Black sea restaurant white bear lake

Sea World Gold Coast

2015.09.13 07:20 ThemeTendo Sea World Gold Coast

Sea World is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, and theme park located on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. It includes rides, animal exhibits and other attractions, and promotes conservation through education and through the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured or orphaned wildlife. The park is commercially linked to Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast as part of the theme park division of Village Roadshow.

2014.03.20 22:12 KrimTheRed Paddle Wisconsin

Dedicated to canoeing, kayaking, SUP, and any form of paddling the wonderful waterways of Wisconsin.

2012.06.12 00:19 3insteel Michigan Beer Enthiusists

Subreddit for Michigan craft beer enthusiasts and Brewers guild members.

2023.06.05 05:49 Ford9863 Horrors of the Asteria - Part 26

As they exited the elevator shaft into the chem labs, a strong metallic scent filled the air. Thomas instinctively held his breath but couldn’t keep it in for long.
“Probably best not to touch anything while we’re here,” Layna said, waving a hand in front of her nose. “We don’t know what kind of nasty stuff has been spilled all over the place with these shifts.”
Thomas nodded, scanning the landing with his flashlight. On the wall opposite the elevator was a painting of Earth’s silhouette. The Asteria’s insignia was painted within that, reversed as white. At the top were the words, “Taking Humanity to the Next Level”.
Below those words was one word: ‘Lies’. Written in red, the substance had dried as it dripped down the rest of the wall. It made it look like the surface itself was bleeding. Thomas questioned if it was blood but wasn’t sure he wanted to know for sure. It wouldn’t have surprised him at this point.
“What do you suppose that’s about?” He asked, his light lingering on the image.
Mark shrugged, turning his attention to the hall on the right. “This mission was always full of shit,” he said. “Probably about that.”
“Just because things went sideways doesn’t mean the mission was shit,” Layna said.
He turned to face her with a skeptical look on his face. “Oh, come on. Don’t tell me you believed their over-the-top slogans and propaganda.”
She shook her head. “No, I don’t mean that. I just—” she pressed her lips together, considering her words. “I think most of the people on board had good intentions. They really wanted to believe in this thing.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter much now, does it,” Mark said, stepping down the hall.
“No, I guess not,” Layna said, following behind.
Thomas lingered at the wall for a moment, feeling a strange sensation in his gut. It had never been about the mission for him, either. In truth, he never took the time to fully understand what the ship set out to do. He just knew how it would help the people he wanted to help. That was enough.
He wondered what became of them after he left.
“Tommy boy, you coming or what?” Mark called back, shining his light in Thomas’s eyes.
Thomas nodded and moved to catch up with them.
The chem labs were set up similarly to the bio labs on the opposite side of the deck. Each room was made of glass, though it appeared a bit thicker on this side. Cabinets lined most rooms, each with various symbols. Many of them held plain warnings about the caustic chemicals held within. Most appeared to be fully intact—they were properly secured for the event of turbulence.
One room they passed looked like it had been abandoned mid-experiment. Glass littered the tile floor, no doubt the remnants of beakers that once stood on the black table in the center. The floor itself was streaked with deep, slashing burns—whatever chemical had spilled during the shifts had tried to eat its way right through the floor. Beneath the tile was a layer of some dull gray, pitted substance. The chemicals didn’t penetrate it.
A dense green fog filled another small room. Thomas stepped close and pressed his light against the glass, trying to see through. But the fog was too thick. Even at ground level, he couldn’t see more than an inch of the floor. The toxic cloud moved slowly, almost swirling.
“Are these things airtight?” Layna asked, shining her light on the door’s edge.
“Well it’s not leaking out anywhere that I can see,” Mark said. He scanned the ceiling where it met the glass wall. The cloud moved slowly against the corner but appeared contained.
“What about vents?” Layna asked. “They had to be able to breathe working in there.”
“I’m sure there are safeguards,” Mark said. “Things like this usually have their own ventilation systems, and beyond that, if something like this happens there are sensors to detect and seal it off.”
Thomas nodded. “Yeah, but I’m not sure I trust the safeguards on this ship,” he said, taking a step back. “Best not to push out luck and linger around this thing, I think.”
They turned and continued working their way through the lab, finding the path harder to follow than expected. Unlike the bio labs, the chem labs were not laid out in a perfect grid. Some rooms were much larger than others, some were oddly shaped. The result was a mix of long and short corridors, some curving, some ending abruptly. If they had the ship’s lights, they’d probably be able to see through enough rooms to keep their bearings. But with the dim light of their flashlights, the space was a maze.
“That’s the way we came,” Mark said, stopping as Layna tried to turn left at a junction.
She shook her head. “No, we came from that way. See? There’s that orange box in the corner of the room.” Her light settled on a bright orange case inside the nearest room, a black biohazard symbol painted on its lid.
“That’s a different box,” Mark said. “The other one was open.”
Layna furrowed her brow. “Was it?” She looked to Thomas for confirmation, but he only shrugged. Keeping track was becoming a bit of a nightmare.
“Alright, maybe we should find a way to mark our paths,” Layna said. “Leave something behind at these junctions.”
Thomas felt at his pockets. After a moment, he found the pencil and notepad he’d had earlier.
“How about this?” he said, showing it to the others. He scratched a large, bold arrow into one of the pages and tore it from the book. “We can mark down which way we went.”
“Perfect,” Layna said. “Let’s go right. If we end up circling back around, we’ll know we were wrong.”
Thomas knelt and placed the paper on the ground pointing to the right. He returned the pad and pencil to his pocket. As long as they didn’t experience another shift, the paper arrows would work.
They found themselves walking in circles a few times before they’d laid enough arrows to feel like they were finally progressing. Thomas had torn at least a dozen pages from the book before they reached consecutive junctions without markings. It was working, though. That was all that mattered.
As they worked their way forward, a faint sound became audible. At first Thomas dismissed it as one of the other’s breathing, but as they moved forward, it became clear that wasn’t the case. With the power out, he knew it wasn’t anything the ship itself was doing. It was something in the labs.
It grew louder as they moved deeper through the corridors. It was rhythmic and soft, almost like a wheeze or a growl. They all exchanged a glance, understanding it was likely they were about to find another infected crew member.
They turned a corner and finally saw it. The man stood in the center of a nearby lab, facing the opposite direction. Bone stuck through the flesh of his right arm, no doubt broken during one of the gravity shifts. Blood streaked across the glass windows.
Their silence wasn’t enough to keep from drawing the thing’s attention. When the light from all three flashlights fell on it, it turned. Blood ran down the man’s face, a large gash running across his forehead. He let out a long, piercing shriek, and then ran for the door or the lab.
It wasn’t locked.
The trio turned to run, knowing they had to be close to the next elevator shaft. Thomas imagined how it might go—they make it to the shaft, tear open the latch, and shove the infected man through. It wouldn’t be the prettiest way to deal with it, but it would work.
They turned a corner, a loose notebook paper crunching beneath Thomas’s feet. With each stride, he felt a sharp stab in his side. He couldn’t keep this up for long. As it was, just catching his breath was going to be immeasurably painful.
Then they found themselves approaching a dead end, having not paid enough attention to the arrows they’d left along the ground. The infected barreled toward them, his broken arm swinging at his side. He growled and wheezed as he ran.
“Fuck this,” Mark said, pulling his pistol from his belt.
Thomas’s eyes went wide. “No, Mark, you can’t—”
The first shot rang out. Thomas clenched his eyes and raised his palms to the sides of his head. The sound alone felt like someone had clapped their hands against his ears. He no longer heard the man’s wheezing or uneven steps—just a loud, persistent ringing.
Another shot rang out, this one muffled by his already wounded hearing. He felt the force of it in his chest, though, and hoped Mark had at least hit his target. Thomas opened his eyes and looked forward, eyeing the man twitching on the ground.
He retrieved the flashlight he’d dropped when Mark first fired, then flicked his eyes between Mark and Layna. They appeared to be yelling at each other, but their voices were nothing but subtle tones hidden behind the screeching in Thomas’s head.
Then he saw something much more worrisome. He opened his mouth to speak. He could feel his vocal cords vibrate as he tried to make the words, but that screeching in his head was too much. The others must have been experiencing the same because neither turned to look at him. But he needed to get their attention.
So he shoved both of them on the shoulder. They turned and glared at him, confused and angry, waiting for some sort of explanation.
He simply pointed down the hall in the direction Mark had shot. To the glass room at the far end. And to the thin stream of green gas pouring through a neat little hole near the top.
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2023.06.05 05:36 sahhhhhhhhhdude Just did my first ride ever. Borrowed my uncles ktm 1190 while he rode his multistrada Enduro. Followed portions of the New Mexico BDR

Furthest I ever rode before this was 200 miles on a gsxr 600. This total route was 9am Friday until 11pm monday.
submitted by sahhhhhhhhhdude to AdventureBike [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 05:26 EmmarJay My great grandfather has been missing for over a century. I know what happened to him.

