A sub for pictures of discarded vehicles that are deserving of rescue and restoration
My fiancé has a ‘98 Nissan Frontier that may have finally reached the end of its journey. It broke down on the side of the road two weeks ago, and we haven’t got any repair quotes yet because the car is worth a few hundred bucks, tops. He thinks there’s an axel issue but we’re not sure.
While we’re aware it’s time to say goodbye when the cost to repair a vehicle exceeds its value, we’re in a tough situation where he needs a truck in order to do perform his job (he’s in construction). Since I work remotely, I’ve been letting him use my car. But with his line of work, we can already see that this is not a sustainable option. For example, he often needs to haul large, heavy materials that don’t fit in my small sedan.
We’ll be moving out-of-state in July, at which point he’ll be starting a new career in music production. In other words, no truck necessary. Should he leave his job sooner than planned? Should we take the hit and get it repaired? What are our options? With our wedding coming up in a few weeks, every penny matters more than ever, so we’d love some advice on how to go about this dilemma. Thanks!
Pickup trucks were 3 of the top 5 vehicles involved in fatal collisions between 2016-2020. Marketing for these trucks appeals to the hyper-masculine image and overwhelmingly targets young men, most of whom have no reason to own a pickup. Further, pickup trucks are significantly heavier than other passenger cars, and have the ability to inflict more damage in a collision. Some trucks even have drivetrains like military vehicles. In light of this, I think we should ban sale, transfer, or importation of any pickup trucks, allow lawsuits of the manufacturer and dealers who sell pickup trucks, require existing pickup trucks to be stored in locked garages when not in use, ban them from high speed roads like freeways, and maybe have them call DOT for permission to cross state lines. (Except police and military, we love you guys)
If you’re the red EN that was getting on the QE at Appleby, message me! Or the CG that I met around Mapleview 2 weeks ago. I was in my work truck at the time today, not the car. Anybody else around, message me too, let’s set up a WhatsApp and meet.
I wasn't there to sell or buy, but asked how much they could offer. They said it's over 10 years old and close to 200k miles, so $500-800 max. Craigslist price for my car is 6-10k - private sellers, more from dealers. And they assured me, yes, people actually trade in cars so cheap.
So, do they really sell cars so cheap and used car and dealers make a lot of money?
The greatest tragedy of war is that for some people the war never ends.
- Nebojsa Knezevic, head of psychiatry for Pallas Medical Institute, 2142
Silijima hopped into the truck, next to Sargen. The massive Gojid's head nearly reached the roof of the vehicle forcing him to crouch ever so slightly. He was an even more imposing figure up close, his muscles bulging and his scars held taut against his skin. He seemed preoccupied, as if her presence made him uncomfortable when they were close. His claws gripped the steering wheel, lightly scraping the carbon material. He seemed to be in his late thirties to early forties, and a distinguished Gojid at that save for the eye and the prosthetic arm. Most would consider him quite handsome if it wasn't for the damage he had received, and even then she was sure some women would find a prosthetic like that doubly enticing.
Senek sat in the back, leaning his head back and yawning. He seemed exhausted, most likely from being on duty for the last good knows how many weeks. He kept an eye on Sargen, but it wasn't a distrustful one, more like he was concerned for Sargen's wellbeing. It was hilarious to Silijima, to think that Sargen warranted concern, but she didn't know him or his past so she wouldn't judge; sometimes the strongest people held the greatest burdens.
"So, where to next? Do we have any other stops to make?" Silijima asked, breaking the uncomfortable silence.
"No, not unless you want to stop," replied Sargen.
Behind them, Senek grumbled. "We need to head back to the Collective and finish for the day; I'm fucking exhausted."
Sargen started the truck and turned around. "Then go home, Senek; you've done your work for the day. I'll show Silijima a bit of the station before I deliver the goods and introduce Silijima to the captains."
Senek didn't seem convinced. "They won't be happy that Sujek and I bailed halfway through the delivery."
Sargen snorted. "Ayaz and Igor won't give a damn as long as the delivery gets delivered. Take a tram and go home and see your mate and kids; you looked harrowed."
