Large panel wall art
We Redesign Rooms
2012.09.01 20:59 IotaGamer We Redesign Rooms
Welcome to DesignMyRoom! Just submit pictures of your room, a layout with measurements, and we will help you rearrange it! Please specify budget, location ie: North America, Europe, etc. You can also specify what kind of room you want (eg. minimalist, etc.) to get help according to your taste!
2021.03.16 22:25 Alyxsandre Jujutsushi
#Warning - Untagged spoilers ahead! Manga discussion of the series Jujutsu Kaisen by Gege Akutami. Free range for officially released chapter spoilers and leaks in pre-release threads only.
2014.08.24 09:13 david-me KotakuInAction: The almost-official GamerGate subreddit!
KotakuInAction is the main hub for GamerGate on Reddit and welcomes discussion of community, industry and media issues in gaming and broader nerd culture including science fiction and comics.
2023.02.02 22:28 semioticgoth Where are the good-enough jobs?
I graduated from a liberal arts college in 2014 with a useless degree.
Liberal arts degrees had been the butt of jokes for years already, but talking to my parents and their peers, there seemed to be a prevailing notion that I'd "figure it out." The important thing was getting a degree in something-- in French literature, in peace studies, it didn't really matter. Then you graduated and bounced around for a while, and eventually you fell into some basically decent mid-salary office job and went on with your life.
I was able to do this, but it was a lot harder than I anticipated. I have a workaholic temperament and an aptitude for software, so I was able to pick up skills on nights and weekends. It was painful.
Meanwhile, a lot of my friends still haven't figured it out. They're average folks without any specific employable skills. They spent their 20s working in coffee shops; now they're turning 30 and staring down the possibility of permanent, Dickens-level poverty. Medicaid doesn't cover most dental care. When these people pictured failure, they imagined a boring office job, not tooth extraction.
So they're starting to panic. One guy tried a UI/UX bootcamp- no dice. Another is taking beginner video editing classes. Another just got her realtor's license, just in time for the housing market to take a nosedive. They're throwing stuff at the wall, and the window of opportunity is starting to shrink.
My younger sister is enrolled in an MFA in creative writing. She can expound on Flaubert but she doesn't know a thing about SEO or copywriting, let alone ChatGPT. My parents are telling themselves she'll "figure it out," but I see a trainwreck on the horizon.
Where are the 'good enough' jobs for these people? Is there a safe-and-boring career track I can recommend to them at this stage in the game? What's the equivalent of a tech bootcamp for an average-IQ millenial with no specific aptitude?
submitted by semioticgoth
to slatestarcodex [link] [comments]
2023.02.02 22:24 m80mike The Sinder App
"A cursed dating app haunts a frat boy"
The Sinder App
It was only four days ago that I woke up, groggy and hungover to find that I must have installed a new app on my phone in the midst of my binge drinking. The app was named Sinder. Its icon was a large eye with a fiery cupid-style angel firing an arrow in the shape of the letter “i”. I ignored it most of the day as I nursed dry heaving and a pounding headache from Saturday night. The boys took me out after my breakup. Well, I guess I am being a bit dramatic. I actually did the breaking up and I'm getting ahead of myself here.
Becky and I dated for about six weeks and well, it wasn't working out. I just wanted to have fun and I think that towards the end, she wanted someone to help her with her issues and I guess that person wasn't me. I met her at this house party on the west side of campus and we really hit it off, well, I mean, now that I think about it, it was mostly because she really liked to party. She had a ton of pills, like the good ones, and she was always down to get down. But after awhile, I realized I was kind of dumb because all of those pills ended up being her actual prescriptions and most of them were to treat her chronic depression.
So, like I, tried being a nice guy, and listening to her, but all of her issues were just beyond me. She was messed up all the time because she was messed up all the time, if you know what I mean. And like I said, I wasn't the right person for her so I dumped her on Friday and the boys and I went on a weekend bender. Thinking about it now, I got shot down a lot Friday and Saturday and I must have installed the app sometime after getting rejected and blacking out.
It was Sunday when my head started to clear that I started my search for my new partner in crime. Tinder and Plenty Of Fish were predictably disappointing so I tried Sinder. It asked me some basic questions and I filled out a profile as usual and added some of my photos. I was pretty skeptical of the app, its UI was very spartan and drab using white and gray backgrounds and blocky text. I wasn't sure exactly if the app was for a particular type of dating – like for chicks who are into nostalgia for 90's internet dial up noise and Geocities websites or what. I guess boredom got the better of my skepticism as I thumbed down through the block of text to OK the user agreement.
I finished the set up by answering a few questions about my location and preferences. Then it took me to the first page. It had no instructions on how to use it so I tried swiping left and right like Tinder. I swiped off the entry page and on to the first profile. I almost dropped my phone in shock. It was a pretty standard selfie pose of a young woman with the profile name of Cind(y)er_98. Honestly I felt I had seen her before on Campus and I think that was the most disturbing part of it. I couldn't be sure though because while the right side of her face was normal, as I said, almost recognizable, the left side of her face was burned. Burned like cheek flesh black and white exposed spiderwebs of muscle and tendons. Her forehead and chin was swollen and puss filled bubbling and oozing. It looked like someone had pressed her face to a griddle and held it there and yet, she was smiling on the other side. Her left eye, to the extent she kept it open, was black and red with white and yellow obstructing the bit of her wide pupil she had left, it sagged like an old partially deflated balloon.
I swiped left immediately to get off of the image and I was taken to a white screen with black text “see more hot singles in your area?” I exited the app with my jack hammering thumb and put the phone in my pocket. The image was branded into my mind, singed on my eyes, even though it was only a glimpse I was utterly mortified. I started racking my brain to figure out what I had just seen. It occurred to me that maybe I had seen a woman in an elaborate Halloween costume or in makeup from a play. And I kept thinking about the normal side of the face, I starting thinking I recognized it. She vaguely resembled a girl I dated last year for a couple of months. Her name was Jamie and she pulled some nasty shit on me, including for a time, telling everyone she was pregnant and that I was the father. Of course that wasn't the case and I had come to find out that this was a routine she pulled regularly. Either way, I was thoroughly turned off and away from the hunt for the rest of the day. I wanted to delete the app but I had too many questions about it so I didn't.
Monday was a pretty boring Monday. I found myself checking the apps again especially after Bryan start bragging about hooking up with Trish, a smoking hot blonde that was at the bar with us on Friday or Saturday. I wasn't too jealous of Bryan, at least he wasn't hooking up with Alexandra from this class, the dark haired petite girl with the black dress. There something really classy about her, so classy and I don't know, I can't describe it, just something I couldn't touch, I couldn't even talk to. I had a mental block on it, I froze when she glanced in my direction. I wasn't like this to any other woman except for her and it was weird. Anyway, we were waiting outside of the classroom door and Bryan wouldn't shut up so I took out my phone and got to swiping again.
After I exhausted the prospects on standard apps, I was just shook off the image from yesterday and activated Sinder again. The same screen asked me the same question, so I decided to start. The first profile up was Try(A)sh_Smash. The first image was of an arm, like a someone was trying to take a picture of a tattoo but instead of a tattoo it was a very nasty sprawling purple, yellow, black bruise. I scrolled down, this time, the profile had multiple photos of the same person and my mouth almost hit the floor. It was Trish and in every photo of her, she was making normal poses. She was throwing out peace signs, hugging her besties, and doing duck face but in every image she appeared bruised and battered like she was tossed off a motorcycle to a freeway. The injuries were entirely out of place with the scene and they were inconsistent from photo to photo, as if there were multiple incidents in which she was just injured to hell. The thing was, the photos were dated and they were from last week and I don't recall seeing Trish at the party with any wounds whatsoever, and especially not the kind of wounds you would get like from being in a high-speed roll over collision or getting stuck on a spin cycle in an industrial washing machine.
I swiped off of her profile. The app asked me if I wanted to “reconnect with old friends?” I struck with morbid curiosity and I said “Yes”. It showed me Cindy's profile again and again, her face was hideously burned on side but it had changed sides somehow and the realism of the burns were making me sick again, almost as sick as yesterday's hangover. I immediately swiped off of the page again and to the next. It was Becky, I didn't need to know the profile name or anything in the description, it was her face, specifically, her head but in this photo, she was decapitated, her head ripped clear off of her body with a splatter of blood and a strands of her neck like torn rags dangling away. The expression on her face was of total and utter calm though. I immediately turned it off and held back full blown revolt from my stomach. I held my lunch down as I uninstalled the app.
I woke up Tuesday and the app was back on my phone. I felt haunted at this point and a quick search of the app stores and Google, turned up nothing on the app. I didn't know where it came from. And started to think maybe somehow my phone caught a virus, maybe from a porn site or something like that. I did some more sleuthing about what it was and how to permanently uninstall it. Eventually, I did find an old dot text file on a Reddit site about the app. The text was vague but informative when I started thinking about it and what I had seen on it. What I believed to be some kind of curse, may well have been, to someone, but to me, I came to realize that this app was a gift. The file told me that the app promised to show me my desires “as they are”. I figured it out! I had the ultimate guide to prevent myself and others from “putting my dick in crazy”. I could look up anyone around me and see what kind of emotional baggage and damage they had manifested as graphic but honest depictions of physical brutality upon them.
I had to tell Bryan. I had to tell all the bros about this. No, I thought to myself at the time, I could charge my dudes for this information. This eerie app was something to be capitalized upon. So, on Wednesday, it was Spanish class again and Bryan and I were standing outside of the lecture hall again. I didn't have a particularly artful way of drawing attention to my new found asset so I just decided to navigate to Trish's profile and shove it in his face.
“Dude, that's absolutely disgusting what is?” He threw his head to the side and shut his eyes.
“You don't recognize her?”
I nodded in the affirmative slowly with a growing grin. “I don't know what this is or how I got it, but its like a window into crazy bitches. If they're freaking crazy, they're in his app and we can see how crazy there are.”
“Dude that is some crazy stuff.”
“Think about what this can do for the Frat.”
“How much are paying a month for this?”
“Huh?” I asked.
Bryan persisted, “How much are you paying for this information?”
“I'm not paying anything.” I said, “You, on the other hand.”
“But seriously, how can I get it.”
“I don't know. I don't even know how I got it.”
“That's whack.” Bryan said.
I fell asleep in Spanish class. When I woke up, I was getting nudged gently by someone. I saw a hand and I thought immediately it must be the professor. I was immediately over apologetic for falling asleep and rattled off a slue of excuses I had on tap for these occasions. Long after I finished the fusillade of falsehoods I looked all the way up at my nap assassin. It was Alexandra, clutching her bag and text books. A red bow tied her hair high and back. She gazed at me softly with her green eyes. She cut to the chase. “Do you want to get coffee in an hour?”
I opened my mouth to reply but she cut me off, “I know you have a little crush on me and I wanted to get to know you before I decided if I wanted for you to get to know me. All of me.” I stammered and she put her raised pointer finger to my lips and shushed me, “I'll see you in an hour, the coffee shop at Goodwin and Wind.” I checked the app for her. She wasn't on it. So I went home and put my books and laptop away and went to meet her.When I got there, she was sitting alone with two cups of coffee in a small cozy corner booth with a fake candle lamp protruding from the wall. Out of all of the coffee shops near campus, this was the most date worthy. I slid into the booth as she played with something on her phone. I cleared my throat once, maybe twice. It was like she didn't notice me and I became insecure after I sat down. I gripped the handle of the coffee mug and drummed my thumb at the side nervously. I felt my grip on the ceramic slip on my sweaty hands.“I'm surprised you showed up.” She said without looking up from her phone.
