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[East Village, NY] Dealing with stalker who's been harassing me [43F] for 19 years... what to do now?

2023.03.21 15:45 Repuggid82m2w [East Village, NY] Dealing with stalker who's been harassing me [43F] for 19 years... what to do now?

I'm 43, and now live in East Village.
Way back in 2004 when I lived in Nevada and worked in a liquor store in Spring Valley, I had this 16-year-old girl, Krista (not her real name), try to buy alcohol from me in a liquor store near Las Vegas (but NOT near The Strip) and I told her a very firm NO, she kept insisting she'd be back. She did come back 2 days later, eventually my boss banned her and her 8 friends from the store, although the 8 friends' ban was rescinded at some point 2 years later IIRC. I'd done that job for 2 years at the time.
Krista was wearing a tiny crop top and denim skirt at the time and kept asking me for cans of beer and some vodka but I wouldn't sell it to her and her group of 8 friends.
But over the years, she's somehow found out where I live; in 2008, I had to get the cops after she came to the apartment I was living in when I lived in Chicago, no idea how she found out where I was living.
I moved in 2008 to Chicago for a new job in a boutique as a change from liquor stores.
She declared her love for me via a note that said:
We are destined to be together because He said so and He wants us to be a couple. It is a foregone conclusion that He will make us the couple we will be. Krista
Krista is a pseudonym.
She explained how she'd come from Spring Valley, NV to see me
I went to the cops about this, told her that this was harassment and that my boyfriend was upset about this, but no action was taken.
I moved to Los Angeles in 2014 with my husband (then-fiance), 34 at the time, for his job, and Krista showed up to my job and asked me if I was single.
I told her I wanted to hear no more from her and that I'm not leaving my fiance (now my husband).
She then left, I didn't hear from her for months.
Christmas 2015, Krista turned up again, somehow found my LA address, hand-delivered a parcel which contained 3 copies of Motor Trend (from the 2000s), 6 candy bars and a 2TB hard drive.
I didn't do anything with them but kept them and the note for evidence. The note read:
Hi sexy, enjoy the gifts. Please come and see me some day.
Photo of Krista in lingerie posing on living room floor and in bathroom as selfie
I reported this to the local cops as harassment, they said they'd look into it, no action taken as she's out-of-state in Nevada.
Moved to East Village in March 2017 (this time, due to me being a freelancer and new clients), things went quiet until August 2018 when Krista turned up at the same take-out pizza place near me and I had to grin and bear it. She gave me a gift which surprised me; some Lululemon athletic wear and it had a note which said:
Hi sexy, please, please, please leave your husband or boyfriend for me, we'll be a great femme couple, you're a hot femme lady. Krista
I reported this to the cops but nothing was heard back from them weeks later.
2019 - not a word from her, a breather, thank the lord.
Then 2020 came with the pandemic, and not a word from her, either, not even during quarantine. Quarantine was tough for me as I couldn't work from home but at least I had a breather from my stalker...
Although she did send me several emails which I never responded to - around 84 from a .mailfence.com account I'd never heard of, sent sexy lingerie photos.
Until last week, I had Krista turn up at my apartment and she demanded to talk to me and asked me if I'd be willing to come to a burlesque class she'd joined in Las Vegas.
I do take part in burlesque classes - have done since 2018 here in NYC and had no idea Krista did this, but politely told her no, and also said to her that I never wanted to hear or speak to her again.
How did she know - I'm not even on social media - I only have a Facebook account for buying from the Marketplace, and ebay isn't social media as such.
My husband had recorded the whole conversation as footage on his Android phone.
He knows EVERYTHING about this situation and wants us to go to the NYPD or Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department about it.
But is this situation FBI-worthy due to how long it's been going on for, and also the fact Krista's in Nevada, I'm in NYC?
I feel like I'm in a real-life Lifetime movie and it ain't fun (sorry for the black humor here.... no, before you get woke, not African-American humor, you know, comedy that makes fun of human suffering).
Looking for legal advice - do we need an attorney?
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2023.03.21 14:00 upbstock Prepper

Officials at the U.S. Treasury Department are reportedly studying ways to guarantee all bank deposits if tremors in the banking system spiral into a full-blown financial crisis. Authorities don't yet see full FDIC coverage as necessary, but they are exploring a legal framework using emergency powers that wouldn't require passage through a deeply divided Congress. The fear is that if another regional lender fails, there will be a run on deposits at smaller banks, knocking the industry over and sending billions of dollars to their bigger competitors. Here are the top 10 financial stocks, according to SA’s Quant Ratings
Backdrop: The FDIC has already backstopped the uninsured client deposits of Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB) and Signature Bank (SBNY), while crypto-focused Silvergate (SI) was left to liquidate and Credit Suisse (CS) was rescued by Swiss authorities and UBS (UBS). Some support is building for a motion to guarantee all bank deposits, as a fifth bank - First Republic (FRC) - teeters on the brink of insolvency. Shares of the lender tumbled 47% on Monday after a series of downgrades by S&P, but recovered as much as 21% in premarket trading as investors swallow an aid proposal led by JPMorgan (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon (prior reports also suggested it was exploring a sale).
Where things stand? Some Republican lawmakers, like Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, are weighing changes to the current $250,000 FDIC insurance cap, as well as Democratic ranking member Maxine Waters (D-CA). Others are more against a universal guarantee on all bank deposits, like the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which feels that the "dangerous precedent that simply encourages future irresponsible behavior [would] be paid for by those not involved who followed the rules." It comes after the Mid-Size Bank Coalition of America penned a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to extend FDIC insurance on all deposits to "restore confidence among depositors before another bank falls."
SA commentary: "Everywhere you look, the government is handing out money to the banks," writes contributor Mark Grant. "In fact, U.S. banks have borrowed a combined $164.8 billion from the two backstop facilities provided by the Fed, eclipsing the money that was borrowed during the 2008/2009 financial crisis. The effects of this will be wide-ranging, including real estate loans, corporate loans, personal loans, mortgages, credit card interest rates, the U.S. Prime Rate, and every other type of lending that you can consider." Check out the full article, The Banking System - The Heat Is On. (20 comments)
Robotaxi expansion
General Motors' (NYSE:GM) Cruise is making headway in the self-driving race after applying for permission to test its autonomous vehicles across all of California (see the fine print here). It was only a year ago that Cruise launched the first commercial, driverless ride-hail service in a major U.S. city after inking the appropriate permits in San Francisco. To date, Cruise has logged more than 1M driverless miles, 833K trips across the Golden Gate Bridge, and 994 road trips in other testing areas like Phoenix and Austin. In terms of its fleet, Cruise currently has 300 self-driving vehicles in service, with GM shelling out around $2B a year to grow its autonomous subsidiary as part of CEO Mary Barra's plan to double the automaker’s revenue by 2030. (2 comments)
Fresh supply
Russia has surpassed Saudi Arabia to become China's top oil supplier, according to government customs data, with imports rising 23.8% to 1.94M barrels per day in the first two months of 2023. That may help shed some light on Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow this week, though it also reflects the economics of cheaper Russian crude, with Western sanctions leading to steep discounts on Urals grade cargoes. General Chinese-Russian trade has also soared since the invasion of Ukraine as the two countries build on a "no-limits" partnership proclaimed at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Ahead of Xi's visit, Vladimir Putin expressed a willingness to discuss China's peace plan for ending the war in Ukraine, though U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the "world should not be fooled" by the blueprint, which would "freeze" in place territory seized by Russian forces. (14 comments)
More to come?
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is eliminating another 9,000 positions in coming weeks, marking the latest round of job cuts that adds to the 18,000 layoffs announced in January. The new cuts are mainly focused in AWS, advertising, Twitch, and People Experience and Technology Solutions divisions. "Given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and head count,” CEO Andy Jassy declared, explaining why he didn't announce both batches of layoffs at the same time. Amazon's total headcount more than doubled from 2019 to 2021, peaking at over 1.6M. As of the close of 2022, total headcount had dipped to about 1.54M. (81 comments)
Today's Markets
In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong +1.4%. China +0.6%. India +0.8%. In Europe, at midday, London +1.4%. Paris +1.7%. Frankfurt +1.6%. Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.6%. S&P +0.5%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude +1.1% to $68.56. Gold -0.5% to $1972.20. Bitcoin -0.9% to $28,038. Ten-year Treasury Yield +6 bps to 3.54%
Today's Economic Calendar
FOMC meeting begins 10:00 Existing Home Sales 1:00 PM Results of $12B, 20-Year Bond Auction
Companies reporting earnings today »
What else is happening...
Survey results: 70% of WSB subscribers see 25 bps rate hike tomorrow.
Narasimhan takes over as CEO of Starbucks (SBUX) ahead of schedule.
Virgin Orbit (VORB) reportedly drawing up plans in case of insolvency.
Wrong size? Analysts pan Foot Locker's (FL) aggressive earnings guidance.
Moderna (MRNA) eyes ~$130 price tag for COVID vaccine in the U.S.
Canadian cannabis players like Aurora (ACB) hit 52-week lows.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis calls for ban on CBDCs.
Iron ore plunges on China warning, Tangshan production controls.
Warner Bros. (WBD) 'Shazam' sequel disappoints with $30.5M opening.
Intel (INTC), AMD (AMD) stand out as chip expectations remain mild.
Ally Financial (ALLY) gains amid vague Buffett takeover speculation.
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2023.03.21 04:45 duellingislands 5:59 EET; The Sun is Rising Over Kyiv on the 391st Day of the Full-Scale Invasion. Today's subject is Nevytskyi Castle in the Carpathians, and the folklore about an evil sorceress who lived there! + Discussion + Charities

5:59 EET; The Sun is Rising Over Kyiv on the 391st Day of the Full-Scale Invasion. Today's subject is Nevytskyi Castle in the Carpathians, and the folklore about an evil sorceress who lived there! + Discussion + Charities

🇺🇦 Слава Україні! 🇺🇦

Okay, at this point I can't really fool myself anymore. We have ourselves a Castles of Ukraine series in the making! Here are the previous entries:
Castles of Ukraine (Overview) Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle Tustan Cliff Fortress Pidhirtsi Castle

Nevytskyi Castle

Nevytskyi Castle
Nevytskyi Castle is one of the most mysterious and eerie places you can visit in Ukraine. It is not the most magnificent, or awe-inspiring in its scale, or even particularly beautiful, all things told - but it definitely has a vibe. Its precarious location at the confluence of several historically consequential borders, and of course the austerity of its ruins, make it so.
That Carpathian castle vibe.
This castle is nested on a mountain of volcanic origin, in a narrow valley that carries the Uzh River. If you travel on foot to the castle, you will pass a picturesque hanging bridge, which will swing and vibrate under your feet. The ruin is not far from Uzhhorod, a city with its own castle and a population center of the Carpathian region of Ukraine, about which we will write very soon.
A view like this kind of hits on a bunch of levels, doesn't it?
Some researchers believe that the history of this defensive structure begins as early as the 12th century, when it overlooked an important trade route on the approaches to the mountains. These trade routes to western Europe were very important to the Kyivan Rus, as we wrote about in our post about Tustan Cliff Fortress, which is about 93km (58 miles) away from Nevytskyi.
Some say that the name of the defensive structure itself comes from the word “Nevista” which in Ukrainian means "maiden", which has a few possible meanings. The first is the story of a maiden who leapt to her death from the castle walls after being kept from the one she loves. Another is a little more, uh down to earth - that at the sight of invaders, unmarried women would rush to refuge in its fortified walls. Another is related to the legend we recount for you below.
The earthen fort was protected by ramparts and ditches, however they could not withstand the attack of the Mongol-Tatar horde in 1241. It was restored in the second half of the 13th century by Hungarians, who have history in this area that we will shed more light on when we talk about Uzhhorod and its history.
Ruined 13th century walls.
At the turn of the 13th/14th centuries, during active civil strife, the castle started to be strengthened. Before long, a tower (preserved to this day) and a well appeared. Archaeologists have found other fairly luxurious things there, for instance plumbing and a moat fed by the physics of communicating vessels, and very high quality stained glass. One might think that such a castle could have enjoyed many years of existence, but the next few centuries were marked by many wars involving many Ukrainian neighbors and instability. The castle was severely damaged in 1644 and since then, it has not been rebuilt. Any preservation initiatives were simply not sufficient given the level of destruction and decay.
The approach to the castle.
Today, the remnants of thick walls provide an echo of a mighty past, and the hills nearby reverberate with a chilling legend about a wicked sorceress who, according to folk tales, lived there and kept all surrounding villages in fear and terror. I will recount this legend for you below so that if you ever visit Nevytskyi Castle and meet the evil former inhabitant of the castle, you can tell her to spare you the long introductions.

Darkness... and Torchlight

The castle at night.
Once upon a time, a noble Lady, who was secretly an evil sorceress, settled in the valley of the Uzh River. The Lady was proud and ambitious, and she decided to build a most impressive fortress on the top of the mountain. To make the walls strong, she ordered her builders to add cow’s milk to the lime used to secure the stones of the castle walls.
The people in the villages below the mountain became hungry and sick, but the Lady did not care. To make things worse, there was not enough cow’s milk to satisfy the needs of the construction. So the Lady ordered her men, who had lived in fear of her for so long that they too were filled with darkness, to collect milk from nursing women.
The Uzh valley descended into a deep despair as babies started to show the signs of starvation, but the Lady did not care. To the contrary, she simply smiled at seeing her castle being built to her exacting specifications. The final ingredient in her walls was the blood of village maidens, which gave the castle its name.
Her cruelty earned the Lady, too, a nickname, whispered only in frightened tones. But it has long been forgotten.
When the castle was built, the Lady would sit by the window and watch passersby. Whoever walked past her castle and did not bow was as good as dead - she would order her men to hurry down the mountain and kill them on the spot. People would do anything they could to avoid the castle and the Lady.
In one of the neighboring villages there lived a simple farmhand named Ivanko. Ivanko boasted to anyone who’d listen that he would become King and kill the evil Lady. But Ivanko was a serf, so his master laughed at him:
“You can go off on your quest to become a king when my istik (stick for cleaning the plow) blooms like the springtime." But the master laughed in vain: soon the istik turned into a blooming rose bush and Ivanko was off to Uzhhorod, as the lords were choosing the next King.
They were bickering and could not settle on a worthy candidate. So the lords decided to leave it to fate - they threw a golden crown into the air to see where it would land - and the crown fell on the Ivanko's head, who was simply passing by the square where the lords had assembled.
The lords were outraged by the crown's magical choice, and tossed it in the air again. And then they threw it a third time.
Each time the crown had landed on the head of Ivanko. This is how Ivanko became King.
Soon, King Ivanko had raised a very small but poorly-armed army, and began to march to confront the evil Lady. But that night, while he fretted about the potential losses the good people of the land might take in the ensuing battle, he thought of a plan.
King Ivanko ordered a herd of cows to be gathered, a bell to be tied around each of their necks, and a small bundle of hay to be tied to each of their horns. Then he gave the order to light the hay ablaze, and set the cows loose into the darkness.
The Lady awoke to the terrible sound of galloping horse hooves, and red glimmering light from the valley below danced on the castle's interior walls. She rushed to the window, and when she looked out in horror, she felt the presence of a mighty army charging up the hill to assault her castle, with each warrior carrying a torch.
Perhaps the Lady felt fear for the first time in her life. She was so scared that jumped on her horse and rushed to Uzhhorod. Ivanko swiftly rode after her and cut her down, ending her reign of terror on the Uzh River valley.
The 391st day of a nine year invasion that has been going on for centuries.

