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2008.01.25 16:52 📺 Television Discussion and News

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2010.01.03 20:58 Positronic_Matrix AppleHelp

Q&A related to Apple hardware, software, and services. Welcome to AppleHelp!
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2014.05.10 21:48 Olfbir Over the Garden Wall

A subreddit for the Emmy Award-winning miniseries, Over the Garden Wall.
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2023.05.31 01:15 AgreeableDocument498 [25/F] - Looking to meet new friends

Love to know some new friends that I can connect and vibe with. A little introvert but love to do outdoor fun and activities just dont like to be in a crowded places, I dont know if it make sense to others lol. Im a freelance make up artist. Watching netflix is what I do most of the times when Im just at home in my Pj's and being "just me" in my own bubble. If you like to know me more, you know what to do, my inbox is open for you. <3
Im looking for good, meaningful conversations who I can form a genuine connection with, whether that be a good friendship, something more serious or anything else. . Between the ages of 24-30's up. Please tell me about yourself when you dm me. Thank you!!
submitted by AgreeableDocument498 to NYCFriends [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 01:09 aydmuuye Guide to 520+ Pt I. Common Pitfalls and Solutions

Hi everyone this will be a many part series on how I got a 524 after 4 years of university and a gap year - I've received many a PM and wanted to mass-send out a guide bc I can't give quality advice just typing!
In my last 3 years of college, I TA’d for organic chemistry, biology, biochemistry, and general physics among other random classes. I've also tutored some people w/ MCAT q's now and have noticed some patterns that I just wanted to offer some advice on. I believe almost everyone can excel on this exam but recognize we have different access to resources like time, money, different priorities/goals, different limits and barriers.
Onto the post:
Most Common Mistakes and How to Avoid:
1) If you are in college, studying only to do well for an exam
many students have told me they studied in college to take a test and now struggle in spite of content review with flashcards, review books, etc.
This is not always a students’ fault, sometimes and esp if you were doing covid learning it was really hard not to do this. However we should all take responsibility for how we study as much as we can!
In freshman year, orgo, I would study 3-4 days before the test by rewriting all the notes, doing a few practice problems, and would stay up until like 5-9am on the morning of my test studying. It was really terrible for me and my health/mental wellbeing.
Solution:
Figure out what works for me and implement it early on.
What I figured out quickly was that my note taking strategy was absolute shit to be honest, and only worked well for my more memorization heavy classes.
What I did was write down what was and wasn’t working for biology/biochemistry/psychology (memorization classes) - what I wish I did now was spaced repetition with flashcards.
Physics and chem? Different story. I did terrible in high school AP physics but absolutely crushed college physics because I realized my study habits in high school were all wrong! In high school I relied on note taking and equations, and in college I only read textbook summaries (and googled or YouTube details), did the necessary flipitphysics that was assigned, and then for each chapter would hammer out probably what totaled to be 50-100 practice questions prior to each exam, which would cover maybe 3 chapters. I would go to office hours all the time to go over questions I didn’t understand.
Ask your professors what they think is the best way to study, go to office hours.
I like to ask myself: is this like a driving test, where it’s not enough to just know the traffic rules and I need to actually practice driving? Or is this just a knowledge test, where all I need is to regurgitate information? Most classes and exams are a mix, the MCAT is most definitely more the former.
2) Passive studying, saving practice exams and problems for later
Ok me going over this is like beating a dead horse. You need to study actively as in doing practice problems, doing spaced repetition, things that make you think. Reading, listening, and rewriting notes are super passive because you could easily not absorb anything at all but still accomplish the physical task of getting through content which is not enough!
Even listening to videos and making flashcards and reviewing those cards I would consider to be passive if you are not actively thinking through each card or connecting it to different pieces of information
Moreover, a lot of students fall into this trap of fearing practice problems because they feel like they don’t know enough information yet. I started practice exams week 4 of content review ( no regrets) and I wish I started practice problems UEarth at the same time!
Solution
When you’re practicing flashcards and you come across a card that’s difficult for you, don’t just try to recall it, find out the answer, then move on hoping you’ll remember it for next time. If you struggle to remember something after a few attempts the same day, go back and remind yourself of the “story” of how that information comes to be. For example, if you card said “does the umbilical vein carry oxygenated or deoxy blood” and you just can’t remember, you have to go over the concept. The mom body has to bring oxygenated blood to the fetus’ heart to be pumped to the fetus’ body, and we know veins bring blood to the heart, so the umbilical vein carries oxygenated blood. There’s a “story” behind every piece of information.
Practice problems! Anything that asks you questions that rely on knowledge and facts but in a way that you have to twist relationships and information and apply it. Problems help tell the story behind content, and you will quickly find out that memorization and knowledge are not enough. Start these early. You do not have to be at 100% confidence. Even being at 50% is enough for practice problems to start being helpful in guiding your study plan. Ya know, eat the frog.
The MCAT is a critical thinking and application test and discrete questions do not pop up that frequently. When they say the test is a mile wide and an inch deep but you take it and it feels super detailed, it’s typically because the details they test you on are variations on simple concepts but these small variations can psych people out or trip you up if you didn't do active practice with manipulating relationships, applying information etc.
3) Not being interested at all in what you’re learning
look I hate studying for a test as much as the next person but we are trying to minimize suffering here.
Please evaluate whether you hate something because it’s hard for you or because you genuinely think it’s just plain uninteresting to you. They “like” a certain topic in bio, they “dislike” a certain topic in chem, and I just want you to ask yourself, do you hate the struggle or do you hate the information?
That being said, the solution is easy.
Solution: Stay curious
Curiosity gives us things to be joyful about, to look forward to. If you absolutely hate fluid dynamics (my sour grapes because it took me so long to get), try to connect it to a topic that you find interesting, or that matters to you. Mine was hypertension, blood pressure cuffs, and airplanes because who doesn’t think airplanes is cool?
For CARS, get in the habit of feigning interest and eventually you may find yourself being amused by the passages. This was true for me, and especially true on the psych/soc portion of my own exam. I would jot down names or topics that I wanted to learn more about. I started to read more philosophy on my own time, to wonder about the world, and all of a sudden these long ass passages felt more approachable, more relevant to me, even if they were about some obscure photographer that I will never meet or remember the name of.
If you come and tell me physics isn’t cool, we’ll have problems. Physics is hard, and I struggled the first time around in high school so much that I got a C- and that was with my teacher being nice to me. However I can no longer deny its usefulness, its relevance, and frankly I cannot deny how awesome it is to have a branch of science we fall back to if we trace our own biology back as far as we can go.
4) Not setting and moving goals/strategies - This one I will jump straight to the general solution
If you are studying the same way after 3 months and making no progress but you keep chugging along, chapter by chapter, I got news for you. Something you are doing is not working well at all for you and you need to change how you study. If months of flashcards go by and you’re still getting a 490 on your exam, you’re not absorbing the information. Instead, try doing practice problems after the chapter and googling/youtubing videos of questions you get wrong. Maybe you need to make your own deck. Maybe you need to switch decks.
If you set a goal of 520 on FLs and you’re blowing those out of the water, raise your goal and set a higher standard for yourself, review those FLs with even greater precision.
If you set a goal of 520 and you’re scoring well below that, evaluate the time you have, whether you want to push it back, or if there’s a score that’s lower that you’d still be happy with. Read over others’ study techniques and see if there’s something you are missing.
Set goals for every few weeks of where you want to be on the MCAT. At those milestones, evaluate if you need to move your goalpost or if you need to push back the test.
5) Not taking breaks
So many of us have a habit of grinding and grinding away in an attempt to do super well. This was me in the first two years of college and I absolutely sacrificed my health, both physical and mental for it and I’m still paying the price years later. Burnout and suffering is real, and this process does not need you to sacrifice everything you love for it.
My friend from college once told me that if you don’t choose when to take a break your body will choose for you.
Solution
Every week take a day of half day where you just shut your brain off. I don’t care if that’s mindlessly scrolling through reddit, bingeing a show, going for a run, going out for drinks, whatever you want. Just take a day to be someone who is not studying for the MCAT.
We are aiming to compartmentalize this test to take up only a small portion of our brain.
Set schedules, for example, if you’re full time only study 9-5 or 10-5. If you’re a student or working full time, maybe this looks like spreading out your studying over a longer period of time and sequestering it to 6-8am or 6-8pm and 10-5pm on weekends with Fridays off. It really helps to have a schedule and to build in open days/flexibility into said schedule.
Give yourself flexibility to say no to studying for a day or even three if you need. It’s much better to not study at all for a day or two and come back with full focus, than to study at 25% efficiency and focus even when you’re tired.
Thursday nights before my FLs and my real test, I sometimes studied until my usually 6pm and sometimes cut my studying to be done at 11am because I just did not want to be too tired the next day. No mental fatigue for me, and I felt sharp on every test day (except I got up to pee in the middle of c/p during my real test bc I did not realize how much coffee I had LOL)
6) Trying to “shortcut” your way through content knowledge instead of being precise and detail-oriented
A lot of students I have give me lukewarm definitions of key terms in each topic. While it’s more than okay to not know everything in great detail, you have to be able to at least define something in simple terms. My structural biology professor once said “if you can’t explain something in simple words, you don’t know it well enough.” People will also sometimes give “shortcut” definitions, where they might say “oh, well this has an OH so that makes it polar” when the “this” they are referring to is fully a lipid.
Here’s an example: I ask you to define what something is. If your definitions includes anything like “it kinda is….” “it sorta is….” “I think that it’s basically….”, you don’t have a precise enough definition or understanding. I’m not saying you need to be able to explain why something works (like wtf IS gravity, right? *hits bong*), but you need a precise definition of what something is to begin understanding the why.
I probably don’t know physics any better than the next person, I definitely do not know biology any better than the next bio major. However, when you study, precision matters to get those points.
Solution: Ask why and make connections
Be the annoying 5 year old that asks “why?” fifty billion times.
For example, yeah we know that we can shine 260nm light to find a [ ] of nucleic acids. Ok, you say, it’s because DNA can absorb light, and more DNA absorbs more of that light, that’s Beer’s Law. Then I would challenge you to ask, well why DNA absorb light in the first place? Why does DNA absorb different wavelengths of light than, say, tryptophan? Why does conjugation or even the hydrophobicity of something’s environment change its absorption of certain wavelengths of light? Yes you will fall into a rabbit hole on things that are way out of the scope of the MCAT and eventually you will not be able to answer “why” at all, but that’s ok. The goal isn’t to pencil the line right in between physics and philosophy, which let’s be real, that’s what most stuff comes down to. The goal is to challenge yourself to connect an idea with them most basic scientific principles that you had to learn.
For example, the example of spectroscopy requires you to pull on (very) basics of quantum, electron orbital theory, energy, etc. It’s in making these connections and asking why that you will more easily and more quickly make those connections on the MCAT.
Even in doing flashcard reviews I challenged myself to do this. If I was hit with a card about the FA synthesis pathway, I would picture the pathway in my head but also draw out in my brain’s whiteboard how the products like malonyl coa influence the other pathways. Basically, just making connections.
7) Making the MCAT your whole life
Lastly, many students lose themselves in this whole premed and mcat process which makes them both miserable/burnt out and also kind of intolerable to be around.
Like you really don’t wanna be that person in your class, no matter how well you’re doing, who can’t hold a conversation without mentioning how you are pre-med and or studying for the mcat.
You also really don’t wanna be the person (me) that was so neurotic in their years of college that they feared that even one thing falling through means that life is over. I quickly regretted the type of anxiety I held in relation to this track before I came to the conclusion that this is just another career, and that I will live a fulfilling life regardless of where my career takes me.
My solution:
Set goals beyond the MCAT. Mine was to run a half marathon before October. Yesterday, I just ran my first 10k.
Other goals I set: plan my wedding and reception. Don’t kill any of my plants and find a white knight philo that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (will tutor for cuttings). Learn to bake a cake and macarons with full shells. Shadow a few doctors. Bring my cholesterol down.
Basically, see your life as something that will go on no matter how you do on the MCAT, and that life will continue to pass as you study, so don’t give this exam, which is much smaller in the grand scheme of your life, more of your time than it deserves.
That wraps up this first part, hope it was helpful! I’m thinking of making this into a video series on YT because I like to hear myself talk and I hate typing and I also just need to get tf off of Reddit now that I’m done with my MCAT. My new goal is to minimize my social media usage (HAH)
Best of luck yall. sry if my humor is not your cup of tea, I just do not believe that this exam deserves the anguish, the suffering, the misery than many people experience because of it.
submitted by aydmuuye to Mcat [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 01:03 PokingDogSnouts 32 [M4F] New Jersey/New York — Where have all the flowers gone?

I'd like to find somebody thoughtful, someone who isn't superficial. Somebody who appreciates the rich vastness of our shared multicultural past, and freely follows her curiosity in exploring it. Somebody who is trying her best to adhere to the guidance of her inner moral compass, and isn't so easily fooled by the distractions and illusions of the world.
One such illusion, that must immediately be mentioned (this is important, because it's led to a break for me, in the past): religion. Religion is man-made, and not of any higher authority. The Bible and the Quran all permit slavery—in addition to countless other horrid and divisive ideas—while claiming to be eternal wisdom, and that is indefensible. I still like to believe in the idea of some permeating higher morality, that imbues us with our general sense for justice, fairness, and empathy...but, I know that without outright proof, even my holding of such a notion can be deemed a flight of fancy, a residual remnant of a system so entrenched. However, it seems to me that life is often more than just what's on the surface. Um, but now, then—back to the person I wish to know...
I'd also love it if she were artistic. Singing, sketching, painting, writing, composing, creating. Someone who is trying to nurture their talents and passions. I know it can be difficult...
As for me, well... I adore music. Mostly voices from the past (the 1960s would have to be my favorite), because I find them to be humbler and more from the heart, at least in popular music. I’ll just give an example of something I’ve looked into, and this is nowhere near representative of my wider taste, but if you go back to early 1920s country music... (Here's an aside: a lot of what people think of as "country" today is a long cry from what the genre is actually like, historically. If you are into folk music—Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan—it is indelibly linked to "country", and if you'd like a popular example of a song that originated within the genre, look no further than the universally recognized "You Are My Sunshine", from 1939!)
Anyway. If you go back to that early period, where undiscovered niches of music were still sought out and first put to tape... a lot of those artists had no idea about anything to do with recording—no ego, no attempt to sound "cool". What came through instead was a bare expression of the life that had been lived—the inner beauty of their own personhood, and I love hearing that. It's so honest. A vulnerable and piercing expression.
So if you're into history or the beautiful music of decades (and centuries) past, if you have any aspirations for creating as a method of changing the world for the better, if you'd like to play games and watch movies together, if you'd like an accountability partner—or all of the above...please message me. I don't mind the chat function, either—in fact, it's probably easier. Also, to get this out of the way: this is what I look like.
I love beautiful things. Nature, music that tugs at your heartstrings or is so honest you're enraptured, experiences that heal. More specifically, here are some of my current interests:
To close... I suppose I should say I've been afflicted with long-COVID for over two years. It'd be very nice to keep each other company, especially if we share any of the interests up above—we could watch favorite films, have shared listening sessions on Spotify, and it'd be a godsend to find somebody up to play on PS4 and Switch! Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3 on the secret hard modes, maybe? Or sculpting our own world from scratch in Minecraft? Or maybe we could act out Ocarina of Time's storyline using all the options available on Smash Ultimate!
I'd really like to know an intelligent person with a unique identity...who puts forth effort—though at the same time, no pressure on reaching out. If you are this type of person, but can currently only muster up a few words because, hey! Life is tough, and grueling, and we don't always have a ready-made letter in us to flip out of our pockets—don't be scared away by my tower of words. I absolutely know, firsthand, what it's like to want to communicate, yet not currently have the energy or the mindpower for it. Life can really sink you... I promise I will not judge. Please send me a chat message, if you're at all interested in chatting.
submitted by PokingDogSnouts to ForeverAloneDating [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 00:56 Emergency_Ruin_8202 (NEW MEMBER HERE 👋🏾😁) Girlfriend has been acting a lil sketchy recently…

Hey guys! 👋🏾 I’m new on here and I’m just looking for some advice… but basically like the title states… my girlfriend has been acting a little sketchy recently and I don’t know what to think about it.
We’re both 23 years old and have been dating for 8 months now
What’s been going on is that recently that she’s been acting a little shady starting with her phone. I’ve been noticing that she’s always on her phone and she takes her phone with her everywhere and never leaves it right side up. It’s always upside down and whenever we’re doing things together like watching a movie or gaming she’s always on her phone (doing what seems to be) typing and she always makes sure to turn a certain position while sitting next to me so I can’t see it. Whenever she gets a notification on her Apple Watch she puts it so close to her face that I can’t see what the notification was/is. There was even one occurrence where she was on her phone on a special date night together just typing away and i of course called her out and she put it down for the rest of the date. (Do keep in my mind that I trust my girlfriend so I haven’t snuck behind her back to look at her phone even though I very well could)
Next up… a friend that I went to college with had just learned that she was my girlfriend and he actually went to high school with her and me being an overthinking I gently asked him what she’s like and he told me that she’s an amazing girl but back in high school she was kinda well known for being boy crazy and he also told me that 2-3 months before I started dating her she had caused a couple to break up because she was fwb with this guy since 2019 and he got into a relationship in 2021 but he was cheating on his girlfriend with my now girlfriend and his girlfriend found out and ended things with him (keep in mind this all happened prior to us getting together). When I asked her about it she got really defensive and said that it wasn’t true and that she was only fwb with this guy in 2019. I chose to believe her even though I got the sense that she was lying to me but I let it go.
And now recently, she’s been acting like something is eating her up inside and she’s been looking downward a lot and just gives me the vibe that she’s ashamed of something but when I ask her what’s wrong she says it’s nothing. And actually yesterday… we had a pretty close/vulnerable moment with each other and I told her about how I was talking to my sister and my sister told me that she was the light in my life and I told her about how she is and that I cherish our relationship and after about an hour after that she told me that she had to tell me something and so I sat up and began to listen and after a somewhat long pause of awkward silence all she said was “I really liked how your sister called me the light in your life” and obviously I could tell that that was not what she was planning on telling me but I went with it
Basically what I want to know is.., do I have a reason to feel sketched out here or is it all in my head?
submitted by Emergency_Ruin_8202 to realtionship_advice [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 00:56 Initial-Payment-678 Bam's offense against the nuggets is being very underlooked.

