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My Top 25 Favorite Lana Del Rey Songs

2023.03.25 06:20 49mercury My Top 25 Favorite Lana Del Rey Songs

Though it was extremely difficult to choose a top 25, below is the list I came up with. Note that I haven't heard every single LDR song, released and unreleased, so this list is based on what I am familiar with, with is mainly 2010 Lizzy Grant thru Chemtrails. I haven't heard Blue Banisters or Ocean Blvd. Once I do listen to them, there may be an addendum to this list.
For some background, I began listening to Lana in 2014. I had heard "Born to Die" and "Video Games" in 2012 and thought they were really fantastic songs, but I didn't take the time to dive deeper into the album or her previous music. Tbh I bought Ultraviolence more or less on a whim; I saw quite a bit about Lana on tumblr, thought she looked cool (alright, I had a celebrity crush). From first listen, I was hooked. I kind of stopped listening after Norman fucking Rockwell. Life happened and I guess I just sort of tapered off. Anyway, I recently revisited her discography and wow.. I really enjoyed Chemtrails. Looking forward to discovering even more music, especially with the most recent release.
Hope you enjoy this list and feel free to comment your own! Or, if you'd like to just name a few of your favorites, that's fine too :)
Honorable mentions: Yayo, Mariners Apt Complex, Pawn Shop Blues
This was one of the first songs I heard from Lana (Ultraviolence was the first record of hers I bought). It took some time for it to grow on me; tbh at first I thought it was one of the weaker tracks on the albums and didn't really understand why it would be chosen for a single. I love her operatic vocals that build up over the slow guitars. It may not be the most energetic song, but I do love the emotion in this one. I think the intended use of the word "shades" was probably referring to colors (like shades of blue), but I can't help but think of "shades" as being referred to as sunglasses lol. When listening to this, I picture a guy or lady (or both) wearing dark aviators while cruising in a 1964 Aston Martin. Or a 49 Mercury.
I love, love, love times one million... the majority of '90s music. I'm a 90's kid, so I wasn't really present for nor consuming the early '90s grunge acts like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, etc. when they were in their heyday. However, I absolutely adore them now as an adult. If you ever have the chance to see them, Alice in Chains is fantastic live. Anyway, "Get Drunk" is straight outta 1991 Seattle and I absolutely love it. Lyrics-wise, it's not anything mind-blowing, but I still think it's one of the best songs she's ever recorded. She expresses a confident vulnerability, about convincing someone to get drunk with her in secret.. at first, with breathy vocals, and building up into a self-assured "get drunk" repeated over a haunting acoustic guitar.
I feel like not as many people know about this cover(?) This song is from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Carousel," and was recorded first by Frank Sinatra. It's a fairly popular song, so I am a bit embarassed to say that, as of writing this, I have never heard any other version aside from Lana's. Other performers include Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, and Gerry and the Pacemakers. What I love about the Lana del Rey version is, aside from it being the obviously better "pandemic era" song (vs. "Imagine"), it's so positive and uplifting. Very emotional. Her voice is tailor-made for this type of music. I love the piano and strings, plus the choir adds a nice touch.
Full disclosure: it's pretty difficult for me to not include basically all of Ultraviolence on this list because I think it's a 10/10 album with no filler. That might be because it was the first album and basically the first Lana songs I heard at that time. I'm going to try to keep it varied though. I chose Black Beauty for it's anthemic, catchy chorus and it's sweeping melody. It's just one of those songs that's really easy to listen to. Also, I enjoyed the book. Side note: if a stripped down acoustic version of this exists, I would really love to hear it.
One thing that I appreciate about Lana covering songs is that she stays true to the original. I think her versions of classic songs sound great because she has a lot of respect for the original artists. "Blue Velvet" is a prime example of that. I remember playing this song on loop a few years ago and being completely mesmerized. It's like I was transported to 1951...
...and this song transports me to summer 2017. I remember listening to this album on a lot of road trips that summer and fall. The title track was definitely a highlight for me. The Weeknd is a phenomenal addition and I'm happy that they collaborated for this one. It's a fun, dreamy pop song that doesn't make you think too hard, it just exists as it is. For every few dark and dreary songs, you need some that shine and just make you feel good. So I'm really glad Lust for Life was able to exude that.
This duet with Sean Ono Lennon barely beat out Lust for Life for me, but I think I enjoy this a little more than the previous song. It really does sound like it could have been a Beatles song (Abbey Road era, maybe?) Or maybe Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam. I really love all of the layers to their voices and also the folksy, dreamy quality is endearing. It reminded me a lot of walking through Central Park in New York City. I remember strolling through the strawberry field but tbh what it really evokes in my memory is walking through where the Alice in Wonderland area is, as it began to mist/drizzle rain. Random connection, but that's what immediately comes to mind.
I wasn't a huge fan of this song at first; I thought it was okay-ish. I think part of the reason for that is that the lyrics are difficult to read and listen to. It's one of those songs that sound really good but after realizing what it's about, you feel a sense of sickness. Tbh I think those are some of the most important songs one can listen to. After some time, I think it's one of the better songs on the Lizzy Grant album. I like the steady drums and mesmerizing guitar.
It's just a straight up beautiful song. There's really nothing too complicated about it. I just love it for its simplicty as a piano ballad and the self-assured/confident lyrics. There's something very human or personable about this song.
I know that so many say this song evokes images of California and surfing, but I actually think it has more of a 1960s British pop sound. That might just be me. Anyway, it's really difficult to choose favorite songs off of NFR!, but I would say this, as the first single, is one of my favorites. "The Greatest" following the music video is a chef's kiss as well.
You're probably saying to yourself, "What?!" Or you maybe completely forgot about this song lol. I don't know. I just really enjoy it. It reminds me of another song I love and you should check out if you have the chance: "Athair Ar Neamh" by Enya.
It's just like floating in a dreamscape of love and clouds and sunshine and marshmallows. Not much else to say except I think it's one of her better "being in love" songs, because it sounds exactly like being in love.
Chemtrails gets a spot! Or maybe a few more. This song is awesome just for it's bridge alone. And it's one of my favorites on the album. It reminds me a lot of the songs on Ultraviolence.
I grew up listening to country and folk music, so I do have a special love for Chemtrails. It's difficult to narrow down favorite tracks, but I would say this one, with its crisp acoustic guitar and her soaring vocals, it feels like waking up in the mountains and breathing in the fresh air as the squirrels scamper nearby and there's the smoky remnants of a fire from the night before. I know Lizzy grew up in the Adirondacks, but I appreciate that she pays homage to other national parks too.
Alright, one more and then I'll stop. It's a haunting, melancholic song that on its surface is quite simple. Reminds me a lot of summer. When reading into more of the lyrics, my interpretation is that it's a criticsm of the American dream. On a side note, this is one of my top 3 Lana music videos as well.
One of the first Lana songs I heard, I couldn't exclude this one from the list of my favorites. As many times as I've heard it, I never get tired of listening.
It's probably the dark horse of this list, but I just really love this song for some reason. Honeymoon is probably my least favorite of her albums (don't hate it in any way, just not my favorite), but this track stands out as one of my favorites. It's mysterious, it's kind of silly, but mostly it pulls you into a Old World-esque ambiance of Italy and ice cream (gelato?) and fun/happiness.
My favorite of her unreleased songs, with one of my favorite lyrics, "I was born to live fast, die young, leave a beautiful corpse, live my life on the run."
Probably an unpopular opinion to even put this one in the top ten, but its been one of my favorite songs of hers for a long time. It reminds me of when I moved into my first apartment because it was around that time, roughly ten years ago, that I first listened to this song in the dead heat of summer.
The first time I heard this on Ultraviolence, I knew it was going to be one of my favorites on that album. I love songs that could, in theory, inspire a feature length film. Whenever I hear this song, I immediately begin conjuring up random movie scenes.
It was obviously going to be on the list, and the in the top 5: the first Lana Del Rey song I ever heard. Its the quintessential summer-turning-into-fall song for me. I don't feel like I can really describe this song any better than what's already been said I'm sure hundreds of times before, but I will just say that its a crazy weird feeling.. both happiness and sadness simultaneously. Feeling both nostalgia and "in the present."
It's one of her most unique productions, I love the slowed-down chorus. And it has one of my favorite music videos. Love the beach vibes and black and white aesthetic.
  1. COLA
This is the song that really cemented me as a Lana fan. It's just so fun and catchy, and a perfect opening number for live concerts. I love how the verses weave in and around the bombastic chorus. It just feels like the quintessential festival song. And I loved the Pepsi reply on Twitter.
I hear the first 2 seconds of this song and I'm instantly back in 2015, in the dead of summer, hanging out with my friends in my apartment after traveling to New Orleans. It just reminds me of a really specific, more innocent time in my life. I've always just really loved this song; it's like standing in a warm hug on a beach, breathing in the salty air.
  1. RIDE
Yep! Ride is my favorite Lana song. It was extremely difficult to choose one for the top spot, but I think if I had to listen to one LDR song for the rest of my life, this would be the one. It's the perfect song for every occasion. In addition to road trips, I also like to listen to it when bicycling. Also, the film is.. amazing. Easily my favorite music video of hers as well.
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2023.03.25 05:56 GamerExecChef BBQ for delivery to most of LA and Orange County, delivering on April 1st, menu in the comments

FINALLY there is enough of a break in the rain for a BBQ! I feel like I haven't posted here in forever!! I look forward to feeding you.
Notes from the Chef: Food is delivered cold with simple reheating instructions to have it perfect right out of your oven (oven is highly recommended).
I love getting tips and I know it is the culture in this country to tip, but in America, tipping may have originated after the 15th amendment, which gave black men the right to vote, as a way to not pay black workers fair wages (only white waiters would get tips). Regardless of its origins, today, it is an archaic tradition maintained by business owners who don’t want to properly pay their employees (somebody might be driven away by a 15% to 20% price increase, but if the owners pays the staff 15% to 20% less, and optionally leave it up to the customer and then that person doesn’t tip, the owner still made 100% of their money). As such, I do not subscribe to this business model and while if you do tip me, it will make me very happy, please do not feel the need to tip. The food is priced so that I make the money I need in order to build the business and support my growing family and, eventually when I have employees, properly pay them. Knowing you enjoyed the food and it made you happy, is all the tips I need.
Brisket - Handmade rub with Szechuan pepper and smoked over real wood for 14 to 20 hours until perfectly tender and juicy, with a grass-fed compound butter with rosemary, roasted garlic and thyme - 27/lb, 18/half pound
Burnt Ends - Smoked over real wood and cut into cubes, tossed in BBQ sauce to make amazing melt in your mouth bites - 32/lb, 20/half pound
Pork Belly Burnt Ends - Smoked for a few hours, the cut into cubes and tossed in sauce for little bites of heaven - 24/lb, 16/half pound
Korean Pork Belly Burnt Ends - Smoked pork belly burnt ends, but instead of BBQ sauce, given a seasoned cornstarch and flour dredge and deep fried and tossed in a Korean sauce (available in Mild, White People Spicy and Spicy), with toasted sesame seeds and green onions for garnish, suggested to be served over rice - 30/lb, 19/half lb
Custom Chef Cut Pork Ribs - These ribs are boneless pork ribs cut from the belly, with the pork belly still attached for a more juicy and meaty rib - 30/lb, 19/half pound
Baked Mac and Cheese - Freshly grated cheddar, gruyere and manchego cheeses in a dark roux with spices and chipotle peppers for a hint of heat. With a freshly grated parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumb crust - 16
Salad - Red onions, cherry tomatoes, corn, bell peppers, cucumbers and fresh herbs, on a bed of lettuce and basil and a handmade salad dressing. - 9
Beans - A mix of sauteed thinly sliced jalapenos, sauteed onions, roasted garlic, pinto beans and roasted cherry tomatoes - 9
Sampler Plate - 1/2 lb each of brisket, burnt ends, custom cut pork ribs, pork belly burnt ends and Korean inspired pork belly burnt ends. Plus a serving of baked mac and cheese, a side salad and beans, your choice of a dozen cookies, “The Cookie Recipe Experiment” or 4 Coffee Chocolate Mousse Pies - 130, feeds 4
The-Best-Milk-and-Cookies, Cookie - An original recipe chocolate chip cookie, with handmade vanilla extract, topped with black Hawaiian lava salt - 2/cookie, 1 dozen for 20
The Cookie Recipe Experiment - You will get 2 bags of cookies labeled “1” and “2”. One of them will be my usual cookie recipe, the other will be a new cookie recipe I am considering and I need feedback. You won’t be told which is which until after you tell me your preference - 20 for 2 bags of 6 cookies of each recipe
Coffee Chocolate Mousse Pie - A 3 inch pie with a handmade chocolate ganache, blended together with a cream base, on a handmade graham cracker crust - 3
How to Order:
Send me a PM with your name, number, delivery address and your order
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2023.03.25 05:55 Particular-Camel-575 [gendered] American men are weak because they don't like black coffee.