“Oh?” I said, trying to be nonchalant, “Do you get stood up often?” I gritted my teeth, I shouldn't have said that but I went for the smoothest recovery I had on tap in my brain, “Because that would be a big mistake for the other guy I'm sure.”
“Are you sure?” Her eyes shot up from the phone to meet mine. “How would you know? Is it because I'm not in the app?”
“How do you know about the app?” I jumped a little and the butterflies in my stomach were stirred into frightful frenzy.
“Well, you were bragging so loudly to your douche bag friends I'm surprised the whole college of language studies doesn't know about it right now. But beyond that, let's just say there are a few apps floating around that seem to come from...” She smirked and held down a laugh, “seem to come from some place else...” Her voice trailed off.
“Oh?” I said pausing for something to add, “Well, wouldn't you want to know about a guy, you know if he was like an asshole or had like PTSD or something like that ahead of time? Aren't I just like providing a service?”
“The app isn't quite what you think it is. And either way, you're wrong. Everyone has some pain, some trauma that if manifested physically would range from appearing painful, to ugly, to down right disfiguring. And it doesn't make them bad people or unworthy of attention or love or human contact. Just as people with actually disfigurements don't deserve to be blacklisted or cut off. No, the app is for their protection, from you, and like I said, everyone is in pain from something, the images of violent injury superimposed upon these women are the wounds you have inflicted on their people or the wounds you would inflict upon them should they ever have the misfortune of becoming too close to you.”
I scuffed a bit, I wanted to launch into a tirade about how typical, how anti-men, this all was, and how wrong she was, she no idea about the app, unless she wrote it, which I'm pretty sure she didn't or even couldn't. But I didn't want to give her the satisfaction of proving her right with that reaction, so I bite my tongue a bit and I pressed on as I do, “So, I guess we're the perfect couple, right, I have done nothing to hurt you or would hurt you I suppose. I mean, if you're right about the app, that is.”
She let got a hiss, “You know, sometimes, pain and suffering and trauma is relative – not just between the physical and emotional types but in general. And I think this app, picks up on that. Because I don't think you're getting my point.” She said turning her phone my direction. “Like I said, there are number of apps out there that seem to defy physics and reality as we know it. And they are curses to some and gifts to others.”
I looked at what she was doing on her phone. She had an app open called “VooDont” it looked like a simple enough interface, it was stereotypical voodoo doll with a slot to put anyone's image she choose at the head and then some pins she could drag across the screen and poke someone with. I was not surprised nor amused when she featured my face on the doll with all of the pins more or less stuck around my crotch and one on my right hand for good measure. I shot my eyes slowly between the screen and her eyes. She finished her coffee without saying anything else and then put the phone in her jacket pocket, stood up, put her jacket on and started to leave.
I just kinda smirked and said, “So, no second date?”
“Let's put a pin in that.” she replied while briskly marching towards the exit.
“Eh screw her.” I said to myself as I drank the coffee she bought me.
Well, it was whiskey Wednesday and I went out with the boys for some shots. I pitched the app to them and one by one I took shot after shot, not paying a dime as I exchanged my cursed-turned enchanted dating app insight for each shot as thanks for helping my bros dodge crazy girl bullets. At some point I blacked out hardcore and apparently I stepped into traffic and I got smashed by a car. I woke up here, in this hospital bed, with two broken legs and metal pins and a body cast holding my ravaged pelvis together. My phone was crushed in my pocket and I can't prove any of this now. I don't know how long I will be here, in recovery, yet. I don't know what I will say to Alexandra if and when I see her again but I do know this, if you wake up one day with a new app on your phone and you don't remember downloading it, don't look at it, don't try to delete it, don't use it, just leave it alone.
submitted by m80mike
to ChillingApp [link] [comments]
2023.02.02 22:24 Not-Alpharious The Iahmekh Dynasty, The True Necrontyr Reborn by the Grace of the Dark Gods
Of all the peculiar madnesses that sprouted amongst the sleeping lords of the Necrons, the Iahmekh’s was both among the most unique, and the most heinous.
After the birth of Slaanesh, minor warp tears ripped apart the fragile real space around the Iahmekh worlds, destroying or irreparably damaging dozens of the tombworlds. However, due to a flaw in the stasis coffins, it was impossible to wake the sleeping lords before the preordained time of the Great Awakening. The lords slept on, and the skeleton force left to stay awake was forced to watch as the tears warped both themselves and their dynasty into the monsters they would soon become.
Over the Millenia, the reality rending powers of the warp steadily beat down upon the Necrons, slowly worming its way into their tombworlds and their sleeping occupants. Changing even the ancient androids in much the same way the warp changed cold machines of man into living, breathing, monsters before.
However, this transfiguration was not merely limited to the Necrons, but to all things created by their hands, from the lowliest scarab to even the tombs themselves. Nothing was spared as all things were given flesh and true, albeit tainted, life. Until finally, everything that once was the Iahmekh would become refleshed horrors that would be unleashed into the galaxy upon the Great Awakening.
When they finally awoke, Phaeron Hayyakhim and his four great Overlords awoke both in terror and in wonder at their new forms and the return, of their souls. The Awaking of the Iahmekh was a chaotic one, with the once sterile halls of the tomb complex pulsing and writhed with a beastial life.
With the Awakening, the rabid swarms of scarabs and feral warriors made war with each other in animalistic battles that raged all across the worlds of the dynasty.
It is said that as soon as the Great Overlords and their Phaeron wrested bloody control over their worlds once more from the mad hordes, within the very minute they decided to begin putting all their might into finding an answer as to what was done to them and how, they received a hail from the Brothers of the Sundering Eye.
Led by the mad prophet, Blind Kez Meophrin, the Brothers were a Word Bearers warband sent to the stars of the Iahmekh by a prophecy handed down to them from the demons of their twisted gods. Offering promises of revelation, the Brothers were allowed audience with the lords of the dynasty.
It was in the mighty, undulating throne room of Hayyakim that Blind Kez Meophrin taught the Necron lords of Chaos, and how the Dark Gods had chosen to favour their dynasty above all others with the blessing of flesh. And how in their mercy and kindness, all the gods asked in return was for the dynasty to spread horror and suffering across all the galaxy in their names.
It was here that the Phaeron of the Iahmekh Dynasty would accept the glory of Chaos, taking the Four as the true gods and take on the mantle of ‘Hayyakim the Refleshed’. In addition, the Brothers of the Sundering Eye were accepted into the dynasty as priests and guides of the new faith of the dynasty for all time. While Hayyakim took on worship of Chaos Undivided, the four Great Overlords beneath him would each take on their own personal god.
Overlord Bishra the Blood Drowned, who in another reality would have been driven mad by the flayer virus alone, found that too twisted by the invisible tendrils of the warp, turning her into a beast of unparalleled blood lust and terror, took on Khorne.
Overlord Surur the Sensate quickly went mad in his obsession to taste of all the pleasures and sensations he had lost for so long only to finally regain by the favour of his patron, Slaanesh.
Overlord Keanid the Bloated was famous both in the flesh times and in the present for her fanatical hatred of change and all its terrible uncertainties. In addition, as if in mockery, the New Flesh brought back the cancer Necrontyr once fought so mightily fought against. Except it was if the cancer had never stopped growing throughout the entirety of her existence, leaving her new body as little more than a bloated mass of tumors. Naturally, she took on the stagnate plague father Nurgle to free her from her pain.
Overlord Tumakia the Seer, infamous for his vaulting ambition and rare among his class for his fascination with Necron technomagics, as well as being viewed with suspicion for rumours kf witchcraft althroughout his long life. As well as having by far the greatest ratio of crypteks in the dynasty, and perhaps even species, gladly accepted Tzeentch as his god.
The Iahmekh are among the most unstable dynasties of Necronkind, an already fractious people, largely due to the nature and influence of Chaos on their empire. In addition they are universally hated and shunned by their fellow lords, not just because of their fall to Chaos, a shame magnified hundreds of time over just by the sheer supposed impossibility of it, but also because of the Iahmekh’s declaration that they are the true Necrontyr reborn and subsequent vow to scour the galaxy of the blasphemous pretenders who had been shunned by the Gods.
The situation with other Chaos Warlords is much the same, as the Iahmekh are studiously ignored or regularly raided because of their status as xenos and a rather infamous incident when Hayyakim sent out messengers to all the great warlords of the Eye demanding that as cousins of the faith, they must pledge their vassalage to the dynasty or else face their wrath and be exterminated. The messengers for their part were almost to a man, sent back horribly maimed, transformed into furniture, or exposed to countless other nightmarish tortures yet were impossibly still alive to tell their lords in as polite terms as possible, that the warlords had regretfully had to refuse the offer of vassalage to insane xenos kings.
For all their instability and loneliness in a galaxy that does not want them, the Iahmekh have two great advantages. For all the transmogrification and body horror, their technology turned living nightmares is still just as powerful and devastating as it once was, with a new sadism that does wonders on the battlefield, even if it doesn’t always attack the right target. And perhaps the greatest advantage of all, a skill that no living Necron has been able to achieve in 65 million years, birth.
Where other dynasties are doomed to a slow death by paper cuts as their lords lose more and more of their minds while their warriors are chipped away at, slowly being lost to total death, the Iahmekh can once again swell their forces with new life while growing and breeding their biotechnological weapons in an endless wall of meat to suffocate the galaxy with.
TL;DR: Bony boys become fleshy boys, Chaos ensues.
submitted by Not-Alpharious
to 40kLore [link] [comments]
2023.02.02 22:22 angelces what would you say?
2023.02.02 22:21 Aggrodisiac Flat owner trying to understand existing HVAC setup
| || | submitted by Aggrodisiac to hvacadvice [link] [comments]
Hello HVAC professionals!
I'm trying to understand the HVAC setup in my flat, whether there is anything I should know and potentially consider in relation to aircon I'm considering having installed. I have read all the documentation that came with the sale of the flat which covers many other systems extensively, but the HVAC manual seems to be for installing the main hVAC unit, not anything for end users, and hasn't been helpful.
The flat was built as part of a new high-rise building in 2017.
It has what I believe to be a HVAC unit in a utility closet: HVAC unit in utility closet
There are 6 "vents" (one in each bedrom and one in each bathroom, kitchen, living room and washing machine closet): Vent
There is a "turret" in one bedroom that I have no idea what does and some seemingly related switches that I can't tell what do. \"Turret\"
And some seemingly related switches that I can't tell what do.
The flat keeps a relatively stable temperature despite large temperature swings outside. We only need additional heating (wateradiators) for about a month in the coldest part of winter, and we use a free standing aircon during the hottest parts of summer.
Two of the vents (kitchen and bathroom) do not seem to do anything. Maybe they are triggered only when there is steam or such, I haven't been able to produce enough for them to seem to do anything. If I put my hand in front of the other vents I can tell that air is coming out into the room. I can't tell if any air is being sucked out anywhere.
