Sprinted faster than crossword
I Worked at the Milwaukee Zoo. Here's why I Quit. Part One -
2023.06.08 10:43 kaishawna I Worked at the Milwaukee Zoo. Here's why I Quit. Part One -
I used to work as a zookeeper at the Milwaukee Zoo. There wasn't much to it. Just your standard zoo with a gift shop and areas to visit certain animals. I certainly was a fan of the zoo as a child, having visited the zoo for birthdays or field trips. I always said I wanted to be a vet of some sort but guess zookeeper was the closest I could get. Started working at the place around age 20. Fresh out of high school and trying to save money for my autistic nephew, this job didn't offer much. Running the train when workers couldn't, making sure the animals were fed and taken care of, you get the gist. I know, I know. I said I was a zookeeper but work is right around these parts so I have to pitch in where I can.
When I first started at the Milwaukee Zoo, I felt like I was living my dreams of helping animals. But that soon turned out to not be the case. After being there for less than a year, strange occurrences started to happen. It would be minor things such as lights going out, animals being sick, etc. Nothing major. The big incident happened right when two rookies were hired to see where they would fit in at the zoo. They were skinny and teen like. One was more hairer than the other but other than that, they seemed normal. Or so I would think. The weather was a bit hot and I was sweating while cleaning the elephant enclosure. I know, not the greatest job but someone's gotta do it. The manger of the zoo came up to me as I was closing the metal door to the cage.
"You Emily Tanner?"
"Yes. What's up?"
"I've got these two rookie here and I was wondering if you have time to show them around the base, you know, kinda get them used to the place and see where they fit in."
"Um, sure." I stammered, reaching out to shake the two young mens' hands. The gesture was ignored. Thinking to myself, I wondered what was wrong with them. Did they not understand basic social cues? Were they autistic like my nephew? Thoughts started racing through my head until one of the young men spoke.
"You ever notice the smell of animal waste, how it brings you joy?"
I couldn't speak in that moment. Surely this guy was kidding around, right? Nope. His face was stone cold. He was serious.
"Maybe." I managed to get out. This guy was definitely going be the last one to work with, I thought to myself. Instead, I gave a plastered smile and continued on with the conversation.
"These two shouldn't give you a hard time." the manger said before walking away. I nodded in agreement but then he turned back around.
"Oh, and I posted some rules on your locker door. Be sure to read them carefully. You wouldn't want to know what could happen to you if you don't."
"Is this man for real??" I thought again, my breathing quickening. I was beyond confused. "What is happening??"
But I couldn't worry about that. I had these two rookies to look after. Once I ensured the door to the elephant enclosure was secure, I lead the two men to the gorilla exhibit. It was a bit of a walk since the zoo is literally a maze where if you wanted to get to one area of interest, you had to pass several others before reaching your destination. Sure, you might be wondering if I should have the zoo's layout memorized by now, but you have to think. I don't go to the zoo everyday. Even when I go home, the zoo isn't the first thing on my mind. As I was walking, showing the men the different animals and how they behaved and such, I caught a chill down my spine every time I took a glance behind me to ensure they were following me. I tried to ignore it but the feeling was so overwhelming, I had to say or do something to take my mind off the dreaded feeling.
"So, what brings you two to the zoo and why do you want to work here?" I asked them.
They didn't answer. They just stared. Their cold, black eyes stared right into my soul. I quickly turned away and continues down the hot sticky tar path towards the bird enclosure. Luckily for me, it was nearing my lunch break. I could probably feed some of the birds there and then leave these two to their own devices.
I hurried my pace so that time could move faster and I could get as far away from these guys as possible. Hastily, I opened the door to the enclosure and lead them inside. Naturally the birds flew and here and there, their squawks and screeches following them as they flew about.
"You wanna be careful with the birds. Sometimes they can be mean." I tried to crack a joke but these guys weren't having it. So I naturally shut my mouth and buried any jokes I had deep within. They just stared at me, their soulless eyes not leaving mine. Bleh! Where the manger pick these guys up from, the graveyard? Even mummies and buried corpses could crack a ghost smile every once in a while. Carrying on with showing them how to care for the birds, I checked my watch and quite literally ran out of the building like it was on fire. I had to know those rules and why on EARTH these deadpan guys were hired. Surely the manger wanted to hire them as a joke because no one could be that cold and unfeeling like these two creeps.
Racing to the lockecommon room, I checked my locker door and surely, there was a list of rules. Five of them to be exact.
Rule One. Do not allow new hires to see the animals. This is crucial. If you've broken this rule, it's already too late.
Rule Two. Make sure the new hires are not left alone with the animals.
Rule Three. Do not allow the new hires to come in contact with the people. This rule is to never be broken.
Rule Four. Ensure all enclosures are locked and secure.
Rule Five. If the new hires are ever left alone, run as far away from this place as you can. Don't look back.
Grabbing the note and slumping into a nearby nearly broken garden chair, I heaved a sigh. I guess I've broken most of these rules because I left these guys alone and I left them in the bird enclosure on top of that. These "rules" didn't make sense. Why didn't the manger warn me of these supposed rules before introducing me to these guys?? Sighing once more, I exited the room and went back into the blinding light outside. I hurried back to the bird enclosure to find the new hires gone. My heart sank. I had to find them and fast.
Since I didn't know where to look, I went to the manager's office and found him on the phone. He sounded annoyed.
"Yeah, yeah. I got them all set. The girl is to be in charge of them until I figure out something else."
His word hit me. Surely he wasn't talking about me, right? My thoughts swirled again and I nearly gagged. Holding myself together, I knocked on the open door. The manger looked up me, plastering the fakest smile ever.
"What brings you here?" he asked.
"Um, I saw the note on my locker door and I think... I think I might have broken a few rules already."
The manger quickly stood up and hurried to close the door shut. Looking out the blinds that faced the opening entrance to the zoo and gift shop, he turned to me, his face serious.
"Did you lose them?"
"Did. You. Lose. Them?"
His jaw clenched and his face was covered in cold sweat.
"Yes." I finally admitted. The manger signed, hanging his head.
"We have a problem."
His words were cutthroat, no funny business hidden under his once funny demeanor.
"What...problem?" I questioned, concerned.
"Those new hires aren't... exactly what you would call human. They are entities of sorts."
Now my head was officially fried. Entities? I thought. What kind of twisty rollercoaster works was I living in?? The manger approached me.
"If we don't find them by midnight, we're toast." he said, his voice a whispery hiss. I stared at him, shocked.
"Well, what do you plan on doing? I-I didn't ask to be part of this!"
"Look, I didn't have a choice but to choose you. If I didn't..." he faded off. He then looked at me again, his features a mixture of hurt and panic.
"If I didn't choose you, I would be taken away." he sighed, the words a heavy burden to say.
My voice was no more. Still confused, I open my mouth to speak.
"What do we do now?"
End of Part One.
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2023.06.08 10:33 omelahr5 Binance is not ftx, fact!
Credit to Joe Foot for his insight.
I know stuff is scary but remain calm and collected and analyze the facts.
Fact #1: Binance is not FTX. Not even close. FTX had an average daily volume of 3-4B with the ocasional peak of +10B during the bull run. Binance is over 10B and routinely broke +100B during the bull run. Their revenue is at least 5-7x that of FTX yet people pooled them in the same category. Insanity
Fact #2: it took only RUMORS and speculation to trigger a 5% bank run on FTX for them to shut down withdrawals and panic. For contrast Binance had 22% of assets removed a few months ago (from 71B to around 55B) and they didn't panic or even break a sweat. In fact got interviewed the same day and said people could withdraw 100% of their assets from Binance if needed. He is either an epic master bluffer or he sleeps well at night knowing funds are safu.
Fact #3: Binance grew faster than most companies in modern history. Occasionally those companies will move fast and break things and yes, even break the law such as Uber, Facebook, etc. in the case of Binance they grew without major VC and mostly using ICO funds. They have no bank debt or major stakeholders and for that, the system is shocked. Binance was cash flow positive from month 1 they opened operations and people just can't believe it. But in reality the ICO model has a lot of advantages over the traditional funding methods and again the system is shocked.
Fact #4: when regulators go after every major player in an industry, in 9/10 times the problem is not the industry, it's the regulations. There's gonna be a lot of discussion around what the future looks like and you can bet your bottom $$ it won't be as clean cut as people think it will be.
Fact #5: Binance has onboarded at least 25% of all crypto users. Some studies actually say close to 45%. Binance has done much to help the field and CZ never shied away from any criticism. He has only been candid in his interviews even when he was clearly frustrated with whatever FUD was being thrown at him. I've met many people in my life who were leaders. Some were shit, some were the stuff of legend. CZ is not shit and he shows all the telltale signs of a great leader. I'm sure he made mistakes (and he will pay for them most likely in $$$ and stress) but there's nothing here that can take down Binance.
I firmly believe they can withstand this storm of epic proportions and when they do just think how their reputation is gonna skyrocket
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2023.06.08 10:31 Mi_Str Video skimming / hover-scrubbing
I'm moving from FC to Resolve and I was curious if there is a way or some plugin/extension for Resolve to skim over video with the cursor, just like in FinalCut? I was very used to this in FC, it's a way faster than grabbing a moving playhead everytime https://reddit.com/link/1443gqu/video/8g022wal8r4b1/player
submitted by Mi_Str
to davinciresolve [link] [comments]
2023.06.08 10:31 subnautictrucker rules question: Can any bonus action be done as an action?
just wondering about the details because I'm trying to get my group to a place where bonus actions and reactions are used more. So I want to set a good example and thus sould make sure I know the rules.
I allways tought about bonus actions as something that can be done faster than a full action bis that aside isn't fundamentaly different. So I would expect, that anything that can be done as a bonus action could also be done as a full action. This way a player should be able to perform two bonus actions if they dont perform an action and the bonus actions aren't mutualy exclusiv.
But I can imagine being wrong here, maybe there are bonus actions that explicitly can't be performt as an action. If so which would come to mind? How would one spot them? Is there an exsautiv list or would it only be posible to list examples?
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2023.06.08 10:25 GGU_Kakashi Setting My Lockscreen Wallpaper to a Pic Relating to My Next Task Has Helped a Bunch
I have so much obligations piling up that it's hard to keep track of what I should be doing next, and I often get distracted by the temptation of zoning out on my phone. But I found that deciding what task should take priority, and setting a relative pic as my phone wallpaper as a constant reminder, has me knocking out my errands faster than usual! Whenever I get tempted to play games or scroll through reddit, I'm reminded of what needs to be done.
Just thought I should share it with the sub in case it helps someone.
submitted by GGU_Kakashi
to ADHD [link] [comments]
2023.06.08 10:25 SaltyLittleLich Having trouble with pachies? Here's some advice from a pachy player!
So, complaining about pachies is the flavor of the month, just like last time was anos, and before that was rex, and before that was kentro, and before that was stego, and before that was conc, and it goes on and on.
They're really not hard to kill, I have a quest log with dozens of unclaimed pachy trophies to back that up. I play solo, and even earlier today I won a 2v1 against random pachies, and then a 3v1 when they came back with another friend.
Here are some of the things you need to know.
- Pachy is tied for the lowest herbivore health.
- Pachy is slower than a lot of carnivores (and one herbivore) that can easily beat them.
- Pachy has a low combat weight at only 2000, and because of that, low damage.
