Cv axle boot tool
2023.03.21 21:35 Ronaldo1777 My babies
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New ac condenser New wheel hubs custom front subframe New cv axles New radiator New transmission cooling lines brembo calipers still need rotors to fit stainless steel break lines new power steering line new wheel hubs have side skert and fender to put on when everything else is done powerflex bushings on front subframe its came a long way almost done submitted by Ronaldo1777 to saab [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 21:26 Nestledrink GTC 23 Megathread - NVIDIA to Bring AI to Every Industry
Highlights Main GTC 2023 Link
- http://www.nvidia.com/gtc/keynote Keynote Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiGB5uAYKAg Keynote Wrap Up
|Announcements ||Article |
|NVIDIA Announces New System for Accelerated Quantum-Classical Computing ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/nvidia-announces-new-system-for-accelerated-quantum-classical-computing |
|Signed, Sealed, Delivered: NVIDIA AI Achieves World Record in Route Optimization ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/cuopt-world-record-route/ |
|AT&T Supercharges Operations With NVIDIA AI ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/at-t-supercharges-operations-with-nvidia-ai |
|NVIDIA Announces Microsoft, Tencent, Baidu Adopting CV-CUDA for Computer Vision AI ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/cv-cuda-ai-computer-vision/ |
|Medtronic and NVIDIA Collaborate to Build AI Platform for Medical Devices ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/medtronic-and-nvidia-collaborate-to-build-ai-platform-for-medical-devices |
|NVIDIA, ASML, TSMC and Synopsys Set Foundation for Next-Generation Chip Manufacturing ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/nvidia-asml-tsmc-and-synopsys-set-foundation-for-next-generation-chip-manufacturing |
|Green Light: NVIDIA Grace CPU Paves Fast Lane to Energy-Efficient Computing for Every Data Center ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/grace-cpu-energy-efficiency/ |
|Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Chooses NVIDIA BlueField Data Center Acceleration Platform ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/oracle-cloud-infrastructure-chooses-nvidia-bluefield-data-center-acceleration-platform |
|CloudNVIDIA and Microsoft to Bring the Industrial Metaverse and AI to Hundreds of Millions of Enterprise Users via Azure Cloud ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/nvidia-and-microsoft-to-bring-the-industrial-metaverse-and-ai-to-hundreds-of-millions-of-enterprise-users-via-azure-cloud |
|NVIDIA Launches DGX Cloud, Giving Every Enterprise Instant Access to AI Supercomputer From a Browser ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/nvidia-launches-dgx-cloud-giving-every-enterprise-instant-access-to-ai-supercomputer-from-a-browser |
|AI Speeds Insurance Claims Estimates for Better Policyholder Experiences ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/ccc-ai-insurance-claims/ |
|NVIDIA Brings Generative AI to World’s Enterprises With Cloud Services for Creating Large Language and Visual Models ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/nvidia-brings-generative-ai-to-worlds-enterprises-with-cloud-services-for-creating-large-language-and-visual-models |
|Mind the Gap: Large Language Models Get Smarter With Enterprise Data ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/nemo-large-language-models-enterprise-data/ |
|Moving Pictures: NVIDIA, Getty Images to Accelerate Media With Generative AI ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/generative-ai-getty-images/ |
|Shutterstock Teams With NVIDIA to Build AI Foundation Models for Generative 3D Artist Tools ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/shutterstock-teams-with-nvidia-to-build-ai-foundation-models-for-generative-3d-artist-tools |
|Adobe and NVIDIA Partner to Unlock the Power of Generative AI ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/adobe-and-nvidia-partner-to-unlock-the-power-of-generative-ai |
|NVIDIA Unveils Large Language Models and Generative AI Service to Advance Life Sciences R&D ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/nvidia-unveils-large-language-models-and-generative-ai-services-to-advance-life-sciences-r-d |
|NVIDIA Launches Inference Platforms for Large Language Models and Generative AI Workloads ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/nvidia-launches-inference-platforms-for-large-language-models-and-generative-ai-workloads |
|NVIDIA Hopper GPUs Expand Reach as Demand for AI Grows ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/nvidia-hopper-gpus-expand-reach-as-demand-for-ai-grows |
|AWS and NVIDIA Collaborate on Building Next-Generation Infrastructure for Generative AI ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/aws-and-nvidia-collaborate-on-next-generation-infrastructure-for-training-large-machine-learning-models-and-building-generative-ai-applications |
|NVIDIA Expands Isaac Software and Jetson Platform Availability, Accelerating Robotics From Cloud to Edge ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/isaac-jetson-robotics/ |
|NVIDIA and Partners Release New Omniverse Connections, Expanding Foundation for Artists and Developers to Advance 3D Workflows ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/new-omniverse-connections-advance-3d-workflows |
|BMW Group Starts Global Rollout of NVIDIA Omniverse ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/bmw-group-nvidia-omniverse |
|NVIDIA Expands Omniverse Cloud to Power Industrial Digitalization ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/nvidia-expands-omniverse-cloud-to-power-industrial-digitalization |
|Omniverse at Scale: NVIDIA Announces Third-Generation OVX Computing Systems to Power Industrial Metaverse Applications ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/third-generation-ovx-computing-systems/ |
|NVIDIA Redefines Workstations to Power New Era of AI, Design, Industrial Metaverse ||https://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/nvidia-redefines-workstations-to-power-new-era-of-ai-design-industrial-metaverse |
|BYD, World’s Largest EV Maker, Partners With NVIDIA for Mainstream Software-Defined Vehicles Built on NVIDIA DRIVE ||BYD, World’s Largest EV Maker, Partners With NVIDIA for Mainstream Software-Defined Vehicles Built on NVIDIA DRIVE |
|From Concept to Production to Sales, NVIDIA AI and Omniverse Enable Automakers to Transform Their Entire Workflow ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/nvidia-ai-and-omniverse-transform-automakers-workflows |
|Mitsui and NVIDIA Announce World’s First Generative AI Supercomputer for Pharmaceutical Industry ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/generative-ai-supercomputer-pharmaceutical-industry/ |
|From Training AI in the Cloud to Running It on the Road, Transportation Leaders Trust NVIDIA DRIVE ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/nvidia-drive-ecosystem-growth/ |
|NVIDIA Metropolis Ecosystem Grows With Advanced Development Tools to Accelerate Vision AI ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/metropolis-ecosystem-growth-accelerates-vision-ai |
|NVIDIA Studio at GTC: New AI-Powered Artistic Tools, Feature Updates, NVIDIA RTX Systems for Creators ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/omniverse-generative-ai-unity-blender-connectors/ |
|Fresh-Faced AI: NVIDIA Avatar Solutions Enhance Customer Service and Virtual Assistants ||https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2023/03/21/avatar-solutions-enhance-development/ |
Highlighted GTC Sessions
|Title ||GTC Session Link |
|Connect with the Experts: Announcing the Jetson Orin Nano devkit for Edge AI – Deep Dive Q&A w/ Jetson Engineers [CWES52132] ||Session Link |
|Fireside Chat with Ilya Sutskever and Jensen Huang: AI Today and Vision of the Future [S52092] ||Session Link |
|3D by AI: Using Generative AI and NeRFs for Building Virtual Worlds [S52163] ||Session Link |
|Change the World With a Career in AI [SE52162] ||Session Link |
Enjoy GTC 23!
submitted by Nestledrink
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2023.03.21 21:04 jmg876 Parts these days... (Good news,bad news, bit of a rant)
I would like to start off by saying that I have the utmost respect for professional mechanics and DOY'ers alike, and have nothing against the people who work fowith Toyota, as I truly love my car and the product and would never trade mine in. With that said, I value having a Toyota technician work on my car for some things that are hard/impossible to do yourself while living in an apartment and just to know that it's something they do every day and are competent.
However, I find it a bit disheartening that sometimes (in my experience) the price of parts is exponentially more expensive at the dealership. I was quoted $1500 for two CV axles from the dealership and subsequently found ones online for $200 (free shipping or 48 hour local pickup). And these were marked "OEM", there were "ECONOMY" ones for cheaper.... How have we come to this? 😞
submitted by jmg876
to Toyota [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 20:45 TheArcadeStriker F-Zero AX is finally properly emulated through new Dolphin Triforce builds!
Hey! This rolled out back in January, but I only found out in February...and now that we just got to March, thought on sharing it here.
The old Dolphin Triforce branch worked for a long, long while to play Mario Kart Arcade GP, GP2 and the Virtua Striker games on PC...but F-Zero AX was the one exception to this. I had documented how the second to last Triforce Dolphin version worked but in a very broken state with the game before (as the latest version back then didn't even boot the game), but crediar made a new Dolphin Triforce branch based off the new 5.0 builds that work with F-Zero AX, card reader support included! Demo video with standard gameplay Custom Track + T-Drift in Action Beta GX Twist Road + more T-Drift in action
The reason I thought on sharing these news here since I happened to finish a quick guide over setting it up
covering the control mapping, test menu and card support stuff, and the basic steps over getting FZAX to launch; the Triforce AM Baseboard stuff really applying to all Triforce games through this emulator for that matter. This surprisingly hasn't been talked about that much or even documented, which is why I thought into sharing this here.
And if there's any diehard F-Zero fan reading this thinking "man I hope that they don't say AX is inside GX as a code because that's just menus and not the physics included", I did cover that in it at the last minute of the guide knowing that it has been an eternally spread misconceptio. It does make sense with how obscure the game is and looks very similar to GX (as well as only being playable in real hardware, and only could be played in a Wii with Nintendo after a few years ago), but if you do get to research/stumble with the tech stuff specific to AX then you'll see how silly (and different) it is from GX, as well as finding beta GX content buried in the game that can be accessed with Gecko codes :)
In any case, it has been YEARS since those last Dolphin Triforce builds had been released without any updates, which is why I thought it would make someone's day to finally find out about this if they hadn't already. Oh, and the precompiled builds
I linked at the description are only for Windows, but I'm guessing that it is possible to build for other platforms as the source code is available
submitted by TheArcadeStriker
to emulation [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 20:39 Coldkone Some weird thing happened to my motherboard today when I tried to clean install Windows 11
Hi. Today I was installing windows 11 on a computer that already had a Fedora linux installation. I created the installation usb stick using windows creation tool on another computer. I booted from the usb stick and started to install. After a while, windows complained that the installation could not be continued, and threw me to the windows installation start screen. So I decided to restart the computer by pressing the "close" button in windows installation, and the computer restarted normally.
However, after this restart, pop-up came to my screen from UEFI which says that "invalid signature detected. check secure boot policy". I wondered a lot about this and after this, I got thrown to the bios front page. I Shut down the computer inside bios and the same warning showed up again. Now the usb stick doesn't work anymore. This also broke my linux bootloader since there isn't any boot options. When I turned off the computer in the bios menu by pressing the computer button for couple of seconds (force shutdown), I noticed that the my mouse and my usb dvd drive remained spinning even though the computer was shut down. I turned off the power from the back of the machine, and when I turned it on, the same thing happened again. I haven't changed any bios settings, and this has never happened to me before.
What is causing this? Has my bios been infected, or did I actually manage to break my whole BIOS? I use an ASUS B-550 motherboard.
I would really appreciate your help.
submitted by Coldkone
to techsupport [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 20:19 Lanzen_Jars A job for a deathworlder [Chapter 107]
; [Discord + Wiki]
Chapter 107 – A Patron Saint
“[…] with the leadership of many territories claiming that the muted response to the thread is once again a blatant showing of the Community-Leadership’s clear bias against Deathworld affairs. Loratexach Echtsesimm, the current leader of the united Lachaxet territories, even went so far as to call it, quote: “A kick to the face for all those of us seeking to live in a peaceful unity.”
Meanwhile other deathworld groups, like the occupants of the only known Class V deathworld, the Ligormordillar, are trying to quell the conflict and urge their fellow deathworlders to make a measured response, pointing to the lack of any concrete evidence when it comes to the recent events, and asking to give authorities a bit more time to investigate things. However, the accusations of corruptions that emerged in the last quarter have many people questioning how much the current Acting Galactic Council can truly be trusted with the investigations, and calls for the addition of independent investigations are becoming louder,” an Urounaek news caster professionally read off the seemingly endless lines of texts on her teleprompter, while b-footage of recordings of the sitting governments of a diverse number of species played in the background. “Surprisingly, humanity, the largest accuser of corruption in the Galactic Council as well as a front runner in the proclaimed fight for the extended rights of people and especially deathworlders that feel ousted by the Community, and also one of the Myiat’s currently closest military allies, have so far made no official statements or press-releases about the incidents, apart from damming the attack as a violation of intragalactic law as well as the laws of war.”
James passively allowed himself to be doused by the white noise of the TV that Shida had basically been glued to for the last days while he checked through his messages and mails on his phone and laptop. Of course, any of his addresses and contacts that had at some point been public in some way had been absolutely bombarded with a torrent of spam, threats, offerings, accusations, and even more spam. It was a daunting task to sift through all of the messages in an attempt to pick out the few of them that could possibly be useful every day, especially since those were extremely few and far in between, however, he still did it. On the one hand, he did it because he felt that it was his duty to leave nothing untried, no stone unturned, and no resource unused in these dire times they found themselves in. On the other hand, it was a quite time- and labor-intensive yet still comparatively easy task that he could easily waste away hours with without feeling like he was being unproductive.
Of course, all the really important messages he received would be forwarded to him through his more secure contacts that just select people had access to, and therefore the things he did find in his private messages were usually rather menial in comparison, however it was still something.
His hopes of not feeling so left out and abandoned anymore now that shit had thoroughly hit the fan had sadly been short-lived, as it quickly became clear that any broadcasts and statements to the outside world when it come to the topic at hand would be made by actual diplomatic professionals and not by-circumstance Ambassadors that had basically stumbled into their role.
…Which was honestly fair enough, James had to admit. Certainly, people who did this for a living had a much lower chance of screwing everything up and making things even worse than they already were than he did.
However, that did little to quell the nervous and anxious energy within him that just begged to be released in some productive way.
“While official governmental replies are being released by the hundreds by individual species, many collaborative political groups have also proclaimed their intentions to react to the current tensions caused by the attack on Dunnima. For example, many order-collaborations have been sending out invitations for emergency-conferences to possibly discuss a united reaction and collaborative measures to help ease the Galactic Tensions between their members; among others, the collaborative councils of the Tetsudines, Psittacines, Corvids, Hymenoptera, Canines, Skitellifera, Estotsucuvae, and Primates will be gathering within the week to discuss possible measures. Additionally, for the first time in about 12 uniform years, a recently founded, provisional ‘council of deathworlders’ is also inviting possible participants to a first conference, after having reportedly struggled to find an adequate venue for such an event for a few uniform months. This council is the thought-child of representatives of the Lachaxet, Ligormordillar, Roosh’gaack, and Teracheponn territories, who are now trying to get representatives of as many deathworlds as possible to take part in it, claiming it as an important step towards future collaborations between the so-designated worlds and people.” “I wonder who they’re going to invite,” Shida commented as she tensely leaned forwards and absorbed the news with great concentration, her ears opening widely to not miss a single detail. Inside, she was just as rearing to go as James was. But just like him, she was also bound to the orders they were being given. So far, they had both not been called in to reinforce the fleets that were either stationed to more intensely control the borders of their own unified borders or sent out into the cosmos to reinforce the myiat’s defenses after the first attack. However, the military base in Lorraine that they had been staying at for a while now had certainly become a lot emptier ever since the attack, leaving basically only instructors, very fresh recruits and essential personnel behind. And themselves, of course. The constant tramping of boots outside of their doors had been replaced by an eerie emptiness, and their regular trainings-sessions that
they had along with other occupants had also
run dry, as most of the people on a similar level to them had received orders to move. And working with actual trainees didn’t exactly have a lot of appeal to it either. “They have plenty of options,” James mumbled while his eyes flew across rows and rows of recently received mails, going back hour by hour that he had slept while sifting through piles and piles of junk. Finishing off with the mail-service he had used during his Uni-days without having found anything of note, he then switched over to the next tab, where he had opened his miraculously still not out of service work-mail that had been assigned to him during his in hindsight very brief time of working on the G.E.S.-32. He had no idea why exactly it was still in service, but as long as he received messages to it, he was going to check them, even if so far, this had by far been the least useful of his addresses when it came to receiving any messages of actual note. And indeed, it was once again basically all junk. Spam, a death threat, a very angry email from a former coworker, spam, more threats, a clearly fake solicitation from some firm he had never heard of, some news-channel trying to get an interview with him, spam, another news channel, spam, even more threats, spa- He paused for a moment as his cursor hovered over a mail he had apparently received about five hours ago, that had the very brief and uninformative title of “You are invited.” Usually, he would’ve almost instantly disregarded it as clearly some form of spam, however after what he had just heard on the news, it made him raise an eyebrow and quickly check the address it was sent from. Lifting the eyebrow even further as he saw an actual, official government address, he clicked on the mail to open it up. Slowly, his eyes read over the neat lines of text that had been revealed to him, his eyes getting wider and expression becoming more confused and disgruntled by the moment. Was this a joke? “What’s up?” Shida asked, apparently having noticed his expression changing, and just as anxious to do something as he was, she immediately stood up and walked over to him to glance at his screen while her tail swiftly flailed through the air. “One of the threats getting too personal?” James shifted his lips as he gathered his thoughts to reply. “No, I was invited to one of those conferences,” he said, and his eyes quickly double-checked if this invitation was actually addressed towards him and hadn’t just accidentally landed with the wrong person by some sort of blunder. Shida glanced at him in mild confusion, her yellow eyes scanning over his face while trying to read his thoughts from it. “The Deathworld one? That’s not surprising, is it?” she commented with a flick of her ears, before pressing up to his side a bit closer so she could lower herself in a position that would allow her to more easily peek at his mails. “Not only are you a deathworlder, you’ve also been a pretty public figure when it comes to the public fight for more rights. Hell, you probably inspired them to found that whole thing in a way, so of course they want you along for the ride.” James scoffed slightly and turned his screen so she could look at it. “Well, if it was that, I wouldn’t be surprised,” he said and waited a second for Shida to read, seeing her face also slowly turn into a more confused one as she realized what the invitation he had received was for, before he added, “But this is from the council of primates.” Shida looked at the message for a little longer before turning only her eyes towards him. “What the hell do they want?” she asked with clear distrust in her voice. James just shrugged. “A trap? Appeasement? Publicity? Options are numerous,” he said with an exhausted exhale before switching the tab yet again to log into his ‘professional’ mail services, copy-pasting the text of the invitation before forwarding it to a pre-prepared list of people that should probably be informed about this. Shida hissed through her teeth and stood up straight again. “Are you going?” she asked, crossing her arms and glancing down at him. “If I have a say in this? Absolutely,” James replied after hammering the ‘send’ button.
