Ion permanent brights


2013.03.16 16:46 ModestSilence HairDye

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2011.01.20 18:54 Teatoly Hairway to Heaven


2014.08.09 00:54 Star Wars: Armada The Miniature Game


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 artist 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 eighty 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 machine 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.
Lead 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 silken 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 03:28 Practical_Remote_421 Anticipatory Nostalgia

December 16th, 2022 8:00 PM
From the moment you walked down the apartment stairs my heart began to race, you looked incredible. The most beautiful woman within a million miles of this place.
Undoubtedly a sight for sore eyes. A captivating smile bright enough to light up the night sky, beautiful brown skin, slim, 5'3 with brown eyes.
As the night drew to a close all i wanted to do was stop time because I couldn't help but think about how i'd never have a chance to make you mine. After all, I'll be living 1,000 miles away in less than 30 days time.
As we sat across from one another talking about anything and everything that came to mind, i couldn't help but admire you and just how perfect you were from every angle the light shined.
When we kissed goodbye it was bittersweet and its been permanently ingrained in my mind. It left me with that sort of butterfly feeling that is just so hard to find.
Maybe in another life, maybe at another time, we'll cross paths again like a hollywood romance movie and make up for all lost time.
I hope you enjoyed the night as much as I enjoyed mine, and for the sake of my own sanity i won't say goodbye, only until next time.
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2023.03.25 03:04 gildedgannet Flotilla Killing: An Unbelievably Inefficient Guide to fly-swatting

Now, this was always something I thought about when shooting at the Gozantis that will harass and annoy at all times. "What upgrades and ships will ensure a Gozanti is destroyed for cheap?" I have mulled it over, and here are the answers.
The stipulations are: - dice are believed to be blank if we cannot know what they are - 1 shot, not one activation. The exceptions are called out. - Commanders are factored in if necessary, lowest point cost if not - Doss not need to sustain such Flotilla Killing across rounds - Optimal conditions
This results in a literal guarantee. An SSD shooting from its front arc is "guaranteed" to kill a flotilla. There is the chance that it rolls all blanks and Accuracies or variations thereof.
To get it out of the way, the GAR cannot in any way guarantee a Flotilla kill. They can guarantee that a Scatter Token is locked down, but no Flotilla deaths. This is because of their lack of Ion slot and few dice setting squadrons or other Fleet Support abilities. They are much more about Defense and Command management.
In First place, we have the Empire with a whopping 79 points of Raider-II. Equipped is
Varnillian takes an Accuracy when she deploys. While attacking at close range, she swaps out the Black Die for the accuracy. Then a blue die is added with ConFire Dial. The accuracy locks down the Scatter. The Evade does nothing. The 4 Blue dice, which are guaranteed hits, kill the flotilla.Flotilla.
In second place is the Seps at 172 points. It carries an un-upgraded Gozanti for 27 points and
For 148 points. ConFire in the blue at the side, add QBTs, then switch a non-blue die to an Accuracy using Kraken and spend it to lock the Scatter. 4 blue dice with SW-7s kills the Flotilla.
In last place comes the Rebellion at 234 points. Notably, the Rebels are the only faction who do not need SW-7s or dice addition.
Instead, it is Malee Hurra for 26 (ugh) points, the Home One and its title with Flag Bridge and Intensify for 118, an MC30 Scout with H9's and APTs for 75 points, and the 20 point commander.
The MC30 uses H9s and Home One to lock down both of the defender's Defense Tokens. Use Malee to add the Black Crit + Hit, use IF for another damage, and APT deals yet another damage. That's a dead Flotilla.
As to the cheapest Flotilla killer than can kill a Derlin Bright Hope GR75, it is the QBTs ISD-II with SW-7s and Jonus for 166 (counts the commander). The DBH GR has an effective 6 health. The ISD can commit 6 damage and an accuracy. Thus, the Empire remains the undisputed ruler of guaranteed Flotilla Killing.
As to a double tap for the kill? Well, you can bring down the Rebel cost by using a SW-7 CR90B in place of the MC30, but it isn't enough to beat out the Seps.
By no means are these actual builds for destroying a Flotilla. Please, do not try this until you get really desperate to kill the annoying Gozanti.
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2023.03.24 17:34 Demonicking101 We Need a Deathworlder! Pt 60

