Strange capsule stardew

Welcome Futurelings

2013.02.27 11:02 nemorosus Welcome Futurelings

Welcome Futurelings to the Omnibus Podcast subreddit Omnibus with Ken Jennings and John Roderick: An encyclopedic reference of strange-but-true stories compiled as a time capsule for future generations.

2023.04.02 13:12 FarmWhich4275 Decaf

It was a strange and horrific circumstance. Since the abolition and eradication of the Tarascus Plant, there hasnt been a worse circumstance. Humanity arrived on the galactic stage, and their arrival was three-fold.

The first stage was an unprecedented state of expansion, technological ascension and warfare the likes of which the galaxy had never seen before or since. Humans found themselves everywhere within the space of a decade, and it became ubiquitous to see a human basically anywhere from janitors to admiralty in every nation within the Galaxy.

The second stage was an age f discovery. Humanity by this point was everywhere but beyond personal information, we knew little about them or their history. When we started learning their history, especially before their ascension to the stars. Some took their history as a challenge. They are no longer with us.

The second stage was an age of nothing more than... an age of addiction.

Humanity's industries and commerce produced goods the likes of which most species could only imagine. Pastries such as bread and cake were the first to skyrocket. Bakeries and confectionaries began to become overnight sensations. The galaxy had been captivated by human culinary arts and quickly became enamored with food.

After food, we found sports. Carnivorous species such as the Vulpinians abandoned pirate raiding and became an overnight peacekeeping force after humanity introduced sports. Football, Soccer, wrestling, racing. Anything and everything. Viewership numbers for sporting events multiplied exponentially overnight for major sporting events. Even the Gentleman's Game Cricket became an incredible sensation.

But then we noticed something more. Certain human goods and services started making their way up the food chain. A certain plant species known as tobacco made itself known. Despite humanity's insistence it be regulated, it found its way into the hallowed halls of the Tarakani peoples. Within a year, an entire civilization was now hopelessly addicted to a cancer stick, despite humanity's warnings.

Humanity almost immediately took notice and ordered the product be shipped with filters, nicotine patches and other regulatory aides to try mitigate the problem. Humans launched a massive propaganda campaign to try slow or stop the addiction rates and even went so far as to threaten shutting the industry down. Eventually they made headway in the matter. The entire debacle made humans cut production and exports of more than half of their industries.

This annoyed most of the galaxy. Some even threatened war.

Humanity shamed us. Like they would shame any other drug addict. And it worked. We backed off and let the market decide what happened next.

Lesser substances like tea and potato chips made their way through the nets. Popularity and demand consequently exploded, and humans breathed a sigh of relief as the least addictive substances on earth became more commonly accepted. Potato chips of almost any flavor became household staples in most empires and nations. Afternoon tea by itself became a thing far beyond anything the British Empire could have imagined.

The profits simply with potatoes and dried plants with hot water filtered through were nothing short of mind breaking.

Then a more insidious but equally delicious treat arrived on the market. Coffee.

Humans themselves were heavily addicted to the substance because of one singular component - Caffeine. To the race known as the Rakandili, my own species, the taste of coffee was an absolute godsend, and we quickly addicted ourselves to one of the most dangerous additives in the universe.

Thousands died due to overdose. Even for humans, more than three cups of coffee a day can be dangerous, we were drinking the stuff by the gallon an hour. Riots erupted when supplies ran dry. some attempted to sue the Terran Federation for access to the recipe. Others attempted to petition the Admiralty to declare war to gain access to the substance.

Caffeine puts us in a euphoric but controlled state. We can accomplish tasks that normally would take hours in the space of only a few minutes. When we drank coffee it was as if time slowed down and we were able to see a whole different plane of existence. Coffee was just an easy way of getting this kind of high. Months of work, complete in only a few weeks. Governments across dozens of colonies began mass ordering the substance.

It was only after thousands of people dropped dead at their workstations that we realized we made a seriously bad mistake. Humanity warned us. They warned us a dozen times over for years before this. We ignored them. Humans however beat us to the punch when we ordered our next shipment. They decided to take the situation into their own hands.

I received this shipment.

I stood in the loading bay, my tentacles swaying with anticipation, tips gently tapping the ground impatiently. The human cargo ship in front of me had only just started offloading its precious cargo when a human female approached me with a cargo manifest.

"Four hundred and fifty tons of coffee grounds, capsules and a few thousand coffee machines. Hmm... I don't recognize this though..." I pointed to the coffee brand that was on the manifest.
"Yeah. Gov ordered a new company to take the reigns of your deliveries. They sent a test batch to see if you liked it." She said and grabbed one such tub, opening it.
The sweet, beautiful aroma of the delicious substance immediately tingled my senses. I was suddenly thirsty. "OOOOoooooOOOO hjhhmmmmjjjffrrtt"
She rolled her eyes in annoyance. "This stuff is specially made for you. we heard about your recent troubles so we decided to change our supplier and formula to cater to it so you guys stop... you know... exploding."
"Coooofeeee...." I said. My brain was broken. I only wanted coffee.
"Oh. See, this is why we tried a new supplier. Because y'all are friggin' addicts here. So, in the interest of not being liable for millions of deaths, we brought you a new thing. Just as potent, not lethal, half the price." She said and showed the label of one of the tins.
"What is this then?" I asked, noting the label had the words: Vitamin B Enriched printed on it.

submitted by FarmWhich4275 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 11:42 numberland [H] Lots of games (many with short descriptions), split of Discover and Diamond bundles [W] Lots of non-violent games, my split of bundles, paypal (£ or $), open to most things except violent games.

IGSRep - GameTradeRep
Have, a lot of games, see below.
Want, in rough order of preference:
Willing to be generous :D
From the Discovery bundle: + Weaving tides + Switchball
From the Diamond bundle:
For trade for someone else:
Highlights of games you might have from my Steam wishlist:
Potentially from the Discovery bundle:
Potentially 1-3 slots in the Diamond bundle - see above for the games I want
From the Humble Turkish-Syria Earthquake charity bundle
From the Mystery Star Bundle (both versions):
Humble (all unrevealed, unless clicked on by accident):
No longer on Steam/issues with Steam
submitted by numberland to GameTrade [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 11:40 numberland [H] Lots of games, split of Discover and Diamond bundles [W] Lots of non-violent games, my split of bundles, paypal (£ or $), open to most things except violent games.

IGSRep - GameTradeRep
Have, a lot of games, see below.
Want, in rough order of preference:
Willing to be generous :D
From the Discovery bundle: + Weaving tides + Switchball
From the Diamond bundle:
For trade for someone else:
Highlights of games you might have from my Steam wishlist:
Potentially from the Discovery bundle:
Potentially 1-3 slots in the Diamond bundle - see above for the games I want
From the Humble Turkish-Syria Earthquake charity bundle
From the Mystery Star Bundle (both versions):
Humble (all unrevealed, unless clicked on by accident):
No longer on Steam/issues with Steam
submitted by numberland to indiegameswap [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 20:22 bosandaros [Neighbor] - Chapter 7

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
POV: Zed
Zed squinted despite the visor blocking the sun from his eyes, as the wind whipping him in the face made him tear up. He was driving fast. Mavis did not tell him once to slow down, actually encouraging him at his speed down the abandoned road and long, loping hills.
The field came into view, filling his vision with yellows and whites with orange coned centers. The narcissuses waved and turned their heads as the truck zoomed by, whipping the ones closest to the road in the wind.
"Don't you just love daffodils?" Mavis observed.
Zed loved to go fast.
It was one of his hobbies to get into his car and just drive with the music blasting. She seemed to prefer the music off, but Mavis let him drive fast, far exceeding any speed limit if there were one on this road.
They were far out in the middle of nowhere, truly. A gray block of a building in the distance rolled by, something which seemed to have dropped out of the sky, utilitarian and far removed from the green hills and colorful flowers.
"They're very nice," he answered finally.
They didn't talk much for a little while. She seemed entranced by the spot of gray that slowly passed over the hill as he coasted from the top down. He hit the engine again and they raced up the next one.
"I used to drive home from a road just like this one when I was in high school," Zed said.
The relaxing drive brought back the memory. Mavis simply looked at him like he was a precious item she had brought back from shopping around, something she saw and loved. He shrugged internally.
"I used to go on night drives out of the city, and there was this one house that had been abandoned. I don't know if it's still there. It was in pretty bad shape, but anyway, it's hard to spot if you're just driving down that road, which there were never many people, to begin with around."
It belonged to an old farmer. He didn't want to let it go, and the family didn't want to sell it, so when he died they just didn't know what to do with the property, and so it was left alone with all that land. Kind of looked like this place."
Zed gestured with a wave.
"Before all the trees grew in and covered up his house. It was old, had to be at least seventy years old, everything in it. I would drive down a trail in the road that you would miss if you blinked while driving and went right to it, and I would go right in. I mean, no one locked their doors."
The silence on her end made him feel a bit out of breath like he was taking up all the air in the truck. The lack of radio made him feel even more like he was a guest talking up all the time from the host on a show, but he continued.
"I would look at pictures of the farmer and his family. It's amazing what sits around for decades and goes untouched, a bit like a time capsule," his words tumbled out one by one. He glanced at her. "Right?"
"Right," she said absently, or maybe she was absorbed in his story.
He couldn't tell which.
"I went up there and I would just sit on the roof and drink a 40 Oz. This one time I heard-"
He stopped abruptly as though his mouth had brakes and Zed slammed down on that next thought. He looked at her again through the rearview mirror, unclenching his jaw. For a moment, he considered pretending that he forgot what he was saying, a moment lost in thought.
He went on ahead.
"I heard this...scream," he said, picking back up, "It was human. I'm sorry. I've been talking too much."
Zed thought he should abandon this conversation. It was like waving his hand closer to a flame and getting slightly singed before pulling back. There was no way she would want to listen to him talk about something so morbid.
Give it a rest already, he reprimanded himself.
"I'm sorry," Zed said again.
"What happened next?" she asked.
He still could not read her expression, but Zed was shocked by her eyes nonetheless, as they seemed to glow from within.
Zed had tried to date, to appease his parents. Tried to be normal, to shut off. He had been accused of constantly bringing everything back to his work, by multiple dates, and they were all right. He didn't know how else to be, so steeped on his path, and his story wouldn't prove otherwise.
But then again she wasn't a delicate delilah, and this wasn't a date with some vapid person who only cared about his wallet. She worked with dead bodies, for God's sake. Besides, this could lead to a good segue into her earlier conversation with Collins.
Perhaps he could eek some information out.
"There are animals at night that people mistake for humans in horror movies and it turns out not to be. This was a person," he reiterated. "I swear on all of my cases, it was someone."
"Did you see them?" she asked.
He shook his head.
"It was too dark to see anything, there was no moon out, and the trees were a cover, but it was someone. I never went back."
It had been so dark that he had almost tripped over the deteriorating stairs, and he couldn't see his hand in front of him as he flung the door open and raced back to his car.
A strange, fleeting look passed over Mavis' face, almost like a thrilled grin, before her lips plunged into a deep frown. The corners of her lips seemed to always curve up slightly so it looked like she was happy, even when she wasn't.
Noticing small details on a person simply made him good at his job. Zed looked straight ahead, his face tingling oddly, still slightly out of breath.
"I'm sorry that happened to you," she said.
He shrugged around the steering wheel.
"We have a lot in common. I have taken night drives since I was old enough to get behind the wheel, a little bit before that too," she added quietly. "Would you believe that I passed a house that looked exactly like the one you were hanging out in?"
He kept his eyes on the horizon, small, gray trees dotting the mist in the distance, the point where the road met the sky. They climbed higher on a long hill and for a moment, Zed felt like they were going to fly.
The road peaked and he floated back down.
"Yes, I can believe that, Mavis. There are places like the farmhouse all around. People just ignore them."
"But not us."
Zed simply turned his head.
She held a wide grin from ear to ear, seeming to chomp down on happiness until her jaw was worn. His eyes flitted away. He flexed around the wheel to shake off pins and needles, imagining her in this exact same spot.
Perhaps it was the comedown from the adrenaline high of moving so fast, but for a moment he rode on edge.
They de-escalated as the road flattened out. Zed could not see the road behind them, the hill was too high and blocked off the rest of the path from view. Up ahead it was flat terrain that never seemed to end.
They were on the fringe of the world. He took a short breath and got out. Mavis was already halfway across the field. She was fast, faster than a racehound, and he felt that odd sensation once again.
Zed tsked at himself. He really did need to get out more, and she could show him how. Her eyes seemed to sparkle with joy. They were surrounded by daffodils, and she enthusiastically went on to say how they were her absolute favorite, flitting to and fro like a bee collecting honey.
She seemed about ready to burst into song with great fervor, twirling and making her flower-pattered dress billow. It was blue with darker blue petals interspersed, like a watercolor painting. Zed watched for a moment, hypnotized by her movement.
Mavis was like a walking flower herself, a spot of deep, cool color in the field of light yellows.
He shook his head to clear it.
Why did he agree to this again?
Oh, yeah. The mysterious murders. At least, he could rationalize it after the fact that this was the reason he had said yes in the parking lot. Now it was simply more pertinent than before, given what she had heard behind closed doors that he missed.
"Listen, Mavis," he said.
She yodeled and spun.
He braced a delicate hand on her shoulder and she came to a stop. Zed curled a lip and then bit down. How did he even bring this up? After a moment, he resigned himself that there was no tactful way.
"I need to talk to you," Zed said.
Her eyes still sparkled, though his serious tone dimmed her down, a drop of darkness in her green, vibrant eyes. They turned a muddy hue as he plummeted into their depths. There was a long moment where he didn't say anything.
Her shoulders dropped down under his palm.
He pulled quickly away.
Here we go.
Zed took a stiff inhale through his nose.
"I overheard the conversation you and Collins had through the door," he said.
She quickly hid the shock that flitted across her face.
"Yes," he said. "But, I didn't quite catch all of it."
Zed waited for her to respond. She didn't.
He let out a sigh.
"What all did he say?"
Her brow furrowed.
"He wants to take the previous case and the latest one with your-with Mr. Dent," she stuttered.
He lifted a brow.
Mavis scrunched up her face.
"He said that there was another body, but, there's no way that he could know that...right?"
She sounded genuinely as worried as he was, even more so, with this disturbing development. Zed found this a relief. He wasn't simply imagining that things were off.
"I heard that part," he said.
"I think that he just assumed the worst, you know? People go missing and usually it doesn't end well," Mavis said, dismissing it out of hand.
And just like that it was over. He could find nothing more to relay to her, no suspicious conspiracies. It was just an assumption. Zed knew that there was more to it, there just had to be. He had nothing to prove this, however, for the time being.
Zed resigned to staying in close touch with Mavis and keep watching out.
"Why were you listening through the door?" she asked.
Zed was back to staring straight through her, deep in thought.
"Just making sure he was welcoming. Collins looks a little scary but he's really a good guy," he said.
His voice fell flat as a robot repeating a line. Whether his words rang true to him, it didn't matter. She would be working closely with this man and perhaps she could tell him things he would miss. Making her feel more in the fold was worth the little white lie.
Mavis seemed more than willing to believe it, or she just wanted to get this conversation about work over as quickly as possible. Like most normal people did. Once again in the corner of his mind, he lamented it being all he ever had to talk about.
Maybe it was starting to make him a headcase if he wasn't already, hearing and seeing things that weren't there.
Mavis grinned.
"I have a surprise for you," she said.
Before he could really process what Mavis said, she was halfway across the field.
Mavis skipped back to the truck and popped open the trunk. Out of it, she pulled a large basket with a red, checkered cloth tucked inside, spilling out around the edges. Mavis walked toward a flat patch of dirt where not much grew and motioned for Zed to follow.
She rolled out the cloth and shook it flat, then laid it out on the ground. Mavis turned around and looked at his face.
"I did this with my friends back home," she said quickly.
His shoulders dropped slightly.
He breathed out.
"I figured that, though you do come on strong," he said.
She pulled out a bag of bread and jam.
"I suppose that I do, but this reminds me of home," she explained.
Zed watched this as though he were in a dream. It was jarring to be standing out here when he should be back there filling out paperwork in today's case. Then again, paperwork could wait on him a lot longer than a body can.
He smiled.
If it was jarring to stand, he could sit, and so Zed came to sit as she pulled out the platter of cheeses and fruit.
"I didn't get homesick that fast. Are you sure you don't just like the scenery here better?" he teased.
Zed let out a laugh when her face turned a bright shade of red.
"I think that I do. Let's call this a celebration," she said.
Her wrist white-knuckled around a corked bottle before it twisted off with a loud pop. She pulled two glasses from the bag.
"Mavis, I have to drive."
She peered at him through one eye, pouring two regardless.
"Are you such a lightweight?" she said.
"," he resigned.
Zed was ashamed of how much he was not a lightweight, but he kept his third less acceptable hobby well under wraps. Couldn't let anyone think he was tanked on the job with his line of work, where one slip-up meant compromising evidence.
A bead of sweat collected on his brow, and it was from more than just the sun now directly overhead. Zed had gotten better. He had only polished off a bottle of wine that month. One little drink wouldn't run them off the road.
"Alright," he said, grabbing the glass around the bowl. "To your transfer."
She smiled.
"To this great spot. Maybe we can come here again," she said hopefully.
Zed looked at her, at her mercurial eyes that revealed specks of green through brown, like fresh sprouts shooting through the mud, and his apprehension slowly began to fade. Could they be friends?
Zed could admit that he came out here for more than just an interrogation. She was nice to him from the moment that they met, and it opened a hole in him, or made him starkly aware of the pit that before had only been poorly covered up.
Going out to lunch with coworkers and gaming was no panacea. Company from the dead was not enough. Buried under his work and hobbies, he was so lonely. He hesitantly held the glass by the stem.
They clinked.
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2023.04.01 18:37 CromaShin [THEORY] (Part 1 of 2) Exposing the Secret of Sweet Oasis