Alright, there's the facts, now here's how to use them. First off, the meta for pachy is double speed. It makes them ridiculously squishy. Secondly, all fast dinos that have tight turn radiuses warp around. It's not their connection or yours, it's just the servers. Anyone who's played for long enough knows that raptors and young megs are literally impossible to kill if they know how to abuse it. Concs used to abuse it when they were meta before the bleed nerfs, because you could apply bleed before the person sees you right beside them.
The trick is to attack before the pachy gets to you. They're not that fast, so you can generally guess their pattern. They'll loop back to you, and that's when they'll attack. Attack just before they get to you, and worse case you'll trade damage. With a little practice, you'll hit them every time. I can't remember the last time I lost more than half of my health killing another pachy, and it's just from learning when to attack.
You can also back up to a wall. This keeps them from getting behind you, and forces them to trade damage. Since pretty much anything you're playing as will have more health and weight, this is ideal for you. And once again, if you're playing sty, the reflect bleed they'll take if you're the 2x sub is enough to kill them without even attacking back.
Bleed annihilates pachies. Defense doesn't reduce bleed, so lone survivor and a defense hide on a brawler pachy like mine do nothing to stop bleed damage. Sty absolutely shreds pachies, and is faster than them. Allo's claw attack has a ridiculously huge range and cone, and 2 of those to a pachy's head will kill it, while it takes them 40+ hits to kill you. The more they run, the more they bleed, and pachy has to keep running or they die.
Venom isn't a big deal now, but with the stamina changes coming soon, metri will be a huge threat (and I believe metri will be the PvP dino to replace pachy) because a pachy without stam is dead.
If it's a group of pachies, don't chase. That's the worst thing you can do as the others will charge you from behind and the sides. Play smart, use terrain to your advantage. Pachies are atrocious in water. If you can lure them in, they'll be out of stamina extremely fast, and they're super slow and vulnerable. A lot of other dinos like dasps, allos, etc. are tall enough that they can float just deep enough to keep breathing, but the pachy has to swim to reach you, and when it does, it's dead.
Pachies are like megs, most are bad players who see people complain and think pachy is an 'I win' button. Most only punish other bad players, while skilled players wipe them out. But with that in mind, even the best pachy player isn't going to beat a decent sty or half a dozen others.
Pycno groups are death for pachies. Just don't stop and let them get behind you. And if you do, use tail attacks! Crouch and use tail attacks if you're playing something tall as they'll be doing reduced damage to your back while you do increased damage to their head.
Water and bumps on the ground, or even smooth rock surfaces all cancel out pachy's charge. Charge is also lower damage than just a headbutt, unlike ceratopsian charges. When you hear them snorting, turn to a side and run back at them. They can't turn fast enough to hit you, and you'll make them waste a ton of stamina if they don't immediately cancel the charge.
That's really all it comes down to. Don't let them bait you into chasing so you're at a disadvantage, bite just before they get to you, and use terrain to your advantage.
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2023.06.08 10:15 Away-Veterinarian-33 After I die, I wouldn’t mind having my carcass thrown into a ditch.
We spend so much time and money on being put into well constructed wooden boxes, just to remain taking up space for sometimes an indefinite period of time…
People who are alive could be using that space, and decomposers could naturally utilize my nutrients/calories. At best, members of my family would occasionally visit my grave, and get emotional about my death instead of focusing on those who are currently in their lives. Personally, I think not having a grave at all would help my family members get over me faster.
I mean, I’ll literally be dead. I don’t think I’ll be looking back from heaven etc and thinking “Oh, my bones will be staying within a box in XYZ for a hundred years, that’s great!” Honestly I’ll probably request cremation, too bad my body couldn’t nourish actual life, but it is better than taking up space for the living.
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2023.06.08 10:14 youngmaster0527 How common is breast anxiety when they start showing?
So, my breasts started developing waaay faster than I anticipated.. I mean I started feeling sore and noticing texture changes within the first month of only being on 2mg/day of E and no AA. I wasn't expecting anything in that department for at least a few months
Now I've been on 4mg/day and 100mg/day spiro for a few weeks, and they are definitely on their way. When I bend over, I have a sort of cleavage going on, and I can now cup them in my hand.
The thing is, sometimes I'm stoked and they feel natural. Especially through clothing and when I notice things in the mirror like cleavage at certain angles. But other times it's like wtf are these things that's not supposed to be there wtf. I don't want to get rid of them, in fact I want the anxiety around them to go away. But sometimes I'll suddenly remember their presence and my mind freaks out for a little bit.
Did anyone else face this kind of thing? It might also be leftover anxiety from being insecure of chest growth due to a history of obesity... And maybe going from hating chest growth to wanting it (even though boobs are different than just fat) is throwing off my psyche a bit. It was the only thing about HRT that I didn't immediately get excited about when researching HRT too
Also, I'd like to apologize if this sounds ungrateful. I acknowledge that there are tons out there who have been hrt for a long time and still don't have any growth
submitted by youngmaster0527
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2023.06.08 10:09 brackk2 Schizotypal fact sheet (version 2)
Schizotypal fact sheet version 2
Here is the updated version of the 'schizotypal fact sheet' I posted a couple years ago. I will probably add more to it and is somewhat of a rough draft. Suggestions for things to include and constructive criticism are appreciated. The full schizotypal fact sheet is much too long for reddit’s character limit, however I have uploaded it at Schizotypal Fact Sheet (version 2) (cloudfindingss.blogspot.com)
. This post is a summarized and simplified version, with the full schizotypal fact sheet going into more detail, along with citations. Symptoms
Examples and more elaborate description of these symptoms are on the full schizotypal fact sheet
Ideas of reference: A tendency to perceive and over-interpret social cues and social occurrences relating to one's self that are unlikely, and a tendency to over-mentalise (think about and detect others thoughts, intentions, and mental states) in relation to oneself.
Magical thinking: Persons with schizotypal personality disorder tend to experience passing magical thoughts and often have magical beliefs, which are specifically unconventional and self referential (i.e., adherence to christianity, paganism, astrology, etc are not indicative of magical thinking and occur commonly in the general population)
Odd speech: Persons with schizotypal personality disorder tend to have unusual patterns of speaking and may have difficulty articulating themselves properly.
Eccentricity: Persons with schizotypal personality disorder tend to be seen as odd and eccentric by others and have unusual behaviors. Importantly, this eccentricity is not the same as oddness caused by social deficits or symptoms associated with other disorders like autism that may be considered odd
Social anxiety: Particularly extreme social anxiety often occurs in schizotypal personality disorder, and results in avoidance of social situations and interactions, often involving referential thinking and paranoid ideation
No close friends: Persons with schizotypal personality disorder tend to have little to no friends as a result of excessive social anxiety, paranoid fears, as well as a need for independence and to not be influenced by others.
Unusual perceptual experiences: A tendency to experience fleeting, mild forms of hallucinations such as visual, auditory, tactile, and bodily distortions. Typically the person is aware that these distortions are hallucinations.
Constricted affect: Persons with schizotypal personality disorder tend to have constricted and unusual expressions of emotion, especially socially. It is important to distinguish from unusual expression of emotion caused by social deficits in autism or other mental disorders
Paranoid ideation: Persons with schizotypal personality disorder frequently experience paranoid thoughts and suspiciousness of others motives. Typically this occurs in association with referential thinking, and involves preoccupation with fears of persecution, exclusion, and conspiracy against oneself, but not cynical interpretations of others motives which is associated with other mental disorders Common traits
Antagonomia: Unconditional skepticism toward common beliefs, ways of thinking, assumptions, and values, taking an eccentric stance in opposition, with a drive to understand the world at a deeper level in a detached, anthropologist or scientist like manner, which is often perceived as a gift and having a radically unique and exceptional being
Delayed sleep phase: A tendency to sleep and wake much later than the average person, with better mood and mental functioning during the night than in the day
Ambivalence: An abnormally high tendency to have strong mixed feelings toward many things, such as other people, one's self, and decisions
Dyslexic-like traits: Dyslexia is linked to the schizophrenia spectrum and schizotypal personality disorder is associated with features of dyslexia
Motor control: Difficulties with fine motor control are found in StPD, often leading to difficulties with skills such as handwriting and using tools that require precision Self disorders
Anomalous self experience is thought to be a core feature of schizophrenia spectrum disorders that is unique to schizophrenia spectrum disorders, in contrast to many symptoms which are transdiagnostic. The sense of selfhood, self ownership, embodiment, identity, and immersion in the social world is lacking in schizophrenia spectrum disorders, which leads to traits like antagonomia, hyper-reflectivity, eccentricity, double bookkeeping, social isolation, and “bizzare” delusions.
Hyper-reflectivity: Exaggerated self-consciousness and abnormally high levels of reflection and introspection, disengaging from typical involvement in society and nature, perceiving oneself from a sort of ‘third person perspective’. This may drive some individuals with schizotypal traits or StPD to an interest in psychology, with many innovative psychologists having significant signs of schizotypal personality disorder.
Double bookkeeping: A “split” experience of reality, where one reality is based in the laws of nature and independence of the mind from the external world, and the other reality is a “delusional” private framework that violates the laws of nature, which co-exist. Childhood schizotypal personality disorder
There is a common misconception that schizophrenia spectrum disorders begin at adolescence, however this is not the case, rather the onset of psychosis tends to occur in adolescence, but schizophrenia spectrum disorders and symptoms are present from childhood. Children with schizotypal personality disorder have similar symptoms to adults, and may additionally have autistic-like traits (such as strong interests) which tend to fade into adulthood. The schizophrenia spectrum
Schizotypal personality disorder is not a distinct category of personality and brain function, but is rather on a continuum with 'normal' personality, from no schizotypal traits all the way to severe schizophrenia. Traits of schizotypal personality disorder in the general population are referred to as "schizotypy". Increased levels of schizotypy are characteristic of creative, imaginative, open-minded, eccentric individuals who may otherwise be high functioning and healthy. Schizoid and avoidant personality disorder are included in this spectrum. Personality traits
In the big five, schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by high openness, low conscientiousness, low extraversion, and high neuroticism. High openness and low conscientiousness most clearly differentiate schizotypal personality from schizophrenia and controls.
In MBTI, schizotypal personality is associated with introversion, intuition, thinking, and perceiving (INTP type).
