I am a 23 years. I always feel depressed 24/7 and constantly whine about my life and here I am doing the same thing. The only time I don't feel depressed is when I am talking with someone. As soon as i stop talking with someone I feel the realisation of an empty life. I want to be in a relationship, but even if a girls comes to talk to me I either push them away or put them on a big pedastal that i cannot achieve. Was mostly an introvert but for some reason like to go out with my friends. Its really easy to make friends for me even when i just met them once but end up lossing them cause i just like temporary bonds and don't want to form long term bonds because I would probably be left alone. I have made tons of friends along the way but none of them call me. Come from a toxic family. Had a really bad childhood but then again I blame my family to be that way due to their own past and I have had my peace with it. When I was young, my family didn't have much money and I didn't get to enjoy a lot of stuff. Most of the people that i met were way to costly to have as my friends so I just ended up with people who would do nothing with me or everything without me. Now I have a ton of money to spend but no friends to spend with. I said I am an intorvert but the stuff I want to do are exactly what an extrovert would but I just not do it overthinking about it everytime and just end up sitting on my bed feeling defeated by noone. My whole life feels empty even when I have a good high paying job, I go to office to meet amazing people and have fun at work, something not a lot of people have the privilege of. Still when i come home, feels like it sums up to nothing. Big time overthinker, possibly the worlds biggest but still not liked by anyone(thats what i feel which is totally not true). I have got the answer to everything, all the stuff that you read above, i already know what to do about it but still no idea what to do with me. Even if I become happy, have 10 close friends who will help me for anything, have a out of league wife who would do anything for me and everything that i can ever imagine WHAT AFTER THAT? The future feels empty. Was I that selfish to focus everything about me and think of everone else as some mere objects of temporary ammusement or was it something else. FIX ME!! I cant take it, can't stay depressed my entire life, there has to be a good part that I cannot skip to. Is my brain and thinking that much ** up?
With his mother dead and his cultist family members out to ruin his life, getting abducted by alien slavers is actually an improvement for Corey Vash. A quick and chaotic escape attempt only succeeds thanks to an unintentional rescue from the impressively skilled and infrequently sober bounty hunters aboard the Hard Luck Hermit. With no clue about how to survive in space and nothing to return to on Earth, Corey joins the crew in their efforts to make a quick buck, try new drinks, and figure out who the hell keeps trying to kill them.
“Alright, our little gun show just got a hell of a lot more complicated,” Kamak said. Zero-G combat was a pain in the ass even for people who’d been specially trained, and as far as Kamak knew, that only applied to Farsus. He and Doprel had been in a handful of zero gravity fights, but he was less than confident in his skills and knew that Doprel felt the same.
“I’m not confident in our ability to manage this combat scenario,” Farsus said. “Melee combat is generally more viable in zero gravity environments, and we cannot hope to beat the Doccan in melee range.”
“On the other hand, lot of handholds here on this ship,” Corey said. He grabbed an exposed mechanical element, one of many jutting from the patchwork halls of the ship, and latched himself in place. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but they had places to brace themselves to avoid the zero-gravity recoil problem. To Vo braced her foot against an oddly welded ridge in the ship’s hull and kept her gun up.
“Could we leave this vessel disabled and wait for the Doccan to send reinforcements?”
“We’ve only got enough disable rounds for one more ship, and the Doccan always escalate linearly,” Doprel said. “They’ll send two, maybe three next time.”
“It’s a little messier than anticipated, but this is still our best shot,” Kamak said. “Guns up.”
The team shouldered their weapons and started kicking off the walls, drifting down the darkened halls of the ship. The vessel had enough of an auxiliary power system to keep some emergency lights on, but even those were intermittent, with many bulbs burnt out by the Doccan’s lack of interest in repairing such a negligible function. They did not feel fear, much less fear of the dark.
Corey, on the other hand, was feeling a lot of fear. His casual interest in sci-fi films had done him a lot of good out here in space so far, but now it was starting to backfire. He’d watched Alien
one too many times to be comfortable drifting around the dead silence of this spaceship. He tried to remind himself that there were no xenomorphs here. The only aliens he had to worry about were nigh-unkillable super strong emotionless behemoths.
In retrospect, that was worse, and Corey decided to start thinking about literally anything else just in time to hear something go click.
A three round burst of plasma fire soared down the hall, briefly illuminating the length of it in green fire. One of the bolts caught Farsus on his broad chest, but his armor mostly negated the damage. Kamak returned fire, sending a stream of bullets up the hall, and Kamak himself careening the other way. In his haste to return fire, he’d forgotten to brace himself. The rest of his fireteam made no such mistakes.
With his back to a wall, Corey turned his gun towards the Doccan and took aim. There were two of them, both even larger than Doprel, and wearing patchwork armor to boot. That was an unpleasant development.
“Take out the guns first,” Farsus shouted. The Doccan themselves were durable and heavily armored, but their guns were as fragile as any other weapon in the galaxy. Corey took aim and peppered the Doccan’s limbs with a spray of gunfire. One of the two had the wherewithal to clutch their gun to their side, letting their arm absorb the brunt of the gunfire, but the other kept trying to return fire even as a bullet finally hit home. The metal slug cracked through the plasma repeater’s energy chamber, and the weapon started to vent green fire as the energy cell leaked.