Anyone else think Bam is being very underrated, especially on offense for this series?
Throughout the playoffs Bam is only averaging 17 points. This is 3 whole points lower than his regular season average average. People are not factoring in the insanely tough matchups that Bam has been dealt with on offense. Horford, Williams are very very tough defenders. Then the knicks were the #1 ranked team for lowest opposing centers PPG, then obviously the bucks are no easy matchup either.
Im expecting Bam to finally be able to let loose on offense against an easier matchup for centers. When I would watch Bam earlier in the season I was able to see him drop 25+ points pretty consistently and actually looked good on offense, since the playoffs started it looked like that Bam was gone but I would say that was a result of playing very good defensive centers. I could see Bam Adebayo being an X-Factor on offense. The celtics series has tricked everyone into thinking Bam is useless on offense after he failed to score over 15 for the last 5 straight games but this is the result of one of the best frontcourt defences in the NBA.
Bam will have a dominant series on offense and is being very underrated. Im expecting ATLEAST 20ppg and wouldnt be surprised if he drops 25+ for a few games. Assuming he can stay out of foul trouble.
I also wanted to say that this is NOT a "jokic is trash on defense" post. Just stating that the past matchups have been very tough for centers and that the nuggets are a bit of an easier matchup. Im also not saying the heat will win this series, just wanted to talk about the impact Bams offense could have.
submitted by Initial-Payment-678 to nba [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 00:56 Mel-Sang Dragons, The Long Night, Fertility, Lightbringer, The Moon (Spoilers Extended)

TL/DR: The various elements (among others) in the title are repeatedly connected to each other symbolically and in the mythology. I figured I'd collate as many of these as I can identify. Please tell me if I missed anything major.
Also some tinfoil.
Moon, Maidens, Mothers:
Women in Westeros are said to experience "moon's blood". "Moon tea" is a popular abortifacient. There is a constellation called the "Moon Maiden". "Moon Pale Maiden" and "Moon Mother" are deities in Essos. In Yi Ti they worship a "Maiden-Made-of-Light".
Origin of Dragons:
In AGOT we hear an "origin of dragons" mythology from one of Dany's handmaidens. The birth of dragons is associated with the moon cracking like an egg and the sun's fire dwindling (long night?). Irri dismisses this and claims the moon is a woman-deity.
Forging of Lightbringer:
Lightbringer is forged by Azhor Ahai by blood sacrifice of a lover. The forging cracks the surface of the Moon. The lover's "soul" goes into the blade.
Serpent and Sword:
The Wall runs straight as a sword from Castle Black to Eastwatch, but runs like a snake from Castle Black to the Shadow Tower.
Rebirth of Dragons:
Dany brings her dragon eggs back to life with an unwitting blood sacrifice, including of a lover, and an unborn child. She gives birth to a draconic creature in place of her expected child Rhaego. It is a semi-common theory that the souls of Drogo, Rhaego and Mirri ended up in Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegon respectively.
Valyrians:
The Valyrians have a symbiotic relationship with dragons. They also have longstanding fertility problems, and periodically give birth to lizardlike monstrosities. Valyrian culture was more gender equal the Andal or First Man culture.
House Dayne:
House Dayne have Valyrian features, but no known collection to Valyria. They own a sword called "Dawn" supposedly made from a fallen star. Their sigil is a falling star.
The Long Night:
In Yi Ti, it is said that during the Long Night the "Maiden-Made-of-Light" turned her back on the world. Note that in our world the moon never turns it's back as it is tidally locked.
The Long Night prequel series that never got made was called "Blood Moon".
In Yi Ti the Long Night is caused by the "Blood Betrayal".
In Westeros a new moon is sometimes called a "Traitors Moon".
"Long" is chinese for dragon.
The Great Hero:
A recurring mytheme in the known world is a hero that is said to have ended the long night by bringing "victory" with a "flaming sword".
When Waymar Royce duels an Other, the battle is decided when his sword shatters due to the extreme cold.
The Last Hero, Westeros' version of the story (or just the first men 's maybe) is said to have lost his sword when it snapped while searching for a way to defeat the others. We never hear how the story ends.
Tinfoil starts here.
I can't find the origin of this but I remember seeing it on reddit so if any of the regulars could tell me who to credit I'd be very grateful: there's a "phonetic chain" linking Azhor Ahai to the Great Other:
  1. Azhor Ahai: R'hllorite great hero.
  2. Huzhor Amai: Sarnor version of the legend. "Amai" translates to "amazing" in the common tongue (and sounds pretty similar). Note there's not much distance conceptually from Great to Amazing.
  3. Hugor of the Hill: Andal King. May also be the same as the Andal hero "Hukko". Married a maiden with deep blue pools for eyes, she gave him sons with strength of arms, clad in iron plate. Note that Dragon's caracasses are made of iron. His crown was made of stars.
  4. Uthor of the High Tower. Said to have married the fairest (palest?) of maidens, Maris the Maid.
  5. Other.
The Night's King:
Supposedly a Night's Watch commander. Ruled from the Nightfort.
The Night's King loved a woman with skin pale as the moon and eyes like blue stars.
Performed blood sacrifice for the Others.
The Night's King was defeated and the rule that Night's Watch castles can't have walls instated, however the Nightfort is the only Night's Watch castle with any evidence of ever having walls and the only one not built into the wall. This implies that the "no walls" policy and the construction of the wall and other castles both date to after the Night's King's defeat.
Old Nan says "the night was his to rule" which in context appears to mean the night in general, but could be a garbled remembrance of "THE night was his to rule".
The Night's King was supposedly the thirteenth lord commander, and ruled for thirteen years with his queen. The Last Hero set out with twelve companions, making him the last of thirteen, to put it another way, twelve died before him.
The Night's King name was "Forbidden and Forgotten". We don't know how he was referred to after that, but there is one other example of forbidden names in the series:
"There are no gods save R’hllor and the Other, whose name must not be spoken."
"The Other" is a sensible way to refer to a figure without giving them a name.
Craster's Sons:
Craster sacrifices children to the Other's. It is implied they are turned into Others (they are identified by one of Craster's wives as "Craster's sons").
The new generation are "Craster's". If a character referred to as "The Other" gave his sons to them they would be "The Other's".
Winged Knight:
A mythological figure from the Vale called the "Winged Knight" is said to have flown on top of a huge falcon, and had armies of eagles at his command.
The Maesters suspect giant birds may be a cultural recollection of dragonriders.
The Winged Knight had a child of the forest as his wife, who died giving birth to his son. No other information about them is given in any source material.
The Winged Knight is often conflated with Andal invader Artys Arryn.
The Sigil of House Arryn is an Eagle in front of the Moon.
One of the names for the Great Hero is Eldric Shadowchaser. The only other Eldric in the Lore is an Arryn.
Fallen Stars:
The Bloodstone Emperor, who started the Long Night in Yi Ti mythology, is said to have worshipped a rock that fell from the sky.
House Dayne own a sword called "Dawn" supposedly made from a fallen star. Their sigil is a falling star.
The crown of Hugor of the hill was said to be made of stars.
The Night King's wife had eyes like blue stars.
Conclusions:
It seems clear that dragons were created during the long night as a weapon to fight the others. They are identified with a sword in the mythology because the Others are associated with the rendering of conventional blades as useless. The Valyrians are a later development.
The ritual to give birth to dragons is associated with childbirth and the moon. Specifically the blood sacrifice is analogised to death in childbirth. Death in childbirth is a theme from the start of the series, the mothers of all three non-Stark POVs in AGOT died giving birth to them.
On shakier ground it looks a lot like not only are the "Great Heroes" all the same, but the Night's King, Great Other and the Winged Knight are also the same figure.
Fallen stars are a repeated theme, but I can't see how they fit in with everything else.
Tinfoil:
There's a significant possibility the "corpse queen" is a child of the forest.
I think the process to create an Other involves castration.
The Others were created during a blood moon, the Dragon's under an eclipse.
submitted by Mel-Sang to asoiaf [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 00:55 robot_ankles Passed at 125, my approach, watching "Sneakers" was the right choice

Resources Used

Pleasure Reading At First
Given the breadth of content, I simply started reading the OSG and immersing myself in the topics. During the first pass I just read the OSG for enjoyment and did not try to memorize or really study anything. For the second pass, I payed closer attention, completed the written questions at the end of each chapter, and completed each chapter's practice test.

Topic Immersion With Non-CISSP Materials
At this point, for topics that weren't fully internalized, I googled articles and videos and just spent time with a topic. Not CISSP-specific training content, just normal, real coverage of any topics that weren't really sticking in my mind.
I found that spending an hour reading something like NIST SP 800-37 or the GDPR itself resulted in a stickier understanding of the topics than repeatedly trying to study or memorize the CISSP community's summary of the topic. Basically, just learning the domain area topics themselves was easier than studying or memorizing the corresponding educational content.

Focused Punch List
When the exam date started to draw closer, I created a focused list of "the hard stuff" that didn't want to stick in my brain. This hodgepodge list of content was a mix of manual notes, page numbers to re-read, and video timestamps to re-watch. This final study set was about 5 hours of content I started looping on 2-3 times per week.
The final loop of content began to shrink as I checked off areas that had become internalized. Was down to about a 1 hour loop of reading a few days before the exam.

Watched the movie "Sneakers"
Relaxing the night before and going to bed early was definitely the right decision. Watching this movie is my new good luck habit before any major security activities.

Going Into The Exam
The day of the exam, I didn't feel "ready" like I'm used to feeling for other tests. In the past, I could feel a bunch of new facts trying to hang on inside my head and hoping the knowledge lasted until the end of the test. However this time, it felt like I just knew the stuff.
I hope this makes sense and others find it useful.
submitted by robot_ankles to cissp [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 00:55 alcapone807 P4S M +28000, T +10000, 4k +3000,Anime,Kids US/Asia $9.99/month 10 Gbps With CDN Worldwide 4KGoogle drive share Appbox

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2023.05.31 00:52 54ltymuch Re-Structuring the MCU from the ground up - Phase Two

For those who haven't read the first phase, here's a link. I want to thank the people who upvoted and the ones who commented, I thought this sub would be tired of cinematic universe re-writes by now but I'm glad to see that my take on it is fresh and appreciated! Now, let's move into phase two of this universe.
Schedule
This phase keeps the mutants separated in their factions so that the phase three final event can feel larger in scale and more earned, and rather focuses on building up the Avengers.

Captain America: Out of Time

This movie is about the Winter Soldier story arc. We've already seen the mystery aspect of the whole Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier thing and Bucky wasn't introduced in the first film properly so I would avoid the mystery, rather skip straight to expositing to Steve that Bucky is back and deal with the emotional ramifications. Crossbones and Aleksander Lukin play the same roles they do in the comic arc, a side and the main antagonist respectively, Crossbones is a bit of a one-and-done. We will replace Union Jack's role in the original story with Ian Zola to continue their surrogate fatheson relationship, but Union Jack will be present at the end of the story in a post-credit scene joke.
This is a bit asshole-y of me but I want it to be out in the dirt-sheets that Captain Britain has been cast and may appear in the new Captain America film. We set that up and have someone like Taron Egerton on set for the film in 'leaked' pictures, and we finally have him show up after the credits, only for him to reveal himself to be Union Jack... and that's it. He probably won't show up in any other project again.

The Wolverine: Brothers in Arms

The movie starts with cameos from Cyclops and Iceman alongside Wolverine, showing Wolverine deciding not to stand by Scott's side and leave Scott's X-Men.
This is the start of the formation of X-Force, we have a couple of extra characters alongside Wolverine: namely Colossus and Deadpool. To be clear, this Deadpool is the same one from the Untitled Deadpool sequel, so he can continue to make meta jokes about the universe and try to bounce off of the new Colossus everytime he forgets its not the one he first interacted with in the first two Deadpool films. The main antagonist is a mysterious group moving behind the scenes to take down political enemies of mutantkind, who are using Nightcrawler and the newly introduced Spider-Woman to get things done, as well as Kitty Pryde, who audiences as of now still think left with Scott. This catches the attention of Moira, who is involved with the British intelligence at this point in time and passes word to a 'friend', later found out to be Psylocke.
The group is revealed to be Worthington Industries, as Warren Worthington III is behind it all (can't call him Angel because he isn't really powered anymore with his wings gone). He is eventually shut down but isn't killed.
Post-credits: Psylocke introduces the now unaffiliated Nightcrawler, Spider-Woman and Kitty Pryde to the idea of joining her team of mutant defenders and introduces them to their leader: Captain Britain. Excalibur, here we go!

Excalibur

Roster: Captain Britain, Psylocke, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat, Spider-Woman
This film is basically Kingsman but less spy and even more British. Our main villain is Modred the Mystic, and I would have him and a couple of minor antagonists working for him all played by BBC legends. Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson, the works. This film is basically a love letter to old BBC comedies and thespian culture, maybe some more cameos from actors who were in the IT Crowd, Yes Minister, BlackAdder and the like. Get Matthew Vaughn he knows how to balance British humour with an action plot he's done it quite a bit and we've had him in the universe already. There's room for social commentary about the villains all having south English accents and being played by actors all associated with that posh background too.
We have a smaller role from Black Knight too, he plays a part in fighting Modred but he isn't an official member of the team, more of a wildcard.

Iron Man

This will be an adaptation of the Demon in a Bottle storyline. Unlike Iron Man 2 it will not be a side plot but rather the focus of the film, as we've already seen Tony fight physical threats similar in skillset to himself a lot.
Ideally I want to bring Sam Rockwell back as an older Justin Hammer putting together a set of smaller villains - Blizzard, The Melter and Whiplash. We have Henry Gyrich and Nick Fury in small roles, as well as the Wasp and Namor making cameos similar to their roles in the original Demon in a Bottle comic arc.
I want Tony's emotional turmoil to bleed over into his personal life too, so we have Bethany Cabe and Pepper Potts both in the film, Potts just as his personal assistant while Cabe is the one he is in an actual relationship with. But it's clear that Tony has some reservations about Bethany and may be falling for Pepper. Rhodey is in this film too to give him some platonic support to lean on but no mentions of War Machine. A couple extra footnotes, Jarvis is a physical butler like in the comics, not an AI, and Tony does not go public with his identity.
The film ends with, yes, Hammer in jail, and two out of the three side villains dead (Whiplash survives and is in custody), but the real victory comes when Tony gets over his alcoholism. I don't want to insist upon any specific story beats, but getting someone like Dexter Fletcher to direct would be perfect as his work on Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman shows a deep understanding of egoist, narcissistic but undoubtedly talented people falling into substance abuse. That is the real core of this film and it's okay if the physical antagonists fall to the way-side for it.

The Brotherhood of Mutants

Magneto starts a cult in Latveria based around mutants being the next step in humanity's evolution. Members of the cult are Rogue, Mystique, Toad, Pyro and his twin children Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. I would get someone like Greta Gerwig in on this who can create scripts that study characters inside and out as this movie should focus a lot more on the complexity of all the morally grey characters than any actual fights between the characters.
This obviously raises the eyebrow of Victor von Doom (who was already introduced in F4 if you recall), and the two ideologies clash. While Doom is not the outright villain in this film as both sides have problems, it's more a mix of grey. Magneto does 'lose' as Doom kills Pyro and warns Magneto to leave Latveria which Erik complies with. The film ends with Colossus hearing about the 'brotherhood', misinterpreting it as a school like Xavier's, and introducing Erik to his sister: Magik.