Anything to get out of here and do something at this point. Besides, it would probably give him the opportunity to give some people some serious stern talkings to. “Buuuuut you know how this goes.” “We should keep an eye open who else might get invited to something,” Shida commented after acknowledging his reply with a huff but not responding to it. James nodded. In his periphery, he noticed how Shida’s fingers were starting to dig into her arms as her grip likely inadvertently tightened, and he reached out to rub his hand against her side, wordlessly aiding her with relaxing. “They have plenty of options,” he repeated his earlier statement as he opened the invitation one more time. “You are invited. James Aldwin, Ambassador of Earth by community tradition, you have been officially invited to the emergency conference of the council of primates. Given recent events, the council has decided it is imperative to coordinate a response among the members of our esteemed order. As humanity has so far not had a representative in the council of primates, it has been decided to extend an invitation to you for this conference. This invitation officially grants you access to the venue on Nedstaniot-Station and makes you eligible for a support-fund covering the traveling costs for you and an accompanying group of up to ten (10) companions of your choosing. Should you accept this invitation, please contact us under one of the council of primate’s official addresses to receive access data to the necessary accounts as well as a detailed plan of the venue and scheduled events. Should you not accept this invitation, a message of your declining is not strictly necessary, but always welcome to aid in planning. I hope this message finds you well and am looking forward to possibly meeting you at the venue. Sincerely Klanneifer FF of the Tiasonko. Success to you!” Well, if they weren’t going to regret that…
Alexander clutched the necklace around his neck tightly as he looked into the mirror, taking deep breaths to quell his nerves. Yes, he was nervous. Extremely so in fact. He thought that he would be excited previously, but now that the time had come, he could feel only the nerves. Well, maybe that was understandable. Something like this really didn’t happen every day, after
all. “God, give me strength,” he prayed silently with his hands clutching the symbol of his faith even tighter. Then, he took a minute to, one last time, check if his hair was in place and his robes were immaculate. He couldn’t make a fool out of himself on an occasion like this, after all. His own blue eyes stared back at him from the mirror sternly. Scrutinizing. As if he was judging himself. And he should. After all it was a big day. Taking a moment to judge oneself was important in moments such as this, lest you get complacent
and started to make the wrong choices. Soon after, there was a knock at the door. “Father Mokoena is beginning his sermon, Alexander,” a muffled voice said from the other side. “You should be ready for when you are called upon.” Alexander exhaled deeply and took one last look at the mirror, his gaze wandering from his own eyes down to the pendant around his neck. “I’m on my way,” he then assured the
Brother waiting outside, before stepping away from the dresser with a flourishing movement of his robes. As he stepped out of the cloakroom, brother Anders slightly bowed to him, before stretching out a robed arm to guide him in the right direction. The brother was of the older sort, yet he had held his body in a shape worthy of a temple. Thinning and greying rose-blond hair did little to distract from that, as his wide frame could easily be spotted even through the loosely fitting robes. A man of devotion in more than one way. Alexander moved in a slow and measured way, his head held high, as Brother Anders guided him through the branched and tight back hallways of the old theater that they were holding today’s sermon in. As they got closer to the stage, Alexander could already hear the booming voice of father Mokoena as he addressed the masses from his place on the stage. It was no microphone he heard there, no amplifiers or other speakers. Only the impeccable voice of a devoted preacher. Despite his age, the man had pipes like the largest organ, and still he was speaking at a volume that Alexander wasn’t used to from him. Inhaling deeply, he swallowed for a moment. Hopefully the people would even be able to hear him when he spoke. He certainly couldn’t bellow like the father could. Then again, this was a theater. Maybe his voice would be carried further by the acoustics than he anticipated. It was rare for him to speak in a place like this, after all. For a moment, Alexander thought about houses of faith. All the temples, churches, mosques, synagogues and whatever else he had visited throughout his life. Their large, marbled halls. Their magnificent decorations. The instruments and loudspeakers and all the other tools they were equipped with for impressive…performances. That is what he had always called them. Performances. All those people just playing at faith while all they truly worship was their own selfishness. And yet here he stood in the backrooms of a theater, watching as a father Mokoena gave a sermon on a literal stage and waiting for his cue to join him in the spotlight. What ironic twists fate could take. The theater had been the most sensible option of a place that was for rent for one night and also held enough seats for this many people to come together. Still, he wondered if maybe they should have swallowed the tougher pill and looked for something else. For his liking, this was a bit too close to making a mockery of the event.
The ‘houses of God’ may have been a sinful sham, but was this really much better? Still, what was done was done. And while reflecting on past mistakes was certainly a virtue, getting stuck on them was most decidedly not. They were here now, so they would use what they had. He and Anders finally came to a halt right at the side of the stage, hidden behind the large, red curtain that could be used to cut the stage off from view.
Of course, today, it would stay wide open for the entire time, allowing everyone to witness. “Are you nervous?” Brother Anders quietly asked him, leaning in close to whisper so there was no chance of his voice leaking out and disturbing the Father’s sermon. Alexander smirked in slight anxiousness. “Of course, I am,” he confessed honestly. “It’s not every day you get to make proclamations this weighty…or enemies this powerful.” “Are you afraid of them?” Anders then asked with an almost pitiful look at Alexander, who sighed deeply. “Of course, I am,” he confessed yet again. “I’d be a fool not to be.” The task before him was grand, and his foes, in a way, even grander. There was a reason that the realized that had plagued Earth once upon a time had taken the name of heaven’s general for itself. They were powerful. And they knew it. And that was not even mentioning the force of Earth’s armies, that could turn against them on a whim of fate. Masters over the forces of nature. The undisputed leaders of destructive power.
Those who had managed to best such a powerful being before. Yes, he was afraid. But overcoming fear was a virtue as well. Meanwhile, the sermon was starting to whip up into a louder cadence, as Father Mokoena seemingly began to introduce the important part of the evening. “[…] Many years has he studied and prayed and silence, following the will of our Lord by standing by and reflecting. Keeping humble. Keeping modest. And he has developed into a fine man of faith. Eighteen years of serving and studying under our faith, hidden away in the dark and obscure, waiting for the event that would catalyze his becoming! Now it has finally come. And with it came the time for him to step out into the light! Please welcome with me, oh children of the Lord, our newest ‘Guide’! Guide Alexander Paige!” the Father loudly announced and lifted his arm in the direction of where Alexander still stood out of sight. The bald head of the dark-skinned man reflected the spotlights above while his modest robes swung around from the energetic movement. Meanwhile, Alexander took a deep, calming breath. “Best of luck, Guide Alexander,” he could hear Brother Anders next to him say, and he respectfully bowed to the man before advancing out of the shadows and into the light. His eyes narrowed strongly, and he had to resist the urge to lift his hand in order to protect them from the blinding light that no
w blared down on him. Of course, he did his best to keep his respectful and reverent expression before the Father, however he wasn’t quite able
to entirely resist the pain of the rays stinging into his sight. Still, he advanced with quick yet collected steps all the way up to the side of the Father. “Don’t scream,” he told himself as he prepared his throat for how loud he would have to talk to be heard in a place such as this. The lights were so bright and the rest of the room so dark that he couldn’t see those listening to him, but he still knew they were there. Hundreds of them. Another failure of this chosen venue. He couldn’t even see the faces of those that would listen to his words. How could he claim to speak to them if he couldn’t even look them in the eyes? Well, it was too late now. “Thank you, Father,” Alexander loudly announced as he had finally reached the man, and he did his best to talk as loudly as possible without it escalating into shouts. It was hard to gauge how far his voice carried in this room, and he silently prayed that he would be understood. The Father then reached out his arm, offering his old, worn hand to Alexander. Alexander reciprocated the gesture, taking the Father’s hand with his right, while positioning his left underneath, pressing its palm up against the father’s wrist. Meanwhile, the father lowered his left onto Alexander’s wrist from above, holding his hand as if he was blessing it. “Alexander!” Father Mokoena loudly greeted him, and Alexander almost flinched at the intensity of his voice up close. If that was what it took to be heard around here, then his own words would merely come across as a whimper. He truly hoped that the old preacher was just overdoing it with
his enthusiasm. “You have finally found your treacherous sea, it seems!” “Indeed,” Alexander replied and really just couldn’t measure up to the Father’s incredible voice no matter how he tried. What an impressive organ. “And I am prepared to guide my fellow men through it, towards safer ventures.” “And the Lord shall bless your path!” the Father proclaimed, before taking his hands off of Alexander’s again. “May the Lord bless your path,” a gentle echo came from the unseen crowd. “And yours as well,” Alexander replied quickly, having almost forgotten to do so given the stressful situation. The Father nodded deeply, before stepping away from Alexander and in front of the crowd again for a second, as he raised his arms high and declared, “Tell us about your treacherous path, Guide Alexander, so we
veer from it with you!” Then, with another flourishing movement of his robes, he stepped back and aside, leaving Alexander basically alone in front of the many unseen eyes watching him. Even after years of waiting, he wasn’t truly prepared for this. For the briefest of moments, he imagined just walking off. But no. He had to do this. This is what he had lived for. His entire life up until now had led up to this moment. “I am telling you all no secret when I say that the recent time
s have been turmoil filled ones,” he began to speak, getting right to the matter at hand without any greetings or big introductions. The air around him felt heavy, and the room was so quiet whenever he didn’t speak that he could hear the lights above softly buzzing with electricity. The old wood under his feet gently cracked whenever he shifted his weight, and he was sure that it could be heard all the way up in the top rows whenever it happened. “As all of you who have come together here know, we stand in front of a huge danger. You do not need a guide to tell you that treading in the domain of a realized leads to peril. Such an affront needs no explanation on my side.” He swallowed heavily, truly hoping that they had not all come together to hear him proclaim that he would guide them against the A.I. That was simply no task for a
Guide. Yet hopefully the others understood this as
well and did not think that he was avoiding the threat in order to pick an easier mission for himself. After all, he would still gain its ire with his words, he was sure, even if it was not his declared danger. Swallowing again, he continued, “No, I am here today to talk with you about something else. About someone else. Someone whose words have touched
many; and influenced even more. A man who was thrust into conflict against his will. Hurtled into the chaos, he fought, and the galaxy shook before him.
A man known to the entire Galaxy obviously needs no introduction, but I would still like to take a moment to list James Aldwin’s achievements to give you a better picture of what I am talking about. Before his life was thrust into conflict, he used to dedicate his time to the improvement of life. He took some of nature’s gifts, and he used them to make new things that would aide people in need. Medicine was his claimed goal, and although he never got to reach that state, he had the clear intention to make life easier for many with his inventions, caring little for where they came from. Then, after his life changed for the worse, his focus shifted. Instead of trying to safe the ill somewhere in the future, he instead dedicated himself to saving people right here and now.”
Talking himself up into a bit of a frenzy, Alexander began to walk back and forth on the stage without even fully realizing that he was doing it. The blinding spotlights were still turning everything that wasn’t the stage into a dark, blocked out void. Night had been separated from day, and he was standing in the sun.
“He turned his focus onto those he thought to be like him,” he explained, starting to make wide gestures with his arms that caused his robe to move in flowing downward waves, embellishing his movements even further. “Those whose lives had been thrown into chaos through no doing of their own. Those born into it. Those ousted. Those who felt ‘othered’ by the world. The pariahs. He promised them acceptance, with little care for who they were.”
He then stopped his pacing for a moment to fully face the crowd, his gaze turning upwards so they would all be able to see it.
“Even when faced with one of our world’s greatest calamities asking him to take it in, he did not cave,” Alexander proclaimed, and he could feel himself tapping into potential of his lungs that he didn’t know he had within him, as his voice boomed throughout the theater. “Despite knowing of the danger in his path, he walked it all the way. Truly, what kind of man is it that will turn no one away? What kind of man who puts himself on the wayside to help others? What kind of man that cares not for who or how?” “A Saint!”
a booming echo came back from the crowd, and Alexander could feel the vibrations of their roar beneath his feet as it rolled over him.
“Indeed,” he replied to the people. “After seeing the path he walked, I say that his actions are worthy of nothing less than sanctity!”
A sound came back from the crowd that was hard to describe. It was neither jeering nor cheering, but something entirely in between. A deep rumble that filled the air with almost nonsensical noise as it escaped the mouths of hundreds of people who reacted to his declaration.
Alexander now lifted his arms in a wide arch, as if he wanted to beckon the crowd into an embrace.
“By the Ministry of the Church of the Failed Savior, bestowed upon me as your new Guide, I hereby proclaim James Aldwin as the Patron of Realized Sapience!” he loudly declared, and the noise of the crowd picked up in intensity.
He took a deep breath while letting the sound slowly fade out, although he didn’t wait for the people to be completely quiet before he let his arms sink again and continued in a milder tone.
“Sanctity is a dangerous path,” he said as he began to slowly pace along the stage again, this time with collected, measured movements. “The Saints walk it, and they invite all who will to follow. They do not warn them of the danger. In fact, they encourage all to face it. Proclaiming their path as the right one, they tell all who follow to not stray from it, no matter the danger. It is a dangerous thing indeed, such a Saint.”
He stopped again, but this time, he didn’t face the crowd. Turned to the side, he stared straight ahead, his eyes fixating on a part of the folded, red curtains while his mind went to a different place.
“Saint Aldwin believes himself to walk the right path, and nothing is holy to him, neither on Earth nor in Heaven, man made or God given, but that which allows him to follow it,” he said, still loud, but a lot more restrained in emotion. “He believes himself to be a protector. A shepherd. A…savior.”
This time, the jeering of the crowd was palpable, as the ground once again shook with it. Any sense of good will had disappeared from the noise.
Now, Alexander waited for it to completely die down. Calm and quietly, he stood there without moving a muscle for minutes on end while the sound gradually faded out.
Only when he could have heard a pin drop in the enormous room did he speak up again.
“As your new Guide, I promise to show you the way to the safe road. I promise to disarm traps and sweep away obstacles in your way. I promise to keep my sight on the destination, and to always point you in the right direction should you stay. And…” he paused for a moment to take a deep breath, before he continued louder than before, lifting his head high as he did so. “And I promise to veer you off the paths of all the Saints and Doomed to Fail Saviors who would have you walk with them into hell!”
A cheering broke out in the crowd, going so far that some of the people began to drum their feet on the ground in a wild, rhythmless thunder.
Meanwhile Alexander turned around to face the man behind him.
Father Mokoena had a wide smile on his wrinkled face as he walked back up to him, his hand extended. As they repeated the same gesture they had given each other earlier, the Father loudly announced,
“God bless your path, Guide.”
“Thank you, Father,” Alexander replied with a deep nod. “I am going to need it.”
After a moment, they let go off each other’s hands again, and Alexander wordlessly walked back off the stage, while Father Mokoena already loudly addressed the crowd again.
Behind the curtain just off the stage, Brother Anders was still waiting for him.
“A captivating speech,” the muscular man complimented him with a brief faux applause he hinted at with his hands, not actually clapping so he wouldn’t disturb the sermon. “But was that a reference I spotted in the middle of it there?”