One day closer to victory.



Verified Charities

  • u/Jesterboyd is a mod for ukraine and local to Kyiv. He is currently selling rad t-shirts raising money to buy some very interesting drones. Link to donation
  • United24: This site was launched by President Zelenskyy as the main venue for collecting charitable donations in support of Ukraine. Funds will be allocated to cover the most pressing needs facing Ukraine.
  • Come Back Alive: This NGO crowdfunds non-lethal military equipment, such as thermal vision scopes & supplies it to the front lines. It also provides training for Ukrainian soldiers, as well as researching troops’ needs and social reintegration of veterans.
  • Trident Defense Initiative: This initiative run by former NATO and UA servicemen has trained and equipped thousands of Ukrainian soldiers.
  • Ukraine Front Line US-based and registered 501(c)(3), this NGO fulfills front line soldiers' direct defense and humanitarian aid requests through their man on the ground, Ukraine's own u/jesterboyd.
  • Ukraine Aid Ops: Volunteers around the world who are helping to find and deliver equipment directly to those who need it most in Ukraine.
  • Hospitallers: This is a medical battalion that unites volunteer paramedics and doctors to save the lives of soldiers on the frontline. They crowdfund their vehicle repairs, fuel, and medical equipment.
You can find many more charities with diverse areas of focus in our vetted charities list HERE.
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2023.03.21 04:06 lordthistlewaiteofha Pattern Recognition

Ever heard of pattern recognition?
Even if you haven't, you've experienced it. It's how we recognise faces, read writing, appreciate music. The human brain loves patterns, sorting and systemising and categorising them. We know that smiles are meant to signal friendliness, that grey skies mean rain like as not. We even see patterns where there aren't any – shapes in clouds, faces in burnt toast, connections between unrelated events and coincidences. Pattern recognition is what the human brain is built for.
To be frank, I don't know why me and Mike ever became friends in the first place.
We met in Freshers' Week, that time when just about anyone can get into a party, and just about everyone does. Me being the socially maladjusted type that I was of course, I'd spent most of this one quietly milling about, sipping beer and hovering around conversations before ultimately relegating myself to an empty corner with a houseplant for company. Somehow it took me at least five minutes to notice I wasn't alone.
That was thing with Mike: he stood out when you were looking for him, and when you weren't he may as well have been invisible. This was a student party just running past midnight, and the guy was wearing a wrap-around sunglasses and a suit. Combine that with the undertones of a frankly dubious smell, and you can imagine the first impression to come to mind.
Maybe that was what drew me toward him. We were both outsiders in our own way, and I was far from the sort of person who could afford to be prejudiced. If he barely moved, barely spoke, and when doing either left me with a deep sense of discomfort, who was I to judge? It wasn't as though I was a people-person either, and if my new acquaintance's social skills were still less up to par then we at least had more in common than with any of the other people partying in that room.
I didn't go to many more parties after that, but I kept in touch with Mike. I never stopped feeling that sense of discomfort around him, but I did start to see myself as his friend – maybe his only friend. Wasn't I doing the right thing?
I once heard that gut instinct is pattern recognition on the subconscious level. Hell, some guy even wrote a book on it. Ever had a time when you just knew something was deeply, deeply wrong? A person, a place, a situation where nothing should've seemed amiss, yet you couldn't help but feel the fear?
That's pattern recognition. You might not notice these things, but your subconscious does. Those little social cues, strange details, signals from inside your body; the brain sees them, correlates them, and tells you to run. If you know what's good for you, you'll listen.
I know I should've done.
Things started to go wrong around the time Mia Greene disappeared.
I hadn't known her all that well – a blonde sociology student, she'd shared a class with me, and we'd spoken every now and again. Still, it was enough to notice when she stopped turning up to seminars, and to be truly concerned when the missing person's report got publicised.
Mike entered the cafe at exactly 1 PM, as he always did, dressed in black suit, black gloves, black sunglasses, as he always was. He moved to my table with a smooth, clean stride; graceful I suppose you'd call it, but not in a pleasant way. Perfectly regular, no twitches, no hesitation, no tics or taps or tumbles – he moved when he meant to, and once settled was still as a puppet whose strings have been cut.
We ordered, the same coffee and same sandwiches as ever. He flicked something off his shoulder.
"You aren't talking."
God, even his voice was deliberate. Utterly even, a perfect recreation.
I shrugged apologetically. "Sorry, bit distracted. You saw the news, right?"
"The disappearance? She'll be fine, she'll come back sooner or later."
"Yeah, maybe, but how can you be sure?"
A fluid shrug. "They always do."
Mike stood and left, coffee and sandwich untouched as always. There was something else left on the table though; almost invisible, yet impossibly eye-catching. Gut feeling I suppose you'd say. I picked it up.
It was a long, thin strand of blonde hair.
Pattern recognition isn't always reliable of course. A gut feeling might save your life, but anyone with an anxiety disorder isn't likely to be too thankful for one. The gambler, the conspiracy theorist, the cargo cultist – all are served by the patterns they see. A million years of evolution has made us able to recognise them. A million years of evolution has made us able to ignore them. Even when we shouldn't.
Mike started getting worse after that. Not that he had ever been well of course, but as my first year wore on, those distinct feelings grew steadily stronger. His movements were fewer, still perfect and deliberate, but now with an added stiff artificiality to them. He spoke less, and when he did our conversations only ever followed the same well-worn patterns, patterns which grew still less varied. He smelled worse.
The disappearances didn't stop with Mia. The university found its excuses – drunk students drowning in the river was the new talk of all the PSAs – but that didn't stop the rumours. They talked about gangs, or trafficking, or a serial killer. Myself, I figured I had too much work to think about as is to worry, and too little of a social life to be much at risk in any case.
Then Mike disappeared.
I tried to report it, but they said there wasn't anyone by that name and description living here; not in the university, not in the town. No one I've talked to remembers him. I tried looking online, but the closest match was a rather literal dead-end.
And sometimes I think back to that final night, the one I tried to tell myself was only a nightmare. How I bumped into my friend in the sunglasses on the way back from a long stay at the library. How we were joined by his friends, as quiet as he. How cold it was, how I only ever saw the fog of my own breath. How we passed under a streetlight, and how I looked into the eyes of a woman with blonde hair.
How I screamed. How I ran.
You might not have heard of pattern recognition, but you've probably heard of the uncanny valley. People on the internet make a big deal out of it, but the answer is really quite mundane. Nature doesn't want you interacting with the diseased. It doesn't want you breeding with the deformed. And it most certainly doesn't want you hanging around the dead.
Pattern recognition. There's a hundred little signs of life we never notice, and a dead body has none of them. It won't move, it won't blink, it certainly won't breathe.
That was the problem with Mike. It always had been.
I'd been talking to a corpse.
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2023.03.21 04:02 Smirkydarkdude Touring around Arizona in an EV

Touring around Arizona in an EV
I thought I'd post a bit of info about touring Arizona in an EV (Electric Vehicle). If that's not something you are interested in, feel free to skip this post (it's long).
I drove through a brutal blizzard last fall from Canada to our winter place in Scottsdale. I love touring around your beautiful state. Honestly Arizona is the nicest place on earth. But before I came down in the fall I was wondering how hard it would be to tour around in an EV?
Since I arrived in November, I've been to Sedona and I have a nice little Jet Boat I've taken to Lake Saguaro and Canyon lake. Lots of little day trips.
Earlier trip to Saguaro Lake towing my little jet boat
First off, I don't have a Tesla. I have an (arguably) more modern and more advanced vehicle - the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
But the car is just half the battle for a road trip. You also need a charging network or you won't get very far. Non-Tesla's like mine use CCS charging. Teslas have their own adapter. Tesla's charging network is 2nd to none. Us non-Tesla owners can still expect a bit of drama on long road trips. But it's improving. So today I thought I'd do another short road trip, see the sights and check out a charger or two along the way.
Fully charged my Ioniq 5 can travel roughly 260 - 280 miles. I wasn't fully charged but today's trip was to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum then off to Superior, Globe and back home. That's only about 170 miles round trip so worst case even without a charge on the road I'd be fine.
The Arboretum was packed today! They were having a wedding and there were a lot of visitors but all in all the trails weren't too bad. Lots of tourist destinations will have an EV charger. The Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix for example. But sadly the Arboretum doesn't have one.
The scenery is spectacular. Maybe you guys are used to views like this but to a seasonal visitor... Wow. Just. Wow. Mind blowingly beautiful.
After our visit at the Arboretum we decided to check out the town of Superior. The town is a bit economically depressed but there is a fairly huge copper mine in the nearby mountains. We met a fellow in town who told us the mine is about to be greatly expanded so maybe a boom on the horizon?
We drove through the "historic downtown". We found 4 Tesla brand destination (low power 11kw) chargers that had both a standard J1772 plug and a Tesla connector. We didn't need the charge - I was still at 60% giving me about 170 miles left in the tank - but hey... it was free. Would you turn down a gallon of free gas? Plus I was curious to see if I could hook my Hyundai up to a Tesla charger.
This pic was taken outside the mining museum. Unfortunately the museum was closed. The restrooms were locked. Almost all the businesses were closed. We did find a shop and bought a very nice peanut butter cookie but have to say this place will need to up it's game if it wants to attract tourists. While we were wandering we only added 15 miles of range but hey... free, right?
Next it was off to Globe. We drove through the Queen Creek tunnel and saw some spectacular scenery. I didn't have a chance to take any pics so I'll just steal this one from ADOT.

Going up hill through the mountains ate up a lot of battery. Although home was still easily within range I thought I might as well check out the new APS chargers. They are actually just Electrify America charges in an APS box. They worked fine and within a few minutes were were tanked back up.
We toured around the downtown area, saw a few sights. Before heading back on the road we pulled out our coffee station and made a couple mugs of coffee and got a bowl of water for the pups. (My model has a 120V plug.)
A 120V plug is not unique to EVs but my car has a few tricks up it's sleeve. It can act as a home battery backup system during a power outage. The Ford Lightning also has "Vehicle to Load" as it's known. So do a few other EVs but this is a trick Tesla hasn't learned yet. The 77kw of power in my main battery are about the same as 6 Tesla powerwalls. It won't run your AC system but an electrician can hook up a generator sub panel and you can use your Ioniq 5 to keep the freezer from melting and keep a few lights on.
On the way back, I set my "Regen" to auto and allowed the car to recharge the battery as we rolled down a 7% grade back into the valley. This is the great thing about EV's - they drop a lot of power going up hill but pick up a lot of it going back down.
When we got home we plugged in to fill up. I have a Shell Recharge charger. Nice to see some of the oil and gas companies getting into the EV game.
A bit about cost and efficiency. When you are on the road charging at high speed chargers you won't save a fortune. Electrify America charges $0.43/kw ($0.36 if you have a $4 membership). Weirdly today's charge was free. That happened last time in Sedona too. Maybe APS is doing some tests or handing out free gas? No idea. But today I added 24kw in Globe which would take my car about 92 miles and it should have cost me about $10.
I get an average of 4 miles per kw (I hear Teslas are slightly more efficient at about 5 miles/kw). So if you drive 40 miles a day you will run through a 77kw EV tank in about a week. If you are with APS and charge up off-peak the cost is about 12 cents per kw. That will run you about $9.50 per week. If you can fill up during the week from 10am to 3pm (during the winter) the rate drops to $0.03 cents or about $2.31/week. Home charging is where you save the big bucks.
Today was an entirely non-eventful trip. It's nice to see the EV infrastructure being built out. Touring around Arizona has become so much easier now that APS has stepped up. New chargers in Show Low, Globe, Sedona, Payson and Prescott make these day trips much easier in an EV. Which of course brings tourists and tourist dollars.
submitted by Smirkydarkdude to arizona [link] [comments]