With his weapon damaged, the Doccan took the next logical step and launched himself at his opponents, massive arms raised and ready to strike. The crew took advantage of the zero gravity recoil and let go of their handholds in the wall, then fired at the approaching Doccan. The recoil propelled them away as bullets peppered its thick hide. With no gravity to make it flow outwards naturally, the strange fluid layer beneath the skin of the Doccan started to leak out in blobs of oozing blue.
The floating globs splashed into dozens of tiny droplets as Doprel met his kin coming the other way. The divided drops then scattered in every direction as the shockwave of their colossal impact traveled outwards. Another spray of blue fluid followed shortly after as Doprel dug his fingers into a patch of bullet holes and tore a massive chunk out of the Doccan’s exterior carapace.
“Doprel! Give me an angle on the face!”
With a quick grunt of acknowledgment, Doprel spun around and put the Doccan he was grappling in a headlock. He kept his arms wide and his face behind the Doccan’s back as Kamak took aim at the Doccan’s head and fired. A quick round of bullets tore through the air, a few managing to find purchase in the Doccan’s face, tearing out one of its eyes and a few chunks of mandible. The floating drops of blue liquid pouring out of the broken head were soon joined by a thin flow of black bile -the real lifeblood of the Doccan.
“Not going to be interrogating that one,” Kamak said. “Focus fire and take out his friend!”
Kamak drifted forward and grabbed on to the broken body of the dead Doccan, using it as cover as the hail of bullets continued. Under fire from five sources at once, the Doccan’s defeat was inevitable yet worryingly slow. Corey kept his rifle focused on the joint of its arm for a solid thirty seconds of sustained fire, but it didn’t even drop its gun until the arm was only attached by a few strands of tattered, fibrous “muscle”. Even at that point, the Doccan simply switched hands and continued firing until Farsus blew a big enough chunk of its head off that it stopped moving entirely. Doprel walked up and ripped its other arm off just to be sure, while Kamak took a final few potshots at the head of the other one.
“Bastard’s aren’t afraid to play dead,” Kamak said. “Especially when they know they’re at a disadvantage.”
“Good news is, this means there’s probably just two more,” Doprel said. “If we were dealing with multiple groups there’d have been a full crew of four after us.”
“Best news I’ve gotten all week,” Kamak said. “Now where are the others…”
“We are located in the cockpit.”
Five guns pointed in five different directions as the voice boomed out from a PA system.
“What’s going on?”
“You have stated an intent to interrogate a living subject, and have proven your ability to defeat two or less Doccan in combat,” the monotone voice proclaimed. “There is no further purpose to violent resistance.”
“I see,” Kamak said. They really were logical. “We’ll be right there. Guns up, of course. I’m not dumb enough to not see a trap.”
“We lack the resources to commit to such a deception.”
That did nothing to ease Kamak’s suspicion, for reasons the Doccan could not at all understand. He, Doprel, and Farsus kept their guns up as they head upwards, towards the cockpit of the makeshift vessel. Corey was not far behind, until he realized To Vo La Su was quite far behind. She was bouncing slowly around the hall, trying to dodge floating globs of Doccan ichor—and a few chunks of the Doccan themselves.
“You’ve just got to accept you’re going to get messy and move through it,” Corey said. “The laundry machine on the Hermit is surprisingly good.”
“I don’t have that many clothes to start with,” To Vo mumbled. Due to the impromptu circumstances of her “recruitment” To Vo had the clothes she’d been wearing and a few spare outfits Tooley had been willing to throw at her—most of which fit poorly and had suspicious stains already. “But that is not my issue. I do not- there is a certain amount of- I can’t-”
The former transit authority tightened her grip on a gun she was entirely unsuited to carry and took a deep breath. One of the globs of Doccan ichor drifted worryingly close to her face, and she backed away.
“I didn’t want to do something like this again.”
To Vo was naturally small, but she still found a way to shrink in on herself.
“The world I come from was harsh,” To Vo said. “We did harsh things to live. All of us.”
A few chunks of gore drifted by Corey’s head. He knew better than to ask what she meant.
“Yeah. Look, I get it, but, these guys came after us because they thought we were a defenseless bunch of stranded travelers, right? You think they brought all that firepower to escort a bunch of lost souls back to safety, give them a nice pat on the back and a snack for the road? If we’d actually been lost travelers, we’d be dead. And eaten, quite possibly.”
“But we aren’t travelers, and now they’re dead,” To Vo said, pointing out the drifting Doprel corpses as she spoke. “How can this be right?”
“Look, To Vo, nothing’s ever completely ‘right’. Even when you’re purely trying to help someone, who’s to say they ‘deserve’ it, or that there’s not someone else who needs the help more and isn’t getting it?” Corey asked. “You’re never one-hundred percent in the right. Sure, maybe we’re a lot closer to that line between good and bad than we could be, but I think we’re still on the good side of things.”
“And what happens when you’re not?”
Corey didn’t have an answer for that question. Luckily for him, he didn’t get the chance to try.
“Would you two stop fucking moralizing and back us up? This is still a combat zone!”