On the fisher temperament inventory, StPD is associated with low cautious/social norm compliant and analytical/tough minded, and higher prosocial/empathetic and curious/energetic temperaments
Anxious avoidant attachment style is associated with StPD Interests and Strengths
Schizotypal personality disorder is associated with having creative interests, hobbies, and professions, such as painting, music, comedy, scientific research, and entrepreneurship. Increased creativity, imagination, and global processing (“big picture” thinking). Cognitive ability and intelligence
In contrast to schizophrenia, intellectual ability is not reduced in StPD but there are specific impairments in areas such as attention and verbal learning. Intelligence effects the presentation of StPD, being associated with lower magical and paranormal beliefs, lower sexual and social anhedonia, more successful creativity, and better theory of mind Theory of Mind
Theory of mind ability is generally reduced in StPD, however this is not caused by mentalizing deficits as in autism, and are largely due to lower cognitive ability that is associated with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, anomalous self experience, and hyper-mentalizing. Relationship with worldviews and religiosity
Schizotypy is conducive to affective religious experiences (e.g., feeling connected to a higher power), however evidence suggests that persons with StPD are less likely to be religious than the general population, but may have unconventional spiritual beliefs (“spiritual but not religious”) Relationships with other disorders Psychopathy
StPD is associated with low levels of primary psychopathy (e.g., dominance, lack of empathy, high stress tolerance, deceptiveness), and high secondary psychopathy (e.g., impulsivity, rebelliousness, social deviance) Borderline personality disorder
StPD and BPD overlap very highly and are related disorders, however persons with BPD do not have negative symptoms (social isolation, extreme social anxiety, hyper-independence, constricted affect) and also do not have self disorders, whereas those with StPD do Other SSDs
Given that StPD is on a spectrum with other schizophrenia spectrum disorders, there is overlap between the disorders with shared symptoms. Put simply, those with schizoid PD meet criteria for avoidant PD, those with schizotypal PD meet criteria for both, and those with schizophrenia meet criteria for all three. Avoidant PD involves social withdrawal and severe social anxiety, schizoid PD involves constricted affect, hyper-independence, and eccentricity on top of AvPD symptoms, and schizotypal PD involves odd speech, perceptual distortions, magical thinking, ideas of reference, and paranoia. Schizophrenia involves psychosis, anhedonia, cognitive deficits, and more severe expression of the symptoms of schizotypal PD. Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is very closely related to the schizophrenia spectrum, and it has been suggested that bipolar disorder may be on a continuum with schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia. Most people with bipolar disorder will have symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder and vice versa. Histrionic & Narcissistic personality disorder
HPD and NPD are negatively associated with StPD, however they may appear superficially similar in some aspects (e.g., idionomia in StPD may be mistaken as narcissistic grandiosity). Obsessive compulsive spectrum
StPD shows a positive relationship with OCD, but a negative relationship with obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OcPD), as OcPD involves hyper-conscientiousness and conformity whereas low conscientiousness and disinhibition are characteristic of schizotypy Substance use
Substance use is extremely common in StPD, with 67% of patients having a diagnosable substance use disorder Mood disorders
Mood disorders including generalized anxiety, major depression, and panic disorder are very common in schizotypal personality disorder, as is the case in most psychiatric disorders Dissociative disorders
Depersonalization and derealization are common in StPD, and there is evidence that dissociative disorders and schizophrenia spectrum disorders may have shared causes ADHD
Symptoms of ADHD are very common in StPD, and differences in attention and self regulation are thought to play a part in the causation of StPD. Autism
Autism and StPD appear to overlap, but this is largely due to transdiagnostic symptoms and superficial similarities. Thorough and theoretically informed examination of the relationship between these disorders suggests that they are likely opposite ends of a continuum. Currently, no clinical tools exist that can differentiate the two disorders, however there is one being developed currently set to be completed by the end of 2023. Comorbid diagnoses of autism and StPD largely appear to be false positives upon investigation, and evidence suggests that a true comorbidity would either be characterized by very high intelligence or severe intellectual disability. Some distinctions (that are easily observable) between the disorders are listed below
- Interests in StPD oriented towards creation, such as music production, poetry writing, original paintings, etc. Not all artistic or conventionally considered “creative” interests are necessarily creative in this way
- Interests in autism oriented toward collection of things or facts in structured domains, such as learning everything about a TV show or all the types of airplanes. Individuals with autism are often drawn to media and mechanical interests, such as video games or machines
- StPD associated with increased effort and willingness for casual sex experiences, reduced investment into long term relationships, lower sexual disgust, earlier development of sexuality, and unusual sexual interests, consistent with a fast life history strategy
- Autism associated with reduced effort and willingness for casual sex experiences, higher sexual disgust, higher effort into long term relationships, delayed development of sexuality, and a high frequency of asexuality, consistent with a slow life history strategy
- High levels of impulsivity, excitement seeking, drug use, risk taking, and novelty seeking, and low levels of self control, focus, responsibility, and organization, low levels of OcPD traits in StPD
- Lower impulsivity, excitement seeking, risk taking, and novelty seeking, and is associated with higher orderliness, focus, perfectionism, and perseverance. Low rate of drug use. High levels of OcPD traits
- Social correlates
- Low socioeconomic status at birth and careers and college majors in arts and humanities associated with StPD
- High socioeconomic status at birth and careers and college majors in technical fields and physical sciences associated with autism
- Idiosyncratic worldviews, lower disgust-based, rule-based, and authority-based morality in StPD
- More conventional worldviews with higher influence from culture and caregivers, more disgust-based, rule-based, authority-based morality, lower intention-based morality in autism
- Low attention to detail, enhanced “big picture” thinking and ability to detect more general patterns in chaotic and noisy information. Increased perception of non-literal meaning and intentionality in speech. Chaotic, hyper-associative understanding of word meaning, increased awareness of different potential intended meanings of speech. Increased pain tolerance, high openness to experience in StPD
- High attention to detail, sensory acuity, reduced ability to detect general patterns in chaotic and noisy information, reduced “big picture” thinking. Literal, rigid, rule based interpretation of language, reduced ability to understand non-literal language and unconventional or incorrect use of words, reduced use of intention in determining the meaning of speech. Reduced pain tolerance, lower openness to experience in autism
StPD is mostly genetic, but trauma may increase symptom severity Cannabinoid system
Cannabis produces effects resembling StPD symptoms and associated traits, and StPD is associated with higher levels of anandamide, the neurotransmitter which activates the same receptors as cannabis. Cannabis is also found to temporarily increase the severity of positive symptoms Serotonin system
Higher serotonin is associated with conformity, conscientiousness, and low openness, which is opposite of StPD. People with StPD have higher levels of enzymes that break down serotonin, and lower expression of some serotonin receptors. Dynorphin system
Dynorphin is a stress hormone that produces dysphoria, dissociation, and psychotic-like symptoms and cognition. Dynorphin levels are associated with increased severity of schizophrenia spectrum symptoms Glutamate & NMDA
NMDA is a type of glutamate receptor that is reduced in association with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. NMDA blockers cause symptoms and associated traits of StPD and can induce psychosis, and people with StPD also have higher levels of the NMDA antagonist neurotransmitter agmatine. Cognitive, psychological, and evolutionary causes Predictive processing
A recent model of schizotypy suggests that it is a cognitive-perceptual specialization for processing chaotic and noisy data, where patterns and relationships exist but can only be detected if minor inconsistencies are ignored (i.e., focusing on the 'big picture'), where giving higher weight to prediction errors prevents the detection of false patterns (i.e. apophenia) at the cost of being unable to detect higher level patterns (autism), and giving lower weight to prediction errors allows for the detection of higher level patterns at the cost of occasionally detecting patterns that don't exist, as in delusions and hallucinations that occur in schizotypy. This model explains many traits associated with schizotypy and links other theories of schizotypy Hyper-mentalizing
The hyper-mentalizing model suggests that symptoms like ideas of reference, paranoia, erotomania, auditory hallucinations, delusions of conspiracy, etc are a result of excessive mentalizing, where intentions are inferred excessively to the point of delusion, in contrast to autism where mentalizing is reduced. Many other features and associated traits like odd speech and increased creativity can be explained by this model. Imagination
It is thought that StPD may involve overly increased imagination, which can explain symptoms and features like hyper-mentalizing, dissociation, perceptual deficits, and enhanced creativity. Life history
It is suggested that StPD may have been evolutionarily selected for due to its ability to enhance short term mating success through enhanced creativity and non-conformity, which are beneficial to desirability as short term partners, but not long term partners. This is supported by studies showing that persons with high traits of StPD have more total sexual partners, more effort into forming short term relationships, and lower effort into maintaining long term ones. This is consistent with a fast life history strategy, and StPD correlates with other markers of fast strategies such as impulsivity, sensation seeking, low disgust sensitivity, earlier maturation, etc. Hyper-openness and apophenia
Openness to experience is associated with apophenia and intelligence, though the two latter traits are negatively related to eachother. It is suggested that schizotypy represents apophenia, and an imbalance of high openness relative to intelligence is suggested to cause symptoms of StPD. This model is in agreement with other models, with openness relating to higher imagination, mentalizing, and faster life history strategies.
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2023.06.08 10:09 WaveOfWire One Hell Of A Vacation - Chapter 89
Next Royal Road Patreon u/KieveKRS
providing the Trash certification of quality! (with help from u/coldfireknight
cuz this one needed it.)
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Nalah affixed the massive shield to her back, the rectangular form large enough for him to fit behind while only needing to crouch slightly. It was mostly ironwood, but the sides and front were metal-plated, so it still weighed a considerable amount. Despite that, the thing’s bulk hardly seemed to be noticed by the blonde-furred female, likely due to the constant construction work she involved herself in. It paired oddly with the long pike she insisted on using, but he couldn’t deny that poking at things while hiding behind a mobile wall sounded like a good idea.
Jax was wearing his new armour, the bulky chest-piece a mirror of his blond-furred pack mate’s. Though he forwent the protection a buckler or likewise would offer, he doubled up on gear. Gauntlets, vambraces, pauldrons, and anything else he could wear to compliment the massive axe he had taken a liking to.
Where Nalah was fitted to look like an apocalypse survivor—her protections limited to her torso, forearms, and shield—the black-furred male resembled a giant, if underfunded, paladin. All he needed now was some religious imagery and a penchant for exalting the qualities of their god. Joseph almost nudged the guy to suggest it for kicks.
On second thought, he decided that Jax absolutely did not
need a reason to start yelling about the Human-turned-religious-figure, because there was no way in hell he wouldn’t. There was no telling what he would choose to say, and the Grand Hunter was perfectly happy never knowing.
Having been with the male as long as he had, it would probably involve ‘taming’ females or something else that would leave him groaning for weeks, if not just contemplating another high-dive from the cliff.
Joseph fixed his own equipment, the ‘Wraith armour’ worn over his own thin iron breastplate. He wasn’t thrilled to wear the extra weight, but it beat being mauled by the thing they were heading out to kill. The trips so far had been tolerable, fog and overcast skies keeping the temperature in check, but he didn’t want to go out in this on a hotter day as Summer really kicked back in. He was sweaty enough without baking inside all this crap.
He adjusted the wolf-skull mask, the rest of the hunting party having gotten over the worst of the unease it gave them. Though they’d needed to rotate people out for the sake of fairness, this would be their eighth consecutive scouting. Using the information that Raine and Faye provided, they narrowed down a likely stomping grounds for the creature and were systematically clearing sectors. It might have been discouraging to keep looking after so long, but the occasional marking on trees and the odd moss-wolf corpse tipped them off that they were getting close. There was still another week’s worth of searching left if today wasn’t the day, but somehow he doubted they wouldn’t need that long.
All in all, they numbered six; larger parties were attempted, but their efforts at stealth quickly became pointless between so many trudging through the forest and stopping for breaks. There was a bit of a scare where one of Mi’low’s pack went missing, but the guy had just stopped to relieve himself. Since the discovery was made by someone else knocking him over in the process by mistake, they decided that keeping the number smaller made communication easier. And lowered the amount of grumbling about needing a bath.
Jax, Nalah, two security members, one of the hunters, and him. Sure, grabbing Tel or the Wraiths would have been a bit more useful for cohesion, but they were all busy with things, and he didn’t want to grind everything in the settlement to a halt for nothing if the search turned up empty again. They were more suited to taking out their fellow Lilhun than some monster in the woods, as much as he disliked the thought.
Scarlet was spending a lot of time with Violet and the new Atmo, Faye was spending much of her recovery with the moss-wolves and moss-pup, and Tel was in the process of helping Harrow shore up the few security members that were slated to become snipers. Kaslin was still learning chemistry with Toril, and Raine was helping whoever needed a hand, so that marked off all of his usual accompaniment. He could have taken more of his direct pack, but they all had important things to take care of as well.