[THEORY] (Part 1 of 2) Exposing the Secret of Sweet Oasis
Hi NSWERS, welcome back on our logbook in this journey through MIXXTOPIA. I'll be the one who guides you NMIXX feats and stories. This post covers the EXPERGO Pre promotions Era and its content: Concept Story Films, Mixxletters and other media. The 2nd part will be about the MVs and Lyrics breakdown and I will wrap up everything with a conclusion and theories about what's next.
Welcome To MIXXTOPIA Debut and O.O MV link
Towards The MIXXTOPIA DICE MV link
Expanding The 'MIXX' New Frontier, MAMA2022 link

1st Anniversary Recap

It's been a while so we should recall our memories for a moment, let's do a quick resume of a year long lore.
O.O Era
7 girls discover a whole new world that expands as they imagine it, called MIXX. They can reach it by opening their eyes "for real". But something is off in the real world, called FIELD, a pirate ship lands on a misty park, cars start levitating, ethereal fish flow out from MIXX to FIELD, Jiwoo stands out of the Donut Shop.
NMIXX take their journey on a ship towards MIXXTOPIA, a place in MIXX where "everything you imagine becomes real". In this world, represented this time by a board game, they face enemies who set up traps, just like the Cat. This enemy, born out of the girls' fear, in the end gets defeated. In MIXX, where they played this game a big tornado occurred mostly due to the overload of negative feelings gathered. Emotions here can become physical, that's IMPETUS. Bae drops a Green ball, previously a die, in an orange juice lake.
bloom a flower named \"growth\"

Docking Station: Declaration

Adventure heads toward freedom. No, adventure is heading toward danger. Following new possibilities, we walked from the real world "FIELD" to the new world "MIXX". It wouldn't have been possible on our own. We met a lot of new friends along the way. Lion, whale, jellyfish and also cats. We soon grew close, collecting the pieces of emotions that bloomed with each of our steps, we pushed our way forward. "MIXX" is growing as big as our imagination, If we reach "MIXXTOPIA" like this, will everything we want coexist? That may not be true, something green and overly sweet is deceiving us and getting in our way. Sweet things seem good, but they stop us from imagining. People whose existence was denied wish to stay in the maze of 0 and 1 rather than take on an adventure. Whenever we're scared, we hold the hand of who's next to us, we feel connected. I become more myself because of you, and you yourself because of me. So nobody feels lonely or left out, we hope to mixx even more. It's now your turn to awake.
The video resumes the first chapter of NMIXX story. Starting from O.O we se Nmixx reaching MIXX in O.O, the domino, the ship in the sky between the seas, the creatures of this new world. In DICE they meet the cat(s) and start collecting the emotions felt during the journey (IMPETUS). MIXX is represented here by a orange juice lake with orange trees growing on the side, fish floating in the air.
This is a new chapter of the story, New Frontier has ended. Nmixx gained experience in the MIXX during the fight with the cat powered by their fears, overcame those feelings and defeat the feline enemy. A docking station is a harbor, a dock where their ship can be welcomed and docked. A docking station is also the devices on a Space Station that permit another spacecraft to connect and exchange useful materials or astronauts. This station is of course located in Mixxtopia, the place they want to reach. But the path is not so easy, a new problem comes up. This green thing is deceiving them and people in the FIELD. They want to save those people by awakening them (spoiler it's us, we are dolphins).
"people who existence was denied wish to stay in the maze of 0 and 1 rather than take on an adventure" is a curious sentence. Who has denied those people to exist? Why do they wish to stay in the maze of 0 and 1? Since they stay in the maze of 0 and 1, which means probably they don't take any chance or bold decision, it means they exist there, so they are forbid to exist in the MIXX? or in the FIELD? We'll see.

Secret of Sweet Oasis

In this video Reporter Oh Haewon goes live to tell us about Sweet Oasis. This is the hottest candy brand and it sells just one type of round green candy at the same address of the Donut Shop in O.O. There are rumors about this shop and NMIXX want to break into the shop to investigate more. "Does curiosity cause fear? The Cat sends a sudden private message... The broadcast ends. NMIXX manage to sneak into Sweet Oasis. Here they find lots of candies and in a locker, some classified documents with a picture of a cat and a post it with "Maximize Fear" written on it. There is also a date February 19 1971, a place, Florida, US and a person A SURGEON / Graduation from Harvard. Those documents are marked as Check. Let me tell you what those documents are about: this person, "A SURGEON" made an experiment on the cat pictured to maximize the fear, this experiment was a success and DICE events happened. We'll get to know this "surgeon" in a moment.
the forbidden fruit
Jiwoo is about to eat a green candy but the scene cuts off. Then we see the post-credit scene in O.O of Jiwoo outside the Donut Shop. Inside the Sweet Oasis a wind blows on the candles and someone rings at the doorbell, the door gets warped and unlocked. First of all, let's understand what eating a green candy implies: we are said that it stops you from imagining and we know that MIXX is accessible only through imagination and it expands with it. We need to acknowledge that inside the Sweet Oasis shop Jiwoo is still here, whether she has eaten or not the candy. But we see also another Jiwoo outside the Donut Shop. Let's start making different scenarios:
  • Jiwoo didn't eat the green candy. Nothing "bad" happens to her inside the Sweet Oasis. The ring bells, it's the O.O Jiwoo. This means there are 2 different Jiwoo at the same time and place. In any movie about time travel this should never happen, and if it happens it's because something went wrong in another future time line (see Steins Gate, Dragonball's Trunks, Avengers Endgame, Back to the Future...). Before further speculations let's continue with other scenarios.
  • Jiwoo ate the green candy. She can't imagine anymore; she gets disconnected from MIXX and went back on FIELD. She becomes the Jiwoo outside the Donut Shop from O.O. That's the reality, the Donut Shop is still there but with unfixed, blinking lights as it's not in activity (even if lights are on inside). The Sweet Oasis was just an illusion in the MIXX, made to deceive NMIXX into losing their abilities of being "awake".
Let's make other scenarios regarding this scene:
  • Future Jiwoo is ringing the bell. Two Jiwoos are about to meet, the space time continuum gets warped. Why does she want to meet NMIXX? To save them from the green thing? Why blow the candles tho? Is she actually evil?
  • FIELD Jiwoo is ringing the bell. She wants to go back to MIXX and with NMIXX. She remembers that through that shop she reached the MIXX. But she is still with them inside Sweet Oasis, so she did not stop imagining. This scenario can't happen.
  • Jinyoung Park PD-nim is ringing the doorbell as in Twice TT MV.
  • Jiwoo is NOT ringing the bell. Someone else is ringing it, probably the actual owner of the shop. That's why he blew the candles and warped the space, because he's evil and want to defeat the NMIXX intruders. In this scenario Jiwoo didn't eat the candy since she's still inside, but the O.O Jiwoo outside remains unsolved.
Handling with different timelines and universes is hard, for now we can assume that she didn't eat the candy since she's still inside the Sweet Oasis, that who rings the bell is the enemy and not O.O Jiwoo. The theory that who rings the doorbell is the enemy is confirmed by this Short where a green slime resembling 2 legs gets splatted under the door, retreats itself, rings the doorbell and then an avalanche of green candies floods the shop. This specific splat of leg-looking shape of slime could be a reference to the movie The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz (from now on abbreviated in TWWOO) where the Wicked Witch of the East gets crushed by the landing of Dorothy's house. The Witch upon her death loses her shoes and disappear under the house.
There is a little bit stretched theory: there is a gold pin with "NAILS" and a hand on Jiwoo's beret. In the ENTWURF Limited Edition Album there are holographic cards with a hand with long nails in the background preying on NMIXX. This correlation between NAILS and the fact that last year she made a fake NMIXX logo and captioned the drawing in reversed made some people to believe that the Cut-Scene Jiwoo is evil and started the XXIWN alter-ego theory. I can't prove this theory right or wrong because Jiwoo has always been suspicious but it's also part of her personality. Only time will tell the real truth of the Cut Scene.


The investigation starts. NMIXX release news updates about their discoveries in the green candy shop. The articles are pretty self-explanatory.
VOL. 01
There is this new store that only sells green candy. Those super popular candies make your mind go blank and make you feel perfect, if you don't take them, you feel excluded. Due to their excessive sweetness and the fact that turn tongues green those candies are totally chemical, "artificial" as the YouTube Short says. Note that the logo, the Green Eagle, was also a square in the DICE gameboard. At this point it's pretty much confirmed that this store is an enemy.
VOL. 02
NMIXX through their investigations find that the owner of the Donut shop has changed. The new owner sells only one type of candy, instead of various doughnuts and candies. "NMIXX have a clear memory of PICK AND MIXX as a vision of it welcomed them the day they took their first step into MIXX" this sentence it's not well written I think, but the idea behind it is that NMIXX remember the old store when they went to MIXX for the first time. They don't know how the store changed and who is the new owner. This clarifies that the owner is another person and not the same of Pick N Mixx. The girls find a uniform with boots, an apron and a raincoat left by the owner on a wall in a secret room. This outfit is used in factories where you get often dirty because you are handling splashy, fluid substances. For this reason, who produces the candies is the owner itself. Nmixx also uncover the name of the store clerk, MONOPOLE, and confirm he/she is a follower of the owner. What "follower" means and implies it's still unknown.
VOL. 03
Nmixx confirm our theory about the DICE cat and explain it. MONOPOLE made experiments on a cat, maximizing its fear. NMIXX played with this cat and fought the manifestation of their inner fear, overcoming also big waves and tornadoes sent to them. When the cat regained its normal size, a green dye was spotted on its tail. This green dye was made with lots of negative emotions. In the Sweet Oasis secret room Nmixx found documents about increasing Nmixx's inner fears and eliminate Nswer diversity. Monopole has been watching Nmixx for a long time and caused all the troubles they had.
VOL. 04
Apparently, some of us Nswers had been trapped inside a bottle by Monopole in his secret room. As Nmixx say, this is not the first time we were trapped: some dolphins were caged inside frames in that blue and cloudy room in DICE as well. Nswers who were stained by the green dye slowly turn into green candy, losing their diversity. So Nmixx is planning to rescue those sleeping Nswers in a brilliant, lovely and whimsical way. "upgrading the Tap Tap system and developing new various inventions" says Kyujin, the Engineer, while Haewon the Captain is "devising various plans to go to MIXXTOPIA". What do you think their plan will be? We'll uncover it on the MV section.
this shop once sold various flavored doughnuts, now just one green candy
This show is different from NMIXX In Wonderland because this time it's all scripted, since it's an escape room, so they literally played as themselves in the lore and investigated on the green candy shop. The plot follows the articles written on the Mixxletters: NMIXX enter SWEET OASIS to investigate its popularity. The clerk, Monopole welcome them. To order the candy they open a box with GREEN as a password. A message says that the candy "gives you a sweet taste that calms down your inner anxiety". In each riddle they solve there will be a piece of dolphin. They will find all the pieces and save the dolphins. They watch an adv of Sweet Oasis...
"The only candy that can captivate you. Meet Candy from Sweet Oasis. Multi-colored donuts and candies are so common! Our candy offers a fantastic experience like meeting an oasis in the desert with only one taste. Sweet sold by Sweet Oasis are so sweet that you can't think of anything. It's a perfect candy in color and taste. You can also feel complete after eating this candy. Try before you fall behind the trend."
Then solve the next riddle by ordering 9 books: 1. The pain of sadness 2. Don't be angry 3. How to heal fear 4. How to control one's sadness 5. Three Faces of Anger 6. My Joy 7. Joy is forever 8. Between Joy and Sadness 9. The Secret of Dolphins. When ordered, the books form the word IMPETUS. Except the last one, that book is a diary from a dolphin: there are pictures of the DICE sky room with dolphins inside the frames. The dolphin says he tasted the green candy, he felt confident and perfect but also suddenly sleepy. NSWER = dolphin, so an NSWER was trapped and they need to save him. A wave of green candies falls from the stairs, together with a capsule. This capsule has a picture of a Fake Green potion that leads them to the corridor. The girls find Monopole studio and secret room. In the middle of the room a table is filled with clues, dots and links. The colored wires form 1202 which is the password for a cabinet. Monopole is coming for them but NMIXX hide so she decides to report the intrusion to the manager, the owner of Sweet Oasis, after leaving another diary page of the dolphin diary on the table.
"I used to love imagining things. Imagining is always fun but strangely, obsessively I keep thinking about one thing repeatedly. Why am I like this? To think of it, where am I? I was in the store a minute ago, it smells excessively sweet. I can hear the's dark..."
On this table NMIXX find information about them, the recipe of the Fake Green, its effects (terror, fear, hallucinations), photos of the sky room in DICE, one with dolphins in the frames and another with almost all empty frames. That's why Nmixx is here, to save those remaining Nswers. In the next room of the corridor there are puzzles themed by Wisdom, Love and Courage from the Concept Story: Blue, cloud and white flower is Courage, Red, apples and orange is Love, Yellow and candles is Wisdom. Solving a riddle, they find another diary page where the NSWER talks about his friend acting strange, deep sleeping, he's worried that something bad will happen so he must tell other people but can't because he's falling asleep too. In the last riddle box they find the frames seen in the DICE scene. They fit the dolphins inside them. After saving NSWERs the intruder alert triggers, the security system is activated and they can't escape unless they find the password, which is expérgo320. They escape bringing NSWERs and a sample of Fake Green.
Now let's watch the table closely, starting from top left. Identikits for every member, an article about their career as singers. Picture of the green optical illusions seen in the XXIWN twitter account, "Experiment", "symptom" "hallucination" "fear" "who?" "why?", screenshots from the warped black and white setting of DICE, "success!", a map of the Land of Oz, an ad of a travel to Paris, the Fake Green illustration, a pair of blue glasses, "green", a tornado, a photo of Nmixx looking at the pictures on the Nswer's diary just found, the same pictures of DICE with and without dolphins in the frames, photos of Pick N Mixx shop inside and outside, the previous candies and the new green ones, a vandalized version of O.O album cover with a green smile, "space", "world", "target value", "0? 1?", a screen with a maze of 0 and 1 and "password", the recipe: 1,5g salt, 30g sugar, 50g the Fake Green.
What we can deduct from this table is that Monopole and/or her boss is stalking NMIXX since O.O, he "experimented" this Fake Green thing and caused hallucinations and fear as symptoms to Nwers and Nmixx. He's correlated with XXIWN since he knows about the green illusions and the graffiti campaign occured that time. We still can't say he is XXIWN because we don't have an actual proof since these are just clues he has on his table, but it could be since in the Mixxletter it's called "organization". The blue (green) glasses are the glasses everyone in Emerald City, where Oz lives, must wear (because Oz is deceiving the citizens in seeing everything green). The tornado is how Dorothy came to Oz and it's what happens in DICE. He knows that NMIXX rescued and will rescue the dolphins he trapped in the frames so they must be eliminated. The photos of the old shop show that he knows how it was. I discussed the meaning of 1202 in the O.O [THEORY] but I found another reference related to TWWOO: the name in the car plate is the name of the actress who portrayed the Wicked Witch of the West, Margaret Brainard Hamilton. For this reason we can consider the car "evil" as it carries an antagonist name. Basically he's the enemy who caused the misadventures to NMIXX and trapped NSWERS.

