Jeep door latch stuck


2023.03.29 12:24 writtenwithwords Confused

I (F23) broke up with my ex-boyfriend (M24) about two months ago. I broke up with him because he “confessed” that he has been helping a friend from work pay for transgender escorts but I found messages in his phone over a year ago that makes it looks like he was trying to get these escorts for himself rather than a friend.
I was blindsided for four years so I decided to end it. I made peace about letting him go and moving on because he did so many things to disrespect me as a woman (commenting on random females pics on Twitter, calling me fat when birth control caused me to gain weight, giving me an STD, and verbally abusing me).
Moving on, we tried to be “friends” for about a month or probably a couple weeks I should say, but he was trying to make small hints that he wanted us to get back together because it would take him a long time to find someone else, etc.
I decided to block him on his birthday (great birthday gift lol) early this month. I’m not sure when he noticed, but he tried to message me through email twice & once on Instagram last Thursday evening. I blocked him on all of it after all three attempts were made. I even deleted my email he was sending emails to (I wanted to get rid of that email anyways).
My sister advised for me to go ahead and see what he wanted. I unblocked his number to see what he wanted but received no response within 10 minutes so I blocked him again (he said he only needed 10 minutes).
The awkward part of all this is that I work with his mother, and the job is 15 minutes from his house. That being said, I thought he was going to show up to my job this past Sunday (because she didn’t work that day), but he didn’t.
However, I received flowers at my door step yesterday afternoon while I was walking the neighborhood with my mother. No note or anything - just a receipt. My mom swears down they couldn’t have been for her so part of me assumes it was him only because they were purple & yellow flowers (my favorite color is purple).
What should I do about this? I blocked him and have been distancing myself from his mom at work because I need to heal so I can move on. He wasn’t helping the situation and neither was she.
I want to leave this job but it’s hard right now because I can’t find nothing that pays at the same rate by my house. I love what I do but I hate that she still works here and I know she won’t quit anytime soon so I’m stuck with her until I find a new job.
I’m just not sure why would he want to contact me now. There is nothing to discuss. He knows he hurt me and took advantage of me. He is well aware and admitted that when I chose to break up with him.
Even if he was trying to confess what he really did, I don’t need it. I wanted an apology but this man never knew how to apologize anyways so there was no point of me wanting that.
If anyone has any advice to provide me, I would appreciate it.
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2023.03.29 11:50 Karma-Marie-8580 My first bad sleep, paralysis attack (PLEASE HELP)

I’m 15 female and I have been having sleep paralysis for the past month last night was the worst. I went to bed pretty early last night even though I had only been up for about four hours prior and I took some melatonin because I’m trying to fix my sleep schedule because of the sleep paralysis. i’m afraid to sleep by myself, so I slept on the phone with my best friend. She promised she would wake me up if anything happened, but she ended up falling asleep. I went to bed last night and I got stuck in my dream. so I would go to sleep in real life, and then I would wake up in my childhood bedroom with a bright light shining in my eyes, and when I woke up, I couldn’t talk I couldn’t make a noise I can’t scream or anything, but I could move, so I got up out of bed and I would leave my childhood bedroom open the door and my grandpa who sexually assaulted me when I was younger, would be sitting on the couch I would go to my grandma’s bedroom to wake her up, but she wasn’t there, and my grandpa had followed me into the bedroom and then he just stared at me so I would leave his bedroom going to the kitchen and get a drink of water and then go back to my bathroom lay down and try to go back to sleep. This is when I realized I was dreaming because I would go to sleep and then when I wake up, I would wake up in real life and I couldn’t move, I was trying to speak but I couldn’t but I realized I was back in my real bedroom and my phone was right next to me so I would just go back to sleep in real life and then the same thing that happening over and over again I go to sleep and be in my dream try to talk I couldn’t talk I couldn’t scream or anything I go in my grandma‘s room look at myself in the mirror I knew I was dreaming so I just kept going back to sleep, trying to wake myself up in real life well after a few tries I finally woke up in real life and I could talk and I realized I was OK but I made the mistake of falling back asleep and I got stuck in my dream again I started to panic so I held my breath and I woke up for real and I’ve been awake since. I’m afraid to sleep I don’t know what to do. (sorry about bad grammar)
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2023.03.29 11:26 demfrecklestho Weekly schedule (March 27 - April 2)

We’re faced with an emptier week compared with previous ones, but the wait will be rewarded with one of the biggest races of the season awaiting us on Sunday: the Ronde van Vlaanderen, aka the second monument and the biggest of the Flemish races.
Race M/W Rank < M T W T F S S >
Dwars door Vlaanderen ME M 1.UWT x
Dwars door Vlaanderen WE W 1.Pro x
Vuelta Bantrab M 2.2 1 2 3 4 5
Route Adélie de Vitré M 1.1 x
GP Miguel Indurain M 1.Pro x
Volta Limburg Classic M 1.1 x
Tour of Thailand M 2.1 1 2 (+4)
Ronde van Vlaanderen ME M 1.UWT x
Ronde van Vlaanderen WE W 1.WWT x
Trofeo Piva M 1.2U x

Ronde van Vlaanderen

Sunday’s Tour of Flanders is the second monument of the season, and undoubtedly one of the biggest classics of the year… if not the biggest! Especially for Belgian fans, it is considered a near-religious event. It’s a Flemish cobbled classic like the ones we’ve had in the past few weeks… but it’s longer (250 kms for the men, 150 kms for the women), tougher (16 cobbled sectors for the men, 10 for the women) and it has infinitely more prestige than any other race held in this area so far; sadly, it is also the last big Flemish classic, but this might add a layer of entertainment as it will be the last chance to leave a mark for riders who have failed to perform until now.
The men’s course starts in Brugge, and it takes 100 kms to reach the Flemish Ardennes area where all the cobbled sectors are found; the women’s race starts closer to the action, with the first cobbled sectors less than 50 kms into the course. Except for this, the two courses are rather similar and share several key points: the Koppenberg, a short but notoriously difficult cobbled climb coming with about 50 kms to go, and the Oude Kwaremont x Paterberg combo: these two iconic cobbled roads are tackled one after another near the end of the race, and from the Paterberg’s summit it’s a tense 13 kms-long run to the finish line in Oudenaarde. However, unlike- say- the Poggio in MSR, it’s such a tough race that the decisive move could come just about anywhere, so it’s well worth watching from far out.
In the men’s event, Mathieu van der Poel has been the absolute protagonist in recent years- winner in 2020, a close second in 2021 and winner again in 2022. Last year’s win came after a ballsy gamble- he was in front with Tadej Pogačar but the two nearly came to a standstill before the line, as neither wanted to tow the other to the line. This allowed the chasers to catch up with them… but MvdP still won the sprint at the end. In the women’s race, SD Worx (unsurprisingly) had strength in numbers, and this allowed Lotte Kopecky to bring some joy to the home crowds.

Dwars door Vlaanderen

The penultimate Flemish classic is Wednesday’s Dwars door Vlaanderen, whose name roughly translates to through Flanders. Compared to other Flemish classics, I’d argue it is a bit less coveted as it was a late addition to the men’s World Tour, and it isn’t even WT for the women; most of its prestige comes from its “last call before de Ronde” calendar spot… which it acquired in 2018, when organizers FlandersClassics successfully lobbied to oust the Three Days of De Panne from this privileged calendar spot.
DDV is a fairly standard Flemish race- it takes place in the area to the south of Gent- the same as Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke and the Ronde van Vlaanderen- and it features 10 cobbled sectors for the men and 9 for the women. Most of them are in the last 50 kms, after the Knokteberg, a short, punchy hill which is often a pivotal point in this race. Mathieu van der Poel is (again) the defending champion in the men’s race, whereas the always cheerful Chiara Consonni won the women’s race last year.

Route Adélie de Vitré

At long last, the French calendar will finally reach Bretagne on Friday: as you may know, the region is one of the most passionate (if not THE most passionate) about the sport in the whole country, and it is set to host plenty of events throughout the year. As with most races held here, the Route Adélie takes place on mostly flat rural roads, although it is not necessarily a sprinters’ race: last year we had a tough edition of this event, marred by bad weather, and Cofidis’ Axel Zingle emerged victorious. Fun fact: this is probably the only race named after a brand of ice cream, made by one of the event’s main sponsors.

GP Miguel Induráin

If you prefer mountains to cobblestones, this is probably not the best week in the calendar for you: Saturday’s GP Miguel Induráin might be a much-needed fix. It is a one-day race held in Navarra, northern Spain, not far from where the Tour of the Basque Country will be held the following week.
The race is named after five-times TdF winner Induráin, who hails from this same region; he was regarded as a formidable “jack of all trades” kind of rider… and the course seems to reflect this: it has several short climbs and fast descents, so it can play out in many different ways. The course has been changed regularly in the past, but the 2023 course is largely similar to the one used for the past couple of years, with many short hills along the route and the last categorized climb, the Alto de Eraul, summiting with 10 kms to go. Warren Barguil won last year.
Fun fact: among past winners of GP Miguel Induráin, we can find Induráin himself, although the race had yet to be named after him.

Volta Limburg Classic

Saturday’s Volta Limburg Classic is a one-day race taking place in Limburg province, the southernmost part of the Netherlands, with some brief spillovers in Belgium too. Unlike the rest of the country, this area is quite hilly, and this race includes plenty of short climbs: it’s Amstel Gold Race territory, although this race’s course is easier overall. Despite its potential status as a prep race for the Ardennes classics, this race usually has a fairly low-tier startlist, with most classics-type riders and teams busy across the border- there will be four WT teams at the start. There’s a women’s race held alongside the men’s- albeit on a shorter circuit: despite sometimes having a better startlist than the men’s race, it is not part of the UCI calendar.
The race shouldn’t be confused with the Ronde van Limburg, a flatter race held across the border in Belgium… although coincidentially the two events had the same winner last year, Arnaud De Lie.

Tour of Thailand (stages 1-2)

The Covid-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on the Asian calendar over the past few seasons, and things are just now getting back to normal. There’s a race that never stopped, though: The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorns Cup Tour of Thailand… I hope you’ll forgive me if I call it Tour of Thailand for the sake of brevity.
The race begins on Saturday and is set to last six stages overall, after which a women’s race will begin. Unlike previous editions of this race, the stages won’t be concentrated to one small region within the country: the riders will move around, forming a crescent-moon-shaped loop to the north of Bangkok. There’s one thing that has not changed, though: the course of the race is largely completely flat except for a punchy climb next week. After the men’s race wraps up, a women’s race will take place too!
The race is ranked 2.1, meaning that WT teams could participate in theory… although in practice, not even ProTeams will be visiting here. Last year, Polish continental team HRE took part in this race, and took the overall with Alan Banaszek, now at HPH; this year, the startlist will be mostly made up of Asian teams with strong Belgian conti team Tarteletto the only visitor from elsewhere confirmed so far.

.2 races

TV Guide

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2023.03.29 11:01 MyBigCaprice 2002 manual mirrors

I saw a base model 2002 liberty, with the only visible door controls being the door latch, door lock and window crank. I couldn't find any mirror controls anywhere. How do the mirrors get adjusted?
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2023.03.29 10:44 healingmind23 How to explain OCD to someone

Why does this exist? What did we do to have to suffer this much. We didn't do anything, but look. OCD puts the worst imaginable thought in your mind based on you and who you are, whatever you care about or fear the most. That is what it focuses on, and it not only gives you thoughts about it constantly that you cannot fade. But it tries to convince you that it is true and who you are. If you try to rationalize the thought, prove to yourself that it's not true, or get rid of the feeling.. it only makes it stronger. It only makes the thought come back more often, it only makes the convincing happen more. And you become untouched with reality, you aren't focusing on the moments passing by.. your stuck in your head and lost in your mind. Trying to figure out something that isn't real at all, all while making it worse. People with OCD know that none of it is rational, but that only makes the pain worse. Because they cannot help it. Fighting the compulsions is very hard, it will throw every thought and anxiety provoking thing it can at you, until you give in. (If you dont have OCD, Say everytime you layed down, you hear someone with keys unlocking your front door.. but everytime you checked, there was nothing. just because it was nothing last time, doesn't mean you won't check again, and again, and again. You finally decide to ignore that, now you hear your oven going off, you know you didn't turn it on and you aren't cooking anything.. but are you going to check it or go to sleep?) Obviously with OCD it's not sounds, but rather thoughts that you cannot control. But understand that OCD is mental torture for almost everyone that has it, and the thoughts are generally much worse than just (the oven is on) it could be thoughts of harming your family, unwanted sexual thoughts, thoughts that you might not be the same person anymore ect. And the only seemingly way to make that go away at the time.. is the one thing that makes it stronger. Even when my thoughts aren't bothering me at the moment, I feel so compelled to do my compulsions just out of habit, now add that with the uncontrollable thoughts and anxiety. More information in the comments.
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2023.03.29 10:30 Actually_Viirin Chapter 2: Meeting the System