Sahari was managing the pack and putting people where people needed to be put, Pan was working with Idee and Heralt to make a line of armour for the whole pack, and Mi’low was...well, Mi’low
. He was pretty sure she was unofficially the master of the hunter’s lodge and spent most of her time keeping track of what came in and out of it, while also making sure that everyone got their fair share. It needed to be done with the settlement growing as much as it had, and it kept Mi’low busy enough to stymie the flow of complaints, so he wasn’t about to complain.
They double checked that they had everything that was needed; food, water, arrows, bolts, and some bags to store anything that the snares had caught on the way back. Four ranged and two melee weapons meant that they would be mostly using Jax and Nalah to soak hits if it came down to it, the others peppering it with projectiles. Given that Harrow was insistent on the bear-thing being resistant to anything they could use at a distance, they also carried spare weapons for the ranged users, just in case. Nodding, Joseph gestured to the group finishing up their preparations for the day’s trip.
“A moment, sir?” Scarlet called to him as she approached the gate, the Wraith flanked by Rose and Cobalt. The two Atmo were decked-out in their own armour, which appeared to be almost entirely metal, save for the palm lining the inside for comfort. Each of their six legs were adorned with broad shields, their bases capped off with a flat storage carriage. They looked like someone had a little too much fun testing how much the insects could effortlessly carry and had ended up with sapient hexapedal tanks.
“Only if you explain why those two would look more at home if they had cannons installed on their backs,” he quipped, an expression somewhere between surprised, amused, and plain dumbfounded plastered on his face. The blackish red-furred female smirked for a split-second before resuming her usual servile presentation.
“The young mistress had extended her request for these two to accompany you.”
Joseph tilted his head incredulously. “Violet told you to send them?”
Scarlet nodded, gesturing to the outfitted Atmo. “They have been under her tutelage for some time now, and wish to be of assistance.”
The Grand Hunter snapped his mouth closed when he was about to ask why
his daughter would teach them anything that might be useful for fighting a deadly beast. Of course she did; It was one of the first things he did for her. It would have been weirder for her not
to pass on what she knew after all the hours she spent either seeing him coach the others, or being coached herself. With the time she had under her belt, she was the local Atmo Close Quarters Combat specialist, and no one else understood how the modified boxing she learned worked with their bodies like she did.
He wore a hesitant expression, shifting his weight to his other leg. “Well, they’ve certainly geared up.”
“It is a product our smith is rather proud of,” the Wraith affirmed confidently.
He exhaled slowly. “Seems a bit much.”
She seemed to be expecting the remark, barely pausing to register what he said before responding. “Your kit wishes you safe, yet understands you would not allow her to accompany you. These two wish to be of assistance.”
To punctuate her point, the two nodded in agreement, walking forward and slinging some of the backpacks onto their carriages. It seemed ‘no’ wasn’t something they were going to accept after Violet had said her piece. He sighed, conceding that they wouldn’t slow the party down with everyone carrying so much weight in equipment, regardless of the bags. They took breaks frequently enough to accommodate the Atmo, so that wouldn’t hinder anything either.
“Fine,” he relented with a wave of his hand. “We’ll take them. Not like they’d hurt anyway. But–” He put a warning into his tone. “–they’re not playing the hero and getting themselves killed. This isn’t going to work if they think any of us dying is still a net positive, got it?”
The two Atmo mimed their understanding, Scarlet replying with a victorious smile. Joseph couldn’t help but bemusedly roll his eyes. The female had taken rather well to baby-sitting, and that seems to have extended to humouring the young Queen’s schemes now. It wasn’t an unwelcome addition to their little sojourn. At least they could haul back any larger game without it tacking hours onto the return trip.
He thanked Scarlet for her trouble before dismissing her, confirming with the group that everything was accounted for, and set off before it grew too late. He wasn’t looking to get caught out in the woods during the night. The Lilhuns might be fine, but he was pretty well blind unless the moon felt generous.
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Jax watched the two Atmo quietly follow on the sides of the group, their heavily armoured forms posing no issues with their naturally soundless movements in the forest. In the den, they would make moderate clacks and clicks as their chitinous legs contacted the ground, but the soft dirt and foliage stifled all but the smallest report of their travel. With Scarlet supervising alongside Violet, he wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that the former Blade had influenced their movement with the goal in mind, though he had never paid much attention to how they walked before to compare.
He had to admit, having them carry the additional equipment was exceedingly useful. He had proposed having the group use the newly acquired platforms on their more arachnid-like abdomen to rest in shifts, but Joseph was quick to insist that the insects were of lesser stamina than even Lilhuns. The phrasing seemed like a comparative insult, but Jax had more than enough experience with the Human to know that he had simply spoken his mind. To him, everyone had sub-par stamina. Training had gone some way to remedy the discrepancy, but the Grand Hunter could still continue for longer than even the most well-conditioned of them.
The black-furred male rolled his shoulders, feeling the heft of his axe shift with the movement. It was an impressive size, the weight well-balanced and its edge sharp. He had once laid it to the ground out of curiosity and confirmed that it was about as tall as Pan from head to haft, though only if she stood to her full height. Regardless of its size, it was still lighter than the armour he chose to don.
Having only really worn leathers or a few sets of ironwood protections, the encumbering prominence of the iron equipment took getting used to. It wasn’t entirely restrictive, but did put a damper on any chances he had of sprinting from danger. That was fine, he supposed, since he was wearing it against a beast he had no experience with. It could very well outrun him regardless, and he would rather have the defences in either case.
Nalah seemed to be doing fine, the large barrier she kept on her back swaying slightly as she walked. She was unhindered by it, her movements barely affected by the bulk, which was reassuring. Joseph, however, seemed to be panting more than usual, the rolling cloud coverage easing as the sun progressively warmed the environment. The fog from earlier meant that it was rather humid, and that seemed to bore no well wishes for the male encased in dark leathers and thick plates. He had even flipped down his hood, the sweat beading on his skin adding a sheen to his visage.
“I liked this better when the sun didn’t exist,” the Human lamented quietly, just loud enough for Jax to hear. The black-furred male chuckled.
“It would be rather dark.”
Joseph glared at him for a moment before rolling his eyes. “I just don’t rank ‘heavily armoured hike through the woods’ high up on my list of things I want to do regularly.”
“I believe that list would be occupied by your mates, no?” he ribbed playfully, a smirk arising when the Grand Hunter shunted his eyes closed in a grimace.
“I hate you.”
“I can see your smile underneath your displeasure, Joseph,” Jax quipped, nudging the male with his elbow, then giving an apologetic smile when his friend almost fell. Joseph sighed, waving Cobalt over and fetching a water-skin from the luggage that the insect was ferrying without breaking stride—though he needed to be careful not to get stepped on.
The Atmo always amused Jax. Be it their passive demeanour hidden by their towering stature, or his interactions with the den-kit, they never failed to be curious people. Having the two that accompanied Volta with them was an unexpected development, but he couldn’t claim to disapprove. If they had been imparted the methods of combat that Violet had cultivated, then there was little worry of them being harmed by naught but perhaps their current target. At least not until there was a better reference of its strength than the single encounter the first-years had so long ago.
At the time, it had smashed pillars and pierced flesh effortlessly, claws proving to be little more than tempting ministrations of tender touch to the thick hide. Jax only had some of the pack’s recount to base the experience off of, but was content to take their word for it. He was, ashamedly, preoccupied taking care of baser needs when the event transpired, so he was woefully unprepared for the eventual encounter. Still, he was afforded the best the settlement had to offer so that he might serve his duty of protecting the Grand Hunter. Harrow would never forgive him if only he returned.
His thoughts were disturbed by Joseph calling for a rest, Jax’s legs thankful for the break from supporting the unusual weight for so long. The Human dispensed rations and water for the pack, the Atmo waiting until everyone else was supplied before accepting their portion. They rested on their base directly, instead of curling their legs beneath them like Jax had become accustomed. Perhaps the armour impeded such, or they wished to remain mobile in the event such was required. Regardless, they blocked what little breeze there was, forcing the Grand Hunter to walk beyond them to enjoy it in the shade. It was short-lived however, as Rose quickly repositioned to stay between the pack and whatever lay beyond their protections.
It was a futile effort, it seemed, because it repeated again twice before Joseph groaned loudly and threw himself atop the carriage to lay back, his legs dangling at the knee. He seemed perfectly content with the unorthodox arrangement, snorting his amusement along with a muttered comment about a ‘taxi.’
The entertaining sight was marred by a distant yelp, snapping the group to attention. Jax and Joseph traded looks, subtle nods and gestures given to move out while remaining quiet. Ignoring his earlier complaints, the Grand Hunter flicked his hood up and donned the mask, drawing his crossbow and readying a bolt. The hunter of the pack mimicked the preparation, the two security members loosely nocking their arrows while Rose, Cobalt, Jax, and Nalah took point.
They proceeded quietly for far longer than the proximity of the noise would have suggested, but marks and gashes upon the trees implied a moving conflict. Thoughts of it being a lost cause quickly became moot as a closer growl and bark shattered the careful silence they had been maintaining.
Motioning for the pack to stop, Joseph waved Jax forward, Nalah approaching the other side. Using the large shield as additional cover, they peered around a particularly thick tree. Locked in combat were two moss-wolves, both attacking a truly massive grey creature.
Twice the Human’s height, half that in width. Four pillars as legs—the muscular trunks sinewy and defined—supported the disturbing hunched figure, the wide base tapering slightly into a thick and extended torso. A singular eye-stalk replaced the head, the ocular organ atop it pitch black and free of any indication of its focus. Four arms with deadly claws parried and sliced the two yellow beasts as they attempted to drive off the predator, a sickeningly large maw gaping to catch any attempts at a lunge. The mouth of the creature almost occupied the entirety of the available surface area upon its front, the jagged bone tools of manduction undulating with the promise of sustenance.
Joseph pulled them back, cursing under his breath as he tried to fight off the tension. From Nalah’s worried expression, it seemed his caution was rather potent, the other members of the group smelling his reaction as well.
“So, what’s the plan, Jax?” the Human whispered, his grip on the crossbow alternating with his fingers stretching across the trigger lest his fidgeting cause a misfire.
“I thought that, with your record, you would wish to tame it for the settlement,” Jax replied while thinking through a plan of action. He was glad that his friend trusted him, but he wished he had known the true scale of the beast prior. Joseph grit his teeth, turning to glance past the tree again with sarcasm pouring out of his response.
“Can’t quite see Winnie-the-woodchipper there playing great with kids.”
“You say that after adopting an Atmo as kit, Grand Hunter,” he returned, nodding to himself when a plan formed. The Human smiled, the banter easing the tension somewhat. “Rose, Cobalt, you two are the most well defended of us. Circle around and drive the beast this way. You should be capable of such without noise, yes?”
The two insects nodded, emptying their luggage behind a tree so as not to lose any of it before disappearing into the trees. The slight glimmer of their iron armour was the only indication of their position through the dense forest. Jax hoped that the beast was not particularly curious about the dimly pulsing glare, nor finished with its current altercation in time to impede the pair.
Satisfied with their progress, he motioned for the two security members to scale a tree and gain a superior vantage point. Their weapons would be able to maintain a more rapid pace of sustained fire at longer ranges. Joseph and the hunter were instructed to hide behind trees nearby, though the Human would need to remain grounded as his lack of claws made scaling the large flora difficult with his equipment.
Finally, Nalah and he positioned themselves much closer, in order to flank the creature as it fled the Atmo and occupy it long enough for the others to bleed it out, if not outright dispose of it.
With the forms of the Atmo peeking through the brush opposite them, Jax raised his axe to signal the start.