The ever obedient To Vo La Su was the first to grab her gun and kick off towards the cockpit, heedless of the gore she had to splash through on the way. Corey followed closely behind her, secretly quite happy to let her absorb all the floating ichor instead of him.
As it turned out, the Doccan were sincere in their desire to surrender. That left only one dilemma to resolve.
“So. Awkward issue,” Kamak said. “We’ve only got enough restraints for one of you.”
“We will offer no resistance,” one of the Doccan said.
“Oh sure, for now. Until we get attacked by someone else, or we all turn around at once, or you decide you might have a good opportunity.”
“This point is sound,” the Doccan admitted.
“Which one of you knows more about the recent movements in people fighting you guys, and why your people blew up the Bang Gate?”
“I am more knowledgeable on all military matters,” the Doccan on the left said. Kamak pointed to the one on the right.
“And you agree with that sentiment?”
“Yes. However, your inquiries might require a greater knowledge base. I am in charge of monitoring the social habits of various Doccan, and may possess relevant information.”
The other Doccan had barely finished speaking when Kamak shoved the barrel of his gun in their mandibles and pulled the trigger. A burst of rounds tore through their cranium and the Doccan fell over dead. The only surviving Doccan did not even react as his comrade collapsed. As black blood started to drift through the air, Corey very deliberately avoided To Vo’s gaze.
“Not particularly interested in your social media. Alright, Doprel, tie the other one up,” Kamak said. “And you. Got time for questions?”
“I will accede to any line of questioning that does not actively endanger the Doccan species.”
“Great! What’s your name, champ?”
Doprel looked up and over the other Doprel’s shoulders.
“Doprel, why is our new friend also Doprel?”
“It’s...actually a term for the working class of Doccan’s,” Doprel said. “I didn’t have any other name, and by the time I realized what was going on it had sort of stuck, so...yeah.”
“Do you want a better name?”
“No, no, like I said, it’s stuck now, no sense changing it,” Doprel said. “Not like we hang out with other Doccan enough for it to be confusing.”
“On that note, for the purposes of this conversation, you are Junior,” Kamak said. The newly christened Junior did not object to this designation, so Kamak assumed he accepted it. “What do you know about why the Doccan attacked the Bang Gate?”
“We were recently informed that new stresses upon intergalactic shipping routes would place additional importance on our galaxy as a trade hub,” Junior said. “Your Galactic Council endures our presence and our attacks on your shipping route as acceptable losses. If this galaxy was to become more important on a galactic scale, they would feel more pressure to protect it, and therefore take more aggressive actions against the Doccan species. A pre-emptive strike to lessen the utility of our home as a trade route mitigates this risk of escalating conflict.”
“And blowing up a fucking Bang Gate isn’t an escalation?”
“The gateway is destroyed. Retaliatory attacks achieve nothing. Your Council has nothing to gain from further conflict.”
“What if they’re worried you’ll blow up another fucking gate, Junior?”
“The measured presence of other species in this galaxy ultimately benefits us by providing resources we would be otherwise unable to acquire,” Junior said. “We have no reason to completely close ourselves off.”
“You guys have a lot of work to do on understanding other species,” Kamak said.
“Typical warfare does not stop when one side considers it merely ‘convenient’,” Farsus said. “If the Galactic Council decides on hostilities, they will not stop until they possess a considerable advantage over you.”
“By our appraisal they already possess a significant advantage,” Junior said. “However, if I survive our conversation, I will pass on your appraisal of the situation to the homeworld.”
“Jury’s still out on your survival. Tell us this and improve your odds: Who told you about all this shipping route bullshit?”
“It was [TRANSLATION ERROR].”
Kamak rubbed the sore spot where his translator chip was implanted and tried again.
“We were informed of these developments by a [TRANSLATION ERROR].”
“Alright, not going for a third try here,” Kamak said. Whenever the translation software ran through the full suite of languages it knew, it started to overheat a little, and Kamak didn’t want a hotspot in his skull. “Doprel, I thought you gave us the whole language?”
“If I may theorize,” Farsus said. “To my understanding, the Doccan are a very literal people. Junior, when your people are faced with a new entity or concept, do you invent a new word for it?”
“When it is the most convenient course of action, yes,” Junior said. “Oftentimes compound words are formed. Your own people are referred to as ‘Red-Large-No Carapace’.”
“An apt descriptor,” Farsus said. “So we can assume whatever introduced these concepts to the Doccan, it was something they first encountered after Doprel’s departure, and something so unique it prompted the creation of a new word.”
“Fun times,” Kamak grumbled. “Junior, can you describe the thing whose name we can’t understand?”
“I have never seen it.”
“Peachy. What do you know about it?”
“It displayed enough intelligence that our central command council took its provided information seriously.”
“And did your central command stop to think about whether this word-we-can’t-understand had any ulterior motives?”
“Non-Doccan rarely approach the Doccan without ulterior motive,” Junior said. Had he any understanding of irony as a concept, he might’ve pointed out his current situation. “It was decided that the threat presented was legitimate enough to act without regard to possible external agendas from the [TRANSLATION ERROR].”
“Please stop saying that,” Corey whined.
“I am unaware of any reason to do so beyond your physical movements,” Junior said. To him, the flinching Corey did every time he said the word was just a strange muscle spasm, as the average Doccan did not experience pain.