Previous Chapter:
‘Wh… ‘ Where was he, Jack thought to himself. ‘Where’d that guy go? Why do the anime protagonists seem to know what’s going on when they teleport, but I don't? I should be less unaware than them, not more!’
He looked around, seeing his surroundings properly. The place was made of wood, with holes in it in a bunch of places. Like, the knotholes fell out of the planks and the paint had dried a long time ago and had been flaking off for quite awhile. But, the planks weren’t that great to start with. Like, most of them were either carved a little wrong or had warping to make space between the boards. Not all of them, but close enough.
There were six pews, with only one of them intact and standing upright, though the mildew or moss or whatever it was had turned the wood green. All of the pews had what looked like wood that had absorbed water from somewhere, encouraging the growth of the plant. That counted as a plant, right?
Turning around, there was a little podium that looked to be made out of better wood, or at least darker, but it was only skin deep. This was proven by the thing showing some obvious cracking in the wood, revealing the same color wood as the pews, or at least the part of them that wasn’t moldy. There was a slight glow behind it.
Jack walked forward, and took a look around the podium, looking into the small alcove built into it. There was an open book with smeared text and pages that got wet at some point then dried, making it look like the book would never close properly again. Next to it was a large marble that looked to be the source of the faint light. It was gray, and almost looked like the marble itself was hollow and it had some swirling mist or smoke in it.
It was interesting enough that Jack found himself unable to resist trying to touch it. Though, as he reached for it, he noticed something. He could see through his own hands, arms… he was still wearing the clothes he had on before, but he could see through himself and his clothes, and did so very easily.
He stood up from his crouching position in a quick jerk. ‘What the?’ he said out loud. ‘Okay that paperwork didn’t say anything about this. What did it say…? I can’t remember…’ He shook his head to clear his mind. Moving around to properly look in the podium alcove, he got a better look at the glowing marble and tried to touch it again.
[Move Core?]
‘What?’ he said to no one. No reply came. He tried to touch the marble again.
[Move Core?]
‘Yes’, he said to the voice. Jack was now listening with more intent, to try and discern where the voice was coming from.
[Select new location for Core.]
Jack looked around the place, seeing nothing that could count as a landmark except the podium. There was a little hole in the piece of wood on the top, where a small knothole used to be. Or maybe some other kind of hole. Either way, it was smaller than the marble, but big enough that it should keep the thing from rolling off and breaking.
He could feel the marble in his hand, and could even see it when he looked. But it was a ghostly version he could see through, but it didn’t glow. The gray marble in the podium alcove was still there, glowing.
It wasn’t like Jack hadn’t played games like this. He’d played too many, really. It was just a basic FPS survival thing where you had to build… shit. He’d have to build stuff now? Decide what place he was going to build, then do it all manually?
'At least in some games, it would smooth out the ground for you once you placed something. Would it work that way for me, though?' he thought to himself. He continued talking to himself inside his mind. 'But weren’t dungeons like big labyrinths underground with traps and monsters and loot? Loot. Treasure chests!' Something came back to him. 'There was supposed to be a chest somewhere… okay yes.' He put the Core, apparently, in the knothole on top of the podium instead of inside it. As soon as he did, he got another of those odd… maybe voices? Messages? He wasn’t sure yet.
[Core Relocation in progress. Time to relocate: 38 seconds.]
‘That’s a heck of a long time to move a marble a foot and a half’, Jack thought to himself. He looked around for the chest again. No, he’d have noticed a chest. There wasn’t one. Where was it, then?
He heard a sound, but couldn’t make out what it was similar to. Maybe it acted like a timer, but it definitely didn’t sound like one. Looking at the podium, the Core was there now, glowing. Checking to be sure, it wasn’t in the alcove anymore.
Jack walked over to the only doors he saw to the place, and reached out to touch them and try and open one side. Then he got a really strange set of messages, in his opinion at least.
[Trap Discovered: Creaky Door]
[Trap added to research list.]
[Trap Discovered: Stuck Door]
[Trap added to research list.]
'Okay, so how do I get out of here?' he thought out loud. 'Maybe...' Jack tried to walk through the door as if it wasn't there, and succeeded. Or failed because he wasn't there. He wasn't sure. Either way, the doors were still closed and he was outside. The sun was dimming, though he was only able to tell that there was a sun, and it was sunset, because of the color of the light and long shadows of the many blades of grass just off the staired porch he found himself standing on.
'Grass? Weeds? At least something else is familiar. Doesn't help me find the chest though... maybe it's against one of the outer walls?' Jack took a couple steps forward, going down the wooden steps that didn't look any better than the rest of the building.
[Trap Discovered: Crumbling Stair]
[Trap added to research list.]
'Another one? I guess normal aging is a trap. Ha! I'm so right. Good thing I died young, eh? Eh?' Jack thought. But there was no one to nudge with his elbow. He sighed, and continued walking around the outer edge of what used to be a church.
'Holy crap, I didn't think the chest would be that big!', Jack thought to himself. It was as long as he was tall, almost as deep, and more than half as tall. That by itself made it huge, but seated against the back of the church, it looked even bigger. 'Then again, those pews were rather thin. Well, religious places were supposed to make anyone who showed up uncomfortable, right?' He tried picking up the chest, and heard stuff again.
[Clear a space for the Dungeon Treasure before Dungeon Treasure can be relocated.]
'Okay that makes sense. Be right back, chest. Just don't get looted! As if anyone even could loot you.'
The inanimate object didn't respond.
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2023.03.29 09:54 digitalapostate Just looking for a little feed back

Just looking for a little feed back
Just started the grind. I haven't had this much fun in a mobile game in a long time it's just a really fun bullet hell game that happens to be in the theme of one of my favorite IPs . It's pure mobile based fan service and I love it.
Im not ignoring that mobile games comes with a certain amount of studio mandated monetization but I still really do feel like there was some talent, inspiration, and fun that made it's way into the game. Cheers the dev team and well done to the design team that turned what could have been a Chinese engine clone cash in to a fun little door that really does capture alot of the doom gameplay elements fairly well.
Fan boying over....I'm looking for a little feed back from the min/max exists on my build. I'm kinda stuck on the items in the last image I cant decide what secondary and tertiary toys to bring the party. I really enjoy the flame belch because it's just so blasted fun but it looks like the meta is the ice bomb. And for my super weapon pick...what cant be said about a baby-bfg, classic doom :)
Any min/maxers have any thoughts though, you know, for "the grind"?
Thanks for reading and of course, happy rip-and-tearing fellow slayers!
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2023.03.29 09:48 artemis10001 I DIED IN A FIRE

Its a really strange thing to say but i remember it semi vividly there are certain parts that i can remember well and others not so much (backstory) i have never lived in a house of my own much less had a fire burn one i was in. i have asked my mom about it but she always said we have never been in a house fire nor anyone i have known. (The Story) I had been reading in my bed and fell asleep i wake up with my sister screaming for me to get up i am really sweaty i asked her what was going on but she was drowned out by a loud crash outside my door i stand up but quickly fall down in pain realizing my foot was burned i stand ready for the pain i walk from my room down the stairs into the living room.(I have to walk through the laundry room to get to the front door but the dryer had fallen of the washer and blocked my way out)i start to make my way back up the stairs but one of the stairs gave way and i fell through slicing my leg open i can still feel the pain of the wood that was stuck in my leg i pull my leg out and try to continue my way up the stairs but as i get to the top the roof caved in and the next thing i remember was my dad yelling at me because i had taken my buckle off of my car seat and got out.
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2023.03.29 09:47 xstaceyz Pissmate Rant

I just needed to rant really quickly but I just arrived at my first duty station not too long ago and my dorm is set up where I share a bathroom with the person next to me but have my own room. The amount of times in the small amount of time I’ve been here I’ve been locked out of my own bathroom is ridiculous and I’ve tried to be patient but she will leave for a while so I’m stuck. And she is so loud I can hear her through the bathroom doors and it wakes me up at 2/3 am and I can’t fall back asleep so I’m just like a zombie at work all day. I don’t think she’s cleaned the bathroom once and I’m always the one having to supply the toilet paper. On top of that my thermostat doesn’t work so it gets really stuffy in my room and I just have to deal with it until it’s fixed. It’s literally 3am and I’m contemplating sleeping in the laundry room.
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2023.03.29 09:43 CrimsonCloverwriter Chapter Two : Highly Illogical