Story Concept Films

Dizziness From Freedom
Anxiety. Does it come from 'within you'? Or does it come from the outside? Freedom. Inside freedom. We feel anxiety since... we always have to make our own 'choices'. Facing new, unheard senses that grew threw the apertures of freedom to blossom a flower named 'growth'. We must make a choice on our own, once again. In the midst of endless chaos and disarray, we will eventually find... The path that I truly desired.
This one is pretty intense. In this video we see a group of youthful friends dealing with the emotions everyone feels at that age. During that age you can choose your entire future life just by choosing a different school or job, endless possibilities. You can also be overloaded by all this freedom, maybe you made a wrong choice and you want to go back but it's too late, maybe you are taking too much time to choose, this can cause the "dizziness from freedom" the video is talking. Haewon is in the middle of her crossway, which can be her life until now. She must pursue her dream and take a step forward on the path she's taking. Kyujin entered an alley with several doors, those doors represent the choices she can make. After making a choice she can only continue that way, the other doors disappear. Yes, the traffic light switching from 7 to 6 it's clearly a reference to Jinni. By making new choices and facing new unheard senses they are growing. In this dizziness caused by the chaos of endless choices they will find the path they truly believe.
"does anxiety come from within you or from the outside?" this question also appeared on the JYPE site as "The most important question, does that huge shadow that threatens you come from the ‘outside’? Or from ‘within you’?. That time in my DICE [THEORY] I said this shadow was their inner fear and they brought it into MIXX. Now we are asked again where does this emotion come from. From the Youtube Show we can say it comes from inside because a message said that the green candy calms down your inner anxiety. Kyujin is alone on the rooftop, Jiwoo is alone in the bathroom, Haewon is crossing the road alone, everyone dealing with their own worries. But Nmixx are alone together, they gather at the end to see the fireworks, a metaphor to say that they made their choices, grew their (fire) flower until it blossomed.
Wisdom, Love, Courage
When wisdom touches our eyes we can sort out the lies and false minds. When love touches our lips, the imagination becomes reality. When courage touches our fingertip, it shall grant us the power to truly push forward. At the end of the long and winding road, 'wisdom' found 'love' and 'love' grew 'courage'. It all exists inside us. You, and I. As long as they lie inside our souls, we will love our own self... And love each other.
A flaming heart behind curtains, six blindfolded girls on the other side of the curtains, with the same long light blue dress. Lily and Bae with light hair colors stand in front, behind them Jiwoo and Kyujin with black hair but with one side on the front and the other o the rear, finally Haewon and Sullyoon with both black hair on the back. Haewon and Sullyoon start whispering in the ear: Sullyoon to Jiwoo, Haewon to Kyujin. Bae holds Kyujin's hand, and writes 니, it's not clear because she writes the ㅣ in the same spot as ㄴ, it could also represent "LI", or 4, or the occult symbol of Jupiter... Seems that Kyujin isn't aware, like if she is in trance, and Bae had to move Kyujin's hand herself. After this ritual, on the flaming heart, flowers and grass blossom. The girls enter in a new mental state and dimension. They find each other divided in couples, one in every room. The couple Jiwoo-Lily (whispered by Sullyoon) appeared in the Wisdom room, Sullyoon-Haewon (the whisperers) in the love room and Kyujin-Bae (whispered by Haewon) in the courage room. The couples take each other's hand and walk towards the garden at the center of this space. As they join all their hands together the MIXX fills the empty space. This world has a purple moon on the ground, dolphins (we NSWERS), floating islands and mini planets, green hills and a grand heart-shaped tree, a rainbow crosses the entire sky. We switch to reality again, Haewon is still whispering to the blindfolded Kyujin.
Wisdom room
Let's dive into this deep symbolism and break it down:
First of all Nmixx is seated in a very designed way, converging to the iron flaming heart. In a ritual-like manner they blindfold themselves and two start whispering. Whispering in the ears was a way to initiate new acolytes in a cult during the mesopotamian era. (see this paper for further information) The priest(ess) will whisper incantation to the cult followers under a drug induced trance. That's why Bae has to move Kyujin hand herself in order to write something. We don't know if Lily did the same for Jiwoo. After this sign the iron heart blooms and the girls enter MIXX. Their blindfold falls off, but we know that in reality they still have it as seen in the end of the video. So this means they are in MIXX with just their mind or spirit. In this space they are divided in couples and spawn in a designed room. The whisperers together in Love, the whispered by Haewon in Courage and the whispered by Sullyoon in Wisdom. "When love touches your lips" is a way to say "when you talk about love" and here imagination becomes reality. It's the 2nd comeback and we still have problems defining what this means, is it a switch of dimensions? in the way the imagination is their new reality? or the imagination materializes in the reality, merging with it? It's probably both but let's say for this time that their new reality is the imagination, the MIXX. They open their eyes here, they are awake here, they are living here, as far as they keep being in trance in the other (real) reality.
Love room
In the Wisdom room walls are blue and cloudy to represent the sky, three esoteric symbols appear on a wall, one has an eye surrounded by the Venus symbol, one represents the Sun and an overlapping circles symbol behind Lily's head possibly a Flower Of Life. The girls are surrounded by candles and flying rocks which represent wisdom of course. Their pathway and facade are golden (yellow). The Love room has twilight colors, an orange tree and a heart with spikes and 6 surrounding stars. Here apples are floating around the room, symbol of love. The flaming heart with spikes is with no doubt a reference to the Sacred heart of Jesus. This catholic symbol represents the boundless ardent love for mankind and the spikes represent the passion of Christ. The six stars can easily represent Nmixx but the meaning behind that could be deeper. But why twilight? Well, in the greek mythology there is a golden apple garden protected by Hesperides, a group of nymphs protect in the farthest west where the sun sets. Its pathway is red. The Courage room is totally blue with curtains made of strings. On the wall a symbol of the moon and its phases. White roses are floating around. Those white flowers represent innocence, purity, which have little to do with courage though. Same goes for the moon which means in most of the cultures change, the cycle of life. Its pathway is blue.
Courage room
In TWWOO (movie) a Red Brick Road appears but it's never said where it leads, a Blue Brick Road is never mentioned neither in the book. I will not take in account other canon sequels of TWWOO because I doubt SQU4D themselves went that far. Anyway, blue and red lands in TWWOO exist. NMIXX reach the garden and the MIXX, very similar to the sky islands in O.O, starts expanding as they imagine. They are now happy together in this dreamy and quirky world. Why is Jiwoo so extra? She's the first to open her eyes, she rapidly looks towards Lily, she taps her on the shoulder and at the end she's the only one laughing hard. Knowing her Famous Cutscene, this is pretty suspicious. Their outfit must be mentioned: they all wear the same dress, which can be the uniform the cult has to wear in those rituals. But why are we talking about cult stuff, are we in Midsommar? Weren't we on a cruise toward a new world?
On a DICE photocard of Kyujin there was this phrase Don't you stop a shining whisper, and now she's being whispered in ear by Haewon. Now we know those phrases are spoilers for the next comebacks.


  • Apparently NMIXX knows how to save NSWERs from the frames and they will succeed in doing it since the Wisdom, Love, Courage video takes place.
  • How they will save Nswers it's unknown but we can tell they will use their music of course and their abilities of their roles, given in DICE.
  • Monopole is the clerk of Sweet Oasis and she did not make the green candies. It was the owner of Sweet Oasis who made them and left the apron stained by the liquid. We know that this person is, indeed, a person and not a monstrous supernatural being. Just a person who can make drugs. It's possible that this person is the SURGEON from Florida.
  • Sweet Oasis is referred as an organization, whose Boss is the owner of the shop. From what's written this Sweet Oasis shop is the only shop in the world and that's why everyone comes there. So organization doesn't mean company. It's unknown how many members this organization has but at least 2. One of these two it's Monopole and it's not a XXIWN member if you want to believe to evil NMIXX.
  • Let's uncover the name Monopole. It's an hypotetical magnetic pole with only positive or negative sign. It can't be real since the electromagnetic field have to close to another opposite pole, but a monopole just have one pole so the lines can't close which is impossible. It can also means the thing you use to adjust the frequency of a old radio or the channels of a old television or even to open a door. It's probably the first definition.
  • NMIXX did not leave the reality world FIELD for good. They still live on Earth just like other human beings and since they are human beings as well they have anxiety, fear, mental breakdowns, delusion etc... as seen in Dizziness From Freedom.
  • What MIXX really is? Before this era it was a "box" they used for imagine and make fantasy worlds in their head to play when they were kids. But this imaginary world expanded as they grew. So this MIXX was an imaginary world until it broke through the FIELD. What NMIXX wants is to open the eyes of other people and make them join this MIXX, escape the dull, wrong, delusional FIELD and live together in MIXXTOPIA where everyone is different and lives in harmony.
  • But since this world is born from people's thoughts and emotions, the bad one can materialize. People with bad intentions that don't want other people to live in a better way than them want to stop NMIXX: those people sent a giant cat against them, tornados and big waves. Those people are the organization of Monopole.

Mid Conclusions

This first [THEORY] part was all about the Sweet Oasis shop, what they did to Nswers and Nmixx. The next [THEORY] post will discuss how they saved Nswers and opened their eyes in MIXX.
TWWOO will remain as a reference concept since they based the enemy of NMIXX on the Wizard of Oz himself.
This is not the end! a part 2 is already written and scheduled to be posted in a few days, the right amount for you lore enthusiasts to study well, let the knowledge solidify and prepare for the next course. Stay tuned!!!
I hope you enjoyed this era until this moment, see you in the comments and in a few days again. Bye!
NewJeans' OMG
submitted by CromaShin to NMIXX [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 09:10 AutoModerator Celebrate! Saturday [April 01, 2023]

Welcome to Celebrate! Saturday

This is the weekly hype thread, a place for you to share your excitement about in-game achievements, lucky drops, and upcoming projects. This is also a space for the community to celebrate you!
While the subreddit is already a positive, celebratory space, this thread is meant to be especially so. For those of you who might hesitate to post something to the subreddit, because you worry it might be too beginner, too redundant, too low-effort: it's not. Come share with us here!

(Note: this thread is not meant to replace posting directly to the subreddit. You are still welcome to do so!)

Non-exhaustive examples of things to celebrate:

  • Marrying your spouse!
  • Getting a giant crop!
  • Perfecting your farm or house design!
  • The mushroom hat! The tiger hat! The living hat!
  • Meteorites, Stone Owls, and Strange Capsules!
  • A dinosaur egg from fishing or hoeing!
  • Hooking a legendary fish!
  • Getting triple Stardrop at the casino
  • Beating Lewis at Junimo Kart!

If you want to share screenshots of your achievements, upload them to an image-sharing site like Imgur and drop a link in your comment.

This is also a thread where mods might lurk and offeaward prestige userflairs. These are animated icons that go next to your name as a way to celebrate particular achievements in the vanilla game. Note that posting in this thread doesn't guarantee you'll get the flair—you'll want to send us a modmail if you want to apply directly!
Achievement Flair
Complete the community center! A prismatic dancing Junimo
Fund all Joja Community Projects A prismatic Joja Cola
Complete the museum collection! An artifact trove busting open
Reach level 100 in Skull Cavern! A flying serpent
Complete all Monster Slayer goals! The prismatic slime
Cook every meal! The Queen of Sauce herself
Craft every item! Robin hard at work
Catch every fish! The Legend, swimming
Beat Journey of a Prairie King The King himself
Collect every hat in the game! Magic Cowboy Hat
Reach Perfection! A walking golden chicken

Get hyped!

submitted by AutoModerator to StardewValley [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 02:58 leftoverbrine A Brine-y Bingo Blackout - Row 4 mini-reviews!

My previous post on Row 1 , Row 2, and Row 3 here, continuing on my bingo journey with Row 4!
Non-Human Protagonist: Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton - I loved this zombie apocalypse story from the pov of a foulmouthed crow who loves cheetos more than anything, maybe even his human big Jim, who has begun acting strangely. This book has a load of animal death, which I often can't take, but it somehow remains heartwarming? You can very much tell the book was written by an animal lover.
Timey Wimey: Dispel Illusion by Mark Lawrence - The big finale to this 80's d&d kids deal with ominous time travel story. It was so tangible how we watch these kids of the first book grow up, and Lawrence really takes the time to show the individuals as real people, as well as the group dynamics that of course don't stay the same through it all. It also has some very believable and complex time travel, where the author gets to show off his mathy side.
Short Fiction: Bliss Montage by Ling Ma - This is just a great collection all around with no disappointments for me. Very different from Severance, but with similar vibes and themes. Each story is mainly contemporary with a subtle speculative element, like a yeti or an invisibility drug, that is about revealing the absurdity of the real stuff around it. It's also got a playful, humorous feel, while covering very difficult topics like being an immigrant, race, gender, abusive relationships, academia, identity.
Mental Health: Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky - This was just a master class in executing a story for maximum reader effect. This story alternated perspectives in telling us from one side the primitive race a woman is seeking help with monsters attacking, in the other the elder race anthropologist who is observing/studying the planet that she comes to for help. It is an amazing mix of sci fi and fantasy, showing us the power of perception, as well as the challenges of communication/linguistics in how we portray our perception of the world to others.
Self Published: Sacred Cat Island by Harmon Cooper - I loved just about everything to do with this LitRPG novel, it is basically stardew valley in a book. We follow the elder of two boys, who is moving with his dad & little brother to the titular Sacred Cat Island to run the general store. It is mostly run down, inhabited by mostly friendly retirees, tourists don't come to the island anymore. The family begin to connect with the community there (as well as the cats), begin coming up with ideas to revitalize the island, and also discover the whimsical secrets of the island. So cozy, and comforting to read, it's 600 pages and I wish it had gone longer.
submitted by leftoverbrine to Fantasy [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 02:35 clc4207 I need advice from someone who understands fentanyl addiction, PLEASE!