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Joseph felt the hammering in his chest, his heart preparing him to fight for his life against the walking abomination that easily outclassed the only other predator that he had experience with. Sure, the moss-wolves were easy to take down once you had equipment and a plan, but that thing screamed
He watched Jax and Nalah set up behind thick trees, their goal being for Jax to hopefully disable a leg or two with the war-axe while Nalah occupied it with the shield. As the two strongest members of his little family, he trusted both to do their job.
As a clusterfuck of animal and torture device, he had no faith in the creature playing along.
Swallowing his hesitation, he adjusted his grip on the crossbow again, mentally tallying his shots and cursing himself for not researching explosives. Sure, Toril didn’t want to be involved in that kind of weapon, but at the moment, the tailless white-furred male could suck it up and make one anyway. Joseph would give his left nut to see how quickly the chemist would make weapons of mass destruction just to annihilate whatever that thing called home.
Jax raised his axe, glinting the sunlight of it towards the Atmo. Receiving the start signal, the two clicked and loosed a deafening screech, the Human’s ears ringing even from this distance.
The beast seemed unperturbed by the noise, though the lack of visible ears may have had something to do with the lacklustre effect. Regardless, it did
notice the two armour-clad insects charging at it, and smartly decided to extradite itself from the area. The moss-wolves, however, didn’t quite get the memo, mistaking the advancing assistance as yet another foe to defend themselves from.
He had to say, Violet taught the two well. They flashed their blades out in the same flicker jab that he had shown his daughter, and with an unceremonious squelch, the two bisected canines landed in four pieces, a vibrant green ichor now staining the weapon-like appendages of the Atmo. Undeterred by their first act of violence—as far as he was aware, anyway—they continued herding the beast.
It wasn’t as fast as they might have feared, its quadrupedal gait hindered by its proportions, but it was still quick enough to be damn intimidating. Its arms acted as a counter balance, constantly adjusting this way and that just to keep it stable. That thing was clearly never meant for sprinting, all its mobility being given to the overactive maw that pulsated with the exertion.
He readied his crossbow, the shaking in his hands not ruining his aim against such a large target. He eyeballed the distance between the creature and the ambush point, forcibly moving his finger off the trigger so that he didn’t fire early.
Closer. Come on. Almost.
Jax wound up like a particularly enthusiastic lumberjack, putting his full body into the rotation. The massive axe swung like a horizontal pendulum striking home with all the finality of a clock tolling midnight. It bit into the front leg of the beast, only sinking a few inches before momentum nearly wretched the weapon from the black-furred male. Luckily, the force and timing was enough to trip it, the creature crashing to the forest floor with a deafening roar of pain.
They could hurt it. That made him feel better.
His relief evaporated as the beast swiftly recovered, hauling itself from the ground faster than he thought possible, but his archers took it for an unspoken signal. Arrows and bolts peppered its thick hide, to no effect—it shrugged off the projectiles like they were nothing more than pine needles, none sinking far enough to gain notable purchase.
Jax hefted his axe for another strike, careful not to over-commit this time. Nalah prodded the beast wherever she could with her pike, the melee weapon sliced and skewered just past the surface of the hide, though not enough to do more than marr. It was, however, enough to gain the attention of the target, the creature swinging two of its four arms to rake across the shield that the blond-furred female held. The iron plating across the front let out an unearthly shriek as claws ripped and crumpled the metal. Well, fuck
Nalah was quick to react, treating the shield less as an immovable barrier and more like a slight distance buffer, dodging in and out of range to steal jabs with the polearm. The security members nocked another volley, picking different targets than before. An arrow bounced harmlessly off the black orb of an eye, another finding purchase in what passed for gums in its mouth.
The hint was received; aim for the mouth. Thankfully, that was a large target. Less thankfully, it realized that flashing its teeth was detrimental to its health, slamming the maw closed.
Jax managed another swing, this time into one of the rear legs. It wasn’t as effective as the first strike, but it did warrant a sweeping double back-fist from the creature, scoring Jax’s armour with shallow claw marks as he jumped backwards. Joseph let out a breath as he fired his second shot, only just narrowly missing the sliver of a gap between razor teeth that the enraged attack afforded. It couldn’t keep its mouth shut forever, each frenzied swipe pulling its form enough for glimpses of softer flesh within to appear. The hunter dropped from their tree, darting across to reposition for a wider angle to capitalize on. The creature noticed, lunging forward to eviscerate the easier target.
Joseph blinked as two armoured figures jumped in front of the Lilhun, raising their blades in a tight guard to block the four arms grabbing for a quick meal. The beast recoiled with a thunderous screech, two of its appendages sporting deep gashes that fountained blood, while the others managed to impact above the edged outside of the blades. Rose and Cobalt pressed forward, buying time and space for the hunter to collect themselves and scale up another perch. Taking advantage of its pain, two new arrows ripped through the air, smacking into exposed inner flesh. Two new protrusions joined the first in the mouth, one landing next to the existing projectile, while the other cleared the gateway of serration, driving deeply inside of it.
More flicker jabs and extended straights pushed and cut the beast as it tried to gain distance from the two that wounded it, every retaliatory strike earning it another gash in its grey hide.. Unencumbered by the constant barrage, Nalah thrust into its legs more vigorously, her body leaning into each attack to gain every inch of penetration she could into the muscle and thick hide.
Jax used the chance to score another chopping blow, doubling down on a previous wound to a back leg—striking bone this time, based on the unholy wail the beast uttered. Joseph raised his crossbow to land another shot into its mouth, but the beast flailed wildly to fend off the ambush.
Rose managed to block, Jax lunged backwards, Nalah deflected most of it with what remained of her shield, but Cobalt was caught by a strike, taking the hit to its torso. The Atmo flew backwards, rolling when it landed, the carriage and assorted armoured plates trailing behind it. Rose shifted instantly, covering the direction that their companion had been sent while Jax and Nalah focused on pulling the beast away from the downed combatant.
Joseph’s eyes flicked to the Atmo, waging an internal battle on whether helping the insect would be better or worse for the situation as a whole. He didn’t want to lighten up their assault if it would just mean more injuries, but Cobalt could be in dire need for a patch job. It was hard to tell from where he was.
Cursing, he bolted from his spot, firing off one last round into the gaping maw before clipping the crossbow onto his armour and sliding on his knees in front of Cobalt, healroot hastily retrieved from his pocket.
He paused, sighing in relief when none of the armour bore more than deep gashes, the carapace underneath unblemished by the attack. Cobalt clicked lightly, dazed, but otherwise seeming unhurt. Unlearned in the physiology relevant, he ushered the Atmo to remain out of the fight for fear of concussion or something similar. They could look at the insect back at the base to be sure later.
His head spun around at both Jax and Nalah screaming his name, a massive clawed hand sweeping at him—the monster's approach unnoticed while he focused on Cobalt. Lacking a better option, he lunged forward towards the underside of the beast to dodge the swipe, crashing to his shoulder on the dirt below.
The creature raised a leg above Joseph, pounding the earth scant inches from his head as he rolled sideways. Ignoring the kicked up dirt, he brought his fist to the underside of the beast, flicking the release on his bracer.
Blood spouted from the newly formed wound, the blade breaking at the mechanism as the massive animal lurched in pain, Joseph rolling out of the way of another attempted trampling. He scrambled to his feet, feeling the wind of another strike narrowly missing him.
Yeah, that would probably kill him.
Luckily, the injuries renewed the desire to flee in the monstrosity, the group of attackers proving too dangerous to continue challenging. It stumbled away from them, sparing Cobalt from its panicked trudging. Jax and Nalah started to run towards him, worry evident in their eyes, but he barked for them to finish it, redirecting the two to keep the pressure going. He didn’t want to mention the pain in the arm from where the bracer hitched. It didn’t feel broken, and thus was irrelevant.
Pressure applied, the grey beast picked a random direction free of opponents to escape, ignorant of the waiting security. When it was too close for them to shoot into its mouth at a decent angle, they slung the bows over their shoulders and drew the swords they had been afforded, patiently waiting with the blades turned down.
It passed below them, the two Lilhuns dropping from the branches to put their full weight into the plunging blades. Both landed on the large target, one sword sinking deep into a shoulder, while the other managed to pierce one of its hip joints. The beast spun haphazardly to dislodge the ‘new’ threats, both security members kicking off and finding new trees to set up in.
Whatever damage was actually done, it had lost the use of an arm, and its gait shifted awkwardly as the blade lodged in its hip worked more harm with each shambling step.. Emboldened, Jax picked up the pace, struggling to position himself with the amount of metal he wore. Ducking another swipe of its claws, he saw his chance and swung, pivoting with his axe as a counter weight. For the third time, his axe blade found the wound in its leg, adding a sickening crunch as the bone snapped from the impact.
The creature swung wildly, forced to favour its two remaining good legs, and the only other leg that could still support at least some
of its weight. It was unstable now, the hunched figure swaying while unmoving. Unable to run, it decided to go down with as many of them as it could.
Rose caught up with the attack, drawing attention from the comparatively squishy Nalah as the blond-furred female deflected a wayward swing with her shield. The once iron-plated ironwood now sporting little more than jagged scraps of metal atop its silver wooden structure, a series of deep gouges marring the surface. Two lunging thrusts with the pike bit flesh, drawing new blood from the beast.
Joseph loaded his crossbow, getting off two bolts, but not managing to keep it steady enough to hit anything of use, his arm faltering under the weight of the weapon. Cursing, he decided to flank the beast and try his luck with the other bracer. If nothing else, the force in which the blade deployed was enough to pierce the thick hide, and the others were doing a good job of distracting it.
The red armoured Atmo let loose a series of directed swings, the fifth severing an arm in motion, the flying appendage forcing Nalah to raise her shield to block the unorthodox projectile. The female was sent sprawling from the weight of the impact, but the beast was too busy voicing its agony to take advantage of it. Jax worked another two chops into the broad legs, but neither managed to incapacitate it any more, and the prolonged exertion was slowing his reflexes.
As if cued into his waning energy, the beast flung Jax with another strike, the hunter of the group sinking a bolt deep into the cavernous flesh of its mouth to prevent an attempt at following up.
Joseph roared, desperate to finish it off before the creature could do the same to his downed pack. He sprinted at the monster's back and slid underneath it with as much speed as he could muster. Throwing his fist into the passing undercarriage, he let the deployed blade leave a long gash in its wake.
The grey monster lost its ability to stand, torn tendons, blood loss, and inflicted injuries taking their toll. The Grand Hunter kicked off his knees to fling himself out of the way of the collapsing figure, grimacing as the remaining bracer proved unable to support the abuse he had put it through. He looked back at the beast, the flailing body failing to right itself as teeth did little more than gouge dirt, its back exposed. Rose approached, raising their blades together and plunging it through the body over and over until it stopped moving.
Exhausted, the Atmo dropped where it was, breathing heavily. Joseph’s instinct to yell their victory was delayed as he hurried over to Jax and Nalah to confirm he didn't need to bring back bad news. Nalah seemed fine, if a bit sore from hitting the dirt and rolling, while Jax just asked to lay down when he heard that everything was over. Cobalt came over to the group, the armour that had come off collected atop the carriage it had managed to loosely affix to its base.
It was light, a chuckle originating from the Human as he slumped to the ground against a tree, but soon the entire group was roaring with laughter as victory settled in their minds. The two security members helped the hunter begin disassembling the beast, their contribution to the fight leaving them with more energy than the rest. They hadn’t been slacking off, that much was certain. The number of arrows jammed into the maw of the thing would have guaranteed a few extra seconds of survival and chances to escape if one of them had been forcibly tossed into there, and it had caused enough pause for the rest of them to get in a few hits up close.