Uncanny X-Men

Established Roster: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Kitty Pryde
New Members: Armor, Gambit, Blink, Sunspot, Havok
This film basically begins with Kitty leaving the team which explains her involvement in the The Wolverine: Brothers in Arms. Cyclops very clearly has issues with Xavier and its explored how Scott feels Xavier failed the team by being too soft. The team have their internal conflicts about if this is the right thing to do, with Bobby and Jean pulling one way while Scott pulls the other. The villains are Sebastian Shaw and his latest recruit to the Hellfire Club: Abyss (Alexander Koch).
Abyss is killed by Shaw so he can absorb his power in the final battle, and Shaw fights Jean and Armor, seemingly having the upper hand after absorbing Abyss' energy but he is killed by a stray laser beam from Cyclops. The team is distraught that Scott would just kill a mutant in cold blood like that, causing a major rift. The team essentially is over, with only Jean remaining at his side. Havok decides this is not his fight to fight, while Sunspot, Armor and Iceman begin to agree more with Xavier and decide to leave for the Xavier School, and Gambit goes back to being essentially a free agent.

Daredevil

Get Drew Goddard and the Netflix series cast on this ideally, match that tone of elevated street-level work. This is essentially the Guardian Devil storyline from the comics, including the Mephisto, Wong and Black Widow stuff.
I don't really have a lot to say, keep Spider-Man as a major player even if the actor's cost is a bit steep as he will really bring eyes to this, as well as the debuts of Black Widow and Mephisto. Let 'em at it, but keep Gwyneth and Karen Page as separate characters, I know it could be tempting to roll them into one to keep the number of players in the storyline low and maybe avoid the PR trouble that comes with a teenage pregnancy in your cinematic universe.
Mysterio is revealed to be the guy behind everything in the final act, setting Bullseye and the Twin Killers on Matt and Peter and having made a deal with the devil. He is defeated, but not killed.

X-Corporation

Our next conceptual experimentation comes with the X-Corporation. My ideal team for this would be the same team that made Deadpool to allow for some dark and meta humour.
This is unlike the X-Corporation from the comics, rather it's the polar opposite. It's not an official company under the wing of Genosha or Krakoa or anything like that, but rather a rag-tag group of, essentially, nobodies. Worthington Industries continues its illicit activities, and two people notice it: Davis and Heather Cameron (Slipstream and Lifeguard, respectively). They decide to put together a team of their own, inspired by the X-Men. The team consists of themselves as well as Risque, Penance (Monet St Croix), Darkstar, Multiple Man, Domino, Cannonball, Sunfire and Thornn. The meta commentary and rag-tag style of team makes this movie sorta feel like a hybrid of James Gunn's Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy, but with mutants.
It's quite the large team, and that's the fun part because unbeknownst to them or the audience, a lot of them will be dead by the end of the movie. While not present in the marketing in any way, the movie makes it clear that not all of the team will survive this mission, almost in the way movies like the first Avengers did, a way that makes it seem like just a way to raise the stakes without doing anything about it, but this movie delivers.
Warren is back, but reveals that with the help of a new ally he has regained his ability to fly. Magneto, playing a much more villainous role now, has given Warren new metal wings, completing his transition to Archangel. These two along with a new player form our trio of villains: Mister Sinister. He is also working with Angel, but it is made clear in this movie that both Sinister and Archangel have a larger power they are working for.
The final battle is Mister Sinister against the X-Corporation, but Sinister decides to play his ace in the hole: a set of five clones to form "Sinister's Six" (including himself). The clones are of Wolverine, Mystique, Storm, Beast and Nightcrawler. The team's goal, previously taking down the Worthingtons, changes as they realise they are massively out of their depth. Their goal is now simply to get out of there alive. In the end, the clones are all killed and Sinister decides to live to fight another day but the team takes heavy losses. Risque, Penance, Darkstar, Sunfire, Thornn and most importantly: our protagonist, Slipstream, all perish. That leaves us with Lifeguard, Multiple Man, Domino and Cannonball alive.

The New Mutants

It's been long enough, get me the Russos on this one. They are oh so good at taking ensemble films, deconstructing them into their most raw character conflicts and raising those conflicts. I want that to happen here.
Established Roster: Professor X, Emma Frost, Storm, Beast
New Members: Thunderbird, Bishop, Jubilee
Magneto and Archangel decide to go after a common enemy: Xavier and his team. Xavier's school has produced some new talent who are being slowly integrated into the team, namely the three new recruits. Magneto and Archangel bring along Sabretooth too, who Xavier eventually realises is Logan's half-brother and convinces to join his side by the end of the film. Xavier is still our protagonist, as Magneto's ideals directly conflict with Xavier's ideals much like Scott, and Xavier feels massive guilt for his part in Archangel's crippling. We can have Xavier try his best to reconcile with Warren, drawing parallels to his own crippling (no details given, I want to hold that back but we do get some vague things like that it was a bullet that Xavier could very easily have avoided and that wasn't intended for him).
It seems like Xavier is getting through to Warren but just as that seems likely, Magneto realises why Xavier has never tried using his powers on Erik, or rather that he has but has failed due to Erik's helmet. He very quickly fashions a way for Warren to shut Xavier out, completing the Archangel look with a new exosuit and helmet. The final battle doesn't result in any deaths but the X-Men take a few hits before being put down, Storm eventually being the X-Factor when she electrocutes Warren's wings, shorting them and causing Magneto to flee with him.

The Groundbreaking Giant-Man

This is the Ant-Man sequel, as you may have realised by now I'm doing a weird thing with the titles where I change the alias and the descriptor for each film in the series. This is another Edgar Wright film, and while there will be comedy it will be slightly dialed back for more serious emotional weight. Not saying that funny films can't be films that make the audience feel, but some tonal consistency would be nice and a comedy having the kind of themes I want this film to explore would be a bit dissonant.
This film is about Hank realising he won't be around forever, and looking to pass the mantle on. This creates two options: Scott Lang, or an AI.
Scott and Jessica Jones are in a rocky relationship, we explore this as one of the central dynamics of the film, this is as much as Scott Lang film as it is a Henry Pym film. The main villain is Kilgrave who is manipulating Jessica but eventually Hank and Janet put an end to his schemes, Janet finally becoming the Wasp properly after a brief test run of the suit in Iron Man.
In the end, Scott's fractured emotional state after his tumultuous relationship with Jessica leaves him an unsuitable candidate for Hank, and he decides to create an AI to protect the Earth.

Fantastic Four: Rising Storm

I don't have a particular plot in mind for this film but I have an idea, basically just the coming of Galactus plot but with less of Galactus, rather more of Silver Surfer as a precursor to his arrival. Make it known that the Baxter Foundation is looked at with more and more raised eyebrows as they seem to be misplacing some important and dangerous things often, as proven by the existence of the Fantastic Four as well as the accidents involving Mole Man and Spider-Man.
The main things I want this film to accomplish is setup Galactus as a top threat for the future and strengthen the bonds between the F4 and their peers. Really make them feel united together, Alicia too is with Ben and the two are happy together. The Silver Surfer retreats, he is defeated (no switching of sides just yet).
Post-credits: Hank Pym, with the help of Reed, completes his AI: Ultron, the final pieces being some alien remnant tech that the Silver Surfer left behind. Ultron immediately awakens, becomes self-aware, and kills Hank before escaping the Baxter building, gaining access to non-nuclear missiles and decimating New York City using it. The extent of the damage is unknown in this scene.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

This film could even be a two-parter, but I think one 3 hour film should do the trick.
New York is decimated. In the wreckage, Wasp, Mister Fantastic, The Thing, Human Torch, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Spider-Woman and Scarlet Witch are confirmed dead. We have an actual 'age' of Ultron as Ultron basically takes over the world, creates Vision and inhabits his body, while the rest of the world tries to survive. As you have realised by now, the only surviving member of the Fantastic Four is Sue Storm, and while its unclear which mutants died, Emma Frost and Wolverine who are two of the most prominent characters in this film, both imply that they lost many friends. We explore these characters' grief while in this dystopia. As must be clear by now, Ultron has no real personality. He is what Ultron should be: ruthlessly efficient, and unfeeling. The Terminator, given the goal to terminate the world.
We have a new character in Hawkeye and Spider-Man introduce us to the post-apocalyptic world, and then slowly the plot is discovered: that technology that Silver Surfer left behind is capable of travelling across timelines. Before their final gamble, we spend the majority of the film in this dystopia with all the heroes, exploring their lives in the post-Ultron world trying to survive and hide. Heroes from elsewhere like Storm, Black Panther, Namor and others come to New York too so that all the power is in one place to devise a plan against Ultron.
Our primary protagonists after the first few minutes with Hawkeye and Spider-Man are Wolverine, Invisible Woman, and Emma Frost. Wolverine and Invisible Woman have their screen-time and grieve their massive losses, but another important player must be Emma. Her arc of going from cunning and sly Hellfire Club member to standing with Xavier and choosing the right side of history is made very clear in this film.
We have our heroes send Wolverine and Invisible Woman to an alternate timeline, where they meet The Defenders which consists of Iron Man, Captain America, Ant-Man, Wasp, Professor X and another Wolverine. The two parties fight, thinking our heroes have been sent by Morgan Le Fay, before the Defenders realise that our heroes aren't lying about their timeline and agree to help them, using the Silver Surfer's technology to reconstruct another device to send them back to their timeline to before Hank and Reed create Ultron.
Our big 'final' confrontation is Logan and Sue trying to confront Hank about creating Ultron, trying to convince him not to do it. Hank refuses to listen, and eventually Logan is forced to kill him, causing him and Sue to become fugitives. Upon capture, Emma Frost reads their mind and realises they aren't lying. However, unbeknownst to all of them, Ultron knew about the technology (because of course he did) and followed the heroes into this point in the timeline. As Ultron does not exist in this timeline yet and isn't connected to the rest of the world in his semi-organic android Vision body, he is not more than his android body, resulting in our final fight being Ultron against everyone, a proper one versus all as Ultron's practically infinite computing power causes him to sense pretty much every attack that comes at him.
Everyone who died is back (minus Hank of course), but the final fight extracts a price too, as Black Panther dies when he gets in the way of a Vision beam headed straight for Namor. Emma Frost dies when she tries to infiltrate the mind of the android but encounters Vision's countermeasures, which instantly attack her and render her brain-dead. Emma dies trying to do the right thing, ending her arc over the course of the last two phases in tragic fashion. Ultron is eventually defeated when Doctor Strange uses magic to trap him in an infinitesimally small micro-universe after being worn down by everyone else.
And that's how this phase ends. The world is saved but it is quite the downer. Nick Fury however, sees potential in putting the non-associated heroes together, and decides to contact Tony Stark about starting the Avengers. Our movie ends with the very first Avengers team being put together.
Post-credits scene: The Baxter Foundation is officially disbanded, and Reed Richards replaces it with the Future Foundation.
So, to recap the end of the phase, here is how our factions look:-
The next phase will close out the first arc of this universe by eventually bringing the X-Men together for the final event, while also giving some hints to phases to come with some cosmic stuff and the introduction of the Inhumans.
submitted by 54ltymuch to fixingMarvel [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 00:51 Tomcatredbird765 [serious] My personal issues with Bedwars and Easy as a whole (xpost from Nolt board)

Bullet points for those not reading the whole thing:
Issues:
Suggestions to fix these:
Hear me out, EZGG. You own one of, if not THE #1 PvP game on Roblox. However, you still have some serious transparency issues. For one, you have issues with the community having a serious lack of impact/moderation in some cases, neglect tons of features you push out, and have some of the most confusing balancing changes of any competitive PVP game out there (not limited to the Roblox platform.)
First off, let’s talk about your community management. Rarely ever do you people interact with the community, whether it be on Reddit (somewhat understandable), your Discord server outside of dropping patches, you’ve abandoned your Twitter (which will probably be deleted by their new policies if you keep this up), and THE SUGGESTION BOARD, THE ONE PLATFORM YOU SPECIFICALLY CREATED TO RECIEVE AND IMPLEMENT FEEDBACK. It’s unmoderated to the point where we’ve had trolls post the most unspeakable content here. Even if you do lurk anywhere, it’s unknown to everyone here, there, and everywhere. If any of you are worried about having to deal with tons of children, just embrace it. This is the game you created; online games tend to have generally toxic and immature fanbases, this is normal. Even if your fanbase might be immature, they can still hold valid criticism that shouldn’t be ignored.
Next up, let’s take a look at all of the features you’ve straight up forgotten about. Let’s see here: some random limited time item, custom map creation, another item, some mode, yet another limited time item, you get the drill. It’s a shame to think that some genuinely cool mode would be forgotten in 6 months’ time, and yes, I get that they’re supposed to be limited time modes, but you’ve kept Duels and 30v30 in the game for so long you could just give them the SkyWars/Lucky Block treatment and make them permanent modes under the Classic queue. If you had 3 queues, one for more casual modes like Murder in Bedtown or some hide and seek mode, and had the other two for “sweatier” modes like Juggernaut, Skull Drop, CTF, and Gun Game, with the casual queue and one of the two intense queues swapping each week, that would make them a lot less repetitive and would embrace the concept of limited time a lot better. For the items, an idea to use them is to make a RandomizeItem Asylum styled mode where you get a melee, a ranged weapon, and some other helpful items, lower ranked players get better items in general.
To add onto my previous statement, custom maps are a feature with tons of potential, but there’s zero incentive to make them as of right now. It feels like not even 1% of the playerbase would care if they got removed. Many people have made amazing maps that could be added into the actual game, whether it be LTM maps, gamemodes, or general maps created for classic modes. I’m pretty sure people have the ability to make a lot more interesting. Map and mode contests would be really interesting to see, and this would save the devs some time creating updates as well as getting generally better responses from the community, as they were the ones who picked the content. The ability to publish and browse custom maps to play in-game would help a lot as well.
Lastly, your balance changes and patch notes can be incredibly confusing. I can’t remember any time there was actual information behind any specific change unless it was the main highlight of an update. Another issue is shadow changes (which could be nerfs, buffs, or removals). When Sheep Herder got a buff for placing down a Fire Sheep or when Cletus got Pumpkin Seeds they were interesting changes except for one glaring issue: THEY WERE KEPT A SECRET FOR PEOPLE TO FIND OUT. I don’t think I have to explain why this isn’t good for a PvP game. A worse way this is executed is when a patch is made in one update but they don’t announce it until the next (thinking Zephyr triple jump at the end of March 2023), where no announcement was made, not even midweek. However, if that’s not bad enough, how about just removing stuff like T4 enchants and snowballs and not even saying anything?
Anyways, that’s not even the scummiest you’ve done: that honor would go to dropping a kit and then just nerfing it to the ground. Sheila is the best example: she was broken on launch and nerfed to the point where many felt scammed afterwards. This can apply to tons of other kits, but I could go on all day. Also, for some reason, some random kits get changed even when others are in dire need of changes and reworks. Lumen’s constant buffs (at least for a period of time) were probably due to his low pickrate (PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong!), however the issue isn’t based off him being a bad kit; it’s the fact that he’s NEVER been free and he costs twice as much to use as any other kit. You have Whisper who’s been getting nerfed… where it doesn’t matter. Whisper is used because of the flight ability and to knock people into the void, not mainly to heal or damage. Lastly, Dino Tamer Dom and Spirit Catcher were broken on release and have been getting nerf after nerf past the point where they’re balanced, although they still get nerfed nonetheless for some reason.
My best idea to address these issues?
Host 24 hour long open beta sessions on Wednesdays-Thursdays, starting 48 hours before the Friday 3PM PST update. You have a game for testing, now put it to work with your general playerbase, not just with famous YouTubers and skilled players. Players should be locked to a few kits with balance changes that are considered for the update after the session. Experiment a bit. Let Archer scope in with his bow (#4629), give Melody a boombox, allow Smoke to cancel his invis, bring back random items like the Impulse Grenade (bet half of you don’t know what that is), etc. If you’re worried about cheaters, make it 1 Robux to access, shouldn’t be that hard to earn if you go to any donation game to ever exist.
Add a mailbox in the lobby for people to submit feedback, whether it be a simple “On a scale of 1 to 5, how powerful is X kit/item?” or something more personalized. Reward those who submit feedback (moreso the former type of question to prevent abuse) with a lucky crate or something, that would also solve the issue of people who want more ways to get crates after they hit Lv 20.
And now, the simplest idea of them all:Add a description why each balance change was made in the patch notes. This will help the players understand what you’re trying to accomplish, which loops back into better feedback.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Don’t get me wrong; I love this game and want to see it grow, but I feel like the community needs more involvement in order for the game to be the best it can be. DV dropped a video with some similar points, it’s a good watch (or listen) and it has a bunch of opinions from some other YouTubers, maybe check that out if you enjoyed reading this.
submitted by Tomcatredbird765 to RobloxBedwars [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 00:51 CornerCornea Stranger in the House

