Magnolia bow tie pasta

I really don’t think men get enough representation in the cottagecore lifestyle, as we love it too. Here’s some good cottagecore outfit ideas for those men who are interested :)

2023.06.01 18:22 cameron_adkins I really don’t think men get enough representation in the cottagecore lifestyle, as we love it too. Here’s some good cottagecore outfit ideas for those men who are interested :)

I really don’t think men get enough representation in the cottagecore lifestyle, as we love it too. Here’s some good cottagecore outfit ideas for those men who are interested :)
A lot of men in cottagecore would tend to dress in vintage dress shirts, which can be a light or dark color. Also occasionally wearing various hats as well as neckties or bow ties (especially those bow ties). Sometimes they wear fedoras or straw hats, sometimes they don’t wear hats at all. A lot of times they’ll wear either brown or black dress shoes and a pair of khakis or slacks. Sometimes they even wear skorts. And many more things too! There’s a lot more out there cottagecore for men than many people realize!
submitted by cameron_adkins to cottagecore [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 18:10 ImpressiveTip4756 Weapons and "reskinning"

I've never made a post in dtg so here goes.
I am a huge fan of d2 been playing since beyond light. Lately everyone's been talking about reskins of weapons. I usually hated that conversation because I firmly believe the model of a weapon doesnt make it good or bad. But lately the reskins have been too much. Reskinned models in dungeon, season 21, season 20(its not an exact reskin but its certainly based on older weapons), neomuna weapons, etc
I'm fine with world drops or even neomuna weapons being reskinned. Infact I quite like the neomuna weapons. They're some of my most used weapon right now. They take shaders well enough and they are consistently useful for what I want them to accomplish with few exceptions. But where I do draw the line are for weapons we specifically pay for. Primarily seasonal and dungeon weapons. I've always loved dungeon weapons. Dungeon weapons usually have some of my favourite designs. Wilderflight, unforgiven, long arm, lingering dread are some of my favourite weapon designs in any game period. But ghost of the deep I cant find a single weapon that isnt a reskin of something. Not only is it really disappointing but also makes me wonder where all our money is going. Im not saying game dev is easy and bungie are evil. But they were able to make unique dungeon weapons last year. What happened now?? I am holding bungie to the standard that they themselves set for themselves. And remember they specifically said they wont over deliver to ensure that they dont set unrealistic expectations. So what should we expect from the next dungeon?? More reskins with good perks??
Coming back to seasonal weapons. Most of the seasonal weapon these 2 seasons has been mid. Very few standout. Prodigal returns, regnant from last season. Whatever the hell weapons are this season because I can barely remember any of the weapon names let alone their interesting perk combos. In season of the haunted we had all the calus weapons. Austringer, drang, bump in the night, without remorse, hollow denial. Each having unique perks combinations that were also great. In risen we had piece of mind, explosive personality(first solar wave frame), under your skin, sweet sorrow and thoughtless. Not only were these weapons great but also had unique designs to go along with it and were useful in either pve or pvp. From the list of weapons I've mentioned majority of them were great in pvp atleast. The only weapon from the LF seasons that are good in pvp is the fusion from last season. I dont see anything good for pvp in any of the other weapons tbh. The stasis smg has target lock and rangefinder I guess?? Even then it has shit stats its a joke. Now all of this wouldn't be bad if the weapons were in good archetypes or if the strand weapons had a good strand perk. Threadlings is not good at all. Now I'm not saying that seasonal weapons should be meta defining weapons. But they should atleast be good enough to warrant crafted roll.
Now lets look at trials/iron banner weapons. We got exalted truth, immortal, inquisitor, whistler whim, unwavering duty, forgiveness, burden of guilt. Out of that The bow and the fusion are the only non reskinned weapons (that I know of please correct me if Im wrong). Same goes for iron banner. Outside the reprised weapons most of the newer ones are reskins. Jorums claw, gunnora's axe(its technically the original but still), dark decider, hero's burden are all reskins. Idk about wizened rebuke so I am not gonna comment on that. Trials and iron banner are supposed to be THE pvp event for destiny. But its really disappointing to see reskins here too. I can understand with iron banner because its a free event so they're not making money off of it but trials is tied to lightfall. Having unique models or atleast modified versions of the existing weapons should be made.
This rant/discussion piece is mainly targeted towards weapons. I am not going to talk about story, lore, armor pieces(frankly armor has been fantastic for seasonal stuff and the dungeon), exotic weapon(those were also amazing). What do you guys think?? I want this post to be more a discussion than a rant. So feel free to comment down below

TL:DR : Bungie is reusing weapons WAYY too much. From neomuna to seasonal stuff to iron banner to trials to dungeons. I dont mind some reskins nor do I mind reskins as world drops or even one or two of the weapon models reused but for content we pay I dont think its too much to ask for unique weapon models. Or atleast use the less used weapon models. I dont want to see the same weapon used model so many times.

PS: I am not a huge sword guy so I dont know if the seasonal swords are good if they are I do apologize for not mentioning them.
submitted by ImpressiveTip4756 to DestinyTheGame [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:23 thefullcorgi Good morning from the dapper mister in a new bow tie!

Good morning from the dapper mister in a new bow tie! submitted by thefullcorgi to corgi [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 16:20 xtremexavier15 TSWT 25 (pt 2)