[gendered] American men are weak because they don't like black coffee. submitted by Particular-Camel-575 to pointlesslygendered [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 05:47 NoLogic101 (Offer) Updated List (Request) List, Offer

Codes must be redeemed immediately upon receiving. Thanks.
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Avengers Infinity War
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Big Friendly Giant (BFG)
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21 Jump Street - SD - MA
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Pixels - SD - MA
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Zombieland Double Tap - SD - MA
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Big Little Lies S01 - HD - GooglePlay US
Breaking Bad S05 and Final - HD - Vudu
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2023.03.25 05:35 RoyalH0 Barbie from Thailand has been with many black men

Barbie from Thailand has been with many black men submitted by RoyalH0 to R4561a [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 05:19 gunbroke [WTS] Closet Clean Out Cheap Add ons available

Ok first post on here so hopefully this goes well. Doing a closet clean out and hopefully some of you fine men and women can put this stuff to use. PayPal G&S per sub rules.
PICS: https://imgur.com/a/ppVf67U
Everything here is priced shipped:
MR762 KeyMod Rail - $50
MPX Rail for 16" Barrel - $40
MPX Barrel 4.5" (I think) this was an 8" that was chopped down. Threads are good 1/2x28 - $50
MPX Factory Trigger - $25
SCAR Factory Trigger (2 available) - $25 each
SCAR 17 factory muzzle and shoulder ring - $25
SCAR 16 Factory Flash Hider (taken off 10" barrel) - $35
YHM 1/2x28 Phantom Suppressor Mount: $25
Larue Tactical LT660 (for the T-1/T-2 and H-1/H-2) light salt - $75
A2 Pistol Grips - $15 for all 4
Dead Air Asylum Package (Got this for buying too much dead air stuff) everything pictured dead air is included, shirt is an XL - $40
Geissele Super Gas Block NO ROLL PIN - $10
AR15 7.62x39 Magazine - $5
Random Bird Cage Flash Hider - $5
Magpul GenM3 7.62x51 Magazine - $8
DD Milspec Brown vertical grip (picatinny) - $10
DD black vertical grip - $5
DD Carbine Burnsed Loop - $5
Random IMI magazine - $5
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2023.03.25 05:13 livelifereal IPL 2023 Season Preview Part 4: Sunrisers Hyderabad

IPL 2023 Season Preview Part 4: Sunrisers Hyderabad
This 10-part series strives to be cricket's build-up to IPL 2023. The idea is to provide meticulous, team-wise previews that include every essential detail a fan needs to have.
Delhi CapitalsChennai Super KingsMumbai IndiansSunrisers HyderabadRoyal Challengers BangalorePunjab KingsRajasthan RoyalsLucknow Super GiantsKolkata Knight RidersGujarat Titans - (These links will be updated as every subsequent part is published)

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Owners: SUN TV Network
Home Ground: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad
Captain: Aiden Makram
Coaching Staff: (only major names)

Name Role
Brain Lara Head Coach
Simon Hemlot Assistant Coach
Muthiah Muralitharan Spin bowling and Strategic Coach
Dale Steyn Fast Bowling Coach
Ryan Cook Fielding Coach
Hemang Badani Batting Coach and Scout

Recap of 2022

Finishing Position: 8th
Played: 14, Won: 6, Lost: 8
2022 was a topsy-turvy ride for SRH, to say the least, and it began way before the actual tournament started. They were so gung-ho about building a team around Captain Williamson that they eventually let go off Rashid Khan: one of the best T20 players in the world. Then they allegedly ignored their pre-auction plans at the time of actual bidding. In the tournament, they started with two embarrassing losses but went on to win the next 5 matches convincingly. Next, they were delivered a finisher by Rashid Khan which kickstarted a 5-match losing streak. Though his picks (Abhishek, Markram, Tripathi) did well, Williamson himself struggled for form the entire season weighing the team down.

Top Run Getter Abhishek Sharma 426 runs
Top Wicket Taker Umran Malik 22 wickets

Preface to 2023

  • Talk of the Town
To Hyderabad fans, the upcoming season feels like a new sunrise. After five consecutive seasons of playoffs finish, the last two years felt like a nightmare to them. This time though, the chatter in the build up to the tournament is not of mismanagement, but of new beginnings. While it is - in many ways - a new look team altogether, there are three protagonists that are being talked about the most. First is Aiden Markram: the new captain who recently led SRH's sister team to triumph in the SA20. Second is the West Indies all time great Brain Lara: team's head coach this year and the mastermind under whose direction the new look side was assembled. Third is the much talked about English prodigy Harry Brook: for whom SRH broke a bank at the auctions. Them supported by a plethora of fresh domestic faces give the Orange ArmyTM the hopes of sunshine this season.

  • Jersey/Kit for the Season
Enthusiasts of cricket fashion breathed a collective sigh of relief as they saw that SRH are reverting to black trousers and won't be wearing the eyesore of orange pants they wore last year.

Mayank Agarwal, Umran Malik and Washington Sundar sporting the new jersey
Having said that, the word on the street is that their training jersey looks better than their playing kit.

These two are also probably talking about how good this training shirt looks

Abhishek Sharma during a training session

  • Fixtures for the Season
The Orange ArmyTM kicks off their season with an afternoon game against RR on Sunday, April 2nd. They play RR, MI, KKR, DC and LSG twice this season. Their only games against GT and CSK are away matches, while their only fixtures against the two "red and gold" teams - PBKS and RCB - are home games.

SRH's complete fixtures

  • Expected Conditions at Home Ground
The Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket stadium has always given memorable matches. From Sachin's 175 while chasing 350 against Australia in an ODI to Kohli giving it back to poor Kesrick Williams. From IPL's best bowling figures ever (Alzarri Joseph's 6-12) to the famous MI vs CSK final in 2019. This ground has a knack of producing memorable moments.
Though, conditions very much depends on what kind of wicket is offered on a given day, generally you'd find batting belters here. The pitches do tend to slow down towards the back of the season assisting a little bit spin. In the 7 home games SRH played here in 2019, they breached 200 three times. Funny enough, that's the same number of times teams were skittled out for a sub 120 score here that season.

Team for IPL 2023

  • Updates regarding injuries/unavailabilities

Player Name Likely Period of Absence Reason Replacements Announced
Aiden Markram First Match Centrally Contracted SA player; likely to be picked for Netherlands ODIs None
Mayank Markande Not Known Finger Injury; missed the Irani Cup due to it None
Marco Jansen First Match Centrally Contracted SA player; likely to be picked for Netherlands ODIs None
T Natarajan Not Known Has been out of action since October 2022 due to injury None
Heinrich Klassen First Match Centrally Contracted SA player; likely to be picked for Netherlands ODIs None
Note: Replacements can only be announced for players who will be missing the entire season.

  • Updated Squad
Aiden Markram✈️ (captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mayank Agarwal, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tripathi, Harry Brook✈️, Umran Malik, Heinrich Klaasen✈️, Anmolpreet Singh, Adil Rashid✈️, Akeal Hosein✈️, Upendra Yadav, Sanvir Singh, Samarth Vyas, Vivrant Sharma, Mayank Markande, Abdul Samad, Glenn Phillips✈️, Abhishek Sharma, Marco Jansen✈️, Fazalhaq Farooqi✈️, Kartik Tyagi, T Natarajan, Nitish Kumar Reddy, Mayank Dagar.

Likely First Choice XI: 1. Abhishek Sharma 2. Mayank Agrawal 3. Rahul Tripathi 4. Aiden Markram✈️ (c) 5. Harry Brook✈️ 6. Heinrich Klassen✈️ (wk) 7.Washington Sundar 8. Adil Rashid✈️ 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10. Umran Malik 11. Kartik Tyagi/T Natarajan IP Options: Sanvir Singh, Abdul Samad, Vivrant Sharma(Note: Impact player cannot be an overseas player if there are already 4 overseas players in the playing XI)

  • Major Strengths
(i) A well-balanced squad: On paper, SRH seem to have all bases covered. A decent set of openers, a drool-worthy middle order, able finishers and a formidable bowling attack - they seem to check all boxes. Moreover, the crop they've garnered this year has good mix of youth and experience. They seemed to have made prudent bids for each role rather than splurging their purse on a couple of names with big reputation.
(ii) Variety and experience in bowling: A certified IPL legend (Bhuvneshwar Kumar); An express pace speedster (Umran), A 2-metre left armer who can swing it (Jansen), miserly finger spinners (Sundar & Akeal), wily ol' leggie (Rashid) and a more than decent support cast (Tyagi, Farooqi, Natarajan, Markande and others). What more do you want?

(iii)The engine in the middle: The stand out feature that the fans are, perhaps, most thrilled about is the middle order. Tripathi, Markram, Brook and Klassen form a very potent line up and each of those men have individually grown leaps and bounds in stature in the last one year. Furthermore, SRH have Philips, Samad and couple other impressive local cricketers as backups. And in case you feel the lack of a left hander among these is an issue, remember Sundar can be floated in the order as per convenience.

  • Weaknesses
(i) The Injury Chronicles: Mayank Markande missed the Irani Cup due to a finger injury, while Natarajan has been out of action since October 2022. Although, there are no other major reports of injuries from the camp, the dubious track record of Tyagi, Bhuvneshwar, Philips and Sundar is well known. Fans would hope that the players can stay fit and last the season so that SRH's chances stay ripe.
(ii) Undersupply of characters proven in the IPL: As impressive as Umran, Abhishek and Markram were last year, in all fairness, they've all had just one good season in the IPL. Klassen, Rashid and Philips have a combined IPL experience of only 11 matches in which their numbers are appalling. While Brook has been setting the world on fire, he's yet to play a match in India. Adjusting to conditions is one thing, coping with the cutthroat pressure the IPL brings is another challenge these blokes will have to overcome.

Game Plan: Possible Punts

  • Starting Stutters
The upcoming ODIs against Netherlands are a must win for South Africa with regards to qualifications for the 2023 World Cup. Having already been shocked by Netherlands last year, SA don't want to take any chances and have hence decided to go with a full strength squad. This means Jansen, Klassen and captain Markram won't be available for the Orange ArmyTM's opening fixture. While it's just one game, a bad start can put you in a bit of rut. In a tournament where everybody talks of "momentum", SRH would want other players to stand up and get them off to a winning start. Upendra Yadav and Glenn Philips would be likely to take the place of the absentees while the toss up for captaincy could be between Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mayank Agarwal.

  • Mayank and other local lads
By this time last year, Mayank Agarwal was on the top of the world. He was a regular in the Test side and was being paid ₹14 crore to captain an IPL team. But he has come tumbling down a few steps. No more in the Indian team, his franchise released him and though SRH picked him up, he's getting less than 60% of his last year's salary. He'd have a point to prove.
So would Anmolpreet Singh who was with the Mumbai Indians since 2019 but got only 3 matches in 4 years. Other than them, the franchise also picked a bunch of rookie domestic players whom they would want to put their long term investment in. Vivrant Sharma: their latest acquisition from J&K; Sanvir Singh: Punjab finisher who strikes at 186 in T20s and Samarth Vyas, who this season became just the fifth batter to score a double century in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, would be the favourites.

  • The Klassen Question
Wicketkeeper-batter Heinrich Klassen has been in red hot form. Whilst his brisk, match-winning hundred against WI made headlines, it didn't come out of the blue. Before this, Klassen had a stellar season of SA20 amassing 350+ runs at an average of 60 and strike rate of 164. In his last match of the season Klassen scored a 43-ball century and helped his team post a score of 254 in 20 overs.
With Tripathi, Markram and Brook/Philips in the side, Klassen is likely to be given the finisher's role batting at 6: which he has been successful with on a few occasions in the past. However, Klassen was regularly batting at 3 in the SA20. Given the kind of impact he can have and Markram and Brook's credibility in playing the finisher's role, SRH could - at some point in the tournament - promote Klassen up the order and ask him to have a whack. Last time a franchise promoted a keeper-batter-finisher up top, it became a milestone moment.

Share this with SRH fans you know and feel free to express your thoughts in the comments. Stay Tuned for Part 5: Rajasthan Royals (RCB Preview has been pushed back since their jersey launch is happening on 26th March)
Delhi CapitalsChennai Super KingsMumbai IndiansSunrisers HyderabadRoyal Challengers BangalorePunjab KingsRajasthan RoyalsLucknow Super GiantsKolkata Knight RidersGujarat Titans - (These links will be updated as every subsequent part is published)
submitted by livelifereal to Cricket [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 05:01 67SuperReverb If Iron Maiden played a Taylor Swift-format setlist (44 songs grouped by album)

Taylor Swift is playing FORTY-FOUR songs per night on her current tour.
It is broken down by album, with one surprise song.
So the rules are:
I'll start:
-Brave New World- The Wicker Man The Ghost of the Navigator Brave New World
-Dance of Death- Wildest Dreams Rainmaker Dance of Death
-Somewhere in Time- Caught Somewhere In Time Wasted Years The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner Alexander The Great
-No Prayer- Run Silent Run Deep
-Virtual XI- Futureal The Clansman
-Piece of Mind- Where Eagles Dare Revelations The Trooper
-Senjutsu- Senjutsu The Parchment
-Powerslave- Churchill's Speech/Aces High Powerslave 2 Minutes to Midnight Rime of the Ancient Mariner
-The Final Frontier- El Dorado When The Wild Wind Blows
-Killers- The Ides of March Killers
-Surprise Song- Blood Brothers
-The X Factor- Sign of the Cross Lord of the Flies Man on the Edge
-AMOLAD- Different World For The Greater Good of God
-Seventh Son- Moonchild Can I Play With Madness The Evil That Men Do
-The Book Of Souls- If Eternity Should Fail The Red and the Black Tears of a Clown
-Fear of the Dark- Fear of the Dark
-Iron Maiden- Phantom of the Opera Iron Maiden
-Number of the Beast- The Number of the Beast Hallowed Be Thy Name Run to the Hills
submitted by 67SuperReverb to ironmaiden [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 05:00 SeattleEpochal [WTT] Banana Republic, Tom Ford, Creed, and some misc. (bottle) (decant)

Hiya, fragheads! I'm looking to trade these catch-and-releases for indie house samples or low partials, and I'm open to designer or niche as well. Decants were obtained from trusted sellers in this group or from wholesalers.
I included prices if you'd prefer to do it that way; add $5 for shipping if that's what you want to do.
[The goods]
Banana Republic 06 Black Platinum (bottle) 12/15ml $10
Banana Republic 17 Oud Mosaic (bottle) 13/15ml $10
Alexandria Fragrances 2019 NYE Ltd Edition 25/30ml $25
Tom Ford Tuscan Leather (decant) 4.5/5ml $20
Tom Ford Fougere d'Argent (decant) 9/10ml $40
Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men Parfum (decant) 4/5ml $8
Creed Original Vetiver (sample) 1/2ml $3
Creed Green Irish Tweed (sample) 1/2ml $3
Creed Aventus (sample) 1.9/2ml $6
Louis Vuitton Au Hasard (decant) 1/2ml $3
submitted by SeattleEpochal to fragranceswap [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:31 Righteous_Fury224 Yesterday’s Hero – Book 2 – Signs and Portents – Chapter 4 - I like the Way You Move – Part 8

