public does not think is occurring.”
Our analysis comes at a critical juncture for the fate of America’s air. After decades of improvement, air quality has, by some metrics, begun to decline
. In the last four years, the Trump administration rolled back more than a hundred environmental protections
, including two dozen air pollution and emissions policies.
The EPA says it “strives to protect the greatest number of people possible
” from an excess cancer risk worse than 1 in a million. That risk level means that if a million people in an area are continuously exposed to toxic air pollutants over a presumed lifetime of 70 years, there would likely be at least one case of cancer on top of those from other risks people already face. According to ProPublica’s analysis, 74 million Americans — more than a fifth of the population — are being exposed to estimated levels of risk higher than this.
EPA policy sets the upper limit of acceptable excess cancer risk at 1 in 10,000 — 100 times more than the EPA’s more aspirational goal and a level of exposure that numerous experts told ProPublica is too high. ProPublica found that an estimated 256,000 people are being exposed to risks beyond this threshold and that an estimated 43,000 people are being subjected to at least triple this level of risk. Still, the EPA sees crossing its risk threshold as more of a warning sign than a mandate for action: The law doesn’t require the agency to penalize polluters that, alone or in combination, raise the cancer risk in an area above the acceptable level.
In response to ProPublica’s findings, Joe Goffman, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said in an emailed statement, “Toxic air emissions from industrial facilities are a problem that must be addressed.” Under President Joe Biden’s administration, “the EPA has reinvigorated its commitment to protect public health from toxic air emissions from industrial facilities — especially in communities that have already suffered disproportionately from air pollution and other environmental burdens.”
ProPublica’s reporting exposes flaws with EPA’s implementation of the Clean Air Act, a landmark law that dramatically reduced air pollution across America but provided less protection to those who live closest to industrial polluters.
The 1970 law resulted in outdoor air quality standards for a handful of widespread “criteria” pollutants, including sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, which could be traced to exhaust pipes and smokestacks all over the country and were proven to aggravate asthma and lead to early deaths. But 187 other dangerous chemicals, now known as hazardous air pollutants or air toxics, never got this level of attention. At the time, the science demonstrating the harms of these compounds, which primarily impact people in neighborhoods that border industrial facilities — so-called fence line communities — was still in its early stages. The EPA did not receive enough funding to set the same strict limits, and industry lobbying weakened the agency’s emerging regulations.
In 1990, Congress settled on a different approach to regulating air toxics. Since then, the EPA has made companies install equipment to reduce their pollution
and studied the remaining emissions to see if they pose an unacceptable health risk.
The way the agency assesses this risk vastly underestimates residents’ exposure, according to our analysis. Instead of looking at how cancer risk adds up when polluters are clustered together in a neighborhood, the EPA examines certain types of facilities and equipment in isolation. When the agency studies refineries, for example, it ignores a community’s exposure to pollution from nearby metal foundries or shipyards.
Matthew Tejada, director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, told ProPublica that tackling hot spots of toxic air will require “working back through 50 years of environmental regulation in the United States, and unpacking and untying a whole series of knots.” Top Polluters
The cancer-causing air emissions from these five corporations cover more populated square miles than the emissions from any other companies, according to our analysis.
Most of these companies did not comment; Eastman said, “Not all risk is due to industrial activity, however, we continue to do our part to reduce risk and emissions to ensure the safety of our local community.”
- The Dow Chemical Company
- Huntsman Corp.
- Eastman Chemical Co.
- LyondellBasell Industries
“The environmental regulatory system wasn’t set up to deal with these things,” he said. “All of the parts of the system have to be re-thought to address hot spots or places where we know there’s a disproportionate burden.”
The Clean Air Act rarely requires industry or the EPA to monitor for air toxics, leaving residents near these plants chronically uninformed about what they’re breathing in. And when companies report their emissions to the EPA, they’re allowed to estimate them using flawed formulas
and monitoring methods.
“These fence line communities are sacrifice zones,” said Jane Williams, executive director of California Communities Against Toxics. “Before there was climate denial, there was cancer denial. We release millions of pounds of carcinogens into our air, water and food and act mystified when people start getting sick.”
please read the full article here:
The cancer risks from industrial pollution can be compounded by factors like age, diet, genetic predisposition and exposure to radiation; the knock-on effect of inhaling toxic air for decades might, for example, mean the difference between merely having a family history of breast cancer and actually developing the disease yourself. While the cancer and asthma rates in Houston’s Harris County are comparable with those in the rest of the state, Texas officials have identified cancer clusters in several of the city’s neighborhoods.
Large swaths of the Greater Houston area make up the third-biggest hot spot of cancer-causing air in the country, according to our analysis, after Louisiana’s Cancer Alley and an area around Port Arthur, Texas, which is on the Louisiana border. For many homes closest to the fence lines of petrochemical plants in cities like La Porte and Port Neches, Texas, the estimated excess risk of cancer ranges from three to six times the level that the EPA considers acceptable.
But because of the way that the EPA underestimates risk, the true dangers of living in a toxic hot spot are often invisible to regulators and residents.
The agency breaks things down into the smallest possible categories “to avoid addressing what we call cumulative risk,” said John Walke, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council who formerly worked as an EPA lawyer advising the Office of Air and Radiation. “But our bodies do not parse out air pollution according to rule labels or industrial equipment or industrial source categories.” The cancer risk from each facility or type of equipment may be at levels the agency considers “acceptable,” but taken together, the potential harms can be substantial.