Hey everyone, this is chapter two, for more info on what this is and other chapters click the link down below :
Reddit - Dive into anything
The collective walks. It waltzes. The collective screams. The collective loves. The collective stands still for a moment, looking around, and then continues to walk. Years pass by, the collective continues to walk, continues to waltz and it continues to scream, and yet every now and again the collective stops and takes a glance. It looks at everything, the people, the weapons, the lives that are lost, and he continues. All of it again and again, every time he looks it’s all the same, and time continues to pass. Time is meaningless to the collective, as there is no time from where the collective is from. Moments exist and pass, but that isn’t time leaving him but space.
The collective waits, attracted to something long since past. A voice that echoes something inside that was long since dormant. The collective runs, runs to the voice, through the crowds and towards the source of it. And that is when the collective sees him. An old friend, but time doesn’t exist and they were never really friends. He’s shorter than the friend recalls, however what is memory but false?
There he stands, alongside a group of faces, some nostalgic others not, looking up towards the sky. Osmundowne. The collective stops walking, halts their waltzes, and forces back the screams. And that old love, the one thing long left behind, begins to grow. The collective smiles, and begins to think.
Dundis was rather large for a castle, it was a landmark one could see from miles away, as if it beckoned to travellers who dared approach it. Stone bricks and mortar were laid in this place, the number of which was exuberant to say the least. Spires creeped to the skies above, observing the carnage that had been displayed. Even from here Osmund could see the shattered windows in many parts of the castle, in as little as half an hour the Alizian’s had reached even the tops of the Vaunghe base, and the battle was sure to be a swift one.
The other thing that stood out to Osmund about Dundis was the decadence. Statues lined every surface, shrubs depicting the gods were everywhere, and there was a strange metal rod poking out of the ground besides a lectern. Osmund approached the objects, and marvelled at the copious amounts of food that lay on the ground. Food of every description, from apples to cattle, were strewn at the foot of the metal pole. On the lectern was a message, scrawled on a yellowed piece of paper.
For now is the time of deepest sorrow, our lord King Kivok has graciously offered food to the gods, and we can now pray for them to smite our foes. Even in hunger we shall fight, for we are the servants of the gods.
Osmund read the message a few times, before placing it back on the ground. Now was the time to enter the castle, explore the passages and support the troops. Osmund approached the gate, now wide open, and removed the map of Dundis, ensuring he’d have the right path.
The group followed suit, pushing the gates open fully and revealing the site of further bodies. They were inside the building’s inner wall now, the sun still bearing down upon them. This was the location home to many of the more important stables and areas for battle preparation. The ruins of a barricade lay around the door, alongside the copious number of trainee bodies who failed to protect themselves. While there was no evidence of the wall’s debris assaulting this place, there was still a large amount of destruction here.
The remains of statues greeted the group, once magnum opus now a disfigured remnant of what was. They were made of marble, and once depicted the Vaunghe gods, although who each one was could not be discerned, due to the broken faces and pieces they had been split into. The statues lined the walls of this castle, with a new statue lining the wall every five metres. If they weren’t destroyed they would likely be the most impressive feat Osmund had ever seen, standing at almost double his nine and a half foot frame.
Moving forward, Osmund looked to the north, where the entrance of the tunnel system began. According to the map the entrance was hidden below the royal stable, and gave passageway into the complex’s vast tunnel system that could lead to several strategic positions. Motioning for his group to follow, they moved slowly around the curved walls of the inner wall. The bodies gradually stopped appearing, prompting the drawing of Osmund and the other’s weapons, save for Balmun who still lacked anything to protect himself with.
The royal stable was just as grand as Osmund expected, long silver poles supporting a twenty metre stable. Beside each pillar was another statue of a god, albeit these gods were untouched and in their full glory. First was the god of thought, Merculd, a figure of 19 ft who sat upon a throne of gold. Adorned with jewels and royal fabrics, the bearded man watched down upon those that approached, beckoning them inside. The man himself was crafted out of intricate copper and glass, an architectural marvel that Osmund couldn’t comprehend its creation.
Beside the father of thought was the mother of art Freya, whose statue was in opposition to the metals of Merculd. Freya was a wood carving, an intricate and detailed depiction of the woman who was 15 ft tall, standing up with beckoning hands towards any visitors. Her face was carved to the smallest detail, with each individual tooth lovingly crafted on her mouth. In contrast to the first statue Freya’s was carved alongside her body, a tight fitting tunic layered over hard to know pants, due to the lack of colour or texture upon them.
The last of the three statues was Zid, the proposed god of the wall, a 19 ft tall mass of flesh and muscle. There was nothing to this god but his muscles, they were the only trait he has, a blank, general male face looming over the entryway. It was made out of stone, likely being the oldest statue here and thus the simplest. That is not to say the statue wasn’t a work of its own, every detail to Zid’s veins had been lovingly placed, it’s just compared to the other two Zid felt… irrelevant to Osmund, past its time.
The stable was enclosed in intricately carved stone, helixes intersecting each other granting slimmers of light into the stable. There was no damage here, no bodies, no other people, this was Vaunghe architecture at its finest, and all of this hard work was spent on a singular, slightly inconveniently placed barn. The oddities of the Vaunghe never failed to surprise Osmund, and he braced to enter the barn.
Straw floors and hay bales greeted him, alongside a single lone steed. A fine horse, certainly of nobility, awaited patiently for its master to return. It had been alone for time unknown, and yet Osmund noticed it was still being fed quite well, a decent number of carrots awaiting on a plate. Osmund opened the gate to the horse and approached the fine steed. He slapped it on the behind, sending it out of the stable and into the inner wall.
“Sir, I’ve stepped into horse dung. May I have another pair of shoes?” Balmun’s voice rang through the room, echoing slightly. Osmund responded by throwing a carrot at his head. Balmun dodged with less than a second to spare, and the armed man behind him was hit dead on.
Reeling back from shock and surprise, the armed soldier moved his sword to his front, trying to shield any further blows. The man was tall, 8’5 ft to be exact, and dirty. His armour was coated in dirt and remnants of the smoke from the wall. Osmund could see the desperation in his eyes, and now charged the man.
Osmund met the man’s blade with his own, parrying immediately. A foot swept the enemy to the ground and Osmund stood above him sword raised. The man went for the blade only to find his hand was removed, spouting blood everywhere. Osmund grabbed the man and pushed him to his feet.
“There is a base for any injured troops at the entrance to Dundis, go now before you bleed to death.” The man’s face flashed in surprise, and he quickly scrambled out of the room, hand stump spouting blood.
“Hey sir?”
“What is it Balmun?”
“Can I have his sword now that he’s not using it?” Osmund proceeded to throw a washbucket at Balmun, this one doing a much better job at hitting him.
Osmund glanced at his surroundings, noting the strange way the straw seemed to be above the ground in one location. Sweeping it away Osmund found the small door, built directly into the floor since the creation of the stable. A rusted latch made way for the opening of the door, and the entrance of the tunnels.
A black, unlit expanse greeted them, stretching for length unknown. Gazing down into the tunnel the light from behind Osmund illuminated the ground slightly. Paved floors and stone walls made for a pathway that would likely be uncomfortable to say the least. Osmund could feel the coldness emanate from the expanse, and longed to stay in the warm outside of the world. But faced with no other option Osmund moved down the stairs swiftly, entering the darkness at a swift pace.
The others followed him inside, although with much more apprehension as to the contents of the black tunnel. Balmun briefly tried to leave, however he was penned in by the Enick twins.
Dark. Footsteps echo down the long and unseen halls. Dark. There was no light in this place, only the inky murk of nothingness. Dark. The blackness blanketed Osmund and the party, freezing them to their core. Dark. There was no warmth here, only the coldness that began to take over Osmund’s heart. Dark. Osmund reached a turn, he was meant to take a left, and he knocked on the wall to signal the party’s direction. Dark. The rasp was responded with by Balmun’s incessant questions of why no one was talking. Dark. The Enick twins muttered about breaking Balmun’s hands. Dark. The group continued their advance, confidence at an all time low. Dark. It was hard to gauge how much time had passed, however Osmund was sure it had been only a few minutes. Dark. Someone tripped, prompting the use of the word ‘fuck’. Dark. Everything was blackness, there was nothing, only the advancing. Dark. Osmund felt himself fading into the blackness, becoming one with it. Dark. Osmund kicked his iron plated boot onto the first step. Dark. Osmund trips on the stairs, feeling someone fall behind him, prompting further use of the word ‘fuck’ and its frequently used companion ‘shit’. Dark. Osmund regained his composure and slowly began his ascent. Dark. Hugging the wall the party ascended, occasionally tripping slightly until finally-
Light. It was slight, but Osmund slowly became aware of vague shadows playing before him. As he ascended there was more light, those shadows began to take form, and his sight slowly returned to him. There weren’t many stairs, although as the group came to a plateau he became aware of a second staircase, this one a wide spiral. They were likely just on level with the ground floor here, and the short staircase above was likely to the room directly above the tower’s entrance.
Osmund turned to his team, motioning for them to unsheathe their weapons, to which they swiftly obliged. Now advancing above the staircase Osmund saw the opening. A loose wall panel was all that barred Osmund from the enemy congregation. He could hear them now, active panic in their voices as a few steady voices spout commands from above.
Whatever forces left in this tower were evidently inexperienced, as anyone with a high enough rank would understand and evacuate via the tunnel, and yet there was no sign of knowledge as to its presence. That made it likely the stern commanding voice belonged to a trainer of some sort, and these were his pupils, now thrust into a bloody conflict they lie unprepared for.
Beyond the gap Osmund saw the shadows flicker and pass through, rushing between one place and the other. The sound of something being pushed signalled that the Alizian’s had somehow broken the initial barricade and this was the next front to be defended. Listening closer Osmund could hear the banging of his soldiers on the door, much to the fear of the panicking trainees.
Osmund readied his sword, placing it in front of him, and awaited a shadow that moved just close enough, just slowly enough for movement. The first shadow was close but too fast, however the next was just right. Osmund kicked through the wall, plunging his blade into the enemy. Blood burst before anyone could understand what happened, and the man’s head flew across the room.
The force of the head flying was so great it hit a comrade in the foot, prompting a loss of balance. For a brief moment nobody moved, just gazing down at Osmund, the headless Vaunghe, and then down to his head. One man raised his finger, pointing at the now emerging Alizian’s, and proceeded to scream.
This prompted panic from every Vaunghe in the room, every single one of these fresh faced troops was filled with a sense of fear and shock, sending some bumbling up the second entrance to the spiralling stairs. Osmund looked around, quickly noting the cleaning supplies and beds, and concluded that this room was in fact the maid’s quarters.
The men were barely armed, with one or two swords being dwarfed by the number of Vaunghe holding mops and glass objects. Osmund and the others all revealed their weapons to the group, and prepared to fight. The trainee’s swarmed the group, glass going everywhere, comrades hitting comrades and an entire clump of people together. The room was too small for so many people to use weapons, and as such the fight was a chaotic mess.
Osmund punched a young man in the face, sending teeth flying through the air. He pushed the man against his friends, who collapsed in a heap. Another man threw something at Osmund, and was dispatched with a kick to the side. More people appeared, with the room’s capacity doubling as people descended the stairs, ready for carnage. Osmund kicked, someone flew across the room knocking over even more, which in turn hit Balmun on the floor also.
As Osmund punched and dodged, swerving away from any injury, the rest of his party were slightly less proficient. Jumun had been hit in the head by a mop, sending her barrelling through a group of people. The Enick twins were throwing glass back at their enemies. Edmun still had the flail out, swinging it against his enemies, proceeding to hit Josmu in the arm and sending him to the ground.
Jab. Return. Sword. Dodge. Mop. Catch. Snap. Osmund’s mind raced, sending the Vaunghe to the ground in their tens. They crowded him, trying desperately to overwhelm him to no avail. Osmund had his back pressed to the wall, using it as a springboard against anyone trying to attack him. Osmund grabbed a Vaunghe and bowled the crowd to the ground using him as a makeshift battering ram.
Osmund kicked a Vaunghe to the ground, blood splattering across the room from a broken knee. The ground was covered in the Vaunghe trainees, sputtering blood and mumbling on the ground. And yet more still poured down the stairs, until finally it happened, a perpetual cycle of tripping.
For a brief few moments everyone was falling, Osmund, the party, the Vaunghe soldiers, everyone was tripping over everyone else, breaking bones and fracturing the body everywhere. Someone was just yelling perpetually, everytime he slowed down they just started back up again.
And it was as Osmund flew across this room, it was now that he remembered the gift of the gods. It had been about three days since it was gifted to him, a weapon to use in an emergency. It was a small handheld device, with a large pin sticking out of it. Upon removing the pin the device would combust, destroying everything around it. The one thing Osmund was told was to never be in a situation that risks removing the pin, or else he would explode.
Osmund had completely forgotten about the device, what he called god’s gift, until now. He scrambled into his pocket, feeling only two of the three gifts in his pocket, apparently the third had fallen out somewhere. Now beginning to sweat, Osmund called out to his soldiers around the room.
“Everyone, one of the gifts is missing! Move now!” The party began to panic, and now the squirming ocean of people became even harder to navigate.
Everywhere were bodies, Osmund attempting to wade through the field of people. He was halfway through strangling an obese man to death when he saw it. The god’s gift was lying on the floor between the mass of flesh this room had become. Osmund released the fat man and forced his way through the wide group of people, hand reaching for the gift. The string of Vaunghe had ended at this point, however it was at this point the Alizian military finally broke through into the room.
Flooding the room the force of their entry threw another Vaunghe into Osmund sending the gift flying directly towards Balmun, who appeared to be trying to climb the wall and escape the flood. Balmun unexpectedly caught the gift, and looked down at it in surprise.
“Hey Osmund, I have a very cunning plan!”
“No Gods be damned you idiot do not pull that pin!” Doubt came across Balmun’s face as he looked at the object, and then at the pin in his other hand.
Osmund then saw something fly through the air and back into the hole the group had entered from. Osmund looked back towards Balmun, who shrugged and raised the pin, embarrassment high on his face.
And then there was a loud bang, an explosion filled the room. Osmund was thrown against the wall alongside everyone else in the room, and for a brief second no one did anything. Reeling Osmund slowly clambered out of the mass of bodies he was now trapped inside of, looking around for survivors. There was a larger hole where the entrance used to be, alongside large bloody chunks of some poor sod who attempted to escape.
The Alizian’s reappeared in the doorway, noticing Osmund and approaching him with support. Everyone in the room was now bloody and beaten, save for Balmun who was for some reason running up the stairs, sword raised, issuing a battle cry. Osmund sighed, a loud ringing in his left ear silencing everything, and proceeded to follow the idiot upstairs. He was followed by one of the Enick twins and Jumun, with the other members of the party being unconscious amongst the heaps of flesh the room had become.
The group kicked in the top door of the tower, greeting the last few of the army. These men were older, and armed with real weapons. Osmund pushed Balmun forward with great force, stopping him from being hit by a sword and sending him tumbling into two of the soldiers.
Osmund dodged a sword swing, sending a gut punch in turn. The snap of bone and another Vaunghe was forced to the floor, blood spurting. Osmund’s hard rock fist shattered a man’s face in two, sending another Vaunghe down. Two more were taken out by Osmund’s party, with Balmun still on the floor.
A tall man, one of around 9 ft, charged Osmund to the floor, the impact deep on Osmund’s back. Osmund rolled, forcing the man to the ground and began pummeling him. Punching Osmund slammed through the man’s cheap armour, then his face, and Osmund kept punching until the man’s insides now coated Osmund’s outsides. Moving back, Osmund failed to see the man from behind him. By the time Osmund realised it was too late.
Something hard and metallic rasped off of Osmund’s head, sending him flying onto the ground, and as Osmund sweeped his feet he felt someone fall behind him. Blood rushed through Osmund’s nose and ear onto the floor, feeling the damage overwhelm him briefly. For a brief second Osmund forgot who he was, felt nothing but existence itself, and then his inner self focused on the pain, and came back to his senses.
Osmund turned, looking down at the man he’d tripped, now on the floor, and the item in his hands. It was silver, and oddly shaped, although Osmund felt he’d seen it before somewhere, although from where he knew it escaped him. Osmund crawled onto the man, pressing his hands against the man’s throat, and began to squeeze. The man’s resistance was futile, he spun around, kicking back at Osmund to no avail, until finally his windpipe gave way and caved in.
Slowly Osmund began to rise, the blood pouring out of him at an alarming rate. Covered in the blood and filth of himself and others, Osmund rose up and finally realised what hit him. The metal object was a bedpan, although hopefully not a used one, and Osmund picked it up, remarking at the dent his head had left on it. A lesser man may have been killed by such a weapon, however Osmund is by no means lesser.
He looked around to see the last Vaunghe soldier standing alone, surrounded by his allies. However there was something by the soldier’s feet that made Osmund freeze. The second gift of God was lying there, right beside the soldier’s foot. As the soldier moved for a valiant last fight he slipped on the gift, and Osmund heard the pin shoot out.
As Osmund moved to the stairs he grabbed anyone he could, two shapes clutched to his body, and jumped out of the room and down the stairs. The explosion rocked the tower, and as Osmund rolled down the stairs he took out a great number of Alizian’s trying to join the fight. As he rolled he also noticed the tower itself was also coming down, although Osmund knew he’d be dead by the time it hit the ground.
As Osmund and the two beside him hurtled to the ground Osmund’s vision began to fade, his eyes glossed over, and everything was black.
submitted by CrimsonCloverwriter to u/CrimsonCloverwriter [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 09:37 Waelder TCF Patch 3.0.0 - 29th March 2023

TCF Patch 3.0.0 - 29th March 2023
Read the patchnotes on the game's website:
Greetings, Prospectors!
Community Team here! We know that you folks have been waiting to dive into the full patch notes for Season 3 for quite a while now, especially with all that we've been teasing the past couple of months. Well, that wait is finally over, as the new season for The Cycle: Frontier begins today, along with a bunch of new features and changes.
Before we jump in, we'd like to take a moment to thank the people who played during Season 2. 182 days is admittedly a pretty long season, but we're super grateful for all of your support, positive messages and, most importantly, your constructive feedback. While this patch will include a large variety of updates and adjustments, this is only the first of many patches that we hope to put out throughout this new season. Let's dive into these notes, we've got a lot to unpack here!


You heard it here first, the final wipe is here! Players will start Season 3 completely fresh and on an even playing field. Kiss your Brute stash goodbye and put Season 2 behind you, because Season 3 will be taking you back to the start of the campaign where your prospecting journey began - except you now have all the knowledge of a seasoned, hardened Prospector to carry you. This, however, will be the last of these so-called mandatory wipes we have planned. Our game has been completely overhauled for a permanent progression system, and we will (after this wipe) no longer be forcing you to reset your progress within the game. You will of course keep any Aurum and earned cosmetics associated with your account. Welcome Packs that were previously purchased will also be regranted to you upon logging in for the first time after this last wipe. As a result of this new era, we've updated our in-game texts and descriptions to reflect this change. We could talk about what happened to the Storm Divers, why all of those flyers have mysteriously disappeared, or why the storm has suddenly gone back to normal. But the work of a Prospector is never done and that's a conversation for when you're older. Now get out there, veteran greenhorn, and earn your K-Marks!


Free Loadout Runs are coming! If you've found yourself low on K-Marks or maybe you're just starting out and learning the ways of Prospecting, consider grabbing a Free Loadout Run provided by the various factions. On the Deploy menu screens, players will now be met with an option to select your Prospector's Loadout of gear equipped from your stash or select a free randomized loadout put together by one of the factions. If a player has no gear equipped from their own stash, the free loadout option will be selected by default. If you have a loadout already selected from your stash, your prospector loadout will be selected by default. Note that if you choose to take the free gear, any previously equipped gear will be transferred to your stash, assuming there is room for everything. There is a cooldown on how often you can use a free loadout since it takes some time for the factions to put together what they're willing to give you. A timer will be visible on the loadout selection screen to let you know how long you'll have to wait before another loadout becomes up for grabs. Once selected, these loadouts will function the same as the normal loadouts you're used to. Take the gear down to Fortuna III and, if you survive, it's yours to keep. If you don't make it back without needing to be defoamed, that gear belongs to whomever is able to bring it back to the station.
Each faction should provide Prospectors with at least a weapon, armor, backpack, ammo, and health consumables with a chance for extra goodies to be thrown in by way of a 2nd weapon, weapon attachments, additional consumables, crafting mats, keycards, or helmets. Those greedy factions won't be too eager to give away anything too useful however, so these loadouts will more often than not contain white gear with much smaller chances of getting green or blue items for free. These loadouts may not turn your trips to Fortuna III into a walk in the park, but they should give you an extra boost if you're down bad or don't want to risk losing your hard-earned gear while learning the basics.


This is a long requested feature and we are happy to finally give players a way to equip everything they need for their planet-side ventures with one click. You can customize your preset loadouts with your favorite or most-used gear in the stash section of your inventory. When selecting a preset loadout to equip, any weapons, armor, helmets, ammo or other consumable items will be equipped directly from your stash. Any items that are not your stash will be purchased from the appropriate faction HQ automatically, with a popup asking you to confirm said purchase. New descriptions and UI sections have been added to properly teach you how to assemble and equip a preset loadout. When viewing a preset loadout before equipping, icons will display which items are currently available from a player's inventory, which items need to be purchased, and which items are unavailable. Use this feature to quickly get back into the action between runs and spend less time running between the faction shops to pickup the gear you need to achieve prospecting glory.