2181 – 09:17, Wednesday, January 17th –Agora of the Asari People- Serrice City - Thessia – Parnithia System
"It's done," said Nari in a faint croaking voice as she took a few shaky steps back from her magnum opus – a mural that depicted horror yet hope in the image.
"Easy there Nari," said Sam'nelea gently as she caught the exhausted artist in her arms. Mayises and Miretse rushed up and helped Sam'nelea carry Nari to a chair, giving her a bottle of energy drink so the exhausted artist could at least rehydrate.
"So it is finished Colonel T'goos?," asked Matriarch Seucsha T'sola as she called from behind the barrier that shielded the work from viewing.
"Yes Matriarch. Please, come and see Nari's masterpiece," replied Sam'nelea as she held Nari's head so that the shattered artist could drink.
Mayises was holding the bottle for Nari who swallowed greedily at the nourishing refreshing liquid. She had worked almost 18 hours a day on the mural, only stopping to rest when Sam'nelea forced her to. Even then it was barely enough yet Nari found an inner strength that Sam'nelea and her commandos could but only admire at the artists determination to complete this work.
Matriarch Seucsha T'sola of Serrice had also deployed her commandos to guard Nari and her work. The Serricean matriarch had seen the images of the horror under Fortress T'reaphia and was physically sick afterwards. Nothing like this had ever been seen on Thessia… ever. Asari had a dark side, that was undisputable but this… this was pure evil.
"Dear goddess!" she gasped as she and her senior officers came around the corner and saw the mural. There was cries of shock, anger, revulsion, despair and sadness from all when they saw what Nari had painted. Nari had also carved in bright red sandstone that sat above the mural, the High Thessian pictograms for the words: NEVER FORGET!
Sam'nelea surveyed the artwork with a studious glance. She could see that Nari had been heavily influenced by human art, so very obviously in this case as Nari's mural was a homage to both Picassos "Guernica" and Munch's "The Scream" but balanced by Van Gogh's "Starry Night" for the idea that hope still existed.
Sam'nelea had seen those artworks herself on Earth and was deeply moved by them and appreciated what Nari had incorporated into her mural.
Duncan's influence was evident for those who knew the friendship between the artist and the man who lived twice. The Commando officer was aware of that he had been showing Nari the best of human art.
"What a lurid, emotive, extremely confronting work," murmured Matriarch T'sola as she stared at it awestruck. A tear of empathy had trickled down her flawless lavender cheek. "This will be a testament as long as the Agora of the People stands." Her officers nodded in assent, too moved to speak themselves. "Did you see it, Sam?" she asked quietly.
"No matriarch and I thank all the deities and the universe that I didn't. I saw some of the footage that my matriarch displayed to all of you. That was enough. Even now, the Acolytes and house troopers who were there are still undergoing mental therapy for the trauma they were exposed to."
"And your War Artist? Will she be whole again?" the matriarch inquired with compassion for Nari in her eyes.
"I believe, no… I know she will be fine. Nari is one of the strongest Asari I have met. Her mental drive and fortitude allowed her to produce this masterwork in just over ten days. She barely slept and only rested, ate and drank when I forced her too. Look, she has passed out from exhaustion," said Sam'nelea with a sad resonate tone with deep sympathy in her eyes for her new friend. "She is a true hero of the Asari People matriarch. Not one of valour and great deeds of action, but of her strength of spirit and her artistic talent. Let that be known in Serrice."
The Serricean matriarch nodded in total agreement.
"Her work will last for all time. Go home Sam. You, Nari and your commandos have done enough. I will post guards here on permanent duty. Fiahnni can send some across to be part of the guard who protect this… lesson to us all. We will invite other matriarchs to send their house troops to become a part of the detachment. I will house and feed them all. This will be a sacred duty, separate from being guards here at the Agora. This will be our privilege and duty to all the Asari people."
Matriarch Seucsha T'sola nodded once more to herself, knowing that only just over half of the republics would contribute troops to this force. The others like the Armali would prevaricate and dither, ultimately sending nothing which in all honestly, she was fine with. Less in the end for her to pay for and more glory to those that did contribute.
"As you command matriarch and thank you for all you support and aid. It is greatly appreciated." Sam'nelea gestured to her commando lieutenants and bring Nari's sleeping form with them. "I need to see my daughters and husband," she said tiredly.
Matriarch T'sola gave the Colonel at questioning look.
"I must ask Sam… what is it like being loved by a human male? I truly wish to know as I am considering my…options for a new partner."
Sam'nelea paused for a moment and thought about how to respond.
"Matriarch… I cannot answer that with any real ease in such a short space of time. All I can say is that Phillipe completes me. I met him almost twenty years ago and have never found a more loving, wonderful soul to share my life with and have daughters by. I wish Tevura's blessing upon you if you truly wish to find love with a man. It is challenging as you would understand yet… so rewarding as well once you have melded and know beyond any doubt that he is yours and you are his. I love him with every fibre of my being. We are one. Now… I should go," she said with a sigh as thoughts of her beloved husband threatened to engulf her.
"Be at peace Sam and Athame bless you," replied Matriarch T'sola with a soft smile as she considered Sam'nelea's words very carefully.
Sam'nelea, along with Dr Hethy and a few hundred others were some of the originals who bonded with humans. They were not the first but still, those individuals who in 2161, formed a coterie of Asari which became bonded to humans that year, changing Asari society forever. She vaguely recalled that one of her own junior clerical diplomats based at the Citadel bonded with a famous human male artist yet she couldn't recall their names off hand. No matter, the unions that worked were true examples of love crossing cultural and species lines. Fiahnni was right, Humanity and Asari would be one people in the end.
Seucsha signalled to her senior officers and Acolytes, that they take over from the departing T'daari forces. She also began considering her options of looking for a potential consort from the pool of humanity. The matriarch needed someone she could confide in, who would hold and love her in the dark of the night. She felt too lonely these days and taking an Acolyte to her bed had lost its allure as it was just sex for sex's sake, nothing more. Seucsha needed companionship more than ever after seeing Nari's work. The matriarch made up her mind, she would find her Siame in humanity.
Maybe a young man like the musical Maestro Matriarch Jami Sibeyr had found with her young human Siame? she considered.
Seucsha decided that she needed to speak with the Maestro to gain more insight. She concluded that a young man would last the time with her for her remaining years, they would grow old together which was a great comfort to her as the thought of outliving another bondmate would be too much for her to bare. The matriarch mused to herself that she might even have another daughter with him. They could at least try, after all Benezia T'Soni had her little Liara only a hundred or so years ago. That had been the subject of much gossip within the conclave of matriarchs.
She turned away and began humming the maestro's beautifully soaring piece to herself. "A Love Song for Humanity" which was universally recognised as one of the greatest pieces of Asari music which had been created in generations. Now she began to see why, as she reflected upon what she had observed of Fiahnni's daughters and their relationship with Duncan Larkin.
Pity he was taken, she thought to herself as she left the building to board her waiting air-transporter, he would have made an excellent bondmate and consort.
The gull wing doors of her vehicle closed and as she was whisked away into the busy sky. She sat back into the plush soft leather seats and began opening the Matchmaking site, "Blue to Hue" on her datapad.
What charmed her the most, making her laugh and dispelling the awful visions of the horror that Nari had depicted, was that a classic human song started playing as soon as the Extranet site opened up on her data pad. She knew of this song and smiled widely in approval.
Queen's "Somebody to Love" was a perfect complement for the matchmaking site.
The 894 year old matriarch now began examining the hundreds of thousands of hopeful men who had listed themselves and had been ever so carefully screened as potential bondmates to Asari by the managers of the matchmaking site.
She had time and options and she was now looking forwards to Fiahnni's daughter's fashion show.
So much fun to be had!
2181 – Friday - January 19 – 19:30 – Lyriania's Memorial Amphitheatre – Dassus City
Lileah'sah peeked out from behind the huge gauze stage curtain, over the massive crowd that had filled the amphitheatre with pride and amazement.
"I still can't believe it," she said quietly to Duncan as they observed the full venue from the wings of the stage.
He held her in front of him, his arms wrapping over hers, around her waist and linking over her belly comfortably. She loved that. Turning her head, she laid her left cheek against his chest so as not to poke him with the tendrils of her crest. It was the only thing she thought that humans had as a minor physical advantage over Asari, they had no crest at the back of their heads that could get in the way of things.
"Believe it my love. Our terrific Tre'mete has done it. Tonight is going to make her a legend. She deserves this."
Lileah'sah turned in his arms and looked up at him with a hint of self-doubt in her eyes.
"I know. Although a part of me feels shame Duncan. I should have done this decades ago for her yet I didn't. I was a selfish, self-centred, spoilt stupid maiden, too wrapped up in her own Varen-shit to do the right thing by the one who had always loved me for who I was. Tre'mete only ever wanted me to love her. You did this for her, not me," she said with a heavy sigh and laid her head back on his chest once more.
Duncan cuddled her tenderly.
"Hey there sweetness, you have helped our crazy mad amazing seamstress and bondmate. You have been her tower of strength through this. You have been at her side all the way, helping her with the business side of things. She couldn't have done this without you. Yes I have been the catalyst that brought this into existence but you my magnificent, musical healer, you were the one who made it all happen. Tre' would have been lost without your family connections. No one would have taken her seriously if not for you going to all those meetings with her. Now she is on the cusp of her triumph and we will celebrate like never before. Look, all our family are here, all our friends too. Tre'mete has worked herself hard and I think it was a stroke of genius that she got everyone in the crew, plus our friends children to be models for her garments tonight."
"Again you are correct my dearest darling man. Their Aretḗ is going to only soar after tonight. And Chianay and Elanini… goddess… I would never have thought that my beloved cousins would be fashion models," she giggled lightly.
It had taken the trio plus Chianay and Ray a lot of diligent work to finally persuade the shy, bookish Intelligence Analyst to model some of Tre'mete's clothing tonight. Elanini would be modelling the more demure and reserved lines of garments that Tre'mete had designed, clothing suited for Asari of Elanini's demeanour. The normally quiet Asari was now abuzz with excitement and nervous energy. Ray spoke to her in her aural bud.
"Remember Ela', you are beautiful, powerful and strong. All eyes will be on you but you will see none as you will be bathed in glorious light. Consider this a simple walk in the sunshine wearing fine clothing that your cousin has made for you."
"Thank you Ray. I am glad you are with me. I couldn't have done this without you."
"You are my family Ela' and my friend and I will do anything for you," said Ray humbly and meant every word.
Elanini blew a gentle kiss to one of the security cameras, knowing that Ray was watching her like a guardian angel. Chianay hugged her younger sister in a sign of affectionate support.
The AI along with Luenthvi were the masters behind the curtain, controlling all aspects of the upcoming show. Luenthvi was in the control room supervising the sound and lighting engineers and technicians in conjunction with Ray. Both Asari and AI had planned everything down to the last detail with Tre'mete, leaving nothing to chance. She got the two minute signal.
"Alright everyone, game faces on, it's showtime!" she said in a quiet yet commanding voice.
The Asari engineers and technicians nodded and began their final prechecks of all the systems.
A few minutes earlier, Fiahnni, Aenthiah and Raquelia, the family and close friends had been the last to enter the amphitheatre. A soaring glorious composition of human music rang out as the trio of Asari gracefully made their way through the building. Fiahnni had fallen in love with Händel's "Messiah" recently and shamelessly appropriated various pieces from the opera for herself. Her people loved it.
Jonah, Lomu, Di'naka and Nyanyzia flanked the Grand Matriarch, Fiahnni and Aenthiah. All the bodyguards resplendent in gleaming ceremonial yet fully functional battle armour.
Drokk led them all.
The Battlemaster's face was a picture of serenity as he quietly basked in the triumph of his clan. Krogan were ascendant, well at least in the republic of Dassus and only his clan but details, details he thought to himself with a gleeful inner smile. It was a start he mused to himself.
A storm of applause went up for the Grand Matriarch and Fiahnni, with people rising to their seats and cheering. They all knew what had happened two weeks prior; that the T'daari had shielded the people of Dassus from harm, had struck back at their hated enemies and triumphed, liberating the republic of Ulee from tyranny and returned it back to the rule of the people, by the people for the people. These were deeds worthy of song and celebration.
Fiahnni and Raquelia waved and smiled to their people who roared back with approval.
Behind them walked Kash'shara and Tito with Mirey and Hiroko by their sides. The rest of the family followed including Chianay and Elanini's mother, Sister Shaellei T'daari as well as other lesser relatives of the clan. Behind them came the human families as well as the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, with the senior Acolytes and staff of House T'daari bringing up the end of the procession.
There was a mild degree of puzzlement in the crowd as they wondered amongst themselves where Lileah'sah and Duncan were and why they were not walking with the first family of Dassus? The reason, only known to the immediate family, was that Duncan had insisted that the couple didn't as he wanted the family to receive the ovation, not him. Also Lileah'sah and he were to open the show with some words of welcome to the audience.
Lileah'sah, while wanting him to be cheered, understood. In many ways such public ovations actually embarrassed Duncan. He almost hated them and avoided them as much as he could. It was enough for him to have done good for no acknowledgement as he followed the teachings of Marcus Aurelias in that fashion as best he could.
"We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne." - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book Five
Lileah'sah now embraced that maxim for herself. Tre'mete was still on her journey in this regard yet Duncan and herself knew their bondmate would get there soon enough.
Everyone now settled in their seats and the murmuring of the crowd died down.
The lights dimmed down to nothing, blackness engulfing the massive space with only the safety lights running along the stairways visible.
"It's time love," whispered Duncan as he took her left hand in his right. She nodded, gave his hand a squeeze and led him out.
They followed the faint light trail out onto the stage and made their way to their mark.
The spotlights came on a few seconds later, bathing the couple in a soft warm glow rather than a harsh bright white light.