The EPA initially sent ProPublica a statement saying that it “ensures that risks from individual source categories are acceptable and that the standards provide an ample margin of safety to protect public health.”
In another statement sent after an interview, the agency added, “We understand that communities often confront multiple sources of toxic air pollution and face cumulative risks greater than the risk from a single source.” The EPA added that it was working both to better harness the science on cumulative risks and “to better understand risks for communities who are overburdened by numerous sources of multiple pollutants.”
Madison can’t help but notice that when her family travels, K’ryah’s asthma improves. “The first chance I get, I’m moving far away from Texas and never looking back,” she said. “I love being outside. I love seeing the stars. I don’t want to feel like someone is pumping gas onto our front porch.”
The locations of the hot spots identified by ProPublica
are anything but random. Industrial giants tend to favor areas that confer strategic advantages: On the Gulf Coast, for instance, oil rigs abound, so it’s more convenient to build refineries along the shoreline. Corporations also favor places where land is cheap and regulations are few.
Under federal law, the EPA delegates the majority of its enforcement powers to state and local authorities, which means that the environmental protections afforded to Americans vary widely between states. Texas, which is home to some of the largest hot spots in the nation, has notoriously lax regulations
Between 2008 and 2018, lawmakers cut funding for state pollution-control programs by 35% while boosting the state’s overall budget by 41%, according to a report
by the Environmental Integrity Project, an advocacy group founded by former EPA staffers. A Texas Tribune
story from 2017 found that during the prior year, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality had levied fines in fewer than 1% of the cases in which polluters exceeded emission limits. Even when penalties are issued
, many polluters see these fines as part of the cost of doing business, said Craig Johnston, a former lawyer at the EPA and a professor of environmental law at Lewis and Clark Law School.
Gary Rasp, a TCEQ spokesperson, told ProPublica that the agency “has taken actions to monitor, mitigate, and improve the air quality in fence line communities.” The agency runs dozens of stationary air toxics monitors across the state, he added, and “by continuously evaluating air monitoring data, which is more accurate than modeling, TCEQ can identify issues.” The agency also inspects industrial facilities and “has an active enforcement program, referring particularly egregious cases to the Texas Office of the Attorney General.”
That the people living inside these hot spots are disproportionately Black is not a coincidence. Our findings build on decades of evidence
demonstrating that pollution is segregated: People of color are exposed to far greater levels of air pollution than whites — a pattern that persists across income levels. These disparities are rooted in racist real estate practices like redlining
and the designation of low-income neighborhoods and communities of color
as mixed residential-industrial zones. In cities like Houston, for example, all-white zoning boards targeted Black neighborhoods
for the siting of noxious facilities, like landfills, incinerators and garbage dumps. Robert Bullard, a professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University, has called the practice “PIBBY”
or “Place In Blacks’ Back Yard” — a spin on the acronym “NIMBY” (“Not In My Back Yard”).
📷 How We Created the Most Detailed Map Ever of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution
Many of the neighborhoods that border chemical plants are low-income and lack the same resources, access to health care and political capital that wealthier neighborhoods can bring to fights against intrusive commercial activities
. In places like Baytown, working-class people depend on the very companies that sicken them to earn a living. Over the years, the shadow of industry can permanently impair not just a neighborhood’s health but also its economic prospects and property values, fueling a cycle of disinvestment. “Industries rely on having these sinks — these sacrifice zones — for polluting,” said Ana Baptista, an environmental policy professor at The New School. “That political calculus has kept in place a regulatory system that allows for the continued concentration of industry. We sacrifice these low-income, African American, Indigenous communities for the economic benefit of the region or state or country.”
Tejada, the EPA’s director of environmental justice, said that the Biden administration and the EPA are focused on confronting these disparities. “These places didn’t happen by accident. The disproportionality of the impacts that they face, the generations of disinvestment and lack of access are not coincidences. These places were created. And it is the responsibility of everyone, including the government — chiefly the government — to do something about it.”
The federal government has long had the information it would need to take on these hot spots. The EPA collects emissions data from more than 20,000 industrial facilities across the country and has even developed its own state-of-the-art tool — the Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators model — to estimate the impact of toxic emissions on human health. The model, known as RSEI, was designed to help regulators and lawmakers pinpoint where to target further air-monitoring efforts, data-quality inspections or, if necessary, enforcement actions. Researchers and journalists have used this model for various
investigations over the years, including this one
And yet the agency’s own use of its powerful modeling tool has been limited. There’s been a lack of funding for and a dearth of interest in RSEI’s more ambitious applications, according to several former and current EPA employees. Wayne Davis, the former EPA scientist, managed the RSEI program under the Trump administration. He said that some of his supervisors were hesitant about publishing information that would directly implicate a facility. “They always told us, ‘Don’t make a big deal of it, don’t market it, and hopefully you’ll continue to get funding next year.’ They didn’t want to make anything public that would raise questions about why the EPA hadn’t done anything to regulate that facility.”
Nicolaas Bouwes, a former senior analyst at the EPA and a chief architect of the RSEI model, recalled the occasional battle to get colleagues to accept the screening tool, let alone share its findings with the public. “There’s often been pushback from having this rich data sheet too readily available because it could make headlines,” he said. “What I find annoying is that the EPA has the same information at their disposal and they don’t use it. If ProPublica can do this, so can the EPA.”