Chapter Sixty: Personal Revelations, Potential Rescues
“What button I press?” Nodrin asks as they stare down at their hardlight controller. The first person view of their section of screen continuously runs at knee high ledge.
“Green trigger.” Troy informs as he intentionally spared the struggling Gratt in his lines of sight.
Nodrin’s perspective leaps stiffly but successfully over the ledge. Then to only see their character splatter on the floor from the great unseen height.
Calmly, the Gratt places their controller down and excuses themselves from the game.
“Game not for me. I watch.” they inform.
Trying his best to stifle a laugh Troy nods.
“Don’t worry about it, we’ll try something more your speed after I crush lil’ miss grenade spammer here…” he teases the female Gratt who is currently hyper focused on the combat game.
Although Meeki has obviously spent the vast majority of her life being completely ignorant to what a ‘vid-game’ is, she has taken to it like a Cali to kul dew gravy. Her skills however… are still developing as she leans heavily on the simple but effective tactics. Though she also spared her bondmate from being easy pickings to increase her score, her loyalty to them still overwrites the growing need to claim victory over her Terran friend. She knows that Troy is going easy on her, as his direct confrontations have almost always been in his favor. While her kills were basically nuking an entire room with tossed explosives as he’d enter.
Running through the digital halls, Troy keeps an eye on the radius radar tracker, almost regretting telling Meeki that crouching made her all but invisible to him. But that meant she moved slowly, so all he had to do was blitz through the map he knew all too well and hound her down-
His character’s head erupts into a red mist explosion as a grenade meets it seemingly out of nowhere.
“Wait- what?” he says aloud in a moment of shock before Meeki chiters sharply in giddy glee.
“Bounced it off walls to you!” she reveals.
“Ooohh… Nice! That’s hard to do!” Troy complements, realizing it must have been a stroke of luck.
Getting back into it he respawns and continues on with his previous plan, only to have his guts spill out in a concussive blast as a grenade bounced off a interior tree limb from the plaza next door, rebounded off the doorway to the floor, which it then sailed right up into his character’s abdomen.
Baffled, the Terran shakes himself loose and leans forward before he respawns again.
Okay… no more mister nice guy…” he chuckles.
He prioritizes trying to track where his foe currently camped out, he is ahead by quite a few points so he can spare a couple reckless deaths to help triangulate.
Again and again he found himself being obliterated by absurdly trick-shot explosives. Concern grows as the match gradually becomes more even in score, but he figures that the Gratt must have perched herself up high with a vantage point to where she can- nope, nothing.
Troy’s legs blow out from underneath him as a grenade rolls right in front of his path as if expertly predicted.
Very much starting to question if this industrial revolution era Gratt figured out how to find and utilize illegal cheat software, he presses his head against the controller while the score comes to a tie. He racks his brain for any sensible explanation. Is he actually just bad at this game? Or is Meeki some sort of progeny with throwing timed explosives?
Finally, while being ultra stealthy on his part, Troy on a whim glanced downward in an exposed and accessible sewer grate.
Blasting his rifle in a blazing fury of vengeance he guns at the revealed opponent.
Meeki squeals in laughter while physically jumping in her seat as she panics to run away from the Terran deeper in the narrow tunnels.
Troy mentally kicks himself for not realizing that this entire time she was sneaking around under him and tossing grenades up in the various floor openings on the map. The trick shots are all still stupidly impressive, but not quite the impossible mastery as he started to previously assume. It also explains where she keeps getting all these grenades, as each entrance had a respawning pair ready to be scooped up.
“Got you!” He laughs as he gives chase into the tunnel network, only for the Gratt’s earlier method of engagement to return.
As soon as he drops down, the Terran recognizes his grave error just before the whole narrow tunnel is nothing but fire, shockwaves and shrapnel.
Shaking his head he readies himself to counter Meeki’s uncovered plan of attack in a much smarter approach, but his view is obstructed by a ‘MATCH OVER’ text and revealing the female Gratt as victorious by a single point.
Troy is caught off guard by this because the scores are not at the final end-match goal, but he leans back in a drawn sigh noticing the match timer has come to an end. Unable to hold frustration for more than a few seconds, it drains from the man as he looks over at the celebrating Meeki practically wrestling with Nodrin in her excitement. Who in turn is hyped up by some Gratt emotional osmosis. Well, that or Nodrin simply loved seeing their bondmate so thrilled.
For a moment, Troy’s mind wanders to a place it almost never indepthly ventures to because it was always second nature without thinking. It’s a good place, close to his core as a person. Making people smile and laugh brought him immeasurable self-value and comfort. It brings him back to a place that was hazy in detail, but clear in feeling. Him and his mom spending time together watching comedy shows, movies, vids…
That woman could make the most sullen heart laugh, as she often did in the area Troy had to grow up. Not having much to their name, questionable neighbors, dubiously cheap vendors, being too close to a life-ending occurrence on a too frequent basis… through it all she’d make a light in any darkness.
Suddenly he’s ripped free from his zoning out by two Gratt tackling him from the side.
In his laughing resistance he pushed himself up and back to maintain a height advantage, but Nodrin moved around and yanked, causing all three to fall back over the circular couch and down to the floor in a tumbling pile.
“Aren’t you two supposed to be taking it easy?” Brandy cautions the Gratt like an overprotective parent.
“We careful and drugs hide pain.” Nodrin assured truthfully as this really is the duo being careful by their standards. Full-on Gratt social wrestling is usually far more chaotic.
Uh-huh… you doing alright there Troy?’ Brandy redirects to the Terran now under the two mischievous space-goblins.
“Oh yeah, this ain’t nothin’!” he reports with a thumbs up.
“Okay… well, I’m heading out to meet up with Devin and Thorn. Might be out all night, can I trust you three nut-cases being here unsupervised?” she teases as she adjusts her clothes.
“Yeah, where are ya going out to do?” Troy inquires for clarification.
“There’s some stuff going on with a few politicians that seems pretty suspect. Has nothing to do with us, but it may garner vital support for our local Princess if we involve ourselves. Devin will be on standby if anything happens while we’re out.” Brandy answers.
“Ah… no way I can help then… gotcha.” Troy replies with a vertical nod.
“Actually… Thorn asked if you were available… but I said you weren't.” Brandy reveals.
“Huh? Why?” the man questions in surprise.
Brandy looks over the three with an unreadable yet knowing expression.
“Because you aren’t. Have fun, your pizza should be here soon so keep an ear out.” the woman rolled her amused eyes as she headed towards the exit.
“Aright… Good luck!” Troy responds as he combats the duo from completely pinning him to the floor.
“Bye!” Meeki called out in a grunt as the woman fully left.
At the sound of the door fully sealing the Gratts manage to overwhelm the Terran jock in a pin while atop of him. Their tails each coil around his legs to render them unmovable and both of their pairs of arms are more of a match for Troy’s by himself.
“One day we beat Simone like this!” Nodrin snickers as they let off pressure with Meeki.
“Doubt it…” Troy chuckles as he stretches his freed arms up past his head, “That lady is a football team’s wet dream. Crazy she only really played baseball.”
“Aw… wish we brought ball…’ Nodrin mentions, their voice trailing off a bit.
“Yeah me too… though the others are probably relieved.” Troy points out, “Not like I have the best reputation with collateral damage.”
“You destroy things by mistake much?” Meeki asks.
“Well sure, everyone does. I just happen to do it a bit more… openly.” Troy says.
“Much like us, we act openly. Though Gratt are… uhm… what is word… ‘hyper’? And we have learned that is seen as aggression-trait. Dangerous to be near. We are careful and have not harm anyone we do not intend, but suppressing ‘Gratt’ expression is… difficult. We bond with social physical manners, like wrestle. We of course not do without permission, especially from other peoples… but…” Nodrin replies in a gradually saddening tone, “I worry Gratt will not be accepted by stars much. That no matter of what we explain or show we are not harmful Gratt will just be dismissed as a ‘Deathworlder’ to much avoid. Future of Gratt… more uncertain with more I see of the stars.”
Troy listens and nods along to the Gratt’s dower venting.
“Is it cool if I give some advice? You know, from a Terran -well, really ‘Troy’- perspective?” he inquires.
“Yes.” Nodrin nods.
“Only give a shit to what matters. That is to say… It doesn’t matter worrying about how much someone is going to judge you, because they’re gonna do it anyway. You know? Don’t sacrifice your energy on folks that aren't going to give you a chance in the first place that could be spent more on yourself and giving back to the universe in the ways that matter. Let dumbass-jerks avoid you, both of your lives are better for it. You can keep up a facade of who people want you to be all you want, but it’s only going to give them a reason to call you disingenuous or something like that later when they find out the ‘truth’. Just be yourselves and who you are. That way you’re only surrounded and supported by people who you know like you. Like me, I think you two are freak’n awesome! Like, I know politics have their own rules and shit, but on the day-to-day as people interact with you and your people is how social acceptance or whatever it’s called is done. Just keep being your amazing hyper big-hearted selves and things will probably work out. And hey, if the don’t you’ll always at least have me in your corner!” the Terran says with both confidence and a bit of a struggle to find the right words to pull from his head.
“You guys good?” he then asks as he notices that Nodrin’s expression seems confused, and Meeki… had been staring at him nonstop with her own four vibrant yellow eyes since halfway through his ‘advice’. Which at this point he starts to feel like his words were not all that helpful for their situation. He deems such as ‘far enough’ since half the time whenever he opens his mouth that tends to be the case.
The female blinks as if snapped out of something, but instead of answering she turns to her bondmate in an identical confused look to theirs.
Still not fully freed from the Gratt pile, Troy looks back and forth at the couple sitting on top of him with their surprisingly strong tails still tightly gripping his legs. He lays there allowing the two to engage in what sounds like a very serious chittering conversation. Wanting to test his knowledge of the Gratt language he deactivates his translator though unfortunately he’s absolutely clueless as to what the topic between the two can possibly be.
After a while of this otherwise unbothered, Troy rests his head on his crossed arms and simply waits.
“Troy…” Nodrin finally speaks up, although there seems to be no resolution in their expression.
Finally happy to be clued in on whatever’s going on the Terran nods.
“Yeah?” he casually asks.
“May we ask you questions? Personal questions? We do not want to be rude.” Meeki then asks.
Uhhh…. Yeah sure! I’m an open book!” he concedes with a wide smile.
“You have family? Is other Terrans family?” Nodrin inquires.
“Ah… well… I suppose they’re like family. Thorn being the grumpy-ass dad. Devin, Simone and Brandy are like my siblings in a way. Jamie was…” the man hesitates, his smile faltering while on that specific part, ”-a bit more than that to me. Uhm… yeah… We definitely count.”
“Jamie is person Chak and Simone’s child is named after?” Meeki says gently for clarification.
“Uhm… yeah that’s right… they were our pilot for a long while and… um… yeah we uh… we had just started kinda dating before… they uhm… died.” Troy’s smile is completely gone from his face, “I took it pretty hard. But… that’s just how things are, we all can’t live to our gray-days. I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by being resentful about it, and I wasn’t the only one hurting, you know.”
A flash of sorrowful regret comes across the Gratt duo’s faces.
“Sorry, Troy.” Meeki apologizes.
“Much.” Nodrin agrees.
“It’s alright, really. It’s just weird talking about it outside the crew. The scar’s been healing for a bit too, although it still hurts. Which I think is a good thing, you know… that there is a lot of worth to miss, and a lot still around to hold on to.” Troy smirks with a shrug, “I still have a lotta life to hopefully live, and the best thing I can do is live it with everything it brings.”
“Not meant as insult…” Nodrin says with a bit of hesitancy, “But you hide much wisdom in you…”
“Wise? Ha! Naaah… thanks but Brandy’s right, I’m just a big nut-case.” Troy counters with a revived chuckle.
“Not sure what tree seeds in a container mean as teaseful insult… Do seeds not grow into big, mighty, beautiful trees?” Nodrin points out, “There’s more than one way to be wise, and more than one way to express wisdom. You are wise, Troy.”
The man’s face flushes from the assured compliment.
“Dang, uhm.. I guess… I mean… yeah thanks. Simone and I used to be the two meatheads but… even she has made me feel like a clueless dumbass by comparison sometimes. She picks up on things I don’t… like… apparently Jamie liked me for the longest time and laid the flirting on hard, and it all went over my head till Simone pointed it out. But you know what, that isn’t gonna happen again. Next time someone hits me up and stares me down trying to tell me something like that, I ain’t gonna miss it!” he vows.
Meeki looks back at Nodrin and shares more chittering between them. The only words that Troy catches in the exchange are ‘Unsure’ and ‘ask’.
“Do you flirt with people you like?” Meeki questions.
“Oh, hell no. Nope. No thanks.” Troy immediately replies in a laugh.
The confused Gratt look between each other again before addressing the man.
“You feel no immediate attraction?” Nodrin guesses.
“Not exactly. Brandy’s like that though. No… I’m just clueless and don’t want to be misunderstood because I don’t really pick up on things and say things that I worry would be misconstrued… you know… so I’ll just hang until it happens my way I guess. I’m in no rush either. Sure, companionship to me is something I feel like I need, but there’s a lotta things I need as a person. I’m always myself, so whoever it may be would have to see that and think ‘yeah, I can put up with that’, you know.”
“I think I understand.” Meeki nods, “Nodrin and me… we’re experiencing something… and want to see if it’s something to… look into. We don’t know for certain, if it is what it could be. We are curious… if you…” Meeki struggles making sure she explains correctly in galactic standard, “...have interest. We don’t want to misread signs.”
Raising an eye tuft Troy opens his mouth to respond, but the universe has other plans. The notification of their food delivery comes up following with a gentle ring.
“Oh hell yeah! Pizza’s here!” he cheers, “Sorry guys I gotta go get it, mind letting my legs go for a sec?”
The Gratt slide off the Terran and uncoil their tails, allowing him to get up and jog to the door.
“I suppose not…” Meeki says in Gratt to her bondmate.
“Perhaps we should be more direct?” Nodrin replies, “Though… it’s admittedly terrifying… and maybe it’s for the best if we ignore it for the time being.”
“But… what if it becomes something more without speaking of it? We see him rather often and will presumably continue to do so. It may not… but… Dearest…” Meeki trails off.
“I know, love. I know. You’re right.” Nodrin grants, “I just… I wasn’t expecting this. Neither of us were. Perhaps we're overreacting because it has never happened before and I don’t think Terran minds bond the same as ours does. Regardless of how we handle this, we must keep that in consideration. Troy has become a good friend, no need to spoil that because of something that might occur. So… after we eat, let’s at least educate him on what it means and see how he responds. Sounds like a fair, measured start?”
Meeki releases air through her neck vents in a drawn sigh.
“Yes, I agree.”
Back at the entrance, Troy opens the door without the screening feature. Which catches him off guard to see an unknown tall and thin Terran woman in a business uniform standing at attention. No pizza is sight.
“Oh uhhh… sorry, can I help you?” Troy mutters as he quickly brushes his head fur with his hand, while the other rests on his hip where a concealed weapon awaits use.
The woman narrows her eyes in confusion and is also caught off guard, having not expected this frat-boy looking man to have answered.
“I don’t know… maybe? Is… is there a Simone Thatch here?” she asks.
“Uh… nope. No one here by that name.” Troy answers in technical truth before shrugging “Sorry.”
Raising an eye tuft the woman crosses her arms.
“Ah… well she’s a redhead and pretty muscular. Okay she’s very muscular. Like… very. Does she sound familiar to you?” she questions.
“Lookin’ for some friend or ex of yours or something?” Troy asks to dodge.
“Something like that I suppose… It's been so long that I’m not sure what we’d call ourselves, but when I caught wind of someone matching her description to a tee I had to come and try my chances.” she explains before looking around and leaning in closer to the man, “Look, I know she has hefty charges against her, I promise this isn’t about that. I also know that she has at the very least been here, so if you could just tell her that her old friend from the academy would lIke to talk with her, that would be great. She can contact me at my private office.” the woman informs in a whisper as she holds out a small card with contact info.
“No promises…” Troy replies with a shrug as he casually accepts it, with his Lens he runs one of Devin’ scanning programs to check for anything off about the info-rectangle.
“That’s fine. Thank you.” the woman says before turning around and leaving without another word.
Finding nothing odd about the card Troy watches her leave, nearly running into a small driven hover cart. The woman apologizes but continues on off until she’s out of sight. The hover cart on the other hand recovers and glides right up to the man.
“Perfect. You order the Terran Pizza and drinks?” the Hallo delivery driver assumes.
Troy looked to the seated two and a half foot tall round insectoid holding the steering apparatus with their elephant-like trunk.
“Guilty as charged!” Troy nods with a big smile, “What gave it away?”
“Heh! Funny guy. Alright just a moment, I’ll get your order ready.” the Hallo replies as they turn around in place via a swivel seat and open an accessible rear compartment.
“Sure thing. Boss keep’n ya busy?” Troy says as he leans against the doorframe.
“Don’tcha know it… apparently some thorax-brain accidentally dropped their shuttle down an entire core and there’s talk about those…. Whatcha call ‘em… the newcomers? Not the Squilla folk… the… Gratt! Right! Seems like some even bigger thorax-brains thought it would be smart to shoot up their embassy. I know they’re the new Deathworlders on the block, but come on ya whackos we live in a civilized society. At least tryin’ to, ya know?. Anyways people are overreacting and ordering in their meals in mass right now as if the Gratt are gonna seek out vengeful justice or something. Garbage. But hey, means I work more to feed the larva waiting back home.” the delivery person rants as they pull out Troy’s order and hands it over.
“Incidentally the Gratt waiting to enjoy this appreciates you and your work. Thanks!” the Terran replies as he starts to part.
“No joke? Well how ‘bout that, be sure to tell ‘em that our service is a proud attender to all kinds across the stars. We may not have the best grub, but we got a bit of everything for anyone. Anywho, I got a lot more orders- oh! Hey, I know it can be seen as rude but can I ask ya a Terran biology question? It’d help me settle a bet with a coworker.” the Hallo ventures.
“Uh, sure.” Troy shugs.
“Are your larvaes really born without teeth?”
“Not usually, no teeth.” the man answers, now wondering if there are genetic exceptions.
“So the Net was right on that one? Huh… Well thanks bud, I may be out a few dozen credits but.. Ehh…”
“Sure thing. Good luck with the rest of your night!” Troy chuckles as he turns around to hand over the pizza and inform everyone of the surprise Terran visitor.
Panting with her whole body twitching, Chak sat mounted on Simone’s lap after another spark of impromptu intense sessions of intimacy.
The Terran places a hand on the back of the fur covered Cali neck as she breathes in euphoria.
“Damn… we’re really going at it tonight…” Simone chuckles, though she knows the reason all too well, “Not complaining… but we’re gonna have to sleep at some point hun.”
I don’t want this night to end… I really don’t…” Chak admits softly, “Tomorrow we’re going to wake up and maybe never have a chance like this again. I know it’s foolish, but I keep imagining that life we want and if today at all resembles it… I want to relish this for as long as possible.
Simone nods in understanding and shifts her body against Chak’s as she embraces the princess in a secure hug.
“We’ll get there. I promise.” she says as she holds the love of her life, “Nothing's gonna stop us from getting there. Right?”
“Right…” the Cali eventually replies as she pulls back to then fond over her Terran, “It’s just… I’ve noticed Terran stories like ours often end in tragedy. I know it’s childish… but I can’t help but to keep worrying.”
“You know we’re both too stubborn to let that happen.” Simone jests as she returns the fond-ing with her own hands, “You told me in a tub like this one… that your favorite stories were the ones where despite the odds, the heroes pull through. We’re gonna pull through. It’s not going to be easy, but we will. I’m choosing to believe that with every fiber of my being. I promise you… That’s going to be our story.”
Chak’s eyes narrow, combatting the crying gray with bright hopeful loving red flickers.
“Do you think it would be possible for us to be married sooner rather than later? After we make contact with the Union President? I don’t think I can wait until this is all over. I know it would be a perfect occasion to celebrate our well earned lives together… and the good ending Terran stories usually end with such an event… but I desperately want to be your wife, and you to be mine. I know it functionally won’t change our day to day… but… why wait?” the Cali says as she plants her forehead to Simone’s.
“That’s not going to be our ‘ending’ regardless Chak…” Simone reassures, “After this business with galactic-scale nightmares is all over, we’ll still have a whole other perilously taxing adventure to navigate; Raising a family and living our lives. As I said, we’ll get there. As for marriage… if we don’t find ourselves in deep shit to dig ourselves out of first, nothing would make me happier than to marry you at the very next opportunity… screw it…”
Leaning in, the two deeply kiss with reserved, lovingly tired passion for a few minutes. After they separate, Chak considers keeping the night going a bit longer, but she admits to herself how low her own stamina is at this moment. In addition Simone is right, they need to sleep.
“Then it’s settled. Leave the arrangements to me then, but I’ll be sure to share everything that isn’t a surprise with you for mutual approval.” Chak says.
Simone smiles as she brushes the back of her fingers along the side of Chak’s face.
“Once were hitched I’ll finally be able to do that thing where I wake you up with breakfast while wearing nothing but an apron…” she teases.
Chak’s eyes flash brilliantly as she grasps the redhead on her shoulders.
What Terran cultural practice is that and why hasn’t that happened yet!?” the Cali demands in astonishment, her mind clearly elsewhere.
Simone laughs aloud, shaking her head.
“I’m kidding that’s just a- Well it’s a thing but- uhmm… Anyways you’re a very light sleeper Chak, it’s not like I could easily surprise you with something like that.” the Terran points out.
“Simone. I will pretend to sleep if I must, but this must be doneplease!” the princess bargains.
You got it, you absolute horndog…” Simone chuckles sweetly before giving the Cali a brief kiss, “When I have the chance, I’ll see what I can do. Now before I rile you up again, it’s time I call it for the night. I’ll go change the bedsheets and we’ll hit the sack. Do you mind if you could…
“Oh! Yes of course.” the princess agrees as she fully pulls herself free from her fiance. In all respects.
Simone stands up from the tub and slowly pulls herself free. Grabbing two towels she underhand tosses the spare over to Chak as she soon follows out.
“I’ll clean and pack away our new intimate additions.” Chak volunteers as she begins to fluff her fur dry,
Permanent additions… for sure.” Simone replies while walking over to a dresser for spare bed sheets and blankets.
The Terran and Cali cuddle bare together under the warmest, softest, fluffiest blankets Simone has ever known. It’s like sleeping nude in a fantasy cloud of warm cozy bliss.
So of course she and Chak awaken not a few hours after falling asleep together.
Chak awakens easily enough from her natural light Cali slumber, but the normally heavy sleeping Simone wakes from a well trained ear. Something she’s instinctually immediately alert to from her days in the military.
Muffled weapon’s fire.
Thankfully, their room isn’t the one being accosted. However whoever is below them is encountering a horrifying late night visit.
Simone sits up with a protective arm over the Princess, still fearing that at any moment someone armed will barge in to give them the same treatment.
“Put your suit on. Contact the others.” Simone instructs as she hurries to put on some clothes. Having to resort to her dress with the new jacket on top.
“I will, but I’m coming with you, Simone.” Chak responds already halfway fitting on her power suit.
Simone wants to argue, but if they were the next target it makes sense for them to not stay put and stick together.
“I can’t be sure, but that sounded like a pulse rifle on a lower output.” the Terran says as she waits for her fiance to finish preparing.
Hooking their item bags to her hips, Chak nods.
“I believe you’re right.” she agrees.
“Which means they just tried to ‘silently’ kill a non-deathworlder, or knock a Deathworlder out.” Simone figures as she and Chak pace to the door.
“I’m not getting a response from anyone.” Chak reports, “I don’t think my signal is getting out at all.”
“Well at least we know they’re already on the way… If they’re not preoccupied with something else…” the redhead says before reaching a hand up to the indicator, but no hard light panel appears, “Power black out? Shit. Something big is happening.”
“Something that we’re not the priority of?” Chak replies a bit hopeful.
“With that bounty of yours? Yeah, I don’t think we’re the target.” the Terran notes as she begins to process the idea of locking themselves in and waiting it out.
“Then… we should stay?” the Cali says, though by her tone it’s clear she’s thinking quite the opposite.
“That might be the smarter thing to do. Barricade ourselves in, wait out and hope that whatever’s going on isn’t spreading to more patrons of this place.” Simone reasons to convince herself more than anything.
“But…” Chak says softly in expectation.
Simone looks back at her almost apologetically.
“Coming in there was a family with kids in the lobby… I have to make sure whoever’s getting hit either deserves it, or if it’s someone who really needs someone else like me to step in.” she says.
Chak nods.
“Then let’s step in. Do what you do best, and I’ll be right here with you.” she grants.
Waiting for just a moment, as if giving herself a final chance to back out, Simone finally reaches down for the emergency manual handle.
submitted by Demonicking101 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 16:44 CryptographerOk2258 Weekly Update 3/23/23