“Just don’t fucking say it. Back to the point, you should know that whoever or whatever brought this stuff to you, they’re using you and your actions as a smokescreen to get away with their own shit,” Kamak said. “They’re pushing to change trade routes and pressure new parts of the galaxy. Maybe the threat is legitimate, but it is only legitimate because they are doing what they’re doing.”
Junior’s quiet acceptance of the dramatic twist unsettled Kamak more than he’d like to admit. Maybe it was just because he’d lived through so many dramatic twists and turns lately, but he felt like that warranted more of a reaction. The emotionless Doccan accepted every new twist of fate the way a calculator would accept a new number plugged into a math problem.
“So...if we let you live, you’re going to tell all this to your planetary council or whatever?”
“New data will be considered.”
“Fan-fucking-tastic, I guess. Anyone else got questions for Big Blue Number Two?”
“I’ve got one,” Corey said. “How long ago did that weird thing bring you guys all this info?”
“Eighteen Doccan days ago.”
“That comes out to a few months, with everything converted,” Doprel said. The Doccan homeworld had a very slow rotation period.
“Once again putting it well before our run-in with that purple ship,” Corey said. “So we really did just get caught up in a plot that was already going on.”
“If that’s supposed to make me feel better, it doesn’t,” Kamak said.
“It might be useful, at least,” Corey mumbled.
“Final call for questions,” Kamak said. “I want to get out of this floating piece of crap.”
“Just the one,” Doprel said. “If what we’ve said is true, and the Doccan find out they’ve been manipulated into making their own situation worse...what will they do about it?”
“It is impossible to make an assessment of the situation without a consensus of at least one Doccan hive,” Junior said. “If not the full planetary council.”
“Well what would you, personally, do?”
“Obey the consensus of the hive or council.”
“Let’s say there’s no hive or council-”
“If all hives and the council have been obliterated, my priority must be to repopulate the Doccan species first and foremost, ignoring tertiary matters such as this.”
“Doprel,” Kamak said. “Whatever you’re looking for, you’re not going to get.”
“Yeah. Got it.”
Doprel’s sullen silence infected the rest of them, and their interrogation was put on pause for a moment.
“Has your interrogation ended?”
“You have asked for final questions and are now silent. Is your interrogation finished?”
“Pretty much,” Kamak said. They’d learned this particular Doccan was next to useless, so they didn’t have much reason to continue. “You got a last request?”
“In some form. Do you intend to assault, kill, or otherwise impede the entity you believe has manipulated the Doccan?”
“That’s the plan, yeah,” Kamak said. “Speaking of assaulting or killing-”
Kamak hefted his heavy rifle once again.
“Cooperation will be beneficial,” Junior said. “Remove my restraints so that I may assist.”
“Oh, yes, sure, that sounds like a great idea,” Kamak said. “Assist us with what?”
Something Junior wouldn’t be doing much longer, if Kamak had anything to say about it. It was hard to read a Doccan, but he knew a bluff when he saw it. The captain raised his gun, and had it shoved down again by Doprel.
In any other situation, Doprel would’ve been on board with calling the bluff, but the Doccan didn’t bluff often. Kamak reluctantly accepted Doprel’s caution and played his part.
“Okay, this is me taking the bait,” Kamak said. “You’re going to help us survive what?”
“The patrolling warship on route to this location,” Junior said. “My willingness to discuss important information with you was a stalling tactic. We sent a distress ping shortly after you boarded.”
While Kamak started swearing, Farsus did the slightly more sensible thing. He hopped on the comms and turned back towards the Hermit.
‘Tooley, ping the long range scanners.”
“Okay. We got...huh,” Tooley said. It took a moment for the full details to come in, but even the most basic scan functions couldn’t miss the vessel coming their way. “That is a big one. I think that might be a Corrhulk.”
“They’ve kept a fucking Corrhulk flying for the past century?”
“What exactly is a Corrhulk?” Corey asked. He felt context was very important.
“It’s big and it’s got a lot of guns,” Kamak snapped. The Corrhulk was one of the last true warships the intergalactic community had mass-produced. Nowadays what few heavy cruisers existed were mostly just carriers for swarms of small fighters, but enough heavily-rusted Corrhulks were still shambling along in merchant fleets and pirate gangs to give the ship a reputation. “Tooley, what’s the Corrhulk’s ETA?”
“Couple drops if we’re lucky,” Tooley said. “I can get us out of here before then if you get back to the ship.”
“And provided it doesn’t try to chase us,” Kamak said.
“Undo my restraints and I will transmit your cooperation to the vessel,” Junior said. “There is benefit to mutual cooperation.”
“And if your friends on the ship don’t agree?”
“Then you will be killed.”
“Love the bluntness,” Kamak grunted. “I’ve got enough friends.”
“Kamak,” Doprel grunted.
“Oh, I’m sorry, are we making friends with your cousins who want to eat you now?”
“We have more enemies than allies,” Farsus said. “Questionable friends are still friends.”
“We’ve got like four drops on our escape window, guys,” Tooley said. “Whatever you’re going to do, do it now.”
“There are those among the Doccan who have spoken to our informant directly,” Junior said. “Further dialogue may yield further relevant information.”
“Oh fuck me,” Kamak said. “Whatever. Not like we’ve ever made a smart decision, might as well make a stupid one on purpose.”