One of the switches is next to the bathroom light switch. It's labelled 'Fan Boost'. Pressing it does not seem to do anything. 'Fan Boost' switch
The other switch is located next to the door frame in one of the bedrooms. It's a toggle between two labels, one of which looks like a fan with three blades and the other reads 'On Isolator'. When we arrived it was in the 'Fan' position. Pressing it makes the 'turret' in the corner of the room extend downwards a bit and then retract back up accompanied by the sound of mechanical gears. It does not appear to change or do anything beyond this movement. \"Turret\" switch
There are no other interfaces or ways to interact with the HVAC system that we've been able to find, including WiFi and bluetooth.
- If air is being pushed in through the vents, should there not also be an outlet? Is it possible the vents work both ways and I just can't tell?
- Is it normal that the bathroom and kitchen vents are seemingly idle most of the time?
- We do not smoke, but can sometimes smell cigarette and weed smoke coming through the vents. We presume this is because the HVAC system is either shared with or takes in air from other parts of the building. Is there anything we can do about this?
- Should the 'Fan Boost' button net to the bathroom light switch do anything. Is it possible it does and I just can't tell?
- What is the 'turret'? What is it supposed to do and is it normal for it to not appear to do anything? What does each position of the switch do and which one should I have it on by default? When, if ever should it be in the other position?
- Is it normal to not have a control panel or some other way of getting information about and control or interact with the HVAC system like we have for heating, etc?
- We are considering having aircon (without and external unit) installed in both bedrooms and the living room. Is there anything we should consider with regards to our existing HVAC setup?
Sorry for all the questions and thank you in advance!
2023.02.02 22:21 Junpw NFTs deserve more attention in 2023 if we consider all the NFT trends
Do you agree that certain so-called blockchain trends, such as those in gaming, art, and culture, deserve bigger attention in 2023?
I'm sure that one of blockchain technology's key growing industries in 2023 will be the gaming sector. For a number of years, most notably in the form of NFTs, the games industry as a whole has debated the idea of introducing blockchain into the existing game monetization systems.
I like to play a variety of games, such as Axie, Gods Unchained, Splinterlands, etc.
When NFTs initially gained popularity in 2021, a large portion of the newsworthy pieces covered their numerous applications in the industries of communication, entertainment, and the arts.
For an example of how NFTs might help artists reach a much larger and more technologically sophisticated audience while also making it exceedingly simple for them to track resales and automatically receive royalties, look at initiatives like ReelStar.
For the past 20 years, international media producers have been trying to figure out a practical way to monetize their works in the digital age; but, owing to blockchain technology, we now have all of these alternatives.
As manufacturers and collectors continue to determine the true value of digital products, which have long escaped the financing community's attention due to the nature of their medium, we may expect that these trends will continue through 2023.
submitted by Junpw
to NFTsMarketplace [link] [comments]
2023.02.02 22:20 LordAqua333 Lore on the Afeera and their gear
Afeera “They say that when the Afeera attack, they enforce the will of destiny. If they come for you, it’s already too late.”
After the Cataclysm, the Arabian peninsula was consolidated into a large island of sand and cliffs of rock. Inside the walls of its great kingdom, the people long prospered under the rule of a benevolent Sultanate. Key to Arabia’s eternal welfare was the Celestial Sphere, an old relic that allowed its wielder to see future events unfold before they would ever happen. Such a weapon required expert handling and protection, and a special force to read its prophecies. And so the order of the Afeera came into being.
The Afeera are elite warrior-scholars tasked with protecting the Sultana, the Celestial Sphere and all their kingdom. Recruited from a very young age among the poorest and the outcasts, they are first taught in the arts and sciences before they ever hold a weapon. They go through intense and rigorous training to make them strategic and lethal warriors who are always a move ahead of their opponents. They are light on their feet, swift, agile, and acrobatic, qualities borrowed from their namesake, the gazelle.
Thanks to the Celestial Sphere, the Afeera have seen the events of Heathmoor unfold from a distance. They have foreseen the Faction War, and devastating climate events. But through all of this, they were forbidden from interfering, the rulers of Arabia deeming it best to keep Heathmoor at arm’s length. But with the Sphere now destroyed and the Sultana dead, the Afeera’s mission has just changed. No longer will they simply watch the events of Heathmoor unfold. Now, they will help shape them.
The Afeera are the tactical geniuses of the battlefield. Highly trained and precise in their attacks, they can deftly dispatch an enemy with their mace and shield. Nimble and quick, the Afeera are also capable of impressive acrobatic feats—using their every limb as a weapon to fell opponents. They are elegant yet deadly warriors.
Weapons Lore Hiba's Poise: Hiba is the fearless leader of the Afeera, and her weapon of choice is an inspiration for all who wish to follow in her footsteps.
Dawn of Destiny: When the order of Afeera was first created, centuries ago, they wielded the Dawn of Destiny. Several warriors still wield this set, in honor of those that came before.
Silver Scales: There is an old legend that a lone Afeera fought against a giant water snake on the shores of the island and sliced off its head with this very weapon set.
Bells of Doom: When the Afeera attack a rival kingdom, they will sometimes stand outside the gates and make a cacophony with this metal set. Those unfortunate to have heard this clap have come to call it the Bells of Doom.
Palace Guard: The Royal Guard patrols the palace and protects the Sultana day and night.
Emerald Sun: The emerald sun casts light and shadow on the realm, and all enemies who stand against the might of Arabia shall fall.
Savage Reckoning: All life is sacred, yes. But sometimes, an enemy is so vile, so brutal and despicable that they must be dealt with swiftly – and brutally.
Lost Sentry: After a terrible battle that claimed the lives of many, three lost Afeera were left on their own, weaponless, and far away from their kingdom. In a remote village, they fashioned themselves new weapons to wield on their return journey.
Horns of Judgement: The judgement of the Afeera is swift. If the Celestial Sphere deems you a threat to the kingdom, then they will come to eliminate you.
Sheikh’s Offering: A rich and powerful sheikh was hosted by the Sultana. During the great feast, he had of dozens of new weapons and shields delivered for the Afeera, a gift to help protect the people of Arabia.
Wasteland Spikes: In the wastelands outside of Arabia, dangerous enemies prowl. When the Afeera venture out there, they prefer to wield this special weapon set, which allows them to be brutally effective.
Golden Swan: The Golden Swan was a nickname given to a heroic Afeera who gave her life to protect the Sultana. This weapon was made to honor her memory.
Mountains of Majesty: On the outskirts of Arabia lie what some have dubbed the Mountains of Majesty, where one can get a breathtaking view of the star-filled night sky. A great battle took place there once, where the fate of Arabia had been secured.
Fate’s Roar: The teachings of the Afeera say that fate cannot be reasoned with. If it comes for you, it does so with the ferocity of a lion, and there is no escaping it. This is the message delivered by those who wield this weapon set.
Red Diamond: A great battle took place to secure the fabled gemstone known as the Red Diamond. After it was won, it was broken up thanks to an alchemical process, and used to decorate this weapon set.
Dark Antlers: In the night, Aban’s rival stole the Celestial Sphere and somehow corrupted it. Aban’s sentinels helped him defeat this dark alchemist and restore the Sphere to its proper purpose.
Time’s Flow: The Afeera are taught that no one can escape time's flow. Time is a current, an ocean that can't be fought. One can only surrender to its will.
Last Breath: One day, everything will end. The flow of time will stop, and the world will be no more. The world's final breath. The death of everything.
submitted by LordAqua333
to lorehonor [link] [comments]
2023.02.02 22:17 HallApprehensive4134 Credentialing while still in a group
Hi. I am a therapist in a large medical center. thus, I already have an NPI number and am on a few insurance panels through the medical center. I am planning to leave to start my own practice. How can I start the credentialing process for my practice while still employed? I am telling my employer in a month. I assuming my NPI will be the same, and I will just apply to create another for my business. Then, I will apply to the two insurance panels. I am new to this though. Can I not start this process until I am officially out of this position? I want to start early so that I can be ready to make the jump after my last day.
Thanks in advance.
submitted by HallApprehensive4134
to therapists [link] [comments]
2023.02.02 22:10 plump-pie All My Pickups From January
2023.02.02 22:09 Trash_Tia Three years ago, I was a research student working on a remote island. We were out of lab rats, so our professor used us instead.
I can’t believe I finally got the guts to post this to social media.
After three years, I’m finally ready to tell our story.
I know I shouldn't. This is a huge risk, and I’m putting both myself and my friends in danger of being caught by some pretty bad people who are currently hunting us down.
My life as I knew it ended in 2020. (I would talk about how ironic it was that it had to be 2020, but I don’t have time to ramble). I was volunteering as a lab assistant for a college professor I was close to. After graduating at the top of my class, I had been offered the opportunity to assist him overseas as a voluntary research assistant. I should have been working in his usual lab at the college, but due to certain ethical issues he didn’t want to deal with on campus, he decided to fly his most promising students to his primary lab on a tiny Indonesian island. He took on six of us.
The top of his class, as well as students who seemed far too interested in what he was really working on. Normally, college professor’s would discourage curiosity when it came to their private lives and work, but he welcomed it, allowing certain students glimpses into the research he was working on under his façade. I can’t say I wasn’t curious about the paperwork I happened to glimpse, paperwork covered in special plastic seals brandishing TOP SECRET in bold lettering which was definitely intriguing.
Sure, I wanted to know what was so special about his research that it warranted that kind of seal, but it’s not like I broke into his lab unlike my colleagues. (You would think biology students would be smart, but those idiots didn’t stand a chance with the amount of security our college had).
I thought that would be a sure fire suspension, and it almost was until the professor himself had pardoned them before inviting the group alongside me to work with him on this secret project. I know I sound crazy for taking a voluntary job, but the job was on a tiny island just off of the coast of Indonesia—which meant I was working in paradise. It was like being on a permanent vacation. We had the beach at our disposal, and the local resort was just up the road. After sweating in the lab on weekdays, we headed to the private resort down the road from the lab.
Professor Quincy was a well-known local, so he had managed to get us free entry. I guess you could say I was living the dream. Three years prior, I was in my freshman year of college and I had no idea what I was doing with my life. Fast forward two years, and I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I was working in literal paradise.
It didn’t last long, of course. I had to wake up from my dream at some point, right? And I did.
I can’t remember which date it was. I just remember that it was right at the start of the pandemic, and I was supposed to be going home to see family I hadn’t seen in almost six months. Professor Quincy had been insistent we live and work with him for a certain amount of time, and then he would grant us permission to return home to see our family.
I couldn’t exactly argue against it. Like I said, and I will continue to elaborate through this post, our professor’s work was pretty private. Cell phones were not allowed, and internet access was limited. If I needed to phone home, I had to sign seven different forms to promise I wouldn’t leak any information on his work, and to declare that if I happened to do so I would be fired immediately and sent back to the US.
If that wasn’t enough, my parents would also be held accountable.
So, yeah. Obviously, I wasn’t going to start spilling our professor’s secrets.
It’s not like we were completely cut off. There was a phone in Professor Quincy’s office, as well as the reception at the dorms.