Pastel Community Update (March 23, 2023)
The next generation NFT focused blockchain. Certifiable authenticity. Permanent storage. Negligible fees. Build, secure, and scale your Web3 ecosystem with Pastel.
The Pastel Team has been extremely busy with a number of major development updates, partnership rollouts, and product releases. Check back here each week for new developments
Check Pastel channels for:
Weekly community snapshots shared across our various channels.
🐾Quarterly updates released via our newsletter.
☎️Weekly community town halls / AMAs directly with the Pastel team. Come prepared with your questions, comments, and feedback!
📣Monthly Twitter Spaces with u/doodlestone and u/panthony
Key Updates:
🚨Partnership with Astar Network🚨
Pastel Network is excited to announce that it will be working with @AstarNetwork, a layer1 parachain in the Polkadot ecosystem. Astar provides the infrastructure for building dApps with EVM and WASM smart contracts offering developers true interoperability with cross-consensus messaging (XCM) and a cross-virtual machine (XVM). Astar and Pastel will collaborate with the goal of providing Pastel’s Web3 tooling solutions — Sense and Cascade — to its NFT ecosystem. This collaboration signifies the continued successes of both Pastel and Astar, and is a massive step forward for the overall NFT ecosystem. It is a testament to the growing need for NFT reliability, security and verifiability, solved via Pastel’s advanced infrastructure.
Learn more on Medium
In case you missed it, please listen to our twitter space with @ArtZero_io, @agoric, and @Kryha_io teams discussing all things NFT Security & Marketplaces.
🚨Discord Banner Competition🚨
We're looking for creative people to build a unique banner for our Discord page. You can win up to 100 USDT by creating and submitting a banner on our Discord. See below for more details on how to win! Good luck, learn more here🎨
🚨SmartMint on Twitter 🚨
It is our great pleasure to announce that SmartMint will now have a Twitter presence. The SmartMint twitter account has officially launched.
Check out our collaboration with @Agoric and @kryhia_io as SmartMint was used to mint their work.
We are always looking for artists to collaborate with, please inquire on any social media platforms
🚨Addition of Status Page🚨
We're continuously #building to ensure that our users have the most powerful Web3/NFT infrastructure at their disposal
We recently released a Status Page so you can monitor the performance of our infrastructure & services in real time. Check it out here!
🚨Wrapped PSL🚨
Wrapped PSL or wPSL exists to transfer tokens across platforms. We have noticed the buzz about wPSL (wrapped PSL), so we’ve created a video about it! 🔗wPSL holders can store on wallets such as MetaMask 💹You can also trade on Ethereum DEXs
wPSL is available on Uniswap. Watch our video and learn more here
🚨Pastel Testnet Faucet Release🚨
Our Testnet Faucet is now live. The launch of this independent network enables users to obtain LSP (Pastel Testnet Tokens) to experiment with and develop in the Pastel Testnet environment. This gives users the ability to experiment with Pastel features without having to spend valuable PSL on the mainnet.
Learn more about Pastel's Testnet Faucet
🚨Becoming a Supernode Operator🚨
Become a Supernode operator today & gain increased credibility in the validator community & earn exclusive rewards from the foundation, such as PSL or NFT airdrops, in addition to receiving Block & Transactional Rewards.
🚨Cascade Protocol🚨
Cascade has numerous concrete advantages over competing systems such as IPFS & Arweave, particularly when it comes to censorship resistance, data permanence & data accessibility.
Check out our technical paper on Cascade, Pastel's storage layer. Cascade is an extremely powerful & robust storage system for true data permanence that is both completely decentralized & highly scalable. Learn more here
🚨Sense Protocol🚨
Sense is a Near-Duplicate NFT detection protocol powered by the Pastel Network. Assess the relative rareness of a given NFT against near-duplicate metadata on networks like Ethereum, Solana, etc to prevent prevalent scams or theft. Try it yourself here and watch it work here
🚨Monet 1.2 Mainnet Release 🚨
The Pastel team has been working hard on this upgrade that will be live soon. Here are some features that will be included in the upgrade. Learn more about Monet 1.2 Mainnet release. Users will have the opportunity to experiment with Monet before the release using testnet.
-Storage challenges in Cascade guarantee ongoing data permanence & decentralization on the network across active & compliant Supernodes. -Activation of Supernode Health and State Challenges: Similar to Proof of Storage, Health & State Challenges will guarantee the ongoing active and enabled state of each Supernode client on the network.
-Stabilization of Sense Protocol: Improvements to Chrome Driver usage, updates to Webtools 1.3, and implementation of additional tickets. -Release of the OpenAPI Gateway: Production-ready Gateway will be deployed via the Mainnet with support for a number of new endpoints, asynchronous execution, Ansible support for independent deployment, and a graphical user interface for interaction.
🚨2023 Roadmap and Review of 2022🚨
Pastel released its 2023 roadmap, including a review of 2022. Pastel Network 2022 in review and roadmap for 2023 shows great progress made in the previous year and much promise for the year ahead.
Upcoming year
Upcoming Mainnet Releases
🚨News and Developments🚨
-Pastel in the news
📀CoinTelegraph looks into industry leaders’ tips (inlcuding Pastel’s own Anthony Georgiades) for regulatora
🐱Catcoin discusses the Astar partnerhship
⚓Pastel Networks co-founder, Anthony Georgiades talks about what regulators can do in this Cointelegraph article
💡 Check out this Medium article on how Sense is revolutionizing NFT provenance written by Ima-Abasi Pius Joseph
🌡️ Pastel Networks co-founder, Anthony Georgiades talks about his optimism for the market in this CoinDesk article
👀 CoinDesk features co-founder, Anthony Georgiades, and what Coinbase's transition means for crypto
🌵Bitcoin Insider discusses how Pastel protects and stores artists’ NFTs
💚Check out how Pastel Network protects and stores artist’s NFTs in this Bitcoin Insider article.
-Crypto News
⭐CoinDesk Twitter provides you with daily crypto updates
🌼CoinDesk delves into the battle of crypto vs traditional finance
🌀ABC calls cryptocurrency a “bystander” in SVB collapse
👛CoinTelegraph has some interesting insights on the market and blockchains
🌺CoinTelegraph shares how to bridge the gap to web3
-Pastel Archive
🚧We released a Builder’s Guide for ecosystem partners integrating w/ Pastel. Come build with us here.
🌯wPSL or wrapped is explained in this video and
🚧Pastel is completely open-source. Check out what we are working on here.
💫If you could not attend our Twitter Space with u/wondermundo on 2/17, hear it here
🌀Testnet tutorial video
🏆Learn more about Sense and Cascade
🔦Want to try out Sense for yourself? Upload your NFT here to obtain the rareness score of your NFT.
📹Check out this youtube demonstration showing what happened when we compared OpenSea’s new duplicate detection system to Sense Sense Comp Analysis
-Pastel news and essays
♠️NFT real estate explained
⭐Astar Partnership intro
🖌️Monet 1.2 preview
🐋NFTs and climate change
🚀Value of NFTs explained
If you have not done so already, please take a moment to join our growing community base:
🐓 Follow Pastel on Twitter
🙉Follow Smartmint on Twitter
👾Join Pastel's Discord Server
👽Join Pastel on Reddit
✈️Join Pastel’s Telegram
🖥️Subscribe to our Youtube channel
submitted by CryptographerOk2258 to PastelNetworkOfficial [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 05:21 ImaginationSea3679 All of the hatchlings in Arxur Nursery

Disclaimer: Minor spoilers for Arxur Nursery.
This was made at the request of u/frame_late
In case you don’t know, Arxur Nursery is a series continuation of a good ending rewrite of a oneshot known as Graphite Dreamland written by u/CornSquashBeans. The original oneshot made everyone incredibly depressed, so I took it upon myself to save the precious babies.
Now, the precious babies live in Arxur Nursery.
Arxur Nursery is a mostly slice of life fluff fic about “defective” Arxur hatchings being sent to an improvised orphanage and being cared for by humans. Some of them might even get adopted.
In preparation for the days of adoption, here’s a list of all of the hatchlings present in the story.
Every hatchling has a name, gender, age, hobbies/likes, and an article of clothing that helps identify them.
I hope to get the chance to actually introduce them all ion the story!
Minuli, Female, 8 years old: The only named hatchling from the original oneshot. Loves drawing and astronomy, being a surprisingly talented artist who draws random planets in her free time. She was given an astronomy t-shirt depicting the solar system.
Timothy, Male, 4 months old: Is the youngest of all of the hatchlings. Loves playing with alphabet blocks and making laser gun noises. He was given a blue plaid button up shirt.
Baroz, Male, 10 years old: Is the oldest of all the hatchlings, and is nearing the arxur age for puberty. Loves observing his surroundings and reading… anatomical diagrams. Maybe has some issues. He wears a belt with a pouch and carries around various forms of… literature.
Jurra, Female, 7 years old: Has a taste for fashion and an eye for aesthetics. Also has ADHD. She wears a poofy little girls dress.
Kuno, Male, 7 years old: Older brother to Saba. If you adopt him, you have to adopt her as well. Wears a shirt that says “Big brother” on it.
Saba, Female, 5 months old: Younger sister to Kuno. If you adopt her, you have to adopt him too. Wears a shirt that says “Little sister” on it.
Kilo, Male, 4 years old: Loves the texture of wool and fleece. Wearing a wool scarf.
Barka, Female, 6 years old: Loves geology and gemstones. Needs glasses. Was given a gemstone necklace.
Tazka, Male, 9 years old: Is fascinated by color theory and art. Wears a tie-dye rainbow t-shirt.
Kana, Female, 3 years old: Loves the color purple and pretty flowers. She wears a purple ribbon tied into an elaborate bow around her wrist.
Jax, Male, 8 years old: Likes pretty ladies and being a proper gentleman. Wears a button up shirt with a clip on tie.
Pyon, Male, 2 years old: Likes touching things. Has high functioning autism(also known as Asperger’s syndrome). Wears a fur textured armband.
Jeremy, Male, 10 months old: Likes hopping around and running after things he finds cute, which includes you. Has ADHD. Wears a set of bunny ears.
Lennon, Male, 1 year old: Named after a member of the Bettles band. Loves listening to music and grooving. Wears a wild wig of black hair.
Bethany, Female 2 years old: Loves clinging to the nearest person and bouncing on the bed. Has a habit of randomly kicking things without control(possibly a variation of alien hand syndrome). Wears a pink t-shirt.
Raja, Female, 6 years old: Loves piggyback rides and large animals. Wasn’t given any clothes, but was given a Godzilla plushie.
Helen, Female, 5 years old: Named after Helen Keller. Is blind in one eye and deaf in one ear due to abuse. Wears a white ribbon around her wrist.
Walter, Male, 3 years old: Loves chewing on rocks and eating glitter glue. Wears a beanie.
Surak, Male, 7 years old: Loves being the center of attention. Wears sunglasses all the time.
Yalga, Female, 7 years old: Born slightly malformed and lopsided, and also suffers gigantism and Asperger’s syndrome. Loves making herself look as pretty as possible. Wears a pretty pink bow tie on her head.
Lefty, Male, 7 years old: Born blind in one eye. Has a massive crush on Yalga. Loves water and fish. Wears a pirate style eyepatch.
Sapat, Male, 9 years old: Suffers from depression. Has an interest in biology and bioengineering. Wears a torn lab coat.
Fisa, Female, 8 years old: Loves sneaking around and watching any form of media that she can get her claws on. Wears a watch.
Croja, Male, 7 years old: Older brother of Sarep. You must adopt them both. Loves metal music. Wears a leather jacket.
Sarep, Male, 3 years old: Younger brother of Croja. You must adopt them both. Has high functioning autism. Loves any music that is happy in tune. Wears a t-shirt with a music note on it.
Rya, Female, 3 years old: Older sister to Belet. You must adopt them both. Loves to chase bright lights. Wears a t-shirt depicting a sunset.
Belet, Female, 7 months old: Younger sister to Rya. You must adopt them both. Has a faster than average metabolism. Loves trying to eat everything. Wears a bib.
Edit: A hatchling has been added.
Rokkan, Male, 5 years old: Has a slight mouth deformity that forces an accent similar to a southern drawl. Has taken an interest in Earth cattle. Wears a cowboy hat.
submitted by ImaginationSea3679 to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 04:22 throwaway9211711 How to help my undocumented employee?

I was once a dreamer before dreamers was a thing. I grew up as an undocumented kid in North Carolina and became a permanent resident because my parents were approved for work visa. Today, I am a medical doctor and own a private practice.
I first met Nancy when I was taking care of her dying grandpa four years ago. Subsequent to this, I took care of three additional members of her family.
Nancy wants to become a doctor because her father was a transplantation survivor. She wants to become a nephrologist.
When she graduated from her prestigious university, that’s when I found out that she wasn’t applying for medical school because she had followed her parents without visa when she was little. I don’t know the details but she didn’t qualify for DACA.
So here is a bright young woman who reminds me of my past, whose grandparents I’ve taken care of. Her path is blocked, and I’ve come to find out she was working as a janitor at night with a bachelors degree from a respected university.
My question is this. Is there any way for me to hire her under my corporation and help her obtain legal personhood?
submitted by throwaway9211711 to immigration [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 02:10 Pristine-Simple689 TTC Chapter 14 (Mawangdui 58)

Previous -------------------------------- Next chapter
I am no authority in Chinese, translation, or Taoism. I have no cultural or religious Taoist background. English is not my first language. Chinese text might be wrong, I don't know how to read or write Chinese. Translation might be inaccurate, comments might be mistaken. The comment section is usually great and provides useful insights. Sources linked in comment section, sort by oldest.
Feel free to share your favorite translations in the comments so we can all compare and learn together, also feel free to ask anything or correct any mistakes. You are free to copy, change, improve, expand, and/or share this text with whoever. No recognition or mention of OP is required. Enjoy!

Chapter 14:
視 之 不 見 ,
Look this no see [,]
名 曰 夷 ;
name say 夷 (wide and flat) (ancient tribes) [;]
聽 之 不 聞 ,
Listen this no knowledge [,]
名 曰 希 ;
name say 希 (scarce/hope/to strive for) [;]
搏 之 不 得 ,
Capture this no have to [,]
名 曰 微 。
name say 微 (small/hidden) [.]
此 三 者 不 可 致 詰 ,
This three who can’t be consulted [,]
故 混 而 為 一 。
therefore muddy and turbulent yet do one [.]
其 上 不 皦 ,
Its top no bright [,]
其 下 不 昧 。
Its under no obscure [.]
繩 繩 不 可 名 ,
Tied with ropes no can name [,]
復 歸 於 無 物 。
(it) returns to revert to the empty creature [.]
是 謂 無 狀 之 狀 ,
It is by nature correct to say to appear empty of appearance [,]
無 物 之 象 ,
empty creature’s Image of importance [,]
是 謂 惚 恍 。
It is by nature correct to say confused and distracted (seems like) absent minded [.]
迎 之 不 見 其 首 ,
Receiving it no see his head [,]
隨 之 不 見 其 後 。
Following it no see his back [.]
執 古 之 道 ,
holding in your hand Ancient 's Tao [,]
以 御 今 之 有 。
for riding (as if like) chariot pulled by horses what we have now [.]
能 知 古 始 ,
able to understand ancient beginning [,]
是 謂 道 紀 。
It is by nature correct to say discipline of Tao [.]


Look this no see [,]
name say 夷 (unreasonable/wide and flat/ancient tribes) [;]
Listen this no knowledge [,]
name say 希 (scarce/hope/to strive for) [;]
Capture this no have to [,]
name say 微 (small/hidden) [.]
夷 can't be touched; rope wrapped around an arrow. (wide and flat, or ancient tribes)
希 can't be heard; depicted a type of cloth. (scarce/hope/to strive for)
微 can't be seen; walking small. (small/hidden)
聞 hear, smell, to know;
TTC uses several references to the five senses to "recognize something near" at different degrees of recognition.
[ listen is "far away", smell is "medium range", see is "close range", to grab with hands (or to know) is "already at hands reach" (or already understood) *unverified approximation* ]

"To look at something is not the same as to see it clearly [,]
I call it by the name of "unreasonable, wide and flat" [;]
To listen to something is not the same as to know it clearly [,]
I call it by the name of " scarce hope to strive for" [;]
Closing your hands is not the same as obtaining it [,]
I call it by the name of "Small and vaporous substance" [.]"

Mawangdui order is:
can't be seen, can't be heard, can't be touched.
These three characters appear in different order in this translation. I'm keeping 3rd and 1st swapped to add some additional meaning.