Alexander scoffed at the man.
“All speeches have references,” he said while he passed the Brother, folding his hands behind his back as he went.
Anders looked after him in mild confusion.
“Aren’t you going to stay and hear the sermon?” he asked as Alexander was already disappearing away from the stage again.
“My faith is between me and our Lord,” Alexander explained as he shook his head. “My prayer does not need an advocate.”
No, instead of wasting time listening to a sermon of prayers that he could speak himself, he decided to instead use it to look after those who were in need of his guidance.
Walking back to from whence he came, he passed his earlier cloakroom and traversed the hallways all the way to a larger, much more open changing room, that would usually most likely house droves of actors or other performers in marvelous costumes before they would go out on stage to dazzle the masses.
Today, however, it was home to a much sadder sight.
Laid out on two benches, surrounded by their peers, were two truly pitiful casualties of conflict. As he walked in, their ears twitched and they began to look up in erratic movements, their muscles twitching and shivering as if under immense stress from just the simple movements, and even after their head was lifted, it was stuck in a constant quiver.
Meanwhile, their far healthier compatriots also turned towards him, their gazes dark and eyes sharp, while their agitated tails whipped through the air like angry flails.
“How are you feeling?” Alexander asked the first of the two clearly ill myiat who met his gaze.
“According to the…circumstances,” the man replied, his voice about as jittery as his posture as he spoke. His name was Mirrakshra. A good man, suffering a bad fate.
Meanwhile, one of their healthy compatriots, a dark-skinned fellow with a scar from a cut right over his cheekbone that had accompanied Alexander since back on Dunnima, glared at Alexander with fiery eyes as he saw the kind of robe he wore.
“If you’re going to try some sort of faith-healing bullshit, then I swear to-“ he began, however Alexander cut him off harshly.
“You shouldn’t swear, Eskfotarra. Not on heaven or on Earth,” he reprimanded him with firm words. Then he smirked, “You may promise to harm me all you like, however. But no, that’s not why I’m here. I’m not a fool. I know I can’t work miracles. I simply worry about his wellbeing.”
“It’s al..alright,” Mirrakshra quelled the worries of his friend. “Y-y-you got news?”
Alexander exhaled disappointedly.
“Sadly, yes,” he said and looked away. “It seems that some of our allies have…how do you say…jumped the gun? They attempted to exterminate the affront prematurely, and in the process, have only made it all the more enduring, it seems.”
Eskfotarra scoffed and his ears twitched slightly as his tail slowed to a gradual sway.
“So, she’s out now?” he correctly assumed, and the smirk on his face told of him not finding those circumstances all too disagreeable. An unfortunate choice, but his to make.
“Indeed,” Alexander replied. “And at the scale we’re currently working at, I’m afraid it’s going to be hard to stamp it out.”
By now, the AI might have infected the entire Galaxy. There was no telling of the kind of hardships they would soon face because of it.
However, Eskfotarra just glanced down at his ill friends again as his grimace soured.
“And Aldwin?” he asked darkly.
Alexander lifted his arms with open palms and shrugged.
“Hidden away where we cannot reach him, at least for the moment,” he explained.
The myiat aggressively clicked his tongue and hissed through his teeth.
“Then when will we be able to reach him?” he asked, his claws unfurling on his arm, cutting into the sleeve of his shirt. “It’s high time that he answers for a lot of things.”
In a picture that should be grotesque but could only be described as empathetic, the quivering, injured feline laying before him looked up at his healthy friend with pity, while wrath seemingly consumed Eskfotarra.
“I’m sure he would agree with you there,” he pointed out, seeing as Aldwin had never been shy to point out his own misdeeds. “That is why sooner or later, he is going to make it possible. The danger is the nature of a Saint.”
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2023.03.21 19:43 MuHiie Corrupted SSD? data recovery
Yesterday, my PC froze, threw Blue screen and i couldnt boot anymore. Couldnt even get in the bios. If i would try to start the PC, the PC would start no problem - fans turn, lights turn on but nothing - just black screen. I couldnt even turn the PC off with power button - had to use switch on power supply. I found out that its all done by my boot drive SSD - if disconnected, i could boot to BIOS no problem - with it connected = frozen PC. So i insalled new windows on new disc and today i bring my external drive to USB thing and tried to recover data from it. It tries to show up for 1s, freeze my new windows, disconnect mouse and keyboard and after 1 minute it just dont appear anymore. Drivers resets and everything works but i simply cant open that damm drive! It simply dont show anywhere, not even in Disk manager.
Is there a tool, that i could use to just get my data from it? The SSD is Samsung Evo 850, 250Gb, around 7-8y old, so i could probably change earlier to newer disk but it had only around 25TBW of data on it! I still thinks its corrupted windows so i still have hope to recover atleast something from it.
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2023.03.21 19:30 9atoms Modern network installation of Windows XP
I work with old Industrial machinery that needs to run XP for various reasons and I find myself needing to fresh install XP from time to time. I was wondering if there is a way to install XP over a network without: A. needing to copy the installer files to a local disk, B. deploying an image using Windows based software, or C. Avoid Windows and perform this install from a Linux/Unix machine.
The Windows installer has the two stages: the blue screen DOS looking installer that boots from CD, formats the disk and writes the initial Windows files to disk and then reboots into the GUI setup which finishes configuring Windows.
Is there a 3rd party tool that performs the initial file copy from an existing iso over a network? Basically cut out that DOS looking installer and use a thing to format the disk NTFS or FAT32, copy the files, setup boot loader then reboot into the GUI installer. It feels like this tool should exist already. This way when I need XP I just load it from my server and not worry about keeping XP USB drives or wonky media creation.
And I would also really appreciate it if someone has any links or info on the technical aspects of the XP and 2k installer as I'd like to see if this is something that could be implemented.
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2023.03.21 19:14 Lazy-Personality4024 Orphan Chapter 2
First Previous Chapter 2: Now Is Found
The moment the Into the Black entered Sol, the human’s home system, various transmissions and radio signals poured in. At first, the captain and the rest of the crew thought that humanity was well and truly alive. But upon closer inspection of the deluge of signals they were receiving, they realized they were nothing more than automated warnings, echoes, and ghost signals bouncing around the countless derelict ships, stations, habitats, and arcologies that surrounded nearly every world and moon in the system. The place was a mass grave, far greater than any of the previous systems. In fact, this system was the most developed Ohmata had ever seen. The Galactic Union’s capital is the most advanced system in the GU, and it pales compared to the level of development of the human home system!
The sheer amount of death and destruction was frightening. Entire fleets worth of ships clumped together in the void of space. Their own mass creating a small gravity, pulling them together and fashioning massive hulks. While also creating hazardous clouds of metal debris, more than a few moving fast enough to rip the Black to shreds, should they not be vigilant. Constructs the size of cities floated aimlessly, stuck within the confines of the star’s influence. Mobile defense platforms, which once bristled with the finest weapons humanity could field, lay battered and broken amongst the many wrecks that called Sol home. Humanity did not go down without a fight, that much was for certain. If anyone ever called them cowards, Ohmata would simply show them the recorded footage of their home system to prove the naysayers otherwise.
There looked to be more metal strewn about from the battles and destroyed ships alone than in every GU fleet combined, and more than a few worlds, too. The difference in the ships was obvious. The human vessels were boxy, utilitarian. They did their jobs, and they did them well. Many of which appeared to be nothing more than massive guns someone built a ship around, then put more guns on that.
The Nemesis were different; they weren’t boxy and rigid angles like the humans, but not totally smooth either. They had a far more organic look with multiple bends and curves, but the surfaces seemed to be rough and bumpy, and unlike the human ships, almost none were symmetrical. But though they were asymmetrical, there existed patterns in the various derelicts. As if they were variations of preexisting models, updated and expanded upon with time. In comparison, most GU ships were a happy medium. They had the bends and curves like the Nemesis, but were neatly symmetrical like the human ships.
Looking past the destruction and death, the system was fairly average. Four rocky worlds, four gas giants, and several smaller bodies here and there. The gas giants still had the broken remains of floating cities scattered across them, while their moons contained colonies and stations galore. But what was most interesting were the third and fourth rocky worlds. The fourth one had depressingly little green on it. It was mostly red, with an occasional white streak indicating clouds. It was highly developed, ruined cities ranged across its surface freely. But it bore the marks of war none the less. It would be a prime candidate for collecting samples, as long as the surface wasn’t too hazardous. Humanity did have a fetish for nuclear annihilation towards their end, after all.
The third planet, the third planet was something else. It was a grey husk devoid of life. Its moon had a massive crater denting its facade, with many smaller ones marking its surface. They stood out prominently. Fresh wounds of war contrasted against natural meteor strikes. The debris from the lunar surface and whatever had caused the impact was already starting to form the semblance of a ring around the planet. And like everywhere else, the surrounding space was choked with battle debris, though most had collected in the planet’s “proto ring”. There was so much debris that they could barely scan the planet, and what parts they could get to was so irradiated that a signal couldn’t penetrate from such a distance. Which meant if they wanted to scan the home world of these legendary humans, they would have to get closer. Which, frankly, was currently impossible.
“Nix’Fa, can you maneuver through that debris field?” Ohmata asked, while peering down at her console.
“No ma’am. A shuttle may get through, but it won’t have any of the equipment necessary to scan the planet. At least, not at any reasonable rate,” Nix’Fa replied. She, too, was looking over her console at potential flight paths.
First Lieutenant Qhaax spoke up from her station. “We may not need to actually scan the planet to learn more about humanity, captain. Most of the planet is a flattened, irradiated death pit, but the debris field around it still contains warships from both sides, some in remarkable condition. In fact, several derelicts appear to still have power, even after thousands of years. We may be able to board them using a shuttle and extract data from any intact computer systems we find. And while not exactly human, there is a Nemesis ship relatively close to the edge of the field. It would be a good first target.”
“Then we’ll change our plan to that. Qhaax, contact Kitern and tell her to get her marines suited up, send a techy or two and some researchers with them as well. You’ll have to contact Tentzonta to get her to let some of her engineers loose for once, and Glevar for her researchers. Though you won’t have to convince her, she’ll be jumping at the opportunity. Nix’Fa, start plotting them a course, and we’ll go from there, understood?”
The two responded with a crisp, yes ma’am, and got to work on their respective tasks.
“Kitern, can you hear me?” Ohmata’s voice called out from Kitern’s suit’s comms.
“Loud and clear, cap, whatcha need?” Commander Kitern responded as she stowed away several more energy cells for her weapon. She was a digitigrade, feline like mammal known as a Lioranian, with thick paw like hands that held deadly claws within them. They were still thin and nimble enough to manipulate objects accurately, but most importantly, pull a trigger. Her kind also had a slightly elongated snout, long tail, and top forward facing ears. Their eyes were dark, but a few bore mutations which lightened the iris to a sky blue. And their pupils are vertical, but would dilate periodically to give better depth perception and low light visibility. Her species’ coats ranged from a dark tan to a bright yellow gold and had multiple coat patterns of varying intensities. She personally had a dusty tan coat with slight stripe markings originating from her spine, but quickly fading as they reached around to her abdomen and chest.
“You already have a basic rundown about what to do. But I just wanted to remind you, we marked an entrance for you through some old battle damage on a derelict Nemesis ship that is close to the edge of the debris field. Enter, make your way to the power source, secure the area, and set up a pressurized zone if possible so the techies can work in peace. If you can’t, oh well, they can work in their suits. Also, you see anything living, as unlikely as that is, don’t go shooting it. Try to capture or reason with it, but if it does anything stupid, then do what you and your girls do best.”
Kitern smiled maliciously. “Aye, aye, captain. We’ll keep the civvies alive and kick’n, get the goods and be back in no time.”
“Then I leave the rest to you. Oh, try not to mess with the shuttle’s controls while it’s on autopilot this time. It’ll be weaving through a debris field too compact to get the Black into. Any rescue efforts will take a long time, longer than what you’ll have, so don’t touch the throttle like last time!” Ohmata raised her voice jokingly, playfully reminding Kitern of the last time they were on a shuttle together in such conditions.
“Ha! Dontcha worry, I’ll be in the back. Onsa will be in the pilot’s seat for this go. She’s a better flyer anyways,” Kitern played.
“Alright then, get done and come back, preferable alive. Ohmata out.” There was a click as Ohmata closed the channel.
“Hmph, always do.” Kitern had been staring at a random wall while talking to Ohmata. With the call over, she turned to her squad. “Alright girls, get your shit together and get to the shuttle. Oh, and keep your hands to yourself, Hran is coming along, I don’t want any complaints from him, or hands where they shouldn’t be, got it?” she barked, eyeing each of the three other marines, more specifically the youngest two.
“What if he lets us?” one of said marines asked jokingly.
“It’ll be a cold day on Ca’tab before that happens, Asteli,” Kitern replied.
“You never know, we might just wear him down finally, right Gre’Namra?” the perky Venanian replied.
“How many times do I have to tell you? Just call me Namra, and I doubt it. Men like to be wined and dined. Take them out, pay for a fancy meal, maybe buy them something. You know, the usual,” her counterpart, a Drae’Ildan, responded.
Kitern sighed. “Or how about not harassing anyone and act like a decent sentient, you hornbags? Now, shut it and get to the shuttle. Dentala you’ll have your work cut out for you keeping track of these two today.”
“Not as big of a job as keeping track of you, I pity Onsa,” Dentala said as she lifted a heavy kinetic slugger with a red hand, another Venanian.
Kitern chuffed deeply, her species version of a chuckle. “Me too! But, you might wanna put on a glove before we go out. Might help with the whole vacuum thing.” Dentala looked at her hand, surprised that she had forgotten it, before slipping one on. It attached to her bracer and made an airtight seal, forming an armored gauntlet. With that, the four marines left to join their fifth member in the shuttle.
As they left the locker room, Asteli mumbled under her breath. “We wouldn’t do that. We’re not assholes,” she said, addressing Kitern’s assertion of harassment.
“Well, you sound like one,” Gre’Namra replied quietly. After that, they kept their heads down and trudged along with their commanding officer.
A short jaunt later, they were passing through the hangar bay’s airlock. They were greeted by the Black’s only two shuttles. One, small and cramped, meant for scanning dangerous locations that they couldn’t get to with the ship. Logically, that would mean it was best suited to scan Earth. But even its equipment was not powerful enough to breach the radiation. Not without descending into the planet's atmosphere and becoming so irradiated they would practically glow in the dark. And while they could get Aphosi to pilot the shuttle remotely, its scanners aren't able to scan such a broad area like an entire planet. They were more meant to target small, specific locations.
The second shuttle was much larger. It was built to transport supplies and the handful of rovers they had in storage, to make excursions to planets. The smaller shuttle had permanently extended wings and large thrusters on the rear. The larger of the two, simply dubbed Shuttle One, could fold its wings. And had a variety of thrusters located across the ship for better maneuverability in space, and atmospheric thrusters embedded in the center of each wing for flight in atmo. But it also had two large engines in the back for forward thrust, just above its rear ramp.
Walking over to shuttle one, Onsa, the other Lioranian in the squad, was already waiting for them in the pilot’s seat. In the rear seating area were two engineers and two scientists, wearing grey, lightly armored EVA suits that looked to be made of cloth, but were instead a variety of advance polymers and flexible but insulative materials. Most of the helmet was a large, one way transparent material, allowing for increased awareness while sacrificing protection. In comparison, the marine’s helmets had no exterior window, instead a suite of miniature sensors embedded in their black armored helmets allowed them to see through an internal display screen. The helmets appeared to be smooth metal from a distance, only up close could you see the microscopic sensors embedded in them.
The marine’s suits held many of the same features as the civilians, but were black and had thick armored plates over vital areas and on select parts of their extremities, with thinner, non-metal armor segments filling in the gaps. Both suit types had an array of pockets and hideaways, each holding their respective tools of the trade. Regardless of the accessories, or level of protection, each was specially crafted to accommodate for the unique physiologies of the different species.
Had the ship and its equipment not made with each of their species in mind, they would have worn generic multi species suits. Instead of the pre-built features tailored for their specific anatomy, they would be covered with a thick insulated, pliable material that fitted over the horns, tails, and crests and shrank until it was tightly pressed against every nook and cranny. Aside from personalized helmets, each species’ leg sections and gloves/gauntlets catered for whether they were plantigrade, digitigrade, or for how many digits they may possess.
Hran being a male Venanian, had small horns jutting out from his temples. But because his horns were so small, his helmet did not need any special features. Thus was fairly plain. It looked like a sphere that had been slightly squished in on the sides. Unlike the females of his species, who had much larger, curved horns, their helmets were marked with two twin armored segments sticking up like antenna. Otherwise, their helmets were just as “stubby” as his, for their flatter faces. At least, in comparison to the other species onboard.