"Come inside, the kids are upstairs." Molly was in a rush, I knew this much from the phone call we had earlier. She had never used me before but heard about me through word of mouth. Which meant that my little side hustle was starting to gain traction.
I am a babysitter for a good neighborhood. There's cars parked outside, lawns are manicured, and the occasional termite company is out doing rounds. I don't know why but I always feel as if there's a termite guy nearby, it's a pretty decent area. Which is a far cry from where I live, on the other side of the tracks, literally. There are train tracks that run through our town and it acts as a divide. But they didn't need to know that. They only needed to see the straightened hair, well spoken, fake braces wearing girl in glasses sporting a skirt that wasn't too short where the neighbors would talk.
Usually I sat down with new clients, have them introduce me to their kids (trust me it helps) in order to make a clear cut line with them that I am in their parent's employ and I am not there to be their bestfriend and will definitely tell on them if they act up or break something. That's not to say I won't play silly games with them, feed them, laugh, tell bed time stories, and age appropriate jokes. But I am nobody's rug.
That's what I usually do, but there wasn't such luxury this time. Molly called me on the phone and she sounded desperate for me to come out. I had concert tickets and told her that they were non-refundable and she suggested that if I could make it in 30 minutes then she'd pay me twice the amount for the tickets and 1.5x my usual rate. I got there in 29 minutes. It would have been sooner but I needed to air myself out if you know what I mean.
Anyways, Molly barely had time to look at my face, let alone get any of my credentials as she was rushing out. Working mom it looked like. Business, by the looks of the pencil skirt and the bag that doubled as a folder. It always amazes me how much trust some people put in others to watch their kids. What if I was a serial killer? Or a deranged lunatic? What if I killed the babysitter on my way here and now I'm in a house, alone, with all her children.
I'm not. But I mean, what if, right?
She didn't seem to think about any of these things, leaving me to mumble goodbyes as she pulled out of the driveway, barely audible as the turbos wound up and she shouted something out the window to the likes of, "It's all on the iPad".
Yeah, no more yellow lined paper stuck with the realtor's magnet on the fridge anymore. It's all digital now.
I closed the door and figured that I better check up on the kids before I did a rundown. God this house was beautiful. I climbed the stairs two at a time and rounded the hall. To be fair, calling it a hall was so basic of me. It was more like a wing. West wing madam. The wing could have fit my living room. I click my heels when I heard a snort come from behind me. I came to face a shaggy dog that was well groomed. The collar was black with an underline of blue. Tiffany's undoubtedly. "Hey," I reached a hand and scratched the mop of top. "Let's go find the kids," I tell the dog as if it could understand me.
There were a series of rooms, most of them closed, but it didn't take me a second guess which one was occupied. The second door on the left, I could hear a kid shouting obscenities about someone being trash. I knocked on that door first.
"Come in," he shouted still loud but slightly less angry.
I opened the door and saw a stereotypical gamer's room. Posters, action figures, a rocking gaming chair on the floor in front of a huge flat screen, and a boy about 9 or 10. He had on his headphones and was sipping a Dr. Pepper.
"Don't they know trash day is on Thursdays?"
He cocked his head and laughed, "If you're looking for my mom I think she's downstairs."
"I'm actually looking for you." And let me tell you something. The audacity of this younger generation. The way he looked at me. Almost made me feel as bad as how I felt when he shrugged his shoulders after he had a good look. "Excuse me," I walk in front of him and blocked the screen. "I'm your new babysitter."
He shrugged. "Cool."
"What's your name?"
"You can read all about it somewhere else."
"What?"
"It's all on the iPad," he told me.
"What's your name," I repeated.
He rolls his eyes and looks at me as if I had asked him a stupid question.
I don't budge.
He whined, "Bobbie. Now come on, the next rounds about to start." he pulled his headphones over his ears. I grabbed the remote to get his attention. "What. Hey come on."
"It's nice to meet you Bobbie. Your mom's going to be away for a few hours and I'll be here until she gets back. Dinner is at 6:00 and I will make snacks at 4:30."
"No cap," he motioned at the tv, "Now can I get back to my game.
"Sure I tell him." Pocketing the remote.
"Hey!"
"Bye," I tell him as I close the door behind me.
So I'm back out in the hallway. And I open a few more doors. Some were locked. Before I get into one that's rather plain. There's a picture hanging up behind the bed, a tv, some lamps and shade. On the bed sits an identical, about 9 or 10, twins it seems. Probably why Bobbie was tired of being asked which one he was.
This one was staring at the blank screen. No video games. And quiet. Now I've babysat my share of kids before, and have seen all sorts. Quiet kids are my favorite. They don't mind board games, or listening. Most often times they only need to be left alone. I don't do too much talking in case they get tired of hearing my voice. And I give them a lot of space. "Hey, sorry about that. I didn't think anyone was in here."
He turned to me slowly, "Hi. Are you the new sitter?"
I nodded, "Yup. And I'm guessing that you're Max. I'll be watching you guys while your mom is away."
"She's probably going to work."
"Yeah, looked like it." I see the iPad in his hands. "Hey. I was looking for that."
"She's always at work." He hands it over. "It's dead. And mom took the charger."
I tried not to sigh. This was not how I wanted things to go. "Well, ok. If you need anything. Let me know. Or else I can come get you at 4:30 for snacks and dinner at 6."
He nodded, "Thanks," and goes back to staring at the screen.
I smile but he doesn't see, so I leave, closing the door softly behind me.
I make my way downstairs, wandering into the kitchen and start taking stock of what's there. Which was practically everything. This kitchen was so chic that I half expected Gordon Ramsay to pop out and tell me that the banana bread I made didn't have a clue if he staked the curved yellow fruit down the middle (it's a bad question mark joke. Listen. I never said I was funny).
Once I made sure that there was food, or ingredients to make food. There wasn't much else to do. The house was spotless. The kids were fine. And even the dog seemed well behaved. So I plopped on the couch, took out my fake braces, and watched tv until about 4:10 before I started slicing apples and celery to go with some peanut butter.
I fed the dog some peanut butter and licked my fingers (not with the hand I fed the dog with), before heading upstairs. Bobbie took the plate no problem but I couldn't find Max for the life of me. I wandered the rooms as the dog followed, still trying to lick my hand. "Max, I've got snacks." I knocked on what seemed like the umpteenth door before I get to a rather solid oak one that seemed custom.
Inside was the biggest home library I had ever seen. And I once dog sat for a pretentious professor from the college nearby. I mean, there was a portrait of said academic holding his dog in 18th century art style hanging over the mantle place of the deep wood cabinets filled with books. And yet this library made the other one look like a neighborhood book exchange birdbox.
"Holy..."
"Cow."
I whirled around to find Max standing in the doorway.
"You shouldn't wander into Father's study."
"I was just looking for you," holding up the plate. He made a face. "What? You don't like PB&C?" I took a stick and crunched on the celery.
"I'm not hungry."
I shrug. "Take it anyway. In case you get hungry."
He grabs the plate from me without much struggle so I decide to leave him be. I went back downstairs and crashed in front of the tv.
When I woke up. It was dark. My mouth was dry and all of the lights were off. The screen saver flashed the logo in blinks, lighting up the room only momentarily. For a second I forgot where I was and felt my heart thumping in my chest. My alarm didn't go off but I don't know why I woke up. Then I heard it again. The sound that must have jerked me awake. A crash. It came from upstairs. I grab my phone and glance down at the numbers. It was 8:10. I had slept through dinner. Shit. Shit. Shit. Here I was trying to make a good first impression and I missed out on dinner.
I wipe what drool was on my face and took to the stairs. Bobbie was probably so immersed in his game that he probably didn't even know he was hungry. Max on the other hand. "Max?" I call out down the hall. All of the doors are shut. I can hear something panting behind me. I turn to see the dog again. Its head is down and there's barely any light touching its face. "Hey come here," I called but it retreated in the opposite direction.
Then I shit me not. I heard a creaking come from behind me. It was the only noise in the house. I couldn't even hear Bobbie yelling in his room. I turn slowly and see one of the doors down the hall is now slightly ajar. It's dark in here. It was dark everywhere. I pressed my hands against the wall searching for a light switch. "Bobbie," I call out. There's no answer. "Hey, sorry about the delay in dinner. I'm going to get to it now."
Why was this place so big? And why could I see the door?
"Bobbie. Max?" I hear the dog tapping its paws behind me. Someone on the other side of the house by now. "Hey, where are you guys?" I peer at the single door that's open and realized why it was so prominent. The hall was dark, but what was inside was even darker. Instead of going toward it, I try the first knob my blind fingers came across. Process of elimination I told myself. It was locked. I tried the next one. Also locked. I finally get to Bobbie's door and I knock. "Bobbie." There's no answer. I press my head against the door and listen. But I don't hear a single sound.
"Where are all the light switches in this place!"
The door that was open before slightly opens again. Creaking, *tic tic tic tic*, with each ungreased turn of the hinge. "Shit. Hey, stop playing around."
There's laughing coming from behind me. It sounded like a little kids. Too young to be either of the boys. Followed by smaller footsteps. It sounded like they were barefoot. "Hey, this isn't funny. I'm going to tell your mother when she gets home." I take out my phone and turn on the flashlight. "When is she coming home?" It was almost 8:30, when I realized that we never set a time.
I hear footsteps again, they were odd. Almost like falling. Like a toddler learning how to run for the first time but the hollow ground sounded as if the person was much heavier. I shine my flashlight over the hall. "Shit." The dog was sitting on all fours in the corner. It was facing the wall. I couldn't even see his face. Every hair on its body completely still.
"Hey," I called out. "Come here." I clicked my tongue. "Come here." The dog didn't move. I couldn't even see it breathing.
Bang! It sounded like thunder behind me. As if someone dropped something on the floor. As if something fell off a shelf or was pushed. I jumped around and shone my light down the west wing. I didn't know if I should have been more or less afraid now that the door was closed. "Bobbie? Max?"
God. I did not want to try the door. And I stood there for a minute before realizing how stupid I must have looked. These were some rich kids playing a joke on you Camilia. I know it. The thought of their smug little faces made me stomp out of my frozen state. I took a couple of strides over and grabbed the handle.
"Fuck!" The thing was hot. "What the hell! You guys could have hurt me," I yelled. I banged on the door. "Open up. You two are in so much trouble." I banged on the door again. "Open the door. Right now!" I could hear something on the other side. It sounded like shuffling. Heavy furniture perhaps. "You guys better not be messing things up in there. I'm not going to clean it. I mean it."
I banged on the door. "I can hear you in there! Now come on!" I put my hands on my hips and tapped my foot. "I'm waiting. Your little jokes over now." I banged on the door again.
That's when the door knocked back.
It wouldn't have scared me. I don't think. Except for the fact that I was surprised. And alone in the hall. Without any of the lights on. In a strange house. And before I could say anything else. Another door behind me knocked from the inside. "Shit. Both of you are in on this?" I grabbed the handle to the other door. It was also locked. I banged on it. "Come out right now. Max?"
But then a third door started knocked from down the hall. I felt my throat clump as I tried to swallow. "You guys weren't supposed to have anyone over." The knocking didn't stop. It kept echoing down the hall. "I'm not getting paid for three kids you know?"
Tat-tat-tat-tat. Tat-tat-tat.
I took a single step. And then all of the doors in the hallway suddenly started banging.
I almost tripped as I ran toward the stairs. The doors were thundering on so hard I thought they would crack their hinges. I skipped the stairs, the sounds chasing me as I tried to not fall and break my neck. When I got to the front landing I hear someone say my name.
"Camilia. Are you okay?"
I'm trying not to choke on a lung here as I shot my eyes toward the kitchen. The kids are sitting on the barstools lining the counter. There are two plates in front of them. As if they didn't hear the drumline upstairs.
"Is it dinner time yet," one of them asks quietly.
"Max?"
He smiles.
"Kids. I think there's someone in the house." I rush over to grab each of their hands. Bobbie's wrists are limp but it was Max's hands that shocked me. They were ice cold. I tried to let go but my fingers wouldn't uncurl.
He turns my hand over and says, "There's no one else in this house except us. I promise."
"No," I wasn't about to listen to the kid even if it was his house. "Something is wrong. We have to go. Now." I pick up Bobbie and he doesn't seem to want to move. "Come on Bobbie. Let's go." He looks over at Max who shrugs and get out of his seat.
Bobbie follows as I drag them toward the front door.
"Camilia," Max says.
"What?" He looked scared. Which made me turn toward what he was staring out. At the front door was a tall figure. I couldn't see its face through the glass. It was a stark figure of a man.
"Do you think it's your dad?"
Max shakes his head. I feel him pulling against my arm.
I call out to the man, "Hey! Who is it?" The man doesn't budge. "I'm calling the police." I turn to Bobbie, "Get the phone." He doesn't move. "Hey!" I'm trying to sound as angry as possible. "Get the fuck out of here!" I grabbed a roll of painter's tape from the side table and hurl it across the hall, hitting the glass squarely in the face where the man's head stood blocking the exit. He doesn't even twitch as the glass shakes.
"Come on," I grab their hands and rush to the back. I don't get 10 steps before I feel a scream crawl up my throat making me cough. The man was standing at the sliding door. "Fuck!" I drag the two of them with me towards the kitchen. It's a big place so there had to be a way out to the garage. We push through one of the doors and end up in the laundry room. The next door gets us out into a 3 car garage. My hands find the glowing green opener against the wall and I hear the opener fold seamlessly towards the ceiling.
It started with his feet. Then his ankles. His shins. Then his legs. Light poured in from behind him from the streetlamp. I watched as the door went to his waist before I hit the button for the garage to close, before rushing back inside. We make it into the kitchen to where I still see the tall man standing at the sliding door. A part of me wants to hide in the laundry room but I didn't want to be sandwiched in the middle of the house. So I pull the boys back up the stairs, back to where the doors banged themselves. Taking out my phone as we ascended, and called 911.
"This is the police operator speaking."
"HELLO", I hope they could hear me, "There are several men trying to get inside!"
"Men? Are you in any danger?"
"No! But they have us surrounded!"
"Why don't you go outside?"
My tongue suddenly felt numb in my mouth. Like I didn't know what to do with it. "W-what?"
"It's stranger in the house."
The line went dead as we hit the hallway.
I only took my eyes off of them for a second before Bobbie. Or Max. Runs down the hall. The one or the other already slipping through a door ahead. I look back down the stairs and see that the man is still standing in front of the doorway. I look back up and see the other boy also going through the same door. I take a single step and the doors start pounding on either side. I shut my eyes and turn around. Afraid to go. Almost deciding that these weren't my kids. That I should run away. I take a step backwards mouthing that I was sorry. But I was too scared to go! "Max! Bobbie!" My back foot sticks to the floor. I don't want to look down but the next step sticks too. I point my phone to the ground and see a trail of blood. And just behind me. It's the dog. Split right down the middle, its spine shiny and white, still facing the wall. I could see its organs still pulsing.
I couldn't go back downstairs. I couldn't go the other way. I couldn't leave them here. I couldn't be alone.
I ran after them. The thundering of the doors following me as frames fell to the floor. A vase rolled off a table in the hall. It came crashing at my feet. I run my shoulder through the door, except it wasn't locked. Which caused me to go crashing, sprawling to the floor. Running into the desk in the middle of the room.
The study.
Many of the books were off the shelves. The carpet was torn. There were curtains on fire. It was the first time a saw a window as they burned.
"Camilia!"
I hear one of their voices shouting at me.
"Camilia!" It came again. "Help!"
I get to my feet and start working my hands along the desk. I didn't have to search far. The bookcase directly behind the chair had been swung open. "Camilia!" I wipe the blood from my eyebrow where it had split and step into the tunnel behind the secret passage.
The tunnel started off tall and wide, but as I kept walking in. It got smaller and smaller. I started having to hunch. Several times I decided to turn back. But their voices would echo through, calling for me. Asking for help. "I'm coming!"
"I can't hold on! Camilia! Please!"
The twins cry for help bounced off the walls. I was finally on my hands and knees when I finally see two holes on either side. I'm afraid to look but then one of their voices came through clear as day. "Camilia." It was right in my ear now. I turned to see the boy naked and huddling, hugging his knees at the back of his hole.
"Camilia! Help! I don't want to play this game anymore!"
"Bobbie?"
"Help me!"
I look into the hole, the walls are pressing on my back and there's dust going into my lungs. I can barely turn my shoulder. "Crawl out!"
"I can't!"
"Crawl out! I'm right here." I take out my hand, "Come on!"
"Camilia!" Came a voice from the other side.
I turn my head and see Max in the other hole.
"No!" Bobbie shouts at me. "No!"
"Hold on," I tell him. "I'm going to get both of you out of here."
"No," Bobbie cries. "It's all his fault. He's the one that did it. He's the one that wants to get out!"
"Bobbie, what are you talking about."
"He's the one that put something in your drink so you'd fall asleep!"
"He's lying!" Max's voice rang through. "It's him! I saw him. Always in father's study! Reading those books! Trying out those things he reads. Those curses. Those spells. It's why the shadow men are after him! Camilia! You have to believe me."
I can hear Bobbie crying, "Why are you lying! I don't want to play anymore," he screeches. "I don't want to play!" He sobs. "You said you'd go away if I told you that I didn't want to play anymore."
I don't know what made me do it. It sure wasn't the nauseating squealing tantrum of the boy which made me reach for him first. Maybe it was because I wanted him to shut up. I don't know but I plunged my arm up to my shoulder in to grab his collar.
Instantly I screamed and saw tiny spiders, short thing legs with round white backs crawl over my arms. I shook my arm in the hole, trying to smother them against the walls. That only caused these long brown flat slugs to fall. I saw one land on my hand. It had three distinct tendon-like lines running across its back and was about a half inch long. I pulled my arm out of the hole as I felt it pierce its flat head into the back of my hand. I dropped my phone and heard it crack as the light splintered in the small, suffocating tunnel. But I didn't care as I looked at my hand and saw it burrowing its tiny spearhead below my skin. I grabbed at the wiggling tail still exposed and tried pulling it out.
It was like trying to pull our barbed wire. The spines on its body were facing me. So with each pull they dug deeper inside. I could see blood pooling under my skin, it was starting to turn purple as I tugged on its tail even harder. Until it gave. Popped right off and lay twitching in my hand. The head missing.
I couldn't take it anymore. Really. I had tried my best. I shake my head. "Bobbie. Bobbie. I'm sorry." But it didn't matter. When I looked over at Bobbie. He was covered in it. All of it. Even the spiders.
My jeans started shifting as I tried to wiggle myself out of there. But I hear Max's cry again. "Camilia! Please!"
"No," I whimpered. Shaking. I couldn't reach my hand in there again. But his voice was so scared. More scared than the pain I felt.
I shot my arm inside. Bracing. Waiting for the pain. But there was none. Instead my hands grasped around his collar and I felt his cold clammy skin, and yanked him from the hole. He came without much struggle. His face covered in the soot of it all. "Camilia," he cried. "You picked me. You did it."
I didn't have the heart to tell him that I almost didn't.
"Come on," I cried. "We. Have. To go."
The two of us wiggled our way out of there, crawling on our hands and knees, and running when we could. We finally make it back into the study. And the fire is roaring now. One of the books fall from the shelves and when it hit the fire I swear it started screaming. There was so much smoke that I couldn't see. And the door was covered by the flames.
I pointed to the window, the curtains on the floor in ashes. I kick the window. It didn't budge. I coughed. I kicked it again. The glass shook. I kicked it again and my foot went through. Pieces of the glass still hung in the frame, I use the tips of my fingers and pull them back. They fall to the floor cracking until there was a hole big enough for me to get through.
I plunge my head out and take my first breath of fresh air. The moon was full and the sky was clear. I could hear sirens coming off in the distance. When both of my feet were on the roof. I reach my hand back and grab Max from the burning house. Together we run across the clay tiles and climb down the arched tree. The red fire truck comes screeching to a stop as several firemen help us down.
One of them pushes a breathing mask on me, and wraps me up. The neighbors are outside, and the police arrive. I see a familiar car come roaring down the street, screaming to a halt as Molly runs out. Her face is flustered and she's shouting. Pushing through the cops until she reaches me next to the ambulance.
"What happened," she literally screamed at me.
"I'm so sorry," I tell her. "There were these men." I take another breath. "I couldn't do anything! B-but I saved Max! I saved him!"
She looked at the house. It was blazing now in the cool night. "Oh my god. Is Bobbie still in there?" Molly starts to cry. "My baby!"
"Max. But Max." I cough. "Max is okay!"
And she turns to me. I wasn't expecting her to be grateful. But there's anger on her face. "You didn't save my son. But you saved our dog?"
I shake my head. "No. Max. Your other son." I looked around but he was nowhere to be found.
s
submitted by CornerCornea to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 00:50 Tricky_Fly_3569 Watching S1 for the first time