Silijima was inclined to agree. Before today, she didn't know if it was possible for a reptile to have bags under its eyes, but Senek surely did. He looked like shit, although Silijima would never voice that out loud.
Senek hissed but didn't argue, opening the door and leaving the back of the truck with a grunt. Silijima saw him walk down the street towards a tram stop in the distance, where one was unloading all sorts of people heading to shop at Zapadnyy tsentral'nyy rynok,
as well as those ready finished with their shopping trips. Eventually, Senek disappeared into the crowd of humans, arxur, and the occasional venlil, harchin and gojid.
"So," Sargen started with an apprehensive sigh, "My name's Sargen, as you've probably been told. I'm sure Senek and Sujek have already told you all about me."
Silijima chuckled nervously. "Not much, actually. I've been wondering where you got that arm from; it seems very high tech. I've only seen prosthetics like that on high ranking military personnel in the federation."
The question only seemed to make Sargen even more tense. "I lost my real arm in battle. They replaced it with this." He flexed the arm, the prosthetic was agile and precise in its movements. "It's near identical to the real thing utility-wise, although the look of it took some time to get used to."
Silijima nodded absentmindedly, admiring both the arm and his physical build. Sargen must've been through hell and back to be so torn up.
"Are you ex-military? You have the hardware to be."
Sargen frowned lightly. "You could say that. But that's enough about me." Then Sargen put a soft smile on his face, a fake one, as if he was trying to hide his true feelings. "I was told you served in the navy; what was that like?"
Silijima didn't push for more information. "I was a Master Technical Coordinator for the Unwavering Credence.
I kept the Guns and the hull functioning along with crews of grunt welders, and I pieced the ship back together after battles.
Sargen whistled, impressed by her rank. "You were pretty high up on the totem pole on that ship. Why'd you leave?"
Silijima scoffed. "The lies, the brutality, and the stress. I came to Skhamar looking for answers after losing faith in the state I defended for over a decade. Now that I know the truth, I realize that I hated every second of it, although I do miss it in a way. Once you get out, well, nothing seems right. For the first few months, I couldn't stand being off duty. I still miss that safety of knowing I was on a military vessel; at least we could defend ourselves. Back on Nishtal, I felt so… exposed, since I wasn't allowed to carry a firearm on my person anymore."
Sargen chuckled. "I know how you feel. I couldn't sleep right after I… left: I kept expecting an attack at all hours. Sometimes I'd wake up in a panic, clutching my ion pistol and ready to kill, only to realize it was just the sound of some puny asteroid bouncing off the outer shell of the station or a ship taking off."
Silijima snorted. "I remember nearly having a heart attack from the fireworks they set off for unification day. My parents didn't understand, or maybe they couldn't, but I don't celebrate that day anymore. It sounds too similar to Arxur hybrid charges slamming against the hull of a ship."
Silijima chuckled at first, but the laughter quickly died as reality set in. Her service in the navy had messed her up in more ways than one, but she couldn't imagine not living that life; she wouldn't know what to do with herself otherwise. She hated it, but she was better for it.
"So… What is there to do on this station? I'm pretty new to all of this freedom. What is there to do?"
"That's the good thing about this job; you get a good week or so in between missions to relax," Sargen smiled bitterly, but it was still a happy smile, "Me and the rest of the crew have so much to show you."
Silijima's heart skipped a beat at his statement. "Senek didn't seem too excited to show me anything."
"Senek's just tired; in fact he's always tired. He worked two missions in a row, same as Sujek, and they're probably going to push for another one," Sargen stated, "although I bet both Ayaz and Igor will send them both home and tell them to spend some time just relaxing for once since those two practically kill themselves working." He chuckled before continuing, "But as for things to do, well, there's a lot: Theaters, Restaurants, Museums, a full-sized futbol
stadium, and even a few more exotic things the humans brought over. Humans are kind of the cultural heart of the entire Commonwealth; The big Arxur houses might be the dominant economic forces besides the coalitions, but the Humans really brought a heart and soul to what would otherwise be a pretty dull and barren place."
Silijima thought about that for a moment. She had seen sporting events before; Nishtal had plenty of ballastier stadiums to choose from, where Krakotl would work as a flock to move a floating ball from one end to the other. There were also games of airborne agility and such, so she wasn't too interested in sports.