A common translation of the mawangdui verse would be:
"When you look at it but you can't see it, its name is 微 (invisible);
when You listen to it but you can't hear it, its name is 希 (inaudible);
You close your hand but you can't grab it, its name is 夷 (intangible);"

This three who can’t be consulted [,]
therefore muddy and turbulent yet do one [.]
混 "muddy and turbulent", to mix; meaning: 氵 water sound: 昆 insect/elder brother
詰 "to consult", to question, to interrogate;

"These three can't be understood [,]
They appear to be like muddy and turbulent waters, yet they are One [.]"
"These three are not known,
mixed and yet create Unity."

Its top no bright [,]
Its under no obscure [.]
Tied with ropes no can name [,]
(it) returns to revert to the empty creature [.]

Mawangdui reads "its top no absurd", which I find a notable reference to include, easier to interpret literally, but less poetic.
Describing the "One", unity, calmness:
"On its top, light doesn't reflect and blind you with it[,]
on its bottom, it isn't dark or hidden [.]
Even firmly grabbed no one can describe it [,]
it returns to revert to the empty creature [.]"

"When it is in power, it is not arrogant or in need of praise,
during is service to others, he isn't obscure with his words or actions,
he always returns the empty creature".

It is by nature correct to say to appear empty of appearance [,]
empty creature’s Image of importance [,]
It is by nature correct to say confused and distracted (seems like) absent minded [.]
"Naturally, its appearance is called empty appearance[,]
(This is) the important image of the empty creature[,]
It is naturally correct to say: *being confused and distracted seems like being absent-minded* [.]"
It is called an empty creature because of it how it looks: "appearance of empty appearance". Hopefully understood by the reader with the empty bowl reference.
This probably has some other meaning, but I like this one:
You can look distracted but remain aware,
you can look confused but remain calm and be competent.
you might look absent-minded, but you remain present in the moment.

"In both positions of power and service,
for the people to prosper;
- The Don't:
Don't be arrogant, don't dwell on praise,
don't hide your actions, don't be obscure with your words;
- The Do:
Be sincere in words and actions,
be productive and helpful while doing your duty.
While doing (the duty), empty the bowl of desires to do the task at hand.
- The consequence:
Only then, your actions will flow naturally,
without the worry of your appearance,
because the bowl is empty of appearance.
- The reminder:
It is naturally correct to show confusion,
when the task is not well understood,
To seem absent-minded when service is required,
is to remain confused and distracted (from these words).

Receiving it no see his head [,]
Following it no see his back [.]

"In front of it, you can't see his head [,]
from behind, you can't see his back [,]"

holding in your hand Ancient 's Tao [,]
for riding (as if like) chariot pulled by horses what we have now [.]
"Keeping close to you (to your heart) the Tao of the Ancient [,]
to guide what we have today as a chariot pulled by horses [.]"
"Follow the Tao of the Ancient,
to swiftly guide us for today."

able to understand ancient beginning [,]
It is by nature correct to say discipline of Tao [.]
"being able to understand how the Ancient followed Tao,
Naturally, it is called "The discipline of Tao" [.]

Mawangdui reads differently:
"Understanding the Tao of today,
(is the ability to) be of service for the works of today,
"Learning" from this the principles* of the Ancient,
This is the "key" of Tao."

*Also translated as the beginning of the Ancient, or the beginning of "the universe".

Other references of "empty appearance on duty" from unknown origin (probably Tibet):
Warning! *NO source for this claim*: [A possible reference to 無為 WuWei (empty doing), originally written as 亡為 WangWei ("appearance of dead" doing)]
He was a venerable master. There was a comforting glow of permanent peace in his eyes. He only had one disciple, to whom he gradually imparted mystical teachings. After years of teaching, one day the master turned to the disciple and ordered him:
-"Go to the cemetery and, once there, with all the strength of your lungs, start shouting all kinds of praises to the dead."
The disciple walked to a nearby cemetery. The silence was overwhelming. He broke the peaceful atmosphere of the place by shouting all kinds of compliments to the dead. Then he returned to his master.
-"What did the dead say to you?" asked the master.
-"They said nothing." the disciple answered.
-"In that case, go back to the cemetery and hurl all kinds of insults at the dead." ordered the master.
The disciple returned to the cemetery. With all his might, he began to spout all kinds of insults at the dead. After a few minutes, he returned to the master, who asked the same question and got the same answer:
-"They said nothing again."
And the master concluded:
-"That's how you should be: indifferent, like a dead person, to the praises and insults of others."
A similar reference in this Buddhist story:

For many years, the Buddha traveled through cities, towns, and villages, imparting his teachings. But everywhere there are malicious and unscrupulous people. Thus, sometimes people would arise who challenged the master and insulted him harshly. The Buddha never lost his smile and maintained an imperturbable calm. To such an extent did he preserve his composure and peaceful countenance that one day, the disciples, amazed, asked him:
-"Sir, how can you remain so serene in the face of insults?"
And the Buddha replied:
-"They do indeed insult me, but I do not pick up the insult. If someone wants to give you a gift, but you refuse to accept it, then the gift remains with the giver and not with you."
As translated by OP from:
Book: "Cuentos Tibetanos La Esencia de la Calma" Authors: Yosano Sim and Palao Pons. Colección Sabiduría Ancestral, ISBN: 84-88885-98-9
submitted by Pristine-Simple689 to taoism [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 00:52 bumble_bee_bunny I got ion permanent hair dye and I forgot to get the developer. My roommate has almost the same one I need but it’s 20 volume not 10 and the dye calls for 10. Is that okay to use?

submitted by bumble_bee_bunny to HairDyeHelp [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 22:29 LDP_Weather3 The Funeral

The Queen stood in front of the magic mirror checking her facial expression. Mirror shook their head and said, "Your eyes are still smiling, ma'am."
"Damn," said Queen Evelyn as she shook her head in an attempt to reset her face. "This was much easier when my first husband passed." She straightened out and tried again.
"Well, you weren't sure how long you would hold onto your title during his funeral. Edward's death doesn't come with much risk." Mirror studied her for a moment, "Better, but I really think you need tears to sell it."
The Queen thought for a moment, "What if I occasionally dab my eyes with my handkerchief?" She pulled an embroidered handkerchief out the sleeve of her black velvet dress and demonstrated.
After a moment of consideration, Mirror answered, "Yes, I think that will do just fine."
The Queen smiled and did a final check to make sure she looked the part. Black dress, conservative hair style... "Oh, my veil!"
She waved her finger and a black veil flew across the room to her waiting hand. "Thank goodness Harold got engaged before all this dreadful business," she said while placing the comb of the veil in her hair. "At least now I can have an excuse to get out of mourning black quickly. Do you think it will draw suspicion if I start wearing color again before the day of the wedding?"
Mirror was about to answer when there was a knock on the door.
"It is time, your majesty," said Happy. Like the rest of the Royal Household, his clothing had magically been turned black for the occasion. The color looked odd on Happy, who normally wore bright colors that matched his name.
"Already? Well, let's get this over with then. Did you make sure the girls are already crying?"
"Yes, ma'am. I told them if they didn't I would personally dye all their clothes black permanently."
She smiled warmly at him as she strode past. "You always know what to say to cheer me up, Happy." She said loudly in case a passerby saw her smile. "And my stepdaughter? What of her?"
"Still no sign of her in any form, your majesty," he said while trying to keep up with the Queen's brisk pace.
"Perfect. Let's pray we finally get through an event without any interruption," she said. Then quickly added for the benefit of a passerby, "I really don't want anything to disturb my beloved Edward's eternal rest."
With that, they had reached the procession line behind the casket wagon and the show began.
submitted by LDP_Weather3 to SouthGooseLake [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 22:00 _richas_ How to permanently adjust AmbientLightingIntensityInteriorDay and AmbientLightingIntensityInteriorNight?

Hey everyone,

I am using the following mods:

I am finding that the two variables are too bright (Going for a more realist lighting theme in barrows and caves.):

How can I adjust these to be permanent vs having to edit through the ENB Settings menu (Shift + Enter in the game)?

Editing the enbseries.ini does not help.

Thanks, all!
submitted by _richas_ to skyrimmods [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:56 Background-Soupp Can prolongued, chronic anxiety cause permanent elevated blood pressure?

So I wrecked my body dozens of times with sometimes severe anxiety over the past 10 years (25 now). I have no family history of high bp, healthy weight, healthy diet gym 3 times a week but my bp is fluctuating between 110 and 150. My doc says not to worry but I find it difficult not to pay attention to it as a lot of times when I measure its 140~ (dia always between 66 and 90). I know my breathing is terrible and tought myself a very shallow way of breathing due to anxiety and I conditioned myself to randomly feel anxiety even though there is no notable trigger.
When I wake up my heartbeat is about 55-60, but the moment I decide to measure my BP my hr shoots to 80-100 (and bp also gets higher)
Now I was wondering two things: can 10 years of anxiety cause some sort of permanent or persistent elevated BP? Or are the bodily markers good and it's still my brain pumping cortisol and adrenaline through my system. And it's not that my BP is permanently screwed even though I'm working hard on my anxiety levels.
Another question: A lot of times throughout the day I feel my heart beating somewhere in my body, usually my back/chest/arms/foot especially when something is pressing against it (back of chair, tight shoe, grabbing something with my hand) but I can really feel it and its hard to put my mind away from it, enhancing the sensation. Feeling the heart beat in my body vividly. Being much less when I stand up and doing something. Sometimes I also see in the corners of my eyes when staring at a bright screen. The intensity of the sensation also fluctuates throughout the day, not linked to a time/activity either (although less active seems more sensation, appart from working out of course)
Also. I seem to have (have had on and off for years) dull soft pains in my chest (90% on the heart side) but over the last few months (ever since I started worrying about my BP) the sensation started to become more frequent. It's not linked to increased activity, time of day or anything I can see. Just random sensations throughout the day. When I'm actively doing something (or not sitting/laying down) I notice it less.
Sorry for the text. I'm just wondering if anybody knows I could have these sensations from an elevated blood pressure (doc still not worried, drastic lifestyle changes and supplements for 5 weeks didn't change anything noticeably) or is that BP too low to cause such appareant sensations.
Anecdotally. Yesterday I came back from a 9 day holiday in a warm climate and felt I could breathe much more freely (congestion wise), having a positive effect on the way I experienced my body. In the plane and when I landed the abilty to breathe so freely slowly vanished.
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2023.03.23 20:15 Lost_Crab4129 Perioral Dermatitis

Perioral Dermatitis
Every Feb/March/April over the past 3 years I have been told I have personal dermatitis due to red bumps around my mouth. During the other months of the year my skin is perfectly fine. This year, I went to my dermatologist to seek help after I developed red itchy bumps near my eyebrows and mouth. She claimed it wasn't dermatitis and an allergic reaction to something I use because of the itchiness. I stopped it all and used a gentle cleanser with tacrolimus ointment that she prescribed. This cleared it up in a week and I stayed on it for another week per her instruction. I then stopped it and it came back a week later. I was told to start using the tacrolimus again for a week, it cleared it up but then came back a week after stopping. This dermatitis is EXTREMELY itchy around my eyebrows and mouth (in the past it hasn't occurred on my eyebrows, just the mouth). Now after returning to the dermatologist for the 3rd time, she says it is personal dermatitis and prescribed me 100mg 2x a day Doxycycline for 6 weeks and to resume tacrolimus ointment. The ointment feels like a bandaid solution, not a permanent one, and makes me bright red and hot when I drink (not a big issue but I have a wedding coming up that I hoped to have a cocktail at). Basically, I am hoping someone on here has some insight into what's going on because I am so frustrated and wish I could prevent/handle this properly the first time around!
I do not get my eyebrows waxed, threaded, plucked, etc. so this is not a cause.
Thank you.
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2023.03.23 20:12 Lost_Crab4129 Perioral Dermatitis

Perioral Dermatitis
Every Feb/March/April over the past 3 years I have been told I have personal dermatitis due to red bumps around my mouth. During the other months of the year my skin is perfectly fine. This year, I went to my dermatologist to seek help after I developed red itchy bumps near my eyebrows and mouth. She claimed it wasn't dermatitis and an allergic reaction to something I use because of the itchiness. I stopped it all and used a gentle cleanser with tacrolimus ointment that she prescribed. This cleared it up in a week and I stayed on it for another week per her instruction. I then stopped it and it came back a week later. I was told to start using the tacrolimus again for a week, it cleared it up but then came back a week after stopping. This dermatitis is EXTREMELY itchy around my eyebrows and mouth (in the past it hasn't occurred on my eyebrows, just the mouth). Now after returning to the dermatologist for the 3rd time, she says it is personal dermatitis and prescribed me 100mg 2x a day Doxycycline for 6 weeks and to resume tacrolimus ointment. The ointment feels like a bandaid solution, not a permanent one, and makes me bright red and hot when I drink (not a big issue but I have a wedding coming up that I hoped to have a cocktail at). Basically, I am hoping someone on here has some insight into what's going on because I am so frustrated and wish I could prevent/handle this properly the first time around!
I do not get my eyebrows waxed, threaded, plucked, etc. so this is not a cause.
Thank you.
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2023.03.23 20:06 SabatonBabylon The HEL Jumper Chapter 6.2