Personally I do not have any experience with opiate use or addiction myself, and I am greatly trying to understand my brother’s situation and the safety of his 2 year old son, my nephew. I apologize in advance if this post is a bit long, thank you to anyone who takes the time to read and offer any insight.
My brother is 37 years old and father to the sweetest 2 year old boy. He is still together with the mother, who is of similar age. My brother and this woman have been together for about five years. They have both struggled with heroin and fentanyl addiction (intravenous users) for years, before getting together and during their five year relationship.
Throughout the time they have been together the girlfriend has not worked and is supported by my brother. He runs a small business as a mechanic, he has his own shop, and makes enough to support them. On the surface, he seemed to be doing okay the past couple of years (I have seen him when he has been doing badly, multiple overdoses in short span of time, living in his car, stealing etc). Given that he never went to detox or successfully completed treatment, I often wondered if he really has gotten clean as he claims to be.
In January of 2022 his son, who was ten months old at the time was exposed to fentanyl and almost died. The paramedics had to revive him with narcan and he spend the night in the pediatric hospital. My brother and the girlfriend were both drug tested and tested positive for fentanyl. They were charged with felony child neglect and lost custody for almost a year (my parents took care of him so he wouldn’t go to foster care). My brother maintained his innocence and swore that he was clean and said the test was a false positive. The police also searched their trash and found empty capsules and syringes.
In the time that my parents had the baby, both my brother and the girlfriend were being drug tested by child protective services and passing. Also during the time they had lost custody, the girlfriend was caught shooting up in the bathroom at my parents house while there to visit her son. It reached a point where my brother said that he could not deal with her using anymore, and she went to a 30 day rehab. Very soon after she got out (within days I assume), she was using again. My parents were aware of her continued drug use, but did not notify child protective services, as my brother begged them not to and promised he would get his girlfriend to get her act together.
Towards the end of 2022 child protective services granted my brother and his girlfriend custody of their son back, and my parents returned him, even knowing that the girlfriend (and possibly my brother) were not clean. That is a whole other issue in itself that I could ask for advice on, but for now I am focusing on figuring out my brother's situation. In the approximately five months that my nephew has been back with my brother and his girlfriend, my brother has called my parents numerous times (I've lost count), begging them to come and pick the child up because the girlfriend is using. They always come and get him, and in a few days things seem to settle down and my brother asks to have him back and they oblige. My parents are in their 70s and love their grandson, but it is ALOT for them to take care of a now very active toddler.
Earlier month yet another call came from my brother begging my parents to take his son due to the girlfriend using. They took him, and the girlfriend went to detox. During this time the arrangement was for my parents to pick up the child from daycare and watch him until my brother finished work each day, and then he would take over. Well - in two weeks my brother never ended up seeing his son and taking care of him, he was with my parents the entire time. My brother said that he was too slammed with work, his truck was broken, etc. Everyday was a new excuse for why he could not pick up his son, which I found to be very strange.
Back to the parents were told after two weeks at detox she was going straight to a 90 day program. Well, after two weeks she is out of detox, did not go to the 90 day program (she claims she is waiting for a bed), and within two days went on a drug run with her son in the car. My brother said he was tracking her cell phone on GPS and saw her going to cop drugs in a known drug neighborhood. He also said a dealer called him to tell him his girl was trying to buy drugs (hello, red flag - why would a dealer have his number?!) This was on Tuesday of this week. Once again, my parents were called by my brother and picked up the kid, and now on Friday, he is back home with his parents!
When my brother is working (which seems to be all the time), the child is left at home with the girlfriend, unless he is at daycare for a few hours during the day. To me, it seems every odd that my brother leaves his son in the custody of a known drug user.
My theory is that given that this woman has no job or income, my brother is likely providing her with money and/or a set amount of dope to keep her stable and from getting sick. I think when she runs out she goes behind his back to cop even more drugs, and then that is when he gets pissed and calls my parents to come and get the child.
If you made it this far THANK YOU! I am truly trying to wrap my brain around this situation. My parents and I know without a doubt the girlfriend is using, and shows no signs of stopping. After almost killing her son and then losing custody for close to a year, she is still using, and taking her child on drug runs.
My advice that I need from you knowledgeable kind folks is this - do you think it is possible that my brother is really clean as he claims to be?
Is it possible he managed to get clean from fentanyl without detox or treatment and continues to stay sober for years while living with an active user who has had detox and treatment and can't stay clean? Is it possible for him to continue to use fentanyl and manage to work and function? If he is really clean - why on earth would he trust this woman with a child while he is gone all day long?
And if you care to chime in....if this was your brother, would you call child protective services to rat them out? I am very much worried for my nephew being around one, possibly two addicts, that almost killed him once already, but my parents, especially my mother have said to not get involved and just let child protective services figure it out.
Thank you to anyone that responds, I truly appreciate any advice you can offer me.
submitted by clc4207 to FentanylRecovery [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 22:04 Kamen-Rider-Artif Hikyo Blue's Sentai Reviews: Nightcord Sentai Niigoranger

"Seventeen years ago, an ordinary man stumbled across a strange capsule that appeared in his home and adopted the baby he found inside. That baby was Yoisaki Kanade, whose unrivalled musical ability and dedication to her craft left her isolated from the outside world.
In the present day, a strange phenomenon is causing humans to transform into "OWN-II" when they are consumed by their despair. Using the power of the Nightcord, the now-grown Kanade has the ability to transform into the hero "Don Niigo" to fight the Own-II and return them to normal.
Meanwhile, a talented(?) high-school artist named Shinonome Ena finds her life shattered when she is accused of an impossible case of plagiarism. Just as suddenly, she is chosen by the Nightcord's power and discovers a new world layered on top of the regular world: a digital realm filled with impossible scenery where strange beings live amongst humanity. It turns out that Ena, along with two others, have been chosen to fight alongside Don Niigo as the "Nightcord Sentai Niigoranger", and in return for their service, can earn "points" that can be exchanged for anything you desire - including an escape from the Nightcord Sentai's conscription.
Superheroic action and interpersonal drama ensue as these five misfits fight together without actually knowing each other: their civilian identities and backgrounds, their hidden talents and secrets, their virtues and darknesses, or their reasons for fighting."
Niigoranger (also known as 25-ranger) is a show which recognises the fact that their conflict won't be dealt with in 50 episodes. In that regard, it might be easier to view this show as a wacky slice-of-life than your typical fare: incoherent at times, but never without purpose. Action is present, but never really a focal point outside some major occassions. By the end of the series, it's not as if the world is a definitively safer place or a giant threat has been defeated. The characters are just in a slightly better mental position, now with support from one another and the hope that their improvement can eventually reach its peak given time.
And I say that because these characters are not your typical heroes. No, they are inherently flawed beings - realistic and otherwise - and much of the episodic draw is how these seemingly incompatible people come together and overcome the chaos life throws at them. The villains, being a naturally occurring phenomenon who will never truly be eliminated - are merely a means to introduce action scenes, and it's really the humans who don't become overt monsters that serve as the closest thing to proper antagonists. The everyday manipulations and anxieties - as well as how poorly or otherwise these folks are equipped to handle them - are the main focus, which is why it can often seem like the greater plot is spinning its wheels at times.
Suffice it to say, those who want clear resolutions and answers won't be comfortable with Niigoranger. Similarly, those who want extended action and heavy-duty enemies won't enjoy themselves much either. For those who can appreciate even the tiniest step forward being an episode conclusion however-
"It's a festival, a festival I say! Come KAITO, laugh, dance!"
Seriously, can't this wait a little-!? Fine!
Hikyo Blue, signing out!
submitted by Kamen-Rider-Artif to ProjectSekai [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 16:39 InteractionSome9507 The journey into disappointment. Lockout, tolerance increase or some other phenomenon. SOS

Hi everyone, been through quite a strange time in the past month and wondering if you guys/gals can shine some sort of light on my situation.
So about a month ago i was introduced to DMT, through the mighty vape. Had a few greats experiences; visual hallucinations, auditory distortion and completely feeling of euphoria trips. I was amazed! Then, gradually after about the next 200mg with around 15mg-20mg capsules, the feelings started to diminish over around a week or two.
Then bought myself a sub ohm and vaped around 1.4g out of it over around a week or so. Had a few amazing trips similar to the mighty vape however after a while the trips started to become very unpleasant so I took a short break.
Then, got an emesh and spent a long time trying to 'dial it in'. Over a week or two i must have wasted around 600-800mg trying to get the thing to work! In that time i probably had around 6 mid trips which were 'okay' at best. For the rest of the time, spent holding my breath for as long as i could, only to discover that most of the dose was still on there, or that it had cleared but had no effect whatsoever. It's important to note that i did never really up the dose and stuck around the 10-15mg range.
Not sure if this will add anything but i drank a bottle of wine last week and hit 15mg afterward, i felt my brain shut down similar to my nervous system malfunctioning. After around 5-10 mins of breathing it passed however was not a pleasant experience at all.
A few days ago, i changed rda type as i thought this may have been the problem, and I'm having much more success at clearing the dose every time, however, the dose is not hitting as a 15-20mg dose should hit. Usually i have been taking 5-10mins in between hits.
Some people have said that I may be locked out but i feel that as i've been taking low doses it is unlikely that this will have happened. Others say that its the spice telling me i need to take more and stop messing about with low doses.
I'm not on ssris, my diet is clean and I exercise most days.
My friend has been using the same emesh rda as me and the same spice and has had profound effects on the same dosage. I feel that this is unique as i have dialled my technique in now and am still getting little effect except for some body high and sometimes light visuals. The spice is good and not burning.
Hopefully you fellow psychonauts can help me out. Got everything i need but it just isn't working.. Many thanks.
submitted by InteractionSome9507 to DMT [link] [comments]

2023.03.31 02:57 NegativeGamer Respect Dr. Andonuts (Earthbound Halloween Hack)

"YOU SEE THIS BURNING, BLOODY UNIVERSE? YOU SEE THIS ULTIMATE, UNLIMITED POWER? Varik. I HAVE FUCKING HAD IT WITH YOUR SHIT. you little fuckers are going to have your bodies ripped in half. i'll shove your asses so far down your throats that when you crap you'll sing fucking beethoven. tl;dr: eat shit."
After Earthbound's Chosen Four were sent back in time to fight Giygas, they succeeded, and saved the world from certain doom.
But they also never returned. Not to their own timeline at least.
In their original timeline, Dr. Andonuts, creator of their time traveling machine and the father of one of them (Jeff), did not take this very well. Forced to bear the weight of guilt for having essentially killed his only son and his friends, Andonuts went completely mad. He built a machine that would let him hide away inside his own mind, and escaped into it, despite it being tainted by his own ever present feelings of inadequacy and failure. Yet even there he was not safe, for was still brutally murdered by a bounty hunter named Varik.
(It should be noted that Dr. Andonut's boss fight takes place within his Magicant, a world created inside his own mind, meaning that Andonuts' strength and PSI feats don't apply to the real world version of him)

In-Battle Scaling


PSI Abilities

Generic Attacks



submitted by NegativeGamer to respectthreads [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 19:33 LoveItLateInSummer Timeline of My Experience with Strattera: 10 Weeks

Warning: LONG POST
I wanted to outline my personal experience with Strattera which I have been keeping a daily log of since I started 10 weeks ago. I won't include every day's details, but I will include the highlights.
Background: I am a middle-aged male who was diagnosed at age 33 with severe combination type ADHD (both hyperactive and primarily inattentive).
I had been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder starting in my teens. I spent about 19 years going through primary care physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. and being prescribed benzodiazepines, anti-depressants, non-benzodiazepine anti-anxiety medications, and on and on, and nothing helped (though I had plenty of unwanted side effects).
At 33 I started seeing a doctor who also suffers from ADHD and he referred to me a psychiatrist specializing in ADHD. They diagnosed me after several sessions and prescribed stimulants as a therapy. The effect was immediate and obvious. I have been taking 50-60mg Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) since.
How ADHD Impacts Me: The most debilitating effects of ADHD for me have been impulsivity, and emotional dysregulation including rejection sensitive dysphoria. I've got plenty of other symptoms, but those two are clinically the most impactful to my life and the life of my family.
Starting Strattera: I felt like my stimulant was not doing what I wanted, so I asked my prescriber for a bucket of 10mg capsules so that I could do 2 weeks at 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, and 60mg before going to 80mg. This is because Strattera (atomoxetine) is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NRI) and I had previously tried Wellbutrin (bupropion), a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (DNRI) with fairly catastrophic side effects. Combined with the anecdotal nightmares so many Strattera users have shared, I had concerns and wanted to be very cautious.
Ok, on to the data I logged at the end of each day. Up until 80mg, I took the entire dose on an empty stomach at 5:45 AM.
TL;DR: I haven't taken as many notes since day 70 as things are basically the same. Almost all side effects are gone with the exception of scalp tingles here and there (which I honestly quite like) and the occasional restless, dream filled night. I haven't experienced the depression and anxiety I have had basically since I was a teenager at all since hitting 60mg. My relationship with my spouse and family has improved. I enjoy almost everything more since there isn't that constant undercurrent of worry. My house is cleaner, I've finished up some small projects that have been lingering for months or years. I've lost weight and feel like being active more. Overall I am happier and have so much more energy and the ability to choose what I want to do.
Weird things that I don't understand: My skin seems less dry - I have always had cracked skin on my hands and elbows, regardless of time of year or climate, and that seems to have improved. My tinnitus episodes are less frequent. My persistent body aches have improved. I get fewer and less severe headaches. I have no idea if those benefits are directly related to atomoxetine use, or if getting rid of my depression and anxiety has helped me feel physically better. If anyone has had any similar improved physical health, I would love to hear about that.
submitted by LoveItLateInSummer to StratteraRx [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 19:13 kenneth_the_immortal Just bought a ps5!

I’m here again for my usual request! So i saved money since last summer and i finally got it! Now waiting for horizon burning shores but need something now!!! What are your tips? Doesn’t have to be ps5 exclusive. You girlies always give the best advice!
My favorite games are: The last of us 1&2 Horizon Ghost of tsushima Stardew valley Rdr2
Other games i played: Days gone Until dawn The quarry Becoming human Stray Bioshock games Both god of war The witcher Life is strange What remains of Edith Finch
submitted by kenneth_the_immortal to GirlGamers [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 17:32 Reaqzehz Strange, but personally valid, question - Is it safe to transfer Duloxetine capsules from blister packaging into a plastic vial?

[26M (sex and gender) - United Kingdom - 172cm - 53kg - Irish/Italian ethnicity - Mental Health]
This is a more pharmacological query than anything; it is so niche a question that I cannot find an answer elsewhere. Apologies if this is against sub-rules, it's just that AskaPharmacist is apparently dead. I also appreciate this may be a very odd thing to ask; I'll try to explain why I'm asking in as best detail as I can (silly mental bollocks is the TL;DR).
I'm recently diagnosed with ADHD (Jan 19th has become a second birthday!) and have been on titration. I'm currently on Elvanse1 [EV] 50mg. I also take 30mg of Duloxetine [DX] daily for Depression and Anxiety comorbidities. Both are important to take2
Anyway, I have been taking EV daily for a month and a half now. DX has been on-and-off prescribed to me since mid-2021. The reason I say "on-and-off" is that I have difficulties taking it consistently. I procrastinate, or simply forget, taking them. I frequently and unintentionally wean myself off of it a month or two after it's made a positive change - thus I collapse again, procrastinate going to a GP until a crisis period hits, then restart the prescription. On and on it goes. My current DX course has been for eleven days.
I've noticed that I still have my problems taking DX daily, I've missed five out of eleven days so far. However, I have only missed three or four days of EV in the past month and a half. It's very bizarre to think that I've been able to take the EV on some days but failed to take the DX. I seem to procrastinate then forget to take the DX, where I don't with EV. So what's different about them? They're both plastic-like capsules of the same size, taken orally, so the actual taking of them is identical. Except, EV is contained in a plastic vial and DX is contained in sheets of blister packaging.
I have a few psychological "oddities" and can be irrationally resistant towards a variety of minor things for, seemingly, no reason3. It could be part and parcel of my ADHD and dopamine-starved, dial-up brain. I think, for some reason, taking medication from blister packaging invokes more procrastination (a generally serious issue) from me where vials apparently don't.
So, my potential solution to aid taking DX consistently is to transfer the capsules from the packaging into a spare EV vial. My question is: Is it safe to do this? I'm very confident that this would be hugely beneficial, but I'm no pharmacist; I won't mess about with medication without seeking some kind of professional feedback first. For all I know, there could be an issue with air exposure and expiry, therefore safety. DX is vacuum sealed, unlike EV, and I know Pharmacology is emphatic on strict containment. It feels like a very silly thing to worry about; asking may result in a few rolling eyes (I have my quirks, I know), but I think we can all agree that booking a GP appointment just to ask this is hilariously unnecessary. Reddit it is!
Thanks for any advice in advance :)
[1] Known as Vyvanse in the US - according to Wikipedia.
[2] DX has a positive impact that I don't notice while on it, but definitely notice the effect of its absence. EV is much harder to tell. I feel it might be having some effect - just not enough; I'm still procrastinating like hell. My ADHD clinician wants to increase the dose to 70mg soon. I'm still in titration, after all.
I'm also aware of the risks of taking both EV and DX concurrently. My ADHD clinician has warned me about serotonin syndrome. I'm happy to report no issues.
[3] I have good introspection skills, according to my care-coordinator. But when I search my mind, deeply, for any kind of reasoning, even irrational, my brain simply shrugs and makes the "I dunno" humming mumble, followed up with "because..." It's actually quite annoying.
submitted by Reaqzehz to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 16:33 JimmySuicidex Exported THREE editor scene material problems