With a reluctant nod from Kamak, Doprel reached down and untied the thick cables holding Junior in place. The titanic alien immediately drifted towards the console and started inputting a complex series of commands.
“Get back on the ship,” Kamak ordered. “Tooley, prep us to detach and start calculating a faster-than-light vector for us. We’re negotiating over comms, and if they say anything we don’t like, we’re out.”
“Oh, are we not going to invite the murderous sociopaths onto our ship for some drinks and snacks?”
“Just shut up and get us ready, Tooley!”
“Ready to die, maybe,” Tooley grumbled. She shut down her comm link in order to get the last word and started calculating their escape route while everyone else made a mad dash back to the Hard Luck Hermit. Before she rounded the corner and drifted out of sight, To Vo La Su took a look back at the cockpit, back at Junior.
He’d picked up the corpse of his dead copilot and was beginning to gnaw on it. No sense letting good nutrients go to waste. To Vo started to wonder what they were getting themselves into.
Is anyone interested in critiquing the first chapter of my planned cultivation fantasy series. Sort of an alpha reader? it's less than 1800 words. I want to get several people's opinions of my prose before I write more chapters.
“I can’t wait to eat it.” Gong Li salivated over his next meal. Which was unfortunate, on account of the fact that it wasn’t dead yet.
Over 30 paces away from where he hid was a gnarlwood elk, its hind quarters marked by significant scarring that almost resembled burn marks. Presumably from a recent run in with a predator.
The gnarlwood elk was a truly majestic spirit beast that naturally cultivated the aspect of wood. And as was typically the case for spirit beasts, the path of its cultivation expressed itself in its unique physiology. The creature’s skin was the color of smooth, deep brown bark. It had fur like a normal elk, but it was green and looked more like moss that covered little of the lower half of the beast’s body. The elk sported massive antlers that more closely resembled gnarled tree branches, hence its namesake, with large flower buds growing out from it. Those flower buds were more than mere decoration, however. When opened, they would produce a pollen like substance. When exposed to it, a potential predator would experience severe irritation in its eyes and respiratory system. Also, the beast was about the size of a draft horse.
Li licked his lips in anticipation. “Mhm wood chi infused venison. My meat and veggies all in one bite.”
The Gnarlwood Elk stood cautiously in a clearing in the forest. It drank from a nearby brook, occasionally scanning the area for any signs of predators.
But Gong Li’s next meal wouldn’t find him. He had been on hunts before, but this was the first time he was permitted to join in on the hunt of a spirit beast. Such a thing would normally be too dangerous for someone of his cultivation and he was not expected to take part in the hunt itself. But the important thing was that the spirit beast didn’t notice him. This was an opportunity for Li to demonstrate his ability to suppress his spiritual power. What little he had as a mortal realm cultivator, anyway. Failing to do so might cost him and others their lives the elders of his clan told him. So he was sent on this hunt alongside his cousin Gong Fang and his team of beast hunters to prove his worth.
“Ready”, whispered the man himself in the bushes on Gong Li’s left. Gong Fang sported wild, spiky black hair that shimmered in the noonday sun with oil. His lean corded muscles clearly visible, as he wasn’t wearing a shirt. They bulged as if ready to rip out of his skin as he prepared himself for the hunt.
“Ready,” To Gong Fang’s own left was a woman. Gong Yue was built tall but slender. She shared the tanned complexion that most of the Gong Clan sported, which contrasted nicely with her short, silver hair. After a brief flash of light surrounded her uplifted hands, a wooden bow with a dark blue stone above the grip appeared in her grasp.
“Fire,” Gong Fang catapulted himself out of his hiding spot and into the clearing keeping up a storm of dirt and grass as he went. Gong Yue summoned an updraft, allowing her to take flight and break off small tree branches. As she knocked her arrow, the dark blue stone socketed into her bow’s limbs glowed with sparks of lightning inside. The sparks made their way to the bow proper, and Gong Li could smell the faint hint of ozone in the air.
The beast immediately knew something was wrong, but it was too late. Just as the gnarlwood elk popped its head back up, the arrow struck its neck. The beast reeled.
Gong Fang continued his charge, summoning a massive curved cleaver from his storage ring.
Gong Li watched as the beast struggled to get back on its feet, but the electrical current from the arrow had overloaded its nervous system. It violently flung mud into the air as Gong Yue fired another arrow into its flank.
As he closed in Gong Fang launched himself over ten paces into the air. He came down on the creature’s neck hard; The weight of the sword, his body and his technique. Together they easily cleaved through the base of the creature's neck. Gore sputtered out from the elk’s body and onto Fang but he jumped away from his fallen prey before the flower buds on the antlers blossomed. The beauty of the vibrant yellow petals were marred by the red gore that now covered them.
Fang was grinning. Grinning with the mischievous glee like a kid in an abandoned candy shop.
“Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about.” Fang triumphed over his kill. His enthusiasm was contagious. Li couldn’t help but cheer as well, despite the gory scene.
As Li and Yue caught up to Fang, Yue generated a current of air around them. The current, shaped like a dome, would keep the pollen from the flowers from getting to them.
Fang looked down at Li was a few finger widths shorter. “so little cousin tell me what you think of our technique?”