2023.03.21 00:58 Sportsfanno1 Our trip to South Africa

Hi all
This is a not-so-short write-up about my visit to South Africa. This is a something that I’ve wanted to do for some time but never quite got to. We’re talking about July/August of 2022 here ;). Feel free to comment on things we’ve missed, explanations, call me an idiot for doing/not doing certain things! I added some of my favourite pics as well. Sorry if I ramble too much :p.
So we went as a couple, mainly to see the wildlife as I guess a lot of tourists do. We try to be active on holidays but due to driving distances, this was a bit different here. It was not our plan to visit the cities, as you’ll probably see at the ratio between cities vs. SAN parks. We got some info beforehand from one of my colleagues and a befriended couple on how they travelled to prepare. We went, judging by other tourists, the classic way from Cape Town to Johannesburg and used a rental car for the whole way. Maybe to give some additional context: I’m Belgian (Flemish part) and GF is Dutch and live in Belgium. For both, the first time outside the Western culture (I’m counting Eastern Europe as a part of that).
Day 1-4: Cape Town
First day was arriving/exploring in Cape Town, so we didn’t visit a lot. Did see a movie being made in the centre though! The days after we went to Boulders Beach, Kirstenbosch Gardens, hiked up Table Mountain (through Platteklip, killed my legs), hiked up Lion’s Head & visited the District Six Museum. Didn’t went to Robbeneiland because it would take up quite some time and planned to go to the Apartheid museum in Johannesburg. Don’t know if that was a bad move?
We did get to experience Cape Town a bit at night. Sadly, I must say it wasn’t the best thing. I was surprised to see the poverty this much right in the centre of town (homelessness, shacks, drug use,…). We were told by the BnB owners to use an Uber at night to even get less than 1km from our BnB. And tbh, I kinda get it. It didn’t really feel safe (got approached by a few people for money even when walking a few 100m on one of the bigger streets). I knew about the large unemployment rate in RSA, but didn’t expect to see the impact this soon in one of the most famous cities. Just FYI: I’m not going to pretend like I have any idea of the political situation or can fully grasp the history. I’ve been lurking on this sub for some time and most is going above my head (this is also from before the load shedding, which I really hope gets fixed soon for all of you) and I know I can’t really know how it is to live in RSA from barely 3 weeks as a tourist. I can just say that I hope the general welfare improves. But to be more positive: the people we met during the day were so very friendly. You really felt welcome.
Also, we have some well-known Belgian celebs living in Stellenbosch. When South Africa comes in the news they get contacted at times since they live “near Cape Town”. I kinda feel like this is misplaced? It seems to me that they are pretty distant in terms of experience (read: rich & living in their own community) from the most people living in Cape Town.
Day 5: Hermanus/Agulhas
Was expecting some whales (saw some in Iceland in 2021). Did not expect a full blown whale orgy. Again, the mood was kinda killed when entering the town. Literally shacks on one side of the road and mansions on the other side. Pretty confronting. Also, last time I mention this because it would get boring after a while and there are so much more positive things to say about this country. Like Agulhas. Never experienced basically 0 light pollution and HOLY SHIT. Managed to see the Milky Way. Absolutely magnificent to stay in that national park. Will never forget that.
Day 6: Bontebok NP
I feel like going from Cape Town to Johannesburg was the right decision in terms of National Parks. We started out small and they always got bigger. Bontebok was pretty chill. Not impressive but beautiful.
Day 7: Knysna/Robberg
I guess Knysna Elephant Park is pretty famous? We got it recommended by the befriended couple. Tbh, it felt a bit weird. The elephants felt trained while I expected more of a reserve. Like, they knew they were getting food with each group that arrived. Very friendly and passionate guide though! Slightly related, something I noticed in this sub was the debate of hunting reserves and it kinda gave me an interesting viewpoint since it was overall pretty favourable seen here (or at least in a few threads I’ve seen, feel free to correct me). Am I correct in this?
Robberg was something planned as “if we have time left”, but I’m glad we managed to visit it. We saw a small fur seal colony and were happy with that. And then we arrived on the beach where there were literally hundreds of fur seals in the water. Once again, an amazing sight. A shame it’s not promoted more since it was a very nice place for a hike as well.
Day 8: Storms River
Once again a great spot to stay overnight. First time we felt a bit overwhelmed by the amount of tourists though. Lots of domestic tourists as well it seemed? We didn’t do one of the multiday trails, but did find the time to climb up to the viewpoint.
Day 9: Camdeboo/Valley of Desolation
Well, the first experience with vervet monkeys. We were getting into our tent and I saw two trying to break in. Shushed them away, GF came to see what was going on, and forgot to close the trunk. Result: two little thieves in the car. Luckily only got away with an elastic band. Well, we were warned :p. Got to experience South African winter in a tent, which I won’t forget easily. -3°C and two pieces of tent that were missing and blew the wind directly on my head. Didn’t get a lot of sleep. A pack of jackals and, I assume, some monkeys dropping on our tent made for one of the longest nights in my life. I’m not complaining (right now, the day after this, hooo boy), it was an experience.
Day 10: Mountain Zebra NP
Booked a Cheetah Tracking through the SAN parks website (great site btw, great overview). Cheetah nearly attacked a guy. 10/10. Kinda wished we stayed there overnight since the park was bigger than expected, but sadly we had to depart rather fast to arrive on time in Addo.
Day 11: Addo NP
Saw 60 elephants at the same time and the only lions in the park. We were lucky there. I guess some people can be disappointed here by the amount of shrubbery, but I didn’t mind at all. It was very fun to drive through. We also had a game drive with a Star Wars obsessed guide, so that was great as well.
Day 12: N2
So uh, that road between Oos-Londen and Durban is … interesting. Nearly got halted by a fake cop at Mthatha, but a very kind guy at a petrol station warned us beforehand. Also, what are the rules regarding fires? Is that illegal or not? Because driving into Durban it felt like I was entering the end of the world with all the smoke and fire. I think I get why many tourists take the plane in Oos-Londen or Gqeberha now.
Day 13: St. Lucia
Loved the wetlands, such a varied nature you guys have. I feel like it was worth the extra travel time spend to get there before heading west again. At the end of the day, at one of our many BnB’s visited, we did get the realization about something: all BnB owners were white, all personnel (same in restaurants) were black. I guess this is still some rippling going back to Apartheid? Not in practice ofc, but it was very noticeable since it was kind of a repeated observation during our time in South Africa. (Sorry if this sounds insensitive, don’t mean to).
Day 14: Dundee
Mostly a travel day with some small stops here and there like a small forest reserve with honestly the kindest guide I’ve ever seen. Did a short hike as well there. Did feel weird that they send a guard with us (since it was just a bird reserve). We also got stopped by traffic police (genuine this time) for “speeding”. I still doubt I was since I was pretty sure of the speed limit and if we were speeding, literally every car around us was but we were the only ones picked out (I kinda guess since our look probably screamed “TOURISTS”). Got a discount if we paid in cash, what a nice cop /s. Didn’t want to make a fuss, so paid and left asap.
Day 15-16: Golden Gate Highlands
Mainly went here for the hikes. Don’t know how aggressive baboons are in general towards people? On our day hike our path got blocked by quite a big group of them and we, with another couple, made a detour just to be sure. On top of the mountains I got another memorable sight: wildebeests grazing and fighting below us. Looked like a scene from a nature documentary. Also, some guy managed to smash his drone into a rock.
Day 17-19: Kruger
Like so many tourists probably say: absolute highlight of our trip. Wild dogs, hyena pups, a buffalo herd of over 100 animals with lions hunting on them, lions with a fresh kill, African eagles, leopard cubs who got fed an impala (from far away),… Very interesting to see the dynamics of tourists as well: kind when guiding you to a good spot, absolute egocentric when they were (or thinking they were) near a lion or leopard. To the point of blocking the road and making it more difficult for themselves and literally everyone near them. Like, I like seeing lions but my god, there are so many more beautiful animals over there. But again: absolute highlight with great overnight stays.
Day 20-21: Blyde RivieMarakele
Nearly got attacked by a young male elephant, again 10/10.
Day 22: Cradle of Humankind
Saw a group of kids leaving the caves. One fainted, another one got a massive nosebleed. Let’s give that another 10/10.
Day 23: Apartheid museum
Spend way more time here than they say it takes (which is already more than 2,5h). Very well done though. Sadly had to rush the last few parts to catch our flight.
Overall, loved the country despite I can imagine it's not easy to live there. I sincerely hope some of the major issues (economical/social gap, rhino poaching, load shedding,...) get fixed or at least lessened rather sooner than later. But I'll remember the biodiversity, kindness and beauty of South Africa forever.
Go Springboks ;)
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2023.03.20 20:44 EldritchEggoWaffle WARDEN OF THE WEAVER - PART 61: "SCOUNDRELS AND SKINLESS MEN"