But the idea of a theater intrigued her. Nishtal didn't have many theaters: the Krakotl didn't like being cooped up in a dark place for too long, since their instincts were to nest under the open sky instead of burrow underground. Mix that with a lack of any big theater culture and you git a species that vastly preferred doing
. Sports and music were far more popular with the Krakotl, their ability to fly and vast vocal ranges helping them flourish in alternative mediums of entertainment.
"How are the theaters here? I've never really gone to one before."
Sargen eyed her with disbelief. "Neither did I before I came here. They're pretty great, with lots of cheap snacks and reclining seats. There aren't any 'new' movies yet since there's no real movie industry here on Skhamar yet, but they play a lot of older human movies. A few months ago I went with Timothy, Sarah, and their daughter Maggie to go see The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.
The art style was pretty mind-blowing, to say the least."
"The art style?"
"Animation. It's considered a proper medium of theater in human culture. There are a plethora of what humans call 'the animated classics': movies that have achieved universal human acclaim due to their outstanding quality. If I'm not mistaken, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
is one of them."
Human art seemed so fascinating to her; the Federation was so cut and dry with what they considered art that anything that pushed the envelope was ridiculed and even reviled, often only gaining traction in underground groups that appreciated the bizarre and the condemned. To hear of artistic styles having entire mediums dedicated to them was astounding to her.
"That sounds incredible! What other movies have you seen?"
"Well, I've been itching to see Star Wars,
but it's a long trilogy that's best watched at home. There's also a relatively new western by comparison called The Cursed
that's being shown this week, so we can go see that. I've heard nothing but good things about it."
Silijima didn't know what a 'western' was, but if it was anything like how Sargen describes their animated movies, she was sure a human western couldn't be bad.
Silijima casually read the synopsis for the movie they would be watching on her holophone. The year is 1886: Aging civil war veteran turned outlaw Thomas 'Death-Singer' Lawrence ekes out a humble living amongst the Ojibwa Indians of what is now modern-day Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan, hoping to live out his final years of his life with his beloved wife, son and adopted tribe in peace. But when a bitter ex-Confederate, Klan member, and son of a wealthy plantation owner Shaw Cunningham and his gang of killers massacre the tribe for supporting the Union during the war, his entire world is torn from him. Now, all that's left after the carnage is himself and a teenager named Nanabush, the fatherless black sheep of the tribe. Now, with nothing but vengeance burning in his heart, Thomas once again takes up the mantle of 'Death-Singer', and along with his newly adopted ward Nanabush, he travels south to reform his old gang of thieves and outlaws, 'The Cursed', in a last-ditch effort to gain the ultimate revenge and both kill Shaw Cunningham and ruin his family fortune. The curse must be passed on, and there couldn't be a more worthy recipient…
sounded interesting. Silijima didn't understand much of the context, but a revenge plot wasn't a common theme in Federation media, or federation art at all for that matter, so it seemed like a great place to start. Besides, it wasn't like it was real, so if it was overly violent then she could just finish the movie and never watch it again.
But first, there were snacks to buy. Silijima didn't know why Sargen insisted on buying snacks, but he stated that they 'improved the movie experience', or whatever that meant. Either way, he practically dragged Silijima up to a counter operated by a bored human, preparing to order a whole slew of snacks for the both of them.
"I'll get two medium boxes of Çäkçäk
style popcorn, a large bag of Korivka,
and two large bottles of… Give me a moment." Sargen turned to her. "What do you want to drink?"
Silinima browsed the menu nervously, not knowing what to choose. "Uhhh, I guess I'll try some Baikal?
Is it good?"
Sargen shrugged. "It's pretty good, a bit different than most colas." Then he turned back to the snack vendor. "And two large bottles of Baikal."
The bored human sighed, obviously just ready for his shift to end, and prepared the food for the two of them. Sargen prepared his credit chip and handed it to the worker when he returned, paying for everything.
"You don't have to, Sargen, I can pay for myself."
Sargen chuckled. "Maybe, but I'm the one who's taking you out. Just let me take care of it."