The Howler is a flying insect-like monster that has emerged on the surface. This large and in-charge addition to the game aims to generate new drama and new player stories by overlapping with other events and happenings in the game. As part of our direction to create a game that is as suspenseful as it is fun, we hope that the Howler will add a new layer to the game in a variety of ways. The Howler is our first roaming creature, traveling through the skies from place to place. When it's idle, you can try to sneak past it or remain motionless, in the hopes that it won't hear you. However, once it's ready for fisticuffs, you'll experience a new type of PvE challenge that we'd like to say is somewhere between the Marauder and the Crusher in terms of difficulty. But we wouldn't quite call it a boss encounter either. One thing we know for sure, is that you won't have a hard time finding it, as you should see and hear it coming with relative ease.
In addition to the Howler, a new in-match activity has made its way to you: the Howler Nests. These nests contain Howler eggs that react to sound by simply exploding and expelling a toxic fume into the air that you'll want to steer clear from. However, if you're quiet and patient, there might just be something worth bragging about inside some of those eggs, assuming you can get your hands in there and survive to tell the tale. We hope that this new organic and reactive element will offer new ways to traverse areas of all three maps that were once free of... whatever those things are made of.
To top it off, both the Howler and Howler eggs will drop unique items that can be used to complete new quest missions, upgrade your player quarters, and craft new items. As a result, you'll be able to create your own Howler Grenades, new throwing weapons aiming to recreate the Howler's signature move: its disorienting shriek. They affect both Prospectors and wild creatures, and we can't wait to see how you put them to use. Sure, we could have just introduced basic flashbangs into the game, but where's the fun in that eh?
The Howler will also come with it's own brand new questline that you will be able to complete with Osiris, are you sure you'll know how to use that?
Consider rallying other Prospectors on the surface if you're trying to take down a Howler in the early stages of the game. If you can put your hunger for gear aside, you and your new teammates might be able to take it down before anyone else. Although considering the usual human greed, we can't promise everyone will remain friendly after the Howler loot has dropped.


As with every update, Season 3 comes with plenty of backend improvements to our anti-cheat detections and preventions, some big and some small, to help make cheating even more difficult than it already is. For the sake of security we can't go into exact details here, but these changes include better methods of automatically detecting cheats, better tracking tools for our support team to investigate suspicious players, and more obfuscation measures to make the actual development of cheats more difficult. We have also worked closely with our friends at BattlEye to make sure that the game is in top-top shape for the release of the new season.
Since we know Season 3 will also have many players returning to the game, we will give a quick recap on some of the major improvements we've made to our anti-cheat systems since Season 1:
  • Shielded Matchmaking: Helps give our Trusted players an added layer of security, and makes the creation of alt-accounts much more difficult for cheaters.
  • Cheating Victim Compensation: Automatically compensates players who fell victim to a cheater once that cheater is banned.
  • Data Obfuscation: Makes the creation and development of cheats more difficult and time consuming.
  • A Dedicated Anti-Cheat Team: Closely monitors and quickly reacts to any new threats the game might face.
  • Third Party Tools: We have worked closely with anti-cheat specialists like BattlEye to add additional layers of security to the game.
  • Revamped in-game reports: Makes the process of sending reports much smoother, and gives our team more data to investigate cheaters.
  • And many more backend improvements to our anti-cheat systems...
If you'd like a more detailed look at how we're actively fighting cheaters in The Cycle: Frontier, please take a look at our blog post we made for The War on Cheats:
And finally here is a quick message from Toast, the Anti-Cheat Community Manager for The Cycle: Frontier:
Anti-cheat is a constant back and forth battle, one that we are committed to continue fighting in our game. Even though our anti-cheat is in a better state now than it's ever been, we aren't done yet. We are already hard at work on more improvements to the anti-cheat that we will be releasing in 3.1, 3.2, and beyond. The team has already made great strides in fighting cheaters since Season 1, and I truly believe that Season 3 will be the best state the game has ever been in. I am super excited for you all to experience a much more fair and competitive version of the game, and I can't wait to see you all on Fortuna III. Until next time, Prospectors. -Toast


Construction crews have been hard at work lately, giving our refuge floating above Fortuna III a facelift. On your next visit to Prospect Station, you will notice all the familiar hotspots have a brand new, if shadier, look. It's pretty likely that a hub for adventurous Prospectors more focused on surviving than sanitation won't be the cleanest place, but that doesn't mean we can't have some nice things. Take a stroll around the new storefronts and investigate all the new activity that will help give more life to the place we all call home. You will find new NPCs roaming about the station along with plenty of neat additions. Try not to get too distracted though, your main job is still Prospecting and surviving.


Removing mandatory wipes means we'll operate on an economy focused on the long term. Making adjustments to how the economy used to function was imperative. As a result, finding and obtaining exotic and legendary items will be much harder than before and early game can be adjusted to feel far less punishing to new players who are just finding their bearings on Fortuna III. We've overhauled many early game quests to feel less overwhelming (but still challenging), in addition to making late-game accomplishments feel much more rewarding. Players will have a chance, albeit a very small one, to find gear with a tier above the area they're in. Leave no stone unturned on the surface, as opening a weapon crate to find a Voltaic Brute, or checking a jacket to find a rare keycard should now feel like a true jackpot moment and get your heart pumping as you make your way to the evac ship. We do not want late-game players to have infinite access to the best gear in the game. Sure, unlocking something great should be a big milestone, but upkeeping high-level loadouts should be difficult, and bringing a full end-game loadout into a match should be a truly special occasion - this is what makes the infinite gear chase more thrilling. This required us to re-think how easily players can re-purchase gear that they have unlocked, and how often, as well as how deep our money sinks are running.
We've added additional ammo variants for different weapons that will increase in cost as you progress to higher tiers of weapons, which means you will have to be much more conscious of the risk versus reward of constantly running that Voltaic Brute if your goal is just to kill creatures at Greens Prospect. The new challenge for end-game players will be to maintain the ability to run the highest level gear when it makes the most sense to do so. Purchasing weapons from the factions will now also cost faction scrips in addition to their usual K-Mark costs, so completing jobs and quests for each faction will be more important than ever. The loot pool of items that can be found has been updated to encourage players to be more diligent when searching for goodies at various POIs to have that jackpot moment when finding a rare item.


The arsenal of weapons available at your disposal will be expanded to accomplish a few different goals. First and foremost, the new versions of the weapons will help cover some of the gaps we previously had in the weapon lineup with LMGs, launchers, SMGs, snipers, and shotguns. This means you will find more rarities of different weapon types to offer more choices of what you can use on your journeys to Fortuna III. This change also gives players an opportunity to use their favorite weapon skins more frequently on more weapons that sometimes became obsolete as you progressed to higher levels.
You will see two different variants of some guns in the form of MkI and MkII weapons. MkI weapons will be lower tier versions of current versions, while MkII weapons will be higher tier versions of their original counterparts. There will be some differences between MkI/MkII and their current versions in the form of damage or penetration values, types of attachments you can use on each weapon, and types of ammo that will be needed for different tiers.
This will also allow us to make the higher tier guns rarer without diluting the weapon pool too heavily, and still give players the 'jackpot' moment if/when you find a rarer gun from a weapon crate.


Along with the aforementioned economy tuning, some balance changes needed to be made to accommodate the non-wiping systems. The biggest change you might notice is how quickly armor durability will decrease when attacked by other players and/or creatures during fights. This will make prospectors think twice about engaging potential enemies while affecting decisions about what armor is worth the risk for their goals for each match. Don't forget to repair your armor between matches if you want to stay fully protected during runs. We've also tuned some weapons following the addition of the new MkI and MkII weapons, but there will be more details on that in a later section of the patch notes.
Meanwhile, Prospectors will now have more choices for their methods of destruction (or protection) while exploring Fortuna III. Starting capacity of each prospector's safe pocket has been increased from 5 to 9 to help with progression through some earlier questlines and player quarter upgrades have been adjusted to account for those changes. Creature behavior and health have received some tuning to make them a bit less of a pain to deal with in some cases. Standard variants of Striders and Rattlers had their total health reduced and shouldn't be as spongy to damage as previous iterations. The range at which creatures are able to see and hear prospectors has been adjusted slightly along with the amount of time it takes to de-aggro from a target. Be more aware of your surroundings as stealth and sneakiness will be much more important than it previously was if you want to stay undetected.
We have also made some other smaller balance changes as well. Mid-air accuracy has been reduced for most weapons to help make the combat feel a bit more grounded, many key crafting components have had their crafting timers reduced, and there have been changes across the board to loot drops and rewards to help facilitate the new economy. It's more changes than we can realistically list here, so we encourage you to drop down to Fortuna III and discover them all for yourself.


Matchmaking is a topic that is often discussed in Discord, Reddit, and Steam forums. More importantly, it's one that we are not oblivious to. During Season 2, we switched things up from using average evac value to using K/D ratio as the main factor for determining the MMR rating used to place players in different buckets. We found that while this was certainly a step in the right direction towards making matches fairer, there is still room for improvement to avoid brand new players who have a good run from being unfairly matched with more veteran players getting blasted by gear far beyond what they have access to. While matches in TC:F are meant to be somewhat uncertain, we definitely understand how frustrating it can be to constantly die due to an total imbalance of weaponry before you have a chance to react. To combat this, but still maintain some sense of tension and uncertainty about what you might encounter during any given drop to Fortuna III, we will be implementing a form of gear score in combination with K/D when determining a player's MMR calculations. This doesn't mean that you will only see players wearing the same gear as you in a match, as that limits the ability to have score big 'come ups', but it will help keep players more fairly matched and make it less likely that new players will be constantly overpowered while they are learning the ropes.
Another big topic of feedback we received regarding matchmaking is how difficult it is to regularly survive when outnumbered during encounters with other players on Fortuna III. With Season 3, you will now find the separation of buckets based on squad size that was originally implemented for Bright Sands during Season 2, now spread across all three maps. This means that no matter what your skill set or what map you choose you should only see other solos as a solo, duos as a duo, or trios as a trio in trusted matchmaking buckets.


We've made another pass on early missions in order to give new players a better overview of what to expect and the basics of life as a Prospector. This includes more detailed explanations of certain tasks and additional tips for features that should become useful when staying alive after gaining the trust of the factions and becoming a full blown prospector.
Returning players will no longer be required to complete the tutorial missions once they've been completed once. They will only appear when launching the game for the first time on a new account
  • During the first drop and tutorial, Prospectors will now hear gunshot sounds to get them accustomed to more of the sounds they should expect to hear during their time on Fortuna III
  • Popups and voiceover lines for early tasks should better inform users of what their goals should be
  • The flow of the early game has been finetuned to make the process run more smoothly as players progress through each task
  • Early game matchmaking has been significantly tuned to better ease new players into the game


Keycard rooms have been reworked across the board to give much juicier loot, but to compensate, keycards are now much rarer and have less uses. Now they will truly be "loot rooms", instead of "a few white stims and an AR-55" rooms. Keycard rooms should also feel more "themed," containing items that are more relative to the location of the rooms. We're very excited to see what you discover!

New Season, new Fortuna Pass! We've got 100 new tiers to grind through, complete with Prospector Archetypes, Banners, Weapon Skins, Sprays, Aurum, Resource Crates, and more! Fortuna pass is chock full of vanity like the last season. We still wanted to give you as many weapon skins as possible in addition to:
  • 2 main characters with 1 extra variation each
    • Harvester and his twin BloodFreak - they never get along well
    • Bloodhound and Rebel Reporter - both willing to take any risk to bring you the latest news!
  • 2 new emotes for color Fortuna even more
  • Three new Melee Weapons
  • An exclusive pickaxe skin
  • 14 weapon skins
  • Various sprays, charms, banners, and a drop pod
But that's not all!
  • Crates have been revised, we added some of the MK2 weapons and new ammo for you to test it out
  • XP rewards and bonuses were slightly tweaked
  • XP curve is now non-linear and later levels of the pass need a bit more XP than in season 2, but first 15 levels of the pass are not affected at all with this change


All prospectors will have a new customizable default base suit, chest piece, gloves, and boots that can be equipped from the character customization screen. Different from the previous seasons; you can now purchase/acquire single outfit pieces like base suits, chests, boots, and gloves. We will still have some of the outfit bundles available next to these new single (ready to mingle) pieces.
This season, we tried to be a little wilder to explore some different effects for almost all the cosmetic types. You'll see some see-through bellies running around with Unbound Synth, wicked melee, charms and weapons that look like they are taken right out of a Howler's gastric - or rather fun and progressive charms, melee weapons etc. We still would like to expand and improve on this! (you know what? if you press U - you can inspect those kick ass weapons, charms, and melee in match. All of our items have their rarity assigned! Get ready for some epic and exotics!
  • Unbound Synth: A prospector which is perfect for you! Our first less human, more android prospector with a few emotions (maybe none at all) and the strongest dedication
  • The Artillery: She will be joining the team very soon - after dealing with her internal reckoning
  • The Jungle Bandit: A sneaky one that thinks adding a couple of bushes makes him look visible - but in reality it just looks dashing! He'll be with us later in the season - still collecting some bushes to perfect it's outfit
  • Authority Operative: Without any communication with HQ, and without pay, even the Authority's commandos need to earn a living. Where better to put their skills to use than the planet's hellish surface?


The Fresh Fortunes Pack DLC will be available for free download starting at 7pm CEST on Thursday March 30, 2023 (10:00am PST / 1:00pm EST / 2:00pm GMT). Keep an eye out for dedicated publication with all details on the pack and how you can grab it!


Like last season, we have 3 special season bundles, each one complete with a collection of clean cosmetics up for grabs!
Are you a fierce Howler Tamer, or patrolling through Fortuna with your buddies to keep the planet in order? Or rather - you just want to shine, be the most colorful out there to show you have no fear that forces you to be subtle? You will be able to get these beauties through Steam and Epic store - as well as through in game Shop under the Bundles tab. We tried to give you the best selections for you to decide your statements in this season. As per usual, there are many new items specifically made for the new season, you cannot believe how much fun we had preparing all those sprays and banners for you! Also do not miss out from all the new melees, charms and emotes! Some of them will make you spit your drink out!