In its statement, the EPA said that it plans to improve its approach for sharing air toxics data faster and more regularly with the public. “EPA has not published calculated cancer risks using RSEI modeled results,” it continued. “RSEI results are not designed as a substitute for more comprehensive, inclusive, or site specific risk assessments,” but as a potential starting point that should only be used “to identify situations of potential concern that may warrant further investigation.”
Indeed, our map works
as a screening tool, not as a site-specific risk assessment. It cannot be used to tie individual cancer cases to emissions from specific industrial facilities, but it can be used to diagnose what the EPA calls “situations of potential concern.”
Our analysis arrives as America faces new threats to its air quality. The downstream effects of climate change, like warmer temperatures and massive wildfires, have created more smoke and smog. The Trump administration diluted, scuttled or reversed dozens of air pollution protections — actions estimated
to lead to thousands of additional premature deaths. In 2018, then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt created a massive air toxics loophole when he rolled back a key provision of the Clean Air Act, known as “Once In, Always In,” allowing thousands of large polluters to relax their use of pollution-controlling equipment.
Biden has yet to close this loophole, but he has signaled plans to alleviate the disproportionate impacts borne by the people who live in these hot spots. Within his first few days in office, he established two White House councils to address environmental injustice. And in March, Congress confirmed his appointment of EPA administrator Michael Regan, who has directed the agency to strengthen its enforcement of violations “in communities overburdened by pollution.” https://www.propublica.org/article/toxmap-poison-in-the-air
Over the years, Sullivan Ramirez herself has struggled with nerve degeneration and scleroderma, a rare condition that involves the tightening of the skin and connective tissues. While it can be difficult to link specific cases of disease to pollution exposure, the evidence in Mossville has accumulated: In a 1998 health survey conducted by the University of Texas, 84% of Mossville residents reported having headaches, dizziness, tremors and seizures. An EPA study from the same year found that the average
level of dioxins in the blood of Mossville residents was dangerously high — triple that of the general U.S. population. Even small amounts of dioxin, one of the most poisonous chemicals released by facilities, can cause developmental problems, damage the immune system and lead to cancer. A 2007 report found that the types of dioxin compounds in the blood of Mossville residents matched those emitted by local industrial facilities.
In an emailed statement, Sasol noted that its property buyout stemmed from direct requests from Mossville residents and that the company offered owners more than the appraised value of their homes. “Sasol and its predecessor have produced or handled chemicals at our Lake Charles complex for more than 60 years. We understand the science and have controls in place to ensure our operations are safe, protective of the environment, compliant with regulations and sustainable over the long term,” wrote Sarah Hughes, a spokesperson for Sasol. “Sasol is proud of our engagement with our neighbors in Mossville and the positive impact it has had on many of its residents.”
📷 Can Air Pollution Cause Cancer? What You Need to Know About the Risks.
Sullivan Ramirez is wary of too much talk. She knows that the new administration has promised something more for communities like hers, but she doesn’t want to get her hopes up. The presentations from captains of industry, the listening sessions with earnest bureaucrats, the proposals from slick attorneys, the promises tossed off by politicians — over the years, she’s heard it all.
The people of Mossville are right to be skeptical, the EPA’s Tejada acknowledged. “I would be skeptical if I was from Mossville,” he added. “They should be skeptical until we actually show up and do the things that they’ve been asking us to do for a long time. But there’s now a level of commitment to actually tangling with these issues in a really serious, substantive way.”
After years of activism in Mossville, Sullivan Ramirez moved to Lake Charles, just a short drive away. But she worries the industrial sprawl will one day overtake her new home. To Sullivan Ramirez, Mossville is “the key” — a warning of what the future holds for America’s other hot spots if business continues as usual.
“This is the 21st century,” she said. “The act of polluting our lands and robbing our communities — when will enough be enough?”