We were allowed three allocated phone calls a week. After a certain world event had enfolded, however, we were allowed to call our parents pretty much any time we wanted, as long as we signed those release forms. After a full day of none-stop paranoia and too much time skimming news articles on my laptop, I was itching to talk to mom. I just didn’t know how to tell her that I wouldn’t be seeing her in… I had no idea. The US borders were shutting, and I was at a loss what to do. If I am to be honest with you, I was terrified. This kind of thing only happened in movies, and there I was trying to figure out a way to tell my mom I wouldn’t be coming home—and I had no idea if I would ever be coming home again. The dorms were state of the art; a huge glass building with three floors. There was a gym, a swimming pool, and a girl’s and boy’s dorm on the top levels.
There were only six of us, so it was pretty fucking amazing. Sometimes in the summer when it was baking hot, like the kind of heat the human body can’t deal with, they opened the roof, and we would all lie in the reception area, drunk on cocktails from the resort.
But do you know what wasn’t state of the art?
I had grown accustomed to the stupid thing breaking every three days. Normally, I didn’t really care. I’d get a cold shower or stick my head in the freezer. That day, though, I had just been informed via email I wouldn’t be returning home for the foreseeable future. The thing was, I was so used to knowing things in advance. I knew when work was cancelled, or when I was getting sick. Though with this, I had no idea what the outcome would be. Nobody did. The planet was holding a collective breath. I couldn’t even ask for a possible date, because no one knew how this huge, insane, life-changing thing would play out.
Well, it could play out either one way or the other. And I had seen the movies. I knew the basis, or at least the fictional re-enactment.
So, sweating through baking heat, I sat cross legged on prickly carpet, squeezing the phone in my palmy hands. I could glimpse Kaian through the window, slumped on a sun-lounger with his head tipped back. He was frowning at an odd looking bird which was perched on the upper deck. It was early evening, and the sun was starting to set. God, I loved watching the sunset. It was like the sky had turned into cotton candy, streaks of burning red and pink enveloping crystal blue and dimming the sky, making it easier to get a good luck at the sun.
Kaian’s light brown hair exploded into hues of vivid red, and I was momentarily taken-aback by the sight—like the sky had set his hair on fire. Ever since meeting him in my freshman year, I’d had a crush on Kaian. Being half-Thai with striking features and a Hollywood smile, my ass was already on the floor.
However, after living with him for several months, and studying alongside him for years, I had come to realise he was more of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Not exactly a dick, but not the nicest either. Kaian was deaf and had become the sort of “jock” of our little research group. He had been the one to stage the break-in attempt into Professor Quincy’s lab. I always wondered if they really had discovered something—and blackmailed Quincy into letting them in on the research.
I wouldn’t put it past my classmates. They were as nutty as our professor. I was half-wishing mom didn’t answer. Then I would have no choice but to tell her through email, which was better.
Still though, I wanted to hear her voice, even if it was going to send me over the edge. When my mom’s voice crackled through the phone, I panicked and said the first thing which came to mind. “I’m... I’m staying here for a little longer.” I said. “I was told this morning I can’t come home.”
Mom was silent for a moment before she sighed. “Yeah.” I was surprised when she chuckled. “I figured that, sweetie.”
“You’re not mad?” I whispered.
She didn’t reply for a moment before sighing. “Why would I be mad? It’s not like you can help it.”
Squeezing the phone tighter, I turned away so Kaian couldn’t see me sobbing like an idiot. “It’s not for long,” I said, or rather lied. I wasn’t just trying to reassure my mother, I was desperate to make myself feel better too. “I think it’ll be late April, or maybe May. I’m not sure yet.”
“Well, I’m excited to see you.”
Nodding, I swallowed a wracking sob. “I’m excited to see you too, mom.”
“Are you eating well?”
“Uh, yeah. The food here is great.”
“How is work?”
She was avoiding elaborating on a conversation neither of us wanted to have, and I didn’t blame her.
“It’s fine,” I said, “We’ve been working in some pretty, uh… intense heat. But I’m fine. I just cool off in the sea.”
“That’s good.” I could sense my mother’s smile, and it made me feel ten times worse.
“How… how are things over there?”
Mom hummed. “There’s no toilet paper,” she laughed, “But we’re all fine. Your little brother is baking cookies. Do you want to talk to him?”
“No.” I said, far too fast. “I mean… I don’t have much time, and I wanted to talk to you.” I swallowed. “If that’s okay.”
“Of course, honey.” Mom’s voice felt like warm water coming over me, relieving my stiff muscles. “Oh! Your father just finished cleaning your room out the other day! You would not believe how much stuff we had to take to a yard sale. Do you remember that dollhouse you had?”
She cut me off. “Well, I’ve given it to Mrs Jason’s daughter. Do you remember Lucy?"
“Lucy.” I said, my mind elsewhere. “She was that kid… umm…”
“You held her at your auntie Christine’s birthday party, do you remember? She’s always asking about you. She thinks you’re a marine biologist.”
“Oh.” I said helplessly. Sensing movement, I twisted around to find Kaian heading up the stairs. Probably to his room.
Usually, Monday nights were reserved for the beach. After lights out, we headed down to the coves which were a three minute walk from the dorms to paddle in bioluminescent plankton illuminating the stuffy night.
It was like dipping your feet in liquid stars. From the look on my colleague’s face however, a sort of not-entirely-there frown, I doubted anyone was in the mood for our usual trip to the beach. Offering the boy a wave, I pulled my knees to my chest. I didn’t realise I’d left an awkward pause until mom cleared her throat loudly, snapping me out of my trance.
“Wren, did you hear what I just said?”
Mom only had to say my name to send my heart into my throat. “Honey, are you crying?”
I had to heave in a breath. “No.”
“You’re watching the news, aren’t you?”
“Mom, I’m fine.”
“Are you sure?” Mom paused. “Wren, I can’t imagine what you must be feeling right now, but I’m just a phone-call away.”
I nodded, my eyes burning. “I love you, mom.”
“I love you too, baby.” Mom’s voice hitched, and she was splintering. I could tell by her sharp breaths. “I’ll see you soon, okay?”
That was the last time I ever spoke to my mother.
The sky was dark when I pulled open the door to my shared room and face-planted into my bed. Long after putting the phone down, I sat in the reception area and cried like an idiot. Then I went outside to attempt to read a book on a sun lounger, but with the lack of sun, and the fact that the outdoor light was broken, I gave up and retreated upstairs.
Riss, my roommate, was typing loudly on her laptop when I bothered lifting my head from my snot-drenched pillow.
She had been taking the news surprisingly well, despite her being the one in our group who was over-emotional. She was a natural redhead but had dyed her hair an odd pastel pink colour which was starting to come out. I could see her natural vivid red roots springing from her half-assed ponytail. “How’s your mom?”
Riss didn’t look up from her laptop screen, her fingers dancing across the keyboard. I glimpsed the word doc she had been working on earlier in the lab. We were supposed to type up all the findings from the days experiments earlier, and as usual Riss was the last to submit hers. She was the lazy daydreamer out of our group, often getting chastised for zoning out during lectures and falling asleep. Riss was smart though. Seriously smart. When she felt like it.
“Hello?” Riss slammed the space-bar. “How was the talk with your mom?”
“It was fine.”
“Doesn’t sound like it,” Riss hummed. “Come on, I know when you’re upset—fuck.” She hissed through her teeth, going to town on the backspace key. “Stupid fucking autocorrect.”
I didn’t reply for a moment, suffocating myself in my pillow. The air-con was broken again, so I was left to suffer, stewing in the same clothes I had been wearing all day. I needed a cold shower and something from the downstairs kitchen, but I couldn’t be bothered moving. Besides, Riss’s typing was comforting, lulling me into almost-slumber.
After a while of just basking in the sound of her typing, my roommate sighed loudly. I sensed her jump up from her bed and move to her desk. My roommate had a routine I was used to. After typing up her usually late reports, she jumped up, did some stretches, downed the bottle of water on her desk, and then jumped up and down with too much energy, awaiting the print out. Just as I thought, I cringed at the sound of our printer booting up. I hated the noise. It sounded like nails on a chalkboard. “It’s the end of the world as we know it.” Riss murmured with another loud, exaggerated sigh. “And we’re stuck in paradise.”
Refusing to lift my head from my pillow despite the heat, I scoffed into the material. “Stop saying that.”
“Stop saying what?”
“That it’s the end of the world.”
“I mean, it is. Certain events aside, have you seen the state of the ozone layer? Dude, we’re on a one way ticket to extinction.”
I really didn’t need Riss’s “comforting talks” right then. Her idea of reassuring was reminding me how many species were dying out.
“Uh-huh.” I said, cutting into the slightly manic polar bear rant. “Can we talk about something else.”
“But it’s true.” Riss chuckled. “The world is falling apart, and here we are trying to do the impossible.” She paused. “In one of the most beautiful places on the planet.” When I lifted my head to frown at her, my roommate was sprawled out on her bed, her ten page report awkwardly balanced on her chest. Riss’s eyes were somewhere else, delving into oblivion.
I couldn’t tell what she was feeling. She was smiling, but her eyes were sad. It had taken me a while, but eventually, after weeks and then months had gone by, I had gotten used to Professor Quincy’s research. It was hard to take in at first. Like, you have this huge secret and you can’t tell anyone—if you do you’re risking your own career. I imagined it as a neutron star collision going off in my head, an explosion of colours nobody else could see but us.
Locked away on this tiny island, we were the only ones who knew Quincy’s goal. There was one rule in the lab.
No emotions. We weren’t allowed to have emotions once stepping through the door. We had to stop being human for the sake of achieving successes and moving onto a different age. A better age. That’s what Quincy said, anyway. I wondered if Riss was thinking about the work we did earlier. She had broken down three times since starting, though she was getting better. Riss didn’t speak much after an awkward conversation we had about the end of the world, which bled into a conversation about The Walking Dead.
It fizzled out after I reminded her I was yet to finish it after dumping it halfway through season four. There’s not much to do in the dorm. I had my laptop and several dozen movies downloaded onto it, but I wasn’t in the mood to delve into fiction. I was falling asleep when our door flew open, and Riss almost catapulted her laptop across the room. My gaze flicked to the doorway, where Kaian stood, a scowl carved into his lips. It wasn’t unusual that my colleague was scowling or standing in our doorway. He was always the first one up on a morning, quick to wake everyone else up despite the sun not being up yet.
“Kaian?” Riss signed, her eyes glued to our damp-looking colleague. “What the hell?”
Looking at him, I could tell that Kaian wasn’t there willingly. His hair was a soaking mess plastered to his forehead, a plaid shirt clumsily buttoned over ratty shorts. He looked like he’d just gotten out of the shower. No, he didn’t just look like it.
I was sure Kaian had just gotten out of the shower. When he held up one hand, and started to furiously sign, the jingling noise brought my attention to the cuff attached to his left wrist. “Jem.” He signed his roommate’s name, and I resisted the urge to collapse back into bed. Nothing was good when Jem was involved. I loved my colleague, but the amount of stupid shit he had done since starting work on the island, he could make his own sitcom.
Riss groaned, shutting her laptop. She quickly signed, “What has he done now?”
Kaian’s expression twisted with fury. “What HASN’T he done?” He held up his wrist, signing manically. “He cuffed me to my bed!”
“Kinky.” I shot him a smile, and seeing his expression, I quickly regretted my words when his gaze flashed to a stuffed animal on the floor.
I had no doubt he wouldn’t aim for my face.