  • DLSS 3 has been implemented and will be available for those with compatible graphics processors
  • To make them a more exciting end-game challenge, Laser Drills will now be exclusive to Crescent Falls. They may return to Bright Sands again in the future with some balancing tweaks
  • The Crusher Caverns have had a massive overhaul, the caves will now be a significantly more difficult end game activity that will take team coordination and top end gear to survive
  • Prospectors will now take a short ride on the evac ship before fully extracting. Enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of Fortuna III before returning to the Station, but don't get shot
  • New grenade with the Howler shriek contained inside will be craft-able using Howler loot drops
  • Added a new weapon inspection feature with new animations to let prospectors check out their cool skins on weapons and melee sets
  • Players will now have a chance to find weapons with pre-loaded attachments while looting different areas. The rarity of these attachments will determine its chances of spawning
  • Attachments, consumables, and items all have clear numerical values about how they affect different mechanics
  • New and updated questlines
  • Prospectors will now have the ability to redeem promotion codes and coupons directly from the game to receive promotional items without going to their store launcher
  • Names and descriptions of armor and helmets are now more descriptive of their functions to better fit with the lore
  • Weapon description texts have been updated to include distances at which the gunshot sounds are audible
  • Some crafting recipes have been updated to require Howler loot drops
  • Tharis Island will not be accessible or unlockable by way of campaign missions immediately at the start of the season. As a result, crafting or player upgrades that require items only obtained on Tharis will be temporarily inaccessible until April 19th when the Island will be globally unlocked
  • A new keycard has been added to the lineup of keycards available
  • Possibly related to the new keycard, a new way to enter and exit the Forge has been added to Tharis Island. The door can be dangerous so proceed with caution
  • Keycard availability and durability received an update
  • Keycards cost has been updated to include a script cost when purchasable from the factions
  • Player Quarter upgrades received an update to include higher K-mark investment and new recipes for upgrade costs
  • Gear durability and repair costs have been changed to work better with a long-term economy in mind
  • New ammo varieties have been added to the loot pool with unique icon for each variety
  • Fortuna Pass rewards and icons have been updated for Season 3
  • Badum's First Drop and Welcome Packages have received an overhaul to make the experience as good as possible
  • A hard limit of 10 million K-marks have been added to cap the amount of K-marks a player can own at any given time
  • Our favorite barkeep, Badum, will now give Prospectors a unique questline with rewards after completing the FTUE missions which will be available on April 19th
  • Improved the prevention of players spawning next to each other to give Prospectors more breathing room when they drop onto Fortuna III


  • Fixed a bug where the speed penalty would persist after switching items from a charged heavy melee attack without performing the heavy melee attack
  • Removed an invisible collision barrier that prevented players from interacting with Osiris faction leader
  • Items will no longer visually duplicate themselves when sorting inventory or moving items from backpack to stash
  • Removed unintended access methods for areas above East Caverns on Bright Sands
  • Invisible post will not stop you from approaching the Fortuna Pass booth on the station
  • Adjusted the UI display to prevent overlapping of contract screens when multiple contracts are claimable
  • A very specific tree in Jungle had some faulty animations that have been resolved by our in-house horticulturist
  • Weapons, tools, and consumables will no longer vanish from your hands when swapping between grenades and other consumables
  • Players will now be able to successfully leave a party after removing a friend from friends list while in an active squad
  • Map updates and removal of several exploit spots across all 3 maps
  • Many, many more bug fixes but too many to list for the sake of saving space


  • In-game notification system has been revamped to better notify players of the most important events and actions while playing the game
  • Players can now sign up for our TCF email newsletter without leaving the game and see rewards before signing up
  • New key art has been added to the loading screen
  • New icons and UI images have been added for new in-game items
  • Discrepancies in vanity descriptions for various items in Windfall's Shop and Fortuna Pass have been unified
  • Mission images have been updated
  • Visibility of tool tip information has been improved
  • Weight and stack sizes for some items have been adjusted
  • New Emotes, sprays, character cosmetics and weapon skins will be available from the Fortuna Shop and Fortuna Pass rewards throughout the season
  • End of season widget has been updated in accordance with no longer having wipes each season
  • UI Tooltips have been adjusted
  • New icons have been added to the Feedback section of the menus
  • Added a UI element to clarify that player's are able to return to a map at any time once it has been unlocked


  • We are currently investigating an issue that causes some crashes when using NIVIDIA 40 series cards on the Epic Games Launcher. A fix will be pushed as soon as it is ready
  • Sometimes the Crusher Caverns can have issues spawning mobs (or spawn too many mobs), if you encounter this issue please reach out to a community manager with your prospect.log files
  • There are some cases where a player can get stuck on a Badum FTUE task. A simple restart of the game should resolve that but our team is working on a more permanent fix
  • Some of the emotes are not previewed correctly in various screens like Fortuna Pass, Special Offers etc. You can still fully see all the amazing moves and our little Leafling, Marauder etc in the station and in match but we will look into how to best preview them
  • Some of the new items with additional effects are missing an indicator on the icons to imply so. Once you go to the preview or see them in game - you'll be amazed (and we'll be fixing that little marker issue)
That's all for now, prospectors! Thank you all for your support and feedback over the previous 2 seasons, we hope that Season 3 will be fun, exciting, tense, and we cannot wait to see the stories you and your fellow Prospectors create when you drop back down to the surface.
Additionally, we're having a 48 hour livestream to celebrate the launch of Season 3. Stop by our Twitch ( and say hello!
submitted by Waelder to TheCycleFrontier [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 09:26 imnotlucky123 My (23f) bff (23f)is in VERY toxic relationship

I'm not good at explaining but bare with So her and her bf (25m) got together in 2019. Fast forward to 2021, she's pregnant. Her pregnancy wasn't too bad except when she got them both new phones. He kept his and used it to message other girls and there were messages such as "I have a free house" from his end. I don't want to say too much as I can't quote all the messages but me and her are thinking he's cheating. This is all while she's fucking pregnant with his baby. After the baby comes, shit hits the fan. All the sudden he's everything not good for her. He is allowed to go out whenever he wants, where as she has to ask permission if it's ok with him if she can go places (food shopping, seeing me, her family etc) especially if she's not taking the baby. If she is out past the time she is meant to be back he would message her to ask when she's coming back, she needs to be back soon to look after baby so he can go hang out with his friends. She says she's going to Tesco for 10-15 mins but also called me to say what's been going on so she's not bottling it up and feeling alone. She then tells me on the phone he's messaged that "it's been 20 mins and she's not back yet" why isn't she back yet what is taking so long. He's calling her names like bitch then going to the fucking BABY and saying "mummy's being such a bitch isn't she? That is too far. He has threatened to jump off the balcony of their flat if he didn't get his way, he's gone into the bathroom, locked the door and said he's going to self harm. All because he doesnt get his way. He has started to do chores around the house like cleaning and washing but if she wants to cook while he's cleaning, oh no that not acceptable. This has been going on for nearly 2 years and it's just getting worse. He shouts at her, calls her names, controls when she goes out and when she has to be back. He's not been physical (what she's said) but it's escalated to shouting making the baby cry and I feel that soon it will get physical. This is just my feelings tho. He's not a physical abuser but he's a manipulative, gaslighting man who goes to bed at 12 every night. Gets a lie in until 12 the next afternoon and all he has so far done with the baby is feed her, change her wee nappies (refuses to change poo nappies) and maybe get her up. He doesn't put her down to bed because he's too busy smoking weed with his friends. She's sacrificed so much for him and her child. He can't even keep a job. Puts her down saying her job is shit, put sher down and says she needs to change, why doesn't she wear makeup for him anymore (they don't have enough money to go on dates so she's in the flat nearly 24/7 apart from when she has to go to work. I've tried telling her that this sint good for her or her baby and that in future the it will have an impact on both of them. I had a call with her yesterday and after she is explaining everything wrong that happened this time I ask what is stopping her from leaving him (the council flat is in both their names but she pays for all the bills, even give him money to spend on weed, take out etc) she's doesn't smoke btw. Even her dad is fed up with her asking her for money for food shops. Bf has also said nasty things behind everyone's back (calling me a "fucking skinny bitch", her dad a "narcissistic prick" (for trying to break them up) and her mum "weird" even tho she isn't trying to break them up?!) She said that they only reason is that she goes to work and needs nursery for her baby to be in (now toddler) but it's like she doesn't want him to know or is putting it off, coz let's face it leaving someone like this is hard and scary. I'm setting up a time where she's coming over to mine and we're searching up nurseries near her that baby can go to. Is this ok to do? I can't stand to see her in this relationship anymore where she's crying to me on the phone. Is it ok for me to get the ball rolling so she feels it's less pressure. If it is less pressure? I just need help on how I can help her as much as possible while not getting involved too much, she's grown she can make her own decisions but she's not started anything. What can I do to help but not get stuck in the middle?
submitted by imnotlucky123 to friendship [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 09:16 DetroitSeven Why does a family tear each other down over politics/news events?

I don't go visit next door with my GPs, and aunt. Mom goes to visit every time her sister is off work, to talk and drink beer. They never call me by my legal name so I find it really difficult for me to respect them or even be in their presence. Today I ignored it all and let my dog go over and let her drain energy. I never let her go because aunt has two dogs who are aggressive for no reason.
I didn't talk throughout my time there, I sat at a table a few feet away, while listening to their conversation about the Tennessee shooting. I honestly don't know what the shooter identifies as. But I knew they wouldn't respect that, so I went along and said that it's literally not that difficult to just say the pronouns they prefer. I told them straight up that they are not melting because they went against their morals, that they are too stuck up to respect it. I made that clear. Mom went along with it trying to calm me down, which I wasn't heated, I just started facts in a straightforward way.
Then mom forgets all about it and continues exactly where they left off. A couple minutes later, after listening to GPs complain how "LGBT criers" need to go to an asylum and get checked, or that they are being obnoxious to get the attention their parents don't give them, They went on to complain about two gay men in commercials, black people who don't need to be publicized. As someone who is trying to be better, and stop being persuaded into their opinions + beliefs, I felt so pissed off.
I told mom, making sure it was made known that I am not agreeing with this, and I said "you all are so fucking conservative, this is the reason the south is rightfully hated" I hate my culture, so that played a part into that angry comment. My bad.
Mom immediately says that it isn't being conservative, GPs mutter whatever to each other, and aunt is borderline crying saying that it's not about being conservative. I can't stand how they are so closeminded, yet are hard on making the family spend more time together, get closer to one another, etc etc.
I left a bit later, no longer than 5 minutes. GF tells me to add the feminine into my KoolAid. First time he'd ever been sarcastic and rude, so it was easier to not be upset about cutting him off. When mom came home, I was told I cannot go there anymore, unless I stop saying 'those things'.
I've had an off and on relationship with that side of the family, but now it seems it's quite permanently off. I don't feel upset, it's more of that reaction of a humorless laugh. That explains my reaction.
I just don't understand how family who have this type of mindset, both political and wanting to bring the family together, having the ability to easily say that my opinions have no value--not even worth talking about it, nor agreeing to disagree.
Is this a common thing? Especially in the South, of all places? What do I do from here?
Also, I ask that politics not be the main focus, I don't mean to cause fights in the comments, nor with me.
submitted by DetroitSeven to NoStupidQuestions [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 08:57 4inalfantasy NFT is not suitable for gaming, but Crypto is a great option. In fact introduction of NFT to gaming will be bad for the whole crypto perspective/ reputation.

Now lets see why is crypto works with gaming first. Because adoption of crypto coin enable players different option to pay, and not get stuck with only banking / cards. Also this can be a side / extra generative income without having effect on the game itself. For example let say a famous game now enbable users to use crpyto to buy skin pack. It wont effect the game in any way, and it might even generate extra buys especially to gamers who won crypto. So my perspective is, if some AAA+ gaming company open their door to crypto purchase, it will push their sales figure to even higher ground. Do note that in crpyto i mean existing crpyto like bitcoin. Not these company created a new cpin instead or some newly created coins that's been pushed up by influencers.
Im stil crossing my fingers to finally see which of these extreme big coorporation will open up their door for crpyto payment.
Also as a side note, there are actually companies that accept crypto payment but need some workaround, where you exchange them in another site for point then can straight uses it in game. This actually did contribute to rise of some crypto but maybe it went less notice.
Now on why is NFT is not suitable on Gaming for now. With the current evolution / process of NFT, it is not a viable option nor a good option for established games. First, yes, there are huge percentage of gamers that love skins, and things to beautify their portfolio even weapon. But that's not all. The most important thing in game is the experience itself.
Lets put it this way. I like game. I like to buy skin in these games. Also i like the time I spend on these games, the friends I've talked to, the experience i had for these couple hours while enjoying it.
Now what happen when NFT enters the market? NFT in general is pushed towards traders, collectors, and how many of these people actually play game? If say the numbers of these skin are 10000, these traders will buy up to atleast half of them leaving smaller number for gamers.
Even if there will be requirement to say owner of these NFT need to have at least 10 game session before transferring it out, which I don't think os applicable it won't work.
Let's put it this way. It's a football real world match. You are scoring a penalty. Then ur teammate comes at you and said, "hey i like your NFT, how much you gonna sell?"
You answered "im here for the game can i please get this penalty first, and you should get back to ur position"
The other person replied "you know what, i dun even know how to play, so should i pick the ball up and throw in the goal"
Yes it might seems exaggerated, but this is what will happen when a non gamer enter the gamer scene especially in a competitive games like Dota style/Cs style.
It ruins the game as a whole. An even better example is when a game specifically launched just for the purpose of acquiring NFT. Why most of them went belly up is because ppl were there to invest. But a game needs real player who spends time on it. Now whos gonna play in a game where all you do it log in?
My perspective atleast at the current progress is NFT is 100% bad if forcefully added to existing game, but opening up on site crypto purchase for in game items will be absolutely great.
submitted by 4inalfantasy to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 07:18 CarlWeezer567 Master Cylinder Snapped In Half, Is It My Fault?