"Good eve to you all, distinguished matriarchs, Justicars, honoured guests and gentle beings and welcome one and all. Tonight you are going to witness a watershed moment in Asari society. Tre'mete Lira, my best friend, my darling lover, my bond and soul mate has been inspired to follow her dream by my other magnificent bond and soul mate, Duncan Larkin. He has given her the wings in which she now will soar with. I present to you all, the first ever collection from Saucy Secrets. Thank you."
Lileah'sah bowed her head while Duncan just nodded briefly to the applause from the audience.
The lights dimmed again as the couple left the stage and went back to the wings.
The stage had been configured to be a massive runway, twenty meters in length and four meters wide, running into the heart of the audience. Lights appeared around the edge of the stage as the main gauze curtain rose.
The raising curtain revealed a full traditional thirty three member Asari orchestra, standing ready behind their ancient traditional Gal'lungael percussion instruments and drums.
Smoke machines expelled their scented, fragrant contents into the air and tiny particles of glitter fell from the domed ceiling, creating a myriad of sparkling motes of light that dazzled the senses.
The music started.
A resoundingly massive explosive thunderclap initially startled the audience was immediately followed by an ancient time-honoured piece of Asari ageless battle music which opened the show.
The drumming and rhythmical percussion started, the Asari musicians all acting in perfect harmony as they expertly pounded out the ancient song on their traditional instruments and drums. Blue Biotic auras flared up from the Asari musicians as they merged their fields with the instruments, creating intricate resonating cascades of interweaving harmonics.
The Asari orchestra then chanted out the archaic words, lifted together in glorious song:
"We are here, We are alive, We exist, We are One!".
All Asari knew this piece as it was timeless, a musical racial memory that reached back into their mists of their distant past, passed down from mother to daughter, generation to generation, yay unto the very first Asari who could remember who she was.
It was burned into the very DNA and souls of the Asari people.
All the Asari in the amphitheatre instinctively sang at the top of their voices, joining in the ancient song unconsciously. The Asari joyously sang out loudly and passionately, feeling the moment and its significance upon them.
This was the ultimate signifier of change, of death and rebirth, the end of old things, the dying of the light and the dawn of the beginning of new ideas.
The future is always born in conflict and pain. Change is inevitable.
Tre'mete was creating a massive statement to her people, the times were indeed "a changing".
The song concluded with a finale crescendo that resonated hugely within the amphitheatre.
As soon as the piece had finished, the spectators thundered out with massive approval, standing, cheering, clapping and shouting as this had not been performed in living memory to a live audience. And not a single garment had been displayed yet.
The lights dimmed once more and the audience settled back into their seats, all abuzz now as this was not your usual fashion show. This was art.
A new, more modern composition of Asari music began, starting softly yet building up, swelling with intensity and passion.
The lights focused on the stage and out strode a supremely confident Olivia McAlpine, dressed impeccably in an amazing ensemble that shouted style, elegance, charm and suitability for a young teenage maiden Asari.
Olivia was followed by her faithful companion Zara Wattling then Eliza Percy and finally Sam'nelea's daughters Gabriella and Triana Aguilar. All the Asari teenagers beamed their dazzling smiles to the roar of approval of the crowd as they strode down the runway. Already Asari matrons in the audience and those watching live began to place orders for these clothes for their young daughters as the garments looked so lovely yet sturdy and comfortable, perfect for a growing young Asari.
The teens paraded down the runway, stepping in time to the soaring music. Each stopped at the end, striking a series of poses before sauntering back to the stage as though it was just another day walking in the park.
The music shifted into a more militaristic themed tune.
Tre'mete had asked her comrades from the Perihelion if they would model for her. All stepped forward without a moment of hesitation.
Led proudly by Captain Eshess, the elite crew marched out to the deafening hailing of the audience. New ceremonial parade uniforms for the Dassus Navy were on display and by the goddess they looked good was the consensus. Tre'mete came up with this herself as she knew that military contracts were always a big money earner. She would win it on merit, not her family connections. Tre'mete knew that her fellow commandos and Navy personnel would clamour for these new uniforms.
The crew all marched casually, with smiles all alight on their beautiful faces, waving to the cheering crowd. They looked magnificent as they filed down the runway.
As the last crew member departed the stage, new music followed the last piece.
Stepping into the light came Icilea and Heretonia, hand in hand with Pania Paewai and Emily Percy, Human and Turian together, an unmistakable symbol of the end of the enmity and the beginning of deep and enduring friendship between the species.
A huge roar of approval went up from everyone in the amphitheatre. A masterstroke of galactical political genius by Tre'mete and the T'daari family. An emblem of harmony and reconciliation which would hopefully resonate beyond Thessia.
The Turian females wore long elegant blue and silver gowns that perfectly suited their body structure and morphology while the young human women were clothed in similar Thessian Glitterwing black silk ball gowns, yet theirs were cut with plunging necklines and slit just enough on one side to reveal their shapely, long legs much to the salacious delight of all the Asari watching.
The four graceful beings made their way down the runway, gently waving and smiling to the audience who lustily cheered them on. Orders from the hundreds of thousands of Turian females who had made their home on Thessia began flowing in as well as the tens of thousands of human women watching who were also Thessian citizens, both species bonded to Asari.
Tre'mete, who was watching from the wings, saw on her data pad the stream of tens of thousands of orders which were flooding Saucy Secret's Extranet site.
She, Ray and Duncan had planned for this. Ray had networks of extra server farms to handle the deluge of incoming traffic. If they hadn't have done this, the whole site would have crashed leaving tens of thousands of potential customers angry and upset.
The brawny commando felt her bondmates gather her in their arms and she sighed with a blissful exhalation. This was what she had always dreamed of; her creations being something that people wanted to buy. And the love of her bondmates surrounding her was mana from the heavens.
Tre'mete had made it.
"I will always love you Tre'mete," said Duncan in her aural canal on her right side while Lileah'sah had to briefly ignite her lifting field to rise a few inches to be on the level of Tre'mete's left side aural canal.
"You will always be my heart Tre' my love," she whispered as they both embraced the muscular Asari.
Tre'mete closed her eyes and held back her tears of pure joy as she couldn't afford to have her make up ruined by streaks of tears.
"We are One," was all she could say back to them. Her bondmates lightly kissed her cheeks then laced their arms around Tre'mete's waist, the triad standing together, loving, indivisible and resolute, watching the show they had planned together over the past few weeks unfold.
The Turians and human females made their way back to the stage as the music switched into something that almost no one in the amphitheatre had ever heard before.
A driving electronic tune that had an incredible melody and kick ass back beat.
Olivia walked back out onto the runway after her and her companions had quickly changed, leading them once more, her confident radiant smile beaming for all to see. The Asari teenagers danced up the runway, skipping and twirling to this thumping surging electronica track. The audience took up the beat and started clapping in time with it. Many were inspired to stand up to dance to the music. Soon almost all in the amphitheatre were dancing.
The teens were dressed in chic and classy tunics and pants, each in a different arrangement and colour. Again, Asari mothers with young daughters nodded with approval and clicked the order button on their Omnitools and data pads. This was exactly what young Asari needed. The style was fashionable, and multi-purpose as it could be for formal occasions or everyday wear.
The music was replaced by a banging piece of electro-swing that made everyone's open eyes wide as this tune just rocked.
The Perihelion crew then sauntered out, dancing merrily to the music while the teens were still dancing out the front. Tre'mete had chosen to emulate classic human styles in the line up and had dressed her crew mates in garments that were inspired by 1920's fashions. Light silk knee length Flapper dresses with dozens of thin tassels scintillatingly shimmered and shined gloriously as the crew sashayed down the runway. Her choice of style and music massively gingered up the already excited crowd.
This wasn't art anymore, this was an EVENT!
Asari worldwide got their first taste of electro-swing music, loving the infectious melody and driving danceable beats as they watched the crew and the teens now Jive and Lindy Hop with each other on the stage. The Asari on the stage and runway used their biotics and lifted one another as they spun and twirled in time to the incredible rhythm.
The crowd went wild with cheering and tried to follow this phenomenal new style of dancing. Maidens globally and beyond into the Asari colonies, opened up Human Extranet pages, madly searching for lessons and examples on how to dance like this.
Olivia led her companions back through the dancing crew, waving to the cheers of the crowd.
Aenthiah watched her ward, her heart nearly bursting with pride. She sat with her own daughter, holding her hand, both of them totally transfixed by the sensational spectacle unfolding before them.
"Mother, she is incredible," said Lysila into Aenthiah's aural canal over the noise of the crowd and music. The Asari was most impressed with Matriarch Ruto's granddaughter and had recently heard the dramatic story of how Olivia and her two friends had defeated six commandos in hand to hand combat thanks to the training given by her mother to the teenagers.
"As are you my most precious child," responded Aenthiah with love in her eyes.
The Justicar was thrilled that Lysila had excepted her invitation to attend the show. That Lysila came at all was a minor miracle as she often avoided meeting her mother, the galactically famous Justicar, as she was completely against violence in all its forms although she did approve of Olivia's act of self-defence and understood what Aenthiah had committed herself to. She reached out and took Aenthiah's hand in hers and gently squeezed. A stone melted in the Justicar's heart as mother and daughter sat and enjoyed the amazing event together.
The lights dimmed once more and a new style of music began. A thumping base line with a loud high hat four four drum beat. The lights came back on.
Icilea, Heretonia, Emily and Pania strutted back onto the stage, this time dressed in very revealing underwear. The audience gasps them roared out their approval as they now examined what the four females were wearing. Saucy Secrets was now a legend in fashion as Tre'mete knew exactly what would suit humans and Turian females.
The four females had sultry, saucy wiggle in their hips as the seductively wandered down the runway. The crowd now heard a growly human voice begin to speak over the music as the four danced in a semi erotic fashion. The lights seemed to dim as the man continued to speak.
"There's so many things I like about you,
I just don't know where to begin,
I like the way you, look at me with those beautiful eyes,
I like the way you, act all surprised,
I like the way you, sing along,
I like the way you, always get it wrong,
I like the way you, clap your hands,
I like the way you, love to dance,
I like the way you, put your hands up in the air,
I like the way you, shake your hair,
I like the way you, like to touch,
I like the way you, stare so much,
But most of all...
Most of all..."
The music built to a rising crescendo, then the beat dropped and out stepped Chianay and Elanini.
I like the way you move...
[Songwriters: Christopher James Karyotakis / Dylan Burns]
The crowd went mental as the gorgeously stunning sisters strode and strutted down the stage together, the epitome of Asari beauty on glorious display. Never before had a consort deigned to be a fashion model yet this was perfection.
Once the initial sensation had passed the audience focused on what the sisters were wearing.
Mouths were covered in shock and eyes widened hilarious amazement as they could clearly see on the enormous video screens which clearly displayed what Chianay and Elanini had on.
The pair were wearing a well cut lacey silk bra that had a pair of Blue hands printed on the front of the cups, seemingly holding the breasts within.
It was the underwear though that nearly caused a riot.
Both were wearing the panties that Duncan had come up with.
Stunning high cut panties cut in a thong style, both silvery white in colour, covered in lots of little ice-cream cones with the logo printed boldly on the front in High Thessian saying,
"It's not going to lick itself!"
Laughter, incredulous screaming, raucous cheering and furious applause erupted from the crowd.
Lysila sat stunned, wide eyed while Aenthiah just smirked to herself as she knew what the crowning moment of the show would be as she had regularly melded with Duncan, both of them sharing their thoughts and experiences. She knew how his incredibly cheeky and mischievous mind worked. And she knew Tre'mete would have nearly wet herself laughing when he told her of this idea.
The Justicar glanced across to her left and saw her faithful Acolyte Saendi howling with laughter as were other members of the T'daari family. Raquelia was gently shaking her head but had a huge smile on her face. Fiahnni was cackling like a lunatic. Kash'shara was totally gobsmacked while Tito had fallen off his chair laughing in hysterics. Mirey and Hiroko were shrieking in convulsive giggles. The human families with their Asari partners that were now a part of the house of T'daari were howling with merriment at the audacity that Duncan and Tre'mete had gone with. Even Drokk and Fiahnni's bodyguards couldn't contain themselves. Aenthiah was heartened to see Nari and Lyessrae creased up laughing together at the ridiculously funny panties. She was especially amused to see Chianay and Elanini's mother, Sister Shaellei, guffawing loudly at the sight of her daughters wearing such lurid underwear.
The biggest joke in Asari history was an astoundingly enormous success.
Always make 'em laugh… thought Duncan as he hugged Tre'mete tightly while the trio watched from the wings.
The teenagers and crew came out, this time dressed in a combination of swimwear and casual attire, all now dancing to the ecstatic adulation of the audience who were all up and grooving away to the fantastic music being played.
The BodyRocker's song finally finished and all the models on stage turned and started to clap to welcome the true star of the show, Tre'mete.
Daft Punk's "One More Time" classic track started playing as Tre'mete, walked out leading her bondmates with her. A furious storm of applause and biotic Asari salutes resonated throughout the space.
There was no need for the audience to give a standing ovation as the entire amphitheatre were already on their feet dancing.
Tre'mete, radiant with a smile of quiet triumph, stepped forward letting go of her bondmates hands, took her bow and waved to the adulation of the crowd.
She had succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. Tre'mete turned and took her bondmates hands in hers and led them in bowing again to the audience and those watching from beyond. She could not have done this without them. Tre'mete shone with a biotic glow of pure happiness.
Saucy Secrets was a sensational stellar success.
submitted by Righteous_Fury224 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:15 Singlelady406 35 [F4M] Montana - BBW for breeding.