“Your methods are solid. Yue using lightning to paralyze the target, which gives you time to close the distance and quickly deliver a killing blow. I initially wondered why you use a cleaver instead of a spear as a melee hunting weapon, but now I see the logic of it. Cooks typically use cleavers to cut through bone and thick meat. However, a cleaver style sword can also be an effective way of killing an enemy quickly if you have the strength and precision to wield it. If you attempted to pierce the large Grade 2 beast’s neck with a spear and raw strength alone, it wouldn’t have guaranteed a kill. Given the strong hide and healing factor of the target. But by using force chi, you can apply greater kinetic energy and wield a heavier weapon.”
Fang grinned and looked towards Yue. “Told you he was a smart one.”
“Do you use this strategy against all your targets?” Li asked.
“No. Different prey calls for different methods. Although this is the strategy we use most often. We specialize in hunting large herbivores. That’s what sells the best prices on the market, anyway. They’re also the main course for the most profitable dishes of the clan owned restaurant. Also you’d be amazed what a pair of testicles from just about any large spirit beast would go for.
Li raised a skeptical eyebrow. “Spirit beast testicles?”
Yue interjected. “Many people think the testicles of large spirit beasts make for a potent aphrodisiac and may even increase fertility. There’s not much evidence to support the claim, but who am I to deny a fool so eager to part with his money?”
Fang barked a laugh. “Especially if it’s lining my pockets, eh.”
“We should get moving now,” Yue started scanning the area. “The scars on the elk may look old, but wood aspected beasts have an especially efficient healing factor. The creature that gave it those wounds could be nearby.
“Alright then, just give me five minutes to clean my sword and wash the blood off in the brook.
As Fang made his way to the brook Li turned towards Yue. “I was wondering, cousin Yue. Why use a bow with a lightning aspected beast core instead of cultivating it yourself? It would seem like the perfect fit to supplement your wind path.”
Yue shook her head, “Well, for one, the lightning aspect is hard on the body. It’s one of the most difficult aspects to cultivate.”
“No offense, but you don’t cross me as the type who would fear a little hard work.”
“No I’m not. But…” Yue trailed off.
Yue gave Fang a regrettable expression. “Lightning is also one of the rarer aspects out there. To learn to adapt to cycling it through my meridians, any large quantity would require me to go through several Grade 2 beast cores. The clan simply doesn’t have those kinds of resources anymore. Our current situation is the reason why the elders requested we take you on this hunt with us. While your own path was designed for smithing the metal and fire aspect have obvious combat applications. They want as many of us prepared to defend the clan as possible. Should our enemies decide to take advantage of our weakness and hasten the clan’s fall.
As Li contemplated the clan’s current predicament, he found himself suddenly slapped with a torrent of water. After recovering from the initial shock, Li looked in Fang’s general direction. And there he was beaming with satisfaction in the brook over 10 paces away, sword in hand.
“You bastard.” Yue screamed.
Fang simply laughed and pulled back his weapon. He dipped the bulk of the cleaver in the water and made a sweeping motion back towards Li and Yue creating another wave of water. The water was accelerated to deceptively high velocities due to his application of force chi to enhance the swing. Yue was ready for him this time however. She generated a wall of wind chi that redirected the wave of water back at Fang. The combined force of the water and Yue’s wind technique knocked Fang off his feet submerging him in the brook’s shallow waters.
Li flicked off a piece of the gnarlwood elk’s bark-like carapace off his shoulder with a sigh of irration. “You’re a child cousin Fa-.”
Li found himself smacked hard by a current of air. He went spinning and before he knew his face smacked hard into the dirt, dazed. It took a moment to realize what had happened. Yue had struck him with her own technique. But why? He was only a mortal realm cultivator. She wouldn’t have hit him with an attack that hard, only for her own amusement.
His head was spinning, but Li did his best to lift it up and look around. It was then that he came to realize what had happened.
The impact knocked him a clean fifteen paces away, on the other side of the stream for his own safety. For the predator had arrived to claim its wounded prey.
I understand that peoples experiences will vary based on location (due to which plant the boxes are packaged in and how far they need to travel) but the quality of our food has plummeted over the last year.
From rotted/small veggies to low quality meat that is poorly cut/packaged that renders a meal unusable, the issues have become a weekly occurence.
Last week: rotted carrots, TWO ground beef that were clearly going bad
This week: Completely missing 2 proteins and another that that blew open into the rest of the box.
It's one thing that overall quality of veggies and meat has dropped (for 20$ a meal for 2 people the quality is no where near acceptable like 60% of the time) but do they not care at all about food safety?? Luckily I have enough cooking experience to distinguish what is ok to use and what isn't... but isn't a huge part of their marketing geared to inexperienced cooks? How many people have used meat that is bad or dodgy at best?
Again, we've used this service for almost 3 years, it DID NOT used to be like this. Even the customer support quality/process has dropped. In the past when we've had an issue they full credited the box with few questions (we only did this like 2 times in 3 years). Recently when I finally decided to do something about half our meals being unusable support asked for an itemized list of what was wrong so that they could credit ONLY what was bad (even though arguably ground pork leaking out into the entire box is a food hazard? Why do I even need to make this argument to begin with??).