Master Cylinder Snapped In Half, Is It My Fault?
Long story short, I learned how to drive on a '98 Jeep Wrangler. Nearly a decade later I purchased a 2016 VW GTI w/ 80k miles on it from a used car dealer. The transmission felt very alien to me. Two decades of engineering, a completely different drive train and the extra gear were some of the obvious differences, but the nuances were lost on me after 5 years driving an automatic.
About a week after purchasing the vehicle the master cylinder busted in half leaving me stuck in 3rd gear in the fast lane of the highway. Foolishly I floored it trying to maintain speed to pull over and completely fried the clutch plate. Feeling like an idiot I accepted that this was my poor skills with a manual transmission, and got the thing towed to my uncle's shop where he tore it apart and took the lovely photos you see here.
Asking my dad and my uncle who have worked on cars their entire lives they couldn't really give me a straight answer as to what could cause the master cylinder to give out like that. I kept asking if it was something I had done, seeing as I'd like to avoid making the same mistake in the future.
So, what do you think: short of ramming my foot on the pedal (which I did not do) why/how would a completely encased/embedded plastic arm snap in half like this?
My first thought is that the hydraulics locked up and pressure on the pedal forced the arm in a direction it simply could not go and: * crunch*
But why would the clutch hydraulics lock up? If there were a leak there would be no pressure, which is what I suspected was the reason for the pedal being against the floor. Other than that my only thought is that the clutch plate adhered to the fly wheel like hot glue and the master cylinder arm wasn't strong enough to yank it free so it just gave out. But that wouldn't explain why it got stuck in the first place.
  1. Would an older clutch with, say, 80k miles on it be more likely to overheat/wear down and "stick" like this?
  2. Can clutches even "stick" when overheated? I've read that isn't a thing.
  3. Do you agree with my hypothesis? Now that I'm $2500 in the hole for an entirely new clutch assembly & the works, what can I do to prevent wear on my clutch and avoid this plastic spork from folding in half again?
submitted by CarlWeezer567 to MechanicAdvice [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 07:02 JamesCaligo The Lockhill Rd. Disappearances