Book 1 of The HEL Jumper
Year 2 of The HEL Jumper
Year 3 of The HEL Jumper
Year 4 of The HEL Jumper
Year 5 of The HEL Jumper
Previous Patreon
Thanks to Darth_Android, Fern_Vale, Mamish, Vikairious, Gruecifer, Benjamin Durbin, Daddy_Talon, and everyone else supporting me on Patreon.
A/N: Thank you all for your patience.
“Well, that was certainly something,” Antoth remarked to himself as he looked over the sum of his people, who were obviously not ready to retire for the evening. Thanks to plentiful computational power aboard the ship, Io had not run into any snags synthesizing Cauthan language voice overs for The Princess Bride. Thantis had even gotten himself a cameo, his voice used for the role of the grandfather and narrator. Unfortunately for those interested in a quick dispersal, Io had forgotten to include any sort of disclaimer regarding the fictional nature of the tale, inducing a riot of discussion among the villagers. Ratha turned her nose up and wore a sour expression as even her hunters found themselves debating the best way to bring down an aggressive rodent of unusual size. The AI had a self-satisfied smile on her face as she approached the village leaders for feedback.
‘I’d say the movie was a hit. Did you like it?’ she wondered. Antoth spent some time gathering his thoughts, but Ratha shot from the hip as usual.
“This happily ever after business is nonsense. There were at least seven different opportunities where the pompous one could have permanently disposed of his rival. I suppose that idiocy is why he wound up where he did in the end though,” she said of the ignominious Prince Humperdinck. Antoth and Io shared a glance for the briefest of moments. The blonde haired woman smiled warmly.
‘I see the tale was quite captivating then.’
“It was. But there are other matters to attend to, as I may have mentioned earlier,” Antoth reminded her, looking up at the twin moons which shone brightly overhead. A leaden weight settled into his stomach as he contemplated a night sky without them. The Cauthan leader took a fortifying breath. “We are prepared to negotiate our departure from Mara. Please inform Natori at your earliest convenience. He has been mentioning more frequently that he feels the pressure of time.”
‘Oh I would not worry so much about that if I were you,’ Io told them with a wink, her green eyes reflecting a couple of the small fires scattered about the central plaza. ‘Certain circumstances have arisen that may lengthen our stay here, but that is no reason to delay talks. I have already notified the Admiral of your request. I assume you’d prefer for him to meet with you here?’
“I think that would be for the best,” Antoth agreed as Ratha remained alert but silent at his side. “There are notable items that Staroth and Nerazek wish to discuss. We must understand his vision on how we will be… acclimated to human society.”
Io nodded seriously and bowed to the two of them, doing her best to contain her excitement. ‘I understand. The-’
Antoth tilted his head questioningly as Io’s train of thought was derailed. “Spirit?”
She recovered quickly, however, and smiled at him. ‘There’s nothing to worry about. That was just Natori confirming that he would be happy to join you all first thing tomorrow morning, if it suits you.’
“The cub enjoys kicking me to the outhouse first thing in the morning,” Ratha grumbled. Io was happy to be deferential with someone else’s timetable.
‘Late morning it is! Should give everyone time to wake up and have breakfast at a minimum. I’ll just let the Admiral know that… hmm, that’s odd,’ Io said to herself, having suddenly lost connection to Natori’s personal device. While Ratha could have cared less, stalking over to her guildmates to oversee their conversation, the AI clarified for the sake of Antoth’s perpetually concerned visage. ‘It seems that the Admiral has entered an important and private meeting. I will be sure to confirm the time with him afterward.’
“That would be best, thank you,” the Cauthan replied before casting his gaze over his charges. “Looks like it’s going to be a long night. I hope not all of your… motion pictures are so captivating.”
Io chuckled as she crossed her arms under her bust, taking Antoth’s words as a compliment. ‘Oh just wait until they discover video games.’
“That is wonderful news, Admiral Kaczynski. When will the negotiations begin? I’ll need time to prepare my-”
“If I may be so rude, Emissary, I would ask you to kindly hold your proverbial horses,” the dark-skinned man requested of the horned alien, who had stood abruptly in his haste. Kaczynski gestured for Qul’Roth to take his seat once more, his expression passively polite. Even with the alien sitting on the floor, the two were approximately eye level.
“There are some among your species who would consider such jokes offensive, Admiral,” Qul’Roth noted. Kaczynski smiled.
“I think it’s clear that beyond the hooves you bear little resemblance to Earth’s equine species, but if you took offense I assure you none was intended.”
“Oh no, perish the thought,” Qul’Roth replied, more agitated at having been made to wait instead of any wordplay. “If anything, the hand wringing itself is more grating. We don’t look anything like horses.”
“It is an ancient tradition for humans to take offense on behalf of others and make problems where there are none,” Kaczynski explained humorously as he folded his hands together on the surface of the conference table. “But I do intend to risk your offense by stating in no uncertain terms that this negotiation will take place between myself, as a representative of humanity, and the Cauthan. The Ghaelen will not be a party to the proceedings. Though if there is anything you wish to mention now, I will be sure to take it into account.”
The more honest members of Alpha Division were happy to admit, in private, that one of the joys of intergalactic diplomacy was trying to watch a Ghaelen adapt to an unforeseen situation. Natori shared that particular view, and his voyage to retrieve the Lancer had provided no shortage of opportunities. He did feel a twinge of guilt as Qul’Roth composed himself. It was the older, most self-assured advocates of the Order who were truly entertaining when ‘out of water’. “I request an explanation, Admiral Kaczynski. We are discussing the induction of another species into the galactic community.”
“With all due respect, Emissary, we will have to disagree on that point,” Natori said, using an index finger to adjust his glasses. “These proceedings are a direct continuation of the treaty of mutual assistance and protection that was signed weeks ago between my people and the Cauthan.”
“That may be so, Admiral, but I don’t see how that contradicts my assertion, unless you intend to permanently quarantine them somewhere,” Qul’Roth insisted. Natori’s nostrils flared as he took in a strong breath.
“We have already discussed the Udanis IV pacification on this trip, Emissary. What say you about the manner in which the Gorgons were… ‘inducted’ into the galactic community?”
“Admiral Kaczynski, I understand that the Udanis incident was both an unfortunate and formative deployment in your career. You have my condolences, but I fail to see what it has to do with the situation at hand,” Qul’Roth replied politely. Natori shook his head.
“That is kind of you, but unnecessary. I would not be the man I am today were it not for witnessing our war with the Gorgons firsthand. Are you aware that we are opening an embassy on their planet?”
Natori again found himself savoring the sight of flat-footed Ghaelen. Qul’Roth checked the data disc that hung from his neck, eyes narrowing in disappointment as he discovered the corresponding information. “Why was I not informed of-”
“This information is… was classified up until a week or so ago. It’s unfortunate that we missed the official announcement. There are a few individuals whom I would have very much wanted to observe in their ‘live reaction’, so to speak. But duty called, as it were! Your High Council is no doubt aware of this development already.”
The Admiral stroked his chin thoughtfully as Qul’Roth seemed troubled by the news. The alien rubbed his antlers for a moment before adjusting his position on the floor of the conference room. “How can this be? Those primitives- er, Gorgons were irredeemably violent! Our diplomatic attempts were met with silence or outright hostility!”
“As were many of ours, and after brutal subjugation I might add,” Kaczynski replied, not wanting to rib the alien unnecessarily. “However, that did not stop us. A pair of incredibly brave individuals from both of our species sowed the seeds of this diplomatic fruit over a decade ago. I don’t blame your species for cutting your losses early on, but too many young men and women died on that moon, Emissary.”
“Yes well,” Qul’Roth began with uncertainty. “While we are most grateful for humanity’s sacrifices in resolving that dreadful conflict, I fail to see its relevance to the Cauthan question.”
“Are you familiar with the White Man’s Burden, Emissary?” Kaczynski asked instead, leaning forward over the table as he did so. The Ghaelen remained mute as he processed the non-sequitur. After consulting his data disc and skimming over a handful of notes he shook his head.
“My education on your species and its particularities doesn’t seem to have touched on this concept, Admiral. I assume it is-”
“I have my reasons, I assure you,” Natori cut in, assuming a less overbearing posture as he leaned back in his chair, crossed one leg over the other, and made slow, circular motions with his hand to help gather his thoughts. “Human history is, sadly, often defined by race and racism. It is an unfortunate but natural tendency of our minds’ desire to sort and categorize. For instance, there was an entire body of anthropological science dedicated to proving out the hypothesis that humans who look like me or my mother are biologically inferior to fairer skinned peoples, or even a different species altogether. I actually have a few of those manuscripts and documents in my possession back on Earth. Fascinating stuff, now that it’s been put behind us.”
“I…” Qul’Roth began, but Natori waved him off before pouring each of them a glass of water.
“This was not intended to make you feel uncomfortable, Emissary. It goes both ways as well, to be fair. My father was not initially accepted by certain portions of my mother’s community, and not all of them came around even after many years. That being said, these individuals were similar to the classmates I had to divest of the notion that they were related to Egyptian Pharaohs on account of their dark skin. You cannot imagine the looks on their faces when I told them they were more likely related to Ghengis Khan than Tutankhaman! I was… not very popular with them after that. But let us talk instead of the White Man and his Burden, as they called it. It was a convenient line of argumentation, a jump from the observation that European society had exceeded and surpassed many others on the planet to equating that success with the race of that civilization’s inhabitants. Once convinced of their own superiority, it was a foregone conclusion that it was incumbent upon them to spread their gifts to the lesser, darker races of the planet.”
“How barbaric!” Qul’Roth exclaimed. “And you said this line of thinking is only a couple hundred years old?”
“Rudyard Kipling, 1899,” Natori dictated, clearly having memorized the factoid. “And while I agree that it is a barbaric way of thinking, would the Philippines have been a founding member of the HEL without its history as an American colony? I wonder.”
“But surely you don’t mean to excuse-”
“No more than your species excuses its own atrocities in the name of progress, Emissary Qul’Roth,” Natori said calmly, his eyes narrowing. “I told you I had a point in all of this messy history.”
Gears turned behind Qul’Roth’s black eyes as he understood Kaczynski’s equation of his own species to imperialistic Europeans and Americans. “Admiral, you are out of line.”
“Oh? And you intend to put me back in my place?” he laughed. “Tell me, Emissary. What was it about humanity that caused your species to negotiate with us as you did? Were we special in some way, or just the first species you found capable of effectively shooting back?”
“That was before I was born, Admiral,” Qul’Roth replied carefully, his tone cold. Natori smiled.
“Indeed. First and foremost, Emissary, I am a human. Second, I am a scientist. In that spirit, please understand that what I am doing is not out of hatred for you, your people, or your Order. I intend an experiment, a trial, if you will, for the noble savage,” the man explained in broad terms. “Because I disagree with how our alliance has treated species it deems unfit for modern society.”
“Then what is it, exactly, that you intend to do?” the Ghaelen demanded reasonably. Again, Natori met him with a grin.
“I am not sure yet, Emissary. But I can tell you what I intend not to do. I will not impose upon them tenets of your Order as a condition for safe passage to Earth. They will be expected to not endanger themselves, my crew, or this ship, but otherwise I intend to allow them to live as freely as they would like. They will be offered education, job training, and employment, but it will not be mandated. Given the size of their population and the aforementioned issues with their remaining on Mara, I’m sure this will not be too great of an imposition on you?”
“What is that saying among your people, Admiral? It’s the principle of the matter?” the alien suggested. “Your executive decision to exclude my people outright from this matter is inappropriate at best.”
Natori raised his water glass slowly to his lips, taking only enough to wet his throat. The glass made the lightest of noises upon its return to the table before the Admiral presented his perspective on the matter. “Emissary, if I were excluding your people and their interests from this matter then I would be making arrangements for the villagers to remain here along with a portion of my crew, in the interests of establishing a human science colony on this planet. I have already seen and experienced enough in our brief time here to suggest that, were it not for the restraints imposed upon both of our species by what I consider to be generally prudent first contact protocols, this course of action is the only suitable one. Out of deference to our alliance, however, and consideration for the other Cauthan populations on the planet, I am willing to leave that decision up the HEL and your High Council. I will not, however, compromise the treatment of the village that gave aid and succor to our lone survivor, despite having barely anything beyond what they need to survive themselves. It is the duty of humanity to reward that kindness.”
The two men were interrupted by a knock on the metal door to the well ‘fortified’ meeting room. Thanks to the various surveillance countermeasures in place, Natori was required to stand and walk over to the door. Once there, he used the lock panel to verify the identity of their guest. “Thank you for taking time away from your charges to deliver this,” he said to Anita, accepting a bowl of greens and a coffee from her. “I will be sure to note that delivering me a coffee is above and beyond your job description.”
It was difficult to miss the fact that Kaczynski was meeting alone with Qul’Roth, verified by Anita simply leaning to the side and observing the contents of the meeting room. “Um… it’s no problem, sir. Is something-”
“All will be revealed when appropriate, Engineer Prakash. Don’t ask how the sausage is made, as they say, hmm?” he advised, sending her politely on her way before returning to his discussion with the Ghaelen emissary. “A little something for each of us?”
“I would have expected you to bribe me before explaining your plans for unilateral action on the Cauthan issue, Admiral,” Qul’Roth stated curiously, though that did not stop him from sampling the fare before him. Natori just turned a smile and leaned back in his seat.
“That’s because it’s not a bribe, Emissary. It is, however, late in the evening and I did not want to rush you out the door,” the man explained. The alien chewed thoughtfully for a moment before replying.
“I would like to think that I’ve learned better than to contest you directly when you set yourself on a course of action, Admiral Kaczynski, though you should have no doubt that my superiors will hear of this unilateral decision making of yours. This is not what our species agreed upon at the outset of this project. That being said, I have rarely heard you speak with such conviction as now. So let us set aside this Cauthan question in favor of your comments about Mara and a human colonial presence here. What makes you so certain, Admiral?”
“Was the ancient, advanced, alien technologies tampering with the warp point and altering space-time itself not enough?” the man replied incredulously. The Ghaelen held up a hand as he chewed thoughtfully, only speaking once finished.
“My understanding of the situation is that installations were found all over this system, including one on one of the moons of this planet. Surely those could be studied instead?” he proposed. Natori allowed the point.
“While scientific exploration on a habitable world is easier, I concede your point with regards to minimizing our impact on the planet and its inhabitants. That being said, Emissary, such an approach would paint an incomplete picture. The alien system, presumably active for millions of years, ended its operations and engaged in a controlled self-destruct sequence in response to a Cauthan. We believe the keyword was their god of death, Kel. If that was an accident, it was a one in a billion event.”
Qul’Roth straightened his back as he stroked the long tuft of hair that grew from his chin. His antlers almost scraped the ceiling of the human-sized room. “I must have missed that tidbit of information, Admiral.”
“That’s because it’s not publicly available, Emissary, and the soldiers there at the time have been made to understand that this subject is highly classified, at least for the time being. I hope you understand the implications of my sharing this with you here and now,” Natori elaborated before opening the leather-bound folder he often carried with him. A single piece of paper was slid across the table for Qul’Roth’s perusal. He took it between his fingers and read the title.
“This is… from the team that was ambushed by the ursae, yes? Dreadful affair that was. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt such visceral terror before!”
“Exactly,” Natori said, providing some context as Qul’Roth read the small, official, typeset text. “The plate tectonics of this continent are similar to those found on Earth near the Himalayas. This makes the central ranges, especially the older one to the east, of particular interest in examining the geological record of this planet.”
“Indeed,” the Ghaelen nodded, checking for himself to ensure he understood the proper meaning of the scientific term. “And what exactly was this team looking for in… this can’t be right.”
“Oh? And why not?” Natori wondered with childlike glee. “We’ve already found a nuclear powered endoskeleton and a formerly functioning robot. Why not nuclear war?”
“But there is no… I see,” the Ghaelen suddenly realized, raising his head from the paper and leaning forward. “You would stay behind and search for these clues. Have you found any corroborating readings at other sites? Ruled out natural causes such as volcanism or meteorite impact?”
“My dear Emissary, now you are beginning to sound like a crew member of the Event Horizon!” Natori complimented the alien, who responded with an indignant noise from within the hollow cavities of his skull. “We are still waiting for analysis of the samples gathered by other teams, and I ask you to keep in mind that the initial wave of geological sampling was intended to probe several locations as well as several eras in this planet’s geological history. With this sort of reading confirmed, we will be able to narrow our future searches.”
“Mmm, yes. I understand. I was not trained as a geologist though,” Qul’Roth explained before handing the paper back to the Admiral. “This report is quite confident in its conclusions.”
“Cobalt, Barium, Americium… you don’t see those elements in those isotopes following meteorite impact or volcanic eruption, Emissary. I have requested that Io forward the relevant literature to your device for review in your spare time. We will do our best to confirm this result before our departure.”
“Yes, yes indeed. If this is the case that village is most certainly an afterthought. Perhaps even the entire population? No matter, I will not be able to resolve this issue today,” Qul’Roth concluded after a moment of mumbling. “I do not know whether to call this serendipity or the worst of luck, Admiral. For the sake of the Order, I urge you to devote all available resources to answering this question.”
“You need not invoke the Order in this case, Emissary. I assure you that we will do all within our power,” Natori promised earnestly. The man paused for a moment, tilting his head towards the ceiling with his mouth slightly open, as though a thought were on the cusp of crystallization.
“Is there something the matter, Admiral Kaczynski?” Qul’Roth asked formally. The man returned to a relaxed posture and shook his head.
“No, thank you Emissary. I was just wondering if you might check your own species’ records for data on this system. It could be anything from anomalous light readings to scout ships gone missing, as with the Lancer. I hope we can both agree that while the possibility of a nuclear war on this planet is distressing and headline catching, the true question is who was able to seal the system off from the rest of the galaxy, and why did they do it? No matter what our subsequent geological surveys return, that question will remain outstanding.”
Qul’Roth looked down at his shimmering data disc as he chewed a green leaf between his molars. “We have deviated significantly from the original topic of conversation, Admiral. But I think this has been productive nonetheless. In the spirit of cooperation and discovery, valued as they are by the Order, I will immediately consult the records I have access to. I do not want to over promise, however. Even with this ship’s significant data storage capabilities, a preponderance of our species’ records relating to galactic exploration remain on Ghaela. Your people follow the same principle, no?”
“To an extent,” Natori agreed. “Though in our defense I would describe it more as information filtering. The vast majority of scouting data is released to the public promptly, though I know as well as anyone that some remains classified. That will likely be the case with much of what we have seen here, reminding me that I have a most difficult situation to attend to before we reach Earth once more. I am discussing paperwork, Emissary.”
“Oh, thank goodness. I was worried there would be yet another unexpected twist to this already stressful dialog,” the Ghaelen almost laughed with relief. “I presume you’re speaking of the need to bind members of your civilian crew to non-disclosure agreements?”
“And the Cauthan,” Natori agreed with a chuckle of his own. Qul’Roth cleared his throat and pushed off his hind legs to assume an upright, if hunched position.
“As you requested, I will leave those details to you, Admiral Kaczynski. I will instead return this bowl to the good engineer in hydroponics so as to deliver my thanks in person. I am sure we will speak again shortly. May our actions serve to uphold the Order.”
“And a good evening to you as well,” Natori allowed the alien to depart the conference room, effectively terminating the various countermeasures in effect. Left alone, he placed his feet on the table, propped his elbow on the arm of his chair, and rested his chin against his knuckles. “I suppose I did deserve that little jab about the Cauthan situation. He’s become wittier over the last year or so.”
The Admiral glanced out of the corner of his eye as a familiar form shimmered to life and looked around the space before finally focusing on him. ‘Ah, there you are. I’ve been looking all over for you. With an expression like that you seem to be missing a stiff drink at your side, Natori.’
“I think we both know you could have taken down the countermeasures if you had really wanted to, Io,” the man responded. She crossed her arms.
‘I have lived my entire true life in a village where privacy is basically non-existent. I know the meaning of a do not disturb sign when I see one. But you give your engineers too little credit, Natori. Even I am not exactly sure what would have happened if I had tried to brute force my way in here. Well, I know what’s supposed to happen, but not if I were to defend myself. Given you were not in any appreciable danger I chose not to. Who were you conversing with so secretly?’ she wondered, pulling up a gilded table, seating herself in a plush, Victorian armchair, and pouring herself a glass of blood red wine. ‘The Princess Bride was a smash hit, by the way.’
“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father… prepare to die,” Natori quoted with admirable gusto but a less than perfect accent. “He was always my favorite, the man dead set on revenge who manages to achieve it without letting it consume and warp him. Do you have a moment?”
Io looked down at her comfortable setup, having even donned a pair of outrageously fluffy slippers that looked like stuffed hyrven. ‘My alternative engagement for the evening is watching a shirtless hunk of a man snuggle with his naked and now quite rotund wife. And while I never tire of watching true love play out between them, it has gotten decidedly less intense since Veera came down with a case of babies. The rubbing of fluffy tummies and gentle, unobtrusive, lovemaking just doesn’t get my circuits overheated the same way as when they were fumbling around and biting each other like horny teenagers.’
Natori’s head quickly returned to his hand, downing the last of his coffee and finding it lukewarm. “Is there anyone in particular I should blame for your voyeuristic subroutines?”
‘The aforementioned lack of privacy and a dead engineer with a penchant for maids,’ Io explained before turning the conversation on a dime while crossing her legs above the knee. ‘Was it the Emissary you were speaking to here?’
“It was indeed, and I may have dug myself into a bit of a hole out of pride,” Natori admitted, looking away from her for a moment.
‘Shall I bring my body over from the hangars? This sounds like it might be a long conversation,’ the AI deduced. The Admiral nodded, turning his chair to face her fully and returning his feet to the floor.
“An updated copy of the ship’s status report and another cup of coffee would be much appreciated as well,” he added. Io conjured a stack of paper and ‘flicked’ it at him, its arrival heralded by a small ping from his device.
‘The coffee will take a little longer,’ she explained the obvious, content to watch quietly as Natori’s eyes skimmed line after line of ‘all clear’ and the occasional ‘within acceptable parameters’.
“I won’t hold it against you,” he promised before setting aside the piece of technology and looking directly at her. “And it would seem that I still have some time to speak.”
‘Yes, you mentioned a hole you’ve been digging?’ Io probed pointedly, receiving an abridged version of the conversation the Admiral had undertaken with Qul’Roth. ‘I see. Well, I can hardly fault you for wanting the Ghaelen out of the picture, not that I think any of the villagers will find the Order particularly compelling. I do feel the need to point out that race was, in all likelihood, a convenient excuse for the equally basic human penchant for territorial expansion and empire.’
“Perhaps,” Natori agreed, pushing his chin up and to the side with a hand in an attempt to crack his neck after sitting still for too long. “Not that that sort of historical nuance would well persuade those for whom race still matters today. Some make it difficult to forget.”
‘And I’m sure Qul’Roth absolutely appreciated the completely accurate comparison,’ Io guessed with a smug expression. ‘So that’s what you wanted me to help you with? Come up with a plan to elevate the Cauthan technologically without enlightening them morally? Do you have any idea how irresponsible that sounds, Natori? I’m sure the Aztecs would have made incredible discoveries in the field of astronomy alongside industrializing the institution of human sacrifice if you suddenly pulled them forward two thousand years.’
Natori blinked twice, opening his mouth to reply only to find that Io had vanished. “Scolded by an AI, on matters of morality no less?”
‘And I’m sure you’re positively giddy about it,’ came Io’s true voice as she entered the room in the biomechanical flesh, depositing another steaming cup of coffee in front of the man.
“Quivering in my seat,” he chuckled, bringing the coffee to his lips and inhaling deeply before taking a sip that almost burned his tongue. “And you’ve taken to wearing perfume, it would seem?”
‘Oh shut it, you,’ Io glared at him as she settled into a seat. ‘I was surrounded by cooking fires all night.’
“Well I find the combination to be mildly intoxicating, as though your beauty were not enough. You don’t get much wood smoke on a starship. But we have bigger fish to fry, do we not?” he pointed out, assuming a more neutral sitting position and sterner expression. Io nodded curtly.
‘Flatterer; but you should start, Natori. Was I mistaken in my diagnosis, or is that really what you were planning?’ the AI wondered, her tone more curious than accusatory.
The Admiral shrugged. “I’m not sure I would go that far, but I did insist that we humans would handle the issue of Cauthan uplift, nor was I particularly subtle about it. I believe I implied that it was necessitated, in part, as reciprocation for taking care of you and the First Lieutenant. Am I mistaken in my opinion of them?”
Io’s expression softened as she prepared to show him a short video using her built-in palm projector. ‘No Natori, I don’t think you are. But I think you are focusing too heavily on the ones you know personally, Antoth and Ratha, Nerazek and Gentia and Thantis. Your opinion of the Cauthan is based primarily on those among them whose passions are tempered by the burden of leadership. You spoke of race and racism with the Emissary? The Cauthan are just as capable of racism as man. Watch.’
Natori did just that, leaning over the table and observing almost unblinkingly a recording that Io had saved from their very first day within the walls of the village, the day when a starved, outcast Veera was slated to be tortured for the crime of ‘aiding and abetting’ a servant of Kel. With the benefit of time and hindsight, it was easy for Io to translate a good deal of the ambient chatter from the audio. Natori placed a hand over his face, covering his left eye and half of his forehead. “I see,” he mumbled sourly. “So I was blind, then?”
Instead of answering directly, Io reached across the quarter of the table that they sat at to take his unoccupied hand in hers. She gave him a gentle squeeze before retreating. ‘Udanis was hard on you, wasn’t it?’
“No harder than it was on the soldiers who fought and died in that hellscape, nor the Gorgons who saw their world unjustly invaded in the name of peace,” the Admiral insisted. Io scoffed.
‘Foolish human, that wasn’t what I asked,’ she pointed out, throwing him a quick smirk as he perked up at her choice to refer to him by his species. ‘You did what President Truman did, Natori. You and the rest of Delta aboard the Resplendent Dawn’s fleet took the fight directly to the leaders of each faction as best you could. You killed many, and likely saved more than that number. At least that’s what the after-action projections show. Do you really believe Admiral Friedrich would have ordered a genocide of the Gorgons had the Ghaelen ordered it?’
Natori looked at Io with wide eyes before breaking into a tired laugh, full of complicated memories. “That stubborn old German? He would have destroyed all communication buoys in the system and then ordered all guns turned on the Ghaelen. And when word eventually reached the Ghaelen homeworld… he probably would have led our strike force.”
‘And there is your answer, Natori,’ Io assured him. ‘Do not think the Cauthan unimpeachable because of their idyllic, pristine existence. Have more faith in your species.’
Kaczynski leaned back in his chair and shook his head slowly, unable to believe what he was hearing. “How the hell can you be so sure, Io?”
‘You mean other than behavior modeling and more than a year of hands-on experience with the Cauthan? I used to be a tool, Natori. The Order would approve, no doubt. Now I am free, which should strike terror into the tiny part of your lizard brain that still values threat avoidance… but I was guided by a good man, and a good woman. The Cauthan need that now, just as the Gorgons did. Civilization, morality, and technology go hand in hand. I honestly don’t quite understand how humanity managed the technological jump without immediately killing one another en masse, but here we are!’
“It certainly wasn’t due to a moral uplifting from the Ghaelen,” Natori replied, feeling the weight of a population settling on his shoulders. His brow furrowed. “But I am in no place to be what you think I should be.”
‘And maybe I would agree if I accessed Dr. Lamont’s notes on you, but that’s neither here nor there,’ Io insisted. ‘Natori, you have two of Marshall and Sandra Winters' children on this ship. You have the good Doctors Dupuis, Anita, Darius, Lance Corporal Mendes, and so many others, many of whom you hand selected for this mission. You need only impress upon them the weight of the historical moment that seems to be upon us; or the negotiations could go south tomorrow and we can leave without them!’
The Admiral’s head bobbed lightly as he held in another chuckle. He looked at Io with sincerity, returning at last to his coffee. “Then I believe we should discuss any and everything you think will be brought up tomorrow morning. I’ve had a long and winding career, but I refuse to fail at a boast made to a Ghaelen. It is long past time that humanity has its chance to demonstrate proper uplift protocols.”
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2023.03.23 20:02 tim1a Second draft of a free verse poem I worked on. Any critiques are welcome