The day seemed like it would be ordinary until the aeronautical community’s most sought after document showed up on my doorstep.
It came wrapped in brown kraft paper tied off with twine, and the exterior packaging had no return address nor any indication of a postage stamp. It was as though it had been simply bundled up and dropped into my wall-mounted mailbox by a random passerby.
No part of me was willing to surrender the strange parcel without opening it first. Regardless of who its contents truly belonged to, my eyes would be the first to see it. I removed the twine and then dug a thumb under a fold in the packaging paper before clawing it away to expose a brown tan notebook circa 1900. It was full grain buffalo leather with a crisscross of cord for the spine and a thick hand cut string keeping it sealed shut.
When I undid the string, the pages that had been gripped tight by the leather fanned out gently then returned to their original position, my eyes landing on the front page. It was without a printer’s mark and read in big handwritten type: “THE DIARY AND RECORD OF HENRY H. HELGELAND.”
I knew in that instant the package was in the hands of who it was rightfully sent out for. Not just because I’d recently lost my job as an associate at our city’s art museum but because of a separate, much deeper connection to the diary’s author.
Perhaps it’s in my best interests to turn it over to the National Archives, or the US Arctic Research Commission, or maybe even the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, but at the risk of seeing it blue-penciled to death, I’ve elected to instead share it here and now.
The world needs to know what happened.
Henry H. Helgeland — my great grandfather — was a severe looking man with a walrus mustache and a bone to pick with anyone who ever doubted him. He was born in Oakland, California in 1871 and was, by all available accounts relayed to me, well-behaved and well-liked. His father worked a lucrative job in the shipping industry, transporting timber between San Francisco and the Central Valley. Two years into Henry’s life, his mother would contract a fatal case of diphtheria and die shortly thereafter; when he was old enough to understand what had happened, Henry “yearn[ed] fervently for a reunion to mend [his] great anguish and sorrow.”
Near the turn of the 20th century, Henry attended Stanford University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, where he learned everything from thermodynamics to machine design. But it was a lecture about polar transportation that would ultimately kindle his interest in a separate enterprise: arctic exploration. Indeed, the race to the North Pole was well underway, with naval officers, geologists, and aeronauts around the globe vying for the chance to make history. My great grandfather, like many of his peers, propounded the theory that he, and he alone, would be the first to reach the Great White North.
In 1895, Henry graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and sought to expand the member list of the so called Ascension Society, a student organization he’d assembled to aid engineering graduates with materials science. Many of its constituents had engaged in research projects and experimental setups to hone their craft of mechanical systems, but in time, however, the venture would instead prove a hotspot for investors and philanthropists. Donations averaging up to $5,000 helped fund and promote the fantastic ambitions of my great grandfather. So long as the Ascension Society was gracing him with their support, he’d be the first to reach the North Pole.
In early 1898, armed with enough capital, Henry used the proceeds to purchase the materials required for the balloon.
A notable circus at the forefront of traveling attractions in the early twentieth century was The Fielding Troupe. With its impressive lineup of talent — from fire eaters and aerialists to equestrians and strongmen — the ensemble drew crowds from nearly every town in western America during its historic run. Its wide reach would ultimately reel in many notable faces, including my great grandfather.
Prior to a performance in Oakland, the Fielding Troupe led a procession through the town around Stanford University, announcing their arrival with a parade of wagons, floats, and animals. The strategy, as it were, was to drum up as much publicity and fanfare as possible. Evidently it worked, as a healthy fraction of the faculty and student body at Stanford made the trip over to Oakland in order to see the troupe in action.
Surrounding their arena with two hundred feet of heavy duty tent canvas, the troupe put on a show for the ages the night Henry was in attendance, with extravagant acrobatics, trained animal performances, and a special appearance from Curtis the Clown. Following a skillful display of juggling and good natured audience ribbing, Curtis’s master stroke was an intricate stunt involving balloons and wire flying. Firstly, he would inflate several multi-colored balloons and tie them off with string, securing them firmly in his grip. They served as a flashy distraction from the piece of flexible metal snaking out from the harness he had concealed under his equally flashy costume. Then, with a whisper of strength, a couple stagehands hoisted the balloon-carrying clown thirty feet into the air to make it appear as though he was levitating by virtue of the balloons alone. A separate performer — a marksman — showed off his sharpshooting skills with a Winchester model rifle and gunned down the balloons, exploding each one as the stagehands loosened their hold on Curtis’s harness until he was eased to the ground.
Henry watched the routine with eager delight. Seeing Curtis the Clown float above a hundred or so onlookers helped stir within him a plan. The ceiling of the Big Top Tent where Curtis had concluded his ascent represented more than the centerpiece of a traveling circus.
“Ascendancy,” Henry muttered to his wife Ruth. “This is how we get to the top of the world.”
The spherical vessel measured sixty-five feet in diameter, with a capacity of over 200,000 cubic feet. Its construction was overseen by Henry and a couple french engineers who installed in its gondola three berths and ample ballast to keep it stable. The gondola, a carefully constructed assemblage of wicker and chestnut wood, was built as such to bar any interference to the magnetic instruments of the explorers. Keeping it shielded against severe weather conditions was a varnished silk calotte and a vaselined net composed of over four-hundred hemp cords. A bamboo pole was attached bellow the carrying ring to attach the side sails and, perhaps most notably, the balloon was fitted with hemp and cocoa nut fiber guide ropes to help steer and maintain a consistent altitude.
After two years of exhaustive construction, work on the balloon was completed in 1900. Henry named it Ascension, after the society that funded its creation.
What follows are several selected passages lifted directly from Henry’s memorandum, transcribed by me. The first entry reads:
“At nine o'clock on the forenoon, May 5, 1900, under the auspices of the Ascension Society, we embarked from the 71st parallel on our quest of the Pole. Our great journey sets off from Point Barrow, Alaska following a grueling adventure aboard the steamer Sursum. I, Henry Helgeland, travel forth, accompanied by Charles Ringvold, esteemed navigator, and Edward Meyer, long celebrated physician, into the arctic wilderness. Together, our efforts will generate a most formidable team and an unwavering spirit. We will ascend.”
Indeed, the SS Sursum disembarked from a port in San Francisco in mid May of that year; it offered easy access to the Pacific Ocean and sailed through the Bering Strait, covering over 3,000 nautical miles before reaching Point Barrow on July 2.
When the balloon took off, carried by a fierce north east wind, it was to a thunderous applause from those that had come to bear witness to the bold endeavor. Among them were crew members of the SS Sursum, high ranking associates of the Ascension Society, and carpenters tasked with helping the balloon reach its initial phase of liftoff.
As it elevated to 300 hundred feet and passed around an onlooking whaler, Henry was reported to have shouted: “To the top of the world, hurrah!”
36 hours would elapse before a second entry was made.
“July 4, 1900, Lat. 77° 48' N, Long. 143° 4' W. We are soaring at a height of 600 feet above the Earth's surface, traveling at a speed of approximately seven kilometers per hour. Our morale remains similarly aloft. Charles relayed to me that, God willing, we anticipate reaching the pole in roughly 800 miles. Beyond the drag ropes lending their ballast to our journey, optimism is our guiding force. We will ascend.”
Turbulent air currents had a different plan in mind, however.
“July 5, 1900, Lat. 80° 8' N, Long. 138° 37' W. Alas! Our aerial journey came to an abrupt halt yestereve on the 80th parallel. We voyaged as many as 500 miles before a forceful downdraft spun our vehicle on its vertical axle and compelled it into a sharp descent; we had lost what we estimate to be just over 100 cubic feet of gas.
“Edward suffered severe injuries during the initial impact and claims his vertebrae have been shattered, leaving him immobile. We’re at the mercy of the floe on which we now rest, at the mercy of the Polar Sea. Should we face the specter of death, we shall meet it with unwavering honor. We will ascend.”
“July 6, 1900. We find ourselves solitary in the barren expanse, accompanied only by bergs, ice-fields, and majestic glaciers. Our rations encompass a container’s worth of hardtack, enough salted beef for approximately one week, canned stew, dried apricots, some chocolate bars, and seven bottles of ale.
“Edward’s outlook remains grim; he suspects he’ll never walk again. In witness of his current state, I’m beginning to share in such apprehensions. Edward, whom we have reposed on on of our sledges, fears that the opportunity to make known the great love he holds for his mistress Rebecca is one he’ll never be granted. ‘You shall be reunited at once,’ I assured him. ‘Our journey to triumph will not be thwarted by minor inconveniences.’
“We’ve plotted the course to our next destination: that being Herschel Island, located off the coast of Canada in the Beaufort Sea. Charles — who shares in Edward’s dismay — estimates a three month footslog spanning just under one thousand miles is in store for us, perhaps more given Edward’s ailment. I am determined to see this mission to its completion, yet survival remains a paramount desire. Who’s to recount our extraordinary journey should we fail?
“While establishing our encampment and scouting the local flora of the area for additional sources of sustenance, I happened upon a plant of an unknown species. Half a meter tall, bulbous tubers, and thin roots terminating in clusters of white flowers; intuition suggests this is a water hemlock, which precludes it from edibility. Nevertheless, I shall regard this finding as one of great fortune. A portent of divine value. We will ascend.”
Two days later, gold prospectors off the Alaskan coast at Nome beach were in the process of emptying their sluice boxes when from the sky flew a carrier pigeon directly to their mining site. It bore a label with the inscription “Helgeland” and contained the following dispatch:
“July 7, 1900. First dog watch. Three southerly traveling carrier-pigeons were sent off at approximately 7 h. 40 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, the following among them. This is Rear Admiral Charles Ringvold of the United States Navy and the Helgeland Balloon Expedition of 1900. Our hopes of reaching the pole have been reduced to naught. Assistance urgently needed. Our destinies have hitherto been unknown, and now my fears have been actualized. GO IN TERROR OF HENRY HELGELAND. He is not who he proclaims to be. I volunteered for a man of honorable stature and venturesome drive. The man before me betrays neither.”
The remainder of the message was a hasty scrawl, decrypted only by the best in linguistics and modern codebreaking.
The communication was immediately passed off to the Smithsonian Institution, where word fell within the earshot of Ascension Society proponents and additional members of the US Navy. A follow-up expedition — a rescue team led by Captain S. P. Matthews — was put together at once with the authorization of the Secretary of War.
Months later, after a congressional bill introduced to secure grant funding for arctic exploration — and thereby a rescue mission for Helgeland’s lost expedition — was successfully passed, the USS Greenwich departed from the San Francisco Naval Shipyard with a crew of thirty boatswains, medics, and deck officers among others.
What they would ultimately uncover puzzled them all.
“July 7, 1900. The team has fractured. We are without our provisions and without the morale that has served us thusly.
“Charles and I set upon the pursuit and capture of a walrus, a most strenuous task in the Arctic Circle. Furnished with a Winchester model .40-82, the sport skews in our favor but we are in no short supply of peril. These are one ton beasts with the strength of a hundred strongmen as they stave the ice, and yet it is not them I should have feared.
“’I can’t allow you to proceed further.’ I heard the click clack racket of the Winchester as Charles chambered a round and raised the rifle, training its twenty inch barrel toward my back after I had volunteered — quite ignorantly — to take the vanguard.
“’Charles?’ I managed between clattering teeth.
“’You’re a man of bold stature. An honorable man at that. But not honorable enough to die for. And that’s it, Henry. I will not die for you.’
“’You speak out of distress, not rationality.’
“’I’m as rational as one permits when I say we won’t all make it to Canada. You can’t expect us to sledge Edward for the next month and retain our strength. Our sanities.” I could hear him gulp, ‘our lives.’
“’You’re not who you say you are.’ I realized in that moment. ‘Not even an ensign would renounce his own crew. Who are you really, Charles?’
“His credentials were a farce; a clever scheme to scrape through the expedition’s vetting process. He was no navy-man nor expert nor navigator and if you piled his life’s accomplishments on top of one another, they’d be equal to that of a cretin.
“’Doesn’t matter any more, Henry.’
“’Then why haven’t you shot me?’
“I sensed beyond his terror a hint of reluctance and felt within him the trepidation of an amateur. The man had never wielded a firearm in his life and wouldn’t start hence.
“’In Your infinite mercy, hear my prayer. In Your boundless grace, grant me Your forgiveness,’ he muttered below his breath. I could’ve believed he’d have squeezed the trigger if not for the unexpected convulsion that suddenly brought him to his knees. Befallen by the strange attack, Charles unhanded the Winchester and collapsed to the ice in the midst of a crippling seizure. And in a matter of moments, he had succumbed to death.
“With some activated charcoal or perhaps an emetic, he could have eluded such a painful demise. I stepped over to look upon his body, his pupils dilated to the size of dimes. Reviewing the immediate symptoms, intuition tells me he’s become the latest victim of hemlock poisoning, the kind of amateur mistake I’d expect from someone such as Charles. Ideal timing, if I may speak candidly.
“Hope remains alive. I will ascend.”
Investigators with the crew of S. P. Matthews found everything except answers.
It took them all of three months to zero in on the campsite left behind by Helgeland’s expedition. Any prospect of finding the balloon itself was dropped by the wayside to preserve manpower and time.
The camp was discovered on the 79th parallel, not in any particular state of disarray but with enough evidence to suggest conflict had broken out between the members. Edward was discovered in a tent with the rest of the rations and a bullet hole stamped in the side of his head. There was no telling how long he’d been dead for.
Forty-five meters away from the camp, buried under a stalagmitic gathering of ice and snow, was the body of Charles Ringvold. A followup inquiry would prove my great grandfather’s claims that he was a fraud, but like Charles himself, the truth is buried deep under the surface. Edward and Charles are commemorated for their failed — albeit honorable — efforts in the face of great opposition.
The body of my great grandfather, however, was never found. Theories thus abound in the saga of Henry H. Helgeland and we are no more the wiser now than we were a century ago. He is remembered for murdering his men in cold blood, deserting them, and then yielding to the elements somewhere in the frozen hell of the arctic. The carrier-pigeon message sent by Charles corroborated the apparent facts.
But I know the truth. Because only I have the answers.
“July 8, 1900. All that remains is me, for everyone else has vanished. Edward and I regaled each other with stories of our mistresses as night fell upon our place in the arctic wasteland. Rebecca, Edward’s beloved, works as an expert seamstress in San Francisco and will no doubt be devastated when news of his fate reaches her. But the great memories they shared together, I assured him, will serve her well in the years to come.
“‘You shall be reunited at once,’ I whispered to him once more before executing the dying man with the Winchester. It is my turn to face whatever awaits me on the ice.
“My great anguish and sorrow have been mended.
“Ruth is calling to me now. Our son promptly requires our presence.
“I shall go to them."
The fruitless search for my great grandfather peaked at last with the unearthing of a path of footprints snaking away from the tent where Edward’s body lay. Investigators followed them for approximately ten meters before they abruptly ceased. Captain Matthews is quoted as saying: “it was as though the walker had simply floated away.”
And indeed, it was our family that won in the end, for my great grandfather received exactly what he wanted. The final, undated entry of his diary is comprised of but three simple words:
“I have ascended.”
submitted by EmmarJay to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 05:20 kevduce [FOR SALE] Sealed Hip-Hop

Shipping from Massachusetts in a Mighty Mailer
Shipping is $5 flat.
MF DOOM/Trunks: Unicron (SPLATTER) $40Quasimoto: Yessir Whatever (GREEN) $35
Mr. Len – Class-X (Tribute To Company Flow) (TEST PRESSING) $50
Common: A Beautiful Revolution, Green Fat Beats version, $15
Roc Marciano: Marcberg Picture Disc, $20
MF DOOM/Trunks: Unicron (SPLATTER) $40
Quasimoto: Talkin' Shit, $40
Esoteric: Egoclapper, $20
Curren$y & Harry Fraud: Director's Cut (Heatseeker with Flexi Disc) $30
Premrock: Load Bearing Crow's Feet, $35
Meyhem Lauren: Glass 2.0 (Splatter), $20
Gensu Dean: Lo-Fi Fingahz, $15
DITC: The Official Version (Gold) $35
Gift of Gab: Rejoice, Rappers are Rapping Again (Splatter) $30
Kurious: A Constipated Monkey (Amalgam Release) TEST PRESSING: $50
SeanH/Sade/MFDOOM: Sadevillain $30
Bronze Nazareth & Roc Marciano: Ekphrasis, $15
Estee Nack/Ice Lord: Burt Offerings: $35
Big Ghost*, Cousin Feo & Lord Juco – Ghost At The Derby (GREEN OBI) $25
Marlon Craft: Funhouse Mirror (TEST PRESSING) $50
Al Doe/Spanish Ran: Michelin Stars (OBI CLEAR SPLATTER) $40
Josiah The Gift: TOGO (WHITE) $40
Smoovth: Young Smoovth 1 & 2 (Deluxe, Beer & Electric Blue) $40
Al.divino: Fishscale: $35
Hus Kingpin: Gunpowder: $25
Juggaknots: Use Your Confusion (TEST PRESSING) $50
Rahiem Supreme x Al.Divino* – Splash Bandicoot (BABY BLUE) $30
DJ Muggs the Black Goat* – Dies Occidendum (GOLD w/ Zine) $30
Klaus Layer: Lost Track (orange) $20
John Creasy x Ol Man 80zz – Teflon (Red/White/Black Splatter) $25
Klaus Layer – Restless Adventures (Mint Green Repress) $20
Y Society – Travel At Your Own Pace (Green in Blue Reissue) $20
Cousin Feo: Patat (Dutch and/or Orange) $20
Da Musalini x 9th Wonder: The Don & Eye OBI: $50
CRIMEAPPLE: Sancocho, $30
Baker's Dozen XIII, $15
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2023.06.05 05:01 JoshAsdvgi The Menominee and Manabush