Big, beautiful woman looking for a DDF single man to breed me.
Average height, black hair, brown eyes, fair skinned, chubby/fat, big belly, fat pussy, huge ass.
Low body count, vanilla, shy. Looking for a man to spread my fertile pussy hole open with his big dick to breed me.
Prefer men age 28-48. Black hair. Brown eyes. Clean. Single. Drug free.
submitted by Singlelady406 to ImpregPersonalsReal [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:14 Bright-Time3773 Look max post about color analysis, make up archetype, facial features, shapes and colors

So recently I've been researching about things like color and shape psychology, kibbe, casting, face reading and of course color analysis. Whether you like it or not, what color you wear gives a vibe to others unconciously. This is going to be a post about look maxing or simply choosing what vibes you would prefer to give off of rather than forever be kind of a victim of how you look. This post can also help you with choosing make up looks that are more suitable for you. So this post is going to be divided into three parts: Color analysis, how shapes play a role, and what your make up archetype might be.
Color Analysis: So I have noticed that each season gives a vibe. Let's start by talking about the basics of season analysis. There is value level, hue, chroma. Hue being warm vs cool, value being whether you are light or dark, and chroma being the overall contrast level whether you are soft and have more grey in your coloring or bright.
I'm also going to touch on how to apply all of this to people of color so hold on.
This is what I've noticed in general when I followed the general pattern:
Low contrast, being light, and cool undertones - almost exhibit some sort of purity and exhibit a need to be protected almost. On the contrary, this is usually used to depict the ice blonde stereotype in movies (summer)
Warm + Low contrast + Light -Exhibit being fun and cheerful, (think blonde stereotype), down for anything, light sex appeal (eg blake lively) -The whole tik tok trend of being the light feminine is exemplified by this -think spring
Warm + Low contrast + Dark = Hot, sexualized, sultry, calm, cozy, probably a little more mature than the above, maybe serene, maybe a little bit more introverted but very approachable. (, jessica alba, maybe nina dobrev in her looks in vampire diaries) -so think autumn
Warm + Low contrast in general whether light or dark exhibits a tendency to go with the flow and overall "easy" and these women are usually portrayed in hot girl next door roles.
This is because when it comes to warm colors: red signals danger but passion, yellow signals cheerfulness and lively hood and it's next to red in temperature, and brown signals sensuality and earthiness.
Low contrast looks typically signal a lower ability to discern and warm colors typically signal being inviting as you know it's usually warmer seasons where things grow. So in general, hair color stereotypes are actually more likely to be seasonal stereotypes. One of the coolest colors in nature is also the rarest which is blue. This is why warm low contrast tend to seem easy, more basic, but will appeal to more types of people and you'll see casting follow these basic rules.
The key here is to add that color to your overall appearance (eye, hair or skin). This can be added through bronzer or blush etc.
Warm + High contrast seems just as friendly but a little more practical, sensual and mature.
Lastly high contrast + Cool usually gives off femme fatale yet intimidating vibes. Very powerful but might scare off people. Think megan fox.
Anyway, another thing to note is contrast is more than your coloring, it's the contours of your face, how angular your face is, and how much forward projection it has. Some girls have more angular features with more forward projection. Some girls features take up more space and some girls features take up less space.
I want to touch on shapes. Disney usually uses shapes to make their characters give off certain vibes. Circles tend to give off peaceful, friendlier and emotional vibes. Squares seem to represent sturdiness and stability and may point to the masculine principle. Triangles are used by disney to indicate evil characters or to reframe it, more craftier and interesting characters.. Ovals seem to be like circles but seem like it gives off more serene, ethereal, wise vibes. And if anyone's been around the circle that talks about kibbe body types (although this particular style isn't in kibbe), you'd know that ovals or the S curve seem to imperative to the ethereal look.
This also means that if you want to give off a certain type of vibe, it might be a good idea of incorporating these shapes into your overall looks might be helpful.
This is why it's so important to not follow trends and use and do what's best for yourself.
Which brings me to my next topic: Make up Archetypes:
Anyway, I'm going to leave this video right here for anyone that wants to take this quiz. She has two scales to decide upon what would make your make up archetype. Neotony and overall roundness of your features.
Why is this important: It is important on deciding whether simple make up styles, light make up styles, or more sultrier looks will suit you. Also, more neotony your face has, the more lighter hair colors will suit you. She uses visual weight to define neotony.
Neotony/Low Visual weight: rounded face + shorter midface + smaller eyes + lower nose bridge (flatter face) + wider nose, smaller mouth
Rounded features : rounded features, rounded eyes (doe eyes),lower nose bridge/less angular nose, round eye brows, thick rounded lips.
At the other end of the spectrum/axis, are the opposite of what I explained.
High visual weight: angular face + longer midface + bigger eyes + higher nose bridge/more projected nose bridge + narrower nose + wider mouth
Angular features : angular features with more shadows, contures to the face + siren almond/narrow eyes + higher nose bridge/more forward projected nose bridge + angulahigh arched eye brows + thin lips
These are the spectrums. This is exactly why blonde hair washes some people out but makes other people beautiful (those with lower visual weight/neotonous features look great with blonde hair). This is also why a lot of make up and smokey eye make up just look bad on some people as does thick eye brows.
This is also what some people call high trust vs low trust features. Also, another thing to keep in mind when trying to curate your style, what some men find appealing is not what most men find appealing, and what women find appealing is different from what men find appealing. It is very important to curate your style for YOURSELF but I'd like to high light this point for those that are trying to be attractive for a certain type of gaze. Women typically love striking, high contrast, complex, low trust, higher visual weight looks which are still appealing to men but that doesn't minimize the strength of the alternative as well.
To sum it up on average: high contrast, striking, low trust features, mature looks are irresistable to some men, and considered top tier by women. But many men find this look very intimidating.
Low contrast, younger, fresher, lighter looks, lower visual weight are usually considered low maintenance by women but preferred by the common man
These are just my observations.
Now for darker ethnicities. The same rules applies for the most part but for caucaisan women, usually hair plays a huge role when it comes to color analysis, here the focus should switch to mostly your skin tone because that is what is most noticeable. Somethings are more in relation to others. For example, I doubt you'll find a colored women that is truly a summer. But amongst that ethnicity, it is pretty obvious to say the difference between a winter with higher contrast in relation to ethnicity and a summer with lower contrast.
So for example, a POC with cool undertones will never be as low contrasted as a white girl who is a summer but that doesn't mean summer colors won't look good on them and that doesn't mean they won't give summer vibes. But the main focus should be skin tone here. And added clothing colors, make up colors and hair colors should be added to compliment their skin tone.
For example, a POC with a reddish undertone will exhibit a similar vibes as a true autumn white woman. Angularity and softness of the features should also be taken into consideration and can point to contrast levels in relation to their respective ethnicities. Eg a black woman with very soft features and a cool undertone might look very summer-esque so in this case, lighter make up styles might look better on her
This is a good channel about color analysis for people of color.
This might also help for woman of color when it comes to color analysis. SO what to really take into consideration is features + skin tone for color analysis of woman of color.
She's absolutely right in this quiz when she sums up the seasonal beauties as :
Summer: Bright, approachable and cute
Spring: Elegant, gentle and fresh
Autumn: calm, mature and gorgeous
Winter: Cool, striking and gorgeous
Anyway, this is my two cents. I hope you enjoy this post. This post isn't intended to be the be all or end all and I can be wrong. It's just my observations and the conclusions I've come to and it's something I'd like to share.
submitted by Bright-Time3773 to coloranalysis [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:05 Mbmariner True

submitted by Mbmariner to Funnymemes [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 04:01 duellingislands 5:51 EET; The Sun is Rising Over Kyiv on the 395th Day of the Full-Scale Invasion. Today's culture subject is the traditional satchel known as the Tabivka, known for its incredible intricacy! + Discussion + Charities

5:51 EET; The Sun is Rising Over Kyiv on the 395th Day of the Full-Scale Invasion. Today's culture subject is the traditional satchel known as the Tabivka, known for its incredible intricacy! + Discussion + Charities

🇺🇦 Слава Україні! 🇺🇦

Another entry in our series on Traditional Fashions of Ukraine! Previous entries here:
Vyshyvanka (Embroidered Shirt) Vinok (Flower Crown) Cheres (Talisman Belt) Korali Necklaces Oseledets (Kozak Haircut)

Tabivka: Art That Hangs From Your Shoulder

A glorious antique example from the Ivan Honchar museum in Kyiv.
Before Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada or Burberry there was... the Tabivka!
Okay, okay, it's not really a handbag per se.
Today we will talk about Hutsul (Ukrainian mountain folk) fashions again. I think the last time we posted about traditional Ukrainian clothing was all the way back in June! And though the topic of our conversation is a shoulder bag, you will not leave unimpressed because nothing that Hutsuls do is simple. :)
Antique photo of Hutsuls wearing Tabivka.
The Tabivka is an ornamented leather satchel, worn by men on a decorated shoulder strap. It’s rugged and practical, but in reality it is a work of art.
(Left) A Tabivka with a pretty deer motif I found in a museum in Lviv (Right) A badass \"winged wheel\" design
The word itself is a direct descendant from the word Tobola which is a Ruthenian word (a language thought to be incredibly close to that spoken by the Kyivan Rus, aka Old Ukrainian) that simply means satchel. The word has even deeper roots that mean any kind of bag that is dedicated to carrying the most important items, like money (hryvnia - a measure of weight of silver or gold, in a rhombus shape).

A Rugged Opulence

Details of the rugged stitching of the Honchar handbag from above.
Ancient Tabivkas were rectangular in shape. Later their shape changed to a semicircle, and the decorative ornamentation took the form of semicircles with the main emphasis being on the center. Yet one thing remained unchanged - the entire surface of the bag is decorated with bulging circles. Sometimes these circles would be made with leather embossing, some with metal overlays, others are completely inlaid with metal buttons or studs. Sometimes they were made with coins! Regardless of how the decorations were made, the bag had to be swanky, symmetrical and elegant above all else! I do not know how the Hutsuls pulled these off, but they did!
Details from the strap of the Honchar handbag from above.

Never Out of Style

Yuriy Porokh's workshop. He works from antiques that are over a century old to create new pieces.
The making of such a high-effort bag is time-consuming and requires a ton of hard-earned skill, but luckily the art of making Tabivka in the Carpathian mountains is still alive today. Most examples you can buy today, in order to make them a bit more affordable, have fewer decorations. I would love to have one, and hope one day I will get one!
Yuriy Porokh in his workshop.
One of the artists that is keeping this tradition alive is Yuriy Porokh. In Porokh’s workshop you can find not only Tabivkas - he is also quite renowned for making Cheres, the belt we wrote about here. And he’s actually the artist who crafted the belt that was worn by “Kalush Orchestra” during the 2022 Eurovision song contest. I will put an interview with the artist (in Ukrainian) in the comments.
This kind of leatherwork is incredibly time-consuming and intricate. Recently Yuriy was commissioned to create the Cheres belt that was worn by a member of Kalush Orchestra during their 2022 Eurovision win.
According to Yuriy, it takes about a month to make one product, depending on the complexity of the work. But he still finds time to help the Ukrainian army by sewing first-aid kits, tourniquets, and weapon covers.
The 395th day of a nine year invasion that has been going on for centuries.

One day closer to victory.



Verified Charities

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

2023.03.25 03:55 Embarrassed_Road4595 What Lu does is like a walking dead, no thoughts, only flesh in his eyes, whoever gives money goes with whom, under the guise of feminism, reverses right and wrong, just to exchange for dollars, this is a hypocrite, he misleads public

What Lu does is like a walking dead, no thoughts, only flesh in his eyes, whoever gives money goes with whom, under the guise of feminism, reverses right and wrong, just to exchange for dollars, this is a hypocrite, he misleads public submitted by Embarrassed_Road4595 to u/Embarrassed_Road4595 [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 03:49 micumpleanoseshoy 34 [F4M] anywhere/ online: no longer likes being a hyper independent person and now looking for my person

Learning hyper-independence is a trauma response has been a huge burden off my shoulder.
So starting on that: looking for my person.
A 5'4 person with an affinity for type 2 fun. Some say I'm a bit standoffish but really, I'm just catlike - only elicit affection from people I want to. My other interests are non fiction books, cats and doodling.
How I physically look: long black brownish hair, small-ish, a bit on muscular side (I recently started lifting weights). On the good looking side and I would be lying if I say I look average.
I work in the Tech industry and (surely) climbing the ladder. I'm a well-traveled person due to my previous job.
Things I like about myself: I'm kind and wear my heart on my sleeves - that's one thing I have accepted about myself. Family, friends, colleagues genuinely like me. I'm often the "big sister" in social setting.
What I want: stable relationship. If you're "lonely" and just want to chat, I prefer to not be engaged.
Things I look for:
Age: 34 - 41.
Emotionally available. I do not like playing "who has more game than the other". I "killed" my 20s self because of this toxic trait.
Stable in your life and career. Tbh, I prefer people in corporate - its a thing of logistic and aligning lives together.
Kind and receptive to people. If you're a solitary/hermit-like creature, we won't get along well.
Values family as I love my mum to bits. (It's a dealbreaker if a man openly expresses to me they hate either one or both parents - you're an adult, pay your therapist to sort this issue out, stop expecting your partner to 'parent' you).
Look after yourself, physically fit. Sounds vain, but I put a lot of effort in myself and I would hate to resent the other person's lacking effort in this area. Also, I live an active lifestyle and I want this value to be shared by the other person as well.
Prefer tall men. Used to date a lot of pretty boys, but now I can appreciate a grounded comfortable with himself masculine man.A bit silly, I would want to feel dainty with the other person.
Provides. I'm done w men trying to convince me to be in egalitarian/ 50-50 relationship anymore - this is how my tendency to be hyper independent starts. No offence if this is your belief, but it's not mine. I definitely do want to be taken care of.
As mentioned, I'm a bit cat-like and need to feel comfortable so, although I'm open to swapping pictures, I prefer to get to know each other through talking first. We gotta build that level of comfort together.
(I've been in ldr and understand the effort it takes to make things work).
submitted by micumpleanoseshoy to R4R30Plus [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 03:36 Verastahl They take away your nightmares. But the price is too high. Part Seven.