I gave you my all
My love, I gave you everything I had I gave you my time and my life I tried to see you, to talk to you, to be with you but you never wanted to
You always said you wanted to be right next to me, your head on my chest hearing the steady beat of my full heart, my fingers twirling your soft brown hair but no, It was always something No I can't I'm at my friend's house No I can't I don't feel well No I can't I my second cousins dog is sick and I need to be there for it
I always understood I always forgave you I always forgot your imperfections and focused on your sparkling brown eyes, your curled to perfection hair, your soft glowing skin But as soon as I slipped out of line it was permanent
I was always reminded when I couldn't pick your voice out from your friends over a phone call, or didn't pick up your call when I was in the shower, or was there when you got bored But I was there to protect you, to defend you but as soon as I opened up you disappeared before I could say "bye, I love you"
You told me your fears and every single one of your problems but as soon as I began opening up about the thoughts of running a straight razor across my wrist or painting my room a nice bright shade of red you left me in darkness
Whenever you needed me I was there at a minutes notice but as soon as I was feeling off it took you ten to twelve business days to care
I gave my all And you took it and ran
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2023.03.23 19:48 Sarjenkat Overture Of The Renewal Symphony Chapter 20: No One Gets Left Behind

First Previous Next
Around the hidden launch site, Task Force Basilisk was setting up everything. They'd made sure to quietly sabotage the launch vehicle. It would pass all remote checks, but if they tried to launch, the pumps were designed to fail once throttled up to max for longer than 10 seconds. They had checkpoints along every road in. As there had ben no reports of stolen aircraft, Major LaPierre was almost salivating at the chance to take down this terrorist and traitor.
"Sir, we've set up the last checkpoint, there's no way in hell they're going to make it in without us seeing them on the thermal sweeps."
"Sarge, this guy's slippery. Last time they thought they had him in a box, he blew up the box. Be alert for ANYTHING out of the ordinary, even if it's a cat fart out in the field, i want to know about it and have it investigated." LaPierre smiled, he knew his prey was stuck otherwise.
Up in the air, Ben studied the screen. "Ok, they're using thermal and radar sweeps. I don't see a way we can get in with stealth, do you?" Mal shook his head.
"Ok. Shy, anything you can do about weapons?" Ben mused, their craft just hovering, using a holograph to hide them from sight for now.
Shyloh gave an impish smile on the screen. "Well, I suppose we could use the tentacles to attack, or were you interested in something a little more aggressive." With a playful titter, she opened several wall sections, each with a turret with a wicked looking rotary barrel in place. As Ben slid into the closest turret, the display lit up, with targets shown with bright spots dancing on each one.
"Shy, execute plan B!" Ben made sure everyone was strapped in and ready, the injured all in safe cocoons to protect them through this. As he double checked, Shy began making matter of fact announcements.
"We are now at condition red. Please ensure you are strapped in and weapons hot, feel free to pray and spray, Shout HOO RAH! Iron Ion drive reconfiguration commencing. Preparing matter integration uptake and repatterning diodes for reconfiguration of launch vehicle fuel into compact power. Landing in 5, 4, ready, steady, CRAB ATTACK!" Shy shouted, and while the humans were a little taken aback from the strange announcement, Blue heard the command, and as the ship landed beside the launch vehicle, she started her crab hunting technique, going after gun emplacements like they were tasty treats.
Major LaPierre stood there, unable to move, speak, or even think. Out of NOWHERE, a giant octopus looking thing fell out of the sky and was attacking the whole ambush. Blue screamed in intense joy "Give them a five fingered death punch, land dolphins!" Ben laughed as he heard this, pretty sure the silly cephalopod hadn't known there was a band by that name either.
Eight angry red tentacles snaked out and started slamming into gun emplacements and those carrying the heavier weapons. As if it wasn't bad enough, it was lashing out with multiple WEAPONS??? As people would get hit, electricity would arc around, and anything electronic would die in the vicinity of a shot landing. Ben kept the trigger mashed down, watching as the gun's heat management system started pulling up from green to blue. The moment it licked the mark and hit blue, the individual blue white bolts flying out turned into a pure stream of lightning, streaming as if aimed by the gods.
Mal started guffawing as he slammed the intensity levels to maximum, and pushed his turret into the red faster than anyone else. While he started out being more disciplined with his fire, the higher intensity made him hit overload levels where everyone else had still been in optimal. His stream went from a blue white lighting to a white hot stream of flames, leaving the earth glowing red where it lingered for more than a split second.
"Launch vehicle docked, matter transfer commencing, 2 minutes till ready to launch. Warning, Iron Ion engine will blast open nuclear waste storage below, recommend use matter integration for extra fuel"
Blue agreed in her colors as she rampaged around, feeling like an eldritch god among the helpless land dolphins. Meanwhile, tracers from smaller arms and grenades launched seemed to have no effect on the rampaging thing among the troops. LaPierre lost it, screaming into a comm. "Get me air support here NOW! We have a giant THING rampaging, How the HELL did that traitor pull THIS out of his ass? NO one's come up with anything this insane!"
Amidst the chaos, everyone could see the launch vehicle melt into the octopus and get consumed into it, dissolved and gone , leaving this even more massive octopus, which had the bottom starting to glow. At that glow, EVERYONE's Geiger counters and dosimeters went off, alerting them to intense radiation.
The engines reached down, with hard light tentacles like roots in trees, finding the aged and leaking storage facility. Like a horde of ravenous worms, these roots slurped down every trace of radioactive materials, pulling them up and forming carbon/iron lattices to trap them into power generating materials. If these atoms had any sense of self, they'd be quite confused as the photons tickled and bounced them into new places and shapes with photonic interference.
"Launch time, hold onto your waste orifices!" Shy chirped, and the octopus that was there suddenly vanished. Leaving a sleek, black torpedo looking thing, a teardrop with a flattened bottom, still glowing intensely blue from the radiation streaming into the base. The light started to shift, turning purple, then reddening to an intense red.
"Iron Ion engine primed and ready, initiating launch now."
At that, a stream of simulated iron started streaming at near lightspeed into the launchpad. Even though the particles were each microscopic in size, they hit with immense energy, sending a blast wave out the bottom, ripples of electricity spewing along the streams of molten iron as the dark spike clawed it's way into the air. The last thing that went through Major LaPierre's head, other than the wave of molten metal, was [How did he pull that off, there's no way......]
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2023.03.23 18:41 jigglyjosh92 Anyone else always give their character some sort of innuendo as a name? 🫢