The Menominee and Manabush

The Menominee and Manabush

When Mashé Manido, the Great Spirit, first made the earth, he also created a large numbers of manidos or spirits.
Some of these spirits were benevolent, but many were malevolent, and they went to live beneath the earth.
Kishä Manido, the Good Spirit, was one of these spirits.
He took a bear who lived near where the Menominee River flows into Green Bay and Lake Michigan and allowed the bear to change his form.
The Bear, pleased at this gift from the Good Spirit, came out of the ground and changed into the first human.
Bear found himself alone and called to an eagle to join him.
The eagle descended from the sky and took the form of a human too.
Bear and Eagle were deciding whom else to ask to join them when a beaver came by and asked to join their tribe.
Beaver too became a human and, as a female, became the first woman.
When Bear and Eagle came to a stream, they found a sturgeon, and Sturgeon became part of their tribe as well.
It is from these early people that the Bear, Eagle, and Sturgeon clans of the Menominee originated.
One day when Bear was going up a river, he got tired and stopped to rest.
As he was talking to a wolf, a crane flew up to them.
Bear asked the crane to fly him up the river, promising to take Crane into his tribe in return. As Crane and Bear were leaving, Wolf asked if he could join them, both for the trip and in their tribe.
Crane took both of them on his back and flew them up the river, and this is how the Crane and Wolf clans came into the tribe of Menominee people.
Bear took the name Sekatcokemau.
He built the first wigwam for his people, and built a canoe so that he and his people could catch fish like sturgeon.
The Good Spirit provided the people with corn, and with medicinal plants.
However, the Good Spirit realized that the Menominee were afflicted by hardship and disease from the malevolent spirits.
To help his people, the Good Spirit sent his kindred spirit Manabush down to earth.
Once there was an old woman named Nokomis who had an unmarried daughter, and the daughter gave birth to twin boys.
One of the boys and his mother died.
Nokomis wrapped the surviving boy in dry grass and put him under a wooden bowl to protect him while she buried the other boy and his mother.
When she returned, she picked up the bowl and found a little white rabbit.
She raised the rabbit, and he became the Great Rabbit, which is "Mashé Wabösh" in Menominee, or "Manabush".
When Manabush came of age, he had his grandmother make two drum sticks with which he drummed to call the people together to a long wigwam he had built.
He taught them many useful things and gave them powerful medicines to cure diseases.
He gave them medicine bags that were made of the hides of mink and weasel and rattlesnake and panther.
From that first meeting comes the Grand Medicine Society of the Menominee today.
Manabush went on to accomplish many great feats for his people.
Once there was a great water monster who killed many people, especially fishermen. Manabush let the monster eat him and then stabbed it from inside and killed it.
To get his people fire, Manabush went far to the east across the water to the wigwam of an old man and his daughters.
The daughters found a little rabbit shivering outside their wigwam and took it in to warm it by their fire.
Manabush grabbed an ember from the fire and fled back with it across the water, bringing fire to his people.
Once he climbed a mountain and stole tobacco from a giant who kept it there, and he had to flee from the giant to bring tobacco back to his people.
As he fled, he hid himself just before a cliff, and the giant ran past him and over the cliff. When the giant climbed back up the cliff, bleeding and bruised, Manabush grabbed him and threw him to the ground, making him the grasshopper that today can only chew at the tobacco plants in the fields.
Once Manabush was out hunting and deceived some birds into singing with him.
When they were close, he caught a swan and a goose on a sand bar and killed them for his dinner.
However, by then he was tired, so he buried the birds up to their necks in sand, built a fire around them to cook them, and lay down to take a nap.
When he awoke, he was hungry, and so he went to get his cooked birds.
When he pulled at the necks, he came up with the heads and necks, but the bodies of the birds were missing.
He ran out on the sand bar just in time to see people in canoes disappearing around a point of land.
Realizing they had stolen his meal, he ran after them yelling "Winnebago! Winnebago!", which is the name the Menominee have used ever since for their thievish neighbors to the south.
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 04:42 Rhetorical_Joke [H] 500+ Humble Games [W] Diablo 4, Baldur's Gate 3

Region North America
December Choice 2019 10 Choices
January Choice 2020 10 Choices
February Choice 2020 9 Choices
March Choice 2020 10 Choices
April Choice 2020 10 Choices HITMAN 2
May Choice 2020 10 Choices
XCOM® 2 + 2 DLC
June Choice 2020 10 Choices
August Choice 2020 12 Choices
September Choice 2020 12 Choices
October Choice 2020 12 Choices
November Choice 2020 12 Choices
January Choice 2021 12 Choices
February Choice 2021 12 Choices
March Choice 2021 12 Choices
April Choice 2021 12 Choices
F1® 2020
May Choice 2021 12 Choices
June Choice 2021 12 Choices
July Choice 2021 12 Choices
August Choice 2021 12 Choices
October Choice 2021 12 Choices
November Choice 2021 10 Choices
December Choice 2021 12 Choices
January Choice 2022 10 Choices
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2023.06.05 04:42 BlackTemplars Hawaii - two week honeymoon trip review Dec 2022

Have some time to finally write a trip review for Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii for my honeymoon in December 2022 for two weeks. Mid December and left for home on Christmas Day. This was our first time redeeming cc points for anything, so lots of trial and error and lessons learned.
My wife and I had gotten married in October and were actually not planning going on honeymoon until Spring 2023 until we researched further and managed to make December 2022 work in our favor. We started planning and booking reservations TWO months before our trip. We are very fortunate to have done it in that time span and managed to make almost everything work out.
IAD - DTW - SEA - OGG on Delta, First Class One way.
Day 1
Got to Maui late in the night and picked up our rental car, a Chevy Equinox, with Enterprise. Used my Hilton Aspire to get 7x points.
One night at Courtyard Marriott by the airport and paid $500.
It was the best we could do with our timing.
Day 2 - 6
Breakfast and lunch was by the food trucks near Costco. Shopping nearby for supplies for our vacation.
Meals (Costco food trucks):
5 nights at the Grand Wailea - 440,000 HH points
Left to check into our resort the Grand Wailea in Wailea. Both the wife and I are Hilton Diamond members. Mine through the Hilton Aspire and she has status through actual stays. We booked these nights through her account and using all Hilton points. Each reward night was 110,000 points and we got the 5th night free. So 440,000 points total.
This resort was huge and immaculate. Words can describe how nice this place is and the customer service is SUPERB. Literally, the best we have ever experienced. You only have to see and experience it for yourself. My wife and I still talk weekly about the Grand Wailea.
We booked the Terrace View - 1 King Bed as the Standard Night Reward and upon arrival we were upgraded to the Deluxe Ocean View - 1 King Bed in the Molokini wing. Breathtaking views! Avg cash price so this room type is around ~$988 before taxes, fees so it comes to 0.89 CPP (if not including taxes, fees in the total). All meals, incidentals, shopping, and experiences were put onto my Hilton Aspire. Daily food and beverage credit was $25 each for the two of us and used usually at their divine but pricey breakfast buffet. No resort fees charged for booking with points which saved us hundreds of dollars. We immensely enjoyed ourselves at this resort and the lush, manicured surrounding area.
Experiences: renting a cabana at the Grand Wailea pool, spa day at the Four Seasons with outdoor hale beachside, Wailea Beach, hiking Twin Falls, Baby Beach, Haleakala National Park
Day 7 - 8
Two nights at the Hotel Wailea, Relais & Chateaux using Amex FHR.
Paid total ~$3400 for the One bedroom, Luxury Suite, Ocean View. Unfortunately, no upgrade upon checking in. Hotel was sold out. Daily breakfast in the form of $30 credit per person and $100 food/bev credit given through the FHR. This stay triggered the $200 FHR credit for my wife's Amex Plat
Quiet, small resort, adults only. We enjoyed our stay here and loved our room. Bed was harder than what we were use to and it was far from the beach. Otherwise we loved the restaurant and the ability to "get away". One of the top hotels in Maui and all of Hawaii. Price tag to boot.
Experiences: cabana and pool day at Hotel Wailea, spa day at Montage Kapalua Bay. Outdoor hale with hot tub.
Big Island of Hawaii
Day 9 OGG - KOA (Big Island) round trip booked with Hawaiian Airlines. $106 for each of us before baggage fees. Booked direct using wife's Amex Plat.
Arrived to the Big Island and rented a Toyota Prius though Budget. Paid using Hilton Aspire.
Day 9 - 15
We booked the Hilton Waikoloa Village using all Hilton points, 6 nights in total with one night free. 350,000 pts in total used, 70,000 each night. Initially the standard room redemption was for the Palace Tower Resort View - 1 King Bed and was going for ~$540 a night before taxes/fees so CPP was 0.77. We realized even before our trip that the Palace Tower and old, needed a refresh, and was terribly far from the beach and the parking lot. We asked for an upgrade when we checked in and was given the option to move to the Makai Tower - Ocean View 1 King Bed for an additional $75 per night. We promptly took this offer. This room runs ~$694 per night before taxes/fees and if I subtract the $75 per night, I calculate this to be 0.88 CPP. The Makai tower was much better, our room overlooked the ocean and part of the resort. Frankly, Palace looked like dogshit. Daily F&B credit was $18 for each person. Incidentals again went onto my Hilton Aspire.
Towards the end of our stay, we stayed at the DoubleTree Hilo using 50,000 pts. Room rate was $308 before taxes/fess. CPP was 0.61. This was on the other side of the island and very far from Hilton Waikoloa so we decided to stay overnight there after hiking Volcanoes NP instead of driving to the west side in the middle of the night.
Experiences: Kauna'oa Beach, Mauna Kea sunset and stargazing (this is a must!!), Captain Cook monument snorkeling, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National historical park, Punalu-u Black Sand Beach, Volcanoes National Park, Akaka Falls.
Trip home: OGG - LAX - IAD. United, First Class One way.
Overall, an EXCELLENT trip. We were amazed and thrilled to do so much in two weeks and in such short notice. Again, only two months to plan once our dates were finalized. Between my wife and I, we have the Amex Plat and Gold, Hilton Honors and Aspire, and CFU, CSP. Each card strategically used during our trip. The FHR credit triggered for my wife, and my Aspire triggered the $250 resort credit. If I had to guess, we saved ~$15,000 or more by redeeming CC points. Hope this data point helps some of you trip planning, happy to answer any questions.
submitted by BlackTemplars to awardtravel [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 04:37 MargaritaHodgess The face that says it all: Emotions shrouded in a sea of black and white

The face that says it all: Emotions shrouded in a sea of black and white submitted by MargaritaHodgess to Faces [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 04:10 ThanosxSwan What more can you do in rec? Lol

What more can you do in rec? Lol submitted by ThanosxSwan to NBA2k [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 03:59 Bathtub_Gin_Man Drink List at Yacht Club Bar (Denver, CO)

Drink List at Yacht Club Bar (Denver, CO) submitted by Bathtub_Gin_Man to KGATLW [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 03:50 quote_emperor Women's Black/White Central Arkansas Bears Side Stripe Yoga Leggings

Women's Black/White Central Arkansas Bears Side Stripe Yoga Leggings submitted by quote_emperor to gym_apparel_for_women [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 03:38 RiptideJerry Willa bear(white) and Poppy baby(black)

Willa bear(white) and Poppy baby(black)
These two just hit 1 year! They’ve been together most of their lives and they love each other so much. We do too!
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2023.06.05 03:33 DailyHoroscopeIndia Today's Horoscope! (5th of June, 2023)✨