Part Six
We’d made it back through the maze of downtown to the side opposite from the gym, but it didn’t matter. Not only were the ones from the gym still after us, along with a few more dreamers they’d picked up along the way, but up ahead was another group of fifteen or so men and women were running towards us with impromptu tools and manic grins that both flashed murder with each bouncing step closer. They were practically skipping towards us as they guffawed and giggled, and it might have been funny if not for the dead ice in their eyes.
“Jesus. We…In here!” I’d spotted the garage door of an old-fashioned service station across the street—it was propped open a foot by a cinder block, and while it might have been a trap set to lure us in, I didn’t really think the people of Braxton had had the time or the sense to arrange it so quickly. These people…they didn’t move or look right, and not just because they were crazy and trying to kill us. They all looked off somehow. Maybe it was the way they moved, or the loose way the skin hung on their cheeks, even when pulled back with their fishhook smiles. They were becoming something different, though whether it was less or more, I couldn’t say.
All of those thoughts were in the back of my mind as we rushed over to the door and I tried to pull it up further for Mrs. Graves and Mr. Holliman to crawl under. The door only budged a few more inches before it let out a protesting rusty squeal and would go no further. Graves had already rolled through the gap, leaving a smear of blood in her wake, and Holliman was grunting as he sucked in his stomach and pulled himself past the door. Gasping with exhaustion and terror, I looked over my shoulder to see how far away the crowds were. The one cutting us off was still some distance away, though they were moving fast, but the ones behind us since the gym were thirty yards at most. I dropped to my belly and rolled through the gap, kicking the cinder block free as I went.
It all happened in a few harried seconds, but as I was getting to my knees I already realized the problem. The block had been so easy to kick away because the door hadn’t dropped back down when I let go to scoot under it. It was stuck, and as I stood up and started pulling on the other side, it immediately became clear that neither me nor Holliman’s frenzied yanks and kicks were doing much good.
“Back here! There are tires! Wedge them under!”
Mrs. Graves’ voice was soft but strident, cutting through my panic as I followed her words to the back wall of the garage. There were several stacks of old tires back there, including several truck tires big enough to block the door gap if put end to end. Holliman ran with me to the back, yanking tires down and sliding them across the concrete floor to jam them into the space between the ground and the edge of the door. They were on the other side, clawing and pounding and laughing their heads off as they told us to let them in, but either they didn’t catch on that we were plugging the hole they could crawl through or they just didn’t care. A couple of minutes later we had five tires jammed across the opening, with the last bit of space partially blocked by a heavy-duty hand truck we stuffed into the corner and ran through with chain to the last tire so it wouldn’t be easily removed.
Yet for all that, I knew it would only take a few minutes for the mob to dismantle our defenses, and that’s assuming they couldn’t force the door up themselves. I looked over and saw the same worries on the faces of Holliman and Graves.
She looked past me and nodded towards the far corner. “There’s a door back there. You better go close it in case they come in that way.”
Turning fast, I saw what she meant—an open door that seemed to lead to the store part of the gas station. Heart in my throat, I went to the door and peered through it. The store itself still seemed empty and intact, but I could see more and more people gathering outside. I jerked backward, afraid they might see me through the glass despite the darkness inside the store, but peeking back out a few moments later, there was no sign that they had. Still, they’d seen us go in here, right? Why weren’t they coming in after us?
Stepping back through the door and closing it behind me, I quietly slid over a mechanic’s creeper and propped it under the knob before turning back to my employers. Holliman had managed to tourniquet Mrs. Graves’ upper arm with her belt and bandage her forearm with a strip from his shirt, and while the strip of cloth was already turning red with blood, it was definitely an improvement from how she’d looked a few minutes earlier. Other, of course, from the fact that she looked as terrified as I felt.
I walked back over to them, keeping my voice low. “Why aren’t they coming in? There’s more around on the store side, but they weren’t even really looking in through the windows. It’s like they forgot we’re in here.”
Holliman grimaced and gave a nod. “That’s probably exactly what has happened. We need to be very careful to not make noise or let them see us.”
I frowned at him. “But how does that work? Are they like so crazy or brain-damaged that they don’t remember chasing us in here just now?”
Graves shook her head. “No, I don’t think so. Based on what we’ve seen and what we know, they may be insane, but they retain a large degree of sophistication. I think this is just…well, a measure of protection we’re being provided by our service, even here.”
I felt a flare of anger at her carefully chosen words. “Oh, so more magic from ‘our service’? And what exactly do we serve again? Because I seem to always miss out on that part.”
Holliman started turning red. “Clint, now is not…”
I raised my hand and cut him off. “Fuck it. Just save your bullshit. You’re actually right. We’re about to die, and I’d rather focus on that not happening. Any ideas?” I glanced between the two of them. “Either of you?”
A look passed between them and then Holliman glanced toward the shadowy back corner of the garage. “I don’t think there’s another way out of here, but even if there was, they’d just be after us again as soon as we ran. But if they’re that discombobulated…Clint, how many do you think are out there right now?”
I shook my head. “Shit, I don’t know. There were probably thirty or forty following us, right? And another twelve or fifteen trying to cut us off.” I glanced back toward the store side of the gas station. But when I was closing the door I could see out the windows pretty good and…yeah, there are still more coming.”
Holliman fluttered his hand in frustration. “Yes, I understand. But how many? By your best guess?”
Scowling, I gave a shrug. “I don’t know. Probably a hundred or more if none of them are leaving again.”
He gave me a grim smile. “Good. That may be enough.”
“Enough for what?”
Wiping his forehead, he gestured up at the fluorescent light sullenly illuminating the dingy garage we were in. “Have you wondered about the electricity? Not every place has power it seems, but some do. And where is that coming from? Is there an active power plant within the bubble of this place, filled with giggling electricians and engineers that are keeping the lights on? Or are there power lines running outside the bubble to where time and nature move differently? Some kind of life line to the world outside this…” he waved around at the garage, his face contorted with disgust. “This insane hell?” He waggled a finger. “No. Neither. The thing that has taken this place and its people is keeping the lights on. Keeping the people asleep until now, feeding on their dreams and using a bit of that power to maintain certain things for whatever reasons. Perhaps to more easily lure in the occasional traveler, though that’s just a guess. And it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it takes resources, and the more dreamers we take from it, the weaker it will become.”
I rolled my eyes. “Well, no shit. But I don’t think these fuckers are going to let us get near them with the eyedropper. And they don’t look too sleepy either.”
Holliman started to give an angry reply when Mrs. Graves put a hand on his arm and my own. “When they were in that dream state, the Elixir was the only way to end that connection. If we had simply gone around and killed them, their deaths would have provided a powerful boost to this thing, perhaps more than just letting it feed on them until they could no longer be sustained. It would have been akin to a ritual sacrifice.”
I felt my stomach twist as I saw where this was heading. “And now?”
She let out a long, tired sigh. “Now? Now it has had to wake up part of them. Sacrificing the power of their dreams to create a standing army to eliminate a threat—us. Unless and until they sleep again, that power is lost.”
Holliman cut in. “And if you’re right, and there are a hundred or more out there, and given those we’ve already dosed, we could move past the breaking point in one fell swoop.”
I stared at her. “You’re talking about killing them, aren’t you? Murdering a hundred people.”
Graves shook her head. “No. Not murder. Self-defense. They will kill us eventually, and in horrible ways. This place…we’re trapped here. Hard as it may be to hear, it’s going to be either them or us.”
Holliman snorted. “Enough of this. We can moralize after we’re no longer in danger.” He pointed to the abandoned sedan sitting in the far corner of the garage. “Clint, go look for gas and oil. If you can’t find much, see if you can syphon some from that car. I’d guess we’ll need at least twenty gallons to spray them all down.”
I backed up a step. “What’re you talking about? You’re going to walk out there and what? Spray them down with oil and gas and set them on fire?”
He chuckled. “No. That’d be suicide. Don’t be an idiot.” He pointed to a skylight above the sedan. “I’m going to have you pry that open and we’ll go onto the roof and spray it down on them. If we’re careful and they don’t see us, they may just let us do it until it’s too late. But first you need to find something liquid that will burn.”
I looked back at Graves. “And you’re okay with this?”
She looked on the edge of tears. “I’m not okay with any of this, but we don’t have a choice. We have a job to do, and they will kill us otherwise. Please Clint.”
Holliman looked ready to argue further, but I cut him off. “Save it. I’m doing this because you’re both right, but that doesn’t mean I like it.”
He nodded. “I appreciate that. I feel the same way. Will you please go find us some flammables while I stay with Gracie?”
“Sure…I…yeah, sure.”
The garage was big enough to hold two cars at a time, but with only the one slot occupied, I didn’t think there’d be much to really search. Most of the walls were lined with tools, and there were miscellaneous pieces of equipment along the perimeter, but it wasn’t until I started around the car that I saw something of interest.
It was a pair of feet.
I let out a gasp and started to back away, but something stopped me. This…wasn’t right. The feet were laying at a weird angle and looked…lifeless. Taking a couple of steps forward, I could see more of the man’s body.
He had clearly been dead awhile, though it was to tell how long in this place, and it wasn’t hard to see how he’d died. A box cutter still lay clasped in his withered hand, stained from the gash he’d put in his own neck at the end. I thought about the cinder block at the door and wondered if he was the one that had put that there, maybe hoping someone else would come along and rescue him for a time before he gave up hope.
Tears springing to my eyes, I looked over at his other hand. It was a plastic grocery bag, and inside were the dried ruins of what had probably once been half an ice cream cake, along with plastic plates, candles, and other party supplies. Jesus. This looks like he was going to his kid’s birthday party.
I stumbled back a step before my eyes caught on a large metal drum in the corner. Black painted letters were stenciled along the side, with the first line saying “50 gal”. Below that, was a longer line. “Waste Oil.” Stepping cautionly by the poor dead man, I gingerly rocked it. It felt most of the way full. Sighing, I looked back down at the birthday bag.
When I came back around, Graves and Holliman were looking at me with expectant desperation. I nodded. “I found a drum back here. I think it has like thirty or forty gallons of old oil in there.” I threw a small plastic bag at Holliman’s chest. Flinching, he fumblingly grabbed it and looked at it before giving me a sullen stare.
“Party balloons?” His face split into a grin as he began to laugh softly. “Oh, I see. Yes. That should work well. Yes, yes.”
“Yeah. Let’s just…let’s hurry and get this done. Come help me get the barrel out.”
Easing up from his spot next to Mrs. Graves, he bustled over past me, still chuckling. “Sure thing, chief. Time for a fire tonight!”
Frowning at him, I turned to look back at Graves, her eyes wide and more fearful than when we’d barely escaped the mob outside. She was mouthing something to me, lips trembling as she tried to enunciate each word clearly across the shadowy space.
submitted by Verastahl to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 03:27 pastlink98 Susan, the Girl Next Door

Hello again,
This happened so long ago, I wanted to make sure I wrote it down with as much detail as possible.
During the 80s, my mom, who had a lot of friends, liked to celebrate, and have house parties. It was mom’s turn to host in our modest house containing a small living room, a small kitchen, a small bedroom, and a small bathroom. The advantage was that there was a large space in front of the house that led to an even bigger backyard. At the time, I was 6 or 7 years old. I was bored out of my mind with the music booming. Through the abundance of Michelob beer bottles and KFC chicken tubs, mom still managed to cook something for my brothers and I—white rice, pinto beans, steak strips, and fried plantains. One of those old war films was on TV. I think it starred Clark Gable as the lead actor. A good friend of my mom gave me a bag of M&M’s. That gave me great joy. With my brothers now asleep in the lone bedroom, I went outside to enjoy the wispy cold air. I stood near the porch of our neighbor. The darkness of that house contrasted with the beaming lights coming out of mine.
A figure emerged from the porch behind me. My neighbor, Susan, came over to me with a wide smile on her face. Her green eyes always managed to mesmerize me—I think she always knew that. I offered her some of my M&M’s. After a while, she asked if I wanted to go somewhere a little quieter. I, being tired of the music and lights, agreed and followed her to the center patio which was almost embedded in darkness. The only part of that patio that remained visible was the white refrigerator, which was tucked against a corner of another neighboring house. Susan headed towards that refrigerator. We went in front of it which was facing the house wall. She suddenly opened the door causing us to be completely enclosed from any prying eyes. Susan looked at me with those enchanting green eyes—Want me to show you something? Before I could say anything, she kissed me. The kiss seemed to last a long time. Tongue and all, it was a brand-new experience for me. Afterwards, she closed the door and retreated to her house—I hope you liked it, she whispered before disappearing. I was left wanted more. I guess biology started to kick in. She was 15. I peered into the metallic black door and the inner wooden door was still open. I called her name several times in hopes she would come out again. But she never did.
During the following months, I would infrequently see Susan—mostly when she would go to school in the mornings. I recall rushing back from school hoping to catch her returning. However, I would never see her coming back during the daytime. I suppose she would come back at night. Her mom, her aunt and two little brothers lived there. Paying a little more attention, I would notice random men and women arriving and leaving the house next door. They all had something in common: they wore dark jeans and either white t-shirts or tank tops. Most of the time they would also have dark hoodies. Years later I would discover that Susan’s mom and aunt were in a gang. All the unsavory activities would catch up to them as they were forced to move out one year later. I would only see Susan a handful of times since.
Eventually, my family and I ended up moving into the bigger house. Over 5 years passed by when there were loud knocks on the metal door at night. I happened to be in the living room watching TV. I decided to peek from the curtain next to the door. I saw Susan and a friend of hers. Both had dark jeans and white tank tops along with hoodies. Susan wore dark lipstick and heavy makeup that made her unrecognizable from the night we kissed. I told mom that it was Susan and a friend. She went ahead and opened the door. As they came inside, I stood next to mom hoping Susan would say hi to me. She never acknowledged me—Hi! I’m sorry for coming here so late. Can we use your bathroom for a bit? My mom looked a bit put off by the request, but still ended up letting them through. I did not know what they were doing, but there were in the bathroom for a long time. After an hour they both rushed into the living room, open the door and disappeared into the night.
A year later, Susan would go on to have a baby boy. Another year would go by and my mom sat down on the couch next to me and gave me the news—I am sorry but Susan has died. It turned out that one night Susan was on a payphone and was spotted by a rival gang. Shortly after finishing a phone call to her mom, where she asked how her baby was doing, Susan was summarily shots multiple times.
Throughout the years, I always thought of the ways I could have helped her out—how things would have been different if she would have come back outside that night we kissed. I just hope she has the peace she was denied in life.
submitted by pastlink98 to thelgeinstorytelling [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 03:25 LeeCloud27 ACT 2-6-8: Lingering Scarlet Fear

A blink of an eye passed, moments after the object was thrown across the room by Efena over to Mystia. Sumireko and the others were stunned by what had occurred; some were perplexed, while others were concerned.
What they saw was Mystia being tightly embraced by Satsujin, in a position where Satsujin could act as a shield, a protector for the Night Sparrow. The object had dug deep into his back, injecting firmly well into him. But the object in question was strange. It wasn’t some kind of special bullet that Efena had prepared, nor was it a blade of any kind. It was a syringe filled with an unusual blue liquid that slowly seeped into Satsujin until it was completely drained.
Satsujin felt a pulse of energy course through him, as if a jolt of electricity had zipped from the top of his head to the ends of his toes. He felt a surge of immense power surging through him, only for it to dissipate and vanish, nothing more than a flickering light that had lost its spark. But other than that, he felt fine.
"Mystia…" He said, looking at the girl’s face. "Are you alright?"
"Satsujin…" Mystia looked at his face, seeing the genuine, reassuring smile he gave her, letting her know everything was alright. "You…took the hit for me."
"Yeah…I did." Satsujin said. "Because I wouldn’t want to witness the one I love get hurt." He said.
Within his subconscious, Satsuki was weeping with tears of joy, as though she were watching a soap opera. Satsugrim, on the other hand, did nothing but facepalm as hard as he could.
"Satsujin… You’re… You’re so brave… You’re so heroic. You’re so…Gullible." Mystia’s voice suddenly changed to a dark and scary one.
"W…What?" Satsujin was confused. The way Mystia said that word, it was as though she were now a different person. But that can’t be true, right? He sensed nothing wrong from her, nothing! There’s no way she’s a fake; he would know!
But he was soon to be proven wrong. Mystia’s form slowly began to change. Her hair which was short and pink began to grow long and messy, reaching down to her hips. Her skin turned pale and chiseled like a porcelain doll. Her clothes which were white and brown, decorated with ornaments, turned into a long plain white dress.
"You’re not Mystia…" Satsujin said, backing away from the transforming figure. "Who are you?" He asked.
"Who am I?" The figure said. "Satsujin, have you forgotten what I look like? How shameful of you. I’m Efena. The Goddess of Fear." Efena said, now revealing her true form.
"B-But how!? I thought you were controlling Yukari! You can’t be in two places at once!" Satsujin shouted.
Over by where Yukari was, a root that had been implanted in her neck shriveled up and detached from her, likely due to the force of the impact that she received. Her eyes and form slowly reverted back to normal, as she blinked around, confused about what was going on. But everything clicked when she saw Sumireko and the others.
Sumireko and Suika looked back, seeing Yukari struggling to move. "Wait, if that’s Efena over there. Then that’s Yukari." Sumireko said.
"No…No!!!" She attempted to say something, but her voice was hoarse. She tried to get up, but her legs buckled when she moved. It was as though she were a newborn taking their first steps. "Everyone…Run…Run!!!"
Everyone was even more confused, while Efena laughed. "My roots can do more than grab onto people or spread my fear mist. I can also inject them into the back of their necks and control them for a short period of time. Though I can’t do it on anyone, only those who have succumbed to their fears…Oh, did I forgot to mention I can shapeshift into other beings?"
Of all the moments that Satsujin could be feeling anger, this was one of them. He was furious, a fiery volcano erupting in an explosive manner. To think he'd be duped so easily by someone he hadn't expected. He was heartbroken, knowing it wasn’t Mystia he saved.
"I…Will…Crush you!!!" He shouted, holding his hand out and preparing to unleash a spell card. "Song Sign: Violent String!"