The episode faded back in to the teenagers in their balloon, both still screaming in alarm.
"Steer Izzy! Steer!" Izzy cried out.
"What do you think I'm doing, Topher?!" Izzy replied as she tried to steer the balloon.
The scene flashed back to the train as Mal stood outside the door to the forward car, stomping his foot on the coupling pin. As he tried to break the pin and set the rear cars free, Ezekiel jumped back over the gap and grabbed the edge of the roof, to Mal's displeasure.
"Like I was going to make you leave me in the dust!" Ezekiel told him as he pulled himself back up to the hail-battered roof.
Mal grit his teeth angrily, then began to climb the rear ladder. "If your clone was more useful, he would've already prevented you from being here," he said as he got back onto the roof as well, and faced down Ezekiel.
The two looked up, and the helicopter descended into view hovering above them at pace with the train.
The musical note icon promptly appeared, the two dings signaling the contestants of what was next.
"I pride myself on my timing," Chris said impishly into his walkie-talkie.
"ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!" Topher, Izzy, Ezekiel, and Mal said as one, the former pair on the right half of a split-screen and the latter pair on the left.
"You know the answer to that by now!" Chris answered with a broad smile on his face.
[A rock and roll guitar riff kicked things off as the camera zoomed away from the helicopter, then panned down to Ezekiel and Mal as the song began.]
"Throughout the season, you laid low; took us all out of the show!"
[Ezekiel sang, grabbing his enemy by the hand and pulling him to his side into a close dancing position. He glared sternly at the malevolent one as he sang, and Mal rolled his eyes.]
"Now it's time for you to leave; I won't deal with a pet peeve!"
[He lead them a step to his left, then back to his right, then violently shoved Mal towards the gap between cars. As he finished the line, he listened to the thud of Mal's landing.]
"Look who's getting cocky! You think you're the bomb, gag me!"
[Mal began as Ezekiel over confidently ran back along the top of the train, the camera cutting to the troublemaker following behind from under the train.]
"Don't think that you can stop me! I'll always sting just like a bee!"
[The camera cut back to Ezekiel as he continued his run, reaching the front of the car and jumping across only for Mal's hands to reach out and grab him by the ankle, causing him to trip and slam down on the roof of the next car. Mal then climbed up, and finished his line with a mocking grin.]
"I'm gonna make it! You can't stop me now, just you try!"
[The two boys sang together, a riff leading to an image of a GPS device lowering onto the screen. It showed two parallel train tracks, a blue train icon on the left and a yellow icon on the right which Ezekiel and Mal promptly jumped onto as they sang at each other, pausing between lines to bob their heads to the beat.]
"Our fortune's waiting! It's time for you to say, bye, bye, bye!"
[The two 'trains' came along a large rock on the left and a cow skull on the right, which the two boys promptly jumped off to grab and admire while they continued their song. They then turned around and threw their chosen weapons, Mal ducking under the skull and Ezekiel dodging the rock. With startled looks on their faces, they finished the line and jumped off the bottom of the GPS screen.]
"I always knew I'd make it here; even after I caused some fear!"
[Izzy sang as the scene cut to her, then zoomed out to show Topher listening to her sing.]
"And since I'm in the Final Three; we better watch out for that tree!"
[The two bobbed and tilted their heads happily in time with the music, then Izzy looked forward again and noticed the large tree they were flying right toward. She promptly tugged on the fuel line, but was unable to get the balloon up in time. The camera panned past the balloon as Izzy was heard saying "No!"]
"You're gonna make it! They can't stop you now, let them try!"
[Topher sang as the scene switched to them flying over the GPS screen. Another tree came up in their path, but the fanboy leaned back and they easily swerved around it.]
"Our fortune's waiting! And they can kiss it all, bye-bye-bye!"
[As they continued over roads and rivers and the spaces in between, they came across an angry black bear. It growled and swiped at them, but Topher leaned forward and they avoided it. At the end of the line, the girls bobbed their heads to the music again.]
"You're going down, you don't deserve to win!"
[The melody became something more tango-like as the scene cut back to Mal and Ezekiel on top of the train again, in dancing position once more and turning around at the midpoint of the line.]
"You irritate me and get under my skin!"
[As they moved to turn around again, Ezekiel tripped his 'partner' so that he stumbled, then punched him hard enough to send him reeling off the train entirely, Mal crying out "Noooooo!" as he fell.]
"I'm gonna make it! They can't stop me now, let them try!"
[The view switched back to the GPS screen, showing Ezekiel smirking on his train while Mal, now on the ground, looked at a black horse standing behind him. Just as he moved off-screen, Izzy and Topher flew onto it, singing along with Izzy as they instantly locked eyes. Ezekiel became nervous, however, as his train suddenly turned and took him off-screen entirely, leading the flying duo to bob their heads to the music between lines.]
"Our fortune's waiting! It's time for you to say, bye, bye, bye!"
[Ezekiel's departure was short-lived, however, as the train soon brought him back on screen as the next line began, much to Izzy and Topher's shock. Even worse for them, the train was moving faster than the balloon, so it soon managed to outpace them and Ezekiel waved before passing under a set of power lines and off the GPS screen. The music ended as the scene moved back to the real challenge, the eyes of Topher still closed from a few final head bobs while Izzy's were wide open.]
"Topher?" Izzy said in rapidly rising panic as she saw them approaching the power lines. "Topher?!"
Topher finally looked ahead again, and the duo screamed.
"Update time!" Chris said as the scene flashed to the helicopter, now hovering in a storm-free sky. "According to the latest da-ta, Ezekiel is the only one still moving towards Hawaii!"
The scene flashed back to the inside of a passenger car as Ezekiel dropped down outside the rear door and walked in. "Yes!" he said, eyes on his walkie-talkie. "Million dollars, here I come!"
A shout caused him to turn around, Ezekiel Clone behind him menacingly.
The camera zoomed outside as Ezekiel was heard screaming, and the shot panned rightward to Mal on the back of a charging black steed. "Faster!" he said, urging his horse forward as well as the herd that was following them. "Oh Ezekiel," he called out with a dark smile, "I'm coming!"
Another flash took the scene to the parachute of the makeshift balloon hanging across the power lines. A few crackles of electricity were heard, and the whole thing exploded. The camera cut to the right to catch Izzy fly on screen and land painfully on her butt.
"Topher?" she asked in a pained voice.
Topher wheeled himself on screen and said "I'm okay," brightly. "Now let's get back in the air!"
Izzy sighed. "No chance," she said while pointing to where the balloon had been. The camera briefly cut to the crash just in time to see the parachute burn to a crisp.
"This is not good," Topher said as the camera cut back to them.
"So we have to find something else. But what?" Izzy wondered.
Topher looked from her and then back toward the crash. The camera cut to a small stand a little ways away with a large striped firecracker on its front sign and a slender white man with a hook for a hand and an eye patch manning it, then back to a pensive looking dirty blond.
"Is Izzy giving up?" Chris asked as the scene cut back to his master GPS, the red dot now stationary. "That is so not her," he added in annoyance.
Ezekiel Clone advanced on a wary Ezekiel inside another empty passenger car.
"I don't want to hurt you. We're basically the same person, even if you are feral." Ezekiel backed into the next door just then, then quickly spun around and flung it open and fled to the next car before Ezekiel Clone could react.
The alien growled and gave chase.
Ezekiel howled away from his clone as the two continued their chase, the camera showing it through the windows before cutting inside just as the real boy reached a dessert cart. "Quit chasing me!"
He grabbed two eggs and threw them at Ezekiel Clone, the yolks blinding his eyes. A pie was thrown as well, and this knocked him off.
Ezekiel sighed in relief as he held a pillow, until Ezekiel Clone tackled him and the feathers inside the pillow spilled out and covered the scene completely.
The box of fireworks was tossed in front of Izzy as the scene moved back to her. Topher wheeled on-screen and said "We're back in business."
"How did you manage to get this?" Izzy asked. "Not that I'm complaining."
"I gave the man running the stand DVD's of the first and second seasons in exchange for the fireworks," Topher said.
"You had DVD's all this time?" Izzy responded.
"No time to talk!" Topher told her. "Let's get these fireworks on my chair and fly!"
"Topher," Izzy said, "that is incredibly dangerous and crazy," she frowned before grinning wildly. "Let's do it."
The two smiled at each other.
"Yes," Mal whispered into his steed's ear, "keep running!" The horses were now running alongside the train, and the ruthless troublemaker was smirking confidently.
That is, until the perspective changed to a head-on view and Ezekiel burst out of a train window and was able to land on the back of a rather startled horse, and he and Mal looked at each other with utter shock. "You again!?" they shouted.
Mal turned his gaze forward. "Hurry up, horse!" he told his mount, the camera changing back to side-view as his horse sped up.
"Do as he says!" Ezekiel chimed in, trailing behind him but still ahead of the rest of the herd.
"Wooww," Chris said as the shot cut to the screen of his GPS device, now showing the blue and yellow dots heading forward at an even pace. "They just don't seem to really want it that bad, hmm? But barring any life-ending accidents," he told the camera as it moved to show his face, "I guess they're our Final Two-wait a sec!" he interrupted himself, his eyes going wide at something on his screen. He looked around outside, and the shot zoomed out just as a familiar pair of excited cries echoed through the air.
Izzy shouted as she and Topher flew by tied to Topher's wheelchair, the chair shooting off fireworks as they rocketed up past Chris's helicopter.
"Izzy's still in it!" Chris announced dramatically. "Like a phoenix burnt to a crisp, before rising up anew!" The shot cut back to the two flying on their makeshift rocket, and he corrected himself with "No wait, that's Topher! Anyway, it's a dead heat, people!" he told the camera.
"I can do this for the rest of my life!" Izzy said excitedly.
"And look!" Topher pointed out. "There's Tijuana Beach!"
"Lean!" Izzy said excitedly. Both leaned back, and the chair angled downward.
"I will squish you like a bug!" Ezekiel shouted as the scene cut to him and Mal racing along the beach on horseback.
"I will pluck you like a chicken!" Mal retorted.
The camera changed to a head-on perspective as an off-camera shout of "Look out!" from Chris caused both boys to look forward in shock.
Chris screamed, the camera inverting to show the two rapidly approaching a finish line in the sand, the host below it waving his arms. The two lead horses skidded to a halt with a panicked whinny, but the momentum caused Mal and Ezekiel to be launched forward over the banner. Chris looked back as they landed with a thud.
The camera cut to the two lying on the beach next to a dock, Ezekiel on top of Mal so that the two were face-to-face. "Get off me!" Mal shouted, shoving Ezekiel off as Chris arrived on the dock.
"Uhh, I still have a race to the million going on," Chris told them. "You interested? Hawaii's over there," he pointed as a few heavier notes began the music's increase in intensity. "Grab a boat, head to the big island, and-"
As he spoke, a faint whistling noise heralded the arrival of the rocket wheelchair and its passengers in the distance behind Chris. The chair crashed into the sand and sailed to the dock, the host quickly running out of the way. Topher and Izzy screamed in terror as they skidded along the beach, only to hit a large rock and be thrown into the air both flying toward the boats.
The camera cut in close as they landed in the middle boat gracefully.
"We made it!" Izzy said excitedly as Topher got to his feet.
"The GPS says Hawaii's over there!" Topher said, pointing off in the distance as he started the engine and sped the boat off.
"And Izzy plus one takes the lead!" Chris announced.
Mal and Ezekiel ran down the docks, heading for the last two speedboats.
"I really love this show," Chris said with a small smile as he watched the race unfold.
The footage skipped ahead to the three boats nearly even as they raced across the Pacific Ocean, constantly vying for the lead. Mal's boat rammed into Izzy and Topher's from the side as it passed by.
"Where'd you learn how to drive? A demolition derby?" Izzy insulted Mal.
The shot cut to Mal, his confident smile fading when her boat was rammed into. He looked to his left, the camera zooming out to show Ezekiel alongside him.
"These aren't bumper boats, wimp!" Mal told Ezekiel who rammed him further away.
Ezekiel continued on for another few seconds before looking down and gaping, the perspective changing to show a small leak in his boat.
"Guys, do you see a leak in your boat?" Ezekiel asked the duo.
"We are doing perfectly fine, so no!" Izzy responded.
Ezekiel picked up a large swordfish that had somehow been in his boat. Not wasting any time, he used it to plug the hole in his boat. "And I am back in the race!" he shouted victoriously.
The shot zoomed out again as Mal passed the others by. He laughed at their disadvantage and carried on. "Doofuses!"
The shot cut to a large naval mine floating on top of the water; a hapless seagull landed on it, causing it to explode just before Mal's boat passed through the area, the boy screaming in fear.
Cutting back to the other two boats showed Topher and Izzy in the lead. Ezekiel managed to get the upper hand and sped ahead of the two.
"Anything a girl can do, boys can do just as much!" Ezekiel said.
"You might wanna take a look ahead!" Izzy called out.
Ezekiel looked forward and gasped. He ran straight into another naval mine, launching his boat into the air just as Izzy and Topher passed by.
Mal was shown looking back with delight as he approached their destination, but a sudden sputtering from the engine caused him to look bothered. "I'm out of gas!" he exclaimed.
"Pathetic!" He promptly took an oar from the boat and began to row.
The scene moved to the beach, where the other former contestants, Josh, Blaineley, Bruno, Luna, and Ron had assembled to await the arrival of the Final Three plus two. A deep and dramatic riff played as the camera panned across them looking either sad, annoyed, or angry next to Chris. The camera pulled back and panned further over to the right, and just as it hit the beach, Mal's boat arrived.
"And just like that, I win!" Mal chanted, rushing off to dry land.
"Mal makes it into the Final Two!" Chris announced. "One question remains," he told the camera, "who will Mal battle?" The malevolent one rushed in front of the camera and grinned smugly. "Ezekiel, or Izzy?"
As he spoke, another boat was shown approaching, the camera zooming out to reveal it as Izzy and Topher. "We did it!" the psycho hose beast cheered. A further outward zoom showed that their boat was just a few yards away from shore, drifting idly towards it...
And then came Ezekiel's scream of terror, and moments after, his boat. It landed bow-first on top of Izzy's, splintering it and launching all three teens towards the beach. They landed off-screen with a thud, and the camera cut over.
"Oh, wow," Chris said in shock, looking over the forms of Topher, Izzy, and Ezekiel alongside Mal, "that's what you call a tie, people! I'd go to the slow-mo to declare a winner," he said as the camera moved in for a close-up, "buuuttt...we'rrreee...kinda outta time," he said, deliberately extending a few syllables.
"WHAT?!" the four declared in shock.
"Yup!" Chris told them. "We are totally, completely," the camera zoomed out to show the entire cast, most of them staring at the host in disbelief, "undeniably...out..of..time...aaasss..ooofff... riiigghhtt...abooouuutt...NOW!"
The Final Three groaned, and the series' capstone theme began to play.
"So come back next time to find out who battles who," Chris said, drawing the camera's attention back off the four on the beach. "And see someone finally win the million! Or die trying," he shrugged impishly. "Right here, on Total! Drama! World Tour!"
(Roll the Credits)
(Bonus Clip)
The scene opened to the beach back in Mexico. Ezekiel Clone arrives at the beach and sniffs the air. He then sees a raft and an oar lying on shore, coconuts on top of the raft.
Drooling in excitement, Ezekiel Clone scurries over to the raft and pushes it into the water. He then jumps on and grabs the oar, paddling as fast as he can into the sunset.
18th: Shawn
17th: Amy
16th: Lindsay
15th: Rodney
14th: Jo
Eliminated: Owen
13th: Duncan
12th: Sky
11th: Heather
10th: Cody
9th: Ella
8th: Noah
7th: Sadie
6th: Owen
5th: Eva
4th: Topher
submitted by xtremexavier15 to u/xtremexavier15 [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 11:23 WaveOfWire One Hell Of A Vacation - Chapter 87