The human returned with the popcorn, which was two buckets of strange yellow… things that had a slight glowing orange sheen, along with a large bag of candies and two massive bottles of soda, which were also huge. Sargen somehow deftly balanced all the snacks in their arms as they made their way to the movie room they were assigned to without even a grunt and gave her a soft grin. Despite his obvious optimism, he seemed tense, as if she reminded him of something.
Sargen hurried down the hall, his large stride making it difficult for Silijima to keep up with him, but she managed. He avoided her gaze, his eyes focusing on absolutely anything else. There it was again, the strange behavior. It was as if she was some kind of phantom to him, but he couldn't point out her existence without seeming crazy.
They made their way into a door on the side that led down a dark hall with dim lights lining the floor. It opened up to a massive screen showing adverts for products before the movie began.
"Where would you like to sit? I'm partial to the back; you get better seats and a better view."
Silijima shrugged her feathered shoulders. "Wherever you think is best; I have no clue."
Sargen chuckled, but led her up toe stairs to the upper row of seats. They made it there, sitting down near the center, and Sargen handed Silijima her popcorn and baikal. Silijime pecked at the popcorn hesitantly, but found that she loved it! The sweet, nutty and floral flavors of the coating reminded her of the Vagra
nectar from Nishtal when peddlers would sell organic jars of it during the summer months, and it paired wonderfully with the salty-sweet crunch of the 'corn' itself. The baikal was another thing entirely; the sweet-spicy and pine flavors of the cola tasted like nothing she had ever experienced like fruit and spices boiled in bitter tree sap and carbonated, but palatable. By the time the movie had started, a third of her popcorn was gone, causing Sargen to chuckle.
The lights dimmed, causing Silijima to panic for a bit, but Sargen's hand reached out and grabbed her shoulder, calming her. He was there
, and he was big
; nothing could hurt such a giant, right?
Then, the movie began to play. The sound of some kind of delicate stringed instrument being strummed softly alongside the croaking and chirping of amphibians and insects on a warm summer night. The sounds of the wildlife stopped suddenly for a moment, as did the instrument when a small gang of about a dozen humans riding strange, four-legged creatures reminiscent of suleans without horns advanced towards a gathering of flickering lights in the distance; probably a village. Their gallops were thunderous and destructive, nothing like the sound of a stampede. It was the sound of unwavering strength.
The men wore sackcloth hoods with holes cut out for their eyes and ropes around their necks. In their hands were primitive revolving handguns. They wore a myriad of different clothes; some wore gray army uniforms, while others wore khakis, union shirts and suspenders. They laughed and bickered as they spurred their steeds onward, obviously ready to commit some unspeakable atrocity…
Silijima has two panic attacks during the movie. Sargen was there, able to quell them by offering his support. He seemed to know
what it was like to have one because he reached out and held her when she began to hyperventilate and raise her hackles. He didn't speak, but he made himself known. He was there
, and that was enough.
At least the movie ended with a triumph: Thomas Lawrence got his revenge, even if he died in the end. His adopted ward, Nanabush, took up the mantle of Death-Singer,
using it to defend the weak. It was a tightly wrapped story that should've been happy, but the memories of war still scarred Silijima; the sounds of the gunshots reminded her of the blasts of flechette cannons, and the blood on Lawrence's knife…
She still felt the phantom pain in her wing and body from being run through by an Arxur skimming blade. She had survived, of course, but the near-death experience had permanently changed her. She couldn't stand being around knives too long unless she was actually on the battlefield, and even then it caused her distress. Luckily, she never needed to be around too many sharp objects, being an engineer, but she had her… moments. She was able to quell her attacks, her panic and anxiety being quelled by the far more substantial fear of what she would be subjected to if her true state of mind were to be found out.
If the Federation found out you acted out of the norm, they'd spend weeks forcing you through the most agonizing 'therapies' before stuffing you full of pills and sending you home, never to be the same person again. She had seen the effects of these treatments; her former colleagues practically turned into zombies, their brains melted from the drugs. They lived off of government stipends, unable to truly contribute to the workforce, but the Federation seemed to consider this an acceptable tradeoff, the politicians being praised for lowering the rate of self-termination by any means necessary. In reality, it just created a state-funded drug epidemic.