The Shednae with their elaborate head crests and long faces, had a stubby mohawk like metal protrusion for their crests to fit in, and longer helmets to account for their heads. The Drae’Ildan’s helmets were similar to the Shednae. In fact, they could be mistaken for one another if not for the lack of a head crest. Lastly, the Lioranian helmets were quite plain, aside from the extended “snout” for their slightly longer faces and two nubs to house their ears located on the top of their heads.
Those with tails were likewise afforded a special area to put them, instead of the shrinking material normal for such species. The Shednae have a small knob like space for their short tails. While the Venanians and Lioranians had long thin tails, they could be coiled in the suit. Drae’Ildan suits had a much longer and thicker tail section that looked burdensome but was quite flexible. Their suits were also equipped with a much larger array of sensors to assist them, as the Drae’Ildan’s natural sensory organs were significantly dulled in such tight confines.
“I see the grunts have finally made their appearance. Why did you bother bringing so many guns with you? It’s a derelict that has been floating dead in space for thousands of cycles. There won’t be anything living on board.”, one of the engineers nagged, as the marines ducked into the shuttle. Though her helmet was on, it was clear she was a part of engineering by the orange stripe running along the left of her suite, and left sleeve. Mimicking their uniforms.
“And a fine hello to you Kass, you too, Hran,” Kitern said as she sat down across from the two Venanians and buckled in. Hran simply nodded silently. Kitern continued, “And as for your question, we have no idea what we’ll find. You want to be stuck out in space with no way of protecting yourself if something is there? Yeah, I’m sure it’s empty too. Doesn’t mean I’m taking any chances.” Kass snorted at her reply.
“Shavizi, Jurwa, what about you two, think we’ve over prepared?” Kitern asked the two scientists to her left. Their stripes were blue.
“One can never be too prepared! Though the heavy slugger seems a bit excessive, but as long as you don’t drop it on me, I have no complaints,” Jurwa, a Shednae, said gleefully, practically bouncing in her seat.
“I agree, organic enemies aside. The ship may have automated defenses still functioning. If so, they will have to be dealt with accordingly.” Shavizi added. Yet another Venanian.
“See Kass, they get it,” Kitern grinned smugly underneath her helmet as she leaned back and buckled herself in.
As the others sat down and buckled in, Onsa turned in her seat to see if they were all ready. Everyone confirming they were. She turned back around and started up the shuttle. Quickly putting it into autopilot, but still keeping her hands on the controls just in case. The shuttle slipped out of the bay, passing through the atmospheric retention field, and pitching down and to the left, heading for the derelict Nemesis ship.
As the debris field is so dense and dangerous, the Into the Black was several hundred kilometers away, clear of any potential danger. As such, the trip would take around five minutes before they reached the field, another six to navigate the debris, as it was so hazardous. The Nemesis ship in question was near the edge of the debris field, but still mostly intact, with some power readings emanating from within, a perfect target for research.
“We’re coming alongside it now. Once we have successfully magnetized to its hull with the docking clamps, I’ll decompress the shuttle and you can open him up,” Onsa called out, just barely turning her head back in their direction.
Kitern activated her comms so everyone could hear her clearly once the air was siphoned out. “Gotcha. Scans show two distinct points of power readings. Both look to be in the same place, or at least really damn close. We’ll take a right once we get into the ship and follow the corridor until it leads to a three-way intersection. Then we make a left, then a right, and we’ll be on track. The room in question will be along that corridor. Keep your eyes and sensors open for anything that looks Nemesis-y.”
“Oh, like the entire ship?” Kass chimed in.
Kitern rolled her eyes. “Onsa, give a countdown.”
Onsa nodded her head. “Affirmative. Decompression commencing in three… two… one… starting.” There was an audible hiss that slowly faded away as the air in the shuttle was pulled back into storage tanks for later use. “Decompression complete, safe to open the door,” she confirmed over their comms.
“Opening door. Don’t go floating off,” Kitern joked as she pressed a button near the hatch, causing it to slide open silently. Before them was a gaping hole in the side of what looked like a ship that had grown large warts. The human beacons had mentioned that the Nemesis ships weren’t smooth, but the reality was a bit more unsettling up close. The humans weren’t sure why the Nemesis ships were so… bumpy. But they knew it wasn’t actually part of the building process, as newly refurbished or repaired Nemesis vessels lacked the warty exterior. But they had seen no importance in investigating the reason, as they had no tactical or structural advantage. Humanity theorized they were damage, but what could cause metal to ripple and bubble? So it remains a mystery to this day.
Kitern lifted a foot, causing the magnetic lock on that boot to disengage automatically, then re-engage when she put pressure on it. Allowing her to walk forward until she was looking down into the hole. Kitern put a foot on the lip of the shuttle, and bent forward, pushing herself into the opening.
As Kitern floated into the ship, she could see the corridors were circular, with strange partitions along the edges. The partitions didn’t seem to move or close, so she guessed they were more decorative support beams than actual doorways. A second later, she put out a hand to stop herself from colliding with the far wall, and pushed downward, boots magnetizing to the floor. Upon magnetizing, she immediately lifted her weapon. It was a small energy-based firearm, similar in size and function to an SMG.
Looking down both directions of the corridor showed nothing of interest other than more of those strange support beams and closed bulkhead doors on either end. She noted the twisted metal and battle damage in the corridor caused by whatever had impacted the hull.
Before everyone had touched down, she started making her way toward their objective. She continued on until she reached the bulkhead door at the end of the corridor. It was not fully closed, only partially, allowing someone to grip between the two sections and pull them apart. She did just that. As the door slowly opened, Dentala came up behind her and lent her strength to the task. Grunting in exertion, they pulled the door apart until they could easily walk through. Kitern silently fist bumped Dentala on the shoulder in thanks before she continued on, weapon held at the ready.
As they proceeded through the derelict, signs of battle began to appear. At first, it was only a few scorch marks or kinetic impact craters on the wall. Then, what looked like dried blood from some ancient creature. It had aged into a sickly dark green color with a hint of yellow. A quick scan showed that no genetic material could be retrieved, it had long degraded into nothing. Though some sort of information could certainty be gleamed from the stain if they searched long enough, but the sample was unimportant, as it was not a focus of the mission. Pressing on, the signs of battle intensified, as well the amount of spilled blood. At one point, an entire corridor looked like it had been painted in viscera.
The team could only speculate on what had happened. Was it a mutiny? Civil war between surviving Nemesis forces trapped in the Sol system? Or perhaps the humans had something to do with it? But there was one thing on everyone’s mind as they walked through the ancient carnage. Where were the bodies? They hadn’t passed a single corpse yet, just blood stains.
“Captain Kitern, do you suppose we can slow down and so I can scan the ship a bit more? I can’t get a proper reading while moving like this,” Shavizi requested from the back. She had some sort of tool and was waving it back and forth across the surface of the corridor.
“You can scan the ship when we stop, and that will be when we get to those power signals. And once we make sure the place is secure,” Kitern responded, weapon still up at her shoulder as she swept the hallway.
“If that is your order,” Shavizi relented, but still attempted to scan everything they passed, incomplete or not.
It didn’t take long before they arrived at where the Black said the power readings were. They had weaved about the ship a bit more than desired. Several bulkhead doors were completely sealed shut, causing them to detour, but they managed it in the end. They were now standing in front of a large single door; it was nowhere near as large as the bulkhead doors that sealed off entire corridors, but it was large enough to allow passage with room to spare on all sides.
It too bore damage from whatever conflict had occurred within the ship. The door’s access panel was damaged, and the surrounding wall panels warped. Preventing them from directly interacting with the door.
“This is the place; my scanner is already picking up power readings from here. Hran, be a dear and get out the interface tools. We’ll see if this door has power first, instead of brute forcing our way through first thing,” Kass stated. Hran silently carried out his orders, unpacking a variety of tools they may need.
After pulling off several of the panels to see if they allowed access to the door’s wiring, they eventually found the right one. Sadly, a closer inspection revealed that the door, like nearly the entire ship, had no power, meaning it couldn’t be opened by the press of a button like they wanted.
“Oh well, do what you do best, Kitern,” Kass shrugged as she and Hran began packing up their tools.
“Eh, worth a shot. Privates, if you please,” Kitern motioned to the door for the two young marines to take a crack at it. They both replied with a crisp, yes ma’am, and quickly got to work trying to pry open the door.
It took a little more effort than they thought, but over time it slowly slid further and further open, until Gre’Namra wedged herself in between the door and frame, and used her entire body to push it open. Asteli joined in when it widened enough for the both of them. Together, they pushed it fully open, the door slowly recessing into the wall. Revealing an old dusty room with several long bed-like pods.
“Thank you, girls. Now clear the room while you’re at it. Though by now any baddies would have chewed you up,” Kitern ordered. The two did just that. Thankfully, the entire room could be seen from the doorway, so there really wasn’t any clearing. Just looking behind the pods for anything not so friendly.
During their little search, they noticed one bed had several lights flickering on its side. They pointed it out to the others. Immediately, Kass and Shavizi pushed them aside to get to it. Drooling over it like children being offered sweets.
“I wonder what this is?! After so many thousands of years, it still has power. I thought those beacons were incredible enough, but this is something else!” Kass said to no one in particular.
Shavizi had been scanning the bed, as well as its neighbors, while Kass looked it over. “Hmm. The pods have a sliding covering that encloses the occupants. All the others are open, yet this one is closed.” Shavizi tapped at her scanner a bit. “Wait… the other energy signature… it’s coming from inside it!” she said astonished, while moving a hand over the top of the slid that covered the pod. As she did, thousands of years’ worth of dust floated away from where she dragged her hand. Allowing a small amount of light to break free from within.
Noticing this, Shavizi leaned forward and peered inside the pod. Her eyes went wide as her mind tried to make sense of what she was seeing. “GET BACK! DON’T TOUCH IT!” she screamed, but was too late. Kass, who was now crouched down near the base of the bed, had pressed a finger to one of the flickering lights just as Shavizi yelled her warning. All Kass had time to do was turn her head up and mutter a confused, “huh?”, before the covering of the pod slid open, unleashing its occupant onto the galaxy.
Hello once again! First things first. If you see the name Osan, please point it out to me. It is supposed to be Onsa, but the program I use to write the story changed the name to Osan for some reason. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the cliffhanger! This chapter is meant to help further detail the various species and their features, and of course set up for many things to come!
Also, in my last story. I had a lot of flashback sequences to add in fluff and give backstory to the MC. While I don't want overuse it in this story, I do want to have flashback esque sequences that are basically just battles of the Human-Nemesis war (recorded combat footage recovered from human ships and installations), introduce new characters, or maybe give further development to preexisting characters. The flashback sequences will be called Orphan: Tales of the Past and won't begin until a certain point in the main story. Once that point is reached, the side stories will pop up every once in a while in place of the main story chapters. Or, if I fell as if its safe to push the story ahead, you'll get the main story and a side story in one week.
That's it for the week folks! See you next week!
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2023.03.21 18:58 a15minutestory [WP] You are a student in the most prestigious magic academy in the kingdom. No one knows how you got in, sure you have amazing magic potential, but you’re “magic blind” meaning you can only feel the presence of magic and not see any magic. [Part 64]
A slave-driving murderer had just publicly declared war on us. The cheering and applause of the people standing around us was an eerie and ominous accompaniment to the feeling of dread swelling in my chest and radiating down to my stomach. He'd captured all
of them thus far. I swallowed and dropped my gaze down to the pavement as it dawned on me that all of those people had tasted freedom, and were then immediately and mercilessly hunted down and dragged back to hell.
But there was an interesting caveat there. He called us by the names O'Malley had erroneously wrote down in his ledger. The men that were chasing us that day had picked up our actual
fake aliases, but then we'd killed them at the inn. It seemed that knowledge died with them– a drop of good luck in a raging downpour it seemed.
"William," I said just loud enough to catch his attention.
He turned and eyed me. "Huh? Were you talking to me?"
I lifted an eyebrow. "Yeah. Who else would I be calling William?"
He narrowed his eyes, "It's Tovin
, you spaz."
I glanced around nervously. Nobody appeared to have been listening to us. I took him by the shoulder and led him away from the crowd gathered around the picture boxes. "What are you doing?" I hissed.
"What am I
doing?" he scoffed. "What are you
doing? You know my name. What, are you playing a game right now?"
"Our aliases," I said through my teeth. "We're using fake names, remember?"
His expression changed from annoyed and confused to forlorn and somber. He swallowed and looked away. "... I'm losing it again, aren't I?" he asked.
I remained silent. I didn't know what to say. I didn't want him to feel worse about it, but that would have been a dangerous slip-up in front of the wrong person. Before now, I was starting to think that Tovin back home had overblown how quickly the mental decline would be.
"Don't worry about it," I said finally, passing him on the sidewalk further into the city. "Come on. We need to find a way to make some money."
"And fast," he added, trailing behind me. "We need food, clothes, and a couple of beds. And more cigarettes, too. I've only got a few left and I'm trying to make them last."
We walked the mazelike streets of Bronzegirder looking for work. I wasn't used to Diesel society yet and often found myself hung up on storefront windows that marketed all kinds of gadgets and technology. I would do my best not to stare when people walked by wearing metallic pieces on their persons.
Some wore gadgets on their forearms, some on their wrists, and others in various other areas. I wondered what purpose they served, where they were sold, and how expensive they could be. And it wasn't just the gadgets. There were far more dark-skinned people here than we had in Galgia. It was something I had read about but never experienced. They ranged from light tan all the way to almost black, and it just added to the culture shock.
There appeared to be people living in the buildings above the storefronts. The tall towers we had seen in the far distance earlier served as housing as well as business space. Diesillians stood on their balconies, some hanging wet laundry, others leaning over their railing while they enjoyed a drink or a smoke. We passed so many things I would have wanted to stop and look at were we not being hunted. DuPonte seemed awfully sure of himself when he said he'd find us, but for the life of me, I couldn't imagine how one would find antything
they were looking for in this city.
"I'm totally lost," I admitted. "We need a map or something."
He remained quiet. I turned to speak to him more directly only to find that he wasn't behind me anymore. My stomach dropped as I looked around at the sea of people.
"William?" I called out. "William!"
It was no good. I'd have to literally scream if I wanted to breach the drone of the crowd, and I couldn't afford to draw too much attention to myself. There was also the possibility that he'd forgotten his name again anyway. I adjusted the straps of my backpack and sighed deeply before doubling back. He couldn't have wandered too
far away, and he'd be easy to spot against the horde of people in more modern clothing.
I kept close to the storefronts as I picked up my pace. I began to peer into each store as I passed them. The longer I searched, the more I worried. He wasn't in his right mind. He'd get himself noticed and captured if he let too much slip, or pulled down his hood. I came to the turn we had taken after we'd left the picture boxes. He was with me at this point, I was sure of it. I turned around and swallowed as I scanned the crowd.
This was really, really, bad.
"William?" I tried again. I decided to cross the street and nearly got run over by one of their vehicles. It screeched to a stop and when I lowered my arms, I found the front of the metallic machine inches from my face.
"Git the fuck oudda da road!" shouted the pilot, shaking his fist in the air. I quickly scurried onto the opposite sidewalk and made my way down the street with the flow of the crowd. I kept my eyes peeled as I walked. It was difficult to see over everyone's shoulders. Diesillians were a good deal taller than Galgians as a rule, and it made it a nightmare for an average-sized guy like myself. Just when I was about to start asking around, something caught my ear.
Something I never expected to hear– music.
I stopped in my tracks and the public parted around me like a river around a boulder. I turned toward the sound and followed my ears to a large silver pavilion nestled between two tall buildings. It looked like an empty lot that had been designed for another tall building but instead served as some sort of inner-city courtyard where live entertainment performed.
I slowly approached as a woman stood in front of a mic stand singing while a band performed with shining metallic instruments behind her. She had black hair styled in a way I'd never seen hair styled. It was pulled up and around under a hat and shined the same as her red lipstick did. But what awed me the most was that she was singing
No danger; no combat; no sign of beasts being summoned forth. She sang beautifully, adding something to music that I had never in my life once considered because in Galgia, to sing was to slaughter. Music was a tool of war and forbidden entirely outside of such circumstances, for if one of us were even to hum, anything could come crawling out of the resulting portal.
But here she was, singing what I presumed were the words to a poem in perfect rhythm and harmony with the band that played behind her.
"You're my machine, my heart's ignition. The gears that keep my love in motion. You're the engine that never tires– the pistons set my soul on fire."
I was completely taken in. It was therefore no surprise to me that here in the crowd, I spotted Tovin watching her with equal admiration from the edge of the stage. I weaved through the crowd as politely as I was able and then stopped next to him. He glanced at me before quickly returning his eyes back to the stage. I didn't say anything to him; no words needed said so long as she was singing.
"You, my dear, a love machine, the one that keeps my bearings clean– I'm addicted to your engine's roar, your power's what I'm living for."