If you have any specific questions about your sub-sign, please ask those in comments below!
♈️ Aries: Today is a day of love and luck for Aries. Unfettered Aries, your soul is thirsting for the sweet nectar of affection and love is on the horizon. Financially, you are scaling new heights and your dedication is bearing golden fruit. Pay heed to your well-being, as you might feel the pinch of a headache as the day wanes. Let Finland's frosty charm beckon you, for its enchanting landscapes will captivate your fiery spirit. Luck is dancing to your tune today, with the rhythmic beats of 29, 13, 38, and 53 serenading your fortune. Under the potent lunar energies, you'll find yourself bathed in nostalgia, journeying through the corridors of memory. Embrace your past and prepare for a sprinkling of monetary magic as twilight falls.
♉️ Taurus: Today is a day of transformation and opportunity for Taurus. On the personal front, you are destined to captivate hearts with your charm, but a minor storm may brew at day's end. Professionally, it's time to nurture your nest egg and open up productive dialogue. Health-wise, prioritize your wellbeing and make choices that nourish your body and soul. Travel-wise, Indonesia is calling to your wanderlust and promises to be an incredible journey. Luck is on your side today, with the numbers 91, 20, 44, and 84 orchestrating your fortunate symphony. Lastly, remember to stay strong and hold tight to the mantra 'All shall be well' as you navigate the choppy seas of emotion.
♊️ Gemini: Single Gemini, the stars are whispering of a potential romance in your future. For those already in love, today promises to be a special day with your beloved. Professionally, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the tasks ahead, but don't let that stop you from achieving your goals. Make sure to take care of your health and nourish your body with the right food. If you're feeling adventurous, consider a trip to Colombia for a journey of joy and discovery. Luck is on your side today, with the numbers 12, 32, 74, 93, and 57 in your favor. Finally, take some time to relax and recharge your batteries.
♋️ Cancer: Single Cancers may find themselves feeling a bit uninspired when it comes to flirtation, but that's okay. Those in relationships may find themselves facing an uncomfortable truth about their partner, but it's important to remember that honesty is the foundation of love. Financially, you're on the rise and if you're job-seeking, an important call could be coming your way soon. When it comes to mental health, take some time to identify the sources of your anxiety or melancholy and avoid triggers that could disturb your inner peace. Consider a trip to Stockholm for a change of scenery and to explore its culture and picturesque vistas. Luck is on your side today, so keep an eye out for the numbers 89, 10, 32, 42, and 85. Lastly, reignite your passion by revisiting an old hobby or activity that once made you feel alive.
♌️ Leo: Romance is in the air for Leo, so why not take the opportunity to ignite the passion with a enchanting evening. If you're single, let your charm take the reins as you flirt effortlessly with that special someone. Professionally, you're like a star burning bright, but your financial management could use a polishing touch. Seek wisdom from those friends who excel in the art of money matters. Health wise, it's best to avoid alcohol today as your body may react more sensitively. Instead, cocoon yourself at home, wrapped in the warmth of a good movie and the comforts of your own space. Jupiter is raining showers of fortune upon you, so let gold be your guiding color today, symbolizing your prosperity and power. Expect a day brightened with positivity, thanks to your ruling planet which bolsters your emotional expressiveness and sharpens your instincts. Embrace this celestial boost, Leo.
♍️ Virgo: Today is a day of potential for Virgo. If you are in a relationship, you may be considering adding a new member to your family. For single Virgos, remember that everyone's journey is unique and don't be discouraged. Financially, there is a golden opportunity to increase your wealth. Your thirst for knowledge will be rewarded at work, allowing you to expand your skill set and reach new heights. For those Virgos struggling with addiction, stay strong and remember that today may be a difficult day. If addiction isn't an issue, expect a peaceful day. Your perfect getaway is a warm, familiar destination where memories already bloom. Luck is on your side today, with the numbers 8, 44, 30, 1, 37, and 26 bringing extra fortune in your financial affairs. A surge of positive energy surrounds you, so connect with your loved ones and let their warmth guide you to tap into this positive aura.
♎️ Libra: For those in committed relationships, it may be time to spice things up and break the monotony. Single Libras may be in for a pleasant surprise with the potential of meeting a charming intellect. Professionally, you are a juggler of tasks and a conductor of team harmony, but the cosmos advises financial restraint today. Health-wise, you are in good shape, but bladder-related concerns may arise. The cosmic compass points towards Patna, India, as a potential travel destination. Numbers 28, 39, and 53 bring luck today, but investing or gambling should be avoided. Emotionally, you may feel scattered, but it's okay to lean on others for support when needed.
♏️ Scorpio: Today is a day of romance and adventure for Scorpios. If you are single, you may find yourself in a flirtatious mood. For those already in relationships, today is the perfect day to ignite the spark of love. Professionally, you may be feeling some financial jitters, but don't let that stop you from using your natural leadership skills to collaborate on group projects. Health-wise, it's time to make a switch in your diet and incorporate more seafood. Travel-wise, Dresden, Germany awaits you with its rich culture and history. Luck-wise, it's best to hold off on real estate investments for now. Emotionally, it's time to take a plunge into self-care and prune away the toxic tendrils from your life.
♐️ Sagittarius: Today is a great day for Sagittarius to focus on relationships and communication. If you are single, you may find yourself drawn to Cancer signs. Financially, your careful spending is beginning to pay off, so now is the perfect time to start a savings account. When it comes to health, try to cultivate a healthy relationship with food instead of resorting to drastic diets. If you're looking for adventure, consider joining a friend on their travels as it will be both cost-effective and fun. The colors of luck today are purple and white, so keep an eye out for them as they may bring some luck your way. Lastly, take the time to fall in love with yourself and use any bumps in the road as opportunities for self-improvement.
♑️ Capricorn: Personal life: Today is a great day for unattached Capricorns to meet someone special. Scorpio's wit and charisma will be hard to resist. For those in relationships, trust your intuition if something doesn't feel right and seek clarity.
Profession: You may feel like you're in a creative rut today, so take a break and recharge.
Health: You're in a healthier mental space now, but if you have any lingering injuries, make sure to follow up with your doctor.
Travel: Rosario, Argentina is the perfect destination to satisfy your wanderlust.
Luck: Lady luck has her eye on the numbers 7, 4, 22, 1, 94 and 74 for you today, but be careful not to gamble or invest too heavily.
Emotions: Focus on becoming the best version of yourself. Don't overthink things and let your instincts guide you. Trust in yourself and enjoy the journey.
♒️ Aquarius: For those Aquarians who have been enjoying the freedom of singledom, be ready for a thrilling twist! A new romance is on the horizon and it promises to bring joy and enrichment to your life. On the professional front, it's time to put your marketing hat on and revamp your digital presence. Health-wise, load up your plate with a vibrant array of fruits and vegetables for a nutritious boost. Travel-wise, Belgium calls out to your wanderlust with its rich culture, splendid architecture and decadent chocolates. Luck-wise, Jupiter is beaming benevolently at you, so anticipate an unexpected windfall or delightful financial gains. Emotionally, it's time to let go of the stress that has clouded your spirit and restore your vitality and joy.
♓️ Pisces: Single Pisceans should be on the lookout for potential romance in unexpected places, while those in relationships should make sure to balance their professional aspirations with their personal connections. On the professional front, things are looking up and hard work is likely to be rewarded with appreciation and a bonus. Health-wise, it's time to schedule a checkup and visit the dentist. Travel-wise, Las Vegas is calling your name and promises to be an exciting adventure. Your lucky numbers today are 8, 93, 20, 18, and 43, and Jupiter is sending you positive energy and abundant luck. Finally, if you're feeling a bit off-kilter emotionally, seek out the comfort of friends who can provide understanding and camaraderie.

Check out today's Hora

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2023.06.05 03:33 The_Alloquist [A Lord of Death] - Chapter 58

[←Chapter 57] [Cover Art] [My Links] [Index] [Discord] [Subreddit] [Chapter 59→]
It had taken no small amount of doing to make sure Aya’s various trips went unnoticed. First there were the paladins, who, for all their apparent vigilance, somehow passed over her subterfuge. As for Sorore and Frare, Aya wasn’t quite sure - she’d debated on whether or not to bring them in on the offers of tutelage.
Ultimately, she chose to keep it to herself for now, not in jealousy or so she assured herself. The painstaking effort she’d taken to ensure that she did remain hidden took the better part of an hour. As for the reward, she wasn’t sure if it was worth it, at least not yet.
Most of the previous evenings had been long discussions with a cat who, while polite, responded to inquiries with indifference. ‘Ask Efrain’ was a common response whenever questions of history or of technique came up. The Madame spoke in broad strokes, and all in the context of nature, which did make a certain sense to Aya, but lacked substance.
She’d spent those evenings in rapt attention, however, only occasionally glancing at Efrain’s body, trying to see any sign of movement. Still, she often found herself wishing that it was him leading the lesson, confident that he could put her lingering queries to rest. Now, she was finally here, learning magic from the person she’d imagined about.
And he was asking her to boil water.
Perhaps not the auspicious start she imagined, but it would have to do.
Efrain raised one of the herbs up to the light for her inspection.
“Dracne,” he said, “very pungent, especially when you start heating it.”
She recognized it, though it was usually added to sour soups and flavouring meats.
“This will make tea?”
“Not particularly,” he said, “in truth, it will at best make boiled leaf juice.”
“Isn’t that what all tea is?”
The mask regarded her with a definite air of admonishment.
“Well, now I can see the need for instruction.”
He placed the herb bundle back down on the ground, and picked up one of the dishes.
“Let’s review from last night,” he said, “what exactly is magic?”
It took a moment for Aya to realise that this wasn’t a rhetorical question.
“Well, it’s… it’s a… it allows you to do things?” she said, vaguely remembering the definition Efrain gave in the waggon.
“Well, that’s a way to put it,” he said dryly, “in a broad sense, you’re not incorrect. We did touch on the issue last night, indirectly. How does one define magic? Is it a process, a technique, a method? Or is it something more defined, something that has a physical existence, or presence. The answer probably lies between.”
“So you don’t know?” Aya said, wondering if he would acknowledge the gap in his explanation.
“Of course I don’t. Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot or a fraud,” Efrain snorted, “what I do know is that magic existed long before us, and will do so long after us. There’s been many assumptions about its nature that have proven incorrect in that time, some disastrously so.”
Efrain sloshed the thin layer of water around the bowl.
“Perhaps even my assumptions about it are incorrect. If you continue your magical education, you’ll find there are many ways to view it in many lands. Some might be correct, others not so, most likely have at least parts that are true or useful.”
He set the bowl on the tips of his fingers, letting the fluid still.
“In any case, my personal thoughts on the matter are as we talked about yesterday. Memory, Intent, Emotion. Goal, process, energy,” he said, “those are the cornerstones of my method, and is what I’ll be teaching you.”
Plumes of white steam began to peel off the surface of the water.
“I remember heat, in the many forms I’ve encountered over the years. For this process, I think most akin are hot springs in the deep mountains, which stay steaming even in the depths of winter. That is what I imagine when I want to heat this water. That is Memory, it is the goal state you are to achieve. What do I want? Warm water for tea. And here we are.”
Aya nodded, picking up her own bowl of water, staring intently at the surface.
“Now, second. Intent. How do you achieve such a goal? What is the process? There’s rarely one way to do something, indeed, there can be as many as your imagination can conjure. Most people believe that this part is a mechanical process, but it’s actually quite creative. For me, I imagine hot blood, burning at first in my heart, then flowing down my arm, and that heat passing through my hand and the bowl into the water, raising the temperature.”
Aya could see it, could feel it, but still the water remained cool and still.
“And finally, the thing that drives the whole procedure. Emotion. Whatever you need to connect to the magic inside and around you, and drive it to your own end. Magic can be cantankerous, willful even, especially if it’s someone else’s. You need conviction, powerful emotions to drive strong spells, but for this, the joy of teaching for the first time in a long while.”
“So you can use any emotion?” said Aya, looking at the mirror surface of the bowl.
“Negative or positive. Sorrow as much as joy, rage as much as calm, all of them could be used as a potential catalyst. The more powerful, the more potential. However, remember that more powerful emotions are harder to control - when was the last time you acted rationally when you were frightened or angry?”
Aya tried not to think of the chilling fear of the fog monsters and the nights of terror they brought with them.
“So then, could faith be used?” she said, “you said any emotion.”
Efrain took a moment to consider, then nodded.
“I don’t see any reason it couldn’t. Faith, in the context of magic, should function like any other emotion. I suspect you already guessed as much, considering the lessons from your minders.”
Aya nodded, the paladins having confirmed as much during their brief sessions over the last few days.
“If you ask me, they're setting themselves up for failure,” Efrain said.
“Why?” said Aya, thinking of how strong the pair was.
“Because faith, while it certainly can be potent, is also fragile,” Efrain said, and perhaps seeing Aya’s confused expression hastily corrected, “that is to say, what happens if they cannot martial it? What if they see something that makes them doubt? What if some council from on high releases an edict that conflicts with their own understanding? All that work for nothing.”
Efrain set his own bowl down and folded his legs together.
“No, no. Faith cannot be the foundation. One can lose access to it easily, and it’s hard to get back. Anger, fear, joy, sorrow, all these are far more accessible. So, with that being as it may, try it.”
“Try it? Try- right now?”
“Yes,” the voice came without chuckle or sarcasm, “you know enough to try it. It might not be easy, but few things worth doing ever are.”
Aya tried to get a grasp for something, anything. She imagined the flow of red-hot blood, she thought of steaming crockery on their stove. Still nothing happened. To stem the onset of dread, boredom, and frustration, she asked another question.
“But why would Niche and Lillian lie like that? Why would they use magic and then call it something else?”
“If you were building an empire, with enemies all around, would you deny yourself such a powerful tool?” Efrain said, “of course not. Empires are not made on scriptures and preaching alone, Angorrah knows this. However, its possible the paladins themselves might be confused - the theology on magic within the church is far from settled.”
“What does that mean?” she said, narrowing her eyes and willing the water to boil.
“If it was a simple matter of saying no magic period, then the paladins might’ve sorted themselves out by now,” Efrain said, “the scriptures on the subject are all over the place. Some espouse blanket prohibitions, others prescribe certain leniencies, others references older traditions that all went into the waters of the Black Tide Augury, or were lost in other ways.”
Aya’s head was spinning with all the words, although she thought that she had the general idea.
“I see your history is also something we have to work on,” Efrain said, “to make a long story short, the Black Tide Augury was many events, culminating in a flood that destroyed most original church texts.”
“Didn’t they keep copies?” she said, feeling something faintly tingling in her fingers.
“Yes. They were later destroyed by a priest named Noenea.”
“He was, understandably, cast out of the church. Later, his students, or those who took inspiration from his preachings took control. Hence, most of the church’s modern thought. They, unfortunately for us, were opposed to magic and its use.”
“And that’s why they call it miracles now?” Aya said, digging her toes into the soft dirt.
“I suspect so,” Efrain said, “they were never going to give it up entirely. Condemning it on one side, while using it to mould your own bodies under a different name.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Do you think that your minders’ strength is natural? Few men can wield such large swords with two hands, let alone one, and your paladins aren’t exactly the biggest.”
Aya squirmed at the veiled implications of the mage, though she could not deny what she’d seen on the rooftop of the church.
“But we’re getting off topic,” he said, “perhaps for another time. You appear to be struggling.”
“Yes,” she admitted, “what exactly am I supposed to do with this?”
The mage raised a soft gloved hand, and it came to rest on hers.
“Now, close your eyes please,” he said, “I’ll guide you.”
That darkness closed in around her as she felt a distant tugging sensation. Was he attempting to tease out magic in some hidden place? The darkness around her grew deeper as she waited for something, anything to happen. There was a purpose to it, an anticipation, like she was being led somewhere by signs left by a person long gone. Within the darkness was where she found something bright and blue. From it came forth a flow, swelling in response to her attention.
“There you go,” came Efrain’s voice, distant somehow, “now remember your lesson. Memory, intent, emotion. The water bowl.”
She did so once more, feeling the flow of the magic race through her, her heart thundering in time with its passage.
“Alright, you can stop now,” he said, and her eyes snapped open.
The water was boiling violently, large bubbles exploding in gouts of steam, nearly spilling onto her hands. With a yelp of surprise, she dropped the bowl, only saved from it splattering her legs by Efrain catching it.
“Well, you did it,” he said, “more effectively than I might’ve expected to.”
“I- I didn’t mean to do this,” she said, looking sheepishly at the steaming liquid as Efrain set it down to the side.
“Oh, I’m quite aware,” Efrain said, “Sorore went through several buckets before she got it right.”
She felt a little burgeoning pride pulling her chest up and out at the appraisal.
“Don’t get ahead of yourself,” he said, “she had a harder task, and in the middle of that fog as well.”
“Oh, sorry,” she said, chastened.
“Regardless, you’ve done well,” he said, “usually it takes a good few tries before a student gets a feel for it. Sometimes as much as a day or two. You children are certainly gifted, if nothing else.”
“So, what’s next?” Aya said.
“Nothing, we’re done.”
The disappointment at the blank dismissal was only deepened by the lack of anything fiery to show for her efforts.
“I hope you didn’t think we were going to skip to anything dramatic. One doesn’t jump to algebra before learning addition,” said the mage, “but your work doesn’t end here.”
“What’s ‘algebra’?” she asked.
“Oh,” said Efrain, “moving on. The point is that you need to lock fundamentals in. Boil the water to steaming, every morning. Probably would be best to do it subtly, understood?”
She nodded, excited at last that she would have something to do, independent of both the paladins and the children.
“Remember. The three building blocks. Memory, Intent, Emotion. The more you have those drilled into your memory, the easier more complicated things will be. Now, off with you. Not wise to keep you too long, I think.”
She nodded, thanked him, and set off along the path she trod not twenty minutes before. She felt above all conflicted - the sense of anticlimax was profound. But there was definitely that sense of pride, and burgeoning curiosity, that gave a little pep in her step as she slinked back towards the waggon.
Fortunately, it seemed her absence had gone unnoticed for the time being. She briefly spared a thought to how it seemed rather odd that the paladins, being avowed protectors of them, seemed to so easily be deceived. The thoughts clung to her as she clambered back into the waggon and slipped underneath the blankets.
Before she could drift off to sleep, however, she found a wide eyed Frare, with a grin that was visible even in the deep darkness of the wagon.
“So, what, did you do it?” he said, as quietly as he could, which was probably not quiet enough.
“Do what?” she said, turning away from him, “I don’t know what you mean.”
“You’re not a very good liar, are you?” he said, huffing with what sounded like disappointment, “come on, tell me, what was it like?”
“About what? And no, I am not a good liar, maybe because I never had a reason. And still don’t,” she said.
“Whatever,” said the boy, shrugging his shoulders, “what are you going to worry about? Sorore’s fast asleep.”
“What makes you think I’d trust you?” she said.
“What?” he said, sounding genuinely hurt, “of course you can trust me.”
“I met you what… a week ago? I hardly know you,” she said.
“All right, fair. But you can trust me,” he said, “I just want to know what it was like. Please?”
She sighed as she settled into the blankets.
“Fine. It was disappointing,” she said, “I didn’t do much at all.”
“Oh,” he said, “well that’s boring.”
“I agree. Now I’m tired, and would like to sleep.”
The boy had already turned over, and had gone back to his steady rhythm of breathing.
Bonehead, Aya thought, though, try as she might, she couldn’t suppress a smile.
Aya slipped into the veil of sleep with ease, descending down through an inky blackness that consumed thought and time together. What she found in the darkness was a grand expanse of sand, dunes rising and falling into the distance as sand fell from her hair. As she watched, water began coursing through the troughs, pulling the sand with it until all the world was a river, flowing just past her feet. The sky was an endless expanse of blue, dotted by the occasional cloud, with no horizon seam between the endless sheet of glass below her.
Deep below her, though it should’ve been shallow enough to wade through, something coiled in the depths, moving at terrible speed. She could see many billowing fins and limbs, splayed in the dark, as if sails to catch some undersea wind. And eyes, so many eyes, stabbing through the depths with a blue radiance.
From them came a bubbling roar, echoing up from the abyss like rolling waves upon a shore.
She was awoken by a gentle shake of the shoulder, Sorore was pulling her up by the time she returned fully to consciousness, trying to recall all the details of the bizarre encounter
“Come on!” she said, “we’ve reached the hinterlands. They rode early through the morning. The commander said he wanted to reach the city by nightfall if they could help it.”
Aya struggled at the overwhelming sense of grogginess as she pushed her way to the front of the waggon. Outside, the morning was bright, the sun fully out and overhead to shine down upon a great expanse of flatlands. They were on the last of a set of steep hills, leading down onto a rolling series of narrow fields edged with forests and glimmering rivers.
Far, far to what must’ve been the east, stood a tall ridge of mountains made purple by the haze. They jutted south into a distant blue-green sea, craggy slopes trailing down into the lagoon below. It was still a half-day’s journey away, but even so, Aya could see the city - a forest of multi-coloured buildings, some laid into the mountain side, most following the gentle slope spilling down into what must’ve been the Emyaka, that mythical lagoon.
This was ‘home’, Aya thought, this was Karkos.
[←Chapter 57] [Cover Art] [My Links] [Index] [Discord] [Subreddit] [Chapter 59→]
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2023.06.05 03:11 virexgaze Spring Cleaning Merch sale