Part of Silijima did want answers, but she realized her true motive for coming to Skhamar was to escape; she was so scared of staying home on Nishtal because every little thing could set her off. And if she were to have a serious enough outburst…
No, she wouldn't become what many of her former prey-in-arms had; a babbling mess of drugs and trauma. She was strong
; she could do
this. She wouldn't let her trauma overcome her.
"Are you okay, Silijima?" Sargent asked her, shaking her shoulder lightly. They were in the truck, riding to the Corsair collective where Ayaz and Igor had docked their cruiser. He seemed far more tired than before like she was exhausting to be around. She didn't doubt it; having predator disease was already exhausting enough for Silijima alone.
"I shouldn't have recommended that movie, it was too violent. Maybe something animated would've been better," said Sargent. "I was hoping that your experiences as a navy engineer would've been less traumatic than the average foot soldier, and I was wrong."
Silijima turned to him, emboldened. "It wasn't your fault, Sagren; I agreed to watch it. Besides, it might've opened up a few wounds, but it was still an excellent movie. And the popcorn and baikal were wonderful as well. And besides, it was a good movie, triggers notwithstanding."
Sargen smiled a little, although he was still feeling guilty. "I'm glad you liked it. But we should get to the collective; Ayaz and Igor will be happy to become acquainted with you."
Silijima nodded before turning back to the window, watching as the city raced by. The spires of the station-city rose hundreds of stories into the air, hover-tram systems connecting entire levels of platforms that connected to the taller towers. It made sense that the station would focus on the height of buildings; the width was a rare commodity on space stations due to the cost of adding extra floor-level infrastructure, so extremely tall spires interconnected by platforms and hover-tram systems that stretched for kilometers made sense. Everything was brightly lit: massive glowing LED signs depicting everything from clinics and dispensaries to shops and eateries were plastered across the buildings, along with almost lifelike and three-dimensional digital billboards depicting a wide array of advertisements and entertainment. It was the very definition of an urban jungle, sprawl and all, with tens of millions of individuals living their daily lives unimpeded.
"The station's pretty cool, huh? It's technically one of the larger cities in the galaxy, with a population of around twenty-five million inhabitants of all races."
That number was impressive for a city, but not for a nation. "But how many planets does Skhamar control? Fifty-five million is nothing compared to the five hundred billion sentients in the Federation alone."
Sargen nodded. "Yeah, that's true. Antheia and Calaïs are pretty sparsely populated at the moment, maybe a few million each, and the planet
of Skhamar itself has about ten million. That means this place doesn't really have the manpower to keep up with the Federation or the Dominion in terms of fleet size. We still beat them in engagements though."
Silijima didn't believe that. "But how? The Federation outnumbers you guys a hundred to one!"
Sargen snorted, eyes focused on the road as he pulled into the parking lot of a ginormous building. "If there's one thing that I learned after only two years of living on Skhamar is that the Federation's school of naval doctrine is laughably bad. They solely rely on the force of numbers and firepower to overwhelm their enemies before they can strike back. This would normally work on smaller fleet engagements against lesser foes, but the humans don't play fair. They hide in gas clouds, and in asteroid fields. They launch silent torpedoes, drone strikes, and shells filled with toxic gas before initiating boarding actions to cause widespread panic in enemy fleets. Skhamar's newly minted traditions of piracy have led to a whole new level of Naval military thinking, one where the entire sector is an ever-changing battlefield and anything's fair game."
"But wouldn't they get discovered? How hasn't the Federation just listed down Skhamar's tactics for admirals to memorize and quantify in fleet engagements?"
"You're demanding too much from a Federation full of scared herbivores, and you're forgetting who runs that Federation. The Kolshians and the Farsul vehemently believe that thinking like a predator makes you a predator and that anything that resembles predatory behavior should be scrubbed away. To them, the 'herd' is the entire reason for their existence, and to stray from that is to become food." Sargen shook his head, obviously bemused by their rigid mindset. "In reality, predators have been chipping away at herds for thousands of years. To think that any herd is impervious is just stupid."
Silijima knew the former, and she had suspected the latter for a long time. "But herds need to adapt to survive, right? I bet you that was the reasoning behind the gene-modding and culture erasure at the hands of the Kolshians and the Farsul."