I wasn't a hundred
percent sure what she was talking about, but it was clearly a love song written for one lucky guy. When the song was finished, she ever so slightly lifted her ruby-red dress from the sides and took a bow. The crowd clapped, a few whistles coming from somewhere behind us.
"Thank you," she said softly into the mic. "It's important to remember that love conquers all," she said, passing her deep black eyes over us. "Hatred fades over time, but love lasts; it endures. This next song is about a long lost love and reconnection."
We stayed and listened to a couple more songs before she left the stage, and the band with her. She disappeared on promises of returning tomorrow for a second show. Of all the things thus far I had seen in the land of our enemy, something so sweet as non-weaponized music ranked among the most surprising and awe-inspiring.
As the crowd began to disperse back onto the main street, I turned to Tovin. "Hey, do me a favor and don't disappear like that. I didn't know where you were and we've got
to stick together."
"Can we come back here tomorrow?" he asked, completely ignoring what I'd said. He stared at me with hopeful eyes, a small smile on his face. It still felt strange of him to ask me permission for anything, but I couldn't deny that it was a pretty magical performance.
"Only if we live that long," I answered with a heaping helping of snark. "We need money so we can get off these streets tonight. Come on, we're losing daylight."
He looked past my shoulder and suddenly pointed. "What about that?"
I turned to see a bulletin board posted on the side of a building not far from us. On it were several posts, but one of them specifically read, "200 Octim Sign-On Bonus." The two of us walked up the board and looked over the job.
"There's a sign-on bonus," Tovin said as his eyes moved down the paper. "The Empress needs you. Galgian dogs sent monsters to run amok in our fair empire. Officials are spread thin amidst heightened tensions with Galgia's military. Find and kill monsters for bounties. Seek employment at the Hunters' Barracks at 443 Alloy Avenue on the north side of town. Look for the men in uniform."
"Monsters?" I asked. "There aren't any monsters in Galgia. None in all of Aurii if our textbooks are accurate."
"You want to at least check it out?" he asked.
"I think we'd be wasting our time," I said dismissively. "We hiked through a bunch of wilderness closer to the Galgian border and we didn't see anything all night."
He folded his arms. "Then let's get our sign-on bonus and leave
That was such a fantastic point that I pushed my palm against my forehead and visibly cringed. "Oof. Why am I so dumb?
" I whined.
"I don't think you're dumb,
" Tovin said as he moved down the bulletin board to look at other flyers. "I think you're just honest to a fault. It never would have occurred to you to do something so underhanded."
I would never get used to compliments from Tovin. It was like watching a different person wear his body and speak with his voice. Had life at ENU really been such a drag on him?
"None of these other jobs are offering money upfront," he added, turning to face me. "Let's head to the north side of town and see if we can find Alloy Avenue."
x - - x - - x - - ★ - - x - - x - - x
The walk was long and difficult– not because it was too far, but because we had to pass so much delicious-smelling food along the way. I hadn't been sure before if Tovin was as hungry as I was, but the north side of Bronzegirder was quiet enough to hear both of our stomachs growling in concert with one another. The buildings were made of brick in the district we wandered through, and the walkways were closer to cobblestone like the kind we had back home. The roads were three times as wide, there were benches along the walkways, and they had planted trees caged in black iron gates at the trunks. The few people that strolled the sidewalks on Alloy Avenue were well-to-do, dressed in expensive-looking suits and wearing high hats with wide brims.
"I like this side of town better," Tovin said as we looked for building addresses. "Though I have to say, I'm surprised to see trees in the collossity."
"Goes a little against what we were taught doesn't it?" I asked.
"I don't recall being taught anything," he grumbled. "It's just another thing I somehow know."
I cast him a sympathetic glance and he didn't seem to like it. He scowled at me, "Don't you pity me."
"I'm not," I rolled my eyes. "I'd never
feel bad for you
Tovin, not in a thousand years."
"Just shut up," he snapped. "We're here."
He stopped in front of a brick building with an impressive stone staircase that had bronze handrails running up the length of them. At the top were two men in uniform just as the flyer had indicated. He was the first to start up the steps and I quickly followed behind him. As we passed them I took a good look at their uniforms. I could have sworn that I'd seen them somewhere before. We walked up to the glass doors and pulled them open.
A blast of warm air blew over us as we entered the building and it was a welcome reprieve from the cold. Inside was smaller than I had anticipated. I was expecting high ceilings, murals, metal artwork, and all kinds of stuff from how nice the outside looked. Instead, we found ourselves standing in a dirty lobby about the size of a headmaster's office. There were several rows of chairs dotted with people filling out forms on clipboards. At the back of the lobby was a little window with a man sitting on the other side. He was dark-skinned, had a shaved head, and bore a grisly pink scar across his cheek. He waved us forward when he noticed us.
"Let me do the talking," I whispered to Tovin, taking the lead in front of him as we made our way over; he didn't protest.
"Afternoon, gentlemen," he spoke into a microphone that relayed his voice to us through a little black device on the window. "Thinking about joining up?"
Before I could even speak, Tovin leaned onto the counter. "So when you say monsters," he adopted a skeptical look. "You mean like the ones that don't exist?"
The man behind the counter rolled his eyes. "Oh, great, another conspiracy theorist."
"What did you call me?" Tovin shot back.
"Ahhh, ha ha," I called out loudly, pulling Tovin back by his shoulder. "My brother is better at fighting than talking," I covered quickly. "Just talk to me from here on in."
He cast me a disinterested glance before handing us both clipboards with forms attached. "Whatever. Just read the whole thing and sign the liability waiver at the bottom. He's free to deny their existence while they're chewing his face off, but the empire
won't be responsible for it."
I took both of the clipboards and passed one to Tovin. The two of us sat down and began going through them– and immediately, we faced a problem. They wanted first and last names, home addresses, medical history, and something called landline numbers. Tovin and I exchanged glances; this wasn't going to work.
I stood up and slowly walked back up to the counter as I looked over the document. Every time I looked, it seemed more and more ridiculous. Blood type? Social security number? Insurance provider? I didn't know what any of this meant. It might as well have been in an entirely different language.
"Did you have a question?" asked the man behind the counter.
"Yeah, I don't have most
of this information," I said, setting the clipboard down on the counter. "Sorry, but we're gonna have to just go."
"Well, hang on now," he said, reaching under the little pass-through window and retrieving the clipboard. "I take it you boys are homeless then?" he asked.
"Uhh... Yeah," I answered tentatively. Did they really have such a homeless problem that he was able to jump to that conclusion so quickly? "We don't know how to answer these questions, so thanks anyways."
"I said hang on, dammit," he called through the mic before swiveling around in his chair and pulling some kind of lever underneath it that caused it to sink lower to the floor. He opened a cabinet and began rifling through it. I peered through the window at his chair– it was on some kind of ball axis that allowed him to spin in it freely. I felt like every couple of minutes I was seeing something I'd never seen before. He swiveled back around and lifted his chair back up before he handing me a new form. It was more like a strip of paper with three questions on it.
Shirt size, shoe size, and pant size.
There was a second slip of paper underneath it. I looked back up at the window attendant as Tovin appeared next to me. I handed him the slip of paper and we exchanged glances.
"The empire isn't being picky right now," spoke the man through the speaker. "You'll be assigned a number, a gun, and a uniform. You won't be eligible for emergency care, and you can't be assigned to a party. It'll be just the two of you. If you're still interested, we need all the help we can get."
I shrugged at Tovin, and he got to work filling out the information. I leaned on the counter and jotted down my uniform size before signing the waiver and handing everything back. He took both of the documents and then nodded toward the door on his right. "Come on back."
He reached under the table and did something that caused the door to make a whirring sound. It popped open on its own, and he thumbed us over to it. "Close it on your way in. Walk straight down the hall and through the third door on your left. Your hunter number is 27B and his is 28B."
We walked down the hallway and found the designated door already opened and with a sign on the inside that read, "Uniforms HERE" with an arrow pointing into the room. We were met by a portly woman with bouncy curls that hung down to her shoulders. She sat behind a desk absolutely surrounded by hanging uniforms, all kept in clear covering. She sized us up with a retractable ruler– the coolest ruler I had ever
seen. After she took our measurements, she began sifting through uniforms.
"Why did they ask us for our sizes if they were going to measure us?" Tovin grumbled.
"I don't know," I whispered. "Just be quiet."
"Don't tell me to be quiet," he shot back, elbowing me in the ribs.
She turned around holding two suits by the hangers, one in each hand. "Your uniforms will come out of your first bounty collected," she announced. "No money needed upfront. Change into them and make sure they fit." We took them from her and she breezed past us. "Holler out here when you're changed." She closed the door behind her.
We turned away from one another and began getting dressed. I pulled back the crinkly clear material and looked down at the uniform. Now that I was seeing it closer, it was actually an extremely dark shade of blue, rather than black as I had thought prior. I looked down at the hat and held it in my hands. I had seen it before. Then, all at once, it came rushing back to me.
These were the uniforms of the men that had come to the mine. They had come carrying guns to inspect the worksite after what had happened to Hammer. Skully must have thought a monster had gotten to him based on the state of his body. I stared down at the uniform in disbelief. Could monsters really be running around in Diesel territory?
"You better not be looking over here," Tovin warned.
They had mistaken what Tovin had done for a monster attack. Skully's "fonekall" wasn't a pilgrimage. It was some form of long-distance communication. She reached out to the capital to request aid from someone, and they sent these guys. I began to wonder if I was making a mistake. If we could be dispatched like that, then we could feasibly be sent back to the camp.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. We were only in it for the sign-on bonus. Once we had that in our hands, we'd be outta here. We could even jump to the next town. They knew nothing about us other than our clothing size. We could be dust in the wind by tomorrow morning.
I shoved those thoughts to the back of my mind and quickly got dressed. The uniform fit perfectly, it was comfortable, and best of all had been designed with a high collar. It covered our neck markings perfectly. I turned to see Tovin with the hat on already. He looked like a classic Diesel villain from a comic book I had read as a kid.
"It fits nice," he said, testing the range of motion he had in his arms. "I think this will work."
"Yeah," I nodded. "Let's get our money and get the hell out."
"Speaking my language," he smirked.
He moved for the door and leaned out, calling for the attendant. I looked at myself in the full-body mirror and did a quick turnaround. I had to admit, I looked pretty darn stylish. The white gloves, belt, and hat looked pretty good against the dark blue and gold buttons.
The woman returned and smiled at both of us, her curls bouncing as she tossed her gaze cartoonishly left and right between us. "You two look good!"
"Thanks," I smiled back. "When do we get our sign-on bonus?"
"Oh, don't worry about that just yet," she said, moving back to her desk. "Do you boys know how to shoot?" she asked as she sat down.
"Shoot?" Tovin asked.
"A gun," she clarified, her smile fading. "Have either of you shot a gun?"
"No, ma'am," I answered. "Our parents didn't let us near them growing up."
"That's no problem," she said, lifting her hands. "We're happy to teach you the basics. You'll just exit the room and go left down to the very end of the hallway. I'll buzz you through the double doors at the end, and Old Mitchell will take you from there."
Tovin audibly groaned, and I took him by the arm, leading him out of the room. We walked down the hallway as he bellyached about what a waste of time it was. It was unlike him to turn his nose up at the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of a new weapon. In fact, he'd been acting weirdly childish lately. I didn't like it. It beat dealing with Tovin-Classic, but it was still a hassle. As we neared the end of the hallway, we began hearing the sound of guns being fired one by one.
The doors buckled and hummed the same as the first door had, and we pushed them open. We passed into a large room with Diesillians shooting at targets a good distance away. This was why the building was so large and the lobby was so small. The brick walls were covered in informational and safety posters, as well as what appeared to be schematics for the weapons themselves.
I looked across the large room to see a man striding toward us. He was wearing shiny black boots that were laced tightly to his calves. His pants and jacket were hunter green, and he bore perhaps the silliest mustache I'd ever seen; It was long and curled at the tips. I had to be careful not to snicker– his eyes were hidden behind dark sunglasses, and I couldn't tell if he was watching me.
"New recruits?" he called out to us from entirely too far away.
"Yes sir," I called back. "My brother and I just signed up."
"Brothers!" he exclaimed. "I love it, dammit!" He stopped in front of us. He was chewing on something and was being as obnoxious as he possibly could about it. He was wearing perhaps the stupidest hat I had seen of the Diesel yet. It had no visible brim and was high on one side while sloping down toward the other. For the life of me, I couldn't discern the purpose of it.
"You boys know how to shoot?" he asked.
"No sir," I shook my head. "We're new at this."
"Good," he smiled widely. "That means you haven't formed any bad habits yet. I love newbies," he said before waving for us to follow him. "Come on, let's get you your rifles. I'm Mitch, but folks around here call me Old Mitchell."
"James," I said as I followed after him. "This is my brother William." It was difficult to talk over the noise of the weapons. I occasionally jumped when someone shot their gun nearby– a reflex I couldn't wait to be rid of. He led us to a small room; so small that it might as well have been a glorified safe. He disappeared inside and came back out holding two guns. The same long metal tubes Tovin and I had been attacked with at O'Malley's inn.
We each took one and promptly inspected it. Suddenly, Old Mitchell stepped forward and grabbed both of our guns by the barrel, lifting them so they were pointed at the ceiling.
"You boys ever even held
one of these?" he barked. "Careful where you aim. Never
point one of these at anything or anyone that you're not prepared to destroy."
"They sweep you, Mitch?" asked a man as he passed behind us.
"Pointed 'em right at me," he called back with a laugh. "We'll get 'em straightened out, don't you worry about that." He looked at us both, chewing aggressively. "Now I'm gonna let these rifles go. You keep 'em pointed up, you understand?"
"Yes, sir," I answered.
"Sure," Tovin said in a disinterested tone.
He let go of our rifles and we kept them pointed at the ceiling as we were told. I looked up and down the length of the tube before turning it over and inspecting the area under the barrel. It was split underneath with what looked like some kind of spring running along the length of the tube.
"They're not loaded," Mitch said, waving for us to follow him to the other side of the room. "But you will always treat them like they are. I'm going to show you how to load them over here. Set them down on the desk, I'm gonna stand between the two of you so I can watch you both."
I set my gun down in front of me and looked to my right. There was a box of what I presumed to be bullets. I expected them to be round pellet-like projectiles, but they were tubular with roughly textured heads on them.
"Turn your weapon over. You'll notice you can see a spring inside the bottom of the barrel. Close to the other end of your gun, you'll find a little round tab there. Take that tab and push it with your thumb all the way up toward the tip of the barrel. You'll then pop it out to the side there."
I did as he asked, and sure enough, the barrel popped out to the left at the tip of the weapon. I glanced over at Tovin who was struggling with the spring. Old Mitchell moved over and helped him with it. "Sometimes they get stuck," he muttered as he got Tovin to the same step I was at.
"Now," he shouted. "Take your ammunition right there in the box next to you, and begin placing the rounds into the underside of the barrel, flat side first. Then, you'll load more bullets into the gun overlapping one another. Be careful not to let the rounds collide with one another too heavily, or you could have a little accident."
I loaded the bullets carefully one after another until the barrel was about full. He checked on Tovin's rifle, and then inspected mine.
"Good. Now realign the barrel, there and come with me to the bay," he said, starting toward the practice range. I carefully lifted the weapon and rested it against my shoulder, turning with Tovin to follow him. When we stopped at the range, he motioned for Tovin first. "Come on, Will, we're gonna start with you."
"Pass," he said nonchalantly.
Old Mitchell blinked twice. "What?"
"I want to see Gill do it first," he said, stepping out of my way.
"It's a nickname," I said quickly, stepping up to the range. "Anyways, I'll go first, I don't mind, what do I do here?"
Mitch remained silent for a couple of seconds before clapping his hands once. "Okay! Well, go ahead and pull the hammer back."
I looked down at the weapon and then back up at him. Sensing my confusion, he carefully reached forward and pulled back a little tiny lever on the top of the rifle until it clicked. "That's called pulling the hammer back," he said. "Will, you watching this?"
He didn't wait for a response. "Next thing you're gonna do is pull that lever out underneath the gun. That's going to load the weapon with a fresh cartridge. You're gonna do that between every shot, now. Lift it up against your shoulder like this; get it snug in there." He pulled it against my shoulder. "Look down the iron sight there at the tip of the rifle and line it up against your target. Your weapon is primed and ready to fire. You're good for fifteen shots before you've got to reload. You can always flip it over to see how many bullets are left. Go ahead and aim carefully, and try and hit that target paper down there."
At the end of the range, there was a piece of paper with a silhouette of a human head, shoulders, and torso. I closed one eye for better aim and held the gun tightly as I lined up my shot.
the trigger," Mitch advised in my left ear. "Squeeze it. Squeeze the trigger until it doesn't move easily anymore. Then when you're sure about your aim, squeeze with just that little bit of extra strength you need."
I did as he said, and felt what he was referring to. With my target in sight, my hand steady, and my aim as true as I could hope for, I fired the weapon. The shot rang out right in my ear, but interestingly enough, it wasn't so bad when I was the one firing. I was ready for it, and expecting it.