Spring Cleaning Merch sale
Just did some spring cleaning and have some old merch for sale. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything. From a smoke free home. Thanks for looking 😊 T-Shirts: 20.00 Tanks: 10.00 Accept Venmo, Paypal (G&S) Black 2022 Coachella XL Grey VHS Tapes L Space Bears L Pink Billboard S Black Palm Trees 2019 Lineup L Grey 2014 Lineup Woman’s L Grey Men’s Workers Shirt L (40.00) Black Palm Spring 2019 lineup tank top Woman’s S/M Black Horizon Tank 2018 lineup S White Rainbow 2019 Lineup Tank Woman’s S/M/XL Black Space Man 2015 Lineup Woman’s M Cat Tank Woman’s M Space Ship Tank 2014 Lineup Woman’s M Sunset 2013 Lineup Woman’s M Coachella Sunglass (10.00) Cactus Plant Flea Market WK 1 sweatpants S (Ask about pricing) Palm Springs 2019 Lineup Zip Up Hoodie L (25.00) Lollapalooza 2021 Lineup XL
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2023.06.05 02:55 foxyboomer6789 The Dentist

The Dentist. Most people hate going, wondering if they’ll be drilled into like a pot hole filled road.
Trevor a man in his mid thirties entered the facility, the carpet a peptobismol pink, the walls bright blue and covered in obnoxious paintings to cater to children’s tiny minds.Teeth with mouths of their own and smiling just a little bit over enthusiastically. It was his first time here after his other dentist closed down.
‘Mr Trevor Sullivan’ a man called from the consultation room.
Trevor walked into the room, which in contrast to the bright chaotic mess of the waiting room, was in almost complete darkness. The Dentist sat in the corner, the shadows making his mouth look as if it was gaping, as if he was the one wanting to be examined.
Trevor took a seat in the chair, the surgical lamp turning on almost blinding him.
‘Open wide’ the dentist said sounding completely exhausted, monotone. Trevor obeyed. The dentist placed his instruments inside Trevors mouth, and began to recite the numbers
‘shut up I won’t do it’ the dentist said, muttering under his breath, before continuing.
Trevor was not sure how he felt, having sharp instruments inside his mouth while this man clearly had something wrong with him. The Dentist removed his tools from inside Trevors mouth and sat back, not moving, and gave a deep sigh.
Trevor decided it was time to leave. But as he got up the dentist lunged at him, grabbing him by the neck and strapping him down into the chair. Restraints Trevor had not seen earlier due to the lack of lighting. The dentist forced pliers into Trevors mouth, ripping his front tooth out. Trevor struggled knocking the lamp, causing it to illuminate the crazed man. The man stepped back into the corner of the room, the light still illuminating him. His eyes were bloodshot, and there were strings coming out of his mouth, white strings. He opened his mouth bearing his teeth. The strings tied to each one, blood seeping out of the gums. And from behind him came three tooth fairy’s holding onto the strings, like he was their pet dog, under their control. They flew towards Trevor, the dentist moving with them. One of them coming before Trevor. A beautiful face until it twisted its head 360 degrees, revealing a grotesque second face, eyes just black pits and a mouth sewn up.
‘Don’t be afraid Trevor, the dentist betrayed us so he will take your place’ the fairy said.
The three fairy’s then yanked at the strings, all of the dentists teeth flying out like bullets, almost hitting Trevor, his mouth just flesh now, blood pouring onto the floor.
The fairy’s undid Trevors restraints, and he ran for his life, the tooth paintings smiling at him on his way out.
When he got home and searched the place up on google, it did not exist, in fact the building was still in foreclosure, and had been for many years.
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2023.06.05 02:20 JohnWarrenDailey Full review of Prehistoric Planet

Follow-up to my last post:

An Attenborough documentary on dinosaurs with the same CGI that made The Jungle Book so lifelike? I couldn't think of a greater sell. But was it worth it? Would it give me the same sense of wonder that I felt when Walking with Dinosaurs came out 22 years earlier?

The first episode, "Coasts", is overall the strongest episode of season 1. Starting immediately with a swimming t-rex (Tyrannosaurus rex) leading his children to an island where he smelled a dead archelon (species unknown, as no Maastrichtian-age archelon was ever found in the fossil record), that first scene showed the promise of the show as a whole. Seeing CG baby t-rexes interacting with live-action baby turtles is both concerning (as sea turtles are currently endangered) and entertaining, as they are demonstrated pretty goofily. But after that, we are done with dinosaurs for the rest of the episode.

We cut to the one scene that, while endearing with a riveting soundtrack by power couple Anže Rozman and Kara Talve, does give me pause. The pterosaurs featured in that episode were based on bones so fragmentary that they couldn't be diagnosed. How can we be sure that Barbaridactylus was a member of the antlerwing family, Phosphatodraco a member of the simurgh family, or even Tethydraco a member of the pteranodon family? How do we even know what Alcione even looked like? Also, the score doesn't really match the slower, less urgent movements of the pterosaurs.

The next scene was described as "the sunken continent of Zealandia", which is a refresher to see the lost continent bearing recognition for a change. Here, a family of plesiosaurs (Tuarangisaurus keyesi) comes to the coast to gulp themselves on anti-buoyant rocks, while the males ceremoniously poke their long, heavy necks up to the surface, the only good moment in an otherwise generic sequence.

After a quick focus on coral, we get treated to a Hoffmann's mosasaur (Mosasaurus hoffmanni) relying on fish and shrimp to give him a good, proper scratch, only to be pushed out of turn by a younger male. This sequence sticks out to me because it shows mosasaurs being portrayed as animals, not as monsters to shadow Nigel Marven or kaijuified Blackfish bootlegs.

The next scene shows a dazzling, mesmerizing mating ceremony of ammonites ("scaphitids", they were called, but that doesn't determine specific species, as it was a very huge family). They glow in the dark and mate very particularly. If the male's flashes don't sync with those of the female, he'd be rejected. Complimenting this alien but still soothing scene is Rozman and Talve's equally alien and soothing score.

Back in Zealandia, we end with plesiosaur pod mentality, as the whole group defends a pregnant mother from a kaika taniwha (Kaikaifilu hervei). As with the previous plesiosaur scene, it wasn't a scene that I got too crazy about.

The next episode, "Deserts", isn't really as impactful as the Planet Earth episode of the same name, both in regards to execution and the musical score, and it was riddled with confusing scene decisions. The first scene demonstrates a lek of dreadnoughts (Dreadnoughtus schrani) acting like a combination of elephant seals and frigatebirds, right down to the pops on their necks. The score in that sequence is definitely memorable, as it (literally) highlights the weights that the males take to demonstrate their fitness to attract the gaggle of girls in the audience. Though I'm left wondering--did the upstart beat the veteran because he was stronger, or because he popped one of the veteran's neck balloons, as male frigatebirds would do to ditch the competish?