Sargen rolled his eyes like he had heard it all before. "It shocks me that you weren't thrown into an institution, with how perceptive you are. I'm telling you, the Kolshians and the Farsul couldn't care less about the other species in the Federation. All they care about is controlling and leading that herd they've stitched together with lies. To them, adaptability is only good when it benefits their narratives and power structures."
It made a sickening sort of sense, and it was completely believable now that the treachery of the Kolshians and the Farsul had come to light. The Kolshians and the Farsul being afraid of any change that challenged their ideals was a cancer on the Federation, and one that Silijima was sure would eat away at it until it was nothing more than a corpse. "I'm glad I left, you know, not being afraid of being locked up for having predator disease. I just hope that isn't a thing here."
"It isn't, believe me, or I would've been incarcerated a long time ago." Sargen replied, "Now let's go; I think we've wasted enough of Ayaz and Igor's time."
With that, Sargen stepped out of the truck, slamming the door and taking a deep breath of the blatantly recycled air. Silijima followed, leaving the truck and stepping out into a small, empty parking lot, which seemed strange for such a large and important building. The building itself was less of a spire and more short and squat but also very wide, with glass walls similar to those of the urban business centers on Nishtal. There was an entrance of glass doors in the front of the building, along with a massive sigil above them made out of what seemed to be platinum. There was a sword with wings skillfully engraved on it, along with the words Qui militat præter me, frater meus erit
surrounding the edges. Her translator struggled to translate it due to the age of the language and her translator's lack of exposure to the esoteric language, but it came out as something similar to He who fights beside me shall be my brother.
An interesting term, but certainly more unique than the Federation Navy's slogan, Defend the Herd
Sargen grabbed her feathered shoulder and steered her away from the truck just as something hovered down and clamped its magnetic claws onto it. A massive, black-colored hover-drone the size of an eighteen-wheeler buzzed as it deftly floated around the two of them, one giant crimson eye with an LED dot acting as an almost animated pupil darting between the two of them. Then it lifted away, making beeping noises as it carried the truck in tow towards a large tower several hundred stories tall in the distance made from a monotonous gray material. "What in sweet Ina's name?" Silijima said under her breath, causing Sargen to chuckle.
"Moth Drones; they’re very useful things. There's not enough space on the station to have traditional parking lots, so Sarn Robotics found a pretty neat solution: massive drones come and pick up vehicles and transport them to large parking towers like the one it's flying to right now. Then, when we come back, I can just call back for my car, maybe wait a minute or so, and have my car returned to me. It's pretty awesome, and something you wouldn't find in a million years in the Federation."
That was true; the citizens would be spooked by so many flying objects. She could just imagine the number of stampedes such a creation would cause.
"Wait, what about the food and ammo?" She asked, curious as to why he'd leave it there."
"Oh, don't worry about that: that tower specifically has an automated storage system. All of our goods will be sent to our ship in the next few hours sorted, packed up, and sealed up in space-grade storage containers"
"Huh, that's pretty incredible," she replied.
"Yeah, it is. Like them or not, these predators seem to think of everything. I guess their minds just work differently; nothing wrong with that."
They walked through the doors as they conversed, and a massive lobby greeted them. Over two dozen secretaries of multiple races greeted countless individuals, many of them armed. Most of them were humans and Arxur, although she spotted a few Harchens and Gojids in the mix. The sound of phones ringing and computer keyboards being typed on resonated through the building with an echo. The entire lobby was beautifully decorated, with corners filled with fine gold-trimmed mahogany furniture and intricately woven carpets covering the marble floor. Sargen guided her up to the lobby and towards a young human wan with blonde hair. He greeted her with a smile, causing her to smile back. The snarl made Silijima's blood rush, but it was far less noticeable now, more like the feeling of adrenaline than pure fear.
"Hey, Csilla, how are you?"
The woman, apparently named Csilla, seemed to brighten up in Sargen's presence. "Oh, you know, just swamped as usual. Igor is waiting for you at dock thirteen, just take the tram down." Then her eyes swiveled in there sockets towards Silijima, causing her to flinch slightly. "And who is this? I didn't know a Krakotl was joining your crew."