First Prev Next Royal Road Patreon
u/KieveKRS and u/coldfireknight providing the Trash certification of quality! Everyone thank CFK for their contribution!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
“Are you sure about this?” Comms called through the short-wave, Willin’s headset crackling only slightly louder than the pouring rain. It was distorted and covered the timbre of his voice, but it worked.
He checked the batteries on his guns, both pistol and rifle topped off. The pistol was secured into the holster on his hip, the rifle slung across his chest over the heat-plate designed to dissipate any plasma that might hit it. His armour wouldn’t do the best against kinetic armaments—it was never designed to go against a railgun—but military personnel were rarely given those anyway. Too inefficient.
“As sure as I can be,” he replied, checking his harness. Two spare batteries, four ration packs, water, the transmitter that fed into his headset, some assorted tools for unlikely scenarios, and a knife tucked into his boot. The footwear was typically used for traversing hostile environments or boarding operations—the material thick and cumbersome—but it worked just fine for him. He had gotten used to wearing it.
He opted not to bother with the helmet. It would limit his senses in a place like this, the EW field making even the most basic function disorienting. Tech adjusted the physical scope on her rifle, though her favourite weapons were the two Compact Anti-personnel and Rapid Discharge systems she had attached to her hips—the CARDs being designed to switch between rapid-shot clusters to suppress a wide area, and a single-fire mode better suited to more precise requirements. The larger weapon was mostly for show—there was hardly a reason to carry an Anti-Material Rifle to begin with—but it didn’t hurt to counter possible armour.
The purple-furred female’s true weaponry rested both on and under her armour, her augments and the equipment linked to them making her a mobile Electronic Warfare platform. Though much of her abilities would be limited in scope here, she was still more than capable of supporting him. He would be relying on her to dissuade any action against them, as well as using her modifications to keep them in the loop.
She looked like an oddly-coloured female, but she was closer to a walking EMP and scanner rolled into one.
“Short-wave is stable, if a bit distorted,” Willin continued, flicking some of the water off his fur. “Tech will try to keep the signal clean, but no promises. Comms, Nav, you two are keeping the craft warm and ready.”
“Understood, Leader,” Nav replied, their androgynous voice warbling slightly. “Estimated time-frame?”
“Long enough for you two to figure out the ration-packets.”
Comms laughed over the headset. “Nav would rather lick the floors.”
“Just don’t get too distracted with each other while we’re gone,” Willin teased through his smirk, Tech rolling her eyes at him.
“The same could be said for you, Leader. Don’t get too caught up making ‘friends’ with the locals.”
“Or Tech,” Nav added dryly. Their tone hovering between annoyance at the jibes regarding Comms and Nav’s occasional fling, and amusement at the suggestion Tech was interested in pursuits of the flesh with the crew at all. She might be, but she had a habit of dropping the thermostat of whichever room belonged to whoever made the comment, so it was safer to just assume she was off-limits.
“Cold room,” Tech responded casually as she adjusted her audio interface, Nav sighing loud enough for it to be picked up. Comms laughed in a way that suggested he was thankful for Tech’s assistance in ensuring Nav would be seeking a warm bed for the moon. Willin shook his head, hoping that they didn’t need to extract in any particular hurry.
It was easier to get in the air when your two remaining crew weren’t otherwise occupied.
“Batteries green. Supplies green. Short-wave sufficient,” he reported, receiving confirmations from Tech. “Operation is to establish communication with local Grand Hunter and receive compliance, information on other packs, and facilitate reintroduction to structure.”
“Alternative is to report pack as non-compliant and pursue other Grand Hunters,” Tech added, repeating what they went over earlier. “My augments are heavily limited, but we should be able to deal with it.”
“Are you sure that you two can manage hostilities?” Comms asked, his voice faltering slightly. Though they had been assigned to the scout craft at random, they had grown rather close as a unit over their time. If it wasn’t for the professional obligations prohibiting it, they might have all decided to move into a den together—they were that intimately familiar with each other. As it was, they would likely be reassigned to serve elsewhere after their current mission was complete.
Such was the life of those like them.
“Tech has more equipment under her fur than our ship has installed—weakened or not,” Willin assured the male. He shot a pointed look at the female. “She’s also under direct order to return in the event things become too dangerous. Alone, if required.”
Tech scowled, but nodded anyway. Comms grunted their understanding. “Leader?”
A moment of pause. “Nothing. Come back, okay?”
“Will do my best, Comms. Nav, keep an eye on him.”
“It will be done, Leader. Stay safe.”
He placed a paw to his headset, hovering over the button to cut the transmission. “You too.”
“Ready to go?” Tech asked, slinging her AMR over her back and re-securing her CARDs. Willin double checked his auxiliary equipment, hoping that he didn’t need to use any of it. Nodding, he gestured for her to follow, the two leaving behind the craft to slip into the woods.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
“Something up?” he asked, raising a brow at Tech. The female was fidgety, restless and scanning their surroundings more than required. She might have heard something, but the thunderous hiss of rain drowned out most everything—it was part of the reason they waited for it.
She wore a reluctant expression, her eyes flickering to the silver and gold trees for a moment. “Prox’ is going wild.”
“Proximity sensor effected?” he queried, feeling the weight of his weapons tug on his body. Tech nodded.
“It’s weak. I think the ‘spike is messing with it—along with everything else—but it’s reporting…a lot.”
She shook her head, a paw twitching over a CARD. “Not until we go past them.”
He joined her in looking around, shaking off water uselessly. “Wildlife?”
“This stealthy?”
Willin shrugged. “The message mentioned that it was different.”
“Details would have been nice,” she grumbled in return, waving her paw to get him moving again, though she kept one on her weapon.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
“Visual,” he reported, lowering the rifle from his shoulder. “Anything?”
Tech shook her head, still on a swivel. “Prox’ is still lit up, but at this point it might be less distracting to shut it off.”
“Keep it. Rather have it telling us things are around all the time than miss something big because we got annoyed.”
She sighed, tapping her audio interface twice to change the song she had playing. “What do you see?”
“Low fences, but dense buildings. Lots of traffic despite the weather. Looks like they’re used to it. Think they know we’re here?”
“Doubt it. Gear?”
He shouldered his weapon to look through the scope. “No guns, but lots of melee. Armour seems to be a mix of leather and metal. Can’t say what kind.”
Tech pulled her AMR to look, Willin shifting to keeping lookout. “No guns…” She shot him a look. “I’m not sure if that’s reassuring, or worrying.”
He shrugged. “The less I need to get shot at with, the better.”
“The goal is to not give them reason to.”
“Well, I can’t be perfect all the time.”
Tech laughed, the banter easing her nerves. “You’d have to start, Leader.”
With a roll of his eyes, he patted her shoulder with the back of his paw. “Let’s get moving. Diplomacy doesn’t do itself.”
The purple-furred female sighed, likely biting back another quip as she nodded.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
It went better than expected. So far, anyway.
They had approached the settlement proper, received what could be described as a ‘lukewarm’ welcome, then were told to follow several Lilhuns donning black leather and far too many daggers. Their escorts kept a close eye on the guns that they brought, but no one had made any comments about them yet. It was encouraging, but also worrying.
“Still nothing?” he muttered, quiet enough to not be heard by the others, but loud enough for Tech. She seemed hesitant, glancing over to one of the taller structures as they passed through, but gave a subtle shrug.
“Static is messing with my augments,” she grumbled. “Could be none, could be a few snipers. I can’t tell.”
He exhaled heavily. It was a bit of a blessing that her modifications were working at all, but it was easy enough to see that she felt bare without all the little tweaks she had gotten used to.
Willin never actually got the chance to learn all the tricks she was capable of—it was against policy to ask and she never saw fit to talk about it—but of the ones he did know; her proximity sensor, jammer, and ship integration were her favourites.
It was hard to board her ship if she knew where you were, locked up your gun, then spaced the room you were in, all without closing her game. He was pretty sure she was disappointed that she had only gotten to do that once.
“New ones, the Grand Hunter will see you soon,” an escort informed them as they drew near the Atmospheric Entry Craft that acted as a den for the one they were here to meet. They didn’t know the name yet, nor were they given the chance to do more than say why they were there. He had gotten as far as saying he was from the United Military before the people welcoming them scurried off to get someone else.
He busied himself by inspecting the buildings leading up to the AEC, some being a respectable three floors. Newer constructions seemed to differ in method, the beams a charred ashen colour rather than the same odd silver wood. Why they had elected to burn the materials, he didn’t know, but it seemed to be what they decided to do.
A surprising amount of the population carried a curved stick over their shoulder, the ends tied together by a string. Some attached lengths of a similar material to their leathers, one end made with a small loop as it dangled. The catch they carried to what looked to be a hunter’s lodge suggested it was used during their hunting, but he couldn’t fathom how.
Dragging his attention from the crowd, he eyed the large shuttle.
The massive main doors looked to have been damaged, though a structure had been attached since, leaving the stuck-open entrance to seem less like the result of a hard landing. The gentle hum of the internal power generation was absent, the required energy for what was still working being drawn from large solar panels that had been installed into skylights in the ceiling. The cloud-laden weather dimmed the light that illuminated the inside, but it was serviceable enough. Whatever power was produced, it was being funnelled somewhere that wasn’t servicing the majority of the craft.
Wide halls were populated by Lilhuns and spotted with doorways, the majority propped open since they were programmed to shut in the event of a power outage, lest explosive decompression eject whomever was occupying the room—along with anyone nearby in the hallway, should they be so unlucky.
It was customized, that much was obvious. Several rooms that would have been sparsely populated with anything other than beds were instead modified into training rooms and gyms. Densely packed barracks contrasted against large storage areas filled with various goods, pelts and metal weapons lining various shelves. Newer accommodations had been installed for more of those curved staffs, smaller pointed sticks stacked in piles nearby.
They progressed deeper and deeper into the confines of the shuttle, the common sight of the local pack trickling away, none seeming to have business this far in. Gruffer and more observant Lilhuns became the only people they saw while the hallways narrowed into tighter quarters, what might have fit cargo vehicles now only allowing a few shoulder widths, doorways becoming less common. The wary eyes and darkened clothing paired with the occasional dyed fur of those they passed—black seeming to be the dominant colour.
“In here,” an escort grunted, jabbing their jaw towards an isolated door. A paw was held out as they tried to step forward. “Weapons.”
Tech’s paw twitched towards one of her CARDs, the act of Willin relinquishing his pistol and rifle stopping her from snapping it into rapid-fire and burning the air with plasma. She glared at him for a few seconds before doing the same, the escort smirking.
“You will have them returned. The Grand Hunter is not so desolate as to pilfer the possessions of those who come merely to speak.”
He wasn’t worried about it. The guns were coded to them and Tech could fry them if it came down to it. Well, he wasn’t sure if she could do it with the warp-spike messing with things, but the lock should be enough. The knife in his boot went unnoticed, so it wasn’t like he was completely unarmed anyway.
Tech followed suit, subtly glaring at him the whole time. He shrugged, there wasn’t much they could do about it. They were the ones seeking an audience with the most influential person here.
Satisfied, the escort pulled the door open, the quiet whirring of the unpowered servos accenting the air. They revealed a larger office adorned with little but the most base necessity, a wood and steel desk covered in papers, a chair seeming to be the only extravagant item within—though it was purely for the ergonomics, rather than any aesthetic reason—and the male sat upon it was leafing through a collection of documents while twirling an orange needle-like object in his paw.
The distinct lack of any guards to protect the Grand Hunter was surprising, but that took a back seat to the owner of the room.
Dark grey fur, a clouded eye that retained its sharpness, scars peeking beyond the confines of his leather clothing—the thick hides sporting metal scales sewn onto them. An ear flicked in their direction, the membrane cut at several points. He placed down his papers, leaning forward in his chair as he clasped his paws on the desk, a friendly smile donned that failed to convey anything but malice.
“Greetings, new ones,” the male offered in a cheery tone, the low rumble and gravelled texture of his voice carrying both humour and curiosity. He focused on Tech for a moment, his eyes narrowing over the affable expression before he regarded both of them equally. He gestured to the seating opposite of his desk some small distance away. Close enough to meet, yet far enough that it was made abundantly clear who was in charge.
Willin bowed his head politely, walking the distance and sitting where he was provided. Tech followed suit after a brief hesitation, her unfocused eyes snapping to him with frustration. His raised brow was met with a longer blink—her augments were reporting something that made no sense again.
“Now then,” the dark grey-furred male said, moving some of the documents on his desk to a stack. “What might bring you to me?”
“Forgive me, Grand Hunter…” Willin opened, prodding for a name.
The male simply maintained his attentive posture instead of providing. Willin adjusted his sleeve and decided it was more important to continue than dig for information that he could get by asking anyone who lived in the settlement.
“As for why we’re here; we represent the United Military, responding to a distress call. We have forwarded the request and were tasked with ascertaining the state of affairs before the fleets arrive to assist.”
The Grand Hunter nodded. “Yes, that much I could have surmised from your clothing alone.”
Tech raised a brow as the dark green-furred soldier forced a smile. “Of course. More specifically, we would like to speak with you about what you know of the others of your station, as well as discuss the reintegration of your pack.”
The smile of the grey-furred male widened. “You wish to make a deal?”
Tech’s gaze flickered to several points in the room, her brow furrowing as she jettisoned a huff in frustration. Willin took a moment to consider his plan of action, nodding when he didn’t see the harm.
“I believe we can come to an arrangement. Within reason, of course.”
The Grand Hunter chuckled as the needle he was playing with disappeared at a flick of his wrist. “Of course, of course. Deal, agreements, arrangements, contracts.” The emphasis on the final item tickled something in the back of Willin’s mind. “Itemize it. What do you seek of me? It is rather disorganized to ask without quantifying, no? So…messy.”
“We want information on the other packs. Who leads them, number of members, where their settlements are,” Tech stated tersely, ignoring the disapproving glance Willin gave. “We also need to work on integrating those packs back into the UM—preferably with yourself setting precedent.”
The male’s face grew thoughtful. “As well as forgiveness, though that will cost quite the amount.”
Willin frowned. “Forgiveness? For not knowing your name?”
The Grand Hunter returned a blank stare, a dangerous grin spreading slowly. “Tell me, new ones, do you know of Avalon?”
Tech’s face hardened, her answer slow and cautious. “We do, though only through description.”
The male’s voice fell low. Quiet, yet powerful. His elbows on the table suddenly felt like a far greater threat than any armament. “Do you know the debt your superiors have incurred?”
“I don’t believe we have even had the chance to introduce ourselves,” Willin interjected, noticing Tech’s discomfort, her eyes darting around the room nervously.
“You need not,” the Grand Hunter remarked smugly. “You are forbidden from giving your names, no? Locked behind titles of station, merged and scattered at the whims of your masters. Soldiers who do not exist, yet sit within my office.”
Tech pawed for a CARD, forgetting that she had been disarmed at the door. Willin felt the weight of his knife pull on his boot. The male chuckled as he leaned back in his chair.
“But, given that you did not flee, I will give the benefit of the doubt regarding the debt. Though, it will make offering you more than your lives difficult.”
“What debt?” Willin pressed, receiving a flippant wave of the male’s paw.
“It matters not. I have more pressing matters than hearing why I should join the ranks of that which I supersede.”
“Matters such as?”
The Grand Hunter raised a brow. “You are being given the opportunity to leave whole, new one. I advise you to accept.”