Hi everyone
I have been working on a project in THREE.js, importing a packed GLTF into the online editor, however, when I load the exported scene in my THREE.js project, there are a couple of issues - one of the materials is all wrong (missing colour etc) and there is a strange yellow tint to another.
In the editor it looks perfect so I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.
here it is in the editor:
and here it is in my project:
I've tried setting sRGB to true, and using no ToneMapping, but it all looks off.
my code is as follows:
import * as THREE from './build/three.module.js'; import Stats from './node_modules/three/examples/jsm/libs/stats.module.js'; import { GLTFLoader } from './node_modules/three/examples/jsm/loaders/GLTFLoader.js'; import { Octree } from './node_modules/three/examples/jsm/math/Octree.js'; import { OctreeHelper } from './node_modules/three/examples/jsm/helpers/OctreeHelper.js'; import { Capsule } from './node_modules/three/examples/jsm/math/Capsule.js'; import { GUI } from './node_modules/three/examples/jsm/libs/lil-gui.module.min.js'; const clock = new THREE.Clock(); const scene = new THREE.Scene(); scene.background = new THREE.Color( 0x88ccee ); const camera = new THREE.PerspectiveCamera( 70, window.innerWidth / window.innerHeight, 0.1, 1000 ); camera.rotation.order = 'YXZ'; const container = document.getElementById( 'container' ); const renderer = new THREE.WebGLRenderer( { antialias: true, } ); renderer.setPixelRatio( window.devicePixelRatio ); renderer.setSize( window.innerWidth, window.innerHeight ); renderer.shadowMap.enabled = true; renderer.shadowMap.type = THREE.PCFShadowMap; renderer.outputEncoding = THREE.sRGBEncoding; renderer.textureEncoding = THREE.sRGBEncoding; renderer.toneMapping = THREE.NoToneMapping; container.appendChild( renderer.domElement );
const stats = new Stats(); = 'absolute'; = '0px'; container.appendChild( stats.domElement );
const GRAVITY = 30;
const STEPS_PER_FRAME = 5; const ray = new THREE.Raycaster(); const worldOctree = new Octree(); const playerCollider = new Capsule( new THREE.Vector3( 0, 0.15, 0 ), new THREE.Vector3( 0, 1.5, 0 ), 0.35 ); const playerVelocity = new THREE.Vector3(); const playerDirection = new THREE.Vector3(); let playerOnFloor = false; let mouseTime = 0; const keyStates = {}; const vector1 = new THREE.Vector3(); const vector2 = new THREE.Vector3(); const vector3 = new THREE.Vector3(); document.addEventListener( 'keydown', ( event ) => { keyStates[ event.code ] = true; } ); document.addEventListener( 'keyup', ( event ) => { keyStates[ event.code ] = false; } ); container.addEventListener( 'mousedown', () => { document.body.requestPointerLock(); mouseTime =; } ); document.addEventListener( 'mouseup', () => { // if ( document.pointerLockElement !== null ) throwBall(); } ); document.body.addEventListener( 'mousemove', ( event ) => { if ( document.pointerLockElement === document.body ) { camera.rotation.y -= event.movementX / 500; camera.rotation.x -= event.movementY / 500; } } ); window.addEventListener( 'resize', onWindowResize ); function onWindowResize() { camera.aspect = window.innerWidth / window.innerHeight; camera.updateProjectionMatrix(); renderer.setSize( window.innerWidth, window.innerHeight ); }
function playerCollisions() { const result = worldOctree.capsuleIntersect( playerCollider ); playerOnFloor = false; if ( result ) { playerOnFloor = result.normal.y > 0; if ( ! playerOnFloor ) { playerVelocity.addScaledVector( result.normal, - playerVelocity ) ); } playerCollider.translate( result.normal.multiplyScalar( result.depth ) ); } } function updatePlayer( deltaTime ) { let damping = Math.exp( - 4 * deltaTime ) - 1; if ( ! playerOnFloor ) { playerVelocity.y -= GRAVITY * deltaTime; // small air resistance damping *= 0.1; } playerVelocity.addScaledVector( playerVelocity, damping ); const deltaPosition = playerVelocity.clone().multiplyScalar( deltaTime ); playerCollider.translate( deltaPosition ); playerCollisions(); camera.position.copy( playerCollider.end ); }
function getForwardVector() { camera.getWorldDirection( playerDirection ); playerDirection.y = 0; playerDirection.normalize(); return playerDirection; } function getSideVector() { camera.getWorldDirection( playerDirection ); playerDirection.y = 0; playerDirection.normalize(); playerDirection.cross( camera.up ); return playerDirection; } function controls( deltaTime ) { // gives a bit of air control const speedDelta = deltaTime * ( playerOnFloor ? 15 : 8 ); if ( keyStates[ 'KeyW' ] ) { playerVelocity.add( getForwardVector().multiplyScalar( speedDelta ) ); } if ( keyStates[ 'KeyS' ] ) { playerVelocity.add( getForwardVector().multiplyScalar( - speedDelta ) ); } if ( keyStates[ 'KeyA' ] ) { playerVelocity.add( getSideVector().multiplyScalar( - speedDelta ) ); } if ( keyStates[ 'KeyD' ] ) { playerVelocity.add( getSideVector().multiplyScalar( speedDelta ) ); }
} const loader = new THREE.ObjectLoader(); loader.load( './scene-4.json', ( gallery ) => { scene.add( gallery ); gallery.position.set(0,0,3); worldOctree.fromGraphNode( gallery ); gallery.traverse( child => { if ( child.isMesh ) { child.castShadow = true; child.receiveShadow = true;
if ( ) { = 4; }
} );
const helper = new OctreeHelper( worldOctree ); helper.visible = false; scene.add( helper ); const gui = new GUI( { width: 200 } ); gui.add( { debug: false }, 'debug' ) .onChange( function ( value ) { helper.visible = value; } ); animate(); } ); function teleportPlayerIfOob() { if ( camera.position.y <= - 25 ) { playerCollider.start.set( 0, 0.35, 0 ); playerCollider.end.set( 0, 1, 0 ); playerCollider.radius = 0.35; camera.position.copy( playerCollider.end ); camera.rotation.set( 0, 0, 0 ); } }
function animate() { const deltaTime = Math.min( 0.05, clock.getDelta() ) / STEPS_PER_FRAME; // we look for collisions in substeps to mitigate the risk of // an object traversing another too quickly for detection. for ( let i = 0; i < STEPS_PER_FRAME; i ++ ) { controls( deltaTime ); updatePlayer( deltaTime );
teleportPlayerIfOob(); } renderer.render( scene, camera ); stats.update(); requestAnimationFrame( animate ); }
Any help is greatly appreciated!
submitted by JimmySuicidex to threejs [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 06:15 murauzo Need Help Building First PC

I'm thinking of finally trying to build my first PC after only using my laptop for the past 6 years and have no idea where to start. I mainly play games like Minecraft, Stardew Valley, Slime Rancher, and a bunch of story-based games like Life is Strange or What Remains of Edith Finch, so nothing extremely demanding. I would also use it for video editing on After Effects. I'm not very sure what a reasonable price for a PC like this would be but I could float $800 or so (it'd be nice to not hit this much but I'm fine with waiting longer and saving more up). Any help or guidance on where to research would be great!
submitted by murauzo to buildapc [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 06:07 Zarosian_Zeitgeist Bad taste during pneumonia

I (25M) recently caught pneumonia for the third time in my life this last weekend, but this one has been drastically different. I was given doxycyclyne as it is a bacterial pneumonia, but for the duration of this sickness, there's been a very bad, almost rotten or rancid taste coming from my throat and into my mouth and nose every time I breathe out. It's so bad it has me almost constantly gagging and wanting to throw up yet not being able to because I've hardly eaten since I came down with it this weekend, but I don't recall this symptom from the last two times I had pneumonia. I'm just a bit worried as it's constantly there and completely unfamiliar from the last times and I want to know if it's related to the pneumonia or if it's something I should see my doctors about separately. As I said, the taste/smell coming from my throat area is VERY bad and has never happened before.
Tests run: Strep (Negative) Covid (Negative) Influenza B (Negative) Chest X Rays found symptoms of pneumonia in the form of thickening airways
Diagnosis: Bacterial pneumonia
Older diagnoses: Psoriasis, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Major depressive disorder
List of medications I am currently taking Prescribed Doxycyclyne Monohydrate 100MG 1 tab at morning 1 tab at bed Benzonatate 100MG 1-2 capsules every 8 hours as needed, must not exceed 6 pills in 24 hour span 2 Cosentyx injections for my psoriasis monthly Geodon (Ziprasidone) 60MG every night before bed
Over the counter 2 Tylenol 325MG and 2 Ibuprofen 200MG rotating one then the other on a period of every 4 hours
That's all the info I can provide off the top of my head, I know it's a very strange thing to try and describe, but I just want to know what that awful rotting taste is in my mouth/nose when i breathe out and if I should ask a doctor about it or if it's related to my current pneumonia case and just let it run its course. Thanks for your time everyone!
submitted by Zarosian_Zeitgeist to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 05:34 DangerousBed2136 Strange Capsule, Witch, and Meteor Within a Week of Each Other!

Strange Capsule, Witch, and Meteor Within a Week of Each Other!
I stopped playing for a little while, but I picked up a save I had at the beginning of year 2 and almost immediately I've had 3 pretty rare events happen to me. I've never had any rare events before so this is super exciting! :D
submitted by DangerousBed2136 to StardewValley [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 04:32 Erutious Cold Comfort

"Well, Mrs. Lee, this treatment is experimental, but we feel it will improve your condition. All you need to do is sign on the dotted line, and we can schedule you for the first of the week."
The Doctor tapped the form like a used car salesman trying to sell a sports car with no engine.
The kind of salesman who thinks you're too stupid to look under the hood and too desperate to believe the deal is anything but genuine.
That was the beginning of the end of my life.
My name is Pandora Lee, and this is my story.
Two years ago, I was diagnosed with a debilitating bone disease. The kind that causes your bones to be very weak. My doctor sent me to a specialist, and after running some tests and running up a small fortune in bills, he wanted to try an experimental treatment to harden my bones.
I was hesitant; who wouldn't be, but could I really afford to be in my condition?
The following week I arrived for my first treatment. The waiting room was the same bland area I'd seen a thousand times. The sort of forgetable facade that hides the work that goes on behind that unassuming blue door between the show floor and the butcher's shop. Children moved beads along a wire maze as parents and patients looked through magazines that had been current ten years ago. The smiling face of President Obama looked up from a small table as I sat there, he and Martha Stewart sharing space with Better Homes and Gardens and Highlights magazine.
The magazines were only slightly more interesting than the paperwork on the clipboard I was muddling through, but I tried my best to ignore them.
"Mrs. Lee? We're ready for you. "
A young blonde-haired woman in scrubs called to me, smiling brightly as she led me through that oddly dark blue door and into a hallway of the same color. Despite the buzzing overhead lights, the paint scheme made the whole space look shadowy, and I shuddered as she led me to a little room farther down. She showed me to a small sterile room with only a Gurnee and an IV stand to break up the emptiness. The room was blessedly brighter, a kind of eggshell white that verged on eye-watering, and I stepped inside and handed her my clipboard.
"Please take a seat and get comfortable, Mrs. Lee. The Doctor will be with you shortly."
As I lay there waiting, the clean white paper crinkling under me, I had a gut feeling that this was a bad idea. I chalked it up to nerves, though. It was just another exam, just another series of tests, just another meeting that would end predictably.
I should have listened to my gut.
As the doctor walked in, he smiled his best crest kids grin, and I imagined I could see the spit stains on his teeth. I wish I could tell you that he was an ugly little man, some goblin who scared me or made me wish a nurse had stayed to observe our interaction, but he was actually very plain looking. Thinking back now, I can't tell you anything about him other than his big grin and neat little mustache. It might have been easier if he were a monster, but I guess life is rarely easy.
"Well, Mrs. Lee, as you know, this is still experimental. It's in the early trial phase, you'd honestly be one of our first human trials for the treatment, but we feel you are the perfect candidate."
I stare at him blankly, unsure whether he expects me to be flattered or break into applause.
He looked uncomfortable, clearly not getting the response he was expecting. Calling the pretty blond nurse from earlier, he asked her to strap me down so they could begin, and told me to just relax. The straps were scratchy, the clasps sitting cold against my arm, and I found it hard not to squirm as she slid the IV in. The Doctor reached into the hall and wheeled in a large metal canister. It looked like a fire extinguisher, the old kind that you had to crank, except for the face mask on the end that was undoubtedly going over my face.
He must have noticed my apprehension because the too-big teeth made a return appearance.
"Don't worry, Mrs. Lee. It's all very safe."
He placed the mask over my face, the smell of cleaner mixing with something sickly sweet and acidic.
"Breath deep," he prompted, and as I took my first breath, his voice already sounded as if it were coming to me from the lip of a deep hole, "you will wake up in no time."
Then it all went black, my last memory being that the stuff I breathed in tasted like the smell of the cleaner my mother used when I was young.
Then, I didn't think about anything for a while.
I was floating for a while, my body as light as a feather, and I could have gladly floated in that void forever.
When I dropped back into my body, however, it was worse than any falling dream I'd ever had. I opened my eyes and looked around frantically, my body still splayed across the Gurnee as the canister pumped whatever was in the tank into my lungs. I felt a surge of pain rip through my whole body and jerked fitfully against the restraints. A scream ripped up my lungs, the gas clouding my mouth as I choked on my anguish. The nurse ran in, trying to calm me to no avail.
"Calm down, Mrs. Lee. We don't want you to damage your bones while the treatment is doing its job! The pain is only temporary. The doctor will be in to give you something for it and explain everything."
Her words did nothing for the pain that drilled into my bones, and after what seemed hours, the doctor finally came in. He had a needle in his hand, and the tip slid easily into the IV he filled the saline bag with something. It was cold, the liquid flowing in like ice, but the relief was immediate. I lay back gasping, the sudden lack of pain almost as jarring as the pain had been, and the big smile hovered over me like a specter.
"The first treatment is always the most painful, but it seems to be a success so far! You might have some joint stiffness for a few days, but that is to be expected as the treatment hardens your bones."
As the gas hissed and the ice brought sweet relief to my inflamed bones, I lay there drinking in grateful lungfuls of air. The lack of pain was hard to quantify, but I became aware, over time, that it wasn't just the sudden burning that had gone away. The everyday pain I had gotten used to, the enflamed joints and deep ache of weakened bones, was also gone. It was like someone had flipped a switch in me, and suddenly I was exactly like I had been before. This may seem like a small thing, but when you've lived with the pain, made it a day-to-day part of your life, its absence is like a physical loss. I was like a kid who's had his tooth pulled, my tongue probing at the vacancy where something solid had been before.
When he spoke, I had to shake myself back to reality and ask him to repeat himself.
"We will see you in two weeks for your next treatment. The nurse will give you a prescription when you leave. Take it twice a day in order to keep your body from rejecting the treatment. Understand?"
I nodded, still a little dazed, and agreed to take the pills. I made another appointment with a similarly pretty brunette and took the nondescript little bag she handed me. She smiled, saying they would see me in two weeks, and I headed home.
As I drove home, I expected the pain to rear its head again with every press of the pedal or turn of the wheel. The pain had become like a swarm of gnats, ever-present and buzzing. You never got used to it, but you became accustomed to it. It's never comfortable, but you look forward to the times when it isn't there. Now it was just gone. I was driving with nary a pain or wince, something I hadn't done in years.
I should have been happy, but I kept waiting for it to disappear.
Maybe that makes me a pessimist, but I don't care.
When you live like this long enough, you constantly wait for the other shoe to drop.
I walked into the house, my bones still feeling like nothing so much as normal bones, and took the pills out of the bag. Reading over the label for side effects or warnings, I found nothing but instructions on the outside. No name, no ingredients, no warnings, just eight words in bold font.
Take one pill with food twice a day.
I opened the bottle and let a few of the pills roll out onto my palm. They were white a blue gel capsules, the contents looking like the stuff on top of the Snowcaps my husband always ate at the movies. As they sat in my hand, I noticed that they were oddly cold to the touch, and the feeling reminded me of the way the liquid had felt as it entered my IV. When they didn't immediately appear dangerous or try to bite me, I let them tumble back into the bottle and closed the lid. I set a reminder on my phone for seven am and started fixing dinner. When I went to bed that night, I had already forgotten about them, but as I pulled the blanket around myself, I felt a sudden chill arrow through me.
It should have raised some sort of red flag, but I was still riding the high of moving about my home without any of the pain I'd had earlier that day.
A few hours later, I was woken up by an icy chill going through my body, followed by an intense ache in my joints. As I tried to get up, I felt every bone in my body tighten. It was almost impossible to walk, but after a few minutes, it eased up, and I was able to make it to the bathroom. I figured this was just a side effect of the stiffness the doctor was talking about, and after a warm bath, some of the pain had abated. With some of my mobility returned, I shuffled back to bed, hoping to sleep off the pain until it was time for my first dose of the medication.
The next day, the pain of the night before was just a fleeting memory, and I took my first pill and started getting ready for my day. It usually took me several hours to get my legs to cooperate enough to make breakfast, but today I moved about my kitchen in a way I hadn't in years. My joints felt fluid, my bones were as forgettable as they should be, and when I woke my husband for work around ten, he looked at me a little shocked to find breakfast already on the table and the kitchen dishes cleaned and put away.
"Wow, those treatments really did the trick." he said, taking my hands in his big calloused one, intending to kiss them.
He dropped them in surprise as a shudder ran through him. “Jeez, babe. Your hands are so cold!"
There was worry on his face, but I waved his worries away and told him it was nothing.
"It's just a side effect of the treatment. I'll be fine, sweetie."
Deep down, though, I was worried. I should have called the doctor's office right then and there and told them about my side effects. After the weirdness that had happened the night before, I should have been more concerned, but it all comes back to one thing. Despite the stiffness, despite the cold hands, despite the next two weeks where I sometimes woke up in the middle of the night and hobbled into a warm bath, the intense pain in my bones was all but a distant memory. I would have given anything to be done with pain like that, and it turns out the cost was more than I could have known.
Two weeks later, I arrived at my next appointment. I was curious to see if it hurt the same way it had the time before, but my reasons for going were also twofold. I had taken the last of my pills that morning, and I knew I would need more if I wanted to maintain this lack of joint pain. So, I smiled at the nurse, let them strap me down again, let them slide the needle into my arm, and breathed in the gas like the good doctor told me to.
The treatment was performed the same as the first, but I gritted my teeth through the pain as I waited for him to inject my IV with the sweet icy liquid as the gas did its work. As the straps slid off, I nodded through the closing instructions and shuffled up to the desk to make my appointment and get my pills. I moved as if in a dream, my body feeling strangely heavy as I climbed in my car and drove home.
I jerked awake in my driveway, unsure how I'd arrived home. I had never fallen asleep at the wheel, much less sleep drove home, and the thought made me shiver. I grabbed my prescription as I headed inside, wanting to get as far from the vehicle as possible at that moment. I thought about starting dinner as I trudged in but decided to have a nap instead. It was early still, only mid-afternoon, but I was suddenly exhausted. I could barely keep my eyes open, and as I slid into bed with the same clothes I'd left the house in, I thought I was settling in for nothing but a couple of hours of rest.
Ten hours later, I shuddered awake into total darkness as an arctic chill shot through my nerve endings. It was worse than any of the ones before it, and as I tried to climb out of bed, my legs froze up and sent me spilling to the floor. I lay there, unable to bend my legs or arms, only able to pull them towards me like palsied claws.
I was overjoyed when I heard my husband's soft snores from the bed beside me. He would help me, he could get me to the hospital, he could get me into a warm bath, and I opened my mouth to scream his name. My lips trembled as I prepared to cry out for him, but no sound escaped my chilly maw. I gasped weakly, his name lost amongst the short barks of sound while he slept peacefully feet away. I lay there with tears of fear dripping down my face, certain he would wake up the next morning to find me dead. I almost expected to see them freeze against my cheeks, but they did little more than pool beneath my head and wet the side of my face.
I spent that night drifting in and out of my new painful existence. It felt like I lay there for weeks, listening to the contented snores of my spouse as my body was racked with freezing chills. I thought I would die again and again, and as the sun began to rise, I almost wished for it. The colder I became, the less the shivers seemed to blow through me. I still felt them, but my body had stopped responding. I was powerless to move, incapable of doing much besides watching the day begin.
I must have fallen asleep at some point because when my husband yelled my name, my eyes were startled open.
"What...what the hell is," but he seemed to lose his words as he stood over me.
I mouthed at him, asking him to help me, but he looked unsure.
"I don't...I don't know how."
I wanted to ask him what he meant, but instead, he turned to my vanity and fetched a small hand mirror.
I looked back at myself, not sure it was me for a moment. I was looking at a perfect china doll as she lay curled up on the floor. Her skin was a perfect alabaster, broken only by the slight spider cracks that ran through it. As I watched, another chill coursed through me, and I saw the cracks lengthen as my fragile form tried to shiver. I wanted to cry, but I had no tears left.
Instead, I told him to put my phone on text to speak and lay it next to my head.
I wanted him to understand, wanted to explain how this had happened while I could still explain anything.
He did as I asked, saying he would get help, but I don't think help will get here in time.
It took a surprisingly short time to lay all this out, but I can feel the change beginning to affect my face now. My blinks are coming slower and slower, and my throat is beginning to tighten as it stiffens like my skin. My lips have started to flake as I speak, the cracks in my arms likely running through the lips my husband loved to kiss. I'll be nothing but a beautiful statue soon, a curiosity piece for people to speculate over, but with the time I have left, I want people to understand how I came to this point.
I don't know if it was the treatment or the pills, maybe it was even both, but it doesn't appear to be as ready for human trials as they believed.
If they ask you to sign your life away as I did, make sure you know what you're agreeing to.
The short respite from pain isn't worth the hell I find myself in now.
It's getting hard to breathe now. My lungs are laboring to pull in breath, and I can feel the same shivers running through them with each gasping pull. My eyes are fixed forward, my fingers forever locked together, and I fear that every word may be my last. If you make it home, Jason, know I love you, and I'm sorry that this is where we must part.
submitted by Erutious to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 04:04 Ralts_Bloodthorne First Contact - Chapter 923 - Edge of Twilight