"I'm Silijima," Silijima croaked, "I'm the new Engineer."
"Aww, isn't she just precious? It's been a pleasure to see you both, but I have to get back to work; we've got too many customers even with two dozen secretaries."
And with that, they were off. Sargen led her up multiple flights of stairs, passing different office levels before reaching floor seven, which was the connection to the Dok-stantsiya Vest-Enda
. There were at least two dozen fully sized trans on multiple levels, with signs detailing over a hundred docks available to travel to. It was truly ginormous, more insane than any public transit system she had seen all packed into one place, but also a testament to the engineering of the station.
They boarded a packed train filled mainly with humans, although there were Arxur, Gojids and Harchen there sprinkled throughout. They rode for a few minutes, before reaching an open-space area sealed with active magnetic field shielding, keeping gravity and a working atmosphere within its borders while simultaneously allowing ships to pass through. There were hundreds of ships, both big and small, docked within the Corsair Coalition's docks, and some of them were exceptionally huge. They ranged from gigantic, rust-red lengths of bulbous metal covered in cannons to sleek, flat warships packed with rocket pods and covered with graffiti of snarling, gaping maws and bloodied talons. Eventually, they reached a point where their tram stopped, and they descended. Just a few dozen meters away was a younger human, maybe in his late twenties or early thirties, an old human woman who couldn't have been younger than seventy, and an Arxur practically made out of cybernetics, his body glowing with energy. The latter seemed to be organizing and directing a small number of droids, which were loading sealed containers into the fuselage of the large, rust-red battle cruiser with the word Iconoclast
printed in bold letters on the side. The man saw us and approached, a wide smile on his face.
He was huge for a human, about six and a half feet, and had a long, bushy beard with a handlebar mustache, a short military buzz cut with a bit of hair left a little taller near the middle like a short mohawk, and a pair of black camo pants and a white t-shirt that showed the outline of his muscles underneath. He was practically a bear of a human, with arms the size of bridge cables and a neck thicker than your average gas pipe.
Despite all of that, he was obviously friendly, a wide snarl on his face. "Sargen! Dobriy den
, how are you?" Even through the translator, his accent was thick and exotic.
Sargen scratched his head with his claws, obviously a little nervous. "I'm doing great, Igor, listen, this is-"
"Ah, yes, Silijima! Senek called me on his way home to explain their situation. It is a pleasure to meet you, my dear!"
Igor took her wing and shook it vigorously, having to bend down to do so. Having and snarling predator lean down on her in such a way, regardless of their intentions, sent shivers down her spine, but she kept it together. She would not
break down in front of her new boss.
"T-the pleasure is all mine, Sir."
Igor didn't seem to notice how intimidating he was, but luckily a distraction appeared. Tarlim arrived just in time, carrying several crates of birch water and plums on his shoulders like they were nothing. The old woman seemed to spot him, because she hobbled over to help, only for Tarlim to prevent her from doing so. "No, Babushka,
I can handle it."
"Nonsense," she said sternly, her accent even thicker than Igor's, "I can carry some, boy; your Babushka is not helpless."
Tarlim simply ignored her, carrying the crates over to the droids, with both Tarlim and the Arxur snickering at Babushka's pestering.
"Tarlim, what do you bring? Did I order something and forget again?"
Tarlim chuckled merely at that. "No, Babushka, Sujek ordered some Birch Water and Plums for you."
Babushka softened up at that, placing a hand over her heart like the delivery of birch water was an emotional matter. "Oh Tarlim, I thank you." She hobbled over and practically buried herself in his fur, hugging him as hard as an old woman could.
"Thank Sujek, I'm just the delivery boy."
Babushka snorted. "Hah, I know better. You probably dared him to do something for it."
Tarlim blushed at that. "Well maybe, but he demanded the plums as extra, so make sure you give him a big hug and plenty of food as well."
Babushka seemed to brighten up at that. "Come in, Tarlim; we are having a feast, to celebrate a great victory! No meat in the borscht
, just for you!"
"Tarlim seemed very apprehensive towards the idea of eating anything that was even near the meat, but apparently he couldn't resist the old woman. "For you, Babushka, anything for you."