A call came in that there was another disappearance on Lockhill Road. My whole town was buzzing about a person named Josephine, an old lady that had the tendency to be a little bit of a pain in the butt for cashiers, but otherwise a quiet one in town.
Apparently, the patrol that frequents near that road found her car in a ditch and saw no traces of her anywhere. The police went to check her house and saw that she wasn't there either. There was only one conclusion we all had to come to. The road has claimed another victim.
As for my name, I'm only going to tell you that it's Adam, and I'm here to explain to you that there's something absurdly bizarre about the road.
Lockhill Rd. is one of the oldest roads in Illinois. There isn't anything significantly special about it. On the surface, it's covered in large cracks, grass overtaking the edges, and it's surrounded by an unusually swamp-like environment, something a little bizarre given how up North I am.
But it's also got a rap sheet that would make Ted Bundy jealous.
From what I've learned in my twenty-eight years of living in this town, over the last two hundred years or so, around three hundred people have mysteriously disappeared. That's a significantly high number and you're probably wondering why people would want to drive on it?
Here's the thing, nobody typically uses that road. They just find themselves on it.
It's really weird but you can find yourself suddenly on that road without warning. One moment you'll be on the highway that's near my town, and right as you get off, you'll find yourself driving on that road. But this only happens at night. As a rule, driving at night is strongly prohibited. The only issue is that cops are less inclined to go about driving themselves. And this happens at completely random moments as well.
The next question I know you all are asking is "why would any of us want to live here then?"
Well, the thing is there's a mine nearby. It's a salt mine and a lot of money is gained from it. You have to weigh in the risk and reward factors here. There are people here who— despite the danger— are making bank. I don't know how much a typical salt mine will pay, but I think the extra danger of the road is the reason why the income for locals is so much better here. So for the most part we prefer not to talk about it.
Now you're probably wondering why am I here? I clearly don’t work at the mine, but instead, I am a neighborhood watch patrolman.
Since disappearances can happen if people are caught driving, I— as well as others— found ourselves working alongside the local police to keep people off of the roads for their own safety. It seems that whatever effect the road can create, it doesn't work if you're walking on two feet.
So my job is relatively safe. Sure, I don't get any weapons training other than a baton and mace, which is why I prefer to regularly work out and make sure that criminals, usually rowdy teenagers, don't have a good advantage over me or any of my partners.
But I'm here to tell you about how I got sloppy and nearly paid the price with my life...
It was your typical Wednesday, and I was with my friends at the police station, getting ready to sign in to let the department know that we were going to be working today.
That's when officer Smith (not his real name by the way) approached me and said in her smooth, southern voice, "Now you boys try to have a good night. We've been getting some reports that there's been a gang of kids that keep breaking house windows. So far they haven't entered any, but I think they're just trying to create an atmosphere of tension."
I stood there silently, always having difficulty talking to her. She was serious about her job and wasn't too kind to anyone who was caught slacking. But she cared to a great degree.
I mustered up the courage to say, "Will do. We got our mace and batons ready."
"Good, but still, if they turn out to be more hostile than usual, I need you fellas to call us ASAP."
It wasn't lost on me that even if we did call up for the actual police officers, it would still take a good while for them to arrive, giving any of these troublemakers a chance to escape from us. No cars at night, remember.
One of my partners, Derek, replied with his usual enthusiasm, "Don't sell us too short ma'am, Adam and I have been doing this for two years now. We're basically experts at this point."
She noticed his smug expression and quickly shot it down.
"I've been a cop for seven years. In that time I believe thirteen people have gone missing. And many of you neighborhood watch patrolmen have been hurt, sometimes severely, by these thugs. Call us." she ended it with a stern warning.
Derek always had this issue with over-confidence and I often think that's why he was never able to get a girlfriend. I think he’s just overdoing it half the time, thinking that it impresses people.
Still, this is the first time I've actually known this much about officer Smith. Seven years is a long time, and for that many people to have gone missing, I can tell that's got to weigh heavily on her mind.
But our patrol went on as usual. We did our regular routine for the first few hours with nothing more than warning people that they can't get in their cars because, in about an hour, the sun would've completely set by then.
Sure that's an entire hour, but why take the chance?
But around the time when the sun had already descended, I got a call on my radio by a woman that said:
"Neighborhood Patrol Unit #9, do you read me?"
"Neighborhood Patrol Unit #9, we hear you loud and clear."
"Number Nine we've been getting some odd reports of a car that is driving around. It was reported by a civilian caller, but all police officers who responded to the area haven't been able to track their location. We need you to stay alert, the last coordinates of their whereabouts were in your general location so keep your eyes peeled."
"Dispatch, we'll keep our eyes on the lookout for the driver. We'll have to flag them down and hope that they stop."
"Copy, good hunting."
It was always anxiety-inducing to hear that someone was driving around. They had to be someone who had come off the highway.
"Well, looks like we got to chase someone down on foot today." Derek happily said.
"Come on man, I don't even want to think about going after someone in a car."
"Yeah, but at least it's something to do." he chuckled.
I wasn't amused. Frankly speaking, this was only a job for me. Sure I don't get paid as much as a cop, but it's less dangerous. Now that I'm being tasked with stopping a vehicle, this is going to prove way above my pay grade. I almost can’t remember the last time I had to deal with a driver.
But the night dragged on as usual and still no sign of the vehicle. I was pretty much convinced that they must have gone off on some other section of the town, but Derek was remaining vigilant. He took this job way too seriously. Or perhaps he wasn't taking it seriously enough?
"You hear that?" he abruptly said.
We both quieted down and tried to listen carefully.
There was nothing for a brief few seconds, other than the sound of crickets in the distance and an owl hooting.
But then there was a sudden screeching of tires nearby. We had our driver and quickly started running towards whatever direction it was that we heard it from.
Despite having flashlights and reflectors on, I somehow found myself alone. I shouted out for Derek at the top of my lungs.
I heard his distant reply, "Adam! Adam, where'd you go?"
I followed his voice and saw that he had gone down the next street over.
"Derek, what are you doing over there? You were supposed to stay with me the whole time?" I shouted.
I was trying my best to hide my anger from him. He shouldn't have broken off just to chase down a car.
"What do you mean? You broke off from me?" he shouted back.
"You were supposed to go with me down Amberg Street!"
He was about to respond, but the screeching of those tires could be heard coming down my road.
I looked to my left and saw a large Chevrolet speeding toward me. I jumped out of the way just in time before they hit me. They knocked over some trash cans and a mailbox and appeared to be driving with delirium. Now I was having suspicions about this person.
"Derek, I saw the driver. I think they're drunk and they're taking their car out for a joyride since no one else is around."
He sounded confused, "Eh, what's the protocol for this again?"
I ignored his forgetfulness and pulled out my radio to call dispatch again.
"Neighborhood Patrol Unit #9 to Dispatch, we have a red Chevrolet driving erratically on Amberg Street and the local area, over."
"Dispatch to Unit #9, where are they heading, over?"
I took a look at my compass that I always keep with me, and replied, "Dispatch they're heading towards the North and don't appear to be stopping anytime soon, over."
"Dispatch to Unit #9, do not engage with the driver. We're sending over a bicycle unit to try and slow them down the best we can. We can't take risks with a vehicle, over."
"Okay, we will not engage any further but will keep you updated, over and out."
Derek soon approached behind me and said, "I get so tired of always having to use those police codewords."
"It's so that there's no confusion. You do realize there are police officers on this channel too, right?"
"Yeah, yeah. Don't lose your hair over it. I was just complaining a little."
I gave him a smirk and the two of us continued on our way. Since we didn't have the responsibility of chasing after the driver, we went about our usual patrol but with a little more alertness in mind.
But we made a bad decision to be passing by that dreaded road. It was part of our routine, and usually passing by never caused any problems.
The only problem is that as we were going by, we saw the truck. It ran off the road and crashed into a tree.
From what I could see, the silhouette of the guy was inside.
I gave Derek my radio and told him to call and tell them that we had found the driver and that they appeared to have been trying to go down Lockhill Road.
I ran over to the left side of the road where the car laid wedged up against the side of the tree. The driver's door was smashed in and I would have to climb in from the passenger side to try and save them from burning to death.
When I went for the door, I briefly hesitated. The idea of getting in a car at night and being directly on Lockhill left me with this gut feeling that kept telling me that I should just turn back and wait for First Responders to arrive.
But given that they were going to be arriving not by ambulance, but by bicycle, and with the car slowly starting to burn, I took a deep breath and opened the door, climbing inside and reaching for the man as quickly as I could.
He was knocked out cold and I grabbed hold of his arm and shook him as much as I could to wake him up.
The fire was growing and I unbuckled his seat belt, wrapped my arms around him, and used my legs to forcibly pull him out of the vehicle. This man was fat and a pain to try and pull out.
At last, I felt the weight release and both of us fell onto the grass below. I breathed a sigh of relief, thankful that I was able to save him just in time.
I got myself back to my feet and looked over to the exit of the road.
I must have fallen into a state of disbelief because I saw that there was nothing but a long stretch of road surrounded by marshland under a red moonlight.
I turned over to the other side, a soon to be fleeting hope already starting to take hold of me, and saw that it was the same in the other direction.
"No, no, no!" I shouted. "I wasn't even driving the car! The car wasn't moving!"
How could this have happened to me? This wasn't supposed to happen. As far as we all knew, if you're driving, you become snatched up by the road. At least, that's what I think the town's consensus was. Maybe everyone just assumes that that is the likely scenario. It's not like anyone's ever returned to tell us that simply being inside your car is enough to warrant whatever unusual forces are at work here.
I kept pacing myself, running from one end to the other, hoping that maybe I just misjudged the distance and I can easily still walk out and find Derek.
But besides the eerie red light coming from above, all I saw was darkness.
The drunken man groaned. This quickly caught my attention and I ran back over to him.
He was still alive but not fully awake yet.
Then I remembered my radio and reached for it. I felt nothing in my pocket and instantly remembered that I handed my radio off to Derek.
Seeing that that wasn't going to work, I went for my phone next. But there was no signal. I was completely stranded.
In a fit of rage, I started swearing up and down out of the frustration of being caught in this. I guess it's true what they say, no good deed goes unpunished. I should have listened to my instincts and told myself not to intervene. I should have left this guy and waited for backup like they always tell us. And now I'm trapped on this road with a drunkard, who I was now more than happy to abandon.
He started moving around and his eyes opened. He was awake and clearly saw the burning wreckage that was his truck.
His voice was rough, having a noticeable smoker's voice. "Hey, what happened to my piece of junk?"
"You crashed into a tree, you idiot," I alerted him to my presence.
He turned around and became instantly belligerent with me.
Holding up both of his fists at me, he fiercely said, "Who are you calling an idiot?"
I wasn't intimidated. The fact of the matter is that I work out regularly and when I was five, my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to take self-defense classes. Thank you, Mom and Pop.
He threw one of his fists my way and I was able to dodge it, backing up and having my own fists ready. When he saw that he missed, he threw his other one, only for me to grab it and easily pull them inwards with my back turned and flipped him over me, letting him hit the ground hard.
Even though he was drunk and probably didn't feel the pain all that much, his body was too heavy for him to have any decent motor function and I believe he passed out again.
Seeing that he wasn't going to be a problem anymore, I walked around— staying relatively close to the man— trying to see if I could get a signal by changing location.
This went on for about twenty minutes or so, and despite my best efforts, I was left with nothing. The unusual silence was broken by a few sharp coughs. I guess he was due to wake up again.
I stood over him, expecting him to go into another rant about what I had said earlier, but he seemed to have had a mental reset.
"Eh, who are you?"
"My name is Adam. I'm part of the Neighborhood Patrol. You had a car wreck because you were drunk, am I correct?" I said in my best stoic voice.
He got back to his feet quickly and smelled horrible. I only just now noticed because I was distracted by my situation. The sting of his alcoholic breath was much too strong for me, forcing me to take a few steps back.
"I only had a few drinks," he slurred.
"Only? How much is only?" I let my anger slip out.
"Five... seven maybe?"
"Of what?" I ordered.
This guy was a moron. Now I was trapped on this god-forsaken road with a man who had only half a brain functioning.
I walked to one side of the road and had to take a wild guess as to which way would be best. I wasn't about to sit out here in the dark with this guy. I could only rely on the illumination of the red moonlight. I wanted to save the battery on my flashlight, so I thought it best not to use it at this moment.
"Look," I said. "We need to start walking in a direction to get out of here. Maybe there is a way to escape, but we have to come to a decision on which way."
I guess he remembered my remark from earlier after all because he said, "I ain't going anywhere with you kid. You call me an idiot."
I rolled my eyes. This guy was as petty as a child, and yet calls me a kid.
"Listen closely. You're on that road we're not supposed to be on. You got me roped into this, and I'm going to make a decision. Either come with me or stay here and wait for rescue. Not that they will be coming."
He turned around and went back to the car. At first, I was confused as to what he was up to, but I almost had a quick heart attack when I briefly thought that he was going to pull a gun out on me. I was already preparing myself to start running when he turned around and had a beer bottle in his hand.
"I ain't going with you anywhere,"
He threw the bottle at me, narrowly hitting me in the head. It shattered on the other side of the road and for a brief moment, I thought I heard something skitter away. Since I've been here, I haven't heard a single animal so the idea that something was back there silently observing us made my skin crawl.
"Fine!" I said. "Stay here. I can't make you come with me. Let's hope that we can find you by tomorrow when the sun comes up."
The heavy man flipped me off, signaling my cue to leave. I was quick to put as much distance between us as I went to the right end of the road and started my journey with only a flashlight in hand.
For the most part, nothing had happened in the last five minutes and I was content with the silence that surrounded me. Better to hear nothing than to hear something. But I would rather hear my radio crackling to life at this moment.
Going a little further on, the silence was broken again. But this time, instead of the groaning coming from that guy, I heard a blood-filled screaming coming from way back. That man had stayed behind and now he was being attacked by something. It was so guttural and wrapped up in agony that already the hairs on my body were standing up.
A part of me was screaming that I needed to go back and check on him. But whatever it was, it likely had already done the deed. Plus, if I go back, who's to say I won't become the next victim. There's always been something odd about this road and I have to approach it with the highest end of paranoia.
My only other option was to keep pressing forward and hope that salvation is at the end. Running was starting to feel like a better option, but I refrained from it. I could easily tire myself out and I didn't want to be stationary. It clearly didn't provide any safety for that drunkard. I just had to keep pressing forward at a modest pace.
Something has changed. It's been about three hours now and the moon hasn't moved. And that blood-red color is hurting my eyes. I don't like to keep my eyes shut, for fear that something might come out from nowhere and attack me, but the soreness is starting to get to me.
What's worse is that I can hear footsteps behind me. They're light on their feet, but each step is almost echoing my pace. I sped up just a little to test out my theory and whatever it was, it simultaneously matched me. I heard it lingering always behind me. My paranoia is starting to overtake any rational thinking that I have. But then again, nothing about this road is rational.
The steps seemed to be speeding up even though I had been going at the same pace for the last ten minutes. My breathing was starting to betray me, growing louder and more hoarse with each intake of the unseasonably cold air. And then there was a steadily growing whispering that was surrounding me.
Finally, having had enough of the pursuit, I turned around, pointing the flashlight at as many parts of the road as I could to get a glimpse of who was following me. But it was empty.
"No, no, I heard something... someone..." I whispered to myself.
Turning back in my original direction, the steps began again. And the whispering was only growing louder.
Without a second thought, I started charging forward, done with whatever it was that was messing with me. I wanted to get away from them, but I could faintly hear their footsteps behind me. It was growing closer even though I was now running at full speed.
In my mind, I thought maybe I could fight it. Perhaps the drunkard was caught off-guard and that's how it got him. But my legs kept moving forward, a sense of dread was keeping me in flight mode, preventing me from wanting to switch to fight mode.
No matter what, one thing was for certain. I wasn't alone on this lonely road. That's perhaps one of the worst feelings.
Up ahead, I saw a distant flashing. They were police flashes. As I drew closer, my pursuer's footsteps quieted down and the whispering ceased.
Standing in front of me was a police officer and his vehicle behind him.
"Oh thank you, I've been trapped on this road for hours." I called out to him.
His voice was low and had an echo to it which was an immediate put-off. "It's okay son. We got reports of a disappearance happening here earlier today. They sent me to try and get you."
I replied, down on my knees due to exhaustion. "Who? Dispatch?"
Upon further inspection, I started noticing some irregularities. His voice and the way he spoke sounded cold and indifferent. I would think a police officer would be happy to have found someone who was lost on this road for the first time.
Another thing that was making me nervous was how unprofessional he was behaving. His answers were vague, and his appearance looked worn-out. His uniform was tattered and his hair messy. And despite there being light from the moon, the police cars headlights, and my flashlight, his face was shrouded in a dark shadow that purposely was making sure that he was obscure for me to identify any details.
I got back onto my feet and quickly looked down near his waist. I didn't see a holster.
"Where's your gun?"
"Not important." he replied harshly.
I leered at him, my body instantly going into high alert mode again. "It's very important."
"Come with me. I'll give you a drive back home."
I did another quick analysis of his appearance and saw that there was no radio, no gun, and no badge. That would mean this was no cop.
"How about we see your face first," I flashed my light up to his face, something I had been avoiding because that would be rude. And this was an instant regret.
His eyes were glazed over with a red glow coming from them. The mouth was full of razor-sharp teeth, and the skin appeared to be leathery and pale.
He echoed, "Lunchtime."
He jumped me, throwing me back to the ground, and kept trying to bite me. It took all my strength just to keep him from getting close to my face. I kept hearing the snapping of his teeth right into my ear, and a desperate struggle ensued.
I had no weapon on me, only basic self-defense skills and my baton but I couldn’t reach for it, and this guy had some inhuman strength. Despite his body looking frail and emaciated, his strength was more than on par with mine.
"I need food," he— it growled.
I gritted my teeth, getting ready to take a huge risk. Removing one of my arms just for a split second, I punched him as hard as I could in his head.
Despite the bizarreness of this man, pain was still something that he experienced. His grip released and he held on to his face.
I got back up to my feet and grabbed my flashlight to keep my eyes on him. Now I could see what it was that I did. The entire right side had been caved in.
"My God, what are you?"
Despite the impact to the side of his head, he smiled through bloody teeth and said, "Merely a puppet."
At that, his body started to disintegrate into a pile of dust, and red light streaks shot up into the air and dispersed back into the surrounding forest.
I looked around, convinced that what I had experienced was my mind psychologically breaking at this point. When I turned back towards the police car, I thought maybe I could start driving it back. Only to be met with a long-abandoned Lincoln car.
"Looks like I'm still stuck on the road." I sighed.
Exhaustion, thirst, and hunger were starting to take their toll on me. I was desperate for something and now I'm regretting my decision not to have protein bars on me at all times.
Every passing minute was a grim reminder that my time was running out. The human body can only survive for three to four days without any water and from what I could tell, I'm well past the first day. And I'm certain that constantly moving is only lessening those precious days that I have left.
I could hear them whispering behind me again. The footsteps had grown numerous; like there was a crowd behind me. I was so tired. I needed a moment to rest but I was too afraid that that would be the last thing I would do.
Out of sheer frustration with my followers, I turned around, half expecting that there would be nothing again.
What a regretful decision that turned out to be.
This time I could see who it was. It was a crowd of people. All of their eyes were glowing red, and their bodies looked like they had shriveled up, walking limply at me. In the crowd, I saw a familiar face. The drunk driver from earlier was among them. His eyes are glowing red and his body already looked like it had been drained of all fluids, same as the rest.
I turned back and started running as fast as I could. The sweat that grew on me only managed to slow me down as it sapped away more water from my body.
I thought for sure that this was a sign that I was going to end up becoming one of them. Becoming some sort of shriveled puppet for whatever it is that has a hold on this road.
They were still chasing after me, running as well, and not too much longer, I ended up losing steam and collapsing on the side of the road. I was out of breath, drenched in sweat, and my legs were numb.
If they reached me again, there's no way I could escape.
I heard the sound of a gate grinding shut. Then it opened again. Then closed again.
Looking up, I saw an old, run-down Victorian Manor. There was an eerie red glow coming from inside, but what wasn't having a red glow today.
Feeling a sudden surge of adrenaline kicking back in, I found the strength to climb up the small hill to reach the front door of this suspiciously abandoned home.
Before I receive any judgment, anyone who was desperate for shelter would have done the same thing regardless of the obvious red flags, pun not intended.
Kicking the door in, I wasted no time entering and checking behind me to make sure that my fan club wasn't following in. To my surprise, they were back on the road but stood there watching me as I entered.
I honestly couldn't tell if that was a good sign or a bad one.
Closing the door behind me, I was greeted with chilly, dusty air that kept forcing me to cough.
I pulled my shirt over my face and moved inside, wondering where that red light was coming from. Inside was a variety of dull, neutral colors of furniture and walls. What was more jarring was the number of taxidermied animals that were littered everywhere. From the walls, to lampstands, to bear rugs, everything about this house was dead, gloomy, and sinister.
I went into the kitchen and sure enough, nothing could be found in terms of food. But I did find water. There was a dirty puddle of it in the sink, and out of desperation, I started drinking it, regardless of the health risks. And it was as bitter and rusty tasting as I should’ve expected. I could only hope that it doesn’t come back to kill me.
Wiping my face with a raggedy towel nearby, I briefly heard something rustling underneath the floorboards. That was enough to tell me that I wasn't alone in the house. But now I was trapped. My only other choice was to take my chances with the outside where that menacing crowd was waiting for me, or use whatever strength I had left on whatever was hiding in here.
I inspected each of the other rooms on the first floor, not even bothering to check the second one. So far nothing seemed terribly alarming, but I could still hear the sound of footsteps beneath me. They were loud, walking on gravel. I had this sinking feeling that they wanted me to know that they were here.
Seeing that I had no other choice, I found one last unopened door. I took a deep breath, and it slowly creaked open leading to a flight of stairs that descended into a reddish glow that was surrounded by an overwhelmingly sinister blackness that threatened to envelop me should I be brave enough to proceed forward.
With a single gulp, I took my first step down and felt the first few droplets of cold sweat. I also felt a nauseating pain in my stomach, but that could be from the water.
I took each step cautiously, believing that any moment now the door upstairs would suddenly close like a cliche horror movie.
When my foot finally hit the floor, I was surprised that the door remained open. But I was met with a hallway. A long, red wallpapered, red carpeted hallway. At this point, I'm starting to become sick of the color red. At least the colors here were a dull shade.
Pulling out my flashlight again, the flickering that I was receiving from it was alarming and I had half a mind to run back up. But I had to know if I was going to be able to live in this house for some time. And the idea of someone else being in it wasn't comforting.
I held my flashlight up like a weapon, preparing to hit whatever decided to jump out at any corner that I approached.
But no matter how many corners I reached, I was met with another long hallway that stretched roughly 20 ft.
My breathing was becoming heavier and the air was getting warmer. The hallways were growing more vibrant with each turn, and they seemed to change from right to left a lot.
At the end of each turn though, I started to notice something move just out of sight at the next turn. At first, it was tiny, like the back end of a mouse. But each time I reached the next turn, it was getting taller and I was starting to see more of what it was.
Seeing that it was trying to avoid me, I gave chase and prepared myself to start my assault on whatever it was. Out of desperation, all I could think of was to fight everything. My every thought was aggression and survival.
And yet it managed to stay ahead of me at all times as if it was teasing me. And then it finally dawned on me that I had run quite some distance.
Turning back, I realized that I had made a foolish decision. Everything was getting cleaner and more vibrant still. I had gotten myself trapped. Now I was stuck in this maze with something always ahead of me, managing to move out of sight before I could get a good look at it.
Frustration, starvation, and an overwhelming sense of dread made me want to do anything to get out of this maze and not see what was at the end of it.
I looked at the wall and used the butt end of the flashlight to start digging a hole through it. I didn't care anymore, I wanted out.
I kept chipping away with frantic speed, struggling to tear apart the solid wooden wall until it finally collapsed outwards and revealed a monstrous void on the other side. I poked my head out and saw that there was nothing out there. A cold, unfathomably deep void that was a grim choice that if I was ever going to get out of here, my only other choice was to keep pushing forward through the maze, or I could take my chances of falling into oblivion.
Seeing what my choices were, I took a few steps back, slumped against the other side, and started to cry. I never normally did something like that but the stress, the feeling of entrapment, and this whole situation that stemmed from an act of kindness has led me to an increasing sense of hopelessness that seized every one of my thoughts.
I must've kept crying for who-knows-how-long anymore. It no longer matters. No matter what happens today, I'm going to die. I just want to lie here and finally get some sleep. It wasn't the most comfortable bed, but I needed this.
I was alerted by the sound of footsteps approaching. My eyes darted open and I saw that the crowd of red-eyed people were following in after me. They were already at the other end of the hallway, staring me down.
Natural instincts kicked in and I got back on my feet and started running as fast as I could to whatever it was that they were cornering me in. If there is a chance of getting out, I have to take this.
I ran and ran, never once taking a moment to catch my breath. I still wanted to sleep, but survival was pushing me forward.
It took me a few minutes to realize that something odd was going on in the hallway itself. It was starting to become warped, blindingly bright in its red colors, and inducing petrifying fear into my heart.
But then the red wallpaper was peeling off, the wooden walls breaking up into shards, and the red lamps that hung on the sides were falling apart. It was slowly getting darker and darker. I turned on my flashlight just to make sure that I didn't run into a wall, but it flickered erratically, making the way ahead obscure and unpredictable.
It didn't matter for too long because I made it to the end.
At the far end of the last hallway was a swirling vortex of black mist, an eerie white glow around the edge, and red eyes. Of course...
They stared at me as if they were awaiting my arrival. On the ceiling was a black slime that was morphing together and splitting apart, dripping down to the floor. From the vortex of eyes and mist, five long pincers were stretched out, reminding me of praying mantis’ pincers.
When I moved in closer by a few steps, I was compelled to stare into a cosmic maelstrom of impossible depths, and through the swarming array of red lightning at the other end of this unfathomable creature, a pulsing organ, shaped like a heart but covered in wiggling strands of hair and misshapen eyes. The pupils were like that of a goat, and— you guessed it— red.
I was disturbed by the crowd of red-eyed people behind me. They stopped their advance as I was making my approach to the anomaly.
"You have made it," it whispered with a slow and calculated voice.
"I have," I said, unsure about what to do next.
"You ran from my grasp outside, entered my home, and your perseverance has brought you this far so that you may see my true form."
I took a few more steps forward, peering at the entity with a sudden rush of curiosity. Upon my even closer observation, from behind the deathly heart, I swear I could see three figures shrouded in a veil of shadows behind it.
But instead of asking any questions, I begged, "Let me out!"
"Why should I? I have no reason to spare you. As you can see behind you, I feed on the minds of those who enter my domain."
Once again, my fight or flight instincts were kicking in and I was ready to do what I must. But it would be crazy to attack something as abstract and out of this world as this creature was. And then I thought for a moment. Could a deal be reached?
"Perhaps—" I swallowed. "Perhaps we can come to an agreement."
A jarring long pause followed before it said, "How so?"
"I'll uh..." I tried to think about what I was going to do. If it's anything that I've learned from movies and TV shows where these types of deals happened, this thing will want me to bring more people and encourage them to drive so that it can snatch them up onto the road. But I wasn't about to sell out my own race. I rationed with myself that I could do something else. Perhaps I should ask it what it wants.
"Is there anything that you want? Something that doesn't involve me selling out people to you?"
"If I say no, are you still willing to offer me people to feed on?"
I took a deep breath and exhaled loudly. If this was going to be where I would die, I was going to go out with a shred of dignity intact. Even if that meant having to give up my own life to save others. I don't think I could live with myself by tricking people.
"No. I care about other people's lives more than my own. I wouldn't be able to live with myself or look my mother in the eyes if she ever found out."
I stood there defiantly, but inside I was shaking and having a horrible case of butterflies in my stomach.
"How noble," it said softly. "All right then, I will make another deal for you. I can see that you will be most valuable in the future. I'll let you go on the condition that you bring me more creatures like me."
"What, disturbing?" I thought.
But what I said was, "Another like you?"
"I am a being known as a Primordial. There are many like me on this planet and I wish to devour them."
"How am I supposed to do that?"
"I'll give you a helping hand. Plus, there's a war between them and I'd rather not have my territory and peace disturbed or my human snacks wiped out over their infighting."
"That's more doable I guess." I said, believing it much less morally wrong to sell out another one of these "Primordials" and sacrifice them to this monstrosity.
"And to make sure that you don't go back on your word—"
Before I had time to react, one of its pincers extended out too quickly for me to dodge in time, drilling itself into my shoulder and leaving a nasty blackened puncture wound.
"Now you'll be forced to bring me my prize. Don't go running away. I have planted myself inside your body and could easily bring you back here should you betray me."
I should have guessed there was going to be some insurance for this creature. I was trapped and had to go through with this deal. Now the next means of action was to find another creature like this.
The creature's pincers all extended outwards and a loud flashbang hit me before I could look away. My mind left spinning, and in utter confusion. And then I heard my name being repeatedly screamed out to me.
I awoke, shocked to see that Derek was pulling me out of a car. He dropped me onto the ground and we both were breathing heavily.
"Man, you sure are a heavy guy," he remarked.
I was quick to realize where I was and quickly got back to my feet to look for the drunk driver. He wasn't in the driver's seat.
"Where did the driver go?" I asked.
Derek slowly got back on his feet and said, "You're welcome, and I don't know. He must have run off by the time you got over there."
I was smart enough to know that that wasn't the truth. I had to play the part that I was not aware of what truly happened to him.
I had to fill out a report to the police department and tell them everything that I knew. Well, a manufactured story that would coincide with Derek's side of the story. I took it upon myself to have the next week off, desperately trying to drown out my frequent nightmares of whatever it was that I saw with bottle after bottle of vodka and whiskey.
But one night, after a rough night of trying to get some sleep, I was disturbed by the sound of an owl. I don't know why this particular owl was able to get me out of bed, but when I went to the window to see how such a creature could be so loud, I was given a grim reminder.
That bird had that particular pair of velvet-colored eyes that I had grown to disdain. And it was a warning to me to get to work.
A sudden rush of piercing pain struck me in my shoulder. When I pulled my shirt down to check it, I could see the black, veiny markings exactly where the puncture wound happened. Weird, this wound disappeared when I got back to town. But that was a warning shot to get to work on finding more of those foul, lowlife primordial things that this... thing wants.
And right before I closed the blinds, I heard it whisper to me once more with a mocking tone. "I'm waiting. Get moving now. Or perhaps you'd like to get your mom in a car next?"
It seems that there would be no rest for the weary today. I have to get ready now, I have to find something out there. Until I'm able to update, take care and for the love of God, don't drive at night in a town with a street called "Lockhill Road."
submitted by JamesCaligo to ThresholdofEvil [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 07:02 Gold-University5060 Is it possible to manually shut a window closed?