Willin shook his head, ignoring Tech’s pointed look. “We need information. From the message we received, not everyone is as well off as you, and we intend to amend that. What can we trade for it?”
The male clasped his paws over his stomach, passively humouring them. “What do you offer? You may seek the details of the others, but I am not inclined to merely supply it.”
“Supplies, priority cooperation when the UM arrives.”
A chortle sounded out. “We are self sufficient. Such matters little.”
“Is there anything you would want?”
The Grand Hunter smirked, placing a paw on the table as the other produced another needle—this one a more yellow hue, the specifics of its shape blurring as it spun between his claws. “Your superiors asked me a favour. Data. How far could they push the Lilhun body before ligaments broke, the mind following shortly after? How twisted can we shape the psyche of kits?”
The temperature of the room seemed to chill, a twitch of the male’s lips pulling his muzzle into a slight snarl.
“They sought my kit to participate, after a time. Unfortunately, her will aligned—despite my reservations. In return, she would be wiped from the records. Ephemeral, never having existed to begin with. Never suffering the whims of those who became drunk on sending my Blades to their end, never finding their other.” The gravel to his voice turned to broken glass. “Yet your betters violated the agreement. Broke the contract. They pulled her into your service, hid the fact from me, and had the gall to fabricate a story to coincide. Were it not for a particular series of favours I was owed, I would have been still planet-side in our system instead of here.”
The dark grey-furred male smirked, his demeanour relaxing. “It seems she has found what she sought. Without need for my meddling, at that. A shame, really. I had several competent males selected—those who could wield what she had become. Those who might give her what her blood-mother failed to gain.” He paused for a moment, a fraction of longing piercing through the scarred exterior. “Regardless, all I would have wanted has been gained. She is content, and I am crafting that which shall accept her when she is ready. Your military will only muddy that which I have achieved, were they to dig their claws into my work.”
“Their actions are separate from ours,” Willin countered, thankful that the impending conflict had seemingly resolved itself.
“Grand Hunter,” Tech addressed the male, an eye flicking to the ceiling for a fraction. “We were able to see that there are a fair number of settlements, but we need the information to do our job.”
“And your task would interfere with my own,” the grey-furred male reiterated, a polite—if bored—expression returned.
“What if we could ensure that it didn’t?”
The disinterest in the male’s eyes slipped into curiosity. “You seek to trade sovereignty for information? You hold such power?”
“We do,” Willin confirmed, surprised that Tech would offer. “Though you would be disregarding the support of the United Military, we could arrange an agreement of territory on this planet. It’s not as if we could populate the entirety of it within several of our lifetimes anyway.”
The Grand Hunter stared, each moment more uncomfortable than the last. Eventually, he smirked. “Information and the disregarding of the sins your betters inflicted upon me, for sovereignty…and a singular favour.”
“Indeed,” he replied confidently, reaching into his desk to produce writing implements and paper. “You see, my kit has pledged herself to someone of curiosity. I thought him worthless. Weak. Yet he has performed a duty befitting her Sheath, and I suppose I should reward it.”
Scribbling ceased, impeccable penmanship crafting a contract that was slid forward on the tabletop. He continued after gesturing for Willin to approach.
“Seek him last, give him what information you have gathered, then heed his request,” the male said through his smirk. “I do so look forward to seeing what becomes of it.”
The dark green-furred male perused the document, stipulations and all finely articulated, as if the Grand Hunter lived and breathed transaction. A few points needed to be addressed, mostly possible abuse cases within the fine print, but it was surprisingly fair. There was some worry about the otherwise excessive cost of breaking the contract, but Willin figured that it would be reasonable enough considering the circumstances.
Signing, he gestured Tech to do the same as a witness, the two of them representing the UM for all intents and purposes. It was hardly the first time they had made agreements like this, though trading such a large area on a planet they held no prior influence on was a first.
The Grand Hunter confirmed the terms and conditions with them one last time, smiling when they both nodded.
“Good! Now, for what you seek.” The male rummaged through a few drawers, producing a series of papers that were lined over the desk towards them. “The non-aggression treaty, as well as what my Blades have observed from their scouting.”
Willin read over each, the documents sorted by Grand Hunter, then by who they had under them. His brow raised at a few reports, but questions could wait. The male seemed happy to let them read, so he wanted to take advantage of it. Tech scanned over everything when Willin was done, her augments allowing her to commit the information to a digital memory for future reference back on the ship.
“There are quite a few names marked with this,” Tech noted aloud, pointing to a symbol next to several of the Grand Hunters and their extended packs. The grey-furred male nodded.
“Those have been eliminated or subsumed.”
Willin frowned, parsing the documents again. Mi’low, Toril, and a few others were designated as such. Looking through, only about four seemed to be free of the distinction. He looked questioningly to the male, a grin returned with a separate stack of paper, titled with a single name.
The notation was rather dense, though not in information that Willin was expecting. Instead of settlements or High and Low Hunters, it was laden with mentions of those belonging to the previously marked Grand Hunters. His eyes widened as he connected the dots.
“Hasen is trying to be a Master Hunter.”
“Correct,” the male confirmed cheerily. “He is integrating other packs into his command and eliminating those who refuse. It has become quite an issue as of late.”
Though Grand Hunters could be assigned the moniker by owning territory and a willing pack—assuming they have the force required to defend it—a Master Hunter must own magnitudes more. It was typically achieved by integrating Grand Hunter packs and their subservients through mutual benefit, but taking it by force was a lesser used method.
Given that he had already either taken or purged several, it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to assume he would press it to include here.
Willin heard Tech curse under her breath, their promise of sovereignty obligating them to interfere. To allow a member of the military—stranded or not—free action against the grey-furred male’s territory would be the same as endorsing it, now that they were aware. It would be hostility by the UM in all but name, and the consequences that had seemed somewhat extreme before now hung over their heads like an executioner’s axe.
A dark, deep chuckle broke the two of them out of thought. “Contracts, new ones,” the Grand Hunter started, a cold Void pooling in his eyes, “are not to be thought trivial. Do not break them.”
“It was a trap,” Tech snarled, jabbing a claw at the report in her paw. “You set us up.”
“Did I?” the male asked innocently. “You offered self-governance, non-interference, and non-aggression.”
“You withheld information!”
The Grand Hunter smiled, a shiver sent down Willin’s spine. “You agreed without doing proper research.”
Willin held a paw out to stop Tech from storming the male. “The contract is signed, Tech.”
“It’s invalid!” she snarled at him, receiving a cold look in return.
“Do you want to be the one to tell command that we allowed damn near genocide of a crew we were here to assist, just because we were too stubborn to adhere to an agreement?” he countered calmly. “This ‘Hasen’ is wiping almost a year's worth of survival, botanical, and every other specialized knowledge gained, just because he wants to control a section of a planet. This doesn’t change anything, it just means we know what we’re going into.”
“I like him,” the Grand Hunter opined with a grin. “He sees the value that my proposition offers.”
“What’s stopping us from just tearing up the contract right now and leaving you to your fate?” Tech barked.
“Your companions in your craft—quite the ship, might I add—would be a notable starting point.”
The two of them paused, eyes widened. The dark grey-furred male laughed again.
“Your proximity sensor has been reporting since you landed, no?” he asked, pointing to the equipment on Tech’s harness. “It must have been rather vexing, yes? Is it the warp-spike? Is it some army of the unknown? The uncertainty of never confirming what it tells you. The whispers of doubt that follow.”
“I’m surprised you recognized what it was,” Willin replied with a level tone. He didn’t like where this was going. The male offered a smile.
“Wildlife here is especially elusive. Skittish. Ceasing all motion while predators are near and silencing themselves.” Tech and Willin exchanged a glance as the male waved a paw dismissively. “It makes for rather intensive training for my Blades. To hunt without disturbing them. My kit was a natural in such regard, but others have slowly approached such a threshold.”
He folded his paws on the desk. “Your ship is currently being observed by them now, weaponry trained on the defences you thought so adequate. Surely you noticed the lack of guns, yes?”
“The distress message mentioned the lack of them was due to how urgent evacuation was,” Willin added cautiously.
“Yes, quite. I made sure to lock the armouries after taking enough to establish my power,” the male confirmed with a half-shrug. “Among those were rifles not dissimilar to the rifle that the purple one there brought with her.” He leaned back in his chair. “Sufficient to pierce the hull and whoever occupies the space behind it, no?”
Tech’s eyes unfocused, snapping to Willin with a fear behind them. The Grand Hunter spun his quill, unconcerned by the events.
“Your short-wave has been temporarily disabled. You can not warn them.”
“Threatening us to compliance?” Willin asked without emotion to his tone. He needed to keep things from escalating.
“Ensuring you understand the consequences of your actions,” the male replied plainly. “When one barters with Avalon, know that breaching such is grounds for death. Of you, and whoever I need to send with you.”
“They didn’t sign this,” Tech argued, kept in line by Willin’s demeanour.
“But you did,” the Grand Hunter returned coldly. “Honour your signature, or regret such in the Void.”
Tech took an enraged step forward, stopped when her throat pressed against a dagger that was slipped in from behind. Willin felt the pressure of a knife to his own.
“Patience, new ones.”
“You took advantage of the interference to sneak assassins into the room?” Willin noted.
“No, my Blades were always here,” the male refuted lazily, nodding at Tech. “She noticed, but was unable to trust what her equipment told her.” He chortled for a moment. “Quite the annoyance, proximity sensors. I feel rather blessed to have the warp-spike rendering them little more than meaningless noise.”
“So this is it? You kill us now, our friends when they refuse to cooperate, then steal what we brought?”
The pressure on his neck faded with a wave of the male’s paw, the assassins being nowhere to be seen.
“Of course not!” the Grand Hunter exclaimed, his voice returning to its affable cadence. “You now know how futile it is to go against me. Fear not, I see no merit in hindering you. As long as you honour your portion of the contract, I will honour mine. It is a certainty that Avalon was founded on.”
Tech rubbed her neck, glancing questioningly at Willin. He gave the male a wary glance, but closed his eyes to concede. They were just going to get everyone killed if they tried to back out of something they had already agreed to.
“Then we have come to an understanding,” the dark grey-furred male announced happily. “As a show of faith, do you have any questions where I might provide clarity?”
The two soldiers glanced at each other, Tech begrudgingly giving Willin the floor. He gestured to the smallest stack of papers. “Who is this? There’s next to nothing about him. Are you withholding information against your contract?”
The Grand Hunter smirked. “That, new ones, is all I could gather from my Blades.”
“You have Lilhuns disappearing in the room a moment after holding a knife to our throats, and they couldn’t scout a settlement?”
“Isn’t it interesting?”
“Enthralling,” Tech commented dryly. The male tapped a claw against his head.
“Think, new ones. What might render my Blades little more than a mild inconvenience?”
Willin’s eyes narrowed. “Other Blades? Better Blades?”
The dark grey-furred male held an expectant smile. “None have been seen, save for my kit.”
“Your kit’s mate is the Grand Hunter? I don’t see one Blade deterring this many,” he admitted, flicking through the pages. Overt, covert, and disguised. None got very far.
“Thus why I believe the male is owed a favour,” the Grand Hunter explained. “I gave them four Blades as a gift. They have become more.” A predatory look of elation cracked through the veneer. “There exists no better Sheath than a Blademaster. Let alone one who surpasses my methods. If she is to succeed me, I would rather no other to accompany her.”
“Says here that he’s an alien,” Willin noted aloud, trying not to voice his surprise. “I’m skeptical.”
“Oh, please do be. It will make hearing about what he asks of you that much more amusing.”
“Any ideas what he might look for from us?” Tech spat, still irritated.
“Oh, I might have an idea,” the male answered cryptically, sliding a small tablet of silver wood across the desk. Willin picked it up to inspect it, two foreign scripts scratched into the surface. With a questioning glance, the Grand Hunter nodded, Willin stashing the tablet into a pouch. “He seeks that which others might not, for reasons as foreign as he himself is. I have little doubt that something related to that trinket will be his wish.”
“Then why visit him last?” the purple-furred female pressed.
“Because it will influence his decision.”
“Which is enough reason for us,” Willin declared with a warning scowl at Tech. She held his gaze before looking away in annoyance.
“Then our meeting is finished,” the male announced, gesturing to the door. It opened, the whirring of servos giving way to the distant ambient chatter of the hallway. Two of the black leather-clad escorts entered the room and awaited them.
“Is there anything we should know that may have not made it to the report about him?” Willin asked before leaving, turning naught but an ear for the response.
The Grand Hunter hummed for a moment. “Do mind your manners surrounding his kit,” he offered. “Or do not, it matters little to me if you survive past honouring the agreement.”
Tech stopped at the doorway, glaring at the male as Willin exited. “We never did get your name.”
His brows raised in interest. “You saw my signature.”
“I would rather hear it from you,” she insisted coolly.
A toothy smile spread over the male’s muzzle. “Grand Hunter Trill; Blademaster of Avalon, Sire of Phantom, and—if I remember correctly—the Weighted Scale, Aspect of Balance.”
“’May he who barter with the Void fear its ire,’” she recited, conviction in her words.
“’Yet he who uphold bathes in its blessing,’ yes,” Grand Hunter Trill replied with a knowing look. “Consider it, new one. To be crushed under the obligations you fail to upkeep, or revel in that which you covet. Do be warned; though I let you and your party leave—” his eye gained a sharp edge. “You are never beyond my influence.”
“May the sun treat you well, Grand Hunter,” she replied tersely, spinning on her pad to leave. Willin glanced back as he waited for her to pass him, seeing nothing but the door closing behind her.
Their weapons were returned, each in the same state as they were confiscated, save for a familiar knife. He scowled as he shifted his footing to reveal that the comforting weight had been removed from his boot. He begrudgingly accepted the blade, tucking it back into the sheath as the Lilhun smirked at him, his mirth at the dark green-furred male’s displeasure evident.
They were escorted out of the shuttle, a pause afforded long enough for Willin to flick up his hood before they continued to the outermost edge of the settlement. As soon as they were outside of the fence, their escorts turned and quickly faded into the buildings.
A crackle came over the headset.
“Leader! Tech! We thought something may have happened,” Comms shouted into the earpiece, genuine worry coating his words.
“Were you unsuccessful?” Nav added, the sound of a small distance between speaker and microphone suggesting they were sharing.
Willin adjusted the strap of his rifle and started walking, Tech following after a lingering glance at the settlement. “We got what we came for, but it might have cost us.”
“It was simply a meeting, no?” Comms asked to clarify.
“If you can call being strung along by an Aspect ‘simple,’ then yes,” Tech growled.
“Balance,” Willin provided through a sigh. “Weighted Scale.”
“Receive your heart’s desire at a heavy sacrifice,” Nav commented after a moment, likely referencing something. “What did you give them?”
“Sovereignty and a favour to be paid out to another Grand Hunter.”
“That does not seem too unreasonable,” Comms voiced curiously.
“We’ll talk about it when we get back. I have a feeling that the hole was dug too deep to see the bottom quite yet.”
“There’s a battle brewing,” Tech notified the crew, adjusting her audio interface. For once, it was completely silent. “We got dragged into it.”
The short-wave fell silent.
“What do we do?” Comms questioned quietly, the crackle of the distortion pitching his voice slightly.
Willin snorted, exhaling slowly.
“We made a deal with Avalon, Comms. We honour the contract.”
A/N: Folded and made a Patreon. You can do the thing there, but i don't have anything to offer. Gonna move the rare AI Gen character art to it though, since it's the best i can offer.
submitted by WaveOfWire to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 10:52 Timeline40 Sorry for the negativit-eh, but Season 3 had more episodes and 3x the length as season 1 while saying less, accomplishing less, and joking less