Once the sauropod show is over, we now move to what was presumed to be Nemegtia, but it was portrayed to be as dry as Djadochta, which leads to the next problem. While there was evidence of Maastrichtian-age velos in Central Asia, calling them "Velociraptor" is just wrong. I grew up watching Walking with Dinosaurs, which means I watched "Giant of the Skies", which featured Utahraptor in the wrong place at the wrong time. And while the American cut justifies this with a demonstration of a land bridge that connected North America to Europe, I don't know how much water that holds, and that doesn't seem to be relevant anyway, for the damage has already been done. So having in Velociraptor, a genus of velos that went extinct 71 million years ago, in Nemegtia, which was set 66 million years ago, is just a rehash of that previous mistake. In short, Prehistoric Planet has Utahraptor'd the Velociraptor. And besides, hasn't the picture of pack-hunting raptors already been discarded?

The next scene, the one with the Nemegtian mononych (Mononykus olecranus), is cute but not top-notch memorable, and its color choice is teetering way close to the point of plagiarism.

Afterwards, the brief but violent rains have created a watering hole in the middle of the desert, luring in dinosaurs and pterosaurs from miles around, including a wandering khan (Tarbosaurus bataar). The reason that scene is so low was that it was just a near-identical rotoscope of the Water Truce sequence from The Jungle Book, right down to the herbivores making a clearing for the khan.

Then we go high up to see more Barbaridactylus. This scene I wasn't aware was a problem until Unnatural History Channel brought it up in his video, but the females were shown to be oddly consensual towards the similar-looking sneaky males, who use their feminine appearances to sneak past the larger, more impressive males. This is a problem, apparently, because the more extreme the sexual dimorphism, the more likely the sneaky male will be rejected and therefore resort to assaulting the females.

The last scene is an interesting one, albeit one that suffered an unmemorable score in the soundtrack. Apparently, salty southern duckbills (Secernosaurus koerneri) can thrive on dunes of gypsum, but when rains hit the coast, they rely on both their tenacity and their know-how of the sky to get to more productive grazing. This scene stands out to me because I question why any large animal would choose to thrive on such a taxing environment. It'd make sense for an animal as small as the cryptile, the scrofa and the gryken from The Future is Wild, but not for a duckbill bigger than 16 feet long.

It is unanimously agreed upon that "Freshwater" is the weakest episode in the first season. Apart from the humpbacked false duckbill (Deinocheirus mirificus) getting a scratch in the swamps of a more accurate Nemegtia and the devil frog (Beelzebufo ampinga) making a snack out of a baby whacktooth (Masiaksaurus knoplferi), the habitat itself has been relegated to the backseat, which is why the mating scene of the t-rex and the laying magnificent simurgh (Quetzalcoatlus northropi) are on the C tier, good scenes that have been damaged by simply being in the wrong episode. Speaking of the latter, memes have popped up in which the faces of dinosaurs have been pasted over two shots of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with either Masiakasaurus or the Planet Dinosaur model of Majungasaurus being Galahad and the Quetzalcoatlus being the French taunter ("What are you doing in Africa?" "MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!") when, really, that meme is more applicable to Velociraptor being in the Maastrichtian. On that topic, not only is it STILL in the wrong time, there is another problem, one I didn't pay attention to until Unnatural History Channel brought it up on his video. Instead of showing audiences raptor prey restraint (or "RPR"), the storytellers relied instead on mountain cats to show the velos hunting the pterosaurs (species unknown). Like the Deserts episode, Planet Earth has a far stronger "Freshwater" episode.

"Ice Worlds" didn't excite me as much as "Spirits of the Ice Forest" did, which is a shame, because dinosaurs in the snow is a refresher by default. We start at Prince Creek, which I couldn't ask for a worse place to start because the cast list is very fragmentary. In the opening scene, a pack of raptors (species unknown, though modeled after the pitbull raptor), shadows a herd of ugrunaaluk (Edmontosaurus sp.) for a long-delayed meal. Again, the picture of raptors hunting in packs has been debunked for a very long time now. Why insist on resorting to old cliches?

The Ornithomimus scene (can't think of a vernacular for them), while the designs look cool and add distinction to overall character, is still just a rotoscope of the Adelie penguin sequence from "Frozen Planet". Next.

The sequence with the swanneck (Olorotitan arharensis) is even less impressive. Are horsetails really more nutritious than grass? If so, then why have grasslands been the dominant plains since the Miocene?

The reason the scene with the tro-o is relatively low on the tier list is that it should have been longer, because a dinosaur with the intellect of a fire hawk is a very interesting prospect. But the final scene was just too short and too bland to show off any real gold.

We have spent so much time in the north that I question the necessity of a quick detour to Antarctica, rendering the scene with the polar macahutiul (Antarctopelta oliveroi) my least favorite of the series.

The final scene demonstrates the predator-prey dynamic between the northern boss (Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum) and the nanook (Nanuqsaurus hoglundi). The scene is great, the score has some very rhythmic moments, but what puts it low on the B tier are the nanooks themselves. From a distance, they look as good as most of the others. But in closeup, they look kind of fake, especially when they're running. Which brings up to the next problem--the story is based on fossil footprints of different lines pointing in the same direction. But how do we know that those parallel tracks were made at the same time and not separated within hours, days or even weeks of each other? And while it is true that nanooks were smaller than t-rexes, their portrayals in the show were just too small. More recent consensus shows that one nanook could easily match a boss in size, if not overtop it.

"Forests" is an everywhere kind of episode. The opening scene with the austroposeidon (Austroposeidon magnificus) is not long enough to get me invested.

Then a herd of trikes (Triceratops, species unknown) visits a cave to visit a clay lick to neutralize the poisons from their plant food. But why clay? Why not salt? Herbivores can clearly deal with poisonous plants without problem, but plants lack sodium, which is why the elephants of Mount Elgon (the inspiration behind that scene) scrape the caves not for clay, but for salt.

This next scene has gotten everyone talking. A male minotaur (Carnotaurus sastrei) clears the stage to wave his arms around to impress an impossibly stoic female. Everything about that scene--from the choreography to the score--is very goofy, and that is what makes it work so well.

While it is nice to finally see the Pinocchio-rex (Qianzhousaurus sinensis) in the flesh, its hunt for bright blue corythoraptors (Corythoraptor jacobsi) is not a scene I'd be in a hurry to revisit.

The fire scene is oddly slow, the only memorable moment in the whole sequence being my first official introduction to Atrociraptor marshalli...literally just one short week before Jurassic World: Dominion predictably ruined it.

The scene with the baby Therizinosaurus is passable. While it is cute to imagine babies having a taste for honey, it just wasn't executed memorably.

The final scene, the one set on Hateg Island, slogs on in pace, with the greatest focus being a bunch of odd-looking baby zalmos (Zalmoxes robustus) running and hiding from the real star of the episode, the robust simurgh (Hatzegopteryx thambena), looking more proper than how it looked in Planet Dinosaur. One question, though--weren't pterosaur wings supposed to be rounded at the tip? Sure, they've got the hands pointing backwards, but the pointed wingtips is now believed to be an outdated picture.

So it goes without saying that years of watching a moderate quantity of Attenborough documentaries has made the watching experience of Prehistoric Planet, at least in comparison to the original Walking with Dinosaurs, a bit numb. The creature designs are good, the CGI has not faltered in its photorealism from The Jungle Book, and even the soundtrack has enough of a score to make it memorable. But it's the stories that amount to the overall numbness of the first season. They hadn't opened my eyes in the way that Walking with Dinosaurs did.

When season 2 was announced literally one year after season 1, I had my doubts. Planet Earth 2 came out literally a decade after the first Planet Earth, and the differences in filming technology and musical score clearly show that. Same for the 16 years that separate The Blue Planet from Blue Planet 2. Dynasties 2, by contrast, came way too soon after the first Dynasties, and the end result is sloppy, from the stories being set at the tedious start rather than at the steady prime to the score from the first Dynasties being reused so often that the only episode to have any new music was "Meerkat". So to find Prehistoric Planet 2 come out literally one year after Prehistoric Planet, I was concerned that it'd be as shorthanded as Dynasties 2 was. The opening episode, "Islands", kind of suffered that, but it thankfully wasn't as severe a problem.

The first segment of that episode struck me as odd because the adult zalmo looks weirdly identical to the baby model from last episode.

While it is cool to see the robust simurgh being expanded upon, I personally wish we'd stayed at Hateg Island, where they'd hunt the Transylvanian dwarf duckbill (Telmatosaurus transylvanicus) and not the funky combbill (Tethyshadros insularis).

One of season 1's most recurring complaints is "no crocodiles", which is pretty apt when you consider how diverse they were during the Cretaceous period. So to see the Malagasy armadillo (Simosuchus clarki) at all, let alone stand up against a mahjong (Majungasaurus crenatissimus), is one to remember for the ages.

This next scene is actually pretty interesting, in which we see Adalatherium, which wasn't a true mammal, but rather something hovering closely outside the taxonomic boundaries. It's a long sequence, which is just as well, because this is as new a clade to me now as the cynodont was when Walking with Dinosaurs came out.

As with in "Ice Worlds", a quick detour to Antarctica doesn't seem necessary to me, as the hunt between the Imperobator and the Morrosaurus feels more like a skim.

The last scene in the episode is my personal favorite, in which a male robust simugh stands on a sandbar to do whatever it takes to impress a mate.

"Badlands" stands out in that there are only two settings. The first one is the strongest because of how the Deccan Traps, long reputed to be the co-culprit to the fall of the dinosaur empire, has been repurposed into prime nesting estate for a herd of sauropods (Isisaurus colberti). The journey seems reckless, but volcanic sand is hot and toasty, something that a modern species of dinosaur, the megapode, also exploits as it lays its egg in the hot volcanic sand of the Solomons.

The next scene hasn't fixed on last year's problems, in which Velociraptor is still there and it still hasn't performed RPR--it just kicks an herbivore off a cliff, and that was that.

The nesting Corythoraptor scene didn't interest me, but what really bugged me was that the antagonist of that sequence was a kuru (Kuru kulla), a raptor who, like the pterosaurs on the "Coasts" episode, was based on incomplete, fragmentary specimens.

The sequence with the tarchias (Tarchia, species unknown), is a refreshing detour from the previous sequence because we have a better idea as to what they would have looked like. And to see them slog around for an oasis is a second highlight (next to the Deccan nursery).

This next scene has nothing new added from either "Time of the Titans" or "Alpha's Egg", in which a herd of baby sauropods gets picked on by larger predators on their way to the safety of the forest.

The majority of the "Freshwater" sequences I feel fit better in "Swamps". The same unnamed pterosaurs from "Freshwater" have reappeared, this time trying to fly past an approaching population of alligators (Shamosuchus djadochtaensis).

The next episode features a grizzly bear gathering of austroraptors (Austroraptor cabazai) hunting gar. It stands out as highly as it does because it shows a species of raptor that looks and acts differently from the usual velo or nych. Plus, we know many miles more about austroraptors than we do about Spinosaurus, so that is a relieving plus.

The devil frog stands out in this episode, and to see a grumpy male try to fight off a herd of goavambe (Rapetosaurus krausei) is humorous. It also deviates from the usual picture of "the frog that eats dinosaurs".

This next sequence I was very concerned the moment I saw it in the ads. Thanks to Jack Horner, the poorly-known family Pachycephalosauridae has been under very hot fire with the notion of bone sponginess being a taxonomically viable method of identification, which it really isn't because all amniotes have spongy bones in their teens. But very thankfully, this sequence does not resort to Hornerism. It shows that older males do get longer horns on the backs of their heads, not the other way around. Also, new evidence has shown that the domes may have been covered in shiny skin, so this has me asking--is the dome a boys-only trait? Could that dracorex (Pachycephalosaurus hogwartsia) skull that I saw at the Black Hills Museum just be a girl entering her sweet 16 when she died? Could those stygimoloch (Pachycephalosaurus spinifer) skulls just be those of high school footballers?

"Swamps" ended on a high note with a couple of t-rexes hunting an anatotitan (Edmontosaurus annectens) in the dark. One just walks to the duckbill, and the animal, in its panic, goes right in the direction of the other t-rex in hiding. This perfectly reflects the current understanding that t-rexes exchanged fast running for better walking. Now can we see some duckbills fighting back, please?

On May 26, The Little Mermaid came out in theaters. A day earlier, "Oceans" came out. If I were to choose, I'd stick to the latter, simply because we're treated to fresh new stories with a wider variety of mosasaurs and ammonites than any of the Walking with programs ever did. The scene with the hesperorns chasing bait fish only to have themselves be chased by bulldog fish (Xiphactinus) is a classic, but a good one. However, "X-fish"? What's wrong with "bulldog fish"? But the highlight, no doubt, is the final sequence, in which a Hoffmann's mosasaur killed a juvenile plesiosaur simply by ramming it great white style.

"Freshwater" was weak due to being sorely unfocused. "North America", by contrast, is even weaker for being too rushed. Also, the "scars make the man" narrative with the trikes bugs me the most. What justification is there for that?