Joseph rested across from Jax and Nalah, letting his heart rate slow from the rapid pace it had been pinned to since the start of the conflict. His arm continued its protests, but from the amount of movement he still had, he guessed that he had just strained the elbow. A few days taking it easy should straighten that right up.
Once the active members were about half way through processing the creature for hide and meat, Cobalt approached him, a mimed request for assistance putting their armour back on being redirected to Nalah since he doubted he could lift the damn pieces without hurting himself at the moment. She obliged, getting the blue Atmo back in full attire, though it took a while.
Rose stood first, stopping over to allow the hunter to place collected bits and pieces onto the carriage before securing it with whatever they could make due. A security member gathered the moss-wolf corpses for a similar treatment. Waste not, want not, he supposed.
Rose ended up carrying most of their spoils. When he was about to ask why, he, Jax, and Nalah were dragged to Cobalt and hefted onto the carriage. A series of confused questions revealed that the rest wanted to head back before it started getting dark, and it was pretty obvious who was the most exhausted of them. Lacking the will or energy to argue it, he flopped back on the Atmo as the trees passed them by, Nalah resting her legs across him as her head sat on Jax’s lap. The black-furred male didn’t so much as smirk, so it was clear he had pushed himself too far to quip about the arrangement as he laid down.
“The next time you wish to exhaust me this much, Joseph,” the Head of Security started after a long while of silence, tiredness in his voice, “I would prefer it to involve my mate and a bed.”
The Human snorted, closing his eyes and enjoying the lack of walking as the surprisingly stable Atmo carried the three of them. “Fuck off, Jax.”
“Of course, Grand Hunter.”
Next A/N: Patreon is fixed!... aka new one cuz problems with the last. Check it out to support the story, get AI character art every now and then, or even preview sections of chapters as i write them! (aka, before kieve gets to fix them :D)
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2023.06.08 10:08 erusuoyera If nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, then how do you explain this?
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2023.06.08 10:08 Tycoh Any plans for balance pass on Flames?
Is there any word on flames being nerfed? (That falls under the category of Flamethrower, Molotovs, and Engine Fires).
Players should not be catching on fire instantly from simply touching a lingering flame unless its from a direct stream of fire from a Flamethrower, it should be at least 1-2 seconds sitting in the fire to engulf yourself in flames (Damage over time still applies without the instant flame stun). What really ticks me off personally is the engine fires instantly catching me on fire when i'm trying to extinguish it from outside of the vehicle. How big is the flame damage entity on the back of the vehicle? It feels like it covers the entirety of the vehicle than just on the point that's on fire.
In terms of the Flamethrower weapon specifically: It seems logical and fair that it should get a turn speed nerf while firing and movement speed nerf; to what percentage I don't know, as long as a i'm not able to swing nearly 180 degrees with a single mouse movement and casually strafing back and forth while firing the flamethrower. I think it's a good way to balance it as players will simply sprint and burst fire from cover to adapt to becoming sitting ducks when firing for long periods of time in the open without the ability to swing back and forth like its a low pressure squirt gun. Even then, players being attacked by a flamethrower would still be blinded greatly by the flame plume so its not much of a nerf than a balance pass.
I don't want to pull the "Realism" card but a high pressure tank and hose shooting an ungodly hot liquid shouldn't be so easy to spray around willy nilly getting free kills with the most minimal effort.
-Dedicated Flamethrower main, burning players through walls since 2021
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2023.06.08 09:54 Quick-Technology7617 How to become popular on Instagram
To be seen, your Instagram photos must have a high number of likes. How do you achieve that?
The site boasts more than 100,000,000 users. It is possible to claim with confidence that this site will improve your personal or company image.
There is no secret to achieving the top rankings. There are ways to gain support and establish yourself within this group.
It may have been easier to gain more followers in the beginning or when there was a smaller community. If you're just starting out, it will be difficult to compete with major players. You can still grow your fan base and gain more recognition.
The advice below will help you to improve your Instagram profile.
Your most excellent material
This online community is aimed at real people who love photography. Then, it makes sense to upload your best photos which really reflect your style. Uploading a detailed, high-quality photo is better than sharing an old picture.
Post pictures that are beautifully framed and of a good size. Will free instagram followers
that? This is the question you should ask yourself before posting any image.
Create an impressive resume.
If you want to attract followers, your profile must include pictures. No one will follow you if your profile is empty.
One of your first actions should be to upload at least 15 beautiful pictures on your Instagram account. Include a brief biography on your resume to let people know more about you.
After you have shared your best pictures, keep a close eye on their reactions to see which photos are popular and which aren't. Keep an eye on current events, and see how your photos are received by viewers. By deleting unnecessary photos, you can improve your Instagram profile.
You must interact with other Instagram users, unless you're a celebrity. This is one of the best ways to become popular.
Comment and like their photos. With our method, you can achieve this faster than ever.
Some of them are likely to return. Uploading your best photos will encourage people to return and view more of your work.
Find your specialty
Any image can be uploaded. If you choose a specialization for your account it will increase your popularity. This will give users of the online photo-sharing site a reason for following you.
It doesn't really matter if your photos are of clothing, food, or computer games. Post only excellent images that are related to your niche. free followers
may get upset if they see images that are unrelated to the topic. Post photos of you with a certain star. If you know of one, post a picture.
If you post pictures of yourself with Tom Brady or Brad Pitt, you are more likely receive likes. Your profile will rise if people know that you have met celebrities in person or are friends with them. You will become popular as soon as you start taking pictures of famous people.
You can use dozens of applications to edit your photos to make them more attractive to your audience.
But don't overdo it. Be sure that the images you create have elements that will grab viewers' attention. These tips have been tried and tested by Instagram users who are now considered VIPs within this online community.
They are only advice. It has been stated that there is no special recipe. Allow yourself to gain a following, and then become known. It is unrealistic to expect 100 likes in just two or three photos. You'll also reach the top more quickly.
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2023.06.08 09:48 Escazio My arbiter is embarrassingly slow for Gold 5
With every SPD gear I could find with as much Speed substats + all the SPD charms I had, I only managed 278 SPD. Like I literally lose every speed fight I go into.
The embarrassing part came when a gorgorab and apothecary were faster than me... How do people reach 310+??
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2023.06.08 09:40 Dragon-Guy2 A Compliment to the Devs, the borderline amaizing audio implementation.
Just a short appriciation post, started playing the game around two weeks ago, have maybe 12 games played in total, and honestly i have never played a game with a better sound design than this.
Everything is perfectly balanced and mixed, no sound is louder or quieter than it should be, sprinting on old wood floors? yeah that's bloody loud, gunshots in the far distance? Soul pleasing crack and echo. being shot at? beautifully crisp cracks as the rounds pass you, never takes more than two rounds to know where you are being shot from.
Audio location logic? absolutely flawless, zombie being punched near you in the compound? oh yeah that is 20m SE two floors down. and yup, dead zombie corpse there, crows and horses? Yup they sound just about over there, including the exact second the horse dies. Hearing the clanky, overworked underoiled mechanism of a 1997 Lever shotgun? yup he just cracked open action behind the wall, time to send hell and jesus through that wood.
Seriously, good job dev team.
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2023.06.08 09:36 JustAPenguin999 Which OC character would you find more interesting to read about?
I'll list some things that would be interesting from each of them.
Aemon Arryn: He would probably end up as lord of the Vale instead of Jeyne and that is a huge
thing. A more unified Vale, with it probably moving much faster during the Dance and with no succession crisis afterwards if Aemon has children, which he should at that point. That's not even considering the fact that he might have his own dragon(although if I was actually writing a story about this character, I wouldn't give him one).
Maegelle Targaryen: The daughter of Maegor idea has SO much potential for drama! Jaehaerys might think he has to marry her to secure his reign, but he'd have to give up his love for Alysanne. Maegelle herself could struggle between loving and hating her father. Perhaps add a soft side to Maegor that was solely reserved for his only child. I'd also have her appearance be very unusual
by having her have her father's height and with some deformities like maybe random patches of scales on her body. Her relationship with the rest of the Targaryen family would be amazing to dive into. I also imagine her as Jeyne Westerling's daughter, not Rhaena's.
Baelor Targaryen: Another BaeloBaelon that doesn't get the chance to be King. I think the most interesting part of this would be Baelor's feelings towards not being in the line of succession because of his father's decisions and I'd probably see him going through a phase in his teen years where he is not
happy with his parents. In classic ASOIAF fashion, he has the big sad when his parents go boom with 90% of his family without getting to reconcile. I'd probably imagine him joining the Kingsguard at some point because he has no inheritance whatsoever and I don't imagine he'd have a great relationship with Aerys due to being half peasant so he wouldn't get a keep although I feel Aerys would like family on the Kingsguard.(He'll regret it when he starts looking for a Valyrian wife for his son though lmao). It would be nice for Aerys to focus a lot of his paranoia on Baelor, thinking that he wants to kill him and become King.
Jaehaerys Targaryen: Brother of Daeron the Good offers many possibilities. I think an interesting path would be to make him have a closer relationship with Daemon rather than Daeron and having to deal with the pain of having to fight one of his best friends in the name of his brother. Or another interesting thing could be this character acting as a balancing force to Bittersteel and convincing Daemon to not rebel and exploring the possibilities of a world where the Blackfyres never rebelled. View Poll
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2023.06.08 09:35 Emmett203 What do you guys think about Sapphire Crystal as starting item?
I have been building Sapphire on Viktor and so far I really enjoy it. I think its a lot better than the other starter items, firstly because it allows you to poke a lot more because of the extra mana you get, secondly you can rush Lost Chapter very quickly, if you have futures market even faster.
Also you get a lot more sustain because you can just buy 2 refillables and every time you back you have 2 free pots. You also don't have to sell your starter item because it builds to the most important item for mages.
There is one drawback though, your damage drops a bit but I don't think its that big of a deal.
I was wondering if any of you guys use Sapphire as starting item or is it just me, I have been combining Sapphire with futures market and I get a huge power spike in 5 minutes or so.
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2023.06.08 09:34 duddlered The Big Oof! Volume 1 Chapter 41: Token of Gratitude
This is the official end of the first Volume. Next week will begin Volume 2!
After a lot of progress on my story, I'm making changes to my Patreon
and instead of reading 3 chapters ahead, you'll get access to 5. Elijah Commission Azeline Commission The Little Menace Worship Her
If you want to read 5 chapters ahead, check out my Patreon
Support me by upvoting me or leaving a comment!
I also have the series uploaded to Royal Road, come leave a comment and give me a review by clicking HERE Here's a map of where the area
Join my Discord
Bennett was dead asleep in his hammock when he was roused by hushed whispers and the sound of activity echoed throughout the room, seemingly amplified by its cramped space.
“Ben.” A voice called out.
As the engineer slowly opened a singular eye, he found himself struggling to make sense of the situation. A figure was just a few meters away from him, rifling through a bag when they turned around and faced him. However, Bennetts groggy state prevented him from fully discerning who or what was responsible for the disruption.
“Ben, wake up.” The voice called out one more time.
Scowling in irritation, Bennett chose to ignore the voice and flipped over, burying his face into the hammock's fabric. He was determined to get back to sleep, even as the voice grew more insistent and the room's activity continued.
“Ben, wake the fuck up!” The voice finally yelled.
Suddenly, Bennett found himself suspended in the air, his groggy state replaced with fear and anxiety as he was forcefully yanked out of his hammock. He tried to process what was happening, but before he could comprehend the situation, he felt the cold embrace of the hardwood floor.