As many of us, I started watching from season 3 (because of Marina). I didn't really think I would get too invested, but I ended up loving some of the characters of the series. I'm watching S1 for the very first time and I have a question: Is it just me or everybody was really annoying? Andy, Jack, Travis and even Vic and Maya are horrible (in season 1). Also, that blue fire episode was terrible (and let's not talk about that weird shit they did before commercial breaks and the horrible intro).
The show's quality has even improved a lot. I'm glad I started watching from S3. I don't think I would've stayed if I had started from the beginning.
I have to say, tho, I really enjoyed episodes 4 and 5 of S1.
submitted by Tricky_Fly_3569 to Station19 [link] [comments]


2023.05.31 00:49 CornerCornea Stranger in the House

"Come inside, the kids are upstairs." Molly was in a rush, I knew this much from the phone call we had earlier. She had never used me before but heard about me through word of mouth. Which meant that my little side hustle was starting to gain traction.
I am a babysitter for a good neighborhood. There's cars parked outside, lawns are manicured, and the occasional termite company is out doing rounds. I don't know why but I always feel as if there's a termite guy nearby, it's a pretty decent area. Which is a far cry from where I live, on the other side of the tracks, literally. There are train tracks that run through our town and it acts as a divide. But they didn't need to know that. They only needed to see the straightened hair, well spoken, fake braces wearing girl in glasses sporting a skirt that wasn't too short where the neighbors would talk.
Usually I sat down with new clients, have them introduce me to their kids (trust me it helps) in order to make a clear cut line with them that I am in their parent's employ and I am not there to be their bestfriend and will definitely tell on them if they act up or break something. That's not to say I won't play silly games with them, feed them, laugh, tell bed time stories, and age appropriate jokes. But I am nobody's rug.
That's what I usually do, but there wasn't such luxury this time. Molly called me on the phone and she sounded desperate for me to come out. I had concert tickets and told her that they were non-refundable and she suggested that if I could make it in 30 minutes then she'd pay me twice the amount for the tickets and 1.5x my usual rate. I got there in 29 minutes. It would have been sooner but I needed to air myself out if you know what I mean.
Anyways, Molly barely had time to look at my face, let alone get any of my credentials as she was rushing out. Working mom it looked like. Business, by the looks of the pencil skirt and the bag that doubled as a folder. It always amazes me how much trust some people put in others to watch their kids. What if I was a serial killer? Or a deranged lunatic? What if I killed the babysitter on my way here and now I'm in a house, alone, with all her children.
I'm not. But I mean, what if, right?
She didn't seem to think about any of these things, leaving me to mumble goodbyes as she pulled out of the driveway, barely audible as the turbos wound up and she shouted something out the window to the likes of, "It's all on the iPad".
Yeah, no more yellow lined paper stuck with the realtor's magnet on the fridge anymore. It's all digital now.
I closed the door and figured that I better check up on the kids before I did a rundown. God this house was beautiful. I climbed the stairs two at a time and rounded the hall. To be fair, calling it a hall was so basic of me. It was more like a wing. West wing madam. The wing could have fit my living room. I click my heels when I heard a snort come from behind me. I came to face a shaggy dog that was well groomed. The collar was black with an underline of blue. Tiffany's undoubtedly. "Hey," I reached a hand and scratched the mop of top. "Let's go find the kids," I tell the dog as if it could understand me.
There were a series of rooms, most of them closed, but it didn't take me a second guess which one was occupied. The second door on the left, I could hear a kid shouting obscenities about someone being trash. I knocked on that door first.
"Come in," he shouted still loud but slightly less angry.
I opened the door and saw a stereotypical gamer's room. Posters, action figures, a rocking gaming chair on the floor in front of a huge flat screen, and a boy about 9 or 10. He had on his headphones and was sipping a Dr. Pepper.
"Don't they know trash day is on Thursdays?"
He cocked his head and laughed, "If you're looking for my mom I think she's downstairs."
"I'm actually looking for you." And let me tell you something. The audacity of this younger generation. The way he looked at me. Almost made me feel as bad as how I felt when he shrugged his shoulders after he had a good look. "Excuse me," I walk in front of him and blocked the screen. "I'm your new babysitter."
He shrugged. "Cool."
"What's your name?"
"You can read all about it somewhere else."
"What?"
"It's all on the iPad," he told me.
"What's your name," I repeated.
He rolls his eyes and looks at me as if I had asked him a stupid question.
I don't budge.
He whined, "Bobbie. Now come on, the next rounds about to start." he pulled his headphones over his ears. I grabbed the remote to get his attention. "What. Hey come on."
"It's nice to meet you Bobbie. Your mom's going to be away for a few hours and I'll be here until she gets back. Dinner is at 6:00 and I will make snacks at 4:30."
"No cap," he motioned at the tv, "Now can I get back to my game.
"Sure I tell him." Pocketing the remote.
"Hey!"
"Bye," I tell him as I close the door behind me.
So I'm back out in the hallway. And I open a few more doors. Some were locked. Before I get into one that's rather plain. There's a picture hanging up behind the bed, a tv, some lamps and shade. On the bed sits an identical, about 9 or 10, twins it seems. Probably why Bobbie was tired of being asked which one he was.
This one was staring at the blank screen. No video games. And quiet. Now I've babysat my share of kids before, and have seen all sorts. Quiet kids are my favorite. They don't mind board games, or listening. Most often times they only need to be left alone. I don't do too much talking in case they get tired of hearing my voice. And I give them a lot of space. "Hey, sorry about that. I didn't think anyone was in here."
He turned to me slowly, "Hi. Are you the new sitter?"
I nodded, "Yup. And I'm guessing that you're Max. I'll be watching you guys while your mom is away."
"She's probably going to work."
"Yeah, looked like it." I see the iPad in his hands. "Hey. I was looking for that."
"She's always at work." He hands it over. "It's dead. And mom took the charger."
I tried not to sigh. This was not how I wanted things to go. "Well, ok. If you need anything. Let me know. Or else I can come get you at 4:30 for snacks and dinner at 6."
He nodded, "Thanks," and goes back to staring at the screen.
I smile but he doesn't see, so I leave, closing the door softly behind me.
I make my way downstairs, wandering into the kitchen and start taking stock of what's there. Which was practically everything. This kitchen was so chic that I half expected Gordon Ramsay to pop out and tell me that the banana bread I made didn't have a clue if he staked the curved yellow fruit down the middle (it's a bad question mark joke. Listen. I never said I was funny).
Once I made sure that there was food, or ingredients to make food. There wasn't much else to do. The house was spotless. The kids were fine. And even the dog seemed well behaved. So I plopped on the couch, took out my fake braces, and watched tv until about 4:10 before I started slicing apples and celery to go with some peanut butter.
I fed the dog some peanut butter and licked my fingers (not with the hand I fed the dog with), before heading upstairs. Bobbie took the plate no problem but I couldn't find Max for the life of me. I wandered the rooms as the dog followed, still trying to lick my hand. "Max, I've got snacks." I knocked on what seemed like the umpteenth door before I get to a rather solid oak one that seemed custom.
Inside was the biggest home library I had ever seen. And I once dog sat for a pretentious professor from the college nearby. I mean, there was a portrait of said academic holding his dog in 18th century art style hanging over the mantle place of the deep wood cabinets filled with books. And yet this library made the other one look like a neighborhood book exchange birdbox.
"Holy..."
"Cow."
I whirled around to find Max standing in the doorway.
"You shouldn't wander into Father's study."
"I was just looking for you," holding up the plate. He made a face. "What? You don't like PB&C?" I took a stick and crunched on the celery.
"I'm not hungry."
I shrug. "Take it anyway. In case you get hungry."
He grabs the plate from me without much struggle so I decide to leave him be. I went back downstairs and crashed in front of the tv.
When I woke up. It was dark. My mouth was dry and all of the lights were off. The screen saver flashed the logo in blinks, lighting up the room only momentarily. For a second I forgot where I was and felt my heart thumping in my chest. My alarm didn't go off but I don't know why I woke up. Then I heard it again. The sound that must have jerked me awake. A crash. It came from upstairs. I grab my phone and glance down at the numbers. It was 8:10. I had slept through dinner. Shit. Shit. Shit. Here I was trying to make a good first impression and I missed out on dinner.
I wipe what drool was on my face and took to the stairs. Bobbie was probably so immersed in his game that he probably didn't even know he was hungry. Max on the other hand. "Max?" I call out down the hall. All of the doors are shut. I can hear something panting behind me. I turn to see the dog again. Its head is down and there's barely any light touching its face. "Hey come here," I called but it retreated in the opposite direction.
Then I shit me not. I heard a creaking come from behind me. It was the only noise in the house. I couldn't even hear Bobbie yelling in his room. I turn slowly and see one of the doors down the hall is now slightly ajar. It's dark in here. It was dark everywhere. I pressed my hands against the wall searching for a light switch. "Bobbie," I call out. There's no answer. "Hey, sorry about the delay in dinner. I'm going to get to it now."
Why was this place so big? And why could I see the door?
"Bobbie. Max?" I hear the dog tapping its paws behind me. Someone on the other side of the house by now. "Hey, where are you guys?" I peer at the single door that's open and realized why it was so prominent. The hall was dark, but what was inside was even darker. Instead of going toward it, I try the first knob my blind fingers came across. Process of elimination I told myself. It was locked. I tried the next one. Also locked. I finally get to Bobbie's door and I knock. "Bobbie." There's no answer. I press my head against the door and listen. But I don't hear a single sound.
"Where are all the light switches in this place!"
The door that was open before slightly opens again. Creaking, *tic tic tic tic*, with each ungreased turn of the hinge. "Shit. Hey, stop playing around."
There's laughing coming from behind me. It sounded like a little kids. Too young to be either of the boys. Followed by smaller footsteps. It sounded like they were barefoot. "Hey, this isn't funny. I'm going to tell your mother when she gets home." I take out my phone and turn on the flashlight. "When is she coming home?" It was almost 8:30, when I realized that we never set a time.
I hear footsteps again, they were odd. Almost like falling. Like a toddler learning how to run for the first time but the hollow ground sounded as if the person was much heavier. I shine my flashlight over the hall. "Shit." The dog was sitting on all fours in the corner. It was facing the wall. I couldn't even see his face. Every hair on its body completely still.
"Hey," I called out. "Come here." I clicked my tongue. "Come here." The dog didn't move. I couldn't even see it breathing.
Bang! It sounded like thunder behind me. As if someone dropped something on the floor. As if something fell off a shelf or was pushed. I jumped around and shone my light down the west wing. I didn't know if I should have been more or less afraid now that the door was closed. "Bobbie? Max?"
God. I did not want to try the door. And I stood there for a minute before realizing how stupid I must have looked. These were some rich kids playing a joke on you Camilia. I know it. The thought of their smug little faces made me stomp out of my frozen state. I took a couple of strides over and grabbed the handle.
"Fuck!" The thing was hot. "What the hell! You guys could have hurt me," I yelled. I banged on the door. "Open up. You two are in so much trouble." I banged on the door again. "Open the door. Right now!" I could hear something on the other side. It sounded like shuffling. Heavy furniture perhaps. "You guys better not be messing things up in there. I'm not going to clean it. I mean it."
I banged on the door. "I can hear you in there! Now come on!" I put my hands on my hips and tapped my foot. "I'm waiting. Your little jokes over now." I banged on the door again.
That's when the door knocked back.
It wouldn't have scared me. I don't think. Except for the fact that I was surprised. And alone in the hall. Without any of the lights on. In a strange house. And before I could say anything else. Another door behind me knocked from the inside. "Shit. Both of you are in on this?" I grabbed the handle to the other door. It was also locked. I banged on it. "Come out right now. Max?"
But then a third door started knocked from down the hall. I felt my throat clump as I tried to swallow. "You guys weren't supposed to have anyone over." The knocking didn't stop. It kept echoing down the hall. "I'm not getting paid for three kids you know?"
Tat-tat-tat-tat. Tat-tat-tat.
I took a single step. And then all of the doors in the hallway suddenly started banging.
I almost tripped as I ran toward the stairs. The doors were thundering on so hard I thought they would crack their hinges. I skipped the stairs, the sounds chasing me as I tried to not fall and break my neck. When I got to the front landing I hear someone say my name.
"Camilia. Are you okay?"
I'm trying not to choke on a lung here as I shot my eyes toward the kitchen. The kids are sitting on the barstools lining the counter. There are two plates in front of them. As if they didn't hear the drumline upstairs.
"Is it dinner time yet," one of them asks quietly.
"Max?"
He smiles.
"Kids. I think there's someone in the house." I rush over to grab each of their hands. Bobbie's wrists are limp but it was Max's hands that shocked me. They were ice cold. I tried to let go but my fingers wouldn't uncurl.
He turns my hand over and says, "There's no one else in this house except us. I promise."
"No," I wasn't about to listen to the kid even if it was his house. "Something is wrong. We have to go. Now." I pick up Bobbie and he doesn't seem to want to move. "Come on Bobbie. Let's go." He looks over at Max who shrugs and get out of his seat.
Bobbie follows as I drag them toward the front door.
"Camilia," Max says.
"What?" He looked scared. Which made me turn toward what he was staring out. At the front door was a tall figure. I couldn't see its face through the glass. It was a stark figure of a man.
"Do you think it's your dad?"
Max shakes his head. I feel him pulling against my arm.
I call out to the man, "Hey! Who is it?" The man doesn't budge. "I'm calling the police." I turn to Bobbie, "Get the phone." He doesn't move. "Hey!" I'm trying to sound as angry as possible. "Get the fuck out of here!" I grabbed a roll of painter's tape from the side table and hurl it across the hall, hitting the glass squarely in the face where the man's head stood blocking the exit. He doesn't even twitch as the glass shakes.
"Come on," I grab their hands and rush to the back. I don't get 10 steps before I feel a scream crawl up my throat making me cough. The man was standing at the sliding door. "Fuck!" I drag the two of them with me towards the kitchen. It's a big place so there had to be a way out to the garage. We push through one of the doors and end up in the laundry room. The next door gets us out into a 3 car garage. My hands find the glowing green opener against the wall and I hear the opener fold seamlessly towards the ceiling.
It started with his feet. Then his ankles. His shins. Then his legs. Light poured in from behind him from the streetlamp. I watched as the door went to his waist before I hit the button for the garage to close, before rushing back inside. We make it into the kitchen to where I still see the tall man standing at the sliding door. A part of me wants to hide in the laundry room but I didn't want to be sandwiched in the middle of the house. So I pull the boys back up the stairs, back to where the doors banged themselves. Taking out my phone as we ascended, and called 911.
"This is the police operator speaking."
"HELLO", I hope they could hear me, "There are several men trying to get inside!"
"Men? Are you in any danger?"
"No! But they have us surrounded!"
"Why don't you go outside?"
My tongue suddenly felt numb in my mouth. Like I didn't know what to do with it. "W-what?"
"It's stranger in the house."
The line went dead as we hit the hallway.
I only took my eyes off of them for a second before Bobbie. Or Max. Runs down the hall. The one or the other already slipping through a door ahead. I look back down the stairs and see that the man is still standing in front of the doorway. I look back up and see the other boy also going through the same door. I take a single step and the doors start pounding on either side. I shut my eyes and turn around. Afraid to go. Almost deciding that these weren't my kids. That I should run away. I take a step backwards mouthing that I was sorry. But I was too scared to go! "Max! Bobbie!" My back foot sticks to the floor. I don't want to look down but the next step sticks too. I point my phone to the ground and see a trail of blood. And just behind me. It's the dog. Split right down the middle, its spine shiny and white, still facing the wall. I could see its organs still pulsing.
I couldn't go back downstairs. I couldn't go the other way. I couldn't leave them here. I couldn't be alone.
I ran after them. The thundering of the doors following me as frames fell to the floor. A vase rolled off a table in the hall. It came crashing at my feet. I run my shoulder through the door, except it wasn't locked. Which caused me to go crashing, sprawling to the floor. Running into the desk in the middle of the room.
The study.
Many of the books were off the shelves. The carpet was torn. There were curtains on fire. It was the first time a saw a window as they burned.
"Camilia!"
I hear one of their voices shouting at me.
"Camilia!" It came again. "Help!"
I get to my feet and start working my hands along the desk. I didn't have to search far. The bookcase directly behind the chair had been swung open. "Camilia!" I wipe the blood from my eyebrow where it had split and step into the tunnel behind the secret passage.
The tunnel started off tall and wide, but as I kept walking in. It got smaller and smaller. I started having to hunch. Several times I decided to turn back. But their voices would echo through, calling for me. Asking for help. "I'm coming!"
"I can't hold on! Camilia! Please!"
The twins cry for help bounced off the walls. I was finally on my hands and knees when I finally see two holes on either side. I'm afraid to look but then one of their voices came through clear as day. "Camilia." It was right in my ear now. I turned to see the boy naked and huddling, hugging his knees at the back of his hole.
"Camilia! Help! I don't want to play this game anymore!"
"Bobbie?"
"Help me!"
I look into the hole, the walls are pressing on my back and there's dust going into my lungs. I can barely turn my shoulder. "Crawl out!"
"I can't!"
"Crawl out! I'm right here." I take out my hand, "Come on!"
"Camilia!" Came a voice from the other side.
I turn my head and see Max in the other hole.
"No!" Bobbie shouts at me. "No!"
"Hold on," I tell him. "I'm going to get both of you out of here."
"No," Bobbie cries. "It's all his fault. He's the one that did it. He's the one that wants to get out!"
"Bobbie, what are you talking about."
"He's the one that put something in your drink so you'd fall asleep!"
"He's lying!" Max's voice rang through. "It's him! I saw him. Always in father's study! Reading those books! Trying out those things he reads. Those curses. Those spells. It's why the shadow men are after him! Camilia! You have to believe me."
I can hear Bobbie crying, "Why are you lying! I don't want to play anymore," he screeches. "I don't want to play!" He sobs. "You said you'd go away if I told you that I didn't want to play anymore."
I don't know what made me do it. It sure wasn't the nauseating squealing tantrum of the boy which made me reach for him first. Maybe it was because I wanted him to shut up. I don't know but I plunged my arm up to my shoulder in to grab his collar.
Instantly I screamed and saw tiny spiders, short thing legs with round white backs crawl over my arms. I shook my arm in the hole, trying to smother them against the walls. That only caused these long brown flat slugs to fall. I saw one land on my hand. It had three distinct tendon-like lines running across its back and was about a half inch long. I pulled my arm out of the hole as I felt it pierce its flat head into the back of my hand. I dropped my phone and heard it crack as the light splintered in the small, suffocating tunnel. But I didn't care as I looked at my hand and saw it burrowing its tiny spearhead below my skin. I grabbed at the wiggling tail still exposed and tried pulling it out.
It was like trying to pull our barbed wire. The spines on its body were facing me. So with each pull they dug deeper inside. I could see blood pooling under my skin, it was starting to turn purple as I tugged on its tail even harder. Until it gave. Popped right off and lay twitching in my hand. The head missing.
I couldn't take it anymore. Really. I had tried my best. I shake my head. "Bobbie. Bobbie. I'm sorry." But it didn't matter. When I looked over at Bobbie. He was covered in it. All of it. Even the spiders.
My jeans started shifting as I tried to wiggle myself out of there. But I hear Max's cry again. "Camilia! Please!"
"No," I whimpered. Shaking. I couldn't reach my hand in there again. But his voice was so scared. More scared than the pain I felt.
I shot my arm inside. Bracing. Waiting for the pain. But there was none. Instead my hands grasped around his collar and I felt his cold clammy skin, and yanked him from the hole. He came without much struggle. His face covered in the soot of it all. "Camilia," he cried. "You picked me. You did it."
I didn't have the heart to tell him that I almost didn't.
"Come on," I cried. "We. Have. To go."
The two of us wiggled our way out of there, crawling on our hands and knees, and running when we could. We finally make it back into the study. And the fire is roaring now. One of the books fall from the shelves and when it hit the fire I swear it started screaming. There was so much smoke that I couldn't see. And the door was covered by the flames.
I pointed to the window, the curtains on the floor in ashes. I kick the window. It didn't budge. I coughed. I kicked it again. The glass shook. I kicked it again and my foot went through. Pieces of the glass still hung in the frame, I use the tips of my fingers and pull them back. They fall to the floor cracking until there was a hole big enough for me to get through.
I plunge my head out and take my first breath of fresh air. The moon was full and the sky was clear. I could hear sirens coming off in the distance. When both of my feet were on the roof. I reach my hand back and grab Max from the burning house. Together we run across the clay tiles and climb down the arched tree. The red fire truck comes screeching to a stop as several firemen help us down.
One of them pushes a breathing mask on me, and wraps me up. The neighbors are outside, and the police arrive. I see a familiar car come roaring down the street, screaming to a halt as Molly runs out. Her face is flustered and she's shouting. Pushing through the cops until she reaches me next to the ambulance.
"What happened," she literally screamed at me.
"I'm so sorry," I tell her. "There were these men." I take another breath. "I couldn't do anything! B-but I saved Max! I saved him!"
She looked at the house. It was blazing now in the cool night. "Oh my god. Is Bobbie still in there?" Molly starts to cry. "My baby!"
"Max. But Max." I cough. "Max is okay!"
And she turns to me. I wasn't expecting her to be grateful. But there's anger on her face. "You didn't save my son. But you saved our dog?"
I shake my head. "No. Max. Your other son." I looked around but he was nowhere to be found.