"Holy smokes!" exclaimed Mitch. "You put one right between the eyes!"
"Beginners's luck," said a man from behind me. "I did the same thing first time I shot, and never did it again."
"Let's prove him wrong, James," Old Mitchell laughed. "Now use that lever under the gun to eject the casing and load a fresh bullet."
I pulled the lever and the shiny little bullet casing popped out the top and flew over my shoulder. It was a really satisfying feeling.
"Do I pull the hammer again? I asked.
"Nope, it'll pop back down. You'll only pull that hammer back the first time. Go ahead and fire again, only this time, aim for the neck."
"Alright," I said, closing my eye and tightening my focus. I squeezed the trigger just as I had the first time and shot a hole straight through the center of the target's neck. I lifted my head and smiled. "I hit it!"
"No way," said the man behind me. "Ain't never shot before, my ass. He's taking you for a ride, Mitch."
"You're sure you're new at this, son?" Old Mitchell asked, one eye half shut. "That's really impressive, kid. Seriously, if this is your first time holding a rifle, you might be cut out for the military. Had a staff sergeant with worse aim than you."
"Alright, alright," Tovin pushed me aside. "My turn. Let me show you something you'll never forget."
The two of us took turns shooting for hours. We hadn't even noticed the time going by. For once, it seemed Tovin had found something he wasn't naturally amazing at, and it was infuriating him to no end.
Conversely, I found something I was really, really
good at. I hit my target almost every time, and to be honest, I couldn't figure out what was so difficult about it. A crowd had gathered to watch me shoot. I got really swift with the lever, and could shoot out both of a target's eyes, and put one in its forehead in a matter of seconds.
Tovin wasn't a bad shot, but I knew how he felt. If he wasn't first, he was last as far as he was concerned, and at one point he about threw his rifle. Old Mitchell had to talk to him about how some things come naturally to others, and how he shouldn't be discouraged from coming to the range and practicing.
It was rich hearing Tovin get that talk of all people. The natural genius that outshined everyone, struggling with something for the very first time. I almost couldn't believe I was better than him at something, and of course, it just had
to be the thing that we'd never do again once we found our friends and went back home.
We were wasting time here. "Hey, Mitchel," I turned toward him. "When do we get our sign-on bonus? It was supposed to be something like 200 octims."
"You get your sign-on bonus when you bring back your first bounty," he responded quickly.
"What?" Tovin shouted. "That's not fair! We signed on, now where's our money?"
I was equally upset. We were lied to. But it made sense that they couldn't just hand us uniforms, cash, and a gun, and let us go. They wanted to make sure we at least killed a monster.
"It's fine," I said with a sigh. "Where can we find bounties?"
"It's not fine," Tovin protested.
I yanked him by the collar of his shirt and looked him in the eyes. "It's fine," I said slowly and firmly. "We'll run out, bag a monster, and be back before dark."
He held eye contact with me for several seconds before shrugging me off of him and walking away. He stormed across the bay and left through the double doors at the other end of the room.
"My brother was the same way," said Mitch. "Hard-headed. Stubborn as a mule. Loyal as anyone you'd ever meet though."
He had no idea. Tovin wasn't just difficult, but he was turning into a walking liability. I didn't know how much longer I could take him acting like this. Suddenly, Mitch extended his arm, pointing to a door adjacent to where he'd gotten our guns from.
"Bounty board is in there. Come on, I'll show you."
It was a medium-sized room with several corkboards wall to wall filled with bounties. Every monster was named and almost all of them were sketched to a professional degree. You could find how much money the monster was going for, which hunters it had killed, where it was last seen, as well as whether or not there were hunters currently after it.
They had a system where you would notate which monster you were going after, and if you didn't return, they'd add your name under the list of hunters that died searching for it. There were so many monsters I couldn't believe it, and according to Old Mitchell, these were only the monsters within a five-mile radius of Bronzegirder.
I learned the process of choosing a bounty and chose a smaller monster with no names under its fatality list. Mitch agreed it was a good monster for beginners, and offered a few pointers for tracking it. I submitted the bounty request and got it approved before leaving the bay and heading down the hall in search of Tovin. I entered the lobby and didn't see him. I left the building and found him at the top of the steps staring out into the street where a couple of vehicles were hauling something massive together under a tarp.
Several uniformed hunters were walking slowly next to the vehicles. Their uniforms were tattered and bloodstained, and a few of them walked with a limp. We watched as the exhausted men passed the building on their way down the road. Two of them were sobbing silently, but we could tell by their exposed teeth and wrinkled expressions that they'd lost someone.
From beneath the tarp, a scaly limb fell off the side of the vehicle and dangled lifelessly. It was a reptilian-looking arm with an open wound, and the shredded remnants of a uniform hanging from its claws.
"Gill," Tovin said quietly. "Is that..."
"Yeah," I answered.
"That's definitely a monster." Writing Prompt
Submitted by u/My-Last-Hope
submitted by a15minutestory
to A15MinuteMythos [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 18:54 RevolutionaryHabit29 Need some advice please windows install.
So just recently bought and built a new computer. Old case, old 1tb sata new mobo, new cpu, new psu, new ram and new gpu. When I booted it up, it started up as if it was still older rig. Meaning windows was still installed on sata (never wiped) so it used that to boot. Well I've noticed my cpu in task manager is spiking at idle to 100% which henders my processor and slows everything down but in my amd window says it's only at 10% utilization temps being normal. But based off the research I've found, that with new mobo comes a needed fresh install on window. Using windows10 btw. So I've tried it went into bios forced it to read the USB with creation tool as booting for install. Well eveytime it has gotten to the point of resetting the pc it crashed to blue screen and says no bootable device found. It will then undo changes and boot back to before I started install. My next step would be to get a nvme unplug my sata and do a fresh install that way using usb for tool. Does this sound like a common issue or is it just me lol. At this point I want to get a nvme for start up I know I will have to go into bios to change settings to get it boot using but what would I need to do to get a fresh install of windows on a nvme can i just copy windows image and move it to nvme? I will be deactivating key before fresh install with sata unplugged. Also if it boots correctly with sata unplugged will it revert back to sata's version of windows when I plug it back in to clean it?
Not sure if specs will help but here they are
Old specs. 350 bazooka Ry5 1400 Rx580 4gb 16gb ram giel 1tb sata 4gb ext. Hard Drive 450w psu
Specs: 550 tomahawk mag Ry 5 5600x Rx6700xt 12gb 750wpsu 32gb delta ram 1tb wd sata With external 4tb hard drive also.
submitted by RevolutionaryHabit29
to PcBuild [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 18:11 HellothereMrBilbo My MX-5 VVT swapped 1980 Vauxhall Cavalier
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Found this Subreddit and thought I'd post my car up on here. Always been an MX-5 person, still have an ITB'd one, but last summer I picked up this Cavalier as I wanted to build a classic car daily driver. As it is a GM car, underneath essentially the same as an Opel Manta B/Ascona B, tons of shared parts between the 2. The front "droop snoot" means it does sometimes get mistaken for a Vauxhall Chevette, which is fairly similar. Had been laid up dry stored for 25 years when I got it. Needed a fair bit of welding (sills, one jacking point, couple of chassis rail bits, couple of bits of floorpan), total suspension/steering/brake overhaul, new fuel lines and brake lines front to back, and a ton of other stuff. submitted by HellothereMrBilbo to classiccars [link] [comments]
Dropped an MX-5 1.8 VVT engine into it with a 5 speed MX-5 box. Custom engine mounts, gearbox brace, and front propshaft, original rear axle. Was originally auto so manual converted, modified the firewall and fitted MX-5 brake and clutch pedal box, as well as MX-5 brake and clutch masters. Mounts made for MX-5 radiator, Stripped out every single wire and fitted the full MX-5 loom into the car, spliced all original switches/gauges/buttons inside so it looks practically OEM interior wise. Modified transmission tunnel for manual gearstick placement, horizontal extender added to the gearstick to get it in a reasonable position. Running standard MX-5 ECU and ignition barrel, so it has a working factory immobiliser. Battery relocated to boot. MX-5 fuel tank fitted in boot. You get the idea, a lot of MX-5 stuff. Cheap, reliable, easily available, and I know MX-5s very well was my main reason for going this route.
Gearing is very long with the auto Cavalier diff but it makes a great cruiser. Originally a carb'd 2.0, around 100hp, so 146hp from the 5 lump is more than enough for it to be good fun. Absolute ton of work and it's been worth every single second. Took about 5 and a half months start to finish, putting in many hours every week into it. Put almost 2k miles on it now and bar a couple of minor fuel leaks and little teething issues it has been flawless.
2023.03.21 17:51 PoetOfTragedy 2012 Equinox 2.4L with 228132 KM starts to have a rough rev only at 3000 RPM
We’re getting the CV axles changed next week but it’s starting to sound rough. I suspect it’s from the transmission because of how many KM is on it and that’s where I feel like the noise is coming from but I don’t wanna start tearing apart my tranny and realize that’s not the issue.
It’s fine at any other RPM, I’ve driven her to almost 8000 rpm and 160 kmh and she took it like a champ, but for the past few months I started being gentle with her and she doesn’t like it. The driving is fine, but once it hits 3000 rpm it has a sound similar to when you’re cutting metal or wood on a horizontal band saw if that makes sense. After it pasts 3000 rpm it’s fine again.
I hate this car sometimes but she takes my “I wish you were a jeep” abuse like a champ.
submitted by PoetOfTragedy
to MechanicAdvice [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 17:41 Professional_Crab_96 CV axle inner joint pops out
2023.03.21 17:16 nipun2002 ASUS RECOVERY MEDIA
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I tried installing windows vis asus recovery media and now this error is showing. someone please help it's urgent submitted by nipun2002 to ASUS [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 17:07 MjolnirPants Jerry and the Apocalypse: Part 53
Part 52 Glenda Wilmington, Kinda Digging This Whole Cop Gig
"If you hear anything else, give me a call," Glenda said, handing the woman a business card with her cellphone number on it. The woman accepted it and then squinted skeptically at it.
"Cooperation with an investigation is the sort of thing that parole boards like to hear about," Glenda said in response to the woman's look. That seemed to do the trick. The woman slipped the card into her ample cleavage and met Glenda's eyes.
"I will call. I have no loyalty to that man." Her sing-song Norwegian accent, as well as her tall, thick frame and bright, yellow-blonde hair contrasted with the environment; a run-down housing project in the heart of Compton. But housing for convicted felons on parole was limited, and she'd had few choices in this area. Glenda wondered idly why the woman hadn't elected to return to Norway, where they tended to be a bit more sympathetic to ex-cons. The woman, Duke's one-time head channeler, didn't seem prepared to answer any more questions, however.
Glenda nodded and stepped back. The woman took a step outside, careful to keep the foot with the ankle monitor inside the door and took a look around before withdrawing back into the house. Glenda turned and walked down the steps off the creaky wooden porch and back to the rental car, where Jack dozed lightly in the passenger seat, his cowboy hat pulled low over his eyes. She climbed behind the wheel, trying not to wake him, and started the engine.
He woke anyways. Jack had always been a very light sleeper. He turned his head slightly towards her, not adjusting the hat at all.
"Anything?" he asked. Glenda shook her head. "Nobody's heard from him. I think it's safe to say he's not looking to connect with any of his old associates, at this point."
"Ayup," Jack agreed. Glenda pulled away, heading north, towards the 105 that would take them back to the airport. They were done here. As she drove, she couldn't help but note the scowling, suspicious faces that turned to watch them. She took in the low, chain-link fences that separated yards, the equally low concrete block walls that surrounded paved driveways. The odd mix of Spanish colonial and more traditional American architecture was like a sign. It told her that she could find a bag of the white lady, a bag of weed, or a bag of something more exotic here. She could find a gang, beefing with another gang, and maybe convince one side to pay her to make someone on the other side vanish.
It was almost nostalgic.
They passed a tan-painted Spanish colonial house with a faux wrought-iron fence, and she knew right away that a dealer lived there. The child's play set in the front had never been touched by anything more careless than the wind and rain. The SUV in the driveway might have belonged to a small family, except for the large speakers she could see through the rear window. The tint on the windows of both car and home added to the effect. The kicker, though, was the white-haired, middle-aged man stepping out the front door to squint suspiciously around before heading back up the street in the direction of the channeler's home, where Glenda had spotted him walking this way just a few minutes ago.
Without bothering to ask anyone, she could say with confidence that whoever lived there sold mainly cocaine, but he also had cheap weed for those who couldn't afford the prices at the dispensary. He'd have rocks too, but he probably wouldn't sell them to you if you knew where he lived. He'd sell them on the weekends, manning a street corner, alongside a thug from whatever gang he ran with or paid tribute to.
Everyone knew they were cops, of course. Years of living in rural Canada had faded Glenda's tan and affected her fashion choices. Once, she'd have moved through an area like this in gym shorts, sneakers and a faded old t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. Showing off enough muscle to make the usual idiots think twice about harassing her, but not showing off so much skin than people might take her for a street worker with a schtick. Today, she drove in blue jeans, hiking boots and a flannel shirt. Next to her, Jack wore the same, complimented with a denim jacket. Only a couple of cops would dress like that in this neighborhood.
Though that wasn't strictly true -Jack's jurisdiction ended many hundreds of miles north of here- it might as well be. They were private investigators, working on behalf of the federal government, who was footing the bill for Dylan's recapture. Whether or not they were technically considered law enforcement officers depended entirely upon their needs and some paperwork. So far, they hadn't needed any LEO powers.
As she turned onto the 105 and marginally sped up in the dense traffic of the highway, Jack's phone rang. He begrudgingly lifted the brim of his hat up, squinting in the bright daylight at his screen. Apparently satisfied with what he saw there, he hit the accept button and pressed the phone to his ear.
"S'Jack," he said, then he listened for a bit.
"Ayup," he said. He glanced out the window, then covered the tiny mic at the bottom of the phone. "Get off the highway," he said to Glenda. She nodded and put on her turn signal, eyes searching for a chance to get over. A minivan in the next lane, slightly ahead of them, promptly slowed down to pace them.
"Awwright," he drawled into the phone. "We'll check it out. 'Preciate the heads up. Take care, now."
He pulled the phone away from his ear and tapped the screen again before slipping it back into his pocket jacket.
"That was intel. Said that a bank account belonging to one Dylan Boucher just got emptied by a wire transfer to one Derek Garcia. Just a hair over ten grand. Transfer woulda taken place about a week ago, intel didn't pick up on it until it cleared."
"Garcia, that's the one that calls himself the 'Planewalker', right?"
"Ayup," Jack said. Glenda finally got tired of trying to get behind the minivan and sped up to cut him off, instead. Jack could see that it was being driven by a heavily tattooed white kid with dredlocks. He honked and flipped them off, but she ignored him. She'd had her turn signal on, and tried to get behind him, but he had slowed down and sped up to block her.
Out of pure spite, she tapped the brakes a few times.
Jack bounced forward against his seatbelt as she did and gave her a dirty look. She smiled sweetly at him. "What? That's how you drive around here. You used to live in Atlanta, you've got to know this by now."
"We didn't generally make an effort to piss people off in Atlanta," he grumbled. Glenda turned onto the ramp to get off on Crenshaw, heading south.
Glenda scoffed. "Now you're just lying. I've been to Atlanta. Worst drivers in the bottom half of the country by far."
"You sure about that?" Jack said, eyeing the rear-view mirror. Glenda glanced up to see the minivan still behind them, the driver jabbing his finger at them and ranting.
"Huh," she said. "Maybe this fucker's about to prove me wrong."
"Well, we need to get gas anyways, if we're driving all the way down to San Clemente," Jack said. "Might as well pull over at the first station we see and get it over with."
Glenda chuckled, mostly at what the angry man behind her was about to experience and kept her eyes peeled for a gas station.
The minivan never wavered, staying behind her through multiple lane changes, all the way down to Artesia Boulevard, where she finally found a Shell station. She pulled in and pulled up to a pump.
"You wanna have a white knight moment, or is today an 'equality of the sexes' day?" Glenda asked as the minivan pulled in behind them and stopped, blocking the entrance.
"Sheeeit," Jack drawled. "I mean, I guess I'll handle him if ya want..." He unbuckled his seatbelt and opened his door as the irate young metalhead stomped towards them. He made sure to be outside the car by the time the kid got within angry dick-measuring distance.
"What the fuck is your bitch's problem, asshole?!" the young man demanded. Jack didn't answer, he simply strode forward, within striking distance. Normally, Jack liked to deliver a good, bone-chilling threat, followed up by taking a more reasonable tone as he continued to stare through whomever was causing problems and imagine himself blowing their head off as he de-escalated the situation. It was a tactic that had served him well, many times. But today, Jack was tired.