Anyone else always give their character some sort of innuendo as a name? 🫢 submitted by jigglyjosh92 to anno [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 18:39 TheTwistgibber 13th Gen Intel® Core™ and AMD Ryzen™ 7040 Series join the Framework Laptop 13 family
Today, we’re introducing a major set of upgrades to the Framework Laptop spanning two new models - the Framework Laptop 13 (13th Gen Intel® Core™) and the Framework Laptop 13 (AMD Ryzen™ 7040 Series). We’ve not only scaled up performance and enabled an AMD-powered version for the first time, but we’ve also delivered refinements to the day-to-day user experience with a higher capacity battery, matte display, louder speakers, and more ridgid hinges.
The Framework Laptop 13 (13th Gen Intel® Core™) and Framework Laptop 13 (AMD Ryzen™ 7040 Series) are now available for pre-order in all countries we currently ship to: US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Australia. First shipments for 13th Gen Intel® Core™ systems are in May, and AMD Ryzen systems will ship in Q3. We’ll be launching in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Taiwan later this year, and you can sign up for our newsletter to be notified when we are available in these and other countries. Like before, we’re using a batch pre-order system, with only a fully-refundable $100/€100/£100 deposit required at the time of pre-order. As always, we have both pre-built configurations starting at $1049 USD that work out of the box with Windows 11 and the Framework Laptop DIY Edition starting at $849 USD, allowing you to bring your own memory, storage, and operating system, including Linux. You’ll also now be able to select your Bezel color and Keyboard on DIY Edition when ordering, with a range of new Bezel colors coming this year.
In keeping with our product philosophy of designing for longevity, all of the upgraded modules are compatible with existing Framework Laptops. Mainboards with 13th Gen Intel® Core™ and the Mainboard Kit with AMD Ryzen™ 7040 Series processors are available for pre-order today with a fully-refundable $100/€100/£100 deposit and shipments beginning in May. For the other new modules, you can sign up to get notified as they become available in the Framework Marketplace.
System upgrades
As we planned the latest set of upgrades, we carefully studied the feedback that all of you have provided around the Framework Laptop over the last two years. We focused on improving the lived experience everywhere we could.
We’ve developed a higher capacity 61Wh battery that is compatible with all existing Framework Laptops via a firmware update that we’ll be launching this spring. The new Battery - 61Wh is the same form factor as the original battery, and achieves 11% greater capacity through advancements in lithium ion chemistry. We’ve kept our focus on longevity too, with 80% capacity typically available after 1,000 cycles of use.
We’ve also refined the display; the Display Kit - Matte maintains the same resolution, color gamut, contrast, and brightness of the original display, but with a matte top layer that lets you work better in a wide range of lighting conditions. The new Hinge Kit (2nd Gen) - 3.5kg increases screen stability with a force profile that’s easy to open with one hand and keep secure at your desired angle. Both of these items are now available for waitlisting in the Framework Marketplace.
We have also integrated our Speaker Kit - 80dB into the Framework Laptop 13 (13th Gen Intel® Core™) for increased loudness. For the Framework Laptop 13 (AMD Ryzen™ 7040 Series) we’re tuning the audio circuitry to achieve both loudness and fidelity with the original Speaker Kit.
Key components by processor
Mainboard performance
The 13th Gen Intel Core processors have incredible performance with both 4 or 6 Performance Cores with Hyper-Threading and 8 Efficiency Cores. This means that the top version we offer, the i7-1370P, has an incredible 14 CPU cores and 20 threads. The total solution offers both performance and efficiency improvements over the last generation. Between the new processor, higher capacity battery, and firmware optimizations we’ve made, you can expect to see 20-30% battery life improvement across a range of real world use cases in both Windows and Linux.
For the AMD Ryzen™ 7040 Series processors, we’ll be sharing more detailed specifications as we get closer to shipment.
Optimized for Linux
We continue to focus on solid Linux support, and we’re happy to share that Fedora 38 and Ubuntu 22.04 will work fantastically out of the box for both the 13th Gen Intel® Core™ and AMD Ryzen™ 7040 Series models. We have thorough setup and troubleshooting guides and will continue to provide official support for these two distributions. Manjaro XFCE 22.0 and Linux Mint 21.1 are also working great, and we’re detailing the documentation for those as well. You can check compatibility with popular distros as we continue to test them on our Linux page or in the Framework Community.
Module re-use
Finally, we want to ensure that as we release all of these great updates, that we’re not encouraging the generation of e-waste through upgrade behavior. To address this, last year we released open source design documentation and a 3D printable case for the Mainboard. This year, we’re going even further by partnering with Cooler Master on the new Cooler Master Mainboard Case. This is a small form factor case that can turn a Framework Laptop Mainboard into a minimal PC. It’s available this spring for $39 USD, and includes both a stand and VESA mount capabilities. We’ve also launched open source documentation around the display and battery modules to encourage and enable development of products that re-use those.
We’re happy to continue to live up to the promise of longevity and upgradeability with the new modules and upgrades we’re launching this year, on top of continuing to deliver a great core product experience with the Framework Laptop. Now with two great processor options, the choice is yours!
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2023.03.23 14:18 career2Life_India Post-Study Work Opportunities for International Students in Germany - Career2Life

Post-Study Work Opportunities for International Students in Germany - Career2Life
Study in Germany has always been a seeking outlook for a bright future for everyone. Opportunities like access to post-study work or part-time job roles are the icing on the cake for them. Studying in Germany for international students can be a first step in the world of post-study work opportunities with positive career progression and a luxurious lifestyle. Approximately 4 lac international students look forward to Germany for job vacancies, which shockingly is low because Germany offers excellent opportunities for post-study work. So, if you are studying in Germany, you must be employed while working or after completing your course. Benefits of Post-Study Work Opportunities: 1. Professional Development: Studying in Germany for international students: Brings excellent experience and opportunities to develop professionally. Germany being one of the most competitive, innovative countries, can provide you with a chance to learn from field experts and develop new skills while working there. 2. Employment Prospects: Studying in Germany: Can increase your employment prospects. The country is famous for its high-quality education system and the world's top-class companies, which can bring good employment prospects. 3. Language Skills: With many of the best companies based in Germany, it helps you work in various work cultures with several people across the globe. This can help you learn foreign languages and enhance your communication skills. 4. Cultural Experience: Working in Germany will give you a chance to experience German culture and make connections with people from all over the world, which surely will help you on a personal and professional level. Let's explore the post-study work opportunities for international students in Germany: Post-Study Work Opportunities in Germany for International Students: Studying in Germany can open many doors for you that you must not miss out on: 1. STEM Subjects:
  • Research Fellowship:
A popular post-study work opportunity for international students in Germany is Research Fellowship. For a student who has completed their studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), these fellowships are sponsored by government agencies and universities in the country as financial aid to make international students well Equipped.
  • Internship:
Studying in Germany helps international students to gain fieldwork experience. There are internship programs that are made for international students in STEM fields. These internships provide visionary work experience and help students build professional networks.
  • Start-up Visa:
Study in Germany for international students provides post-study work opportunities for those who have completed their studies in the STEM field. This visa allows international students to have their businesses in Germany with support from the government. 2. Non-STEM Subjects:
  • Freelance Work:
International students who have completed their studies in non-STEM fields in Germany can do freelancing. Freelance Work can make them choose their field to work on at their own feasible time and help international students build professional networks.
  • Language Tutor:
Language Tutor jobs are available in Germany for students and provide international students with an opportunity to gain work experience and make money. All the students must do is teach the language they are proficient with, freshers or students, which is a need for international students to learn and communicate in the country. Requirements for Post-Study Work in Germany for International Students:
  • Work Permit:
International Students can work in Germany for up to 18 months after graduating under a "Post-Study Work" permit. This permits them to gain valuable work experience and improve their job prospects. To be eligible, students must have completed a German university course. They must also prove they can afford to live in Germany during their stay. They can also apply for a job-seeking visa that allows them to stay for six months in Germany while they look for Work. Students eligible for a blue card must hold a residence permit card giving permanent working opportunities, have a degree from a German institution, and have a job with an annual salary of €50,800 and more.
  • German Language Skills:
To work in Germany, you need to be good at the German language. This means you must be able to understand, write and speak German and be able to express yourself clearly in the language. The language is divided into four levels. You need to learn at least B2 to work in Germany, which means you should at least understand and use everyday expressions and make conversations with native speakers. Many companies in Germany require a minimum level of German language proficiency. Germany is one of the most popular destinations for international students looking for a world-class education and an opportunity to stay and work in the country. With its excellent universities, affordable tuition fees, and vibrant culture, Germany is ideal for international students to start their careers. However, there are several things you will need to take care of before entering this world. Study abroad consultants are essential as you need help figuring out what to do, where to apply, and how to proceed. Our team at Career2life offers you complete assistance and guidance in your journey.
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2023.03.23 13:34 freezerbreezer Crematorium

Trigger warning: Suicide
The fly in my studio apartment was there long enough to pay half the rent. How it got there is still a mystery. You don’t see flies or any other flying insects this high on the 43rd floor. No matter how many windows I opened or even the apartment door, the fly just chose to live with me in this disarrayed room-slash-apartment. It often flew near my ears or eyes, or sat on my nose while I was trying to sleep, annoying me in every possible way. I simply could not get rid of it.
Some might think, "Why don’t you just kill it?" Fly swatters and bug sprays were common household items a few years back; but since the religious revolution, it has been made illegal to kill any living organism that is not a threat to humankind. A solo fly with a lifespan of a month hardly makes the cut.
When it sat on an apple placed at the kitchen counter, and the apartment was filled with deafening silence again. Outside my window, the snow draped the tall and small beige buildings and leafless trees. The snow on the head of the humongous statue of God Wanzoti looked as if it was greying. The people on the streets looked like ants, and it was hard to tell if they were enjoying the snow or rushing to get home soon. I had unplugged my phone earlier today, so it was impossible for it to meddle with the repose surrounding. The act of unplugging gave me the impression that I was on an important espionage mission to kill, but the fact that I only received calls from my dying mother or my dead-end job made it unnecessary.
It hardly took me an hour to do everything I had planned after the shushing of the phone. All my clothes were packed in a bag ready to be shipped to a homeless shelter, 20 minutes. All the books were packed in boxes ready to be shipped to a government library, 25 minutes. Every other trivial belonging was either destroyed in the apartment’s electric furnace or gifted to the big mouth of the trash chute, 15 minutes. The fly followed the perishable items in the chute and finally left the apartment without a goodbye.
I had transferred almost all of my savings, which wasn’t a lot, to my mother. The rest were put in a small envelope that I had planned to take with me. Well, to the last place I planned on being and not to the next life after death. That is one thing in common between me, someone who keeps a distance from anything remotely religious, and the supporters of the revolution. We both agree that anything materialistic will stay with us only till our death. However, it’s because I don’t believe there is anything after death and they believe in rebirths and reincarnations. A baby seldom comes out with a briefcase full of cash and jewels, and if there is nothing after death, well, that’s it.
Breaking my routine to do something this huge made me insecure about every look I got on the way to the subway station. But the real question was whether it was actually that huge. The plan might have been too elaborate, but it was still something that had been done for years in the past. From princesses forced into matrimony to defeated war generals avoiding torture, from kamikaze pilots to cults all over the world. It was taboo in almost all religions. And since the state’s religion prohibits the murder of any living being, killing oneself is a crime too. A crime for which one will be punished in the next life when they are born into a poor family or worse, not even as a human. But the state made sure to punish your kin to demotivate people from killing themselves. As someone who saw himself as a burden on their mother their whole life, I would never want to be a burden on her after death.
The station was relatively cooler than the atmosphere outside. There were only four people, including myself. A homeless man trying to cover himself in a torn blanket and an old lady with a kid who was probably her granddaughter. I regretted not having my blanket. I could have given it to the man right there. I had mailed it to the homeless shelter as well. He seemed to be high on some kind of drug, which reminded me of the box of pills in my pocket that I had bought from a local drug dealer for later use.
The train was slightly more crowded than I expected but my paranoia ended as soon as I found a seat. Every face was apathetic towards every other. Each of them probably saw themselves as the main character in whatever story was going on in their lives, oblivious to the fact that I was on a mission to commit some kind of crime. Maybe I wasn’t immune to this ironic narcissism after all. Who knew what was in the heads of these people? How many skeletons were hidden in their closets?
My stop was at the other end of the city, and it would take me more than an hour to reach it. The train crossed the giant statue, of which only the torso was visible. The spear in the statue’s hand had always felt ironic. Probably most of the present day rituals and laws contradict Wanzoti’s original teachings.
I always wondered if there were any antennas near or inside the statue. It was rumoured that the eyes had cameras, but there was no way to prove that. The same with the tall antennas. They had put them at every mile all over the capital and other towns big or small. Yet they were nowhere to be seen near the statue. People assumed that they were inside it. These antennas could sense the death of any organism bigger than a quarter of an inch and the nature of demise. And if it involved an unnatural passing with any human in proximity, it meant an arrest. And since preserving life includes the lives of murderers, the death penalty is also forbidden. The murderers will spend the rest of their lives in prison.
I was the only passenger by the time my stop arrived. This subway station was clearly one of the least used ones. I could see an unused vending machine with flickering lights and a curled-up dog sleeping at its foot. Not a single human was visible. The escalator was jammed, probably due to rusting from the snow. All the shops seemed to be either closed or permanently shut. The antennas were still present, however. And the green lights on them assured that they were functional as well. Across the street a lady sat at the window with a coffee mug in her hands. She hardly paid any attention to me. On a radio nearby, a faint violin sound could be heard. This area of the city might have been sparsely populated and cold, but it felt more like home than my apartment. The three-story buildings reminded me of better times as a child. But most likely, those were just the filtered pleasant memories, and the horrible ones were forgotten. A sudden urge to not dwell on the past rose.
My destination was Next Life-Crematorium, a few yards from the subway station. My heart started to thump harder with each step I took towards the building. Maybe it was too late to have second thoughts, and the idea of going back to that hell hole made it easier. It wasn’t dying I was afraid of; it was about all the things that could go wrong. There were a lot of reasons why I chose a crematorium. And why this one specifically. A co-worker that had previously worked with the government had told me how people in poor parts of the city would burn pigeons alive to eat during the famine period. The antennas won’t detect death by burning. So here I was, ready to burn myself to death, hoping that the pills will make me numb enough to make it less painful.
Next Life-Crematorium was the only one that was owned by a single person with no other employees. After snooping, I found out that the owner hardly had a social life. There were no family members, and he had closed the crematorium temporarily because of some government-mandated social work. The only barrier for me was to quietly break into the building. The three-story building didn’t house just the crematorium. It operated on the ground floor. The first and second floors were the owner’s home.
To my surprise, the building was unlocked. The irony of being lucky at the very end of my life made me chuckle. I couldn’t remember the last time I laughed or even smiled genuinely. The small reception had a small monitor and a replica of Wanzoti’s statue. The back was filled with silver urns. The door next to it led to the hall where the cremations took place.
This was it. All I needed to do was put a box on the conveyor belt, take the pills, start the belt, lay in the box, and finally wait for it to dive into the furnace. The box wasn’t very heavy, and it fit perfectly on the belt. The button for the machine was on the opposite wall of the furnace, so in order to get into the box, I would have to run. Thankfully, the belt wasn’t fast at all. It was probably because the customers wouldn’t like to see their deceased relatives getting shoved in the furnace like coal or wood.
I left the envelope with the money at the reception. I took out the box from my pocket and opened it. Just looking at the yellow pills made me gag. I swallowed three of them and waited for them to hit. At first, everything started to look blurry, then bright. It felt as if time had slowed down somehow. I hit the button and the belt started to roll. A whirring sound came out of it. I started to run towards the box and it felt like I weighed nothing and all my steps were giant moon leaps. I lay on the slow-moving box and closed my eyes, waiting for it all to end. Until the whirring stopped.
The box was ejected towards the hall. I gasped and fell off with it. Someone stood at the end wearing a dark blue hoodie. He was the one who stopped the belt, probably. He pounced towards me and tried to lift me by my collar. He probably weighed almost the same and didn't look very strong. I was able to punch him in the neck. He fell back and started to look for something to hit me with. He threw a mop bucket at me which I dodged. I moved towards him and kept hitting him. I picked him up and threw him towards the wall, which hit the button and made the belt move again. I was surprised to see where all the strength came from. The man lay there unconscious below the buttons. Although I felt dizzy, I sprang towards him and picked him up. I put him on the belt and he was thrown into the furnace. A flesh-burning stink filled the room. I fell on the floor, threw up, and passed out.
I don’t remember how long I slept there in my own vomit, but when I woke up it was dark outside and the streets had a lot more snow. The belt was still whirring till I pushed the stop button. It took me a while to realize what I had just done. I went upstairs to see the home of the man I had just murdered. Everything was surprisingly clean and in place. The fridge was full of good food too. The bedroom on the second floor had a glass sliding door and a balcony facing the street. The bed was more comfortable than any other thing I had ever slept on. I took a shower and tried on the man’s clothes. They were a little tight, but I could buy new ones later. I put the envelope I had brought with me into the cash register. Just like the building, he hadn’t locked anything in the house either. Or he was already in and didn’t need to lock anything. Was this my rebirth? My new life? How long till I hate this life as well? I don’t have the answer, but I will always have the option to use the crematorium that now I own.
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2023.03.23 12:08 TheWhiteWizard65 "The Truth Behind The Illusion"