please read this article in full here: https://www.propublica.org/article/toxmap-poison-in-the-air
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2023.05.28 19:37 Foxsworn 🎲[NA-PC] 𝐄𝐩𝐢𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐮𝐞 - 𝟏𝟖+ 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐲 𝐑𝐏/𝐏𝐯𝐄 - 𝐋𝐨𝐰 𝐅𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐬𝐲
📷𝐄𝐩𝐢𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐮𝐞 - 𝟏𝟖+ 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐲 𝐑𝐏/𝐏𝐯𝐄 - 𝐋𝐨𝐰 𝐅𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐬𝐲/𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐧 𝐋𝐨𝐫𝐞 - 𝐃𝐢𝐜𝐞/𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 Political and Militant Factions, Weekly Events, Server Storyline with PlayeServer Decisions, RP Jobs, Rewards for Hosting/Attending RP events, Rich Recruit-a-Friend/Recruit-a-Clan Rewards, New ServePlayer Friendly, Focus on Writing/Dice, LGBT+ Friendly (No Futa) With a detailed, Aquilonian (medieval) themed hub for all players to enjoy, Epilogue is a brand new server that brings a unique, low-fantasy experience to players familiar (or willing to learn) with the Conan (Robert E. Howard) universe. We offer plenty of easy-to-understand resources for character creation, as well as a plethora of mods to ensure unique and personable customization for characters and builds. Players on Epilogue are welcome to participate in our story and sow the seeds of change in a world/environment that adapts to clan-based and player politics, council, and event participation (server story will always be optional to players). Come join this positive, helpful, and mature community that focuses on quality over quantity today! A Bit of What We Offer:
➼ Character Imports - Characters from previous, Conan-based servers can be imported into Epilogue, allowing backstories to involve their transportation into a new exiled land off of Hyborea. ➼ Caravan/warp system for easy map navigation ➼ Kits available to all players: clothing, starter tools, level 60 boost, body parts ➼ Vendors selling clothing, accessories, building materials/resources, customizable/URL items ➼ RP jobs that pay server currency for roleplaying in the hub ➼ Rewards to players that host/participate in RP events (placeables, trinkets, currency, mounts, pets) ➼ Inevitable server wipes will include mod voting, generous building kits, and limited item respawns ➼ Mature and experienced staff that is focused on improving and amplifying player experiences; dedicated tech support & supervised Creative Mode when building server RP-related dungeons ➼ ~$25 USD giveaways (Steam Giftcards) for writing prompts, server voting, and recruitment ➼ Modlist designed to improve creativity and representation ➼ Generous building limits (1,500 building pieces & 1,000 decor for 1 Player) ➼ Customized character sheet attributes/skills that affect events and storylines by dice ➼ Relaxed character rules such as minor sorcery (elemental or religious), character pregnancy, non-exiled misfortune, ERP/NSFW events in public (hubs are an exception) ➼ Social and scholarly attributes remaining relevant with the hub’s public council while debating and voting on hub-based decisions ICly Specs & Info: Server IP: http://220.127.116.11:7783/
(Query Port: 27021) Server Location:
New York, USA (East Coast NA) Player Limit:
30, will upgrade when needed. Max Level:
300 Current Map:
Savage Wilds Discord: https://discord.gg/BxHv4w4Aaf Steam Workshop: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1968456337 Some of Our Mods:
⁍ Tot! Customize, Pippi, Roleplay Redux, Thrall Wars Utility, Evil’s Cabinet, Immersive Armor ⁍ Barbarian Surgeon/Barber, Dark Decention ⁍ Emberlight, Devious Desires, Exiles Extreme (low-fantasy, vendor only) ⁍ Dude’s Creative Constructions, Sand and Stone, Northern Timber, Gothic Architecture, Beyond Decor ⁍ LBPR, Unlock+, Stacksize+, Hosav’s UI Prohibited Actions & Concepts:
⁍ IC/OOC bleed, metagaming, godmoding ⁍ First-person, second-person, and voice roleplay ⁍ Fantasy-based creatures such as werewolves, vampires, minotaurs, and necromancers ⁍ Offensive/fetishized characters such as futanari ⁍ Pure PvP-focused/non-roleplayers
submitted by Foxsworn
to u/Foxsworn [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 19:36 Foxsworn [NA-PC] Epilogue - 18+ Heavy RP/PvE - REH Conan Lore - Low Fantasy (Dice/Writing)
🎲[NA-PC] 𝐄𝐩𝐢𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐮𝐞 - 𝟏𝟖+ 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐲 𝐑𝐏/𝐏𝐯𝐄 - 𝐋𝐨𝐰 𝐅𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐬𝐲
🔔 [Wiping June 2nd for Age of War update - Exiled Lands Map + ITN] Political and Militant Factions, Weekly Events, Server Storyline with PlayeServer Decisions, RP Jobs, Rewards for Hosting/Attending RP events, Rich Recruit-a-Friend/Recruit-a-Clan Rewards, New ServePlayer Friendly, Focus on Writing/Dice, LGBT+ Friendly (No Futa) With a detailed, Aquilonian (medieval) themed hub for all players to enjoy, Epilogue is a brand new server that brings a unique, low-fantasy experience to players familiar (or willing to learn) with the Conan (Robert E. Howard) universe. We offer plenty of easy-to-understand resources for character creation, as well as a plethora of mods to ensure unique and personable customization for characters and builds. Players on Epilogue are welcome to participate in our story and sow the seeds of change in a world/environment that adapts to clan-based and player politics, council, and event participation (server story will always be optional to players). Come join this positive, helpful, and mature community that focuses on quality over quantity today! A Bit of What We Offer:
➼ Character Imports - Characters from previous, Conan-based servers can be imported into Epilogue, allowing backstories to involve their transportation into a new exiled land off of Hyborea. ➼ Caravan/warp system for easy map navigation ➼ Kits available to all players: clothing, starter tools, level 60 boost, body parts ➼ Vendors selling clothing, accessories, building materials/resources, customizable/URL items ➼ RP jobs that pay server currency for roleplaying in the hub ➼ Rewards to players that host/participate in RP events (placeables, trinkets, currency, mounts, pets) ➼ Inevitable server wipes will include mod voting, generous building kits, and limited item respawns ➼ Mature and experienced staff that is focused on improving and amplifying player experiences; dedicated tech support & supervised Creative Mode when building server RP-related dungeons ➼ ~$25 USD giveaways (Steam Giftcards) for writing prompts, server voting, and recruitment ➼ Modlist designed to improve creativity and representation ➼ Generous building limits (1,500 building pieces & 1,000 decor for 1 Player) ➼ Customized character sheet attributes/skills that affect events and storylines by dice ➼ Relaxed character rules such as minor sorcery (elemental or religious), character pregnancy, non-exiled misfortune, ERP/NSFW events in public (hubs are an exception) ➼ Social and scholarly attributes remaining relevant with the hub’s public council while debating and voting on hub-based decisions ICly Specs & Info: Server IP: http://18.104.22.168:7783/