He'd been hunting Dylan down for weeks now, and only just got their first promising lead as this little shit had gone out of his way to stop them from changing lanes for no discernible reason. So Jack simply slugged the kid right in the nose. He caught him off guard and sent the kid sprawling onto his ass. Before he could gather himself back up, Jack kicked him in the chest with the sole of his boot and drew his large revolver. He crouched down, boot still pinning the kid to the ground, and held the gun casually where the kid could see it.
"You know what a turn signal means?" he asked calmly. The kid's eyes went wide as he spotted the gun.
"Y-y-yeah," he stammered.
"Good. Ya had a little lapse of judgement there. Ya might wanna see to that." Jack stood, holstering his gun and walked back over to open the gas cover and insert the company credit card into the pump. He picked the mid-grade and inserted the fuel handle, locking the valve open before he turned back.
The kid was still sitting there, wiping blood from his mouth where his nose was bleeding. "They oughta have napkins inside," Jack told him mildly. "They're usually by the hot dogs."
Jack filled the tank while the kid picked himself up and went inside. A cop arrived a few minutes later, stopping in the entrance that the kid was blocking and turning his lights on. The cop stepped out and walked around the minivan and into the gas station.
Jack waited for the tank to fill, then replaced the nozzle and climbed back in the car.
"You wanna stick around?" Glenda asked. "Shoot the shit with the locals, make sure the kid gets the short end?"
"Naw," Jack said. "Read about the LA cops. Not exactly whom I'd like to consider comrades-in-arms, if you catch my meaning."
Glenda shrugged and they pulled out right as the kid and the cop both emerged back into the parking lot. Glenda thought the cop look pissed and the kid looked dejected.
They got on the 405 and drove it down to California 73, then took that south to Interstate 5, which brought them to San Clemente an hour later. Glenda got off the highway and turned into a neighborhood full of upscale, tightly-packed Spanish colonial homes. Unlike Compton, most of the yards weren't fenced, and those that were tended towards white picket fences. The lawns were universally well-cared for and nobody looked twice at them as they drove through the neighborhood and up to the address highlighted on the GPS.
It was a small, modest-looking home with a distinctly 70's asthetic. It didn't match most of the tile-roofed, square walled homes around it, but it hardly stood out, either. A BMW sat in the driveway, framed by a pair of shaped topiary trees. It looked like something off the cover of some homemaking magazine, Glenda thought.
They parked on the street and climbed out.
"The air is crackling with magic," Glenda said. "He's in there, doing something right now."
Jack walked up and pounded on the door. Glenda held up a hand, fingers splayed. Jack would understand what she meant. The magic was currently at a five, and she'd let him know if it diminished, and by approximately how much.
She kept her hand still for a while as nobody answered the door. Five minutes passed before Jack turned to her.
"Okay, this is your gig, now," he said. He walked back to the car, opening the trunk to reveal the bound, squirming and sweating Caliope there. He yanked her gag down and fed her from a water bottle.
"Been a long drive, ain't it?" he asked, conversationally. Caliope sucked greedily at the bottle, managing to drink every drop that didn't get splashed into the trunk.
"Fuck you," she muttered weakly. Jack smiled. "Looks to me like you're the one what's fucked, darlin'. Guess you shouldn'ta gone and fucked with your sister's collar like that. I mean, if you'd played by the rules, we'd have overlooked the whole issue of you not actually being any help whatsoever, and taken your good faith efforts as enough to fill your end. But ya had to go behind our backs, causing trouble. So now you're stuck in a trunk until we get back to the airport."
"Fuck you," she gasped again.
"'Scuse me," Jack said, reaching past her for an armored vest. He pulled it out and tugged it over his head, getting the flaps velcroed in place and adjusting it. When he was done, he pulled Caliope's gag back up.
"Awright, girl, you jes sit tight while we check this out. Won't be but a little bit, then we'll be heading to the airport."
She tried to say something, but the gag turned it into a muffled wail. Jack smiled as he closed the trunk and returned to the front door. Glenda stood there, watching him, fully kitted up with her armor and a carbine in her hands.
"Ready," Jack said. Glenda turned and, without preamble, kicked the door open with a thunderous blow. She rushed inside, rifle up and leading the way, Jack hot on her heels. Neither made it very far, though.
The living room had been converted into a ritual chamber. The walls were festooned with runes and the twisting lines that connected them. The floor had a large, ornate circle in the middle, runes etched into it and twisting, spiral designs encasing the whole thing. But that wasn't what gave them pause.
In the middle of the circle hovered a shimmering mirage, through which Glenda could see a city. It looked like something out of a sci-fi film, all rounded corners and smooth, off-white concrete. The windows in the buildings were mirrored, or else none of them had lights on inside, because they all reflected a sunrise coming from behind the view.
"What the hell's that?" Jack asked. Glenda carefully felt the magic around the apparition. "I think it's a portal."
"Okay, so where does it go, do ya think?"
"I haven't got a clue. I don't recognize that city."
"Kinda looks like Mos Eisley, a hundred years after they found oil or something," Glenda said.
"Think that's what Dylan was paying for? A trip to wherever that is?"
"Looks like," Glenda mused. "We're gonna need to call this in."
"Ayup. Let's clear the house, first."
They did just that. They found a den set up in one of the bedrooms, an obviously-lived-in kitchen and a master bedroom used for its intended purposes. In the last bedroom, they found an arsenal and storage space. It was full of survival and camping gear, weapons and ammo.
"Missing rifle," Jack said, peering at a gun rack.
"Yup," Glenda agreed. She opened an ammo tin. It was only half full.
"Somebody geared up here," she said.
Jack sighed. "Let's call it in, then. We'll hand over our little helper when the backup gets here."
It took two hours to get a team there, mostly because the LA regional office was all the way up in Burbank. But they eventually arrived. Two security officers took Caliope off their hands, to bring her back to prison. They brought another collar, to replace the modified wet blanket spell Glenda had been holding since the riot. It hadn't seemed like a lot of effort to hold the spell in place, but as soon as she finally let it go, she felt a wave of relief.
"Julie sent some extras along," the leader of the relief force told Glenda once Caliope had been seen to. She'd already spotted the two middle-eastern men in different uniforms than the rest. She thought she recognized the older one.
"We'll take all the help we can get. Any of you boys willing to go jaunting across reality with us?" The man chuckled. "No, thanks. Besides, we've got orders to secure this building and wait for the feds. Gonna see if there's anything illegal here, so we can nab this Garcia fellow as soon as he gets back."
Glenda nodded, then looked at the two middle-eastern men. She jerked her head in a 'come here' gesture and they stepped forward.
"Glenda, right?" the older one asked, holding out a hand.
"Yup," she said as she took it. He shook firmly, then let go. "I am Aqib, and this is my assistant, Mateen. We've been running around, helping out where we can for months now. It seems it is your turn to accept our assistance."
"Either of you got any magic?" Glenda asked. Mateen hefted his rifle and then tapped his body armor. "All of our gear is enchanted. We have rings, as well," he held up a hand bedecked with silver bands. "They will help us heal from injuries and allow us to see in the dark and other such useful things."
"Good, good," she said, then stopped. Aqib. That name rang a bell. She squinted at the middle-aged man.
"You were at the Wyrm facility when we took it," she said. "About six years ago." He nodded.
"I was with your friend when she fell. She saved my life," he said. Glenda nodded. "I remember that. I'm glad you're still here, then. Glad you're with us. I, uh..." She stopped speaking before she got choked up and cleared her throat.
"Are you two ready?" she asked.
"We have our gear," Aqib said, nodding at a pair of large backpacks leaning against one of the DCM branded trucks. "Camping gear, food and water for three days. Spare ammo, tools. We were told you had much more supplies yourself."
"Yup. I've got fresh food, enough for a couple of weeks for the four of us. Plus a couple months worth of dehydrated foods, MRE's and other food that'll keep for a while. I've got water and other shit to drink, camping gear, etcetera, etcetera. As long as you guys brought your own tents, we're golden."
"That is good," Aqib said.
"Do you have battery packs?" Mateen asked.
"Battery packs?" Glenda responded.
"Yes, for phones and other electronics. To keep them charged. I have a solar recharger, but it takes a long time, and it isn't always convenient to set it up."
Glenda shook her head. "Nope. Never been much for carrying a bunch of electronics around. Besides, I doubt our phones will work, where we're going."
Aqib grinned at his companion. "No video games until we're done, Mateen," he said. Mateen rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah."
"Mateen is still a child at heart, even though he has children of his own," Aqib explained as he stepped forward to get a good look at the portal, still hovering in the middle of the room.
"As long as he can fight," Glenda said. Jack approached, finished with the field paperwork. He had a backpack slung over one shoulder, and a rifle slung over the other. He still wore his armor.
"He fights like a cornered dog," Aqib said mildly. At Glenda's quirked eyebrow, he clarified. "He is very fierce."
"Good," Glenda said. She turned to Jack and gave him a quick kiss. "We ready?"
"Ayup," Jack confirmed. "All the paperwork's done, we're good to go."
Glenda pushed past Mateen and Aqib as they moved to pick up their packs. "I'll take them," she said. Mateen frowned, but Aqib simply nodded and stood back. She grabbed both packs and sent them to hammerspace, accepting Jack's pack and giving it the same treatment. Mateen shook his head slowly, but Aqib seemed unimpressed.
"Okay, let's boogie," Glenda said and strode through the portal before she could work up any doubts.
"None of 'em rotted," Jack said. "They're all mummified. All the plants are dead, but none of them are rotted, either." He stood in what seemed like a small park, a few trees growing in clusters at the four corners, and an open field of dead grass in the middle. Bodies lay strewn about, adults and children alike. Many lay draped over the benches, or slumped in a pile in front of them. One cluster of small bodies had a large, rubber-ish ball laying next to them, as if they'd died in the middle of some sort of game.
Glenda eyed the surroundings. They hadn't encountered a single living being in the hours they'd been moving through this city. "What do you think happened here?" she asked.
"I'll be honest, I ain't got a fucking clue, darlin'," Jack said. They stood in silence for a bit, reflecting on what they'd seen and wondering about it. An entire city, dead. No signs of decay, except for rusted metal. Glenda had seen large piles of rust that she took to be cars, based on the plastic and ceramic components still in them, along with the bodies. An entire city, dead. And yet the bodies remained. They'd held up better than the metal, for sure.
Mateen came around a corner at a jog and made a beeline for them. "Aqib has found something, a fresh body. Recently killed."
"Lead the way," Glenda told him. They followed him back around the corner, two blocks down and then around another corner, where they found Aqib standing over a bloody, headless corpse, resting against a building under a sign written in a language Glenda didn't recognize.
"Sheeit," Jack said as they drew up. "That's certainly out of place. Wonder where his head got to."
"Over here," Mateen said. He gestured to what looked like a bus stop with a trash can next to it. There, fetched up against the trash can was a severed head. A sparse trail of blood led from the body to it. Glenda walked over and crouched down, peering at the head.
"I think this is Garcia," she said. She pulled the photo she had of the man from hammerspace, checking it against the head.
"I think you're right," Jack said, peering over her shoulder. "And the chopped off head. That sounds like something Dylan would do."
"I think we're on the right track then," Glenda said. "But how do we know what direction he went?"
She straightened up as they all looked around. Nothing stood out to them.
A moment later, a terrifying roar sounded from off in the distance. They all turned towards it, weapons rising.
"I do not like that, but I think we know what direction to check now," Aqib said.
"'Fraid I gotta agree with ya," Jack said.
submitted by MjolnirPants
to JerryandtheGoddesses [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 17:00 LockedOut2222 Recommended service schedule opinions?
| || |
I am leasing a Subaru Impreza in Canada. I've had it almost 6 months. When signing all the paperwork I was given a "service schedule". The first one (see attached photo) is due at 6 months or 8k miles (mines has only done about 1k miles). submitted by LockedOut2222 to subaru [link] [comments]
My question is: how much of a problem would it be if I went to another mechanic for a service instead of Subaru? Are all these things really necessary for a 6 month old car?
The main concern would be if I don't stick to this exact service schedule and am then charged extra money at the end of the lease because they can can claim there is more than just "wear and tear" somehow.
My plan is actually to buy out the lease at some point (I had to go with leasing due to personal circumstances, though not financial). So does it matter? Of course, life can be unexpected and so I don't want to do the wrong thing now if I would end up having to hand the car back at the end of the lease.
2023.03.21 17:00 Wine_Dark_Sea_1239 I own an abandoned motel and I’m ready to meet my doom
[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part 10] [Part 11] [Part 12] [Part 13]
When my screams subsided, malevolent laughter filled the uneasy silence. Discordant, cruel laughter that sounded as though it bubbled from underwater. I turned around to see the macabre faces of the Kane sisters behind me, pressed against the window of their cottage, black teeth chattering.
“Where did they take him?” I demanded. My anger increased their delight.
“Where did they take him?” Margery mocked, my own voice coming out of her blackened mouth.
“Poor, poor girl lost her puppy!” Margaretta cackled.
I felt the rage rise within me, but I was utterly helpless. I knew they had the information we needed, but even if they were willing to speak, they could not be trusted.
Suddenly, their faces changed. Their dead white eyes widened in terror; their smiles had melted. Mina shrieked, a cacophonous cry that sent my hands to my ears.
It was René. Their eyes were fixed on him. His very presence caused them to tremble in fear.
“What is he
doing here?” Margery hissed.
“Come back to hurt us again, he has!” Mina shrieked.
“Devil take you, vampire!” Margaretta cried.
I looked at René in astonishment. He wore an expression I had not seen before, a smile that was almost cruel.
“Well if it isn’t the old charlatan sisters!” He said. “I would have never guessed that she would still be keeping you around, but then again, she’s always loved the most pathetic of sycophants.”
“Be gone, vampire! Be gone!” They shouted.
“I would love nothing more. But you heard Nora. You have information we need. Where did they take the werewolf?”
Margery turned to me.
“Stay away from him, girl! Stay away!”
“He hurt us! He hurt us!” Mina moaned.
“How about we make a deal?” I said, thinking quickly. The sisters cocked their terrible heads in curiosity. “You can tell me your story. Tell me what he did. But in return, you must tell us where they took our friend.”
René raised his eyebrows, but did not protest.
“And I will know when you are lying,” he added menacingly.
The sisters looked at each other and began to nod eagerly.
“The girl says she will listen!” They whispered excitedly. I felt a pang of pity.
“Do you agree?”
“Yes,” they hissed, the glee returning to their voices. The door to the cottage opened.
I stepped inside with René close behind me. The sisters glared at him.
“Whatever you’re going to do, do it without drawing blood this time.” I said, remembering the claw marks in my wrists.
“No appreciation for the fine art of channeling,” muttered Margaretta.
The sisters gestured to the chairs at the table. René and I sat, but I kept my arms tightly crossed. The sisters closed their eyes and moved from side to side rhythmically, putting themselves into a trance. They moaned and their mouths opened, emitting a thick, ectoplasmic mist.
“Gross,” I whispered to René, who smirked in response.
The mist enveloped us and our ramshackle surroundings, along with the sisters, vanished. In their place appeared a mid-19th century parlor: a finely carved mantle draped in black crepe, the ornamental mirror on top covered with black cloth. It was night, the heavy damask curtains were drawn, elegant oil lamps were lit on a large oak table, also draped in black. The sisters sat at the table, very much alive, dressed in ostentatious displays of mourning, their wide skirts spread across the chairs they sat in, jet bracelets clattering at their wrists. Human hands wreathed by delicate lace grabbed those of an older man who trembled with emotion.
A small audience observed the séance, dressed for an evening’s entertainment. There was one man in particular, whose clothing was undoubtedly the finest, with a dazzling silver jacquard waistcoat. Though he wore a pair of blue tinted spectacles, I immediately recognized him as René. His brown hair was longer, combed away from his face and curling just under his ears. He was smiling, that same strange smile I had seen before.
The sisters made their usual dramatic entreaties to the Great Beyond and the crowd gasped when the spirits responded intelligently to their questions with a series of rapping sounds. The man begged them to contact the spirit of his young daughter who had perished in a carriage accident decades before. The sisters obliged, making contact through the rapping. With a flourish, Mina threw her head back and out of her mouth squeaked the voice of a small child. The man collapsed in tears. Women in the audience dabbed their eyes with their handkerchiefs. René was no longer smiling.
When the audience had shuffled out, René lingered. Margaretta gave him an unctuous grin.
“How may we assist you, sir?”
“I would like to schedule a…private appointment.” He lowered his glasses and fixed his grey eyes on her. Margaretta’s eyes widened. She stared vacantly as though in a daze.
“We are entirely booked. We are in such demand, after all. We leave Rochester for our world tour this Saturday.” Margery said. Mina peered at René over her sister’s arm and smiled. He winked at her.
“Such lovely ladies you are. Money should be no issue, of course. I think you will find that you are free tomorrow evening” he said slowly. Margaretta nodded.
“Yes, yes. We are.”