“Argh! Fuck!” The Engineer groaned as he slowly lifted himself up off the ground. "You goddamn asshole!" Bennett snapped, his voice hoarse from the mixture of pain and anger.
Standing over Bennett with a cackling Fairy on his shoulder, Elijah decided he wasn’t going to wait for the stubborn man to get up on his own. "It's time to get up," Elijah said, turning around to continue sifting through his bag. "We got a lot of shit to do before we leave, and I can't afford to have you sleeping in."
Bennett’s glare shifted between his captain and his sadistic partner. "Fine, fine. I'm up," he grumbled, rubbing his sore back. He knew Elijah was right, but that didn't make the sudden wake-up call any less infuriating. Yana, on the other hand, seemed to be enjoying Bennett's misery, her laughter ringing in his ears.
Pulling out his remaining Bioscanner, Elijah began running diagnostics on the device, ensuring it was in working order for when he delivered it to Salvanius. It was a trade that he was loathing, but it was a trade he would make 1000 times if given the chance to get the rest of their equipment back. Even if they only managed to find a quarter of their property, that was still a lot better than having nothing at all.
As the Bioscanner's display indicated the device was functioning optimally, Elijah let out a small depressed sigh and slid it into his pocket. "Alright, let's get this over with," he said, opening the door and stepping out into the dimly lit corridor. Bennett followed, still grumbling under his breath about the hostile work environment while shifting his stink eye at both Yana and Elijah.
“GOD DAMNIT!!” Bennett yelled, rubbing his head after hitting the top of the door frame.
He had completely forgotten how cramped everything was on this wooden death trap and how he had to crouch throughout the entire interior. Frustration and annoyance etched on his face, Bennett muttered a string of curses under his breath as he adjusted his posture to avoid the low ceilings and narrow passageways.
“Midgets…” The Engineer sneered as he heard Elijah snicker father up ahead.
It only took a few moments for Elijah and Bennett to reach the deck, and there they observed Rhea efficiently issuing orders to the ship's sailors. Her authoritative voice rang out over the hustle and bustle of the ship’s crew, who were quickly scurrying about, securing ropes and checking supplies. What really caught their attention, though, was Rhea was finally out of her armor.
Adorned in a faded white linen long-sleeved shirt, Rhea left her chest straps slightly undone, revealing a hint of her modest, but alluring cleavage. The Knight Captain’s slim, athletic figure was displayed in stark contrast to the thick padding underneath the metal armor she normally wore. To accentuate her figure, the tight brown linen pants she wore hugged her humbly, but satisfyingly shapely curves and seamlessly tucked into her leather boots. The outfit, deceptively sultry, effortlessly exuded a sense of casual confidence and undeniable charm.
Turning her head slight, the Knight Captain finally noticed the two Humans and acknowledged them with a nod. “Good morning Sir Elijah, Sir Bennett and…” She made a difficult face when her eyes locked onto Yana.
“Your Honor will do!” The Fairy said in a chipper voice, crossing her legs. “I am both a Goddess and a confirmed Eternal Judge of the Fae courts!”
Rhea’s expression turned sour for a moment, but decided it was best not to engage any further with the mischievous Vanir. "Very well, good morning Your Honor," Rhea replied, forcing a polite smile. "We're running a bit late, but we should be ready to set sail in just a few hours.”
Elijah raised an eyebrow at the small fairy at the mention of being a confirmed judge, but shifted his attention back towards Rhea and nodded in understanding. "We'll be ready whenever you are," he said with his eyes traveling up her entire figure attire before refocusing on her face. "Just give us the signal when it's time to set sail." .
“I’m assuming the northern woman is still asleep?” The Knight Captain asked, tilting her head curiously.
Seeing her long elf ears bounce up and down seemed to be the final straw for Elijah, as an unbidden and almost adolescent fascination welled up within him. He blinked a few times, trying to regain his composure before replying. "Uh, yeah, she’s still asleep," Elijah finally responded, exhaling deeply. "We’ve been up for almost 36 hours, so I think it's best to let her rest for a while longer." he replied, trying to maintain a professional demeanor despite the lingering fascination with her elf ears.
Bennett narrowed his eyes in annoyance as he regarded his captain with a disgusted look. "Can you control yourself?" he asked with a judgmental tone.
Also noticing Elijah’s basically ogling her, Rhea couldn't help but laugh at the exchange while running a hand through her hair. "I'm glad to see at least someone finds me attractive," she said, her cheeks tinted with a slight blush. Elijah cleared his throat, trying to regain some semblance of dignity as he shifted his gaze away from her.
"Ah... My apologies, Lady Rhea, but I was caught off guard," Elijah said, giving her a genuine smile. "I wasn’t prepared for the famed Knight Captain to be so beautiful out of her armor. It's a pleasant surprise, to say the least."
Rhea found herself momentarily speechless as her cheeks flushing a deep shade of red. She wasn't used to receiving compliments, let alone being called beautiful by someone as striking as Elijah. A small, bashful smile tugged at the corners of her lips as she looked down to hide her embarrassment. "Well… I, um… Thank you, Sir Elijah.” she managed to say, her voice uncharacteristically timid. “I appreciate the kind words."
Noticing the usually confident and stern Knight Captain was completely flustered, Elijah knew she was on the backfoot and went for blood. “You’re more than welcome Lady Rhea,” he responded, bowing his head. “I was just saying it how I see it—”
"Yana, zap him!" Bennett ordered, sensing that Elijah was about to push his luck too far.
The mischievous fairy didn't hesitate, and with a magical pop, she immediately shifted forms, transforming the fiery inferno atop her head into a flowing teal, wind that cascaded past her shoulders. After her transformation, a maniacal grin spread across her face as she clutched two fistfuls of Elijah's hair.
“AHH FUCK!” Elijah yelped in pain.
A light chuckle escaped Rhea's lips as she watched the scene play out before her, momentarily pushing aside her embarrassment and wariness of the group. Their playful antics, though unprofessional, stirred a sense of lighthearted camaraderie she hadn't experienced in years. The thrill of exploring the unknown alongside trusted friends had been lost to her ever since she joined Salvanius' Order. The organization's rigid structure and hierarchy had dampened her once-adventurous spirit, and witnessing Elijah's crew sparked a touch of envy within her.
Yana, still grinning mischievously, finally released her grip on Elijah's hair. The man, now fuming with anger, made a hasty attempt to snatch her out of the air, but the nimble fairy easily dodged his grasp, giggling all the while.
"I'm going to kill the both of you!" Elijah yelled, glaring at both Yana and Bennett. His frustration only caused more laughter from the fairy and an amused smirk from Bennett, who crossed his arms and leaned back against the railing.
"Come now, Sir Elijah, there's no need for violence," Rhea interjected while covering her mouth in a poor attempt to hide her own laughter. "I'm sure you can find it in your heart to forgive their little prank.” She continued, adjusting her hair that was flowing in the wind. “We’re going to spend a few long days sailing if we’re going to catch up with them, after all.”
Glancing back at her crew, Rhea's face returned to its usual stern expression when she noticed the sailors gawking and whispering amongst themselves. It was evident that her momentary display of mirth had taken them by surprise, as they rarely saw their Knight Captain in such a lighthearted state.
"What in the name of Tylas are you all gawking at!?" She roared, placing her hands firmly on her hips “GET BACK TO WORK!”
Rhea's eyes narrowed as the scrambling crew members hastily returned to their tasks, their faces pale with fear. The ship's atmosphere instantly shifted back to its usual disciplined state as the sailors focused on their duties, aware that their Knight Captain's gaze was upon them.
Elijah let out an annoyed sigh in the realization that he was probably never going to catch that little psychopath and shifted his gaze to Bennett. “I’m gonna get you.” He hissed hatefully. “Mark my words, you piece of shit.” However, Bennett merely smirked in response, clearly unfazed by his captain's threats.
Just as Elijah was about to ask the Knight Captain about the whereabouts of her liege, the man himself appeared on deck. Salvanius came sauntering up the planks that connected the ship to the docks, his imposing figure drawing the attention of everyone present.
"It's quite rare to hear you so jovial, Rhea," the Demigod remarked, a faint smile tugging at the corners of his lips. Rhea, slightly taken aback by her liege's observation, straightened her posture and cleared her throat.
"My apologies, your grace," she replied respectfully, attempting to regain her usual composure. "I shall see to it that this Cog is ready to depart, post haste."
Salvanius waved a dismissive hand, his expression softening slightly. "There's no need to apologize, Rhea. It's good to see you enjoying yourself, even if just for a moment. However, you are correct; our guest would most likely appreciate departing as soon as possible."
With that, Rhea nodded and began barking orders to her crew, ensuring that everything was in order for their imminent departure.
Turning to his guests, Salvanius addressed them with an air of authority. "I assume you two have the magical tool..." He paused, recalling the events that transpired the previous day. "I mean, the tool. Is it ready?"
The two Human’s exchanged glances before Elijah stepped forward, pulling out the bioscanner from his pocket. "You’re not going to be able to understand it, but I’ve configured it in a way where you can still get a lot of functionality without having to read." he explained, holding the device out for Salvanius to see.
Time flew as Elijah went into an in depth explanation of the bioscanner's functions and features. He walked Salvanius through everything all the way from disease diagnosis to health monitoring and treatments. With each new feature the human listed seemed to make Salvanius’ jaw drop lower and lower until he found himself looking like a fool.
"And finally, if a red tube with a bolt of lightning ever just starts flashing, all you have to do is flip it over so these panels face the star and just wait," Elijah explained, pointing at the bright orb in the morning sky as he showed the Demigod the solar panels. "It's designed to recharge itself using starlight, so you'll never have to worry about finding a power source."
Salvanius' eyes widened even further, if that were possible. "Astounding," he breathed, clearly impressed. "And you’re just willing to give this to me…?"
“Eh.” Elijah shrugged dismissively. “I have augments- I mean I can already do most of that stuff other than a few things, so it’s mainly just redundant fail safe incase I’m away or dead.”
A complicated expression spread across Salvanius' face as Elijah mentioned that the device was merely a redundancy measure in case of his absence. Suddenly the prospect of having this man as a retainer became much, MUCH more appealing. However, his thoughts were soon interrupted when the Vanir made its appearance by landing squarely on Elijah’s shoulder while glaring daggers at the Demigod.
Salvanius met Yana's gaze and sighed, dispelling the intrusive and dishonorable thoughts of taking these Artificers for himself.
“I understand.” The demigod said, turning his focus back to Elijah. “The Holy Dominion will not forget this grace you’ve bestowed upon us.” He gave a grateful nod before spinning around and heading towards the dock.
However, he soon came to a halt as his eyes fell upon a group of women arguing with his knights at the ramp leading to the ship. The women seemed intent on gaining access to the ship, their arms laden with various items, including several sizable platters of food.
“W-Wait! I-I was instructed to board!” A slim and fearful redhead said, holding a large burlap sack.
Something felt… Off about her.
It was almost as if Salvanius could recognize the woman, even though he was fairly certain he hadn't met her before. Then again, he had met a great number of people in this damned village, but his instincts kept nudging him to take a closer look. But his thoughts were interrupted when he recognized the Beastkin woman and the gaggle of Ferfolk slaves next to her.
"What do ye mean we ain't allowed entry!? I gotta deliver me gratitude before it's too late!" the dog-like woman bellowed, her voice full of frustration and urgency.
An amused huff left Salvanius’ mouth before looking over his shoulder. “I do believe you have guests.” The Demigod said before making his way down the plank.