This has been a very exhaustive review of Prehistoric Planet, and it's way too early for me to worry about a season 3 coming out, if there is going to be one.
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2023.06.05 02:06 AirlineSecurity My new build, hope you all like it. First ever custom loop

submitted by AirlineSecurity to pcmasterrace [link] [comments]

2023.06.05 02:03 JonathanS223 I Faced a Bone Walker and Lived

Hey all, it’s me Frank Jones again. I wrote that post a while ago about why you shouldn’t be a paranormal investigator and a lot of you liked it. Since settling into my hideaway in the mountains, life has become quiet and I thought about checking in. The plague hit us like nothing and now that everyone is wanting to travel again, I thought to say hi. I want to say thanks to all of you who commented and gave me those weird pointy thingies this social media does. Some of you even figured out my post office box address and sent me letters. I appreciate it (and don’t do it again).
The common strain among your posts was wanting to know if I had ever encountered other things as an auditor. Of course I have but I have been reluctant to tell you because I don’t want to shine some sort of light on all of it or make it sound like some romantic adventure. It’s “pissing yourself” fear all wrapped up in a waking nightmare with a side of gory terror. I am one of the few who actually made it to retirement…if that’s what you could call this life I’m living now.
But, I have nothing else to do really. Carl only visits once in a while when he’s passing through and I cannot risk any other sort of company knowing I’ve pissed off a lot of people…and things. So, I’m back on this internet board and sharing. So many are curious, I thought maybe another story can scare you all straight. This was the first time complacency almost got me and another killed.
This story takes place somewhere in the 90s in a small New England town. It was one of those places nestled along the banks of a serene river, historic brick buildings line the winding streets, their facades adorned with weathered signs that hint at the town's seafaring heritage. A place where everything smelled like either the ocean or decaying fish. I’m not going to specifically name the town to protect the young lady that may still be living there but in the heart of the town, there’s a renowned drawbridge which stands as a testament to the place’s affinity for water. Its ancient mechanisms creak and groan when allowing vessels to pass through the calm waterway. It also had some of the best outdoor markets I had a chance to stop and check out.
I didn’t pass through this part of the country that often as my boss preferred me to do the long hauls across the country but there was a dead haul nobody wanted.I took it cause I wanted a change of scenery. I was already working as an auditor and part of a loose alliance of others who investigated and dealt with any weird things. I actually had a few monsters under my belt. I honestly had the foolhardy idea that I could handle anything out there. God, I was an idiot.
The supernatural never crossed my mind until that evening, stopping to fuel up my red 1992 Peterbilt 379 and paying for the gas with the attendant and restocking up on those beef jerky sticks and coffee.
That was when I noticed her. She was a young woman about in her mid 30s looking like one of the corporate types with the short hair cut and business suit. I would have not paid her any mind if it wasn’t for the touch of apprehension on her face as she talked on one of those new fangled bright yellow Nokia cellphones. Soft strands of chestnut hair framed her face, their gentle sway moving as she glanced around while talking on the phone. As I observed her, I couldn't help but notice the way her fingers trembled slightly, when trying to get money out of her pocket. I’ve seen that type of fear before. So, like a creep, I eavesdropped on her call.
“Yes, it happened again,” she had said as the nickels finally made it to the counter to pay for her snacks. “I could have sworn there was something outside the window near the edge of the forest….no, of course the security cameras didn’t pick up anything. They’re cheap. Ronald was a skinflint when it came to things like this. Hope he’s rotting in hell wherever he is.”
My mind began to drift away, more annoyed I couldn’t get a move on it. It sounded like a problem for the police and if anything, I was gonna tell her that. It was what she said next that made me stop and brought back the reality of the world.
“Yeah. like nine or ten feet tall. I’m thinking kids are playing around with scarecrows or something. Won’t come from the edge of the forest and when I check, I can see foot impressions and stuff. I already put in a call to the cops. They found nothing.“
“Did it sway a bit and its eyes seem to glint like a cats or owl?” I asked without thinking.
The look I got from both her and the gas attendant made me realize what I had done. Well, too late now.
“I’ll call you back,” she said quickly, eyeing me as she hung up the phone and slipped it back into her purse.
“You need me to walk you to your car, ma’am?” the attendant asked, staring at me.
Of course, I forgot that The Truck Stop Killer had only been arrested a few years before.
“I’m fine, thank you,” she said, quickly gathering her stuff and making for the door. I slapped the one hundred and seventy bucks on the counter to pay for my diesel guzzler ignoring the change and followed her out but making sure to not move in a way that caused the teenager in the station to call the cops.
“Ma’am,” I called out to her and she turned to me while hurrying up her pace.
“I’ve got pepper spray. Stay away from me.”
“The thing in the woods. You could have sworn you smelled fresh dirt like mulch and it seemed to sway back and forth like it could not keep its balance.” I threw it out there in desperation.
She froze and turned to look at me. Eying me up and down as I kept my distance and angled to head towards my truck.
“How do you know?”
“I…uh…dealt with something like that before. On a job in Canada.”
“Who are you?” she asked, looking at my faded shirt and company logo. “A trucker?”
“I moonlight as a problem solver. Like an auditor of sorts.”
“Who is it?” she demanded, eyes still affixed to me and hand in her purse.
“Better question is ‘what is it?’,” I answered.
I have learned to pick up on the contempt and disbelief from people who hadn’t seen what I have. I was already being dismissed as a whack job.
“You have tracks on your porch you have written off as animals, especially if you own a dog. If you did own a dog, it’s missing. Cops told you it ran away. You got a garden?”
“Yes,” the certainty had started to leave her voice. “A walled garden.”
“And anytime you’re in there, you feel like you’re being watched.”
At that, her hand came out of her purse empty and she approached me with the fear I had seen in her eyes now on her face.
“How did you know?”
“I’d rather not explain out here,” I said sheepishly running my hand through my sandy brown hair that only started getting flecks of gray. “But you got a…pest problem.”
“And you can do something about it? I’ve had exterminators, cops, nature lovers…even a priest.”
“None of those won’t do you any good and I don’t want to scare ya but it’s more active which is not a good sign.”
For a few moments, I could see the indecision in her eyes. The desperate want to dismiss me as a lunatic but whatever she had heard or seen won over.
“Fine. You can follow me to the house.”
“Mind if I hitch a ride?”
The woman started but then looked at my truck. “Promise. I mean you no harm. I really think you’re in danger.”
That was when I found her name was Isabelle Walker.
We left my truck in long-term parking after she told the attendant that I was a long lost relative and that’s why the change of demeanor. I don’t know if he believed her but at that point, I don’t think he cared. I left my truck with its metallic frame standing tall and proud amidst the rows of other vehicles.
I did not realize how desperate this woman was until we got going on the road. I had loaded myself in the passenger seat after pulling out my military backpack from the war which I also used for my auditing services and tried to look as harmless as a man of my stature could.
For the first fifteen minutes of the drive, her focus was on the lonely road, those beautiful eyes darting to me anytime I shifted my weight. I didn’t want to scare her so it was her that spoke first.
“What is it?”
“I really don’t know but the people in my profession call it a Bone Walker.”
The nose crinkled in disbelief.
“Halloween is not for a few more months, Mister…”
“Jones. Frank Jones.”
The James Bond reference caused her to snort in amusement.
“I don’t know what to tell ya, ma’am, except I’ve dealt with some pretty scary things out there. Normally I’m never this forward as most people try to call the cops on me or dismiss me as a lunatic. I mean, I could be a lunatic but I know what I’ve seen.”
“And that is…?”
“You know. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves. They’re real. They’re not common but real nevertheless.”
There was still the disbelief in Isabelle’s voice but I grew to ignore things like this.
“Sure. I mean, think of all the things you experienced and be open to alternate answers.”
Isabelle was quiet for a few minutes and then sighed. “Either you are telling the truth or you're the biggest liar and I’m a fool that’s not going to live through this night.”
“I promise,” I tried to reassure her. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
After a few more minutes and off the main highway, we approached her home. The large house stood resolute amidst the dense, ancient forest, its weathered exterior a testament to the passing of time. It was a grand structure, its imposing presence commanding attention. The sprawling estate exuded an air of mystery and faded grandeur, as if it held stories whispered through generations.
As we pulled in, the main house loomed before me, its facade adorned with intricate woodwork and worn stone. Ivy crept along the walls, weaving an emerald tapestry that hinted at the passage of years. The windows, framed by elegant yet slightly cracked panes, stared out into the world with a mixture of curiosity and melancholy.
To the side, a large shed stood detached from the main house, its weathered boards echoing tales of forgotten tools and lost endeavors. The wooden structure sagged under the weight of time, its roof covered in a patchwork quilt of moss. Inside, shadows danced amidst remnants of a bygone era, rusty equipment and dusty shelves attesting to the once-bustling activity that had long since ceased.
Not far from the shed, a family cemetery nestled amongst the ancient trees. Tombstones, adorned with intricate carvings and weathered inscriptions, dotted the landscape. The hallowed ground exuded a solemn tranquility, as if time stood still in reverence for those who rested eternally in its embrace. Wisps of fog clung to the grassy knolls, lending an ethereal quality to the sacred space.
At the far end of the property, an old walled garden stood as a testament to the house's former splendor. Once vibrant and lush, the garden now appeared overgrown and untamed. Stone paths meandered through a sea of tangled foliage, leading to hidden nooks and forgotten corners. Dilapidated stone benches, adorned with intricate carvings, sat scattered throughout the garden, silent witnesses to a time when laughter and conversation filled the air.
As I stood amidst the silence of the forest, the house, shed, cemetery, and walled garden formed a tapestry of history and mystery. They were a testament to the ebb and flow of life, the remnants of a bygone era that clung to the present. Within their weathered walls, secrets whispered and memories danced, waiting to be discovered by those who dared to venture into their enigmatic embrace.
“Great place to be haunted, huh?” she said with sarcasm. “My ex left it to me in the divorce. Was only going to be here long enough to sell it but no one wants it and my job wants me to move to this state anyway.”
“Where are you originally from?”
“So, this is definitely a change of scenery for you,”
Isabelle only hummed back at me as she fumbled for her keys in the dying light of evening. I pulled my backpack closer to me as my eyes scanned the treeline where the shadows had begun to deepen. Nothing stood out against the silhouettes of ancient trees which was a good sign. I wasn’t too late.
Stepping through the weathered front door, I entered the interior of the old house, greeted by a mix of nostalgia and faded elegance. The air carried a hint of mustiness, a reminder of the countless years the house had to have witnessed. As my eyes adjusted to the dim light filtering through the stained-glass windows, I could make out the clash between old decor and the modern furniture Isabelle had bought.
The foyer, adorned with a worn, threadbare rug. The walls, once adorned with portraits and intricate wallpaper, now bore the markings of time's passage. The wooden banister of the grand staircase, polished with use, creaked softly under my touch as we made our way towards the living room.
Moving further into the house, I found myself in a spacious living room. Large, ornate windows which would have allowed slivers of daylight to filter through the heavy velvet curtains. The walls were adorned with faded wallpaper. An aged fireplace, its stone mantle adorned with trinkets and old photographs, served as the heart of the room.
“You want some coffee?” Isabelle asked, throwing her keys on to the coffee table. I sat down on her couch and dropped my backpack on it with a clunk.
“A lot.”
The kitchen light clicked on and I heard her moving about setting up the coffee pot. The adrenalin was now pumping through me as my mind raced. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on what a Bone Walker is but it’s a creature that usually haunts the western coast. It being so far out east was strange. I pulled out my old gun bag and unrolled it. My Stevens Model 520-30 “Trench” shotgun was the first thing I reached for as I popped open the internal pouch holding he high flash shells I was glad I packed. It was the startled sound from Isabelle that made me quickly look up.
She stood there with my coffee, eyes locked on the shotgun in my hand. I slowly held up one of the cartridges I was planning to load.
“Flash powder shotgun shells. No load. Just makes a loud noise and a bright white light. What we’re facing lives in the shadows and hates light…normally,” I had heard stories that they could strike in the day but it was extremely rare. She didn’t need to know that.
“Oh,” was her quiet response. “Do…do I need a gun?”
“You know how to use one?”
“Then it’ll do more harm than good. You got any flashlights?”
Isabelle nodded mutely, the gravity of the situation sinking in at the array of weapons and items in my pack laid out in front of her.
“Go get them.”
While she was gone, I quickly unloaded the silver bullets out of my Makarov pistol (a gift from a Viet Cong officer and a story for another time) and placed normal 9mm rounds in the clip. I had it holstered under my jacket with the two back up clips when she returned with three cheap flashlights.
“One in your hand and one in your pocket.”
“In case you drop the one you are holding.”
The woman obeyed silently.
As night fell quickly around us, I slung my shotgun over my shoulder and with Isabelle close, we made our way upstairs. There were tell tale signs I needed to check as the only advantage I had over this thing was the fact it stuck to a pattern. If it was at the stage I thought it was, there would be signs.
“Which room is yours?” I asked.
Isabelle pointed to a door down the hallway across from a large window. Approaching it, I quickly shined my flashlight at the mahogany door frame. It was the glint that caught my eye. Deep gouges in the wood.
“What’s that?” she asked.
“Claw marks,” I responded. There was no use sugar coating anything now.
“This thing was in my house?” Isabelle said horrified.
“For the last few weeks now,” I said, my nose picking up the faint odor of dirt and mud.
“Why didn’t it attack me then?”
“It wasn’t time.”
Talking was going to be the only thing to keep her focused. I had felt the world shift a bit as night fell and I needed her not to panic.
“Bone Walkers are ritualistic creatures. They are very choosy over their prey. It can take a month or two before they move in. That’s why they are so hard to catch.”
“Criteria? Like what?”
“We don’t know.”
That was the honest truth. The only reason we knew their existence and patterns was thanks to blind luck and people surviving their encounters. I showed my light around looking for other signs. Discolored stains in the corners where shadows would naturally form, healthy moss and mold that shouldn’t be there. I found a patch around her bed. She did not notice and I did not want to tell her that it probably stood over her through the night watching her sleep. The sooner I buried this thing, the better.
There was a trill of terror in Isabelle’s voice and I immediately looked to where she was. The woman was standing by her bedroom window staring out at something. I quickly moved and spotted what she saw. In the forest, at the edge of the shadow cast by the moonlight was an almost, imperceptible form. It stood nine feet, hunched over like a broken scarecrow, its owl like eyes staring back at us.
“Shit,” I muttered. Thank god we had turned on the lights as we went.
It was the flash of light and the crack of thunder that heralded the arrival of the storm. The lights of this old houses flickered which caused my belly to flop a few times. My brain was on fire as I glanced back from the lightbulb to where the creature was and found it had vanished.
“Where did it go?”
I did not have time to explain as another crack of lightning caused the lights to dim. I grabbed Isabelle roughly by the arm and yanked her back down the hallway towards the living room where I had left my stuff. We barely made it to the living room when the lights dimmed low. I grasped the glow sticks out of the bag, cracked a handful and scattered them about, their bright yellow light beginning to glow. The power then went out bathing us only in the eerie glow of the emergency lighting.
As we waited in breathless anticipation, the storm struck, its wrath manifesting in torrential rain. The mansion seemed to respond, succumbing to a power outage that plunged us into an abyss of blackness only moments before.
A trill of terror coursed through me. I knew this Bone Walker thrived in darkness, using it as a cloak to conceal its malevolence. We auditors were not sure if it actually teleported or it preferred to move in pitch darkness. I just knew that the black was our biggest threat.
For a few moments, we could only hear the ragged breathing of the two of us being drowned out by the pounding rain against shingle and glass. Isabelle had wound her hand into my jacket pocket and was gripping it tightly, I could feel her shaking with terror. I kept my shotgun gripped tightly in my hand listening for the tell tale sound of its arrival.
It was the movement out of the corner of my eye and the fact her grip got tighter on my jacket. I swiftly turned on my high-powered flashlight as I spun around and the brilliant beam pierced the obscure corner of the room. No matter what I had read or seen before did not prepare me for what I saw.
It stood there in the corner, its eight foot height engulfing that section of the house. My eyes strained as it appeared the thing was struggling to stay in focus. Its arms were too long for its body, spindly and almost to the floor while the legs appeared backwards giving it a strange forward leaning look. It wore a hunter’s long coat and trousers but through the rips and tears I could make out something squirming and moving underneath. The air filled with the stench of decaying plants and diseased vegetation. Its face was covered with what looked like the remnants of a cheap bandanna but its owl-like eyes gleaned back with malevolence.
Isabelle whimpered, her fear palpable in the room and the Bone Walker lunged toward us. Even though my fear was ripping through me like an unstoppable train, I had the sense to pull the trigger of my shotgun aimed in its direction. The flash and resounding roar painted the entire room in a brilliant black and white shadow causing every corner and edge to appear thick and vivid. The creature screamed and fell to the side into the shadow not illuminated by the weapon’s fire.
Isabelle had thrown herself on the couch and was huddled there, trembling with terror, while I moved quickly to crack a few more glow sticks and toss them into the dark corners of the room. In one, I saw its foot recoil back into the kitchen where it was darker than night itself. This was quicker than I had anticipated. The plans I had been formulating on the drive were no longer viable. I wanted to lure it to where I controlled the battlefield but that was not an option anymore. This had become a cat and mouse game and I knew this was with a predator I could not even hope to understand and had years to hone.
Out of the kitchen again this thing charged forward, relentless in its pursuit, it was trying to find a way around my light barrier which only appeared to slow it down. With shaking hands, I fired several more rounds, each blast forcing the creature to retreat and the girl to scream in terror. As soon as it retreated to a dark part of the house, I turned to where the woman of the house had been. To my horror, Isabelle's fear had gotten the best of her. In that moment of panic, she darted from the safety of the light, towards the hallway and the door outside.
“Isabelle! Stop!” I yelled trying to command her back with my voice but I doubted she heard me. Between the abject horror and the relentless rain, she was going to take her chance. A chance I knew she did not have.
I only took a step when I sensed it. The musty smell of an organic landfill overwhelmed me as the form silently darted past me, its long arm clobbering me up the side of the head. The world spun as pain burst through my brain. I felt the world tilt and fall heavily to the ground, flashlight and shotgun falling away.
As I slipped in and out of consciousness, I knew I was a sitting duck for this thing. There was no way for me to stop it from ripping me to shreds like some of the corpses I had seen. As I blinked, I came to my senses and realized I was alone. How long I had actually been on the ground, I did not know.
I sat up, my head pounding and I could see the door hanging open, the wind slamming the door on its hinges and the rain soaking the hallway floor. Struggling, I found my flashlight and gun and pulled myself together.
There was a slim chance that Isabelle was still alive. I had to think. Where would it go? I ran all the stories I could think of and then it hit me. The garden. The walled garden.
I charged into the rain-soaked night. I sprinted toward the enclosed garden at the edge of the property. As I grew closer, I saw that the rusted door was open and hope flickered in my soul. As I came to a stop, I brought my flashlight up again with my shotgun and saw it.
This creature stood there in the middle of the overgrown garden, its massive clawed hand wrapped around Isabelle’s chest and holding her up. Out from under its bandanna mask, putrid vines had appeared and led up to Isabelle’s face where they were forcing their way down her throat and up her nose. I could see the wide terror in her eyes as vines were snaking their way around her waist and I did not want to think about what they were planning to do.
I brought up the shotgun again and fired. Knowing that I had distance, the flash of light caught the creature by surprise. It shrieked as it fell back. Trying desperately not to release its prey. I did not hesitate to grab the machete at my side and hack at its arm until Isabelle fell down free of it.
It’s claw swiped at me striking me on the leg and easily tearing through my pants leaving bloody lacerations but I put the weapon point blank and fired another round. I do not know if it was the flash, the combination of the creature, or that the almighty above was looking out for me, but the creature caught ablaze from the spark.
It fell back swinging wildly as the fire spread unnaturally fast catching the plants around it on fire. Within a matter of seconds, the walled garden had become ablaze with the bone walker in the center. As I ripped the vines out of Isabelle’s mouth and dragged her towards the door, I looked up to see those owl-like eyes looking at me with such abject hatred that the look stick with me today.
I honestly don’t know how we survived. I had helped Isabelle to her porch and we both passed out against our will from the sheer terror and exhaustion. We were awoken by the sound of a siren. The lights had come back on sometime in our sleep and the rain had drifted off to a comforting drizzle. The fire was still raging in the garden but contained by the ancient walls. At least two fire trucks, an ambulance and cops were flying up the private road towards us.
This entire hunt had been ill-planned and stupid. I knew it. As the cops approached with their hand on their pistols, I knew that I had allowed my own ego to get in the way. I should have taken Isabelle somewhere else until I had done a proper reconnaissance. I shouldn’t have taken her home where it was waiting. And now, the cops were looking at two thoroughly soaked humans, one a trucker with a wound and a gun and a young lady in distress. I was pretty sure I was going to go to jail.
“Isabelle?” One of the cops and his voice caused her to sit up, relief washing over her.
“Derek!” she wailed. “We were attacked! In the garden!”
Another two cops that had arrived had taken off in that direction while Derek helped the girl up and took her towards the ambulance. The other cop with a comically large mustache looked at me with keen eyes, his hand still on his pistol, sergeant stripes glowing in the light.
“Yeah,” I said, sitting up slowly and keeping my hand away from the shotgun and trying not to show the one under my jacket. “Someone came after Mrs. Walker. They were in the garden.”
The cop watched me closely but there seemed to be a recognition in his eyes.
“You by any chance Frank Jones?”
My heart jumped and I must have looked startled as the cop’s face broke into a smile. To my relief, his hand fell away from his holstered sidearm.
“I’ll take that for a yes. My guess is you don’t remember me. Clay Wilson. Santa Fe PD, about six years ago. You helped my partner with a...problem. Nellie Nelson?”
I knew the name but the face escaped me.
“She told me you helped her audit a police union building.”
“Ah, yes,” I said, remembering dealing with the wraith and the twinge in my right arm from it’s bite.
The cop looked towards the fire that was slowly being put out by the fire fighters.
“Any chance this will be one of your audits?”
He seemed to think for a few minutes and then nodded.
“Then I think you need to grab that shotgun of yours and hitch a ride with me before too many people ask questions. Whatcha think?”
I nodded. I was not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I collected my stuff quickly from the living room and made my way back out where he was waiting. As I limped with the cop to his car, I looked towards Isabelle who was being held by the other. She gave me a look of thankfulness as the cop looked at his partner with confusion.
“Her brother’s got her,” Clay said, opening the back door for me. I was not gonna argue or fight. If he took me to jail or not.
And that was it. My leg was not as bad off as I thought and wrapped it in the back of the police car. Clay only asked where I wanted to go and he took me back to my truck. With that time, I was back on the road with that small town in the rear view mirror.
I never did find out what happened to Isabelle after that, if another creature came looking for her or if she had a chance to live in peace. I just knew that we both barely made it out alive and that was due to my own stupidity. I was furious with myself for weeks after that and told myself I wouldn’t put another person in jeopardy like that again. At least, despite my idiocy, another life was saved and another monster was put in the ground...I hoped. I never did find out if they found a body.
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2023.06.05 01:56 El3ctricalSquash “I wept for tank man.”