s
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2023.05.31 00:47 Creepy_Resolution_21 Apple Watch s7 or s6?

I can’t choose…
This will be my first Apple Watch
Idk if I need the enlarged screen of the seventh series
I measured it in the store,and I can tell you I want the 40/41 mm
HELP
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2023.05.31 00:47 jabar18 2023 Season Innings Recap - 3rd Inning Completed.

Breaking 162 games into 9 innings gets you 18 games. After Sunday’s game against the Rockies, the Mets have now completed the third inning of the season. Here's the second inning recap.

Now here's the recap for the third inning of the season:

Positives:

Negatives:

Injuries:

Things to watch for in inning #4:

Top 5 Moments of Inning #3 (not ranked, positive and/or negative moments).

  1. Series wins against the Rays and Guardians include thrilling late-inning heroics. A week that saved the Mets season?
  2. Alvarez hits a game tying HR with two outs in the 9th against the Rays to set up Alonso’s walk off HR in extras.
  3. Lindor walks off his old team in another late game comeback.
  4. Verlander outduels Beiber in primetime on ESPN Sunday night in the longest starting pitching battle so far in MLB this season.
  5. Senga punches out 12 Rays and only gives up one earned run against baseball’s most potent offense.
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2023.05.31 00:47 TurtleTimeline Climate-resilient gardens: future-proof your landscape

https://turtletimeline.com/climate-resilient-gardens-future-proof-your-landscape/

The importance of climate-resilient landscapes

By Victoria Cummins / Turtle Timeline
In today’s world, it’s hard to ignore the undeniable reality of climate change. The impacts of rising temperatures, more frequent extreme weather events, ocean acidification, and changes in species behavior are just a few ecological changes that have become very apparent. We now find ourselves in a time where adaptation is not just a choice but a necessity, especially as younger generations come of age.
That’s why creating a climate-resilient garden or landscape is not only a deep and profound way to take care of the earth, but a necessity for our survival as a species.
A climate-resilient landscape offers us a proactive and practical way to navigate the uncertainties of our changing climate, while also reconnecting in ways that may have been lost from the generations before us.
By prioritizing ecological balance, and conserving resources, climate-resilient landscapes provide sustainable solutions that benefit humans and the intricate web of life on Earth. In this article, we will explore and delve into the three key elements that define resilient landscapes, in hopes that we can translate these into our home gardens and beyond.

Storing water in the landscape: efficient water management techniques

Water is life, and without it, we wouldn’t exist. Through large-scale industrialization and the misuse of water, the hydrological cycle has been broken in many places across the world. Without concerted efforts to repair and restore the hydrological cycle, the scarcity of water will persist and worsen.
In the garden, we are presented with the opportunity to work with water rather than depleting it from a local fresh source. By employing efficient water management techniques, we can transform our gardens into regenerative and abundant havens that not only conserve water but also begin to restore the greater watershed.
Rainwater harvesting stands as a cornerstone of water sustainability, allowing us to capture the gift of rainfall and channel it where it’s needed most. A common phrase used in permaculture and greater water harvesting communities is: “Slow it, Spread, it, Sink it.”
Embracing the practices of systems such as permaculture, we can design our landscapes to include techniques such as swales and terraces, strategically directing and retaining water to nourish our plants and replenish the groundwater reserves.
Store water in containers such as rain cisterns and apply materials that make use of local waste streams and store water in the soil like wood chips. Select drought-tolerant plant species that reduce evaporation and minimize and even eliminate the need for additional irrigation.
Work with the rain instead of allowing it to run directly into roadways and farm fields. Collectively through these mindful approaches, we become stewards of water, recognizing its life-giving ability and ensuring its responsible use in the garden – and beyond!

Soil health: building a strong foundation

Today you might hear someone call soil “dirt”, but the truth is, our soil is so much more than that. All life on Earth can be traced back to the minerals found in our soil. From the tiniest microorganisms to the grandest trees and biggest creatures, the essential elements and nutrients provided by soil minerals are the building blocks that sustain and support life. It’s estimated that a single teaspoon of healthy soil can contain billions of microorganisms!
On top of this, the healthiest and most successionally advanced ecosystems on our planet are characterized by the presence of thriving and rich soil. In the garden, we can mimic these same environments by enriching our soil with practices such as:
By feeding your soil you are in turn feeding your plants, which is a much different concept than the modern idea of adding fertilizer sourced from across the world solely to “feed” your plants. What we really need to do is feed our soil, which will establish a robust foundation that heals through water infiltration, carbon sequestration, and overall ecosystem health.

Choosing plants that allow for life to thrive

On our journey to future-proof our gardens for the challenges of climate change, the selection of plants takes on a huge role in cultivating an environment that fosters resilience and enables life to thrive.
You have probably seen a traditional garden with a lawn that contains only ornamental flowers and requires many inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides, and water in order to sustain itself. Outside of some pollination and aesthetic beauty, this ecosystem takes much more from the earth (and from us!) than it gives back, depleting instead of enriching the landscape.
With a more mindful approach, we can choose plants with characteristics that are adaptable to changing climatic conditions, capable of withstanding droughts, and resilient to extreme weather events. In your garden, choose plants with some of the following in mind:

Edible plants

Our modern food system is broken. By integrating edible plants into our gardens, it not only offers the joy of homegrown food but also enhances our self-sufficiency and food security.
Cultivating a diverse array of perennial edible plants, from fruits and vegetables to herbs and medicinal plants, we not only nourish ourselves but break the unhealthy patterns of supporting large-scale, mono-cropped, and industrialized agriculture. We rely on ourselves and in turn work with our neighbors and communities to trade what’s available.

Native plants

Choosing native plants for our gardens allows us to embrace the inherent wisdom of our local ecosystem. Native plants have coevolved with the regional climate, soil conditions, and wildlife, making them well-adapted to the local environment and known to thrive. They often serve multiple functional roles as well such as fertilizing the soil, providing food, and pollination services.
Incorporating native plants, we create habitats that support local biodiversity, provide food and shelter for native wildlife, and restore the ecological balance that is crucial for the long-term health of our landscapes.

Drought-tolerant plants

Amidst the increasing water scarcity challenges posed by climate change, selecting drought-tolerant plants is a wise choice for our gardens as it means we have to water less. These plants have evolved mechanisms to thrive with minimal water inputs, reducing and eliminating the need for irrigation and conserving precious water resources.

Providing a refuge for wildlife

Our gardens can serve as sanctuaries, offering a refuge for wildlife in the midst of urbanization and habitat loss. Many species on the brink of extinction have been observed to migrate toward more rich ecosystems that better suit their needs.
Intentionally including plants that provide food, shelter, and nesting sites for birds, butterflies, bees, and other beneficial creatures, we create havens of biodiversity. The bonus of that is experiencing the joy that these creatures bring while in our presence.

Plants with multiple uses

Plants with multiple uses are an invaluable addition to our climate-resilient gardens. By selecting plants that offer various benefits beyond their aesthetic appeal, we maximize the productivity and functionality of our landscapes. These plants may provide edible fruits, leaves, or roots for our sustenance, medicinal properties for healing, fibers for crafting, or even nitrogen fixation to enrich the soil.
Embracing the concept of multi-purpose plants allows us to optimize space and resources, ensuring that every plant contributes to the overall resilience and sustainability of our garden ecosystem.

Conclusion: creating your climate-resilient garden

The journey of creating a climate-resilient garden transcends mere gardening—it becomes an act of profound stewardship and care for ourselves, the land, and the generations yet to come.
Keeping the principles of climate adaptation, soil health, native and drought-tolerant plants, and mindful plant choices at the forefront of our garden design, we embark on a transformative path. We become guardians of the Earth’s vitality, cultivating spaces that nurture not only our present selves but also the future versions of who we will become, as well as the legacy we leave for the next generations.
The rewards of these conscious gardening practices extend far beyond the beauty and bounty we witness in our gardens—they are imprinted on the very fabric of our existence, intertwining with the threads of our interconnectedness and echoing through time.
For more on resources and inspiration projects that are currently gardening with these concepts in mind, see below:
The art of gardening in the Pacific Northwest: how to create a thriving garden
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2023.05.31 00:46 PeakyBlinder13 I welcome you all to deny these evidences. Will include proof that there is The Creators and proof of the one true religion.

First off hope you are having a great day. And hope you continue to have a wonderful day after reading this and possibly debating me. Don't want to get into any fights and arguments. I genuinely believe and might as well say know for a fact that God exists and that my religion is the only possible path to fallow to earn His pleasure.
I will try to keep it short but also present a lot of evidence. I will link a couple of youtube videos which will explain my points a little bit better, just so I don't go on for too long. Only thing I will ask of you when reading this is to keep an open mind. You might have heard a lot of bad things about my religion and you might have some prejudice against it, but hopefully you try to understand.