“Let them through.” He said to his knights, waving his hand dismissively as he walked past the group.
The knights obeyed without hesitation and stepped aside allowing the gaggle of women to board the ship. "Thank ye, yer grace," The dog-like woman bowed deeply before her and the Ferfolk ran up the ramp.
As Elijah approached at the edge of the ship , confusion spread across his face as Mara suddenly appeared with her renowned tubers in hand. The woman stopped a good distance away, staring intently at the man, attempting to gauge his reaction and determine whether he would be receptive to her presence. Seeing he was just staring at her impassively, Mara gathered her courage, and stepped forward with a warm smile.
"I... I wanted to give ye this as a token of me gratitude…” She said shyly. “Ye know, for everything ye done for us."
Elijah's eyes flicked between Mara and the tubers, his confusion slowly melting away into a wry smile as he flicked his hand in a beckoning motion. The action caused Mara’s Shyness to completely dissipate as she bounded forward and handed him the tubers with enthusiasm. "You really didn't have to, but thank you," Elijah said, accepting the gift.
Mara beamed at his response, clearly relieved. "It's the least I could do!” She said, with her tail wagging vigorously. “I couldn’t bear the thought of not makin’ amends with ye.”
Turning around, Elijah handed this plate of tubers to the salivating Engineer and watched as Yana bolted off his shoulder in an attempt to attack the pile of food. Shaking his head, Elijah turned back to Mara and the group of women with a bemused expression. "Hopefully they’ll leave me some," he commented.
“Ye can always come back and get more.” Mara replied with a coy. “I’ll let ye have all the service ye want.”
A chuckle escaped Elijah’s mouth as he ran a hand through his hair. "I might just take you up on that," he said with a smirk. "Your food isn’t the only thing I’m going to miss."
Mara's cheeks flushed deeply at Elijah's reply, her tail wagging even faster as she tried to play it cool. "Well, I'll be sure to make myself available whenever ye are in need of some company," she replied, propping up her supple chest.
Elijah couldn't help but let his eyes wander for a moment before meeting Mara's gaze again, a lopsided grin playing at the corners of his mouth. "I'll… keep that in mind as long as you promise not to try to get me killed again." he replied with a goofy tone that made the dog-girl giggle.
“So all I need to do is spread my legs if I’m ever in need of your forgiveness?” Azelines voice rang out from behind him as the blond Elf woman emerged from the ship still rubbing the sleepiness from her eyes.
With a mouth full of fried tubers, Bennett decided to chime in. “I told him his dick is going to eventually get him killed.” He said, beckoning the Ferfolks to place the other platters on a nearby box.
Bringing a hand up to press against his eyes, Elijah let out an annoyed groan before turning his attention towards the two. “Why do you have to make this weird?” He asked in exasperation. "It’s all about sincerity.”
Bennett snickered, shoving another tuber into his mouth. "Ah yes. You hear that Aze?” He continued in a mocking tone while elbowing Azeline in the ribs. “You need to put more effort in your apologies!"
Azeline smirked, her teasing nature starting to leak out. "Is that so? I guess I’ll make sure any future apologies come with… an appropriate amount of sincerity and effort." She said, striking a pose that was more satirical than seductive.
“Jesus Christ…” Elijah muttered under his breath while his two crewmates broke out into laughter. “I hate both of you.”
The laughter continued after successfully eliciting an annoyed response from their beleaguered captain. However, a quiet seemed to take over the deck as everyone's attention shifted towards the approaching Knight Captain. "So that's the type of man you are, Sir Eli-jah" Rhea remarked with a raised eyebrow. "I'll bear that in mind when you try to charm me with your honeyed words."
“Oh god damnit…” Elijah facepalmed and dragged his hand down his face as another roar of laughter erupted from everyone in the group.
Rhea’s hand was covering her mouth as she tried to suppress a chuckle. “A-Anyways…” She chortled. “We should be ready to sail any moment now, so make sure you’re all prepared for departure.” The woman said, walking off in the direction of the Helm while her shoulders shook in mirth.
Elijah just stood there for a moment, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Where the hell is Auri?” He asked no one in particular, his frustration starting to show.
Recognizing the voice, Elijah looked up to see a petite woman with bright red hair looking up at him expectantly while holding onto a large burlap sack. Glad to see that he at least didn’t have to go hunting for the dainty woman, Elijah let loose a heavy breath of relief. “Alright, I’ll go tell Lady Rhea-” He tried to say, but Auri interrupted him.
Auri squirmed nervously before asking, "Umm… Should I be worried that you also have designs on me?"
“Oh for fucks sake!” Elijah threw his arms up and let them slap against his thighs in frustration as the rest of the crew barked in laughter. "Let’s just go already!”
Yana however, completely ignored the incessant bickering and Instead, she hungrily finished off one of the smaller platters of tubers and chomped down on the last tiny morsel on the wooden plate. Sighing Contentedly, the Fairy’s gaze fell upon Mara and her small group of Ferfolks as they said their goodbyes and disappeared from view. In their place was the other, more fidgety whelping that always looked at her servants with gleeful eyes. The man was far weaker than the other, but at least he seemed somewhat reverent towards Eli and Ben.
In their stead, the more fidgety whelping appeared, the one who always seemed to look at Ben and Eli with eager eyes. Although this man seemed far weaker than his sibling, he at least displayed a measure of reverence towards her servants.
Turning her head up towards the clear blue sky, Yana placed a hand on her tiny belly and sighed contentedly. She couldn't wait to see what other delightful mortal delicacies or fanciful experiences she would get to experience in the future.
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2023.06.08 09:29 fujianironchain 5 More Nights in Tokyo
I have previously written two posts about gay (sex)adventures in Tokyo about 6 months ago, they are HERE
. I just made another trip last week, this time more focused on general tourist activities, including a side trip to hike near Mount Fuji. But nothing would stop me from exploring the night and sex life of the city. Hope you'd find the additional information useful:
About bars - as a mature Asian muscle bear myself I again ended up going to first to Tokyo Eagle
, then off to Eagle Blue to see a gogo dance performance by a group called Bear Train
. Both places are in the middle of Shinjuku's gay district Ni-chome. Eagle Blue is more of a basement club than bar, and it was packed full of people that night. It'a a cover charge of ¥1,500, but you get one big drink up to the same price. They do serve drinks in big plastic cups. The atmosphere was great, so if you happen to be in Tokyo during the weekend go check out their Twitter to see if they have any performance.
As it was still early I decided to also go check out Dragon Men
, which has a more professional troupe of muscle gogo dancers. This is a legit club and I read the weekend before the US singer Lil Nas X was there having fun after a promotional tour in Japan. I gotta say the performance there was way better than Bear Train's. So unless you, like me, have a thing for bears, Dragon Men is probably more entertaining.
A few people have asked me about "masseurs" and "escorts" in Tokyo. This is not something I usually go for but since Yen is now really cheap against USD, one can get a full service massage for only between ¥15,000 (around USD110) to ¥20,000. I was traveling with 2 other buddies this round and one of them knows more about the scene than me - here is what he did. There is actually a website that lists all the independent "masseurs" through out Japan
. You can see their basic information and there are links to their Twitter accounts and websites to find out more. The main website is in Japanese and English, and you can set your browser to auto-translate from Japanese to English when viewing their own webpages.
Most masseurs prefer you contact them by emails first. You can use English and from what my friend has shown me they have no problem replying in English too. You should also contact them at least half a day in advance. Some of them regularly update their availability on Twitter. For some reasons Twitter is still very popular with Japanese and local businesses too. My friend hired one for an afternoon massage; he was so happy afterward that he is still talking about it. But please be mindful that this is a list of "masseurs" even when some are very explicit in what additional services are being offered. Use your own judgement and be respecful when setting up an appointment.
Since I was sharing a room with a travel buddy, we did decide to stay in more expensive hotels this round. The first one is in Ginza, and the second one is a "hot spring" hotel in Shinjuku right next to the gay district Ni-chome
. It has a large bath in the basement with one big hot pool of hotspring water that can sit up to 8 people comfortably. There are also two smaller ones in an sealed off "outside" area. If you like the experience Japanese hotspring bathing this place is a very good deal, with the additional bonus that since it's also close to Ni-chome, it's popular with gay tourists and locals alike. All of us have encountered some very discreet cruising.
I don't encourage anyone to cruise in a public place that is not meant to be exclusively gay, but a smile and a friendly nod to the right person can definitely make your trip more interesting. I did exactly that and ended up in another hotel guest's room one evening.
Much as I wanted to visit at least one gay sauna or sex club this trip, I decided not to. Monkey pox is still a concern in Japan, and people are getting infected despite being vaccinated. This is just my personal choice, but you can still read about the 24 Kaikan sauna chain and various sex clubs in my two previous posts.
It's still really cheap to visit Japan now, but its economy is recovering faster than everyone else. It may not be cheap for long.
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2023.06.08 09:25 sirfoolery 343, do you really want to be known/remembered as the company that ruined Halo?
Aside from the other problems in this game that everyone already talks about. This progression system announcement might be the most embarrassing attempt at pleasing a loyal fan base I have ever seen. Sure, we have actual ranks now that show how long we’ve been playing… and that’s it (Besides titles and emblems but who gives a fuck?). It baffles me how we had possibly a perfect progression system in Halo: Reach that used experience as a kind of currency as well to unlock armor that we also unlocked due to progression, and now we’re going backwards. It’s a shame because the ranks actually look dope, but they just don’t serve any purpose other than being a symbol of how long someone has been active.
I and many others really enjoy Infinite’s gameplay, I love how it feels and how it pays homage to classic Halo gameplay with a modern and faster feel to it. But, I have no god damn incentive to play it. Sure there is ranked, but my friends don’t enjoy ranked and solo queuing as an Onyx player makes me want to rip my hair out.
343, just please do yourself a favor and listen to what the community wants, save Halo’s amazing legacy and don’t go out being known as the company that ruined Halo.
A fan of Halo but not a fan of 343.
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2023.06.08 09:23 KarmitaAddict Changing internet don’t want to pay
I currently have an internet provider that has been gouging me for more than a year and found a different one that can offer internet 10x faster for less than half the current provider. If I switch providers without paying will it kill my credit score? Currently sitting at about 800. Just not sure if something like this can hit my credit score. I don’t understand credit other than paying my cards on time. Thank you!
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to CreditScore [link] [comments]
2023.06.08 09:23 TomNeta00 So i tried TOTS Osimhen and...
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He is decent but somehow meh... So first of all you must have Engine on him otherwise you wont be able to turn with him at all due to his height, with that said you wont be able to boost his 90 long shots to 99 and sometimes you will feel it. With engine, there are still some flaws in Passing area, like long passing will be only 74 and Crossing "only 88" If someone will be running two strikers formation which most players do might have a problem with this. What he is good at are his AI runs and his ability to quickly accelerate to full speed with LB + Sprint buttons and of course his finishing. Of course many people said due to him having 99 strength he somehow "lacks" strength and thats true, you wont be able to glitch through defenders with him like you would be using Tots Kane, but he can keep defenders behind once he gets infront of them. submitted by TomNeta00 to fut [link] [comments]
With all that said, i still find Tots Harry Kane better value and maybe even better overall player than Victor Osimhen, i wanted to try him and thats what i did, but i dont think that i will keep him, gonna test Lautaro next and we'll see. I was using this card in a 4222 formation with Tots Mané and he outshined him in most of the aspects except physical strength, he also scored twice as many goals than Osimhen in my 10 wins fut champs qualification run and obviously created more chances due his high dribling stats and height