Is it possible to manually shut a window closed?
2001 Honda Civic LX. Power works but will only go up or down a little and gets stuck. Is there a way to manually put it all the way up? Would rather drive with it closed than open. Wouldn’t want to remove the door panel knowing I can’t. Just until I order new window regulators.
submitted by Gold-University5060 to MechanicAdvice [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 06:53 No_Bedroom8578 Any thoughts!?!

For me, it is still too early. I went to bed at daybreak. I can’t define the man through the peephole of the door. I’m dizzy, and can’t make out the person there, inside a suit and a tie, his face bloated by the lens. It must be something important, because I heard the bell ringing a few times. Once when I was coming to the door and at least three times in my dream. I try focusing my eye, and start to think that I know that face from a confused and distant time. Or maybe I got to the peephole still sleeping and know the face from when it still belonged to the dream. There’s the beard. It may be possible that I had already seen this face without the beard. But the beard is so solid and rigorous that it looks previous to the face. The suit and the tie also bother me. I do not know a lot of people who dress in a suit and tie, let alone with such straight hair down to his shoulder. People in suits and ties who I know, sit behind a desk or a counter. They are not people who come knocking at my door. I try to imagine the man clean shaven and wearing a T-shirt. I try to discount the warping of the peephole, and it is always somebody familiar but very difficult to recognize. And his face like that, frontal and static blurs my judgment even more. It’s not even the face, it is more the identity of the face which differs from the true face the more you know the person. That immobility is his best disguise. At least for me.
I back off cautiously, walking through the apartment as if under water. I will slip back to bed certain that the man will end up capitulating, convinced that there is nobody home. But I don’t even cross the imaginary division between living and bedroom and the bell rings again. Now I can’t sleep with the image of the man fixed at my door. I’m back to the peephole. I must spot a mistake, an impatient gesture, which will denounce him, permitting me to connect the gesture to the person. But for as long as I am there he does not touch the bell, does not look at his phone, does not light a cigarette, does not take his eyes off the peephole. Now it becomes clear to me that he’s been seeing me this whole time. Through the peephole, in reverse. He sees me as a concave man. That’s how he saw me arriving, gluing my eye to the peephole and trying to decipher him. He saw me flee in slow motion, in large movements, he saw me coming back with my face contorted. And see that he sees me. He knows me better than I know him. Because I know only that he is not what he appears to be, a salesman, a solicitor, a secret service agent. But he knows me enough to understand that I would be willing to open my door to a complete stranger, but I would never open the door to somebody who wants to come in.
At this point he is very much aware that it is worthless. That he can’t fool me anymore. That I will not open the door. That I’m capable of dying here in silence. Capable of rotting right here in front of his standing skeleton. So he shakes his head and leaves my field of vision. And it is in this last glimpse that I identify him with full evidence, just to forget him immediately. The only thing I know is that he was somebody who was with me long ago, but who I should never have seen, because he was somebody who one day shook his head and left my field of vision, a long time ago.
My sleepiness is lost. From the window of my fifth floor, I can peek at the sidewalk of my building. The man suddenly appears, stops at the curb, and doesn’t raise his eyes to look at my window, as I would do if I were him. The person who spent so much time in my hallway, he should have taken a peek even if he knew it would be for nothing. He should have looked to see if any light was on, an undefined form behind the glass looking down at him. He should have looked automatically, out of a twitch of hope.
The only reason he would not look, is if he knew he was being watched. He knows that I see him calling an Uber, hop into the front seat, and tell the driver to turn at the first right. I dress myself in a hurry calculating that at this moment he has stopped at the red light of the opposite corner. Calculating that I would be dressing in a hurry he tells the driver to go turn right again, and again and again. He would complete the round around the block predicting that I would be at the elevator with my shirt still unbuttoned. But I button my shirt at the window, watching the Uber take the last turn at the corner.
He should be getting out of the car while I slam my apartment door decisively, the Uber driver telling him to go screw himself because of the stupid ride. He’ll be frustrated for not catching me in the lobby. He’d ask the security guard about me, but now I’m between the third and the fourth floor going downstairs slowly, because of a burnt light bulb. The security guard, listening to the radio, will answer that it is not his business to know the affairs of the residents. I get to the second floor while he takes the elevator after pushing the “open door” bottom more than forty times. Close to the lobby, I cross over the light coming from the street, climbing the stairs through the crack of the fire exit door. At the end of the stairs, I lose my step. I step on the light and cross the lobby stumbling. He is in my hallway. He would not ring the bell this time but destroy my doorknob. I am on the opposite driveway.
I do not need to look back to the fifth floor to know that he stares at me from my window. He would see me picking up the pace and disappear turning on the first left. He will call the elevator, the Uber but will not be able to convince the new driver to chase me down the wrong way. He will try a parallel route, but I will take a tunnel, surface in another neighborhood, and breathe new airs. He will get stuck in traffic while I climb a mountain, the shelves of forests and high invisible mansions from where I can see the whole city.
submitted by No_Bedroom8578 to WritersGroup [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 06:33 flowers_falling stupid breakroom calendar

i’ve been working at my store since last july, currently stuck as a barista with hopes of moving elsewhere in f&b. just to give background.
at my store (i’ve also seen it in others so i know it’s not a just me thing) there’s sometimes a board concerning whatever month. when i started the pride month board was up for months, last month had a few things about black history, there’s three women with short blurbs on the board currently for women’s history month. cool. whatever. there’s also a calendar on the breakroom door.
it’s got the basics and a few fun different days. days without anything on them have a cute phrase or whatever. what i’m trying to get at is that at the very least the space is filled. except the 31st. which is wild to me, especially since the 31st is transgender day of visibility. not everyone knows about it and i’m not saying i expected it to be on there. i know corporations and bosses and so forth aren’t our friends but i had such a long, frustrating few days that it pushed me over the edge. fucking cat appreciation day is on there. fucking napping day. but the 31st has nothing just completely empty.
i ended up putting a sticky note on it. it’s stupid and petty but i can’t describe, especially considering the current landscape of transgender rights in america, how fucking frustrated i was. if you look up ‘march 31st’ and go to the wikipedia page, which i’m guessing is how whoever made it found out about puppy day, it’s there.
again it’s stupid but for a corporation so built around its image and how people perceive it, especially from the inside, it made me so angry.
ALSO i’m not here to start arguments about what should and shouldn’t be talked about in the workplace or whatever. my existence is not fucking disputable.
submitted by flowers_falling to Target [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 06:25 soberfrontlober "Changes" I've noticed so far

  1. Crafting has a chance to get you stuck in the crafter with no way to escape. My teammates can't even punch me out of it.
  2. Doors can bug out, trying to open inward instead of outward, then getting stuck half open. I had this happen for an entire match.
  3. Vantage's Q has some... extra features.
  4. Tracked challenges show up as NBR instead of BR despite the fact that I've played only unranked or ranked BR today.
  5. Backpack UI is weird? Especially inside of loot boxes.
What *changes* have you guys found?
submitted by soberfrontlober to apexlegends [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 05:56 Syntinul [TOMT] [CARTOON-90s] I've been searching for this my whole life!

Hi Friends! This is one of those fever dream memories that drives me crazy. Here's what I remember:
A young male is riding in a jeep or truck on a dirt road with an older female. They almost hit a person. The male turns back and yells "Jay Walking is illegal!" The Jay walker looks up and he is a zombie if I remember correctly. They speed off.
I don't remember much more than that.
I believe the male was the lead. I believe he had blonde or red hair and hat. I believe the female was a parent or older sibling. I believe they were in a white jeep or 4x4 truck. I remember there was either a puddle or something they drive over or get stuck in.
I think they were on an island on vacation when this happens.
What I remember for certain is seeing the VHS at Walmart or Kmart in the late 90s/early 00s and begging my grandparents for it. I remember where I was when I watched, but that's about all. I would love to see it again just because I've been searching my whole life and can't even seem to find the correct cartoon this scene belongs to, much less the correct scene.
submitted by Syntinul to tipofmytongue [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 05:29 omnipotentalbatross Truth or Lie : Shit BM Does Edition

You can check my posts for backstory. Very brief background : 50/50 SM for 12+ years. BM has gone from super HC, to awkward coparent, to 'I don't give a damn about parenting.' DH and I walk on eggshells about not saying negative things about her around SS, but our frustrations have been simmering. Recently, BM responded to SS15's serious mental health crisis by asking for SS to come live with us full time immediately.
It has been rough... SS15 has a meltdown with any form of accountability. He slams doors, put a hole in our wall, and oscillates between refusing to speak to us or personal attacks. He's snunk off to call BM twice because we stuck to a consequence and made a whole bunch of plans behind our back. The situation was repeated tonight and when DH called him out (because he lied to us - with BM's support) he told us that and his mom decided to go back to 50/50.
I was out of the house at the beginning of the drama and DH called me. I was on speaker. DH asked me for my thoughts. I thought he'd taken me off speaker, and ended up venting that BM pisses me off. She is the one that asked us to take SS, because she couldn't handle her own mental health and being a parent. She doesn't do shit to support SS, leaves him alone when he's with her, and prioritizes her new boyfriend/meal ticket. I'm mad that she asks us to step up, so she can step out, but then plays the 'good cop' and actively manipulates the situation. It was a very short vent, because I suddenly realized I was still on speaker.
I apologized to SS as soon as I got home. I told him that BM is his mom and I've always tried hard to be respectful. I acknowledged that I know she loves him. I apologized for saying negative things and hurting his feelings. However, while I wish I could take back the fact that he heard, I don't take back my feelings on the issue - because nothing I said was a lie. He tried to say we constantly talk shit on her (100% not true - if BM comes up when SS is home, we go sit in our car to talk about it so our kids don't overhear), and I ended up asking him what have we said that was talking shit or a lie?
I ended up asking him - "Your mom is having mental health struggles. Truth or lie? In four years, your mom has not attended a single counseling appointment for you. Truth or lie? The three times an appointment has been scheduled during your mom's time has been canceled. Truth or a lie? You are constantly an hour + late getting picked up or dropped off to personal events. Truth or lie? When you are with your mom, you are either alone while she goes out or she sleeps until the late afternoon. Truth or lie?..." And so on and so forth.
SS did not say too much. I know several times he wanted to jump to her defense, but was unable to deny that everything I said was truthful. Everything I said is backed up with text messages, direct quotes to us, or her actions. I feel bad this conversation ended up happening, and I anticipate some HC drama when SS goes to her this weekend, but I'm also feeling a little relieved to have some of my frustrations out in the open. I'm so tired of being tactful about her fuckups.
submitted by omnipotentalbatross to stepparents [link] [comments]