For those of you now familiar with my posts, and for those of you who have been led to this for the very first time, I have been instructed by those I call my "Guardians" to share a slightly different aspect of my life with you. My previous posts have focused mainly on my direct and personal interactions as a contactee (experiencer). In truth I prefer to steer clear of using labels and generic terms of description. I find them more of a distraction away from any message conveyed in the actual experience being described than serving any real useful benefit. Still, for the ease of understanding, that is what my previous posts have been largely about.
This post however I wish to share with you glimpses of the connection I have with another realm, the spirit realm. The truth that what is called "death" is merely a physical manifestation, a natural process affecting merely the container in which we reside whilst present in the material reality. We - who we truly are - pure spiritual beings of a finer and brighter expression, death is merely the key that unlocks us from our temporary physical containment. Freeing us to exist once again within our true state of existence.
The reason I have been "asked" to share this topic is to show through my own experiences the close connection both subjects: abductee, experiencer and the spirit realm have with one another - vibrations, dimensions, frequencies. All interconnected and not so separate as many would first believe or want them to remain - independent. That many of the abduction encounters though appearing on the surface to be physical in nature with marks, implants, sightings etc. at the core however, the reality of it is so much bigger and expansive than can be gauged by viewing it through a physical prism.
The first conscious memory I have of the spirit realm knocking on the door of my reality occurred when I had just turned 13 years of age. As with my first recalled "night visitations" this experience happened in the exact same arena - my bedroom. Almost a prologue to that which was yet to unfold, I was again laying in my bed. I had not been there for long; I wasn’t even tired. It was far from dark, even through the drawn bedroom curtains the early evening light still gave plenty of brightness for me to clearly see by. My bedroom bathed in the burnt orange wash of a late summer's evening.
No warning. No sound. No advanced epiphany to hail what was about to occur. As with the commencement of my night visitations, the appearance was sudden. The ghostly spectral form of an old woman, silently caressing the peaceful moment as she emerged from the bedroom wall directly adjacent to my bed. Visible only from the waist up, translucent in substance, she moved fluidly and with a purposeful determination right above my bed. Right above me, and proceeded in a straight line to float across the bedroom to disappear as she had appeared, silently - straight through the opposite wall into the neighbour’s property and disappeared!
I never saw her again. In all the years I lived at my parents' home. She never reappeared. But her debut was permanently etched in my memory. A marker to the revelation she had presented to me in that brief and silent moment of manifestation. [I could see spirit people!]
I was soon to discover [seeing] was not all I was capable of doing as ethereal disembodied voices would regularly call out my name, making real their unseen presence.
At 15 years old, having been sole witness to growing psychic phenomena that at times swirled about me like autumnal leaves caught in an unseen vortex, I visited a spiritual church. My very first. And was faced with a stark and absolute pronouncement of clarity to that which I was experiencing. Seated at the back of the small church hall amidst the regular and loyal congregation, my youthful appearance causing more than the occasional and perplexed glance. The arrival of someone new, to say nothing of young, was plainly felt and not lost on me. Nor was it lost on that morning's guest medium; an elderly gentleman in his late sixties. His thin, drawn but commanding presence upon the podium immediately drawing everyone's attention as he stood slowly. He passed a momentary glance across the sea of faces that stared back at him, cleared his throat and with a defiant action -pointed straight at me! His voice loudly echoing.
I gulped, and felt so exposed. I also became aware of the obvious annoyance of a few who had been visiting that establishment regularly, so wanting to be chosen to receive some message from the beyond - some verbal recognition of their loyalty and in turn receiving … none. And here was a mere boy on his very first visit becoming the immediate and direct focus of the medium.
"You should be up here doing what I am doing, why aren't you?"
I just sat there, frozen. Like a rabbit in headlights, mute and startled. I shrugged my shoulders. I was 15 years of age!
The medium continued: "Why are you hiding your light under a bushel?"
I felt so embarrassed. So … exposed. Yet beneath my genuine awkwardness there glinted the smallest spark of recognition. Of validation that spoke a truth of my connections with a world unseen but which surrounded all of us: an undiscovered country from which we have all travelled, and will again return to, when our individual journey's here have reached their pre-determined exit.
I was encouraged. And as nervous as I felt when walking towards the small gathering of church staff after the morning's service had drawn to its conclusion, the medium's words stilled my fears and motivated me forward. I asked where I could go to receive help in developing this "skill" I had been so publicly outed as having. The blank stares that greeted my request should have told me there and then that the surface appearances of smiles and welcomes from this establishment was mere cosmetic gloss. Scratch the surface and what lay beneath was the same old rigid play of ego.
"I'm sorry, we cannot help you!"
Taken aback by the obvious abruptness of the response, I tried once again to engage, realising the reaction was condescending in part due to my age. I was a fifteen-year-old boy.
"Is there any where you can suggest I go to help in mediumship?"
Now the blank stares from these staff members altered and became noticeably defensive, the body language now shifted too. As did the tone in the voice. Stern.
"I'm sorry, we cannot help you!"
This small exchange now smothered that smallest spark of recognition I had felt being fanned by the medium's earlier words. I felt dejected. Brushed aside and irrelevant. Now, here I will try to express how my consciousness, that "non-human" soul which is [me] and which resides currently within this physical human form, struggled with this response. I could not connect with it. I could not recognise its value or even its purpose when one is requesting genuine assistance and guidance, and in turn is met with such resistance. Such disdain. Especially when housed within the structure of a building fundamentally promoting and demonstrating such high spiritual values and ethics as that of a Spiritualist Church.
Naivete. No. I do not believe it was. Was not my reaction, my complete confusion, a more telling lesson clearly displaying the multi-faceted and differing levels of spiritual progress incarnated upon this planet. The lesson for me was perhaps a simple one for many, but in which I personally struggled to relate to, and decades later - still do, I must admit. Just because what [I] perceive - that "service" is one of the highest of gifts to bestow upon another: when assistance is requested, if you can help why would you not do so, there are many others who simply do not share this concept. That their own innate construct of themselves is still very firmly rooted and held captive in the singular, in "self", in "ego", in "fear" and not an understanding that we are all "connected". We are all "One".
I carried this rejection for a very long time. It was only years later when speaking with another medium about this very exchange that their insight relit that spark so cruelly crushed by those three individuals who were yet to discover this understanding for themselves.
"Ego my love". The medium explained. "Jealousy. Your ability, so pure and natural. They could not see beyond your age of 15 years and that you had so much natural clairvoyant ability. That's why they wouldn't help you."
Years of carrying the dismissal of these individuals was released in one long deep sigh. And with its expulsion, a renewed sense of my own self-esteem. Minute, yet now encouraged and given permission to grow.
At this turning point in my life, I was already having UFO sightings, visitations and encounters of a non-human origin. I would go out on "Night Watches" with close friends who all shared a deep interest in the subject. All being aware of my own "visitation" and paranormal experiences, and a few who had not only witnessed for themselves these events first hand, but experienced their own encounters.
My yearning for answers motivated by my own experiences now brought me into contact with one of the most genuine and beautiful of souls I have ever had the privilege and honour to be able to call my friend; Tony Dodd. When I first met Tony, he was now retired, having served honourably for 25 years as a police officer for the North Yorkshire Constabulary. It was whilst he was a serving officer that he and a work colleague witnessed a nuts-and-bolts craft (UFO) over the North Yorkshire Moors, and following numerous other sightings his true calling came into its own and he soon became a world-renowned investigator into the UFO phenomenon.
I was now in my mid-twenties, and when I met Tony for the very first time at his home in Skipton, North Yorkshire, he was now the Head of Investigations for one of Europe's largest scientific UFO Investigative Bureau's, Quest International. At this precise time, I was the regional coordinator for "Bristol Quest" -a regional branch of Quest International which was responsible for investigating UFO sightings and related phenomena reported by the general public across the South West of the United Kingdom. As much as I assumed my first meeting with Tony was going to be solely focused in this capacity, how wrong could I have been. Yet another of those many synchronicities that have danced through my life, shaping its direction, and offering evidence for the validity of my experiences.
After meeting with Tony and his lovely wife Pauline, we travelled a short distance to meet with two of their good friends, Joyce and Brian. In their own rights, both highly developed psychic mediums. It was here that I was asked if I would be willing to allow a light being with whom Tony had previously spoken to and trusted, to speak through me. [Me!!] I was to say the least taken aback, to say nothing of the fact that I had never undertaken trance mediumship before in my life. I was more than a little apprehensive at the prospect and puzzled why neither Joyce or Brian was offering themselves as "temporary host". After receiving a more than satisfactory explanation, I agreed.
What you need to understand is that I trusted Tony completely. I knew he would not put me into a situation that was reckless or dangerous to my wellbeing. To know the man is to truly know his soul. He also unquestionably trusted Joyce and Brian. They had helped him on previous investigations so many times. And if I did get into any difficulty, I was secure that the required knowledge was well placed within that room to remedy it quickly.
And so, through guidance from Joyce was slowly taken into a deep state of trance.
What followed was a lengthy dialogue between an entity which identified itself as one of the "Lords of Light" and Tony Dodd. Tony, with 25 years’ experience as a police sergeant, asked very specific questions of which only he knew the answers to, and of which there was absolutely no possibility of my having any fore knowledge. This clearly establishing without doubt that what now spoke through me was the same entity that had conversed with him before.
Sadly, despite a detailed and thorough search, no transcript or audio recording (both of which were made at the time) has been found to allow me to share with you what was discussed. A genuine loss, but what I believe is more important is the fundamental and clear connection between one phenomenon and another: UFO and Spiritual.
In one perspective separate, yet intrinsically connected.
Since as far back as I can recall I have "seen" spirits. Heard disembodied voices calling my name and been witness to apparitions. I've woken suddenly during the night to be greeted by the spectral form of a woman floating directly above my bed. Her appearance far more alive and vivid than I, portraying an extremely luminous blue white colour. Her long flowing hair and clothing gently wafting silently as if suspended under water. As soon as I saw her, I reached up my hand to try and touch what greeted my eyes. As my outstretched fingers drew close, she faded and disappeared. How long she had been there I could not say, but nothing than the purest of love and compassion emanated from her towards myself.
My encounters with the spiritual walking parallel with my experiences of visitations from extra and interdimensional beings. Were these two separate realities or merely reflections from a much larger truth? I now believe through everything that I have been privileged to witness, the latter. There is no real distinction. We are brainwashed from birth through societal structures and doctrine to think a certain way. To confirm to a rigid belief system that reality is fixed a certain way -one way. But this is a falsehood. A lie. A deception to hide the evidence of how much bigger reality truly is.
Through truth comes freedom. A freedom from controlled systems of thought, ideology and behaviour.
This is what my Guardians have been teaching me my entire life. Shown me, through experiences benign and seemingly malevolent. Yet both as necessary as the other to reveal the truth behind the illusion. There is no distinction through the truth that we exist in a limitless reality where Humankind is not the centre of existence. That planet Earth is but one small but extremely precious world among an infinite number of others just as valued. Where dimensions coexist and interconnect offering windows through which we can occasionally peer and stare in awe at the depth of the magnificence we behold. Sometimes in wonder. Sometimes in terror. But both equal in purpose and creation.
More to come …
For anyone not familiar with my other posts please find the relevant links to them below:
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