First point - Existence of THE CREATOR

The golden ratio
The golden ratio, also known as the golden number, golden proportion, or the divine proportion, is a ratio between two numbers that equals approximately 1.618. Usually written as the Greek letter phi, it is strongly associated with the Fibonacci sequence, a series of numbers wherein each number is added to the last. The Fibonacci numbers are 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and so on, with the ratio of each number and the previous number gradually approaching 1.618, or phi.
Now what is interesting about this number. Not only has the golden ratio been used in many historical constructions, art and music. For example the Egyptian pyramids, Taj Mahal, Notre Dame etc. are all built in accordance to this mathematical law. Other examples include the historical paintings and music which incorporate this ratio. Also has been mentioned in the Bible but I will leave the holy books for second point. But still this is explainable, we know that some creators of these historical building and artworks knew about to golden ratio but also some creators were ignorant of its existence.
But still nothing special about using this for art and building. What is special and quiet interesting is when this number 1.618 starts showing up around us in nature (for example; shells of snails, number of petals in a flower, tree branches, roots systems, etc.) and even on our own bodies. In fact it goes so deep in our bodies that it even applies to our DNA.
Perhaps you can say this is all just a coincidence, perhaps it does not mean anything to you but for me it means that there must be a Creator of this universe, of this world we live in, because all this order in the nature cannot just be on its own.
There is a lot of logical points I could make about the existence of God but I feel like this one is the best because there is no denying it, you can not tiptoe around it. You can choose to believe that it does not mean anything and that it does not prove anything but that is just something we do sometimes, we fail to accept the facts when they are right in front of us.
What we can all agree on is that this number and this ratio is important, whether or not we believe that it proves the existence of God. At the end of my second point I will also connect this number to the religion I am about to speak on.
Source:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keLN89CWZ-A
https://kucdinteractive.com/croy/golden-ratio-site/humans.html


Second point - One true religion - Islam

First off I would like to clarify that we as muslims don't like to call Islam a religion. I know a lot of atheist have a problem with that word also. Organized religion or religion in general. We like to think of Islam as a way of life. To be a muslim by definition is to submit your will to God. Reason why I asked you to keep an open mind is because depending on where you are reading this from. Islam might have been presented to you in a very bad way. Terrorism, oppression, backwards religion etc. But today I will try to focus on facts, I will not deny the existence of muslim terrorist and muslim oppressors, but I will ask you to keep in mind also that we believe that Islam is perfect but the one who practices is not.
Miracles of the Quran
When it comes to the miracles in the Quran there are too many to count but I will try and to state the most important and the most interesting ones. Hopefully this does not go on for too long.

1.) Indeed, it is We who sent down the message [i.e., the Qur’ān], and indeed, We will be its guardian. 15:9
Definitely the most important one, if its not impressive enough that the Quran has been perfectly preserved for 1400 years we will use this as foundation that nothing in the Quran can be faked or added in modern times to remain current.
In 2015, experts from the University of Birmingham discovered the Birmingham Quran manuscript, which is possibly the oldest manuscript of the Quran in the world. Radiocarbon analysis to determine the age of the manuscript revealed that this manuscript could be traced back to some time between 570-632 AD.

2.) Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’ān? If it had been from [any] other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction. 4:82
14 centuries of critics have passed and not a single error or contradiction can be found, despite great advancements in knowledge

3.) Some of scientific signs include, the Big Bang, expansion of the Universe and every living thing being made of water.
Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and then We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe? 21:30
We built the universe with ˹great˺ might, and We are certainly expanding ˹it˺. 51:47
The discovery that the Universe is expanding is one of the great intellectual revolutions of the 20th century. -Stephen Hawking
How could have prophet Muhammad SAW know this in the 6th century unless this book is truly divine.

4.)Preservation of Pharoah of Egypt.
While the Bible does mention that the Pharoah and his army were drowned by Moses a.s. when he split the sea, the Quran adds a very important detail about the preservation of Pharoah's body.
Today We will preserve your corpse so that you may become an example for those who come after you. And surely most people are heedless of Our examples!” 10:92
https://theislamicinformation.com/blogs/why-is-pharaohs-body-so-preserved/

5.)The way that the Quran was written.
The Quran fallows a very remarkable structure called the ring composition. Ring composition is a way of indicating the unity of a specific episode by means of symmetry: the first element corresponds to the last, the second to the next-to-last, and so on. (see more in the video I link at the end).

6.) Mathematical miracles
There are countless mathematical miracles in the Quran. Some of those are the word day being mentioned 365 times, month 12 times, mirroring words like life and death which are mentioned the same number of times, angles the same number as devils, good deeds the same as bad deeds and so on. One very interesting one is that land is mentioned 13 times and sea is mentioned 32 times. Ratio between this two numbers just happens to be 71.111% and 28.888%. If you don't already know this, google how much of the earth is covered with water.
Check this video for some more mathematical miracles:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtnfR3QBkNw&t=729s

7.) How was Quran revealed
The Quran came down over the timespan of 23 years. It came down in spoken form and was not written down. Once the verses came down the prophet Muhammad SAW recited them and his companions memorized them. The verses did not go through and editing process, once they were spoken it was done. They could not have been planned ahead of time because some of them were revealed as a results of life experiences that were out of prophets control. All of this while also keeping in mind that prophet Muhammad SAW was illiterate. So much linguistic eloquence, mathematical miracles, and fulfilled prophecies from a man who lived in 6th century who could not read or write. I don't think so.

8.)Open challenge
And if you are in doubt about what We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a sûrah like it and call your helpers other than Allah, if what you say is true. 2:23
But if you are unable to do so—and you will never be able to do so—then fear the Fire fuelled with people and stones, which is prepared for the disbelievers. 2:24
1400 years have passed and no book or text or speech in any language has come close to competing with the quality, eloquence and the perfection of the Quran

9.) We will show them Our signs in the universe and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that this ˹Quran˺ is the truth. 41:53

Like I said miracles in the Quran are countless, people who read the Quran have a feeling like it is a letter that speaks to them directly, it remains current after 1400 years, while reading it you have a feeling like it was revealed just couple of decades ago.

Source for second point:
Why is Quran a miracle? (you can find some more details here): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q_4y0p-UHE
Mathematical miracles of the Quran: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtnfR3QBkNw&t=729s
How is Pharoah's body preserved: https://theislamicinformation.com/blogs/why-is-pharaohs-body-so-preserved/

To connect the first and second point as promised. You can check out this video. It speaks about the golden ration of the earth, where is located. I will let you watch the video, there is too much writing and this post will go on for too long.
The mysteries of the Mecca: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loeFN3VHCWc

-Third point (optional and not as clear evidence as the Quran, but if you are willing to do some more research yourself about the life of the prophet Muhammad SAW you will find many proofs in his life)

Some more proof could be taken out of the life of our dear prophet Muhammad SAW. I won't get too much into it because I am trying to keep this short and simple. First of we have the sunnah of the prophet Muhammad SAW, which are basically some minor or major actions and habits he used to apply to his daily life which are getting constantly proven to be good and/or healthy for us. Examples include drinking water while sitting down and also drinking it slowly. Science proves that when a person drinks too much water in a short period of time, the kidneys cannot flush it out fast enough and the blood becomes waterlogged, which can, strangely, become a cause of death. Some other ones is eating while sitting on the floor, sleeping on your right side, etc. You might think some of these things are stupid and unimportant, but they all have a reason, just like drinking water, every sunnah of the prophet has a good reason behind it. There is so much to say about the sunnah of the prophet so I will leave it off here and you can do your own research if you are interested. We also learn how to practice the religion from the sunnah.

Some other proofs of Muhammad's SAW prophethood are his prophecies which I will just link here and you can watch if you want to.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW8_YWIwa3U

Please try to address these point and evidences before you say, yeah but what about this and that... Or at least agree with me and then ask me about something else :)
I will try to reply to every single one of you, don't be hateful, try to prove me wrong, God very much exists, He created me and you and everything we see around us, to Him we will return and Islam is the only possible way of life.
Edit: Did not mean to say don't try to prove me wrong, I meant don't be hateful, and try to prove me wrong, sorry for the confusion.
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2023.05.31 00:43 FrankyDaffy Apple’s WWDC event is coming up. Puts or Calls, what’s the play?

So, Apple’s WWDC will be debuting on June 5th and will continue till June 9th.
They’ll be releasing all of their new software, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14, watchOS 10 and tvOS 17. But no one cares about that stuff, we’re all here to see if the new “Reality Pro” headset (which is the rumoured name) will be a turning point in how we view AVR.
There have been reports suggesting that the upcoming headset could resemble ski goggles, featuring 8K displays, multiple cameras, and an external battery pack. It is rumoured to come with a price exceeding $3,000 (ouch).
This launch is highly anticipated as Apple ventures beyond the iPhone and explores a new realm of wearable devices. It is expected to bring forth a fresh platform of apps and services specifically designed to provide users with an immersive experience. Should Apple release its headset, a significant aspect of the unveiling would likely revolve around the speculated xrOS (extended reality OS). Apple is anticipated to provide an overview of the primary functionalities, developer resources, and approaches for this operating system, which is believed to emphasize entertainment and communication.
In summary, the rumored Apple headset and potential xrOS introduction could signify a major milestone for the company, venturing beyond the iPhone into immersive experiences. While details remain unclear, the anticipation surrounding these developments is palpable, promising exciting possibilities for developers and users.
So is this a case of “buy the rumour, sell the news”, or will you regards put all your money into 0DTEs puts?
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2023.05.31 00:42 IfuDidntCome2Party Galaxy Watch App wish list

I just thought of an app would like to add to the wish list, in case there are Galaxy Watch Developers looking for an idea to make Galaxy Watch stand out.
I would like a Galaxy Watch app that you could use NFC Tools to copy a NFC card and write it to your Watch to unlock your smart lock. It appears there are Apple iWatch versions available to open your Smart Lock, but no compatible Galaxy Watch Smart Locks.
And also allow to copy multiple NFC cards and use different NFCs for different places, instead of keeping up with multiple NFC cards.
Just trying to think of something to make Galaxy Watch stand out in features.
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2023.05.31 00:42 Priestfoxley Questions about the Active 2; help me, redditors, you are my only hope.

My beloved Moto360 3rd died. I need a replacement. I tried a galaxy 4, the one that links to a phone plan, and I was frustrated. I would like to use spotify on my phone, through my bluetooth headset, but have a watch that lets me check messages and control spotify through my phone. The Galaxy wanted to be the primary controller, not letting me switch between apps, and always attempted to play music through the onboard speaker.
Will an active 2 or active 3 work the same way?
I keep my phone in my pocket at work, so I just need to be able to check my wrist to see if a text is important enough to take my phone out of my toolbox, or skip a song I am not feeling.
Thank you for your help, all.
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2023.05.31 00:38 bobear2017 Is teacher:student ratio more important than actual teaching with young toddlers?

My two younger children (3 and 16 months) are both currently at the same preschool. It is considered one of the best preschools in the area; however, they do have rather large classes - I believe there are 15 kids in my 16 month old’s class with 3 teachers.
A spot recently opened up at a home daycare my friend sends her kids to and loves/trusts, and I’m seriously considering sending my youngest there in the fall. I have come up with the following pros/cons:
Pros: - much better student to teacher ratios (5-6 kids with 2 caregivers) - about $2500/year cheaper - meals provided vs having to send lunch - I trust the person who referred me to the home daycare, as she has known them her entire life and they watched her kids and nieces/nephews
Cons: - inconvenient, as we would now be having to drop off at 3 different locations - likely will not be doing as many activities/teaching as much - the kids there will be mixed in age between 0-3, whereas her current daycare all the kids are within 3 months of each other. I know the kids there now are between 18 months - 2, but I worry in the future some will leave and be replaced with infants
I’m seriously torn on which way to go! Anyone have any advice/thoughts? I feel like the convenience vs cost kind of cross each other out, so I am more focusing on which would be the best for her developmentally
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2023.05.31 00:27 OneBoredMan02 Time to be a Hero Volume 23