(Query Port: 27021) Server Location:
New York, USA (East Coast NA) Player Limit:
30, will upgrade when needed. Max Level:
300 Current Map:
Savage Wilds Discord: https://discord.gg/BxHv4w4Aaf Steam Workshop: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1968456337 Some of Our Mods:
⁍ Tot! Customize, Pippi, Roleplay Redux, Thrall Wars Utility, Evil’s Cabinet, Immersive Armor ⁍ Barbarian Surgeon/Barber, Dark Decention ⁍ Emberlight, Devious Desires, Exiles Extreme (low-fantasy, vendor only) ⁍ Dude’s Creative Constructions, Sand and Stone, Northern Timber, Gothic Architecture, Beyond Decor, Shani's ⁍ LBPR, Unlock+, Stacksize+, Hosav’s UI Prohibited Actions & Concepts:
⁍ IC/OOC bleed, metagaming, godmoding ⁍ First-person, second-person, and voice roleplay ⁍ Fantasy-based creatures such as werewolves, vampires, minotaurs, and necromancers ⁍ Offensive/fetishized characters such as futanari ⁍ Pure PvP-focused/non-roleplayers
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to ConanExilesServers [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 14:08 No_Eight Lifestyle of the Zonowōdjon
| || | submitted by No_Eight to DawnPowers [link] [comments]
She held her breath as the clinker nosed onto the island. It was barely more than the size of two houses, covered in tall grass and reeds, but she hadn’t set sights on it for its size. It was hard to tell, so far from the coast, but it did not appear to have the sloping beach of a sandbar island, and even seemed to drift gently with the wind, as would their ship if the oars were docked. If she was right, this was one of the wandering islands.
Her grandmother had told stories to all the children of the village, of her own time on fishing voyages aboard the longboats, and of finding a wandering island herself. Assembled through the will of a powerful spirit, wandering islands were as much life as land, imparting some of the lost vigor of the first generation unto the soil and allowing it to again wander the lakes.
To weather the night here may not seem practical, small as the wandering islands typically are. But the spirits of these islands are kindly if offered due respect, and always protect those who sleep on their backs. And to return to the village with such a story… when she too became an elder, she could regale the next generation with her own story, not just the one she carried from her grandmother.
She teased the land with one foot, and finding it solid hauled herself over the strake and onto the land. It bobbed slightly as it took her weight, and she felt her heart soar as the remaining crew disembarked behind her. As some of their number began fetching the poles and reed mats that would make their lean-tos for the coming night, she watched one of the oarsmen reverently offer a prayer to the ship-shrine, before taking a pinch of sacred ash from the urn within. He took slow, measured steps to the center of the island, before beginning his observances to the spirit who would watch over them that night.
She almost wished she could help, but this was his role, and a spirit prefers to commune with only one regardless. He scattered the ash into the grass of the island as he shook a small chime, two strings of small shells tied on both ends to a T-shaped stick, and filled the quiet air with a gentle percussion. She could not hear his prayers; they were silent after all. But she could witness his devotion in his bearing, and imagine the honor he felt at getting this chance.
It felt strange to see the wild shrine rituals without a shrine, or even an urn, but in truth it would be impossible to erect a shrine here. The proper observances could not be carried out should the island drift and never again be found. To build a shrine, a promise to a spirit that could not be kept, would be a cruelty that the village would not be forgiven for. Perhaps they would instead leave some of the reeds they carried, shredding their mats the same way old thatch is returned to rot in the marshes, for even a spirit powerful enough to set an island adrift must respect the cycle of death and rebirth, and could make use of their gift.
But for this night, they and the spirit would share a kinship, and they would depart on the morrow with a story and a blessing.
The Zonowōdjon Claim Map
The Zonowōdjon (families of the lake, originally from family.lake-ɢᴇɴ), also known to call themselves simply the Wōdjon, live in the coastal forests and shallow hills along the shores of the southern Titonean lakes. They comprise a collection of small villages, most constructed within reach of waterways with access to the lakes, if not on their very shore. More than anything, the Zonowōdjon are united by their animistic practices and sense of shared identity through language, as well as their predisposition to fishing and wetlands forage over the paddy agriculture predominant elsewhere in Tritonea.
Subsistence, Industry, and Lifestyle Agriculture practiced by Zonowōdjon is more akin to horticulture. Long domesticated crops of the region such as zizania have made their way into Zonowōdjon hands, but large dedicated irrigation systems are largely not in use. Opportunistic replanting of common forage goods is frequent, typically in gardens just outside the circle of houses. While a fair amount of village labor is tied up in the planting and tending of these gardens, they do not provide a majority of Zonowōdjon caloric intake. Rather, the quantities of vegetable matter their relatively small population sizes demand are served well by a mixture of forage and horticulture, the former seeing many villages built within reach of the freshwater marshes where their most harvested good, cattail, is found.
Cattail is employed for a variety of purposes, both culinary and industrial. Young shoots and narrow leaves are consumed as vegetables, while the root is harvested seasonally, dried, and processed into flour. Tubers found in the root system are also consumed as a vegetable, as are the immature flower spikes. The bast fiber of the stem is processed for use in textiles, as are the leaf fibers, though the former are more productive and make up a greater share of Zonowōdjon textile goods. Lastly, the stems are harvested whole for the production of wicker, thatch roofing, and reed boats.