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What was wrought here should be allowed to slip into slumber and sleep a dreamless sleep until entropy sips it away. - Former Grand Most High Sma'akamo'o, from I Have Ridden the Hasslehoff
Nice little mitochondria you got there, Biology.
Be a shame if something happened to it… - Terran Descent Humanity
The Dairy Queen is one of the Hamburger King's brides. A gift of tribute from The Mapleland Empire to the bloody tyrant of the Hamburger Kingdom. Her heart was cold but sweet and the Hamburger King put her in charge of the blizzards and winter storms of the Hamburger Kingdom.
The Dairy Queen is adored by Terrans everywhere, celebrated in song and dance, even through the worst winter storms. She is often depicted by carving ice into her likeness. She is shown smiling, dressed in finery made of frost and snow, and is known for her singing voice. She is often seen moving through storms and blizzards, her voice uplifted in song despite the chill.
The cold never bothered her anyway. - The Myths & Legends of Terra
We do not know who they were, only that they were here. They left behind great works, impossible machinery that once labored for unknowable purpose.
We know these Forerunners only as The Builders. - Kretark Press, 3285 Current Era
You don't get to judge the Devil and the War in Hell from the comfort of Heaven. - Doctor Jachike Pascel, Sailor Moon Sisterhood Project Decommissioning Commander AKA The Grave Watcher, 38 PG
The stellar system was repeated all over the universe. An energetic young star, a few gas giants, a debris ring, and barren rocky planets in various orbits. The number of planets and gas giants didn't matter, they were all virtually the same.
This one was in the middle of the Cygnus-Orion Galactic Arm Spur.
In the middle of what was known to the species capable of space travel as "The Long Dark." A band across the entire section of the spur that was barren of all life, with many of the stellar systems reduced to nothing but scattered gravel where planets once were, smears of gases from where gas giants had once been, and a single stellar mass.
This stellar system had not been reduced to gravel and wisps of gasses, but rather still had the few rocky planets and the trio of gas giants. The star was young, highly energetic, burning away merrily in a stellar signal that it existed. It was not alone, it had a brother, that it danced around in a slow twisting pattern, and they both burned with merry fire.
It had been like that for millions of years.
At one time there had been life. Not much, just a few simple algae and fungus, a few multicelled organisms. Not much, but the beginning of life.
But unliving things destroyed that life, leaving behind long life radiation, siphoning away water and atmosphere both.
The binary stars felt a slight bit of sadness at that, in the strange way inanimate balls of burning gasses could feel sadness.
Something new had arrived.
It was strange, and different.
The stars were dimly curious, watching the newcomers.
There were ten figures within a two light seconds of the binary stars, positioned in such a way that the polar stellar winds of both stars merged and washed over them. Several of them were terribly scarred, their faces and bodies mutely proclaiming that they had been severely injured, almost maimed, in the past. Despite their disfigurement and scarring they, like the unmarred, were inhuman in their perfection.
They were dressed strangely. Short skirts, leggings, short sleeve tops with bows on the front. They all held wands and blades, they all had long flowing hair. Behind them extended gauzy fields of whitish that reached out thousands of kilometers but did not block or cover any of the others. They looked vaguely wing-like, pearlescent energy that gathered in the stellar winds.
Resting in space, they were in the fetal position, their eyes closed, their hands tight around their weapons and wands.
They stayed that way for long days, asleep in a deep dreamless sleep.
They had sent out the call, and now waited on the one they had summoned.
A puff of purple particles, almost smoke-like, appeared above polar-north between the two binary stars. When it cleared a single figure stood in space as if it was standing on a flat surface. Ebony of skin, with long flowing white hair. Her face was haughty and cruel. She was dressed in scant wires of esoteric spooky particle metals that emulated the look of spiderwebs that only covered enough of her to hide her genitals and the nipples on the prominent mammaries.
She surveyed the worlds and gas giants slowly, her eyes full of a cold silver light.
She looked beyond the now into what had been.
Her lip curled in disgust at one point and she reached out her hand. Chronotrons and other esoteric particles flowed into her hand, slowly taking the shape of a bright red apple.
It crunched, despite there being no sound in space, when she took a large bite from it. She chewed the bite, looking over the planets.
When she was done with the apple, she streaked into motion, moving an appreciable fraction of the speed of light, until she was in front of the sleeping girls.
One, her bangs forming a heart on the pale skin of her forehead, woke slowly, stretching and yawning as she did so.
The onyx woman merely waited.
She was old, but the child was even older.
She was feared, but the child was legend made flesh.
She was fearsome in her power, but the child was terrible in her joy.
They were sisters. Two sides of the same dark and bloody coin.
The child smiled at the onyx woman, who merely nodded dispassionately. The child waved at the system with one hand, the wand she tightly grasped leaving behind a trail of glitter.
In the glitter could be seen living planets. Some with hellish atmospheres where burning carbon ash rained from the sky, others with life giving oceans, and still others with iron oxide sands that teamed with microbial life.
The onyx woman looked back over the system slowly, then turned and looked at the two stellar masses with more than just her eyes. After a moment she turned to the young girl and nodded.
At an unseen signal the other young girls slowly woke. They gave the impression of happiness and joy even as they held tight to terrible weapons.
The onyx woman kept looking at the planets. At what would need to be done. Which zone each planet occupied.
To merely cover them with life would not do. That was for a Genysys Device or a G.E.C.K, which were simple toys compared to her obsidian majesty.
She held out her arms at a 45 degree angle to her body, threw her head back, and vocalized a single note that resonated in the coronas of the two stars.
Behind her appeared a dozen females of her species, none as beautiful or well endowed as she was, clad in more clothing, all reclining on furniture made of pale white energy. She snapped her fingers and two dozen males appeared, all dressed in black leather, pants and vests, with heavy boots, all carrying swords made of a dark purple metal that glittered in the light of the stars.
Another snap and an orchestra appeared, all of black onyx and obsidian that breathed in the stellar vacuum of space.
The band began to play, and the males began to dance with wild abandon.
She joined them, her voice upraised, as the girls all watched and added their power to hers.
Reaching out, she lifted mass from the stars, a process known as star lifting, optimizing and extending the binary stars's energy output and lifespan.
To the two stars it tickled and their giggles rippled the stellar winds.
As she danced, runes and glimmers of light streamed from her fingers, speeding out to wrap around the planets.
The planets were swallowed by golden energy.
Still she danced and sang in the darkness.
On the planets, new bedrock was laid, planetary cores were repaired and spun up to restore the magnetic field. Atmosphere was laid, then oceans. Fossil records and geological records of asteroid impacts were applied. The rude organisms that had been wiped out were extrapolated and laid into the bedrock as fossils.
Sixty-five million years of history was laid into the bedrock.
The tiny multi-celled organisms were extrapolated into more complex forms. The skeletons and evidence of those life forms were embedded into the fossil record. Weather formed and erosion was built into the mountains that suddenly thrust there way from the planetary crust.
Higher organisms were laid in. A fossil record, a record of tool use, migration patterns, all were laid down.
The energy cleared, to reveal a single planet bearing life. The other two had failed, existing inside the amber zone.
But they left behind fossil records and scant fungus and microbial life.
The creatures on the single life bearing planet began to move around, began to live lives programmed into their very genetic code. Crude housing and primitive culture was laid down.
And then it was done.
The male dancers slowed their wild dance, bowed once to the watching girls, and vanished.
The band rippled and vanished.
The reclining beings of onyx and silver vanished.
Only the onyx woman remained, her skin glittering with sweat.
She bowed to the girls.
And vanished.
The girls looked over the stellar system and nodded to one another.
It had been restored.
They held still a moment, contemplating, before moving.
They sped forward and vanished in bright silver streaks.
The binary stars agreed that they had witnessed something interesting.
Then they returned to their dance with one another.
On the planet, a species that had been extinguished before it even had a chance to exist began to go about its business as if there had never been an interruption marked by the scream of "ALL BELONGS TO THE HIVE!"
Space was empty with the exception of a small bit of dark matter the size of a coin.
It wasn't dark matter as many races knew it, it was transparent to most scanning systems. A tiny bit of proto-matter that the universe used to heal up tears and scrapes that were just part of the growing pains of a youthful universe.
There was a sudden flash and ten young Terran girls appeared. The leader lifted her voice in song within the vacuum of space.
A single note answered.
They waited, patiently.
The tiny bit of dark matter began to spread out as more and more dark matter began to gush from the tiny bit. Soon, there was a patch of dark matter nearly two kilometers wide, even if it was only a few molecules thick.
A massive black warship slid from inside the dark matter. The thick warsteel armor was covered with beads of the dark matter, like a cold can on a hot humid day. The weapons were cold and dark, offline and silent. The engines burned with a purple light
Code streamed from the massive black warship, bathing the ten figures.
Their eyes closed and their bodies relaxed. They slowly curled into the fetal position.
From the warship came small craft. Ten of them. One by one, each of the figures were gathered up by the small craft, pulled inside. The craft then remained motionless until the last was gathered up and a period of stillness followed.
Code packets were exchanged between the gathering ships and the massive warship.
The little ships swept back to the warship.
The dark matter shivered and rippled and a vast door rose up out of the dark matter, the proto-matter streaming off the face of the doors like water. The sheer size and mass of the doors hinted at something large, something ominous, something terrible deeper in the dark matter.
The doors opened and the warship vanished inside.
The Obelisk AKA Black Box 536169-6c6f72-204d6f6f6e.
Inside were machines of ancient and strange purpose, built to continue working for millions of years. Bulky robots carried out maintenance tasks to ensure the life of The Obelisk.
Through the dark halls moved The Grave Watcher. Heavy of muscle and bone, ancient and crude cybernetics attached to flesh that neither aged nor mortified.
He served the Digital Omnimessian and all of humanity through his works.
At long last he came to a simple chamber.
A cryo-tube sat in the middle of the far wall, covered in frost. Beside it, extended from the wall, were drawers where strange implements sat in custom fitted cushioned slots.
The Grave Walker moved up and rubbed the frost from the capsule.
Inside was a teenage Terran Descent Humanity immature female who was beautiful even in sleep. Her large blue eyes were closed, the long lashes touching her cheeks. Her blonde hair was pulled into a tight braid and wound under a cryosleep cap, but the gap in the middle of the cap showed how her bangs looked like a heart. Her flawless arms and legs were longer than normal, somehow making her aesthetically pleasing instead of freakish. She had a button nose and a cupid's bow mouth, a flawless complexion, and even in sleep she looked as if she was full of joy.
She was inhuman in her perfection.
The Grave Watcher ran through the context menus then, satisfied with the readouts, turned away.
The extended drawer was covered with a clear armaglass panel that showed what was beyond, held in a black warsteel frame. Jewelry, clothing, shoes. He checked the inventory list that scrolled by with cold amber light to the contents, examining phasic and energy levels.
Satisfied, he turned away, moving to the doorway. He reached out and pressed a heavy button.
The cryo-pod hissed and pulled up into the wall. The drawers pulled into the wall. The floor of the room vanished as mist rose to knee height.
He turned away, moving through the door, locking it once it closed after him. A blast door lowered and he ensured that one was locked with a molecular bonding system.
The Grave Watcher made his way to the central control room.
Inside stood a Terran woman of indeterminate age. She wore a black suit, her black hair was in a short cut, and her face was cold and hard, her gun-metal gray eyes unreadable.
The Grave Watcher moved to the pedestal in the middle of the room.
He placed his hand on the top of the pedestal. Data streamed by beneath his hand. Finally, only two words remained.
He stepped back and motioned to the Terran female.
She stepped up and looked down.
She pressed a single icon.
The Grave Watcher escorted her from The Obelisk. Boarding his own grim ship as she boarded hers.
He watched as her ship slipped through the narrowing gap of the slowly receding proto-matter pool in realspace.
Once she was gone, he sat down on a command chair that was more a throne than a chair.
The atmosphere pumped out of the bridge, leaving him sitting in cold vacuum.
He stared at the small pinpoint of dark matter with frost covered eyes.
And waited.
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submitted by Ralts_Bloodthorne to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 22:46 RingoCross99 The Adventure Games (Section 1 of 4)