“What? Why did he cuff you your bed?” Riss was already pulling on her jacket. I jumped up too, slipping into my sandals.
“Rabbits.” Was all Kaian had to sign with wide eyes, before we were following him back down the dorm hallway, and down the stairs. I was practically falling over myself to keep up. Kaian ran in front, Riss stumbling beside him. If Jem was in the lab after hours, it wasn’t good. Ever since we made the switch from rats to rabbits, Jem had been very vocal that he was against it. But like Quincy said, we had to give up our humanity in that room. Our morals. Anything we thought, our opinions and emotions. We had to suppress it all.
Because once we started to give into them, our professor had proclaimed—that was when cracks would start to form. According to him, the first step in turning your back on science was giving into your humanity. I wasn’t quite there yet. It’s not like I didn’t have intrusive thoughts about saving the poor things, but Quincy had planted a very specific thought in our heads. If we rebelled, if we leaked information and went against him—our families were at risk of getting involved despite having nothing to do with it.
Jem had already submitted multiple complaints, and I didn’t blame him. But it’s not like we could all band together to stop Quincy’s experiments. Like I said, we were walking on eggshells around him and he was already a fairly paranoid man already. And morals and humanity aside, his work was pretty fucking incredible. Disgusting and inhumane? Yes, of course. But truly incredible. The lab was a five minute walk from the dorms. Riss was out of breath as we ran, and I glimpsed a full moon light up the darkening sky, illuminating oblivion in milky white light. “What I don’t understand,” she panted, “Is why cuff you to your bed?”
She turned to Kaian, who signed, “He knew I was going to tell someone. When I got out of the shower, he grabbed me and cuffed me to the frame.” The boy scowled. “I’m going to kill him.” By the time the three of us were throwing ourselves through the doors of the lab, pressing our identity badges over the mechanical lock, I was sweating. Bad. I think all three of us wanted to collectively murder our colleague. The lab was usually out of bounds after work hours, but sometimes Professor Quincy made exceptions if we needed to finish reports or collect data.
Riss was stabbing in the eight digit code to get into Quincy’s office, and I was struggling to catch my breath, keeled over with my hands on my knees. The building was usually lit up, even at night. I had spent countless after work hours typing up research reports and listening to music, comforted by the warm glow from the lights overhead. But that wasn’t the case on that particular night. A coil of dread began to unravel in my gut as we bound down the main hallway which was swamped in darkness. Riss made a joke about failed experiments lurking around us, and I elbowed her sharply in the gut.
Thankfully, Quincy’s main lab was lit up. When the door swung open with a loud beep, the three of us bound straight into a startled looking Jem—whose expression almost matched the ones of the dozen baby rabbits cradled to his chest. If Kaian resembled a Hollywood star, then this guy reminded me more of a punk kid—maybe a theatre kid too. Jem was the wildcard in our group. He wasn’t the smartest, and he struggled sometimes. But Quincy had admired the boy’s curiosity in his research. Jem’s hair was always a mess of dishevelled curls, and his outfit choices were… odd. For example, Jem had opted for wearing pajamas to his rabbit heist.
It was almost like he had an epiphany in his sleep and hurricane thoughts had led him right to the lab. For a moment, I was unsure whether to laugh or start yelling at him. Jem peeked at us under his hood, his eyes almost cartoonishly wide. Like he was a kid being caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar. The subjects he was holding seemed to cling onto him, and I had a moment—just a moment—where I cracked slightly. Especially when the largest one’s tiny eyes found mine.
It was frightened, its claws digging into his sleeve. “I can explain.” Jem finally spluttered, pressing the rabbits closer to his chest. “This is animal abuse.” He said in a hiss. “You’re not really going to stand there and watch that bastard hurt these little guys, are you?” I was sure Jem was convinced he could get away with it by showing us the power of cuteness.
I can’t say it wasn’t working. God, the one in the middle with large floppy ears and a brown smudge on its fur was really looking at me.
Like it was staring into my soul.
Next to me, Kaian’s expression was easing a little. He leaned against the door with his arms folded.
“They’re kind of cute.” He signed, smiling for the first time since earlier that morning when Riss spilled orange juice all over herself.
“See?” Jem’s smile was soft, and he gestured to them. “Look at them! They’re adorable. I’m not going to let him hurt them.”
Riss, however, seemed unfazed. She took a step towards him, her eyes darkening. “Are you fucking insane?” she gritted out. “So, what, you want to let Quincy’s test subjects go?”
Jem’s lip curled. “He’s got rats. I’m sure he’ll be fine.” He backed away, clutching the rabbits tighter to his chest. “You’ve seen what he’s done to them,” he whispered—and his gaze flicked to me, and then Kaian. “What WE have done to them. It’s not fair. They’re living creatures, and we’re… we’re hurting them.”
This was what I was afraid of. Ever since the six of us started on the island, and Quincy’s lecture on suppressing our humanity for the sake of science, I knew one of us was going to break when we saw what exactly he was doing to his subjects.
I’m not going to go into detail, because again, I am already putting myself at risk by writing this. But I will say that Quincy’s experiments weren’t.. normal. I’ve already told you they were inhumane and immoral.
But it didn’t end there. You see, our professor was sure—positive that he could ignite a certain part of the human brain with simple stimulation, a hell of a lot of drugs, and psychological tactics. He believed he could find that missing part that is missing in all of us which stops us from being the apex predator.
Abilities way beyond our comprehension.
Professor Quincy had been working his whole life to create a serum which would hack into the mind, and switch on that part of us we cannot find on our own. Rats didn’t give him the right results, so we moved onto rabbits.
So far, I had witnessed a rabbit which could teleport from one cage to the other, after several surgeries, and serum injections directed into its brain.
I thought it was impossible, and yet somehow I was watching it with my own eyes. A living thing disappearing in one place and reappearing in its cage. Through research, we had come to realise the cage was the rabbit’s safe place. Whatever ability it had (and there were many), it would always return to its cage, no matter where we placed them. The serum wasn’t perfect, however. I had witnessed a rabbit interfere with the electronics in the lab, playing with the lights, before exploding into large fleshy chunks painting the metal prongs of its cage a startling gory red.
The rabbit’s in Jem’s arms were our only proof that the serum worked. They were our last surviving four. Subjects 2, 6, 10, and 15. I have to admit, subject 15 freaked me out. Fifteen’s ability was not yet known, but Kaian was sure that it was developing heightened intelligence. I didn’t know much about Fifteen, but from what I did know, there was no fucking way we could let Jem let the little guy run free.
Knowing what they were capable of, and what we could possibly lose if my colleague got his own way, snapped me out of my, “Aww they’re so cute,” trance. I stepped forward, cringing when I glimpsed remnants of the metal headset which had been drilled into Six’s skull.
“Give them here.” I said, and when Jem started to shake his head, I snapped. “Do you want to get fired?”
He wasn’t letting up. “They’re living things, Wren!”
I nodded, trying to keep my cool. “They are.” I said. “But they’re also valuable subjects—one of which can fucking teleport. I wouldn’t exactly say they’re normal rabbits.” I held my breath. “Look.” I gave up acting like I knew what the fuck I was talking about. “I don’t like it either, okay? It’s disgusting and immoral, and findings and psychokinetic abilities aside, I would be totally on your side if we didn’t have results.”
“But we do have results.” Kaian signed. He seemed to have snapped out of it too. “Give them back, Jem. They’re research subjects.”
“They’re rabbits! Have you guys lost your minds?”
“Yes.” Kaian signed. “It’s part of the job description, asshole.”
“You have a dog!” Jem shot back in a manic hiss. His expression was feral. I had never seen that kind of desperation, almost unbridled lucidity let loose. “It’s no different to your dog, right? Would you seriously put him through this? Would you stick a needle inside his skull?”
Kaian didn’t reply, his jaw clenching.
“No. You wouldn’t. So, why these guys, huh? Why are you willing to be cruel for the sake of science for these guys, but you wouldn’t fucking dream of doing this to your pets?” Jem took another shaky step back, so I figured hitting him with the hard truth would snap him out of it.
“It’s not the same,” Kaian seemed to be struggling, his hands trembling as he signed. “It’s… it’s different—”
“What’s different?” Jem demanded. “There’s no difference! If it were a rat I would feel the same way! We’re hurting living animals.”
“Your dad,” I said quickly, “Do you want to drag him into this?”
“Again.” Kaian started to sign, Riss elbowing him to shut up. It was no secret Jem and his father had been under fire back home after discovering a document he shouldn’t have. All he did was read it. According to the boy himself, he had the Men In Black In Black trying to crash through his door at 4am. Jem was lucky Professor Quincy decided to use his curiosity as a tool instead of sending his family to jail.
Jem blinked, like he was waking from a trance. “No.” He said, quickly, his resolve crumbling. My colleague allowed Kaian and Riss to take the subjects and put them back in their cages. I expected him to fight back, but the guy seemed weirdly fine with us taking the rabbits back, stumbling away from them like they were contagious.
With all subjects accounted for, we headed back to the dorms and ate dinner—and I remember running my hands through Jem’s hair, a little bit drunk on cocktails, and promising him that once Professor Quincy was finished with his research, he would let the rabbits go. I wasn’t completely sure of this myself, and it was just a friendly lie to make him feel better, considering he’d been acting weird all night. I had been lazily sipping water to sober myself up when the thought hit me.
It didn’t really make an impact, more of a passing thought. Did subject Fifteen have any influence over Jem’s mind?
Fifteen had already proved it could type a single sentence on a keyboard and tap on a tablet screen to identify certain fruits.
Was if possible that it had developed the ability to influence the brain? I wasn’t sure I wanted an answer to that. Anyway, we all headed to bed, and I made Jem promise he wouldn’t do something like that again. I still remember the way he’d looked at me, slightly confused, mouth open, like he had no idea what I was talking about. I figured he was just tipsy, and after frowning at me for way longer than necessary, Jem saluted me with a “Yeah, course I promise.”
Yeah, that promise lasted maybe six fucking hours.
I was spooning dry cereal in my mouth the next morning, trying to ignore the news bulletin on the TV, when we got the first call. Jem had broken into the lab two hours ago, and let the subjects run free. By the time I’d thrown myself into the lab, barely dressed, the others were already getting screamed at—and I mean SCREAMED at by Quincy. I glimpsed my colleagues through the glass window as I threw myself into a run towards the lab. It looked like they had been dragged out of bed.
Riss was in her robe, Kaian and Jem half dressed. The three were sitting in the communal area looking like they wanted to sink into the earth, while Quincy’s voice reverberated back down the hallway.
When I stepped through automatic doors, our professor turned to me, his expression thunderous. “Wren!” He passive aggressively gestured to the others. “Why don’t you take a seat, hm?” His British accent was easy to tolerate usually, but that morning he sounded like a fucking Bond villain. I nodded and practically dived next to Riss, who looked like she was ten seconds from wrapping her hands around Jem’s neck. Kaian was glaring at his lap, ignoring the professor’s ASL, and Jem looked—well, he looked kind of confused.
“You’re late.” Quincy turned his piercing gaze to me.
“I’m five minutes early, Professor Quincy.” I said, glancing at the clock to make sure I was right.