Aniyah paused by a tree that was bigger than all the rest. It was obviously very old. The leaves of its branches were a pretty teal color and were shaped like the diamonds in a deck of playing cars. She couldn't say exactly why, but this tree gave her a slight sense of comfort. In these woods--especially with the black curtain hanging over the sky--comfort was a rare commodity. She found comfort in this tree, oddly enough, and also in her new weapon. Windchine; Blade of the Paragon. She supposed she was the Paragon of the Weaver now. Whatever that meant. She knew the words, because they kept echoing throughout her thoughts, but she had only a faint idea of their meaning. She wasn't totally clueless. She'd picked up on the fact that the Weaver was a God, or something close to it. She'd intuited that Paragon was some kind of title, bestowed by the Weaver. It meant she was sort of like a knight. Beyond these things however, she didn't have much to go on. She'd always just known things she had no way of knowing. Sometimes, she knew things she had no business knowing, as Momma would have said. She wasn't psychic. Far from it. She just got gut feelings about things, that usually turned out to be right. Like the ones underneath. She'd picked up on all of that, without any real reason to pick up on it.
She was picking up on something now. Something involving the others back at the clearing.
But she was still piecing all of that together. She didn't have enough to go on yet, to have any complete, fully formed thought.
That wouldn't come until a bit later...
What came in that moment, was the subtle soothing nature of the very old tree before her. Comfort really was a rare commodity here, but aside from the tree and the scimitar, there was one more source of comfort for her, currently. The weird little jellyfish thing. It was bobbing along in the air a few feet from the tree. It hadn't left her side since bringing her the weapon. Like the tree--like Windchime--it granted her a small degree of comfort. She didn't know where the jellyfish had got the weapon, but she had an idea that even the jellyfish didn't know where it had come from. Maybe the old man had something to do with it. The one who kept the Keys. The Custodian.
She bitterly wished she'd thought to grab Mr. Brownie when she took off running from the skinless man.
The skinless man...
Now there was something she hadn't got any gut feelings about. Except for fear, that was. She knew to be fearful of the man, but that was all. She'd dealt with monsters her whole life. They'd shown up out the blue, or she'd shown up to them. Like in that Long Room. Something about the skinless man was different though. Something about him wasn't like the other monsters. He wasn't one of her monsters, she knew that much at least. She could also tell he didn't have anything to do with the ones underneath, or the grasshopper people. He wasn't connected to The Jailer.
The only intuitive feeling Aniyah had concerning the skinless man, was that he was connected to something a whole lot worse. What that something might have a been however, she had no clue.
Aniyah didn't have a sheath, or swordbelt. The scimitar hadn't come with a scabbard. As a result, she was forced to hold the weapon in her hand, since she had nowhere to stow it. The blade was as long as her arm, and curved--almost like a banana--but was only sharp on one side. This allowed her to rest the blunt edge in the crook of her shoulder, carrying it the way she'd seen lumberjacks sometimes carry their axes in old movies; with her elbow bent, and the blade sticking out behind her as if it were a compass needle that only pointed in the opposite direction from where she was facing.
With Windchine in this position, she leaned sideways against the old tree--feeling its rough bark against her skin. A soft breeze gently blew against her face, bringing with it the scents of nature. The blackness of the sky didn't seem to match the pleasantness of the wind or the earthy smells of the woods around her. Nor did the stillness. There were a few insects buzzing someplace nearby, but mostly it was quiet. It was almost tranquil, in fact. She knew that somewhere in these same woods, chaos was happening. Hell on Earth (or, Hell on In-Between, she supposed). But all of that seemed so distant. So removed from her in that moment, in this private patch of wilderness.
Part of her wanted to go charging off toward the battle, so she could save Eddie the Gnome, and Prioress Qaya, and the others. Yet, at the same time, another part of her wanted to just lie down right here and take a nice long nap. Another part still--a deeper part--briefly broached the topic of Amy. She shattered this thought into a million little pieces and scattered them in the wind. She wouldn't... no... she couldn't deal with that right now. Not yet. Soon, she would have to. But not just yet.
These contradicting parts were really all the same part. The part that didn't want to admit she was hopelessly lost. She had no dang idea where to go.
Aniyah looked up at the weird little jellyfish thing. She whispered, "Wonder how far it is, to get back to Eddie Money and the others?"
The jellyfish couldn't understand her. Duh. It was a floating jellyfish. How could it?
Except... for a moment, Aniyah thought maybe the thing did understand. And after another few seconds, she knew for sure it did.
The jellyfish flashed a soft green color. Once, then twice. To Aniyah, it was almost like it was saying: "Beep-beep!"
"What does that mean, Jellybean?" she asked, laughing at how goofy she probably sounded.
The jellyfish strobed green again. Just once this time. Then, it slowly began to float away.
"Hold up a minute. Where you goin'?" She stopped leaning against the tree and stood up straight.
The jellyfished froze for a second, beeped green once more, then started off again.
"Ohhh, okay. I see. You leading the way? Well okay then." Aniyah smiled in spite of herself.
She followed behind the jellyfish. Together, they made their way through the darkened woods. Hopefully, to rejoin the others...
"I've never been in this part of the city before," Flower-Seed admitted. "I didn't even realize there was so much down here. I knew there were older parts of Locist Spire that were here before the Jikk, and that most of it was under the city, but I didn't expect there to be all of... this." He looked around, pausing briefly to admire the elaborate architecture around him. "I mean... Gods. There's actually streets down here. And structures. Not to mention these sculptures and platforms. It's breathtaking. It's almost like an entire settlement encased in a mausoleum. A sort of... civilization time capsule."
Quijj gave only a noncommittal grunt in response.
The two of them walked side-by-side along a wide street paved in stone. So much was stonework, or marble. The craftsmanship that went into all of it was something even modern Artisians likely couldn't replicate. Large sections of the old city were in ruins, but those that remained mostly intact made Flower-Seed feel as if he'd traveled back in time. If they'd had the sky overhead instead of a cavern roof, he could have easily imagined being in the center of a bustling metropolis.
They strode by a towering sculpture made to resemble some sort of animal Flower-Seed couldn't identify. It certainly wasn't any kind of insect, or Insectoid. It had four legs and a tail, plus a large round head. It was as intriguing as it was beautiful.
Cave crickets were softly singing in the nooks and crannies. The distant sound of dripping water played constant accompaniment to the hollow resonance of this subterranean wonderland.
They turned down what had once been a side street, with Flower-Seed leading the way. Up ahead, a cavern wall blocked their advance. There was a place where the wall had been broken, creating an opening just big enough for them to squeeze through.
On the other side, they came upon a ledge overlooking a sprawling cavern. There were more ledges--some, only narrow slabs of stone reminiscent of catwalks; others, much wider, holding half-ruined structures--high up along the cavern walls. And in the center, sitting like an island in the dark sea of darkness, was a sprawling marble platform. The platform was surrounded on all sides by crags and trenches so deep Flower-Seed couldn't see their bottom. There was a naturally formed staircase of stone leading from the platform to another opening. This was most likely the main entrance to this chamber. Flower-Seed realized now that he and Quijj had taken an alternate route to get here, than the others had.
Yes. There were others. A lot of them, from the looks of it.
On the marble platform below, rows of tents and even a makeshift gazebo had been set up. As Flower-Seed's eyes adjusted, he began to make out the robes of Advisors; the armor of Spire Knights and Spire Watch. There were excited, panicked voices echoing throughout the cave. Some sort of commotion was going on.
"I had no idea any of this was here," Flower-Seed whispered.
Quijj gave him a strange look.
"Don't ask how I knew where to go, or how to get here. I just... did."
Quijj nodded, but said nothing.
From the platform, someone yelled: "Arrest the traitor!"
"Ah, shit," Flower-Seed said. He was no longer bothering to keep his voice at a whisper. The figures gathered below had broken into something close to a frenzy. "They must be talking about the Councilor." He looked at Quijj with a serious expression. "We have to get her out of here. I'm not exactly the biggest fan of our government, but something really bad is going on down here. I got... visions. I saw Spire Knights with their minds corrupted by parasites. Whoever attacked the city... they've infected some of the officials. We have to do something. If we're ever going to rebuild... we need Jikk like Councilor Lemma. She's one of the good ones."
Quijj grunted in agreement. "Alright. Let's do it."
"What's the plan?" Flower-Seed asked, suddenly nervous. He felt a bit silly asking Quijj what the plan was, considering the elderly tavern keeper had just been following his lead up this point. Now that they were here, Flower-Seed didn't have the slightest idea what he was going to do. Or even what he could do. He couldn't fight a trained Spire Knight. Let alone an entire company of them. He'd only get himself killed!
Fortunately (and to Flower-Seed's great relief), Quijj said: "Just wait here. And get ready to run. Like you've never ran before."
"Alright. I think I can do that much, at least."
Quijj nodded. He drew his odd-looking weapon, and leapt down from the ledge; spreading his wings as he did this to glide over to the platform. Just as the old tavern keep came to a landing, Flower-Seed saw two armored Knights seize Councilor Lemma by the arms, and pull her to the ground. One of the Advisors screamed.
Shit! his mind cursed. Come on, Quijj. You gotta do something! And fast!
There was a particular knock at the hidden door to the Navigator's study. Three heavy raps, a pause, then two sets of four bangs; the coded knock he'd taught to the mercenary leader. The corners of Drokin the Navigator's mouth--little more than soft tissue on either side of his pointed beak--sagged slightly, in a parody of a frown. He shot a glance over to the wall-mounted clock above his desk. It was only Ef'tat-Half-Wane. The merc shouldn't have made it to this part of Barkstone Barony, for at least another three Shecks.
Drokin cast a suspicious eye toward the opposite end of the room. He reached beneath his desk, unfastening the blade he hid there. It was always good to have a backup weapon. The talon-like claws of his hand instinctively found the pommel of his rapier. "Enter!" he called to the door.
There was a hefty creaking sound as a considerable portion of the wall was pushed inward, revealing both the false rock of the door's opposite side, and the midday sunlight beyond the study. The light was much too bright for Drokin's eyes, after spending so much time inside the chamber under the Arcas Rune lamps. For a moment, he had to squint in order to get a decent view of his visitor. The moment Drokin saw the figure entering his study, his claws tightened on the handle of his weapon.
The one who appeared through the doorway was not the merc leader Rave the Ravager. Not by a long shot. The stranger was a Jagged Fields Nerthran, just as Rave was, but this was where their similarities ended. Rave was of slightly larger than average size for an adult male member of the mothfolk race. The Nerthran before Drokin was the antithesis of average (or "slightly" for that matter). He was enormous; much larger than seemed natural. If one of his crew mates had told Drokin about seeing a Nerthran the size of this one, Drokin would have labeled them an exaggerator at best, a boldfaced liar at worst. He certainly wouldn't have believed mothmen could grow this large, if he weren't seeing the proof of that very thing with his own two eyes.
"Where is Rave? Who are you?" Drokin demanded.
The giant mothman slowly stepped inside the study and creaked the door shut behind him. He did not answer.
"I asked you a question. Where is--"
In a baritone voice that was almost pleasing to the ear, the mothman said: "Would you Sky Pirates send your Captain on every minor mission, or simple errand? I am Master Rave's deliverer. I am called Nollo."
A peculiar name for such a hulking creature as this, the Navigator mused.
When Drokin didn't initially respond, 'Nollo' added: "I have the Relic you wanted." He held up a black rectangular case, almost like the kind a Bard might use for protecting a musical instrument.
Drokin thought this over a moment, studying the towering mothman carefully. He felt almost like he was looking up at a living statue. One of the great big ones that lined the streets of the grand cities of Roshuka, or populated the ruins of Jyyrvesk's Old Country. Even the hulk's features were oversized, as if they needed to compensate for the massive face to which they were attached. This 'Nollo' somewhat unsettled Drokin. The self-proclaimed "deliverer" had a long, slender mouth that didn't quite seem to want to close all the way. This gave the mothman an almost moronic appearance; a dimwitted face with the mouth of a drooling imbecile. Combined with his considerable size, it would have been easy to dismiss this Nerthran as a buffoon. Even the title "deliverer" played into this impression. And he seemed to have a permanent glazed over quality about his eyes. However, Drokin saw what lurked beneath the surface. When he looked beyond these things, the Navigator could detect a cold, calculating intelligence in the mothman's eyes. Upon closer inspection, the glazed over quality didn't strike the Navigator as entirely organic. It struck him as purposeful, practiced--part of a kind of disguise.
Nollo was a mothman with the soul of a spider...
As these things dawned on Drokin, the unsettled feeling he'd had since this mothman's appearance turned to something bordering on outright fear. The Navigator had been all across the Lesser and Greater Reaches. He'd seen some horrid things. Something about this stranger was different, however. There was something not quite Insectoid in his eyes; not quite Of This Pocket Realm, as the Captain was want to say. Drokin had never believed in the concept of evil. Not in the same way the Old Scrolls talked about it, as least. But now--here in his study, confronted by the figure before him--when he looked into those eyes, evil was all Drokin saw.
"You... have the Horn?" Drokin asked, trying to sound casual. His heart was beating at three times it's normal tempo. He slowly reached for the Link Orb. Calling out to Captain Heekan may have been the only chance he had left. "Let me get you the coin I promise then."
"Stop," said Nollo. "Put your hand down."
Drokin paused. The tips of his claws were just inches from the Orb. If he were quick about it, he could snatch the thing up in a microsecond. The Navigator was quick. He was a trained fighter, afterall. But... he knew intuitively he would not be quick enough.
"I beg your pardon?" Drokin said, trying and failing to keep some air of authority in his tone.
Nollo laughed. It was not a pleasant sound. "There was never going to be any coin, was there? You think Master Rave wouldn't sniff out such an obvious con? You really aren't familiar with the Stonewing Pillar Mercenaries are you? We are not some low-level ratcatchers."
Drokin said nothing for a moment. At last, he sighed. He allowed his training to replace his fear. It took quite a lot of effort, but he managed. When his heart had returned to something closer to a natural beat, he leveled his avian eyes at the mothman. He dropped his hand, but brought it down to his rapier. He drew the weapon, but made no move to strike.
Through the end of his closed beak, Drokin growled: "Alright, asshole. Just what are you after?"
Nollo laughed again. He flipped open the brass latches on the black case he held, opened it. Inside, wasn't any Relic. That had been a lie. The black velvet lined interior of the case held a single object: a large throwing knife. Nollo removed the blade and let the case fall to the floor. "I'll need every piece of coin you have here. And anything else of value."
Drokin raised his rapier. "All our treasures are on the ship." He sighed, deciding to fess up. "I don't have anything here. You were right. I planned on taking the Horn and not paying. But I am obviously not getting what I wanted. There is no coin here for you to get what you want. Why don't we just call this an impasse? We both walk away, no better off... but no worse for wear than we were before. What do you say?"
Nollo shook his massive head. It was like seeing a boulder pivot atop a living column. "You think you can plot to take out our leader, and live to tell the tale? You're even more stupid than you look."
Now, Drokin was getting angry. "Do you have any idea who you're fucking with? You can't stand against our entire crew. We're the Hawkblood Pirates. You think Captain Heekan will just sit by and let you--"
The knife was buried in Drokin's windpipe, before he ever saw the mothman throw it. For someone so massive, Rollo had a dexterity and speed that were virtually unrivaled. There was a soft clang as Drokin's rapier fell to the floor; a soft gurgling sound as he began to choke on his own blood. He gasped for air his lungs couldn't find; his hands clawing at his throat to pull free a blade that wouldn't budge.
Drokin the Navigator fell to the floor with a hollow thud, knocking his chair over in the process. The last thing his dying mind registered before he lost consciousness was the sight of Rollo the mothman standing over him, whispering: "You Sky Pirates never should have come to the Wilden Green."
Then, Drokin was fading. Fading, fading.
Fading from the mortal world, and headed for that Great Beyond...
Eyes. So many eyes. Staring. Watching.
Abominations. Wretched perversions of nature. Black-tongued things. Slime things. Things with many, many eyes.
Many. Many. Eyes.
Vellnoth! It was awful!
Zoocher slipped through a whirlwind of swirling shadows. He sank into quicksand of blackness. His mind shattered, then reformed. Shattered, then reformed. The world became a pane of glass which broke into a million, billion, trillion little pieces. He reached out, desperately trying to pick the pieces up, to put them back together.
It was no use.
Horrors. Eyes. Looking. Looking at me. Through me. Seeing me. Seeing all.
Zoocher rocked himself back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. There was dirt and grass beneath him. He was curled up into a ball, hugging his knees against his chest. Yet, these things were just background details. This was just his surroundings, and his physical body. His mind was somewhere else--perhaps, in another patch of dirt, slowly turning to mud. No. Not mud. Quicksand.
Sinking. He was sinking. Sinking, and slipping away. Slipping off into that Forever Night.
White Staircase?
No. He saw no White Staircase. Perhaps, only the Black Steps awaited him after all the awful things he'd done in life.
Only... there were no Black Steps, either.
Because he wasn't dead. Not yet, at least.
He was alive, but he was not living. Not in the normal sense.
Eyes. Watching. Looking. Seeing. Viewing. Glimpsing.
No mercy for him. No Gods coming to save him. Only horrors.
He'd been in that terrible place, in that terrible room for what had felt like centuries.
Now he was back in the woods. But not all of him. He'd left some essential part of himself back there, back in that terrible place.
And now, he'd never get that part back. It was lost to him. For good. Forever.
Zoocher leaned over and vomited yellow bile onto the grass. His head was swimming. He slowly stood up. As he stood, everything fell away. Everything. His entire being. His essence. His all. His whole.
Zoocher? No. There was no Zoocher anymore.
Maybe there never had been.
Certainly, there would never be a Zoocher again.
Zoocher was shattered and lost. Gone. Now, Zoocher was no more. Forever departed.
He felt something warm and wet run down his legs. He'd urinated on himself without realizing it. This did not bother him. This meant nothing. He took a step forward and vomited onto his vest. This too meant nothing.
He stripped off his armor, his undergarments, his weapons. He kicked off his boots. To one side of the pile he'd made with his belongings, there were a set of bootprints in the dirt. He turned in the opposite direction, and started walking. He didn't know where he was going. He only knew he needed to walk.
Visions winked in and out of his mind. He continued walking, muttering to himself all the while. He spoke of everything, of nothing. He asked questions without answer. He gave answers to questions no one had asked.
Those eyes. They were burned into his brain. No. His brain was a burn. A scorchmark, littered with eyes. Staring. Watching. Waiting?
He walked on. Walking through the woods, to nowhere. Walking. Muttering. Thinking of eyes and Slime things.
It was a long time before he stopped.
There were two astounding sights, which presented themselves consecutively before him. In over two decades serving as one of the Hawkblood's top Assault Commanders, he had never seen anything more incredible than the Black Pyramid. That was, right up until the moment he saw the entire Pyramid vanish right before his eyes. If anything could be even more incredible than seeing the Pyramid; suddenly not seeing the Pyramid would have to be it.
Commander Ramses blinked several times, as if he were unable to trust what his eyes were showing him. The airspace beyond the windshield of his Glider Pod now showed only a sea of nothing, save for the Sky Gods higher up in the atmosphere.
"What the fuck? Where did it go?" he muttered to the empty cockpit.
The Glider Pods were designed to resemble plump black ravens. Ramses's Glider was slightly larger than the others in the fleet, as his was the Pod that carried most of the Big Weapons. Currently, they were in a V formation like actual birds; twelve in Ramses's group, twelve more in Commander Paulo's group that would have been approaching the Pyramid from behind; another twelve coming in from the right, making up Commander Gichi's group. The Gyff had their own Gliders, fashioned from wooden planks and some unknown material Ramses had never seen before. The Gyff ships looked a lot like the Gyff themselves; like long slender walking sticks. Their ships cut through the air like wooden missiles, lined up in a near row.
Ramses slapped the control panel, activating the Com-Cube. "Am I seeing things? Have I lost my mind?"
"No." It was the voice of Commander Gichi. She sounded uncharacteristically shaken. "The damn thing went POOF. Just like that."
The Gyff leading the stickbug group (his name was Kloom, if Ramses's memory served him) chimed in. "What do we do now? Will it reappear, you think?"
Ramses smacked the controls again, this time out of frustration. He said, "Somebody better get the Captain on the--"
"Already here," said the voice of Captain Heekan.
"You been listening this whole time?" Gichi asked.
"No. I just came on. Now listen. Everyone. Listen very closely. The Pyramid isn't in the valley anymore, but all is not lost. We will track it down. I already know where they took it."
Ramses gaped at this. "What? Captain... how could you already know all of that? It just vanished, only a few ticks ago."
Gichi made a soft gasping sound. "Captain. No. Tell me you didn't use it."
"I had to," Captain Heekan said with remorse. "The Mirror is too valuable a tool for us not to utilize it. And if ever there were a time when we needed it, it would be now."
"How many years did it take off your life?" Gichi asked hesitantly.
After a pause, Heekan said, "It doesn't matter. We're getting sidetracked here. There is a lot more going on than we realized. There are agents of not one, but two of the 5 Pharoahs here in the Wilden Green Valley, as we speak."
"What?" it was Gichi and Kloom in unison.
Commander Paulo broke his silence. "Which other Pharoah are we talking about?"
Heekan said, "Aside from Camaria the Butcher who we already knew about (it was one of her Scarabs that took the Pyramid), there's some of the Necromancer's men here too."
"The Necromancer?" Ramses said in disbelief. "The right hand man of Dowlmad the Deathless?" Ramses felt a cold chill run up his spine. "You're not telling me he is here in this valley, are you?"
"The Necromancer himself? No. Just some of his underlings. The Skinless Men, they're called."
Gichi asked, "Are they really all after the Pyramid and the Artifacts? I can't imagine two of the 5 Pharoahs would expend resources just for the stuff we're after. Aside for the Black Pyramid. But even still... something seems off here."
"Well," said Heekan. "That's because something is off. There are bigger forces at work here than we ever realized. Sure, they were after the Pyramid and the Divine Battery. But those are more like... party favors, to them."
Ramsese shook his head. "I already don't like how this sounds." The open sky outside his Glider suddenly felt less like empty airspace, and more like an endless abyss. One glance at the Sky Gods floating higher in the heavens strengthened this feeling, causing the commander to shudder as another chill ran up his back.
Captain Heekan said, "Then you really won't like what I'm about to tell you."
As it turned out, the Captain was absolutely right. Ramses really didn't like it one bit. None of them did.
And Commander Ramses was not the only one who was told things they didn't like. While he was listening to his Captain's words with growing unease, elsewhere in the Wilden Green Valley, a certain Ranger was receiving a rather ominous warning...
Deep within the bowels of the Reverse Tower. In the Domain of the Being known as O'Faxx.
Ranger Lexington stood atop the large boulder, surrounded by a sea of sludge. The putrid aroma of this place once more assaulted his senses, while his boots sank into the slick, squicky growth coating the boulder. Lexington's dragonfly-like features hid his discomfort. Outwardly, he appeared as stoic--as unshakeable--as always. At least, until he spoiled the effect with a knowing smirk.
To the bubbling muck, he called out: "So, you decided to help out afterall?"
There was no response.
Lexington's smirk faded. He bowed his head slightly. "It's alright. You don't have to speak. I only wish your assistance had been enough. That way Burlap wouldn't have had to give his life the way he did."
O'Faxx did not emerge from the murky depths.
Lexington would have sighed had the air quality in here not been so abhorrent. "Anyway, I just wanted to thank you. I will find a way to reward you."
Although O'Faxx remained beneath the muck, his voice echoed inside the Ranger's mind. "My actions were not on your behalf. Your ignorance betrays you, Overseer."
Lexington cocked his head to one side. "If you say so." He shrugged. "Some guys just can't accept a thank you, I guess."
"You have yet to understand. I helped you, to destroy you. None of you know yet what you are unleashing. I did not see the truth before, but the truth has now presented itself to me. The Gods wish to assemble the 12 and bring about the White Clock Consortion. Fools. They don't yet realize with the advent of the White Clock, the Black Clock follows. Those numbers shall count down their destruction. I looked into the destiny of the mortals you have placed so much faith in. I saw what they will bring about. They are one of the Four Winds that will blow upon the Door of Doom. One of them is a Paige of the Necronomicon."
"What does that mean? Quit speaking in riddles."
"There's a storm coming, Overseer. A storm that will wash away the world. This one, and all others. I haven't helped you. I've only helped the first few raindrops, so they might better form within the dark clouds hanging over this Pocket Realm. And in the wake of that rain? The thunder shall soon roll."
A storm coming. Four Winds that will blow upon the Doors of Destruction. Thunder.
These things made no sense to the Ranger. One thing was clear however; whatever O'Faxx's words meant, Lexington didn't like the sound of any of it.
There's a particular way Advisors and nobleJikk cry out when something disrupts their normal routine. It's a breathy sort of shriek, like someone emptying their lungs before they faint. Many of the High Advisors were voicing this exact variety of shriek now, as High Knight Pyx ordered his Spire Knights to arrest Lemma.
Temporary Councilor E'Shesh (to her credit) tried to block the path of the Knights. She was shoved out of the way, hard enough to cause the poor she-Jikk to tumble over onto the hard marble surface of the platform.
Then, underneath the makeshift gazebo, pandemonium set in. The stress of the attack on the city had already pushed everyone toward the brink of panic. This new development made them all leap right over the edge, falling right into the place people (Jikk, or otherwise) always fall in times like this one.
Lemma didn't run. She stood her ground, glowering at Pyx and Councilor Tholke; glaring as if she could knock some sense into them with her gaze alone. Of course, this was a futile endeavor. The Knights were upon here a moment later. Strong arms seized her, throwing her to the ground. Then, oddly enough, even stronger arms were lifting her from the floor. She stared down the Knights arresting her, but the expressions they gave her in return were not those of hardened Knights doing their duty. They were the expressions of Jikk who'd been caught completely off guard.
As she was lifted even higher, Lemma finally realized it wasn't the Knights who currently held her. It was someone else.
"What... who... what's going on?" she cried weakly.
She was being carried away by... one of the local tavern keepers?
"What's happening? What are you doing?" she demanded.
"She's getting away!" someone shouted.
"After her!" a Spire Knight ordered.
All at once, the Knights were airborne, in pursuit. The air was alive with the sound of buzzing wings, the shuffling and frantic falls of boots, and so much shouting. Lemma dangled over seemingly bottomless trenches and crumbling remnants of the City That Once Was.
The tavern keeper, in all this time, had only explained himself with a single grunt. Now, he was using his free arm to aim some kind of weapon at the Knights.
"No," Lemma pleaded. "Don't kill them. They're only doing their duty."
"Stun-shot," said the elderly tavern keeper. The words came an instant before his weapon discharged and the air behind them exploded in brilliant blue electricity. There was a loud series of crackling sounds, as the small-scale controlled lightning tore through each of the Knights. As if an invisible net had ensnared them, the Knights all froze in midair a moment, before their wings slowed to a standstill. They began to plummet down to the darkness below.
The tavern keeper voiced a soft grunt of regret.
"You can say that again," Lemma scolded. "The shot may have stunned them, but the fall will surely do a whole lot more. What's the meaning of this? Are you kidnapping me?"
The tavern keeper shook his head. "Behind you," he said. They climbed higher, closing in on the stone wall of the spacious cavern.
Lemma craned her neck to look back at the platform. What she saw horrified her. Hight Knight Pyx and Councilor Tholke. Even from this far away, she could see that their eyes appeared to have ruptured. From the vacant holes where their eyes had been, large fat yellow worms as long as sword blades were spilling out onto the platform. Each worm slapped down onto the marble, then immediately began to grow in size. Within mere seconds, each one grew to the size of a Field Roamer pup. And they only continued getting bigger.
The Advsiors and officials broke into a stampede, making for the platform's only exit; the flight of stone steps leading up to the passageway before street level.
"Gods," Lemma whispered. "We have to seal off the exit. We can't let those... those things make it up to the city."
But based on the ever-increasing size of the worms, and their ever-growing numbers, she feared it might already be too late.
"Hurry! Come on!" someone shouted, just ahead.
Lemma turned toward the sound of the voice. She saw a Jikk standing atop a stone ledge, high up on the cavern wall. She didn't recognize him.
A second later, the tavern keeper brought her down to a gentle landing on the ledge beside the unfamiliar Jikk. She eyed them both suspiciously. "Just what is going on? And who is this?"
"My name is Flower-Seed. And we've got to get the fuck out of here, Councilor."
The tavern keeper asked, "How can we seal it off?"
Lemma thought for a moment. "You came through there?" She pointed to the large gap behind Flower-Seed.
"We did," said the tavern keeper.
"Then we might be able to beat the worms to the surface. There's a secret tunnel in the cave ceiling, a little further on. Come on. We have to get to the statue of Kylo the Great, up in the Cobbler's District. There's a hidden lever inside. I know the code to turn it. It will seal off the Old City. It's our only chance."
"Then let's get moving," said Flower-Seed.
The tavern keeper only grunted his agreement.
Together, the three of them took off at a sprint. There truly wasn't a single moment to spare...
Rave spotted the figures below, standing patiently beside a gnarled, leafless gatortree. He came to a landing, just a few yards from them. Eight pairs of cold, dark eyes peered out from eight fleshless humanoid faces, considering him with an alien species of indifference.
A long black case was tucked beneath Rave's right arm. In his left hand, he clutched his Rune Stone expectantly. Any moment now, Nollo would be giving him the word that the deed was done. Any moment now. Rave had an internal clock that kept near perfect timing when it came to things like murder.
Sure enough, the Rune Stone began to grow warmer to Rave's touch.
Nollo's voice came through the Stone. "Boss?"
Rave grinned with what remained of his ruined mouth. "It's done?"
"It's done," Nollo confirmed.
"Good. I'd expect nothing less. You know where I'll be?"
"Yes, sire. I'll see you there shorly."
Rave didn't bother giving a final response. He put the Stone away and took the black case into his hands. The Skinless Men only watched him patiently.
Rave approached the figures beneath the gnarled tree. This was a remote region of Jikkellia's borderlands, where the high grasses gave way to miles of mostly barren dirt and rock. The gatortree stood out, in that it was one of the few trees on the visible landscape here. Just over the horizon, was the large mountain where a certain group of outsiders were rumored to have crashed in a small rowing vessel recently.
Rave waited for one of the skinless men to speak first. When none did, he said: "A lot of people wanted this Horn. You just so happened to be the only ones offering more than coin." This was a half-truth. The Sky Pirates had spoken of coin, but had in reality, offered only betrayal. "I've kept up my end. Now, I expect you to keep yours."
Rave's mind calculated dozens of ways he could slaughter each of these figures, should they show any sign of aggression. It was just how his brain operated. He plotted ways to thwart threats that hadn't even been presented yet. In this line of business, you had to stay twelve moves ahead.
Right on time, Rave's reinforcements arrived. He'd been doing these kinds of deals for far too long to ever go by himself. Even if he did feel confident enough in his abilities that he wasn't weary of the figures before him. Even in a 1 v. 8 duel to the death, he was certain he'd have the upper hand.
Four mothmen mercs landed just behind Rave--keeping their distance but standing at the ready. Rave didn't so much as glance at them. He casually stepped away from his foot soldiers and moved closer to the Skinless Men. "So, how about it? You said you had a way to get us out of this valley. Is that still true?"
One of the figures (there was really no way for Rave to tell the apart, as they all looked like carbon copies of each other) nodded. "We represent Pharoah Dowlmad. Pharoah Dowlmad always keeps his word. Give us the Black Horn and we shall give you freedom from this place."
Rave said nothing a moment. At last, he nodded. "Alright. I'll take you at your word." He slowly held out the case, offering it to one of the figures. The skinless man eagerly accepted the Artifact. He lifted the lid and removed the item inside, handing it to one of the others.
The Black Horn of the Olde Music looked like the hollowed-out horn of some bovine creature, like those Rave had seen sketched in old tomes. Aside from the fact it was black as obsidian, of course. There was a silver mouthpiece banded around the narrow end. That was all there was to the object. All in all, it was rather unimpressive looking by Artifact standards.
The other man examined it for several seconds, before deciding he was satisfied. He nodded back to the first man who took the Horn and returned it to its case.
"So," Rave said, taking on a tone of casual conversation while feigning ignorance. "What does that thing do, anyhow?"
The Skinless Men only regarded him coldly.
Rave nodded, flashing a half grin. "Fair enough. Now... as for your part of the bargain?"
"Yes," said the man holding the case. "You want your entire company to leave this valley? Return to us when you are all together. Some of us will remain here in this spot. We will give you three sunrises after sundown today. If you aren't here by then, we cannot wait any longer."
"We'll return long before then," Rave said.
There didn't seem to be anything more to say. He turned and motioned to the other mercs. "Let's head out. We'll regroup with the others and get everything underway."
submitted by EldritchEggoWaffle to weavingtheweird [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 19:57 pillbodies I figured the house in the forest will make a good study for my 'Conspiracy Narratives' course. Well, I wasn't wrong...