I know this is a really annoying post, and please don't let me hurt anyone's enjoyment of the season, I'm just ranting.
This season was over 13 hours long; season 1 was under 5 hours. And yet, I feel like all of the character arcs were nonexistent, rushed, or just plain bad.
-Jamie's arc re: his dad was well done. His relationship with Roy was well done. This last episode seemed to just randomly bring back liking Keeley as a plot device for Roy, though.
-Roy became a diamond dog, but the moment didn't feel earned at all. We haven't seen him wrestling with needing advice but being unable to ask for advice. If we saw more of his breakup with Keeley last season and him feeling alone, this might have worked. He should have gotten to give Higgins' speech about asking for help; receiving the speech just means he never actually progressed until then.
-Keeley just kinda did stuff all season. I don't get what the writers were going for here, so maybe I'm just missing something. But the point seems to be "value strong friendships and personal growth/success over tying your identity fully to a romantic interest". Which, firstly, is constantly contradicted by Keeley ignoring and then halfhearteadly apologizing to Rebecca, and, two is contradicted by Beard's arc, and, three, didn't feel earned at all. The show was so concerned with the will they/won't they and love triangle and Jamie/Roy friendship that it didn't actually show Keeley making any of those realizations or that progress.
-Sam had no arc. No development with Rebecca, no final note on the restaurant or politics, which was given a substantial amount of time. He responded calmly to Edwin Akufo in S2 and then did the same thing in S3. That scene was long, pointless, and used for cheap laughs/callbacks with the glass in the pasta. Then, at the end, he just kinda makes the Nigerian team in a montage.
-Dani had no arc or development. He became mean as an inside joke to world cup fans and then became nice again. Totally out of character and a lot of screen time dedicated to a glorified fourth wall break with no real consequences. The Mask of Zorro joke was not funny or clever enough to be worth that much time.
-Zoreaux had no arc. I thought the Van Damme thing was a clever starting point for a mini-arc, except it was just overused as a joke. I heard "actually, it's Van Damme" like 15 times this season. Again, so much screentime meant none of the jokes or storylines were kept tight.
-Isaac's big moment was kicking a ball hard. Remember S2, where they picked his character, tightly explained and then creatively solved a conflict, and then that solution had an effect on the club? The pillow fight in Amsterdam was a clever callback but took up so much screen time, turned Zoreaux into a pervert, and also didn't really develop any characters.
-Beard's arc was about independently making choices and creating his whole life, I saw the thread on this. Except...the Ted backstory bomb was dropped last episode. Three seasons of Jane conflict and constantly turning his trauma into jokes and having Higgins address it led to...not much. The ending was played as a spoof of rom/coms, which is more of an endorsement than it should be, especially given the show's constant homages to rom-communism.
-Trent had no arc. He was already won over by S1 E3. Getting himself fired last season was a fantastic beat as the start of a larger arc, but it went basically nowhere - Trent respected Ted and mostly understood why his methods worked, and he still does. We got nothing from the book. Hell, Ted made the biggest change to the book. I get that he assisted others with their arcs, especially Colin, but he was set up to be so much more than that. Why was Rebecca so opposed to him being at Richmond in e1 if he'd go on to not even have a hint of a possible negative impact on anything?
-Rebecca's was a disaster. Holy hell did the psychic and the boat plot lines take up so much time. And they end with a 15 second meet cute with boat guy who just happens to have a daughter? Not emotionally satisfying or earned at all, just the writers making another cheap callback. "Hey look at this thing we did? Remember when we did that?"
-Slowly phasing Dr. Jacob out during the match was weird. A good arc would have been Michelle actively realizing that a partner sharing Henry's passions was more important than a partner being good to her - would have made her a more compelling character and been a more satisfying way to get rid of Jacob. Yes, this was kind of, sort of implied, but the show dropped the bombshell about him dating her ten episodes earlier and then didn't do much with it. It was an extensive, unnecessary, and annoying way to push Ted towards going back home.
-The show did a great job of tackling sensitive issues around masculinity and mental health in S1 and S2. In S3, Ted got rid of his anxiety by breathing, Dr. Jacob got described as being "borderline unethical" despite everyone on this sub rightfully calling him a worse human being than Rupert, and Jane's repeated emotional abuse and manipulation of Beard was always either a joke or brought up and then brushed off. S1 and S2 made tight, concise points; S3 brought up issues to seem deep but didn't feel like putting in the effort to address them in a nuanced and effective way.
-To get ahead of one possible response: Ted dreaming everything is a terrible fucking ending. Maybe it means less plot lines were horribly butchered, but it instead means those plot lines just weren't resolved at all, which is worse.
-Colin's arc was good. Every scene with Colin was amazing. Good job, writers.
-Nate's arc was solid. I have quibbles about the treatment of his dad, because a lifetime of emotional neglect and abuse can't be settled in a 2 minute conversation the way the show's other conflicts can, but whatever. The apology to Will and then Ted was great.
-Rupert's end was fitting. Also well done.
-Shandy, Jack have been discussed to death. Barf.
It's very late and I'm very annoyed, but I really hope some comments will give me another perspective. I'd like to find out what I'm missing about the finale before I flip out. I really wanted it to be satisfying - I got a little teary eyed at the ends of S1 and S2, and I gave S3 as much of the benefit of the doubt as I could - but I got basically nothing here. All the callbacks are cool, but callbacks alone ring hollow after a season the length of 6 movies. The show desperately wanted to be an hour long character-driven drama and didnt seem to deliver for almost all of those characters.
submitted by Timeline40 to TedLasso [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 09:40 Secret_Ad_5205 First-time making a topster, any recs?