Beyond cattail, Lotus is commonly foraged for use as a vegetable, particularly its root. Nuts, fruits, and herbs also comprise a major element of Zonowōdjon food culture, though many are sourced exclusively from forage. Wild alliums are the most prevalent aromatic the Zonowōdjon harvest, while cranberries are one or the more prevalent fruits, used both fresh and dried in cooking. Hemp, both foraged and gardened, serves as a secondary source of textile fiber, and its seeds are heavily employed in cooking. Oil is pressed from seeds and nuts, with pecan being the most common source, but is not produced in great quantities by the Zonowōdjon themselves, and some oil comes by trade with their more agriculturally developed neighbors. Lastly, mushrooming is a major tradition among Zonowōdjon, comprising a significant portion of their diet during seasons when mushroom forage is plentiful.
Fishing The true backbone of Zonowōdjon subsistence is fishing. Fish, shellfish, and crustaceans are caught through a mixture of open-water net fishing, sunken basket traps, river and stream weirs, and manual forage for shellfish in shallower waters. Crayfish are one of the most common catches in the basket traps and are prized more as a delicacy than a staple food, while larger fish from open-water fishing comprise the bulk of seafood by weight, and enable villages closer to the lake shore to grow larger, and their descendants to found new villages more frequently. Both canoes and wading fishers deploy seine nets and cast nets.
The development of more sophisticated nets, the need for more hands to operate them, and the weight of increased hauls have all driven the development of Zonowōdjon shipbuilding significantly. While traditional reed boats and birchbark canoes are still frequently employed, particularly in rivers and streams and for more coastal operations, open water fishing trips make use of larger and far more sophisticated sewn-plank longboats with proper oar locks. Even large villages may only have one or several such boats, and their construction and maintenance is a significant expenditure of labor and point of clan pride. Crews on these boats often leave their village for days at a time, camping on small islands or distant shores. The reed-mats used to construct their temporary lean-tos are carried on the ship itself, chosen for their low weight. These larger longboats typically manage drop nets, though they may also be used to deploy seine nets with the aid of smaller outriding canoes, as the longboats are better able to transport a large catch.
Cuisine Zonowōdjon cuisine centers zizania, cattail flour, and fish as staples. A common preparation of fish involves slicing the fish crosswise and stewing in an aromatic and seasoned stock. Both the flavorful broth and the flesh of the fish are fully consumed, with the aid of a lumpy flatbread produced from cattail flour. A flat stone atop a stone tripod, constructed above a fire, is the main method for production of flatbreads. Fish may also be dry roasted whole or sliced, with seeds and herbs pressed into the flesh if it has been sliced first. When catches are in excess of what can be consumed, which is common for coastal villages with longboats, fish will be smoke-cured for preservation and hung in a store hut. Smoke cured fish may still be cooked in a broth as above, or eaten as is. Regardless, at family meals it is common for older family members to pick the flesh of the fish from the bone after cooking is done, and distribute it to those younger than them. Another common dish is zizania pilaf, cooked in a thinner stock than fish. This dish often includes dried fruits, nuts, root and vegetables, and sometimes smaller seafood like shellfish and crayfish, with what is included owing more to seasonality and availability of forage than strict recipe. One more dish of note is a vegetable fritter, formed with shredded leaf and vegetable matter, mixed thoroughly with cattail flour, water, and seasonings before being fried. As oil production is marginal in many Zonowōdjon villages, this forms a less frequent component of the diet, but as a result holds a certain prestige. Ceremonies such as weddings, feasts when hosting representatives of other villages, and spiritual observances and festivals are more likely to see production of fritters. Notably, a vegetable fritter is a common burnt offering at shrines due to its status as a festival food.
Architecture Villages are typically constructed of permanent dwellings. All buildings are single-storey, and roofed with cattail thatch. Most buildings are single room, and constructed of wattle-and-daub between upright wooden posts, though additional standing posts may support the roof in a longhouse. The clan patriarch lives in a longhouse, which may also be used as a storehouse and hold clan shrines. Cookstoves and fires are typically built outside during fair seasons, shielded by low reed mat walls and thatch lean-tos, though they are often moved to interior firepits during cold weather. Flooring is predominantly woven reed mats, which are easily pulled back to expose bare soil should a fire be constructed inside. Some homes feature bunk beds constructed flush with the wall.
A village never contains more than three clans, and most frequently consist of only one. Houses are generally communal sleeping spaces, so many villages contain few buildings, and some may be devoted entirely to stores. Houses are generally arrayed so that all doors face the center, which is a beaten earth area free of plants and used for celebrations and ceremonies, as well as being used daily for the practice of industry such as processing cattail and weaving. Doing daily labor indoors is frowned upon during fair weather.
Tools The Zonowōdjon make use of knapped stone and jade tools, reed wicker baskets, hemp or cattail-fiber sacks and ropes, and primarily burn wood for fire. Western obsidian infrequently permeates Tritonia through trade, so many villages are able to make use of obsidian knives, and some use obsidian in jewelry as well. Shells and bone feature prominently in jewelry and ornamentation, and shells are also the primary material used for shrine chimes. Wood carvings are frequently used for ornamentation, particularly on shrines, and those chimes which are not shell are often carved wood. Wooden chimes that can create clear ringing tones are particularly prized, and make auspicious gifts to other villages. Stone-tipped spears are the most common weapons wielded by Zonowōdjon villagers, though clubs with a flat wooden handle and a setting of a fist-sized smooth stone are also common. Obsidian is rarely used in weaponry.