Anyways... making this post to feel out if other long time patrons have also noticed a drop in quality in the last year or so. Also to potentially give new customers an idea what they might be getting into.
I have an old MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) OS macOS Catalina Version 10.15.7 (19H2026).
When I try to sign into my APPLE I.D. I keep getting this Failed message.
Verification Failed An unknown error occurred.
Apple customer service stated this was a known error but can not help do to the age of the MacBook Pro.
Any suggetions or work arounds?
I use it for my Laser engraving tool and nothing more. I really don't need a new MacBook this one work fine other then the Apple ID login.
Idk if anyone else has made this theory but hear me out anyway. We know the one piece is an actual object not like “the friends we made on the way” so imagine. The one piece is a buggy ball prototype that buggy thought was a defect but was actually like 1000x more powerful and didn’t take off the ship when he got off. So Roger thought it would be funny to stick a buggy ball in there. Because, its yk, funny. And what makes my theory even better in my head is that it lets every obtain their goal. Luffy gets to destroy Mariejois, sanji gets the all blue and Nami gets an easy way to traverse the sea for her map.
To me. This makes sense. Is there any plot holes I missed or something?
I've been thinking and going over my relationship with my husband a lot recently. I've written down occurances. Even have some audio recordings of some of the things he's said to me. (All very ugly and abusive things). But I feel gross having them even though I know it's good I do. After everything I've experienced with him I know I need it. It's like a reminder that wakes me up and brings me back into the reality of how bad my relationship is. But I constantly ponder if I'm just as much to blame for the state of our relationship. I can get defensive and will fight back and I'm not sure if it's the environment I grew up in or if it's a defense mechanism after being subjected to all the shit I've endured for the past 5 years. I always tell myself it's not that bad. I tell myself I don't want anyone else to go through what I am so I stay because I've endured it this long so what would the rest of my life time hurt. But recently he's been really focused on the idea of kids and everytime the subject comes up my stomach drops. It's this uncanny feeling I've only ever experienced with an abusive ex of mine. I don't want kids, not with him especially. I don't want them to be subject to his berating and emotional abuse. I was so sure on preparing for the eventual chance of leaving I actually packed one of the suitcases with have stashed away. But on many occasions I've thought about going and unpacking it thinking maybe it was crazy I had done that. That I'm going crazy for even thinking of an eventuality that I'll have to leave. There are days I wish something would happen that would push me to that point but then I'm reminded of how alone I am. I have no where to go, no family, the friends I have made are more like acquaintances and I never want to barge in on someone else's life. I'm reminded of how lucky I am to have what I have and I think it's not bad as I'm making it all out to be. And then the cycle starts up again one bad incident involving alcohol (at home because he'd never do anything in public that'd make him look bad) and I'm sitting there crying, confused, and angry. Is it normal to cycle through denial, realization, resentment, and depression so easily. Like I feel like I cycle through everything within a week and then on the weekend (sometimes it's every weekend, depends on how much he drinks) the incident happens again. Unfortunately I am the forgive and forget kind of person. I'll forgive him and then act like it didn't happen and for a very very long time I did just that but something just snapped in me where I could no longer act like everything was fine. When I express my concerns my hurt and pain he acts like I'm the one hurting him. I'm afraid to reveal personal information about my family especially things about my mom because he thinks she's retarded and doesn't like her.
Sorry for the long rant just needed to get that off my chest.
32F recently diagnosed combined ADHD/ADD and started Adderall XR 5mg about 2 weeks ago. I’m one of those people who many people don’t “peg me as ADHD” (they assume I’m just bubbly) because I hide it so well and just let the anxiety occur in my brain. Starting Adderall has made it much more obvious and I can’t mask it anymore. Besides the first 3 days causing me jitters and anxiety, I’ve started to feel even more lethargic, unmotivated, I ramble on about stuff, I can’t formulate a intelligent concise sentence/idea, and I’m shakey in terms of my fine motor skills (I work in an industry where I work on tiny patients). I feel lazy, distracted and frustrated, and I’m starting to get depressed. I’m supposed to double my meds tomorrow (to 10mg) - so I’m hoping I’ll have more of the “focus” effects and calming effects that people talk about, but as of right now I feel like I’m MORE ADHD than when I’m not medicated. Is this normal? Did anyone go through this? Was Adderall just not the medication for you? Do I have to switch to Vyvanse? (It’s so expensive!)
A new type of OP Built by an Officer, Destructible by a grenade or direct disassembly, quicker respawn periods(50% of typical wait?). This Could incentivize players to Role as medics with the quicker respawn incentive and the extra spawn point helps when defending a barricaded objective point. Typically once a defended objective is surrounded there is relatively quick implosion of resistance. Maybe make the Medic spawns not freeze when enemies are on top of it like the garrison. Do you absolutely hate this? OR could it improve gameplay? Please share your point rather than hammering me with downvotes, just brainstorming here boys. But if you must downvote, it is what it is, thank you for reading.