But nothing happened.
"What?" Satsujin was now more confused than before. He tried again. "Song Sign: Violent String!!!" But again, nothing, not even a single bullet was casted. "Why is it not working? Violent String! Violent String!!! Violent String!!!!!"
Efena simply smiled, while her roots began to form around her and Satsujin. Slowly they moved to wrap around his legs, throwing him to the ground. He hit the floor hard, nearly banging his head had he not covered his face first. He didn’t even notice the roots surrounding him. And thinking about it now, he can’t sense anything whatsoever. He was completely blind.
Efena began to laugh, watching Satsujin struggle like an infant, trying to pull himself out of the roots. He wanted to use his intangibility, but even that wouldn’t work. He can't use his echolocation, turn intangible, or even cast magic. He was powerless.
"What’s going on!? Why can’t I use my abilities!?" He said.
The others realized what was going on, and they quickly tried to go over and help him.
"Satsujin!!!" Rumia shouted. "What’s happening right-"
Suddenly, the roots in the room began to spray out their mist, hitting everyone that was inside, including Satsujin. They all tried to avoid inhaling it, holding their breaths, but they couldn’t keep it up forever.
"Ack! That smells terrible!" Rumia said, wiping the mist away from her face. "Satsujin… What is going on?"
She opened her eyes. But she didn’t find herself in the Scarlet Devil Mansion… But instead, she was in a dark forest, where she was met with a woman she was all too familiar with. Donning a fox mask on her face, wearing the traditional clothes of Hakurei, and wielding the honorable gohei that was primarily used for extortions and exterminations.
"N…No…No, it can’t be real… No…Nonono…No…G…Get away…" Rumia said, backing away. "Get away…Get away I’m sorry!!!"
Rumia witnessed her fears come to life. Cirno on the other hand was experiencing something different. She saw the sight of her beloved friends dead on the ground, their weapons broken and shattered, even Letty, the woman she looked up to was nothing more than a corpse.
"E…Everyone…Reisen…Big Sis…Letty." Cirno said.
And as she looked up, she saw a figure floating above the clouds, the full moon embraced behind her, and a single wing that spread wider than their entire body, while a long blade rested in their hand.
"Cirno and the others will be victorious in their fight, managing to defeat the one-winged angel with no casualties." The person said in a cold yet calculating voice.
"You…You killed them…You killed them all… SAGUME!!!!!!!!!!" Cirno screamed with a mix of anger and fear.
The others were experiencing similar fates. Suika had found herself alone again, trapped in her own gourd with no way out. Sumireko was trapped inside a box that was slowly filled with cockroaches. Meiling watched everyone in her family die thanks to the one person who caused it all. Ko witnessed her mother being crushed to death over and over again. Mary simply turned into a rusty blade, worthless in all the ways a blade could be, and forever forgotten as a result.
Satsujin could hear everyone screaming or yelling in fear, while the laughter of Efena played out. "D-Damn you!!! How…How did you do this? How did you take away my powers!?" He demanded.
"Oh? That’s simple." Efena said. "I used a special kind of serum made by a highly intelligent acquaintance of mine. You probably don’t know him, but he’s known by the name Prof. Altalune. He has a very unique ability that was very helpful in dealing with people such as you, the Goddess of Hell, and even the Hakurei Shrine Maiden."
"And what is that!?" Satsujin demanded.
"The ability to disable other abilities."
The way she said it made him realize the gravity of his situation. He can't do anything because his abilities aren't working. He’s nothing more than a regular being.
"I wonder, now that your pesky mental defenses are lowered, that means you should be susceptible to my mist again." Efena giggled. "Only one way to find out…"
She approached Satsujin, imitating a blown kiss while spraying one of her roots directly in his face. He coughed, almost gagging from the intense smell of the mist.
Within his subconscious, his eyes gazed upon a sight that was to behold. He was standing in the middle of the streets of Japan, late at night, with the cold wind blowing by him. He looked at his surroundings, and they were familiar, very familiar.
"This…This is the place that I-"
He stepped back, only to feel a presence behind him. He turned around, looking up to greet the face of a man he swore was dead.
His father was dressed in the same fancy suit, smoking a cigar and laughing so hard it sent chills down his spine.
"Hehehe. Run all you want, boy. But you can never truly escape your past." The man said.
Satsujin, for what seemed like forever, was afraid again. His eyes darted around the place, looking at the buildings and the streetlamps. He saw men and women of various shapes and sizes, all of them wearing identical outfits while holding weapons ranging from bats to switchblades. He walked back, but felt another presence yet again.
He turned around and was greeted by a mature and beautiful woman. She wore a silky dress that showed her shoulders well. Her hair was styled up to make herself look as rich as rich could be, while in one of her hands she held a wine glass that swirled round and round with little effort on her part.
"Mother…You’re also-"
"Don’t talk to me." His mother said.
Satsujin was interrupted by the swiping of her hand, her claws tearing through his skin like paper. He was knocked to the ground, his cheek bleeding. The pain was enough for him to start tearing up, but both his parents were the least of his problems.
When he looked to his right, he saw his brother kneeling on the ground, a bag over his head, and one of the taller guys standing above him, holding a mallet primarily used for pounding mochi. His brother struggled to move because his arms and legs were bound with ropes.
"No…No, what are you doing to him?" Satsujin asked. "Let him go. Please, let him go! He’s done nothing wrong!"
His father let out a laugh, while his mother took a small sip of wine, looking at the man with the mallet and spoke,
"Do your thing already." She said.
"No! NO!!!" Satsujin shouted, he tried to get up but his body was weak. He could only watch as the man lifted the mallet up into the sky, casting a shadow in the moonlight. His father's laughter filled his ears as he screamed in desperation at the sight of him.
Before the mallet could strike, Satsujin was suddenly pulled out of the nightmare by Satsuki and Satsugrim. The gateway to the sequence tried to pull him back using root-like hands, but Satsuki used her bat to crush them into nothing but paste.
"Augh! Gross!" Satsuki said. "I’ll need to clean Ruthless later after all of this."
Satsujin breathed heavily, but began to slow down when he realized he was back in his own subconscious, where it was safe. He looked up, seeing Satsugrim holding a hand out to help him up. He gladly took that hand and stood back up.
"Thanks for pulling me out. I didn’t think that-"
And then Satsugrim punched him across the face, knocking him down.
"Satsugrim!" Satsuki shouted.
"You… Fucking idiot!" Satsugrim shouted. He reached back down to pull Satsujin back using his shirt, forcing Satsujin to stare right into his half-broken mask. "Not only did you ignore my advice, not run away when you should’ve run, and willingly surrender, but now we can’t even use our abilities because of your inept behavior. And for what exactly!?"
Satsujin looked back at Satsugrim, still feeling afraid due to the mist. He could see the level of anger his more negative variant showed, and he can’t help but feel he was right.
"I just...wanted to protect someone," said Satsujin.
"Oh, of course." Satsugrim said in a harsh tone. He shoved Satsujin away from him as he tried to keep his balance. "I guess it was worth giving up all of our powers and skills so you could save the woman who lured all of us into a trap… You’re more incompetent than her right now."
Satsujin wanted to argue, fight back, say something to make his variant shut up. But he can't because he has nothing to say to demonstrate that what he did was worthwhile. He led everyone into a trap, got them all captured, and when they were close to victory, he screwed up in the end.
"Okay, fine. You’re right." Satsujin said. "I fucked up. Is that all you want to hear?"
"Oh wow, you’re actually admitting it." Satsugrim felt a little surprised. "But it’s too late now, Satsujin. We can’t go back after this."
"Well what do you expect me to do then? It’s not my fault that you and everyone else expect me to be perfect."
"Guys, c’mon already!" Satsuki shouted. "What happened to no fighting/bickering? We need to think of a solution that could help us get out of this situation."
"Oh, you got any bright ideas, Miss ‘Swing and a Hit’? Because I am all… all… all…" Satsugrim's tone changed from sarcastic to fearful. Satsuki and Satsujin were puzzled as they both wondered what caused his mannerisms to change.
"Huh? What is it now? Why did you get so quiet?" Satsuki asked.
Satsugrim’s hand was shakily raised to point forward behind Satsuki. Both she and Satsujin turned around to look at where Satsugrim was pointing. And they both turned baffled.
They saw a figure walk towards them, wearing a classy black suit normally worn at formal events. Their hair was well-combed and styled in a fancy manner. He had both of his hands in his pockets, strolling towards the three while a trail of a purple, glitchy essence trailed behind him on the ground. He wore a purple-oni mask on his face, covering up his identity, but as soon as everyone saw him, he took out one of his hands and removed the mask.
Everyone was shocked when they saw who it was. He had the same face as Satsujin, with the exception that there were no scars around his eyes, and instead of red and blue heterochromatic eyes, they were both a vibrant shade of purple.
"No…No. No no no no no nononononononononononono." Satsugrim said in a panicked tone. "We got to move. Now… NOW!!!" He grabbed both Satsuki and Satsujin, pulling them as he tried to make them move.
"Hey! What is going on!? Who is that guy?" Satsujin said.
"He’s the reason I don’t have my eyes! We can’t stay here! We gotta move now!!!" Satsugrim said.
"What? I'm not going to flee like you, Grim!" Satsuki said, yanking her arm away from Satsugrim. "If he's a threat, then we should deal with him!"
"Wait! No!!!" Satsugrim said.
But Satsuki didn’t listen. She ran right over to the purple-eyed man with her baseball bat. She got close enough to where she could swing it right at him, intending to bash his brains out. However-
She fell to the ground, dropping her bat, and lay there, blood seeping out from the bullet wound she received from the man’s gun, which he had in his other pocket.
"Satsuki!" Satsujin said. "We gotta help her!!!" He tried to pull away from Satsugrim.
"Again with this shit!? The last time you helped someone we lost our powers, we gotta move!"
"I don’t care! I can’t leave her! You can if you want!"
"I can’t! You’re supposed to be the main host! If you fall, then he gets to take back control!"
"Who even is he!?"
The man who had been standing far away from them suddenly appeared in front of them, a casual smile on his face and his eyes glaring down at both variants of Satsujin. Both of them froze in terror, their legs paralyzed by terror. In a desperate attempt, Satsugrim threw Satsujin away from him with as much strength as he could, then proceeded to pull out his severed blade to attack the threat. But the threat blocked the attack using the hilt of his gun, putting in little effort to hold him back.
"Grim! What are you-"
"Just fucking go already!" Satsugrim shouted.
Those words were apparently enough for Satsujin to finally understand the situation. He turned around and began to run as quickly as he could while Satsugrim held back the menace for as long as possible. He ran as far as he could, running for what felt like miles, yet never seemingly running out of breath.
"Damn it Grim! The one time you decide to not act so cowardly." Satsujin told himself. "What do I even do now? I can’t use my abilities, I don’t know where I’m supposed to go."
A bullet shot him in the leg. He fell to the ground, wincing from the immense pain he was feeling.
"Auuugh!!! It hurts!!! Why does it hurt so much!?" Satsujin yelled. He figured he could try and pull out the bullet from his leg, but he didn’t know how he could do that. Instead he watched the figure who he believed he ran away from now walking towards him, dragging behind Satsuki and Satsugrim using what looked to be strings made of the same essence that trailed behind him.
He crawled away, trying to get back up, but he shot his other leg in response, making it so he could no longer run. Satsujin yelled in pain, desperate for a way out.
"W-wait!!! Please… Why are you doing this?" Satsujin said. "Aren’t you supposed to be me or something? We’re supposed to work together!"
The figure continued to remain silent. He walked up to Satsujin, pulling him up with ease, and forced him to make eye contact. Satsujin remained terrified of the person, knowing he could not do anything.
"Who…are you even?" He asked.
And finally, the figure spoke.
"...I’m you… Or rather, you’re me… Dai Kensei."
And then it happened. Satsujin felt a flourish of corruption energy flow right into him. He started to scream sporadically, both internally and externally.
Back in the real world, Satsujin was glitching out, his body twitching and writhing like someone who had a seizure. His screams filled up the room, his form changing to become more and more unrecognizable as if he were a sprite in a game that had been horribly altered to be nothing like how it should look.
And then, it stopped. Satsujin’s form changed back to how he was before he became a vengeful spirit, back into being a full-blooded human, as he collapsed to the ground, his eyes no longer red and blue, not even a bright pink and purple, or even blue and red. They were completely white, lacking any color whatsoever.
Efena was a little shocked at first, seeing Satsujin react in such a way. But her shock turned to laughter, laughter that became more hysterical in a matter of seconds. She laughed as though she truly believed she had won.
"HAHAHAHA!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAAAAAA!!! Oh…Inco. To think you had planned this far… I knew you wouldn’t let someone like him be." She said, wiping away tears from her face. "You always…always find a way."
Reaching in her dress, she pulled out PB’s deactivated form that she got from Ko, smiling with bliss. "Now all we need is the cube and die and then-"
Her moment was interrupted when she felt a bullet hit her, albeit a weak one. She looked over, seeing Yukari having regained some of her strength now, as she stood up with a look of frustration and hatred, struggling to move but having enough energy to act if she needed to.
"Oh, yes. I forgot about you for a moment. You’re still regaining your energy though, so you’re not going to be much of a threat, are you?" Efena said.
Yukari stepped forward, waddling back and forth while breathing wearily. She didn’t say anything, instead only focused on walking towards the Goddess of Fear. But a root she didn’t see caused her to trip over, falling to the ground. She struggled to push herself back up while Efena continued to laugh.
"Look at you, trying to stand up like a newborn deer. Maybe I should spray you with some of my mist to help." Efena relocated some of her roots to Yukari's position. But before she could spray out more of her mist, she was sucker-punched hard across the face.
Yukari blinked. One second Efena was standing all triumphant and stoic, the next a blinding light zipped right at her and struck the woman across the face. She stumbled but kept her feet on the ground. Efena checked her face, feeling the lingering pain of a punch left on her.
"What?" She said. She then checked her other hand, realizing that PB was gone. "Wait… Where’s the plate!?"
Just then, a blinding light reappeared in the room, erasing the darkness. A figure stood in between Yukari and Efena, shrouded in light. The Goddess of Fear’s eyes widened, filled with mixed emotions of fear and anger, seeing the figure holding PB in their hands.
"...You…It’s you…" Efena said.
"...Who are you?" Yukari said with a raspy voice.
The figure looked back at Yukari, "Can you still use your powers right now?"
Yukari was confused by their request. She had regained some of her energy so she should be able to open up a gap. "I should, but why do you ask?"
As if right on cue, the room started to shake, tremendously. It was as though something was shaking the entire mansion, affecting Yukari, Efena, and also the figure shrouded in light.
Deep beneath the mansion, Demise was somewhere close to where the basement was located, using his powers to affect the surrounding rock and dirt by creating vibrations equivalent to that of high-magnitude earthquakes. He hummed to himself, wondering how long it would take for the mansion to collapse. Because while the mansion can handle many types of weather and disasters, a magnitude-10 earthquake is not one of them.
The mansion began to crack, the pillars that supported it began to break and collapse, rooms shattered, and debris fell. It was only a matter of time before the entire mansion was demolished. Efena, attempting to avoid getting hit, had a chunk of the ceiling collapse on top of her, knocking her out easily.
"W-w-what is going on?" Yukari said, trying not to be thrown to the ground.
"Crap!!! Crap! crap! crap!" The figure of light said. "Quick! Make one of those gaps and help me get everyone out to safety! Now!!!"
Yukari listened to the person, and they mustered the energy needed to make a small gap that was big enough for one person to enter at a time. The figure then moved to grab everyone one by one, moving fast, but not too fast over towards the gap and threw them in. Sumireko, Rumia, Cirno, Ko, Gummy, Shanghai, Mary, Satsujin, Suika, and Meiling were all carried into the portal. It was an easy task due to them all being entranced by the effects of the Fear Mist. They also tossed PB through the gap portal.
Once everyone was sent to safety, Yukari moved to enter herself. But was struck on the head however, and passed out immediately.
"Oh no." The figure said, watching the gap slowly close. They knew they had to go help, reaching over to Yukari so they could bring her over to the gap before it was too late. But before they could even touch her, their wristwatch began to beep loudly.
"What!? No, are you kidding me!?" The figure said with both shock and annoyance. "How is saving her going to distort the timeline!?"
They wanted to complain and ignore the warning. But with their knowledge of how the space-time continuum worked, they could not take that risk. Instead, they were forced to flee, zipping out of the mansion at light speed moments before it completely collapsed with Yukari, Efena, and whoever else had resided inside.
The Scarlet Devil Mansion, home to people of various ethnicities and origins, a place where they could spend their peaceful days like family…Was now nothing but wreckage.
To be continued in ACT 2-7: Dwell Blind Upon the Siren's Song
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2023.03.25 03:22 Blursed-Penguin No Rest for the Wicked 20