We had heard of the house on the 9th lane in the forest. It wasn't an address. It really just meant that it was on the ninth visible street when walking along the forest trail. No one knew how far in. I was about eight or nine when it was a household warning: "do not go near the house in the forest." A lot of media reports - newspapers, news channels, local reports - were published, updating the small town of the Valley of every little new detail.
The barebones was this: First a family home, the house had four occupants. The father and the kids died in an accident, and the mother then turned the house into a care home for any woman or girl who needed a roof over her head. It became quite a common name. The care home ran peacefully, helping girls and women, for about two decades before it abruptly stopped. By 'stopped' I literally mean stopped. Initially there was a lot of confusion about what had happened, but ultimately the police officials said it was a case of carbon monoxide poisoning that killed all twelve of the residents, including the owner.
But then some said it was a fire, food poisoning, an inside-job, an electric mishap - but the most popular one was the carbon monoxide poisoning. It did not make sense to most of us in the Valley. The papers said all the residents were buried behind the church, but there are only seven graves there. The owner's is among the ones that are missing. We never got any real answers. But we did not look for any either because it seemed like all the reasonings given were to do with natural or accidental causes. May be the owner's grave is with her husband and children beside the home?
For better or for worse, the home still stands today. I now attend a university across the country. For one of my courses titled 'Conspiracy Narratives', we were asked to do a creative project. I decided to do it on the house on the 9th lane in the forest. I gathered all the news articles by searching for the archives online, the local library helped me with the archives of magazines that don't run today, and I spoke to some residents of town close to my parents' age who were the most cautious of the home in the forest at that time because of their kids. It gave me a good sense of the general idea the normal residents of the Valley had about the house.
The next task was to visit the house myself, document it, look for some belongings of the last residents, and most importantly, see if I can find something that might go against whatever the media had published then. It did not seem like an easy task. I feared that I will not be able to do it and my research for this assignment will go down in drain. This was mostly because a lot of the official police reports had stated they'd emptied out the building, showing photos of a huge truck with sealed off furniture and other things. I wasn't aiming for a huge reveal honestly; it could have been as small a thing as the ages of the residents, the name of the house, or some factual inconsistency.
Before that, I had to locate the house. All anyone really knew was that it was on the 9th lane in the forest. I left home at about 6 AM, and it took me 4 hours just to get to the turn of the 9th lane. As I started on the 9th lane, it didn't take long for me to locate the house. It was huge, and its grey and brown structure stood out in the otherwise dull green landscape. But even before I saw it, I could hear some thumps and running footsteps ahead. However when I finally reached the house, there was no one around it. I slowly approached the house, taking out my camera. It had aged - like people do. People become older and weaker, this house had become lighter and weaker.
The name plate of the house read 'House of Warmth' and below it 'Layla Joyce'. May be Layla Joyce was the owner and she renamed the house to 'Home of Warmth' once she turned it into a care home? The worn gates were open, and the front yard of the home was a part of the forest - save for the tall stone boundaries of the home. It surprised me to see that the home was left all alone and not turned into a capitalistic venture. Surely someone must have tried? I stood at the gates and took a photo right through the middle of the boundary - on the right was the dull green forest, and the left was also the forest, except with benches and tea tables. I walked towards the black door with a scorpion carved into it, and turned the handle.
It was locked.
This shocked me. The door itself did not have a built-in lock. It was a latch system. Which means it must have been locked from the inside. And that shocked me. I did not think too much of it till I went around the house and realized that this door was the only way one could safely enter and exit (the back door was barricaded by the police for some reason). I spent some time looking at the windows and decided that I will break a small piece of wood from one of them to enter the home. I know I should have been more respectful towards this old house which was probably the place of death for at least twelve people. But I really did not see any other way to enter the house.
Things turned awfully dark once I stepped foot inside the home. I landed with a heavy mini-jump, unsettling the thick layer of dust on the floor. By dark I don't simply mean visually dark - which it was - but also everything just seemed heavier than they should be. I was expecting an empty room, with may be one or two cabinets left on the walls. But the furniture was still there. All of it. More than all of it. It looked like I landed in a large area - a room which had a long dining table with chairs on its far-left end, and an elegant brown-gray-with-dust sofa set on the far-right. In the middle was an island-shelf which today may store some light snacks and books perhaps.
The window I had entered from was next to the dining table. It still had plates on it. Eight sets of them. With a big pot in the middle, as if a banquet that had been waiting for more than a decade was in order. I then realized why it was so visually dark. All sources of natural light were boarded with thick plastic sheets. I turned on my high-power flashlight whose brightness blinded me for a second or two. I then properly took in the room I was in.
The plates had leftovers. Not fresh, but old looking bits that indicated that these plates weren't fresh - they had been eaten off of. The kitchen, on the direct opposite side to where I stood, had dozens of baby-blue cabinets. All of them open, and all of them full of jars and boxes. A little cloth hung from one of their handles, as if to wipe one's hands as one was working in the kitchen. The dining table had eight chairs, only three of them properly tucked into the table. The rest five chairs stood in a disorganized way - as if someone stood up from them and never bothered to tuck them in again. The one chair at the head of the table was the farthest away from the dining table.
I realized that I had been standing in the same place where I landed from the window. I looked up at the window, the small piece of wood in my hand. There's no way that window is going to open again, I realized. I had jammed it by letting it fall after I pushed it open and broke a piece of its edge. I looked towards the main door and saw that it had indeed been locked from the inside. I was relieved to see a potential way out.
I walked towards the kitchen, since its cabinets seemed full of things. As I reached the cabinets, I looked towards the dining table and positioned my camera to click a photo before I disturb things further. As the camera flash went off, I noticed the chair at the head of the table. The dust on it had been unsettled recently. It looked like a petite human's print: the arm rest, back rest, ass print - it was a perfect human's figure that could be made from the unsettled dust. My throat was dry, and I was too scared to gulp saliva and make noise. It suddenly felt like I wasn't alone there. It had barely been fifteen minutes since I had stepped inside from that window.
I moved closer to the chairs to try and see if that was the case with every chair. It was only the five disorganized ones that displayed signs of use in the recent past. I looked at the main front door that was locked from inside. What was the possibility that whoever had unsettled the dust on those chairs was still inside? I halted. I stopped moving completely. And I willed myself to listen to the house. Every small movement of mine caused a little creak - it was an old house. I will definitely hear something if there's anyone besides me in the home. I breathed slowly, listening.
The wind, the leaves outside, my breaths, the leaves, the wind, - and then, a scrape on the floor. It was unmistakable. It was old wood. And when one drags something on old wood, it makes a very distinct sound. It did not come from any where around me though.
I went towards the sofa arrangement. In the middle of the four sofas was a center table made out of wood and glass. It had small tea cups on it, with a line hinting at the liquid that has evaporated since. I felt relieved when the dust seemed thick and even. I wish I could say the same for the sofas. There were five seating spots where the dust wasn't as thick - where the sofa's cloth pattern emerged. I then found a piece of paper on the single seater sofa. It said:
I wish this home was enough to care for these little girls and the young women. Who knew this earth's children carried such hatred for some of us? Our husbands, fathers, children were taken away from us by the officers in orange suits. They said it would pay us. They said it was only for a month or two. They said they'd conduct tests that aren't to be spoken of. They said we would not have to worry about being the outsiders after this. Now that our loved ones aren't returned to us, is it not our right to speak for them, of them and bring something akin to justice to them? Out of nowhere my children's and husband's graves appeared on the back yard. Is this the price of wanting security as outsiders?
This was dated to a year or two before their deaths. This had to be written by Layla Joyce. The owner of the home. I quickly put it back on the sofa and clicked a picture. I placed my backpack on the floor and took out the folder where I'd documented the details of this home in chronological order. In no article, write-up or announcement did it mention anything about men in orange suits.
I quickly made the connection to the infirmary lab workers from the white lab right outside the town. They now had normal white coats that one would recognize to be of a medical worker's. But before they were 'big', they used to wear orange jumpers. I called the local library and asked if the house on the 9th lane in the forest had ever been discussed in the same breath as the workers from the infirmary lab, the librarian said he'd never heard of it, and that it was an odd connection to make. I did not ask why. I wanted to open more cabinets, drawers, files, books, journals, anything I could find there and read more. What were we missing?
I then heard the same dragging-on-wood sound. This time I located it. It seemed to come from above, but not directly above me. A little farther off perhaps. I looked at the watch and realized that I'd been here for a little over half-an-hour. I turned to look for the stairs when it happened for the first time.
The inside of the home went bright from artificial light source from outside the home - something being shone through the heavy and thick plastics that covered the windows. I went blind for a second, and stiff - with fear. Once my eyes started adjusting a little to the brightness, I saw flashes of human-like figures near the dining table. It looked like I was looking through flashing images on a screen and not at a physical reality. A big thump came from the main door.
High-pitched screams of women came from the dining table across me. More thumps on the front door. One. Two. Three. Four. Girl figures ran past me. But so did orange ones from the now open front door. Moving deeper into the house, away from the front door. One stood at the dining table, at the head of it. Ran to the door. Silent gun shots. Screams stopping one by one.
Then everything went silent.
When it ended, I was on the floor. Hugging myself tightly. I kept my eyes wide open throughout to explain away the flashes I saw in my vision. But it really was happening. I tried to remain silent for I don't know how long. I tried to put what I'd seen in words, in phrases. I could not. I could not think of anything apart from the men in orange suits that note mentioned.
I searched the web on my phone for the infirmary lab outside the Valley, and added the year '2007'. There they were. In bright orange jumpers, white shiny borders on pockets, with big white boots. They stood beside big vans in the photos. What had I just seen? I looked at my watch. An hour and half had passed since I entered the home. Everything was silent again.
I left my camera running on the sofa and went past the kitchen, deeper into the home. On the left side of the hallway was a staircase to the first floor. On the right was a big cabinet with expensive-looking cutlery inside the glass doors. The glass was dirty, but the cutlery was clean. I was almost expecting to see a figure in the reflection on the glass. But I did not. I started up on the staircase slowly. Although the wood beneath my feet creaked, it was strong. When I looked down at the dusty stairs, I saw footprints going up. Small ones and big ones, and bigger ones. Of sock prints and shoe prints.
I started up, slow but sped up as I kept seeing the footprints. My heart was beating way too fast, and my pant pockets did not have my emergency anxiety medication. When I reached the top of the stairs, I saw a hallway with three doors, presumably to three rooms. Two on the right and one on the left. There was a pair of double-doors at the end of the hallway, with big vases of artificial leaves on either sides of it. On the left side, apart from the door there was also a big wooden storage shelf. It wasn't a bookshelf because it had big box-sized drawers. And some small ones.
I opened one of the drawers to a small transparent box of what looked like returned letters. The address on all of them was the same: to the infirmary lab. But they were addressed to 'Jon Joyce'. Was Layla's husband taken to the labs? Was she hoping these letters would reach him? I carefully opened the four boxes and looked at all the envelops, without opening any of them.
Most of them were addressed to Jon Joyce, a couple of them to 'Natalia Joyce' and 'May Joyce'. The ones to Natalia and May all had little blue hearts on them. How long did Layla hope she'd finally get to meet her family again before the graves appeared on her backyard?
I put the envelopes back and closed the boxes, holding just one letter addressed to all three of them - Jon, Natalia and May - to read. It was the only one which was unsealed. As soon as I closed the last drawer, the hallway went bright again. This time I let out a scream, ran to the end of the shelf and sat down facing the wall. The flashes started again.
I could hear thumps and banging on the front door below. Screams. Thumps. Footsteps, this time approaching me. I felt them run past. First light, then heavy footsteps. Silent gunshots. Right behind me? Silencing screams. Complete silence. The hallway went dark again. I realized I had my eyes closed shut. I slowly opened my eyes and looked over my shoulder. I was alone in the hallway. The exact same sounds, movement, lights, everything was the same, repeated.
I opened the drawer, put the unsealed envelope back in the third box as I'd found it and ran to my camera. It had been knocked over on the sofa. I looked at the dining area once again to see if I'd disturbed anything apart from dust and that note that I'd picked up. I readjusted the note to the best of my recollection, ran towards the door. It must have taken me a little over ten minutes to unlatch the door. The longest ten minutes of my life.
It had probably not been touched since a decade at least. I did not want to break it. The women still lived here. When I finally opened it and stepped out, a light breeze touched my face and I realized my face was wet with tears. I ran out the front gate and sat on the ground, on dry fallen leaves, looking right at the house. It towered over me. But it did not look unwelcoming. Just, sad. It looked sad. I took long breaths. In the distance I could hear machines - trucks, a train whistle, and a flight went over my head with blinking red and green lights. Humanity. I felt so relieved, my breaths steadied.
I reached for my camera from the bag. I wanted to see what it had recorded when it happened for the second time. I had pointed the camera towards the dining table and the kitchen. The video was 44 minutes long. But after about 32 minutes, it was all just static. Not a black screen; just a lot of disturbances, static noises, distortions and then finally a black screen near the end of the video. I watched the video again and again.
Then it happened again.
Through the windows, I could see the insides of the house light up. Thumps, the front door moving with each thump. Distant screams. Thumps. Bullets slicing the air. Silence.
The house was reliving its end again and again. The women were reliving their ends again and again. Layla Joyce was reliving her last attempt at saving those girls and women again and again. The House of Warmth was on a time loop.
I sat there in silence, in tears, till the next time it happened. I watched it with steady breath. I listened to their last efforts. The sky was starting to get dark and the air had grown cold. The light on the front porch turned on. These five girls and women, along with Layla Joyce, did not have a grave because they are living and dying every day, over and over again.
I stood up and turned my back to the home. May be I will return if I ever find a way to comfort the residents of the home. Do they even know they're on a time loop, only living their last few moments? Will it do any good to help them, to tell them? Will they do something different if they knew?
I ended up not writing about the house on the 9th lane in the forest for my Conspiracy Narratives assignment. However I am writing this. Hoping it develops into more. Hoping it reaches those who do not know of it. To tell the world of the names who lived in that home on the 9th lane: Layla Joyce, Jon Joyce, Natalia Joyce, May Joyce, Celia, Abi, MarieAnne, Rupa, Ara. And a few more. My search continues.
submitted by pillbodies to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 10:31 RainMateriall Bitcoin is a winner of the U.S. banking crisis