First-time making a topster, any recs? submitted by Secret_Ad_5205 to Topster [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 09:25 hellrocket [LFA] Shadar Kai echo knight

For our campaign I’m playing a female Shadar Kai named Civri Broe. (Dnd beyond suggestions I liked the pun sound.)
She has long but tied black hair, red eyes, and pale white ish blue or grey skin. Trying to meet that ethereal beauty and death look the lore describes. She wears medium armor and I’ve always pictured it closer to the classic lotr elf ranger then a full fighter in plate.
So far she’s got the basics, long bow and longsword, plus a few daggers. One “prized” weapon is a Greatsword with a hooked end she got in a haunted cave.
Part of the lore my group liked from the 5e Shadar Kai is the effects the shadow fell realm has on Shadar Kai. When art shows then in the material world they’re similar to other elves, inhumane Beauty and grace, athletic and dexterous.
But when in the shadow fell they’re routinely drawn more scarred, worn down. Like a runner who has no excess fat.
I wanted to play on that twist with Civri, so I tried to do it with her class.
her echo is a reflection of her other self. Instead of an exact copy of her material plane appearance for instance, it’s how she’d look in the shadowfell.
Only unique thing in terms of that is her group as a whole managed to roll extremely low strength, while she started out strong at 18, so the running joke is she’s treated as the jock elf so far.
submitted by hellrocket to characterdrawing [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 06:53 allanrps Detachable Hood + Mask

Detachable Hood + Mask
3 layer Nike Stormfit and 1.9 PU ripstop from quest, mask is lightweight wool. Weighs 62g total, kinda heavy, but it is a versatile piece.
I made this detachable hood for a couple reasons. One was that I didn't want to compromise the seamless upper of my rain shell. Also I liked the idea of the hood serving multipurpose as a hat. Thirdly, I use a shell far more often than a good, so it's nice not wear it when I don't needs it.
I made this with the tiny scrap from my rain shell, so that's why there are so many panels. In reality, its a two panel design with a center seam. I don't know why this construction isn't more popular for myog, it makes it super easy to get the hood perfectly tailored to your head. You can just draw in the single seam until it cradles your head.
There is an xpac 21 brim for sun protection. There are grosgrain loops at the front and one at the back of the neck, allowing you to sinch the hood up. The mask is tied into the rear neck loop and when it is put up it really stabilizes the hood, so it should stand up to high winds.
The design was inspired by Ashitaka from Princess Mononoke! I didn't set out to make anything emulating that, but in considering the design I realized its merits.
My only concern is that people will think I'm a ninja. It won't be good when they search my bag and find bow and arrow, knives, and a bunch of makeshift gadgets....
submitted by allanrps to myog [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 05:17 PotatoeFaceDragonnn Looking for...

Celebration Bow Tie
Party Beads
Runaway Damsel Candelabra
Mermaid Shelbi
The Colorful Reef Guardian
The Deep Sea of Sirens
Horse Carriage
The Dragon's Fire Opal
Phoenix Embrace
Persephone's Garden
Snow Pops
Ice Phoenix
Snowy Stalactites
Coldest Winter
Ice Empress
Starlight Wish
Blessed Guardian Angel
Darkness Slayer
Spirit of Crystal Ball
Toxicities Within
Goddess Aphrodite
Fashioned Gold
Wild Child
Delicate Crimson
Metallic Waves
Sun Shimmer
Tropical Butterfish
Golden Eye
Mini Love Guardian
Mini Electric Guardian
Mini Water Guardian
Mars Fire Guardian
Mercury Water Guardian
Strawberry Cherry Cupcakes
Rainbow Unicorn
LARGE Pink Unicorn
LARGE Cotton Candy Unicorn
Mini Roses are Red Valentines
Ragged Prince
Heart Choco Donuts
Social Love Butterfly
Love Fairy
Valentines Cake Wings
Sparkling Valentine
Choco Truffle Love
Teddy 4 My Valentine Cookies
Falling into Fate
Love Dragon
Song of the Lovebird
Heavenly Love
Roses are Red Valentines
Flame of Love
14 Karat Gold Infinity Chain
Treasure Hunter
Legend of the Harp Fairy
Irish Forest Fairy
Bad Luck Wings
Magical Field of Clovers
Rainbow Shamrock Butterfly Wings
Sweet Marshmallow Charms
Fly Through a Rainbow
Shooting Stars
I Wish for a Unicorn
Golden Guardian of Rainbows
Wish of Good Luck
Gold Keeper
Autumn Fairy
Scarf Wings
Fall Fairy
Gobble Gobble Wings
Harvest Fairy
Gooey S'mores
Pumpkin Spice Sparkluccino
Warm JamJamnamon Roll Wings
Cozy Flannel Bow Wings
Medium Hot Cocoa
Figure Skater
Large Antler Lights
Large Enchanting Christmas
Frozen Angel
Lizzy's Seashells
Grand Duke Epaulette & Sash
Translucent Heart Sunglasses
Crazy in Love Glasses
Divine Diamond Heart Ring & Bracelet
Magical Hair Ribbon
Aphrodite's Shoulder Bag
Divine Diamonds Heart Earrings
Mend My Heart Stitched Teddy
Powder Heart Backpack
OA Sleeves
OA Bodice
Fluttery Frozen Fan
submitted by PotatoeFaceDragonnn to RoyaleHighTrading [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 04:40 semcdwes Fashion Forum Challenge: Floral and Ties

Fashion Forum Challenge: Floral and Ties
Today I went light and bright. I’ve been super inspired by the amazing weather we’ve had lately. Low humidity and blue skies at a time it’s usually constant rain. My desert heart is loving this. This wrap top also fits both the floral challenge and this week’s, buttons bows and ties challenge with the wrap ties. I really like this top paired with lighter items in comparison to the dark pants I’ve worn it with previously. For jewelry I selected a flowered ring, a silver bracelet that reminds me of the movement of a cool breeze, and drop earrings representing dewdrops on flower petals. I went with pink makeup and nails to up the tropical spring feel. My keywords are radiant and intuitive.
submitted by semcdwes to RitaFourEssenceSystem [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 03:20 KaySen762 Theory (contains light spoilers for episode 7)

Thought I would expand my theory and put it in a post. I believe the town underwent some nuclear testing in the 40s, and like the atom, was split into parts. The residents there went into a quantum state of neither being alive or dead and eventually ended up as the monsters we see now. Their clothes are from the 40s and they seemed to be dressed in uniforms that match the remaining buildings. A waitress from the diner, a gas station attendant, a wealthy man wearing a bow tie who most likely owned colony house. After the event they moved underground to avoid radiation perhaps, that is why they seem to have some personal belongings under there.
Nothing has changed since Victor was a child. Perhaps time moved forward for a period, but nothing has changed in 30+ years. Here is a shot from Victor as a child and here is a shot recently. You can see the bush and grass out front of the post office is exactly the same. The blue metal mailbox should have rusted completely within that time. The buildings look the same as well.
There are quite a few missing buildings such as the motel. There was an aerial photo of the town posted (which I can’t find now) where there were bits of driveways but no houses there. So chances are the town was split in half. But another interesting thing is that there is some long grass where the motel would have been. So it wasn’t always frozen like this, and time did move forward for a short period. I think one of the original people (now turned into monsters) got pregnant after the event, so time moved forward till the child was born (possibly that boy in white). Since time seems to be moving forward again now since the leaves are falling, which hasn’t happened in Victor’s time there (this is a bit of a spoiler that will be revealed next episode), it is because Fatima is pregnant.
I think there was a scientist who was in the town during the event and that is who was performing experiments on Martin with the bloodworms. I don’t think he was looking for a way to kill the monsters (I suspect he is a monster as well) but rather just kept doing experiments like he did when he was alive. Martin should have been dead a long time ago it seems. They create immortality in humans but death in the monsters. It puts humans in a quantum state of being neither alive or dead and monsters out of a quantum state making them dead. It could possibly make them alive as well, but that probably requires that they would be alive in the present day if nothing had happened.
The symbols the monsters have in their tunnels and the one jade keeps seeing I think are road overlays. The monsters at first tried to find a way out because for a time I think they were human while one was pregnant. That idea came from this post. The talismans symbols don’t do anything at all, just represent what happened to them being in two states, but the type of rock they are on is what gives them power. Also the voice they heard on the radio I believe came from people who are trapped in the other half of the town elsewhere and are entangled with this part of the town.
edit to add: The only things that seem to age are the newcomers and their objects including cars.
submitted by KaySen762 to FromTVEpix [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 02:45 AslandusTheLaster The Fall of Red Rider