The man didn’t respond, turning back to Jem. “As I was saying, I was just letting your colleague know that he has thrown quite a wrench in our plans. But no matter, we can fix this.” He cleared his throat. “Mr Saeueng.” Professor Quincy nodded to Kaian. “There are several research subjects in storage that I have been saving for these kinds of emergencies, “ He said. “Please retrieve them so we can continue working on this project. And hurry up."
Kaian paled. For a moment I thought he was going to barf. “Professor Quincy,” he started to sign, before pausing, “You ordered me to dispose of them two weeks ago,” He shot me a look, and I remembered the two of us loading a cage full of rats into a truck. “We don’t have them.”
The professor’s expression contorted, and he smiled. He… smiled. Like he thought it was funny. “Right.” He said in a breath. “You’re telling me,” He lifted his arm like he was going to strike each of us. And I sensed the four of us collectively wince. “You’re all telling me—all four of you, that our current research subjects are nowhere to be seen, our backup subjects have been disposed of, and I am supposed to be doing a presentation next week?"
His voice cracked. “Next week!” He repeated, beginning to pace, and I was starting to regret choosing my curiosity over my wellbeing. Sure, psychokinetic abilities are cool, right? Cracking open the human brain and discovering something magical, something out of this world, was a dream come true. We were witnessing history being made. What could fundamentally change the world.
But I was sitting inside a lab with a man who was clearly unhinged, thousands of miles from home, and no guarantee I would ever return home. A shiver slid down my spine when our professor stopped pacing up and down, and something seemed to light up in his eyes.
I saw it. Something in his brain… snapped. It was like seeing a real-life light bulb moment. “We’re okay.” He said, after a moment of silence. Quincy seemed to gather himself. “You’re dismissed. I will.. I will get my hands on new research subjects, do not worry about that.” His smile was far too big, and I nodded, relieved, and jumped to my feet, eager to make a quick getaway.
Jem stood up, grabbing his bag. “Will we have time?” He asked. “I mean… the presentation is next week, and we need to start over.”
“That’s right,” Riss was frowning. “Professor, where exactly are you going to get new subjects? Didn’t the college stop funding the project?”
“Hm? Oh, I have subjects,” he chuckled. “I have always had subjects, don’t worry. They have always been my last resort.”
I nodded. “So, do you have spare rats?”
“Makes sense.” Kaian signed. “I bet he has a secret batch somewhere.”
“Precisely, Kaian.” Professor Quincy nodded, a wide smile splitting his lips apart.
“So, rats?” I pressed. He still was yet to answer my question and I was growing anxious of what these subjects were.
It must have been rabbits, surely. Rabbits were our best shot at getting results. Rats worked well, I guessed. But not as good as rabbits.
He caught my eye, and something cold slipped down my spine when the man’s grin didn’t waver. “You could say they’re rats.” He seemed to be drinking me in, his gaze flicking up and down, from my head to my toes. “And don’t worry. They will be ready for the presentation. I will make sure."
“Well, that’s great.” Jem’s expression brightened. “So, we didn’t have to use rabbits after all, huh? Who would have thought.”
To my surprise, the professor was in unusually high spirits. After a lecture repeating his insistence that we had to supress our humanity for the sake of science (which was mostly aimed at Jem) He flocked to his desk, sorting through paperwork, and leaving the room several times to take part in phone calls. He must have really been pushing to get new living materials. I noticed his hands were quivering. Was it fear?
Without a word, Quincy left the lab with an armful of paperwork. When Riss asked what we were supposed to do, he told us to stay exactly where we were, while he retrieved new research materials. Great.
With the professor gone, it didn’t take long before Riss was trying to strangle Jem, acting like it was playful, but the look in her eyes definitely had a more nefarious intent.
Kaian, being the smartass of our group, was already sorting through our day’s work, as if we hadn’t just lost our subjects. The lab was pretty much our playground (The professor’s words, not mine) but there was a specific room which was out of bounds. Quincy called it the FAIL room, where all of his failed experiments were. Living or dead, or preserved in some weird solution, the exact reason I was convinced he was unhinged, was in that room. I didn’t realise it was unlocked, until a crashing sound sent me jumping up from my chair, my heart catapulting into my throat.
Jem and Riss looked up from their work, and I noticed Kaian’s seat was empty.
“That sounds ominous.” Jem shot me a look. “Did he…”
“He didn’t.” I muttered, my gaze flicking to the other side of the room, where, to my surprise, the room which had always been out of bounds, was in fact open. Before I could hesitate or think of the consequences, I hurried to the door, coming to a grinding halt on the threshold.
I was aware of my colleague’s shadow several feet away from me. I was aware of the petrified look of fright carved into his face, and his eyes, wide, like he was staring into oblivion. Like the darkness had already taken him.
Instead of finding Kaian, I was seeing what I can only describe as several lumps piled on top of each other. When I got closer, forcing my feet into submission, those lumps bled into very human-like figures wrapped in see-through plastic. For a disorienting seconds, while my head spun around and around, a slithery paste crawling up my throat, I saw them as nothing but lumps of naked flesh bulging through plastic.
But then I was recognising faces, faces I knew--faces which had been mutilated, stained a startling scarlet like they had been dipped in the reddest paint available. I knew the first lump. Sara. She went home two weeks earlier due to illness. The following fleshy lump with its face ripped off, which I could no longer call human, was Thomas. He too went home for a family emergency and never came back.
Quincy said they had both requested to leave. He said they would miss us, but it was too much. Seeing what we were doing was too much for them. They couldn’t suppress their emotions. Sara and Thomas had never left. They never went home—they were right in front of me, reduced to chunks of flesh and bodily organs.
There was a white strip of paper attached to both of them, a single word written in bold lettering.
That word sent my stomach heaving, my feet stumbling back, and my body erupting into fight or flight.
Kaian twisted around, his face illuminated in dim light flickering from a bulb above.
“Out.” He signed, and it was the desperation in his eyes, the heaving breaths struggling from his lips, which got me moving. I was pressing my hand over my mouth, muffling a sharp scream ripping from my throat, when Kaian grabbed my arm and dragged me back. I was barely conscious of getting out of that room before the alarms started, sending me to my knees.
“What the hell is that?” Riss was next to me, her voice shrill.
Jem had his hands planted over his ears, his hand wrapped around a hysterical Kaian. “Wren, what is it? What’s in there?”
I couldn’t reply. Instead of trying to speak or explain, I grabbed her arm and dragged her to the door. Kaian and Jem were already on the hallway, and I was barely slipping back through the automatic doors, before they slammed shut, and a familiar voice crackled over the speakers. “Stay where you are.” Professor Quincy said. “We will be returning to work very soon. By the grace of god, I have found subjects.”
My blood ran ice-cold in my veins.
He was talking about us.
"What the fuck?!" Jem yelled. "What are you talking about?"
I didn’t think. I just ran. And sprinting down that hallway, which was familiar, which had always felt like a second home to me, I had no idea it would become my prison.
It would become the very hallway I would wish to die on.
The hallway I would be dragged down, day after day, while my mind was picked apart.
Ahead of us, the doors were shutting, red lights bathing our faces. I remember how scared they were. Jem, who reached the exit doors, slamming his fists into the glass. Riss, trying to override the mechanical lock. Kaian, who had given up, dropped onto his knees, and pulled them to his chest. When gas filled the air, I was still trying to get through the door. Riss had forced Kaian to his feet, and Jem was trying to find any weapon in his vicinity.
But there were no weapons. There was just the four of us against a gas which was quickly disorienting us. When black spots started to dance across my vision, and Jem’s eyes rolled to the back of his head, his body dropping to the floor, I was thinking about Subject Fifteen. I was thinking about its beady eyes when I bit my lip and drilled into its tiny skull under my professor’s gaze. Riss dropped next.
I was quickly losing consciousness, my clammy head pressed against glass, clawing at the lock, when the thought hit me.
We deserved it.
For what we had done to those rabbits, playing god, and trying to turn them into something they weren’t—we deserved it.
Whatever my professor was planning to do to us, I had an inkling it would be far worse than what the rabbits had endured. We were going to suffer, I thought dizzily.
And I can tell you, three years later, as I currently share a hotel room with three murderers, my past self was fucking right.
submitted by Trash_Tia
to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.02.02 22:06 Joepickslv Any suggestions for other lighting techniques, plants/items to shape/frame the space, places to find quality art to fill it? We’ve been considering one or two large art pieces, but are struggling to really find something big or intriguing enough to make it work. Hit us with your best ideas!
2023.02.02 22:04 BALLS_SMOOTH_AS_EGGS 5-bedroom unit in our duplex has a single wall furnace for heat. Steam heaters are in place but tenant says they've never worked. Help?
I closed on a duplex last summer, and I was told each unit has a steam boiler, and in addition the upstairs unit has a Rinnai Direct Vent Wall Furnace. The wall furnace works fantastic, but it only heats part of the very large 5-bedroom apartment.
I recently determined that is the ONLY FUNCTIONING HEATER in the entire unit. The tenant tells me the steam radiators have never worked, and the batteries to the thermostat were dead. I went up to investigate and sure enough, some radiators were intact, but others were missing, with exposed steam pipes and no caps for ends of them. In addition, the thermostat for the steam boiler is located IN THE ROOM the Rinnai heater is in, so it would rarely kick on even if I had it repaired.
What are my options here for getting additional heat in that unit?
submitted by BALLS_SMOOTH_AS_EGGS
to realestateinvesting [link] [comments]
2023.02.02 22:04 cesly1987 Die is Gain (partial early writing)
Die is Gain
Chapter 1: Day Out
Author note: * I found this as one of my few surviving stories from when I was like….14…16? Idk but cut me some slack. It's a post apocalypse dystopia written back in 99ish 2001. Matrix and Equilibrium where rad as hell. Anime was just busting everybody's cherry. Christian allegory was all the rage with Narnia and POD.*
A gruff looking man sat hunched with his back to the wall, looking down the bill of his cap at all the patrons sitting at the tables around him. They all had overly powdered faces and wore the most expensive clothing. Some appeared nearly naked, draped only in a few strips of cloth and thin fabrics.
The restaurant hummed with the sound of pleasant conversation and jovial laughter. A darkly beautiful woman played an unfamiliar stringed instrument on the corner stage, and a lavish fish aquarium illuminated the room with a soft glow.
It was all a very different environment than what the man was used to. He spent most of his days hiding from military patrols in the sewers and working manual labor jobs in the tundra. He finally saved enough money to bribe his way past the checkpoints and into the Upper District. He picked a fine restaurant that he could scarcely afford, and he still had to drop a load of credits just to get a table in the back. He scanned the crowd and constantly kept his eye on the glass door and windows that looked out onto the bustling street. He tugged unintentionally on his long sleeves to hide his hands.
He noticed that the waitress was taking her sweet time at getting around to taking his order, and his water glass had been sitting empty for a good ten minutes. But he didn’t care. He had stolen a stray brown jumpsuit from some construction workers down the block, so the waitress knew he wouldn’t be much of a tipper. He was just glad to be in public and eating at a table like a civilized man. Once his food was finally placed in front of him, he began to relax and let his guard down
It was a collection of clams and crawfish, but the main course was a piece of buttered toast. The man was beginning to think that the bread alone was worth the trip. Real bread made of wheat was a delicacy, and he was tired of eating the bread substitutes.