“I wept for tank man.”
They sure know how to pick ‘em
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2023.06.05 01:15 ISorrowDoom [Event] The Great Belarusian Game: Part I

The Great Belarusian Game: Setting the Stage

10th December, 2025 -- Minsk


Like in the olden days, the Great Powers have once again clashed. In the East, we have a wounded bear and a dragon that has not yet arisen. The American eagle rests overlooking its “dominions” on the other side of the globe. And as for us, we are innocent bystanders in this Great Game that has descended worldwide.
While the empires clash, our nation lies firmly in one camp - either subjected to immense pressure from Moscow to support their Ukraine adventure or, on the other hand, an economically handicapped country by Western sanctions. We may stand in no-man’s-land, but we will remain with no man to lead the government if things worsen.
President Lukashenko is unwell, or that’s what rumor has it. Even with the President partially unable to perform tasks properly, his family still remains the most influential in Belarus. From the riches they embezzled through suspicious business links, to fraud and whatnot. Many people, closely associated with the family, have pointed out that when the old man kicks the bucket - it may be the turn of Viktor Lukashenko to take the helm and lead the nation forward.
If we know anything about Eastern Europe, the transition of power is never that simple.

The Chess Pieces

As President Lukashenko’s health continues to deteriorate, others have begun to set the chess set. In preparation for the day of destiny, the day when the old man kicks the bucket and a power struggle begins.

The White Pawns

Just like in chess, the white pieces are going to be calling the first call; this clique, controlled by the pro-Russian elements of the security apparatus is more unified than it appears. Currently, this complex apparatus encompasses the exhaustive elements of the military and the intelligence community.
Lieutenant General Ivan Stanislavovich Tertel and Viktor Gulevich have positioned themselves as the most prominent figures of this camp. Gulevich has assembled a smaller number of military officers 120th Mechanized Brigade that have lent their support for the cause. It is precise during this “build-up” phase that loyalty is the most important factor and the exact reason why Tertel has insisted that the group remain small and cohesive. The head of the KGB will continue to operate under the assumption that if elements of the military see a clear power struggle, they will choose the group that can guarantee them a salary - and that will be the group that is able to take the keys to power the quickest.
Utilizing his connection to the elements of the Russian security apparatus, Gulevich has contacted Moscow in a bid to secure a guaranteed flow of funds should the worst happen. Moreover, in preparation for that, the Tertel-Gulevich clique has attempted to secure guarantees from Moscow that they will assist in securing the post-Lukashenko Belarus.
With the flow of information being primarily controlled by the KGB, it is almost certain that the news of this “meeting” will not be on Lukashenko’s desk in the morning.

The Black Pawns

Seeing as the black pawns are primarily made up of oligarchs that have fallen out of favor with the government, it is difficult to exactly pinpoint who has risen to any meaningful influence within the group to present himself as its leader. However, among the group, we have Alyaksandr Zaitsau who has been calling the majority of the shots.
Keeping in mind that the Moderates lack any kind of meaningful institutional support, beyond promises from higher-ups within the National Bank and Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade. What they did have, however, was someone from within the Administration that would feed them information should any of the other cliques make a move. While they couldn’t entirely rely on that single source of information, some information was still better than none. It is worth noting that Zaitsau, Dzemyanatsey, and Aleksin control a large fraction of enterprises in Belarus through the Bremino Group. With this, they have a nearly secure source of finances to fund a financial war against the Tertel clique.
What they lack is some sense of conformity, clear goals, and a cohesive plan for future operations should Lukashenko push the bucket earlier than they expect.
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2023.06.05 01:15 Mizzno [H] Games [W] Lost Ruins, Lone Fungus, Offers

For sale, for Steam gift cards (or gifted Steam Wallet balance):

For trade:
*tentatively up for trade, assuming I buy the bundle


IGS Rep Page:
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