At the moment, I have done DMT a total of eight times: 4 times oral, 3 times smoked and 1 time boofed. I never encountered an entity, and I barely get visuals when I do it. I do get visuals when I smoke, but once I fall unconcious the visions I have are more dreamy than visual. The kind of breakthrough I have is more a brain fuckery than anything. Sometimes is an ego death where I feel I'm the only true component of existence, but most times is me going through a chaotic mix of sensory input, visions of familiar objects or places getting trippy, and concepts adquiring a "visual" definition, but nothing like the classic DMT trip where you would see aliens or entities or landscapes. It's like DMT made my brain manifest itself on the most chaotic ways possibles. They are pretty interesting and enjoyable trips, but not the classic kind of trip. Anyone else experience the same?
This starts back in early 2021. I had just got into programming Arduino projects (as you can see from previous posts). I was looking for projects to do and stupidly decided to explore on .onion sites forbidden milatery projects and tried to replicate them. I came across this document that I paid $40 in Bitcoin to get. It was a document in both English and Farsi on how to develop an anti-aircraft system for F16s. I don't want to go too much into detail on how the system calulates, analyse and deploys the missiles. Let's just say they were smart in what they did. I was a dumb 15 year old looking to cure my boredom as I had spent the last year in lockdown and needed some excitement. That's when I replicated this thing on a MUCH smaller scale from wood, cardboard and any scrap metal I could find in the garage. I had the mechanism completed, and 1 of 4 logics of detecting an object in airspace. It was a basic ultrasonic radar detection and the servo motors moving to a set area.
This is when things went bad.
I showed off my project to my class on Google Meets in our tutor Times, we would all share what we were doing. I didn't know what I was doing was bad because I didn't know much about the Iraq/Iran war. I was talking to my friends on Discord after online school and I said where I found this project. I then understood ther severity of what I've done. I replicated an illegal piece of Milatery hardware.
My friends told me to do everything to get rid of it. Tather than throwing away my Audrino, I decided to corrupt the microcontroller and return to Amazon where I knew it will surely be destroyed as it was broken stock. I made every excuse to my parents to return my laptop to the place where we got it. It was a brand spanking new laptop that came out late 2020 (when I got it), and destroyed the USB sticks that stored my research, codes, test results and videos in action. I "lost" the phone that I recorded it with, that way my parents won't be as mad. I tried to forget it, but even today, the documents, blueprints and designs are fresh in my mind.
Now present day.
I was interetsed in the project and the weapon. So I decided to research it. I found no results so I used Chat GPT to research it. But when I put in the project name and AAS name, rather then the usual "I am an AI model and can't process this input" bs, it came up with network error, which is fairly uncommon on LAN connection. So now I'm adiment their onto me and it will be time before the police or amry show up and arrest me for espiance or somin. If anything happens, I'll edit this.
TL;DR I built illegal milatery hardware and is about to be arrested any day now. Trust me
I'm involved in a criminal case in which I was a victim of an armed robbery. I'm a loss prevention agent working in California, and the armed robbery occured when I attempted to recover unpaid for merchandise from the suspect who exited the store without purchasing the merchandise. I was within my rights to attempt a citizens arrest on the suspect, however, the suspect struck me in the chin, which knocked me to the ground. Keep in mind, I am 5'9 150 pounds and the suspect is 6'5 300 pounds.
At that point, my company guidelines state that I'm supposed to let the suspect go and disengage from the attempted apprehension and call 911, however, I was dazed and not thinking clearly and I stood up to continue to recover the merchandise. The suspect continued to attempt to strike me and in the heat of the moment I fought back, striking him back, and standing my ground. The suspect at one point turned his attention to my partner and rushed my partner, and in order to defend myself and my partner I picked up a chair nearby, and held it up to defend myself. The suspect attempted to strike my partner so I threw the chair at the suspect, which didn't phase him at all.
I eventually recovered the merchandise and returned to the store, and within minutes Officers arrived to arrest the suspect. Thankfully, I had video evidence and witness statements which corroborated with the suspect striking me, while in possession of stolen merchandise, and officers were able to arrest the suspect for armed robbery. I received a subpoena for the case and am to attend next week.
My question is, if the suspect brings up that I threw a chair at him during the preliminary hearing, am I able to claim it was in self defense at that point? As far as I know, I'm not being taken to court for any assault charges, and I'm only subpoenaed as a witness. But if the defense brings up the chair incident, should I admit that a chair was thrown at the suspect? I did not have video evidence of that, and as far as I know, the mall which this took place did not provide any video evidence to the officers on that night. So, should I even be worried about it, or should I avoid any questions about a chair at all?
I’m trying to make a scenario of European development in a world where the Roman Empire wasn’t quite as expansive. Their border at their peak would be, the Loire, Rhine, and Danube rivers in the north, the OTL 210 AD borders in the east, and the OTL borders in Africa. The reason I am using for their decreased conquests I because of increased instability in conquered regions and as a result couldn’t supply the necessary forces needed for conquest. With this being said, I remember reading somewhere that the franks where given their land by the Roman Empire for some reason or another during its slow fall. Whether or not this was tru would they still have organized into a more concrete nation opposed to just being a tribe or would they have remained nothing more than a tribe of people. Another important factor is the Gauls. What would have happened to them, a series of wars between them and the franks, peaceful integration with franks, pushed west/into Britannia, etc., also I’m going with an assumption that the southern Gauls under the Roman Empire would develop similarly to modern day France but I’m open to other ideas. Also curious how the Empire would break up and when.