Worst Case Scenario - Time to be a Hero - Volume 23
Thursday 14th June 2017
WARNING: THIS VOLUME CONTAINS VIOLENCE AND STRONG LANGUAGE!
I sigh as the gentle breeze graces my face, I've really got nothing to do right now. I'm just here looking over the town as I search for any suspicious activities going on, but alas nothing. It's been like this for some nights, were nothing happens and I felt like I just wasted my time. But I guess being here just in case is better then just racing out of my house at the last minute. But the down side of being out here is that I am more than bored. Also the rain doesn't really help things. I sit down and spawn an umbrella for shelter as I take my mask off and look at it. I wonder what the normal thug thinks when he sees this? Fear? Regret? Worry? I don't really know, I place the mask onto the ground as someone hovers above me? It can only be one person.
B: "Hey Moni~"
M: "Heya Bobo~" She sits beside me with two coffees? "Here!"
B: "Did you buy these?"
M: "I know you can make them out of thin air but I don't want to put my favourite coffee place out of business now!" I shake my head as I take the cup.
B: "But you are putting me on the side-lines!"
M: "I know it's a tough choice..." She leans against me as I put my arm around her.
B: "Did you see or hear anything?"
M: "No, not much of anything? It's been real quiet tonight."
B: "Ah well then..." We sit there in silence together, only taking the occasional drink as the rain pours down around us. It's not long before Monika looks at me.
M: "Do you want to head back to HQ? I think Sayori said she had something to show us tonight!"
B: "Really? She didn't say anything to me?"
M: "Oh it's top secret! A little surprise for everyone~" I nod as we stand up and finish off our drinks. "Come on then! Race you there!" She flies up as I put my mask back on.
B: "You're on!" I leap off the roof as she just flies off, this seems unfair and I did not think about this beforehand. But who cares? I'm just happy to be spending time with the person I love! I've been missing out on these feelings and the sense of comfort that comes from a person you love and trust so much. I've just...been rather lonely the past few years so just getting a new person there means the world to me you know? 'I know, I'm happy I can give you that comfort and love~' I know you do Monika, thank you. 'You're welcome, now hurry up slowpoke!' I chuckle as I land on the roof and run across it to see Monika hovering above the street?
M: "Come on Sparrow! You're far too slow tonight!"
B: "Just give me two seconds-" Before I can finish I see a hand in front of me as Alex grabs me?! "What?!" Not another surprise spar!
A: "Come with me now!" He sounds serious? We teleport to the HQ as he disappears again to only come back with Monika this time?
M: "What's wrong?" I look over to see a concerned looking Yuri and a rather distressed Sayori? "What's going on guys?" Monika steps up as her tone goes serious. I walk over to Alex.
B: "So, what's going on?" He looks at me and just shrugs?
A: "I don't know, Sayori just said you grab you guys immediately? She sounds really worried?" I nod as we both walk over to see Sayori working on the laptop?
M: "Sayori what's wrong?"
S: "...." Monika looks back at me as I shrug. What's gotten into Sayori?
Y: "uhmm, we have a big problem." Yuri turns around as she holds out a note? Monika takes the note as me and Alex hover her shoulder to read it? It's...a message?
'If you want to see her again, then come to the old churchyard'
The hell? Is this a letter about a hostage? Who took who anyway?
S: "They've got Nat." What!?
M: "Uh?! Who?!"
S: "I don't know, some guys in suits? They were like the men in black Monika! They just came out of nowhere and shot her with a taser! I barely escaped but they got her!" …
B: "...oh no..." Everyone looks at me as my hands shake.
M: "Botan what's wrong??" Monika comes up to me as I stare into her eyes. "Botan...?"
B: "They're here...." Both Monikas' and Sayoris' eyes go wide as they look at me.
S: "You don't mean it's...them?"
B: "It's Coomer. They're here."
A: "Coomer? Are you sure? This could just be some of the big mens' guys no?"
Y: "That's...the worst case scenario." Yuri pulls up a feed onto the wall as we all look at it. Seems like she did her homework. "I did a bit of digging for this day. Ever since you told me what these guys were about Botan." Me and Yuri share an uneasy glare as she takes a shaky breath before starting her presentation. "Coomer Industries, on the surface they are a pharmaceutical company."
A: "They make all kinds of drugs, even treatment for certain cancers! They're good people! Are you sure they're the same guys who took Nat?" I look at him as Monika quickly puts her hand on my shoulder.
M: "Alex...you know of Botan's past right?"
A: "Of course I do. I just think we got muddled up here, I mean these guys are good! Isn't there another Coomer or something??" I glare at him.
B: "They killed my family, experimented on me and hunted me for all my life! I know these people! They are the same fuckers who took my life away Alex!! Don't fucking ask me again if I'm sure about it!!" Silence as Alex blinks.
A: "Well...seems you're set about this then?"
M: "Don't be fucking smart Alex!" Monika snaps at him as she rubs my arm.
A: "Sorry..." Yuri clears her throat.
Y: "Yes, as I was saying that's only on the surface. Below that they are a biochemical and bioweapon manufacturer for the government and army." Yuri clicks a button as it shows multiple images of guns, vials, death squads and all kinds of things. I know them all too well...
M: "I'm here..." I know you are...
A: "woah..."
Y: "They're a superpower hiding in plain sight, and from what Botan has told me and what I could dig up on the dark web they are the real deal. They are serious. But I don't think it'll be right if I was the one talking about them..." Everyone looks at me as I feel myself shrink in place.
M: "You don't have to honey, Yuri can keep going!"
Y: "That I can, just give me the word Botan."
B: "I uh....maybe it'll help if I do?" Monika looks unsure but Sayori steps forward.
S: "Talking about past trauma does help, it helped me when I talked about Manato so we should at least let Botan talk about Coomer." Monika sighs and lets go of my hand.
B: "R-right..." I walk over to where Yuri was just standing and turn around to face the others. "Ummm, Coomer. Right, uh...yeah, so they're dangerous..." I've never felt this nervous before.
A: "Okay...?"
M: "Botan you don't need to do this-"
S: "Give him a chance." Monika stands back as I look at my hands.
B: "Umm...they have...all kinds of resources and weaponry, they uh...have access to a lot of manpower and...yeah...they're just...very dangerous..."
S: "Right uh, could you give us a little more than-"
M: "That's enough! Botan come on!" Monika calls me over like a dog as I stand there. "Come on..."
B: "Uh...listen if they took Nat and left us this note then they must know that I'm here, or they have some idea?" A lightbulb then goes off in my head! "...the duplicate!"
A: "Uh?"
B: "He said about the big man having some connection to someone outside! Maybe it's possible that he was talking about Coomer!"
M: "Are you sure?"
B: "The duplicate said it with his own mouth! I knew he wasn't bluffing!"
S: "Are they working together?"
B: "Highly likely, but if it's one thing Coomer won't stand for it's working openly with a criminal organisation. Sooner or later, they will put a knife in the big man's back."
A: "Yeah but how long until that?"
B: "Awhile, they just need to build up trust and that will be that."
M: "So what do we do?"
B: "Sayori?" Sayori looks at me. "When did Natsuki get taken?"
S: "Uh...an hour or so ago?"
B: "How many men did you see?"
S: "Uh....twenty? Maybe thirty? They just came of nowhere and hit us like a truck!"
B: "Okay we still have time! We need to grab Nat and move base!"
M: "Huh? Why?"
B: "They will question her, and they have their ways of making people talk!" Everyone looks at each other nervously.
S: "Nat wouldn't do that to us right? She would never tell some strangers who we are and where we live! Right?"
B: "Again, they have their ways."
A: "Jeez...well what now? We can't really just go in guns blazing, they'll just take us out too!"
B: "I have a plan." Everyone looks at me. "Monika? You're not going to like this but I'm going to surrender myself." Monika rips her mask off and throws it at the ground as everyone stares in shock at me.
M: "No! Don't even suggest that!!"
B: "They want me! They don't want anything to do with you, remember I'm the priority to these guys! When they have me in custody they don't need to be here, they'll slip away just as quietly as they arrived!"
M: "No, I'm not sacrificing you! Or anyone else!"
A: "Monika, listen. Maybe he's right-" Monika slaps Alex as hard as she can!
M: "Don't agree with him, do not even try to convince me to give up MY boyfriend to some fucking company!"
S: "Monika, I'm not going to convince you but...do you have a better idea?" Monika goes quiet.
M: "This....this is so unfair...." I hug her as she latches onto me. "This is unfair...."
B: "I know but...that's not the end of the plan." Everyone looks at me again. "I'm not really going to surrender myself after all this time, while someone takes me in for a swap the other three will stand by and get the jump on them! Now that I think about it, the best option for the handoff will be you Sayori." Sayori looks stunned.
S: "Me? Why me?!"
B: "We'll be in the thick of it, besides we'll be with Nat. She'll medical help so it's better that you can get to her right away as us four buy you time to escape!"
A: "That's a good idea! I could even teleport you guys out!"
B: "Even better! Somewhere quiet and discreet, don't come back to help us just focus your efforts on Natsuki alright?" Sayori sighs and nods.
S: "I'll do the best I can."
B: "As for us?" I look at Monika and Yuri. "We do everything we can to make sure Sayori and Natsuki get out of there alright. We can either stay and fight or run. When Alex comes back that's when we have to make a choice, while yes Coomer does have the upper hand it's our call. I'll just say now, they fight like animals. They will kill you if given the chance, they're not like the thugs out on the street. A mistake will be punished by death. Understand?"
Y: "Understood."
M: "....yeah."
A: "Okay. So...do we prepare?"
B: "I'd say we just go, I think we've wasted far too much time here anyway." Everyone starts to gear up as Monika walks up to me.
M: "I will protect you with everything I have."
B: "Monika if things go south and they take me... I want you to make sure they can't get me." She just shakes her head.
M: "Don't say that."
B: "If they take me I will go back to that hell, I'm asking you to make sure I will not be taken in alive."
M: "I can't....I won't...." She's crying as she holds my cheeks and stares into my eyes. "I will not do that to you Botan....I will not kill you..."
A: "I will." Alex steps forward?
M: "Don't you even fucking lay a hand on him!"
B: "Are you sure?"
A: "Yeah, I...if you don't want to go back I'll make sure you won't..."
M: "Alex I will fucking kill you if you even think-"
B: "Thank you." We shake hands as Monika looks on horrified.
M: "Botan!? No!"
B: "It's okay, that's only the worst case scenario... I don't want to go back Monika, you saw what I had to go through. I don't want to go back to that place." She just shakes her head.
M: "No....no....no...." She hits my chest softly as I sigh.
B: "It's okay..." I hug her as everyone appears to be ready.
S: "Right so...are you ready Botan?" I nod as I take my mask off and walk over to her. "Monika?"
M: "....."
B: "Hey?" She looks at me. "Fight hard Monika, I'll be counting on you." She blinks before putting her mask back on and walking over very determined.
M: "You are not getting the chance to kill him." She says to Alex before turning to me. "I will not let you be caught, if I let you down then...what's the point?"
B: "The point is I love you~" She smiles as we kiss briefly.
M: "Please come out okay..."
Y: "We will do our best Monika."
A: "Yeah, we'll fight hard!"
M: "Good...." Alex nods.
A: "Okay then, we ready?" Everyone nods. "Okay, here we go!" Alex first teleports me and Sayori just outside the church ground. "Good luck guys..."
B: "You too..."
S: "Stay safe Alex..." He then disappears as Sayori looks at me. "You know, you can abandon this plan and...we can come up with something else?"
B: "No this...this is the only way, Nat needs us now." She nods as she puts some cuffs on me.
S: "They're unlocked, you can just slip out of them okay?"
B: "Right..." She pushes the gate open, makes sure she's holding me tight and escorts me up the path. The moon shines down as it only shows the trees and the path ahead, apart from that we're surrounded by darkness. Not even the rain has stuck around for this moment. We walk in silence for a bit before I see a red laser being pointed at us. "see that?" I whisper at her.
S: "yeah I do...." She makes on a display that I'm struggling and I play along. "Come on you!"
B: "No don't please! I don't want to go back! Please let me go!!" Our struggle gets the attention of some other lasers as they too point at us. "Please! Just let me go!"
S: "I need my friend back, I'm sorry but this is the only way!"
B: "Oh god! You're going to kill me!!" I spawn in a knife as Sayori spots it and slaps it out of my hands! "No!"
S: "That won't work! Come on!" I can see Yuri, Alex and Monika hanging back in the brush, Monika looking very hurt at my performance right now. We arrive at the old church building as the red lasers focus on my chest. We stand there for awhile before Sayori clears her throat. "Hello?!"
...
"I've brought the person you want!" She holds me in place as I try to run. "You have my friend so let's make a trade! You get what you want, I get what I want. We all go home happy!" Still nothing. "Hello? Is anyone even there?" The door opens with a creak as one man in a suit steps out saying nothing. "Hello?"
?: "..."
S: "You heard my offer, now let me see my friend!" …something's wrong? 'What is it?!' I don't know, it's just...really quiet.
?: "Eyes on alpha target sir." The man speaks into his radio as there's some sort of message laid back to him in his earpiece. "Understood...bring her out!" Two more men appear holding a rather unwell looking Nat, she has no mask on and she looks terrible!
S: "Natsuki!"
N: "ugh....fucking animals..."
?: "As you said, a trade. We hand off your friend first then you hand off him to us."
B: "No!! No!!"
N: "nnngg...." One agent lets go as the other one approaches holding Nat. Sayori holds out her free arm as Nat just falls into it.
S: "I've got you, it's okay..."
N: "Sa....say..."
S: "Save your strength." The three agents then look at her expectantly. "Alright, my end of the deal." The lasers still shine on my chest as she pushes me forward. "Go on you!"
N: "wha....Bot....no...."
B: "Please don't!" One agent walks forward ready to grab me.
?: "A deal well done. Thank you for you cooperation." The lasers go out as I slip out of my cuffs and hold up a gun! "What?!"
B: "Boo~" I shoot him in the face with a blank as he goes tumbling down to the ground! The other agents pull out their guns but they get slashed in half as Alex runs out of the brush.
A: "Sayori come here!" Bullets start flying as Monika instantly puts a shield in front of me as she flies in. Alex slides over to Sayori and Nat, teleporting them out. Good they're safe.
B: "They're out of here! What's the call?!"
M: "We fight!"
Y: "Got it!" Yuri punches one agent to the floor as Monika makes the old church come down to the ground! A few agents rush out of the falling church as I knock them out with the help of Yuri. One agent rushes us with a knife but Monika kicks him down to the floor! Just like that it's over? "That all of them?"
M: "I think so?" Alex comes back with his blade drawn.
A: "Right let's-...do this?" We look around at all the fallen agents. "Is that it already?"
B: "No...there's more. There's always more." But...nothing?
A: "Ugh, maybe it was just that squad? I mean most of them were most certainly in the church so..."
M: "Thank god Botan, you're okay!" Monika rushes me as I scan the treeline, putting my hand out to her!
B: "No! Stay there!" Everyone looks at me as I hear something. "Do you guys hear that?"
A: "....what?"
Y: "...there's...a thumping?"
M: "...what is that?"
B: "I know what that is!" I turn to up to see a huge helicopter above as multiple men jump from it! "Take cover!"
M: "I've got this!" Monika makes a barrier just below the helicopter as multiple men just jump face first into it! Then multiple jeeps pull up as Monika finds herself exposed! "Oh man-"
A: "I got you!" Alex tackles her out of the way of bullets as her barrier disappears! The men in the air regroup and pull their parachutes and land! I find myself dodging and just jumping around trying to do something! Yuri seems to be struggling as I hop over and push her out of the way of a grenade! I throw multiple flashbangs to just give us time to breath but just as quick they're at us again!
Y: "There's too many!" Yuri shields herself behind a tree as I toss out some smoke!
A: "I suggest we turn tail!" That's the better choice, we're just holding on as is!
B: "Right let's get out of here!" I help Yuri over by providing cover fire as we a rush over to cover beside the fallen church. Monika uses her power to force everyone back as Alex grabs all of us!
A: "Where to?!"
B: "Anywhere but here!" He nods and we all leave. The gunfire stops as one agent walks over.
?: "They got away...."
We land on a roof as we all catch our breath!
B: "Fuck...I almost forgot what it was like to go up against them!"
M: "Where the hell did they all come from?!"
A: "It was like a infestation, they just kept coming!"
Y: "That was all too...that was far too close...thank you Botan." Yuri smiles at me.
M: "Yeah, thank you Alex."
B&A: "Don't mention it." We both stare at each other?
A: "That's weird."
B: "Where did you leave Sayori and Nat??"
A: "In an old factory not too far! They're safe!"
B: "Good, go get them." He nods and leaves as Monika walks over to me.
M: "Are you okay?"
B: "I'm fine, just a little out of breath...I've never made so many things in a panic like that before..." Monika puts her hand on my back as I steady my breathing.
M: "It's okay, you're alright....thank god you're alright..." She hugs me as Yuri walks over.
Y: "So that was Coomer huh? I feel like we got very lucky..."
B: "We were." Both girls look at me as I stand up straight. "That was just their scouting team, not their full force." Both Monika and Yuri look taken aback.
M: "Just...a scouting group?"
Y: "That many?! Just scouts?!"
B: "I'm afraid so..." We go quiet as Alex arrives with Sayori and Nat. We all turn our attention to the pink haired girl as she sits on the floor, clearly exhausted. "Nat?! You okay?"
S: "She's been...heavily drugged..."
B: "What did they use?"
S: "Some sort of shot, I don't know what it was...." I walk over to Nat as everyone else gathers around also. I kneel in front of her and take her hands in mine.
B: "Nat? Can you hear me?" She lifts her head a little?
N: "Botan...is that....you?" She looks at me, she's very weak.
B: "I'm here, can you see me?" She blinks...
N: "I can't see you?"
M: "She's blind?!"
S: "I don't think it's permanent, only a side effect!"
B: "I know what they used on her..." Everyone looks at me. "They gave her a dose of a powerful drug, they call it compound Q." Everyone looks at me, as I stare at Nat. "Natsuki, don't worry about not being able to see. You just need to rest and drink plenty of water to get your eye sight back."
N: "But how long..."
B: "A few days..."
S: "I'll come up with an excuse for your dad!"
N: "thanks...I'm sorry guys, I got jumped and-"
B: "Don't apologise Nat. I've been hit with Q for a few times, it sucks. It really makes you talk..." Everyone looks at Nat again.
M: "What did you say to them?"
N: "I...I gave..." Nat shakes as I rub her shoulder.
B: "It's okay, tell us~"
N: "A...names....and....base....that's it. I swear!"
B: "That's okay, don't blame yourself~" I hug her as she latches onto me, her small frame making me feel like I'm hugging a small child.
S: "So...Coomer knows us?"
M: "The big man probably knows us now." Everyone looks at each other.
A: "Well.....fuck."
Y: "What do we do now?"
B: "It's not guaranteed." I stand up. "Coomer has valuable information, which the big man wants. They won't just give that away without getting something of similar value in return. The only thing I can think of that'll might be worth the names of your biggest problem-"
M: "Is you?" I nod.
B: "They want me."
S: "Well....we're not going to surrender you!"
Y: "Never in a million years will I entertain that thought."
M: "I will stand by you Botan. To the very end."
A: "I don't know it's-" SMACK!
Y: "Alex just shut up for once." We look in shock at Yuri as she huffs. "Honestly, this is a serious moment right now! We don't need your shitty sense of humour!"
A: "...okay sorry." Alex looks hurt but I just sigh.
B: "Well...everything changes from this day on. I suggest we no longer patrol alone, at least go in pairs from now or more. Watch out for any suspicious looking vehicles, Coomer will want to stake us out for awhile before making their move. Do not take them on alone, otherwise..." I look down at Nat. "This will be you."
N: "I'm sorry-"
B: "Don't apologise Nat." I pat her shoulder. "Anyway, I doubt they would raid your homes but do keep an eye out for each other." I look at Monika. "I also suggest keeping a low profile at school, don't meet at the club everyday. They will put two and two together, giving them a perfect chance to attack."
M: "Heard. When school opens and if Coomer are still lurking about, no more club every day."
B: "Good. Anyway, I suggest we start planning to move base. We need something more...discreet."
A: "I know a place!" Alex steps forward? "There's this old summer camp place near the forest! Nobody goes out there now! It's real hidden and discreet! I doubt people even remember it exists!"
B: "That will do! I suggest you guys pack up from that old warehouse and start moving! Keep your heads down also." Everyone nods as Natsuki is helped up by Sayori. "Natsuki? Just rest for now, spend some days at home okay? One of us will keep an eye out for you in the meantime."
N: "Okay, sure....what you think is right Botan." I nod and smile at her.
B: "Yeah, just get some rest."
S: "I'll take of her guys, I suggest we all go our separate ways. They'll be looking for us right now."
B: "Yeah, let's head home and cut tonight off early." Everyone agrees and promptly leaves. Sayori helping Natsuki away using her rocket boots as Alex teleports away with Yuri. I'm left with Monika on the roof as we just look at each other.
M: "You know...you've really grown as a person. Taking charge like that, really made me happy."
B: "I know these guys and well...I just want everyone to be safe. I want you to be safe." I walk up to her and put my hand on her cheek.
M: "It's okay, I understand. Now let's go home before we get found out alright?" I nod as we leave the roof, Monika carrying me back home. We don't say anything as we just fly back to our apartment. I keep an eye out for any suspicious activity around us in the meantime, Coomer is here and they'll be looking for us. Then they will watch. Then they will plan. Finally, they will attack. "We'll be ready Botan, I promise."
B: "Yeah, I know we will." I smile at Monika as she smiles back. Doubt lurking in the back of my head as I look away from her. We arrive back to find the usual window open as Monika helps me into the apartment first. I get in low and look around for anything in the apartment, and everything looks normal. Monika follows me in and locks the window.
M: "Okay, let's just get changed and head to bed alright?" I nod as we head into the bedroom, being too tired and overworked I just take my mask off and fall onto the bed. Monika sadly smiles at me as she too only takes her mask off and crawls beside me. "It's okay...we'll be okay..."
B: "I know..." But in truth, I really don't know...
submitted by OneBoredMan02 to DDLC [link] [comments]