Spirituality and Mythology The Father Moon is seen as the shepherd of souls and the patron of reincarnation. He is also the father of men and fish, and fish scales are said to shimmer like moonlight on the surface of water because of his blessing within them. Moonbeams contain souls of the deceased returning to the world both as spirits and to enter new flesh, and the Father Moon travels to the edge of the world every night to collect those souls that have traveled the dark rivers beneath the earth to reach him.
The Mother Sun is seen as the patron of flowers and plants, particularly the cattail. Filled with both warmth and rage, she begat the first life in the world, but cares little for the cycle of souls overseen by the Father Moon after the two generations she directly birthed died or otherwise left the lakes.
T’sawayda is a psychopomp and the mythological ancestor of the Zonowōdjon. They are depicted both as a giant man and an enormous fish, or with elements of both such as the head of a pike on the torso of a man. They are a member of the Zonowōdjon third gender, leaning to masculine expression, and are a member of the second generation of life. They are seen as the first of the second generation to climb from land to shore, and thus their descendents are all the Zonowōdjon. T’sawayda urged all their descendents to reap the Mother Sun’s bounty on land, but stay close to the shore to partake of the Father Moon’s bounty. T’sawayda is said to now make their home in the depths of the lake, with one door of their longhouse opening to the waters of the lake, and another to the bank of the dark rivers beneath the world. They find and guide lost souls, such as Zonowōdjon who die on the water and risk becoming demons, freeing them from their flesh and offering them hospitality before sending them on their voyage to reunite with the Father Moon.
Zonowōdjon believe the world is full of spirits, souls without constraining flesh who embody much of the natural world or protect those within it. There are believed to be local spirits both of locations, such as hills, marshes, and groves, as well as spirits to things within, such as the spirit of fish in a given marsh, or the spirit of a particularly ancient tree. Further, all villages and even most permanent buildings have venerated tutelary spirits.
Shrines The core of Zonowōdjon spiritual practice is composed of maintaining shrines and holding public festivals. Shrines are dedicated to a local or tutelary spirit, with the latter also often seen as an ancestral spirit from a member of the clan in that village. For those spirits within buildings, a shrine is a simple as a clay urn which bears a pictorial representation of the spirit, into which offerings are placed. For spirits of larger areas, a shrine is constructed, usually from wood, either sewn or assembled through joinery. These shrines contain the urn which venerates the spirit proper. Most shrine urns feature a lid, often a wicker lid which is replaced annually during the vernal festival observances. Shell chimes are often hung from the roof of freestanding shrines, should there be enough clearance, or from poles erected around the shrine or the boughs of nearby trees. Similar chimes are held and shaken by shrine tenders during their observances, whether or not a shrine itself bears standing chimes.
Spirit urns often contain permanent offerings, with obsidian, bone, shell, and jade beads being common. Beads may initially be on a string, but the burning of offerings often leaves the beads free within the ash. During festivals and days of spiritual observance, offerings of food are placed within the urn. Offerings in distant shrines may be permitted to rot, but typically the offering is burned before being placed within the urn. Should an urn break, the shrine tender is expected to go into a period of grief and observance, and produce a replacement urn before interring the shards at the base of the shrine. Beads and other permanent offerings are transferred.
With the small population of most villages, a single man may be expected to tend multiple shrines, but the most important shrines may have a single tender. The clan patriarch is seen as symbolically responsible for the shrine to their clan’s guardian spirit, and the patriarch leading an entire village for the village spirit’s shrine as well.
Clinkers, the prized sewn-plank boats used for open-water fishing trips, hold a similar importance to homes, and thus contain a shrine. Typically the shrine is a small cavity constructed in the prow of the ship, containing a spirit urn. It is commonly believed that new ships are guarded by the returning spirit of an ancestor, so placing family ash or even bone shards within the shrine urn is often part of dedicating a new clinker.
Souls are believed to descend to the world starting on the full moon, so dedications of new homes and boats are usually practiced on the night of the full moon, that the soul of an ancestor might find the shrine and become a guardian for the new structure.
Creation All the world was one lake, stretching to the ends of the world, and no souls lived within it. Thus, the Mother Sun and the Father Moon came together to cast the first life to the earth. The first life was enormous, and as it died, the massive corpses divided the world into smaller lakes. The Mother Sun was grieved, but tried again. The next generation was composed of smaller beings, but the world was still unable to bear their weight. Most voluntarily climbed to the sky, becoming stars, though some today choose to return to a world that is too small for them, creating disasters that terrorize the third generation. The third generation was the last attempt, and still lives upon the world, birthed by the giants of the second generation before their exodus, but blessed with life by the sky. After so many generations, the seed of the Father Moon was spent, and he went dark for the first time. It is only when many of the third generation died their first death and returned to the edge of the world that the Father Moon gathered them back to himself, and once again began to shine. Thus, the Father Moon became a shepherd of souls, gaining and losing his light as the cycles of death and rebirth flow.