Just as he was beginning to enjoy his meal, he saw three men in flat black armor hovering outside the window. Nobody else inside the restaurant had noticed them yet, but he knew that was about to change. He knew the particular style of armor them men wore made them a part of Central Eden’s anti-terrorist suppression unit.
The three men entered, and the hostess at her podium looked up to greet them, but she quickly bit back her words. People knew the ominous importance of a suppression squad. Their presence meant that either dangerous terrorists were nearby, and people were going to get hurt, or it meant that terrorists were not nearby, and people were still going to get hurt. The suppression squad had a ruthless reputation of treating everybody as “suspected terrorist” and using harsh interrogation techniques to find the truth.
The man at the back of the restaurant resisted the urge to bolt, instead he eyed the closest glass window and wondered how badly it would hurt if he jumped through it.
The armored men approached the first table, and the customers silenced abruptly as one soldier stepped forward to loom over them.
“ Your Wrist!” he demanded in a booming voice, distorted by the face gear he wore. The customers all scrambled to pull up shirt sleeves and expose their individual barcodes. Another black clad squad member stepped up to scan their wrists with a handheld machine.
“All clear,” he said after he scanned the people at the table. He reached out to place out a gauntleted hand and grip the top of a bald headed customer.
“Mr.Showlsky believes because his brother is a Captain in the military he doesn’t have to pay his traffic fee, does he?” The squad member shook the man’s head vigorously in a “no” gesture.
“N-no… I’ll pay it tomorrow, I swear!” the bald man said fearfully.
“Good,” the leader said as they moved on the next table. The same procedure of harassment and barcode inspection continued for a couple more tables until one soldier spotted a man sitting by himself in the shadows in the back.
The soldier called out to his comrades and gave them a series of hand signals. They converged on the man wearing the brown jumpsuit. The leader stood in front on the table and loomed over him. The man gave a piercing stare from under his cap. The leader’s face was unreadable, obscured by face gear and circular red lens goggles. The tension in the restaurant thickened considerably as the rest of the squad shuffled about, just waiting for the stranger to make a move.
The leader finally spoke, “ Your arm!”
“Sure, Officer” the man responded flatly. He stretched out his right arm to reveal the barcode on his wrist. The leader took a couple of swipes with his machine before it beeped, meaning the tattoo had not been updated for quite some time.
The leader read from his handheld monitor the script that slowly filled the screen.
Alert! Proceed With Caution!
Name: Tearrick Ahala Zandal Age: 24-35
Status: Confirmed Terrorist Association: The Radical Christian Movement
The leader fervently read as the last few words loaded, “Other Known Aliases…” The leader swung his head up and yelled in surprise.
“It’s T!” At this exclamation a furry of motion took place. T kicked the bottom of his table with enough force to launch his end upwards, and in one fluid motion he grabbed the edge and flipped it, spraying the soldiers with silverware and dishes. The soldiers were no amateurs and reacted quickly, backing up a few feet and aiming their rifles at the vertical table.
T had anticipated a situation like this even before he risked entering the city. He had planted one of his homemade flash/smoke grenades onto the bottom of the table earlier that evening, so he quickly pulled the pin off the IED and dove backwards.
What followed next was the sound of a few cracks from assault rifles then a deafening explosion, the force of which spun the vertical table like a toy top. If anyone could still hear through the ringing in their ears they would have heard a hissing as the grenade let out a cloud of putrid smoke.
T belly crawled towards the nearest table then stood abruptly, flipping that one too. He scanned the room in search of the best escape route. Most people had crowded near the only entrance, attempting to escape. T only had a few micro seconds to make up his mind as he already saw the first of the stunned soldiers charging through the smoke-enveloped room.
T kept low and ran around the wall towards the opposite side of the restaurant, attempting to keep as many tables and people between him and the armor piercing assault rifles. This was not an act of cowardice on T’s part, but one of strategy, for he believed the soldiers would not fire upon the civilians they were employed to protect.
“Fire! Fire! Kill that bloody savage!” came the cry of anger from the leader.
Shots rang out in rapid fury, tables and people in the general direction of T shuddered and flew apart.
“Jesus!” T gasped and not because he was a Christian, although he knew a few people that would have been cross with him for that outburst. Although, he wouldn’t have minded Jesus’s attention right about then.
T noticed a round had shattered a glass panel and sprinted for it, thankful he didn’t have to see how painful it would be to jump through one today. Automatic fire followed him, shattering the rest of the windows as he exited onto the street. He took a quick glance around to regain his bearing then took off in a dead sprint down the block. He hung a quick right at an intersection, literally plowing through a group of curious onlookers.
T was attempting to make his way towards the industrial district where there were more hiding places and sewer openings. He was making good time weaving between traffic and keeping a steady stride.
He heard the tale-tale “Foom!” of police cruzers taking flight and hovering above the city’s low rooftops. He looked over his shoulder to see two pod-like cruisers closing in on him from down the street. T took a sharp cut left into traffic, aiming for the alleyway across the street. He slowed long enough for a speeding car to zoom by him, the side window smashing against his shoulder and breaking off. This spun T, but he gritted through the pain and continued onward.
Another vehicle slammed on its breaks as T slid across its hood and made it into the alley. The pain in his right shoulder throbbed, and he realized it might be disconnected. But there was no time to deal with it now. He could hear the distorted voices and radio chatter coming from pursuers all around him.
After running through some adjoining buildings and hopping certain fences, he finally found himself in familiar territory. He could now retrace his initial route into the city.
He was creeping cautiously down a garbage filled alleyway that was glowing with the neon lights of street signs, for it was already getting dark. The time was only around 2 in the afternoon, but the light hours were between 9 and 1. All he had to do was cross the walkway that crossed over a wide ditch and separated the Upper City for the Industrial District.
He peeked his head out of the alley to spy on the bridge. It was narrow enough for only one person to cross at a time. He had about a ten-yard run across a deserted street to get to it. But he still froze and waited.
Even if he did make it to the walkway he had another fifty-yards to go before he cross the ditch. In that fifty-yard he would be totally exposed with nowhere to run but back and forth like a character from those ancient games he learned about in his history teachings. He had also been taught that a choke point like a bridge was a perfect place for an ambush. That was a simple rule of warfare that he had been taught at an early age, and he knew his enemies would implement it also.
His mind was made up for him when he heard the barking words, “ Freeze!” behind him.
He jumped and turned to see a man wearing a copper police uniform instead of the heavy body armor of the Anti-terrorist squad. Despite the man’s commanding voice, his face was filled with fear, and his hands shook as he aimed the pistol at T.
T wondered why the man was so scared of him, despite T’s reputation as a wanted terrorist. T was obviously unarmed and injured from the way he nursed his right shoulder, and as the man pulled back the hammer on his pistol, T knew he was about to die.
I guess the man told me to freeze so he could shoot a stationary target, he thought as he braced himself. But T was always a fighter and in a last-ditch effort he let out a roar and flung himself at the man. The pistol made a sharp “PAA!” and T felt the round hit him in his injured shoulder.
He staggered sideways and hit the wall with the bulk of his face and fell into a pile of trash. Dizziness washed over him, and the pain was so intense T fought the urge to vomit. He looked up to see the cop aiming a pistol at his forehead. He drunkenly gazed at his wounded shoulder to see that it wasn’t wounded at all, it was only throbbing and numb.
The Police Officer’s confidence had returned as he said with much bravado, “ Good thing orders came in to take you alive or I would have put a sky roof in the back of your head!”
Anger swelled in T’s eyes as he thought of the dishonor of being taken prisoner, but they would never take him alive. He asked with a pretense of more weakness than he felt, “ You shot me with a dummy bullet?”
“Yes,” the Cop said smugly, “ Hurts doesn’t it?”
T grabbed a bag of trash with his left hand and swung it around to hit the Cop’s weapon, soggy trash flying everywhere. The Cop tried to back up but T shuffled forward on his knees and again with his left hand looped back over his head like a windmill and dealt an uppercut to the cop’s groin. The cop double over with a gasp and found himself at eye level with T. T then lunged forward with a tremendous head butt, splattering the Cops nose and sending him spinning unconscious to the ground.
T Staggered to his feet and looked down at his beaten enemy, forcing his shoulder back into place buy popping it against the wall.
“No, not too much,” he replied. He staggered out into the street, and as if triggering an alarm, police sirens wailed as squad cars approached him for either direction.
T did a double take and ran for the bridge, and at once knew he had fallen into a trap. At the other end of the bridge hovered the cruzer for the Anti-terrorist Suppresion Squad. Three members repelled down to the ground and held what looked like tazers. The lead soldier held a large riot shield out in front of him as they filed onto the narrow walkway and shuffled toward T.
T stopped and looked at them for a while, knowing he wouldn’t be making it any further without a weapon of some sort. He decided to take a chance. He threw up his hands and turned around to walk back the way he came.
“I surrender,” He yelled at the two copper clad officers who had just emerged from either vehicle.
“Hands in the air!” one yelled as he ran up to stick his weapon in T’s face. T thought it was a silly thing to say to someone who was already giving up. T knew what command would come next, Face in the dirt, or something like that. So he had to distract him.
“I will only surrender to you,” he said, “ not them.” He jerked his head backwards to indicate the soldiers behind him, the Cop’s eyes followed. Realization dawned on his face as he figured what that meant.
The Cop pointed at the approaching soldiers and said, “ Stay back, this is my arrest!” T couldn’t tell if they did or not but the Cop’s face slackened and he said, “ This arrest goes to the State police, not you hot shot support groups.”
The cop looked back over his shoulder to he fellow officer, “Call it in,” he told him. The second cop lowered his weapon to handle his radio.
T reacted by bringing his raised knife hands down on either side of the Cop’s neck. He then followed through by pulling the man into his raised knee. He easily took the pistol out of the cops grasp and threw him back into his partner.
The second Cop caught his companion and fumbled with his pistol. T placed a shot in the Cop’s right shoulder and the cop screamed from the pain of the dummy bullet. T then emptied the whole clip on them for good measure.
The soldiers on the bridge stood amazed at what they witnessed as T slowly bent down to retrieve a heavy nightstick from one of the downed whimpering Cops. T stood with his head cocked sideways and sweat glistening on his face. He was completely exhausted from being shot, run over and head-butting people. He stilled himself for he believed that things would become much more painful before the day was over.
Chapter 2: The Two Masters
Captain Kail Vincont was continuing his door-to-door sweep for the terrorist when he heard the rapid snapping of rifle fire.
He held up his fist to signal his team to discontinue the breach they were about to perform on a locked apartment door. “What dumb grunt is firing his weapon?” He demanded as he snatched the radio off his belt. He held down the button to open communications with a squad down the block, but before he could say anything he heard the team leader yelling in anger.
“Fire! Fire! Kill the bloody savage!”
“Team, rally back up in the Vultre, we need to perform some damage control,” Captain Vincont told his three soldiers. Wait till the Dragon hears we violated his law the day it was decreed.
“ Mitchells, cease fire and follow non-lethal means only!” he ordered into his radio. He knew the order was garbage considering the fact that the Anti-terrorist Suppression Squad had worked exclusively with lethal force for the last half decade. And since the new non-lethal weaponry was yet to be issued, the only weapons the Squad had to defend itself were tazers and riot-shields.
“What? Captain, did you not hear that explosion?” replied Sgt. Mitchells over the radio.