The Adventure Games (Section 1 of 4)
Have a blast!
The Adventure Games
By Ringo Cross
Chapter 1: Insight
I stepped into my apartment, placed my back to the door and sighed in relief. Thank God I was home. I hadn’t been for the past few days. I was at the hospital watching over my sister with our parents. Just when we were starting to get our hopes up. Just when we thought she was going to make a full recovery, she took a turn for the worse.
It all felt more like a curse than an affliction. My sister went from a healthy, happy-go-lucky teenager, to a fever-stricken soul, stranded somewhere between the land of the living and nonliving. She had a sudden case of sleeping beauty syndrome. The doctors didn’t know for sure, but they suspected the strange bite on her neck was the culprit. Two neat puncture wounds rationalized away as an animal bite. We all knew what it really was, it’s just that no one wanted to be the one who was crazy enough to say it.
It was like her body was slowly wasting away. Was she becoming undone, or perhaps something else altogether? Eh... Who knows. I did know one thing for sure, it was all too grim and preposterous a reality for my parents to accept. No matter what the doctors tried or how hard mom and dad prayed for her deliverance, she just kept getting worse while acting stranger.
It was like she had been pulled from the world, and we had all been pulled right along with her, into a strange new world that made no sense. Her doctors told us that at the rate she was deteriorating, she didn’t have much time left. God. I wish this was the part where I told you, “I became a superhero and saved her life.” Maybe in my own roundabout way, I did become something of her savior.
The truth is, what happened to her, I... I never saw it coming. Did vampires really exist? I couldn’t tell you how much or how long this question had tortured my mind. I was going to do some serious digging and get to the bottom of this. Because if there was any way to save her; to stop her from fading, I swore to find it.
My phone began to ring. It was my parents. They were at the hospital, keeping vigil at her bedside. I shook my head while thinking about how much of a toll her sudden illness had taken upon them. They were both so virtues and upright. Their faith in God had really been shaken. I turned my phone on silent mode. I-I didn’t want to talk to them. I needed time to grieve on my own.
I wanted a beer. No, I needed a beer. Something cold and inebriating to free my mind from the pain of watching my little sister slip away. I’m surprised I made it this long without dipping into my reserves, I thought to myself as I reached into the fridge and grabbed a cold one.
I just sat there at my kitchen table. Reliving as many memories of us together as I could. There were so many. I... I adored her more than life itself. She could do no wrong. Her smile... it... it haunts me. My God, I never knew pain like this. I had never followed my parents down the “righteous path.” I always considered myself a person of logic and reason. Simply believing in a higher power wasn’t enough for me, neither had it ever been enough to ease the void of loneliness within me.
But after this, how could I not believe in God? How could I explain away my grief? All I wanted was for this to all make sense. Maybe it was her time? Even if it was, why like this? Why so tragic and bitter? There were just too many reasons why I stopped believing. Crazy thing was, right now, I desperately wanted to believe. I wanted to close my eyes, clasp my hands together, and pray for a miracle. I tried but couldn’t bring myself to do so, no matter how strong the desire. There was no God, and a crisis wasn’t my chance to retreat.
I had seen the dark side of faith. The way my parents justified what happen to my baby sister by saying, “God has a plan” made me sick to my core. Just thinking about it made me nauseous. My faith had been stretched to the breaking point a long time ago. This was just the sad culmination of a collision between faith and obstinacy. The explosion went off like a bomb in my head. The pain was truly limitless... I just hoped her death didn’t turn me into a serial killer. I smirked at my own inane, insane thought before downing my beer.
I grabbed another beer to drown my sorrows in. Just then, there was a sudden knock at the door. The slight but unmistakable tapping surprised the crap out of me. So much so, I almost spilled my beer. I figured it was my ex. She had planned on stopping by a bit later to return my key and to pick up the last of her things.
When I looked through the peephole, I saw two people standing there in black suits. The sight threw me off and made me briefly sick to my stomach. Little did I know, I should have followed my gut instinct, but instead, I foolishly opened the door.
“Hello, Mr. Graham. My name’s Agent Adams. This is my partner, Agent Harris.”
Before I could process what was happening, Agent Harris extended her hand and said, “Pleasure.”
“Um... You too, I think? I guess? Hope I’m not in any trouble?” I told her.
“You’re not,” she smirked.
“Who are you guys again?”
“We work for the government,” she said.
“The FBI?” I asked.
“Ugh. Everyone says that. I guess it is the suits,” Agent Adams grumbled. He shook his head in annoyance before adding, “We work for the Department of Homeland Security. DPI for short. It’s the paranormal division.”
“Who again?” I asked him.
“Eh. The Department of Paranormal Investigations,” he clarified with something of an attitude.
“Huh. Never heard of it,” I spoke.
“Can we come in, Mr. Graham?” he asked.
I thought about it for a moment. I didn’t like this Agent Adams guy. He gave off a bad vibe. My first mind was to tell them to kick rocks, but I decided against being so brash and rash just in case they had a warrant. I wasn’t thinking straight. My sister’s woes weighed too mightily on my spirit. Before letting them pass, I did ask to see some identification. I’m not that stupid. Had to be sure they weren’t pulling my leg.
Agent Adams flashed his badge with a slight grumble. Agent Harris had no problem letting me see hers. She was at least pleasant, I thought while examining her government ID. I also wondered why someone so young and attractive had been stuck with someone so old and unattractive. I bet she hated her partner, I thought to myself with a smirk, as I let them pass through the door.
Agent Adams took a seat at my kitchen table without me offering. His partner looked at him a bit perplexed before waiting until I said, “It’s ok. You can have a seat.”
“Thank you,” she replied.
“So, what brings two DPI agents to my home? You sure I haven’t done anything illegal?”
“Hmm... Maybe there is something you’d like to confess, Mr. Graham,” Agent Adams spoke.
“I don’t know. Maybe I have an old parking ticket or something minor like that.”
“We don’t handle citations,” he replied.
“Sorry. Dumb question.”
“Apology rejected,” he uttered.
“Uh-hm. Forgive my partner he can be a bit—"
Agent Adams brought his hand to his chin. His abrupt gesture caused his partner to pause mid-sentence and look over at him. The two exchanged glances. He paused for a moment more before saying, “That’s a nice brand of beer. I haven’t had a cold one in a while.”
“Would you like one? I have plenty.”
“Really?” I asked.
“You offered. I accepted.”
“Uh, what about you, Miss Harris?”
“It’s Agent Harris. And no.” She looked over at her partner with a raised eyebrow, “Can you not drink on the job? It’s unprofessional.”
“Fine,” he grumbled before reaching into the inner pocket of his suit coat to retrieve his vape pen.
“Are you sure? Like I said I have plenty.”
“I’m sure. I am the senior agent after all. Probably should set a better example and all,” with a wink he added, “If you survive, I’ll come back and take you up on that offer, Mr. Graham.”
“How do you know he’ll even want to participate?” his partner asked. I could hear the annoyance in her tone. She groaned before telling me, “Sorry about that.”
Agent Adams let out a heavy cloud of steam. He studied me a fair bit longer than I was comfort with. Especially someone like him, whose eyes were grey enough to sting. He took another hit from his vape pen. This time blowing the steam in my direction. His wrinkled face blocked out by the heavy cloud as he said, “Oh, he’ll join, alright. He’s not in any position to refuse.”
“That’s pretentious,” she grumbled.
“Hah. It’s the truth.”
“What the hell is this about?”
“Your sister, Mr. Graham,” he said.
“What about her?” I asked.
“We know what happened.”
“Um. Okay? Creepy.”
“Uh, what my partner is trying to say is that we might be able to help. I reviewed her chart. I think I know what the problem is,” Agent Harris explained.
“What can a couple of government agents do that a team of doctors haven’t already tried?” I asked.
“Your sister. She was bitten by a vampire, Mr. Graham,” Agent Adams stated. He paused for a moment to study my reaction before adding, “You seem like a clever guy. I’m sure you already suspected as much.”
“So, they do exist,” I mumbled to myself.
“Yes. The vampire who attacked your sister was probably desperate. He broke what are a set of well-established rules called Blood Codes.”
“Really? Vampires have rules?”
“There’s always rules, Mr. Graham.”
“Whatever. And where is this freak? I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on him.”
“He’s already been dealt with.”
“By you guys?”
“By his overseer.”
“Good. I hope his death was slow and painful.”
“It was. Their methods are very draconian.”
“Then what do you need from me?” I asked.
“What about you? Would you kill to save your sister?”
“I would if I had to,” I affirmed without hesitation or reservation. I suppose I only spoke so confidently and assuredly because I thought it was a hypothetical. I mean this was the government after all. They would never ask me to do anything crazy, right? But then again, I would’ve told you you were crazy if you would have told me vampires were a real thing before my sister was attacked by one. Still, his question was odd. And the more I thought about it, the more it disturbed me.
Agent Harris chimed in, “Um, Mr. Graham, I’m sorry. I don’t know why my partner said that. You shouldn’t have to kill anyone. For you, it’s probably more a matter of participation than annihilation. If we did require you to do such a thing, rest assure, we’d provide you with all the materials necessary to succeed. Before you ask, we’re on your side, Mr. Graham. We want you to see your sister once the games have concluded.”
“The games?” I asked.
“Yes. If you enter our game, we’ll save your sister’s life. No questions asked,” she replied.
“What kind of game?”
“The Adventure Games.”
“The what games?”
“Adventure Games,” she smirked.
“What’s the catch?”
“Well, the games could be dang—”
Agent Adams quickly butted in before Agent Harris could reveal the truth. “There’s no catch, Mr. Graham. None whatsoever. Don’t listen to my partner. She can be a bit too detail orientated.”
“The devil is always in the details,” I muttered.
“But not a cure for your sister,” he coldly replied.
“Hey. What is that supposed to mean?”
“What do you think? Do you want to waste time going over the fine print, or do you want to step up to the plate and save your sister?”
I thought about it for a moment. “Eh. How do I know I can trust you to keep your word? I mean the government isn’t exactly super trustworthy.”
“Know what, I like you, Mr. Graham. Tell you what I’ll do. Humph. If you agree, we’ll transfer your sister to our facility, right away. That way she can get a jumpstart on her treatment program before you even set foot in the games,” he checked his wristwatch and added, “We can get her there by midnight. Let’s see... hmm... typical turnaround for blood sickness is what? Maybe a few hours if we play our cards right?”
“Six to eighteen hours is more accurate,” Agent Harris clarified to her partner’s chagrin.
“Close enough,” he grumbled.
Agent Harris ignored him. Turning her attention back to me, she said, “I have some good news and some bad news. Which would you like first?”
“Give me the good news.”
“Ok. Based on her chart, it looks like her affliction has progressed beyond normal blood sickness. Once we administer the antidote, she should be fine, but there’s always a chance she won’t make it. I’m sure our techs back at the lab will make the process as painless as possible for your sister. This is what I can do for you if you decide to join the project. I promise we’ll have her call you before you leave for the games.”
“Great. Where do I sign?” I asked.
Agent Adams put away his vape pen. “You don’t sign. You signing something doesn’t matter. We’re dealing with information above top secret, Mr. Graham.”
“Whatever,” I shrugged.
“There is one other thing,” Agent Harris said.
“The bad news, right?”
“Right,” she nodded.
Agent Harris looked over at her partner. She was careful not to reveal anything more until he nodded his head in approval. Some of the info they had already revealed was pushing the line above top secret into ‘black protocol’ territory, or what agents at DPI called “above top secret classification.”
Agent Adams nodded before quickly returning his attention back to vaping, retrieving the addictive device almost faster than he had put it away.
Agent Harris cleared her throat. “I’m sorry, Mr. Graham. Your sister’s illness has progressed too far. We can save her, but she won’t be human anymore. She’ll be a vampire. The transformation is irreversible I’m afraid.”
“Really? A vampire?”
“That is correct.”
“Jesus. I need a smoke,” I said as I jumped from my chair and grabbed the pack of smokes sitting on my kitchen counter. I lit one up and began pacing back and forth like a madman. With a bit of reluctance, I turned to Agent Harris and grumbled, “How fast can we get this done?”
“Now, if you agree.”
“That fast, huh?”
“Yes. We already have a team standing by. One phone call from us and they’ll began the extraction.”
“I already told you, I’m in.”
When I reaffirmed my commitment, Agent Adams looked over at his partner with a smug “I told you so” expression. He stood and extended his hand for me to shake. “Good choice, Mr. Graham. You’re a real champ.”
I shook his hand while glaring into his eyes. “You guys better not be trying to pull a fast one.”
“We wouldn’t. You’re not that important,” he smirked before blowing a cloud of steam into my face. “Goodbye, Mr. Graham. I’m sure I won’t be seeing you around,” he sarcastically added before heading for the door.
I shook Agent Harris’ hand. She removed her shades and told me, “Good luck, Mr. Graham.”
“What do I do next?”
“Pack light and wait.”
“Really? That’s it?”
“Yeah. We’ll be back in a couple of hours to take you to prescreening.”
“Sounds fair.”
“Good to hear.”
“So, what are these ‘Adventure Games’ anyway?”
She placed her shades back on. Her expression distant and cold. “Sit tight. We have to make a few arrangements and finish up some paperwork on our end before I can reveal any information. I’m sure the paperwork will get approved by the time we come back for you. Once this happens, I’ll explain everything you need to know.”
I just stood there dumbfounded by the moment. I could hear Agent Harris discussing Agent Adams’ conduct as they let themselves out and began making their way down the hall. Apparently, Agent Harris was disappointed that he had asked me for a beer. She pointed out that this was an obvious workplace violation, and how he could be terminated for his conduct. He found her chiding amusing and told her he had no intentions on drinking on the job. When he made this claim, she was incredulous and asked what possessed him to even ask in the first place.
I could barely hear them at this point since they were standing by the elevator. But I believe his response was something on the lines of, “I wanted to read his reaction. If he handled himself wisely, I knew we wouldn’t have a problem recruiting him for the games.”
“And if he reacted poorly?” she asked.
“Well then, your little behavioral profile would have been wrong, and we would’ve had a head start on finding his replacement,” he told her.
I closed the door in disgust. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, or if they could even be trusted. I knew it too. That cliché feeling had reached all the way down to my gut. My conscience... the good angel on my shoulder was telling me to run.
With a heavy heart, I chose to ignore the voice. My sister’s life hung in the balance. Sometimes in life you had to take risks. My choice to go along with these agents and their dubious claims wasn’t a tough or noble act. It was one wrought from desperation. What were my options? Not joining meant my sister would waste away until it was too late. Phew. This was a lot of pressure. My back was against the wall literally and figuratively.
I let out a long sigh and mustered the courage to begin packing. I hadn’t gotten much sleep either. Hopefully the car ride to wherever we were going would be a long one, and I could get some much-needed rest, I thought to myself as I shoved way too many things into my bag.
Tears escaped from my eyes. I had to stay the course. I had to hear her voice. I finally broke down and prayed to God, asking him to look over me. I still didn’t believe. I don’t know why I did it. I guess out of hope or necessity. My sister meant the world to me, and my parents, I don’t know what they would do if she perished.
Chapter 2: Foresight
The following day was a blur. I was taken to a massive facility that stood in the middle of nowhere. It was on the outskirts of the outskirts. The place was so far removed, they didn’t even bother with a blindfold. There was no elaborate story of denial, or even the whole “we cannot confirm or deny” troupe.
Nope. This was a secret facility where the government housed and did God knows who or what to who or what. From what I gathered, they performed strange experiments on poor sods, such as myself, who had foolishly signed their lives away. I gulped and told myself to shut up. If you think negative things, then you get negative results.
A group of oddly dressed soldiers called “acolytes” escorted me from the transport van to the staging area. I was able to check in with my sister, just like the agents promised. She was doing much better. The thought put a smile on my face and was all the motivation I needed. Now all I needed to do was win, so I could see her again.
Knock on wood, but if something were to happen to me, I didn’t really care. All that mattered was that little sis had finally turned the corner. I swear on my soul. This was more than I could have ever hoped for.
After answering an uncomfortable amount of questions and going through a battery of physical and mental tests, I was given the greenlight by the staff to join the event. This all happened at approximately 1400 hours the next day. I was taken away from the annoying, prodding techs in lab coats. I wouldn’t have mind leaving them behind, along with their invasive procedures if it wasn’t for the soldiers who escorted me to the staging area. They were cold and mechanical. They roughly shooed me to a section of the facility called Bunker 17, as if they were putting a dog back inside its kennel. We arrived at this damnable place, via elevator, twenty floors down.