The Afterlife & Funerary Practice The Zonowōdjon do not believe in an afterlife as such, but rather in the eventual return of souls, though some may claim the dark rivers of the underworld amount to some form of hell or purgatory. The Zonowōdjon believe that the soul resides in the bones, and is constrained by the flesh. The soul must sink into the Earth to travel the great rivers under the Earth to its edge, where it will be gently collected by the Moon after a long, dark voyage. Souls embraced by the moon are returned to the lakes in the form of gentle moonbeams, souls ready to find new life. Souls of animals likewise find themselves returned to the lakes by the Moon. A soul may become the new guardian spirit of a home or village, or find itself embodied in a new human life. Those souls who return as tutelary spirits are particularly venerated, and it is believed that important ancestors return to protect the homes, boats, and villages of their descendants. Conversely, a soul lost in the dark rivers who never returns to the moon may find itself twisted by the dark, and eventually claw its way up through the lakebeds as a demon. Demons may also spawn from a soul trapped in the darkness of its own dead flesh, a fate seen as especially common for those lost to the waters of the lake. Thus, prayers for the deliverance of the missing to the Father Moon are common.
By far the most common funeral practice is cremation, as it is believed the soul cannot be liberated while flesh still encases bone. After a cremation, bones often remain. Many villages maintain ossuaries composed of shallow earthen mounds beyond the circle of homes in which bones are interred, sometimes alongside carvings, clothing, or even jewelry. Smaller villages without ossuary mounds have simpler burial grounds further outside of the village, with skulls alone being instead interred at the foundation of family dwellings. In both cases, carvings may be made on the forehead of an intact skull before burial, and a shrine urn decorated to match, in hopes that the soul of the deceased will return to grace the village as a tutelary spirit. Some ash from every burial is placed in the spirit urn of a family home, some in the village longhouse, and often distributed to important shrines of the region surrounding the village, with the latter being obligatory for those who served a particular spirit. Remaining ash is stored in a communal family urn, and on the construction of new homes, some ash from this urn is ritually placed in a small pot or basket which is buried at the foundation to consecrate the ground, and allow the descending spirits of ancestors to find and protect the site.
Culture and Gender Zonowōdjon clan names are matrilineal, but the ruling structure of clans and villages is more patriarchal, with each clan having a patriarch who serves as both the face of the clan, and the arbiter of important decisions. However, there is a strong cultural importance put on the opinions of elderly women, who hold a similar social importance to clan patriarchs as the retainers of oral history. They wield de facto authority in villages, especially those containing multiple clans. Most villages contain 1-3 clans, with one clan’s patriarch holding primary authority, extending from their role as the face of the village when meeting with outsiders or people from other villages.
Gender roles are not particularly strict among younger individuals, especially the unmarried, with only clan patriarchs and village elders taking on especially gendered roles. Both men and women participate in fishing and forage, as well as cooking and food processing and preservation. Older women tend to perform most weaving, as it is a position of some prestige that does not require them to leave the village. A major exception is during mushrooming seasons, when elderly women are trusted to identify safe forage, and often leave the village alongside the typical younger foragers. The main gender differences observed are that it is seen as a more womanly role to plant and tend a garden, while it is seen as a more manly role to perform observances and burn offerings at a shrine (though at major ceremonies, it is still elderly woman who recount myths and tales for those in attendance, while a man performs the actual shrine observances).
Zonowōdjon culture also observes a third gender, though it is mutable and can express as leaning to either male or female gendered expression based on the individual. The Zonowōdjon believe the third gender to be an expression of the returned soul of another life in a differently sexed body. Visibly intersex children are always identified as belonging to this gender, but individuals who are not visibly intersex may also find themselves identified through other means. Commonly, showing early aptitude with reading the stars is seen as a sign that a child is of the third gender, as is a child showing both interest and aptitude in the weaving usually practiced by elderly woman. Regardless of birth sex, members of the third gender identified in this way tend to lean to some feminine aspects and gain some of the prestige granted elderly women, while those identified by their intersex characteristics tend to lean masculine. Members of this third gender are respected, but not particularly venerated. A member of the third gender can be a shrine tender, just as a man might, and participate in any labor, but are usually seen as beyond the institution of marriage and thus live their lives unmarried.
Festivals There are several seasonal festivals observed by the Zonowōdjon, though precise timing varies heavily from village to village, with each usually choosing a phase of the moon, timed from the start of a season, to begin and end observances. Most festivals are multi-day affairs, With each day being dedicated to the observance of one particular god or heroic ancestor. Typically only one day features a full feast, and while spiritual observance happen on every day, the last day of a festival week usually sees a large communal observance. For multiple festivals, the decoration of the village is an important observance. Slender cloth drapes hung from the roofs of buildings and the boughs of trees mark the largest vernal festival, while wreaths of zizania stalks and cattail reeds hung on walls and poles mark the autumnal zizania festival. Some festivals call for decorations to be placed on poles erected in the common areas. While for some villages these poles are a temporary fixture, in other towns they remain year-round, but only feature their festival decorations during the week of observance and otherwise remain bare.
A major feature of several festivals, including the zizania festival in autumn, is circumambulation around a temporary shrine or ritual fetish constructed in a village center. Though circumambulation is practiced elsewhere in Zonowōdjon spirituality, here it persists for as long as two hours, described as beginning as the sun sets and ending when the moon is fully ascended to the sky.In addition to festivals, many clans have other non-festival observances. It is a common practice for most families to forgo the eating of fish on the new moon, and to fast during the daylight hours of both half-moons.
- Fishing Trap: Sunken Basket
- Hand Fishing Net: Cast Net
- Hand Fishing Net: Seine Net
- Oar Locks
- Smoke Curing