Original prompt: [WP] The Supervillan kidnaps their Archnemesis’s child, but it turns out the Hero(ine) of the city is also a terrible parent. (link)
My plan was nearly ready to reach fruition. This time, I would finally be rid of my nemesis, that goody-two-shoes the people call The Red Rider! I had the defenses and the doomsday device set up, I just had to get the foolish hero to fall into my trap!
I strolled over to my rolodex of victims to find a worthy hostage... No, the reporter girl was covering a war in some foreign country, grabbing her would take too long... No, not the mayor's daughter, she was off at college... Wait, why was his sidekick still in the rolodex? He graduated into a full-fledged hero a year and a half ago...
Well, it appeared that the usual suspects weren't going to work, so I'd have to find some new people the red jackass would jump through hoops to rescue. I called in one of my minions.
"Lord Halcien? How can I serve you?" the lizard man hissed. I couldn't remember why I'd mutated my spymaster, nor why I'd never tried to turn him back.
"Spymaster Alren, I need to get the Red Dunce here. Find me someone he'll go through hell or high water to rescue and toss them into the dungeon," I said.
"Yes, my lord..." he said, bowing. His skin shimmered and he turned invisible, the clicking of his claws indicating his departure from the room. More importantly, I remembered why I'd turned my assistant into a lizard.
I was putting the finishing touches on a new execution device when Alren returned. An ingenious thing, it would use a tiny needle to inject a number of microscopic devices into the victim's blood. From there, a secondary cycle would activate, emitting inaudible sound waves to make the devices reverberate, rupturing the blood vessels and causing severe internal bleeding while the prisoner thinks they're merely sitting in a cage.
"My lord, I have found that which you seek!" my spymaster said, letting out a hiss as he bowed.
"Ah, excellent, who did you find?" I asked, glancing over from my work to meet his eyes.
"Who better than the man's young son?" Alren asked.
"The Red Rider has a son? I didn't know Miss Dolores had the time to start a family," I said.
"No, not the reporter, my lord. He has an actual girlfriend," Alren said.
"Excellent work as always, Spymaster Alren," I said. "Inform the servants that we have a guest if you would, I've got to finish this up before the hero arrives."
"As you wish, my lord," the spymaster said, before slinking off.
It was nearly sundown, and there wasn't any sign of the Red Rider. Since I'd finished the execution device and put the finishing touches on everything else, I deigned to visit the prisoner. Inside the dungeon cell was a young boy. He was reading a book, and had a half-drunk cup of tea on a saucer next to him. As ever, I tried to keep my prisoners well, being a villain didn't mean one had to be a savage.
"Child," I said.
"Oh, hey mister," he said, looking up from the book.
"Halcien. Lord Halcien to you, boy," I said.
"Okay, Lord Halcien. I'm Tamolin," he said. "Could I get a flashlight? It's getting dark and I have to finish this chapter before tomorrow or I'll fail the assignment."
"This is the upper dungeon, we have lighting, but one of the servants can fetch you a flashlight if you would prefer," I said. "I'm more concerned with why your father hasn't come yet. Ordinarily he's quite prompt with smashing his way into my base when someone goes missing."
"Daddy's been gone a long time," Tamolin said.
"What? No, I just faced Red Rider a month ago, he's not gone," I said.
"Oh, you mean Mama's boyfriend... I dunno, he doesn't like me very much," Tamolin said. "I'm not allowed out of my room when he's home..."
Seeing the boy wince when I mentioned the supposed hero didn't exactly leave many possibilities in my mind. It made me remember the time I had my eye put out when I was small, though that was quite a while ago.
I turned toward the boy preparing to respond, but he had already returned to his book. Instead, I decided to simply start up the doomsday device. If Red Rider couldn't be bothered to show up, then I wasn't going to be a good sport about it. I was a villain, after all!
The evening sky darkened quickly with storm clouds, with winds picking up in the area around the base. As the howl of the wind and the crash of debris started to rattle the castle, I heard the faint screech of a motorcycle pulling to a stop.
The party had finally begun.
Red Rider had managed to weave between the electric defense pylons without being turned into a charred corpse, and he'd slipped past the automated turrets with only some minor damage to his bike. He had taken down the two guards who tried to apprehend him as he entered, and ended up facing down guardsman Velric. He'd been doing well at wearing down the armored behemoth of a man, until Shield-maiden Hilda finally clocked him over the head.
Now he was bolted, strapped, and tied into a chair. The three different bindings would theoretically mean he was now triply unable to escape, but I knew from experience that the hero was quite slippery.
"So nice of you to join us, Mr. Rider," I said.
"Fuck you, Halcien. Do you have any idea how much destruction you've already caused?" Rider asked. "You know the code, you've got to do a declaration before beginning a plan. Hoo boy, you're not gonna be a happy camper if the Omni-Regulations Board catches wind of this."
"Oh, I certainly did, but I doubt the board would find me in contention because you can't find the time in the day to save your own son," I said.
"Son? Shit, did I miss some really important email from Dolly?" he asked.
"No, the son of your other girlfriend," I said.
"Hm? you mean Patricia? She doesn't have a kid," he said.
I furrowed my brow and said, "Dare I ask if there's another woman in your life?"
"Oh, well there is Tabby... Wait, you mean you took that pretentious little shit? Good riddance," he said.
"'Pretentious little-' I'd hardly expect a hero to say that about his own charge," I said.
"Bah, kid acts like he's the smartest in the room, constantly whining about not being able to read or do his homework, and he's got that weird name, you can keep him for all I care," Red Rider said.
"Halci- I mean, Tamolin is not a weird name! You know what, forget it!" I said, placing my remote control onto the table after deactivating the doomsday device. It was linked to most of the technological devices in the room, but using them didn't feel right anymore. "I'd planned this whole thing, the shutters would open and you'd watch the city be reduced to ruins while you could do nothing, then you get executed by my masterful execution device, but now the mood's ruined!"
"Mood? Hah, don't tell me you're letting me go? Maybe I should hurl pointed insults more often!" Red Rider said.
"Letting you go? No, but all of that is for fun heroes who play along. I'll offer you a choice instead: Knife, poison, or strangulation?" I asked, opening a small chest and placing a dagger, a bottle of poison, and a length of cord onto the table.
"Uh..." he said.
"Aw heck, you're right, why choose?" I asked, pouring the poison on the dagger with one hand while coiling the cord with the other.
I was in one of the best moods I'd been in since I dug out my father's eye with a corkscrew. My mortal enemy was finally dead, I could finally get started on my long term plans, and I hadn't lost any of my magnificent devices or loyal minions in the process. I began formulating what to do next, when I walked past the cell where Tamolin was sitting attentively. It appeared he had finished whatever he had to do with the book, given the papers stacked on one side of him and the closed book on the other.
"Mr. Lord Halcien? Can I go home now? It's almost bed time, and Mama will be sad if I'm not there," he asked.
"Certainly, child, you being here has served all the purpose I needed," I said, opening the door to the boy's cell. "Though if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to ask a little about your mother..."
submitted by AslandusTheLaster to AslandusTheLaster [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 02:06 myvnml Where to buy self tie bow ties in Windsor?

Does anyone know where to buy non pre ties bow tie in Windsor?
submitted by myvnml to windsorontario [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 23:56 cupnoddles Which marquise would you pick?

Which marquise would you pick?
Option 1: G VS2 I saw this one in person and it was pretty and didn’t have a prominent bow tie. But I’m worried that the cut quality is not as good as it could be and I was just dazzled by the store lighting. It does face up quite big for its size though which is nice (but is it sacrificing cut for size?). Video here:
Option 2: H VS2 This one I haven’t seen in person so that makes me a little nervous, but the cut seems to be a bit better maybe? The girdle is less thick and the polish is better, for example. It also fluoresces which I find kinda cool. It’s also $500 cheaper. Video here:
I’m overthinking and I need help! Which would you pick?
submitted by cupnoddles to Diamonds [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 23:49 Common-Accountant-57 My dog, in a bow tie

My dog, in a bow tie submitted by Common-Accountant-57 to NonReligiousUtah [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 22:54 techproblems22 MLS Pick'em 2023 Week 15 [Deadline: Saturday 6/3 @ 2:30 PM EDT]

Welcome to the sixth MLS Pick'em season and fifteenth MLS Pick'em of 2023. Please read the rules below and good luck with your picks throughout the season.
Please read the rules below and good luck with your picks throughout the season.
Week 14 Summary
NOTE: Pick'ems will be posted every Tuesday or Wednesday.
Note: It asks for an email but that is so you can receive a copy of your responses. If you wish to join, I can add you to email group so you will receive an email about it every week(it may be in the spam folder though so please check).

MLS Pick'em 2023 Week 15

submitted by techproblems22 to MLSandNWSLpickem [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 22:54 techproblems22 MLS Pick'em 2023 Week 15 [Deadline: Saturday 6/3 @ 2:30 PM EDT]

Welcome to the sixth MLS Pick'em season and fifteenth MLS Pick'em of 2023. Please read the rules below and good luck with your picks throughout the season.
Please read the rules below and good luck with your picks throughout the season.
Week 14 Summary
NOTE: Pick'ems will be posted every Tuesday or Wednesday.
Note: It asks for an email but that is so you can receive a copy of your responses. If you wish to join, I can add you to email group so you will receive an email about it every week(it may be in the spam folder though so please check).

MLS Pick'em 2023 Week 15

submitted by techproblems22 to MLS [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 22:44 AslandusTheLaster Tyradil's Lost Royals