Igor snickered. "They are like a circus, no? Come, we are having a feast, and you shall partake."
Silijima wanted to leave, as the whole situation had escalated very quickly, but Sargen placed a hand on her shoulder. "There is no denying an invitation to a feast; it is a grave insult to do so."
Silijima just sighed and prepared herself for the horrors that awaited her.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It's finally here; THE NEXT CHAPTER OF INTERLOPER! Somebody pop open a bottle of champaign. I want to thank u/Acceptable_Egg5560 for the support and u/Bushbacon69 for the wonderful fanart. If you want an AI generated picture, just let me know. That's become my new method of conveying what I'm creating to the world since I can't draw for shit. The Next chapters for Chains made from Hope and The Apostate should be out this week, along with a new short called The Life Shaper.
Hi I work in a small mom and pop dealership. Our line up includes Chevrolet, Buick, GMC.
You know how some folks use "we're like a family here" to treat their employees badly and not pay them? Not here. Sometimes it feels like a family that forgets that it is a car dealership. I have good work life balance. Excellent pay. Very little oversight. Two days off a week and great hours (we could work 35 hours a week and not have an issue). Paid vacation.
My pay plan is more than fair. The only thing I have to complain about is they aren't very aggressive when it comes to online sales. I am surrounded by car sales veterans and there is excellent culture here. They call it a retirement home for car sales people. Very very little micro management.
The issue is my wife and I last purchased new vehicles in 2008. And I think I want a small/mid size crossover. The issue here is that it is a very old school mentality here. My mentor here in F&I has driven Ford trucks his entire life. He sat down with the dealer principal and asked permission to purchase elsewhere. Several remarks have been made in the past about how such behavior (purchasing somewhere else), would result in the salesperson being fired. My sister in law and wife both think it is ridiculous that I'm
Now I'm obviously not going to purchase a Chevy, GMC, or Buick off another's lot. That would be shitty and I can get myself an incredible deal here. Basically GMS+Triple Net+Rebates. I know I won't get any sort of a deal going anywhere else and will probably end up paying sticker+.
I was thinking though, since I've driven foreign cars my entire life (Honda & Toyota) I should cross shop them. But is that a slap in the face to my employer? Should I just buy a Buick Envision and forget the others? I have a good thing going here and I just don't want to screw it up.
I know this has been asked 100x and I know the arguments for lower interest rates vs higher etc etc. I know mathematically I should pay down my car loan over investing. We have over a years savings in our emergency fund and I contribute to my 401k. For some reason I can’t get over the mental hurdle to pay down the debt first instead of investing. I’m 32 and it feels like a lost opportunity to pay it down vs invest. Has anyone else struggled with this? We can comfortable make our monthly payments and have a few thousand left over after all expenses. Don’t have anything in a personal brokerage right now. I know paying off debt opens more doors. Though the lost opportunity has me in analysis paralysis. Any advice!? Our dream is to retire as early as we can with a truck and a camper. Travel around and enjoy the country. My daughter is one and we are planning on doing this after she’s 18. Or at least have the ability to.
yesterday evening/night was my very first ride on the highway and i think i did well (not dead) at first i was terrified of getting on the highway because of the wind and not being able to keep up (safely riding at a speed i’m comfortable with) and other people not seeing me but i soon got over that as i got on the entrance ramp. i was cruising at about 35 in 3rd gear when entering then shifted to 4th and matched traffic in the middle lane.
then i seen a truck entering so i signaled left but the car next to me was speeding up and i realized it was stuck lol. so after the car passed i joined the left lane and sped up to be slightly faster than traffic until i had to get off
i just wanted to share my experience because i’m proud of overcoming my fear of the highway as a new rider
Hello everyone, this morning my car while driving to work was hit on the side by a truck. After the hit, I was signaling the driver to stop but they kept going. I followed them for a few blocks and then stopped when 911 told me to do so. I was able to get their plate numbers and also the trucking company info on the truck. I don’t have full coverage insurance, would this be an issue since someone hit me and it wasn’t my fault? I live in New York City and drive a Mercedes. What should I do? I contacted my insurance but I’m just waiting for an adjuster to be assigned to the claim.