Silicon Valley Bank failed on March 10, and since then you probably noticed that the price of BTC has been on a tear.
I found some precise information about this:
In the early hours of March 10, bitcoin was trading at around $19,600. It whipsawed just above and below $20,000 until around 12 p.m. ET when it was announced that SVB was going into FDIC receivership. At that point, bitcoin shed $200 to dip below $20,000, jumped around a bit, and spent most of the weekend trading above $20,000.
By Monday, March 13 at 9:30 a.m. ET it was trading at $22,386. And then the fun began. Just 24 hours later, bitcoin was trading at $26,175, at one point even touching up against $26,500. As of publication, it is currently sitting at around $26,700.
This made me pretty hyped about the crypto scene in general, I'll keep an eye on BTC on Toshi Tools.
Given Bitcoin’s history, the bank failure adjacency is obvious here, at least three banks have failed, and others, both American and non-American are failing. Because it’s not because of Bitcoin, that’s good for bitcoin’s price.
I believe people are now thinking this way - As the banks fail, opt out and buy bitcoin. That narrative is strong enough to propel the price.
What is your opinion on the latest events?
submitted by RainMateriall to cryptostreetbets [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 05:17 kingofzdom The best places to shop for food in yavapai county, arizona

"Maya's Mercado", (Prescott Valley) sells "happy boxes" on dates advertised on their Facebook page for various tiers between $100 and $200. For that price you get a literal car full of mid-tier groceries.
"Addicted to deals" in the gateway mall (Prescott) some highlights here are $1/1lb jerky bags, $1 energy drinks, $5/5lb coffee beans
"Best deals A-Z" in Dewey has the best selection of low-grade groceries and commissary type items around at the lowest price. Lots of grocery items that would be $3-4 at the grocery store for under $1. They never ran out of $1 toilet paper rolls at any time in the pandemic.
submitted by kingofzdom to povertyfinance [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 04:29 WorldOrphan Hall of Doors: Neon - Chapter 48

[SerSun] Serial Sunday: Hope!
They stared down from the air car at a black gash cutting diagonally across the mountainside, the ridges around it puckered like a scar. It was at least half a mile long. The inside of the fissure was drowned in shadow, making its depth impossible to determine.
Martsias circled around, searching for a flat space large enough to land on. He had to fly several miles away.
“Looks like you have a bit of a hike,” Martsias apologized.
“It's not so far,” Ellie told him. She turned away, pretending to study the terrain. A weight was forming in her chest. What could she say? Good-bye hardly seemed adequate.
Eska's soft hand slipped into hers. "You don't have to go alone."
Ellie met her eyes, confused. "But-"
Loren and Tamas stepped up beside her. "She's right." Loren addressed Martsias. "Sir, would you wait for us, while we make sure Ellie gets to the Rift and finds her door?"
"I can do that," the Guardian answered with an understanding smile.
Ellie's face felt way too warm. “I can't ask you to . . .”
“We want to,” Eska said, squeezing her hand tighter.
They set off, picking their way up the rocky hill side. The land was wild and open, and the wind was willing enough to guide them, though Ellie heard a hint of foreboding in its voice. She was glad of its help. Her mind was overfull of conflicting thoughts and feelings, and she struggled to focus on navigating the hazardous terrain.
Why? she wondered. Why did she keep doing this? Every time she traveled to a new world, following a lead or just choosing a door at random, she convinced herself that this time would be different. This world would be the one. She would open the door and see her mother's tower reaching into the clouds, or one of the inns where she and her friends had sung together, or the wall of the chapel where she and Gavin had almost kissed.
Or if she did not arrive at one of those familiar places, then perhaps she might find a letter, or journal fragment, or an elderly gossip who remembered a name or a story from days past. Something to guide her to them, or give her some idea of their fate. But the truth was, she was no closer to reuniting with her past than she had been the first time she ventured forth from the Hall of Doors after its Keeper had taken her in.
Why did she get her hopes up, only to have them dashed to pieces again and again? Why would this time be any different?
She always tried to avoid growing too close to anyone in any world. She would only end up leaving them again, in her relentless quest to find her way back to what she had lost. She'd messed up this time, though.
She could stay. She could be with Eska. She could settle down, stop searching, and just be happy with what she had.
She could give up. Could she live with herself if she did that?
She crested a ridge and found herself staring down into a valley with stone the color of a bruise, and at its lowest point, the Rift.
Loose stones skittered under their feet as they made their way down the hillside. At last, they were standing with their toes at the edge of it.
Her heart quailed at the enormity of it. Sheer walls plunged down into unknown depths, forty feet of nothing between her and the other side. Did it even have a bottom? And how would she get down there?
This way, the wind urged, sensing her need. She followed it along the Rift's edge. Sounds drifted up from the darkness below. Sliding, scraping, growling, and moaning. In the daylight, the makers of those sounds stayed down in the deep shadows. She wouldn't want to be here after nightfall, though.
Finally, they reached the end, the walls coming together in a point. The ground sloped at a steep but manageable angle that would allow her to descend safely into the Rift.
She turned, and found Eska already beside her. “I – " The words stuck in her throat. “I guess this is really good-bye.”
“It's okay,” Eska said. “I understand why you have to go. Really, I do.” She forced a smile. “Journeying has a kind of hope to it. That the next place you get to will be better than the place you left behind.”
Ellie clasped Eska's hands to keep her own from shaking. “What if it's a false hope?”
“Then you keep trying. You keep going. You seek out happiness in the journey itself, the places and people you find along the way. You enjoy what you have while you have it, and keep looking forward.”
“I know, but . . . I'm scared.”
Eska wrapped her in a fierce hug, then let her go. “You can do this. And then, one day – ” She held up her tarot cards, “you can come back to me.”
submitted by WorldOrphan to HallOfDoors [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 02:47 DrBlackJack21 Of Men and Dragons, Book 3, Chapter 35