“Very good. I very much look forward to our session.”
“Yes!” Shouted Mina, clearly enamored.
René smiled and put on his top hat, taking his leave.
The next night, the sisters eagerly awaited their guest. René arrived with a veiled woman on his arm, wearing lace gloves, matching the sisters in a black silk gown. Mina looked slightly disappointed to see the woman, but the other sisters grinned at her obvious finery, expecting a hefty sum for their services.
“Ladies, I hope you do not mind I have brought my wife,” he said, almost unable to hide the sinister grin that crept across his face.
“Of course, of course, welcome, madam!”
The veiled woman made no response. René escorted her to the table and they joined hands. The sisters began their show: the room erupted in rapping.
“The spirits are many in the ether tonight,” Margery moaned. “To whom do you wish to speak?”
“I wish to contact the spirit of our deceased child.” René said, watching the sisters carefully.
“Ah yes, it is a child who has appeared before me now, a beautiful child!” Margaretta cried. “Child, rap twice for yes, or once for no. Are these your beloved parents before you?”
Two distinct raps were heard on the table. Mina made an exaggerated gasp.
“The child wishes to speak through my sister!” Margery shouted.
Mina began to speak in that same squeaking voice as the previous evening. René could no longer contain his fury. With one swift movement René rose and flipped over the table before them. He grabbed Mina by the neck.
“I have no child, you insidious swindlers!” He shouted. He dug his fangs into Mina’s neck and the sisters began to scream. The witch stood and removed her veil, green eyes glowing, black teeth grinning. She raised her hand and the remaining two sisters rose into the air. René threw the corpse of Mina at their feet. They sobbed hideously, begging the witch for mercy.
“I have no use for such talentless fools,” she said.
“We will do anything, we will be your most faithful servants,” they cried still suspended in the air.
“Ask them how much money they’ve bled from the grieving, how they’ve bankrupted their victims in the name of their lost loved ones!” René said, enraged, fangs bared. “Let me finish with them!”
The witch sighed. “Forgive my friend with his tedious sense of justice. Would you really
do anything? Bind yourselves to me for all time?”
“Yes! Yes!” Margery and Margaretta cried.
“Idiots,” René muttered.
The witch curled her hand into a fist and the women began to cough, hands clawing at their necks. Their eyes rolled in the back of their heads. The body of Mina rose to join them. With a sickening snap, the necks of Margery and Margaretta broke and they joined their sister in death. The corpses’ mouths opened, so wide the jaws were broken and three familiar specters climbed out. The ghosts fell at the feet of the witch, making obsequies, hailing her their mistress.
The mist that had descended around the cottage dispersed, leaving the sisters glaring at us.
“Time to fulfill your end of the bargain,” René demanded. “We don’t have much time.”
They chittered angrily and turned their ghoulish heads to me.
“Girl! Have you nothing to say of the crimes of your beau?”
What I had seen had certainly shocked me, but it was something I could not bear to process at the moment.
“He’s right. Show us where they took Jake.”
“No lies.” René warned.
The sisters grumbled among themselves, but once again broke into a trance. A vision appeared before us. It was the river, a great gray mist hanging over it. A large, shadowy structure pushed its way through, revealing the towers of an elaborate stone castle. The castle was familiar to me. Around here, we call it Bellevue Castle, an abandoned Gilded Age flight of fancy on a private island that is now our most famous tourist site. During the winter months, it is closed to guests, leaving the island abandoned. The vision dissolved into smoke.
René stood up to leave.
“You’ll never reach him before dawn,” hissed Margery.
“Yes, yes, the sun is rising, revenant!” Margaretta cackled.
He ignored them. I followed him out, feeling their hateful stares at my back, leaving them to howl and complain among themselves. They had not been lying. The sky had lightened considerably, a thin line of orange had appeared on the horizon. René cursed and shielded his face.
“Let’s get to my cottage,” I said. We arrived just as I began to feel the sun behind me. René had bolted for the dark bedroom. I found him sitting on the bed, his face in his hands, shoulders tense with frustration. I was frustrated too. We’d been outmaneuvered and I feared for Jake’s safety. Would she make him the object of her retaliation? I was certain of it. But there was no way I could sail for the castle without René. I may have a death warrant, but I do not have a death wish.
“We leave as soon as the sun sets tonight,” he said, as though convincing himself.
“I don’t think we have a choice,” I said.
“Not if we want to find Jake.”
“Do you think…do you think we’ll be too late?” I didn’t want to contemplate it.
“I do not think she would kill him without us there to witness it. She wouldn’t deprive herself of the spectacle. We have to understand that she is anticipating exactly what we are planning on doing.”
“This is it then,” I said, trying to sound strong, though I felt like a fist were gripping my heart. René lifted his head and took my hands.
“I won’t let it happen,” he said. “I swear to you.”
“I don’t think that’s something you can promise, René.”
I pulled my hands back from his. It was hard to look at him, when Mina’s face flashed before me, eyes filled with terror just before he buried his fangs into her neck.
“I realize that you have not seen me feed before,” he said quietly.
“Feed? You make it sound so…casual.”
He raised my chin to his face, gray eyes resolute.
“I have spent many decades in utter misery, disgusted by myself, by what I am. That self-loathing is still with me and will be forever. But I cannot change the past and I cannot restore what I have lost. If I can channel this bloodlust, this propensity for violence, against those who have done evil, then perhaps through evil, I can accomplish something good, spare an innocent. This thought was the only thing that sustained me in that century of servitude by her side. This is something … something I hope you never have to understand.”
“I’m going to take a shower.”
“If you return while I am at rest, remember—”
“You’ll look kinda dead. I know.”
He smiled sadly.
I was desperate for the warmth of the shower. The cold within me was not merely the effect of winter, but a numbness that I couldn’t shake. I tried to reach back to a couple months ago, before the sky had changed to that ghastly green, before the abyss opened before me. It was as though I were viewing another person’s life on a different planet. And yet the life I am living now does not seem like my own either. I am straddling the lives of two strangers.
I tried to imagine death. I tried to imagine not existing. Of course, I could not. Who can? I had to hope that there would be peace, that the spirits were not lying to comfort me. After all, I had already witnessed the existence of far more unlikely things.
The sound of the water soothed me. I stepped inside, relishing those first few drops, immersing my body, emptying my mind. The future didn’t matter. At that moment, I was alive and that was glorious.
I don’t know how long I had been standing there, when the water began to feel different. Thicker. Metallic tasting. I opened my eyes to find myself covered in blood, it was pouring out of the shower head. My skin began to burn, my hair falling out in clumps, my teeth loosening and I spat them out. I screamed.
I found myself on the floor of the shower, bruised but wet from water alone. My hands fluttered to my mouth, my hair. Nothing was amiss. I dragged myself upright, trying not to sob. She would take even those small moments away from me…
I toweled off with trembling hands and allowed myself a brief glance in the mirror, too fearful of what might stare back if I lingered. Beyond some considerably dark rings under my eyes, I looked relatively normal.
Before, I had contemplated watching the full sunrise, sitting in the sunshine until eventually dozing on the couch. Instead, I went back to the dark bedroom and climbed under the covers of my bed. In my current state, my only comfort came in the form of the reanimated corpse next to me. I curled up beside him and fell asleep.
René woke me up at sunset. Despite everything, I actually felt well-rested and at ease. René prepared by downing a large thermos of blood. I secured my uncle’s knife under my coat in a leather belt sheath, my movements calm, almost mechanical. René handed me my silver bracelets and a wave of sadness passed through me.
“We don’t know what state he is in,” he whispered. I nodded and put them on my wrists.
We set sail in silence, the boat’s movements for once not triggering nausea. It was desperately cold on the water, despite the promise of spring in the near future. The cold struck through my gloves and burned my face. René was clearly not bothered by the climate; his coat wasn’t even zipped. He stared ahead with his brows furrowed, scanning all around us for ice and other enemies.
I thought of the summer and of the river crowded with life, with people laughing, speeding past each other on their boats, picnicking under the turrets of our destination, Bellevue Castle.
“Do you know the story of Bellevue Castle, René?” I asked.
“Manhattan hotelier wanted to build the grandest home in all of the Islands, but his wife died before it could be completed.”
“And in his grief, the husband asked all the workers to put down their tools and step away, leaving the castle a half-finished husk, a monument to lost love.” I added.
“I actually think he just ran out of money. I spent some time on that construction site in the 1890s.”
“Of course, you did. Don’t burst the bubble of anyone on the tourist board, alright? That place is a big money maker around here.”
It was good to smile with him, even if just for a moment.
As we neared the castle, a mist descended around us, just as in the vision of the sisters. The air felt heavy and old, as though rife with mildew and rot, difficult to inhale. The visibility severely decreased, but René was able to continue to navigate towards our destination, its hulking shadows barely detectible even by his eyes.
Our boat was hit by a wave, as though from the wake of a boat. René and I looked at each other, thinking the same thing: there was absolutely no one else on the river. A great creaking sound echoed all around us, the groaning of wood and metal. A veritable flotilla of ships and boats broke the surface all around us, arising from the depths glowing a ghostly green. There were wrecked wooden speed boats, steel-hulled freighters from the turn of the century, coal steamers, massive three-masted schooners, and frigates built for the wars of two hundred years ago.
No crew piloted these vessels, which groaned and sighed with the sadness of their years at the bottom. Something was weaving its way through the wrecks, howling through the air with the screeching of a cyclone. René leaned forward, craning his neck to spot it, when a rotting hand shot out of the water and grabbed his shoulder. He pulled it off, but another joined the attack, and another, until a great host of drowned, rotting corpses were pulling at him, threatening to board the boat.
I grabbed a paddle and whacked at them, but there were too many. They were pulling him overboard, despite our best efforts. I clutched his arm and with all my strength tried to drag him back in. The cacophony was approaching, my hair whipped around my face as the freezing winds accelerated. Something caught my boot and my grip on René’s hand slipped away. I was hurtled into the swirling air. I saw below me René’s struggling body dipping below the surface of the river, drowned dead glaring up at me lifelessly.
The whirlwind hummed with the cries of miserable souls. I was suspended among them, falling upwards and upwards until I could breathe no more. x
submitted by Wine_Dark_Sea_1239
to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 16:39 raphaelaleixo Using React, Google Sheets, and CSS to create a dynamic cv and cover letter generator.
Hey, everyone. Nice to meet you, I am a product designer, who actually loves to code. In the last three years, I have been working with ReactJs, and I'm finally feeling comfortable with the framework.
This is my first attempt at creating an open-source tool using react. :) It's not something really complex, but it's already helping me with some job-hunting. I would love some feedback about the code and about how to better structure projects like these.
This is the repository of the tool: https://github.com/raphaelaleixo/cv-generator
Thanks in advance,
submitted by raphaelaleixo
to reactjs [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 16:15 Valiance007 Grateful, new Q: setting up power state for new NVMe device
Operating System: Manjaro ARM
KDE Plasma Version: 5.27.2
KDE Frameworks Version: 5.103.0
Qt Version: 5.15.8
Kernel Version: 6.2.5-1-MANJARO-ARM (64-bit)
Graphics Platform: X11
Processors: 4 × ARM Cortex-A53, 2 × ARM Cortex-A72
Memory: 3.8 GiB of RAM
Graphics Processor: Mali-T860
Product Name: Pine64 Pinebook Pro
Hardware Mod: Crucial P3 NVMe 1TB
related tool: Cronie
I am trying to change the power state of the NVMe Module at boot up.
I attempted to follow another user's method with Crontab, and add a line called '@'reboot, followed by the statement to change the Power state. I cannot seem to figure out how to use Crontab properly, I can edit a Crontab, but not sure how to get it to activate upon boot. (Rarely do I reboot, mostly it is shutdown/boot up.) Suspend is broken on my PBP device/Manjaro OS, (known issue) therefore I don't use suspend.
submitted by Valiance007
to linux4noobs [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 16:01 SpicyThunder335 r/DnD 3,000,000 Subscriber Giveaway Extravaganza!
Yes, completely unguarded. Vast wealth beyond your wildest dreams! Catch? Of course there’s no “catch”. I’m sure those rumors were merely to scare away looters. There hasn’t been a dragon in these parts for a thousand years…
! Our subreddit’s continued growth has brought us to the awesome milestone of 3,000,000 community members
! In celebration of this occasion, the Mod Team has teamed up with several great creators in the DnD
community to bring everyone a massive giveaway event with more than $600 in combined prize value!
The rules for this giveaway are simple:
- To enter, leave one top-level comment on this post
- The giveaway will run for one week and this post will be locked on Monday, March 27th, at 11:59 PM to prevent further entries
- On Tuesday, March 28th, one winner for each prize will be randomly selected from the comment entries by the Mod Team using an external raffler
- The selected winners’ usernames will be passed along to the respective prize contributor and they will contact you to arrange delivery of your prize
Additionally, beginning with this event, we will be implementing the following new rules to improve transparency and accountability for all giveaways conducted on DnD
To conduct a giveaway you must: 1. Create a thread on /DnD. 2. Use redditraffler (or a similar tool) to randomly select a comment. 3. The winning account must be at least 3 months old. 4. You can contact the winner to collect their information, limited to the information required to deliver the prize (ideally no more than email address for digital items, or name and street address for physical items).
Your entry in this contest earns you a shot at one of the great prizes below from many of our talented community contributors. Where there is a quantity listed, one winner will be selected for each individual item. from u/Dan_The_DM (product link)
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Mutated Monsters is a hardcover book filled with over 120 brand new creatures and unique mutant versions of existing monsters. These beasts are designed to be dropped into any 5e world or setting, and are guaranteed to bring new excitement to your game. The creature descriptions contain: - Unique Combat Tactics. In every monster description you’ll find descriptive and detailed tactics for how the monster interacts with the world and uses its abilities to defend itself. - Monster-specific Magic Items or Loot. Many creatures feature loot that is thematically tied to the defeated enemy. Giving your players a reminder of their accomplishments and extra incentive to keep adventuring. - Narrative Description. Flavor text to help GMs to easily describe the creature to their players, setting the scene for tense, engaging encounters. from u/DiceDungeons (dicedungeons.com)
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Crown of the Oathbreaker is a 916-page D&D 5e adventure module and a campaign setting with player options. 3 large sandbox and 40+ dungeon maps, 200+ illustrated NPCs, 30+ new magic items, 80+ new monsters and templates, 30+ new subclasses, and 40+ new spells and feats. from u/Gibartik (product link)
The dark fantasy sandbox adventure takes characters from 1st to 15th level. The story is set in the Kingdom of Aglarion, where the characters will uncover dark secrets from the past of a royal family after the fall of a blessed era and break a curse that plagues the kingdom. The players will have to explore lands ravaged by a curse and travel to the Feyrealm, the Shadowrealm, and even Hell, where they will face hard moral dilemmas before saving the crown from the dreadful effects of an otherwise inevitable pact.
This is a combination Dice Tower, Vault, and Tray for those that can't stop collecting math rocks. Holds 35 (5 sets) dice comfortably (6 sets if you're sneaky)! Each end of the hammer face slides off, holding 10 standard TTRPG dice each. And there's enough space in the hilt/head to hold the rest. The front plate slides in place and is held with a set of magnets. The tower has 5 steps to ensure optimal dice randomization, and slows down the dice enough so they land softly in the tray. from u/KakapopoTCG (linktr.ee/kakapopotcg)
2-in-1 Single-sided Dice Display and Storage Case in Silver. Features: - Dice Capacity: 13 Sets of Polyhedral Dice (91 Dice in total) - Exterior Dimensions: 420mm x 270mm x 50mm OR 16" x 10" x 2" - Maximum Dice Diameter: 27mm - Weight: 1.2kg from u/kohalu (product link)
A set of crown-themed resin dice. from u/MammothFactory (patreon.com/MammothFactory)
Mammoth Factory Games is happy to share our Temple of Time collection, including the Temple of Time adventure and 20+ premium STL miniatures. Lost for ages amidst the ruins of a dead empire, a great power of old thrums with ancient might. Entrapped by the mechanisms of the temple that houses it, the characters must either claim this power or be entombed with it forever. The trials to obtain this power will push them to their limits, and beyond the bounds of death itself – for the laws of mortality hold no sway in the Temple of Time. Good luck and thank you all!
submitted by SpicyThunder335
to DnD [link] [comments]
2023.03.21 15:49 raphaelaleixo Using React, Google Sheets, and CSS to create a dynamic cv and cover letter generator.
Hey, everyone. Nice to meet you, I am a product designer, who actually loves to code. In the last three years, I have been working with ReactJs, and I'm finally feeling comfortable with the framework.
This is my first attempt at creating an open-source tool using react. :) It's not something really complex, but it's already helping me with some job-hunting. I would love some feedback about the code and about how to better structure projects like these.
This is the repository of the tool: https://github.com/raphaelaleixo/cv-generator
Thanks in advance,
submitted by raphaelaleixo
to react [link] [comments]