Original prompt: [WP] The Archmage decreed that tonight, as a gift to the king, his children will all receive magical power. In the morning, the children of the castle remained unchanged, but some random urchins around the kingdom woke up to strange occurrences. (link)
Another droll day in Tyradil. Sitting on the throne, watching the mewling peasants beg him for table scraps like they did every day. It was an annoyance that King Ulrich could do without, he had higher goals in mind. Still, it was beneficial to at least put on a show of caring for the common folk. He gave a nod to the farmer, agreeing to pay for the crops that had been seized in the last campaign, or whatever she had been asking about.
Hm, up next was... Leland? What did the old coot want now?
"M'lord! It is time to celebrate the anniversary of your coronation!" Leland said. "And so, as Archmage of your glorious rule, I have woven a mighty spell to empower your entire lineage!"
"Yes, very good. Thank you, Leland," King Ulrich said. It was a nice gesture, to be sure, his heirs had been working hard and would surely enjoy a bit of magical flare to boost their abilities. Still, he wasn't sure why the old man had decided to inform him of this during petitioning time.
The next person in line was an aged woman. She was asking something about funding her daughter's wedding. The king waved her off, the royal coffers were for more important things than random celebrations.
The king awoke with the rising sun. Well, awoke in a relative sense. He rarely slept well, and may as well have been asleep for most of the day given how sluggish he was. Still, he pulled himself up and walked out to meet the eldest of his heirs. A young man in his mid-20s, Prince Rodrick was already up and hacking into a practice dummy with the ferocity of a mad dog. Seeing him, the King remembered his Archmage's words from the previous day.
"Roderick, my boy! How are you feeling today?" Ulrich called out to the prince.
"Quite good, father! I've already got my technique down by half a second!" Roderick said, sheathing the sword as he turned toward the king.
"Excellent! But, have you noticed anything,.. magical?" Ulrich asked. Leland could be an old coot, but he knew his stuff when it came to spells.
"Magical? Is there any greater magic than perseverance, father?" Roderick asked.
"You've got me there, boy," Ulrich said.
As Roderick returned to training, the king walked back into the hall and toward the Archmage's quarters. Leland was busy tinkering with a crystal ball when he entered.
"Ah! My lord! I trust your progeny haven't been causing too much trouble with their new powers?" Leland said.
"I actually wanted to ask you about that, Leland. Roderick hadn't noticed any change, so I wanted to know the nature of the spell you created," Ulrich said.
"Ah, of course! It is a simple bloodline hex to empower the target with abilities sourcing ambient mana based upon their soul-weave, existing skills, and biochemistry," the Aged Magi said, his white beard waving about as he spoke.
"I barely understood any of that, old friend. Could you put it in layman's terms?" the king asked.
"Certainly, I suppose we can't all study magic for over a century," Leland said. "It alters the physiology of your children to give them magic. I can't imagine why it didn't work on Roderick, unless he isn't actually one of your progeny."
"Children... Wait, you said something about bloodlines?" Ulrich said. "Roderick is my nephew, not my direct spawn. It is a similar story with all of my heirs, are you saying they aren't going to be affected by your spell?"
"What are you talking about, Ricky? I was there when Roderick was born, you can't claim he isn't your son," Leland said.
"Whoa now, Roderick is my son. I raised him since he was small after my brother died in battle, but he certainly didn't come from the queen's womb," Ulrich said. "Are you telling me you honestly forgot that the princes and princesses are all adopted? I thought I was pretty clear when I said that bloodlines were for fools, nobles, and foolish nobles. Given that my wife is 3 generations inbred and can barely walk thanks to her club foot, it seemed like a necessity to introduce some fresh blood."
"Hmph, then perhaps I should've used unicorn horn instead of dragon blood... No matter, it should be of no consequence then, just a few wasted reagents for your nonexistent children. My sincerest apologies for my shoddy memory, m'lord," Leland said.
"Oh no, it's the thought that counts old friend..." Ulrich said. He paused for a moment as a thought popped into his head. "Come to think of it, you're not wrong, I have sired a few children... I need to check something."
Ulrich left the room, while Leland returned to the crystal ball. The king rushed down the hall, finding one of his most trusted servants. Entering the library, he found the woman he was looking for dusting the books.
"Ah, King Ulrich," the maid said as the king opened the door. "What brings you here?"
"Agatha, do you remember when I asked you to get rid of those infants?" Ulrich asked.
"Ah yes, terrible business that. I didn't have the heart to put them down, but I disposed of them as best I could," Agatha said, bowing her head toward the king.
"What did you do with them?" King Ulrich asked.
Farmer Jenna entered the hut with a feeling of triumph. The king had said yes! It seemed her luck was finally turning for the better.
"Mama!" cried out the young boy running toward her. The farmer tousled the boy's hair before hoisting him up into a hug.
"Hey Acorn, what have you been up to?" Jenna asked.
"Look!" the boy said, gesturing at the wall. Formed from mud and dried, it seemed he had drawn on it with a piece of charcoal. The picture looked like a crude image of the farmer, the boy, and a man. The boy obviously hadn't seen Jenna's husband, he'd died before she'd found the lad under an oak tree and taken him in. Still, from the rough descriptions he'd been given over the years, it was surprisingly good.
"Amazing," Jenna said. "And good news, the King agreed to pay for the lost crops! I thought it was a long shot, he probably had other things to pay for given the drought, but he agreed! We won't have to worry about going hungry."
"Yay!" Acorn said. "Ooh! And I learned a new trick too!"
The boy scampered over to the door of the hut, swinging it open and waving his arms around. At first Jenna wasn't sure what the trick was, but then she noticed the sky. The clouds seemed to be dancing with the boy's movements.
"Wow!" Jenna said. She was obviously playing up her reaction for the lad, but the feat was undoubtedly both strange and impressive. "I almost feel weird asking, but can you summon the rain?"
"Ummm... I dunno," Acorn said.
Jessalyn was dressed properly for her wedding day. Aunt Claire had been raving mad after talking to the king, saying he had turned her down "after all she'd done for him". Personally, she'd thought it was a bit of a silly request to begin with, even if she did had a history with the king. They had enough money for a decent wedding, but Claire insisted it was still worthwhile and that Jess deserved a wedding fit for a queen.
But regardless, it was nearly time. Father Martin was reading his lines, and Elias was standing at the altar. As the music began, Jessalyn pulled down her veil and took her Uncle Klaus' arm. Klaus led her down the aisle, and up to her husband-to-be.
Father Martin got the pair through the vows quickly enough. Everyone knew it had been a matter of time until Jess and Elias tied the knot, so the whole ceremony practically felt like a formality.
"You may now kiss the bride," Father Martin said.
Elias carefully lifted Jessalyn's veil, and the young woman could feel a tickle on her nose. She thought it might be embarrassing to sneeze during the ceremony, so she tried to resist it. That worked well enough for a few moments, but as she leaned in Elias' mustache tickled her nose again and she couldn't stop herself.
The sneeze itself was rather unremarkable compared to the fact that Father Martin immediately erupted into flames, being reduced to a pile of ash within seconds.
The panic was immediate and absolute. Most of the attendees, even Jess' personal friends were now screaming that the union was cursed as they fled the area. Well, the ones who weren't calling Jess a witch or a sorceress at least.
She was almost afraid to find out, but she had to know. Jess glanced at her newlywed husband, and her stomach dropped. He was looking straight at her, his eyes full of abject terror.
The Order of the White Cloth was one of the most esteemed religious orders in the kingdom, and for good reason. Reliable medical care was a rarity in this day and age, and the White Cloth church did it for free. Ginara was proud that she'd finally managed to become a bona fide surgeon among them, but she was dreading the coming test.
It was well known that one of the final tests for White Cloth surgeons was impossible. Not just impossible, but deliberately so. The order wanted to make sure the most skilled of their workers learned an important lesson: You can't save everyone. It was just a logistical fact that many who ended up under their care were likely to die regardless of what was done, so the surgeon had to have good judgement in deciding where their skills would be most useful. It was tragic when someone died, but when one had to choose, the order wanted to make sure the wisest choice was made.
Still, Ginny felt a pang of guilt when she saw her patient. A young woman, she couldn't have been more than 14 summers old, and she had an arrow in her eye. Still, she was breathing... barely.
"Sister Ginara, you may begin," Brother Tobias said. He was holding a wax tablet which he was no doubt going to use to record his judicious judgements of the jacked job she was preparing to precariously perform.
"Yes Brother," Ginny said. She began by touching the arrow, attempting to gauge how deeply it had gone in. Luckily, it seemed it hadn't gone deep, just past the eye itself. However, the girl gasped in pain as Ginny's fingers touched the arrow.
It would've been more merciful for the girl to be unconscious for the operation, but sometimes fortune just wasn't that kind. She tied a cloth around the girl's head, before using larger straps to hold her in place and tying a string to the arrow. The procedure was brutal, but the best way they knew to keep her alive.
Ginny wound the string around a staff, and prepared for the extraction.
The girl's screams were horrific, but after a minute the arrow came loose... (Warning: somewhat graphic) Oh dear, seemed the eye had stayed on the arrow. Ginny knew the eye was lost, so she cut off the nerve and removed the entire thing... Oh dear, that was a lot of blood.
Ginny worked quickly, but the girl's breathing grew more ragged. Ginny's concern quickly grew into panic, as she sought to staunch the stream of sanguine against all odds.
As Ginara worked, her sweat began to run cold, and the girl's struggling suddenly became much more lively. The screaming went from pained to panicked, and she managed to wriggle free enough to shove Ginny off of her before taking a breath.
When the girl took off the cloth, both Ginny and Tobias jumped. Not because of the horror of the injury, but the utter lack of one. The girl somehow had both of her eyes back, without even a wound to show for it.
"My eye! It's fixed! It's a miracle!" the girl said.
"I... Genuinely don't know how to review that. I think we had better bring this to Bishop Murin," Brother Tobias said. Ginny just nodded in agreement.
The Black Banner Bandits were settling down for the night after a day of pillaging. Previously the Dark Rock Mercenaries, a group of warlike nomads who occasionally fought for coin, the group had turned to raiding and pillaging the countryside after one too many instances of their employers refusing to pay. Well, one instance, but one was still too many.
Oswald had been travelling under the Black Banner for as long as he could remember. Oswald, more commonly called Ozzie, was busy sparring with one of the other youths while captain Wersin watched. Rumor had gone around that Wersin was looking for one of the youths to join the elite Bannerguards, so Ozzie and Frederick were trying much harder than normal.
Ozzie couldn't seem to land a single blow, with Frederick dodging or parrying every blow he struck before getting a jab in himself. However, he didn't relent with the blows, so Frederick remained on the defense for just about the entire match. The young man thought he was doing pretty well considering he wasn't even one of the fighters, Ozzie was supposed to be training with the smiths to maintain the weapons and armor of the fighters... But the group had gone through some tough battles recently, so Wersin wanted everyone combat-ready just in case.
Suddenly, Ozzie stepped on a rock and twisted his ankle, causing him to break his assault as he stumbled and began to fall over. Even before Frederick struck at him, he knew he'd just lost the match, and possibly his chance at becoming a Bannerguard.
However, when Frederick's sword struck Ozzie's helmet, it shattered into tiny metal fragments. Said fragments seemed to orbit Ozzie as he reeled back, then compounded onto his sword as he swung at Frederick, making it much longer than it was normally.
It was actually a bit inconvenient, since it slowed down the swing enough that Frederick not only ducked under it, but got in a kick on Ozzie's stomach. Ozzie finally tapped out, thoroughly out of breath.
"Good match," Ozzie said.
"Back at ya, can all the smiths do that fancy metal magic?" Fredrick asked.
"I don't think so?" Ozzie said, somewhat inquisitively. He waved his hand over the blade, and the extra metal floated off in shards before forming a rough gauntlet on his hand.
Wersin approached the two, clapping them on the shoulders.
"Impressive footwork out there, both of you. It looks like we may have to make room for two new Bannerguards, eh?" The Captain said.
The boys looked up at their leader, and were unsettled by the face he wore. They'd been expecting a look of admiration or pride. What they saw was a borderline sadistic grin.
submitted by AslandusTheLaster to AslandusTheLaster [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 22:28 shoneone How to tie wooden fascia and soffit into roof, about 1 inch gap, irregular parallelogram on fascia, slightly bowed curved roof under soffit.

How to tie wooden fascia and soffit into roof, about 1 inch gap, irregular parallelogram on fascia, slightly bowed curved roof under soffit. submitted by shoneone to Roofing [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 22:03 GreatSunBro IJN lines and premium ships a bit boring

IJN lines and premium ships a bit boring
The IJN battlecruisers/fast battleships were unveiled a few days ago and I think they are largely OK. Their designs are based on those made around the early to late 1910s so they have very similar design principles and configuration. Their superstructure and AA have been modernised to about mid WW2 standards at TX and pre WW2 at TXIII.
It is still early days but it seems there isn't anything special with these ships, no special consumable, or armament. Just really big guns WG has to neuter and an improved repair. In general this is a trend ingame with IJN ships being a bit too similar or having lack of gimmicks.
So I suggest or remind that IJN had 2 specialty ammunition types which could make interesting game mechanics. They are diving shells and antiaircraft main battery shells.
Diving shells were developed after firing tests on the hull of Tosa, and used the principle of shellfire falling short of a target and travelling underwater to hit and penetrate the less protected parts of the ship avoiding the armour belt or exploding under the hull, causing structural damage in the keel.
Ingame they could act as AP shells with long fuse timers, with little drag under water and enough penetration to hit a citadel, or they could be timed to explode under the keel, causing citadel damage(10% repairable).
Another possible effect is causing flooding when hitting the bow and stern sections of a ship. In an early version of WoWs, overpentraions under water caused flooding, and this ammunition type could bring it back.
Another characteristic of having a long fuse timer making it more likely to over penetrate thiner ships but may make it easier to get through spaced armour and torpedo protection into a citadel. This make ammo selection and hitting the right section of a target more important.
For possible trade offs and cons, these AP shells could have worse ricochet angles than standard. Another con could be having a worse overmatch ratio. These characteristics tie into the design of diving shells being optimised for underwater performance at the expense of standard penetration performance. Also it dampens the effect of IJN having so many 410 and 460 guns in their battleship designs.
If having the ability to inflict flooding, shell damage will have to be significantly decreased. Just as SAP gains incredible alpha damage in exchange for losing the ability to set fire, diving shells will need significant alpha damage reduction inechange for being able to cause flooding.
The other shell type is the main battery antiaircraft shell, called Type 3 shell. Its principle of operation is an incendiary fragmentation shell that explodes with a fuse timer, throwing shrapnel and fire in a cone in front of the shell at the target height.
Ingame they basically allow ships to use their main batteries to lock on and fire at aircraft. The very long reload time and slow turret traverse of battleships is offset by their huge damage and range maybe 8-10km?).
This ammunition should also be able to fired at surface ships. Their principle of operation and incendiary content means they could set fire easily and have a large trigger volume, but have worse penetration(1/7,1/8) and damage than normal HE shells.
Alternatively this ammunition type could be tied to a consumable like DFAA which has a very long range and creates few much very large and damaging flak clouds. It is more boring but is easier to manage and use.

These two ammunition shells did not work out well in real life, but as game mechanics they could make gameplay for IJN ships more interesting and inspired from history. Thank you for reading.
submitted by GreatSunBro to WorldOfWarships [link] [comments]

2023.05.31 21:35 OuttaAshes Shein Haul Early Summer Part 3

More summer clothes from Shein, including a gorgeous pink skort, shoes, shorts and blouses! This season's buy has been a direct hit! I hope we can keep you from error buying, and you'll have a closet you love! This video shows shoes, tops and casual pants.
Black floral shirt-
Black shorts-
Pink Skort-
Pink Polka dot slides-
Pink blouse with pearl sleeves-
Pink silky shimmer off shoulder blouse-
Hot pink swimsuit-
Zip front swimsuit-

#shein #sheinforall #sheinhaul #sheingals #sheinhaul2023 #sheinoutfits #style #stylish #fashion #fashionshow #fashionstyles #summerfashion2023 #summerfashion #summertrends #OuttaAshes #trending #clothes #onlineshopping #clothinghaul
submitted by OuttaAshes to Shein [link] [comments]