Other stories of mine can be found in my
For those who want to go back to the beginning, here's a link to book 1 chapter 1.
An image of Lon'thul
Of Men and Dragons, Book 3, Chapter 35
After S'haar's speech, Jack carefully observes the faces staring back at him. While he still wouldn't say he was an expert at reading argu'n body language, the emotions on their faces were plain to see, anger, suspicion, disbelief, and even a little fear. Usually, Jack liked to play down the idea of possessing supernatural powers, but he supposed this was the time for a little shock and awe. So he activated his headset before speaking softly. "Angela, activate my emitters. Let's put on a little show... Just try not to scare them too much."
He made a show of stepping forward and turning, so his blind eye was slightly more prevalent as he stared down one argu'n after another. It was a little unnerving staring down predators that could easily tear him limb from limb. He just had to hope his face was even more inscrutable to them than theirs was to him.
Jack spoke softly as he leaned with both hands on his walking stick. Angela translated and projected his words through the emitters, making him sound more gruff than usual. "I can see the doubt on some of your faces at my partner's words. I don't blame you. I don't look very assuming, less so, as time and injury have taken their toll. And even if it is true, looking at me with my blind eye and an injured leg, it's understandable that you'd think perhaps I'm too injured to be of much use these days. But, again, I wouldn't blame you one bit. Typically, this is where I'd pull out my weapons and show you that I can still cause enough damage to kill some of your best warriors with ease. On the battlefield, I'd be able to take out dozens of such foes, maybe even a hundred, but that's not enough, is it? The enemy is coming in the thousands, and even if I can kill a hundred, even if S'haar and the metal goddess you know travel with us can kill a hundred each, that still wouldn't be enough."
Bowing his head and tapping his walking stick on the ground, Jack mumbled even quieter. "Angela, prepare some images and project them for our audience."
Then, raising his head, Jack addressed the crowd before him again. "Then again, you already know what we offer that is far more important than the sum of our might. Your scouts, who have been following us at a distance, watched as a bunch of civilian crafts man stood outnumbered against experienced warriors, and we slaughtered them with few losses of our own. They watched as we were trapped in a valley, surrounded and facing a literal uphill battle, and we walked away without losing a single life." As he spoke, Angela projected images from both events, seemingly out of Jack's cane, into the air before him. There was some muttering, and many of the chiefs and leaders present stood or leaned forward, but the exclamations died down, wanting to hear what Jack had to say.
With a wave of his hand through the floating images, Jack appeared to dismiss them and drew the crowd's attention back to himself. "The simple truth is it's not our martial might you need. It's not my magic or the power of the goddess who travels with us. What you need that we're offering is our knowledge of war. This isn't a raid or a skirmish between villages. This is all-out war. Lord A'ngless is coming to subjugate or destroy you, and your hit-and-run tactics won't work with you being trapped on all sides by mountains and warriors. You might score a few victories, but eventually, he'll trap you, and by then, it'll be too late. You need someone to give you the ability to stand and fight, to win the kind of decisive victory he'll never recover from, and that's what we offer."
Jack stepped back beside S'haar, trying not to show how much his leg ached as he did so. "As for your concerns of us running and leaving you to die, we're trapped here with you. Your fate and ours will be one and the same. All of us can either fight together or die alone. The choice is yours."
S'haar smiled down at Jack. She'd known she'd been putting him on the spot, and given his nature, that was not a place he enjoyed, to put it mildly. But given his performance, Jack showed how far he'd come in doing that which would have been impossible for him only a year ago. Even if S'haar could tell he was a nervous wreck due to his profuse sweating and nervous twitches. Luckily, there weren't many argu'n who could read his body language as well as she, and she doubted any of the others present would notice given the more...attention-grabbing portions of his little speech.
After he was done, An'elk, the village chief, nodded in their direction. "You have given us much to think and talk about. Please, return to your camp. We'll send word when we've come to a decision."
S'haar nodded and offered an arm for Jack to lean against as they returned to his camp. Once they were out of sight, she winked. "You did well out there. Sorry I didn't warn you, but when they started comparing us to my father and A'ngles, I knew it would take something drastic to get them to be willing to work with us. So I was kind of making it up as I went, and I had to hope you'd be quick enough to keep up with what I was doing."
Jack chuckled nervously. "I'm not going to lie. For a minute, I was worried we'd have to fight our way back to our camp, but I think you did great. I can't think of any other way we could have won them over. If they choose to fight with us, it'll be due to your quick thinking and adaptability. You really have a natural talent for this leadership thing!"
The taller woman sighed. "Ugh, don't say things like that! Once this is all over, I'm looking forward to stepping down and never leading anyone anywhere ever again! Maybe we could just go live in a small house in the middle of nowhere again. Our reputation as wizard and warrior should be enough to keep any raiders at bay!"
Jack nodded his head. "You know what? That actually sounds kinda nice. I never meant to get involved in local politics, let alone become a central figure in a war to determine the future of everyone around us!"
Angela chose that minute to cut in on their conversation. "But what would you do to keep busy? I can't exactly see you managing an herb garden! And what about you, S'haar? Just going to become a woodcutter? I don't know what you'll be doing after this, but I don't see either of you getting away without doing something more meaningful than that!"
Jack grunted before answering. "What are you trying to say? A woodcutter and herbalist contribute plenty to society! Hard to be more meaningful than that!"
Angela laughed, though Jack could all but hear her rolling her eyes. "Maybe so, but you know what I mean! People will come from far and wide to learn from the great wizard Jack, and I doubt there'll be a swordsman around who'd pass at the chance to learn from the legendary warrior S'haar! No matter what you do, you two will be inundated with potential students and trainees. So you might as well accept that fact now!"
S'haar simply shook her head and chuckled. "So long as someone else is in charge, and we've got each other, I suppose the rest doesn't sound too bad. We'll just leave it up to you to see away any of the more...undesirable types. How's that sound?"
Angela's sigh was full of exasperation and long suffering. "Demoted from goddess to bouncer! How cruel!"
Angela was roving through various headsets, checking in on her people while her body sat in its charging dock. Jack and S'haar were enjoying some well-earned alone time after meeting with the various chiefs. Em'brel and Sare'en were passed out, surrounded by a warm pile of wolgen, keeping them both safe and warm. Lack'nul was patrolling the camp, trying to set a good example by still doing some of the night watches. Lon'thul was telling a few stories to some of the workers relaxing after a long day of hard work repairing equipment and preparing for the conflict to come, and the stories were only slightly exaggerated this time. Fea'en was enjoying a warm tea as she settled in for the night, sighing in a way that told Angela she was likely thinking of Ger'ron. Then there was Tel'ron. He was still up, burning the proverbial midnight oil as he worked on some repairs to various bits and pieces of equipment. A target in her sights, the AI lit up an emitter near the craft master and appeared over his shoulder.
Tel'ron looked up from his work, first in concern, then in confusion. "Lady Angela, what are you doing here? Not that you're not welcome... I just mean... uh, how can I help?"
Angela merely smiled as she floated around while sprawled on her side as if lying on an invisible couch. "Oh, nothing much. I was just bored and saw you were still working. Thought you might enjoy some company."
Tel'ron nodded before returning at least part of his attention to his work, in this case, a belly bow whose firing mechanism was sticking slightly and needed a little smoothing. "You're always welcome in my shop, Lady Angela. I just wasn't expecting to see you up so late."
The AI sat up and shrugged. "Well, I don't need sleep like the rest of you do, but that begs the question, why haven't you called it a night yet?"
In answer, Tel'ron indicated the piles of equipment surrounding him. "If we're going to be fighting soon, all this needs to be in proper working order sooner rather than later. A dozen sharpened spears and functioning belly bows will mean a lot more in a fight than one halfway competent craft master holding a dull spear."
Now Angela was sitting right in front of Tel'ron, staring him down. "Maybe so, but a well-rested craft master can repair more spears and bows than an exhausted, burnt-out one. You gotta at least ensure you're fed and rested, even if you don't hang out with the drunk hunters listening to Lon'thul tell the story of his midnight escape from the wolgen for the hundredth time."
Tel'ron did grin slightly at the thought. "His intensity does manage to keep the story somewhat entertaining, even if it's more fun to heckle him than just listen to it these days." But then he refocused his attention on Angela. "But what about you? What does our 'metal Goddess' do to relax and refresh herself?"
Angela shrugged again. "I'm doing it right now. My body is recharging as we speak."
The craft master examined the AI with his head tilted to the side. "But that body isn't you, and we both know it. Many of us have only known you since you presented yourself in that form, but you've existed without that body far longer than you've had it. Also, I've noticed you always use the body as efficiently and productively as possible. Much of your more mischievous and impulsive nature seems to get lost in that hunk of steal. For you, it's a tool, like my hammer is to me, but what do you do for you?"
That one caught Anglea by surprise. She had to stop for more than a few moments as she thought about it, but he was right. She put up a front, but much of her playfulness got left behind when the ship exploded. Maybe it was seeing the other 'her' die, or all the stress and responsibility of keeping her growing family safe, or perhaps it was something else altogether. Whatever it was, the realization made the AI suddenly feel deeply and profoundly tired.
Of course, despite all the time that passed for Angela, it was little more than the blink of an eye for Tel'ron. The AI put on a brave face and grinned. "Well, I've got my friends and family to hang out and speak with. That's all I'll ever need!"
Tel'ron simply looked at the AI, revealing almost nothing in his expression. If she had better sensors in the room, Angela could have analyzed the craft master on a much deeper level, but with the crude sensor on the emitter, not even pointing directly at his face, it was a lot harder to tell what Tel'ron was thinking.
Finally, Tel'ron sighed. "Well, how about this. I'll put down my tools and 'relax' if you'll come with me and tell me more about the place you and Jack came from. If our little world is so caught up in war and politics, I'd like to hear more about the mechanics of the universe. Tell me about the stars, planets, and other wonders you've seen."
Angela sat back and raised an eyebrow. "Oh, and what do I get out of this arrangement?"
Most would've responded with a witty quip or knowing silence, but Tel'ron wasn't most people. So instead of humor, he answered with earnestness. "You get the company of a friend for a few more hours tonight."
Angela was surprised at how much such a simple phrase affected her. She found herself really looking forward to this, even if it was just her telling old stories from her and Jack's adventures.
With a grin, Angela nodded. "Alright, big guy. You win. You talked me into it! Grab my emitter, and I'll tell you a thing or three you'll find impossible to believe! For instance, did you know time can be twisted and bent, kind of like a rod of iron? Several things can affect its flow, gravity and speed being good examples!"
As Tel'ron picked up the emitter and walked out of his work area, Angela continued to regale him with tales of the universe beyond. He even managed to avoid overly fixating on any machines or mechanisms she brought up for once. Though a part of the AI's mind still wandered, dwelling on who she was versus who she was turning into and what future Angela would be like...

In case you missed it and are interested,
book 1 is available to purchase in digital or physical form.
If you want to support my work or help me cover the costs of publishing, you can find my Patreon here. Though it's not necessary, I'm really just glad you took the time to read my stories.
submitted by DrBlackJack21 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 00:01 ifitwasnt4u Just setup a spare Pi as a 1090 and 978 feeder

I had an extra pi laying around and use ADS-B all the time and noticed lately around my house the planes would blip in and out and I live north or Luke AFB and there are F16/22/35 flying over my house all the time. Love to watch them on ADS-B, but its been harder to see planes as I think one or two feeders around here went down or something. So I figured I have an old pi and it looked stupid simple to setup, purchased a two pack of USB dongles for both 978 and 1090 frequencies. Arrived overnight, put together and in less then 5 minutes, had the SD card etched, setup and configured and online!
I have gig fiber in/out and a massive network setup. I have the feeder on my IoT vlan/subnet, but this is maxed out traffic on this vlan to 20mbps. I want to ensure service on this one to keep a strong feeder going, so going to add a new subnet for this feeder to its own vlan/subnet on a /28 config and set to a 100/100 speed. and more other network nerd configs, lol. Running a business size network at my house with professional gear. I guess my work comes home with me...
I have a weatherproof enclosure with a clear lid and have the pi inside it and antenna jacks on the sides for the coax lines. I am putting this inside my shed mounting to the top where it wont be distrurbed and have a fan feeding fresh air through it via GPIO pins. Have a temp script that turns on and off. I am running new antenna up and outside the shed and mounting on the roof for the best signal. My current setup with small antenna that came with the dongles, the 1090 one is able to reach almost the ENTIRE Phx/Metro valley, up to just south of Flagstaff, over to blythe Cali/AZ boarder and down to city of Maricopa, and east to sanvtan/queen creek/fountain hills. AMAZED at the coverage I see alone with just my little antenna! Cant wait for my big ones to come tomorrow!!!
If there are any ADS-B devs here, thank you for making it SO EASY to build and setup a feeder!!! Wife and I love to look at the planes around us and see the information, glad to help the org that I use so much! I wanted to feed flight aware as well, but looks like they will have full control with root access to my device and so that leaves massive security holes in my mind. I would have to put fort knox around my pi on the network. But i am a Lead IT Security Architect for a fortune 500 financial firm, so anything not secure, I will never do! Practice what I preach.
submitted by ifitwasnt4u to ADSB [link] [comments]

2023.03.19 22:10 SabineRitter [ROUNDUP] UFOs (and some non-UFOs) and other anomalous time or location events reported on here in the last week. Got a few irregular/blocky shapes, plus the standard orange 🟠 or white light. Thanks to everyone all over the world for making a post!