In keeping with the long-standing tradition of militaries around the world to never actually finish doing anything, the end of the initial invasion of Omen was declared on that day. Not the end of hostilities, nor of combat, nor even of major combat operations. The end of the initial invasion. The backs of their forces on-world had been broken, but they were far from done fighting.

Darren wasn’t too enthused.

The order to scramble came just as he finished unloading crates of supplies from the newest freighter into the system. Sighing, he grabbed his rifle and ran for the hangar deck of the Bunker Hill, donning his armor on the way. The Dark Sparrow sat fueling on the deck, about half of the platoon already aboard. Once on himself, Darren learned the circumstances of what had happened.

A number of servicemen had gone rogue while on duty in Omen’s capital, holing up in a building and detonating a canister of chlorine gas. Dozens of civilians were already dead, and they had warded off all attempts by military police to apprehend them.

“Brainwashed?” Darren turned to Pavlov.

“Yeah, definitely.” Pavlov said, consulting a flash card containing the signs of Poslushi neuroforming. It had been noticed that the brainwashed had an eerie calm about them, but were otherwise hard to detect, being nearly identical to their prior selves. Darren wondered when the government would stop panicking about national security and declassify the whole thing about brainwashing.

The helicopter lifted off the ground and started the somewhat short flight towards the capital, apparently named High Unlerin. It was already visible on the horizon; for a major city, it wasn’t very large. Then, Darren saw that it actually blended into the surrounding forest, concrete and metal fading into lumber and dirt roads. The city center was built in the flowy, vibrant style of the Poslushi; the previous had probably been demolished to make room. However, the Poslushi were far more regular in their construction than the Ovinis, making the Rangers’ jobs easier.

Poslushi cities were built in a honeycomb style, which made them horrendous for automobile traffic but otherwise efficient for saving space. It made sense, considering the Poslushi had no wheeled vehicles, using nimble, legged machines in the place of cars. Each city “block” was its own building, constructed in a rough spire shape, sometimes with a statue or similar art piece to top the towers.

This particular one was bright blue, with a structure composed of multiple parts that stretched upward and melded together like wisps of flame. However, it was partially obscured at the ground level by a cloud of sickly yellow-green gas, and a multitude of dark, limp forms lay strewn about. The whole block had been cordoned off, with barriers and hazard-suited guards abound.

“Jesus. Why would they kill their own citizens?” Pavlov mused, gazing down at the numerous corpses below.

“My best guess is scorched earth or maybe trying to induce some sort of terrorism to make our jobs harder.” Simmons proposed, shrugging.

“Well, it isn’t anything we can’t solve with a little bit of elbow grease and judicious application of firepower. Nothing like 8.5mm to dissuade the bad guys, eh?” Sparrow remarked.

“Nothing indeed.” Darren said. The helicopter hovered over the building, its doors sliding open and the lights on the roof flashing green.

“Go, go, go!” Pavlov barked, donning his gas mask and leaping from the Dark Sparrow. The rest followed shortly after, Darren’s heart leaping into his throat before his jetpack kicked on and sent him gently drifting into the asphalt. The gas mask was hot and not well-ventilated, but it was better than the water in his lungs turning to hydrochloric acid and dissolving him from the inside out. At least it wasn’t VX or some equally-terrible nerve agent.

Darren loaded and primed his rifle, finding the rest of his platoon and regrouping. Once gathered, they split up into their combat teams, spreading out to cover all entrances to the building. Darren, Pavlov, and Simmons went to the south doors, while two six-man teams breached the other, more heavily-trapped entrances. Darren ran his hands over the door, checking for anything that could indicate a trap or mine. Nothing.

Cringing, he mustered his courage and ripped the door open, expecting the entrance to explode. It didn’t, somehow. Darren leaned over, rifle brandished–

Thwip. A bullet whizzed past Darren’s head, the shot sounding a fraction of a second later. Yelping, Darren ducked back behind the doorframe as Pavlov discharged a shot from his grenade launcher. The shell exploded in a burst of light and sound, and Darren entered shortly afterward, setting his sights upon the blinded shooter and firing twice. The soldier staggered back, then collapsed. Darren methodically advanced down the hallway, keeping an eye to each side in case someone emerged from there.

This place was quiet. Too quiet. Their intel showed that there were at least a dozen rogue men in this building, but where were the gunshots as the other two teams encountered their own enemies? Surely they wouldn’t guard one entrance and abandon the others?

“Hey, there’s a note.” Pavlov said, stooping down to grab a small, lightly-bloodstained piece of paper from the ground next to the corpse. Darren kept an eye out as he started to read.

To the esteemed units of the United States Armed Forces, or whomever else may find this,

My name is Sgt. Philip Halloway, and I am most likely dead. I am alone within this building; it has been arranged for the numbers to be bungled to increase the urgency of your response. I have chosen to hasten my exit from this world by firing a warning shot; if I had intended to hit you, you would not be reading this. Don’t worry about me. I’ve nothing left to lose anyways, and I’ve chosen this task for myself.

The events of the last few years, namely the Contact Wars and the recent outbreak of hostilities with the Poslushi, have left many embittered, including me. You may know us as the Mankind Defense Home Guard, or the MDHG for simplicity’s sake. You will most likely hear more from us in the coming time.

“The hell does that mean?” Pavlov squinted at the text.

“Go on, keep going.” Darren urged him.

First things first, we do not believe that humankind holds any special place in the cosmos, that we are any form of “master race,” or the like. For that, contact any of the dozens of nationalist, jingoist, or downright neo-Nazi groups out there, to which you will find us far preferable. However, that is not to say that we do not believe the alien to be an existential threat to our way of life and/or survival as a species. Like any threat, they are to be neutralized with efficiency and without sentimentality, up to and including the great taboo of genocide, should it become unfortunately necessary.

This unsavory act was an important step in the preparation of mankind for a thousand more crimes like this, done so that no greater atrocity need be committed. Think of this as sowing salt in the fields of war. One day, you’ll thank us for our insight when your children walk the stars freely and without fear, and violence is an evil long forgotten.

Thank you for your time.

P.S.: Check my chest. No secret keeps forever.

Darren inspected the vest of the dead soldier, the blood-drenched graphene augmented with a strange pouch not present on the standard-issue model. Inside was… oh, no.

A tiny webcam, a little red light on its side blinking, probably still broadcasting. And it had heard Halloway’s entire speech. Darren picked it up and clicked a button on its backside twice to switch it off. Then, he activated his radio.

“Platoon, we might want to relay this to command. Looks like we just participated in one hell of a publicity stunt.”

“Director Hoover? We’ve got a Colonel Jasper here to talk to you. It seems important.”

“Send him in.” the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency spoke into the phone. The door to his office creaked open and a hulking soldier entered, in his old dress blues, his chest festooned with medals of all kinds. He had an imperious, authoritative air about him, but it was not something the head of the most feared intelligence organization in the world would let sway him.

“Director Hoover.” Colonel Jasper saluted.

“Colonel, you mind telling us precisely what your underling was doing gassing a number of civilians on Omen? You’re lucky we found you before the Hague did.”

“The perpetrator undertook this action on his own and with no intervention from us, even if we were mentioned. We don’t control what people do in their downtime.” Jasper shrugged.

“Well, you should, if they’re going to do this. We’ve been trying to establish good relations with the populace and your little maverick’s just set us back severely. You had better hope he acted alone, or your group’s going on the list we use for terrorists. And you don’t want to be on that list, no matter how tough you think you are.”

“If you’re trying to intimidate me, it won’t work.” Jasper said, narrowing his eyes and leaning over the desk. “I’ve fought in the Anathema Encounter, what makes you think I’ll–”

You will not mention that incident!” the Director shouted, slamming his palms on the desk and standing up. Supposedly, Director Hoover was one of the foremost “agents of regime correction” in the service before his appointment, and Jasper could see the killer in him as he postured himself almost predatorily. Then, he collected himself and spoke with measured calm.

“It’s bad enough that you know about Anathema. Do what you must, if you believe that you can rally the people to your cause. But the moment we find any evidence that you ordered this, you’re going away for a long time. And if you so much as say a word about Anathema to anyone, you’ll be in a blacksite before the week’s out. Do I make myself perfectly clear?”

Jasper sighed. “Yes, sir.”

“Good. Now leave. Next time, I’m not going to be nice.”

Hell on Earth wasn’t a really accurate way to describe war. War was a lot worse. In Hell, things were uniformly terrible, and no one was there without cause. In war, things got better just long enough to leave one complacent when they got worse, and it was filled with people caught inside by plain bad luck.

These notions were unknown to the United States Air Force. From so high up and so far away, war was impersonal. You didn’t have to look the man you shot in the eye. No scream of terror, no keening of anguish could carry twenty kilometers into the air, after all.

The bomber squadron was near-serene as it shot over the landscape of Omen. The only sound was the consistent whine of jet engines and the occasional peal of thunder from storms that appeared on the horizon in a flash and vanished as quickly as they came. The blackness of space was readily visible above.

The remainders of the Poslushi garrison had long since seen the settlements of the planet as a lost cause, retiring to the hamlets of the forests to continue the fight. It was a shame; many of the airmen had been looking forward to a tropical paradise to vacation in.

The pilot of the B-60 in the lead turned to the weapons systems officer. “Get ready to drop the payload.” the WSO nodded, tapping a set of buttons on his control console. In the bomb bay, the electric fuses of the dozen bombs activated simultaneously. All the while, the bomber shrieked towards its target at Mach 6.

Three hundred kilometers out, the squadron dispersed, each bomber flying to its own target. There was no longer any worry of enemy interception to be had; the brave pilots of the Bunker Hill had all but annihilated the already small air forces of the garrison.

A minute later, they were within two hundred kilometers. Hypersonic aircraft were, true to their name, rather fast.

“Drop our speed and pop open the bomb bay.” the navigator ordered. Rapidly, the aircraft descended to Mach 3, the great doors in the plane’s belly sliding open. If they opened the bay doors while at cruising speed, the immense change in air resistance could tear the bomber apart. Still, it was moving fast, far too quick for the manually-aimed Poslushi air defenses to track.

“Three… two… drop.” the pilot counted. Nodding, the WSO pressed a button and the payload began falling from the plane at regular intervals. One bomb every two seconds, a dozen bombs total, leaving a trail of falling bombs twenty-four kilometers long. The payload plummeted towards the ground for a few short seconds, and then the tiny explosive charges in the casings detonated, blowing the bombs apart and leaving in their place a whirlwind of swirling, falling papers. Written in the language of the Ovinis, they were a warning, telling any civilians in the area to vacate immediately before the worst happened.

It was no empty threat. Twenty-four hours later, they would repeat this route with a far different payload. The Poslushi would also do well to heed their words, because this time they would be carrying napalm bombs, and a lot more than twelve of them.

War was not hell. It was far worse. However, mankind knew how to make war seem like hell, more literally than not in some cases.

(AN: Forgot to celebrate #10, so let's celebrate #20! Woo! Anyways, I don't exactly like war, as you can see. However, it makes exploring the consequences of a fictional war quite interesting. Just wait until things really start to escalate!

Love 'ya!)
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2023.03.25 03:13 Londongirl8989 Shaq and Tanya's interview with Zeze and Sideman

A few thoughts:
Zeze was nice to Shaq and Tanya. She seemed supportive of them.
Zeze and Sideman spoke a bit too much. They should have let Shaq and Tanya talk more.
Sideman shouldn't have told Shaq that he will be going back to his old job. If Shaq wants to go back, there is nothing wrong with that. However, Shaq has the height and looks to go down the modeling route if he wants to. Plus, it is very early days for the Islanders, so who knows what post villa life will be like for them?
Sideman seems to projecting onto Shaq because he sees himself in Shaq. It was also rude that Sideman said that Shaq only picked Tanya because she was black. Shaq was proper on Tanya from day 1. I hate this idea that black male Islanders only pick black females because they feel like they have to. There are plenty of black men who are attracted to black females. I liked that Shaq and Tanya had a conversation about why he picked her.
Shaq and Tanya held their own in the interview so I am proud of them for that.
All in all, I think that I would have preferred for Shaq and Tanya to have done an interview with Will. He would have allowed them to voice their opinions a bit more.
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2023.03.25 02:58 SuperHotUKDeals Reebok Ridgerider 6 Trail Walking Trainers (Sizes 6-13) - £29.25 + Free Delivery @ Reebok

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