To my surprise, there were already several people waiting when I arrived. They were all kind of just lingering about not doing much of anything. In front of us stood a pair of massive concrete doors that looked like the entrance to a mini fortress. We were all wearing these odd name tags. The moment made me sick to my stomach. The gazes of suspicion, intrigue, and indifference made me briefly curl up like a shrinking violet.
Hmm... No one told me I would be joined by others. I shrugged and figured as much. I was about to introduce myself when one of the soldiers radioed Command and informed them that we were ready to enter. Command radioed back and told them to give the signal. One of the acolyte soldiers gave a thumbs up, which I imagine they saw on the camera, right above the door.
When he did this an alarm sounded, red strobes flashed all arounds us, and the doors began to slowly creep open. The noise only added to the confusion and bewilderment. I took a step back, sure that the roof was going to collapse with every inch the doors gained. The whole thing was about as unnerving and uninviting as it could get. It looked more like a giant mouth slowly feasting upon the light, warning us to turn back, than an entrance.
We stepped inside only to be greeted by another set of massive doors. These were steel instead of concrete and looked like they could have been placed on the entrance to an impenetrable castle way up in the mountains. I looked back when the concrete doors begin to close. Only when they had fully shut, and we were devoured by the darkness, did the steel doors begin to open their mouth. The inner doors creaked and cranked, making the loudest, most-angriest sound imaginable. The process was excruciating and played on my mind almost as much as it played on my ears.
There was a great deal of radio chatter. The soldiers thrust us through the entrance. When we had all crossed the red line, one of them radioed Command, and the doors began to slowly close behind us. Fight or flight kicked in. I thought about making a run for it, but I could tell that that was bad idea by the way the soldiers were positioned behind the door with their weapons drawn.
I swear I could feel their laser sights more than I could see them in the piercing darkness. There was nothing like a big gun to chop through any language or mental barrier. It was louder and harder than any bull in any China shop would ever be.
I sighed when the doors finally closed behind us. My first thought was, what the hell had I gotten myself into? Followed quickly by, I can’t believe I let myself be talked into this. Before any of us could gather our bearings, the lights began to turn on. Once my eyes had adjusted to the blinding whiteness, I stood around like everyone else, amazed and surprised by the sight in front of me. It was funny in a sense. I was relieved by familiarity as it was the last thing on my mind.
It looked like a well-kept emergency shelter. The floors sparkled as if they had been waxed in preparation for our arrival. The kitchen and dayroom took up the bulk of the space. Before I could really sink my teeth into some good ole fashioned exploration, a voice could be heard over the loudspeaker. The prerecording was that of a woman, who sounded a bit robotic and automated, as if it had been altered to sound as friendly as possible. Which made it even more odd and creepy:
“Greetings, contestants! Welcome to the Adventure Games! These are the inaugural games, making this the very first event of its kind! So, consider yourselves lucky! The games have been lowered in difficulty by our wonderful technicians by approximately fifteen percent in honor of you being the very first souls to be taken.
I’m sure you’re all confused and have a lot of questions. Should I explain? Of course, I should explain! Well, here goes nothing! There are seven of you in total. You have all been locked inside of one of our many, many, many underground shelters! Bunker 17 to be precise. Which is part of the Northeastern Hemisphere Underground Network Systems, or N-HUN for short. That’s right! Your bunker is part of a much wider, global network that is maintained and operated by the New World Government Order or NWGO and members of the New Faith Alliance or NFA.
There are six levels of access in total. To gain access to the lower levels you need a “Marc” card. Which is short for Mark of Identifying numbers. Sorry average humans, only vampires and human personnel critical to the mission are given one. Don’t feel too bad, only high-ranking members of the NFA have access to the lower levels. And only super important people have access to the final level. Take my word for it, I’ve been down to level six and it’s definitely not a place you ever want to be.
I would tell you all about the many wonders, crazy contraptions, odd attractions, and foul creatures we keep below, but then I’d have to release the laughing gas... Just kidding... It’s actually sarin gas!
You have all been locked inside of Bunker 17. We stocked the place with plenty of provisions, so you won’t have to worry about starving to death for a very long time if anything terrible was to happen while you were away like, I don’t know, nuclear holocaust.
The recreational room is also state of the art. All the amenities you need are here. We made sure to provide our contestants with everything imaginable so all you’ll have to worry about is staying alive!
If you were to survive the games, which I highly doubt, then we will do as promised and grant you your wish, via taxpayer expense. There’s nothing the Illuminati loves more than wasting hard stolen taxpayer money on frivolous expenditures like elaborate “stress tests” on bunker sociology to see who’ll break.
All of you came here for a reason. One of you however asked to be here so you could murder everyone else who came here for a reason! Hooray for having zero conscience, our super mysterious serial killer contestant! How do you stop this maniac from murdering you? Why the answer is simple. Figure out which one of you is the murdering maniac and you win! That’s right, the game is officially over, and you can go home and enjoy whatever foolish thing you wished for. Hope it was worth it!
How might you rid yourselves of this psychopath, you ask? Please direct your attention to our voting room. Inside is a small stall, no bigger than an outhouse. At the end of each day, you will go inside, one by one, and vote on who you think the killer is. If the majority votes correctly then the game is over. If there is a tie or lower, then the games continue. Oh, and just to make things fair, the killer will always vote for themselves. This will continue until enough of you vote correctly or everyone besides the killer is D.E.A.D.
♫ Do-do-do dodo! ♫
Congratz subject number 4, Roger J. Pierson III. You have been assigned the master bedroom! Which means you are responsible for reading the daily tasks! What daily tasks you might wonder? Why they’re clues to help you solve the killer-mystery, so pay close attention!
How does it work? Each day Roger will receive a card from HQ, using our spiffy pneumatic system, with direct access to the master bedroom. Our technicians, who helped created this wonderful kill box, call these messages ‘Vital Tasks’. Gather in one place and read them carefully, but only if you’re interested in surviving.
Good luck everyone! Oh, and be sure to have fun while playing. There is a small suggestion box located in the recreational room, next to the TV. All suggestions are anonymous and will help us to not only create a better experience, but even more enjoyable deaths! Salutations! Enjoy your stay at our super-secret underground facility! Thank you for your participation in the Adventure Games! And remember, no matter what happens, you are a valued guest at Bunker 17!”
When the strange announcement ended, everyone just kind of looked around in confusion. It was one of those moments when you question reality. There were seven of us in total. Everyone was wearing a name tag. Each name was more of a twisted moniker than our actual name. I looked down at my own and saw the word “Hero.” I found this odd for a few reasons. The first being I wasn’t a hero. I was your average guy at best. The second, more chilling reason was I did not remember putting this stupid thing on. How it got there was a mystery. I suppose in the thick of the chaos, one of the lab technicians must’ve slapped it on before they rushed me out.
The guy next to me, whose name tag read “Follower,” began to spaz. I tried to calm him, but it didn’t work. He made a break for it, running all the way back to the entrance. “Let me out! I didn’t sign up for this!” he cried and screamed while pounding on the steel slab.
There was a tall, bulky guy, wearing a tank top that barely fit. His name tag read “Bully” and was glued to his chest. He flexed his peck muscles and laughed very loudly and rudely at the young guy. He looked over at me and then everyone else while wildly yelling, “Come on guys! They’re obviously trying to scare us. The lady over the intercom wasn’t even trying to hide how obvious it was with all those corny jokes. What is this supposed to be? Fallout: New Vegas?!” He hooted and chuckled.
“This is stupid,” the woman next to me said. I looked over and saw that her name tag read: “Narcissist.”
“Screw it,” the Follower said after seeing that he was making a fool out of himself by crying and wailing not only in vain but to the amusement of others.
“I want to go home,” a girl sniveled. I glanced over and saw that her name tag read, “Teenager.”
Bully’s laughter pulled me away from the shock of seeing a teenager in a place like this. I cringed when he hollered out “Guys! It’s not real!” as if he wasn’t making yet another useless PSA.
There was this guy leaning against the wall. He watched with folded arms as the Follower finally gave up the goose. I could have sworn he was just standing right next to me, but I could be wrong. His name tag read “the Rationalizer.” He looked over at us and asked, in a very matter-of-fact tone, “So. What do we do now?”
“Let’s go get the message like the lady said over the intercom,” I told everyone with a shrug.
“Good idea,” the Rationalizer said. I think he was being sarcastic when he said it, but who knows. A guy like that was difficult to read.
The seven of us traveled through the kitchen and recreational area. Then we made our way down the narrow hall, towards our rooms. There were two names assigned to each one, except for the master bedroom. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw that the Rationalizer was assigned to the same room as me. Seeing my discomfort, he gave me a pat on the back before opening the door to our room.
I peeked inside and saw a very clean but very bare bones living space. There were a few accommodations, just nothing like home. Let’s see, there was a bunkbed on one side, two lockers, and a large dresser on the other. The floor was just as cold, polished, and uninviting as the kitchen and hall. Turns out, the only thing they bothered to make warm and cozy was the recreational room. Oh, and the master bedroom, hate to forget that.
I poked my head in Roger’s room. If I hadn’t mentioned it by now, his name tag read: “the Lover.” He damn near kissed the floor when he saw how magnificent his stay would be. His reaction rubbed pretty much all of us the wrong way. The Narcissist’s in particular. When she saw her room, and realized she had to share with the Teenager, she hyperventilated. Unlike the Lover’s eccentrics, her selfishly induced panic attack put a smile on my face.
“Huh. Looks like they got at least one of our name tags spot-on,” the Rationalizer said while observing her antics and thinking the same thing I was thinking.
Bully nearly buckled over he laughed so hard. Seeing this and that he shared a room with this meathead, the Follower began laughing right along with him. I don’t even think he knew why he was laughing. He saw Bully doing it and just followed along. I shook my head. I did chuckle a bit under my breath. The whole thing was ridiculous, I thought to myself as I turned my attention back to the Lover. There was something about him that was different. I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was.
Was there a faster way to draw suspicion than being called out by name and given something. Not only was it something, but it happened to be the one spacious, well decorated, most comfortable room out of the whole lot. Silk pillows, satin sheets, and a handwoven quilt that was draped over the bottom of a lavish, four-post bed. The posts were shaped into gargoyles. Even his dresser was handcrafted, the wallpaper elegant, and the red carpet fit for royalty. I could go on and on, but I didn’t want my intrigue to turn into outrage. Not yet at least. This all could be a prank like Bully suggested.
Eh. I know I keep harping on the subject, but it was hella unfair. What could I do? Even if I wanted to take it there, what were my options? Try to take the room from him by force? Yeah. That’s smart. That way everyone would think I was the killer for sure.
I had never even thought about killing someone in my whole life. Ok... you got me. The vampire who nearly killed my sister was the only creature. Hearing Agent Adams tell me he had been cruelly dispatched by his masters was sweet music to my ears. My only regret was that I wasn’t there to witness him suffer. If I was, I would have begged the monster behind the mask to prolong his pain for as long as vampirically possible.
“Hey, pal! Hurry up! I’m starving,” Bully shouted, snapping my mind out of its downward spiral of dark, borderline psychotic thought.
“I’m grabbing the card now!” the Lover shouted back before seizing the plastic capsule that was ejected from a long, pneumatic tube system. He removed the card from the red envelope and read what it said:
Task 1. Introduce yourself to the others. State all critical information such as name, age, and reason you’re here. This is very important: reveal if you are human or not. Do not lie unless you are the killer. You may remove your name tag afterwards.”
After he read the card, we all glanced around at one another, wondering if this was indeed someone’s idea of a sick joke. Or perhaps this was a dream we would all wake up from very soon? I prayed for the ladder but feared and respected the former. My thoughts loud and sweeping amidst the awkward silence that had overtaken us.
Bully rubbed his stomach. “I’m hungry. You guys can keep standing around looking stupid if you want. I’m off to see what’s in the fridge.”
“Um. Gross,” the Narcissist stated before she checked the pockets of her stylish plaid topcoat. She gasped in exasperation before yelping in dismay, “OMG. But how? How did they even know?”
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“They must’ve taken it!” she cried.
“Taken what?” I asked.
She looked over at me with an expression that told me everything I needed to know. Then she groaned out the most unimaginative words imaginable, “God. I thought I smuggled my backup phone. I put it in my pocket, it should be here. Screw it. Guess I’ll just die of boredom.”
“Or you could reconnect with your other senses,” the Rationalizer said. He folded his arms and stared at the Narcissist hungrily. If she wasn’t so preoccupied with being preoccupied by nothing, she would have noticed his lecherous gawk.
“Whatever. I hate my life,” she sighed.
“What’s a ‘backup’ phone?” I asked.
“Old people, dude,” the Follower blurted before chuckling to himself at my expense.
“I’m not old. I just never heard of a backup phone,” I explained, my tone a bit defensive.
“My bad, bro. Don’t get mad.”
“I’m not getting mad.”
“Hey. Whatever you say, bro.”
“It’s your other phone just in case your non other phone dies. Tch. Duh. I have followers, you know,” she replied all hot and haughtily.
“Come on guys,” I said before making my way towards the kitchen. Bully was already there, rummaging through the cupboards like a man on a mission.
When he saw us, he looked back and said, “I’m starving, haven’t eaten since breakfast!”
“How are we looking? Plenty of good stuff?” I asked as I made my approach.
“Bingo!” he hooted and rooted, ignoring me like a butthole over a loaf of bread. He made some weird comment about how he couldn’t believe they had sprouted grain bread. And how sprouted grain bread was savage. And how sprouted grain bread aided in muscle recovery. And how sprouted grain bread blah blah blah; all bodybuilding nonsense no one else understood. I understood how rude he was, however. He practically commandeered the counter and began making himself half a dozen sandwiches with the ham that he had snagged from the fridge.
“How are we looking?” I asked again.
“Dude, we’re freaking loaded!”
I opened the large pantry and saw four shelves filled with cans. “Wow. Yeah, you’re right.”
The one guy, who had the master bedroom, the Lover, I believe his name tag was; he cleared his throat and said, “Ok. So, who’s going to go first?”
“First in what?” the Follower asked.
“Introducing themselves,” he hissed.
“Tch. I’m not wasting my time,” the Follower laughed. To be honest, he seemed like a nice kid, but his laugh was maddening. This high pitch chortle followed by a guttural snort or two. Ugh. Just thinking about it made my skin crawl.
“I think you should go first,” I told Bully.
“Oh, yeah? Why’s that?” he asked.
“Because you’re a big oaf.”
Everyone at the table laughed, including the Follower. He stood from his seat, still snorting, and said, “Dude! You have a mountain of sandwiches! You could have at least asked if anyone else wanted one.”
Bully laughed before and after taking a chunk out of his first sandwich. “Whatever. I worked hard to get these muscles. Judging by your appearance, I don’t think you’ve ever seen an honest day’s work at the gym.”
“Ouch,” the Follower nervously chuckled. He slinked back down in his seat and tried to hide as we all laughed at the poor guy’s expense.
Bully looked over at me as if he saw something he didn’t like. Before I could ask if he had a staring problem, he said, “What about you? You seem pretty straightlaced. Maybe you should go first.”
I looked around and saw everyone’s eyes fall on me after he had pretty much thrown me under the bus. I threw my hands up in defeat and told them, “Fine. It’s not like I have anything to hide; I’ll go first.”
The Lover gestured for me to take the metaphorical stage and said, “The floor is yours.”
submitted by RingoCross99 to u/RingoCross99 [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 21:34 numberland [H] Lots of games, most with links + short descriptions [W] Wishlist games, diamond bundle games, paypal, non-violent games.

IGSRep - GameTradeRep
Have, a lot of games, see below.
Want, in rough order of preference:
Willing to be generous :D
From the Discovery bundle: + Weaving tides + Switchball
From the Diamond bundle:
For trade for someone else:
Highlights of games you might have from my Steam wishlist:
Potentially from the Discovery bundle:
Potentially 1-3 slots in the Diamond bundle - see above for the games I want
From the Humble Turkish-Syria Earthquake charity bundle
From the Mystery Star Bundle (both versions):
Humble (all unrevealed, unless clicked on by accident):
No longer on Steam/issues with Steam
submitted by numberland to indiegameswap [link] [comments]