Last week's post https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11pqy9i/roundup_possible_ufo_report_from_the_last_week/
.1 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11q2dgb/i_captured_this_footage_above_los_angeles_along/ video, daytime sky, Los Angeles California, downvoted to zero, OP comments downvoted, single dark object moving fast, [GOODPOST]
.2 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11q5llw/i_saw_these_weird_lights_in_the_sky_230am_new/ video, nighttime sky, contemporaneous report, new Mexico, threelights, observed stationary and moving, one light blinking, possible reaction to being filmed, repeat visitors , downvoted to zero, OP comments downvoted
.3 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11q7qf4/repost_satellite_space_junk_or_something_else/ photo, nighttime sky, single light object, irregular blocky shape, Prescott valley Arizona
.4 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11q8wgg/dozens_of_ufo_orbs_philadelphia_pa_312_1903/ video and still images, daytime cloudy sky, three witnesses, fleet, dark objects, downvoted to zero, OP comments downvoted, observed moving in a grid like formation, numbering in the dozens, at least at around 6-9K feet up, seemingly all stayed within lock step and equal distance from the next cluster, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
.5 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11q1c7f/gilbert_az_1039pm_thought_this_was_a_plane_but_if/ video, nighttime sky, contemporaneous report, single light object, irregular blocky shape, flew overhead, Gilbert Arizona, downvoted to zero, OP comments downvoted , [GOODPOST]
.6 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11q05pt/strange_green_speeding_light/ sighting description, Phoenix Arizona, single light object, green 🟢, trail, flareup, fireball
.7 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11qm9hj/i_visited_and_filmed_the_exact_location_where_i/ video recreation of sighting, V shaped, chevron, blue 💙 lights, nighttime cloudy sky, silent, flew overhead, emotional reaction creepy cold unsettling feeling, dazed,
.8 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11qnj75/what_is_this/ video, nighttime sky, single light object, orange 🟠, flareup, pulsating, animal reaction birds being really noisy, near witness home, sphere shape observed, moving fast, very bright, flew over the witness home, duration 2 minutes, Northamptonshire England 🇬🇧
.9 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11qk9jo/northern_california_ufo_me_2023/ El Dorado County California, video, nighttime sky, single light object, irregular blocky shape, very large, approach, It also was stationary after watching drop closer to the ground while driving closer to it, [GOODPOST]
.10 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11qovrg/flares_or_something_more_mysterious_saw_these/ video, nighttime sky, orange 🟠 lights, appearing and vanishing, contemporaneous report, Plymouth the UK 🇬🇧 , submission statement issues, https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11qqbfu/any_adviceinfoknowledge_please_share_i_will_add/ reposted , duration 45 minutes
.11 https://old.reddit.com/HighStrangeness/comments/11qndjl/sun_like_ufo_in_road_in_ireland_around_2002/ sighting description, Co Monaghan Ireland broomfield, orange 🟠 light, nighttime, two witnesses, light low in road in front of car, car stopped, emotion of fear
.12 https://old.reddit.com/HighStrangeness/comments/11qcbyb/weird_experience_several_months_back/ experience description, no craft, loud sound, buzzing
.13 https://old.reddit.com/aliens/comments/11pu1b6/potential_alien_sighting_2019/ sighting description, entity, Blue River Oregon, two witnesses
.14 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11qygqk/ufo_being_chased_by_a_helicopte video, Barstow California, nighttime sky, single light object moving, possible response helicopter, contemporaneous report, downvoted to zero
.15 https://old.reddit.com/HighStrangeness/comments/11qruzz/weird_experience_in_the_subway_at_my_first_yea experience description, anomalous location change
.16 https://old.reddit.com/HighStrangeness/comments/11q8e0o/infrasound/ discussion on exposure to infrasound
.17 https://old.reddit.com/ufo/comments/11rbbpy/sharing_my_ufo_experiences/ sighting descriptions, repeat visitors
.18 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11rrng1/napier_nz_19th_october_2019/ video, nighttime sky, two witnesses, Napier new Zealand 🇳🇿, downvoted to zero,
.19 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11rll53/found_recording_orbsphere_instant_deacceleration/ video, daytime sky, single light object, Valparaiso Chile 🇨🇱, two witnesses, metallic sphere observed, sudden deceleration and acceleration, vanishing and reappearing, possible electronic effects camera shake , similar sightings in comments
.20 https://old.reddit.com/ufo/comments/11s2sv8/i_need_to_know_what_this_was/ video, daytime cloudy sky, from car, single dark object stationary, irregular shape, tentacles, squid 🐙, Canada 🇨🇦
.21 https://old.reddit.com/ufo/comments/11s1tn1/what_did_we_see/ sighting description, contemporaneous report, two witnesses, flash of light, sudden departure, arctic Canada 🇨🇦
.22 https://old.reddit.com/ufo/comments/11rjoxi/springfield_mo_3142023/ sighting description, contemporaneous report, moving stars, two witnesses, Springfield Missouri,
.23 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11saokp/i_dont_know_what_i_saw_can_someone_help/ sighting description, triangle, silent approach, flew overhead, like a very muffled jet sound
.24 https://old.reddit.com/RBI/comments/11rgyaa/i_just_saw_what_i_think_is_a_ufo/ sighting description, contemporaneous report, two witnesses, single light object, possible reaction to being filmed, vanished, glowing reddish and purple dot with a crescent tail, 🔴🟣, trail, "rocket launch"
.25 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11r9o0m/what_is_the_one_videophotographpersonal/ discussion thread of sightings
.26 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11sjjfk/sighting_in_new_castle_pa/ video, nighttime sky, contemporaneous report, downvoted to zero, OP comments downvoted, single light object moving erratically, duration 24 minutes, two witnesses, new castle Pennsylvania
.27 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11sf5w7/a_year_later_after_first_seeing_uaps_still_having/ sighting descriptions, repeat visitors, has anyone seen?, similar sightings in comments , downvoted to zero
.28 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11sexni/anyone_ever_captured_an_object_like_this_i_need/ photos, daytime sky, single light object, multicolored, observed as a flash of light, Miami Florida
.29 https://old.reddit.com/ufo/comments/11sxtm9/observation_of_something_at_orbiting_altitude/ sighting description and reference image, Goldfields of Western Australia 🇦🇺, welding arc somewhat crackle briefly from a single point on the edge of an invisible circle and then shoot both ways around the circle edge, disappearing about half way around such circle, intervals of 8 seconds, two witnesses, overhead, silent
.30 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11t38yc/i_see_this_strange_bright_light_in_the_sky_and/ video, nighttime sky, single light object
.31 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11t3p38/what_did_i_see_on_my_walk_to_work/ sighting description, moving stars, jumpy, stutter step
.32 https://old.reddit.com/aliens/comments/11t6d7d/had_a_really_vivid_dream_last_night_and_wanted_to/ sighting description and dream, entity
.33 https://old.reddit.com/aliens/comments/11sgja8/pretty_strange_sightings_in_the_sky_on_31423_we/ video, nighttime sky, contemporaneous report, single light object moving, vanishing, Alabama, similar sightings in comments
.34 https://old.reddit.com/aliens/comments/11sitqs/bad_energy_aliens_my_power_going_out/ experience description and audio, electronic effects power outage, animal reaction whining and acting anxious, perception discrepancy other person a block away did not hear the noise,
.35 https://old.reddit.com/RBI/comments/11rfich/why_is_there_such_a_huge_radiation_count_in_dayton/ discussion on locally elevated radiation levels
.36 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11ta898/something_weird_just_passed_over_us/ video, daytime sky, contemporaneous report, single light object, right angle turns, stair step movement, Miami Florida, shimmered, zigzag, flew overhead, over the witness home, "rocket launch", removed by mod for not enough info
. 37 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11tdmt3/eric_davis_mention_of_an_alleged_1947_manta_ray/ discussion thread of sightings, manta ray, stingray
.38 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11trbp5/anyone_know_what_this_could_be/ sighting description, crescent 🌙 shape, two witnesses, translucent, contemporaneous report
.39 https://old.reddit.com/aliens/comments/11tibcc/reflection_delay_in_a_uap/ video, from home security camera, nighttime sky, single light object moving straight, over water, daytime view of landscape also shown, [GOODPOST] https://old.reddit.com/aliens/comments/11vp8vn/reflection_delay_in_a_uap_part_2/ second video
.40 https://old.reddit.com/aliens/comments/11thf5v/on_the_coast_of_malm%C3%B6_sweden_overlooking_the/ art 🎨, stone carving of unknown origin, Sweden 🇸🇪, entities
.41 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11txrz7/strange_lights_west_phoenix/ video, nighttime sky, Phoenix Arizona, fleet, white lights, stationary, blinking, duration 30 minutes, silent
.42 https://old.reddit.com/RBI/comments/11tfqtt/camera_flash_ghost_as_a_kid/ childhood sighting description, no craft, nighttime, flash of light, two witnesses
.43 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11sk0eq/unedited_a_ball_of_light_pushing_a_cloud_taken_in/ video, nighttime sky, single light object irregular shape, a ball of light pushing a cloud, "rocket launch", Florida
.44 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11tzwed/uaps_or_no/ video, daytime sky, removed no submission statement, airplanes
.45 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11u1ws4/strange_resonance_in_the_sky/ audio, loud sound, San Francisco California, nighttime , physical effects hair on my neck stands up and I feel it in my bones
.46 https://old.reddit.com/CLOUDS/comments/11ttsxb/strange_clouds_at_night_in_central_ct/ photo, nighttime sky, single light object, possible second object near the moon, Connecticut
.47 https://old.reddit.com/UAPPhenomenon/comments/11tl51d/bright_green_uaps_brussels_belgium/ photos, nighttime sky, Brussels Belgium 🇧🇪, green object observed moving
.48 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11u5t99/tulsa_oklahoma_was_told_of_a_strange_sighting/ sighting description, airplane anomaly, observed stationary in the sky, Tulsa Oklahoma
.49 https://old.reddit.com/Glitch_in_the_Matrix/comments/11pzhys/car_disappears_into_nothing_twilight_zone/ sighting description, automobile anomaly, small silver car vanished
.50 https://old.reddit.com/Glitch_in_the_Matrix/comments/11pq9if/lines_in_the_sky/ sighting description, no craft, nighttime, green 🟢 lines in the sky
.51 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11ua7vu/father_in_law_was_a_part_of_project_blue_book/ family history, project bluebook , [GOODPOST]
.52 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11uq7up/iowa_ufo/ video, nighttime sky, contemporaneous report, single light object moving, ISS
.53 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11ucd8t/dfw_to_lax_within_1_hour_of_arriving_at_lax/ solar farms
.54 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11uwnjv/bright_light_moving_across_the_sky/ video, nighttime sky, single light object moving, contemporaneous report, Hungary 🇭🇺 Baranya county near Bonyhád, silent, "ISS"
.55 https://old.reddit.com/CLOUDS/comments/11uw5q8/somewhere_in_italy/ photo, daytime cloudy sky, lights in the sky, also a rainbow 🌈
.56 https://old.reddit.com/ufo/comments/11ud6qu/this_is_a_unique_sort_of_ufo_question_that_ive/ sighting description, animal anomaly, giant bird, multiple witnesses, Maryland , daytime , overhead
.57 https://old.reddit.com/ufo/comments/11uwdzb/saw_something_yesterday_morning_i_hope_someone/ sighting description, contemporaneous report, Southern Arizona, nighttime , single light object moving straight and fast, duration 10 seconds, overhead
.58 https://old.reddit.com/AliensAndUFOs/comments/11uog3y/ufos/ video, nighttime sky, twolights, repeat visitor, triangle observed previously
.59 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11uganh/ufouap_recorded_salinas_ca_july_22_2022_aprox_930/ video, nighttime sky, from car, single light object, possible pacing car
.60 https://old.reddit.com/aliens/comments/11u5ves/i_created_a_hotline_for_people_claiming_to_be/ compilation, voice-mails from people who are aliens 👽
.61 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11v35kc/f22s_incoming/ REFERENCE video, helium balloons, rapid ascent, strings visible
.62 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11v2qh0/i_really_dont_know_what_this_is_in_eastern/ video, daytime cloudy sky, single dark object moving erratically, metapod, eastern Kentucky, would point nose down and slowly spin in a circle, level out then fly in reverse
.63 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11v0ali/ufo_uap_over_nyc/ video, daytime sky, single light object, observed moving and stationary, began flashing, NYC New York state, duration 10 minutes
.64 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11vo927/flashing_orb_in_the_dawn/ sighting description, nighttime, two witnesses, duration 1 minute, Belgrade Serbia 🇷🇸, single light object, flashing, very bright, observed moving, has anyone seen?
.65 https://old.reddit.com/aliens/comments/11vjye3/ufo_sighting_nz/ video, nighttime cloudy sky, single light object, possible triangle, new Zealand 🇳🇿
.66 https://old.reddit.com/UFOs/comments/11vqjoh/strange_things_flying_around_skylight_at_luxo video, nighttime sky, fleet, "bats", Las Vegas Nevada
.67 https://old.reddit.com/Glitch_in_the_Matrix/comments/11v7h26/confusing_day_trip/ experience description, anomalous location change, fog, two witnesses, driving in car, Pennsylvania , contemporaneous report, missing time two hours, similar sighting in comments from same area
.68 https://old.reddit.com/Glitch_in_the_Matrix/comments/11slz7n/turned_around_and_saw_a_dog_behind_me_i_blinked/ experience description,animal anomaly, dog vanishing, similar sightings in comments
.69 https://old.reddit.com/Glitch_in_the_Matrix/comments/11uu51w/local_woods_changed/ experience description, location anomaly, changed landscape
submitted by SabineRitter to UFOs [link] [comments]

2023.03.19 21:42 Ordanbocker Arizona Sundogs

Hi all,
I am just here probing to see if anyone here had any interest our at all in our old CHL team the Sundogs coming back?
I personally feel no other minor league sport they bring to the event center in Prescott Valley has been able to garner the audience or support the Sundogs once did, I would be over the moon if either the Sundogs were brought back or even some new ECHL team.
submitted by Ordanbocker to Coyotes [link] [comments]