“Don’t care Sergeant, you need to learn to follow the Lord Dragon’s order.”
“There’s another thing Captain,” Mitchells interrupted, “ the suspect in pursuit is a big catch, T Zandal.”
Captain Vincont froze as he considered the severity of the situation then finally replied, “ Its only a ‘big catch’ if you catch the man, Sergeant. Alive!”
Vincont hovered his Vultre between the higher buildings of Industrial District, as he peered out his window in hopes of spotting the fleeing criminal. He knew the terrorist had probably entered through the sewers that flowed out of the city’s walls, and would try to escape the same way.
It had been ten minutes since his sister team and local police had lost sight of T. It angered Vincont, but also gave him time to think. T Zandal is an escaped convict and a surviving remnant of an enemy barbarian nation. He is a thief and a murderer that has fallen in with the Radical Christian Movement, Vincont thought as he veered his aircraft between buildings.
Vincont knew many outcasts and criminals had allied themselves with the Christians, because they were both rejected by society and the Christians welcomed sinners with open arms. But what made T different and shot him up on the wanted charts was the fact that he was always in the presence of Clara Winsfield.
Clara Winsfield was the true person the Dragon wanted behind bars. She would make her way into cities and preach on the street corners about the end times and the Lord Rofi’cul being the Devils puppet on earth. She would incite riots and anti-patriotic sentiment.
Every time the authorities went in for the arrest she would slip away, a ghost walker some associates called her. No matter how tight the traps were to apprehend her; she would slip right through them. Some believed it was due to the fact that, T, who would always follow her or be in her entourage, would put up a viscous fight in order to cause a distraction.
But, Vincont knew that these rumors existed before T even came into the picture. In some ways Vincont was infatuated with the mysterious and elegant Clara, and wondered how she acquired the company of the brutish criminal.
Vincont hid his Vultre in the shadow of a building so he could have a bird’s eye view of one of the many walkway bridges that served as a entrance into the industrial district. He listened to the chatter of the dispatch on his radio and realized the State Police had had the same idea and were staking out the area on the other side of the bridge. He hovered his team between the buildings and watched the bridge silently for a while. Behind him he could hear the steady breathing of his teammates as they waited patiently, he was glad that they at least had discipline, and could teach a thing to Mitchells and his crew.
Finally, Vincont spotted his target moving with caution towards the bridge; he pulled the Vultre out of the shadows of the buildings just as he heard the sirens of squad cars cue up.
What happened next still seemed surreal when Vincont would later reflect upon the situation after. His men took the zip-line out of the Vultre and began to converge on the enemy, but the State Police began ordering his men to stand down. The terrorist then exploded like a whip into violent action, dismantling the State Police and then turning to stare at Vincont's men on the bridge.
When Vincont later asked his men how they lost control of the situation, they would all reply “It was like we were moving in slow motion and he was so fast,” or “Everything just got so hazy.”
Vincont watched from above as his men engaged the terrorist on the bridge. He began shoulder blocking them backwards and tearing off pieces of their armor so he could land a punch or knee into their unprotected spots. As his men started to gain momentum and push back, the terrorist jumped to hang onto the outside of the railing, then swing himself up to get in between them.
Vincont gawked as the realization dawned on him that his men were thoroughly losing the melee. Two of his men where sent over the railing to crack against the shallow water below and the last was delivered a double hammer fist across the face that should have crumpled him, but the terrorist seized him and removed the assault rifle that was strapped across his back.
This caused Vincont to snap out of his daze as the terrorist aimed it at his hovering Vultre. The terrorist opened up on the Vultre as he ran towards it at the same time. Vincont veered it to the left and could hear the impact of rounds all down the vehicles right flank. Something exploded and his vehicle took a dramatic dive, scrapping across the edge of a building.
T, having unloaded the entire clip on the looming Vultre, tossed his empty weapon over the bridge and continued running. His body screamed with pain and his head swam, but was amazed that his shots had managed to take down the Vultre and send it smoking into a building’s third story window with a crash.
He was home free and all he had was about a half a mile, then he could find his sewer exit! He didn’t take his chance; he made sure to stick to the shadows and stay concealed by trying to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid being spotted by other aircrafts.
Finally, in one dark outer warehouse he found what he was looking for. A hatch in the ground in a damp dripping room. It smelled of garbage and decay but to T’s nostrils it smelled like freedom. He leaned against its doorway and caught his breath before stepping forward to the hatch.
He leaned over to unscrew the hatches cover when a dark shape descended upon him from above. It connected hard with his jaw and threw him backwards into the wall. Before he could blink he was hit three more times in rapid secession, the last blow landing hard in his gut and dropping him to his knees. T spit blood out of his mouth and waited for the onslaught to continue, but instead only heard a cold commanding voice.
“You’re the piece of trash that hangs around Clara Winsfield, aren’t you?”
T did not answer but only looked up to see a tall man dressed in assault gear with jet-black hair and close cropped goatee. He also notice the man had shiny insignias on his collar, meaning he was an officer of some sort.
“ You are T Zandall, and you are part of Clara’s entourage!” Came the voice again. T notice that when the man spoke that the side of his left side of his face was a unnatural shade of sun burnt red, and splotches of his black hairs were missing.
T smiled to himself, knowing this man was the pilot of the Vultre he downed, and said, “ I don’t recall the name. I’ve been with a lot of the womenfolk in my day, me being a savage and all.”
He expected the blow that followed and accepted it, but he did not expect to hear what the man said. “You show her such disrespect, you heathen?!” The man grabbed T by the neck and swung him towards the hatch. Author Note: I will continue this story if there is interest. Or just tell everyone my planned ending. I found another one of my longer stories too, but I'm pretty embarrassed by that one lol.
submitted by cesly1987
to Ceslystories [link] [comments]
2023.02.02 22:01 Lost-Part-6386 [ART] - The other side of the wall (Salty Cookie)
2023.02.02 22:01 svetlana__wittmann Gift for mom Original art watercolor painting Living Room Wall Decor Flower Floral Artwork Sakura Cherry Blossom Personalised Mother gift by ArtAndPaintCreations
2023.02.02 22:01 svetlana__wittmann Night Sky Painting Landscape Original Art Purple Full Moon Watercolor Forest Wall Art Owl Artwork 7 by 10 in by ArtAndPaintCreations
2023.02.02 22:01 svetlana__wittmann Japanese Painting Mountains Original Art Fisherman Art Japanese Artwork Black White Minimalist Wall Art 8 by 11 in by ArtAndPaintCreations
2023.02.02 22:01 svetlana__wittmann Meadow Painting Floral Original Art Forest Landscape Green Summer Field Watercolor Wall Art Work 7 by 10 in by ArtAndPaintCreations
2023.02.02 22:00 spacetimeboogaloo I’m a fantasy illustrator looking to get into the OSR. DM me if you’re interested!
2023.02.02 21:51 Pioneerx01 I want to put board and batten style siding on this small brick wall. I have a few questions on finer details.
Wall in question
Here is what I am thinking, wall is (75 wide x 60 tall):
Use a pressure treated 2x4
(6ft-long) as my furring strip, 4 boards in total, horizontally attached. That would also build up the depth a bit.
Use a hardboard siding pane
l, cut appropriately to match with battens.
Use the wood siding
for trims and battens.
I can’t figure out 2 things:
What do I do about the bottom edge where the tiles are? Do I “hover” the board and batten slightly and then fill in the gap with caulking?
I am planning on ending the siding a few inches short of the wall’s edge, roughly where the red line is. Do I just butt up two trims together at 90-degrees?
submitted by Pioneerx01
to HomeImprovement [link] [comments]
2023.02.02 21:49 BALLS_SMOOTH_AS_EGGS 5-bedroom unit in our duplex has a single wall furnace for heat. Steam heaters are in place but tenant says they've never worked. Help?
I closed on a duplex last summer, and I was told each unit has a steam boiler, and in addition the upstairs unit has a Rinnai Direct Vent Wall Furnace. The wall furnace works fantastic, but it only heats part of the very large 5-bedroom apartment.
I recently determined that is the ONLY FUNCTIONING HEATER in the entire unit. The tenant tells me the steam radiators have never worked, and the batteries to the thermostat were dead. I went up to investigate and sure enough, some radiators were intact, but others were missing, with exposed steam pipes and no caps for ends of them. In addition, the thermostat for the steam boiler is located IN THE ROOM the Rinnai heater is in, so it would rarely kick on even if I had it repaired.
What are my options here for getting additional heat in that unit?
submitted by BALLS_SMOOTH_AS_EGGS
to hvacadvice [link] [comments]
2023.02.02 21:46 ExCryptor_Exchange New HeadCrab malware infects 1,200 Redis servers to mine Monero
| || |https://preview.redd.it/08az0p8axtfa1.png?width=1600&format=png&auto=webp&s=3e9327cee8dd7e54f1726d3724178e27c394aa31 submitted by ExCryptor_Exchange to ExCryptor_Blog [link] [comments]
New stealthy malware designed to hunt down vulnerable Redis servers online has infected over a thousand of them since September 2021 to build a botnet that mines for Monero cryptocurrency.
Discovered by Aqua Security researchers Nitzan Yaakov and Asaf Eitani, who dubbed it HeadCrab, the malware has so far ensnared at least 1,200 such servers, which are also used to scan for more targets online.
"This advanced threat actor utilizes a state-of-the-art, custom-made malware that is undetectable by agentless and traditional anti-virus solutions to compromise a large number of Redis servers," the researchers said.
"We discovered not only the HeadCrab malware but also a unique method to detect its infections in Redis servers. Our method found approximately 1,200 actively infected servers when applied to exposed servers in the wild."
The threat actors behind this botnet take advantage of the fact that Redis servers don't have authentication enabled by default, as they are designed to be used within an organization's network and shouldn't be exposed to Internet access.
If admins don't secure them and accidentally (or intentionally) configure them to be accessible from outside their local network, attackers can easily compromise and hijack them using malicious tools or malware.
Once they gain access to servers that don't require authentication, the malicious actors issue a 'SLAVEOF' command to synchronize a master server under their control to deploy the HeadCrab malware onto the newly hijacked system.
After being installed and launched, HeadCrab provides the attackers with all the capabilities required to take complete control of the targeted server and add it to their cryptomining botnet.
It will also run in memory on compromised devices to bypass anti-malware scans, and samples analyzed by Aqua Security have shown no detections on VirusTotal.
It also deletes all logs and only communicates to other servers controlled by its masters to evade detection.
"The attacker communicates with legitimate IP addresses, primarily other infected servers, to evade detection and reduce the likelihood of being blacklisted by security solutions," the researchers added.
"The malware is primarily based on Redis processes which are unlikely to be flagged as malicious. Payloads are loaded through memfd, memory-only files, and kernel modules are loaded directly from memory, avoiding disk writes."
While analyzing the malware, they also found that the attackers mainly use mining pools hosted on previously compromised servers to complicate attribution and detection.
Furthermore, the Monero wallet linked to this botnet showed that the attackers are raking in an estimated annual profit of around $4,500 per worker, a lot higher than the usual $200/worker similar operations make.
To defend their Redis servers, admins are advised to ensure that only clients within their networks can access them, to disable the "slaveof" feature if it's unused, and enable protected mode, which configures the instance to only respond to the loopback address and refuse connections from other IP addresses.